Camino Francés in León | Wise Pilgrim Guide to the Camino de Santiago

The unceremonious crossing into the province of León is by way of the bridge over the Río Valderaduey.

León, tucked into the far northwest corner of Castilla and León, was formed from the old Kingdom of the same name. The Meseta begins to wind down, and soon the mountain ranges that form its border with Asturias and Galicia will come into sharp focus.

Perhaps the most celebrated aspects of modern León are its culinary achievements. The city of León is a city that turns out to the streets to celebrate food and drink. Sure, they have adopted a passion for the morcilla (blood sausage) from neighboring Burgos, but they perfected their own cecina (a salted, smoked, beef hind leg) to send back over the border. For drink, they turn to the local Bierzo wine (the heartland of which you will walk through soon), and with increasing frequency craft beers whose hops are grown up-river from Hospital de Órbigo. Given the landscape, it should not surprise that the regional favorite is a wheat beer known as Zerep. A puff pastry known as hojaldre, and a sweet bread called mantecadas, as well as a booming chocolate trade can all be found in Astorga.

The Galician mountains are creeping closer now, and by the time you depart Astorga you will begin the ascent.

Leon Flag
Distance to Santiago: 
360.70
Altitude: 
824

If you choose to spend the night in Sahagún do your best to explore the town, it is not the prettiest of places but there are a few gems hiding about that give you a glimpse of its illustrious past. At one time it rivaled Burgos and León in importance and grandeur.

For reasons unknown...

History: 

Sahagún owes its name to the 4th century martyr San Facundo, who along with San Primitivo were buried nearby. Because of this it has seen more than its share of battles between Christians and Muslims. Although the Christians ultimately won out, it was not before the town changed hands no fewer...

Notice: 

A very nice certificate is available from the Santuario de la Virgen Peregrina on your way out of Sahagún, a type of half-way Compostela. See the map for the location as it is not on the camino proper.

Name Beds Price booking.com

1

Albergue de Peregrinos Cluny
Arco, 2 Antiguo Iglesia de la Trinidad

Municipal
64 5 Photo in Albergue de Peregrinos Cluny on the Camino de Santiago

2

Albergue Viatoris
Arco Travesía, 25

Private
50 7 Photo in Albergue Viatoris on the Camino de Santiago

3

Hospederia Santa Cruz
Antonio Nicolas, 40

Parochial
12 8 Photo in Hospederia Santa Cruz on the Camino de SantiagoPhoto in Hospederia Santa Cruz on the Camino de Santiago

4

Pedro Ponce
Tineo

Camping
3.35

5

Hostal Domus Viatoris
Sahagún-Arriondas

Hostal
Photo in Hostal Domus Viatoris on the Camino de Santiago

6

Hostal Alfonso VI
Antonio Nicolás, 4

Hostal
Photo in Hostal Alfonso VI on the Camino de Santiago

7

Hostal La Codorniz
Constitución, 97

Hostal
Photo in Hostal La Codorniz on the Camino de Santiago

8

Hotel Puerta de Sahagún
Ctra. de Burgos

Hotel
Photo in Hotel Puerta de Sahagún on the Camino de Santiago

9

Casa Rural Arturo I
Arco, 72

Casa Rural
Photo in Casa Rural Arturo I on the Camino de Santiago

10

Casa Rural Los Balcones del Camino
Constitución, 53

Casa Rural
Photo in Casa Rural Los Balcones del Camino on the Camino de Santiago

11

Hostal Escarcha
Regina Franco, 12

Hostal

12

Hostal La Bastide du Chemin
Arco, 66

Hostal
Photo in Hostal La Bastide du Chemin on the Camino de SantiagoPhoto in Hostal La Bastide du Chemin on the Camino de Santiago

13

Albergue El Labriego
Doctores Bermejo y Calderón, 9

Private
20 8
Photo in Sahagún on the Camino de Santiago

Straight along the Camino Real or turn Right for the Via Trajana

Leaving Sahagún cross over the Río Cea. The camino becomes something of a confusion just short of Calzada de Coto, which lies to the north of the A-231. You will find yourself standing at a large highway interchange (4.4km from Sahagún) with a brick bus-stop and very little signage to point the way. Distances indicated below are from Sahagún to Reliegos, though the Via Trajana can also bypass Relíegos and go directly to Mansilla de las Mulas without adding any distance The two options rejoin in Reliegos, or Mansilla de las Mulas.

