The Exile

Burgos - Soria - Guadalajara
Route:From Vivar del Cid (Burgos) to Atienza (Guadalajara)
Journeys:4 days
356.11KM
Cabecera mapa Motor El Destierro
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  • Milestones pointing the beginning of the Camino del Cid, in Vivar del Cid, province of Burgos / ALC.
  • El Cid, exiled, leaves Vivar with a handful of knights ordered by the king to leave Castile in nine days. Statue of el Cid in Vivar del Cid, province of Burgos / ALC.
  • Cidian Festival in the village of Vivar del Cid, province of Burgos.
  • Chest of el Cid, where the original poem was preserved over centuries, in Vivar del Cid, province of Burgos / ALC.
  • Castle of Sotopalacios, next to Vivar del Cid, province of Burgos. ALC
  • Gate of San Martín, one of the entrances into the medieval city of Burgos / ALC.
  • Cathedral of Burgos / PAB.
  • The gothic Cathedral of Burgos / ALC.
  • Escalera Dorada (Golden Stairway) in the gothic cathedral of  Burgos / ALC.
  • The dome of the gothic cathedral of Burgos / ALC.
  • Tomb of el Cid and his wife Ximena, in the inside of  the Cathedral of Burgos / ALC.
  • Artistic treasures inside the Burgos cathedral / Blas Carrión.
  • Tombs of the High Constables of Castile in the gothic Cathedral of Burgos / ALC.
  • A view of the cathedral of Burgos from the gate of Santa María  / ALC.
  • Gate of Santa María, in Burgos / ALC.
  • Statue of el Cid in the Gate of Santa María, Burgos. ALC
  • Burgos, during the festivity of El Cid, the first weekend in october / ALC.
  • A milestone which indicates the place where the 'glera' was located in the 12th century, in the left bank of the Arlanzon river, in Burgos / ALC.
  • The Arlanzon River as it passes through the city of Burgos / ALC.
  • El Cid goes to exile: a mural painting by Vela Zanetti, in the palace of the Provincial Council of Burgos /  ALC.
  • The equestrian statue of el Cid and the castle of Burgos / ALC.
  • Equestrian statue of el Cid, in Burgos / ALC.
  • The equestrian sculpture of El Cid is the most photographed one in the city of Burgos / ALC.
  • The sculpture of Avengalbón, the moorish lord of Molina de Aragón, one of the most important characters in The Song of el Cid, in San Pablo's bridge over the Arlanzón river, in Burgos / ALC.
  • Sword called Tizona, one of the mythical swords of El Cid. Museum of Burgos. ALC
  • Babieca, el Cid's horse. Equestrian statue of el Cid in Burgos, by night / ALC.
  • The old town of Burgos / Manuel Muñoz García.
  • Easter Week of Burgos
  • Gothic rosette, facade of Santa María, cathedral of Burgos / ALC.
  • Every year Burgos celebrates a festival called Fin de Semana Cidiano during the first weekend of october / ALC.
  • The city of Burgos celebrate the exile of el Cid in the first weekend of October / ALC.
  • El Cid, exiled, leaves Vivar with a handful of knights ordered by the king to leave Castile in nine days, a term El Cid uses to leave his daughters and his wife in the monastery of San Pedro de Cardeña (image), stock up on ammunition and stores and increase his small group of loyal followers by enlisting new knights and soldiers / ALC.
  • Romanesque tower of San Pedro de Cardeña, province of Burgos / ALC.
  • Sepultures of El Cid and his wife Jimena in the Monastery of San Pedro de Cardeña, province of Burgos / ALC.
  • El Cid´s statue, in the front of  San Pedro de Cardeña´s Monastery, province of Burgos / ALC.
  • Chasing landscapes in the Way of el Cid / ALC.
  • Visigoth hermitage of Quintanilla de las Viñas, Burgos / ALC.
  • Some villages of the Camino del Cid are small outdoor ethnographic museums / ALC.
  • Statue of el Cid in Mecerreyes, province of Burgos / ALC.
  • Verses of the Poem of el Cid on the shield of el Cid's statue in Mecerreyes, province of Burgos / ALC.
  • Coming into the village of Covarubias, province of Burgos / ALC.
  • Typical constructions in Covarrubias, province of Burgos / ALC.
  • Road signs show direction and next location / ALC.
  • Mozarab hermitage in Santibáñez del Val, province of Burgos / ALC.
  • Santo Domingo de Silos, Burgos / ALC.
  •  A view of the Abbey of Santo Domingo de Silos, in the province of Burgos / ALC.
  • Partial sight of the romanesque cloister of Santo Domingo de Silos, province of Burgos / ALC.
  • The incredulity of Saint Thomas, one of the capitals of the romanesque cloister of Santo Domingo de Silos, in the province of Burgos / ALC.
  • Romanesque capital in the fascinating cloister of Santo Domingo de Silos. El Cid and Jimena, her wife, donated several possessions to the monastery of Santo Domingo de Silos, province of Burgos / ALC.
  • The Descent of the Cross, Death and Resurrection of Christ, one of the outstanding capitals of the romanesque cloister of the Abbey of Santo Domingo de Silos, in the province of Burgos / ALC.
  • Coronation of the Virgin, one of the romanesque chapitels in the cloister of Santo Domingo de Silos, province of Burgos / ALC.
  • Mudejar paintings in the ceiling of the romanesque cloister of the Abbey of Santo Domingo de Silos, in the province of Burgos / ALC.
  • Mudejar paintings in the ceiling of the romanesque cloister of the Abbey of Santo Domingo de Silos, in the province of Burgos / ALC.
  • Espinosa de Cervera, province of Burgos / ALC.
  • Equestrian statue of el Cid in Caleruega, province of Burgos / ALC.
  • Statue of el Cid and the Dominican convent in Caleruega, province of Burgos / ALC.
  • The carrion crow in the equestrian statue of el Cid at the village of Caleruega, province of Burgos. ALC
  • Monastery of Santo Domingo de Guzmán in Caleruega, province of Burgos / ALC.
  • Peñaranda de Duero, Burgos / Diputación de Burgos.
  • Apart from in the province of Valencia, all road routes are signposted at strategic points and crossroads. You will therefore come across direction and location signs / ALC.
  • Castle called The Cube, in Langa de Duero, Soria. ALC
  • Langa de Duero, Soria / ALC.
  • Templar castle in Castillejo de Robledo, province of Soria / ALC.
  • According to the Song of el Cid, around Castillejo de Robledo -Soria- Cid's daughters were brutally beat and leave to their fate by their husbands  / ALC
  • Chasing castles in the Way of el Cid / ALC.
  • Mural painting alluding to the Song of el Cid in San Esteban de Gormaz, province of Soria / ALC.
  • Local festivities / Guillermo Quintanilla.
  • San Esteban de Gormaz, Soria / ALC.
  • El Burgo de Osma, province of Soria / ALC.
  • Un descanso en ruta, disfrutando del tiempo en la plaza Mayor de El Burgo de Osma. Soria
  • The castle of El Burgo de Osma (X-XI Centuries), province of Soria / Jesús Bernal Lorenzo.
  • The Duero river near Gormaz fortress, province of Soria / ALC.
  • The Moslem Calif-style fortress of Gormaz was built in the X century to defend the lands of the Duero from Christian attacks during the Reconquest. Gormaz, province of Soria / ALC.
  • Puerta califal del castillo de Gormaz, Soria / ALC.
  • The caliphal fortress of Gormaz, province of Soria / ALC.
  • Vultures near Berlanga de Duero, Soria / ALC
  • Aguilera, Soria / ALC.
  • Romanesque church of San Martín, in Aguilera, province of Soria / ALC.
  • Porticoed galery, romanesque church in the village of Aguilera, province of Soria / ALC.
  • Berlanga de Duero, Soria / ALC.
  • Berlanga de Duero castle, Soria / ALC.
  • Some of our routes are very attractive for motorcyclists and represent a classic among long distance routes / ALC.
  • The Pela mountain range, where el Cid and his men descend, according to the Song of el Cid, to enter into the islamic territory of the taifa of Toledo. Miedes de Atienza, province of Guadalajara / ALC.
  • Castle of Atienza, province of Guadalajara / ALC.
  • Castle of Atienza, province of Guadalajara  / ALC.
  • Atienza, Guadalajara / ALC.
  • Fiesta de La Caballada in Atienza, province of Guadalajara. Festivity of National Tourist Interest. It commemorates the charge of muleteers in Atienza, 1162, that saved king of Castilla Alfonso VIII from falling into the hands of his uncle
  • The castle and city walls of Atienza, province of Guadalajara / ALC.

