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The French Way enters Castilla y León

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.

Stage 9 Santo Domingo de la Calzada-Belorado Way of Saint James French Way

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.

Oja Valley

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 into Castile

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.

The Trick

We can easily extend this stage to the town of Villafranca Montes de Oca or to one of the towns before it.

Pet area, the Way of St. James with my dog

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.

Sendigrino Ico_Hotel Ico_Albergue Ico_Hostal Ico_Restaurante IcoCafeteria Ico_Supermercado Ico_Farmacia Ico_Cajeroautomatico Ico_Veterinario Ico_Taller_de_BTT
Stº Domingo de la Calzada Ico_Ok Ico_Ok Ico_Ok Ico_Ok Ico_Ok Ico_Ok Ico_Ok Ico_Ok Ico_Ok Ico_Ok
Grañón   Ico_Ok Ico_Ok   Ico_Ok Ico_Ok Ico_Ok    
Redecilla del Camino   Ico_Ok Ico_Ok Ico_Ok Ico_Ok Ico_Ok        
Castildelgado     Ico_Ok Ico_Ok Ico_Ok          
Viloria de Rioja   Ico_Ok Ico_Ok   Ico_Ok          
Villamayor del Río   Ico_Ok   Ico_Ok Ico_Ok          
Belorado Ico_Ok Ico_Ok Ico_Ok Ico_Ok Ico_Ok Ico_Ok Ico_Ok Ico_Ok    

Description of stage 9 of the French Way

From Santo Domingo de la Calzada to Grañón 6,7 Km

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.

Start of the stage next to the Cathedral

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.

Hermitage and 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.

We move away from Santo Domingo de la Calzada

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.

Cruz de los Valientes

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.

Grañón on the horizon

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.

Entrance to 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).

The Way crosses straight Grañón by the Santiago street

From Grañón to Redecilla del Camino 3,9 Km

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.

Last stretch of the Way through Rioja lands

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.

Arriving at Redecilla del Camino

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.

Judicial Royo in 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).​

From Redecilla del Camino to Castildelgado 1,6 Km

The Way crosses Redecilla by the Calle Mayor

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 starts on the other side of the national road.

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).​

We arrived in Castildelgado

From Castildelgado to Viloria de Rioja 2 Km

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.

Castildelgado church and hermitage

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).​

Access road to Viloria de Rioja

From Viloria de Rioja to Villamayor del Río 3,3 Km

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.

La carretera nos lleva hasta el inicio del andadero

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.

We arrived at Villamayor del Río

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 Way passes by the church of Villamayor del Río

From Villamayor del Río to Belorado 4,9 Km

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.

Final stretch of the track to Belorado

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.

Church of Santa María, Belorado

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).​


Technical details of the stage

ico-distancia-totalDistance. 22.4Km

Work on the nearby dual carriageway may change this figure.

ico-tiempo-totalTime. 5:25h

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.

ico-calendarioTime of year

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.

ico-materialRequired equipment

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

ico-dificultadDifficulty. Medium


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.

Important places to pass through
1-Stº Domingo de la Calzada 0:00h 640m 0Km 30T 503815 4698722
2-Grañón 1:40h 724m 6.7Km 30T 497777 4699807
3-Redecilla del Camino 2:40h 740m 10.6Km 30T 494639 4698434
4-Castildelgado 3:00h 770m 12.2Km 30T 493074 4698265
5-Viloria de Rioja 3:30h 800m 14.2Km 30 T 491673 4697102
6-Villamayor del Río 4:20h 787m 17.5Km 30T 488816 4697235
7-Belorado 5:25h 770m 22.4Km 30T 484494 4696518

Coordinates UTM Datum WGS84

Stage Profile

Profile of Stage 9 Santo Domingo de la Calzada-Belorado of the French Way

ico-desnivel-acumuladoSlope: 625m

ico-desnivel-positivoSlope +: 377m

ico-desnivel-negativoSlope -: 248m

ico-altitud-maximaMaximum altitude: 822m

ico-altitud-minima​Minimum altitude: 630m

Cartography, maps and tracks

Map of Stage 9 Santo Domingo de la Calzada-Belorado of the French Way

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.

Topographical Map Stage 9 Santo Domingo de la Calzada-Belorado French Way

ico ign

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.

Bridge of Santo Domingo de la Calzada
Church of Grañón
Church of Santa María, Belorado
Entrance to Castile
First Km of the Way of Saint James through Burgos
Smooth undulation of the fields
Track next to the national one
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Listado de experiencias
Fernando Vazquez
Created the 10-07-2014

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¿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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Respect the Way Keep it clean

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.



Besides sharing with all of us your experience on the route we would be grateful if you could write to us to inform us of any erroneous or outdated information you may have found, or simply to let us know what you think at Thank you.

This route has been carried out in the field by SENDITUR on 19-08-2018. The route may vary greatly depending on the time of year, weather conditions and terrain, as well as the actions of third parties and the evolution suffered in the natural environment where it is located. All opinions, advice and/or assessments made by SENDITUR in their descriptions are for guidance only and are subject to and/or refer to the specific conditions of the specific day of the route, referring to that specific day, taken from trained people, with the appropriate experience and with a high level of physical and technical preparation as a reference, as well as correctly equipped.

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