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How long is the Meseta?

LexKatherine

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
10/5-16/23; 09/2025
My blessing and I are planning to walk the Camino Frances in September 2025. We have another trip this year so…
How long is the Meseta? About how long are we on it? What could in be like in Sept -Oct? Thank you in advance. Buen Camino!
 
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It depends on who you ask. Some people will tell you that the Meseta is between Burgos and León - about 178 km. Others put Astorga as the end point of the Meseta on the Camino, which makes it about 225 km.

For weather check out this site:
 
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Hi, and welcome to the forum! I'm sure you'll get lots of answers to your question and also to questions you didn't ask! ;)

Googling "meseta" found this explanation, as well as one suggestion that the Camino crosses it roughly from Burgos to Astorga. That's consistent with what the other posters have said above.

I am curious why you ask. I expect that you have heard things about the infamous "meseta" that might be misleading.
 
It depends on who you ask. Some people will tell you that the Meseta is between Burgos and León - about 178 km. Others put Astorga as the end point of the Meseta on the Camino, which makes it about 225 km.

For weather check out this site:
If one considers Leon to be the end of the Meseta, then @trecile is correct. I walked to Villar de Mazarife after that, which would make the total to Astorga about 230 km.
 
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If you visit the webpage below you can click a link to have an elevation profile of the Camino Francés displayed. The meseta is the relatively level area in a basin. So, using that, I would say the meseta extends from a bit before Burgos to a bit after Astorga. My guidebook gives a distance of 230 km between the two towns and suggests to take ten days to do it.

Bicycles can be rented in the Burgos area and returned in the León area if you want to save some days crossing the meseta but still do it slowly and under your own power.

 
It depends on your daily distance. It took me 5.5 days last year from Burgos to Leon. October 3rd ~ 8th, It was hot during noon, but I live in tropical climate and it was still comfort temperature for me.
 

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The meseta really isn't that boring or long. I believe in hot weather it's challenging for lack of shade.
For many it's a good opportunity to be alone for a bit, as you won't be passing villages every 5-7km.

For anyone who says "there's nothing to see, consider skipping it", well thays fine if you're on a tight schedule and your priorities are in other places you want to see. But you could have that attitude with a lot of things. "it's just a small village, skip it. It's just a cathedral but the one in Burgos is better so skip it. It's a nice forest but if you skip it you can reach your destination quicker on the highway". Etc
 
The meseta for all practical purposes is the stretch between Burgos and Leon, but more well known as the stretch between Carrion de los Condes and Leon.
It's farmland, plain and simple. Not desert nor a barren wasteland. Definitely doesn't challenge one's mind or soul due to its flatness and lack of shade. It's just sunnier in clear weather. Wear a good hat and extra sunscreen.
For some reason it's the subject of exaggerated descriptions and embellishments. Some accounts of walking it sound like a bad acid trip. 😵😄
 
The relative desolation of the Meseta is it’s main allure, IMHO. This is one large stretch of the Camino Frances that you really come to appreciate - in retrospect - once you reach Sarria.

The landscape is beautiful. True it is remote, and can be hot and dry in warm sunny weather. But, this is what makes it all the more attractive to many of us.

If you walk this stretch in April or May, it should be fully in bloom and not too warm.

Hope this helps.

Tom
 
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St James' Way - Self-guided 4-7 day Walking Packages, Reading to Southampton, 110 kms
My blessing and I are planning to walk the Camino Frances in September 2025. We have another trip this year so…
How long is the Meseta? About how long are we on it? What could in be like in Sept -Oct? Thank you in advance. Buen Camino!
Its about 170kms, which for me, would have been about seven days walking, however, in the interest of time, I rented a bike to cross it which cut timing down to just over two days. It was a great way to see the meseta, although many will say walking is the only way to go. I walked to Tardajos, to La Fabrica, an incredible albergue about 12kms outside of Burgos where the bike was delivered to me, and returned the bike in Leon.

Buen Camino!
 
Hi, and welcome to the forum! I'm sure you'll get lots of answers to your question and also to questions you didn't ask! ;)

Googling "meseta" found this explanation, as well as one suggestion that the Camino crosses it roughly from Burgos to Astorga. That's consistent with what the other posters have said above.

I am curious why you ask. I expect that you have heard things about the infamous "meseta" that might be misleading.
We just loved the Meseta.
 
The meseta for all practical purposes is the stretch between Burgos and Leon, but more well known as the stretch between Carrion de los Condes and Leon.
It's farmland, plain and simple. Not desert nor a barren wasteland. Definitely doesn't challenge one's mind or soul due to its flatness and lack of shade. It's just sunnier in clear weather. Wear a good hat and extra sunscreen.
For some reason it's the subject of exaggerated descriptions and embellishments. Some accounts of walking it sound like a bad acid trip. 😵😄
But watch out for flies. They can be relentless. Certainly in September. I highly recommend some form of light netting for face, arms and legs.
 
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It's all lovely in its own way, even after Sarria in September with the pilgrim herd flowing.

But for me the Leon to Sahagun section is like walking or cycling through a painting, huge open skies, subtly coloured, the shape of the rolling hills, the silence, the trails far from the road, the open churches, the decent kindly people.

Off the topic, I've never heard anyone refer to their partner before as "my blessing", and I find it charming; I'd borrow it myself, had I anyone to apply it to. 😟👹
 
If you visit the webpage below you can click a link to have an elevation profile of the Camino Francés displayed. The meseta is the relatively level area in a basin. So, using that, I would say the meseta extends from a bit before Burgos to a bit after Astorga. My guidebook gives a distance of 230 km between the two towns and suggests to take ten days to do it.

