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If you have walked the Camino de Madrid

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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I started at the Santiago church in Old Madrid. From there I walked to Plaza de Castilla on the afternoon of my arrival, it’s about 8 km. Then I slept in a pensión not too far away and started from Plaza Castilla to Colmenar el Viejo on my first day. The walk from Santiago church to the Plaza Castilla is, IMO, a very nice walk through nice parts of the city.

More info on walking through Madrid from the church.

I know you like to start walking on arrival, but my own unsolicited advice would be to not start walking at the airport. If you want to just get going from the Plaza Castilla, it’s very easy to take the Cercanías to Chamartín. Or did you already do that the last time you walked the Madrid?

It would be about 12.5 km from the church to the suburb (not the street) of Fuencarral, where there are pensiones but no albergues. The church to Tres Cantos is about 25.
 
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Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
On my first day, I walked directly from the Hat to the Opera subway station. I had followed the camino route there the day before from Santiago Church, after receiving the pilgrim blessing. From Opera, I followed the Madrid camino to Sahagun, to join the Frances.
 

Davie Blisters

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
.
Where did you start your walk?
Springtime 2019 at Santiago Church Madrid after overnighting in an AB&B in the Old Town. Continued up to Sahagun and switched to the Frances up to Leon. Switched again to Camino San Salvador to Oviedo, then a further switch to the Primitivo to see St James again.

Thanks for asking, it brought back some wonderful memories.

Davie
 
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Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
I tried to start from the airport because that was where my flight from Sydney landed. It proved impossible - high speed motorways and no way I could find to cross them. So I caught the train into town, stayed at a hostel overnight and the following morning started walking from the Iglesia Parroquial de Santiago & San Juan Bautista. It was too early in the morning for the church to be open so I missed getting that first stamp on my credential, which was a pity.
Last time, I started from Chamartin station and walked to Colmenar Viejo. I probably would not start from the airport but was wondering where others start.
 

pinkwadingbird

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2019
We took the subway from Sol to Fuencarral and started from there. At this point I can't remember why that spot became our starting point.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Walking from the church is, IMO, a great idea. But the camino isn’t (or wasn’t) marked from there. There are many different ways to get through central Madrid to Plaza Castilla, but after much googling and thinking, I think this is the best route. It goes through old Madrid, some really nice plazas and up the shady Castellana, which is a boulevard so the traffic is less annoying. Other routes will give you more sun, more proximity to cars.

What route did others take? If you remember, of course!

5A2EE740-E876-4DC8-A1B6-85364BBBDEDF.png
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
I downloaded a track which showed me a way to walk through Madrid, so that is what I followed. As I was approaching the northern edge of the city, I stopped to rest and noticed the first marker: a metal insert in the sidewalk. I have a photo of my boot next to it. For some reason, the track goes through the financial centre of Madrid. As I needed some euros, I was able to choose from banks along the way to make a withdrawal from a bank machine. That is when I discovered that bank branches in Spain don't have any money in the building any more. Only in the machine, which dispenses large bills not very useful for pilgrims planning to pay albergue charges in cash.
 
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300m from the cathedral and around the corner from the fresh food market in Santiago. Perfect place to tele commute from (1GB symmetrical connection).
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lt56ny

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
I am planning to walk the Madrid one of these days and when I am staying in Madrid I always sleep at the Toc Hostel very close to the Sol Metro. I really like that area. Very lively but the Hostel is quiet, comfortable and very clean. Very convenient to lots of places to buy my walking poles, cheap pocket knife and Orange store to get my SIM card.
 

henrythedog

Loved and fed by David
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, (Madrid 2019 partial - retired hurt!) (more planned)
I am planning to walk the Madrid one of these days and when I am staying in Madrid I always sleep at the Toc Hostel very close to the Sol Metro. I really like that area. Very lively but the Hostel is quiet, comfortable and very clean. Very convenient to lots of places to buy my walking poles, cheap pocket knife and Orange store to get my SIM card.
I’ll PM you my recommendation.
 

PJThomasJP

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2019
Springtime 2019 at Santiago Church Madrid after overnighting in an AB&B in the Old Town. Continued up to Sahagun and switched to the Frances up to Leon. Switched again to Camino San Salvador to Oviedo, then a further switch to the Primitivo to see St James again.

