Camino Francés: Burgos to Hornillos Del Camino - Stage 13

Festival de Burgos Spain
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Simon Kemp Camino de Santiago author

By: Simon Kemp, Editor

This stretch of the Camino Francés is around 21 kilometers (approximately 13 miles) in length.

Burgos to Hornillos Del Camino Route Description

A. Detailed Breakdown of the Route

  1. Burgos to Tardajos (11 km) Exiting Burgos, you’ll pass through a park and alongside the river, eventually reaching Villalbilla. From there, continue along farm tracks and cross the river Arlanzón to arrive at Tardajos. This rural village, home to about 800 residents, is known for its 16th-century church, Iglesia de la Asunción, featuring an ornate Baroque retablo (altarpiece).
  2. Tardajos to Rabé de las Calzadas (2 km) An easy, short walk takes you from Tardajos to Rabé de las Calzadas. The village is a peaceful place to rest and soak in some history. The historic pilgrim’s hospital, now a private residence, is a notable building, and the Church of Santa Marina is worth a visit for its Romanesque entrance and lovely interior.
  3. Rabé de las Calzadas to Hornillos del Camino (8 km) Leaving Rabé, the terrain becomes open and flat, offering the first taste of the Meseta. The path unwinds through vast wheat fields until you reach a ridge overlooking Hornillos del Camino. Nestled in a shallow valley, this medieval village welcomes pilgrims with its rustic charm and simple beauty.

B. Terrain and Elevation

The terrain transitions from urban sidewalks to a pedestrian bridge, paved country roads, and finally, well-trodden dirt paths. After Rabé de las Calzadas, the route presents a slight climb onto the plateau of the Meseta, followed by a descent into Hornillos del Camino. Despite the gentle undulation, the overall trail is considered flat and manageable.

C. Points of Interest

  1. Iglesia de la Asunción, Tardajos: This 16th-century church exhibits a stunning Baroque retablo and beautifully preserved architecture, providing a serene spot for contemplation.
  2. Meseta landscapes: The Meseta, often regarded as a meditative stage of the Camino, impresses with its vast open landscapes, golden wheat fields, and unspoiled horizons. A perfect backdrop for introspective walking.
  3. Hornillos del Camino: This village retains its medieval layout and traditional charm. Its single winding street, stone houses, and the Church of San Román reflect the simple rural life of Spain.

D. Potential Challenges

The primary challenge on this stage may be the weather. The openness of the Meseta offers little shade on sunny days, making sun protection essential. On windy days, the area can also become quite exposed. Ensuring you have water and sunblock, as well as a hat or other coverings, is key to staying safe and comfortable.

E. Rest Stops

Tardajos and Rabé de las Calzadas offer options for refreshments, with bars and small shops available. Once in Hornillos del Camino, although a small village, you’ll find a couple of albergues to rest for the night. The local bar also provides a space to relax and replenish with typical Spanish fare.

This stage is about embracing the openness of the Meseta, finding beauty in its vastness, and continuing the journey at your own pace. Buen camino!

Departure Point: Burgos

Welcome to Burgos , an enchanting town in northern Spain that seamlessly weaves together a tapestry of history, awe-inspiring architecture, and a vibrant cultural scene.

Banks of the Arlanzón River Burgos Spain
Banks Of The Arlanzon River Burgos Spain

Location and History

Nestled in the province of Burgos, this town enjoys a strategic location along the legendary Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route. Situated on the banks of the serene Arlanzón River, Burgos has long been a hub of cultural and commercial activity. With a history dating back to the Middle Ages, Burgos was once the capital of the influential Kingdom of Castile.

The heart of Burgos lies within its Ciudad Vieja, the historic center that has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site. As you wander through its narrow, winding streets, you’ll be transported back in time, surrounded by architectural wonders that bear witness to the town’s illustrious past.

Points of Interest

Burgos boasts an array of captivating points of interest that showcase its rich cultural and historical heritage. The Burgos Cathedral, an imposing Gothic masterpiece, commands attention with its soaring spires and intricate details. Step inside to marvel at its stunning stained glass windows, majestic vaulted ceilings, and remarkable chapels. The Chapel of the Constable, adorned with magnificent sculptures and ornate decorations, is a true gem within the cathedral.