Bicycles can be rented in the Burgos area and returned in the León area if you want to save some days crossing the meseta but still do it slowly and under your own power.

I am off to continue my Camino from Burgos this year to the end and look forward to the Meseta April 17. I suppose will be windy and getting green. The website you recommended is awesome. Thank you!
 
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
I love the meseta, it reflects life when some parts are more difficult than others.
But each to their own
 
St James' Way - Self-guided 4-7 day Walking Packages, Reading to Southampton, 110 kms
My blessing and I are planning to walk the Camino Frances in September 2025. We have another trip this year so…
How long is the Meseta? About how long are we on it? What could in be like in Sept -Oct? Thank you in advance. Buen Camino!
I walked the CF in September and October. I was in the meseta in Mod September and It was possibly my favorite part of the Camino.
The weather was good, sometimes a bit hot in the afternoons. It is certainly not all flat, not boring.
The is a sign along the way which says "Without the meseta, there is no Camino".
 

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We began our first camino in early September 2014 from Carrion de los Condes and took seven days to reach Astorga. I'm so glad we hadn't read about "the meseta" beforehand and begun with a pre-conceived idea of what was ahead, because we loved every minute of our walk. We loved the wide skies, rolling hills of crops, really beautiful villages and cities, views from the top of numerous hills, and the gentle, hospitable people. We wouldn't have skipped this stretch for anything.
 
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I have walked parts of the Meseta three times. It is a very special section of the CF and particularly lovely in June, when red poppies and stork nests abound. My favourite memory is the pre-dawn climb out of Castrojeriz and looking back as sunrise illuminates the valley.

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Yes, went in June last year. Vast fields of green with red poppies growing and when a breeze comes up it all sways back in forth, quite mesmerizing and beautiful. Will be walking through the Meseta in June again this year, so looking forward to it.
 
But watch out for flies. They can be relentless. Certainly in September. I highly recommend some form of light netting for face, arms and legs.
Yes!! Bring a face net if you can. I had one day on the Meseta in October 2016 with fruit flies in my nose, ears, eyes, anywhere they could get. My walking partner went back to the UK at Burgos and I wrote to him about the flies. He wrote back “I actually had two face nets and was going to offer one to you but I knew you’d say no because you are so independent and stubborn”. It was at this moment I learned I need to accept generosity from others and stop being such a stubborn mule.
 
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It took me 7 days from Burgos to Leon. It was definitely warm and those were some of my lonlieat days on the Camino. But I say it was on the Meseta that I learned that I have grit, determination, and acquired a bit of resilience. Becoming more resilient was the only goal I had going into my Camino, other than finishing. 😄

Edit: I was on the Meseta in Oct 2016
 
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For the Frances, I feel the meseta is an important part.
1. St.Jean to Burgos is the physical section. 2. Burgos to Astorga is the mental section.
3. Astorga to Santiago is the celebration.
IMHO, that 200k of meseta is an important part of the experience.
 
My blessing and I are planning to walk the Camino Frances in September 2025. We have another trip this year so…
How long is the Meseta? About how long are we on it? What could in be like in Sept -Oct? Thank you in advance. Buen Camino!
Hi, I walked the Camino Frances from SJPDP with a friend starting 1st September 2013 and crossed the Meseta during September. As others have said, it is <230km. It was quite hot and arid that year, from memory late 20’s c and we needed to carry more water than normal for some stretches. I’d describe it as something like prairie, gently rolling with the small towns often hidden from the “big skies”vistas, in valleys. It doesn’t have a lot of shade (hence the extra water) and can get windy. I found it peaceful, beautiful in its way and great for quiet contemplation whilst you’re walking. Although a number of people we’d met bypassed it, I’m glad we didn’t it as to me, it was a special section of the Camino.
There aren’t towns or villages every 10km like some parts of the Camino, and some of the towns we stayed in were a little dry and dusty too, but that was part of the experience and added to it.
 
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I left Burgos on 4 October 2021, and it was 1°C at 0730! It warmed up within a couple of hours, but the sun doesn’t rise until around 0830 that time of year so there were many days I’d start out in the dark, and cold! It was like that for most of the meseta, and I took 7 days between Burgos and León.
 
For the Frances, I feel the meseta is an important part.
1. St.Jean to Burgos is the physical section. 2. Burgos to Astorga is the mental section.
3. Astorga to Santiago is the celebration.
IMHO, that 200k of meseta is an important part of the experience.
So, if you start your Camino in Astorga you skip the physical and mental, and only celebrate?
 
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I thought the third phase was "spiritual awareness." Is that the same as celebration? (I don't identify much with any of those phases.)
 
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I thought the third phase was "spiritual awareness." Is that the same as celebration? (I don't identify much with any of those phases.)
You might call it " spiritual awaremess" as well. I know I laughed and cried more in the last part than ever before.
 
Depends entirely on your route.

"The" Meseta is basically this :

Meseta.jpg

... although Spaniards call "meseta" any similar area of mostly flat agricultural land, though hilly sections inside it are also called "meseta".

In late Spring and Summer of 2022, I walked that diagonally from near Burgos through Zamora and South-West from there through more meseta. I was on it for a month !!
 
St James' Way - Self-guided 4-7 day Walking Packages, Reading to Southampton, 110 kms
These are just a bit of what you miss if you skip the Meseta. This is just a small sample of what you would miss.
 

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