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The Winter Way is a pilgrimage route to Santiago declared as such in 2016, the year in which its use as an Official Way was approved.

  There are data in which it is confirmed that since medieval times it was already used by  Many pilgrims, when entering Galicia to flee, in winter, from the harshness offered by the snowy peaks of O Cebreiro on the French Way,

The fact that no other route crosses the 4 Galician provinces is peculiar, but without a doubt the most attractive and peculiar thing about the Winter Way is the landscape it offers us and its people.

At the exit of Ponferrada, a new route opens up on the French Way along the natural course marked by the river Sil, with a gently descending terrain profile and much lower levels than those offered by the continuity of the French Way along Or Cebreiro. A route that was followed by different peoples throughout history, from the Romans to the French Napoleonic troops, to make their incursions into Galician lands. And also the one that followed the first route of the railway line to enter Galicia. The Palencia – A Coruña line, inaugurated in 1883.

Along about 260 km, the Winter Way is the only Jacobean Route that runs through the four Galician provinces, after leaving the Bierzo region of Leon.

Pebble Road

It enters Galicia through the Valdeorras region of Ourense.  Taking advantage of an old Roman road, it continues parallel to the Sil riverbed through the south of the province of  Lugo and reaches Monforte de Lemos, where we located our Lemavo Hostel, 136 km from Santiago de Compostela. It crosses the Lemos valley and, already in the foothills of Mount Faro, enters the Deza region of Pontevedra, joining the Sanabrés or Mozárabe path in Lalín, up to Santiago de Compostela.

In addition to the river, a faithful companion, in much of the route, there are two singularities that identify this route: one, it crosses the archaeological park of Las Médulas, declared a World Heritage Site; another, crosses a large part of the Ribeira Sacra, in the south of Lugo, dotted with the largest number of Galician Romanesque churches, located, for the most part, in the impressive canyons of the Sil River and the slopes of the Miño River.

Las Médulas and Montefurado remind us of that time of mining exploitation carried out by the Roman Legions, but without a doubt the greatest exponent of its charm is found in the Ribeira Sacra where we will find extensive vineyard plantations, on walls, worked since time immemorial in a almost impossible orography, as this river passes through some canyons to which it gives its name: "Sil river canyons" and which produce some "broths" of excellent quality, under the denomination of origin "Ribeira Sacra".



Our hostel, your hostel, is located right in front of the Monforte de Lemos railway station. The main entrance of the hostel is accessed by crossing a walkway over the ADIF tracks, and the winter road runs along the back of the building, right where there used to be an official stagecoach stop (pre-railroad collective transport) which says a lot about the strategic importance of its location as a resting place for people passing through the city.

The railway and its railway and auxiliary companies were essential for the development of the city of Monforte and the entire region of the Lemos Valley. Historically, the arrival of the railway at any point in the geography meant the arrival of progress (read the dedication and plea to progress by the poet Curros Enríquez after the arrival of the first steam locomotive at Ourense station) and, from this point of In view, it was Monforte de Lemos, the exclusive communication gateway between Galicia and the plateau since the end of the 19th century, but basically it was around the 1960s, and for three decades, when it can be considered the stage of greatest splendor of the city consolidating itself as a first class railway nucleus.

Beautiful Landscape

It was the time when, gradually, the transition and change from steam traction to diesel was gradually consolidated in rail transport and, later, after the electrification of León to Vigo, it has been largely replaced by electric traction. This rapid evolution generated a significant number of jobs in the city with the arrival of thousands of workers with their families who turned their station into the real engine of the city's economy until, starting in the mid-1980s, the automation and the successive business restructurings, displaced a large part of the existing activity in Monforte towards the head of Zona de León, and towards the new railway junction finally consolidated in Ourense, situations that have made the city experience a period of economic decline of the which, to this day, is still trying to recover by promoting the establishment of new productive and service sectors. 

Mountain Town

In those years of splendor, the central workshops for the maintenance and repair of mobile and towed material, the infrastructure construction and maintenance services, the personnel responsible for the safety interlocks, level crossings and control of the traffic; the base of driving and traction personnel as well as a significant number of workers responsible for the maneuvers and classification of the material, among other services such as commercial, administration, supervision and management... More than two thousand employees in the different sections in which today hardly a hundred work,  but even so, this railway junction continues to maintain an important activity, basically as a strategic junction and railway fork in the field of goods, as this is considered the most logical and profitable connection to deliver goods from Galicia to the plateau linking freight traffic from the Galician ports of A Coruña and Vigo with that of the Asturian ports along a route that is orographically more reasonable and viable than any other railway alternative.

It is therefore an advantage for pilgrims, and also for other tourists, the proximity of the Albergue Lemavo to the railway station but also, less than 500 meters away, is, and can be visited, the historic deposit of most important steam traction in Galicia, current headquarters of the Galician Railway Museum (MUFERGA) which has, managed by this entity, the only rotating ramp in Spain that is currently in working order, in which the machines changed direction .

Write and leave your testimony and/or assessment about our facilities and our services here. Evaluate us. Help us to improve. We are here so that Albergue Lemavo is your rest option on the Camino´.

"Ultreia et Suseia"

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