Camino Francés: Grañón to Belorado - Stage 10

The outside of the refuge in Belorado - grañón to belorado
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Simon Kemp Camino de Santiago author

By: Simon Kemp, Editor

For this section of the Camino Francés you will embark on a journey along a 24-kilometer trail. The path from Grañón to Belorado meanders through tranquil farmlands and idyllic Spanish countryside, with the distant peaks of the Sierra de la Demanda adding a dramatic backdrop to your journey.

Grañón to Belorado Route Description

The first town you’ll encounter is Santo Domingo de la Calzada. Its Cathedral is an absolute must-see, housing a live rooster and hen in memory of a medieval miracle. The town also offers an opportunity to refuel at local cafes and restaurants.

Continuing onwards, you’ll come across the village of Grañón, an ideal spot to rest and perhaps enjoy a picnic amidst the picturesque rural landscape. From there, you’ll pass through several small hamlets before reaching Tosantos, a town notable for its Church of San Esteban, built into the side of a cliff.

The terrain throughout is moderately flat, making for an easy walk. Remember to respect the local customs, stay on the designated path, and follow the yellow arrows marking the route.

A. Detailed Breakdown of the Route

  1. Grañón to Redecilla del Camino (5 km) Embark on your journey in Grañón, a delightful village known for its church of San Juan Bautista. This church offers a unique experience as it houses an albergue where pilgrims can sleep in the choir loft. Proceed to Redecilla del Camino, a village steeped in Camino history. Look for the Parish Church of Nuestra Señora de la Calle, notable for its 12th-century baptismal font that depicts a map of the known world from a medieval perspective.
  2. Redecilla del Camino to Castildelgado (4.5 km) Moving onward, you’ll pass through Villamayor del Río, a hamlet rich with medieval charm. It offers a few amenities for pilgrims, including a small shop and an albergue. The segment ends in Castildelgado, a rustic village providing an idyllic backdrop for a rest stop.
  3. Castildelgado to Belorado (18.5 km) The longest part of this stage takes you through the charming villages of Viloria de Rioja and Villambistia. As you traverse a mix of woodland and open landscapes, enjoy the sight of the Oca Mountains appearing on the horizon. There is a mild climb as you approach the day’s destination, Belorado, a town steeped in history with its notable square and cave dwellings.

A Pilgrim walking on the Camino Frances route from Grañón to Redecilla del Camino, Spain
A Pilgrim Walking On The Camino Frances Route From Grañón To Redecilla Del Camino

B. Terrain and Elevation

The terrain involves well-worn dirt paths, country roads, and a few gentle inclines and declines. After leaving Castildelgado, the route unfolds through a blend of woodland and open fields. The mild climb as you near Belorado adds a bit of challenge but is manageable for most walkers.

C. Points of Interest

  1. Church of San Juan Bautista, Grañón: The church, dating back to the 16th century, is not only a place of worship but also a pilgrim hostel. Here, pilgrims have the unique experience of sleeping in the choir loft.
  2. Pilgrim’s Church, Redecilla del Camino: The church houses a remarkable baptismal font mapping the 12th-century perspective of the world, a testament to the village’s long association with the Camino.
  3. Belorado’s Cave Dwellings: The cliff-side of Belorado is dotted with ancient cave dwellings. Some were inhabited until the 1970s and were particularly used as homes during times of war.

D. Potential Challenges

The primary challenge in this stage is the final stretch to Belorado, which covers over half the total distance. Remember to pace yourself, take breaks as needed, and stay hydrated. A minor ascent into Belorado might test your stamina, but the view over the town is a rewarding sight.

E. Rest Stops

Several villages such as Redecilla del Camino, Viloria de Rioja, and Villambistia provide perfect opportunities for brief rest stops. Once you arrive in Belorado, you will find a range of facilities, including a selection of albergues, bars, and restaurants, perfect for replenishing and recharging.

This stage is a journey through the Spanish countryside, full of charm and rich in history. Buen camino!

Departure Point: Grañón

Grañón , nestled in the captivating La Rioja region of northern Spain, exudes a tranquil charm that invites visitors to unwind and immerse themselves in its rich history and warm hospitality.

