CAMINO FRANCES – Big Cities (2)

LOGROñO (Spain)

Let’s do a quick recap on where we started with the big cities on the Camino:

  • Pamplona was absolutely beautiful and we loved our (short) time there. You can read about our first big city on the Camino here.

The next few towns each had their own beauty (I wish I could write about each and every one, but for now … let’s concentrate on the cities).

To get to our next big city, namely Logroño, we slept in 3 towns and walked a total of 95.8km. For the purpose of this post, we chose one highlight per day (which was pretty hard to do)! Here they are:

Day 1: Puente la Reina (24.2km):

On the highest point of the day, Alto del Perdon. A popular photo in any pilgrim’s book, the wrought iron representation of medieval pilgrims

(You can read about the hiking of Day 1 here)

Day 2: Estella (21.9km)

Early morning at the Wine Fountain (Bodegas Irache) outside Estella

(You can read about the hiking of Day 2 here)

Day 3: Los Arcos (21.1km)

A bar in the middle of a farm field

(You can read about the hiking of Day 3 here)

Day 4: Logroño (28.6km)

Logroño is the capital of the province of La Rioja

(You can read about the hiking of Day 4 here)

You might recognise the name “La Rioja” from our previous post. Indeed, that was on the label of that bottle of red wine in Pamplona! Logroño is famous for its red wine, as well as for being a stopover for pilgrims on the Camino.

Co-Cathedral of Santa Maria de la Redonda

Two elaborately decorated towers, each containing a set of bells

The history of Logroño:

The name Lucronio was first used in a document from 965 and the current name, Logroño was first documented in 1095. Which mean we slept in yet another old city on the Camino. It was declared a city in 1431 (which meant it was now not a ‘village’ anymore).

Logroño’s economy is heavily reliant on wine and to our surprise (and delight) there were over 50 tapas restaurants within a four-block area near the town center (and also close to where we stayed for the night)!

Our accommodation:

Although we walked the Camino in spring and therefor before the peak season (which is normally June, July and August), we still had to keep our fingers crossed to find accommodation. We never booked a bed ahead and just walked in good faith that we will have a bed at the end of each day!

The entrance to Hostel Entresuenos

On this day, when we arrived in Logroño, we got the last two beds available in the hostel! There are probably more than 10 rooms with some of the rooms having multiple beds (we slept in a dormitory with 18 beds)!

Our beds for the evening (the top one was mine)

We were very happy that the hostel was located in the heart of the Old Town where there were many tapas restaurants … not far to go for dinner.

A street musician

In our search for a supermarket (to buy snacks for the next day’s hike), we walked all the way to the end of the pedestrian zone of Plaza del Alferez. Here we found a beautiful water fountain within the roundabout.

Water fountain

We were once again overwhelmed by the amazing architecture (as we were in Pamplona).

Amazing detail on the buildings

Processions:

As mentioned, we walked the Camino Frances in spring, which was also very close to Easter weekend. It was here in Logroño that we first saw the processions by the Roman Catholic church community to start celebrating Easter weekend. Since we are not Catholic, it was something we have never experienced. Although it was unfamiliar to us, the music and the rhythmic drums were astonishing to witness.

Pilgrim friends:

When we reached Logroño, we had already walked the Camino for 5 consecutive days. Long gone was the feeling of being a tourist, as it was in Pamplona. We were now pilgrims and evenings were spent with our fellow pilgrims – pilgrims who have now become friends.

Another street musician close to the tapas restaurant where we enjoyed dinner

This is how it was this specific evening in Logroño. We were a big group of pilgrims that found a lively tapas restaurant and gathered at one of the outside tables. Spaniards, Australians, a guy from the USA, Ireland and Kazakhstan and us being from South Africa … all I can honestly say is that it was one of the best evenings on the Camino Frances.

Pilgrim friends. Left to right: John (Ireland), Conchi (Spain) and Carl (USA)

La Granjera Park:

This was the perfect end to our evening in Logroño and we could have ended this post right here. But there are just a couple more photos in our archive about Logroño to show cast the beauty of this city. As we left Logroño early the next morning, we have walked through another beautiful green park, La Granjera Park.

A reservoir that was built towards the end of the 19th century

Leaving Logroño behind

Logroño is certainly a great city to visit, not just as a pilgrim, but also as a tourist.

The next big city on the Camino has one of the most beautiful cathedrals we have ever seen. More about that in our next post.

