24. From Ponferrada to Villafranca del Bierzo

Today is an easier Camino Frances as the total distance to be walked is 23,3 kilometers. You will mostly pass through a wine region, the Bierzo today and if you can, the local wine is excellent so tasting it is a good idea.

Upon leaving Ponferrada you will pass through the suburb village of Compostilla, a former mining town, followed by Columbrianos.

A cross with the figures of Santiago Peregrino and the Crucified Christ welcomes us in Fuentes Nuevas. The road continues to Camponaraya where, at the entrance, you have to cross the Arroyo de la Reguera de Naraya and it is clear that you are walking through vineyards. The vines accompany the pilgrims in a ‘calm and friendly’ way until Cacabelos. Cacabelos is a bigger town where it might be worth stopping to visit the Archaeological Museum as well as the Iglesia de Santa Maria de la Plaza.

Once there, you have to cross the river Cúa, see the Sanctuary of the Quinta Angustia and face the most demanding climb of the day, that of Pieros. This leads to Villafranca del Bierzo, where the Romanesque church of Santiago and its Puerta del Perdón (Door of Forgiveness), which only opens during the Holy Year, marks the end of the stage. Pilgrims who can’t continue their journey due to illness are granted the same indulgences as if they have reached the Cathedral in Santiago.

You can follow this link to book online a hostel or room in Villafranca del Bierzo or to search for accommodation on your way! Click here to Book Your Stay!