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Walking from Virgen del Camino

cosan

Member
Camino(s) past & future
july 2016
I will be walking from Leon and am undecided about which route to take from Virgin del Camino.
The direct route is to Villadangos del Paramo. The longer but quieter route is to Mazarife. Which should I take?
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2016, Mansill de las Mulas to Finisterre and Muxia 2017, Camino Aragones 2018
Take the longer quieter route to Mazarife. It is not much longer. Last year standing in the middle of the path, I marveled at being alone, then started to hear the wind in the fields and the birds. It was quite mystical. In one small area I was the only person with no other sign of civilization except for the path.
 
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RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times
I have taken both, and I like the Villadangos del Paramo route. It seems to be the road less traveled, and I suppose that is mostly due to the Brierley guidebook having the Mazarife route as primary or recommended. I like the road less traveled, even if it does go along a highway for a lot of it, ha ha.
Also the times I walked it I went on to San Martin del Camino. Never stayed in Villadangos del Paramo.
While on the subject of those routes, the couple of times I took the Villadangos route, while walking it and passing that small town of San Miguel, there was a table set up in front of an older gentleman's residence there, right on the path. He had candy and biscuits put out, as well as a cooler of water and a bench to sit and rest on. So lovely. While I was resting, he came out his residence and got cool water so I could refill my bottles. He had a sello and a logbook you could write in.
That's one of my favorite Camino memories. Such a simple and humble little bit of kindness and hospitality I encountered there.
 
Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean 2017.
Hola @cosan;
I have travelled both routes: 2015 I cycled the highway - I missed the turnoff;
May 2017 I walked (in the rain) the Mazarife and even in the rain it was enjoyable. Every much more peaceful - you can have as much company as you want or travel alone!!
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
From Leon it is only 7 km to La Virgen del Camino and an extraordinary 20th century church. The town is named for a famous 15th century figure of the Virgin holding the dead body of Christ. Today the figure is in a splendid church designed in the 1960s by a Dominican monk, Francisco Coello, a follower of the Brutalist style of Le Corbusier. Located directly on the Camino Frances at Av Astorga, 87, in the midst of chaotic suburb the church is a superbly maintained architectural gem as well as a haven of peace. Be sure to enter it; the calm interior is splendidly lit with deep chrome yellow glass.

Opposite the church you can choose to either continue on the main camino which parallels the highway or pick up the peaceful alternative camino route going slightly southwest towards Villar de Mazarife. It is always very pleasant to escape the N120 highway noise and suburban sprawl while crossing wide flat plains up to V de M where there are several pilgrim albergues and regular accommodation. From V d M the alternative camino continues to Hospital de Órbigo to rejoin the main CF. You can read more about the alternative more rural route in this earlier Forum thread .

Hospital de Orbigo offers many accommodation options; my favorite is the Albergue Verde. They accept reservations and offer wonderful group meals each evening. Leaving HdO turn right to follow the camino towards Astorga via Santibanez de Valdeiglesias on a wonderful rolling rural path.

Carpe diem!
 

Scott...O

Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP-Leon (15)
SJPdP-SdC-Finisterre-Muxia (16)
Lisbon-SdC (17)

Le Puy-Pamplona (19)
+1 for the Mazarife option
 

cosan

Member
Camino(s) past & future
july 2016
Take the longer quieter route. It is not much longer. Last year standing in the middle of the path, I marveled at being alone, then started to hear the wind in the fields and the birds. It was quite mystical. In one small area I was the only person with no other sign of civilization except for the path.
This sounds so peaceful and what I want from the camino. Is it safe enough as I travel alone?
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
This sounds so peaceful and what I want from the camino. Is it safe enough as I travel alone?
Yes it is as safe as any place is ! In late autumn /winter there may be hunters about but they have always avoided walking directly on the trail when I was there in the past. Once I met a Spanish military troop out training!
One never knows what will be in the future but it always was very safe and bucolic during my past walks. Why not try it?
 