52 thoughts on “CAMINO FRANCES – Big Cities (2)

  1. This must have been such a great experience, for so many reasons. I would love meeting people from all over the world and walking through all those interesting places. My feet would protest, however! I do like the idea of a wine fountain! Did you set yourselves a destination each day or just walk until you thought you should stop? I am enjoying reading about it all.

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    1. To see the beautiful towns every day, was great … but in the end, it was the people we met that made the Camino such an amazing experience! The wine fountain was fun (but 8 o’clock in the morning was a bit too early for me). We only had 30 days to complete the Camino and therefor (unfortunately) had to follow a “plan” for each day. If we ever get another opportunity to walk the Camino, we would love to do it in 3 months! For me, 30km a day is probably the furthest I would like to walk (however on the Portuguese Camino there was one day that we walked 44km – not to be recommended)! Oh yes, my feet did protest in a serious way 😁.

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  2. Just love the amazing architecture! What a journey in more ways than one 🙂 The procession you saw would have been very moving. I saw something similar in Granada in March and agree that the music really is moving.

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    1. An amazing journey indeed. The European architecture is simply stunning (not something we are familiar with at all). To watch the processions gave me goosebumps – we saw the processions in all of the big cities … it was definitely a good idea to walk the Camino during Easter weekend.

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  3. Besides the fact that the landscapes that you walk through are known for their beauty, it is also a unique experience for many other reasons. I believe that the Camino makes you closer, more empathetic and caring with the people around you who, although you don’t know, you know they are going through the same thing when you start to hear their stories, of how they got there, of what has happened to them or why they are doing it, which always motivates yourself to keep going. Thanks for sharing and have a good day 🙂 Aiva xx

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    1. That’s absolutely true Aiva … it is indeed a unique experience. We were not really tourists (and therefor not on a so-called holiday), but rather pilgrims while experience Spain on a totally different level … it was so different form our other holidays! You sum up the Camino perfectly – thank you for that Aiva 🌸.

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  4. What an epic trip you had and this was just one little chapter. Logrono looks like one of those underrated Spanish cities that is a joy to discover. Great architecture, as you say and show, and an absolutely insane number of tapas joints can never be bad thing. Even better when there is good company to go with the food. Those Spanish street processions are really something, I remember them from my time living in Malaga.

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    1. That’s it … epic is the word! Logrono is definitely underrated … I think it might be called a “party city” in secret 😉. So you have also experience the street processions – amazing hey, those are definitely something that we will always remember from our Camino. Thanks for continue to read about our Camino adventures Leighton (also the hiking part), it’s much appreciated.

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    1. Yes, it’s amazing how there’s just this common thread between Camino hikers (whether you know each other or not). But don’t get me wrong, there are hard days … but somehow, that fades away over time and you only remember the good ones 😉.

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    1. You’re right Marion. I think the history attached to all these old cities (and little villages) on the Camino is also what makes this such a wonderful experience. I just wish we had more time (and energy) to explore the cities at the end of each day’s walk … but by then, you just want to fall down on a bed/chair/floor 😀.

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  5. Loved reading this so much. I’d don’t know much about the Camino, just what I’ve read in books, it looks like an amazing adventure. Your photographs are stunning. Can’t wait to hear more.

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    1. Thank you and I’m so happy you enjoyed this post. An adventure is exactly what it was! I wish we took more photos (there’s so many beautiful areas), but some days you just want to put one foot in front of the other and get to your destination for the day to rest … because tomorrow you’re doing it all over again 😁.

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      1. I’ve never done a hike/trail/ road- I’m not sure what it’s called, like that. My sister thru hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2018, 2100 miles on foot. So I love what you said about one foot in front of the other. How many miles is it?

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      2. Oh, I envy your sister! It must be amazing to do the Appalachian Trail. The Camino Frances are (fortunately) not that long 😉 … if you start at the beginning (St Jean Pied de Port in France) it is 500 miles. We started in Pamplona and walked 450 miles. Don’t worry, it can be called anything – hike/trail/road … or just a very long way!!

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      3. Whoa! You walked 450 miles??? That’s absolutely incredible!!! She LOVED hiking the Appalachian Trail. Her and her best friend did it. I got to send care packages to different hostels for them on their route. Once I sent homemade chocolate chip cookies and homemade cinnamon rolls to them. They had a YouTube channel where they shared videos. Pretty amazing thing that they hiked over 2,000 miles. I agree, 500 miles is a very long way!! That’s so cool that you did that!