‌The Camino Real - 30.3

Carry on straight here to follow the route via Bercianos and El Burgo Ranero.

‌The Via Trajana - 30.9

Turn right here (north) and cross over the bridge to follow the old Roman Road through Calzada de Coto and Calzadilla de los Hermanillos.

Routing
0.60kms.
Camino Frances
Photo of △ on Modern Route ▷ for Via Trajana on the Camino de Santiago
detour
Primary
Yellow
To Santi: 
356.30
Distance to Santiago: 
356.70
Altitude: 
824
The Road: 

The two stretches of road between here and Reliegos are without any services outside of those to be found in Calzadilla de los Hermanillos. Be sure to carry enough water.

Name Beds Price

1

Albergue de peregrinos San Roque
Real

Municipal
36 Donativo Photo in Albergue de peregrinos San Roque on the Camino de Santiago
Photo in Calzada de Coto on the Camino de Santiago
Distance to Santiago: 
348.20
Altitude: 
894
The Road: 

The camino from Calzidalla once went directly to Mansilla de la Mulas, bypassing Reliegos. The route proved to be less desirable than going first to Reliegos which is close enough. The split occurs 1km before arriving at Reliegos and there may still exist conflicting arrows: to get to Reliegos...

Name Beds Price

1

Albergue de Calzadilla de los Hermanillos
Mayor, 28

Municipal
22 Donativo Photo in Albergue de Calzadilla de los Hermanillos on the Camino de Santiago

2

Albergue Vía Trajana
Mayor, 57

Private
20 15 Photo in Albergue Vía Trajana on the Camino de Santiago

3

Casa Rural Casa El Cura
La Carretera, 13

Casa Rural
17
Distance to Santiago: 
350.60
Altitude: 
855

The name of the town tells us that the original inhabitants came from the Bierzo area, and that it is situated along the Camino Real, or Royal Camino. This designation has nothing at all to do with royalty but is rather a term given to primary roads that met a certain metric for size; much like...

Name Beds Price

1

Albergue de Peregrinos de Bercianos
Santa Rita, 11

Parochial
46 Donativo Photo in Albergue de Peregrinos de Bercianos on the Camino de Santiago

2

Albergue Santa Clara
Iglesia, 3

Private
19 10* Photo in Albergue Santa Clara on the Camino de SantiagoPhoto in Albergue Santa Clara on the Camino de Santiago

3

Hostal Rivero
Mayor, 12

Hostal
Distance to Santiago: 
343.10
Altitude: 
879

As far as the eye can tell the only thing keeping El Burgo Ranero on the map is the business brought in by the camino; the wheat and wool business that once sustained it has been replaced by mechanization.

Although the church in town was robbed of its treasures long ago (some are...

History: 

El Burgo Ranero owes it’s existence to both wheat and wool. Of the two it was the wheat (and the granaries that came with) that gave the town its name; though other historians say the name is derived from the same root that gives us the word frog, rana; the wetlands at the far end of town are...

Notice: 

If you are passing through at the right time of year (late May) take a close look at the stork nests on the tower. If you are lucky you may catch a glimpse of the babies waiting for lunch.

The Road: 

The camino between El Burgo and Reliegos is along a manicured path lined with trees. Those trees, unfortunately, are on the wrong side of the path, so on sunny summer days you are exposed: bring ample amounts of water.