A visit to the Cartuja de Miraflores is a journey into serenity and artistic splendor. This Carthusian monastery, nestled in a peaceful setting just outside the town, is renowned for its Gothic architecture. Inside, you’ll discover the exquisite beauty of the monastery’s altarpiece, sculpted by the skilled hands of Gil de Siloé, a renowned Renaissance artist.

Cultural Delights

Burgos is a cultural haven, offering an array of delights for visitors to enjoy. The town comes alive during the Festival de Burgos, an annual celebration that showcases the best of music, dance, and theater. From classical concerts to contemporary performances, the festival captivates audiences with its diverse program. Immerse yourself in the vibrant cultural scene as you witness captivating performances and experience the creative spirit that permeates the town.

To delve into the depths of human history, a visit to the Museum of Human Evolution is a must. Housed in a modern architectural marvel, the museum takes you on a captivating journey through time, tracing the origins and development of humanity. Encounter ancient fossils, interactive exhibits, and thought-provoking displays that shed light on our shared past.

Gastronomic Delicacies

Burgos is a culinary haven, tempting food lovers with its gastronomic delights. Sample the town’s renowned morcilla, a flavorful blood sausage made with rice, onions, and spices. Sink your teeth into succulent roast lamb, a specialty of the region, and savor the delightful flavors that define traditional Castilian cuisine. Complement your meal with a glass of renowned Ribera del Duero wine, produced from the vineyards that dot the surrounding countryside.

A dish of sliced Morcilla, traditional Castilian cuisine, Spain
A Dish Of Sliced Morcilla Traditional Castilian Cuisine Spain

Vibrant Atmosphere

Burgos exudes a vibrant atmosphere, where history merges seamlessly with contemporary life. The Plaza Mayor, the heart of the town, serves as a central meeting point for locals and visitors alike. Explore the lively streets and alleys that radiate from the plaza, where you’ll discover charming boutiques, quaint cafes, and bustling markets. Immerse yourself in the authentic ambiance of Burgos, where warm smiles and friendly conversations await.

Conclusion

Burgos, with its storied history, architectural marvels, vibrant cultural scene, and delectable cuisine, beckons you to embark on an unforgettable journey. Delve into the wonders of the Burgos Cathedral, immerse yourself in the artistic flair of the town’s festivals, tantalize your taste buds with traditional flavors, and embrace the lively atmosphere that permeates every corner. Burgos promises an experience that will leave an indelible mark on your soul and create memories that will last a lifetime.

Camino Francés Diary: Route segment: 13

Tuesday 10th October 2000

Today they are all still there in the refuge and agree to go find a shop and some coffee. We don’t get away until nearly 11 o’clock and I walk for the first time with the French Girls To Hornillos Del Camino . The path today takes us through mostly wheat fields and I do not expect to see many trees but the first thing we come to of course is a small wood! The trees here have obviously been deliberately planted as they are all in neat rows:-

Burgos to Hornillos Del Camino Forest
Burgos To Hornillos Del Camino Forest

There is a very attractive horse here and Margaux wants to make friends with it:-

The young horse - burgos to hornillos del camino
Burgos To Hornillos Del Camino

This horse is completely free to wander around and I begin to wonder why it is not tied up since most other animals I have seen in Spain have been. I look around and I spot the mother, tied to a long rope. The young horse is not going to go very far and I feel that I dislike the person the horses belong to for using this fact. There is also a large prison here and the contrast between the foal and the prison is memorable.

burgos to hornillos del camino
Burgos To Hornillos Del Camino Horse

We eventually leave the young horse behind and cross over onto the main road. There is a bridge here and the main two rivers of the region, the Rio Ubierna and the Arlanzon meet here. The Arlanzon is the river, which flows through the middle of Burgos and there it was so clear that there were full grown fish over a foot long swimming in it.

