How to do the Camino de Madrid
The Camino de Madrid is the route that leaves from the Spanish capital and arrives at the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. The route has a distance of approximately 600 kilometres.
The Camino de Santiago from Madrid passes through Segovia and Valladolid, crossing the Sierra de Guadarrama. Its route ascends to the Fuenfría Pass, the highest point of all the routes on the Camino de Santiago that cross the Iberian peninsula (an altitude of 1,796 metres).
Arriving in the town of Sahagún, the Camino de Madrid joins the Camino Frances to Santiago. From there, there are still more than 300 kilometres to reach the tomb of Santiago the Apostle.
Next, we will talk about the stages that link the Camino de Madrid with the French one. A little-known stretch but gaining in popularity over the last few years.
If you are interested in completing a shorter route, we recommend the last section of the French path, the Camino de Santiago from Sarria. Tell us details of the trip you would like to take and we will organize it for you.
Where to begin the Camino de Madrid to Santiago
Unlike other pilgrim layouts, the Camino de Madrid does not have an official starting point. The tour can be started from anywhere in the city.
However, most pilgrims choose the Church of Santiago to begin their pilgrimage. This temple is located in the historic centre of Villa and Corte; and is considered the oldest in the city in honour of the apostle.
Stages of the Camino de Santiago from Madrid
The Camino de Santiago from the capital of Spain has a total of 13 stages, linking the city of Madrid with Sahagún.
Stage 1: Madrid – Tres Cantos
The first stage faces 25.3 kilometres, linking the centre of Madrid with Tres Cantos. The difficulty of the first day of pilgrimage is low.
The first kilometres along the route take place in a northerly direction, crossing countless streets and avenues within the city. In this part of the Camino de Madrid, you can visit places as symbolic of the Spanish capital as the Plaza de Cibeles and the Plaza de Castilla.
Once the big city is left behind, the stage continues through open fields. First, down an old cattle path and then, parallel to the railways and a bike path.
Stage 2 of the Camino de Santiago from Madrid
The second stage of the Camino de Santiago from Madrid runs between Tres Cantos and Manzanares el Real. In total, 25.3 kilometres of travel.
On the second day on the Camino de Madrid you will start enjoying the beautiful landscape that is the Sierra de Guadarrama. Meadows and wooded areas will accompany your passage, as you follow the course of the Tejada stream.
The stage concludes in Manzanares el Real. This prehistoric town is located at the foot of the Santillana Reservoir, which is fed by the River Manzanares. In it, you can visit cave paintings and its castle.
Stage 3: From Manzanares el Real to Cercedilla
20.4 kilometres separate Manzanares el Real from Cercedilla, where the third stage of the Camino de Santiago from Madrid concludes. The difficulty during the day is similar to the previous one and faces only small climbs.
The route takes place parallel to the Sierra de Guadarrama, overlooking the curious site of Pedriza. In your wake will leave beautiful villages of the Madrid mountains, such as Mataelpino or Navacerrada, famous for being part of the cycling Tour of Spain.
Stage 4: Arrival in Segovia
The fourth stage of the Camino de Santiago from Madrid is considered one of the most difficult during the route. The route crosses the Fuenfría mountain pass, located at 1,796 metres above sea level.
The ascent faces a 610-metre slope, which is progressively climbed. The descent from Fuenfría is very steep and descends 800 metres.
The effort will be worth it, because after the hard stage awaits you the beautiful city of Segovia. Although the city is internationally known for its huge Roman aqueduct, there are many sights such as Calle Real, Casa de los Picos, Plaza Mayor and the Cathedral, among others.
Stage 5 on the Camino de Madrid
Today, the route runs through the sober landscapes of Castile. It is a stage in which you have to go prepared to face the 33.3 kilometres that separate Segovia from Santa María de la Real de Nieva.
Most of the locations that will cross your path, during the day, do not have services. To the above, it should be added that it is a section that almost entirely lacks shade.
Sixth stage: Santa María de la Real de Nieva – Coca
The sixth stage on the Camino de Santiago from Madrid concludes in Coca. A day of 22.2 kilometres that basically run over flat terrain.
The route crosses the region of Tierra de Pinares, a plain that joins the north of the province of Segovia with the south of Valladolid. At this stage, you will walk surrounded by pine trees and along sandy tracks.
Stage 7: Arrival in Valladolid
The landscape of this stage is not much different from that of the previous day. The pines and fine sand paths will continue.
Like the previous stage, the stretch linking Coca with Alcazarén is quite lonely. Villeguillo is the only intermediate village that you will find in the 24 km of route. After him, there are still 19 kilometres until the end of the stage.
