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How to get from Covadonga to Ponferrada (or Leon)?

RobinK*

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2012, 2016, 2018, 2021, 2024
Hi all,

I'm planning a new Camino this year.
Starting from Santander and then of to San Vicente, and on to Santo Toribio. From there I will cross the Picos (Ruta Reconquista or an even more challenging TBD mountain route) to Covadonga. Now I know I can then go on to Oviedo and do the Camino Primitivo to SdC or the Salvadore to Leon.
But... I'm wondering if anyone knows another beautiful route from Covadonga to Leon or Ponferrada. That is, I would like to walk the Camino de Invierno to my final destination.

3 Years ago I've walked the Camino Olvidado to Ponferrada. If I could get from Covadonga to that route, without to much tarmac, it would be okay. From there on I'm able to reach the start of the Invierno.

Any tips or experiences would be much appreciated 🙃
 
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Thinking about it, if you are going to Covadonga from Santo Toribio the above will likely involve retracing your steps somewhat unless you are going via Sotres and Poncebos. You would basically be doing the Camino Vadiniense with a detour to Covadonga. The Vadiniense would eventually join the Olvidado in Cisterna, although I think there is an amount of road walking (From Riano to Cisterna road can be busy, although it is wide, I don't know how much is on the road). A less busy route would be to go up the other side from Valdeon towards Portilla de la Reina (Albergue here) and on to Boca de Huergano (Hotel Tierra de la Reina is good) and then to Prioro which can be done mostly off-road. I'm not sure beyond Prioro but the road wouldn't be busy (you're likely to see more wildlife than vehicles) and you would join the Olvidado at Puente Almuhey.

I think any other route will be quite drawn out to end up back in the direction you want to go in. Depending on when you are going there are Refugios around (at Lago Enol for example). Also, try and hit Covadonga during the week as weekends and holidays can be mobbed. It is a magical place, in a magical part of Spain..
 
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Hi Dave.
Thanks so much for your advise. Sounds like you have lots of experience in that area (?). I have the Covadonga church depicted on my desktop for three years now. I must go there 😄 I'm planning to walk this pilgrimage from Santander to SdC from the end of April to the very end of May, probaly almost 5 weeks. That is, if weather permits. I've been looking at the map yesterday evening to figure out and visualize your recommended options and you got me even more enthusiastic.
As an alternative (contingency planning in case of bad WX) I can start from the sunny south (Sevilla).

Again, thanks a lot! Much appreciated.
 
Hi Dave.
Thanks so much for your advise. Sounds like you have lots of experience in that area (?). I have the Covadonga church depicted on my desktop for three years now. I must go there 😄 I'm planning to walk this pilgrimage from Santander to SdC from the end of April to the very end of May, probaly almost 5 weeks. That is, if weather permits. I've been looking at the map yesterday evening to figure out and visualize your recommended options and you got me even more enthusiastic.
As an alternative (contingency planning in case of bad WX) I can start from the sunny south (Sevilla).

Again, thanks a lot! Much appreciated.
I've been visiting the area for about the last 12 years now, it's like my second home and have many friends around there. I haven't walked any of the Camino routes as actual caminos, but have spent a lot of days hiking these most beautiful mountains with my dog, and tracking wolves and bears. I can't really explain just how beautiful, rugged and wild it is, but it is a place that will stay with you forever.
End of April should be ok for that area depending on your route.
If you need anymore info don't hesitate to give me a shout, I can basically talk all day about that area!
 
I've been visiting the area for about the last 12 years now, it's like my second home and have many friends around there. I haven't walked any of the Camino routes as actual caminos, but have spent a lot of days hiking these most beautiful mountains with my dog, and tracking wolves and bears. I can't really explain just how beautiful, rugged and wild it is, but it is a place that will stay with you forever.
End of April should be ok for that area depending on your route.
If you need anymore info don't hesitate to give me a shout, I can basically talk all day about that area!
Ah, you fell in love with the Picos. I can imagine that Dave. What is your dog's name? And is he or she Spanish? I will give you a shout if needed!
 
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Ah, you fell in love with the Picos. I can imagine that Dave. What is your dog's name? And is he or she Spanish? I will give you a shout if needed!
My dogs name was Flora, but I lost her last May. For over 8 wonderful years we explored the Picos togther, with our base always been Boca de Huergano. Losing Flora was what took me to the Camino last year, and thus lurking about on this forum!
DSC06010-Edit-2.jpg
 
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She's beautiful 🥰 Sorry to hear you had to let go of your soulmate Dave.
Boca de Huergano and its surroundings look astonishing too. You're so lucky!
 

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