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Developments on the "camino olvidado" or "viejo camino"

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
As someone who is always looking for new caminos to discover, I had made a mental note of the Camino Olvidado (also called the Viejo Camino de Santiago) a few years ago when several posts in the forum mentioned it. The route runs from Bilbao on the Norte to Villafranca del Bierzo on the Frances. This website has details about the route and has suggested an 18 day itinerary:
http://elcaminoolvidado.blogspot.com/20 ... amino.html

I see that the 11th day crosses El Camino del Salvador at La Robla, and the 13th day crosses the Camino Vadiniense at Cistierna, so I've actually crossed paths with this camino at least twice.

There's also a Spanish blog with more info on this route and its markings: http://rsas0010.blogspot.com.es/2013/02 ... bonar.html

But anyway, the group is organizing a 4 day group walk to publicize the Camino. If I were in Spain, I'd jump at the chance, but alas, I'm continents away. Here's the schedule if anyone is lucky enough to be able to join in:

Día 27 de Julio (Sábado): Pandorado – Fasgar (22Km.)
Día 28 de Julio (Domingo): Fasgar - Igüeña (19 Km.)
Día 29 de Julio (Lunes): Igüeña – Congosto (29Km.)
Día 30 de Julio (Martes): Congosto – Columbriano (12Km.)

Organiza: Amigos del Camino de Santiago de Bizkaia. Información: 652773055 (Adolfo)

Buen camino, Laurie
 
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caminka

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
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that is the most beautiful part of the route, crossing the mountains via campo de santiago de martin moro. people in iguena are really nice, too. definitely recommended.
unfortunately it's also the part most lacking in accommodation.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Hi, caminka,
I've been looking at your very detailed accommodation lists, and now I'm confused. The blog I've looked at uses the term "Camino Olvidado" to refer to an 18 day walk from Bilbao to Villafranca del Bierzo.

Your route is very different except for some of the last stages. At least I think it is. Can you explain a little bit about your route from Pamplona? Did you put the whole thing together using local walking routes? Looks like it would be an amazing walk!

Buen camino, Laurie
 

caminka

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
see signature
:)
camino olvidado or camino de la montana is the camino from bilbalo to villafranca del bierzo, as in the blog. sometimes it's also referred to as camino viejo. I incorporated it into my viejo camino, joining with it in aguilar de campoo.

I named 'my' camino viejo after two sources, conveniently located at either ends.
- the first part from pamplona to vitoria-gasteiz follows a roman road and therefore the oldest route that pilgrims would use, I found c1170-1247 source citing the first vague description, as the direction alava - asturias ('iter Sancti Jacobi quod propter insultus Arabum per Alauam et Asturiarum deuia frequentabat, ab Anagaro per Biruescam et Amaiam immutauit, et per confinia Carrionis donec ad Legionem et Astoricam veniatur').
- another source from 1767-69 talks about the building of a new road between bembibre and villafranca del bierzo and says that it follows 'camino viejo' and 'antigua via militar de los romanos' (which would, of course, be the roman road that comes from astorga, but it did fit snugly into 'my' route).

yup, I researched and incorporated everything I could get my hands, or mouse, or eyes on. I tried to stick to local routes, hopefully (at least adequately) waymarked, but sometimes I had to improvise to avoid too long detours, or to avoid too much road walking.

- from Pamplona to Salvatierra there are no real waymarks (some orange flashes for different local routes), although this part has most of the albergues
- from Salvatierra to Miranda de Ebro is Camino del Tunel de san Adrian, excellently waymarked with yellow arrows and signposts
- from Miranda de Ebro to Villanueva de la Nia is GR 99 Ruta del Ebro, well waymarked with white-red flashes, round posts and red signposts (here I made some short-cuts on various local PRs and one unwaymarked short-cut from Quintana de Valdeviejo to Pesquera del Ebro)
- from Villanueva de la Nia to Aguilar de Campoo there are no waymarks
- from Aguilar de Campoo to Villafranca del Bierzo is, what is now called, Camino Olvidado or Camino de la Montana or Camino Viejo (which starts in Bilbao), and it's mostly well waymarked with yellow arrows all the way through (although one badly posted arrow was enough that I ended in Bembibre instead of Losada)

if finishing in Ponferrada
- from Labaniego to San Miguel de Duenas is not waymarked (or there are a few blue arrows in reverse only to the first village towards Bembibre)
- from San Miguel de Duenas to Ponferrada is Ruta de los Canteros waymarked with signposts

there are lots of sections that are truly magnificent. and others that are a bit more, um, time-to-think oriented. :)
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Time of past OR future Camino
Many, various, and continuing.
This made me start forming some plans, but I put it to one side after my latest adventure speed-walking 30 km of mountainside with a Spanish Amigos group. I am still trying to recover... :oops:

Maybe in October, from Aguilar. If accommodations are out there, and the snow holds off.

