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My (leisurely) stages on the Camino de Madrid

#1
Since I am still jet lagged and in that hard transition back to life as we know it, what better way to spend the early morning hours than compiling some notes for future peregrinos on the Camino de Madrid. I'll break this up into several posts, since I've written a lot. Alipilgrim, Caminando, and I were all there within days of each other, so they may have information on other places than the ones i stayed in (but it was a nice touch to read messages from Caminando as I followed in his footsteps, thanks!). So here goes:


I took two weeks to walk from Madrid to Sahagun on the Camino de Madrid, and I have to say that if only just a few more peregrinos would come on over, it would be a perfect mix of companionship and solitude. As it was, I met two Spanish walkers and had interactions with about 6 or 7 cyclists, all Spanish. This Camino is generally exceptionally well marked, and generally very pilgrim-friendly. Aside from the day from Cercedilla to Segovia, the days are flat-ish and tend either to pine forests or ag lands. It was quite beautiful in late May, and the temperatures were very agreeable.

I have made a lot of walking notes that I will be sending to Johnnie Walker for his revisions to the online CSJ guide, which was invaluable. If you will be on this Camino before those revisions appear, just PM me and I'll send them along.

But here are my stages with comments on accommodations:

Day 1 -- From Plaza de Castilla to Colmenar el Viejo (27 km). No pilgrim accommodations, and as others have noted, it was impossible to find the Hostal Chabeli, notwithstanding its prominent sign right near the Ayuntamiento. In the end, it was Hostal el Chiscon, 44 E for B&B. Breakfast served early enough for walkers, especially if you plan to walk only 16 to Manzanares.

Day 2 -- Colmenar el Viejo to Manzanares el Real (16 km). Nice castle for visiting. Stayed in the refugio in the Ermita on the Pena Sacra. It was a bit complicated and luckily I ran into two Spanish peregrinos in the tourist office at Manzanares. or I would have given up and gone to the hotel. The refugio (a term used on this camino. I believe, to indicate that the accommodations are not just for pilgrims) is run by the town priest, who has the key. He will register you and give you the key if there is not a conflict with (religious) retreats. You must visit the priest at his house, which is very close to the tourist office, and the hours he is available seem to depend on the day. Though the sign on his door said that you could register for the refugio at 1:30, we didn't find him till well after 3:00 p.m., but we used the time to eat a decent meal in a restaurant.
The refugio is about two km out of town and up -- it's located on a big rock which has fantastic views of the surrounding Guadarrama mountains. The refugio is not totally off-Camino. The turn-off comes about 20 minutes on your way up to the refugio. This means that whoever has to return the key to the priest's house the next morning doesn't add 4 km to his/her day, but it is kind of a hassle. If you're not alone, of course, you can leave your pack at the intersection of the Camino, which makes the trip much easier. This refugio was well worth the effort, it's big, clean, spacious with a good kitchen. And the views.....

Day 3 -- Manzanares to Cercedilla (19 km). Looking back on the two days, I would say it would not require a super-human effort to combine my days 2 and 3. Cercedilla is at the bottom of the ascent up the mountains on the way to Segovia. We stayed at the youth hostel, which has reserved a wing for peregrinos, with two-bed rooms and private baths. Cost is 12E for B&B. Dinner is also served for a fee. When we were there, there were several school groups, but given that they put us off in a separate wing, there wasn't much of a noise problem.

Day 4 -- Cercedilla to Segovia (31 km). A long slog into Segovia, and IMO it's really the many long flat kms after the ascent/descent that are the hardest. The way up is beautiful, on roman road with several roman bridges, in the middle of forest. No cars around, far from roads most of the time. And the way across on the ridge is also beautiful. Things start to change on the descent, where the pines disappear, and then when it flattens out, it's just a couple of hours watching Segovia in the distance. No albergue, lots of private options.

Day 5 -- Segovia to Santa Maria el Real (32). We did not find any bars open, though there were plenty of bars in the towns we went through. I chalk this up to the fact that it was a Saturday. Finally, in the little hamlet of Ambroz, we saw a casa rural that was being rented for the weekend by several young families, and we brazenly asked if we could buy some cold drinks from them. They of course just invited us in and filled us up -- lots of conversation and questions. I did not see any of the albergues that are noted in the CSJ guide (Zamarramala, Valseca, Ane), though we heard from cyclists that none of them is especially nice. The albergue in Santa Maria is private and donativo (the owner says he thinks it's the only private donativo albergue on any Camino). This albergue is owned and operated by someone who has never walked any Camino, he's a retired truck driver and the house has been in his family for years. He remembers when he was a kid that at harvest time it was filled with as many as 30 migrant workers who came to harvest, and he said that image always stuck with him. He thought that having an albergue in the house was a tribute to the many underpaid, unfortunate migrants who came in and out of Santa Maria over many years. The albergue has a small kitchen, nice bath, and a small room with 3 bunks.

Day 6 -- Santa Maria to Coca (22). Nice walk, well-located coffee break town in Nava de la Asuncion. There is some confusion after Nava, with arrows pointing in several directions at once. We spoke with a local couple who owned a business near the place where all the confusion starts and they told us that it's because of disagreement between the municipality and the camino groups, but that all options are well marked and more or less the same distance.
In Coca, there is a very nice albergue in the old teacher's house (old referring to house, not teacher). Kitchen, clean bathrooms, several rooms with maybe as many as 10 bunks.

Day 7 -- Coca to Alcazaren (25). Nice walk, through lots of pine forests, some riverside walking. A new purpose-built albergue, connected to some other small municipal storage building. One bedroom with 5 (?) bunks, one bathroom/shower and a very small kitchen. This albergue opened about one year ago, and I don't think it's been cleaned since. There was no way for us to lend a hand since there were no buckets, mops, brooms, cleaning supplies, etc. This is a real shame, because the municipality's investment is obviously losing value rapidly.
 
#2
Day 8 -- Alcazaren to Puente Duero (24 km). Another easy pleasant etapa, with two towns for bar stops (Siete Iglesias and Valdestillas). Albergue is great, run by the Amigos from Valladolid (Puente Duero is about 10 km outside Valladolid). There was a French hospitalera and we had a communal meal. Two small rooms with total of 7 beds, plus spotless bath. Breakfast was provided by hospitalera in the morning.

[If you plan to take a detour to visit Valladolid, which I highly recommend, this is where you have to decide how to do it. I did it the very easy way, giving myself two very short 6 km days -- I walked on Day 9 from Puente Duero to Simancas (6 km), and from there took the bus to Valladolid (easy, cheap, frequent buses). Then on Day 10, I took the bus back to Simancas in mid-afternoon and walked Simancas to Ciguñuela (another 6 km). I did that not only to have a lot of time to see Valladolid, but also because of reports that the albergue in Penaflor de Hornija was a bit on the sketchy side, and since I was alone, I opted for the highly recommended Ciguñuela.]

Day 10 -- Simancas to Ciguñuela (6 km). This albergue is in the old teacher's house, and is also used by local groups. The afternoon I was there a group of local women was making a whole bunch of traditional sweets, to be sold at a bake sale to help a teacher with certain legal bills. The albergue has two or three bedrooms, clean baths, and a big commons room downstairs off the kitchen.