Name Beds Price booking.com

1

Albergue de Peregrinos Domenico Laffi
Mayor, 3

Municipal
28 Donativo Photo in Albergue de Peregrinos Domenico Laffi on the Camino de Santiago

2

Hospedería Jacobea El Nogal
Fray Pedro, 44

Association
30 8 Photo in Hospedería Jacobea "El Nogal" on the Camino de Santiago

3

Albergue La Laguna
La Laguna, 12

Private
18 9

4

Hostal El Peregrino
Fray Pedro del Burgo, 36

Hostal
Photo in Hostal El Peregrino on the Camino de Santiago

5

Casa Rural Piedras Blancas
Fray Pedro del Burgo, 32

Casa Rural
Photo in Casa Rural Piedras Blancas on the Camino de Santiago

6

Hotel Castillo El Burgo
Autovía A231 km 34

Hotel
Photo in Hotel Castillo El Burgo on the Camino de Santiago
Photo in El Burgo Ranero on the Camino de Santiago
Distance to Santiago: 
330.40
Altitude: 
832

Bar Elvis, quite possibly the most famous bar on the whole of the camino, is located in the main square. The owner is quite a character and if you’ve brought your sharpie marker get to scribbling, this is one of the few places where graffiti is sanctioned.

Name Beds Price

1

Albergue de Reliegos D Gaiferos
Escuela

Municipal
45 5 Photo in Albergue de Reliegos D Gaiferos on the Camino de Santiago

2

Albergue La Parada
Escuela, 7

Private
16 9 Photo in Albergue La Parada on the Camino de SantiagoPhoto in Albergue La Parada on the Camino de Santiago

3

Albergue Piedras Blancas II
Cantas

Private
10 9 Photo in Albergue Piedras Blancas II on the Camino de Santiago

4

Albergue Gil
Cantas, 30

Private
14 8 Photo in Albergue Gil on the Camino de Santiago

5

Albergue de Ada
Real, 42

Private
10 8 Photo in Albergue de Ada on the Camino de Santiago

6

Albergue Vive tu Camino
Real, 56

Private
20 9 Photo in Albergue Vive tu Camino on the Camino de Santiago
Photo in Reliegos on the Camino de Santiago
Distance to Santiago: 
324.50
Altitude: 
798

There is a nice place for a swim in the river in the northwest corner of Mansilla. Cross over the small pedestrian bridge towards the camping place (not the road bridge that the camino crosses) located in the northwest corner of town. Getting there will take you through several of Mansilla’s...

History: 

Mansilla traces its history back to Roman times, and the walls that continue to surround most of the city bear evidence to its importance; it was both a layover on the Roman road to León and a market town (mostly mules).

The Road: 

Mansilla still has large sections of its defensive walls, turn back when leaving town to get the best view of them.

Much of the way between here and Puente de Villarente is adjacent to the road.

Name Beds Price booking.com

1

Albergue de Mansilla de las Mulas
Puente, 5

Municipal
76 5 Photo in Albergue de Mansilla de las Mulas on the Camino de Santiago

2

Albergue El Jardín del Camino
Camino de Santiago, 1

Private
32 5/10 Photo in Albergue El Jardín del Camino on the Camino de Santiago

3

Camping Esla
Fuente de los Prados

Camping

4

La Pensión de Blanca
Picos de Europa, 4

Pension
14 Photo in La Pensión de Blanca on the Camino de SantiagoPhoto in La Pensión de Blanca on the Camino de Santiago

5

La Casa de los Soportales
Arrabal, 9

Hotel Rural

6

Hostal Alberguería del Camino
Concepción, 12

Hostal

7

Albergue Gaia
Constitución, 28

Private
18 5 Photo in Albergue Gaia on the Camino de SantiagoPhoto in Albergue Gaia on the Camino de Santiago

8

Casa Rural Las Singer
José Álvarez, 6

Casa Rural
Photo in Mansilla de las Mulas on the Camino de Santiago
Distance to Santiago: 
319.70
Altitude: 
799
The Road: 

If you want to escape the busy road for a bit, bear left at the start of town and follow the arrows through the village. Doing so doesn’t add any distance to your journey but spares you 500m of the road.

When entering Puente de Villarente it is now the bridge, not the river; that poses...

Distance to Santiago: 
318.00
Altitude: 
811
History: 

The river here once posed a serious threat to pilgrims when waters ran high and as a result it became home to several pilgrim hospices.

