→ 3.20 → Ponferrada → 3.20km → Compostilla

Altitude
539
To end of camino
205.10
ATM
Yes
Bar
Yes
Bus
Yes
Correos
Ave General Vives, 24401, Mon-Fri: 0830-2030 & Sat: 0930-1300, 987 403 187
Grocery
Yes
Medical Center
Yes
Pharmacy
Yes
Train
Yes

Ponferrada’s Templar castle is one of the best-preserved examples of its kind and offers a glimpse into what castle life must have been like in the 12th and 13th centuries.

The Iglesia de Santa María de la Encina is named for a Templar legend according to which her image was found in the trunk of an Oak tree. It is located in the oldest part of town, near the castle.

Fiesta

Saturday is market day. The Fiesta de La Encina begins on September 8th and celebrates the patron Saint of El Bierzo, La Virgen de La Encina (oak), and lasts a week.

History

Ponferrada was at one point one of the most important of the Roman settlements due to its location at the junction of two rivers (The Sil and Boeza) in a valley both fertile and rich in minerals. Its name derives from the construction of its original bridge. Built in 1082 it was one of the first to be decorated with iron and so ‘Pons Ferrata’ became Ponferrada. The original bridge no longer exists.

The Road

Exiting Ponferrada takes you past the castle and briefly through the old town before crossing over the río Sil. At the end of that bridge turn right. The way curves left and at the next large intersection turn right. Keep straight through the first roundabout, and turn right at the second. From here the camino follows temporary signage through construction.

Comments

Camino de Sant… (not verified)

if you are going to stop in Ponferrada, stop here! A lovely oasis right on the path (if you take the road) with a few beds, fresh sheets, and an amazing home cooked meal. Lovely hospitaleros!

Camino de Sant… (not verified)

Went to Panaderia Liébana for lunch and grabbed a sandwhich. Soon realized that the lettuce in the sandwhich hadn’t been washed and was covered in dirt…

Camino de Sant… (not verified)

By far the least interesting city on the Camino , castle notwithstanding (and there really is nothing else to see). Accommodations and restaurants are oddly expensive. Drab and dirty compared to other Spanish towns. Stay in Molinaseca or Cacobelos instead.

michael

You will have a much nicer time in Molinaseca or Cacbelos. Staying in Ponferrada is jarring and can take you out of the peaceful camino spirit . The city is also very expensive and eating out at night in the old town you will find very little cheap as a pilgrim.

michael

The Rocky Mountain Shop is excellent. Great selection of high quality gear. I got new Hokas and my wife got a puffy.

michael

The proprietor at this peregrino store was so helpful. After getting shin splints coming down into Ponferrada He helped me into some Hoka's, some trekking poles and replaced a leaking camel bag. Definitely look him up when in town. The Nirvana Hostel had excellent service and was not too far from the center of town.

michael

If you were stamp-happy along the way from St. Jean and are running out of room, or are starting your Camino in Ponferrada, you can purchase a credential for €2 at Albergue de peregrinos San Nicolás de Flüe.

michael

I stayed in a hotel called El ancla. It was nice, I think a out 25 euros, and had a private room with bathroom. Lots of stores and restaurants nearby for whatever you need.

michael

Have just now had terrible experience here, when the Spanish friend I am traveling with complained about the quality of the room compared to what was represented when she called (she was told we would have a view, we are looking at a wall; the room was supposed to be large, it’s tiny, etc). The manager pounded on the door and demanded payment up front and threatened to call the police if we didn’t pay. I’m from the States and I’ve never seen anything like it in all my years of traveling. Avoid at all costs.

michael

Excellent place to stay when in Léon. Juan treats everyone as a potential long lost friend. Clean, convenient, no negatives except the party crowd going home at 6am, but you’re up at that time anyway. Calle Ancho 25