But where the rivers meet here, there is a horrendous stink and it is obvious that the farmlands we have passed through are the likely causes. I am very sad that they have polluted such a clean river and the people of Burgos are probably unaware of what has happened or don’t care:-

burgos to hornillos del camino
The Smelly River En Route To Hornillos Del Camino

We eventually get to the village of Tardajos and there is a small refuge here. The girls stop here for lunch and they want to see the inside of the refuge so we end up staying here until three in the afternoon. This is typical for them and is the main reason I suspect that they are always so late in arriving at refuges. They are in no hurry to get anywhere.

burgos to hornillos del camino
The Refuge At Tarjados

After lunch and viewing the refuge we head onto Rabe De Las Calzadas. There is a fountain here and they stop to drink the water from it. They linger and Ophelia starts playing with the water. I suspect a little mischief is brewing and as she starts to direct water in my direction I decide it is time to go. There is also a very peculiar sculpture here:-

A weird sculpture burgos to hornillos del camino
A Weird Sculpture Burgos To Hornillos Del Camino

There is a strong wind developing and I remember reading in a Camino book somewhere that it is characteristic for this region due to the lack of trees. I look up sometime later and am amused to see the two of them holding hands:-

Good friends these they say it helps them walk The Camino
Good Friends These They Say It Helps Them Walk The Camino

The wind is starting to hold me back and the two of them disappear ahead of me. But I am only ten minutes behind them when we reach Hornillos Del Camino. The refuge here is a modern one on two levels and the entrance is on the upper level. Thierry is here and all’s right with the world.

Destination: Hornillos del Camino

Welcome to the serene and picturesque town of Hornillos del Camino, nestled along the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route in northern Spain.

Location and History

Situated in the province of Burgos, Hornillos del Camino occupies a significant position as a resting point for pilgrims embarking on the Camino de Santiago. With a history deeply rooted in the ancient pilgrimage tradition, this town has played a vital role in providing essential services to weary travelers for centuries.

Tranquil Ambience

Hornillos del Camino emanates a sense of tranquility and serenity, enveloping visitors in a peaceful ambiance. Surrounded by the undulating hills and sweeping vistas of Castilla y León, this idyllic town offers a perfect respite from the bustling world. The gentle whispers of the wind and the soft rustling of the nearby fields create a soothing backdrop for contemplation and relaxation.

Architectural Gems

Hornillos del Camino showcases architectural gems that reflect its historical and cultural significance. The Iglesia de San Román, a Romanesque church dating back to the 13th century, stands proudly as a testament to the town’s rich heritage. Its robust stone walls, graceful arches, and intricate detailing evoke a sense of awe and wonder. Step inside to admire the timeless beauty and experience a moment of quiet reverence.

A Pilgrim standing near to the altar of the Iglesia de San Román, Hornillos del Camino, Spain
A Pilgrim Standing Near To The Altar Of The Iglesia De San Roma Hornillos Del Camino Spain

Pilgrim Hospitality

Hornillos del Camino embraces pilgrims with open arms, offering warm hospitality and essential services along their sacred journey. Albergues (hostels) provide pilgrims with comfortable accommodations, a place to rest their weary bodies, and an opportunity to forge connections with fellow travelers. The local community extends a helping hand, offering guidance, support, and a sense of camaraderie to those undertaking the pilgrimage.

Natural Beauty

Immerse yourself in the breathtaking natural beauty that surrounds Hornillos del Camino. Vast open fields stretch as far as the eye can see, kissed by the golden rays of the sun. The gentle rolling hills and the expansive skies create a harmonious backdrop that invites contemplation and inner reflection. This serene landscape serves as a reminder of the interconnectedness between nature and the spiritual journey of the pilgrim.

Local Cuisine

Savor the flavors of traditional Castilian cuisine in Hornillos del Camino. Indulge in a hearty serving of lechazo asado, succulent roast suckling lamb, cooked to perfection and infused with rich flavors. Treat your taste buds to the robust and savory morcilla de Burgos, a blood sausage made with a unique blend of spices. And don’t miss the opportunity to sample the delicate and creamy queso de Burgos, a soft white cheese that pairs perfectly with the local bread.

Conclusion

Hornillos del Camino, with its serene ambiance, architectural wonders, warm hospitality, and natural beauty, offers a memorable stop along the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route. Take a moment to immerse yourself in the tranquility, connect with fellow pilgrims, and appreciate the timeless charm of this town. Hornillos del Camino invites you to embrace the simplicity, find solace in nature, and embark on a transformative journey of self-discovery.

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