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Towns Along the Way – “R”

Today, I’d like to make a start and talk to you about the towns along the Way starting with R. And there are a lot of them. The first of these towns is the first you will meet after leaving St. Jean Pied de Port. Again, if you have stopped in any of these towns, leave a comment and let me know what you thought!

Roncesvalles (map)

Roncesvalles (or Orreaga in Basque) is a small village in Navarre. It has a population of 50 people and is situated about 21 kms from the French border. This town is the start of the Camino Frances in Spain. The first day is probably the toughest day, after an ascent of over 1400 metres over the Pyrenees, but the descent to Roncesvalles can be equally challenging. On arriving at your end point, pilgrims are rewarded by their stay at possibly one of the best albergues on the Camino Frances. The albergue here is a renovated monastery with over 180 beds. There are other accommodation here to choose from. Ensure you visit its Gothic “Iglesia de Santiago” for pilgrim mass before having your first pilgrim meal in either of the town’s restaurants.

Redecilla del Camino (map)

Some 190 kms westward and 8 to 9 days later, we arrive at our next destination, Redecilla del Camino. It wouldn’t surprise me if you know little about this town as the majority of guidebooks gloss over it. That said, I have stayed here in 2014 and have enjoyed my time here, regardless of the size. Redecilla is located in the province of Burgos and has a population of 140 people. Those who have already walked the Camino will remember Redecilla as being the first town after the large sign saying you are now in Castille y Leon. There isn’t a whole lot to do here but I did enjoy my stay in Albergue San Lazaro. There is also a hotel here that serves fine food drinks and in 2016, a new albergue opened.

Rabé de las Calzadas (map)

A further 70 km to the west, we arrive in Rabé de las Calzadas. Again, this town is in Burgos and has a population of 150 people. Rabé marks the start of a new “phase” of the Camino, however. Now, pilgrims enter the meseta which is the the central plateau of Spain from Burgos to Astorga. While Rabé is roughly 10 kms from Burgos and most pilgrims tend to walk to either Hornillos or Hontanas, there are a number of albergues here. The town is sleepy with a main plaza and fountain and would attract pilgrims who prefer not to stay in Burgos. On leaving the town, you will pass the Ermita de Rabe de Calzadas.

Reliegos (map)

Between the towns of El Burgo Ranero and Mansilla de la Mulas, we arrive at Reliegos. Here we have a sleepy village with a population of 300 people. The journey to Reliegos is relatively uneventful with a long paved road to walk on and a long line of trees to your left hand side. The trees seem to go on for hours. You reach Reliegos eventually to be greeted by a number of huts on hills which are used as bodegas. Further on there is a Bar Elvis (right) owned by an eccentric but delightful character. You need to stop by there. There is plenty of accommodation in Reliegos. I have stayed in Albergue La Parada to the rear of the town in 2015. After walking 32 kms from Sahagun, we were glad to stay there. On leaving this town, you have 25 kms to Leon and the terrain will change from then on from the flat meseta you are currently on.

Rabanal del Camino (map)

21 kms from Astorga, you will arrive at Rabanal del Camino, the last stop before the up and over of the Leon hills. Many choose to stay here for the night as a result (thanks Brierley!) In the Middle Ages, the knights templar built several hospitals and churches here for passing pilgrims before the journey over the hills. For such a small town, it has a real relaxed vibe about it and I have stayed here myself a number of times. Albergue Gaucelmo is run by the CSJ and the Albergue NS de Pilar is also popular. Today, all economic activity of the village revolves around services for pilgrims, with up to four good albergues and hotels. It would be wrong of me not to mention the Benedictine Monastery, “San Salvador del Monte Irago“, set up in 2001, which is popular among pilgrims. Sleep well, as the next day can be tough on the legs as you climb to the Cruz de Ferro and descend to Molinaseca.

Riego de Ambrós (map)

Less than 4 kms after El Acebo, you will arrive at another small village – Riego de Ambrós. I have passed this town on 2 occasions and because my mind was so fixed on where my feet were, I didn’t take in where I was. Here the village lies on a curvy and steep descent, between El Acebo and Molinaseca. You have two albergues to choose from also, but if you are interested in breaking up the descent into 2 days, my advice is to stay in El Acebo beforehand as there are more facilities and more albergues. You may also prefer to finish the descent entirely and walk to Molinaseca (my favourite) or Ponferrada (where all the history is!) 

Ruitelán (map)

Another blink-and-you’ll-miss-it village, Ruitelán is situated in the El Bierzo valley between Villafranca del Bierzo and O Cebreiro. Many choose to walk from Villafranca to O Cebreiro over a day which is close to 30 kms. That’s pretty tough going. However, some like to stop just before the ascent kicks in (Ruitelán, Las Herrarias or La Faba) and leave it until the next day to move on. Could be a wise choice! Ruitelán has a recommended albergue that offers a communal meal – Albergue Pequeño Potala. I might try it out!

Ribadiso (map)

You have climbed O Cebreiro, you have entered Galicia, passed Sarria and are on the home stretch. On your 3rd or 4th last day before Santiago, you will pass Ribadiso (or Rivadiso to the Galicians).  It is not so much a town but rather a hamlet, and is home to the Rio Iso, a medieval bridge built over it and 2 albergues. All invite pilgrims to take a break. The old Xunta albergue, just past the bridge, used to be an old hospital restored from the fifteenth century. Ribadiso is 3 kms from Arzua and many a pilgrim has been tempted by the river to stay at these albergues rhan move on into the larger town.

Towns Along The Way – “N-P”

It’s been a while since I wrote about the various towns that line the Camino Frances. In my last update, I talked about the towns of Maneru, Melide, Molinaseca, Manjarin, and Mansilla de las Mulas. Molinaseca is a favourite of mine. In this post, I’ll talk about some more towns. Again, if you have stayed in any of the below towns, please let me know how you got on in the comment box below!

Najera (map)

Najera is a small town in the region of La Rioja. It is nearly 27km from the city of Logrono and has a population of over 7,000 people. The Najerilla river splits the town in two and on a sunny day, relaxing by the river after a long walk is a great idea! I passed through Najera myself in 2013, 2015 and again in 2018, and it looked like the town had been built right out of the hills. It is visually stunning. The main sight in Najera is the church of Santa María la Real which was founded by García Sánchez III of Pamplona in 1052.