Day 11 -- Ciguñuela to Castromonte (24 km). Flat, easy, off-road and pretty. The albergue is in the old schools, renovated to an extremely high standard. Other half of the building is the Casa de Cultura. Albergue has a modern kitchen with washing machine, microwave, stove, oven, refrigerator, one big room with about 15 bunks, and a couple of very clean and modern bathrooms. I was all alone. Luckily the traveling grocery truck passed through when I was there. There is one bar in town, owned and operated by a couple in their 90s. It's right in the main square, and the man showed me a picture of himself working behind a bar at age 14, so he's had a long career of it. When I walked into the bar around lunchtime, I saw a large group of workers eating and asked if I could eat. The response: Trajiste comida? (Did you bring the food?). Then I noticed that all the workers had lunch boxes and had merely gotten drinks from the bar. When I said no, the owner sent his wife to get some eggs out of the chicken coop and he made me a good lunch of eggs, chorizo, salad, and some very tasty local pastry for dessert. I did feel a little guilty that I was being served by people in their 90s.

Day 12 -- Castromonte to Medina de Rioseco (14 km). Another short day, but I was very happy to have the time to enjoy Medina. There was a big exhibit going on, which I have run into on other caminos, the annual "Edades de los Hombres" show put on by the Junta de Castilla y Leon. Albergue in the Convent right before the bridge over the river going into town. Rooms with two single beds, several bathrooms, showers, all very nicely maintained. Highly recommended.

Day 13 -- Medina de Rioseco to Villalón de Campos (27 km). Took the recommended alternative along the canal, which was then followed by 9 km on asphalt. Vilallón used to be a very important town, its pillory is reputed to have been carved by some of the people who put together the riotous barroque in the Burgos cathedral. This albergue is somehow connected to the albergue in Puente Duero and is staffed by volunteer hospitaleros when possible. Located in the priests' house, again with washing machine, full kitchen, nice bedrooms and bathrooms. I've never had a hospitalero "all to myself" before, and we had a very nice afternoon and evening, and then the next day he walked 8 km with me to the next town.

Day 14 -- Villalón to Sahagún (39? 40? -- I don't want to know). I had originally planned to break this into two days, and there are places to stop in Santervas (21 km from Villalón and with a spanking clean and new albergue) or Melgar de Arriba (6 km further on with a less spectacular place, I was told). But a visit to Moratinos was in my future, and spending two nights in the Peaceable was the trade-off I made for myself. So I just kept walking. Got lost a couple of times, was in a hard downpour for about a half hour, but by 5 or so I was in Sahagun and waiting in a bar for Rebekah to pick me up. Then, two nights frolic in the Peaceable, and then I just set out from there early in the morning, to continue on the Francés and ultimately to the Camino de Invierno.

I will try to summarize my experience in another post, but it's always easier for me to organize details and practical tips than it is to contemplate the more qualitative and emotional side of the Camino. As it stands right now, you have to be prepared to spend long hours alone, and maybe you'll be lucky and meet a few pilgrims. It wasn't the walking part that was hard, but sometimes the isolation of the post-walking hours was. I generally wound up talking with villagers, bar owners, pension owners, etc, but that would be hard without good Spanish. I learned a lot about life in these villages, local politics (municipal elections took place while I was walking so there was a lot of conversation about them), how the crisis is affecting villagers, etc. And as always, the blessing of walking quietly and in appreciation was perhaps the greatest gift of all.
 
S

Sojourner47

Guest
#3
Thanks for a brilliant post, Laurie - I'll be in your footsteps in early September I hope. Looking forward to more of your observations....
 

Caminando

Veteran Member
#5
Thanks for these comprehensive notes Laurie. They will be of great help to anyone doing this marvellous way.

You've done such an excellent job, there's nothing useful I could add, other than my occasional posts when I was there. Ali's blog is a superb adjunct to your comments.

You certainly clocked up some BIG etapas there! I did more than I'd have wished sometimes, most especially the way from Cercedilla to Segovia.

But then I'm no longer the windswept and interesting muscular coiled spring of vibrant unbounded energy I was when young! :wink: :shock:
 
#7
Really enjoyed reading your experience on the Camino de Madrid. I live in Madrid and will be walking this Camino {together with my sister and her husband who live in Australia) in mid September.(We are in our 60's and 70's). We walked 10 days of the Camino Frances two years ago and it was such an uplifting experience. We have four weeks and wanted a quieter camino this time. I have the CSJ guide, together with info. from the Amigos de Madrid office, and your comments on the albergues will be very useful. From Sahagun we intend to get a bus or train to Leon, spend the night in Leon and visit the city, and then from there transport to Ponferrada, where we will pick up the Camino de Invierno. Any advice you or anyone can give me on the Camino de Invierno will be very much appreciated. Thanks. Sandra
 
#8
Hi, Sandra,
I have sent you a PM, but I also walked the Camino de Invierno and have posted about it here:

camino-de-invierno/topic11151.html

As Rebekah says, this is a beautiful, remote Camino. It is now well marked and I would highly recommend it to anyone who likes being alone.

The Camino de Madrid, from madrid to Sahagun, is a bit less solitary, a bit less challenging, but just as wonderful. Buen camino, Laurie
 

CaroleH

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdlP 2006, Portugues 2007;Madrid 2009, Finisterre 2009; Sur and VdlP 2011,2013; Manchego and Madrid 2014; VdlP (parts) 2016; Hospitalero plan 2017.
#9
Great postings Laurie. Makes me want to go off to do the Madrid again, to stay in the 'other' albergues we missed or that have since changed. Wonder if the "bull ring" albergue is still available in Nava?

..... feelings of "uncoiled springs" here too Caminando ..... so, shorter distances it is!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Madrid north
#10
Day 8 -- Alcazaren to Puente Duero (24 km). Another easy pleasant etapa, with two towns for bar stops (Siete Iglesias and Valdestillas). Albergue is great, run by the Amigos from Valladolid (Puente Duero is about 10 km outside Valladolid). There was a French hospitalera and we had a communal meal. Two small rooms with total of 7 beds, plus spotless bath. Breakfast was provided by hospitalera in the morning.

[If you plan to take a detour to visit Valladolid, which I highly recommend, this is where you have to decide how to do it. I did it the very easy way, giving myself two embarrassingly short 6 km days -- I walked on Day 9 from Puente Duero to Simancas (6 km), and from there took the bus to Valladolid (easy, cheap, frequent buses). Then on Day 10, I took the bus back to Simancas in mid-afternoon and walked Simancas to Cigunuela (another 6 km). I did that not only to have a lot of time to see Valladolid, but also because of reports that the albergue in Penaflor de Hornija was a bit on the sketchy side, and since I was alone, I opted for the highly recommended Cigunuela.]

Day 10 -- Simancas to Cigunuela (6 km). This albergue is in the old teacher's house, and is also used by local groups. The afternoon I was there a group of local women was making a whole bunch of traditional sweets, to be sold at a bake sale to help a teacher with certain legal bills. The albergue has two or three bedrooms, clean baths, and a big commons room downstairs off the kitchen.

Day 11 -- Cigunuela to Castromonte (24 km). Flat, easy, off-road and pretty. The albergue is in the old schools, renovated to an extremely high standard. Other half of the building is the Casa de Cultura. Albergue has a modern kitchen with washing machine, microwave, stove, oven, refrigerator, one big room with about 15 bunks, and a couple of very clean and modern bathrooms. I was all alone. Luckily the traveling grocery truck passed through when I was there. There is one bar in town, owned and operated by a couple in their 90s. It's right in the main square, and the man showed me a picture of himself working behind a bar at age 14, so he's had a long career of it. When I walked into the bar around lunchtime, I saw a large group of workers eating and asked if I could eat. The response: Trajiste comida? (Did you bring the food?). Then I noticed that all the workers had lunch boxes and had merely gotten drinks from the bar. When I said no, the owner sent his wife to get some eggs out of the chicken coop and he made me a good lunch of eggs, chorizo, salad, and some very tasty local pastry for dessert. I did feel a little guilty that I was being served by people in their 90s.

