Based in Spain since 2006

Cruz de Ferro (Iron Cross) - Lugo

León, Horizons

Day 10

Accommodations: Lugo (B, L)

Walking: 8 km / 5 mi

Today we visit the Cruz de Ferro (Iron Cross) and Lugo. Well rested and having enjoyed a delicious breakfast, we ride to the village of Rabanal del Camino where we start our walk up to the Cruz de Ferro, or the Iron Cross. The cross stands upon an enormous cairn dating back to time immemorial that marks the highest point on the French Camino in Spain. The pile is topped by a simple wooden pole and an iron cross.

Cruz de Ferro
The Cruz de Ferro

However, what makes this cairn exceptional, as there are many others along the trail, is its sheer size and the fact that pilgrims continue to honor the tradition of leaving a stone here as they make their way west, serving as a testament to the countless pilgrims who have passed along the Camino de Santiago. Indeed, every so often, stones must be removed to keep the pile from blocking the road that passes nearby.

As for the stones themselves, they come in all shapes and sizes, and you can easily spend some time here reading and pondering over other pilgrims’ messages and testimonies. These stones or small tokens symbolize the burdens that pilgrims wish to shed along their journey. Be sure to bring a stone from home to add to the mound.

Stones at the Cruz de Ferro
Stones at the Cruz de Ferro

After finishing our walk and enjoying a spectacular Fresco Tours picnic, we make our way across the Galician countryside to Lugo.

A classic Fresco Tours picnic cheese platter.
A classic Fresco Tours picnic cheese platter.

Lugo is known for being an important stop on the Camino de Santiago Primitivo, and for its Roman walls that surround the historic center. These walls are so exceptional, they have been declared a World Heritage Site. Lugo is also known for its wonderful tapas!

Today, visiting the Cruz de Ferro (Iron Cross) and Lugo, is one of our favorite days on Camino Horizons!

Roman walls in Lugo
Roman walls in Lugo
The Lugo Cathedral
The Lugo Cathedral

Elevation Profile for the Rabanal to Cruz de Hierro stage on the Camino Horizons tour
Elevation Profile for the Rabanal to Cruz de Hierro stage on the Camino Horizons tour

Galicia – Santiago de Compostela