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Dragonte route

Black and the Red

Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
French way (June 2018) with Finisterra. Camino Dragonte being considered en route.
#1
Hi. I am planning to brave the Camino Dragonte but I'm having a little trouble with my route research for the section between Moral de Valcarce and Villar de Corrales. Got the John Brierley guide, but his notes on this section seem a little vague for me. I have attached a screenshot from google maps. Now, do I follow the path I have roughly traced in red or is there some route following my blue line somewhere? If anyone who has done this route can remember, please can you do some smart phone magic and add the correct route. Also if possible, can the adandoned mill and church be marked? Many thanks in advance. image.jpg
 

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Camino Chris

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Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015); Camino Norte/Primitivo (2016); Camino Frances (2017); Le Puy (June 2018)
#2
I have not done the Dragonte alternate route , but I have read that someone has taken the time last year to clearly mark this trail with more yellow arrows so is now much easier to follow, although the difficulty level is still the same.
That's my 2 cents worth (or maybe it's just my 1 cent worth). :)
 
Last edited:

Black and the Red

Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
French way (June 2018) with Finisterra. Camino Dragonte being considered en route.
#3
I have not done the Dragonet alternate route , but I have read that someone has taken the time last year to clearly mark this trail with more yellow arrows so is now much easier to follow, although the difficulty level is still the same.
That's my 2 cents worth (or maybe it's just my 1 cent worth). :)
I had heard some arrows went up. Was going to take a tin of paint with me. Maybe I'm just over preparing. At least no one will be running into that gingerbread house anymore!
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
#4
just for clarity´s sake, perhaps someone can re-label this "Dragonte Option," or some such. It is a one-day secondary route on the Camino Frances. It´s not its own camino... unless of course you are lost up there!
 

Black and the Red

Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
French way (June 2018) with Finisterra. Camino Dragonte being considered en route.
#5
just for clarity´s sake, perhaps someone can re-label this "Dragonte Option," or some such. It is a one-day secondary route on the Camino Frances. It´s not its own camino... unless of course you are lost up there!
Agreed. For the sake of clarity, thread renamed.
 

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Camino Chris

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Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015); Camino Norte/Primitivo (2016); Camino Frances (2017); Le Puy (June 2018)
#6
Agreed. For the sake of clarity, thread renamed.
I have been aware of this one day "alternate route" since my first Camino in 2015. The Brierley guide speaks of it, but the elevation map has always put me off...I'll leave it to the more "young and fearless"!
 
#7
Hi. I am planning to brave the Camino Dragonte but I'm having a little trouble with my route research for the section between Moral de Valcarce and Villar de Corrales. Got the John Brierley guide, but his notes on this section seem a little vague for me. I have attached a screenshot from google maps. Now, do I follow the path I have roughly traced in red or is there some route following my blue line somewhere? If anyone who has done this route can remember, please can you do some smart phone magic and add the correct route. Also if possible, can the adandoned mill and church be marked? Many thanks in advance. View attachment 40012
I, too, have been really interested in the Dragonte route. AND there is a facebook group with great information . All you will need and much better than the Brierley. Check it out.
 

Rick of Rick and Peg

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
#9
I am planning to brave the Camino Dragonte but I'm having a little trouble with my route research for the section between Moral de Valcarce and Villar de Corrales. Got the John Brierley guide, but his notes on this section seem a little vague for me.
Someone asked for GPS files of this route previously. See:
https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/via-dragonte-gps-file.13239/

Here is a two year-old writeup about the route with pictures:
https://www.caminodesantiago.me/com...e-villafranca-del-bierzo-to-o-cebreiro.40766/

Buen camino.
 

Camino Chris

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015); Camino Norte/Primitivo (2016); Camino Frances (2017); Le Puy (June 2018)
#10
Been there, done that, bitten by a dog, rescued by Kanga. Way, way back before it was waymarked, in 2001. Have not been back since.
Wow, you and Kanga are quite the pioneers! I guess that's when you were both "young and fearless"!
 

Chris Day

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances April/May 2014
Frances May/June 2015
Via de la Plata /Sanabres April/May 2016
Frances Route Starting 21st September 2016
#13
I have walked the three alternatives - Dragonte was the biggest challenge for me of any of my days on any of the Camino routes. I would never attempt it alone - three "pairs" walked it separately one fine day in 2015. Two pairs followed the trail without direction/route issues; one pairing (mine) had problems, so it turned out to be a very, very l-o-n-g day! The "Green" (Pradela) Route in good weather sits comfortably with the full overall Frances Route experience. If you are fit and in good condition and want an exciting challenge "over and above", walk the Dragonte BUT with company and in favourable weather conditions. That's my take!!
 