There are many different options for accommodation in Najera. I have stayed once (in 2013). If you are walking from Logrono and feel up to walking more than 25km, stopping in Najera is a good choice. Many people prefer to stop in Ventosa, the town prior.

Navarrete (Map)

Navarrete is also situated in the La Rioja region, 12km from Logrono. I remember seeing it first in 2013. Picture postcard stuff. It was my first day walking and it was pretty warm. I was thinking of calling it a day but I knew I had a few more kilometres left to walk that day. I stopped for a moment and saw the town at the top of a hill ahead of vineyards and that gave me the energy to keep going. After an Aquarius, of course!

Over 2,000 people live in this small town, which is based at the bottom of a hill. The streets are small and winding but it is a lively town. There is a castle at the top of the hill and there is one theory that the castle was used for defensive reasons. Nafarrate in Basque means “Door of Navarre”. Anyway, Navarrete is a welcoming place nowadays and treat peregrinos like their neighbour. There are many different places to stay here, both municipal and private. I have stayed in Albergue La Casa del Peregrino and I’d recommend it.

Obanos (map)

Ok, so even seasoned veterans will find it hard to remember this town. It is that small. We move from La Rioja to Navarra where Obanos is situated. It has a population of around 700 people. It is the final town before Puente la Reina and many choose to stay here during busy times. The Camino de Aragones from Somport and the Frances meet here and continue to Santiago. Obanos holds the Gothic church of San Juan Bautista which celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2012. I found it amusing on passing the town in 2014 to find the same banner hanging from the church.

There are a number of places to stay in Obanos however the majority of people prefer to walk an extra few kilometres to Puente la Reina. Keep an eye out for the town’s fiesta however, as the people who live there put on a play every second year for the pilgrims who pass through.

16141-obanos

Pamplona (map)

We start with possibly the largest town on the Camino, other than Santiago herself. When someone mentions San Fermin, “the running of the bulls”, Hemingway and “The Sun Also Rises”, you automatically think of Pamplona (or Iruña in it’s favoured Basque).  Situated in Navarre, it is home to close to 200,000 people. The city is also famous for its “pinchos” and it’s always worthwhile to spend some time in the historic quarter where you can sample them (www.spain.info). As you make your way into Pamplona, you will pass a number of suburbs – Villava and Burlada – and finally see the town’s fortress walls. You are now entering the old town. There are many albergues, hostels, and hotels to choose from here (Gronze). I really enjoyed my stay in the municipal albergue. Pamplona is well worth a visit if you are not walking the Camino.

Puente la Reina (map)

Staying in Navarre and only a further 25 km westward, we find Puente la Reina. The town was named as such as the bridge was built by Queen Doña Mayor, the wife of King Sancho III, to facilitate passage of pilgrims over the river Arga. It is a town heavily influenced by the Way to Santiago, with the remains of walls and several religious buildings in place. El Iglesia de Santiago was founded by the Knights Templars, who settled in there. Also worth mentioning are its large medieval bridge of five arches, and the church of San Pedro, from the 14th century. There are a number of places for the weary pilgrim to rest their head in Puente la Reina (Gronze); Albergue Jakue being one of the better ones.

Población de Campos (map)

Close to 300km further on down the Camino Frances, we reach Población de Campos. Calling Población de Campos a town would be a push, however, as nearly 200 people live here. A hamlet would be the appropriate word! It is situated in Castilla y Leon and is the next town to Fromista. In the village, you will find Church of the Magdalena; and the chapels of Socorro and San Miguel. I do remember stopping here for a cafe con leche in 2015, but I haven’t considered it as a stop-off point. There are a number of albergues here, however (Gronze). The following video shows you scenes of the town.

Puente Villarente (map)

A further 100 km along the way, we arrive at Puente Villarente, a suburb of Leon. Named after it’s large Romanesque bridge, it has a population of approximately 150 people. I have passed through here on two occasions and wish I had stayed here as it is a long slog into the city of Leon. A footbridge was built recently for pilgrims to avoid any accidents on the busy main road. There are a number of albergues here also (Gronze); San Pelayo is getting good reviews.

Ponferrada (map)

Templario Castle in Ponferrada

Ponferrada is the capital of the El Bierzo region and is one of the major points of the Camino Frances. The historic quarter of this town sits below an imposing castle built by the Knights Templar. The Castle rises above the river Sil, dominating the city’s historic quarter. Construction began on this medieval fortress towards the end of the 12th century. It is also worth visiting the Museum of El Bierzo, located in Calle del Reloj, in the building which was the former prison. Its facilities provide an introduction to the history of Ponferrada. As with every large town, there are many places to stay (Gronze). I haven’t stayed here myself, preferring to stop in the town prior, Molinaseca.

Pieros (map)

Another small village located just outside a larger town. Pieros has a population of fewer than 50 people and is dependant on the Camino. Five kilometres along the way is the much larger Villafranca del Bierzo, in the Bierzo valley. Pieros is home to the fantastic Albergue El Serbal y Luna and don’t forget to take a pit stop at the Café Bar Arroyo (on the left-hand side of the road) before moving on.

Pereje (map)

Pereje is the first town you arrive at on leaving Villafranca del Bierzo; 5 km to be precise. However, it is worth noting that you will only see this town if you walk along the roadside. There are two alternative routes (via Dragonte and via Pradela) which skip a number of towns, but that’s for another day. Pereje is built just off the busy N6 motorway and also lies on the River Valcarce. I walked through Pereje on my way to O Cebreiro in 2012 and even though it was a tough day, Pereje is one of those towns that make you want to come back to Spain, open an albergue and give back. There is a great albergue and a pension to choose from here (Gronze). Leaving Pereje, you return to the N6 with Santiago on your mind.

Portomarin (map)

The first thing you will notice as you approach Portomarin is the large bridge over the Mino river, following the climb of a number of steep steps into the village. But if you look close enough, you may see another bridge underneath. The reason for this is in the 1960s the Miño River was dammed to create the Belesar reservoir, putting the old village of Portomarín under water. The most historic buildings of the town were moved brick by brick and reconstructed in a new town, including its church – La Iglesia de San Juan in the main plaza. In the seasons when the dam is at a low level, the remains of ancient buildings, the waterfront, and the old bridge are still visible. Also, if you look close enough at the church, you will see numbers placed on the bricks, to ensure each brick is put back together! I walked through this town in 2011 and was fascinated by the history. There is no shortage of accommodation in Portomarin (Gronze).

