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Alcazarén onwards on the Madrid

2020 Camino Guides

laineylainey

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
started in 2012, hooked ever since.
Hello to all you who have walked the Madrid. Special thanks to @NualaOC , @Kiwi-family for great plans of journeys on the Madrid and many others on the Madrid thread.
I am looking at a couple of options.
I start from Manzanares (from the Mendocino - thanks @NualaOC for that inspiration!) and go to Cercedilla day 1 and then a shorter hike to La Granja day 2 ( just looks like a great place to explore and stay?), arriving in Segovia day 3.
So given I will be in Segovia before midday hopefully, would it be still worth spending a tourist day there the next day before walking to Santa Maria la Real? Or would a half day be enough to get some flavour of the city?
Second question is after that. Given it looks fairly flat after Segovia and I have loads of time, what stops would you suggest after Alcazarén to say Medina de Rioseca? Is Simancas a place to stay and are Puente Duero and la Santa Espina worth diverting to?
Just looking as well at Gronze, there seems to be other routes but I would love to hear from those who have travelled this route.
Thanks x
 
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timr

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Several and counting...
Hello @laineylainey. I am jealous! :oops:
You will find my own accounts too at https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/a-short-walk-from-madrid.47865/ and then continued at https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/a-short-walk-continued.51788/
I really enjoyed a full day in Segovia. I had two shortish days - to La Granja and after that it is a very short walk to Segovia. I had a full day (from before lunch) in Segovia and found it enough - given that it is early in the walk.
La Santa Espina was a kind of highlight for me and I wouldn't have missed it.
Puente Duero you will see I stayed twice. The albergue is wonderful. The occasional hospitalero and 'camino legend' Arturo is somewhat 'Marmite'. People either love him or find him hard to take! I thought he was grand, if something of a fusspot!:):):):) But the place is lovely - old fashioned style wooden albergue and very welcoming.
 

jefferyonthecamino

http://www.barrerabooks.com/ - Guidebooks
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés (1994) & (2013 - 2019)
Camino Portugués (2015 - 2019)
Camino de Madrid (2019)
Hello to all you who have walked the Madrid. Special thanks to @NualaOC , @kiwifamily9 for great plans of journeys on the Madrid and many others on the Madrid thread.
I am looking at a couple of options.
I start from Manzanares (from the Mendocino - thanks @NualaOC for that inspiration!) and go to Cercedilla day 1 and then a shorter hike to La Granja day 2 ( just looks like a great place to explore and stay?), arriving in Segovia day 3.
So given I will be in Segovia before midday hopefully, would it be still worth spending a tourist day there the next day before walking to Santa Maria la Real? Or would a half day be enough to get some flavour of the city?
Second question is after that. Given it looks fairly flat after Segovia and I have loads of time, what stops would you suggest after Alcazarén to say Medina de Rioseca? Is Simancas a place to stay and are Puente Duero and la Santa Espina worth diverting to?
Just looking as well at Gronze, there seems to be other routes but I would love to hear from those who have travelled this route.
Thanks x
i would have started from Tres Cantos, or even Colmenar Viejo... it's a lovely walk to Manzanares from there; but Manzanares works if you want to go all the way to Cercedilla. I went to la Granja from Cercedilla, I would not consider it a short hike, but there was also lots of snow. La Granja is beautiful and if you follow the Pesquerías, it's a beautiful walk to alongthe river from Valsaín.
I would definitely give myself an afternoon and overnight in Segovia if it's your first time there. There is a lot to see, visit and take in.
Hiking is tough on the sandy trails through the pine forests, all the way to Alcazarén; but yes, compared to Galicia, it's fairly flat. My stages after Alcazarén were: Simancas (but I could have pushed on), then Castromonte, Cuenca de Campos and Grajal. These last stages were brutal and I should have factored in another day, staying in Medina de Rioseco, which looked like a fun town. Grajal was cool as you stay in the palace, but it's 6 km from Sahagún, so most pilgrims stay in Santervás, which looked nice enough. I skipped Espina.
Good luck and Buen Camino
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Hi, @laineylainey,

A couple of thoughts — Central Segovia is pretty small, just about 20 minutes walking from the castle to the aqueduct, and most all of the tourist things are in between. Since you’ve got lots of time, an extra day in Segovia would always be fun. There is a synagogue open for visits, and a few romanesque churches. And of course the Alcázar, the cathedral, and the aqueduct. But I think a day there after the 12 kms from La Granja would allow you to see the main sights. If you are a meat-lover, everyone says the cochinillo (roast suckling pig) in Segovia is top notch.

When I walked the Madrid, I took a detour from Simancas into Valladolid. I had slept in Puente Duero, walked to Simancas (about 8 km), then took the bus into Valladolid. I had the whole day in Valladolid and then a few hours the next day. I then walked back to Simancas and on to Ciguñuela.

