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nice places on the road from Leon to the Compostella

2020 Camino Guides

Adi Sheinmel

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
planning do the camino in september-october 2015
Hi,
i will go from Leon to Santiago on October and I have enough time not to go through the "popular" route and go "off trail".
I would love to get recommendations if you have about nice places to go through and/or stay at for more than a drink at the local caffe - on trail or off trail from Leon to the Compostella.
thanks Adi
 

SYates

Camino Fossil AD 1999, now living in Santiago de C
Camino(s) past & future
First: Camino Francés 1999
...
Last: Santiago - Muxia 2019

Now: http://egeria.house/
@Adi Sheinmel

What do you mean by "going off trail" and "not going through the popular route"? Do you mean creating your own Camino across Spain? Or do you mean to explore the villages/towns alongside the way? Your guide book should give you a good first impression about what there is to do/see in each town/village.

I would certainly suggest to spend at least one day in León with its superb cathedral with its amazing stained glass windows und also to visit the Basilica of San Isidoro with its frescos in the Pantheon.

After León there are two route choices, one via Villar de Mazarife and one via Villadangos del Paramo, the first one is more through fields/nature, the second one is mainly alongside a busy road. I prefer the first option ;-) After that I would just walk the way and see where it takes you to.

Buen Camino, SY
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
visit the Basilica of San Isidoro with its frescos in the Pantheon.
Yes! One of the best things I saw on my camino! They may have their (the?) Holy Grail on display too.

After León there are two route choices, one via Villar de Mazarife and one via Villadangos del Paramo, the first one is more through fields/nature, the second one is mainly alongside a busy road. I prefer the first option ;-)
I didn't ever go the second way but I was happy to see the fields of wildflowers mixed with the agricultural fields on the way to Villar de Mazarife. We liked our stay at the Casa de Jesus there too. Unique; the walls were filled with great graffiti.

Out of Villafranco del Bierzo we took the high route up and over Alto Pradela. It's Brierley's green (scenic) route. Take extra water.
 

Felipe

Veteran Member
Astorga merits some time to visit and enjoy.
The albergue Pequeño Potala in Ruitelan has a warm welcome and a good communal dinner. As we casually were three Mexicans and two Spaniards fans of "rancheras", we improvised an impromptu rendition of "Yo sigo siendo el rey" (although usually you sing it after midnight and many, many tequilas), much to the bewilderment of some very proper British walkers.:p
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Walking from Leon it is only 7 km to La Virgen del Camino and its extraordinary contemporary church. The town is named for a famous 15th century figure of the Virgin holding the dead body of Christ. Today the figure is in a splendid church designed in the 1960s by a Dominican monk, Francisco Coello a follower of the Brutalist style of Le Corbusier. Basically a glass box, giant stylized metal sculptures of the Apostles cover the west façade. Located on the Camino Frances at Av Astorga, 87, in the midst of chaotic suburb it is a superbly maintained architectural gem as well as a haven of peace. Be sure to visit it. The calm interior is splendidly lit with deep chrome yellow glass. See >>
http://virgendelcamino.dominicos.es/webvirgen/index.php

Opposite the church you can either continue on the Camino Frances or pick up the peaceful alternative camino route going out of town slightly southwest towards Villar de Mazarife. It is very pleasant to escape the N120 highway noise and suburban sprawl while crossing wide flat plains up to V de M where there are several pilgrim albergues. From there the alternative camino goes on to Hospital de Órbigo where it rejoins the main Camino Frances.

Buen Camino!
 
Last edited:

Rhun Leeding

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Leon to Santiago - Sept/Oct 2015
Camino Ingles & Santiago to Finisterre & Muxia Sept/Oct 2016
Hi Adi,

I did the stretch from Leon to Santiago last year in September, and enjoyed if very much. In terms of places that I particularly enjoyed, my favourite days were the climbs up and over Cruz de Ferro and over O Cebreiro, but I think that might be due to my preference for climbing, and the fact that I am not so keen on descent.

In terms of the highlights for me, I would mention:

The rustic surroundings of El Ganso, and the nice little albergue there. The bridge crossing into Hospital de Orbigo on the second day. The trout soup there is particularly worth a look.

When you are walking out of Villafranca del Bierzo, I would recommend avoiding the road route, unless you are fairly exhausted, as the walk along the road is fairly miserable.

Astorga is another nice city to explore, with the restaurant on the right hand of the square worth a visit if you are looking for a nice Menu del Dia.
 

Smallest_Sparrow

Life is rarely what you expect or believe it to be
Camino(s) past & future
2012: most of some, all of a few, a bit of others
Ditto for comments of @SYates and @mspath--worth the extra time to explore. I had fun at the Cowboy bar in Ganso :) Who mentioned Astorga? I could spend 3 days just there, but I was walking a Gaudi Camino. Did anyone list Ponferrada and it's Templar castle....walk a couple of extra km to see santo Tomas de Ollas.
 

jefferyonthecamino

http://www.barrerabooks.com/ - Guidebooks
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés (1994) & (2013 - 2019)
Camino Portugués (2015 - 2019)
Camino de Madrid (2019)
Hi,
i will go from Leon to Santiago on October and I have enough time not to go through the "popular" route and go "off trail".
I would love to get recommendations if you have about nice places to go through and/or stay at for more than a drink at the local caffe - on trail or off trail from Leon to the Compostella.
thanks Adi
just before Sarria and a km 'off' the Camino is the hotel/Pazo Torre do Barrio. a step (or two) up from your typical pilgrim albergue. i also get a kick out of hotel san nicolás el real in villafranca del bierzo, old convent, now albergue/hotel with lots of character and a wonderful little bar. there are many more... lots of bodegas near villafranca too.

Buen Camino
 

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