Palas de Rei (map)

Some 25 km after Portomarin and 70 km from Santiago, we arrive at Palas de Rei. It is a major stop-off point for pilgrims with plenty of facilities, albergues, and hotels (Gronze). The town is of pre-Roman origins and it was important in assisting pilgrims during the Middle Ages. At this point, you are only three days from Santiago.

O Pedrouzo (map)

20 km from Santiago, we arrive at O Pedrouzo. The Caminos del Norte, Primitivo and Frances all pass through this large town, so it can be a little busy during the summer months. Never-the-less, there is no shortage of accommodation (Gronze) and pilgrims usually use this town to get some rest before their arrival in Santiago. O Pedrouzo is the capital of the municipality of O Pino and has close to 600 people living there. This is unofficially the penultimate stop on the Camino Frances but it is possible to stay beyond here should you want to make your final day that little bit shorter.

Towns Along the Way – “M”

This post will be slightly longer than the previous ones as I try to cram the towns beginning with “M” together into one post. Hopefully, the information provided will be of use to you. There are 9 in total from the province of Navarra right through to Galicia. Again, if you have stayed in any of the below towns, please comment and let me know of your experiences!

Mañeru (map)

I had to search for my guidebook before I could write about this town. It is not one that springs to mind. Mañeru is a small village located between Puente la Reina and Ciraquai in the province of Navarra and you would be forgiven if you had forgotten about it. It has a population of just over 400 people. It is a Basque-speaking zone and on reaching this town, you will have 100 km walking completed from St Jean Pied de Port. I have not stayed here however, there is an albergue here if you did wish to stay the night (Gronze). On two occasions, I chose to stay in the larger Puente la Reina, one town previous, when I walked through Navarra in September 2014 and again in 2018.

Manjarín (map)

Manjarín is a very unique place. It is mostly desolate and is situated between the Cruz de Ferro and El Acebo, high up in the Leon Mountains. At present, one of a few permanent inhabitants is Tomás, and according to him, he is one of the last Templar knights. In the mid-twentieth century, like many other mountain villages in Spain, Manjarín remained abandoned until 1993 when Tomás, mentioned above, took on the work of many other hospitaleros along the Camino de Santiago. He currently serves pilgrims during the whole year, even during winter, feeding and providing them a place to stay for the night. I would consider saying hello to him when you pass his refugio, even if you don’t plan on staying there.

Mansilla de las Mulas (map)

After a good amount of road walking, arriving into Mansilla de las Mulas is something to look forward to. Having walked through Castilla y Leon on two occasions, I have stayed here once and loved it. Mansilla de las Mulas is a town in the province of Leon. It has a population of about 2000 inhabitants. The town lies on the River Esla and you will notice that on leaving the town. Mansilla is a walled town, just like Leon further on, and it is difficult not to notice these ruins on walking through the town. On arriving in Mansilla, you will see the monument of three worn-out pilgrims taking a rest. I took a rest with them in this picture..I’d say quite a few others did too. There is a wealth of albergues and pensions to choose from in Mansilla (Gronze). I found the Municipal albergue to be perfect. On leaving Mansilla, you are 19km away from Leon.

Melide (map)

Melide is quite a large town in the province of A Coruna in Galicia. It has a population of 9,000 people and is one of the largest towns in Galicia. On reaching Melide, you will have 50km or 2-3 days left to reach Santiago. The history of this village is deeply linked with the pilgrimage to Santiago. Also during the last few centuries, like many villages in inner Galicia, it has suffered from a vast emigration. My only encounter with Melide was in 2011 when I walked from Sarria to Santiago. I stayed in the relatively plush surroundings of Hotel Carlos and had my pack transported for me. I walk a different kind of Camino nowadays, so Melide may shine a different light on me when I pass her next. For starters..there is so much history here (church of San Pedro and the cruciero of Melide – pictured). Melide is also famous for it’s pulpo, available at Casa Ezequiel. There are a vast array of albergues, pensions and hotels in Melide (Gronze).

Mercadoiro / Marcadoiro (map)

Did you know that when you reach the 100 km marker on the Camino, you don’t actually have 100 km to walk? The true 100 km distance point is at a little Galician town called Mercadoiro. For such a tiny town, it has a well-recommended albergue (Gronze) that can act as an alternative to the more popular town of Portomarin.

Molinaseca (map)

Ah..Molinaseca, one of my favourite towns. After a rough 6-8 hours walk up and over the Leon Mountains, Molinaseca is a small oasis. At the entrance, you will see the shrine of Our Lady of Sorrows. The medieval pilgrims bridge, which has been recently restored, crosses the River Meruelo and you are then left at the start of Calle Real. The buildings in Molinaseca are typical of those in the El Bierzo region of Leon. It has a population of just under 800 people. I have stayed in this town twice, preferring it to Ponferrada, 8 kms further on. It is not rare to see pilgrims lying down by the river and soaking up the atmosphere. Some may even take a swim. I would gladly stay there again. I have only good memories of walking from Rabanal del Camino to Molinaseca and staying there. There are many albergues and hostels in Molinaseca (Gronze) also. The main albergues are located on the main road as you leave the town, Albergue Santamarina being well recommended. Now, you have 220 km until Santiago – not long to go!

Moratinos (map)

Moratinos is a small town in the province of Palencia. It has a population of just under 100 people and is situated in the meseta, just between Terradillos de los Templarios and Sahagun. When you enter the town, you will be greeted by a number of “bodegas”, or wine cellars, dug into a hill. There are a number of albergues and pensions here also (Gronze). I haven’t stayed here myself, but I would recommend Albergue Hospital San Bruno as they serve an amazing breakfast!

Morgade (map)

Another town that you can walk through very quickly. I walked through Morgade back in June 2011 and have yet to pass through it again. In a few years I will. How and ever, Morgade is situated in Galicia between Sarria and Portomarin. It is very typical of hamlets along the Camino in Galicia. This part of Spain is covered in green, just like here in Ireland. You are walking through farmland, in essence. It tends to rain a lot, so be prepared for inclement weather. I remember stopping here briefly in Casa Morgade for a cafe con leche and a sello. It was so welcome at the time as the walk from Sarria to Barbedelo is tough but worthwhile. If you are starting out your Camino in Sarria, it’s probably a little too early to stop for the day, but you should consider if your Camino starts earlier.

