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How does the Madrid compare to the Frances?

Gumba

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF March 2018
CF Dec 2019/2020
I know that the Madrid converges with the Frances, however, I am only just discovering this gem! How does the Madrid compare to the Frances before they meet up in Sahgun? In terms of signage, accom, bars, stages and difficulty? In a very general sense, how does it compare weather wise? I assume it is just as beautiful! I know it is a solitary walk which is fine - I walk with my family at winter time, we are used to quiet!

Are there any resources like Gronze for the Madrid? A map with stages? Not ready to buy a guide book, we just returned from the Frances a few weeks ago and need to introduce the concept slowly and gently with the others!!!!
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Gronze has information on 35 Camino routes, including the Madrid.

 

Gumba

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF March 2018
CF Dec 2019/2020
Thank you dear trecile, don't know how I missed that, I had a look earlier and it didnt show.
 

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018)-Frances, Baztan, San Salvador, Primitivo, Fisterra,VdlP, Madrid
Shorter, quieter, fewer bars/accommodation options.
Cheaper. Excellent signage. apart from the first few days, flatter.
 

Stripey Socks

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances '13, Via de la Plata '14, Portuguese '16, Via Francigena - Italy '18, Madrid Combo'20
I am walking this path from the 10th May. I will blog along the way if you would like to follow along...buen camino. Mel
 

evanlow

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances06
Primitivo07
Plata08
Norte12
Levante(14-15)
Vasco16
Mozarabe(16-17)
Madrid17
Portuguese18
The way I put it would be like the Meseta on Frances after crossing the Sierra to Segovia, and all the way to Sahagun. If you like the beauty of the Meseta (like me) you would enjoy it tremendously ...
 

jungleboy

Nick
Camino(s) past & future
Francés 2017
Primitivo 2018
Madrid 2019
Kumano Kodo 2019
How does the Madrid compare to the Frances before they meet up in Sahgun? In terms of signage, accom, bars, stages and difficulty? In a very general sense, how does it compare weather wise?
I loved the Madrid. The thing that makes it special is that it meets the base level of desired pilgrim infrastructure - good signage, an albergue every 25-ish km, just enough scattered bars and restaurants - but it still feels like an undiscovered trail. You'll have to plan your stages more than the Francés in terms of how far you want to walk each day because you don't have the option of accommodation every few kms, but you can stay in albergues pretty much every night (possibly except for nights one and three).

In terms of difficulty, there is a mountain pass on the long day into Segovia but it's quite flat other than that. For weather, the last few days are on the Meseta so you know what that's like! Apart from that, we got snow in early April in Segovia!

¡Buen camino!

P.S. My live thread in case you're interested.
 

Magwood

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
See signature line for links to daily posts to blogs from many caminos
I loved the camino de Madrid which I combined with the Salvador and Primitivo. Search for some blogs for first hand experience. This is usually my first point of call when researching. I posted to my own blog every day from this camino. If you’d like to take a look you can see it here.
Buen camino!
 
Last edited:

jefferyonthecamino

http://www.barrerabooks.com/ - Guidebooks
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (1994) & (2013 - 2019)
Portugués (2015 - 2019)
de Madrid (2019)
Argentino/Inglés (2020)
I know that the Madrid converges with the Frances, however, I am only just discovering this gem! How does the Madrid compare to the Frances before they meet up in Sahgun? In terms of signage, accom, bars, stages and difficulty? In a very general sense, how does it compare weather wise? I assume it is just as beautiful! I know it is a solitary walk which is fine - I walk with my family at winter time, we are used to quiet!

Are there any resources like Gronze for the Madrid? A map with stages? Not ready to buy a guide book, we just returned from the Frances a few weeks ago and need to introduce the concept slowly and gently with the others!!!!
good signage
less pilgrims
beautiful scenery
amazing monuments
weather similar to the Francés
quiet bars
mostly dirt trails and paths
tough mountain at the beginning
adequate pilgrim services (albergues) once out of the Region of Madrid
 

Gumba

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF March 2018
CF Dec 2019/2020
Thank you everyone. Thanks also for the links to blogs - I will have a look at them all. evanlow - I love the Meseta too. Jungleboy I have walked 2 winter CFs so no stranger to the scattered infrastructure and having to walk long days. I saw a map of the mountain going in to Servovia - it looks daunting - I have only walved to Roncesvalles via Valcarlos - how does it compare? It looks like a killer....
 

