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Madrid to Santiago - Lodging/Stage Questions

2020 Camino Guides

kardisa

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances - Leon to Santiago (2015)
Camino Madrid/Salvador/Primitivo (2017)
Hi all,

I am looking to fast pack from Madrid to Santiago starting on June 5 via the Camino de Madrid and Camino Frances. My tentative stages are below:
  1. Subway to Tres Cantos/Walk to Colmenar Viejo (12 km - 2.5 hours)
  2. Colmenar Viejo-Cercedilla (35km - 7 hours)
  3. Cercedilla-Segovia (30 km - 8 hours)
  4. Segovia-Sta. María la Real de Nieva (32 km - 6.5 hours)
  5. Sta. María la Real de Nieva-Alcazarén (47 km - 9.5 hours)
  6. Alcazarén-Simancas (31 km - 6 hours)
  7. Simancas-Medina de Rioseco (44 km - 9 hours)
  8. Medina de Rioseco- ???? (33 km - 6.5 hours)
  9. ???? - Sahagun (34km - 7 hours)
  10. Sahagun to Leon (57km - 12 hours)
  11. Leon to Astorga (50km - 10 hours)
  12. Astorga to Molinaseca (46,5 km - 10 hours)
  13. Molinaseca to Trabadelo (42km -
  14. Trabadelo to Triacastela (41km)
  15. Triacastela to Portomarin (49km)
  16. Portomarin to Arzua (55km)
  17. Arzua to Santiago (40)
  18. Day in Santiago
Disclaimer: I *like* walking/running this much :). I am also happy to take a rest day or bus or taxi if necessary, but find that having a plan in place makes life a lot easier for me.

On to the questions....

1. Now, I realise that my long walking days are going to mean that I am probably going to need to book ahead into alburges/hostals on the Frances, but does the same apply to the Camino de Madrid? I am particular worried about stage 4 and Stage 7, as I will likely not get in till 5pm or so with my break stops.

2. Also, can anyone recommend a good stop between Medina de Rioseco and Sahagun? There's a chance that I will try and hike the 63km straight through, but I want to make sure I have a backup option in case I am feeling tired.

3. The topo maps I've seen of the way between Sahagun and Leon makes it look almost flat. Is this true? 57km on flat ground is MUCH different than 57km on an undulating surface.

4. Final question - does anyone know where I could find a list of pre-bookable alburges/hostals/hotels for the Leon to Santiago stages? Would booking.com work? Or is there a pilgrim-specific list floating around out there?

Thank you in advance for your help!
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
For your point 4 try this Gronze.com web from Etapa 20 onward which lists pilgrim albergues and regular tourist accommodation

In Spanish and cited by location progressing along the camino in stages the pilgrim albergues are printed first in one ink and the tourist accommodation below in another. Tap each citation for further info such as address/web/email/cost etc. Booking.com links are also provided

https://www.gronze.com/etapa/mansilla-mulas/leon

Good luck and Buen camino!
 
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kardisa

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances - Leon to Santiago (2015)
Camino Madrid/Salvador/Primitivo (2017)
Thanks, mspath! That's one of those great resources that I completely overlooked. :)
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Far too many...
Hi all,

I am looking to fast pack from Madrid to Santiago starting on June 5 via the Camino de Madrid and Camino Frances. My tentative stages are below:
  1. Subway to Tres Cantos/Walk to Colmenar Viejo (12 km - 2.5 hours)
  2. Colmenar Viejo-Cercedilla (35km - 7 hours)
  3. Cercedilla-Segovia (30 km - 8 hours)
  4. Segovia-Sta. María la Real de Nieva (32 km - 6.5 hours)
  5. Sta. María la Real de Nieva-Alcazarén (47 km - 9.5 hours)
  6. Alcazarén-Simancas (31 km - 6 hours)
  7. Simancas-Medina de Rioseco (44 km - 9 hours)
  8. Medina de Rioseco- ???? (33 km - 6.5 hours)
  9. ???? - Sahagun (34km - 7 hours)
  10. Sahagun to Leon (57km - 12 hours)
  11. Leon to Astorga (50km - 10 hours)
  12. Astorga to Molinaseca (46,5 km - 10 hours)
  13. Molinaseca to Trabadelo (42km -
  14. Trabadelo to Triacastela (41km)
  15. Triacastela to Portomarin (49km)
  16. Portomarin to Arzua (55km)
  17. Arzua to Santiago (40)
  18. Day in Santiago
Disclaimer: I *like* walking/running this much :). I am also happy to take a rest day or bus or taxi if necessary, but find that having a plan in place makes life a lot easier for me.

On to the questions....

1. Now, I realise that my long walking days are going to mean that I am probably going to need to book ahead into alburges/hostals on the Frances, but does the same apply to the Camino de Madrid? I am particular worried about stage 4 and Stage 7, as I will likely not get in till 5pm or so with my break stops.

2. Also, can anyone recommend a good stop between Medina de Rioseco and Sahagun? There's a chance that I will try and hike the 63km straight through, but I want to make sure I have a backup option in case I am feeling tired.

3. The topo maps I've seen of the way between Sahagun and Leon makes it look almost flat. Is this true? 57km on flat ground is MUCH different than 57km on an undulating surface.

4. Final question - does anyone know where I could find a list of pre-bookable alburges/hostals/hotels for the Leon to Santiago stages? Would booking.com work? Or is there a pilgrim-specific list floating around out there?

