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The big map o the Caminos de Santiago

Dragonte route

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
 
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). :)
 
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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!
 
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.
 
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.
 
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(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 '14 '15 '16 Sect '17&'18
VdlP /Sanabres / Finistere 16
Portuguese & Ingles '17
Norte '18
#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!!
 
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.
 
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.
 
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!
 
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
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (May 2015)
Camino Frances (2016-2018)
A complicated Camino from Madrid (Aug/Sep 18)
#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:
 
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
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (May 2015)
Camino Frances (2016-2018)
A complicated Camino from Madrid (Aug/Sep 18)
#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!
 

Rich1

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (May 2015)
Camino Frances (2016-2018)
A complicated Camino from Madrid (Aug/Sep 18)
#25
The damage...
9337263C-B05E-40A6-BE3A-546CF4E6ADA6.jpeg
 
#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.
 
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
 
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.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Via de La Plata, Portuguese, Camino Ingles, Fisterra, Muxia, Catalan and Aragones, Norte
#34
This is something I posted to the Friends of Dragonte Facebook page and wanted to share it here with Forum members:
"Wanting to beat the heat with a forecast high of 31 degrees, it was 6:50 in the morning of 18 June when we set off from Albergue Leo in Villafranca del Bierzo to walk the Dragonte route. We were a group of three: two Canadians (living in Barcelona) and an Australian. First stop was at the hikers' hut in Moral de Valcarce (actually, the village of Dragonte, not Moral - edit) to sign into the log book. The hut was equipped with a few basic supplies, a table and chair and the log book, and it would have made a refuge for pilgrims had the weather not allowed us to carry on. We were well prepared physically for the trek, already having walked along the Camino Catalan from Barcelona, and the Aragones route before joining the Frances Camino in Obanos. The walk along the Dragonte route did not disappoint: the excellent way markings ensured that we could easily stay on the trail without misadventures while enjoying the spectacular scenery and peacefulness offered by this little-used original Camino route. Water was easily found in almost all of the villages we passed through. We did not need to search for food as our packs were filled with plenty of supplies for the day. Our foodstuffs included some purchases made the day before in Villafraca del Bierzo in the shop in Plaza Mayor. Coincidentally, the shop owner, Lenora, greeted us warmly when we told her of our plans to walk the Dragonte the following day, telling us that her parents and dog live in the first house we would come to upon entering the village of Moral de Valcarce. As requested by Lenora, we paused along the way to knock at the door of said house in order to send greetings but there was no one home to receive us.
The only slight bit of uncertainty during our journey happened toward the end as we approached the quarry and were unsure of which way to go. It was eight hours after we started that we reached our endpoint in Las Herrerias with thoughts of cold beer first and foremost in our minds. We send our thanks to Maria and her mother Mercedes for their hospitality at the lovely Albergue Leo in Villafranca del Bierzo, the group responsible for the clear signage along the Drangonte, members of this Facebook group for sharing updates about the route, and those who bulldozed a wide swath down the last descent into Las Herrerias from the radio mast atop the final peak. Note: a few sections of the trail between San Fiz do Seo and Villasinde were somewhat overgrown, leaving one the unenviable choice between brushing up against brambles or stinging nettles. Also, be prepared for fresh cow patties in the last half of the final descent."
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2014)
Camino de Assisi (2015)
Camino de Santiago (Primitivo) (2017)
#35
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)
Thank you so much - I will do the Dragonte autum 2019
 