Reb.
 
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Via de la Plata 2010, Camino de Madrid, Salvador, Primitivo 2013, Olvidado, Invierno 2014
Ok, I moved the latest posts to a new thread, as it's just about The Bilbao-Villafranca del Bierzo route,
and as in this one there is good information about the Pamplona alternative, which is easier to find, if not mixed with the other route:)
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
that is the most beautiful part of the route, crossing the mountains via campo de santiago de martin moro. people in iguena are really nice, too. definitely recommended.
unfortunately it's also the part most lacking in accommodation.

As Susanna and I work on a guide for this route, caminka you are our go-to front line person, at least for the part from Aguilar de Campoo onward. Susanna's doing the walking instructions part, I'm working on the accommodation part.

So, I have a question for caminka, or anyone else who has walked this route, about the stage that you mention here.

Caminka walked Pandorado - Fasgar - Iguena. That involved two (expensive) nights in a CR in Pandorado, with a charge for pick up and drop off. I called Casa Resthy yesterday and the prices are even a little higher. It now costs 65 euros to rent the house (for 1-4 or more, which is not usually too helpful for pilgrims on this route), and then 15 euros for him to pick us up at Fasgar, and 15 euros for him to drop us off at Fasgar the next morning.

I am wondering if anyone has thoughts on walking Pandorado to Colinas del Campo, which would be approximately (???) 36-42 km. I know that from Fasgar to Colinas it's an uphill slog, but if the total is 36 I'd feel a lot more optimistic about undertaking it than if its 42.

That two-night Casa Resthy option would be pretty expensive. Thanks, Laurie
 

Aglass

Andrew
Time of past OR future Camino
Walked el Camino Frances in 2003. Did the Primitivo in August 13 and Ruta lebaniega in July 14. Summer 2016 - Camino del Salvador.
One day: Ruta de la Plata into the Sanabres, maybe part of the Norte, and perhaps the Olvidado.
As someone who is always looking for new caminos to discover, I had made a mental note of the Camino Olvidado (also called the Viejo Camino de Santiago) a few years ago when several posts in the forum mentioned it. The route runs from Bilbao on the Norte to Villafranca del Bierzo on the Frances. This website has details about the route and has suggested an 18 day itinerary:
http://elcaminoolvidado.blogspot.com/20 ... amino.html

I see that the 11th day crosses El Camino del Salvador at La Robla, and the 13th day crosses the Camino Vadiniense at Cistierna, so I've actually crossed paths with this camino at least twice.

There's also a Spanish blog with more info on this route and its markings: http://rsas0010.blogspot.com.es/2013/02 ... bonar.html

But anyway, the group is organizing a 4 day group walk to publicize the Camino. If I were in Spain, I'd jump at the chance, but alas, I'm continents away. Here's the schedule if anyone is lucky enough to be able to join in:

Día 27 de Julio (Sábado): Pandorado – Fasgar (22Km.)
Día 28 de Julio (Domingo): Fasgar - Igüeña (19 Km.)
Día 29 de Julio (Lunes): Igüeña – Congosto (29Km.)
Día 30 de Julio (Martes): Congosto – Columbriano (12Km.)

Organiza: Amigos del Camino de Santiago de Bizkaia. Información: 652773055 (Adolfo)

Buen camino, Laurie

Hello everyone
This looks quite an interesting route (maybe the first 2 days are a bit industrial but who cares). Does anyone have a sense of how many people do this Bilbao to Villafranca route? I'm interested in doing it in July. I don't need or want crowds but don't want to be the only one doing it, either.
Thanks in advance
Andrew
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Hi, Andrew,
I think it's very unlikely that you will meet anyone. This isn't an "official" Camino, so it tends to attract a pretty tiny group. I have spoken with a guy who runs a Casa Rural in one of the towns that pretty much has to be a stopping point because of distances before and after, and he told me one or two a month, and only in the summer. There are groups who walk stages together, from Bilbao or other big cities nearby, but they arrange things ahead of time and have buses to pick them up, etc.

