Stage from San Martin del Camino to Astorga

Information about stage 20: Stage from San Martin del Camino to Astorga

Information about stage 20: Stage from San Martín del Camino to Astorga

05:30 a.m.


  • Km 0. San Martín del Camino (Shelters. Bars. Shop)

We cross San Martín del Camino next to the N-120 and, after the Páramo canal and the end of town sign, we turn right and immediately left to take the fine gravel path that runs parallel to the national highway. Corn crops and small extensions of vegetables flood the fields to our right, irrigated thanks to a good network of canals and ditches. After three kilometers we pass the detour to Santa Marina del Rey and Villavante (Km 3) . Further on the Way meets the channel of the Cerrajera dam , an irrigation channel of the Órbigo that starts from this river in Villanueva de Carrizo to converge again in Cebrones del río. Its first news dates back to the fourteenth century (Km 4.2). A couple of kilometers later we move away from the N-120 to the right and pass next to a beautiful brick water tank. We soon cross the provincial road at Puente de Órbigo (Km 6.9) next to the church of Santa María , whose belfry usually supports more than one stork’s nest.

  • km 6.9. Órbigo Bridge (Bar)

Immediately before us stands the Órbigo river , which flows under the long bridge of Passo Honroso , where Suero de Quiñones challenged in 1434 any knight who tried to cross it. A few centuries later, in the spring of 2012, its LED lighting system was inaugurated, which can be seen late in the day. A technology that floods the stone with color and that will not leave anyone indifferent. We cross the Passo , without fear of runaway horses or lost spears, to access Hospital de Órbigo, where we are received by the 18th century church of San Juan Bautista .

  • km 7.7. Órbigo Hospital (All Services)

From the center of Hospital de Órbigo we progress along the same main street to the exit, where a sign nailed to a post shows the two possibilities to undertake the rest of the stage (Km 8) . From the front, the historical trace continues along a path parallel to the N-120; to the right, an option highly valued by pilgrims, the Way heads towards Villares de Órbigo and Santibáñez de Valdeiglesias through an agricultural landscape and scrubland. Both options come together on the Santo Toribio cruise. matter of taste We report the second option. We turn right onto a track surrounded by a highly agricultural landscape. Countless ditches bathe the vegetable crops, which are enjoyed throughout León and even in neighboring provinces. This is how we got to Villares de Órbigo .

  • Km 10. Villares de Órbigo (Hostel. Bar. Shop. Pharmacy)

On the outskirts of Villares de Órbigo we cross a local road and take a path next to an exposed brick warehouse. We pass next to a picnic area and climb slightly through scrubland. If we look to the left we find a general plan of the fertile plain of the Órbigo river , with its poplars, canals and crops. Recreated in this view we come to a local road (Km 11.5) that leads to the nearby town of Santibáñez de Valdeiglesias .

  • km 12.6. Santibáñez de Valdeiglesias (Hostels. Bar-Cafeteria)

We enter through Camino de Villares street, continue along Real street and turn right onto Carromonte Bajo, where the parish hostel is located. The street ends and we leave Santibáñez along a wide track, also quite stony, next to some cattle sheds. Through it, between small plots of vines that dot the rest of the crops, we gain thirty meters in height until we reach a carved cross escorted by a series of figures, including a scarecrow (Km 13.8) . We descend for about seven hundred meters, leaving a small ravine created by erosion on the left, and then we ascend through a more sheltered area between gall oaks and shorties. Then come several slides down the uncomfortable stony track: a quick descent is followed by a short climb and another descent, somewhat longer, is answered by a climb of the same characteristics that ends up leaving our legs aching. Thus we arrive at a plateau and leave a ship on the right hand side. It is the House of the Gods , run by David Vidal located in the place known as Majada de Ventura (Km 17.5) . Soon we cross a road and a long straight line takes us to the crossroads of Santo Toribio , where some tables invite us to have a snack in this excellent viewpoint over San Justo de la Vega, the city of Astorga and Mount Teleno , which with its 2,188 meters is the highest peak of the mountains of León. In this same place, in the 5th century, the Bishop of Astorga, after being expelled from his headquarters, uttered: “Not even dust from Astorga” (Km 19.1) . We descend from the transept to enter San Justo de la Vega .

  • km 20.3. San Justo de la Vega (Hostel. Bars. Shop. Pharmacy)

On the outskirts we cross the Tuerto river by a metal walkway parallel to the stone bridge. A few meters further on we leave the promenade and take a track that goes along next to a warehouse. The track ends at the Jerga river , which we cross over a small bridge. We turn left and approach the metal footbridge that crosses the tracks of the Palencia – La Coruña line (Km 23) . The bridge is a dizzying maze of lines and heights. We pass the dismantled Via Plasencia – Astorga and after the roundabout decorated with the Roman name of Astorga: Asturica Augusta , we go up to Perpetua Socorro street, where we turn left. Next, a hard slope brings us closer to the hostel of the Friends of the Way and to the complex formed by the chapel of the Vera Cruz and the church of the Redemptorist Fathers . From this point there are only three hundred meters left to reach the Town Hall.