Buen camino, Laurie
 

Peregrinopaul

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdlP(2012) Madrid(2014)Frances(2015) VdlP(2016)
VdlP(2017)Madrid/Sanabres/Frances reverse(2018)
Puente Duero you will see I stayed twice. The albergue is wonderful. The occasional hospitalero and 'camino legend' Arturo is somewhat 'Marmite'. People either love him or find him hard to take! I thought he was grand, if something of a fusspot!:):):):) But the place is lovely - old fashioned style wooden albergue and very welcoming.
Definitely a favourite of mine too, timr. And i enjoyed a detour into Valladolid - there is a fabulous science museum there.
 

laineylainey

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
started in 2012, hooked ever since.
i would have started from Tres Cantos, or even Colmenar Viejo... it's a lovely walk to Manzanares from there; but Manzanares works if you want to go all the way to Cercedilla. I went to la Granja from Cercedilla, I would not consider it a short hike, but there was also lots of snow. La Granja is beautiful and if you follow the Pesquerías, it's a beautiful walk to alongthe river from Valsaín.
I would definitely give myself an afternoon and overnight in Segovia if it's your first time there. There is a lot to see, visit and take in.
Hiking is tough on the sandy trails through the pine forests, all the way to Alcazarén; but yes, compared to Galicia, it's fairly flat. My stages after Alcazarén were: Simancas (but I could have pushed on), then Castromonte, Cuenca de Campos and Grajal. These last stages were brutal and I should have factored in another day, staying in Medina de Rioseco, which looked like a fun town. Grajal was cool as you stay in the palace, but it's 6 km from Sahagún, so most pilgrims stay in Santervás, which looked nice enough. I skipped Espina.
Good luck and Buen Camino
Thanks a lot for the information @jefferyonthecamino . Great options and I as I am not in any hurry I can mull over this for a while. Think I was being a bit optimistic about ease of walking looking at Gronze's profiles after Alcazarén!
The reason I am starting at Manzanares is that I hope to walk the Menodocino which joins the Madrid there.
 

laineylainey

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
started in 2012, hooked ever since.
Hi, @laineylainey,

A couple of thoughts — Central Segovia is pretty small, just about 20 minutes walking from the castle to the aqueduct, and most all of the tourist things are in between. Since you’ve got lots of time, an extra day in Segovia would always be fun. There is a synagogue open for visits, and a few romanesque churches. And of course the Alcázar, the cathedral, and the aqueduct. But I think a day there after the 12 kms from La Granja would allow you to see the main sights. If you are a meat-lover, everyone says the cochinillo (roast suckling pig) in Segovia is top notch.

When I walked the Madrid, I took a detour from Simancas into Valladolid. I had slept in Puente Duero, walked to Simancas (about 8 km), then took the bus into Valladolid. I had the whole day in Valladolid and then a few hours the next day. I then walked back to Simancas and on to Ciguñuela.

Buen camino, Laurie
Thanks Laurie, I like the idea of seeing Valladolid. I think I might do as @timr and walk to there from Simancas and have time to see it hopefully.
I am getting excited about this one as the comments are showing the Madrid to be a bit of a favourite!
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Thanks Laurie, I like the idea of seeing Valladolid. I think I might do as @timr and walk to there from Simancas and have time to see it hopefully.
I am getting excited about this one as the comments are showing the Madrid to be a bit of a favourite!
The Plaza Mayor is very nice, and the Sculpture Museum is a real treat. http://www.culturaydeporte.gob.es/mnescultura/museo.html

Cervantes lived in a house here for a few years and it has been turned into a museum with furnishings and clothing from the time. Not a huge “must see” but interesting, IMO.
 

SusanSmyth

Happy Member 😋
Camino(s) past & future
May 2017 Francés
March 2018 Inglés
June 2019 Madrid
There are two things I regret about my Camino de Madrid (June 2019): the church in Wamba was closed when we arrived so I missed the ossuary, and I wish I had stayed overnight in Grajal instead of pushing on to Sahagún (that last day wasn’t particularly long but for some reason it just drained the life out of me.). But...... I LOVED that Camino and would do it again in a heartbeat!
 

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018)-Frances, Baztan, San Salvador, Primitivo, Fisterra,VdlP, Madrid
I waited at La Granja for the palace to open and did a tour which was thoroughly enjoyable, before making the short hop to Segovia. That gave me the afternoon and evening there, then I had anticipated spending the next day there.....but I found myself wandering round aimlessly not knowing what to look at (and there’s plenty) so I went to mass and walked on before lunchtime. Because I love looking round places like that, my aimlessness caught me by surprise - your experience is likely to be different!
 
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KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
Some days are just like that. Aimless. Happened to me last spring in Segovia too. But I wasn't complaining while sitting in afternoon sun outside the bar just few meters away from the aquaduct watching the main pedestrian drag and it's life. Priceless :)
 

NualaOC

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few and hopefully lots more. See signature.
Hi Elaine, sorry for the delay in weighing in.