Murias de Rechivaldo (map)

Murias is situated just under 5 kms after Astorga in the province of Leon. It is a beautiful village with it’s building constructed in the style of the La Maragatería. The parish church of San Esteban dates back to the eighteenth century. Just over 100 people live here. I have passed through this village on two occasions – 2012 and 2015. The problem with staying in Astorga and starting out early (like I do!) is that nothing is open when I pass through it. Murias was home to one of the most talked about cafes on the Camino Frances – Meson El Llar. Run by Pilar, El Llar is unfortunately closed but was very popular with pilgrims. There are a number of albergues and hostals here to consider also (Gronze).

Stay tuned for N and O shortly!

Towns Along the Way – “I – L”

We are back! Let’s get right into it! Again, if you have stayed in any of these towns, please feel free to comment and let me know of a good or bad experience.

Itero de la Vega (map)

Yet another small town with just over 200 people living there. It is situated between Castrojeriz and Boadilla del Camino in Palencia and is the first town you will encounter after climbing the rugged Alto de Mostalares. You are on the Meseta plain now. Your feet will thank you if you stop here for a rest. I have passed through this town on a number of occasions and stopped for a bite to eat before stopping in Boadilla del Camino for the night. The town has plenty of albergues (Gronze) and all in all, from my time passing through, it looks like a pleasant place. In 2013, before entering the village, I was greeted by a BBC filming crew who were recording a series about Pilgrimages across the world. While I was asked a number of questions, there were no cameras used. Shame….I could have been famous! 🙂

Laguna de Castilla (map)

The last town in Leon you will pass and the last town before arriving at O Cebreiro. Laguna de Castilla or La Laguna is home to just over 30 people and is pretty rural. There is also a great albergue there – La Escuela (Gronze). This albergue is probably overlooked as most people want to reach the top of the hill and O Cebreiro.

Larrasoaña (map)

While technically not on the Camino itself, it is listed as an end-stage town in Brierley’s guidebook, causing a bit of confusion. To access Larrasoaña, you cross a gothic bridge aptly named “Puente de los Bandidos“.

It is situated in Navarra between Zubiri and Pamplona and is home to over 130 people. The town has plenty of albergues (Gronze) and many people walk from Roncesvalles and stay the night there. I chose to stay in Zubiri a few kilometres before, in September 2014. The Dutch volunteers in Roncesvalles placed a notice in the albergue that bed bugs were found in the main municipal in Larrasoaña, causing a little bit of panic. However, when I reached Larrasoaña a number of days later, it was discovered that they were in the middle of their fiesta. I didn’t cross the bridge to enter the town that day, but chose to walk on.

Lavacolla (Map)

When you reach Lavacolla, you will know that you don’t have far to go to Santiago. Home to just under 200 people, it is also home to Santiago airport. Watch out for the planes flying overhead as you pass through this suburb. It is in fact 10km away from the cathedral. Should you wish to stay here, there are a number of hostales (Gronze) although personally, I would be eager to reach my destination! Lavacolla is also where medieval pilgrims used to wash before arriving at Santiago.

Leboreiro (Map)

Another town within a stone’s throw of Santiago, 60km in fact. It is located between Palas de Rei and Melide and has a population of just over 60 people. There are no listed albergues or hostales in this hamlet so Melide is the next town, 5km further on, should you wish to find somewhere to stay.

Lédigos (Map)

Further back on the Camino, Lédigos is located between Carrion de los Condes and Terradillos de los Templarios. It is in Palencia and is home to barely 6o people. It is so small that you can pass through it within minutes.

In 2013, I walked through it, but in May 2015, I stayed in El Palomar albergue. At that time, there was one albergue but now there are two (Gronze). Lédigos is very much a rustic town so if you are looking to stay somewhere that is not an albergue, then Terradillos would be the place.

Lestedo (Map)

Back in Galicia, Lestedo is situated just outside Palas de Rei. You will have just over 70 kms to walk when you reach here. It is home to just under 50 people and has a few albergues to choose from (Gronze). My tip – keep walking to Palas de Rei as you will have a greater selection of facilities there.

Ligonde (Map)

Ligonde is another hamlet in Galicia, situated between Portmarin and Palas de Rei. You will have just under 80 kms left to Santiago when you arrive here. Not that far to go! It has a number of albergues that are popular (Gronze). This is another town I passed through, the last time I walked in Galicia in 2011.

Liñares (Map)

The final town in Galicia for this post is Liñares. It is the first hamlet after O Cebreiro (3km afterward). It has a population of just over 60 people and has one casa rural to its name (Gronze). It’s not noted as a Camino town but as it is on the Camino, it was best to mention it!

Linzoáin (Map)

Linzoáin (or Lintzoain) is situated in Navarra, between Roncesvalles and Zubiri. It is home to just over 60 people. While based on the Camino, it does not have any albergues nor does not have any facilities.

Lorca (Map)

Albergue La Bodega del Camino

Lorca (or Lorka in Basque) is also based in Navarra, close to Estella. It has a population of just under 150 people and has a number of albergues (Gronze). I have stopped off here for a cafe con leche in 2014 and again in 2018. The stage from Puente la Reina to Estella hugs the main road so the stop off here provides some light relief. The albergues have received some good reviews so I will pencil in a stop the next time I walk through this area.

León (map)

León is the capital of the province of the same name and one of the most important cities on the Camino. It is situated between Sahagun, to the east, and Ponferrada, to the east. It is also the place where the Camino del Salvador starts. Over 131,680 people call this city home. It was originally founded as a Roman city, and their walls still stand to this day (below). I passed through in 2013 and witnessed a celebration of this Roman heritage. Actors celebrated the past by role-playing combat, just outside the large Cathedral de Santa Maria.

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León’s historical and architectural heritage make it a destination of both domestic and international tourism. Some of the city’s most prominent historical buildings are the Cathedral (below), the finest example of French-style classic Gothic architecture in Spain, the Basilica de San Isidoro, one of the most important Romanesque churches in Spain and the Hostal de San Marcos.

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One of my greatest memories of León is from 2013. I had finished my Camino for that year and was due to travel back home to Ireland the following day. I had said my goodbyes to my fellow peregrinos who were staying in the main albergue. I was downbeat. I decided to visit the Cathedral. While inside, I spent a good 30 minutes listening to a choir sing. They lifted my spirits. I later learned that they were also pilgrims who were travelling on to Santiago. That memory will stick with me.