Day 12 -- Castromonte to Medina de Rioseco (14 km). Another short day, but I was very happy to have the time to enjoy Medina. There was a big exhibit going on, which I have run into on other caminos, the annual "Edades de los Hombres" show put on by the Junta de Castilla y Leon. Albergue in the Convent right before the bridge over the river going into town. Rooms with two single beds, several bathrooms, showers, all very nicely maintained. Highly recommended.

Day 13 -- Medina de Rioseco to Villalon de Campos (27 km). Took the recommended alternative along the canal, which was then followed by 9 km on asphalt. Vilallon used to be a very important town, its pillory is reputed to have been carved by some of the people who put together the riotous barroque in the Burgos cathedral. This albergue is somehow connected to the albergue in Puente Duero and is staffed by volunteer hospitaleros when possible. Located in the priests house, again with washing machine, full kitchen, nice bedrooms and bathrooms. I've never had a hospitalero "all to myself" before, and we had a very nice afternoon and evening, and then the next day he walked 8 km with me to the next town.

Day 14 -- Villalon to Sahagun (39? 40? -- I don't want to know). I had originally planned to break this into two days, and there are places to stop in Santervas (21 km from Villalon and with a spanking clean and new albergue) or Melgar de Arriba (6 km further on with a less spectacular place, I was told). But a visit to Moratinos was in my future, and spending two nights in the Peaceable was the trade-off I made for myself. So I just kept walking. Got lost a couple of times, was in a hard downpour for about a half hour, but by 5 or so I was in Sahagun and waiting in a bar for Rebekah to pick me up. Then, two nights frolic in the Peaceable, and then I just set out from there early in the morning, to continue on the Frances and ultimately to the Camino de Invierno.

I will try to summarize my experience in another post, but it's always easier for me to organize details and practical tips than it is to contemplate the more qualitative and emotional side of the Camino. As it stands right now, you have to be prepared to spend long hours alone, and maybe you'll be lucky and meet a few pilgrims. It wasn't the walking part that was hard, but sometimes the isolation of the post-walking hours was. I generally wound up talking with villagers, bar owners, pension owners, etc, but that would be hard without good Spanish. I learned a lot about life in these villages, local politics (municipal elections took place while I was walking so there was a lot of conversation about them), how the crisis is affecting villagers, etc. And as always, the blessing of walking quietly and in appreciation was perhaps the greatest gift of all.

Hi
Thanks for your info. My husband and I are walking this route in May (starting about second week)
Can you tell me where to buy a guide book. We are hoping to get our credentials in Madrid before we leave...or do you recommend getting them before hand over the Internet?
We do not sleek Spanish so I imagine there will be a lot of acting!
 
#11
I don't know of any guidebook other than JohnnieWalker's guide here on the forum. Have you seen it? You can download it for free, but they ask for a donation to the British Confraternity of St. James in exchange.

https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/resources/pdf-guide-camino-de-madrid-madrid-to-sahagún.11/

As far as the credentials go, you can get them in the Church of Santiago in Madrid (every day from 10 - 1 pm or 6 - 8 pm (though in my experience right around the 11 am or noon mass was best) or from the Association of Friends of the Camino in Madrid, Tues and Thurs from 7 pm to 9 pm. Wednesday, 11 - 12:30 (not in August) and 7 pm to 9 pm o Wed (may, June, July).

I think you'll love this camino, and I think there are going to be some other people walking it this year so you won't be totally alone. Buen camino, Laurie
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Far too many...
#12
Hi,

Question: If I start from La iglesia de Santiago... is there anywhere to stop to make the first stage not so long? In Fuencarral? You said it was 27 kms between Plaza de Castilla and Colmenar del Viejo so it will be far too long for me if I would start further back at the Iglesia (+ 10 kms?). Fuencarral seems to be a suburb to Madrid, so there must be somewhere to stay there...?

Thanks, and Happy Primary Voting day :OP

/BP
 
#13
Hi,

Question: If I start from La iglesia de Santiago... is there anywhere to stop to make the first stage not so long? In Fuencarral? You said it was 27 kms between Plaza de Castilla and Colmenar del Viejo so it will be far too long for me if I would start further back at the Iglesia (+ 10 kms?). Fuencarral seems to be a suburb to Madrid, so there must be somewhere to stay there...?

Thanks, and Happy Primary Voting day :OP

/BP
From the church, you have 6-7 kms to the Plaza de Castilla where the arrows begin. I've done screen shots of several routes. The shortest is the grey lie on the first shot, but that is not so scenic and is in a lot of direct sun. The blue route in the first shot is much nicer but bypasses what I think is a very lively, interesting, kind of fun in town area. So my preferred route would be the second screen shot, which goes through old Madrid, then heads out to the lovely Castellana boulevard where you will get lots of shade, cafes, and even pass the Real Madrid stadium if that is of interest to you.

From the Plaza Castilla to Tres Cantos (where there is both an albergue and a hotel) it would be about 20 km, I think, so that would mean your first day would be in the 26-27 km day.

I don't think there are any hotels, pensiones, etc in Fuencarral but I'll check a bit. If you look for lodging in the suburb or Fuencarral, you have to make sure you're actually looking in the town, because there is a very popular street, which has its own metro stop, in Madrid, of the same name. Buen camino, Laure

Screenshot 2016-03-15 14.09.10.png Screenshot 2016-03-15 14.09.54.png
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Far too many...
#14
From the church, you have 6-7 kms to the Plaza de Castilla where the arrows begin. I've done screen shots of several routes. The shortest is the grey line on the first shot, but that is not so scenic and is in a lot of direct sun. The blue route in the first shot is much nicer but bypasses what I think is a very lively, interesting, kind of fun in town area. So my preferred route would be the second screen shot, which goes through old Madrid, then heads out to the lovely Castellana boulevard where you will get lots of shade, cafes, and even pass the Real Madrid stadium if that is of interest to you.

From the Plaza Castilla to Tres Cantos (where there is both an albergue and a hotel) it would be about 20 km, I think, so that would mean your first day would be in the 26-27 km day.

I don't think there are any hotels, pensiones, etc in Fuencarral but I'll check a bit. If you look for lodging in the suburb of Fuencarral, you have to make sure you're actually looking in the town, because there is a very popular street, which has its own metro stop, in Madrid, of the same name. Buen camino, Laure

View attachment 24563 View attachment 24564
Oh thanks, I'll study this one. 27 kms might be possible. I thought the stroll between the Church and Plaza de Castilla would be +10 kms. With almost a straight line I should avoid getting lost as well. Thanks!

/BP
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Far too many...
#15
From the church, you have 6-7 kms to the Plaza de Castilla where the arrows begin. I've done screen shots of several routes. The shortest is the grey lie on the first shot, but that is not so scenic and is in a lot of direct sun. The blue route in the first shot is much nicer but bypasses what I think is a very lively, interesting, kind of fun in town area. So my preferred route would be the second screen shot, which goes through old Madrid, then heads out to the lovely Castellana boulevard where you will get lots of shade, cafes, and even pass the Real Madrid stadium if that is of interest to you.

From the Plaza Castilla to Tres Cantos (where there is both an albergue and a hotel) it would be about 20 km, I think, so that would mean your first day would be in the 26-27 km day.

I don't think there are any hotels, pensiones, etc in Fuencarral but I'll check a bit. If you look for lodging in the suburb or Fuencarral, you have to make sure you're actually looking in the town, because there is a very popular street, which has its own metro stop, in Madrid, of the same name. Buen camino, Laure

View attachment 24563 View attachment 24564
From the Confraternity of St James pamphlet/guide:

"... Fuencarral, 11kms from the Church, on
the way to Tres Cantos, 23 kms from the Church."

