Search 69,459 Camino Questions

Invierno Planning Questions 2024

jungleboy

Spirit of the Camino (Nick)
Time of past OR future Camino
Some in the past; more in the future!
Hello Invierno veterans!

@Wendy Werneth and I are a few weeks away from our Invierno, starting 19 June. I have long wanted to combine the Invierno with the Olvidado (dating back to a 2018 conversation over a glass of wine or two in Lisbon with @peregrina2000) but we never managed to fit this into our camino schedule. We only have time for a short camino this year and with all the 'do it now before it gets discovered!' talk around the Invierno, we thought it wise to follow that order, and quick-smart!

We have 13 walking days, though it's possible, but not preferable, that we could extend it to 14. Wendy starts an advanced Galego course in SdC on the 15th day, so it would be nice for that not to be the day after we arrive.

We'd like to include some of Laurie's Valle del Silencio prelude at the beginning because it sounds great. Her two-day itinerary fits our timeframe but that would likely mean three straight 27km days out of the gate, which is manageable but we would prefer a bit less walking. Two options to reduce this load while staying on a 13-day schedule are (a) do the two-day prelude and then a shorter third day to Sobradelo, although there's only one place to stay there and it's apparently not too flash, or (b) do a three-day prelude, but that would mean making up a day elsewhere, possibly a long final day into SdC. What say you?

Other questions:

- Would we be 'missing out' by not staying in Monforte de Lemos? Continuing to Piñeiro or Vilariño would be a much better division of those days than the Gronze 12.5 + 30.4 split.

- Are there any accommodation/restaurants that you would recommend in particular?

Possible stages (including two-day prelude):

1 - Ponferrada - Montes de Valdueza 27km
2 - Médulas - 27km
3 - O Barco de Valdeorras - 27.2km (Or Sobradelo, 19km)
4 - A Rúa de Valdeorras - 12.0km (Or 20.2km if coming from Sobradelo)
5 - Quiroga - 26.5km
6 - A Pobra do Brollón - 22.9km
7 - Monforte de Lemos - 12.5km (or Piñeiro, 24km, or Vilariño, another 4-ish km)
8 - Chantada - 30.4km (or if from Piñeiro, 18.9km)
9 - Rodeiro - 25.4km
10 - Lalín - 21.9km
11 - Dornelas (Casa Leiras) - 27.8km (we stopped here for a drink on our Sanabrés and would love to stay the night this time)
12 - Deseiro (Reina Lupa) - 17.5km
13 - SdC - 12km

And finally: is there anywhere in Ponferrada to buy a wooden pilgrim staff?
 
Ideal sleeping bag liner whether we want to add a thermal plus to our bag, or if we want to use it alone to sleep in shelters or hostels. Thanks to its mummy shape, it adapts perfectly to our body.

€46,-
Her two-day itinerary fits our timeframe but that would likely mean three straight 27km days out of the gate, which is manageable but we would prefer a bit less walking.
One thing to pay attention to is which trail you take up to Peñalba. All options require going up, of course. When Reb and I walked, we went from Peñalba through Montes de Valdueza and on to Ponferrada (you would do this in reverse).

A few months ago, I took a slightly longer trail that did not go through the monastery on the way to Peñalba. This makes sense especially if your destination that day is the monastery, because you would avoid an “up and back” on a fairly difficult part of the journey. I made notes on the wikiloc tracks to show the point at which the tracks took you essentially through fields to connect one established trail with another. It was short, sweet, and pretty wet. And the trail up to Peñalba from the river was steep but manageable.

But if you compare the two tracks of the ways I’ve walked you can see the diffrences in elevation gain are not trivial. I was surprised to see that my 2024 route had more elevation than my 2014 route. But I may not be comparing apples to apples. I frankly am not sure about how to compute the elevation gain of a track that is shown and was walked in one direction, when you want to walk it in the opposite direction. (I think the answer is that the elevation loss becomes the gain, so you can get a decent idea, but I’m not sure). In any event, I think that elevation gain and steepness on mountain stages is a more important indicator of difficulty than distance.

Another option would be to walk to the monastery, leave your packs and walk the up and back to Peñalba without packs. But as I said, there is a part of the trail between Peñalba and the monastery that is rocky and may have a lot of water. You would have to do that twice if you did the monastery-dropoff option.

The absolute most relaxing way to walk this would be to walk day 1 to Peñalba, day 2 to monastery at Valdueza, day 3 to Médulas. But that is more days than you have. The day from Valdueza to Médulas has no rocky parts, no dicey river crossings, it is a wide driveable track almost the entire way. It is about 23 from the monastery to the Orellán lookout.

Sorry to be so detailed, but I want to make sure that people who are going to walk this route have a clear idea of the challenges. That’s especially hard to guarantee, when there is only a handful of forum members who have walked it, because our personal impressions are so dependent on weather, fitness level, etc.!
 
@jungleboy, I knew you had this combo up your sleeve after reading a post you made a few days ago. I have occasionally been interested and wistful of @peregrina2000's thread several years ago when she walked to Penalba on the Valley of Silence with Rebekah Scott. I'd seen it from afar nestled in the distance as a tiny white blob on my first Camino somewhere before reaching El Acebo and it looked intriguing. I think it is too much for me to consider to bite off now, but will definitely look forward to reading what I am sure will be a wonderful write-up and pictures from you...yippee!
I have read there is a bus tour from Ponferrada to visit the Penalba, so if I choose to walk the Inveirno before I get "too old", I will at least do that.🙂
 
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
7 - Monforte de Lemos - 12.5km (or Piñeiro, 24km, or Vilariño, another 4-ish km)
8 - Chantada - 30.4km (or if from Piñeiro, 18.9km)
I think Monforte is a very nice town, good ambiente, pilgrim office!, good restaurants, nice parks, several albergues (although both are a bit out of the center, one back by the train station and the other about 700 m on the way out according to Gronze). The main tourist attraction, other than the tower and the monastery/parador, is the Colegio de los Escolapios, which has an El Greco and gives tours. I have never visited the colegio/monastery, but that’s because nothing about it has ever really called to me. Of course, everyone has different tastes.

Between Monforte and Chantada, there are some pretty awesome sites. The castro and museum right next to Torre Vilariño, the two miradouros over the Minho that are well signposted (and if you only go to one, I think Miradouro II has marginally better views than Miradouro I), and the Diomondi church. The hospitalera at the new-ish Diomondi albergue has the keys to the church, and will let you in even if you don’t stay there, but she doesn’t arrive on the premises till 1:00. If you leave from Piñeiro or Torre Vilariño, you will get there way too early).

I know that this is a camino and not a tour, but some of these places are just a stone’s throw from the camino and really added to the wonder of the Invierno for me.
 
one place to stay there and it's apparently not too flash
No it's definitely not, but you'll live. You've stayed in worse. The even stages it allows make up for the not-niceness.