Derrybiketours

A journey of 500 miles begins with one step!
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdeP-FIN(09/2018)
PORTO-SANT(11/2018)
Caminho Da Fe(01/2019)
SJPdeP- SANT(09/2019)
Madrid(7/2020)
I'm also gravitating towards this less discovered Camino. At the end of my Autumn 2019 Francè Camino I was wanderimg around the streets of Madrid and came across the familiar arrows and before I knew it I was following them. I had to stop myself as I was departing on a plane home the next day. Before leaving the beginning of the urban trail I met a guy standing outside a bike shop and asked him about the arrows. He explained the origins behind it and how wonderful and life changing it was for him as he had just returned. Its less than 20 years old as a marketed camino but I expect due to its accessible point of origin it will become the one to watch in future. I returned home, waited 40 days and found myself thinking about a return, this time for a longer period of time. I've decided to sell up, learn Spanish and a TEFL certificate in hand and seeds of a business idea I'm moving to Madrid in September, staying at the excellent Hat hostel in Sol and walking to Santiago & Muxia to start my new life in the sun. 🤠Screenshot_20200308-103426.png
 

intrepidtraveler

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Caminos Madrid, Frances and Finisterre (2015)
Camino Norte-2017; Camino Ingles from A Coruna - 2017
Thank you everyone. Thanks also for the links to blogs - I will have a look at them all. evanlow - I love the Meseta too. Jungleboy I have walked 2 winter CFs so no stranger to the scattered infrastructure and having to walk long days. I saw a map of the mountain going in to Servovia - it looks daunting - I have only walved to Roncesvalles via Valcarlos - how does it compare? It looks like a killer....
It depends on what you're used to. The mountain going to Segovia IMO, is totally doable. Like you, before I went, felt a little intimidated. The actual walk over was not especially difficult. Buen Camino.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015, 2017, 2019) and plans for 2021 (Sept, Oct)
My wife and I considered walking the Camino de Madrid rather than hiking the Frances every two years. I spent lots of time researching stages, places to stay, etc. My limited research indicated that some stages are longer than we prefer (at least 30 kms or more vs our daily preference for 20 kms), and there are not many options to stay in private rooms. So we'll reconsider in a few years and hope that the infrastructure continues to improve.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
My wife and I considered walking the Camino de Madrid rather than hiking the Frances every two years. I spent lots of time researching stages, places to stay, etc. My limited research indicated that some stages are longer than we prefer (at least 30 kms or more vs our daily preference for 20 kms), and there are not many options to stay in private rooms. So we'll reconsider in a few years and hope that the infrastructure continues to improve.
The infrastructure is great on the Madrid, the paths are rarely paved, and the people are so kind. Aside from Segovia, there aren’t many spectacular cities or scenery, but it is, IMO, a great camino. @Anniesantiago, who is currently walking the Vdlp and unlikely to chime in, frequently says it is her favorite.

Here’s one quickly done rough sketch of how to break the Camino de Madrid into short stages.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019) VDLP?
I'm also gravitating towards this less discovered Camino. At the end of my Autumn 2019 Francè Camino I was wanderimg around the streets of Madrid and came across the familiar arrows and before I knew it I was following them. I had to stop myself as I was departing on a plane home the next day. Before leaving the beginning of the urban trail I met a guy standing outside a bike shop and asked him about the arrows. He explained the origins behind it and how wonderful and life changing it was for him as he had just returned. Its less than 20 years old as a marketed camino but I expect due to its accessible point of origin it will become the one to watch in future. I returned home, waited 40 days and found myself thinking about a return, this time for a longer period of time. I've decided to sell up, learn Spanish and a TEFL certificate in hand and seeds of a business idea I'm moving to Madrid in September, staying at the excellent Hat hostel in Sol and walking to Santiago & Muxia to start my new life in the sun. 🤠View attachment 70630
Good luck and I have seen that marker. I stay at Toc Hostel near the Sol Metro. I like it because there is a curtain so you can have more privacy in your bunk. Very clean too. Does Sol have a curtain? I remember seeing it on Bookings a few years back but chose the Toc Privacy factor haha. The prices were about the same. Now I just book at Toc. Two caminos ago after walking the Norte which was so quiet especially the last few weeks and an amazingly quiet Santiago when arrived, I went to Madrid and just felt overwhelmed by the amount of people and stimulus. It was weird. Spent alot of time in Toc and at the movies. :)
 

Ian L

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances summer 2017 (SJPP to Fromista)
Camino Frances summer 2019 (Fromista to Santiago)

