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O Cebreiro starting logistics etc

jpes

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Plan to
Hi - I’m a bit of a planner and would like to do the Camino as a family of 4 when my youngest is 18 - so 2021. I understand that is a Holy Year and will be extra busy. Thinking 7-10 days starting in early June (2020 would require a July start) We are flying from Canada but not sure if we would fly into Madrid or through London or Dublin (and then use a lower cost carrier into Santiago). We would probably finish with a short vacation in Barcelona. Is O Cebreiro a good starting location for the Camino Francis or should we start a little earlier?. I know there isn’t direct connection there but it doesn’t look too bad. I am also curious about the availability of private rooms in albergues. We lived in Ireland 10 years ago and stayed in various hostels in the UK and Ireland but because we had to stay in a private room, we had to book some months in advance. I don’t mind mixing up dorm and private rooms as we go but would prefer to not be in the huge dorm ones.
 

Bradypus

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
Starting in O Cebreiro (or at least quite nearby) is not a problem. Alsa run buses from Madrid to Pedrafita do Cebreiro which is only about 4km away. Some direct from the airport. And it is also possible to travel there from Santiago. Though personally I would miss the long walk up to O Cebreiro which I think is one of the highlights of the Camino Frances. In your position I might consider starting from Villafranca del Bierzo or Ponferrada.
 

jpes

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Plan to
Starting in Ponferrada would probably be the furthest starting point option. Though it looks like that section is somewhat flat for us to get used to the walk. I'm not sure about the hill up to O Cebreiro, but having the downhill at the beginning may not be the wisest choice either. Do you like the long walk up to O Cebreiro for its scenic or its pilgrim factor?
 

Bradypus

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
Do you like the long walk up to O Cebreiro for its scenic or its pilgrim factor?
A bit of both. The three times I have visited O Cebreiro have all been part of longer Camino Frances walks. My only personal cast-iron rule for pilgrimages is that I walk all of a route from my chosen starting point to the final destination. I have a particular fondness for Galicia and the provincial border is shortly before the village. It would feel very strange and incomplete for me personally to begin my journey at the top of the hill. Crossing into Galicia on foot is something of a highlight for me on whatever route I happen to be walking. And the ascent to O Cebreiro through woodlands then out on to the open hillside with ever widening vistas is a visual joy. I've also kept the O Cebreiro chalice legend in mind when things were proving a little tough :)
 

robert hailwood

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
travelling from SJPP in early May 2014
Hi - I’m a bit of a planner and would like to do the Camino as a family of 4 when my youngest is 18 - so 2021. I understand that is a Holy Year and will be extra busy. Thinking 7-10 days starting in early June (2020 would require a July start) We are flying from Canada but not sure if we would fly into Madrid or through London or Dublin (and then use a lower cost carrier into Santiago). We would probably finish with a short vacation in Barcelona. Is O Cebreiro a good starting location for the Camino Francis or should we start a little earlier?. I know there isn’t direct connection there but it doesn’t look too bad. I am also curious about the availability of private rooms in albergues. We lived in Ireland 10 years ago and stayed in various hostels in the UK and Ireland but because we had to stay in a private room, we had to book some months in advance. I don’t mind mixing up dorm and private rooms as we go but would prefer to not be in the huge dorm ones.
Villafranca del Bierzo to Santiago is 120 miles and the most scenic part of the Frances., in my opinion. Excellent hostels from simple junta accommodation to private ones with en suite. Even large erected tents and showers in a Dutch families back field. Best times to go for pleasant weather and less people is May and September. Do some light training before you go. Don't over plan it. Let it unfold day by day. Buen Camino
 

TheTinkerBell

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP - SdC (2013);
OCebreiro - Fisterra (2019)
@jpes - I'm walking from O'Cebreiro to Fisterra & Muxia in 3 weeks time. If you are travelling through Dublin, just note that, as of now, the Aer Lingus flight arrives in Santiago @ 16.20h, which means you will need to stay in the city overnight to get the bus to Pedrafita do Cebreiro the following morning @ 08.00h. This bus actually goes via A Coruna and arrives in Pedrafita @ 11.20h.

Because of this, I'll walk only 12km the first day from O'Cebreiro to Fonfria and I've booked a twin room in Hostal-Pension A Reboleira. In fact, I've booked accommodation for the first 3 nights and will "wing it" from there on. Check out Pension Santa Rosa in Samos, Casa Barbadelo (just after Sarria) and Albergue-Pension Turistico in Salceda for places with individual accommodation offerings.

There are no shortage of accommodation types available to you within Galicia. As you're a planner, gronze.com has all the information you need to plan ahead (accommodation details, stage maps, etc.).

If it helps, my stages to Santiago are likely to be:

Day 1 - Overnight in Santiago
Day 2 - Bus to Pedrafita do Cebreiro, walk from O'Cebreiro to Fonfria.
Day 3 - Fonfria to Samos
Day 4 - Samos to O'Mosteiro (Barbadelo)
Day 5 - O'Mosteiro to Ventas de Naron
Day 6 - Ventas de Naron to Melide
Day 7 - Melide to Salceda
Day 8 - Salceda to Santiago

Let me know if you have any further questions.

Happy planning and Buen Camino!
 

jpes

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Plan to
Thanks. Obviously my timing and duration will be impacted with coordinating family schedules and willingness to walk more than the last 100km. As I look and read more I keep looking back at the stage or two before to see what I would miss (Cruz de Ferro), but if I keep doing that I will soon be wanting to start in Leon. :) I would love to see Fisterra and Muxia just not sure if that part would be on foot. Gronze is great I just wish it had an english option. The other thing that I have to look into is whether to put any other European travel before or after the Camino - I had thought after, though I hadn't thought about the sore feet part of that.
 

Bradypus

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
Gronze is great I just wish it had an english option.
Until that happens then using Google Chrome as your web browser either on a pc or a mobile phone will give you the option to have pages in Spanish and many other languages translated automatically. It usually does a very good job with Gronze.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Best times to go for pleasant weather and less people is May and September.
I agree about the pleasant weather, but May and September are two of the most popular months on the Camino! At least starting from SJPDP. Here's a graph that someone posted of numbers in SJPDP. The two high points are May and September. Screenshot_20190315-232013_Firefox.jpg
 

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