So they say Church > Tres Cantos = 23 kms. Even better. But I wonder if it's correct...
 
#16
From the Confraternity of St James pamphlet/guide:

"... Fuencarral, 11kms from the Church, on
the way to Tres Cantos, 23 kms from the Church."

So they say Church > Tres Cantos = 23 kms. Even better. But I wonder if it's correct...
Hi, BP, I think that if you know you can do a 26-27 km day with no adverse consequences (there is no steep hill late in the stage, no rocky or sandy killer parts, just fairly flat, sometimes dull walking), you'll just be pleasantly surprised if you find yourself in Tres Cantos earlier than expected. I assume you've seen the reports on the albergue there as well as possible (generally expensive) alternatives. The one exception seems to be a Hostal that looks decent and that has good booking.com special rates, around 35€, appropriately named Hostal Tres Cantos. Though I didn't stay in Tres Cantos, I have a friend who lives there and have spent time in their Carrefour and several very nice bars and restaurants. The town itself has virtually no charm (it was an artificially created town, decreed by the government to give people an affordable alternative out of Madrid). IMO, the only warmth or emotional attachment there comes from the people, there is no plaza where you want to linger, no old church where you want to sit and contemplate, etc. The deal-breaker for me in Tres Cantos is that the albergue, which is reported to be quite nice, is locked overnight while you are inside. You cannot get out till someone comes to open the door. I couldn't do that. Buen camino, Laurie
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Far too many...
#17
Thanks again Laurie,

Actually I've had little time to look this route up. Don't know about the albergues, haven't taken the time to look up how to divide the stages... I'm happy for all the info I can get.

Albergue locked overnight??? So no leaving at 05:30 I suppose.

I'm just about to buy the ticket to Madrid and to pay for the pensión closest to the Iglesia de Santiago (lazy as I am...)

Whyyyyy am I doing this once again, aaaaaargh!!! :OP

/BP
 
C

Castilian

Guest
#18
I don't think there are any hotels, pensiones, etc in Fuencarral but I'll check a bit. If you look for lodging in the suburb or Fuencarral, you have to make sure you're actually looking in the town, because there is a very popular street, which has its own metro stop, in Madrid, of the same name.
There are some accommodations close to Hospital Ramón y Cajal that you can easily book online but I don't know about budget ones.

A budget option would be the (IES) Hotel Escuela (where students are trained to run a hotel by themselves) but it isn't as close to the camino as it may seem... For more info: http://ieshotelescuela.es/hotelescuela

In Cantoblanco, there's a student's residency where you might book a room if you have the international student carnet. For more info: www.resainn.com To reach it from the camino you would need to know the way beforehand though...
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Far too many...
#19
Coucou everyone,

I just booked my ticket to Madrid, aaaaah! Thought it would never happen as I had problems getting the booking to accept my visa card. At the 11th try, it went through. (I hope I don't have to pay the remaining ten tickets to Madrid, perhaps I'll get an unpleasant surprise...)

I will be the GOOD pilgrim after my expiation trip on the Camino de Madrid, I'll show you all right! :OD

/BP
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Far too many...
#21
Oh,

I will start walking the 25th but I don't know how many stages I will do on the Madrid. 11? Then I go on the Salvador and then the Primitivo. I don't know when I'll be in Santiago!
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Far too many...
#26
When will you be walking? Will you continue on to Santiago on the Frances from Sahagun? Just wondering if a Santiago meetup in July is a possibility. Buen camino, Laurie
Okay, I was in hurry before... What I wanted to say is... I haven't even looked the stages up properly so I have no idea when I'll be in Santiago (for the 453th time in that town... it's not a big deal for me anymore... I hope leaving the city rather quickly to go on the Camino Inglés (backwards...) to Ferrol or something, if I have enough time.

But I've read somewhere that
CamMadrid 12 stages
CamSalvador 5 stages
CamPrimitivo 13 stages (???) so then I'd be in Santiago the 24 of July? When will you be there? :OD

... Aaaaaah 24 of July?!?!? I ALWAYS end up there on that day and then it's the Day of Galicia (that all the pellygrims loooove) but I can never sleep whith the concerts/noise/drunken crowds outside every hostel. WHY oh why do I always get there the 24-25?!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo June 2013
SJPP - Logroño June 2014
Ingles July2016
#27
Yes you could walk the M601 from Navacerrada to Puerto Navacerrada and then Valsain You wouldn´t find snow But the road has traffic and therefore it wouldn´t be a nice walk. A few people walk that road (I dare to say nobody).
 
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route. 2018 was Camino #14
#28
Day 3 -- Manzanares to Cercedilla (19 km). Looking back on the two days, I would say it would not require a super-human effort to combine my days 2 and 3. Cercedilla is at the bottom of the ascent up the mountains on the way to Segovia. We stayed at the youth hostel, which has reserved a wing for peregrinos, with two-bed rooms and private baths. Cost is 12E for B&B. Dinner is also served for a fee. When we were there, there were several school groups, but given that they put us off in a separate wing, there wasn't much of a noise problem.

Day 4 -- Cercedilla to Segovia (31 km). A long slog into Segovia, and IMO it's really the many long flat kms after the ascent/descent that are the hardest. The way up is beautiful, on roman road with several roman bridges, in the middle of forest. No cars around, far from roads most of the time. And the way across on the ridge is also beautiful. Things start to change on the descent, where the pines disappear, and then when it flattens out, it's just a couple of hours watching Segovia in the distance. No albergue, lots of private options.

Laurie, I'm looking at a map and wondering why this route goes through Cercedilla at all?
Why can't a person just go straight from Navacerrada to Valsain?
It's more direct, according to the map, and fewer kilometers.
DOES the Camino follow the M601 or am I looking at the wrong map?


Screen Shot 2016-04-09 at 11.02.59 AM.png Screen Shot 2016-04-09 at 11.03.27 AM.png Screen Shot 2016-04-09 at 11.03.41 AM.png
 
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route. 2018 was Camino #14
#29
Yes you could walk the M601 from Navacerrada to Puerto Navacerrada and then Valsain You wouldn´t find snow But the road has traffic and therefore it wouldn´t be a nice walk. A few people walk that road (I dare to say nobody).
Ok... so is there a way to see the CAMINO on Google maps?
I can't seem to find it.
 
C

Castilian

Guest
#30
DOES the Camino follow the M601
No, it doesn't.

is there a way to see the CAMINO on Google maps?
You can find it at Wikiloc and some other webs but I don't think they are fully accurate. The map available at www.rayyrosa.com/caminodemadrid/cercedilla-segovia/mapa-y-track although not in Google Maps may be more accurate. On Google Maps, you can look for Puerto de la Fuenfría and it'll show you where's the mountain pass. If you go to the Satellite view of Google Maps, you can get a rough idea of the route up and down the pass.
 
