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If you had time to explore

Bonnie M

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances - Sarria to Santiago (2018)
Frances - Burgos to Santiago (2019)
My husband and I are walking Camino Frances (from Burgos on 9/12) and our son has decided to walk Primitivo (from Oviedo on 9/26), We hope to meet up in Melide and finish together! I need to build in a few rest/tour days so we can sync up. What other towns/sites (between Burgos and Melide) did you wish you had more time to explore? TIA

C clearly

Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016), VDLP (2017), Mozarabe (2018), Vasco/Bayona (2019)
Take time for the Museo Etnografico in Mansilla de las Mulas, the day before Leon. The hours are typical Spanish hours so you need to take the time to do it. Or if you are staying in Leon, there is an easy bus back and forth. The website for the Museo seems to have some problems right now, but the Museum portrays life in the region over the last few hundred years, and the descriptions on the displays are all in English as well as Spanish.


Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2009, Portuguese 2012
Frances 2016, (Frances 2019)
Leon Cathedral! But then I loved Burgos. It’s worth a full day.


346 joyful days in Spain and France since 2005
Camino(s) past & future
Hope so!
Burgos cathedral is a world class museum.

Monastery at Santo Domingo de Silos is worth the side trip from Burgos. That is the domicile of the Benedictine Monks that did highly successful recordings in 1994.. Their two albums live on my iPhone.


Veteran member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances: SJPdP-Burgos, (2015); Burgos-Sarria (2018); Sarria-Santiago (2018).
Frances (2020)
Yes, Santo Domingo de Silos. Two nights gives you the opportunity to hear the monks chant the entire Liturgy of the Hours, if you are so inclined, or you could go to morning and/or evening prayer, then visit the nearby film site where Clint Eastwood and his enemies shot it out in "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly."

Leon is definitely worth some time. Tour the Catherdal, which is magnificent, and the adjoining museum, as well as the museum at San Ildefonso, a few blocks away, where some of the kings of Spain are buried. And enjoy the passing scene on the Plaza with some tapas and vino tinto.

The Cathedral in Burgos is another gem. And it contains the tomb of El Cid. I'll have to check the locations, but on the main street just before the cathedral is an imposing statue of The CID, and just beyond that a bank housed in a building that was once a palace of Isabel and Ferdinand. It's where Christopher Columbus presented his report on his second voyage to the new world. There's a plaque outside to mark it.

And, of course, there's always the fun of stopping early in a couple little villages that appeal to you and being part of the local scene.


David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
Leon (in addition to the beautiful cathedral - my favourite on the CF - see the Pantheon at San Isidro, called the "Sistine Chapel of Romanesque art") and Astorga (a nice cathedral, pilgrim museum in the episcopal palace by Gaudi, and the chocolate museum) come to mind immediately. You may also want to, rather than add another rest day, walk somewhat shorter days, so what would have been five days is walked in six, for example. And I think it is worth it to time things so that you can visit the castle in Ponferrada.


Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Holy Year from Pamplona 2010, SJPP 2011, Lisbon 2012, Le Puy 2013, Vezelay (partial watch this space!) 2014; 2015 Toulouse-Puenta la Reina (Arles)
One should never say a disparaging word about the Camino. Having said that, Melide and for that matter, Arzúa nor Triacastela can be described as towns/villages of charm. Portomarin doesn't have much to offer either. Your days of rest/interest should be taken well before and rely on Whatsapp etc for the final meeting.


For this breath, I am present.
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP to Najera Sept. 2017; Najera to Astorga Oct. 2018; SJPP to Pamplona May 2019
The Museum of Modern Art in Leon is wonderful as is Casa Botines. I would also recommend extra time in Astorga for the Cathedral, Palacio Episcopal and the Chocolate Museum. Also a good place to try the traditional cocido maragato. And since you are starting in Burgos, the Museum of Human Evolution is definitely worth a visit. Buen Camino!


Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Holy Year from Pamplona 2010, SJPP 2011, Lisbon 2012, Le Puy 2013, Vezelay (partial watch this space!) 2014; 2015 Toulouse-Puenta la Reina (Arles)
Another idea. Years ago on my second third Camino I walked from Triacastela to Samos - had a lovely day there, took the tour of the monastery and the next morning took a taxi back to Triacastela and walked the alternative route to Sarria. Both ways are beautiful hard to decide which is nicer.


New Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF (from Leon) 2018
Camino Fisterra 2018
I would stay more in Astorga and Samos. As I am a mountain lover, I would also enjoy to stay somewhere in the mountains with 10-15 km per day and splitting a stage into two days.


New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (Part) - 2019
We spent a few days in Leon and loved it. The Cathedral is beautiful, as is the Romanesque Basilica nearby. It was a great small old town area well worth exploring! There is s great store for calligraphers in town too.


Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
You can linger for a short retreat in Rabinal - the Benedictine monks have a retreat house where you can stay for some days. This is a true gem along the way:

Other than that, Villafranca del Bierzo is a favorite. And if you like history, consider visiting Las Medulas, which is about 27 kms from Ponferrada. You can walk there on the Invierno, or arrange transport from Ponferrada if you do not have the 3 days it would take to walk there, absorb the place, and walk back.


Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2019
Frances (2020)
Astorga is much recommended and for good reason. A lovely city with great architecture and a square which demands you sit and have a glass or three of wine and just watch the world go by.


Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2003) Francés, (2014) Francés, (2016) Portugués , (2016) Aragonés, (2018) del Norte to Primitivo,
Pambre Castle, near Palas de Rei, is worth a visit. I was very lucky three years ago. I walked there from Palas de Rei, only to find that it was open only one day each week -- the day I was there! But it didn't open till 10:00 (I think) and I had about an hour to wait. So if you can find out which day of the week it is open, I would recommend going there. You could take a taxi if you don't want to walk -- it's quite a long way.


Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés, 2019
I was so glad I spent an extra night in Astorga! Loved the Gaudi Palicio Episcopal.

Lisa HS

Contributing Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (SJPdP - Santiago) Spring (2016)
Portuguese (Porto - Santiago - Finisterre) Spring (2018)
Do not miss the Museum of Human Evolution in Burgos. One of the best I've seen.
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First Day in SJPP -- Time to Explore

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