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Alternative route to Santo Domingo de la Calzada?

Marbe2

Active member
Camino(s) past & future
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
Leaving Azofra has anyone avoided ciruena and walked along N120? It appears one can bear right about 2-3 km after Azofra, cross over or under A- 12 , take N120 west, to Santo Domingo de la Calzada. There do not appear to be any stops using that alternative, but I am looking for an alternative to going up through the golf course. I disliked the area immensely the last time? Thanks.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Lots ;0)
It is do-able if you don't mind walking parallel to the A-12 with the noise & fumes. The Bodega Villarica just after the Ciruena turn-off might provide a respite depending on timings. Camping Banares just on the Calzadilla turn-off also has an open bar and restaurant in season.

Personally I'd walk a ghost-town at night in a thunderstorm to avoid the A-12, but then we all have our own choices to make ;)
 

Marbe2

Active member
Camino(s) past & future
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!

SabineP

Camino = Gratitude + Compassion.
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
It is do-able if you don't mind walking parallel to the A-12 with the noise & fumes. The Bodega Villarica just after the Ciruena turn-off might provide a respite depending on timings. Camping Banares just on the Calzadilla turn-off also has an open bar and restaurant in season.

Personally I'd walk a ghost-town at night in a thunderstorm to avoid the A-12, but then we all have our own choices to make ;)
And I actually liked the bar at the golf course. Nice people.
 

Marbe2

Active member
Camino(s) past & future
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
It was, for me, one of the worst parts and of the CF. Even cities have charm... and the bar at the golf club wasn’t open when we got there!
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances and Finisterre 2014
Camino Frances,Muxia and Finisterre 2015
Camino del Norte,Arzua to Ribadeo 2015
And I actually liked the bar at the golf course. Nice people.
I had planned to have my birthday lunch there in March but it was a Sunday and absolutely packed out so I had to make do with an "al fresco" at the picnic area.
 
Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean May/June 2017. Plans to walk Porto 2020
Hola @Marbe2, As the saying goes "its your Camino", but I have to say I am in agreement (mostly) with Tinca. Walking along highways or even just main roads is not my ideal Camino. I traversed the village of Ciruena on a Sunday (in 2015) - it almost looked abandoned. However back in May 2017 there were families living in the villas and people were using the golf course (campo de golf?). Also being Spring there was a lot more greenery surrounding the village. Cheers
 

Sunrayrob

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 18 September - 21 October 2017
Oxfam Trailwalker 2013
Leaving Azofra has anyone avoided ciruena and walked along N120? It appears one can bear right about 2-3 km after Azofra, cross over or under A- 12 , take N120 west, to Santo Domingo della Calzada. There do not appear to be any stops using that alternative, but I am looking for an alternative to going up through the golf course. I disliked the area immensely the last time? Thanks.
I sympathise with your feelings as it was one of the low points for us on the Camino Frances but I agree with Tincatinker, you could be jumping out of the frying pan into the fire. Better to avoid the highways if you can.
 

Marbe2

Active member
Camino(s) past & future
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
I appreciate all of your feedback. Having used the roads, particularly in bad weather, as well as an option to walking more isolated areas in off peak times, I am well aware of what walking along N110 is like. Your concern is appreciated.
However, I was wondering, logistically, if anyone had done this alternative in particular...and then...where they connected into it? From my perspective, on google maps, the best location appears to be a couple of km past Azofra. We plan, God willing, when it is safe to walk again, to following the camino trail to Azofra then walk about two to 3 km more on the trail, before picking up N110. It looks like the Camino de Alesanco parallels N110 along the road on the north side for a few kms as well. So this would also cut down on exposure, leaving about 7km on the shoulder section. Anyone done this?
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Roncesvalles to Sahagun Oct 2016
Sahagun to SDC April 2017 Burgos to SDC April 2018
Leaving Azofra has anyone avoided ciruena and walked along N120? It appears one can bear right about 2-3 km after Azofra, cross over or under A- 12 , take N120 west, to Santo Domingo della Calzada. There do not appear to be any stops using that alternative, but I am looking for an alternative to going up through the golf course. I disliked the area immensely the last time? Thanks.

I quite enjoyed the walk down the long hillside when you can see Santo Domingo della Calzada ahead of you. When I last walked there was the riot of colour, of different crops, off to my left and a herd of sheep in the field to my right. A man was working a large flock of sheep with two dogs. The sheep flowed in unison like a flock of swallows and I was so transfixed that I stepped on a stone, twisted my ankle and slid face first down the gravel road. As I was wearing a kilt, I immediately jumped to my feet and brushed my self off as a group approached from behind me. (Why can you never do a face plant in privacy?)