#31
Annie, I think, if I'm understanding this right, you are looking at the map at the Puerto de Navacerrada (mountain pass), but the Camino goes through the town of Navacerrada. They are about 10 km apart from each other. I am not 100% positive, but I think that's the confusion. Laurie
 
C

Castilian

Guest
#32
I am not 100% positive, but I think that's the confusion.
Yes, that was. We sorted it out on another thread (or maybe in this one -too). The Camino crosses Navacerrada town but doesn't cross Navacerrada (Mountain) Pass but Fuenfría (Mountain) Pass that it's to the West of Navacerrada (Mountain) Pass.
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#33
CdM is just awesome. Go for it!
Personally I don't know about Norte though ;)
 
#34
CdM is just awesome. Go for it!
Personally I don't know about Norte though ;)
Hullo to all, especially Laurie.
I have a question, in fact, several. I am now 78, and have completed the CF twice, in stages. I have also done the Portuguese route and the de la plata from Malaga to Caceres ( by bus, train, taxi, thumb and two feet!). I was only 64 when I started all this and over the years my comfort zone plus daily walkies rarely now exceeds 10km. did a few 20's on recent stint August out of necessity but was distinctly unhappy, and so thought of cycling from Madrid to Astorga just for the sake of saying "that's that!". as i am flying into Madrid next May, it struck me I could just as easily point my nose north from Madrid. Any advice to an elderly but highly stubborn would be cyclist for this route? I simply cannot walk the distances you folk go on about! :)
Yours aye, The Malingerer.
PS I have the books, maps and app all lined up and have bought a second hand bike to practice 0n!
:)
Vaya con dios.
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#35
Hullo to all, especially Laurie.
I have a question, in fact, several. I am now 78, and have completed the CF twice, in stages. I have also done the Portuguese route and the de la plata from Malaga to Caceres ( by bus, train, taxi, thumb and two feet!). I was only 64 when I started all this and over the years my comfort zone plus daily walkies rarely now exceeds 10km. did a few 20's on recent stint August out of necessity but was distinctly unhappy, and so thought of cycling from Madrid to Astorga just for the sake of saying "that's that!". as i am flying into Madrid next May, it struck me I could just as easily point my nose north from Madrid. Any advice to an elderly but highly stubborn would be cyclist for this route? I simply cannot walk the distances you folk go on about! :)
Yours aye, The Malingerer.
PS I have the books, maps and app all lined up and have bought a second hand bike to practice 0n!
:)
Vaya con dios.
Hola!
I think you'll be good with bike on the majority of this route because it's mostly flat. There are few very short steeper sections and a major uphill after Cercedilla on the way to Segovia. I'm sure tarmac road is mush less steep than the official Camino but you can also skip it all together taking a train from Cercedila to Segovia which takes less than 40 minutes.
Ultreia!
 
#36
Hi Malingerer,
I agree with Kinky that you will find most of the Camino de Madrid is very good for cycling. Lots of unpaved trail, but nothing too rocky or steep. Except for the ascent after CErcedilla, as he says. It is both steep and rocky. It would be a shame to miss the views from the top, and the ascent through the forest is very nice, so it'd be worth investigating whether there are better biking alternatives.

Malingerer, if you can use a GPS you will see that there are lots of bike tracks loaded on wikiloc.com, so many people do this on bikes. Search by using the starting point and end point of the walking stages and you can also search only for hiking, biking, etc. It's a very nice camino with great infrastructure. I think in fact that the Camino de Madrid is more popular with cyclists than walkers so you may meet a few people. Buen camino, Laurie
 

jpflavin1

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(10,11,17), Vasco(12), Salvador(13), Primitivo(13), Norte(14), Madrid (16), Mozarabe (18)
#37
From all that I have heard about this particular Camino route it's surprising it is not more popular. I walked the Portuguese coastal and Variant Espiritual in Sept/Oct and ran into a few people with multiple routes under their feet who commented the Madrid was perhaps one of the best in terms of everything but the intense pilgrim infrastructure and constant companionship of the CF, which of course can also be a negative at times. One of those who was most impressed with the Madrid and stated it was a favourite was John Brierley whom I ran into in Vilanova waiting for the boat to Pont Cesures. Just as when I finished the CF in 2013 I told myself that was enough walking and I didn't feel the need for more. Then following this year's Portuguese and Finisterre I told myself I'm done, I've seen enough corn cribs and crosses to last a life time. Now a few weeks at home the pain in my feet has finally left and I'm needing to feed the monkey on my back once again. So, will it be the Norte or the Madrid.

FSPotter:

The Madrid and Norte are very different types of routes. The Madrid, imo, is an 11 to 14 day hike. It has an easy start and then some up hill with the steepest climb between Cercedilla and Segovia. The next section is some pine forest and you finish off with Meseta. My Madrid was very solitary. I only met two Pilgrims during my 11 day walk. The accommodations along the route were more than adequate with some very nice Albergues in Mataelpino and Villalon de Campos. I enjoyed this Camino but it is solitary.

The Norte is a 27 to 35 day hike, imo. This route is the most rigorous (day in and day out) of all the Camino's. There are many 500 meter climbs. Though the last third of the route is fairly gentle. There is a fair amount of hard pan walking but it is on rural tracts. The route will be populated so you will likely never be alone. The accommodations are very good though spaced less frequently than the Frances, leading to some longer days. There are several communal Albergues where meals are included. The most frequent complaint I have heard, regarding the Norte, is too much hard surface walking. This, imo, is far outweighed by the great seascapes. If you like ocean views, this Camino is for you.

Ultreya,
Joe
 
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cbcrna1

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
NONE
#38
My husband and I will be doing the Madrid starting May 21, flying in from US on May 20. Any suggestions on where to stay in Madrid that first night, we will not get in till 7pm. The first leg seems very long for us. Hoping we can figure out how to shorten it.
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#39
My husband and I will be doing the Madrid starting May 21, flying in from US on May 20. Any suggestions on where to stay in Madrid that first night, we will not get in till 7pm. The first leg seems very long for us. Hoping we can figure out how to shorten it.
If by "first leg" you mean Madrid - Tres Cantos (or even Colmenar Viejo) and wants to start at Santiago and San Juan church it can be shortened by walking only to the outskirts of Madrid and return to your hotel with public transport. And continue from end point the next day. And you can spend the afternoon sight-seeing.

Walk through Madrid is all the way on hard surface but mostly in the shade of the trees. I did that but I paid for that first stretch on asphalt in form of a bad blister that healed only just few days before SdC. Also last third of this leg is on asphalt that's why I think is better to divide it in two. Or maybe walk to Colmenar Viejo second day.

Buen Camino!
 
Camino(s) past & future
'Portuguese,Frances,Norte,Salvador/primitivo,Le puy, Inglés, CDM, Invierno, Fin/Mux, VDLP spring19
#40
My husband and I will be doing the Madrid starting May 21, flying in from US on May 20. Any suggestions on where to stay in Madrid that first night, we will not get in till 7pm. The first leg seems very long for us. Hoping we can figure out how to shorten it.
Hi
A few are starting from Madrid on March 23
Two have booked beds at hostel called ‘the hat’ which is close to our start (Church of Santiago & St John the Baptist). I have booked at Hostel Alonso which is not too far away.
You could check on gronze.com for camino Madrid and see the selection they have for Madrid.
Buen Camino
Annie
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis, SJPDP-Santiago (May 2016) Via de la Plata, Sevilla-Santiago (Sept 2016), CM/CF 2018
#41
Day 8 -- Alcazaren to Puente Duero (24 km). Another easy pleasant etapa, with two towns for bar stops (Siete Iglesias and Valdestillas). Albergue is great, run by the Amigos from Valladolid (Puente Duero is about 10 km outside Valladolid). There was a French hospitalera and we had a communal meal. Two small rooms with total of 7 beds, plus spotless bath. Breakfast was provided by hospitalera in the morning.

[If you plan to take a detour to visit Valladolid, which I highly recommend, this is where you have to decide how to do it. I did it the very easy way, giving myself two very short 6 km days -- I walked on Day 9 from Puente Duero to Simancas (6 km), and from there took the bus to Valladolid (easy, cheap, frequent buses). Then on Day 10, I took the bus back to Simancas in mid-afternoon and walked Simancas to Ciguñuela (another 6 km). I did that not only to have a lot of time to see Valladolid, but also because of reports that the albergue in Penaflor de Hornija was a bit on the sketchy side, and since I was alone, I opted for the highly recommended Ciguñuela.]

