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Camino Invierno

15 Days & 14 Nights
  • Walk the path less trodden on the Camino Invierno or "Winter Way"
  • 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
  • Landscapes dotted with Romanesque chapels and architecture
Walk the Camino Invierno, a tranquil route to Santiago, taking in terraced vineyards, impressive canyons and beautiful Romanesque chapels. The Camino Invierno (or Winter Way) was the route taken by pilgrims in the medieval ages to avoid the mountains of O Cebreiro on the Camino Frances. Nowadays, it offers an off-the-beaten-path option for pilgrims searching for some solitude. Start in Ponferrada and pass through the Las Médulas archaeological park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site whose striking red mountains were created by Romans excavating gold. Walk through the lush landscapes of the Ribeira Sacra region featuring impressive canyons and terraced vineyards, perhaps stopping to enjoy a glass or two of the wonderful wines produced in this region, before continuing through Galicia until you reach the revered Santiago de Compostela.
This is the Camino for you if you wish to experience a route away from the crowds, passing through varied landscapes. On this moderately graded and well signposted route, you will stay overnight in small and charming B&B's, hotels and rural houses which give you a true experience of rural Spain.

Tour Style:

Self Guided | Go at your own pace on an independent tour.

Activity:

Pilgrim Trail | You will follow a historic pilgrimage trail, in the footsteps of generations of travelers

Ideal if you have an interest in:

Wine, Whiskey & More..., Spiritual Journeys, Personal Growth, Historical Journeys

As a guide, we would suggest that the minimum age of traveler this tour would be suitable for is: 12 Years

Activity Level & Terrain

This walk is graded moderate and includes daily walks of 15-29km so you will be walking for between 4 and 6 hours each day. The trail consists of a mixture of dirt tracks, minor roads and footpaths through vineyards and forests. Daily ascents are between 100 and 700m (with the average being around 350m). As this route passes through some more isolated stretches than some of the busier Camino's, we recommend it more for experienced walkers.

Navigation

Whilst the Camino Invierno is an off-the-beaten-path route, the waymarking is still excellent so you should have no problems with navigation. The route is marked with the famous yellow Camino arrows and scallop shells. You will receive a detailed information pack which includes route notes and maps, and in addition to this you will have access to our Macs Adventure App, allowing you to follow the route on richly detailed mapping on your smartphone. Please note that during the winter months, you may experience some wind and fog which of course will make navigation more tricky.

Accommodations

The accommodation is a mixture of rural hotels and guesthouses all with private rooms and en-suite. They all offer a warm welcome to walkers and traditional hospitality. Occasionally, due to the nature of this walk there may not be accommodation right on the path - in which case you will be collected and transferred to your accommodation for the night, which will usually be in a lovely rural location. 

Solo Walkers & Single Rooms

If you would prefer to book single rooms for your party, this is available for a small supplement. We are also able to book solo walkers on to this trip and this is available for the same supplement as a single room, with no extra charge. 

Meals

A local continental breakfast is included each morning, which can sometimes just be coffee, bread, and orange juice. Lunch and dinner are not included as standard so you are free to choose from the available options.  Every place you stop will have evening meals available.

Extra Night in Monforte de Lemos

We highly recommend adding an extra night in Monforte de Lemos where you can either book a standard 4* hotel or upgrade to the famous Parador Hotel. If you do book an extra night here, we also recommend a full day excursion to the Ribeira Sacra. This very special experience includes a wine tasting lunch and drinks and a 1hr catamaran trip. Please let us know at the time of booking if you would like to add this on. The cost of this is £165 per person.

Included
  • Accommodation in small rural hotels and guest houses with en-suite W/C
  • Daily breakfast
  • Baggage transfers
  • Transfers as per itinerary
  • A detailed information pack including route notes and maps
  • Access to maps, GPX tracks and daily route information with the Macs Adventure smartphone navigation app
  • Emergency support from our local and UK office
Excluded
  • Lunches, snacks or drinks
  • Travel insurance
  • Personal Equipment
  • Travel to Ponferrada/Monforte de Lemos and from Santiago de Compostela
  • Taxi transfers or public transport should you need to skip a stage
Extras
  • Additional nights’ accommodation
  • Wine tasting excursion in the Ribeira Sacra

When To Go

You can start your Camino on any day of your choosing between February and Mid-November. 