Thanks for asking, it brought back some wonderful memories.

Davie
That's awesome. I did exactly the same in 2019 then el Ingles. Excellent trip
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
I started at the Iglesia San Juan Bautista where you can get the special Camino de Madrid Credencial and your first stamp. I had taken an early morning flight that day so after I arrived at Barajas, I took the metro to the church then followed Laurie's instructions through the city and continued on to Tres Cantos where I stayed at the ayuntamiento.

I quite enjoyed the walk through that part of Madrid.
 

dick bird

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Plata, Ingles, Madrid, Norte, Primitivo, Invierno, Aragones, Olvidado, Chemin D'Arles
From Plaza Castilla. We tried walking from the church of Santiago (very good dentist across the square) but Google maps led us astray. Google maps was much better next day - keep on the right hand side of the big main road as you set out from Plaza Castilla, otherwise you will miss the waymarks (as we did). Madrid has a lot to see, so a day or two being a tourist is worth thinking about - the Goyas, El Grecos and Velasquez paintings in the Prado are mind-blowing. There is Guernica in the Reina Sofia, and good tapas bars in the Plaza Mayor.

Below is a picture of the Ayuntamiento of Tres Cantos. There used to be a spare room with two bunks and a futon in the basement used as an albergue, but post-Covid, I doubt it. Does anyone know?

Buen camino.
DSC04314.JPG
 
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Frances x5, Portuguese VdlP12, Sanabres, Aragones, Norte,Salvador,Primitivo, VdlP 17,Madrid18Norte
In Madrid, I treat myself to Hostal Persal in Plaza del Angel. In Tres Cantos no option but Hotel VP Jardin.
Expensive start to the Camino Madrid but luxury.
 
Past OR future Camino
2022_ViadelaPlata_Sanabres_hopefully
One time at Chamartin station, another time at Segovia, and another time at Simancas. I like the Madrid, because it ends at my home!
Hola Reb. We loved the Madrid Way (and walked out through the city as per Laurie’s post). We walked this Way in 2018.

After arriving in Sahagun we walked ‘back’ to Moritanos and visited Peaceable Kingdom. We had been in touch a few days earlier. You were away but we had a wonderful stay and time spent with Paddy and your friend James. The next morning we four - plus Ruby and Judy - walked back to San Nicolas for desayuno and then Domi and I walked back to Sahagun.

It was such a treat. I am only sorry we didn’t get to meet you.

this is my blog entry and photos from that day and overnight.

 

Calisteve

Member
Past OR future Camino
June 16 CF
July 17 CF with my son
July 18 CP with my wife
July 19 Ingles Muxia & Finisterre
March 2020 from the Santiago Church (where I got my CdM credential). Got as far as Valdestillas before Spain announced it was going into lockdown.

August 2021 started from Valdestillas - to Sahagun, then to Leon, then the Salvador to Oviedo.
 
Past OR future Camino
2022_ViadelaPlata_Sanabres_hopefully
PS. We did a loop back from our hotel so we could start from the small church in Plaza de Santiago. We had visited the afternoon before and got our credenciales there. It added a couple of kms but as we were only walking to Tres Cantos we had plenty of time.
 
Past OR future Camino
2022_ViadelaPlata_Sanabres_hopefully
Walking from the church is, IMO, a great idea. But the camino isn’t (or wasn’t) marked from there. There are many different ways to get through central Madrid to Plaza Castilla, but after much googling and thinking, I think this is the best route. It goes through old Madrid, some really nice plazas and up the shady Castellana, which is a boulevard so the traffic is less annoying. Other routes will give you more sun, more proximity to cars.

What route did others take? If you remember, of course!

View attachment 108449
Laurie when we were planning to walk the Madrid we asked the same question of the forum about getting out of the city and I printed out your instructions before we left! Worked a treat. We enjoyed the walk along the big avenue and stopped at one the cafes for desayuno along the way.
 
When you walk the Camino, and suddenly a pandemic appears
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Doughnut NZ

From Aotearoa New Zealand
Past OR future Camino
2022
... That is when I discovered that bank branches in Spain don't have any money in the building any more. Only in the machine, which dispenses large bills not very useful for pilgrims planning to pay albergue charges in cash.
They are programmed to dispense the least number of notes. The smallest note is either a 10 or 20. Usually it is 20. The way to get smaller notes is to choose an amount that is not divisible by 50. If you want 200 choosing 190 will get you 2 x 20 + 3 x 50 and if it doesn't dispense 10's then 180 will get you 4 x 20 + 2 x 50.