Day 10 -- Simancas to Ciguñuela (6 km). This albergue is in the old teacher's house, and is also used by local groups. The afternoon I was there a group of local women was making a whole bunch of traditional sweets, to be sold at a bake sale to help a teacher with certain legal bills. The albergue has two or three bedrooms, clean baths, and a big commons room downstairs off the kitchen.

Day 11 -- Ciguñuela to Castromonte (24 km). Flat, easy, off-road and pretty. The albergue is in the old schools, renovated to an extremely high standard. Other half of the building is the Casa de Cultura. Albergue has a modern kitchen with washing machine, microwave, stove, oven, refrigerator, one big room with about 15 bunks, and a couple of very clean and modern bathrooms. I was all alone. Luckily the traveling grocery truck passed through when I was there. There is one bar in town, owned and operated by a couple in their 90s. It's right in the main square, and the man showed me a picture of himself working behind a bar at age 14, so he's had a long career of it. When I walked into the bar around lunchtime, I saw a large group of workers eating and asked if I could eat. The response: Trajiste comida? (Did you bring the food?). Then I noticed that all the workers had lunch boxes and had merely gotten drinks from the bar. When I said no, the owner sent his wife to get some eggs out of the chicken coop and he made me a good lunch of eggs, chorizo, salad, and some very tasty local pastry for dessert. I did feel a little guilty that I was being served by people in their 90s.

Day 12 -- Castromonte to Medina de Rioseco (14 km). Another short day, but I was very happy to have the time to enjoy Medina. There was a big exhibit going on, which I have run into on other caminos, the annual "Edades de los Hombres" show put on by the Junta de Castilla y Leon. Albergue in the Convent right before the bridge over the river going into town. Rooms with two single beds, several bathrooms, showers, all very nicely maintained. Highly recommended.

Day 13 -- Medina de Rioseco to Villalón de Campos (27 km). Took the recommended alternative along the canal, which was then followed by 9 km on asphalt. Vilallón used to be a very important town, its pillory is reputed to have been carved by some of the people who put together the riotous barroque in the Burgos cathedral. This albergue is somehow connected to the albergue in Puente Duero and is staffed by volunteer hospitaleros when possible. Located in the priests' house, again with washing machine, full kitchen, nice bedrooms and bathrooms. I've never had a hospitalero "all to myself" before, and we had a very nice afternoon and evening, and then the next day he walked 8 km with me to the next town.

Day 14 -- Villalón to Sahagún (39? 40? -- I don't want to know). I had originally planned to break this into two days, and there are places to stop in Santervas (21 km from Villalón and with a spanking clean and new albergue) or Melgar de Arriba (6 km further on with a less spectacular place, I was told). But a visit to Moratinos was in my future, and spending two nights in the Peaceable was the trade-off I made for myself. So I just kept walking. Got lost a couple of times, was in a hard downpour for about a half hour, but by 5 or so I was in Sahagun and waiting in a bar for Rebekah to pick me up. Then, two nights frolic in the Peaceable, and then I just set out from there early in the morning, to continue on the Francés and ultimately to the Camino de Invierno.

I will try to summarize my experience in another post, but it's always easier for me to organize details and practical tips than it is to contemplate the more qualitative and emotional side of the Camino. As it stands right now, you have to be prepared to spend long hours alone, and maybe you'll be lucky and meet a few pilgrims. It wasn't the walking part that was hard, but sometimes the isolation of the post-walking hours was. I generally wound up talking with villagers, bar owners, pension owners, etc, but that would be hard without good Spanish. I learned a lot about life in these villages, local politics (municipal elections took place while I was walking so there was a lot of conversation about them), how the crisis is affecting villagers, etc. And as always, the blessing of walking quietly and in appreciation was perhaps the greatest gift of all.
Hi Laurie,

You gave me some good advise when I was debating which Camino to trek back in October 2016, when I ended up trekking the CVDLP.

Now I am heading out to walk the Camino de Madrid, arriving in Madrid May 9th. I finished the Plata but it was tough because I later found I was walking on a fractured tibia and also a knee that was bone on bone. That hasn’t stopped me, but just sidelined me until I had my knee replaced four months ago. The doctor gave me the go ahead to start trekking again and I figure I would do a Camino that was more level and not so rutted at first, so I figure the Madrid. I know there is the steep climb before Segovia but I assume the surface terrain is not so rough? I checked the weather and conditions and there won’t be any snow when I start. Any other tips?

Thanks,
Ted
 
#42
Hi Laurie,

You gave me some good advise when I was debating which Camino to trek back in October 2016, when I ended up trekking the CVDLP.

Now I am heading out to walk the Camino de Madrid, arriving in Madrid May 9th. I finished the Plata but it was tough because I later found I was walking on a fractured tibia and also a knee that was bone on bone. That hasn’t stopped me, but just sidelined me until I had my knee replaced four months ago. The doctor gave me the go ahead to start trekking again and I figure I would do a Camino that was more level and not so rutted at first, so I figure the Madrid. I know there is the steep climb before Segovia but I assume the surface terrain is not so rough? I checked the weather and conditions and there won’t be any snow when I start. Any other tips?

Thanks,
Ted
Hi Ted, the walk up to Fuenfria has a lot of distance on old rocky roads (there is apparently a debate over whether it’s a Roman road or not, but whatever it is, it isn’t smooth and gentle. But in general, I think that the surface of the Madrid is quite good-and very little asphalt!

I know there are other forum members who have walked with new knees, so good luck to you!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis, SJPDP-Santiago (May 2016) Via de la Plata, Sevilla-Santiago (Sept 2016), CM/CF 2018
#45
We are starting out from Madrid on May 7th, Ted. Maybe see you out there.

That would be great as I understand that there will be very few of us on the CDM.

I am flying in May 9 and am not sure exactly when I’ll start, but hopefully within a day or two after that? You might be way ahead of me by then. It would be nice to stay in touch with you.
 
#46
Hi Laurie,

Thanks @peregrina2000 for the maps of Madrid and suggestions about the most pleasant way to get to Plaza de Castilla.

I booked a flight today for next Tuesday and so will be heading north on the same day:) My flight arrives at 10.30 a.m. so I have lots of time to get to the Iglesia de Santiago and to walk to Tres Cantos.

Playing with stage possibilities which are not particularly leisurely but should work:

Day 1 Madrid - Tres Cantos 26 km
Day 2 Tres Cantos - Mataelpino 33 km
Day 3 Mataelpino - La Granja de San Ildefonso 35 km
Day 4 La Granja - Segovia 12 km (time to visit)
Day 5 Segovia - Santa Maria la Real de Nieva 33 km
Day 6 Santa Maria - ?Villeguillo 29 km
Day 7 Villeguillo - Puente Duero 42 km
Day 8 Puente Duero - Penaflor de Hornija 28 km
Day 9 Penaflor - Medina de Rioseco 25 km
Day 10 Medina - Villalon de Campos 27 km
Day 11 Villalon - Granjal de Campos 30 km (or Villalon - Sahagun 35 km)
====

Depending on a few factors hope to walk to Leon in 2 days and then continue on the Salvador to Olviedo.

What do you think about these stages? Day three may be a bit much with the Puerto de Fuenfria but understand that you can reserve the albergue in La Granja which would mean I could take my time.

If anyone else has a comment please chim in.

Anyone else heading out next week?