Black and the Red

Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
French way (June 2018) with Finisterra. Camino Dragonte being considered en route.
#14
I have walked the three alternatives - Dragonte was the biggest challenge for me of any of my days on any of the Camino routes. I would never attempt it alone - three "pairs" walked it separately one fine day in 2015. Two pairs followed the trail without direction/route issues; one pairing (mine) had problems, so it turned out to be a very, very l-o-n-g day! The "Green" (Pradela) Route in good weather sits comfortably with the full overall Frances Route experience. If you are fit and in good condition and want an exciting challenge "over and above", walk the Dragonte BUT with company and in favourable weather conditions. That's my take!!
I'll have to see if I make any Camino friends willing to go to Dragonte with me. But for now it's just me, myself and I. Will be going in June so hopefully good weather for it.
 

kaixo

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2012
Camino del Norte 2012
Geneva/Le Puy/SJPP/Bilbao 2015
Prague/Geneva ?
#19
I walked the Dragonte option in July, 2012. Not well marked then.
Left from Villafranca del Bierzo and walked to La Faba. It was a long, hot, challenging day.
I would definitely walk it again.
Be sure to carry food and water for the day (was absolutely necessary in 2012).
What is your destination? Leaving from Cacabelos will be a very long day.
 

Black and the Red

Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
French way (June 2018) with Finisterra. Camino Dragonte being considered en route.
#20
I walked the Dragonte option in July, 2012. Not well marked then.
Left from Villafranca del Bierzo and walked to La Faba. It was a long, hot, challenging day.
I would definitely walk it again.
Be sure to carry food and water for the day (was absolutely necessary in 2012).
What is your destination? Leaving from Cacabelos will be a very long day.
My aim is to get to Herrerias. If no room at an inn there then at least I'll have a few options for the cost of a few more kilometres. Will take 3 litres of water as I did climbing Pantokrator in Corfu at 38C!
 

kaixo

Active Member
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Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2012
Camino del Norte 2012
Geneva/Le Puy/SJPP/Bilbao 2015
Prague/Geneva ?
#21
When I arrived in Herrerías the albergue was full. So stopped for food at the café there then walked on to La Faba. Buen camino.
 

Rich1

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (May 2015)
Camino Frances (2016-2018)
#22
Walked the Dragonte today and very nice it was too :)
Started from Villafranca and had the perfect blue sky day. Official waymarking was pretty good in the first and last thirds but virtually non-existent in the middle. Brierley is pretty accurate though with his route notes and a few yellow arrows were very helpful. Became temporarily misplaced after Moral de V through my own fault and legs were severely ‘brambled’...whoops ;)
Lovely day. No pilgrim in sight and just a few friendly locals. Currently drinking beer in the sun in Herrerias :cool:
 

Black and the Red

Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
French way (June 2018) with Finisterra. Camino Dragonte being considered en route.
#23
Walked the Dragonte today and very nice it was too :)
Started from Villafranca and had the perfect blue sky day. Official waymarking was pretty good in the first and last thirds but virtually non-existent in the middle. Brierley is pretty accurate though with his route notes and a few yellow arrows were very helpful. Became temporarily misplaced after Moral de V through my own fault and legs were severely ‘brambled’...whoops ;)
Lovely day. No pilgrim in sight and just a few friendly locals. Currently drinking beer in the sun in Herrerias :cool:
Hi Rich1, glad to hear it went well. Can you say what went wrong after Moral? It's after that village to the next that has flummoxed me with the Brierley directions. Any pointers? How long didn't it take you? Many thanks.
 

Rich1

Active Member
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Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (May 2015)
Camino Frances (2016-2018)
#24
Hi Rich1, glad to hear it went well. Can you say what went wrong after Moral? It's after that village to the next that has flummoxed me with the Brierley directions. Any pointers? How long didn't it take you? Many thanks.
Well...you come down the hill from the village (which is isn’t entirely clear but I stuck with it!) and eventually come to the derelict stone mill. Turn right directly in front of the mill walking along the stream for 50m to regain the path. You then turn left almost immediately - the path also goes straight on so take care. A stone marker has been painted yellow to show the left turn.
After 100m or so, a path seems to join from the left. This is path to take - it then winds up and round to Vilar de Corrales. I stupidly chose to ignore this path as it seemed to be going back where I’d come from!!! I scrub bashed a bit, realised my error and the brambles severely got me on the way back. Schoolboy error!! After that I was fine :):)
It took me 5 hours from Villafranca to Herrerias but I was going fairly quickly...when I was on the right path!
 