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On reaching León, you will have over 300km to walk before arriving at Santiago de Compostela. Many pilgrims use León as a starting point to Santiago and gain their compostela. Here you can find plenty of albergues and hostales, as with all major cities (Gronze). In 2012 and 2013, I stayed in the very comfortable Posada Regia and in 2015, I rested my weary head and feet in Leon Hostel, which is just beside the Cathedral.

If you have a few hours to spare after your walk into León, talk a walk around the small streets and plazas and soak up the atmosphere. This video shows you some of this fine city.

Logroño (Map)

Logroño is the capital of the La Rioja province in northern Spain. The population of the city is just over 150,000 and is the largest city you will walk through after leaving Pamplona 3 to 4 days earlier. The city is the centre of trade in Riojan wine. You should arrive in Logroño in 7 or 8 days if you follow Brierley’s guide.

Walking into Logroño is far from attactive as the Camino hugs the main road. Some choose to by-pass the city as a result and walk to Navarrete. You will spot the large green “Comunidad de La Rioja” sign before you enter the city and later on the “Puente de Piedra” bridge over the Ebro river. Logroño awaits you at this stage.

There are plenty of places to stay (Gronze) also. There are over 50 “taperías” located near the town centre. The traditional tapas restaurants often serve only one tapa, meaning one serving, or media ración (half portion), a small plate of tapas. Calle de Laurel, known as “the path of the elephants” is the main street where restaurants and tapas bars offer some of the best pinchos and tapas in northern Spain. Calle Portales is the main street in the old town, where people like to walk and sit in the terraces to eat a meal or drink wine. Finally, make sure you visit the Co-catedral de Santa María de la Redonda close to Calle Portales. It is also in the old town and was designated a protected building in 1931. The cathedral, while not as large as Leon or Burgos, is a fine work of art.

And here is Logrono in 5 minutes:

Los Arcos (Map)

Los Arcos (meaning The Arches in English) is a town in Navarra, much smaller than Logroño, with over 1,000 inhabitants. It is situated between Estella and Logroño. It has a number of albergues, all of which have received good reviews (Gronze). The town has a large main plaza which always seems to be filled with pilgrims. The church of Santa Maria is worth a visit for its exquisite design. I managed to stay in Los Arcos in September 2018 on my way to Burgos. The albergue Casa de la Abuela is one of the best and I loved my time there.

arcos

Towns Along The Way – “H”

Onwards and upwards in the Camino alphabet, we go. We must be near the end! The next letter we meet is H and there are a few. One is in France, four are in Castilla y Leon, and two are in Galicia. Again, please comment if you have stayed in any of these towns.

Honto / Huntto (map)

I have seen many variations in the spelling of this place name, however, this is not so much a town but an area in the Saint Michel region of France. You will pass it within an hour of leaving St. Jean Pied de Port if you choose to walk the Napoleon route. While there are bars and accommodation in Honto (gronze.com), it’s probably best to keep focused on the climb ahead and celebrate when you reach Orrison a further 3km up the road. The road up to Honto is entirely on asphalt but it leaves the road shortly after and gets a lot steeper to Orrison. Enjoy the scenery also as the road gets higher!

Hornillos del Camino (map)

Hornillos is situated about 20 km from Burgos and is in the meseta region of Spain. The meseta is known for being flat, with roads lasting long into the distance. The towns are few and far between and often are unremarkable. Hornillos would be one of these unremarkable towns; it seems as if history left it behind. While it has plenty of accommodation (gronze.com) I prefer to stay in the next town, Hontanas, a further 10 km up the road. The photo above gives you an idea of the vastness of the meseta plain with Hornillos in the distance. The picture was taken from Alto del Meseta some 2 km away.

Hontanas (map)

Hontanas is also situated some 30 km from Burgos. The name is derived from a number of natural springs (fontanas) that can be found in the locality. If you choose to walk the 31km from Burgos (like I have), don’t let the flat landscape deter you but keep on walking. It is a favourite of many pilgrims! Hontanas is built in a valley so it is very difficult to spot the town at first but when you see the church steeple you will be surprised. I have stayed in the municipal albergue at the edge of town on both occasions that I have been here, but there are other albergues (gronze.com) so it is worth looking around.

Hospital de Órbigo (map)

There are number of towns that I have passed through but wished to have stayed for longer. La Faba is one and Hospital de Orbigo is another. Situated between Leon and Astorga, it is a major stopping point for many pilgrims. The town is home to the Puente de Orbigo, a long stone medieval bridge. There is also so much history behind the bridge and the town. There are just over 1000 people living in Hospital de Orbigo. You have quite a good selection of albergues here also (gronze.com) with Albergue Verde being one I would recommend. On leaving the town, the road splits in two. One takes you along the main road, while the other takes you off-road through Villares de Orbigo.

Hospital da Cruz (map)

Hospital da Cruz is a rural hamlet located between Portomarin and Palas de Rei in Galicia. It is just over 80 km from Santiago and has just under 50 people living there. The town has a municipal albergue (gronze.com) and a number of bars for a mid-morning cerveza or cafe con leche!

Hospital da Condesa (map)

Yet another town named Hospital. It’s getting difficult to distinguish between the three! Condesa is located just 6 km from O Cebreiro. It has a population of just under 50 and again is a rural-based hamlet. There is a municipal albergue (gronze.com) and bars with good reviews. While you pass through, you will notice the Church of San Xoan (Saint Joan in English). From here on, you have a steady ascent to Alto do Poio.

Las Herrerías de Valcarce (map)

And the final town starting with H is Las Herrerias de Valcarce. Las Herrerias is situated between Villafranca del Bierzo and O Cebriero. The placename means The Blacksmiths in English. Interesting. The town is right beside the Valcarce river and is the last stop before the road climbs to La Faba. There are about 39 people living here at present. Myself, I haven’t stayed here, preferring to pass through quickly in 2012. There is an albergue here along with a number of pensions (gronze.com). Shortly after you leave Las Herrerias, you leave the asphalt road to La Faba. It’s a tough climb but it is well well worth it. Enjoy it!

My next post in this series will focus on Itero de la Vega, Linzoáin, Larrasoaña, Lorca, Los Arcos, Logroño, Lédigos and León. See you then!

Towns Along The Way – “G”

Onwards we go to the next letter in the ‘Towns Along The Way’ alphabet. There are 3 towns beginning with G; one in Castilla y Leon, another in La Rioja and the last in Galicia. Again, please comment if you have stayed in any of these towns.