Cheers
LT

@peregrina2000 Is day 3 crazy? Looking at info from @Kiwi-family and @Magwood it looks like most stay in Cercedilla (15 km from Mataelpino) and only walk to La Granja the next day (26 km). I'm asking you as we've walked together. I would usually leave this open and see how I feel but don't know if the albergue in La Granja will be busy. Some advise to book the albergue in La Granja as not only for pilgrims.
 
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#47
Hi, Lee, I think you will be fine. I was walking shorter distances than I am now when I walked this route, but walked from Cercedilla to Segovia without a problem. I remember being in Segovia in plenty of time for a menú del día. That's a shorter day than you will be walking, and has a bit less ascent, true. The problelm with that stage for me was not the ascent, but the long flat slog into Segovia. The ascent to Fuenfría is not strenuous. You will add the ascent from Mataelpino to Navacerrada to that, but I don't think it will be a killer. Compare the Granada to Moclín stage on the Mozárabe, I got to Moclín by 4 and that was 38, I think -- and you would have gotten there earlier, so if that wasn't a problem, this 35 km won't be bad for you. And as you say, if you have a reservation, you can take your time. There are no services after Cercedilla till Segovia, or in your case, till Valsaín.

Reb has said on Rachel's (kiwi-family) recent post that you shouldn't count on staying in Grajal, it's off and on, so you may had to add a totally flat 12 kms into Sahagún on that day. I actually walked Vilallón to Sahagún and got lost twice, so that added a few km, and I don't think it was more than 40. Maybe there is something off with your calculation of Vilallón to Grajal. In any case, I'm sure you could walk on to Sahagún if I managed while getting lost twice and being in a torrential rainstorm for about 45 minutes.

One option would be to add the 7 km to Navacerrada on to your day To Mataelpino, maybe see how you are feeling when you get there. That would be a way to divide the ascents, though I don't think you will have a problem. Buen camino,
 
#48
Reb has said on Rachel's (kiwi-family) recent post that you shouldn't count on staying in Grajal, it's off and on, so you may had to add a totally flat 12 kms into Sahagún on that day. I actually walked Vilallón to Sahagún and got lost twice, so that added a few km, and I don't think it was more than 40. Maybe there is something off with your calculation of Vilallón to Grajal. In any case, I'm sure you could walk on to Sahagún if I managed while getting lost twice and being in a torrential rainstorm for about 45 minutes.

,
@peregrina2000
Thanks Laurie, I will give it a go. The reasonably priced hostal in Segovia is booked out the following night so there is another reason to make this work!

I may just skip Grajal and move on to Sahagun. You are right, I recalculated the stage based on the Gronze website and Villalon to Grajal is a little under 30 km and not 34 as I posted. Where did you get lost?
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF15, CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF17, CP17, CdN, CM, CF18, LePuy19
#49
The lack of signage after Peñaflor added 20km to my day and I only got as far as Castromonte. There is path covered in grass running parallel to the road which is the correct direction. Buen Camino.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Portugués, Francés, Le Puy, Rota Vicentina, De Soulac, Norte, Madrid-Salv-Primitivo
#51
I may just skip Grajal
Nooooooo . . . try not to skip Grajal. It is the best albergue on the whole CdM! I had the whole palace (yes, I did say "palace" not "place) to myself. It's a lovely village too, that pilgrims don't see if they don't stay there, as it's slightly off-route. It is well-worth the detour! Oh, and there is a castle there too . . . .
 
#53
Nooooooo . . . try not to skip Grajal. It is the best albergue on the whole CdM! I had the whole palace (yes, I did say "palace" not "place) to myself. It's a lovely village too, that pilgrims don't see if they don't stay there, as it's slightly off-route. It is well-worth the detour! Oh, and there is a castle there too . . . .
The suggestion to skip Grajal came from a comment Reb made to Kiwi-mama a few days ago:

Don't count on staying at Grajal. Finding the guy with the key is very hit-or-miss, some people there are convinced the albergue is unfinished and is never open. La Vid, the bar/restaurant alongside the plaza, is reliably good, if slow. They make good burgers! There is also a tiny grocery store in Grajal.


I got lost on the way into Arenillas, and then I also turned right too quickly after leaving Grajal.

Gronze shows that the route has changed so it no longer goes through Melgar de Arriba, which is what I did, and that's where I got lost before Arenillas (in any event, the key is to make sure you go into town and not up to the detention basin or whatever the water holding pond is).

And the second time -- As Jilll said, Grajal the town is a bit off camino. You are coming up along the small river. At an intersection, it's over the bridge and to the right to Grajal, to the left for Sahagún. After you go left, there was a marked trail to the right with an information board. I didn't see any arrows so just went that way. Turns out the arrows are a little further on and take you more directly into Sahagun.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Portugués, Francés, Le Puy, Rota Vicentina, De Soulac, Norte, Madrid-Salv-Primitivo
#54
The bar owner pointed me to the town hall (next to the albergue) for the albergue key. There were some kids sitting on the benches outside the town hall, so I asked them about the albergue key. They had great fun practising their English on me! They knew where the man who had the key lived, so they offered to get him for me. But meanwhile the man himself was inside the town hall, and must have seen us from the upstairs window, as he came out with the key and opened up.
Jill
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
St Olav/Francés ('16)
Baztanés/Francés ('17)
Ingles ('18)
#57
Happy walking, Lee! May it be a joy.
Buen Camino!
(This is a combo I have been eyeing for a while, so I'm bookmarking as I read. Thanking everyone for their input as I do....)
 

jerbear

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino de madrid, camino francis, camino inverino (2012, 2013,2014)
CdM, Francis, San salvador, primativo june 2015 CDM , francis, inverino 2016
Camino madrid, via de Plata. Santiago.
Coast of the dead malpica to muxia
#58
There is a nice alburge in Zamarrala. Opens at 2. 8 euros.New alburge in los hurtos
. very nice. Ask at bar.
Ane. Bar is open sat and sun. I am there now! Bc
 
Camino(s) past & future
Portugués, Francés, Le Puy, Rota Vicentina, De Soulac, Norte, Madrid-Salv-Primitivo
#59
There is a nice alburge in Zamarrala. Opens at 2.
Beware the bar in Zamarramala! You have to go there to get the key. He will tell you that there is nowhere to buy provisions etc, and that the bar the next day, in the next village, does not open until 12pm. He is lying on both counts. But you buy an expensive bocadillo from him (for next day’s breakfast), and he will charge you 12 euros for a bottle of wine to take-away. Later that afternoon there is a tiny shop that opens (between the bar and the albergue), where you can buy not only provisions, but the same bottle of wine for 3.50 euros. The next morning you can get breakfast in the bar in the next village (Valseca). We arrived there just after 9am. It’s one of the few times I have been well and truly ripped off on the camino.
Jill
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances in 2016, Portuguese in 2017, and Frances again in 2018. Planning Madrid to Santiago 4/19.
#60
Is it possible to do the Camino Madrid in 15 to 20 K stages? The answer for this may already be in a thread somewhere, but I was not able to locate it. Thank you
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#61
Albergue in Zamaramala now has hospitalero from Segovia Ayto. present in the afternoon. No need to get the key (which is actually the code) in a bar.

@jsalt : If you were mentioning the bar/rte to the right after the plaza I find it strange that they ripped you off. Two months ago they rang a tienda owner for me (we became kind of friends on my 2014 CdM) and it seems like they are good friends. Also the supper was hearty and not expensive at all.
But maybe you were in one of the two other restaurants in the village?
 
