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Valley of Silence

nycwalking

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Ourense to Santiago (2019), CF: (2014, 2004, 2002, 2001). On to Fisterra, (2002, 4, 14).
Hello everyone.

I have been to The Valley of Silence via auto from Ponferrada.

How do I amble there from Frances then rejoin the Frances once I leave?

Years ago there was a summer only albergue.

Does anyone know if it’s still up and running?

Lastly, how safe is this way for a single woman?
 
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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Hello everyone.

I have been to The Valley of Silence via auto from Ponferrada.

How do I amble there from Frances then rejoin the Frances once I leave?

Years ago there was a summer only albergue.

Does anyone know if it’s still up and running?

Lastly, how safe is this way for a single woman?
Hi, @nycwalking, The thread @mspath linked to is my report of a circle walk I did with Reb from Ponferrada. Ponferrada - El Acebo - Peñalba de Santiago - Ponferrada.

To walk it as a “detour” from the Francés, you could walk from El Acebo to Peñalba to Ponferrada. That would mean missing our very beautiful first day from Ponferrada to El Acebo, which took us on a trail named Las Fuentes de Malpaso. It is beautiful, only a few kms from the Francés, but very different in terrain. But hey you can’t do everything.

So what you would do is leave El Acebo from the descending trail out behind the B&B La Trucha. Then day 1 would be El Acebo to Peñalba and day 2 Peñalba to Ponferrada.

A couple of years ago, when I finished the Olvidado in Ponferrada, I wanted to connect to the Invierno via Peñalba de Santiago. So I walked from Ponferrada to Peñalba, which is a really really beautiful walk. I had spoken with the woman who runs La Masera and she had a bed for me. But when I got to Peñalba, I realized that I had not downloaded the GPS tracks from Peñalba to Las Médulas (on the Invierno) and I just couldn’t figure out how to do it. So I hitched a ride back to Ponferrada after visiting the church and started the Invierno in Ponferrada. The route from Peñalba to Médulas is apparently remote and not well traveled and I just didn’t want to do it without the tracks. Next time…..

Because of my aborted second trip, I’ve only walked one day of the route alone. It was fine, saw a few villagers, lots of beautiful scenery. And the 11th Century church in Peñalba, plus San Genadio’s hermit cave from the 9th century, are both 5 star.

La Masera is now closed for good and is apparently for sale. Lodging in Peñalba could be pricey and hard to find, but I do know there are a couple of casas rurales. The parochial albergue did open, but I haven’t heard or seen anything about it in years. I saw no evidence of an albergue when I was there.

Without a place to sleep in Peñalba, hitching a ride back to Ponferrada is probably your best option. More likely to be an option once covid is not so prevalent, though. There is a lot of tourist traffic there in summer, in fact there is a large parking lot right at the entrance to the village. Walk el Acebo to Peñalba on day 1, hitch to Ponferrada. Walk Ponferrada to Peñalba on day 2, hitch to Ponferrada. Just a thought.

I could go on and on about Peñalba — the last time I was there I was lucky to have a long chat with a resident, who was born there and told me that neither electricity or a paved road reached the town till the 70s. It is now definitely more of a relic than a live town but it is charming and located in a beautiful setting.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
SJPP2Santiago completed (Sept.15, 2018).
Hi, @nycwalking, The thread @mspath linked to is my report of a circle walk I did with Reb from Ponferrada. Ponferrada - El Acebo - Peñalba de Santiago - Ponferrada.

To walk it as a “detour” from the Francés, you could walk from El Acebo to Peñalba to Ponferrada. That would mean missing our very beautiful first day from Ponferrada to El Acebo, which took us on a trail named Las Fuentes de Malpaso. It is beautiful, only a few kms from the Francés, but very different in terrain. But hey you can’t do everything.

So what you would do is leave El Acebo from the descending trail out behind the B&B La Trucha. Then day 1 would be El Acebo to Peñalba and day 2 Peñalba to Ponferrada.

A couple of years ago, when I finished the Olvidado in Ponferrada, I wanted to connect to the Invierno via Peñalba de Santiago. So I walked from Ponferrada to Peñalba, which is a really really beautiful walk. I had spoken with the woman who runs La Masera and she had a bed for me. But when I got to Peñalba, I realized that I had not downloaded the GPS tracks from Peñalba to Las Médulas (on the Invierno) and I just couldn’t figure out how to do it. So I hitched a ride back to Ponferrada after visiting the church and started the Invierno in Ponferrada. The route from Peñalba to Médulas is apparently remote and not well traveled and I just didn’t want to do it without the tracks. Next time…..