Galicia has quite a different climate to the rest of Spain. It has mild and rainy winters, and cool and sunny summers. The spring months are a beautiful time to travel in this region, when the vineyards will be a delightful burst of colour and for the same reason autumn is also a nice time to travel. It should be noted however that if you choose to do this route during the winter months, you can expect to experience more varied weather and there can be periods of rain, wind and fog to contend with. 

Getting to the Start

The closest airport to Ponferrada is Leon, although flights are fairly limited. From Leon you would take a bus with ALSA to Ponferrada (1h 40m). Alternatively you can fly into Santiago de Compostela and take the bus or train to Ponferrada (approx 3-4hrs) or fly into Madrid and take the bus (5h) or train via Leon (4h) to reach Ponferrada. 

Getting from the End

From Santiago City to the Airport

From Santiago you can arrange a private transfer through Macs Adventure, to ensure a smooth end to your Camino. Alternatively, a bus runs between the airport and Plaza de Galicia in Santiago, stopping at different points in the city (Pazo de Congresos, Capilla San Lázaro, the bus station, the railway station, Rúa da Rosa, and others). From the airport, the bus departs from 00:00 to 23:30, every half hour (duration 20 mins). Please see the Santiago Airport website for current timetables.

From Santiago to Madrid by train

If you would prefer to travel by rail, you can take a train (fast trains are available, 6h30 duration approx.) from Santiago to Madrid with RENFE.

By Bus within Spain

There are good bus connections from Santiago to other cities within Spain – see http://www.alsa.es for bus schedules.

Luggage Transfer

Baggage transfers are included (max 20kg per person). Your main bag will be transferred each day between your overnight accommodation so that you only need to walk with a day pack.

General Information

The distances and ascent/descents are approximations of the recommended routes. Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example, proper rain gear (jacket and pants), sun hat, sunscreen. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes for the cooler months and lightweight clothing for summer, and a day pack.

Extra Night in Monforte de Lemos

We highly recommend adding an extra night in Monforte de Lemos where you can either book a standard 4* hotel or upgrade to the famous Parador Hotel. If you do book an extra night here, we also recommend a full day excursion to the Ribeira Sacra. This very special experience includes a wine tasting lunch and drinks and a 1hr catamaran trip. Please let us know at the time of booking if you would like to add this on. The cost of this is £165 per person.

Travel Insurance

It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable Travel Insurance which covers you for the activity, emergency evacuation and hospital care.

Can I walk with my bags?
Is the Camino Invierno just for Winter?
What happens if I can't walk a stage?

Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive Ponferrada and overnight Day 2 Walk Ponferrada to Borrenes 13.5 miles / 22 km Day 3 Walk Borrenes to Puente de Domingo Florez (Optional Loop Walk Las Medulas) 13 miles / 21 km Day 4 Walk Puente de Domingo Florez to O Barco de Valdeorras 11 miles / 18 km Day 5 Walk O Barco de Valdeorras to Montefurado. Transfer to A Rua 15 miles / 24 km Day 6 Transfer to Montefurado. Walk to Quiroga. Transfer to rural accommodation 10.5 miles / 17 km Day 7 Transfer to Quiroga. Walk to A Pobra de Brollon. Transfer to rural accommodation 13 miles / 21 km Day 8 Transfer to A Pobra de Brollon. Walk to Montforte de Lemos 9 miles / 15 km Day 9 Walk Monforte de Lemos to Chantada 18 miles / 29 km Day 10 Walk Chantada to Rodeiro. Transfer to Chantada or rural accommodation 16 miles / 26 km Day 11 Transfer to Rodeiro. Walk to Lalin 13.5 miles / 22 km Day 12 Walk Lalin to Bandeira 14 miles / 23 km Day 13 Walk Bandeira to Galegos 10.5 miles / 17 km Day 14 Walk Galegos to Santiago de Compostela 11 miles / 18 km Day 15 Onward travel

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