Grañón (map)

Roughly 8 days into your Camino, you will meet GrañónIt is situated between Santo Domingo de la Calzada and Belorado in the La Rioja province of northern Spain. It has a population of just over 300 people. On entering the village, it seems like it doesn’t have much to offer but one of its highlights is Iglesia de San Juan Bautista. The church offers basic accommodation to pilgrims, and you can sleep in its bell tower and look at the stars if you wish (gronze.com). I have passed through Grañón on 2 occasions, preferring to walk to Belorado. In 2013, I passed through in minutes as the weather was poor; however, in May 2015, I stopped for over an hour for a few cervezas. So if you are passing through, my advice is to stop here and stay in San Juan Bautista.

El Ganso (map)

Calling El Ganso a village is a stretch as it consists of a number of derelict buildings, a cowboy bar and is home to 36 people. Nevertheless, the Way passes through it and I will mention it. El Ganso is Spanish for “The Goose” and it is based in Castilla y Leon. On reaching this town, you will notice that the terrain starts to gradually ascend until you reach the highest point in Spain – the Cruz de Ferro. As mentioned above, the Cowboy Bar is one of the oddities of the Camino. I stopped by in May 2015 and again in 2017 for a second breakfast and was treated very well by the owner. There is an albergue here and I know of people who have stayed here (gronze.com). It is advisable to pit-stop either here or at the town previous (Santa Catalina) as you have a nice climb ahead of you.

Gonzar (map)

Gonzar is one of many small hamlets in Galicia. It is 8 kms from Portmarin and you have approximately 90km to walk before reaching Santiago. I have little memory of this town since walking through Galicia in 2011. Some pilgrims choose to stay here instead of the usually busy Portomarin (gronze.com).

My next post in this series will move on up the alphabet and focus on Honto, Hornillos del Camino, Hontanas, Hospital de Órbigo, Hospital da Condesa, Hospital da Cruz and Las Herrerías. See you then!

Towns Along The Way – “F”

Welcome back! I hope you are enjoying this series and your memory is being refreshed! It certainly is helpful for me and interesting to see the many different types of accommodation being provided since I started walking way back in 2011. Hopefully, this won’t be the last “TATW” post of 2019 as I am on a bit of a roll.

Today, I will talk about F. Again, let me know if you have stayed in any of these towns.

La Faba (map)

Yet another village I haven’t stayed in but keep meaning to, La Faba means The Beans in Spanish. It is a small mountain town between Villafranca del Bierzo and El Cebreiro. It has a population of just over 30 people. While the name of the village doesn’t stand out, there is quite a lot of love for it from the pilgrim community and it has one of the best albergues on the Camino Frances; Albergue de la Faba. I have not stayed here myself, preferring to walk on to O Cebreiro, another 5km on. Once you reach La Faba, and it’s a long climb, you won’t have far before arriving at the Galician border.

Ferrerios (map)

One of many many small Galician hamlets that you will pass through while on the Camino. This particular town has 50 or so inhabitants and is approximately 14 km from Sarria. There is nothing very eye-catching in this town, however, keep an eye out for the Iglesia de Santa María de Ferreiros which has an unusual cemetery. The scenery is very shire-esque and when passing through, make sure you stop at Casa Cruceiro for a cafe con leche and sello. There are a number of places to stay there also (gronze.com). Just another 104km to go to Santiago.

Fillobal (map)

Another Galician town and one so small I almost considered leaving it out from the list. Fillobal is situated some 4 km before Triacastela and has a population of just 9. The town does hold a cafe and an albergue for pilgrims however at Albergue Fillobal. On walking through here in 2012, I was so focused on arriving at Triacastela and the albergue. I passed Fillobal in the blink of an eye.

Foncebadón (map)

From Galicia, we move to Castilla and the Leon hills. Like Fillobal, it has a small population. It is situated between Rabanal del Camino and Molinaseca. More and more people are choosing Foncebadon to finish walking for the day. It is very close to the Cruz de Ferro and watching the sunrise from there is pretty special. The climb up to Foncebadón can be challenging but the views are worth it. When you walk in to Foncebadon, it looks like a town in ruins, but the Camino is bringing growth to the area. During the summer months, it can be busy and there are accommodation, albergues, and bars (gronze.com). I haven’t stayed there myself, choosing to stay in the town beforehand, Rabanal del Camino. Maybe next time.

Fonfría (map)

From Leon, we return swiftly to Galicia and not too far from Fillobal. Fonfria is some 9 km from Triacastela. Again, it is a typical Galician town with green the predominant colour and many of the buildings are made of stone slabs. This is rural Spain at it’s finest. The town does have a selection of albergues and pensions also (gronze.com). On leaving Fonfria, you have a steep climb to Alto do Poio and then a further 150 km to Santiago! Enjoy your final few weeks!

Frómista (map)

Iglesia de San Martin in Fromista

The final town beginning with F and close to 450 km to Santiago is Frómista. It is situated in the province of Palencia and has a population of just under 1000 people. It has everything that a large town would have so many people choose here to lay their heads for the night (gronze.com). One of the main attractions of the town is the Iglesia de San Martin (pictured). I prefer to stay in Boadilla del Camino. You will be close to the halfway point at this stage on reaching Fromista, although the official halfway point is just before Sahagun.

The next instalment will feature towns beginning with H including favourites of mine Hospital de Orbigo and Hontanas. If you have stayed in or have any comments about the above towns, please comment below.

Towns Along The Way – “E”

The next letter on the “Towns Along the Way” series is “E”, as there are no towns starting with “D” (I dare you to look!). There aren’t too many so here goes…working towards Santiago.

Espinal (map)

Espinal is a typical Basque village and one of the first you will encounter after leaving Roncesvalles. At this point, you have 871km left before Santiago. Its name in Basque is Aurizberri and on leaving the town you are faced with a climb to Alto Mezkiritz. While not many stop here, there are many accommodation options (www.gronze.com). I don’t remember much of this town as I had stopped in Burguette (the town previous), and was deep in conversation with newfound Camino friends!.

Estella (map)

We meet Estella (or to give it it’s full name Estella-Lizarra) 115km from St  Jean Pied de Port. Estella is also part of Navarra and has a population of over 13,000 people. On entering the town, you cross the Picudo Bridge and are greeted with the Church of San Pedro de la Rúa, a large Romanesque church. There are plenty of places to stay (www.gronze.com).  I have good memories of my time here and of the Agora Hostel, a great place to stay.

