The province of Burgos has a great history behind it, as evidenced by the monumental jewels and archaeological sites that can be found throughout its territory. Palaces, castles, monasteries, among other exponents of Burgos's artistic and historical heritage are added to its no less important natural wealth. Natural places that surprise those who visit them and that bring a special charm to the already beautiful towns and cities that are part of Burgos. Medieval villas of careful architecture that still make us travel back in time and relive part of the history that forged them.
A land, Burgos, full of beautiful villages that invite us to get to know them, to visit their castles and monuments, to calmly walk their cobblestone streets with medieval air through this Route through the charming villages of Burgos. Villages in some cases included among the most beautiful of Spain, that maintain intact their traditions and that offer to whoever visits them their rich and deep-rooted gastronomy. A route that will allow us to put ourselves in the shoes of the pilgrim as he passes through the towns that crosses, among others, the French Way or accompany in our minds the noble and illustrious characters of the rich history of this ancient kingdom whose villages we are traveling. Characters such as Count Fernán González or Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar, among others, stepped on the same streets and travelled through the same villages that we are now visiting. A route that will undoubtedly make us live an unforgettable experience in our journey through the province of Burgos, and is that the valuable heritage resources that we are going to visit are added to the spectacular landscapes that in many cases involve the towns and cities that we will visit.
Burgos stretches from north to south through the ancient Castilian lands, with the town of Aranda de Duero being one of its gateways to the south of the province, in the heart of Ribera del Duero. Its renowned gastronomy, its remarkable wines and its architectural heritage are some of the attractions that this town offers us. Visiting the old wine cellars that hide under its buildings, losing ourselves strolling through the streets of its historic centre, where true monumental jewels await us such as the Sanctuary of San Pedro Regalado or the churches of Santa María la Real, and San Juan, without forgetting the Palace of the Berdugo family, is an experience that we cannot let pass. Its culture and traditions can be felt, for example, during Holy Week in Aranda, one of the most spectacular in the region, or at the different festivals and congresses that are or have been held in Aranda de Duero, giving it world fame. But around Aranda de Duero there are also places that tempt us with their charms, the Church of San Nicolás de Bari or the Monastery of Santa María de la Vid, are just some of the inciting destinations that we have around this Castilian village.
Once this noble city has been visited, we head towards another of the royal towns that await us on this route through the charming villages of Burgos. The town of Peñaranda de Duero, the ancient frontier between the Christian kingdom and the Muslim armies, who were reconquered back in the 10th century, is surprising for its careful medieval appearance. From the top of the hill where its imposing castle rises we can contemplate not only the beautiful silhouette of Peñaranda de Duero, but also the reason for its strategic location. One of the oldest apothecaries in all of Spain still in operation awaits us in the locality. Walking through its streets is to go back in time to the 15th and 16th centuries while visiting the Palace of the Counts of Miranda, or of Avellaneda, we walk through the Main Square under the watchful eye of the regal Rollo who presides over it and we stop to contemplate calmly the monumental silhouette of the Ex Collegiate Church of Santa Ana. Undoubtedly this old fortified village, of which it still conserves part of its thick wall, is a beautiful medieval village to which to dedicate the time it deserves.
As we say goodbye to Peñaranda de Duero to set course for our next stop on this route, we see the recommendable possibility of taking a detour to visit the important archaeological site of Clunia and then take the opportunity to visit the village of Huerta de Rey, a village belonging to the Camino del Cid. Caleruega, the birthplace of Santo Domingo de Guzmán, dates back to the 10th century when it was founded in the midst of the Reconquest, a fact that marks its history and the outstanding monumental ensemble that this noble town treasures. The parish church of San Sebastián in Romanesque style, the old Torreón de los Guzmanes (Guzmanes Tower), now part of the Convent of the Dominicans, or the Royal Monastery of Santo Domingo in Caleruega, from the 13th century, all form part of this historic village. Traditionally a village of peasants, as the monument to the peasants testifies, but with a marked artistic and historical heritage, also preserves rooted and curious traditions such as the Cantanovias, the Machorra, the Privilege of Alfonso X the Wise or the Mayas, some older others more modern but all signs of identity of Caleruega.