Would we be 'missing out' by not staying in Monforte de Lemos? Continuing to Piñeiro or Vilariño
I would say no. It was OK, but I thought nothing that extraordinary. Unless you have your hearts set on seeing the El Greco at the monastery.
 
Between Monforte and Chantada, there are some pretty awesome sites. The castro and museum right next to Torre Vilariño, the two miradouros over the Minho that are well signposted (and if you only go to one, I think Miradouro II has marginally better views than Miradouro I), and the Diomondi church. The hospitalera at the new-ish Diomondi albergue has the keys to the church, and will let you in even if you don’t stay there, but she doesn’t arrive on the premises till 1:00. If you leave from Piñeiro or Torre Vilariño, you will get there way too early).
Second what Laurie says.
And ... you could drag your feet or have a lazy morning at Torre Vilariño, and get to Diamondi by, say, 12.30. That gives time to take in the outside and then see the inside - and then go down to Belesar and up to Chantada long before dark.
 
Ideal sleeping bag liner whether we want to add a thermal plus to our bag, or if we want to use it alone to sleep in shelters or hostels. Thanks to its mummy shape, it adapts perfectly to our body.

€46,-
@jungleboy, I knew you had this combo up your sleeve after reading a post you made a few days ago. I have occasionally been interested and wistful of @peregrina2000's thread several years ago when she walked to Penalba on the Valley of Silence with Rebekah Scott. I'd seen it from afar nestled in the distance as a tiny white blob on my first Camino somewhere before reaching El Acebo and it looked intriguing. I think it is too much for me to consider to bite off now, but will definitely look forward to reading what I am sure will be a wonderful write-up and pictures from you...yippee!
I have read there is a bus tour from Ponferrada to visit the Penalba, so if I choose to walk the Inveirno before I get "too old", I will at least do that.🙂
never too old
 
You could drag your feet or have a lazy morning at Torre Vilariño, and get to Diamondi by, say, 12.30.
That would also give time to head to the miradouros on the way, though maybe not time to walk your 6km loop (which should change now anyway to include Miradouro II).
then go down to Belesar and up to Chantada long before dark.
This is also very feasible. I got to Diomondi after walking from Monforte and taking the detour out to the miradouros. My plan had been to stay in the albergue there. But when I got there, the sky was darkening, no one else was there, and it just seemed lonely and grey. But the visit to the church was something I had been waiting for for years and it did not disappoint!

AEMET weather was predicting a lot of rain for the next day, and I knew I did not want to walk on the Codos de Belesar down to the Minho in the rain. So I decided to continue on to Chantada. It was a long day, and it did start to rain, but not until after San Pedro de Líncora, thankfully, so I made it fine. I always add pictures to wikiloc tracks so that people can get a sense of more than distance and elevation.

 
€2,-/day will present your project to thousands of visitors each day. All interested in the Camino de Santiago.
There were two, and one was quite near TV, not far below it. The second was further down in a very very nice setting, picturesque as can be...
 
Last edited:
The 2024 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
to Sobradelo, although there's only one place to stay there and it's apparently not too flash
Yes, the facility is not at all flashy. The reason I stay here is because Manuel and his team are so good hearted and so invested in taking care of Peregrin@s. Hot water, comfortable beds, hearty food and tons of goodwill.
Would we be 'missing out' by not staying in Monforte de Lemos?
think Monforte is a very nice town, good ambiente, pilgrim office!, good restaurants, nice parks,

On a hoped for repeat Invierno in October, I too will be following Laurie’s detour on the first day.
Staying in A Pobra at the new albergue will make it a short day to Monforte, so I hope to leave early and spend a couple of hours exploring it.
Monforte de Lemos is another Galician town with deep Jewish roots that are visible yet somewhat hidden. I am looking forward to walking around these seemingly unassuming sites. https://redjuderias.org/monforte-de-lemos-2/
I’m hoping to keep on walking that day on to Vilariño or Diomondi. I love to savor the codos de Belesar, visit the most welcoming Via Romana winery and then cross the stones over the river into Chantada.
 
Thanks all! Let me try to get my head around the Monforte-Chantada stretch.

First, Monforte doesn't sound unmissable to me as an overnight stop (El Greco is not a big enough draw). Though the problem with continuing further is that the timing won't be right the next day to see inside this Diomondi church. It's Romanesque, right? I love Romanesque churches and all, but there are hundreds of them. If it were Visigothic that would be another story!

Between Monforte and Chantada, there are some pretty awesome sites.
All the more reason not to make that a 30km day, if there's sightseeing and detours involved too.

If we stay at either Piñeiro or Torre Vilariño, it sounds like we could see the castro and the miradouro in the morning of the next day and then continue to Chantada. That seems like the best option to me even though we'd miss the church. Or do VN's 'lazy morning' option and still see the church.
 
I found an amazing walk going up to the Mirador de Orellan over the roman mines of Las Medulas from Villavieja. The path is almost good but not marked. I talk with a Canadian pilgrim some days before starting the Invierno and he showed me a camino app with this route. I think it was wise pilgrim. Anyway I recorded my walk (the track is not perfect but I hope it could help: in a point before Borrenes I made a mistake and before PDF I forgot to restart after a pause😆). Over the mirador de Orellan you can go straight to Puente de Domingo Flores, passing through Mirador de Pedrices (if I knew this before going down to Las Medulas I would have done this).
 

Attachments

  • mer 8 mag 2024, 07_30–16_21 Villavieja - Puente de Domingo Flores.gpx
    601.5 KB · Views: 8
A selection of Camino Jewellery
the timing won't be right the next day to see inside this Diomondi church.
Nick, here’s a description of Diomondi. It is wonderful outside & more spectacular inside. The albergue is a modern renovated space. Has a microwave & fridge. Need to bring your own food.
It is gorgeous to sleep there at night. Eerie too, my bed was above some tombs. Hope you get to see it, Aymarah

Iglesia de San Paio de Diomondi​

La iglesia de San Paio de Diomondi se alza en un emplazamiento de gran belleza junto a la Ribeira Sacra del Miño, en las cercanías de Belesar y O Saviñao, encontrándose a una distancia de 78 km al sur de Lugo.

La actual parroquial de Diomondi fue en su origen el templo abacial de un antiguo monasterio benedictino que puede tener su origen en el S. X, aunque el templo que se conserva en la actualidad está fechado en el S. XII. La iglesia fue dedicada a San Paio (San Pelayo), un joven cristiano martirizado por Abderramán III el día 26 de junio del año 925, pasó cuatro años en calidad de rehén en la ciudad de Córdoba, el rescate no fue pagado por su tío, el obispo de Tuy.

Descripción de la obra:​

San Paio de Diomondi es una construcción que sobresale del ámbito del románico rural gallego por sus notables dimensiones, elementos arquitectónicos y detalles ornamentales. Aún así presenta una gran semejanza con la cercana iglesia de Santo Estevo de Ribas de Miño.

