Through the extensive Oja valley we say goodbye to La Rioja to welcome Castilla y León almost without realizing it, escorted by La Demanda we arrive at the valley of El Tirón. This stage of the Way of Saint James will lead us among cereal fields, prelude of the continuous landscape that awaits us in coming days, to know the medieval legends and the history linked to the French Way of the localities through which it passes.
Step by step we say goodbye to La Rioja to enter Burgos, without this entailing a great change in the landscape. The stage 9 Santo Domingo de la Calzada-Belorado with 22,4 Km begins in Santo Domingo de la Calzada, next to the Cathedral, to cross the main street until leaving its historic centre and following the course marked by the national N-120, pass by the hermitage and the bridge over the river Oja, heir to the primitive bridge built by Santo Domingo de la Calzada in the middle of the 11th century to facilitate the passage of pilgrims. This first stretch of the route takes us gently up to the Cross of the Brave, erected as a reminder of the struggle, which is supposed to resolve the dispute over the land of La Dehesa between Grañón and Santo Domingo de la Calzada. The comfortable undulating that accompanied us throughout the route, descends to Grañón, the last town in La Rioja.
The villa is located at the foot of the hill Mirabel and came to have 2 monasteries and hospitals, in the church of St. John the Baptist, XVI century, we can contemplate a magnificent altarpiece in addition to the distinguished pilgrim Santiago. From here the French Way continues between plots of land, going up the hill that separates the two communities and where a sign with the journey through Castile welcomes us, in this same place we have the recommended possibility of, forgetting the road that remains, focus on contemplating the splendid landscape that shows before us, a mixture of fields of grain, rounded mountains and small towns. The path begins a gentle descent that takes us to Redecilla del Camino, passing by a judicial roll and through the Calle Mayor, to the parish church of the Virgen de la Calle.
The way returns again to the left side of the national one and continues for the andadero until the following population, Castildelgado, formerly called Villapún, that receives us with the church of San Pedro of century XVI and next to her the hermitage of Our Lady of the Field of centuries XVI-XVII. We leave Castildelgado along Camino de la Cuesta street to head towards the next town we reach when the dirt track ends, following the regional access road to Viloria de Rioja, birthplace in the year 1019 of Santo Domingo de la Calzada. Following the course of the road that brought us here we will arrive, descending the high where Viloria de Rioja is situated, to find us with the national road and the dirt track that follows it and that leads us to our next destination Villamayor del Río, which houses the Old hospital of La Misericordia. We start the final stretch of the stage that could not be less continuous, now descending smoothly, along the dirt track parallel to the national road between cereal fields, to reach the historic city of Belorado.
We can easily extend this stage to the town of Villafranca Montes de Oca or to one of the towns before it.
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Comfortable journey on dirt tracks in good condition, although we have to face about 3 km of asphalt and quite a few road junctions.
With water points in all the towns where we pass and without too much distance between them, in summer the area withstands high temperatures and we will not find many shaded areas.
Apart from the different pets that we can find, we pass to the exit of Santo Domingo by the stable of a flock of sheep, being able to find them in the way together with the dogs shepherds, to the entrance of Grañón we have some pavilions of cattle exploitations habitually with their enclosed enclosure and the guard dogs in them. In the rest of localities, both at the entrance and at the exit, we will pass by farms and pavilions protected by dogs in the open air, generally tied, but with long chains, or in closed enclosures.
|Stº Domingo de la Calzada|
|Redecilla del Camino|
|Viloria de Rioja|
|Villamayor del Río|
This stage was carried out in the field by SENDITUR on 19-09-2018. The stage can vary greatly depending on the time of year, the weather conditions and the terrain, as well as the actions of third parties 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, nor for any variations in their descriptions for the above-mentioned reasons, and recommends that everyone be responsible and prudent in carrying out the activity. 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, we have not taken into account the stops no matter how small they are. For any suggestion, SENDITUR invites you to send an email to
This stage begins next to the Cathedral of Santo Domingo de la Calzada (0h 00min), going straight on along the Calle Mayor until you leave the old part of the town, where you will find a road that you will cross to continue along the street that begins, a little to the left, in front of you.
This street takes us to the old national N-120 where we will continue passing by the Virgen del Puente hermitage, located just at the beginning of the long bridge over the river Oja.
