CAMINO FRANCES – Big Cities (3)

BURGOS (Spain)

It’s time to read more about the third big city on the Camino Frances. The other two we have visited, are:

  • Pamplona – the place from where we started our Camino Frances in 2017 and an absolute beautiful city. You can read about our first big city on the Camino here.
  • Logroño – not as big as Pamplona, but nevertheless, a city with amazing architecture and MANY tapas bars. You can read about Logroño here.

It took us 5 days to walk from Logroño to Burgos – a total of 123.9km. And as per our previous post, here is just one highlight per day between these two big cities:

Day 5: Najera (30.1km)

Ruins of a medieval monastery – the Order of San Juan de Acre (12th century) where pilgrims were taken care of

(You can read about the hiking of Day 5 here)

Day 6: Santo Domingo de la Calzada (21.0km)

A rainy day as we walk on long dirt roads between farmlands

(You can read about the hiking of Day 6 here)

Day 7: Belorado (22.9km)

A beautiful sunrise with the temperature a mere 1°C

(You can read about the hiking of Day 7 here)

Day 8: Ages (27.9km)

Here we reach the small village of Ages – my most difficult day on the Camino Frances

(You can read about the hiking of Day 8 here)

Day 9: Burgos (22.0km)

At the highest point of the day – Cruceiro – and only 19km to Burgos (here I was hoping to see Burgos in the distance)

(You can read about the hiking of Day 9 here)

Long before we started our Camino, I read about the beautiful cathedral in Burgos and was looking forward to see this building which is outstanding for the elegance and harmony of its architecture. But now, ironically, when we reached Burgos, all I wanted to do was to curl up on a bed after drinking pain killers and preferably with my feet up high!

It will be therefore no surprise to you that there are not many photos in this post … what a pity! We would have loved to go on a tour inside the cathedral, but instead, we (I) was looking for doctors and buses …

But let’s see what we can show you. The walk into Burgos was a long slog through industrial areas. After walking for days through farmlands and small villages, it was a shock to find ourselves in a big city again.

We arrived in Burgos just after lunch


Burgos was founded in 884 as an eastern outpost of the Asturian kingdom by the Castilian count Diego Rodriguez Porcelos. The city is an agricultural centre, its manufactures include liquor, flour, woollen and leather goods, chocolate and paper.

Burgos Cathedral:

The Cathedral of Saint Mary of Burgos is dedicated to the Virgin Mary and located in the historical center of Burgos. Our accommodation, Albergue de Peregrinos Casa del Cubo de Burgos, was literally just around the corner from the cathedral.

Burgos Cathedral

The cathedral’s construction began in 1221 and after a hiatus of almost 200 years, work began again in the 15th and 16th centuries. The last works of importance were then performed in the 18th century. Today, one can only look in awe at this Gothic-styled church.

Burgos Cathedral as seen from the street where our albergue was situated

We only went into the main entrance of the cathedral where we received our stamps in our pilgrim passports … one can’t even really call that a visit to the inside of the cathedral!  

And the reason for the lack of exploring Burgos … my painful knee and blistered feet! If you’re sensitive, just skip the next photos (it’s not really disgusting), but only the reality of a long-distance hiker’s feet.

Because of my knee and the severity of the blisters on my feet (some of them were also infected), Berto suggested that I rest for two days here in Burgos. While he continued on the Camino, I stayed behind in Burgos. Two days later, I took a bus to Fromista where I met up with Berto again … and to everyone’s surprise (mine included), I then continued walking to the end.

Saying goodbye to pilgrim friends:

It was also here in Burgos that we had to say goodbye to some of our pilgrim friends. Conchi and Pili from Spain ended their Camino in Burgos (they would continue at another time) and we decided to enjoy their last evening with a meal in one of the many restaurants in Burgos.

A tapas restaurant in Burgos

I chose a classic burger and chips

After dinner, we walked back to our albergue. But then, just across the street, we saw another bar … oh Spain caught us in its web! We had one last drink before we called it a night!