La iglesia de San Paio de Diomondi presenta nave única que queda rematada en un ábside que responde al canon gallego de dos tramos. La imagen nos ofrece una vista de la bellísima portada que se abre en la fachada occidental, su abocinamiento se forma con cuatro arquivoltas semicirculares que están decoradas con baquetón y escocias con rosetas. Las arquivoltas se sustentan mediante dos pares de esbeltas columnas de mármol a cada lado. Los capiteles lucen motivos animalísticos. El tímpano no presenta decoración y se apoya en dos mochetas que nos muestran unas curiosas cabezas de lobo. En la parte inferior de dicho tímpano,aparece inscrita la fecha de 1170, año de erección de la iglesia.
Edit: above information is from arteviajero.com
 
Last edited:
Another thing...☺️
We did the same Dornelas - Reina Lupa stage, but we climb the Pico Sacro. The first view of Santiago's Cathedral is impressed in my memories
 

Attachments

  • dom 19 mag 2024, 08_56–15_43 Dornelas - Deseiro de Abaixo.gpx
    465.6 KB · Views: 4
There's one very interesting stage that seems to be sacrificed in the enthusiasm to embrace @peregrina2000 's start to the Invierno. You would miss the dramatic approach to Las Medulas - from Villavieja to Orellan and the Galerías, approaching the town of Las Medulas from that direction. (The town of Las Medulas is not very interesting itself, unless you walk back up to the Mirador.)

The Orellan route that @Filippo05ff describes in post #16 is probably this one from Borrenes. (I cannot open the attachments to his post.) It is now shown on various maps/apps, including (I think) Wise Pilgrim. We had quite a bit of discussion on it on other threads.

Maybe you can work out some combo, but you might need to take some time from later in your walk. I just didn't want this truly unique part of the Invierno to land on the cutting floor without due consideration! Romanesque churches are a dime a dozen on the Caminos, compared to Roman gold strip mines.

 
Technical backpack for day trips with backpack cover and internal compartment for the hydration bladder. Ideal daypack for excursions where we need a medium capacity backpack. The back with Air Flow System creates large air channels that will keep our back as cool as possible.

€83,-
There's one very interesting stage that seems to be sacrificed in the enthusiasm to embrace @peregrina2000 's start to the Invierno. You would miss the dramatic approach to Las Medulas - from Villavieja to Orellan and the Galerías, approaching the town of Las Medulas from that direction. (The town of Las Medulas is not very interesting itself, unless you walk back up to the Mirador.)

The Orellan route that @Filippo05ff describes in post #16 is probably this one from Borrenes. It is now shown on various maps/apps, including (I think) Wise Pilgrim. We had quite a bit of discussion on it on other threads.

Maybe you can work out some combo, but you might need to sacrifice a day from later. I just didn't want this truly unique part of the Invierno to land on the cutting floor without due consideration! Romanesque churches are a dime a dozen on the Caminos, compared to Roman gold strip mines.

I have changed the file because the first one was of the day after
 
There's one very interesting stage that seems to be sacrificed in the enthusiasm to embrace @peregrina2000 's start to the Invierno. You would miss the dramatic approach to Las Medulas - from Villavieja to Orellan and the Galerías,
That’s not quite right. The trail I took does not go through the town of Orellán, but it does go straight to the mirador and the galerías. The descent to the town of Las Médulas comes after that.


Looking at the map on Wikiloc, it looks like the trail I took must join up with the alternative through Orellán a few kms before the mirador.

But they would miss the lovely little hamlet of Villavieja and the castle of Cornatel.
 
Very light, comfortable and compressible poncho. Specially designed for protection against water for any activity.

Our Atmospheric H30 poncho offers lightness and waterproofness. Easily compressible and made with our Waterproof fabric, its heat-sealed interior seams guarantee its waterproofness. Includes carrying bag.

€60,-
I can't open them.
It's a .gpx file. You can open it with an app like Osmand or Trekarta, but there are many others. If others has the same issue I will try to change the format in some days (when I go back home)
 
If we stay at either Piñeiro or Torre Vilariño, it sounds like we could see the castro and the miradouro in the morning of the next day and then continue to Chantada.
A few more nitpicky points. The CR in Piñeiro, which I am not familiar with, is 750 m off camino according to gronze. I don’t see any advantage to foregoing a chance to stay in Torre Vilariño, the very first Casa Rural in Galicia (or maybe Spain), inaugurated by none other than the one and only Fraga Iribarne (a Franco henchmen, but we’ll let that slide). Anyway, Torre Vilariño is very nice, even has a pool, and the food is good. Go for the step-up from the pilgrim meal. They do serve some tour groups, but it won’t interfere with the very nice ambience. People are

And the castro — if you stay at Torre Vilariño, you should get over to the castro and the museum in the afternoon. The castro is behind the gate to the museum, though I was told by a neighbor to just open the gate and to go up, which I did. The people in Torre Vilariño said that probably wasn’t a great idea. The castro has a nice view of the Minho below. If you sleep in Torre Vilariño, the museum will be closed when you leave, unless you sleep in all morning!
 
I will definitely be checking out this thread if I do the Inveirno next; lots of good info already...maybe I will rethink walking in France or Italy next and set it aside...we shall see.
I hope it is less difficult than walking to Penalba and back.🙄
 
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
That’s not quite right. The trail I took does not go through the town of Orellán, but it does go straight to the mirador and the galerías. The descent to the town of Las Médulas comes after that.
OK, then that is great! It is worth seeing.

But they would miss the lovely little hamlet of Villavieja and the castle of Cornatel.
Agreed, but you can't do everything all at once, so I'd accept this tradeoff.
 
So to confirm: if we take Laurie’s Valle de Silencio detour we don’t miss anything regarding the Roman mines / views at Medulas?

I am already second-guessing this camino more than any other! I was just thinking after @C clearly ’s post that maybe doing the regular route might be best because we’d gain a day to play with somewhere along the way, and we could save the Valle de Silencio for another time.
 
The 2024 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
Would we be 'missing out' by not staying in Monforte de Lemos?

If you’re interested in paintings, Nosa Señora da Antiga has some belters. An early serene el Greco portrait of San Lorenzo coupled with a meditative sombre later one of San Francisco. Vaut le voyage, as the Michelin guides used to say. Also several fabulous Andrea del Sartos, especially the voluptuous Santas Caterina and Magdalena (”the same perfect brow, and perfect eyes, and more than perfect mouth”). Gorgeous. I believe they’ve been reframed and rehung since I last saw them 5 or 6 years ago, so they are a central ambition of my 2024 camino. I can’t imagine walking the Invierno without seeing them.
 
Hello Invierno veterans!