As soon as this bridge is finished, on the right hand side, there is a path that avoids us to follow the shoulder of the road, immediately this forks in two, one follows the descending course of the river and the other, where we continue, turns to the left to continue close to the road.
Our walk separates us little by little from the national one until we reach the height of another road, where, leaving on our right the dirt track we brought, we cross to the other side in search of the entrance to the path that, a few meters ahead, will take us to pass next to the pavilions of the ITV of Santo Domingo de la Calzada. We continue along this dirt track that runs parallel to the national one until we reach the moment when we are forced to cross it again, leaving behind us the track that turns to the right, to continue along the path that runs parallel to the national one on the other side of the road.
The itinerary along this path, among cereal farms, takes us to a crossroads, just before the climb to the Cruz de los Valientes (Cross of the Brave), which can already be felt in front of us, where we leave the path where we came from and take the one on the right, which is soon forced by the road to turn left, continue close to the limits of the Camino dual carriageway.
After the short, gentle climb up to the Cruz de los Valientes we continue to be permanently escorted along the dual carriageway around the bed of a stream, thanks to a bridge that goes under the road, where we find a path that crosses the other side of the dual carriageway and which we must ignore and continue on the left side of it, from where we can already see the silhouette of Grañón.
Before reaching the locality, the path meets another crossroads where we must go straight on along the asphalt track that passes by agricultural pavilions and takes us to the entrance of the town. At the end of this asphalted track and in front of us we will see a stone wall and stairs to climb a small park and the main street, where the way continues through the town of Grañón (1h 40min).
We cross straight by this street all the population until arriving at the viewpoint of the Way, another small park from where we can contemplate the passing of the Way in its last section by lands riojanas.
Continue down the asphalted road that skirts the viewpoint until you reach a crossroads where you turn right and, shortly afterwards, turn left onto the dirt road that passes by some pavilions and a wooded area. Continue along this road for a short time as, after continuing straight ahead, leaving behind a first crossroads, you must turn left at the second one you come across.
This track that goes up little by little the back of the hill takes us to the limits between La Rioja and Castilla y León, more concretely with the province of Burgos, from this point we can contemplate our next objective Redecilla del Camino.
The itinerary begins a gentle descent that brings us closer to the vicinity of the town, where it turns right to cross the national road, pass next to the pilgrim information office and enter the main street in Redecilla del Camino (2h 40min).
This street crosses the whole town until it meets the national road again, and we are forced to cross it again, as the route continues along the path that starts between the road and the house on the other side.
The andadero continues next to the national one, passing by a short section in disuse of the old road, continuing the track and leaving behind us the option to leave to the national one, we will enter in the following population of the day, to which we arrive after crossing another road that interposes in our route, once saved this reef we arrive at Castildelgado (3h 00min).
The main street takes us past the church and the hermitage and, going straight on, we leave Castildelgado and take the twisted descent path that will join us again with the andadero next to the road, continuing along this one a little further on we will find the crossroads where the section of andadero ends and on the left begins the access road towards Viloria de Rioja.
We have to continue along this road that will guide us until we reach the municipality, continue the course of the road, now converted into Bajera street, it will take us to cross Viloria de Rioja (3h 30min).
Once we have said goodbye to the locality, we must continue, without deviating, the layout of the road that descends windingly in search of the national road and the new stretch of track that starts on the left, just at the crossroads between the two roads.
After continuing a good stretch parallel to the national one and going up another small hill, which reminds us of the slides of the previous stage, leaving behind us all the paths we find, we are forced to cross another regional road, at which point the path starts a gentle descent in which we will pass by a salt deposit, and which will join us a few meters later with the national one. Precisely at the entrance to the penultimate locality of the day, which we will reach by turning to the left in the first street that we find, thus avoiding us to continue along the shoulder of the road.
This street enters Villamayor del Río (4h 20min) until a park where we must turn right, either in it or in the previous street that will take us to pass next to church to return, something later, to find us with the national road and with the dirt track next to it.
The last kilometres of the route continue along this track next to the road, leaving behind us the various detours that meet us and crossing another road for the penultimate time, gradually descending towards our destination today.
The track ends just before reaching Belorado, having to cross the national again, as our journey continues along the track that turns left just past the other side of the national.
The way will introduce us almost without us realizing between orchards and pavilions that give way to the first streets of the locality for where we will continue straight the few meters that separates us already from arriving at the church of Santa Maria, in Belorado (5h 25min).
