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Camino Frances Stage 3: Burgos to León

Camino Frances Stage 3: Burgos to León

Overview

The Camino Frances is the most famous Camino route, walked by millions of pilgrims from all over the globe since the Middle Ages. More than just a pilgrimage, the Camino is a unique social and cultural experience and a truly memorable adventure.

Follow in the footsteps of medieval pilgrims, walking the third stage of the French Way. Starting from the medieval city of Burgos, with its impressive Gothic cathedral, this section takes you across the vast, wide-open spaces of the Meseta, dotted with hamlets, picturesque sleepy villages and Romanesque churches. You will finish in the elegant León, with its impressive cathedral and Roman walls, the Romanesque Royal Basilica of Saint Isidoro and the neo-Gothic Casa de Botines, built by Gaudí. Treat yourself to the exquisite local cheeses and cured meats.

Highlights

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Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Burgos

Arrive in the town of Burgos. Take some time to explore Burgos: admire the beauty of its historic centre, enjoy a stroll along the magnificent promenade by the river and taste delicious local tapas in the old town. Burgos has been referred to as the Gothic capital of Spain, and the city’s cathedral is probably one of the most impressive in the country.

Day 2: Burgos to Hornillos del Camino | 21 km

After your night in Burgos, your Camino will continue along earthen tracks, among the immense crop fields of the region. On your way to Hornillos del Camino, you will cross small woods of holm oak and conifers, but in general, there is little shade along this stretch of the Camino de Santiago, so make sure you take enough water with you, as well as hat and sun cream. Hornillos del Camino, with only 70 inhabitants, is a classic Camino village of medieval origin.

  • Walking for the day: 21 km, 5 hours
  • Accommodation: Hotel La Consulta de Isar or similar in Hornillos

Day 3: Hornillos to Castrojeriz | 20 km

From Hornillos del Camino, you will continue walking in the peaceful vastness of the Meseta, with only nature and huge crop fields around you. After leaving Hornillos, the Camino de Santiago gradually climbs up a plateau before descending to the valley of the River Bol and the pretty town of Castrojeriz. In Castrojeriz, you can visit the 9th-century hilltop castle, recently reopened to visitors.

Day 4: Castrojeriz to Frómista | 25 km

From Castrojeriz, your Camino will leave the plains of the Burgos region and reach the highest point of the Meseta: Alto Mosterales. After crossing the Pisuerga River, you will enter the Palencia province and the vast plains of ‘Tierra de Campos’, the Land of Fields, and you will soon understand why. Stop to visit the 14th-century church ‘La Asunción’ in Boadilla, famous for its Gothic architecture and gorgeous carved baptismal font. Approaching Frómista, you will walk along a stretch of the Canal de Castilla, an 18th-century canal.

  • Walking for the day: 25 km, 6 hours
  • Accommodation: Hotel San Martin or similar in Frómista

Day 5: Frómista to Carrión de Los Condes | 19 km

Visit the beautiful 11th-century Church of St Martin in Frómista. After your night in the town, your Camino trail takes you along a track parallel to the road, but you can take an alternative, more scenic route at Población de Campos, via Villovieco, along the peaceful banks of the Ucieza River. You will rejoin the Camino at Villalcázar de Sirga and finish your day’s walk at Carrión de Los Condes.

  • Walking for the day: 19 km, 5 hours
  • Accommodation: Hotel La Corte or similar in Carrión de Los Condes

Day 6: Carrión to Calzadilla de la Cueza | 17 km

After your night in Carrión de Los Condes, visit the impressive San Zoilo Monastery.  For 13 km, your Camino will follow natural tracks along the old Roman road called ‘Via Aquitania’ and also along a stretch of the original paved road. The ‘Via Aquitania’ used to link Bordeaux and Astorga and was frequently used by French pilgrims on their way to Santiago.

  • Walking for the day: 17 km, 4 hours
  • Accommodation: Hotel Camino Real or similar in Calzadilla de la Cueza

Day 7: Calzadilla to Sahagún | 22 km

After your night in Calzadilla de la Cueza, your Camino today is full of ‘cuezas’ or little valleys, so parts of the walk may be slightly tougher than the previous days. The Camino route moves away from the road and continues along nice peaceful oak woods before emerging to cereal fields. You will cross the river Valderaduey into the León province and head to Sahagún, where the church of San Lorenzo is well worth a visit.