Fletchonides

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP - Pamplona (2014)
Pamplona - Burgos (2016)
Burgos - Leon (June 2017)
Leon - SdC (June 2018)
We just walked from Leon to Santiago, and took the San Martin/road route. It was relatively tedious, broken by the superb church in la Virgen del Camino. The reason we did it was so that we would have a shorter day into Astorga the next day, which I think is about 30km if you go the scenic route through Mazarife? Still happy with that decision, but it was one of our least favourite days walking.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2016
We took the route through Villar de Mazarife and stayed at Albergue San Anton de Padua. Stopped there on a whim as we liked the front lawn! Fabulous vegetarian pilgrim's meal, very international crowd, with a ceremonial recitation of a Galician incantation over and serving of queimada, a flaming drink made from orujo, coffee beans, and orange peels. One of our favorite communal meals. The next morning we started before dawn and saw literallly thousands of storks feeding in a wet field of newly-mowed grain as the sun rose. One of my very favorite camino moments. So a thumbs up from me for the Villar de Mazarife option.
 

Vacajoe

Traded in my work boots for hiking ones
Camino(s) past & future
2019 Biarritz-Pamplona-Lourdes
2018 Aragon/Frances/Finis
2018 Operation Sabre
2018 Marin Ramble
Go the quiet route and DEFINITELY stop in at the ominous sounding, “Humanitarian Help Point” for a cold drink, fresh fruit, and a sparkling clean toilet. You’ll know it when you see it, but so many folks don’t take the 2 minute detour!1E026FF6-789D-458A-AB43-15550B2E5473.jpeg52443C52-6E57-4283-BC3D-400C5B82632D.jpeg
 

tpmchugh

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013)
Camino Frances (2015)
I will be walking from Leon and am undecided about which route to take from Virgin del Camino.
The direct route is to Villadangos del Paramo. The longer but quieter route is to Mazarife. Which should I take?
Mazarife all day long. Did Villadangos once and regretted it. Long hot dusty and traffic fumes the whole way. Maybe things have changed but in 2015 there was nowhere to stop, nowhere to eat and drink, worst walk of my entire camino and I have been out there five times
 

tpmchugh

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013)
Camino Frances (2015)
I have taken both, and I like the Villadangos del Paramo route. It seems to be the road less traveled, and I suppose that is mostly due to the Brierley guidebook having the Mazarife route as primary or recommended. I like the road less traveled, even if it does go along a highway for a lot of it, ha ha.
Also the times I walked it I went on to San Martin del Camino. Never stayed in Villadangos del Paramo.
While on the subject of those routes, the couple of times I took the Villadangos route, while walking it and passing that small town of San Miguel, there was a table set up in front of an older gentleman's residence there, right on the path. He had candy and biscuits put out, as well as a cooler of water and a bench to sit and rest on. So lovely. While I was resting, he came out his residence and got cool water so I could refill my bottles. He had a sello and a logbook you could write in.
That's one of my favorite Camino memories. Such a simple and humble little bit of kindness and hospitality I encountered there.
Last time I checked Brierley, Villadangos was marked as the yellow route and Mazarife the green. If you read his small print he says it is the traditional route not his recommended but anyone used to his previous editions will take yellow as recommended and green as alternative
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times
Last time I checked Brierley, Villadangos was marked as the yellow route and Mazarife the green. If you read his small print he says it is the traditional route not his recommended but anyone used to his previous editions will take yellow as recommended and green as alternative
I do not know about all that. I just like to stay in San Martin del Camino. The walking along traffic bit never bothered me much. I have even just walked all the way to Hospital, as it is only about another 5 km I think past San Martin.
I try to avoid the recommended stops in the Brierley. I only use it as a reference because of the maps, not the advice.
 

Bob from L.A. !

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis 2012, 2014, 2016. Camino Norte 2018. Many more to come in my future God willing !
I vote Mazarife.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2017
CF 2018
CP 2019
I’ve taken both routes. And I just arrived at Hopital d’Orbigo today from mazariffe. Take the Mazariffe route. Worth the extra few km for the quiet beauty.
 

