Camino Invierno or Winter Camino
The Camino Invierno begins in Ponferrada and follows the Sil river towards Santiago de Compostela. It is said that this route was used to transport ore during the winter months instead of going over the snow-covered mountains of O’Cebrerro. Although it is called the Winter Camino it is a route that can be traveled all year long.
Below you will find a link to the Camino Invierno association website as well as a pdf of a guidebook which is updated annually by a fellow pilgrim on the caminodesantiago.me forum. There are sets of stages to make this Camino in 9, 10, 12, 14 or even 16 days if you want to keep your daily walks under 20km per day. The 9 days Camino is the original but as you can imagine there are some long days and within these long days are some steep climbs and descents.
The last few days the Invierno joins the Camino Sanabres which is a variant of the Camino Via de la Plata. This Camino is not for everyone. It is more of a solitary walk as few pilgrims walk this route each year, although, it is slowly becoming more popular and is well marked. Basic knowledge of Spanish is a must as you will walk through many pueblos and towns that have few English speakers.
There are plenty of albergues along the way as well as casa rurals, and hotels. A mobile phone with cell service is recommended to be able to call ahead for reservations if necessary.