Camino de Santiago from Madrid (stage 8)
The eighth stage on the Camino de Madrid joins Alcazarén with Puente Duero. The day faces a distance of 24.9 km, which take place through the typical plains of Castilla y León. Given the low difficulty of this stage, many pilgrims take advantage of the afternoon to visit the city of Valladolid, located 13 km away.
Stage 9: from Puente Duero to Peñaflor de Hornija
The 27.9 kilometres separating Puente Duero from Peñaflor de Hornija cross various towns of great historical interest. The first is Simancas, where you can visit its castle, after crossing the bridge that crosses the River Pisuerga.
You’ll also pass through Wamba. In this town you can visit a Mozarabic temple from the 10th century and the largest ossuary in Spain, a place swamped with skulls and femur bones.
The tenth stage on the Camino de Madrid
On the tenth day along the Camino de Madrid you will enter the region of Tierra de Campos, whose landscapes will accompany you beyond Sahagún. The stage is 24.3 km long.
The day concludes in Medina de Rioseco. This town, also known as Ciudad de los Almirantes de Castilla, has many places to visit, such as the churches of the Holy Cross, Santa Maria de Mediavilla and Santiago.
Stage 11: to Cuenca de Campos
The stage that joins Medina de Rioseco with Cuenca de Campos has a distance of 25.3 km. The first part of the tour is carried out alongside the largest civil engineering work of the Spanish Illustration, the Canal de Castilla.
Penultimate stage of the Camino de Santiago from Madrid
The penultimate stage of the Camino de Madrid, before joining the Camino Frances, faces 21.6 km. The tour ends in Santervás de Campos.
The day runs through the landscapes in the heart of Castile. The fields of this part of Spain can be found dominated by green or ochre, depending on the time you choose to complete the Camino de Santiago from Madrid.
The coming together of the Camino de Madrid and the Camino Frances
The stage linking the Camino de Madrid with the Camino Frances is quite short. Only 19.2 km separate Santervás from Campos de Sahagún.
Along the route, the province of Valladolid is left behind, to enter the lands of León. In your footsteps will come attractive villas such as Grajal de Campos and its interesting palace.
How to arrive in Santiago de Compostela
From Sahagún, there are still quite a few kilometres left before reaching Santiago de Compostela. Most commonly, pilgrims continue to Santiago along the French Way. In this link you can consult the stages on the Camino Frances.
Nevertheless, if you make your pilgrimage in the summer and you want to avoid the last few kilometres on the Camino Frances, those that join Sarria to Santiago de Compostela, you have various options:
• Divert in León along the Camino del Salvador, to Oviedo, and continue on the Camino Primitivo.
• Make a diversion in Ponferrada on the Camino de Invierno.
The Camino de Santiago from Madrid by bike
In the previous section we have told you about the distribution of stages of the Camino de Santiago from Madrid, if you decide to make a pilgrimage on foot. If you do the Camino de Madrid by bike, you can follow the following stage plan:
- Madrid – Cercedilla (71 km)
- Cercedilla – Santa María de la Real de Nieva (64 km)
- Santa María de la Real de Nieva – Puente Duero (71,1 km)
- Puente Duero – Cuenca de Campos (77 km)
- Cuenca de Campos – Sahagún (40,8 km)
Signalling and infrastructure on the Camino from Madrid
The Camino de Madrid is correctly signposted and has the necessary infrastructure to meet the needs of pilgrims. Like the other pilgrim routes, the Camino de Santiago from Madrid is signposted with the classic scallop and yellow arrows.
The best time of year on this route
As we mentioned in our article on what is the best time to do the Camino de Santiago, the best date for pilgrimage depends on what you’re looking for. However, as with the Via de la Plata, the Camino de Madrid is not a highly recommended route in the summer.
During the hottest months, an average temperature of 30 or 35 degrees centigrade is recorded in the centre of the peninsula. So if you decide to do the Camino de Madrid at this time of year, we recommend that you consult the advice we give to summer pilgrims on Via de la Plata.
As with all the routes of the Camino de Santiago, winter is tough on the Camino de Madrid. Especially the early stages, in which you face the climb to the Fuenfría mountain pass where you will probably find snow. However, this time of year, as we explained in our article on the Camino de Santiago in winter, gives us incredible landscapes, which very few dare to visit.
Spring and early autumn are the best times to do the Camino de Santiago from Madrid, if you want to have pleasant temperatures. In addition, at that time the Camino Frances is quite busy, but the summer masses have not arrived.
Do you feel like doing the Camino de Santiago from Madrid?
With all the information we have provided in this article, you can plan your pilgrimage from Madrid to Compostela. However, if you want to have the support of an agency specialized in the Camino de Santiago from Madrid that will help you organize your trip, do not hesitate to contact us.
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