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      4. Oh, it would have been great to have you on our Camino to sent on those care packages – what a wonderful idea (and such a nice touch)! Do your sister still have that YouTube channel – I would love to have a look at their Appalachian Trail. Yes, the feeling of accomplishment after finish walking such a long distance, is quite overwhelming 🙂.

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      5. Thank you, it was fun to send stuff, to be a part of it in some small way. The YouTube is Hiking The Appalachian Trail with Wheezie and Duck. Wheezie and Duck were their trail names. Also, on Facebook their page is Wheezie & Duck. It hasn’t been updated in awhile, but the AT stuff is all on there. ❤️

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      6. You’re very welcome. I’m not sure of our time difference, so I don’t know if it’s, hope you have a great day or hope you have a great night. Ha ha. I’m in Midwest USA. ❤️

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    1. Yes, the details on these buildings are mind blowing … wish we had more time to explore these! Oh yes, the wine fountain was fun and somehow you just can’t wait to see your place for the evening (because you’re tired, but also because each one of these towns and cities were just incredible beautiful)! Thanks for popping in Tricia, enjoy your Sunday.

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  6. Absolutely stunning Corna, thank you for sharing your highlights of the Camino🌸💕what an amazing adventure, filled with beautiful places amazing architecture, great people and wine, wow! Your day 1 seemed like a good walk and your day 2 must have been painful, walking with a blister. Day 3 seemed blissful indeed with the wine fountain and such a scenic natural path way too. What a walk on day 4, as you were caught in a heavy rainstorm! I’m all caught up for now and thoroughly enjoyed walking the Camino with you.

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    1. That’s true Henrietta … the wonder of the Camino is in all those things you mentioned (beautiful places, meeting great people and of course the wine)! And you summed up each day absolutely to a tee. There will be more painful days in the coming posts, but strangely, after completing the journey, one remembers only the positives of each day! Thank you for catching up on our Camino … I’m sure you must be tired this morning of all that walking 🤪. Have a great week 🌻.

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  7. I’m tired but no blisters nor headaches that I could’ve had with the fountain of wine. Luckily I received the amazing wow of experiencing freely through your eyes😅 thank you for that. Looking forward to reading more of your exciting walks, exercising my mind for that day when I do get a chance to do the physical walks (for now my morning 3km walks will have to do) thank you Corna for all the tips and wonderful virtual walks. Have a great week too🤗🌸💕

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  8. Beautiful set of pictures and memories to highlight your time in Logrono. You guys covered a lot of distance each day!! I had a good laugh about the bar in the middle of a field. It must have been nice to see familiar faces along the Camino and to share evenings/dinners with your fellow pilgrims.

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    1. Thank you Linda. I think it would be more ideal to walk between 15-20km a day, but because we had limited time to complete the Camino, we had to push on 🙂. Oh, that bar in the middle of the farm field was such a blessing … just what we needed at that time! That’s probably what’s the Camino all about – the camaraderie between pilgrims.

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  9. Jammer ek lewer nou eers kommentaar hier, Corna! Is doller as kopaf hier by ons. Was so bietjie Kaapstad toen en dan raak als mos agter!
    Nou sukkel die internet ook en tesame met beurtkrag raak dit baie deurmekaar!
    Julle staptog is so ongelooflik! Om deur al daardie plekkies te kan stap en alles wat so anders as hier in SA is te beleef! Ek sou beslis ook die argitektuur bie geniet het! So baie om te sien en waar te neem! Tot ‘n wyn fontein!! Sien uit na die volgende deel!

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    1. Dis alles reg Aletta. As die Kaap roep, moet jy antwoord 😁. Hoop dit was darem ‘n lekker kuier (en dat jy sommer baie foto’s ook geneem het)! Ek dink om deur ‘n land te stap, is die ideale manier om te verken (dit moet natuurlik veilig wees …). Daardie wyn fontein het net bietjie vroeg in die oggend gekom, maar hoe oorspronklik!

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    1. At the beginning of the walk, 450 miles sounded VERY long … but it’s amazing what one can accomplish if you just put your mind to it! You know – when I looked at that photo of the bunk bed, I was wondering the same thing (and I can’t really remember), I guess we were just so tired that we didn’t really care 😁.

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