I am sure you have heard about the Camino de Santiago, or the Way of St. James in English, one of the most important Christian pilgrimages, with Santiago de Compostela (in Galicia, northwestern Spain), as the final destination. Every year, thousands of people take one of the several routes available, some of them for spiritual reasons, some others just for pleasure, adventure or fun. Although the most well-known route is the French Way, there are some others including the Ruta de la Lana, which leads form Valencia and Alicante towards Burgos, where it links with the French way. This route goes across a few places located in Guadalajara, including Sigüenza and some other villages around, but we will talk about that in another post (coming soon!)
In this post, I would like to introduce you to another cultural and tourist route that crosses Spain from the northwest to the southeast, from Castilla to the Mediterranean coast: the Camino del Cid or the Way of El Cid. It follows the history and the legend of Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar, known as El Cid Campeador, a medieval knight of the 11th century and one of Spain’s greatest literary characters and historical figures.
The main “travel guide” on the route is the Cantar de Mio Cid, a medieval epic poem written at the end of the 12th century or beginning of the 13th, which tells the adventures of El Cid Campeador as from his exile, fighting to survive.
The route crosses eight Spanish provinces, one of them being Guadalajara, and it can be done hiking, MTB and road cycling or by car or motorbike. Last summer I decided to take my car and discover the historical places within the province which were mentioned in el Cantar. It was an amazing experience and the feeling of being at those places mentioned in the book while I was reading it, was just magical.
To make your trip even more challenging, you can get a Letter of Safe Conduct, the credential that features the stamps of the various towns and villages travellers pass through. It is based on the document used during the Middle Ages to ensure that travellers and goods were allowed to travel freely and safely. (Tip!: you can get discounts in bars, restaurants, hostels, and even get free gifts, including bracelets, badges, caps…) If you collect four stamps from at least seven of the eight provinces the Way passes through, you will receive the Way of El Cid Certificate.
As you can see in my picture, I already collected a few stamps, but as soon as I can, I promise to keep on visiting places and enjoying the way. I will post some pictures of this personal adventure in my social networks Instagram and Facebook, so don’t forget to follow, like and comment or ask in case you have any question. You can also find more info on the official website of the way: https://en.caminodelcid.org/