The apparently endless plain of the fields of Castile, natural granary, will take us from Carrión de los Condes, crossing part of the old Via Aquitana and the no less historic Cañada Real Leonesa, to San Nicolás del Real Camino at the gates of the province of León. Cereal fields and the occasional solitary tree will be our companions for almost the entire route. The towns, concentrated almost entirely in the final part of the route, are a living example of the culture and tradition rooted in these lands and on the Way to Saint James.
The stage 15 Carrión de los Condes-San Nicolás del Real Camino of the French Way and its 32.4 km are another example of the characteristic landscape that defines the Jacobean route as it passes through Palencia. The beginning in Carrión de los Condes, will take us to cross this historical locality passing by important and historical places linked to the Jacobean tradition. The Church of Santiago of the XII century and its spectacular portico or the Monastery of San Zoilo of the XVI century are good sample of it. After passing by the old Abbey of Benevívere, we will enter the Roman road Aquitana that connected Bordeaux with Astorga and whose remains are still preserved in some stretch of the route.
Calzadilla de la Cueza, appears before us suddenly, hidden in a hollow is the final point in the long straight that we cross from Carrión. The locality shows us the vestiges of an old Roman road, and in its parish church of San Martín the Renaissance altarpiece of the XVI century and coming from the Monastery Santa María de las Tiendas. From here we take again the comfortable andadero that will be our guide in great part of the French Way until the more and more near León. Great diversity of variants await us from now on, all of them with the same destinations and of similar distance between their originals, the first one we find in Ledigos, in whose temple consecrated to Santiago there are kept up to three different figures of the apostle. The pigeons and the houses of adobe and straw offer us some beautiful prints in this part of the stage.
Through either of the following two options, which are presented to us, we will reach Terradillos de los Templarios, whose name clearly exposes the marked history that this town has had. The church of San Pedro preserves an interesting crucifix from the 14th century. Again, two possible paths will take us to Moratinos, either the little-used andadero or the dirt tracks and its unmistakable landscapes bring us closer to this small town of Mudejar origin whose church of Santo Tomás de Aquino was built in brick between the 16th and 17th centuries. Another two new options to choose from will take us to San Nicolás del Real Camino, the last town on the French Way as it passes through Palencia, where this stage ends.
|Carrión de los Condes
|Calzadilla de la Cueza
|Terradillos los Templarios
|S. Nicolás del Real Camino
We begin this stage in the Saint Mary's square, in Carrión de los Condes (0h 00min), leaving behind the church that gives its name to the square and the street where we arrived the day before and where we will continue today.
Santa María street will lead us to the town hall square, which we will leave on our left. The French Way goes straight on passing by the impressive portico of the church of Santiago.
Now our itinerary continues for the street Esteban Collantes leaving to right and left how many streets we are.
This street reaches a small square where the paved paving ends, at which point we have to turn left, leaving the street that continues straight through a narrow passage between two houses.
We now descend towards the river along Calle Piño Blasco, which, shortly before reaching it, winds around some houses that stand in our way. Without leaving the main street at any time we arrive at the bridge that will serve us to cross the river Carrión.
As soon as you cross the bridge, the road where you are going turns to the right, leaving behind a street that you see in front of you when you cross the bridge. The road borders the Monastery of San Zoilo, it is advisable to cross as soon as we can by the sidewalk of our right to find, almost at the end of the road, the entrance to an asphalted track.
On reaching this track, the route continues for a few metres along the edge of the roundabout leading to Carrión de los Condes.
At this point we have to pay attention to the traffic, since when it finishes the guardrail that protects us from the road we must cross it to continue by the road that is on the other side and that goes direction to Sahagún.
This new road that passes by the entrance to the Red Cross post and a petrol station leads us, initially along a pavement and then along the verge, to a new crossroads.
The route crosses the national road to continue straight on along a narrow local road that will accompany us for a few kilometres.
Almost without realizing it, we have already left behind the beautiful locality of Carrión and we walk among fields of cultivation, sometimes hidden by the bushes and the trees that mark out the narrow local road, without verges, where the French Way runs.
Without leaving the road, it takes us to the Abbey of Benevívere (1h 00min), which next to the nearby stream forces the route to change its straight line.
Shortly after leaving the abbey behind us, our road turns sharply to the right, at which point we will leave it to continue along the dirt track that continues the linear trajectory of this first part of the stage.
