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Did you know that... La Portela de Valcarce

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.

La Portela de Valcarce

To discover What to see in the La Portela 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.

Church of San Juan in La Portela de Valcarce


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.

The Legend

It is believed that the famous "Portazgo de Valcarce" must have been in La Portela de Valcarce.

Get to La Portela de Valcarce by car

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.

By bus

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.

SENDITUR is not responsible for any variation in the information described, as well as for the misuse of its guides and recommends that everyone be responsible and prudent in carrying out the activity. Likewise, we invite you to document yourself with books and specialized guides to complement the information described. From the commitment of SENDITUR with Nature and the respect to the balance of the environment, SENDITUR urges you to travel in a responsible way, with low environmental impact and respecting at all times the Natural, Cultural and Social environment wherever you go. For any suggestion, SENDITUR invites you to send an email to

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List of Routes
  • Closeness
  • First name
  • Difficulty
  • Distance
  • Duration
  • Assessment

3:10 h.10.7 km.

Stage 22b Pradela Variant
Difficulty-ModerateRed difficulty category, level 1. More demanding stages, either because they are longer, more uneven or have a specific difficulty.

8:05 h.28 km.

Stage 22 Villafranca del Bierzo-O Cebreiro
Difficulty-HighRed difficulty category, level 3. Mountain stages in not very steep terrain, in which there are no major technical difficulties. They need sufficient experience and training for this type of terrain. These are fairly "easy" itineraries with gentle slopes, for the usual mountain routes.

5:20 h.23 km.

Stage 21 Ponferrada-Villafranca del Bierzo
Difficulty-MediumGreen difficulty category, level 3. Stages of moderate distance and slope, not overcoming great distances or slopes.
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Sanctuary of Santa María la Real Do Cebreiro
Monastery of Santa María de Carracedo
Carracedo del Monasterio, León
Monastery of Santa María de Carracedo

Benedictine monastery and Royal Palace of the Leonese monarchy

The Medulas
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The Medulas

In the Dorado of the Roman Empire

Castle of Ponferrada
Ponferrada, León
Castle of Ponferrada

Castle of the Templars, the most representative construction of Ponferrada

Abbey of Samos
Samos, Lugo
Abbey of Samos

Samanos, meaning place where religious live in community

The Smithy of Compludo
Ponferrada, León
The Smithy of Compludo

Beautiful example of popular medieval industry

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