@Wendy Werneth and I are a few weeks away from our Invierno, starting 19 June. I have long wanted to combine the Invierno with the Olvidado (dating back to a 2018 conversation over a glass of wine or two in Lisbon with @peregrina2000) but we never managed to fit this into our camino schedule. We only have time for a short camino this year and with all the 'do it now before it gets discovered!' talk around the Invierno, we thought it wise to follow that order, and quick-smart!

We have 13 walking days, though it's possible, but not preferable, that we could extend it to 14. Wendy starts an advanced Galego course in SdC on the 15th day, so it would be nice for that not to be the day after we arrive.

We'd like to include some of Laurie's Valle del Silencio prelude at the beginning because it sounds great. Her two-day itinerary fits our timeframe but that would likely mean three straight 27km days out of the gate, which is manageable but we would prefer a bit less walking. Two options to reduce this load while staying on a 13-day schedule are (a) do the two-day prelude and then a shorter third day to Sobradelo, although there's only one place to stay there and it's apparently not too flash, or (b) do a three-day prelude, but that would mean making up a day elsewhere, possibly a long final day into SdC. What say you?

Other questions:

- Would we be 'missing out' by not staying in Monforte de Lemos? Continuing to Piñeiro or Vilariño would be a much better division of those days than the Gronze 12.5 + 30.4 split.

- Are there any accommodation/restaurants that you would recommend in particular?

Possible stages (including two-day prelude):

1 - Ponferrada - Montes de Valdueza 27km
2 - Médulas - 27km
3 - O Barco de Valdeorras - 27.2km (Or Sobradelo, 19km)
4 - A Rúa de Valdeorras - 12.0km (Or 20.2km if coming from Sobradelo)
5 - Quiroga - 26.5km
6 - A Pobra do Brollón - 22.9km
7 - Monforte de Lemos - 12.5km (or Piñeiro, 24km, or Vilariño, another 4-ish km)
8 - Chantada - 30.4km (or if from Piñeiro, 18.9km)
9 - Rodeiro - 25.4km
10 - Lalín - 21.9km
11 - Dornelas (Casa Leiras) - 27.8km (we stopped here for a drink on our Sanabrés and would love to stay the night this time)
12 - Deseiro (Reina Lupa) - 17.5km
13 - SdC - 12km

And finally: is there anywhere in Ponferrada to buy a wooden pilgrim staff?
Here is the link to my blog on the Invierno when a friend and I walked it in 2022. I was 74 years of age then and my friend a bit younger so we did not walk as long of distances as you're planning. There is not a lot of elevation on the route like on some other routes, but there is a lot of up and down in places so the accumulated ascent is notable. My blog has a list of places where we stayed. We actually started in Astorga and then shifted to the start of the Invierno in Ponferrada. We took a break/rest day in Montforte de Lemos. Nice town with interesting history, but you would not miss a lot by missing it. I'd recommend stopping in the Camino office there - just a few years old and in the centre. https://erniefraser.blogspot.com/
 
Ideal pocket guides for during & after your Camino. Each weighs only 1.4 oz (40g)!
Here is the link to my blog on the Invierno when a friend and I walked it in 2022
Thanks for the link to the blog. There’s a lot of practical info there as well as nice pictures.

I have one question about your lodging. You stayed in Pensión Victoria on your last night before Santiago. I had never heard of anyone staying there (but it is on Gronze, so I just haven’t been paying attention). Looks like a nice place, about 2 km beyond the Pensión Cruceiro and Carrefour on the national highway.

Two questions —

Did you choose the Victoria over the Cruceiro (or other places in Ponte Ulla) for some reason or was it just what you found available?

And how did you get back to the camino from the pensión? Did you have to backtrack or can you just cut over somehow? Looks like a straight shot on Gronze, but you never know.

Muchas gracias, buen camino, Laurie
 
Thanks for the link to the blog. There’s a lot of practical info there as well as nice pictures.

I have one question about your lodging. You stayed in Pensión Victoria on your last night before Santiago. I had never heard of anyone staying there (but it is on Gronze, so I just haven’t been paying attention). Looks like a nice place, about 2 km beyond the Pensión Cruceiro and Carrefour on the national highway.

Two questions —

Did you choose the Victoria over the Cruceiro (or other places in Ponte Ulla) for some reason or was it just what you found available?

And how did you get back to the camino from the pensión? Did you have to backtrack or can you just cut over somehow? Looks like a straight shot on Gronze, but you never know.

Muchas gracias, buen camino, Laurie
I had stayed there in 2019 and one of my Camino friends booked it then. It was clean and comfortable and has good food. It is off route a short distance but it was easy to find. In 2019 we walked along a highway with a very wide shoulder so no concern about cars. It wasn’t a matter of choosing this over other places; it was about going back to a known place. It is up long hillI so starting the next morning was easier. I hope this helps.
 
Thanks again everyone for your suggestions and advice above!
I was just thinking after @C clearly ’s post that maybe doing the regular route might be best because we’d gain a day to play with somewhere along the way, and we could save the Valle de Silencio for another time.
In the end this is what we have decided to do. We never really know how bad Wendy's PF is going to be, and given that there seems to be a fair bit of road walking on this camino and road walking exacerbates it more, it's best to play it safe and not try to fit in too much, especially right at the start.

So this is our rough outline at the moment:

1 - Ponferrada - Villavieja - 16.1km
2 - Puente de Domingo Flórez - 19.9km
3 - O Barco de Valdeorras - 19km
4 - A Rúa de Valdeorras - 12.0km
5 - Quiroga - 26.5km
6 - A Pobra do Brollón - 22.9km
7 - Piñeiro - 24km (or a bit further to Vilariño)
8 - Chantada - 18.9km
9 - Rodeiro - 25.4km
10 - Lalín - 21.9km
11 - Dornelas (Casa Leiras) - 27.8km (or Bandeira 22.8km)
12 - Outeiro - 21.8km or 16.8km from Bandeira
13 - SdC - 16.7km with possible Pico de Sacro side trip

Critiques welcome!

A few points/questions:

- We thought an easy first day would be a good idea and that sets us up for morning views from the Orellán viewpoint, which is hopefully a good time of day for it. Is there a reason to go a bit further to Borrenes instead of staying at Villavieja?
- What about the alternative from Borrenas? If we're not staying in Las Médulas, it seems like the alternative makes sense as it goes straight to the lookout, right?
- As discussed upthread, I like the idea of going past Monforte to have a shorter walking day into Chantada, to do the mirador detour and also possibly wait for the church at Diomondi.
- We wanted to stay at Casa Leiras in Dornelas but maybe I am giving this too much weight, and staying 5km earlier at Bandeira makes more sense distance-wise. I don't remember Bandeira from our Sanabrés; does anyone have any memories of it?
- Is the Pico de Sacro side trip worthwhile?
 
Down bag (90/10 duvet) of 700 fills with 180 g (6.34 ounces) of filling. Mummy-shaped structure, ideal when you are looking for lightness with great heating performance.

