The Winter Way is a variant of the French route between Santiago and El Bierzo. Thus you can see it as part of a longer road which started from your pilgrimage in Navarra and Aragon, a journey of 800km. Another option for those with less time available is to walk it as one single route from Ponferrada, about 210km. Finally, for those of you whose first experience this is and want the Compostela, they need only walk 100 km, starting from Chantada.
The so-called Winter Way is an alternative to the southern French Way which extends from Ponferrada to Santiago de Compostela . In the past, it owed its success as an alternative route to the fact that during the severe winter months it was a good deal easier to travel this way, rather than passing through the mountainous regions of Leon and Lugo. This alternative route was therefore busiest during the winter period, when weather conditions made access to O Cebreiro difficult for pilgrims.
Make no mistake: the pilgrim’s baggage must only contain what is strictly necessary. You must bear in mind that it will accompany you everywhere for many kilometres, perhaps between 15 and 35 kilometres daily, depending on your physical form and your objectives. It is therefore just common sense to realize that overloading your back can be one of the worst errors in the ‘way’, one which may result in damage to the ankles and knees.
Two Galician men undertook the extreme challenge in 2010 of walking more than 6,000 kilometers to Santiago. Many choose to do the Way adventure as a peronal challenge, but in the case of Andrés Fraga and Juan Rivas, "Coru", the challenge went a little further. Taking advantage of the last Xacobeo Holy year in 2010, they decided to try something truly original. They chose to do the Way of St. James from the northernmost point in Europe: Nordkapp (North Cape) in Norway. Over seven months, eleven countries and 6,300 kilometers they lived out a unique experience. Fraga confesses that he would not repeat it, but he does not regret this once in a lifetime adventure.
There are many questions and doubts that you ask us about obtaining this credential. The staff of the Office of the Pilgrim, always so diligent, makes it clear that they have no such credentials as the Camino de Santiago in Santiago just exactly, but we have two options if you want to continue to Finisterre or Muxia.
The first is that if we still have space sealing the credential that bring the French Way, Portuguese etc.; and the second is that this credential can ask the Tourist Office in Santiago, where if available, or in one of the hostels to reach Negreira.
So you can get on top of La Compostela, La Fisterrana o muxiana, which demonstrate that you have reached the end of the world.