There are no pilgrim albergues, except for the two days that the Olvidado crosses other caminos (the Salvador in La Robla and the Vadiniense in Cistierna). There are 6 or 7 "albergues juveniles" (youth hostals), where pilgrims are welcome, but I have spoken with people at many of them and they say that from June 15-September they are likely to be filled with youth groups. It would just be hit or miss, and you would likely be sleeping with crowds of youngsters, which may or may not be your cup of tea. Accommodation is pretty pricey in pilgrim terms, most places are 45-50-60 or even more for a double. A few hotels, lots of Casas Rurales.

I'm not trying to discourage you, because I'm excited to do it this summer. I have walked some solitary caminos alone, but I'm really glad that I will walk this one with someone else. Buen camino, Laurie
 
A

AJ

Guest
Hello everyone
This looks quite an interesting route (maybe the first 2 days are a bit industrial but who cares). Does anyone have a sense of how many people do this Bilbao to Villafranca route? I'm interested in doing it in July. I don't need or want crowds but don't want to be the only one doing it, either.
Thanks in advance
Andrew

I walked it July last year and met no other pilgrims.
 
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Aglass

Andrew
Time of past OR future Camino
Walked el Camino Frances in 2003. Did the Primitivo in August 13 and Ruta lebaniega in July 14. Summer 2016 - Camino del Salvador.
One day: Ruta de la Plata into the Sanabres, maybe part of the Norte, and perhaps the Olvidado.
Thank you AJ. That is quite a definitive response! Did you like the route?
Andrew
 
A

AJ

Guest
Thank you AJ. That is quite a definitive response! Did you like the route?
Andrew

Yes, but I would not strongly recommend it. I walked Bilbao to Cistierna then turned left to join the Frances near Leon.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Via de la Plata 2010, Camino de Madrid, Salvador, Primitivo 2013, Olvidado, Invierno 2014
Yes, but I would not strongly recommend it. I walked Bilbao to Cistierna then turned left to join the Frances near Leon.

I was surprised to hear you walked the Olvidado (or a part of it).
I thought you walked the Vadiniense.
I wonder if you like to share some your information about the Olvidado?
 
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Aglass

Andrew
Time of past OR future Camino
Walked el Camino Frances in 2003. Did the Primitivo in August 13 and Ruta lebaniega in July 14. Summer 2016 - Camino del Salvador.
One day: Ruta de la Plata into the Sanabres, maybe part of the Norte, and perhaps the Olvidado.
J

Julio Santiago

Guest
Ok, I moved the latest posts to a new thread, as it's just about The Bilbao-Villafranca del Bierzo route,
and as in this one there is good information about the Pamplona alternative, which is easier to find, if not mixed with the other route:)
Good morning, where could I find this information about the Camino Viejo departing from Pamplona ?
Kind Regards
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I'm sure I've contributed to the confusion, but the nomenclature on these caminos is confusing and inconsistent. I THINK that Camino Olvidado is more consistently used to describe the route from Bilbo to Ponferrada, which is what Susanna and I walked last year. https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/viejo-camino-de-santiago.7585/#post-331883

Viejo Camino, in contrast refers to the route Caminka walked, which goes from Pamplona and then connects with the Olvidado in Aguilar de Campoo, Her stages are in this thread: https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/viejo-camino-de-santiago.7585/#post-331883

This is consistent with what caminka posts in post #4 in this thread.

But in truth, there is a lot of inconsistency. There's little information on the Olvidado, but even less on the Viejo Camino. I think caminka's information is about all I've seen. And unfortunately, caminka hasn't been here for a long time. Buen camino, Laurie
 
C

Castilian

Guest
The Viejo Camino walked by Caminka can be divided in 4 parts:

1) From Pamplona to Salvatierra/Agurain. For (updated) info about the route: http://elreynodelospalabros.blogspot.com/2015/04/de-pamplona-al-enlace-con-el-camino.html (stage 1), http://elreynodelospalabros.blogspot.com/2015/05/tramo-2-enlace-de-pamplona-al-camino.html (stage 2) and http://elreynodelospalabros.blogspot.com/2015/05/tramo-alaves-1-de-ziordia-salvatierra.html (stage 3)

2) From Salvatierra/Agurain to Miranda de Ebro following the Vía de Bayona (aka the variant of the Camino Vasco del Interior that heads to Burgos). Three stages:

3) From Miranda de Ebro to Villanueva de la Nía following the GR-99 (Caminka didn't follow it all the time but to follow it all the time is an option). The GR-99 is also known as Camino Natural del Ebro. Detailed info about it can be found at www.caminosnaturales.com/ebro (look for stages 3 to 11 on the left menu for detailed info about each one of them). BTW, this leg is one of the most beautifuls of all caminos.