The Road: 

As you are leaving Puente behind you, keep an eye out for arrows pointing you along a trail to your right-hand side, and up a small hill towards Arcahueja. It is fairly well marked but is along a service road that is often lined with parked trucks and the way might be obscured.

Name Beds Price booking.com

1

Albergue San Pelayo
El Romero, 9

Private
56 8 Photo in Albergue "San Pelayo" on the Camino de Santiago

2

Albergue El Delfin Verde
carretera general 601, 15 B

Private
24 5 Photo in Albergue El Delfin Verde on the Camino de Santiago

3

Hostal La Montaña
Camino de Santiago, 17

Hostal
Distance to Santiago: 
313.90
Altitude: 
849

The bar and albergue are in the same building, turn left at the playground.

The Road: 

The way continues straight past the small playground and climbs upwards to the Alto de Portillo.

Name Beds Price booking.com

1

Albergue La Torre
La Torre, 1

Private
38 8 Photo in Albergue "La Torre" on the Camino de SantiagoPhoto in Albergue "La Torre" on the Camino de Santiago

2

Hotel Camino Real
Carretera N-601, Km 320

Hotel
Photo in Hotel Camino Real on the Camino de Santiago
Distance to Santiago: 
312.60
Altitude: 
864

Valdelafuente is not directly on the camino, but rather a few hundred meters off.

Photo in Valdelafuente on the Camino de Santiago

Alto del Portillo

869

It is from the Alto del Portillo that you get your first glimpse of León. It is customary at such a height to search for the spires of León's magnificent cathedral.

Distance to Santiago: 
308.70
Altitude: 
826

Puente Castro, notable for its bridge, has now grown large enough to merge with one of León’s outer barrios (Santa Ana). There are plenty of places to take a rest and enjoy a beverage; there are still a few kilometers to go before arriving at the center of León.

History: 

The barrio and the bridge derive their name from the old Jewish quarter that was once here.

Name Beds Price

1

Albergue Santo Tomás de Canterbury
La Lastra, 53

Private
59 8 Photo in Albergue Santo Tomás de Canterbury on the Camino de SantiagoPhoto in Albergue Santo Tomás de Canterbury on the Camino de Santiago
Distance to Santiago: 
305.70
Altitude: 
842

León is now a fully modernized city home to more than half of the population in the province and like Burgos it is worthy of more time than the average pilgrim spends here. To explore in full would take many days, to cover the basics at least two. If you are keen to keep your feet moving every...

History: 

Nearly one thousand years ago, the city of León was the jewel in the crown of the most powerful king in the Iberian peninsula, at the time a fractured version of what would not become a unified nation for several hundred years. One thousand years before that, it was a Roman settlement critical...

The Road: 

Perhaps the best place to get your bearings is the Cathedral, and the familiar yellow arrows are visible directly opposite the principle facade. The journey through town is short, passing first the Church of San Isidoro and later the Parador (once hospital) of San Marcos before crossing over the...

Name Beds Price booking.com

1

Albergue Ciudad de León
Campos Góticos

Closed
64 5 León - Albergue Ciudad de León León - Albergue Ciudad de León

2

Albergue de Peregrinos de las Benedictinas - Sta. María de Carbajal
Pl. Santa Maria del Camino, 11

Parochial
132 5

3

Albergue San Francisco de Asis
Alcalde Miguel Castaños, 4

Parochial
90 10 Photo in San Francisco de Asis Fundación Ademar on the Camino de Santiago

4

Albergue Unamuno
San Pelayo, 15

Private
85 10

5

Albergue Leon Hostel
Ancha, 8

Private
20 12/14 Photo in Albergue Leon Hostel on the Camino de SantiagoPhoto in Albergue Leon Hostel on the Camino de Santiago

