Where the Way of Saint James passes, it is located to the east of the village of Vega de Valcarce, on the left bank of the river Valcarce. In 1858 it had the status of a village and today it forms part of the municipality of Vega de Valcarce.
In La Portela de Valcarce, a statue in honour of Santiago remembers on its plaque the distances from here to Roncesvalles and Santiago. In the center of the town is the church of San Juan which is popular baroque style of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, is a single nave with belfry. An old smithy from the 19th century, located on the banks of the river Valcarce, tells the story of the village's activity in other times, preserves the walls and work spaces where you can see the oven and where the rodezno del mazo was. On the outskirts of the village there is a place called Los Castros where you can see the remains of an area with a round floor plan and a moat.
La Portela de Valcarce celebrates its festivities in summer with no fixed date. Its patron saint is San Juan, whose calendar day is 24 June.
The oral history of the village tells that in the past there was a field at the entrance to the town known as Fuerte Ben and that the remains of a settlement could be seen there. It is said that in that place, during the War of Independence, the French mutinied. The only thing left of the village is the memory and the viaduct that today occupies its place receives, it seems that in its memory, the name of El Fuerte.
The Way of Saint James enters La Portela de Valcarce in the municipality of Vega de Valcarce, and passes through its villages, little by little as it rises to O Cebreiro.
It is believed that the famous "Portazgo de Valcarce" must have been in La Portela de Valcarce.
The N-VI road is the main access road to La Portela de Valcarce, following the A-6 we will find the detour towards the town halfway between Villafranca del Bierzo and Pedrafita do Cebreiro. The LE-5125 road also connects La Portela de Valcarce with Sotogayoso.
La Portela de Valcarce has a bus service on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays that covers the route El Castro-Ponferrada. For further information the telephone number is 900 204 020.
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8:05 h.28 km.
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