As the name suggests, this pilgrimage has it’s starting point in the beautiful city of Madrid. Perfect for pilgrims who travel into Spain by air, which has an international airport, which post our Covid-19 restrictions, will soon welcome all guests to this amazing country.
Credential and First Stamp
For those pilgrims who have not obtained their credential from their local Confraternity, you are able to get a pilgrim passport from either the Association of Friends of the Camino de Santiago de Madrid or from the Parish of Santiago and San Juan Batista. While you will not pay for the credential provided by the church, it is commonplace to leave a donation. This parish church will also be your first stamp collected along your journey.
For the pilgrim to receive their compostela in Santiago de Compostela on completion of their journey, you are required to have a passport with stamps proving that you have made the journey. In addition, your credential is a must for access to pilgrim accommodation along your desired route.
The starting point
Pilgrims will generally leave from the Plaza de Castilla, where the first real waymarkers are found. As with all routes leaving an urban area, be careful to watch for the welcome sight of the yellow arrows to guide you on your journey.
This pilgrimage is a modern route, which has been restored and maintained by the Amigos de Los Camino de Santiago de Madrid. It follows a northerly path to Sahagun, where you will meet up with the popular Camino Frances.
The route (Madrid to Sahagun) measures around 321kms and is reportedly well-marked. The beauty of this particular pilgrimage is that is steers away from the tarmac and favours natural paths for most of the route.
The first 100kms is through the foothills of the Sierra de Guadarrama and there is a climb to 650m in the first 8kms. After the descent into Segovia, the route is described as being virtually flat.
When not to go?
During the months of July to early September it is very hot, and the route has few shady areas. Similarly, in bad weather and snow, the mountains should be avoided.
The reasons to do this route
Since this is a fairly new route, it is not as popular as the other more established camino’s. This means fewer pilgrims, and so if you are after some peace and quiet, this one is for you.
The route follows more paths than the road, so a pilgrim wanting to experience nature will get that on this pilgrimage. Other than the climb at the beginning of the journey, it is mostly flat easy walking, and is cyclable for most of the route, so this one fits the bill for both a pilgrim seeking solitude and those pilgrims who enjoy their camino’s on the bike.
As with all routes on the Camino de Santiago, you will need to do some planning by way of the availability of albergues, hostels and pensions. Please refer to the following website for updates on where to stay during your journey.