4) From Villanueva de la Nía to Aguilar de Campoo: design your own stage (it's just one stage) because, AFAIK, it isn't marked.
 
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J

Julio Santiago

Guest
The Viejo Camino walked by Caminka can be divided in 4 parts:

1) From Pamplona to Salvatierra/Agurain. For (updated) info about the route: http://elreynodelospalabros.blogspot.com/2015/04/de-pamplona-al-enlace-con-el-camino.html (stage 1), http://elreynodelospalabros.blogspot.com/2015/05/tramo-2-enlace-de-pamplona-al-camino.html (stage 2) and http://elreynodelospalabros.blogspot.com/2015/05/tramo-alaves-1-de-ziordia-salvatierra.html (stage 3)

2) From Salvatierra/Agurain to Miranda de Ebro following the variant of the Camino Vasco del Interior that heads to Burgos. Three stages:

3) From Miranda de Ebro to Villanueva de la Nía following the GR-99 (Caminka didn't follow it all the time but to follow it all the time is an option). The GR-99 is also known as Camino Natural del Ebro. Detailed info about it can be found at www.caminosnaturales.com/ebro (look for stages 3 to 11 on the left menu for detailed info about each one of them). BTW, this leg is one of the most beautifuls of all caminos.

4) From Villanueva de la Nía to Aguilar de Campoo: design your own stage (it's just one stage) because, AFAIK, it isn't marked.

Good Morning Castilian,
you quoted a very good work done by elcoso, very serious and plenty of geo information. I will study this with calm, but I anticipate that they is almost a documented solution to join Camino Olvidado in Aguilar de Campo. From that point apparently there is plenty of good stuff in the forum to re-engineer a decent personal guide.
Iberpix seems to be the ultimate !
The next challenge will be the accommodation, as this is not a travelled nor identified official Camino de Santiago, hence high costs overall with hostals during practically 26/28 days (I plan to start in Almansa, just after Valencia Provincia)
Thank you Amigo del Camino,
 

Fr Scott

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Starting El Camino Norte in Irun June 3, 2015
waymarked
The Viejo Camino walked by Caminka can be divided in 4 parts:

1) From Pamplona to Salvatierra/Agurain. For (updated) info about the route: http://elreynodelospalabros.blogspot.com/2015/04/de-pamplona-al-enlace-con-el-camino.html (stage 1), http://elreynodelospalabros.blogspot.com/2015/05/tramo-2-enlace-de-pamplona-al-camino.html (stage 2) and http://elreynodelospalabros.blogspot.com/2015/05/tramo-alaves-1-de-ziordia-salvatierra.html (stage 3)

2) From Salvatierra/Agurain to Miranda de Ebro following the Vía de Bayona (aka the variant of the Camino Vasco del Interior that heads to Burgos). Three stages:

3) From Miranda de Ebro to Villanueva de la Nía following the GR-99 (Caminka didn't follow it all the time but to follow it all the time is an option). The GR-99 is also known as Camino Natural del Ebro. Detailed info about it can be found at www.caminosnaturales.com/ebro (look for stages 3 to 11 on the left menu for detailed info about each one of them). BTW, this leg is one of the most beautifuls of all caminos.

4) From Villanueva de la Nía to Aguilar de Campoo: design your own stage (it's just one stage) because, AFAIK, it isn't marked.
Thank you so much, this is very helpful. I am putting together a June 2023 Coast to Coast Camino, starting in Barcelona and ending in in a Finisterre. The Camino VIEJO that you outlined is going to be part of that, as is amino Catalan.
 
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Fr Scott, we did four planning/virtual camino threads here during covidtime which might be useful. First for the Cami Catalan from Llança to the Camino Aragones, a second on the Viejo from Pamplona to where it intersects the Olvidado in Aguilar de Campoo, the third for the Olvidado (Bilbao-Ponferrada), and then finally for the Invierno in short stages (Ponferrada-Santiago). That would very neatly bring you from coast to coast without needing to walk on the Frances at all (except backwards from Muruzabal to Pamplona, if you want to stay there).
Cami Catalan

Viejo

Olvidado

Invierno

I wish I had seen these; very useful!:
 

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