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Starting in Ponferrada


New Member
Hi! Thanks for the answers to my first questions on this forum. It´s really a great help getting advice from others who is planning or already had done a camino.

I´m gonna start my camino in Ponferrada/Villafranca . I have 10 days to spend so I figure one day to get to the starting point (by bus), 8 days on the camino, one day in Santiago before leaving with a early morning flight the next day. Still a lots of questions... were do I spend my first night and where do I get the credential/pilgrim passport? I found some information on the net that it is possible to get it in Ponferrada (or villafranca) but now I´m not able to find the site again. In John Brielys guide, I couldn´t find any info about how to get it along the camino. Do you need to order it in advance?

Which is the best way to get to Ponferrada/Villafranca from Santiago? I found a bus that leaves a couple of times a day but it leaves from the city. Does anyone know if there is a bus directly from the airport?

Do you have nice places along this part of the camino to recomend? Optional roads, detours, nice places to stop overnight, nice views, albergues to recommend... or albergues to avoid?

I really looking forward for this camino.
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2021 Camino Guides
Most all Camino authors have decided to use 2020 guides for 2021, with free PDF files with updates coming in the spring. Get yours today.


Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
the highway
By airport I assume you mean the one in Santiago. There are regular buses between the airport and the bus station. The buses also run in the direction of Lugo. So maybe you could also get a bus from there to Ponferrada.

A taxi between the airport and the bus station costs about €18/19

This is an edit. Allow plenty of time to purchase your ticket. As buses arrive and depart from the station at the lower level. You have to go up to two flights of stairs to the offices to purchase your ticket for the next journey. No ticket no bus. There is an office for each bus company so you have to find the right booth/office. Taxis arrive at the bus station at the same level as the ticket offices.


Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
You can get a credential at the albergue in Ponferrada. You could also sleep there if there available beds. One of my favorite albergues of the entire Camino was the one in Ruitelan between Villafranca del Bierzo and O'Cebreiro. I did not like the one in Melide. I would recommend staying at some of the smaller towns (the albergues and towns that are NOT the main starting and stopping points of the daily stages of walking listed in most guidebooks) We stayed at the private albergue in Santa IRene on our last night before Santiago. It was more expensive than the others but wasn't a madhouse like in Melide. We left from there early in the morning and made it to Santiago in time for the Pilgrim's mass.

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