€149,-
- We thought an easy first day would be a good idea and that sets us up for morning views from the Orellán viewpoint, which is hopefully a good time of day for it. Is there a reason to go a bit further to Borrenes instead of staying at Villavieja?
- What about the alternative from Borrenas? If we're not staying in Las Médulas, it seems like the alternative makes sense as it goes straight to the lookout, right?
- As discussed upthread, I like the idea of going past Monforte to have a shorter walking day into Chantada, to do the mirador detour and also possibly wait for the church at Diomondi.
- We wanted to stay at Casa Leiras in Dornelas but maybe I am giving this too much weight, and staying 5km earlier at Bandeira makes more sense distance-wise. I don't remember Bandeira from our Sanabrés; does anyone have any memories of it?
- Is the Pico de Sacro side trip worthwhile?
1- I Loved to stay in Villavieja❤️
2- The alternative goes roughly from Borrenes down to a little river valley and up to the town of Orellàn. Right after you will climb straight to the Mirador and the entrance of the roman cave. Up there you will find marks for several routes arond the area (not camino), one of those passes through Campo de Braña and Mirador the Pedrices and goes down straight to Punte de Domingo Flores (could be an option). From Borrenes to Orellàn the path is not marked and sometimes a little rough.
3- I remember that the Hospitalera told us that you can only visit the church if you sleep there.
4- We find perfect to stay in Dornelas for the Pico Sacro side trip. We did like you, Lalìn - Dornelas, but after we stay at Reina Lupa Albergue (20km from Dornelas with the Pico Sacro detour). Another option could be Rodeiro - A Laxe - Dornelas..? In Bandeiras we passed straight and I don't have particular memoreis about, sorry.
5- My pros: Wonderful view, beautiful location, well managed touristic informations on the QR codes up there, not so far from the main route, perfectly fit in a stage without changing a lot your plan. My cons: the climb is on asphalt and the path we did for the descent is steep and not well mantained, doable with a little patience.
Those are my thoughts. I hope they could be useful for your planning! I hope that some other people will answer you to see other opinions. And please, let us know how your Camino will go!❤️
 
Is the Pico de Sacro side trip worthwhile?
Yes, Nick, definitely worth a hike up to the Pico Sacro. I wanted to do it, but I had a knee issue my final day into Santiago that had me concerned, so no go for me.
Laurie had posted about her recent pictures and information/map from that hike to the top and it looks like a great little adventure side trip!

P.S. I'm glad you are sharing your research and loose plans for the Inveirno. It will help those of us who consider walking this route to sort out some of the logistics gleaned from your expert planning.🙂
 
Last edited:
The 2024 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
So this is our rough outline at the moment:

1 - Ponferrada - Villavieja - 16.1km
2 - Puente de Domingo Flórez - 19.9km
3 - O Barco de Valdeorras - 19km
4 - A Rúa de Valdeorras - 12.0km
5 - Quiroga - 26.5km
6 - A Pobra do Brollón - 22.9km
7 - Piñeiro - 24km (or a bit further to Vilariño)
8 - Chantada - 18.9km
9 - Rodeiro - 25.4km
10 - Lalín - 21.9km
11 - Dornelas (Casa Leiras) - 27.8km (or Bandeira 22.8km)
12 - Outeiro - 21.8km or 16.8km from Bandeira
13 - SdC - 16.7km with possible Pico de Sacro side trip

I'm also trying to work out a max 13 day plan for the Invierno.
I've been walking since May 14th (Arles - Aragonés - Francés) and I'm a few days behind my original (loose) schedule because of taking a day off and doing some shorter than planned days when I had a cold. I thought that I had caught up a bit, but yesterday I started having shin pain and I decided that 32.5 km from León to Hospital de Órbigo wasn't a good idea, so I only walked about 10 km today, and fortunately had zero pain.

The plan all along was to decide on Invierno vs Francés when I reach Ponferrada, and both options are still open unless I need to take any more time off. But, if I walk the Invierno it has to be 13 days or less and without any really long days.
 
I know you would love Peñalba but I get your rationale - and for a first Invierno, it’s nice to be on the “official” route the whole way.

I haven’t stayed either in Villavieja or Borrenes, but I think it just depends on whether you want to carry food and stay in a cute little village, or be in a hotel where they feed you. If you want to visit the castle at Cornatel (a few kms above Borrenes), it won’t likely be open when you pass by from Villavieja, but more likely open if you have started from Ponferrada. Google says it’s open 11-2 and 4-8, closed Monday and Tuesday. Not tremendously interesting on the inside, but I love to climb around castles.

I have walked the alternative from Borrenes, which some found tricky (it was fine when I went, not too overgrown). Others have taken a different alternative from right at the turnoff to the castle. It also winds up at the mirador, but does not go to Borrenes. I would do that one, rather than the one from Borrenes. Some recent forum discussion on it, use “La Chana” to search. So that would be one reason not to stay in Borrenes.

If you are not going to stop in Las Médulas, the village really doesn’t have much going on, but it’s touristy. The museum at the entrance to town (if you come in on the standard camino) is very interesting. The galerías can be visited, but the entrance is close to the mirador. From the mirador, you will have to descend to the outskirts of the village (through a forest with some chestnuts), go past Agoga, and then back up and on the route to Puente Domingo Flórez. That means you won’t walk through the formations at ground level, which is also fun, but I would only do that if you are staying in Médulas. There is a route that doesn’t involve a descent to the outskirts of town, but it is longer and meanders around a field for kms. I will hunt for a map of the trails and post it later.

There are two miradouros after Torre Vilariño. You probably won’t want to take VN’s loop, which doesn’t go to the newer, second miradouro, but I think the views are marginally better from Miradouro I than Miradouro II, though II has a big viewing platform that is up a flight of stairs.

I haven’t stayed at Casa Leiras, but have had a cold drink there and had a very nice chat with the wife. I’m sure you know the owners are Italian, and they do cook dinner! I have stayed in Bandeira serveral times, it’s smaller than Silleda but has all services. It was a great starting point for my next day out to the waterfalls and the Carboeiro monastery, but it doesn’t have much going on really. The Albergue there is modern and there are a few hotels.

The turn-off for Pico Sacro is right after the Outeiro monastery, but it is all on roads. No cars, but all asphalt. The off-road descent was very brambly when I went so I just stayed on the road up and back. You do not have to go all the way back to Outeiro to continue on the camino, you can just walk to Lestedo from the turn-off for Pico Sacro. You can see the cathedral spires from up top. I went up just because I had seen it from afar on so many caminos, popping out at me when I didn’t expect it. And it is so connected to Santiago (referred to as his first burial place). The Reina Lupa legend is very easy to imagine up there with the huge fissure in the rock and the caves, but more than anything it was just a beautiful spot for sitting. It was deserted, which surprised me, and the views were just as you would imagine - kind of like the ones from Monte Faro but from a much more pronounced point on top.