One of the followers, obviously an American, said: "I don't care what the second base umpire says, I think you were safe." That memory is as vivid as walking into town past the plant with the smell of potatoes permeating the air. Ah! Good times
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2017
For sure, Ciruena is one spooky place. It was foggy and desolate; I had to conjure up my whistling skills as I walked through and past. Reminded me of Bram Stoker's, Dracula's Guest, and Walpurgis Nacht. Gave me shivers. Yep! I'd do it again. . .
 
Camino(s) past & future
Lots ;0)
I appreciate all of your feedback. Having used the roads, particularly in bad weather, as well as an option to walking more isolated areas in off peak times, I am well aware of what walking along N110 is like. Your concern is appreciated.
However, I was wondering, logistically, if anyone had done this alternative in particular...and then...where they connected into it? From my perspective, on google maps, the best location appears to be a couple of km past Azofra. We plan, God willing, when it is safe to walk again, to following the camino trail to Azofra then walk about two to 3 km more on the trail, before picking up N110. It looks like the Camino de Alesanco parallels N110 along the road on the north side for a few kms as well. So this would also cut down on exposure, leaving about 7km on the shoulder section. Anyone done this?
@Marbe2 I spent a lot of time this spring on Google Maps & Google Earth planning "alternative" routes for Richard Durrant and his bicycle/guitar camino. If you are determined to avoid Ciruena I'd suggest the following, trackable on G/Maps at sufficient scale. Follow the current traditional camino after Azofra until it intersects the LR-207 very close to the A-12 at Arroyo de las Ventas, go north on the LR-207 for about a Km & turn left on the Camino Antiguo de Najera to Hervias and continue on the Camino Antiguo de Santo Domingo. After you cross the Arroyo Banares there is a track, visible on street-view, that will take you to the previously mentioned Camping Banares. Drop down to the A-12 and you can pick-up the Avenida Logrono into Santo Domingo.

I haven't walked this because Richard and I have stayed home this year. Buena Suerte
 

AlwynWellington

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
please see signature
Walking along highways or even just main roads is not my ideal ...
Better to avoid the highways if you can.
My preferred position is to use roads, such as the N120, wherever possible. Some exceptions are the paths from Logrono a day or two westwards. But that is my camino, yours is yours.

And I agree with the desolation of Cirunena. I passed though in October 2017 and to me it looked like a developers nightmare. All the houses I passed looked not just closed for winter, but boarded up, empty.

But a few km on the vista from the descent into Santo ... was akin to having been transported to another planet - chalk and cheese.

And Google maps says Azofra to Santo ... is 14 km through Ciruena, 13 km on the N120 and 14 km through Herrias (as suggested by @Tincatinker). As always, ya pays yer money and takes ya choice.

Kia kaha (take care, be strong, get going when you can)
 

Mike Wells

author of 'Cycling the Camino Frances'
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (1995) (2017 x2) (2018) Via de la Plata (1996), Finisterre 2018
What a lot of fuss to avoid passing an attractive golf course with an excellent bar and restaurant. The length through the partly developed residential area at Cirueña is just over 1km, less than 15mins easy walking. It is reached by an attractive hedge lined track gaining height steadily with great views back towards Najera, while the descent has even better views ahead to Santo Doningo.
The alternative following the N120/A12 is horrid. This is one of those places where construction of the A12 motorway has obliterated parts of the former N120. A new route for the road has been built N of the motorway but this is not great walking on a modern asphalt highway with no senda. There is an incomplete path beside the A12 using disconnected remnants of the old road but in two places this disappears completely under the motorway embankment for a short distance. I explored both routes when I was trying to find a cycleable alternative route for my Cicerone guide to Cycling the Camino Frances and would definitely not recommended the highway as a walking route.
 

Marbe2

Active member
Camino(s) past & future
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
What a lot of fuss to avoid passing an attractive golf course with an excellent bar and restaurant. The length through the partly developed residential area at Cirueña is just over 1km, less than 15mins easy walking. It is reached by an attractive hedge lined track gaining height steadily with great views back towards Najera, while the descent has even better views ahead to Santo Doningo.
The alternative following the N120/A12 is horrid. This is one of those places where construction of the A12 motorway has obliterated parts of the former N120. A new route for the road has been built N of the motorway but this is not great walking on a modern asphalt highway with no senda. There is an incomplete path beside the A12 using disconnected remnants of the old road but in two places this disappears completely under the motorway embankment for a short distance. I explored both routes when I was trying to find a cycleable alternative route for my Cicerone guide to Cycling the Camino Frances and would definitely not recommended the highway as a walking route.
I have done this route before. And I do not think it a “fuss” to consider an alternate route and ask for information regarding alternative options! Isn’t that what the forum is for? You are certainly free to peddle through this route. I am seeking other options. The route may have a nice club house...but as an Irish man, another pilgrim, I met as we approached Ciruena where we we were initially looking to stop, said, “keep going...this place is a sh%t - hole.” My point is that others have different perspectves.....
 
