Ponferrada is a town , with a population of 70,000 , in the north-west of Spain. It is the capital of El Bierzo, a beautiful region in the province of Leon.
It lies on the way of St. James, a UNESCO world Heritage Site, and every year many pilgrims pass through the city on their way to Santiago de Compostela as it is the last major town before arriving to Santiago.
Las Médulas, anciente Roman gold mines also included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site list, are only a few kilometeres away form the city and one of the most important monuments of this beautiful region , which also includes The Templar Castle , in the city center, Basilica de la Encina and many other historical sights and lovely villages and towns around, such as, Molinaseca, Villafranca, Cebreiro, Astorga and a little bit further Santiago de Compostela and Salamanca.
Ponferrada is also well connected to the capital Madrid with a great and fast highway , and buses are avaiable about ten times a day. It is only one hour away from Leon, the capital of the province which has an airport, with daily flights to London. The train also passes everyday towards Barcelona and Madrid.
The town and its surroundings offer many opportunities of outdoors activities. There are many easily accessible hiking and cycling routes nearby, both on and off-road, including the 330 km long LA MIRADA CIRCULAR which circles the whole Bierzo valley.
El Morredero peak , about 20 km from ponferrada in the Aquilianos mountains, hosts a small ski resort.
One of the main products, if not the most important, is wine, visiting the wineries and vineyards in the area to try the local wines and food is quite typical.