Looks like you will be starting one week from today! Buen camino, Laurie
 
Here is the map of the trails at Médulas.

IMG_1843.png
If you walk in on the official Camino, you come in where the big P is. If you take any of the alternatives (from Borrenes, from the Cornatel castle, or from the Monastery of Valdueza) you arrive at the mirador de Orellán. The camino leaves on the upper right hand corner off the red trail.

From the mirador, you can go down on the squiggly light green camino del mirador, go down past the Agoga and then head out on the red trail. Or you can stay up without descending to the village, which is longer but probably faster since the descent on the squiggly trail can be slow depending on if it’s rained, the rocks, etc.

If you are going to stay in Médulas you will probably want to walk the Senda Valiñas (green), which weaves through the weird formations from the bottom.
 
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
I'm also trying to work out a max 13 day plan for the Invierno.
I've been walking since May 14th (Arles - Aragonés - Francés) and I'm a few days behind my original (loose) schedule because of taking a day off and doing some shorter than planned days when I had a cold. I thought that I had caught up a bit, but yesterday I started having shin pain and I decided that 32.5 km from León to Hospital de Órbigo wasn't a good idea, so I only walked about 10 km today, and fortunately had zero pain.

The plan all along was to decide on Invierno vs Francés when I reach Ponferrada, and both options are still open unless I need to take any more time off. But, if I walk the Invierno it has to be 13 days or less and without any really long days.
@trecile,
I think Nick’s 13 stages should suit you fine. You can shorten day 11 by stopping in Bandeira, and that leaves only the day into Quiroga at more than 25. That day from A Rúa to Quiroga can be shortened by some walking and training options. There’s lots of discussion of this on the forum, but basically you could walk to A Rúa, deposit your pack (but not if you’re staying in the albergue, which only opens at 4), walk on to Montefurado (about 10 kkm) and then get the train back to A Rúa. Next day train to Montefurado and carry on.

Hope those shins are ok — stretch, stretch, stretch, and ice, ice, ice.
 
Here is the map of the trails at Médulas.

View attachment 172230
If you walk in on the official Camino, you come in where the big P is. If you take any of the alternatives (from Borrenes, from the Cornatel castle, or from the Monastery of Valdueza) you arrive at the mirador de Orellán. The camino leaves on the upper right hand corner off the red trail.

From the mirador, you can go down on the squiggly light green camino del mirador, go down past the Agoga and then head out on the red trail. Or you can stay up without descending to the village, which is longer but probably faster since the descent on the squiggly trail can be slow depending on if it’s rained, the rocks, etc.

If you are going to stay in Médulas you will probably want to walk the Senda Valiñas (green), which weaves through the weird formations from the bottom.
Laurie this map is very cool, but it is turned in wrong direction. Mirador de Orellan is east of Las Médulas.
 
Laurie this map is very cool, but it is turned in wrong direction. Mirador de Orellan is east of Las Médulas.
Yes, I see the compass on the right. But I’m not sure how that makes any difference — are you one of those people who has google maps on “true north” all the time? :D I just like to see it as I am walking or driving, and I think the orientation of this map does that. BTW, it wasn’t me who set the orientation, that’s the way the map is displayed on every site I’ve seen.
 
€2,-/day will present your project to thousands of visitors each day. All interested in the Camino de Santiago.
Great answers, thank you all! Firstly I just discovered the thread about the Borrenes alternative so there's good info there. I'd say there's no reason not to do it!

1- I Loved to stay in Villavieja❤️
I see @Robo did as well, so this sounds like a great option.

4- We find perfect to stay in Dornelas for the Pico Sacro side trip. We did like you, Lalìn - Dornelas, but after we stay at Reina Lupa Albergue (20km from Dornelas with the Pico Sacro detour). Another option could be Rodeiro - A Laxe - Dornelas..?
Good options, thanks. We will play it by ear and decide how to do these stages when we get near the end.

Yes, Nick, definitely worth a hike up to the Pico Sacro. I wanted to do it, but I had a knee issue my final day into Santiago that had me concerned, so no go for me.
We'll see how Wendy feels about an asphalt climb on the day!

I'm also trying to work out a max 13 day plan for the Invierno.
I hope your shin feels better soon. FYI we'll be in Ponferrada on Tuesday afternoon and start walking on Wednesday in case we happen to be in sync.

I know you would love Peñalba but I get your rationale - and for a first Invierno, it’s nice to be on the “official” route the whole way.
Exactly.

I haven’t stayed either in Villavieja or Borrenes, but I think it just depends on whether you want to carry food and stay in a cute little village, or be in a hotel where they feed you. If you want to visit the castle at Cornatel (a few kms above Borrenes), it won’t likely be open when you pass by from Villavieja, but more likely open if you have started from Ponferrada. Google says it’s open 11-2 and 4-8, closed Monday and Tuesday. Not tremendously interesting on the inside, but I love to climb around castles.
It looks like the castle is a short walk from Villavieja? So I/we could go as a side walk in the afternoon. And carrying food on camino is our speciality so no problem there!

I haven’t stayed at Casa Leiras, but have had a cold drink there and had a very nice chat with the wife. I’m sure you know the owners are Italian, and they do cook dinner!
We did the same, and that's why we wanted to go back. But I guess the appeal of Italian speakers is not as high as it once was because we are surrounded by them now!

I have stayed in Bandeira serveral times, it’s smaller than Silleda but has all services.
Good to know, thanks. For the last portion we would like to stay in more rural places and fewer towns as that's always better (IMO) in the last 100km. We stayed in Silleda and wished we'd stayed somewhere rural instead, which is one of the attractions of Casa Leiras. We'll weigh it up on the day I guess.

Looks like you will be starting one week from today! Buen camino, Laurie
That's scarily soon!!
 
Yes, I see the compass on the right. But I’m not sure how that makes any difference — are you one of those people who has google maps on “true north” all the time? :D I just like to see it as I am walking or driving, and I think the orientation of this map does that. BTW, it wasn’t me who set the orientation, that’s the way the map is displayed on every site I’ve seen.
Don’t we usually orient ourselves right to left? IE: Gronze maps, Buen Camino…🤪
 
The 2024 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
It looks like the castle is a short walk from Villavieja? So I/we could go as a side walk in the afternoon. And carrying food on camino is our speciality so no problem there!
The bulk of the ascent is before Villavieja. You will retrace your steps on the next day, but an afternoon stroll up to the castle without a pack would be nice. Nice views, too, from the bench nearby that is advertised, I think, as having the prettiest views in the Bierzo. I think that’s hyperbole, but it’s nice. And you won’t have much to do in Villavieja, unless the Casas Rurales are filled with interesting people.

My fuzzy memory of the history is that Villavieja is where the castle serfs lived. Though it’s below the castle, it is not a strenuous walk up.

