Stage 12: San Juan de Ortega – Burgos Distance: 26km
San Juan de Ortega
Leaving San Juan de Ortega take the well marked track on the right uphill through the pinewood forest of Monte de Oca.
The path levels out, you’ll pass a few large crosses on the way, then head downhill into the village of Agés.
The 16th century Iglesia de Santa Eulalia with it’s elegant Baroque bell tower reign over the town of Agés.
The temple once contained the remains of King García de Navarre who was killed by his brother Fernando I de Castilla in 1054 in the famous battle of Atepuerca.
The remains now rest in the Pantéon Real in the Iglesia María de Real in Nájera.
Continue on through Agés crossing the Río Vena via a Romanesque bridge built by San Juan de Ortega. Follow the paved road for a couple of kilometres into Atapuerca
The impressive Gothic & Renaissance style Iglesia de San Martín over looks Atapuerca from a small hill.
Atapuerca has recently become one of the most important archaeological sites in the world since the discovery in 1994 of 800,000 year old early human remains.
The excavation site is ongoing and has been declared a natural heritage site by UNESCO.
Many of the findings are now on display in Burgos in the Museo de Burgos and some in the Museo de Ibeas in the village of Ibeas de Juarros near Atapuerca. You can also arrange a visit of the site, which sits in a military area, from here or from Atapuerca. For more information visit www.visitasatapuerca.com
Tourist Information, Centro de Interpretacíon. Tel (0034) 947 42 14 62
Alternatively you can continue 2.5km further along the route to the village of Olmos de Atapuerca.
Olmos de Atapuerca
From here you can rejoin the camino by following the yellow arrow way markers onto a track up the Sierra de Atapuerca through oak woodland until you re join the camino route from Atapuerca.
Tourist Information, Calle Encimera 10. Tel (0034) 947 26 49 66 / 699 27 38 56
From Atapuerca take a left and follow the track into the Sierra de Atapuercoa. Gradually climb onto the high Matagrande plain where you get great views of the City of Burgos.
Continue left of the TV / Radio towers following along the fence passed a quarry. Carry on until you reach a fork on the road.
Taking a left
Left takes you on a quiet route through the old hamlet of Villalval passing an ancient Roman well and into Cardeñuela Riopico.
Continue on until you meet up with the other route leading into Orbaneja Riopico.
Head through Orbeneja, crossing the bridge over the main road and here you have another choice to make.
The recommended route into Burgos is on the left along a farm track thats runs alongside Burgos Airport, through wheat fields and then take the road into Castañares, a quiet suburb of the City of Burgos.
From here you can head on along the main road and the busy city traffic into Burgos.
A nicer alternative is to take the path that runs along the river. To take this route, cross the road to Camino Santa María Sendero, pass a park and though a small housing estate.
Head across a bridge passed a cement works and then the Campo del Futbol el Molinar complex. Take the footbridge over the Río Arlanzón through the Parque Fuentes Blancas into the centre of Burgos.
Taking a right
Right is a less pleasant route, taking the road through the suburbs of the city. Cross a bridge over railway tracks into the modern industrial suburb of Villafría
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There is also a bus service ( Number:8 ) into the center of Burgos for those who want to avoid the traffic.
Continue along the main road passing the industrial estate onto Calle Vitoria. Take a left after the Guardia Civil building, then another left at the Centro Comercial Camino de la Plata onto the Calle Las Calzadas which will take you into Burgos.
Burgos was the capital of the Kingdom of Castilla – Leon for five centuries. It’s beautiful Gothic Cathedral was declared a World Heritage.
Burgos is rich in ancient churches and convents. The three most notable are the cathedral, with its Iglesia de Condestables de Castilla, the Monasterio de Las Huelgas, and the Monasterio de Miraflores.
Among the other interesting architecture is the walls of the city, the famous gateway of Santa María, erected for the first entrance of Emperor Charles V, and the arch of Fernán González
As well as visiting Burgos’s historic quarter, you can take a relaxed walk along the banks of the Río Duero and the Río Alanza.
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