#27
Dragonte - Overall Map.png

Hi everyone. I've just written an in-depth guide to the Dragonte, with general description, elevation profile chart, maps (with contour lines and 3D hill shading), walking notes, and so on. It's available in PDF and ePub formats. I've uploaded them as a resource to Ivar's 'Resources' section yesterday, though I think it is still waiting for approval.

https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/resources/in-depth-guide-to-the-ruta-dragonte.665/

If anyone has an immediate interest, the guide can be downloaded from my website:

http://trekopedia.com/new-guide-ruta-dragonte-on-the-camino-frances/

Most of the same content is available in my free TrailSmart app, too, of course.

Feedback very much appreciated!

(High-res version of the above map is included in the guide, plus more detailed sectional maps)
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2014, CF 2015, CF 2018
#28
View attachment 42637

Hi everyone. I've just written an in-depth guide to the Dragonte, with general description, elevation profile chart, maps (with contour lines and 3D hill shading), walking notes, and so on. It's available in PDF and ePub formats. I've uploaded them as a resource to Ivar's 'Resources' section yesterday, though I think it is still waiting for approval.

https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/resources/in-depth-guide-to-the-ruta-dragonte.665/

If anyone has an immediate interest, the guide can be downloaded from my website:

http://trekopedia.com/new-guide-ruta-dragonte-on-the-camino-frances/

Most of the same content is available in my free TrailSmart app, too, of course.

Feedback very much appreciated!

(High-res version of the above map is included in the guide, plus more detailed sectional maps)
Hi. I hope to take the Pradela route from villafranca to trabadelo tomorrow. Ive lost my printed guide and notes, so am trying to figure it all out with help of my phone.
Do you have a similar detailed guide to the pradela? I am a little confused as to how to find it, leaving villafranca. And then how to stay on it to trabadelo!!!
Detailed advice appreciated from you and/or other forum members.
 

Rick of Rick and Peg

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
#29
Hi. I hope to take the Pradela route from villafranca to trabadelo tomorrow. Ive lost my printed guide and notes, so am trying to figure it all out with help of my phone.
Do you have a similar detailed guide to the pradela? I am a little confused as to how to find it, leaving villafranca. And then how to stay on it to trabadelo!!!
Detailed advice appreciated from you and/or other forum members.
When leaving Villafranca you cross a bridge. The Caminos fork there. Take the right one heading uphill (also take lots of water as there is none on the way.) I remember not having any problems following the track. When you get to the paved road take it downhill.

A description in Spanish is at https://www.senditur.com/multimedia/rutas/76/pdf/Etapa_22b_Variante_de_Pradela.SENDITUR.pdf
 

Rick of Rick and Peg

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
#30
Hi. I hope to take the Pradela route from villafranca to trabadelo tomorrow. Ive lost my printed guide and notes, so am trying to figure it all out with help of my phone.
Do you have a similar detailed guide to the pradela? I am a little confused as to how to find it, leaving villafranca. And then how to stay on it to trabadelo!!!
Detailed advice appreciated from you and/or other forum members.
Here is the view you get very shortly after crossing the bridge. The main route through the valley goes to the left. The Pradela route goes uphill on the right.
https://www.google.com/maps/@42.609...4!1srdmshF5CMsYpxy5jPGnqqw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656
 
#31
Hi @design4life – The Pradela route isn't near as difficult to follow as the Dragonte, though there are a few places where people sometimes get confused.

My TrailSmart app has the Pradela route in it. You can use the built-in yellow arrow in the app to point you in the right direction if you lose the trail markers. TrailSmart is free, with no advertising. Offline maps are available for sale as in-app purchases, but you don't really need them for the Pradela – the built-in yellow arrow in the app works even without offline maps. Google maps are included with the app if you have a data plan.

Just a heads-up, the Pradela may not have as much climbing and descending as the Dragonte, but it is still quite steep if you aren't used to hill-walking.

Have a great walk -- let us know how it goes.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2014, CF 2015, CF 2018
#32
Thanks so much, all. I was a bit worn out and wanting to save my energy for the Big Climb to O'C, so i took the road walk. Despite the road, it was beautiful, and i was rewarded with a night at the wonderful Casa Susi.
But your instructions were spot on in terms of the entry to the Pradela path across the bridge, and the photo was perfect.
I've installed the Trailsmart app.
Thanks again.
 

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