Because of my aborted second trip, I’ve only walked one day of the route alone. It was fine, saw a few villagers, lots of beautiful scenery. And the 11th Century church in Peñalba, plus San Genadio’s hermit cave from the 9th century, are both 5 star.

La Masera is now closed for good and is apparently for sale. Lodging in Peñalba could be pricey and hard to find, but I do know there are a couple of casas rurales. The parochial albergue did open, but I haven’t heard or seen anything about it in years. I saw no evidence of an albergue when I was there.

Without a place to sleep in Peñalba, hitching a ride back to Ponferrada is probably your best option. More likely to be an option once covid is not so prevalent, though. There is a lot of tourist traffic there in summer, in fact there is a large parking lot right at the entrance to the village. Walk el Acebo to Peñalba on day 1, hitch to Ponferrada. Walk Ponferrada to Peñalba on day 2, hitch to Ponferrada. Just a thought.

I could go on and on about Peñalba — the last time I was there I was lucky to have a long chat with a resident, who was born there and told me that neither electricity or a paved road reached the town till the 70s. It is now definitely more of a relic than a live town but it is charming and located in a beautiful setting.
Your generosity w/ your time/details & caminos knowledge to the forum s awesome! Thank you so very much.
 

Niels

camino mi privio
Year of past OR future Camino
Ca. del Norte and Ca. Primotivo in 2016 + Santiago to Muxia; Ca. Frances and Ruta Dragonte in 2018.
Hi, @nycwalking, The thread @mspath linked to is my report of a circle walk I did with Reb from Ponferrada. Ponferrada - El Acebo - Peñalba de Santiago - Ponferrada.

To walk it as a “detour” from the Francés, you could walk from El Acebo to Peñalba to Ponferrada. That would mean missing our very beautiful first day from Ponferrada to El Acebo, which took us on a trail named Las Fuentes de Malpaso. It is beautiful, only a few kms from the Francés, but very different in terrain. But hey you can’t do everything.

So what you would do is leave El Acebo from the descending trail out behind the B&B La Trucha. Then day 1 would be El Acebo to Peñalba and day 2 Peñalba to Ponferrada.

A couple of years ago, when I finished the Olvidado in Ponferrada, I wanted to connect to the Invierno via Peñalba de Santiago. So I walked from Ponferrada to Peñalba, which is a really really beautiful walk. I had spoken with the woman who runs La Masera and she had a bed for me. But when I got to Peñalba, I realized that I had not downloaded the GPS tracks from Peñalba to Las Médulas (on the Invierno) and I just couldn’t figure out how to do it. So I hitched a ride back to Ponferrada after visiting the church and started the Invierno in Ponferrada. The route from Peñalba to Médulas is apparently remote and not well traveled and I just didn’t want to do it without the tracks. Next time…..

Because of my aborted second trip, I’ve only walked one day of the route alone. It was fine, saw a few villagers, lots of beautiful scenery. And the 11th Century church in Peñalba, plus San Genadio’s hermit cave from the 9th century, are both 5 star.

La Masera is now closed for good and is apparently for sale. Lodging in Peñalba could be pricey and hard to find, but I do know there are a couple of casas rurales. The parochial albergue did open, but I haven’t heard or seen anything about it in years. I saw no evidence of an albergue when I was there.

Without a place to sleep in Peñalba, hitching a ride back to Ponferrada is probably your best option. More likely to be an option once covid is not so prevalent, though. There is a lot of tourist traffic there in summer, in fact there is a large parking lot right at the entrance to the village. Walk el Acebo to Peñalba on day 1, hitch to Ponferrada. Walk Ponferrada to Peñalba on day 2, hitch to Ponferrada. Just a thought.

I could go on and on about Peñalba — the last time I was there I was lucky to have a long chat with a resident, who was born there and told me that neither electricity or a paved road reached the town till the 70s. It is now definitely more of a relic than a live town but it is charming and located in a beautiful setting.
 
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Niels

camino mi privio
Year of past OR future Camino
Ca. del Norte and Ca. Primotivo in 2016 + Santiago to Muxia; Ca. Frances and Ruta Dragonte in 2018.
I checked in on this thread as I have been wanting to walk via Peñalba de Santiago to the Valley of Silence and further on to Ponferrada for some time, and just read the words. Only afterwards it dawned upon me that 'peregrina 2000' had written that answer. The first thought to my mind was 'well, who else could have and would have done that'. What a ressource to this forum. And thank you so much. Hopefully, I'll get to do this walk next spring.
 

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