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Stage of Ponferrada to Villafranca del Bierzo
La Hoya del Biezo offers a plain surrounded by mountains. Spectacular!
Information about the stage 23: Stage of Ponferrada to Villafranca del Bierzo
Points of interest in the stage 23: Stage of Ponferrada to Villafranca del Bierzo
- Km 0. Ponferrada (All Services)
We leave the hostel on La Loma Street and continue along the streets Pregoneros and El Temple, which leads to Avenida del Castillo. The church of San Andres gives way to the castle of the Templars, which we border it along Gil and Carrasco Street. At one point, bike pilgrims continue on the left and walkers on the right to the immediate plaza of the Virgen de la Encina. Already in the square we turn left and go down the stairs of the street the Raddiero. We arrive at Avenida de la Puebla, where we cross the river Sil (Km 1,2).
Then we turn right onto the Urdiales Street and then turn right again on the inexhaustible avenue of the Huertas del Sacramento, where the Pimenteras Fountain is located. Later, upon reaching the roundabout where the monument to the Blood Donors rises, it bends to the right by the avenue of Freedom. Number 46 includes the National Energy Museum, a scientific outreach space (more information on what to see and what to do from the previous stage).
The exit of Ponferrada is a long rodeo as instead of advancing west we go north, where Compostilla is located. We welcome the local of the Red Cross and then a passageway through which we arrived at the Town Hall square.
- Km 3.7. Compostilla
Next to the Neo-Romanesque chapel, we continue in front of the 4th Avenue, then turn left and immediately right through the 3rd Transversal, where we pass some tennis courts and the football field. We definitely abandoned Compostilla by a paved runway and saved the N-VI by a tunnel (Km 4.7). Vine crops pull the church of San Esteban and the first houses of Columbrians. The region of El Bierzo has excellent conditions for grape cultivation, as it is nestled in a plain surrounded by mountains that prevent the passage of the Atlantic climate. Tints are made with the Mencía variety. After the church of San Esteban we descend gently to cross the CL-631 and enter into the population nucleus.
- Km 5.5. Columbrians (Bar. Shops. Pharmacy)
Next to the chapel of San Blas and San Roque we leave Columbrianos on the paved runway that springs to the left hand. The Camino continues between single relatives and small plots where the neighbors settle. At the entrance of Fuentes Nuevos, a cruise with the figures of Santiago Peregrino and Cristo Crucified welcomes the walkers.
- Km 8. New Sources (All Services except Hostel)
We enter through Valiña Street, where the chapel of the Divine Christ is located and at his sight a bar frequented by pilgrims. We leave Fuentes Nuevos and, again, by asphalt track we progress to the village of Camponaraya. Crossing Camponaraya (about 1.5 kilometers long) costs us about twenty minutes, crossing through the river Reguera del Naraya.
- Km 10.5. Camponaraya (All Services)
We put an end to this population of services of 4,200 inhabitants together with a wine cooperative and a rest area. On a gravel track we reach the A-6 motorway, which we draw for a high pass (Km 11,9). The starting section is the most relaxing of the day. La hoya del Bierzo looks at its best landscape, always dotted with vineyards and chopsticks. Two kilometres and four hundred meters later (Km 14,3) one road is crossed carefully and one road is advanced through the arcén of another to the solar of the Bierzo Designation of Origin Regulatory Council (Km 14,9). The Camino descends and enters Cacabelos on Cimadevilla Street. After the church of Santa Maria - it retains the Romanesque apse - we progress to the river Cúa, flowing from the Sil.
- Km 16.6. Cacabelos (All Services)
After crossing the Cua River we meet the Shrine of the Fifth Anguish, on whose perimeter is the hostel of pilgrims. Until Pieros you have to sweat a demanding echo along the arcén of the road LE-713 or old N-VI (has both denominations).
- Km 18.5. Pieros (Hostel. Bar at the exit of the population, at the foot of the road)
We continue along the road. Later, at the junction to San Clemente, there is a sign that encourages us to take the variant from the right that approaches Valtuille from Above. It runs through roads although it is not the official and it is somewhat longer. The official route continues along the arcén of the road, which after a wavy section is left on the right by attending a Jacobean mojón (Km 20,8).
On a path of gravel, nicknamed La Virgen, we went by the sculpture studio A. Nogueira and we face a strong climb that gives way to several slides to the first houses of Villafranca del Bierzo. Already on the descent we pass the municipal hostel (on the right), then the Romanesque church of Santiago, which exhibits before us the Door of Forgiveness, and immediately the refuge Ave Fénix. We arrived by the castle and, on the right hand, we went down a few stairs and continued down Salinas and Rinconada Salinas Street to the Water-Ribadeo Street.
- Km 24.1. Villafranca del Bierzo (All Services)