4 Eyes

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF from SJPP 14, VDLP from Seville 15, DN&P from Irun 16, Portuguese from Lisbon 17
#36
This is something I posted to the Friends of Dragonte Facebook page and wanted to share it here with Forum members:
"Wanting to beat the heat with a forecast high of 31 degrees, it was 6:50 in the morning of 18 June when we set off from Albergue Leo in Villafranca del Bierzo to walk the Dragonte route. We were a group of three: two Canadians (living in Barcelona) and an Australian. First stop was at the hikers' hut in Moral de Valcarce to sign into the log book. The hut was equipped with a few basic supplies, a table and chair and the log book, and it would have made a refuge for pilgrims had the weather not allowed us to carry on. We were well prepared physically for the trek, already having walked along the Camino Catalan from Barcelona, and the Aragones route before joining the Frances Camino in Obanos. The walk along the Dragonte route did not disappoint: the excellent way markings ensured that we could easily stay on the trail without misadventures while enjoying the spectacular scenery and peacefulness offered by this little-used original Camino route. Water was easily found in almost all of the villages we passed through. We did not need to search for food as our packs were filled with plenty of supplies for the day. Our foodstuffs included some purchases made the day before in Villafraca del Bierzo in the shop in Plaza Mayor. Coincidentally, the shop owner, Lenora, greeted us warmly when we told her of our plans to walk the Dragonte the following day, telling us that her parents and dog live in the first house we would come to upon entering the village of Moral de Valcarce. As requested by Lenora, we paused along the way to knock at the door of said house in order to send greetings but there was no one home to receive us.
The only slight bit of uncertainty during our journey happened toward the end as we approached the quarry and were uncertain of which way to go. It was eight hours after we started that we reached our endpoint in Las Herrerias with thoughts of cold beer first and foremost in our minds. We send our thanks to Maria and her mother Mercedes for their hospitality at the lovely Albergue Leo in Villafranca del Bierzo, the group responsible for the clear signage along the Drangonte, members of this Facebook group for sharing updates about the route, and those who bulldozed a wide swath down the last descent into Las Herrerias from the radio mast atop the final peak. Note: a few sections of the trail between San Fiz do Seo and Villasinde were somewhat overgrown, leaving one the unenviable choice between brushing up against brambles or stinging nettles. Also, be prepared for fresh cow patties in the last half of the final descent."
You stated "The only slight bit of uncertainty during our journey happened toward the end as we approached the quarry and were uncertain of which way to go." So which way did you go? I plan to walk the route later this year and would appreciate any help. Thanks.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Via de La Plata, Portuguese, Camino Ingles, Fisterra, Muxia, Catalan and Aragones, Norte
#37
We continued to walk on the road headed to the top of the quarry. The village of San Fiz do Seo will be visible across the valley. Descend into the quarry keeping to the left because you will exit on the left when you reach the bottom. You will come to a gate (it was chained when we got there and we were able to simply step around it) and continue to the end of the driveway which brings you to a paved road. On your left will be a Camino signboard, overgrown with vegetation. Turn right on the paved road and within about 1 km the Camino will veer left off the paved road into the village of San Fiz de Seo.

I hope this helps you!
 

4 Eyes

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF from SJPP 14, VDLP from Seville 15, DN&P from Irun 16, Portuguese from Lisbon 17
#38
We continued to walk on the road headed to the top of the quarry. The village of San Fiz do Seo will be visible across the valley. Descend into the quarry keeping to the left because you will exit on the left when you reach the bottom. You will come to a gate (it was chained when we got there and we were able to simply step around it) and continue to the end of the driveway which brings you to a paved road. On your left will be a Camino signboard, overgrown with vegetation. Turn right on the paved road and within about 1 km the Camino will veer left off the paved road into the village of San Fiz de Seo.

I hope this helps you!
Thank you so much for sharing. Your information is very helpful in building my confidence.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Via de La Plata, Portuguese, Camino Ingles, Fisterra, Muxia, Catalan and Aragones, Norte
#39
Go for it! A most memorable day on the Camino!
 

Mugatu

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2018 (July 6- Aug 2) ✅
Camino Frances once more or Norte 2019
#40
Did it this year, there’s enough markings imo. I normally start my days on the Camino at 4a so I can see the stars and enjoy the sunrise, but decided on the Dragonte to begin at 8a due to all the warnings that the trail is poorly marked. Once in the canopy I will admit i had to slow my pace to make sure I was going the right way since the path was overgrown and there were a few side trails that were most likely made by locals. The entire hike was amazing, not one single soul. Just adjust your expectations on the frequency,color, and size of the arrows and you will be fine.
 

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4 Eyes

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF from SJPP 14, VDLP from Seville 15, DN&P from Irun 16, Portuguese from Lisbon 17
#41
Did it this year, there’s enough markings imo. I normally start my days on the Camino at 4a so I can see the stars and enjoy the sunrise, but decided on the Dragonte to begin at 8a due to all the warnings that the trail is poorly marked. Once in the canopy I will admit i had to slow my pace to make sure I was going the right way since the path was overgrown and there were a few side trails that were most likely made by locals. The entire hike was amazing, not one single soul. Just adjust your expectations on the frequency,color, and size of the arrows and you will be fine.
Good advice. I am an early starter too but will start later on this one. Thanks.
 

4 Eyes

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF from SJPP 14, VDLP from Seville 15, DN&P from Irun 16, Portuguese from Lisbon 17
#43
Good advice. I am an early starter too but will start later on this one. Thanks.
Thank you again Mugatu. Instead of my planned start at 5, I started at 7. By the time I reached the village of Dragonte it was light. Everything went fine after that.
 

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