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Camino Invierno in Spain

Camino Invierno

Highlights
  • A tranquil, off-the-beaten-path route to Santiago de Compostela
  • Romanesque churches, ancient villages and historic monuments
  • Las Médulas Archaeological Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Sample delicious local wines in the Ribeira Sacra vineyards
  • Amazing views of the meandering Miño river
  • Explore Monforte de Lemos, an important Galician fortress town

Commonly referred to as the "Winter Way", the Camino Invierno was the route followed by pilgrims in the medieval ages to avoid the mountains of O Cebreiro on the Camino Frances. Nowadays, it offers a wonderful off-the-beaten-path option for pilgrims searching for some solitude. The route is filled not only with beautiful natural landscapes, but also steeped in history, with a multitude of Romanesque chapels and historic monuments lining the way.

You may wish to explore the full way from Ponferrada, which takes in the Las Médulas archaeological park, a spectacular UNESCO World Heritage Site. Or if you are short of time, just try the final stage from Monforte de Lemos to Santiago de Compostela. Either itinerary has you hiking enough miles to qualify for your Compostela Certificate.

Like all of our self-guided Camino tours, daily luggage transfers and hand-picked accommodations are all included. Due to the nature of this route, the accommodation is also a bit more sporadic so we include several transfers off the path to take you to some rural hotels in lovely locations. If you are looking for a peaceful Camino or perhaps want to try a different way after completing the busier Camino Frances, don't hesitate to contact one of our specialists today. 

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Discover Camino Invierno

  • History of the Camino Invierno (The Winter Way)

    Starting in Ponferrada, a historical town with ties to the Knights Templar, the Camino Invierno is a route filled with historical interest. 

    The name The Winter Way may make you think this is a route which should be walked in the Winter. However, it has actually been given that name for another reason. During medieval times, pilgrims walking the main Camino Frances route would come to Ponferrada and then have to climb over the O Cebreiro mountain (1300m high) which during the winter would usually be covered in snow. To avoid this, they diverted south to skirt round this and walked through the four provinces of Galicia to reach Santiago. Hence the name - the Winter Way!

    It actually wasn't recognised by the Pilgrim's Office as an official Pilgrim's route until 2015, meaning that it is a far quieter route than the busier Camino Frances to the north and perfect for those who prefer some solitude. 

    History of the Camino Invierno (The Winter Way)
  • Accommodation on the Camino - What to Expect

    Probably one of the most daunting prospects of planning any trip is finding the right places to stay! However, Macs Adventure takes this out of your hands when you book one of our Camino packages and book all your accommodation in advance for you, leaving you free to enjoy the walk! Here is what to expect from your accommodations on the way! 

    Variety - you can expect to be staying in a large variety of different types of accommodations on any of our Camino routes. This ranges from small family-run B&B's or "pensiones", to "casa rurales" which are refurbished country cottages,  to slightly larger hotels in the bigger cities and towns. Sometimes the smaller accomodations may be called "hostales" but please don't worry - this is not the typical bunk room you may expect in a hostel. On quieter routes like the Camino Invierno and Camino Primitivo, where there is not as much accommodation, you may also stay in some more rustic rural guesthouses and you may have a transfer to take you there. You will always have your own private room and bathroom. We always aim to book you into the most personal and charming options available so that your experience is an authentic one. Staying in a variety of accommodation like this is all part of the experience, but it is important to keep this in mind to manage your expectations, as if you stay in a slightly fancier place one night, it may not always be the same the next night! 

    Air-Con? - generally, the smaller accommodations we use do not offer air-conditioning as they are in older buildings and of a more traditional style. Most of the time there will be some sort of fan in the room to cool you down during the hotter summer months!

    Breakfasts - again, the types of breakfast on offer at your accommodation vary hugely. One morning, you may find a true feast presented to you with everything from fresh pastries and bread to cooked eggs. Other mornings, you may find the selection slightly more limited with just bread and cheese on offer. Generally, when you have a long walking day ahead of you it's best not to fill up too much anyway, but you will soon become accustomed to the pilgrim way of life! 

    Upgrades - you may be surprised to learn that there are actually some very luxurious upgrade options available along the Camino which you may be tempted to upgrade to for a night or two! If this sounds like your idea of bliss, you may want even want to consider our Camino in Style tour which includes the finest boutique hotels and country manor houses (pazos). Otherwise, speak to us about perhaps upgrading to one of the famous Paradores, a range of state-owned hotels which are usually very luxurious and housed in old historical buildings. There are Paradors in several locations across the Camino routes including in Monforte de Lemos on the Camino Invierno. 

    Accommodation on the Camino - What to Expect
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