Espinosa del Camino (map)

And finally, Espinosa del Camino is located about 40km (or 2 days walk) from Burgos. It is in Castille y Leon and has a population of just over 30 people. It makes a living from the Camino with a number of cafes and albergues (www.gronze.com). It was in this town that I met a good Camino friend and had a cafe con leche, only to be told I walk too fast. And that was my first day!! Above we have Albergue La Campana, a great place to stop for a rest!

Towns Along The Way – “C”

And with B over, we are on to the 3rd chapter…. There are loads of towns beginning with C, it must be a Spanish thing! I have only stayed in two of these towns myself, so this may be the perfect chance for me to learn something about them, as well as pass on some information to you! And as always, if you have any feedback about these places, please feel free to share it in the comments below.

Cizur Menor (map)

The first town you encounter on leaving Pamplona is Cizur Menor (or Zizur Menor locally). It is approximately 5km away from Pamplona and is also located beside its sister town, Cizur Mayor, which is just off the Camino Frances. It holds a population of roughly 2400 people. It has a number of albergues (www.gronze.com) and should you wish to avoid Pamplona altogether, staying there would be wise. I haven’t stayed here myself but passed through early one morning on the way to Puente la Reina. While on my way through, there was a fiesta ongoing however, it is a quiet town with all the amenities you will need.

Cirueña (map)

The town of Ciruena is unique. Not only does it lie slightly off the Camino but before reaching the town itself, you are greeted by hundreds of empty houses, so it is eerie to say the least. These houses were built to accommodate members of the local golf club. Ciruena itself has a population of 131 people and strangely enough has two albergues (www.gronze.com), both of which have received positive reviews. I have previously chosen not to stay here, opting to stay in the town previous to it (Azofra in 2015) and the town following it (Santo Domingo de la Calzada in 2013 and 2018). I have met some people who have enjoyed their time here, however.

Castildelgado (map)

Another blink and you’ll miss it town on the Camino. It is located 20 km from Ciruena and in the province of Burgos. At this point, you are 560 km from Santiago and just becoming used to being a pilgrim. Castildelgado offers little to the pilgrim but should you wish to call it a day, there is a pension (www.gronze.com). I must say that Albergue Bideluze is very active on social media during the high season!

Castildelgado is located between Santo Domingo de la Calzada and Belorado and lies beside the busy N-120 motorway.

Cardeñuela-Ríopico (map)

Cardeñuela Riopico is a town located in the province of Burgos. It is actually 13km from the city itself and has a population of just over 100 people. You will encounter this little town as you leave either San Juan de Ortega, Ages or Atapuerca making your way to Burgos. I have previously chosen to stay in Atapuera and had breakfast in the either of the albergues here, whichever was open! There are three albergues here  (www.gronze.com). A further 2km on down the road from Cardenuela is it’s sister town Orbaneja Riopico.

Convento de San Anton (map)

The ruins of San Anton is not so much a town but rather a place. They are located on the outskirts of Castrojeriz. The Convento de San Anton was built in in the 14th Century, and was originally the King’s Palace. It was later turned into a hospital for passing pilgrims on their way to Santiago. Since 2002, the tradition of offering shelter to pilgrims holds as volunteers maintain a donotivo / refugio in the ruins (www.gronze.com).

I haven’t stopped by during my previous Caminos as it has not been open, unfortunately, but one day I would like to stay here.

Castrojeriz (map)

Castrojeriz is a town located in the province of Burgos and is a popular stop along the Camino. The town is based at the foot of a hill and your first view will be the ruins of a castle, which was a lookout in times of battle. The town was built along one main road which circles the hill. There are more than 1,000 people there. As it is a popular stop along the Way, there is plenty of accommodation (www.gronze.com). I haven’t stayed here myself, choosing to stay in Hontanas. I have however stopped here for breakfast. I would recommend Hostel El Manzano. You should stock up with refreshments before leaving this town as you have the difficult Alto de Mostalares to climb. Enjoy it – you have arrived at the meseta!

Cacabelos (map)

Cacabelos is a village in the El Bierzo region of Leon. You will pass it as you walk to Villafranca del Bierzo, usually within your last 10 days. It is a moderate size town with good facilities and a good selection of accommodation (www.gronze.com). There are over 5000 people living in Cacabelos. Many choose to by-pass here and stay in Villafranca, including me, this is one for the future. The refugio (pictured) has been renovated from an old church and is a bit special, I hear.

Calzadilla de la Cueza (map)

Quite a few people may not know the name of this town. Rather than placing a name on it, they will be able to describe how they feel about arriving there!! I say this as Calzadilla de la Cueza is the first stop after a grueling 17 km walk from Carrion de los Condes. It may well be the best thing you will see all day, depending on the weather.

This little town may not be much but after walking 17km, it has everything you need. I have walked road three times and have always stopped here for refreshments. There is also accommodation also should you choose to stay (www.gronze.com) .

Calzadilla de los Hermanillos (map)

On leaving Sahagun, there are 2 options to take; the tradational French route or the old Roman way. The French route leads you to El Burgo Ranero and to Mansilla de las Mulas, while on the Roman road you may be alone. The only town on this route is Calzadilla de los Hermanillos before you reach Mansilla de las Mulas. Quite a lot of people choose the first option. Calzadilla is a small town, and it has a population of just over 80. Being a town on the Camino, there are albergues (www.gronze.com). The advantage of walking this route is you can divert back to the other if you find it too solitary.

Carrión de los Condes (map)

Carrion de los Condes (or Carrion as many peregrinos prefer to call it) is a large town prior to Calzadilla, mentioned above. It is a little over halfway to Santiago (410km) and by all means, is one of the major Camino towns. It has a population of over 2,000 people and has a wealth of accommodation (www.gronze.com). I have stayed in Carrion a number of times including during the feast of Corpus Christi (start of June). It is a tradition on this day throughout Spain to layer their roads with flower petals of all different colours and make a great design. All the albergues are run by religious orders, so there can be a tendency to get swept away by their routine which is not a bad thing. I chose to stay in Villalcazar de Sirga, the town preceeding Carrion, in May 2015, but there is no doubt I will return to Carrion in the future.