Location and History

Surrounded by rolling hills and expansive fields, Grañón enjoys an idyllic setting along the renowned Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route. Its roots trace back to the 12th century, when it served as a significant stop for pilgrims en route to Santiago de Compostela. Today, it continues to embrace weary travelers, providing a serene haven along their spiritual journey.

Points of Interest

Although small in size, Grañón boasts intriguing points of interest that reveal its historical significance. The Church of San Juan Bautista, an architectural gem showcasing Romanesque splendor from the 13th century, stands as a testament to the town’s enduring heritage. Its weathered stone walls and intricate carvings transport visitors to a bygone era. The enchanting Plaza Mayor serves as a gathering place, where locals and visitors alike can unwind and soak in the town’s peaceful ambiance.

The tower of Iglesia de San Juan Bautista, Grañón, La Rioja, Spain
Tower Of Iglesia De San Juan Bautista, Grañón

Pilgrim Hospitality

Grañón is renowned for its exceptional pilgrim hospitality. The town’s Municipal Albergue, a traditional pilgrim hostel, extends a warm embrace to weary travelers along the Camino de Santiago. Within its walls, pilgrims find respite and a sense of community, sharing stories and forging connections that enrich their spiritual journey. The town’s residents also extend their hospitality by opening their homes to pilgrims, offering a genuine and heartfelt experience.

Natural Beauty

Embraced by unspoiled countryside, Grañón captivates nature enthusiasts with its unassuming beauty. Vast fields and gentle hills beckon visitors to explore leisurely, allowing them to soak in the tranquility of the landscape. The nearby Sierra de la Demanda mountain range entices adventurers with its scenic trails and panoramic vistas, rewarding their efforts with breathtaking views and a deep sense of serenity.

Sierra de la Demanda Mountains near Grañón Spain
Sierra De La Demanda Mountains Near Grañón Spain

Local Festivals and Traditions

Grañón celebrates its vibrant cultural heritage through lively festivals and cherished traditions. Among them, the Fiesta de los Danzadores takes center stage, a vibrant dance festival honoring the town’s patron saint, San Juan Bautista. Adorned in traditional costumes, locals gracefully perform intricate dances, keeping ancient customs alive and fostering a sense of community pride and unity.


Grañón, with its serene charm, rich history, and heartfelt hospitality, offers a haven for visitors seeking an authentic Spanish experience. Whether you are a pilgrim in search of spiritual solace, a traveler captivated by history, or a nature lover yearning for tranquility, Grañón invites you to embark on an enchanting journey. Uncover the town’s historical treasures, embrace the warmth of its people, and be captivated by the unspoiled beauty that surrounds you. Grañón promises an unforgettable experience that will leave you with cherished memories and a renewed spirit.

Camino Francés Diary: Route segment: 10

Friday 6th October 2000

We are given a good breakfast by the people staying at the church. They have been very hospitable and I think again that it is probably the best refuge I have stayed at so far. It was certainly the best night’s sleep and I had clear vivid dreams, which I have not had for many weeks now. I dream that I am going into a swimming pool. But it is no ordinary swimming pool as it is three dimensional and has a structure to it. I can move freely through the water in all dimensions and can breath underwater.

I move like a dolphin up and down and around some obstacles that have been put there to provide a challenge or just fun. The water is crystal clear and warm. My dreams of water are always of very clear water and I remember dreams where I have been on the surface of a lake or whatever and I can see clearly right to the bottom many hundreds of feet below. When I discuss this dream later with Thierry he is impressed and says that dreams of clear water are a very good sign.

The walk today from Grañón is through bare countryside and it is misty. It is also hilly and as I turn round I can see Grañón on the hill behind me. I am alone again today, as Thierry does not know what he wants to do. I let him get on with whatever it is. I will meet him later in Belorado. The fields around here have been harvested and then burned. They smell bad.

Grañón to Belorado Valley View
Grañón To Belorado Valley View

Today I find myself meditating, without trying, on the nature of love. It would seem that there are two types for me, the love of the mind and the love of the heart. I have tended to the former and as far as I can remember have never experienced the latter. I have always been a fairly unemotional person since childhood when experiences growing up meant that I had to isolate myself emotionally from what was going on around me in my family.