All the information related to the stage, 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 wherever you go. For any suggestion, SENDITUR invites you to send an email to
Total distance. 22,4 Km
Total time. 5h 25min
It is what takes us to make today's stage, we can shorten something if instead of going up to Viloria de Rioja and then down, we continue on the national, but this option is not recommended at all as it forces us to go along the shoulder of the road, with the danger that this represents to save a few minutes.
Time of year. Any time.
In summer the zone registers high temperatures, without shaded zones it forces us to be attentive with the water that we take, practically all the localities by where we pass has sources of potable water and we do not have great distances between them, coincides that they are in the last localities, before Belorado, those that their sources are not potables.
Required equipment. Nothing special.
Clothes and sports footwear according to the time of the year and to the meteorology, backpack, canteen, canes and sun cream. The good condition of most of the route allows the stage to be carried out with the most comfortable footwear, except during rainy periods. Consult our list of material and equipment to make the Way. Read more
Slope acumulate. 625 m Slope positive. 377 m Slope negative. 248 m
A constant and smooth undulation of the terrain is the habitual tonic of the stage, not finding us with great difficulties that we have to face.
The Way travels to arrive and leave Viloria de Rioja by the access road to the locality, being the section that descends towards the andadero and the national one where, by its somewhat sinuous initial layout, it has worse visibility for pilgrims and drivers so we will have to take extreme precautions. Unfortunately we will have to cross several times, coinciding with the accesses to the towns, the national road N-120, which supports a great volume of traffic, in addition to local roads, by places with relatively good visibility. A large part of the way runs close to the national road, and unfortunately some of the exits of vehicles that used to travel on the road have had a high cost for some pilgrims, so it is advisable not to lower your guard on these stretches.
As for the rest, the route runs along tracks in good condition, in a short section by road and with good signposting, except for the surroundings of Viloria de Rioja, where, although not very complicated, they are less visible.
|1-Santo Domingo de la Calzada||0h 00min||640 m||0 Km||30T 503815 4698722|
|2-Grañón||1h 40min||724 m||6,7 Km||30T 497777 4699807|
|3-Redecilla del Camino||2h 40min||740 m||10,6 Km||30T 494639 4698434|
|4-Castildelgado||3h 00min||770 m||12,2 Km||30T 493074 4698265|
|5-Viloria de Rioja||3h 30min||800 m||14,2 Km||30 T 491673 4697102|
|6-Villamayor del Río||4h 20min||787 m||17,5 Km||30T 488816 4697235|
|7-Belorado||5h 25min||770 m||22,4 Km||30T 484494 4696518|
Coordinates UTM Datum WGS84
This sketch of the route is not made to scale nor does it contain all the information relating to the area, it is merely indicative.
This schematic with the path is approximate and has been created from the derived cartographic base © Instituto Geográfico Nacional "Cuadrantes 201 y 202, 1:50.000".
Senditur has manipulated the tracks to correct the aberrant points that may exist, caused by problems with the reception of the GPS signal. In any case the tracks are always approximate.
SENDITUR encourages you to use the new technologies within your reach, using them as support and consultation in your activity, not basing the realization and orientation of the same only and exclusively on them, since they may see their functioning altered by very diverse causes, not functioning correctly and their indications may not be precise. SENDITUR is not responsible for any misuse and/or operation of its electronic guides and recommends that everyone be responsible and prudent in carrying out the activity. All opinions, advice and/or assessments made by SENDITUR in its descriptions are subject to and/or refer to the specific conditions that SENDITUR encountered on the specific day of the performance of the tour, referring to that specific day and always taking as reference trained and experienced people, with a high level of both physical and technical preparation, as well as correctly equipped, therefore all opinions, assessments and/or advice are for guidance only.
Localities on the French Way
¿Did you know that...
The main theories that point to the different origins of the name of La Rioja are that it corresponds to the river Oja which is in the geographical area originally known by that name or that which points to the rival term which would be translated as land of streams and that which is thought to have its origins in the Basque language, being the union of the words erria and eguia, which would be translated as land of bread.
Don't miss out...
The Romanesque baptismal font from the 12th century that you will find in the parish church of the Virgen de la Calle in Redecilla del Camino. It is a large cup seated on a beam of eight columns.
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Virtual signalization of the stage
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