Deulet (Kazakhstan), Berto and Conchi (Spain)

After Berto went back on the Camino the next morning, I had a last breakfast with Conchi and Pili. It was amazing how quickly we became friends and we were all a little teary when we said goodbye.

Saying goodbye

I visited a medical center later that morning. The doctor prescribed antibiotics for my infected blisters and a sporty knee guard and something about resting for a week before I continue my Camino, (but I sort of ‘missed’ that last part of his instruction).

I went back to the Burgos Cathedral and sat there for quite some time just looking at this magnificent building. We will definitely have to go back one day to do justice to Burgos!

Two weary pilgrims

Last look at Burgos Cathedral

To reach our fourth big city on the Camino Frances from Burgos, we had to walk for seven days and more than 180km. In this city, we saw another beautiful cathedral and more processions. We’ll see you there in our next post.


52 thoughts on “CAMINO FRANCES – Big Cities (3)

  1. For long-haul hikers, the time has a way of putting things into perspective and soon enough you’ll learn that there’s no distinction between you and the woods and the trail and the mountains, because you are all part of the same bigger organism, all characters in the same larger picture. And that’s what everyone means when they say, “Hike your own hike,” and “The trail will provide.” Thanks for sharing and have a good day 🙂 Aiva xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Spot on Aiva! After many continuous days on a trail, you do become one with nature. There is a saying on the Camino “the Camino will provide” … and it does indeed, it’s actually quite astonishing! Thank you for your lovely thoughts, may you have a good day too 🌸. Corna

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    1. Burgos is a lovely city – especially the historical center. It’s just that the cities are so overwhelming when you’re walking the Camino. I think I will have a completely different take on the cities as a tourist – then you have the energy to discover all the places of interest. But as a pilgrim you need to wash your clothes and prepare for the next day’s walking … then you don’t really want to walk too much 😉.

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  2. Ah, some of my favourite stages. I am loving this stroll down memory lane. Aren’t the entrances to the cities are culture shock? You get so used to walking in the quiet countryside and then BAM noise and pollution and cars and signs. A tad overwhelming. Buen camino, Mel

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    1. I feel like I can go and grab my backpack and hit the road Mel! Yes, we had all these plans before our first Camino to spent extra rest days in the cities, but in the end when we started to walk, we just wanted to get out of the cities and back on the quiet farm roads 😉. Buen Camino 👣👣

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  3. You are a very brave lady! Bad feet run in my family and I am all too aware of the pain but the most I ever had to do was hobble around a bit for a day or two. With bad knees and painful legs as well…lady you are intrepid! And you still could smile. Quite an accomplishment.

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    1. Thank you so much 🌸. I just so badly wanted to complete the Camino that I pushed on through the pain. The two rest days in Burgos helped a lot though – I just wished I could explore the city more. My mom always said if you smile (even on bad days), it’s a way of convincing yourself all is well 😄.


  4. Sorry to hear about the blisters, infections, and knee! I know my sister had feet issues on the AT, hiking boots that wore out! Its nice that you got to rest for two days. That church is incredible.

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    1. It seems, for me, blisters are part of the package! When we have walked the Portuguese Camino the following year, I had blisters again. And believe me, I have tried everything in the “hikers’ book” to prevent these, but it seems I’m just prone to blisters. Yes, the Burgos Cathedral is stunning … and from what I heard, the inside as well. Maybe we’ll go back one day just to tour the city!

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    1. Yes, we actually had a good laugh when we saw the sign for the Vegas hotel 😁. Absolutely, those two rest days in Burgos was the best thing to do (and just for that, I love Burgos)! I drained that blister after every day’s walk until we have reached Santiago three weeks later … and guess what, when we have walked the Portuguese Camino the following year, I got a blister on exactly the same spot!

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    1. Ag dankie Una dat jy so lekker saam lees! Die “knee guard” het lekker gehelp vir die knie. Ek neem dit nou nog saam as ons gaan stap, maar het dit gelukkig nog nie weer nodig gehad nie. Die blase op die voete is egter ‘n ander storie … maar gaats, stap wil ek stap 😁.