Bala

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances: SJPdP-Burgos, (2015); Burgos-Sarria (2018); Sarria-Santiago (2018).
Frances (2020)
This sounds so peaceful and what I want from the camino. Is it safe enough as I travel alone?
@cosan , I walked alone in April and felt perfectly safe. I passed, or was passed by, just enough pilgrims to know there were others around, but most of the time I had the trail to myself. It was peaceful, beautiful, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
 

cosan

Member
Camino(s) past & future
july 2016
Thank you pilgrims for the advice. I took the alternative route and loved it. Lots of pilgrims leaving from León but after Villar de Mazirife I had the road to myself. The walk from there through Villavente to Hospital D’Orbiga was one of the most beautiful of my Camino. I stayed in the parochial albergue there and was treated so kindly. When I arrived, hot & dusty, the hospitalier sat me down & gave me a glass of cold water.
 

biarritzdon

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF&CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF&CP17, CdN18, CM18, CF18, LePuy19
And tomorrow make sure to take the slightly longer route to the right out of Hospital via David's oasis on your way to Astorga.
 

cosan

Member
Camino(s) past & future
july 2016
Yes. I did take that route. I was a bit confused leaving the town but I had left the albergue with two pilgrims and they opted for that route. I walked with them and made new friendships.
 

lynpeas

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Will be walking the last 300k of the Camino, Leon to Santiago in April/May (2019)
We will be leaving Leon on March 25, 2019. Our onfor that evening are in Villadangos, but we would like to take the more scenic route to Mazarife on our first day. Is it possible to get a cab or bus from Mazarife to Villadangos. I have mapped the route and it is only about 15 minutes by car. I'm really not keen on the idea of walking along a highway all day. I did that on my first day walking the Hadrian's Wall path and while the path meandered through Newscastle, much of it was along busy roads and less enjoyable than when we finally were out of the city.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2016
We will be leaving Leon on March 25, 2019. Our onfor that evening are in Villadangos, but we would like to take the more scenic route to Mazarife on our first day. Is it possible to get a cab or bus from Mazarife to Villadangos. I have mapped the route and it is only about 15 minutes by car. I'm really not keen on the idea of walking along a highway all day. I did that on my first day walking the Hadrian's Wall path and while the path meandered through Newscastle, much of it was along busy roads and less enjoyable than when we finally were out of the city.
I suggest you walk to Villar de Mazarife, spend the night, and then in the AM walk due north on the "green" alternative camino (in Brierley's guide) on to Hospital de Orbigo and spend the night there or go farther. It is a lovely walk and the first stretch is on a very quiet road.The second half is on a camino path. If you are walking the alternate "green" route there is no reason to go to Vallandangos del Páramos.
 
Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean 2017.
I will be walking from Leon and am undecided about which route to take from Virgin del Camino.
The direct route is to Villadangos del Paramo. The longer but quieter route is to Mazarife. Which should I take?
Hold @cosan. I cycled the highway in 2015 and walked via Mazarife (in the rain) in 2017. The highway was not fun - all trucks and cars and fumes. The Camino via Mazarife was a lot quieter and far more enjoyable. Once you turn of the highway you have to cross a motorway and it might not look all that inviting but 1 km further west it comes good.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean 2017.
I suggest you walk to Villar de Mazarife, spend the night, and then in the AM walk due north on the "green" alternative camino (in Brierley's guide) on to Hospital de Orbigo and spend the night there or go farther. It is a lovely walk and the first stretch is on a very quiet road.The second half is on a camino path. If you are walking the alternate "green" route there is no reason to go to Vallandangos del Páramos.
"Due North"from Mazarife?? May I respectfully suggest you get a new compass. The Camino from Mazarife heads west and then west/north-west to Villavante (your coffee stop) and north-west to Hospital de Orbigo. Cheers
 

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