This wide dirt track with quite a good firm and protected from the implacable sun by a row of trees that, on hot days, offer as much shade as they can, runs between cereal fields that extend as far as the eye can see.
We continue, ignoring how many roads come out to meet us, passing by a small rest area and shortly after by some agricultural pavilions. To our right in the horizon, excepting the highway, on days of good visibility we can contemplate the steep silhouette of the peaks of the Palencia Mountain.
Shortly after passing agricultural pavilions we are forced to cross another road that stands in our way. The trees have abandoned us for some time now, finding us with fewer and fewer stretches where we can protect ourselves from the sun.
We follow the straight line of the track leaving behind us a few paths that go into the plots of land to reach another rest area, is somewhat larger than the previous one.
From here the practically flat route becomes somewhat undulating, partly changing the monotonous landscape that accompanies us. The track between the ascent and descent is gently gained height allowing us to sense in the distance the tower of what looks like a church.
Calzadilla de la Cueza appears before us by surprise, hidden from our sight when being in a small valley, the track descends the low slope that separates us from the town reaching its limits.
At this point we have the option to continue on the left bordering the entire town or go straight on the main street that leads into Calzadilla de la Cueza (3h 25min).
The two options meet again on the other side of the town, both cross Calzadilla de la Cueza until they join again. The Calle Mayor leads to the nearby road, which we reach after passing some pavilions.
At this point we will have to continue a few meters along the national and find the best place to cross it. Just after crossing the river Cueza, shortly before reaching a curve in the road, we will see on our left the beginning of a dirt track that continues parallel to the national.
The French Way continues along this track until it reaches a bifurcation, where the typical andadero that characterizes these stages begins. Continuing on the right at this bifurcation, the andadero takes us back to the national one.
The route starts a gentle ascent between the cereal fields and the road, protected from the sun in some sections by some trees.
Cross the access road to Santa María de la Tiendas to continue the ascent. Almost at the top of the hill, the andadero gives way for a few meters to the road, just enough to cross a stream that stands in our way.
This short stretch along the national road soon ends and the comfortable andadero, which continues with the ascent, begins again. The landscape has changed a little or at least that makes us look like the leafy bushes that border our path and the few trees we come across.
At the top of the hill, but on the other side of the road, we find a rest area and shortly after in that same hand the beginning of a dirt track that offers us as another alternative variant to reach Ledigos.
If you follow the option of crossing the road, you will walk about 400 m more than the andadero, follow the dirt track that soon after starting you will find a crossroads where the Way turns to the left recovering the orientation of the andadero and continues to be, near the town, with another track where it turns again to the left to enter Ledigos passing by the church and descending until the meeting of the national and the usual way.
The Way of Saint James follows the andadero at all times without deviating from the crossroads it is at, gradually approaching the next town on the stage. A short, disused section of the old road replaces the andadero by a few metres. It is at this moment when a gentle descent begins that takes us back to the andadero to continue descending through it.
Once again the road gets in the way of our route, putting an end to this stretch of andadero, and forcing us once again to cross it to continue along the entrance road to Ledigos.
Following this narrow road we reach the first buildings of the town and the first intersection of streets where we turn left to enter Ledigos (4h 50min).
This short street soon comes to an end, when bordering the house we have on our right we go out to the street that enters Ledigos from the National.
Going along this street towards it we will arrive at the crossroads with the national road where we will be given two options of route.
This new variant goes straight on crossing the national road again and continuing along a local road that starts on the other side, heading towards a characteristic dovecote of Tierra de Campos.
Shortly before reaching this dovecote the Way leaves the road turning right and now following a dirt track that leads to some pavilions.
Shortly after passing the pavilions, this track turns left and continues without detours to the vicinity of Terradillos de los Templarios.
Here we turn right again to enter the town and join the usual route, saving about 300 m of travel.
If you do not follow this variant in Ledigos, the usual French Way turns at the crossroads, bordering a building, to continue along a tree-lined promenade that crosses the boundaries of Ledigos.
The walk after crossing another access road to the locality from the nearby national road, continues straight on starting at that point the ascent to another small hill in front of us.
Do not be confused by the road sign or dead-end street, since as before, the Way uses an unused section of the road. When you reach the end of this asphalted area, a trail allows you to leave for the national road and cross it again.
On the other side of the road begins again the andadero where we will continue. Little by little we advance until we find another stream that forces us to return to the road and travel a short stretch along it.
