What to see in El Bierzo on a weekend | Charming villages
El Bierzo is a region that, although unknown to many people, has a great historical, cultural, natural, gastronomic and oenological richness throughout its territory.
It would take many days to fully understand all that this region can offer its visitors. Next, we are going to make a proposal of the most important places that you can visit a short distance from our hotel on a weekend in El Bierzo.
What you can miss in a weekend in El Bierzo
For a first contact, we will recommend 4 of the most prominent places, all of them located at most 30 minutes by car from La Tronera.
30 minutes by car from La Tronera
The quintessential tourist emblem of El Bierzo. Declared a World Heritage Site in 1997, this spectacular natural monument dates back to the time of the Romans, who built open-pit mines for gold mining more than 2,000 years ago.
Today, this place can be walked along the paths that run inside, visiting even some of the operating galleries, such as La Cuevona and La Encantada. And, going up to the Orellán Viewpoint, you can enjoy a magnificent panoramic view of the entire landscape of Las Médulas and the exuberant nature of the surroundings.
The visit on your own is free. And if you want to take a guided tour to learn more about the history of this place, you can hire it and check the schedules at the Visitor Reception Center of Las Médulas.
20 minutes by car from La Tronera
The capital of the region is undoubtedly another of the places to visit on a weekend in El Bierzo. Highlighted waypoint on the French Way of Saint James, in Ponferrada stands out above all the Castle of the Templars, from the 12th century. Its name is due to the fact that the Knights Templar lived here centuries ago, who protected both the city and the pilgrims who were on their way to Santiago de Compostela. It is considered one of the best preserved medieval castles in Spain.
In the surroundings of the Castle, you can also visit other places of great interest such as The Clock Tower, which gives access to the historic center and two of the most representative squares of the city, the Plaza Mayor and the Plaza de la Encina.
As for museums, we have the National Energy Museum, a reference center in Spain in the field of scientific dissemination and cultural leisure related to energy. And, next to the Castle, is the Luis del Olmo Radio Museum, one of the most representative public figures of El Bierzo.
Villafranca del Bierzo
15 minutes by car from La Tronera
Another of the most important and most charming villages of El Bierzo. Villafranca is the end of one of the stages of the French Way of Saint James, the last one before entering Galicia and facing one of the toughest stages of the entire road, the Port of O Cebreriro, ending in Piedrafita.
In this monumental town you can visit places like its Plaza Mayor or emblematic buildings such as the Convent of San Nicolás el Real, the Collegiate Church of Santa María de Cluniaco or the Church of Santiago, among others. The Burbia River crosses this town, which has a beautiful river beach for the summer months.
25 minutes by car from La Troner
Very close to Ponferrada (10 minutes away), you will find one of the most charming villages to visit on a weekend in El Bierzo, Molinaseca, declared a Historic Artistic Site.
Passage area also on the Santiago Way, in this cobbled village stands out its Roman bridge or the Pilgrim bridge, an area where the river becomes a river beach suitable for bathing in summer. Walking the Real Street you can admire its architecture with prominent places such as the Casona de Don Pelegrín, the Cangas de Pambley Palace or the church of San Nicolás de Bari.