The techniques that I learned then have become second nature and ingrained and it is difficult to free myself from their grip. I have no adult guide to help me re-adjust back to whatever is supposed to be normal.

It seems that when I grow attached to a woman, it is with the mind only. I have observed that when a bond develops between two people there is an instinctive and subconscious exchange between their hearts; some call it “chemistry”. The women I have loved have never gone through this process since it only works for love from the heart. My mind says that there should have been some reaction and I become frustrated when there is none to be seen. So the difficulties arise.

Later, coming into Belorado , I catch up with Ferdinand. I am glad to see him and we have a shared lunch on the path. We walk together for the rest of the way and struggle to find the refuge. Eventually I spot Thierry sitting outside a building and he says the refuge is there.

The kitchen at the refuge in Belorado
The kitchen at the refuge in Belorado

It is a building attached to a church. It feels very cold outside and inside the building and I am shaking with the cold. Thierry has had some revelations today too and we sit for maybe an hour and discuss them. This evening is going to be a very strange one and everyone is a bit shell shocked with one thing and another.

The woman who runs this place is from Germany. She is a schoolteacher and is a strict woman. Lisa takes an instant dislike to her and disappears out to dinner in the town with Geordie, Carlos and Olga. When I try to buy some wine for the evening meal she insists that everyone pays for it. I am not allowed to give it as a gift. That makes me feel sad.

The German woman is sitting next to me during the communal meal and I tell her politely that she is far too strict and that we are not children. I try to tell her as gently as possible and she is shocked but accepts my comment as the truth after a while. She can see that her behaviour contributes in some ways towards the dislike some of the pilgrims develop for her.

Thierry decides that he will not walk the Camino any longer and will stay in Belorado for a while. Ferdinand decides in the morning to stay for a while also.

Destination: Belorado

Belorado, nestled in the picturesque landscape of northern Spain, is a captivating town that offers a blend of history, natural beauty, and warm hospitality.

Location and History

Belorado is located in the province of Burgos, in the autonomous community of Castilla y León. Its strategic location along the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route has made it a significant stop for pilgrims throughout history. The town has witnessed the footsteps of countless pilgrims, who have left their mark on its streets and landmarks.

Points of Interest

Belorado boasts several points of interest that showcase its rich history and cultural heritage. The Church of Santa María, an impressive Gothic-style church dating back to the 14th century, stands as a prominent landmark in the town. Its intricate architecture and stunning stained glass windows inspire awe among visitors. The medieval Bridge of San Antón, spanning the Tirón River, is another notable attraction that reflects the town’s historical importance as a crossing point for pilgrims.

Natural Surroundings

Surrounded by rolling hills, Belorado is blessed with natural beauty that entices outdoor enthusiasts. The picturesque countryside offers breathtaking hiking trails, providing the perfect opportunity to explore the surrounding landscapes. The nearby Montes de Oca mountain range, with its dense forests and tranquil streams, invites visitors to immerse themselves in the peaceful ambiance of nature.

Pilgrim Services

Belorado, as a popular stop on the Camino de Santiago, provides essential services for pilgrims. The town offers a range of accommodation options, including hostels and guesthouses, where weary travelers can rest and recharge. Restaurants and cafes serve delicious regional cuisine, providing nourishment for pilgrims along their journey. Shops cater to the needs of pilgrims, offering supplies and souvenirs to commemorate their pilgrimage experience.

Local Festivals and Traditions

Belorado celebrates its cultural heritage through vibrant festivals and traditions. One notable event is the Fiesta de San Pedro, held in honor of the town’s patron saint. The festival features traditional music, dance, and religious processions, immersing visitors in the lively spirit of the community.


Belorado, with its rich history, natural beauty, and warm hospitality, offers a captivating experience for visitors. Whether you are a pilgrim on the Camino de Santiago or a traveler seeking to explore the beauty of northern Spain, Belorado welcomes you with open arms. Discover the town’s historical landmarks, immerse yourself in the tranquility of the surrounding landscapes, and embrace the genuine hospitality of its people. Belorado promises an unforgettable journey that will leave you with cherished memories and a deep appreciation for its unique charm.

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