At the end of this one we will return to the andadero which we will not abandon until the next town.
This part of the path takes us up a small hill to reach the Terradillos de los Templarios.
The town is to the left of the road and when you reach it the andadero ends its route giving way to an asphalted track that descends towards the town and where we follow.
The Pilgrim's Way to Santiago goes straight on through it, quickly reaching the first streets, and it is at this point that two options are once again being considered.
One, to continue by the andadero next to the highway until Moratinos, for which in the first street that we find we will have to continue by the right for, after passing next to the church to return to the national highway by the first street that we find to our right and to take again the andadero that begins in that point.
Two, if on the contrary we decide to follow the habitual way we must continue descending by the street of the left and that after passing next to the church, but by the other side, it took us until the interior of Terradillos de los Templarios (5h 35min).
If our option is to continue along the monotonous andadero we will have no more complication than facing a long slide that will make us descend to a valley and cross some other crossroads including that of a road. After crossing some streams thanks to some wooden bridges we will begin the ascent that will return us the lost height.
A rest area indicates that we are close to the next town we arrived at after completing the ascent.
When you reach the height of the locality once again the andadero gives way to the national road and to our left begins an asphalted track that takes us to a street where we turn left again to enter Moratinos or to our right if we want to take again the andadero until the next town.
This andadero to Moratinos, as it does not give us practically any difference in distance with the usual route, is not usually used very much and the vegetation is appropriating it in some of its areas.
If, on the other hand, you choose to follow the dirt track to Moratinos, you have to continue down the street that leads to Terradillos de los Templarios.
After crossing a brick building on the right, the street continues descending until it reaches a rest area, where we will be joined by pilgrims who have decided to reach the town by the variant from Ledigos.
Again we will have to turn right in one of the two streets that are in this point, since the two go out to the same street that took us out of the town.
Once you have chosen one of the two streets, turn left at the first crossroads to continue along a dirt track which is where the French Way continues.
This dirt track, between cereal fields, ends when you reach a local road, where you have to continue along it to the left, in search of a new track.
Shortly after passing a curve of the road we will find the beginning of the track where we will continue. The path descends to save a small valley, where we can take advantage of the shade that the poplars provide in that place, to return to ascend recovering the lost height.
Without deviating from the main track and with the national road on our right but far enough away we can see the next town we pass.
The track descends approaching us until Moratinos (6h 15min) to which we enter following straight the street that has replaced the track that we brought.
When you arrive at the church, in the first or second street, you have to continue on your right to reach the square where you will have to decide whether to continue along the andadero or along the track that will take you to San Nicolás del Real Camino.
If we decide for the andadero we have to return until the national one by the highway that arrives at the population from her. Those who arrived here by the andadero will have to return following its steps until the crossing by where they descended and leaving this one, to continue straight until the national one where the andadero returns to begin again. This new section runs on the opposite side as it has done so far, so we will be forced to cross the national in search of it.
The route continues between the national road and the motorway until the end. Our destination is on the other side again, so we will reach it crossing the road once again and going down the entrance street to the town, which, without taking a detour, will take us to the square of the church of San Nicolás del Real Camino.
If the decision is to continue along the variant that runs between fields of crops, more colorful and quiet, but about 300 m more distance, we leave on our right the road that leaves Moratinos and follow a track that begins next to the square of the church.
This cement track is soon crossed with a dirt track that starts on your right, along which the Way of Saint James continues. This track begins a gentle ascent that will take us back to the extensive plain and will allow us to contemplate the end of the stage.
The track leaves behind some paths and begins a comfortable descent that will take us to the limits of San Nicolás del Real Camino.
After entering the town and at the crossroads with the first street we will find, we will see on the left the church of San Nicolás del Real Camino (6h 55min), where we will go and where today's stage ends.
The different routes along the route hardly make this figure change.
The great variety of variants that we will find in the final stretc:will not vary in too muc:the total time that it will take us to cross this stage, the short difference that supposes to choose one or another possibility increases or diminishes in about 10 min this time. Be careful, bot:the excess heat and the wind, whic:can blow strongly in this area, can considerably influence our progress by making it slower and needing more time to do it.
Due to its climate, spring and autumn are the best periods to carry out this stage. The green fields or the great variety of yellows next to the wide plain offer magnificent panoramic views. The summer or the winter also offer their peculiar characteristics, the heat or the intense cold well equipped and wit:the appropriate planning would not have to be a brake that serves as justification for missing these stages.