If you want to test if it dispenses 10's then try withdrawing 30. If it won't accept 30 then it probably doesn't dispense 10's.
 
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Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
I believe that Spanish bank machines will only dispense up to 300 euros. I don't know where I got this idea. Anyway, I usually withdraw that amount, to put off having to look for another bank along the way and to avoid bank charges, some of which are for each withdrawal and not just for the amount withdrawn. I should try @Doughnut NZ 's suggestion some time, if it would not leave me short of my desired cash.
 

henrythedog

Loved and fed by David
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, (Madrid 2019 partial - retired hurt!) (more planned)
They are programmed to dispense the least number of notes. The smallest note is either a 10 or 20. Usually it is 20. The way to get smaller notes is to choose an amount that is not divisible by 50. If you want 200 choosing 190 will get you 2 x 20 + 3 x 50 and if it doesn't dispense 10's then 180 will get you 4 x 20 + 2 x 50.

If you want to test if it dispenses 10's then try withdrawing 30. If it won't accept 30 then it probably doesn't dispense 10's.
That’s such an enlightening explanation. I’d always ‘aimed off’ the round 100 withdrawals to minimise the number of 50’s; but never really thought about the logic.

On the overnight ‘Sterling spike’ of Brexit night I bought an unreasonable quantity of physical euros and dollars which I’m still working my way through. If you think you have trouble splitting a €50, you want to try a €200 or €500! A sympathetic bank is the only option.

I did once find a supermarket in France where the staff didn’t handle cash - the customer inserted notes into the checkout and the change was automatically dispensed. I made low value purchases several times each day I was there to split high denomination notes.
 
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Doughnut NZ

From Aotearoa New Zealand
Past OR future Camino
2022
On the overnight ‘Sterling spike’ of Brexit night I bought an unreasonable quantity of physical euros and dollars which I’m still working my way through. If you think you have trouble splitting a €50, you want to try a €200 or €500! A sympathetic bank is the only option.
That sounds like a good investment.

I have a drawer where I keep foreign coins and smaller notes that goes back to the 1980's. During 2019 I took my UK currency because I was doing a side trip there. I was disappointed to find that I couldn't use my 10 pound note because the UK had withdrawn that particular design from circulation 🙁. Fortunately the physical US currency seems very stable which is good for my stash under the mattress 😉
 
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Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
Further reflections on cash withdrawals from banking machines. The machines in Calgary offer a choice of bills: for example, I usually choose five 20's when withdrawing $100, but there are several options: more as I withdraw a larger amount. Recently, I ordered some euros from one of my bank accounts, to be picked up at the local post office. They came in a variety of denominations, many of them small, although I had not picked specific denominations. The oddity of this order is that all the bills look brand new and ironed. If they had not originated in my usual bank, I might have wondered who had been printing them off the night before. Canadian banks (at least, mine) currently give bills to customers for the convenience of the customer, and there is no element of dispensing the smallest number of bills, which is why I tend to forget about this weird practice in Spain.
 
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2014, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19
Various routes...
I tried to start from the airport because that was where my flight from Sydney landed. It proved impossible - high speed motorways and no way I could find to cross them
Theoretically it's possible; each of the crossings on this route that OSMand came up with is an actual over- or underpass. But whar's on the ground in reality is another story. Even if it's possible, I wouldn't want to try this without a good map and gps routefinding ability - there are many zigs and zags.
Here also is someone's bike route:
Check out this trail!
https://www.wikiloc.com/mountain-bi...s-y-parque-forestal-de-valdebebas-3c-36620229 (Tres Cantos-Vuelta al Aeropuerto de Barajas y Parque Forestal de Valdebebas-3C) at #wikiloc

All that said?
Unless you are a stubborn purist who insists on starting where your boots hit the ground in Spain...why bother?
Others have posted some good alternatives.
 

jpflavin1

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Thanks to all for your comments. I think I will cab from airport to church and then take Lauries route to the Plaza de Castilla.

In Canada fishing this week and looking forward to 9/26 departure to Spain.
 

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