  5. Burgos looks lovely, Corna. Like so many Spanish cities and towns, its cathedral seems almost omnipresent, with so many choice angles and approaches. Parting ways with friends on the road is always a tough moment and one that brings up bittersweet feelings. I love the idea of wandering into The Las Vegas Hotel and being greeted by some Spanish Elvis impersonator at reception. My word you really had a few war wounds from all that hiking. But happy injuries I guess, if you know what I mean.

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    1. Haha Leighton 😁 … it’s probably only you that would have that thought about the Las Vegas Hotel in Burgos! It didn’t even crossed my mind, but now I think we might have missed out not to peek inside! I would love to see Burgos as a tourist – I think there’s just so much one can explore! Yes, the ‘war wounds’ were pretty bad towards the end … but that never stopped me from doing another long distance hike! Thanks for continuing to read about our throwback Camino’s!

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  6. It must have been so strange to be wandering around the city after spending the last few days in the quiet countryside. The Burgos Cathedral looks stunning. I feel your pain when it comes to having hiker’s feet. I’ve had my fair share of bumps, bruises and blisters. Sorry to hear that you had to sit out for two days, but it was probably for the best. And that’s awesome that you were able to continue walking to the end.

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    1. True … it was almost a shock to walk into the big cities. Strange how you want to visit the big cities when you’re a tourist, but when you’re on the Camino, it’s far better to be in the countryside! Oh well Linda, then you know exactly how I felt with my blistered feet – those two days’ rest definitely made a difference (just what I needed to continue and complete the Camino Frances)!

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    1. It’s a beautiful Cathedral … like I’ve said, I wish we had the energy to do a tour inside. I had about eight blisters towards the end, but in some way that only made me more determent to finish the journey!


  7. I always remember how brave you were to stay in Burgos on your own for a couple of days while Berto walked to Fromista, trusting that you would get the right bus and that he would be waiting for you there. (Although I do not doubt Berto’s ability to find you if need be.)

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    1. Yes, it was a very difficult decision for me (at the time)… but looking back, it was absolutely the right thing to do. Oh yes, Berto would have found me – he wouldn’t have been very popular back home if he came back without me 😁.


    1. Absolutely Marion! We would love to go back to most of these places (as tourists) … it’s only afterwards that you realised how much you actually missed. But then again, when you’re on the Camino, the main purpose is to walk and walk and walk … 😉.

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    1. Burgos is definitely worth a visit – we’d love to go back and explore the old town! In our next post, it’s Leon’s turn…another beautiful city. Spain is just so full of beautiful places – we need a year there!

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    1. Ag Aletta, dis so lekker dat jy saamlees oor ons Camino – dankie! Ek dink ook die roete wat ons in Spanje gestap het, gaan jy nie noodwendig met ‘n motor ry nie … en daarom sien mens plekke wat half “weggesteek” is vir die normale toeris.


    1. Thank you for your continued interest in our Camino Henrietta – you know how much I appreciate you taking the time to read! I think we are much stronger than what we think … when you’re in a difficult situation, you realise just how powerful your mind and body is!

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    1. Burgos is a lovely city – loved their cathedral! Oh, so we have something in common … blisters! Not easy to walk with them, but I enjoy walking so much, that I try and walk through the pain 😬. Thanks for reading about one of our big cities on the Camino Frances Anita, it’s much appreciated!


  8. Although the cathedral looks notable, I most liked your quiet, serene photos of the walk at the opening of this post. Hope you’re recovery went well – you need to take time to heal enough to keep going, right?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think that’s what makes the Camino such a unique journey … the quiet countryside is much more preferable than the big cities. I should have probably rested a day (or two) extra, but I so desperately wanted to walk that I just pushed on … and it was all worth it!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, León is a lovely city (probably one of my favourites on the Camino). That was the biggest blister of them all … I had to drain it every night. And guess what, on our Portuguese Camino the next year, I got a blister on exactly the same spot!


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