  • km 24.2. Astorga (All Services)


  • Moderate distance: The route from San Martín del Camino to Hospital de Órbigo is flat. The 6.5-kilometre section between Santibáñez de Valdeiglesias and the Santo Toribio crossroads can be tiresome due to the stony ground and the slides at the end.


  • At the exit of Hospital de Órbigo there are two options to get to the crossroads of Santo Toribio, a place located five kilometers before Astorga and from where we can enjoy magnificent views not only of the capital of La Maragatería but also of the mountains to come. in the following stages. If we turn to the right we will go through roads through the towns of Villares de Órbigo and Santibáñez de Valdeiglesias , these towns with catering services, to go from there to the cruise and from there to Astorga, the second straight ahead will take us directly to the aforementioned crossroads along a path parallel to the N-120, this second option is just over a kilometer shorter, but we recommend the first for the tranquility of its paths. We are doing the Camino de Santiago and not the road to Santiago.

What to see, what to do

  • ÓRBIGO BRIDGE AND ÓRBIGO HOSPITAL: The endless bridge over the Órbigo river, which debuted its colorful LED lighting in 2012, links the two towns. It was built in the 14th century, although it was remodeled in later centuries, and it is famous for the following historical event: In 1434, the Leonese knight Don Suero de Quiñones, organized a tournament of arms challenging every knight who wanted to cross the bridge, to break three spears against him and his nine companions. Everything to conquer his lady Leonor Tovar. 727 races were run and 166 spears were broken during a month, with the exception of July 25, the feast of Santiago Apóstol. Once the tournament was over – only one gentleman died – they made a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela where Suero de Quiñones gave the apostle a blue ribbon that belonged to his lady. Don Suero, 24 years later, would die in another tournament against one of the knights he had defeated in the Passo Honroso del Órbigo. The Órbigo river is born from the confluence of the Luna and Omaña rivers and flows into the Esla. Its waters are home to a good population of Brown Trout or Brown Trout ( Salmo trutta fario ), the main ingredient in the famous soups prepared at Hospital de Órbigo. This town, on the other side of the bridge, was built next to the hospital of the Knights of San Juan. The church of San Juan Bautista , which collected the legacy of the hospital, dates from the 18th century and preserves a Plateresque altarpiece. Hospital de Órbigo is today a large service center and there are several shops, a bakery, an ATM, a few taverns and roadside restaurants.
  • VILLARES DE ÓRBIGO AND SANTIBÁÑEZ DE VALDEIGLESIAS: The Town Hall is located in Villares de Órbigo, whose municipality encompasses Villares de Órbigo itself, Moral de Órbigo, San Feliz de Órbigo, Santibáñez de Valdeiglesias and Valdeiglesias. During the Middle Ages they were a manor owned by the Quiñones family and archpriesthood of Astorga. The municipality sits on the fertile banks of the Órbigo and is furrowed by countless ditches that bathe the vegetable crops, tasted throughout León and even in neighboring provinces.
    • The church of Santiago de Villares de Órbigo keeps a wooden carving of the Virgen del Carmen and a valuable chestnut and oak chest of drawers. The parish church of Santibáñez de Valdeiglesias is from the 19th century.
  • ASTORGA: Located on a hill located between the Jerga and Tuerto rivers, Astorga, the Asturica Augusta of the Romans, was originally a military camp built during the campaign of the Cantabrian wars in the years 29 to 19 BC Due to the presence of gold mines in the same province, called Conventus Asturum , the city grew driven by the excellent location that allowed great control over the exploitation of the mines.
    • Cathedral of Santa María: Construction began in the last third of the 15th century and was not finished until the second half of the 17th century. The western façade is Plateresque in style and the chapels and the sacristy door are attributed to Gil de Hontañón.
    • Astorga City Hall: It was built in 1675 based on the design of Manuel de la Lastra and was remodeled at the end of the 19th century and in 1995. The clock on the façade is the work of Bartolomé Fernández and has the peculiarity that two maragato automatons – Juan Zancuda and Colasa – they ring the bell to strike the hours.
    • Episcopal Palace: Today it houses the Museo de los Caminos, where you can visit a wide collection of sacred art. The building, a worked sample that combines medieval and modernist styles, is the work of Antonio Gaudí.
    • Walls: The original walled enclosure was built in Roman times, between the end of the 3rd century and the beginning of the 4th century, but it has been greatly modified, especially in the 9th century and in different subsequent periods.

    Astorga is a city of almost 12,000 inhabitants where there are all kinds of services. You can taste the cocido maragato , peculiar because the meat is served first, then the vegetables and finally the soup. Nor should we fail to try the famous shortbreads and puff pastries from the Maragata capital.

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