  • Walking for the day: 22 km, 6 hours
  • Accommodation: Hotel La Codorniz or similar in Sahagún

Day 8: Sahagún to El Burgo Ranero | 18 km

From Sahagún, the Camino continues across cereal and grain crops, taking pilgrims to the plateau of León. Today, you will pass the pretty village of Reliegos on your way to El Burgo Ranero. Also, on this section of the Camino, you will have the opportunity to take the ‘Vía Traiana’, another trail to Santiago, starting in Bordeaux.

Day 9: El Burgo to Mansilla de las Mulas | 19 km

From El Burgo Ranero, an easy walk awaits you today. Your path continues through the village of Reliegos before descending slowly into the town of Mansilla de las Mulas.

Day 10: Mansilla to León | 19 km

From Mansilla de las Mulas, you will walk past crop fields before spotting the first signs of industrial activity further on as you approach the city of León. From Portillo Hill onwards, you will be able to spot the beautiful city of León ahead.

  • Walking for the day: 19 km, 4-5 hours
  • Accommodation: Hotel Conde Luna or similar in León

Day 11: Departure

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before heading back to the airport. We highly recommend booking additional nights in Leon to explore this great city.

What to Expect

Accommodation

Accommodations on this tour include a mix of welcoming country inns and comfortable hotels located close to the Camino route. You will always have a private room and an en-suite (attached) bathroom. The accommodation places have been carefully selected for their location, atmosphere and/or unique services. Below you can see some samples, but please note that the Camino is a very popular destination and the hotels in your final booking confirmation may be different from the ones pictured below. Extra nights can be booked at any of the accommodations along the way.

Click to view default hotels

*Hotels are subject to availability. In case a particular hotel is fully booked for your desired dates, we will replace it with a hotel of equal or higher value and quality level. We will provide exact accommodation details to you upon booking confirmation.

Meals

Breakfast is included (usually a simple buffet breakfast/coffee and toast/bread/croissant) on all days. When no restaurant location is available on the route, lunches and snacks should either be bought from local shops, or packed lunch can be pre-ordered from your hotel the night before. Where no dinner is included, most places serve hearty pilgrim menus – you can get a 3-course dinner including wine and water for about GBP 10-15 pp.

Difficulty & terrain

This walk is graded moderate and includes walks of 4-7 hours, and up to 25 km a day (21 km on average); the terrain is mostly flat, rarely undulating with some occasional steeper ascents (read more about difficulty grades). You will follow a mixture of farm/dirt tracks, minor roads and footpaths. The routes are perfectly waymarked with yellow painted arrows and a yellow shell on a blue background, and the itinerary is very easy to follow. We strongly advise you to follow only marked trails and never try to shorten the path through the unknown and unmarked terrain. We will provide you with maps, and you can call our 24/7 local assistance phone number anytime.

When to go

This trip is available to depart from 1 March till 15 November; the best months to visit are April – June and September – October, as in the summer months it may become too hot (and crowded). The flexibility of self guided walking holidays means that there are no fixed dates, and you can start your trip on any date during the season.

Getting there

FCO up-to-date travel advice

Click to view travel options

By plane

Our recommended airport for this tour is Bilbao. The alternative airports are Santander and Madrid.

By train or bus

Arrival in Burgos: Burgos is easily reachable by train from Madrid with Renfe, which takes around 2.5 h. Alternatively, you can take the bus with Alsa, which takes around 3 h.

  • Bilbao Airport 159 km by train (3 h), check Renfe or use the Omio planner above
  • Madrid Airport 249 km by train (2.5 h), check Renfe

Departure from Leon:

  • Santander Airport 256 km, the bus takes 3.5 h, check Alsa.es
  • Madrid Airport 337 km, the train takes 4 h (check Renfe), the bus takes 4.5 h (check Alsa.es)

Inclusions

Included

  • 10 nights in private en-suite rooms
  • 10 breakfasts
  • Maps
  • Luggage transfers from hotel to hotel on all walking days (1 pc up to 20 kg per person)
  • 24/7 phone assistance by our local office/representative

Excluded

  • Airfare and connecting land transfers
  • Lunches and dinners, drinks and snacks
  • Travel insurance (required – get a quote online)
  • Personal expenses
  • Local tourist taxes & entry fees (payable on the spot)
  • Any items not explicitly listed as included

Options, extras & supplements

  • Supplement applies to members of a group who require a single room / single use of a double room
  • This holiday is available for solo travellers; a supplement will be charged as accommodation and luggage transfer costs are not shared (we never mix and match – solo travellers will be accommodated in single rooms)
  • Airport transfers
  • Extra nights

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