6

Hostel Urban Río Cea
Legión VII, 6

Private
20 18/20* Photo in Hostel Urban Río Cea on the Camino de Santiago

7

Albergue Muralla Leonesa
Tarifa, 5

Private
80 10 Photo in Albergue Muralla Leonesa on the Camino de Santiago

8

Hotel NH Plaza Mayor
Plaza Mayor, 7-11

Hotel
Photo in Hotel NH Plaza Mayor on the Camino de Santiago

9

Parador San Marcos
Plaza San Marcos, 7

Parador
Photo in Parador San Marcos on the Camino de Santiago

10

Albergue Check in León
Alcalde Miguel Castaño, 88

Private
40 10

11

Hostal Albany
Paloma, 13

Hostal
Photo in Hostal Albany on the Camino de Santiago

12

Hostal Alda Casco Antiguo
Cardenal Landázuri, 11

Hostal
Photo in Hostal Alda Casco Antiguo on the Camino de Santiago

13

Hotel Le Petit León
Pozo, 2

Hotel
Photo in Hotel Le Petit León on the Camino de Santiago

14

Pensión La Torre
La Torre, 3

Pension
Photo in Pensión La Torre on the Camino de Santiago

15

Hotel Real Colegiata de San Isidoro
Plaza Santo Martino, 5

Hotel
Photo in Hotel Real Colegiata de San Isidoro on the Camino de Santiago

16

Hostal Quevedo
Quevedo, 13

Hostal
Photo in Hostal Quevedo on the Camino de Santiago

17

Hostal Londres
Roma, 1

Hostal
25 15 Photo in Hostal Londres on the Camino de SantiagoPhoto in Hostal Londres on the Camino de Santiago

18

Hostal Misericordia
Misericordia, 15

Hostal
Photo in Hostal Misericordia on the Camino de Santiago
Photo in León on the Camino de SantiagoPhoto in León on the Camino de SantiagoPhoto in León on the Camino de Santiago
Distance to Santiago: 
302.00
Altitude: 
840
Name Beds Price booking.com

1

Albergue Casa Simón
Guzmán El Bueno, 52

Closed
32 16.60

2

Hostal El Abuelo
Los Mesones, 6

Hostal
Photo in Hostal El Abuelo on the Camino de Santiago

3

Hotel Alfageme
Las Lagunas, 1

Hotel
Photo in Hotel Alfageme on the Camino de Santiago
Distance to Santiago: 
298.70
Altitude: 
910

La Virgen del Camino is named for the miraculous sighting of the Virgen by a local shepherd. His vision has been translated into sculptures several times by artists. One is here in the modern looking church, and another is in the León Cathedral (in the Chapel where the daily mass is held)....

Name Beds Price booking.com

1

Albergue D.Antonino y Dña. Cinia
Padre Eustoquio, 16

Municipal
40 7

2

Hotel Villapaloma
Astorga, 47

Hotel
Photo in Hotel Villapaloma on the Camino de Santiago

3

Hostales Plaza y San Froilán
Astorga, 98

Hostal
Photo in Hostales Plaza y San Froilán on the Camino de Santiago

4

Hostal Central
Astorga, 85

Hostal

5

Hostal Plaza
Astorga, 96

Hostal
Photo in Hostal Plaza on the Camino de Santiago

6

Hostal Julio César
Cervantes, 6

Hostal
Photo in La Virgen del Camino on the Camino de Santiago

SPLIT: Scenic Route or Road Route

When you get to the Basilica de la Virgen del Camino you will cross the busy road and continue on a small access road. In 300m you are presented with the choice between two routes. The painting of yellow arrows here is confusing, and there is zero official signage to indicate your options. Distances are indicated from La Virgen del Camino to Puente de Órbigo where they converge.

‌The SCENIC ROUTE - 27 (green below)

This variation is called the Scenic Route, and it adds 2.4km to your journey. It is considerably more pleasant and there are now plenty of services and albergues along the way. To follow this route turn left onto a dirt track.

‌The ROAD ROUTE - 24.6 (red below)

The official camino route is often called the Road Route due to its proximity to the road. It is the shorter of the two and offers little to no peace from the traffic. To take this route continue straight.

Altitude: 
890
Routing
Next Point B: 
4km
1.60kms.
Camino Frances
Photo of SPLIT: Walkers Route or Road Route on the Camino de Santiago
detour
Primary
Yellow
To Here: 
0.60
To Santi: 
298.10
Distance to Santiago: 
298.90
Altitude: 
880