We say goodbye to Caleruega to enter the magnificent landscape surrounding the next town by which this Route through the charming villages of Burgos has to take us. The natural space of La Yecla and Sabinares del Arlanza with its rugged gorge and its specimens of savines more than 2000 years old precede our arrival in Santo Domingo de Silos. Belonging to the well-known tourist routes of the Camino del Cid and the Triángulo del Arlanza, this beautiful town is known worldwide, among other things, for the Monastery of Santo Domingo de Silos, whose monumental ensemble impresses those who visit it. The cloister, the capitals, its apothecary and of course the famous monks and their Gregorian chants are undoubtedly a considerable incentive to visit Santo Domingo de Silos, although this town also has other great attractions among which is undoubtedly the natural environment that surrounds it. Strolling through its streets, some of them still preserve the typical Castilian arcades, crossing its ancient wall or visiting the church of San Pedro are activities that this royal town invites us to do calmly, enjoying every corner we discover in it.
We leave Santo Domingo de Silos behind to set a course towards what was one of the most important lordships in the Middle Ages. Covarrubias also known by the name of La Cuna de Castilla, is today a clear example of popular Castilian architecture, a fact that has earned it to be named National Historic-Artistic Site. And it is that to the important history that treasures, to the illustrious personages that were given appointment here, the rich and pampered historical set of the town of Covarrubias is united that next to the different activities that are organized in the locality throughout the year turn it into almost obligatory stop for all that pass by here. To lose oneself in its cobbled streets is to immerse oneself in an exciting journey through monuments such as the 10th century Fernán González Tower, the Collegiate Church of San Cosme and San Damián de Covarrubias from the 15th century, the unique and characteristic houses of Doña Sancha and Bishop Peña or the Palace of Fernán González, now the town hall of Covarrubias. But we can not fail to taste its famous cuisine and is that the typical Olla Podrida is one of the traditional dishes that give fame to this medieval town.
Satisfied with our appetite, we continue our journey, following the course of the river Arlanza, towards the next illustrious village that awaits us, the Ducal Villa of Lerma. In front of us awaits one of the greatest exponents of the Herrerian architectural style that earned it its name as a National Historic-Artistic Site. Lerma, seated on the hillock that welcomes it, does not disappoint those who, after contemplating its characteristic silhouette, as they approach it, enter its streets and walk through its monuments. The Main Square, one of the largest in Spain, is home to the imposing Ducal Palace of Lerma, from there we can also contemplate the nearby Convent of San Blas and approach the famous Monument to the Cura Merino from where to lean out to the Viewpoint of Los Arcos. But other charming corners of Lerma also await us, such as those surrounding the Collegiate Church of San Pedro and the Prison Door or Arch of the old Prison, now the entrance door to the historic centre of Lerma. A great number of places of interest to visit, interest that will undoubtedly also awaken in us the typical dishes of its famous gastronomy.
We continue going up the province of Burgos from south to north but this time heading northwest leaving behind us Lerma and the national that joins Burgos and Madrid. A good number of villages in Burgos, such as Mahamud, await us before we see the unmistakable silhouette of Castrojeriz. An obligatory stop for all pilgrims who pass through it on the French Way. Its history goes back many years until it was almost lost in time when the old Castrum Sigerici was settled here. The town retains much of its ancient medieval character as evidenced by its streets and monuments. A historical site marked by the remains of the royal castle that crowns the hill where Castrojeriz sits. The church of San Juan treasures in its interior a great artistic patrimony that comes to add to the one that contributes the convent of Santa Clara or the church of Our Lady of the Apple tree, almost first contact that the pilgrim of the French Way has with Castrojeriz to his arrival after leaving to his back the ruins of the curious convent of San Antón.
We leave Castrojeriz and continue our ascending course through the province of Burgos in search of the monumental Sasamón. The history of this illustrious village goes back even before the ancient Roman city of Segisamo, where the Roman Emperor Augustus set up his camp, settled here. Of the beautiful artistic heritage that Sasamón possesses, we will undoubtedly be surprised by the church of Santa María la Real, in Gothic style and one of the largest in the province of Burgos, the solitary Arco de San Miguel, the only remains of the old Romanesque church of the depopulated San Miguel de Mazarreros, from the 12th century, or its Plaza Mayor. But Sasamón is much more, its manor houses, the old Roman bridges, without forgetting of course its traditional Sasamón cheese, are also worth admiring and tasting, as the case may be while we visit this historic town following in the footsteps of the great emperor Octavian Augustus as if they were members of the great Legio IV Macedonica.