Thank you in advance for your help!
Hi Kardisa,

Wow, there are some pretty impressive stages there! :O) I did the Madrid route in June last year so I'll try to give you a few advice:


1. Now, I realise that my long walking days are going to mean that I am probably going to need to book ahead into alburges/hostals on the Frances, but does the same apply to the Camino de Madrid? I am particular worried about stage 4 and Stage 7, as I will likely not get in till 5pm or so with my break stops. I don't think you can book most of the albergues on the Francés? Hostals are possible though. Or have things changed since I was there (2009)? Who am I to know... But let's get to your questions for the Madrid route. I always phoned ahead to check if there would be a place to sleep, given that there are fewer possibilities of lodging on the Madrid compared to the Francés. In the albergues municipales there was never a problem because there were so few pilgrims, and when I stayed in hostels I always found a place. - You say you are worried about stage 4, do you mean stage 5 (47 kms)?? I did that stage (Santa María Real de la Nieva to Alcazarén), it was about 45 kms according to the sources I used, I got sick because of the fatigue but I guess you are capable of doing those long stretches as you say you are. Although it would be good to know that there are some (very long) streches with pine forest that are filled with sand. That can slow you down and for some people it's very hard on the feet as you "slide around" and can't put down your feet properly. (Then again, other pilgrims have had no problem with it). You can walk by the side of the trail but I found that just as hard because of uneven terrain. Bring good shoes. Even if it doesn't bother you, it may slow you down.

2. Also, can anyone recommend a good stop between Medina de Rioseco and Sahagun? There's a chance that I will try and hike the 63km straight through, but I want to make sure I have a backup option in case I am feeling tired. There are albergues to stay in at least Cuenca de Campos and Villalón de Campos and Santervás de Campos so you have several options to shorten the stage. There is at least one hostal/pensión in Villalón de Campos, where I stayed. Not sure the hostal will let you leave early in the morning if that's your habit (they have to unlock the door for you). For me they made an exception, but at first they weren't to keen about it. If I remember it correctly they wouldn't open the gates until 08:00, but they agreed to open for me at 07:00.

3. The topo maps I've seen of the way between Sahagun and Leon makes it look almost flat. Is this true? 57km on flat ground is MUCH different than 57km on an undulating surface. Yes it is very flat. Some hill just outside León before entering the city but it's close to nothing.

4. Final question - does anyone know where I could find a list of pre-bookable alburges/hostals/hotels for the Leon to Santiago stages? Would booking.com work? Or is there a pilgrim-specific list floating around out there? Check the ressources section here on the Forum, I'm sure there's a lot of them. I'm no expert on the Francés though.

/BP
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Just a few comments to add to BP's.

You may have scheduled a short day from Tres Cantos because you arrive in Madrid late and need to hit the road. But if not, the walk from Madrid to Colmenar is perfectly doable even for a non fast-packer like me, and it is quite nice. The exit from Madrid on the Camino is not through industrial areas, it goes through a hospital complex area, under the ring road, and then bam you are in the countryside.

The albergue in Villalón is very nice, staffed by a hospitalero from the Valladolid association. And the town is nice, too. It's further on than Santervas, so it's a better way to break the stage from Medina to Sahagún.

And if you are not interested in crowds, an alternative route for you would be to walk Sahagún to León, and there take the 4 day (for you maybe 3) Salvador to the Primitivo. It's a favorite of many forum members and is getting crowded, but still not at the level of the Francés.

Stages 4 and 7 both have albergues (both are very nice, btw) and private options, so you should be fine.

Buen camino, Laurie
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 - 2019
Generally, you CAN pre-book PRIVATE albergues, as well as hostals, hotels, etc. Many (but not all) can be found on www.booking.com. As suggested above DO use other sources, like www.Gronze.com to locate other properties not on booking.com.

From Madrid to Segovia, you should be okay finding pre-bookable lodgings. From Segovia up to Sahagun, there is just not a lot of infrastructure. You need to be more flexible. This is NOT one of the more popular Middle Age pilgrimage routes, like the Camino Frances or Camino Portuguese.

However, once you reach Sahagun, you are joining the very heavily used Camino Frances. Especially at this time of year (Easter marks the beginning of the peak season) you need (IMHO) to pre-book whenever possible, and DO SHOW UP!

When on Camino, especially along the Frances, if I must e-mail ahead to request reservations, I compose a note in English on my iPhone, then translate it to Portuguese or Spanish using the Microsoft Translator (the smart phone version of Bing) or Google Translate, both on my iPhone. I always provide the Spanish (or Portuguese) and then the English original in my e-mail so they can figure out what I meant to say if the translator returns less than spot on results. Lately, I have been finding that the Microsoft Translator is returning "better" translations. Caveat Emptor...;)

The Camino Madrid was established more or less "recently." The first third or so, follows the old cattle road the ranchers used to move their cattle herds from low to higher pasture as seasons changed. After that, it resembles the same sort of rolling, up and down hills you would find in Rioja and eastern Castilla y Leon. In many places as you walk along farm roads, you parallel the AVE train route into Leon.

The Camino Madrid is a worthy route, and it is beautiful once you are out of the valley where Madrid is located. Once you reach Segovia, the scenery is markedly better, IMHO.

I started out from Madrid in April 2016. Ironically, on my fourth Camino, I had to stop at Sarria (so close yet so far) due to arthritis-induced, bilateral, hip, knee AND ankle pain. This was made worse by rain for 10 straight days, snow at Cruz de Ferro, and generally miserable walking conditions for someone with arthritis. By the time I humped it into Sarria, the walk was just not fun anymore. So, having three Compostelas already, I (wisely I think) pulled the plug and rode a bus to Santiago. There I was pressed into service as a volunteer at the Pilgrim Office for five days.:)

I hope this helps. I wish you a healthy and wonderful Camino Madrid.
 
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