Derrybiketours

A journey of 500 miles begins with one step!
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdeP-FIN(09/2018)
PORTO-SANT(11/2018)
Caminho Da Fe(01/2019)
SJPdeP- SANT(09/2019)
Madrid(7/2020)
Good luck and I have seen that marker. I stay at Toc Hostel near the Sol Metro. I like it because there is a curtain so you can have more privacy in your bunk. Very clean too. Does Sol have a curtain? I remember seeing it on Bookings a few years back but chose the Toc Privacy factor haha. The prices were about the same. Now I just book at Toc. Two caminos ago after walking the Norte which was so quiet especially the last few weeks and an amazingly quiet Santiago when arrived, I went to Madrid and just felt overwhelmed by the amount of people and stimulus. It was weird. Spent alot of time in Toc and at the movies. :)
Thanks for the well wishes and can appreciate the advantages of a privacy curtain. The Hat doesn't have one but its easy to improvise and create one with a spare sheet. One feature that The Hat has is a rooftop bar and restaurant which is open to the public. The breakfast included with stay is fantastic and staff create home from home. I know how you feel about Madrid being overwhelming but still feels intimate and comfortable. I've never been to the movie's in Spain as I'm usually playing out the movie that I experienced on my camino. Try the Hat, improvise with sheet and check out best little Irish up around the corner. The oldest restaurant in the world is also on your door step 🤠
 

Attachments

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019) VDLP?
The oldest restaurant! Wow that is worth the price of admission. Went to the movies to escape the crowds. For some reason I have always found going to a movie theatre, especially if they are not playing Marvel Comic movies a good place to escape. Maybe I will check out The Hat next time! Thanks.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
I LOVE the Madrid route :::whispering::: and will walk it again in 2021 with my friend Patricia Moak.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
The oldest restaurant! Wow that is worth the price of admission. Went to the movies to escape the crowds. For some reason I have always found going to a movie theatre, especially if they are not playing Marvel Comic movies a good place to escape. Maybe I will check out The Hat next time! Thanks.
Here's some info on Botín - the world's oldest restaurant

 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019) VDLP?

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
I loved the Madrid too! No road walking. Lovely soft dirt paths. Good signposts. Segovia! Coca Castle (amazing and unexpected).
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2014/5) Frances Pt1 & Pt2
(2016) Portuguese, from Lisbon
(2018) Frances in Sep/Oct
(2019) Yorkshire
I am walking this path from the 10th May. I will blog along the way if you would like to follow along...buen camino. Mel
Hey! Can I drop in on your blog as well.

We're aiming to do the Madrid followed by the Santiago - Finisterre - Muxia triangle in September. It would be great to follow how you get on along the Madrid.

We've already done the Frances (twice) and the Portuguese from Lisbon, so we're now trying some of the side shoots.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I often have read on the forum how a big portion of the Madrid reminds them of the Meseta. I really enjoyed the Meseta, but after four or five days I was glad to be finished with that stretch. I am interested in the Madrid, but concerned the majority of it would be the same.
 

jungleboy

Nick
Camino(s) past & future
Francés 2017
Primitivo 2018
Madrid 2019
Kumano Kodo 2019
I often have read on the forum how a big portion of the Madrid reminds them of the Meseta. I really enjoyed the Meseta, but after four or five days I was glad to be finished with that stretch. I am interested in the Madrid, but concerned the majority of it would be the same.
Well, the last three-ish days of the Madrid into Sahagún IS the Meseta, but that's not the majority of the camino and I wouldn't let that put you off. Basically the Madrid, scenery-wise, can be pretty neatly divided into three sections of around four days each: the mountain-view and mountain-climbing stages before Segovia, the sandy pine forest stages in the middle section, and the Meseta at the end. I think this gives it some nice variety! The Meseta part includes the lovely walk along the Canal de Castilla, the ruined stork-tower near Tamariz that I really loved, and the fantastic palace-albergue at Grajal, so there's a lot to enjoy.
 

Eamonrodden

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
French, Norte, Primitivo, portuguese, via del plata, madrid
I know that the Madrid converges with the Frances, however, I am only just discovering this gem! How does the Madrid compare to the Frances before they meet up in Sahgun? In terms of signage, accom, bars, stages and difficulty? In a very general sense, how does it compare weather wise? I assume it is just as beautiful! I know it is a solitary walk which is fine - I walk with my family at winter time, we are used to quiet!

Are there any resources like Gronze for the Madrid? A map with stages? Not ready to buy a guide book, we just returned from the Frances a few weeks ago and need to introduce the concept slowly and gently with the others!!!!
Easy walk well signposted. CSJ London has a simple but adequate guide. Camino office in Madrid has up to date sheets on accommodation and facilities. Some of the facilities are off the Camino in slightly large towns but these diversions were way marked in and out to hook up with Camino. Hostels and places to stay many on Booking.com
Enjoy
 


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