We leave behind this ancient Roman settlement and, following the Way of Saint James motorway, head towards Burgos, a city that also tempts us with its countless charms. We cross the capital to meet again with the old national I that will be in charge of leading us to Briviesca, our next stop. The origins of this town in the region of La Bureba go back many years, back in the first century, being a participant and in some cases protagonist of the long history of this land as attested by its considerable cultural and artistic heritage. Passage of the Way of Saint James in its branch known as the Way of Bayonne, the pilgrim that furrows it or the visitor that crosses it finds in its streets a nourished historical helmet where it is possible to emphasize the Monumental Set of Santa Clara, the Church of San Martín, its typically Castilian Major Square or the Ex collegiate one of Santa María the Major, without forgetting us of the noble palaces like the one of the Martinez Spain and House of the Salamanca among other monumental jewels of Briviesca. But this town is also known for the different events and fairs it organises throughout the year, as well as for its renowned gastronomic products, Briviesca's hallmark along with its history and heritage.
Another beautiful village of Burgos claims us, in it they are given appointment as in previous occasions, their passionate history, the illustrious and celebrated personages that lived there and the rooted thing of their traditions and present culture even nowadays. So we say goodbye to Briviesca to visit our next destination. Poza de la Sal welcomes us under the attentive gaze of its regal castle perched on top of the cliffs where it was erected at the end of the ninth century. Located within the region of La Bureba is part of the community known as Las Raíces de Castilla given the historical importance of this medieval town. Strolling through its historic centre is like strolling through streets lined with blazoned mansions and illustrious palaces. But Poza de la Sal also invites us to visit its castle from where we can, after the effort made to conquer it, enjoy the magnificent view from it. Also the one that was and is Félix Rodríguez de la Fuente's native town, hides another important treasure, its salt mines. In Roman times this natural resource was already being exploited and became one of the main sites in the north of the peninsula. Today it still enjoys both its precious salt and its visit.
Our route through the charming villages of Burgos now transports us from defensive bastion to defensive bastion of ancient Old Castile, from Poza de la Sal to Oña, gateway to the imposing Montes Obarenes-San Zadornil Natural Park, where history, monuments and nature merge almost equally. Already in the eighth century begins to forge its remarkable historical importance, but it is Count Fernan Gonzalez and his illustrious descendants who turn it into what Oña became. Loaded with mysteries, traditions and legends, such as some of the buildings of its famous historical-artistic complex, strolling through Oña is a privilege as we will be surrounded by magnificent architectural jewels surrounded by the rich natural heritage that surrounds the town. The palace of bishop González Manso, the parish church of San Juan and the ancient Monastery of San Salvador rival for our attention the natural monuments offered by the environment, without going further than the nearby Desfiladero de la Horadada crossed by the beautiful and impressive Paseo del Oca.
We resume our journey through the province of Burgos entering the lush Natural Park of Montes Obarenes-San Zadornil to head towards the next stop that awaits us, not without first seeing the need to make a stop on the way to reach the town of Tobera, to cross its waterfalls following the Walk of Molinar. Frías awaits us on its hill of La Muela, bathed by the tireless river Ebro, a strategic location that since time immemorial has marked the development of this beautiful town of The Merindades. Its medieval character can be felt when strolling through its well-kept streets, while we contemplate its characteristic profile crowned by the castle of the Dukes of Frias or of Velasco, we visit the hanging houses and the palace of Salazar or we recover our strength while we delight in admiring the parish church of San Vicente Mártir and San Sebastián. A rest that will allow us to approach quietly to the imposing medieval bridge, gateway to the town since centuries ago being the best substitute for the usual passage of the Ebro that the ancient Calzada Romana that passes through Frias used downstream to communicate the plateau with the Cantabrian coast.
We cross like a Roman legion the Ebro to go up to the nearby town of Trespaderme where we will say goodbye to the Ebro, at least for the moment. From there we will continue entering the region of The Merindades to go up to the royal town of Medina de Pomar, next stop of our route. Its current appearance hides an important history linked to the ancient kings of these lands, as well as an important architectural heritage that tells us about the importance of Medina de Pomar in past times. To cross the Jewish Quarter Arch or the Chain Arch is to travel back in time to the time when the Alcázar de los Condestables de Castilla or Castle of Los Velasco, as it is also known, was the bustling nerve centre of the region. A coming and going of noblemen who also visited the parish church of Santa Cruz or the hermitage of Nuestra Señora del Salcinar and Rosario. Today Medina de Pomar is a cultural reference of the region and its history as attested by the different museums we can visit in the town, without forgetting either the privileged natural environment that surrounds it.