I agree that stopping in Grajal is a good idea. I'll definitely do that next time. This year, I sat on a rock at the point where the paths diverge and made an on-the-spot decision to continue to Segovia. I was exhausted when I got there and didn't really have the energy to appreciate it.

If you find yourself debating between staying in Puente Duero and Simancas, my personal preference would probably be for Simancas. That might be influenced by the fact that I was there on a sunny Sunday and had the best menu del dia of the Camino - but it's a very pretty place with a castle, an old bridge and a viewing point. No albergue, but a few private options. I didn't stay there - my friends and I continued to Ciguñuela.

Enjoy the planning! It's a great distraction during the grey winter months. Whatever you decide will be good - there are no bad options on the Camino de Madrid!
 

laineylainey

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
started in 2012, hooked ever since.
Thanks Nuala, yes both you and Tim have made that an easy choice. I think staying in La Granja and then the short walk to Segovia the next week will give me enough time to see a bit of Segovia. But then if it offers me more I can always stay an extra day.
 

laineylainey

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
started in 2012, hooked ever since.
@timr , you mentioned in your blog about La Santa Espina after you leave Peñaflor de Hornija. How far roughly is it after you leave the main Camino. I see on Gronze there is a refugio, did you see it?
 

laineylainey

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
started in 2012, hooked ever since.
Sooooo many options on the Madrid!! From Villalón stay in Santervás, a short day of 16K, on onwards another 13K to Grajal ? @gracethepilgrim you mention the Albergue in Grajal, and so do you Nuala.
Also I can´t find the thread which mentions the Albergue to stay in, in Sahagun, is it La Santa Cruz? Just as you come in from the Camino Madrid end?
Elaine
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
Anyone know of any other accommodation options in Santa María Real apart from the very small albergue?
There is a highway hostal 2km out of the center of Sta.Maria la Real de Nieva:
As you come on Camino to the main square with the church you should turn left and walk straight for those 2km to get there.
 

laineylainey

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
started in 2012, hooked ever since.

timr

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Several and counting...
@timr , you mentioned in your blog about La Santa Espina after you leave Peñaflor de Hornija. How far roughly is it after you leave the main Camino. I see on Gronze there is a refugio, did you see it?
THe diversion to La Santa Espina added 12km to the distance quoted on Gronze from Peñaflor to Medina. (36 instead of 24km). On the main route after about 3km there is a large signboard which points to La Santa Espina and that path in turn is waymarked. The distances on the signboard were a bit confusing, but my trace is below:
Can you see it here: https://www.wikiloc.com/wikiloc/spatialArtifacts.do?event=setCurrentSpatialArtifact&id=21173258
(I am not sure whether you need to be signed into wikiloc)
I didn't continue into the (tiny, tiny) village of La Santa Espina - the Brothers gave me directions to continue on from the monastery. So I did not see the refugio. It is very rural, although you get back to 'civilization' (relatively) when you get to Castromonte.
I would have to say if you couldn't get into the monastery to have a look around, there is not much to see. I was fortunate to meet JoseMaria and Jésus (Jesus, Mary and Joseph :) ) and they showed me around with great enthusiasm - they won't be there forever :oops:. It is an agricultural college, though I didn't see any students. And the Church is well maintained and used for weddings and coach parties come from parishes at the weekend. I found the countryside quite beautiful too. You are mainly on the meseta.
Here is a link to the college
 

laineylainey

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
started in 2012, hooked ever since.
Many thanks to those who posted with blogs and ideas/suggestions about my proposed walk on the Madrid next year. As a result I now have the makings of an initial plan which I am so excited about. For one thing it is 18 days, a bit leisurely I think !! But it does include 3 days on the Mendocino, joining the Madrid at Manzanares on day 4. Instead of a "tourist" day which is always very normal for me, I am only walking 3k from Segovia because I want to stay in the much recommended albergue in Zamarramala, so it will be a day off as I can explore Segovia until late afternoon before a skip and a hop to Zamarramala - perfect!
Now planning when I get to Sahagún to go to Ponferrada to have a go at the Invierno for maybe 12 days. A very different walk, I think, but again a library of stuff to look at from you who have been there before me, thanks! Happy happy happy :) :) :)
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
It sounds like a plan :)
No problem walking in the albergue Zamarramala late because someone from the Ayto. de Segovia will be there until 7pm to check you in.

Buen Camino!
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
Good to know, thanks for that. Is there somewhere to eat nearby?
Three restaurants in the village. And small tienda. Kitchen with microwave in albergue.
I ate last spring in La Alcaldesa, good and plenty for the price:

BTW - try to go to the outskirts of the village (Calle de los Pregoneros is where I watched it) in the evening to enjoy the panoramic view of Segovia and especially lit up Alcazar. It's like from a Disney cartoon :)
 

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