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4 Eyes

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF from SJPP 14, VDLP from Seville 15, DN&P from Irun 16, Portuguese from Lisbon 17, CF from SJPP 18
An enchanting alternative to bypass Ciruena is to walk from Najera to San Millan de la Cogolla to see los monasterios de Suso y Yuso. The next day take the fabulous mountain route from San Millan de la Cogolla to Santo Domingo. You will skirt pass Ciruena on the far edge and connect back to the camino. The people in San Millan will give you good directions for the mountain route. The route has way marks too but not marked perfectly. I think it's not hard to figure it all out. However, this route may not be for you if you prefer road/highway walking.
 

Marbe2

Active member
Camino(s) past & future
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
@4eyes
thank you for this alternative. I will check it out...dependng upon what time of year we go, it might be an option!
 
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trevorcc

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPD to Santiago 2013,2014, Camino de Levante Sept. 2016, Frances March 2018, planning 2020
It was, for me, one of the worst parts and of the CF. Even cities have charm... and the bar at the golf club wasn’t open when we got there!
Funny how things play out, have walked that way a few times, the golf course is always a good stop for a drink and wifi, but in March 2018 being nice and cold I stopped not far from the golf course in an old blue albergue, looked run down but cold is cold. It turned out to be a great warm friendly night with 5 other pilgrims food was good a warm night and lots of smiles. There is always an upside on the camino.
 

AlwynWellington

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
please see signature
4 Eyes, thank you and by following your suggestion you has resolved, for me at least, the nature of the Ciruena we walk through from Azofra to Santo ...

If I followed your suggestion, presumably I could also walk from San Millan de la Cogolla and approach from the south the original Ciruena village (with a church and two albergue).

Thus bypassing the modern Campo de Golf (that is only open golf days and deserted the week day I was there!!) and through which the "recognised" Camino passes.

Kia kaha (take care, be strong, get going)
 

Darby67

Enólogo caminando
Camino(s) past & future
2018 CF Jan-Feb
2019 CF Jan-Mar
Walk to San Millán de Cogollo
An enchanting alternative to bypass Ciruena is to walk from Najera to San Millan de la Cogolla to see los monasterios de Suso y Yuso. The next day take the fabulous mountain route from San Millan de la Cogolla to Santo Domingo. You will skirt pass Ciruena on the far edge and connect back to the camino. The people in San Millan will give you good directions for the mountain route. The route has way marks too but not marked perfectly. I think it's not hard to figure it all out. However, this route may not be for you if you prefer road/highway walking.
I’m a huge proponent of this; well worth the detour!
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times
I didn't think it was all that bad, and only took 15-20 minutes I think to walk through and I was able to fill up my water bottles. Nothing really spooky or depressing about the town. Simply a development that didn't pan out I suppose.
 

Marbe2

Active member
Camino(s) past & future
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
I didn't think it was all that bad, and only took 15-20 minutes I think to walk through and I was able to fill up my water bottles. Nothing really spooky or depressing about the town. Simply a development that didn't pan out I suppose.
@Marbe2 I spent a lot of time this spring on Google Maps & Google Earth planning "alternative" routes for Richard Durrant and his bicycle/guitar camino. If you are determined to avoid Ciruena I'd suggest the following, trackable on G/Maps at sufficient scale. Follow the current traditional camino after Azofra until it intersects the LR-207 very close to the A-12 at Arroyo de las Ventas, go north on the LR-207 for about a Km & turn left on the Camino Antiguo de Najera to Hervias and continue on the Camino Antiguo de Santo Domingo. After you cross the Arroyo Banares there is a track, visible on street-view, that will take you to the previously mentioned Camping Banares. Drop down to the A-12 and you can pick-up the Avenida Logrono into Santo Domingo.

I haven't walked this because Richard and I have stayed home this year. Buena Suerte

I am thinking there is another alternative. Take 207N as you described from Azofra. However, before or at the roundabout before A12, bear to the left, on Arroyo de las Ventas, then bear right at the first road. Follow that to the end, turn right at the T. The first street on the left is Camino De los Canos. Follow that to a Y...intersection of 3 roads, bear right. Proceed straight there is a road right before A12 turn left you are heading west. This road parrallels A12 on the south side all the way into Av. logrono, turn left and you are in Santo Domingo de la Calzada. No need for any highway at all. Ths might be an option but no waymarkers😃
 

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