We continue with this Route through the charming villages of Burgos crossing Villarcayo to continue towards our next visit, not without being tempted by the natural environment that surrounds us, by the proximity of the Natural Monument of Ojo Guareña and its spectacular places and corners. A spectacularity that undoubtedly also awaits us in Puentedey, and is that this town of The Merindades not only stands out for its medieval air also does and how by its imposing location, as it sits on a colossal natural bridge pierced into the rock by the tireless work of the river Nela as it passes through Puentedey. The Porres palace, the Romanesque church of San Pelayo and its wall rise above this whim of nature to which the Cave of the Saint and the Door of the Wind look out defying the void. A village that will undoubtedly be a pleasant experience to visit and that also invites us before saying goodbye to it to come closer to another natural whim as is the nearby Waterfall of La Mea before continuing our route.
To get to the last stop of this trip we are presented with several alternatives to follow, approaching Pedrosa de Valdeporres just before arriving to radically change course and heading towards Soncillo, not before visiting the Waterfall of the Pisas, and from there continue cutting from east to west the north of Burgos until we meet the national that will bring us to the next town to know. Or return to Villarcayo to go in search of the river Ebro and following the whimsical flow of the sickles that draws up making a stop on the way to visit the remains of the old Monastery Santa Maria de Rioseco. Arriving later to the encounter of the national that returning sense Burgos takes us until the access to Orbaneja of the Castle. The karstic landscape that without a doubt is a sign of identity of this town of Burgos disputes protagonism to the historical set that it also possesses. And it is that the Cave of the Azar, the Cave of the Niésparo and the Cave of the Water next to the plentiful waterfalls that precipitate down town, without forgetting us of the singular natural environment that surrounds to Orbaneja of the Castle are more than sufficient reasons to include it in any guide of trips by Burgos.
Map of the route
This map is a sketch made as an example of the route, in no case represents the best or the only itinerary to follow. Its development has not taken into account the current rules of circulation or the state of the places through which it passes and that could affect its layout.
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The route can vary greatly depending on the time of year, weather conditions and terrain, as well as the actions of third parties, traffic rules and the evolution suffered by the natural environment where it is located. SENDITUR is not responsible for any misuse or improper use of the comprehensive guides of its routes and/or publications, and/or the operation of its electronic guides, nor for the variations for the aforementioned reasons in their descriptions and recommends that everyone be responsible and prudent in carrying out the activity, complying with traffic regulations. Likewise, we invite you to document yourself with books and specialized guides to complement the information described. All times are approximate and take an indicative character. All the information related to the route, texts, images, videos, maps, diagrams, tracks, towns and places of tourist interest are published as a guide and may not coincide with the current state of each place. Before carrying out any activity, value your technical knowledge, your physical form, inform yourself about the meteorology and the variations that the route could have suffered, equípate correctly, be prudent and responsible at all times, not surpassing your capacities. From the commitment of SENDITUR with Nature and the respect to the balance of the environment, SENDITUR urges you to travel in a responsible way, with low environmental impact and respecting at all times the Natural, Cultural and Social environment, as well as the traffic rules wherever you go. All opinions, advice and/or assessments made by SENDITUR in its descriptions are for guidance only.
Todos preciosos, me cuesta decidir cuál de estos pueblos con encanto es el más bonito para mi. Cada uno tiene cosas que hacen que merezca la pena visitarlo.
¿Did you know that...
In the province of Burgos, in addition to being the province with the most municipalities in Spain, is the town of Valpuesta which disputes with the Riojan town of San Millán de la Cogolla the title of being the cradle of Castilian to have some texts known as Cartularios that according to some studies are older than the Glosas Emilianenses of the Monastery of San Millán.
Don't miss out...
La Yecla, the Monastery of San Pedro de Arlanza, the archaeological site of Clunia or the Mirador del Cañón del Ebro, are just a few examples of the charming corners through which you pass or are close to the route.
Distance of the route
393 Km This figure may vary depending on the route we follow.
Duration of the tour
From 2 to 4 days
Time of year
All year round.
Historical, cultural and landscape. This route gives us to know a great part of the territory of Burgos.
HOW TO GET TO
PLACES TO DISCOVER
DON'T BE IN DOUBT
You will also be able to discover what surrounds you, the localities, the places of interest or the fountains, the rest areas and much more.
Discover what surrounds you
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