O Cebreiro (map)

Not quite the highest point on the Camino, but it is not far off. O Cebreiro is the first village in Galicia and a welcome relief after a 1300m high climb from Villafranca. I just about made it in 2012. Seeing it for the first time reminded me of home…the music, the food, the buildings, it had a real Celtic feel to it and it just didn’t look like anything else on the Camino. The views are amazing. There is plenty of accommodation (www.gronze.com) with the main albergue holding up over 100 beds. I stayed in the fabulous Hotel Celta Venta back in 2012. On leaving this village you have 165 km left and are on the homeward stretch. Enjoy the descent!

Our next post will be on Towns beginning with D, can you think of any?

Towns Along The Way – “B”

This second installment of the “Towns Along the Way” series brings us to “B”. There are a wealth of towns starting with “B” so I might as well start by talking about them. I would be interested to hear from anyone who has stayed in any of the below towns. What have your experiences been? Good, bad, indifferent?

Barbadelo (map)

One of the first villages you will arrive at on leaving Sarria. In fact, it is 3 km from Sarria. It is situated in the province of Lugo and with a population of less than 50, you know you are in Galicia as most of the surrounding area is green. I last passed through here in 2011 and can vividly remember the large oak tree. The village has a number of albergues (www.gronze.com) which you may choose instead of the “mayhem” of Sarria. I hope to visit these parts again in the near future so my memory is refreshed.

Belorado (map)

Aha..now I could go on for quite a while about this particular town. It is in one of my favourite parts of the Spain, La Rioja. Why you may ask? Well, each time I have stayed here or passed through I have been treated exceptionally well. The town itself is located 50km to the west of Burgos and has a population of over 2,000 people. It is also situated close to the Oca Mountains and if the weather is poor, it is not uncommon to see some people take the bus direct to Burgos. Belorado is a well kept town known for its murals. There is a large town plaza, a market and plenty of places to eat. If you look at the ground you will see a hand print and autograph of a number of celebrities, including Martin Sheen. There are plenty of accommodation here also (www.gronze.com). Cuatro Cantones stands out, having stayed there in 2013, 2014 and 2018. Jana and her family will take good care of you. I have also stayed in Casa Waslala in 2015 and would recommend it here if you are starting your Camino from Belorado.

Bercianos del Real Camino (map)

Another example of a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it town along the Camino. Bercianos is a small town about 10km west of Sahagun and it has a population of roughly 200 people. While it is small, it has great character and I have enjoyed my time here. The terrain in this part of Spain is pretty basic, it has to be said, but my time here, I will always remember. If you do opt to stay here, ensure you stay in the Parochial albergue run by a voluntary order (www.gronze.com). It is large, you will be fed well and all you need to do is sing a song from your own country. Rest assured that Bono will never feel threatened after my singing of “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m looking for”!!.

Biduedo (map)

Biduedo, or O Viduedo as Galicians call it, is a tiny village about 7kms from Triacastela. It is a typical rural community with close to 30 people living there. It does it’s best to serve the peregrinos passing through by having a number of private albergues (www.gronze.com) and there are a number of bars to stop at for a few minutes to rest the weary legs. One might find this town the perfect place to stay during the busy times of the Summer months.

Boadilla del Camino (map)

Another pilgrim’s favourite and an end stage in Brierley’s guide book. Some pilgrims choose Fromista however I have always ended my day in Boadilla del Camino. And this is down to the albergue – En el Camino! It’s a favourite of mine and I have stayed here the three times I walked the meseta. Boadilla is situated about 60 km to the west of Burgos and is in the meseta plain, Spain’s high central plateau. The town has a population of about 175 people and lives mainly on agriculture. However in recent years, it depends more on the Camino with more albergues and bars opening to support the increasing numbers. There are quite a few albergues and hostals here (www.gronze.com). “En El Camino” is owned by Eduardo and his family. The garden alone was enough to tempt me to stay first of all, back in 2013. Here, you are provided with dinner and snacks and breakfast the following morning. On leaving the next morning, you may even spot some fishermen look for the first catch of the day along the Canal de Castilla.

Boente (map)

You will encounter Boente as you walk from Palas de Rei to Arzua in Galicia. It is another small town with a population of less than 50 people and is fairly close to Arzua. It is highly likely that you will not remember much about Boente by the time you reach Santiago. This is perfectly natural however, as at this stage you will have 50 km left to walk and you will be trying to think of ways of how to slow time down! Should you wish to stay here and not in Arzua, there are a number of albergues (www.gronze.com).

Burgos (map)

Quite possibly my favourite city on the Camino Frances. Burgos is one of the largest cities that you will encounter before reaching Santiago. It has a population of over 200,000 people and is in the autonomous community of Castille y Leon. It is a fairly large city and there is a good distance to walk before you at it’s heart – the Cathedral. The Cathedral was declared a world heritage site in 1984 by UNESCO and I strongly encourage you to visit it no matter how weary the feet are! Many people choose to take a rest day on reaching Burgos to visit the sites and recover and that is what I did in 2018. There is a wealth of accommodation as you would expect in a major city (www.gronze.com) however I have stayed in the cheap-as-pie municipal albergue beside the Cathedral. For €5 you can’t go wrong. Leaving Burgos brings you to the meseta, which kind of puts people off walking the next 100 km. I am baffled by this myself. The meseta has always been my favourite slice.

El Burgo Ranero (map)

Situated some 8 km from Bercianos de Real Camino and 18 km from Sahagun, El Burgo Ranero is a small town located in the province of Leon. It holds a population of over 850 people and the Camino goes straight down it’s main road. I have stopped here on two occasions for a quick cafe con leche, preferring to stay in Bercianos and Sahagun however I did stop here in 2017 and stay in in the municipal albergue. There are a number of albergues here should you wish to stay (www.gronze.com). On leaving El Burgo Ranero, the path is on the whole uninspiring until you reach the large city of Leon, some 35 km away. In May of 2015, I met two Irish ladies here who spoke in Irish. It was a shame I couldn’t join them in their conversation however!

Burguete (map)

From the end of the meseta, we travel back 400km eastward to the town of Burguete. It is located in Navarre and is the first town you will encounter on leaving Roncesvalles. Many people call it by it’s proper Basque name “Auritz”. Ernest Hemingway lodged in Burguete in 1924 and 1925 for a fishing trip to the Irati River, and describes it in his novel The Sun Also Rises

The town has a number of albergues (www.gronze.com) but many people choose to stop here for breakfast before moving on to Zubiri or Larrasoana. It is one of the more picturesque towns along the Way, with white facades and red window shutters a feature for many Basque houses.

Join me soon for the next installment featuring towns beginning with the letter “C”.