@peregrina2000, I know you are a wealth of knowledge on most of the Camino paths less traveled, yet nearly every time I happen upon your new posts which are always so helpful, I am still amazed at the breadth of your knowledge. Your posts on this thread are exactly what I speak of.

Thanks, Chrissy, it’s nice to have something to do with all this useless knowledge I’ve accumulated!
 
The bulk of the ascent is before Villavieja. You will retrace your steps on the next day, but an afternoon stroll up to the castle without a pack would be nice. Nice views, too, from the bench nearby that is advertised, I think, as having the prettiest views in the Bierzo. I think that’s hyperbole, but it’s nice. And you won’t have much to do in Villavieja, unless the Casas Rurales are filled with interesting people.

My fuzzy memory of the history is that Villavieja is where the castle serfs lived. Though it’s below the castle, it is not a strenuous walk up.



Thanks, Chrissy, it’s nice to have something to do with all this useless knowledge I’ve accumulated!
It's not useless, it's priceless💎...I love emojis.😅
 
Ideal pocket guides for during & after your Camino. Each weighs only 1.4 oz (40g)!
Great answers, thank you all! Firstly I just discovered the thread about the Borrenes alternative so there's good info there. I'd say there's no reason not to do it!
Maybe you already saw this, but just in case - there is also a route from the castle that doesn’t go down to Borrenes but goes straight to the mirador.


I think this is the route @mla1 took.
 
Bandeira from our Sanabrés; does anyone have any memories of it?
For the last portion we would like to stay in more rural places and fewer towns
Other than the place for a cafe on the left as you come into town no. I'd stay at Casa Lieres over Bandeira hands down. It really is a nicer place. And it ticks your rural box nicely.

Is there a reason to go a bit further to Borrenes instead of staying at Villavieja?
- What about the alternative from Borrenas? If we're not staying in Las Médulas, it seems like the alternative makes sense as it goes straight to the lookout, right?
I'd say no, because you go gownhill on asphalt to Borrenes from the castle. Somewhere on another thread there was an alternative posted that went straight over to Orellan without dropping down to the road. (Laurie just posted a track...just don't go down to Las Médulas at the end after the mirador if you don'twant to but follow one of the two high alternatives on the other map se posted.)

From the mirador, you can go down on the squiggly light green camino del mirador, go down past the Agoga and then head out on the red trail. Or you can stay up without descending to the village, which is longer but probably faster since the descent on the squiggly trail can be slow depending on if it’s rained, the rocks, etc.
It's a longish descent, and then you'd have to go back up again on the other side. There's not much to see there except the very decent museum and wandering around in the bottom of the mines, which was very pretty.

It looks like the castle is a short walk from Villavieja? So I/we could go as a side walk in the afternoon. And carrying food on camino is our speciality so no problem there!
Yes! Good idea. It's a gentle uphill and gorgeous.
 
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
@jungleboy i can’t recommend the albergue in Villavieja enough - it’s terrific. From the little balcony of the dorm room, you have views out towards the castle, and the Bierzo mountains in the distance. The castle is a lovely stroll along a tree lined path, to above the castle, then a descent down a path across a banked field to the foot of the castle.

Re Diomondi, someone up the thread posted that they didn’t think you could get a tour of the church unless you were staying. I certainly did when I stopped by in March en route to Chantada, to take a look at the albergue. The hospi offered to show me the church and unlocked the door from inside the entrance hall. I guess it might depend on how busy there are when you stop by but I can’t imagine they’ll be run off their feet.

Don’t forget to stop by and see Daniel in Lalín!
 
Here is the map of the trails at Médulas.

View attachment 172230
If you walk in on the official Camino, you come in where the big P is. If you take any of the alternatives (from Borrenes, from the Cornatel castle, or from the Monastery of Valdueza) you arrive at the mirador de Orellán. The camino leaves on the upper right hand corner off the red trail.

From the mirador, you can go down on the squiggly light green camino del mirador, go down past the Agoga and then head out on the red trail. Or you can stay up without descending to the village, which is longer but probably faster since the descent on the squiggly trail can be slow depending on if it’s rained, the rocks, etc.
Stay up means continuing on the red path from the mirador all the way to the Mirador de Pedrices and then continuing off the map?

Here are the tracks I have, where red is the standard camino and blue is the alternative (with the Mirador de Orellán being near the Entrada a las Gallerías marking). I have drawn in the yellow track which avoids Las Médulas, follows trails to the Mirador de Pedrices (the brown/white binoculars symbol) and rejoins the camino shortly afterwards. So the yellow would be the 'stay up' path?

IMG_8480.jpg
 
I have walked the alternative from Borrenes, which some found tricky (it was fine when I went, not too overgrown). Others have taken a different alternative from right at the turnoff to the castle. It also winds up at the mirador, but does not go to Borrenes. I would do that one, rather than the one from Borrenes. Some recent forum discussion on it, use “La Chana” to search.
Again where red is the standard camino and blue is the Borrenes alternative, and the castle is near the brown and white viewpoint (binoculars) symbol on the right, my drawn yellow path here would approximate the Chana alternative?

IMG_8481.jpg
 
A selection of Camino Jewellery
Hi Jungleboy,
Excellent idea to walk to the Mirador Orellán, it is a really stunning view.

I walked directly from Villavieja to mirador Orellan this spring. You can walk from the village Villavieja to Paradela on a signposted path which starts in the village Villavieja. It is part of a walking route and there is a information display of this route in the village. So there is no need to walk to the castle and start through the fields to Paradela.

From Paradela I walked the yellow path in your map above, to La Chana. In La Chana you walk a short bit on the road towards Orellán, and after about 1 km there is a path going left directly to Orellán, the orange path in your map. Easy to find. The last bit of this path, the climb to Orellán, is less travelled and may be overgrown in summer. In Orellán there is a sign posted nice path to the Mirador.
After the Mirador it is a steep downhill to the village. Total km’s about 14.
No services. No dogs when I walked. Very beautyful!

The Albergue Villavieja is wonderfull and you can visit the castle for free if you bring your credecial and ask for a stamp. Nice views towards Ponferrada. Short easy walk from the Albergue.
 
You can walk from the village Villavieja to Paradela on a signposted path which starts in the village Villavieja. It is part of a walking route and there is a information display of this route in the village. So there is no need to walk to the castle and start through the fields to Paradela.
I’m trying to keep track, and I think this is now the fourth option.

1. standard camino from Borrenes
2. alternative from Borrenes up to Mirador
3. alternative from Cornatel Castle through La Chana to Mirador
4. Villavieja to Paradela to Mirador

It may seem confusing from afar, but when you’re actually there, I don’t think there will be a problem.
 