Camino(s) past & future
Portugués, Francés, Le Puy, Rota Vicentina, De Soulac, Norte, Madrid-Salv-Primitivo
#62
I find it strange that they ripped you off
I can remember only the one bar/restaurant in Zamarramala. He said he would not be open that evening, and that there was nothing else open in town. And everywhere would be shut next morning as well, including in the next village. That was how it was translated to me by the Spanish speakers amongst the 5 of us who were there at the time. That was why we all fell for having to buy food and wine from him.
Jill
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances in 2016, Portuguese in 2017, and Frances again in 2018. Planning Madrid to Santiago 4/19.
#63
Day 8 -- Alcazaren to Puente Duero (24 km). Another easy pleasant etapa, with two towns for bar stops (Siete Iglesias and Valdestillas). Albergue is great, run by the Amigos from Valladolid (Puente Duero is about 10 km outside Valladolid). There was a French hospitalera and we had a communal meal. Two small rooms with total of 7 beds, plus spotless bath. Breakfast was provided by hospitalera in the morning.

[If you plan to take a detour to visit Valladolid, which I highly recommend, this is where you have to decide how to do it. I did it the very easy way, giving myself two very short 6 km days -- I walked on Day 9 from Puente Duero to Simancas (6 km), and from there took the bus to Valladolid (easy, cheap, frequent buses). Then on Day 10, I took the bus back to Simancas in mid-afternoon and walked Simancas to Ciguñuela (another 6 km). I did that not only to have a lot of time to see Valladolid, but also because of reports that the albergue in Penaflor de Hornija was a bit on the sketchy side, and since I was alone, I opted for the highly recommended Ciguñuela.]

Day 10 -- Simancas to Ciguñuela (6 km). This albergue is in the old teacher's house, and is also used by local groups. The afternoon I was there a group of local women was making a whole bunch of traditional sweets, to be sold at a bake sale to help a teacher with certain legal bills. The albergue has two or three bedrooms, clean baths, and a big commons room downstairs off the kitchen.

Day 11 -- Ciguñuela to Castromonte (24 km). Flat, easy, off-road and pretty. The albergue is in the old schools, renovated to an extremely high standard. Other half of the building is the Casa de Cultura. Albergue has a modern kitchen with washing machine, microwave, stove, oven, refrigerator, one big room with about 15 bunks, and a couple of very clean and modern bathrooms. I was all alone. Luckily the traveling grocery truck passed through when I was there. There is one bar in town, owned and operated by a couple in their 90s. It's right in the main square, and the man showed me a picture of himself working behind a bar at age 14, so he's had a long career of it. When I walked into the bar around lunchtime, I saw a large group of workers eating and asked if I could eat. The response: Trajiste comida? (Did you bring the food?). Then I noticed that all the workers had lunch boxes and had merely gotten drinks from the bar. When I said no, the owner sent his wife to get some eggs out of the chicken coop and he made me a good lunch of eggs, chorizo, salad, and some very tasty local pastry for dessert. I did feel a little guilty that I was being served by people in their 90s.

Day 12 -- Castromonte to Medina de Rioseco (14 km). Another short day, but I was very happy to have the time to enjoy Medina. There was a big exhibit going on, which I have run into on other caminos, the annual "Edades de los Hombres" show put on by the Junta de Castilla y Leon. Albergue in the Convent right before the bridge over the river going into town. Rooms with two single beds, several bathrooms, showers, all very nicely maintained. Highly recommended.

Day 13 -- Medina de Rioseco to Villalón de Campos (27 km). Took the recommended alternative along the canal, which was then followed by 9 km on asphalt. Vilallón used to be a very important town, its pillory is reputed to have been carved by some of the people who put together the riotous barroque in the Burgos cathedral. This albergue is somehow connected to the albergue in Puente Duero and is staffed by volunteer hospitaleros when possible. Located in the priests' house, again with washing machine, full kitchen, nice bedrooms and bathrooms. I've never had a hospitalero "all to myself" before, and we had a very nice afternoon and evening, and then the next day he walked 8 km with me to the next town.

Day 14 -- Villalón to Sahagún (39? 40? -- I don't want to know). I had originally planned to break this into two days, and there are places to stop in Santervas (21 km from Villalón and with a spanking clean and new albergue) or Melgar de Arriba (6 km further on with a less spectacular place, I was told). But a visit to Moratinos was in my future, and spending two nights in the Peaceable was the trade-off I made for myself. So I just kept walking. Got lost a couple of times, was in a hard downpour for about a half hour, but by 5 or so I was in Sahagun and waiting in a bar for Rebekah to pick me up. Then, two nights frolic in the Peaceable, and then I just set out from there early in the morning, to continue on the Francés and ultimately to the Camino de Invierno.

I will try to summarize my experience in another post, but it's always easier for me to organize details and practical tips than it is to contemplate the more qualitative and emotional side of the Camino. As it stands right now, you have to be prepared to spend long hours alone, and maybe you'll be lucky and meet a few pilgrims. It wasn't the walking part that was hard, but sometimes the isolation of the post-walking hours was. I generally wound up talking with villagers, bar owners, pension owners, etc, but that would be hard without good Spanish. I learned a lot about life in these villages, local politics (municipal elections took place while I was walking so there was a lot of conversation about them), how the crisis is affecting villagers, etc. And as always, the blessing of walking quietly and in appreciation was perhaps the greatest gift of all.
Thank you for your thorough and informative posting. Is it possible to walk from Madrid to Sahgun doing15 to 20 k days?
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances in 2016, Portuguese in 2017, and Frances again in 2018. Planning Madrid to Santiago 4/19.
#65
Camino(s) past & future
Frances in 2016, Portuguese in 2017, and Frances again in 2018. Planning Madrid to Santiago 4/19.
#66
Completely doable. Even the toughest stage over the Fuenfria Pass could be shorten to 20k if you sleep in one of the two Albergues juvenil in Las Dehesas (just after the Cercedilla) and then walk the Valsain variante:
https://www.gronze.com/etapa/cercedilla/segovia
This app you included is completely new to me but it looks wonderful. It looks like a pilgrim doesn't need anything for that walk but that app, would that be your experience? Thanks again.
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#67
This app you included is completely new to me but it looks wonderful. It looks like a pilgrim doesn't need anything for that walk but that app, would that be your experience? Thanks again.
When in 2014 I walked Madrid I had printed CSJ guidebook which I didn't find accurate many times. Since then I always compile my own guidebooks from the internet sources.
Try also:
http://www.mundicamino.com/los-caminos/40/camino-de-madrid/
There is plenty other sites on internet about CdM but with Gronze or Mundicamino you'll be OK. It's well marked route and what you really need are distances to plan your stages and easy access to accommodation details (phone numbers, addresses...).

Buen Camino!
 
Last edited:

Alvin T

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2
#69
I'm planning to walk the Camino de Madrid in spring - early May. Will I meet any other pilgrims at that time?
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2014); Madrid, Salvador (2018)
#71
I walked with a friend in early May 2018 and we only came across a handful of pilgrims on the route. It is quite a lonely one. That being said we found the locals welcoming and never had a problem finding a bed!

PS. The first part from Madrid to Segovia is gorgeous. If you don’t want to do the mountain walk you can take a train from Cercedilla to Segovia.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances x5, Portuguese VdlP12, Sanabres, Aragones, Norte,Salvador,Primitivo, VdlP 17,Madrid18
#72
Anyone know if its possible to get to Irun from Segovia,without going back to Madrid? I would like to walk the first few days on the Madrid before walking the Norte with my son.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese.
#73
I, like timr, walked in May. Two days into the walk I was in an albergue and found myself in a nice group of 5 people, and we stayed together until we hit the CF, when three of the group raced ahead to meet deadlines.

Meeting that group was just a matter of luck because we rarely saw any other pilgrims.
 

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