The typical protection against the sun, glasses, protective cream, hat or cap should not be missing in any case, also the canteen well loaded wit:water in eac:locality that we pass, must be our companion. The canes are another great ally that without realizing it will help us wit:the kilometers and the load of the backpack. Wit:good weather, the state of the terrain where we travel allows us to travel wit:lighter footwear, but closed to avoid the paste that is formed wit:the dust of the road and our sweat that can put us in trouble. We do not have to forget that we constantly travel at more than 800 m altitude so even in the good days of autumn or spring temperatures especially at night are usually quite low, so we have to wear clothing and footwear according to the time of year and weather conditions. Consult our list of material and equipment to make the Way. Read more
The distance and the meteorological conditions that we can find mean that this stage, wit:hardly any unevenness and whic:passes throug:very good terrain, can be more demanding than it might seem a priori. It is in the final part where the terrain becomes more uncomfortable forcing us to a continuous up and down by the small hills that come out at our pace, but wit:the advantage of concentrating localities in this part and the short distance between them.
The exit of the Way of Saint James from Carrión de los Condes is one of the complicated points of the route, we cross several roads, including the national one, whic:support a lot of traffic and if we start the stage in Carrión we will normally pass throug:them at night wit:the added danger that this entails. It is a good idea that the day before in the route to know the locality we approac:these crosses to have clear the next day where the itinerary follows and avoid doubts in the middle of crossing. The first kilometres of the stage are along a narrow local road which, althoug:it may not seem so, has traffic. From Calzadilla de la Cueza we will have to cross the national road on several occasions, more or less depending on the route chosen. Or to walk a short stretc:along another narrow local road. In general the paths are in perfect condition, and the only disadvantage of the andadero is its proximity to the road, in some areas too close. Pilgrims who choose the andadero, between the towns at the end of the stage will see how it disappears when they reac:them. Forcing us to leave the company of the road to return to it a little later. There are not a few who, knowing this, take an unnecessary risk by continuing along the small shoulder of the road to meet the new section of the andadero, thus losing their way throug:some interesting towns, by saving a few metres. Be careful wit:the water, we cannot stop filling the canteen at every step throug:the localities, in many cases the sources do not guarantee the sanitary conditions of their water, so it is advisable to use bottled water.
Well signposted, the greatest complications are found in our departure from Carrión de los Condes wit:the crossroads where we will pass. Also the great variety of options that from Ledigos are offered to us, wit:signs that indicate for the different possibilities can make us doubt the Way to follow, whic:we must choose depending on our tastes or the meteorological conditions that we find, is not the same to cross an unmistakable andadero wit:bad weather or fog that a track in the middle of fields of cereal where, althoug:being well signposted, we will have to assume crossings and detours. The use of eac:option by pilgrims also marks the state of the signs and the terrain in the case of the andadero.
|1-Carrión de los Condes
|30T 368039 4688467
|2-Abbey of Benevívere
|30T 363294 4689509
|3-Calzadilla de la Cueza
|30T 351387 4687904
|30T 346350 4690707
|5-Terradillos de los Templarios
|30T 344304 4691737
|30T 341323 4691602
|7-San Nicolás del Real Camino
|30T 339289 4692008
Coordinates UTM Datum WGS84
This sketc: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 wit:the pat:is approximate and has been created from the derived cartographic base © Instituto Geográfico Nacional "Cuadrantes 197,196, 235 y 234, 1:50.000".
Senditur has manipulated the tracks to correct the aberrant points that may exist, caused by problems wit: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.
Una etapa del Camino Francés que tiene su encanto, yo me quedé en Terradillos de los Templarios.
Find out what to see in...
¿Did you know that...
From Carrión de los Condes passing through Calzada de los Molinos, Cervatos de la Cueza, San Román de la Cuba, Pozo de Urama, Villada and Grajal de Campos, the old Route of the French Way reaches Sahagún, as it appears on the first map of the Way, elaborated in 1648, known as the Carte de Chemins de St Jacques de Compostelle, while the current route through Calzadilla de las Cuezas is the Calixtino Way or Aquitan Way.
Don't miss out...
The magnificent Renaissance cloister is preserved in the Monastery of San Zoilo, in addition to the famous cover of the church of Santiago and its 22 human figures carved in stone, both in Carrión de los Condes.
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 25-09-2018. 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.
Continue watching …