O Cebreiro

Camino Frances

To end of camino

Laguna de Castilla


O Cebreiro




O Cebreiro has grown from a small and ancient village of dairy farmers into a small and ancient village of large scale tourism. With luck you will arrive in a shroud of fog and leave with an abundance of sunshine; both suit this village well.


Santa María and the Holy Miracle are celebrated on the 8th and 9th of September.


It has played an important role throughout the history of the camino. It was the parish priest, Father Elías Valiña Sampedro, who is most responsible for the resurgence of the camino. It was he that first painted the yellow arrows, and the tales that surrounded him doing so are the stuff of legend. Once, in 1982, he and his white Fiat van parked along a trail in the Pyrenees. It was a time when Basque separatists were trading blows with the Guardia Civil, and when they came upon him, suspicions were aroused.

He opened the van door to reveal cans of yellow road paint and identified himself as the parish priest of O Cebreiro (a long way from home). When asked what he was doing his answer was as simple as it was prophetic: “I am preparing a great invasion!” It was he that orchestrated the installation of the granite hitos as well. His death in 1989 meant that he only got to see the trickling start of his invasion.

The parish church is also the setting for a miracle. According to legend, The Holy Grail was hidden there and in the 14th century produced a miracle that was certified by Pope Innocent VIII. A peasant from a local village braved the hike up to O Cebreiro during a dangerous snowstorm to hear mass. The priest chastised him for endangering his life for a bit of bread and wine. At that the bread and wine turned into flesh and blood, cementing the reputation of this small hamlet.

The Road

From the top, it is mostly downhill, though there remain a few brief climbs, all of the way to Triacastela.

City Map


All Caminos App User (not verified)

The camino splits as you leave O Cebreiro but this isn't shown on the app. According to the noticeboard, the right fork is the principal and recommended route. The Wise Pilgrim route is to the left. We took the non-recommended(!) Wise Pilgrim route. It went up and over on a forested gravel track then joined a very quiet road downhill where it joined the main route. Good views. If you haven't had your fill of hills after the climb to O Cebreiro, go this way. But otherwise I guess the recommended route hugs the hill and is more gentle

All Caminos App User (not verified)

It was at this village that I realised us pilgrims were being treated as MUGS!
We are definitely being charged a different price to what the locals pay!
I would be mortified if I found this practice is used where I come from!!
I can get used to being treated differently at bars and cafes with the lack of customer service. But to pay a higher price than a local is simply wrong and unjust!

All Caminos App User (not verified)

We are staying here tonight. It’s a bit noisy but comfortable.

The church is beautiful and the local garlic soup delicious!

All Caminos App User (not verified)

The hotel encompass hotel / bar restaurant and shop ; the bartender on the afternoon/evening was a great representative of the whole town; sorry I didn’t get HER name, : pleasant friendly .

Camino de Sant… (not verified)

Mass for piligrims was beautiful, with English translation of some parts. In the end all of us read a short prayer on their own language.

Camino de Sant… (not verified)

The arrow going upwards follows the green path laid out in the map. The one going down follows a newer path that follows the highway. We took the newer path which is nicely graveled and smooth. It was also more protected from the wind. There are Way markers and several beautiful views, although I suspect the view from the top is much better.

Camino de Sant…

At Carolo we had a fantastic and filling pelegrino menu for lunch after the climb - Galician soup (potatoes and greens) was delicious and with some bread could make a meal by itself. The roast chicken fell off the bone and had a crispy spiced skin that crackled when you cut into it. Highly recommend. The family and older couple who run it were delightful too. 10 April 2022

Camino de Sant…

What a surprise. A huge, delicious three course meal with friendly service, wine included, for €10. At a tourist spot like O Cebreiro this is a welcome surprise.

Camino de Sant…

Venta Celta had exceptional food and service