...and ship it to Santiago for storage. You pick it up once in Santiago. Service offered by Casa Ivar (we use DHL for transportation).
Stay up means continuing on the red path from the mirador all the way to the Mirador de Pedrices and then continuing off the map?
So the yellow would be the 'stay up' path?
Yes. and there are two options up there. One that goes more or less,along the top of thr ridge above Las Médulas
Screenshot_20240613_203401_OsmAnd.jpg
And one that goes behind the ridge - the part I followed (not all the way) was a gravel road.
Screenshot_20240613_203441_OsmAnd.jpg

The museum guy told me the other path was his favorite but not for the faint of heart.
 
So the yellow would be the 'stay up' path?
But there are also several well-marked paths from the Mirador down to the village. They are somewhat steep and might be slippery when wet, but they are quite nice. One of them passes by the Cuevona, which you can no longer enter. Then you can just pass through Las Medulas and continue on to Puente.
 
But there are also several well-marked paths from the Mirador down to the village. They are somewhat steep and might be slippery when wet, but they are quite nice. One of them passes by the Cuevona, which you can no longer enter. Then you can just pass through Las Medulas and continue on to Puente.
Good to know but it seems longer to go to the village and I’m not sure what it adds?
 
A selection of Camino Jewellery
Re Diomondi, someone up the thread posted that they didn’t think you could get a tour of the church unless you were staying. I certainly did when I stopped by in March
That was my experience as well. She was happy to pick up the key and walk the 10 m to open the door of the church, which has an entrance directly from the albergue.

There is a hospitalera in Diomondi every day from 1 pm till maybe as late as 10 pm, I believe, and I would imagine they welcome the opportunity to have something to do. The woman I spoke with (there are two who alternate) tells me the numbers are very low.
 
Good to know but it seems longer to go to the village and I’m not sure what it adds?
I don’t think it’s actually that much longer, but it does have a descent that can be tricky in wet weather. And if you are on the blue trail (I’m referring to the Médulas map I posted, incorrectly oriented as it may be), you will go right by the Mirador de las Pedrices, which is not as spectacular a view as from Orellán, but it is on the way to the camino.
 
I don’t think it’s actually that much longer
You can see from regular maps that there are at least 2 circular walking circular routes for day visitors. One route down would not be much longer than the one that avoids the town. You can just decide at the moment.

By the way, I am one who found the museum less than impressive, so that is not a good reason to go through the town. Stopping for a drink at Agoga would be a better reason.
 
Down bag (90/10 duvet) of 700 fills with 180 g (6.34 ounces) of filling. Mummy-shaped structure, ideal when you are looking for lightness with great heating performance.

€149,-
By the way, I am one who found the museum less than impressive
I think you are talking about the visitors center and not the museum. The visitors center is very close to Hotel Rural Agoga. I agree that it doesn’t have much (but they do have a sello!).

I have always written about how much I liked the museum located at the entrance to town — near the parking lot and right before the Hotel Medulio as you come in on the official camino. But I am sad to report that according to google maps, it is permanently closed. I can’t imagine why. It was called the Aula Arqueólogica de las Médulas and had a lot of displays and a video that I found fascinating.

That place was worth a detour, but not the visitors center. Sadly it’s gone.
 
One of them passes by the Cuevona, which you can no longer enter.
This is so disappointing. I was so hoping to go here in October & on to La Encantada. Do you know why entrance is not allowed? I just emailed their cultural center for more information when I read your comment. Aymarah
 
A selection of Camino Jewellery
I think you are talking about the visitors center and not the museum. The visitors center is very close to Hotel Rural Agoga. I agree that it doesn’t have much (but they do have a sello!).
I really liked the museum near the bottom entrance to the village. And got a lot of advice from the docent there about day walks. But closed!? Bummer.
 
I think it was for safety reasons - rock fall, etc.
I emailed the Médulas center who referred me to Fundación Las Médulas. Both responded quickly.
“El acceso a Cuevona y Encantada no está aconsejado por riesgo de desprendimientos.”
As you said, not recommended due to risk of falling rock.
 
“El acceso a Cuevona y Encantada no está aconsejado por riesgo de desprendimientos.”
Not recommended is not the same as prohibited. 🤣

Reminds me of an experience I had in Portugal. There were a lot of cars parked outside a big shopping mall and it was unclear to me whether parking was allowed or not. I asked the policeman nearby and his response was “Não está nem prohibido nem permitido.”

As a lover of clear rules, I found this answer quite unsatisfactory, but it did give me a good window into some societal norma.
 
...and ship it to Santiago for storage. You pick it up once in Santiago. Service offered by Casa Ivar (we use DHL for transportation).
I completely agree. However, as I recall, the sign and fencing on site at the cave clearly indicated that entry was prohibited.
Language is so interesting. I quoted what I was sent in response to my question, are the caves open?
You clearly (😂) remember a barrier that prohibited entrance.
I can’t wait to visit & at least take a good 👀, or two.
 
...and ship it to Santiago for storage. You pick it up once in Santiago. Service offered by Casa Ivar (we use DHL for transportation).
Thanks for the link to the blog. There’s a lot of practical info there as well as nice pictures.

I have one question about your lodging. You stayed in Pensión Victoria on your last night before Santiago. I had never heard of anyone staying there (but it is on Gronze, so I just haven’t been paying attention). Looks like a nice place, about 2 km beyond the Pensión Cruceiro and Carrefour on the national highway.

Two questions —

Did you choose the Victoria over the Cruceiro (or other places in Ponte Ulla) for some reason or was it just what you found available?

And how did you get back to the camino from the pensión? Did you have to backtrack or can you just cut over somehow? Looks like a straight shot on Gronze, but you never know.

Muchas gracias, buen camino, Laurie
Apology for my delayed response - I’ve been traveling. We choose the Victoria because we had stayed there in 2019 as we were finishing the Sanabres. Both times we chose it on Booking.com. One thing that influenced the decision was that it’s near the top of the hill/ascent and not have that to start the ascent the next morning. It is a bit off route but easy to find. I honestly cannot remember if there was much backtracking. If there was, it wasn’t much. It’s modern and comfortable with good food in their bar/restaurant. Hope this is of some help.
 
I'll chime in as we also stayed at the very nice Pension Victoria the night before heading into Santiago a month ago. It was quite easy to find; 22km from Silleda where we stayed the night before, and then 20km the next day to Santiago.
 

Most read last week in this forum

In planning for September walk, I have confirmed reservations at Torre Vilarino but have had no success in follow up contact; either by phone, text, or email -including the website and Air B&B...

❓How to ask a question

How to post a new question on the Camino Forum.

Forum Rules

Forum Rules

Camino Updates on YouTube

Camino Conversations

Most downloaded Resources

This site is run by Ivar at

in Santiago de Compostela.
This site participates in the Amazon Affiliate program, designed to provide a means for Ivar to earn fees by linking to Amazon
Official Camino Passport (Credential) | 2024 Camino Guides
Back
Top