 

 The Exile route by car or motorbike

  • Route: From Vivar to Atienza
  • Provinces: Burgos, Soria, Guadalajara
  • Kilometres: Approx. 357 km.
  • Days recommended: 4 days (3 nights).

 

Information you can download on this page

Remember that you can obtain more information about each route at the tourist information offices on the Way of El Cid, including brochures and the Letter of Safe Conduct

 

Plot: follow the steps of El Cid

In general, this section follows the early days of El Cid's exile as told in the Poem of The Cid, although it also includes other passages from the poem, such as the Afrenta de Corpes. El Cid, exiled, leaves Vivar with a handful of knights ordered by the king to leave Castile in nine days, a term El Cid uses to leave his daughters and his wife in the monastery of San Pedro de Cardeña, stock up on supplies and stores and increase his small group of loyal followers by enlisting new knights and soldiers.

Although El Cid leaves Castile via the Pela Mountain Range, today on the border between Soria and Guadalajara (a mountain range that stood as the natural border in 1081 between the Christian kingdom of Castile and the Islamic kingdom of Toledo), our route ends at the next important town in Al Andalus : the historical town of Atienza, an Arabic military site on the border and of great importance in the 10th and 11th centuries. This journey to exile is combined with the famous episode of the Afrenta de Corpes narrated in the Poem, where El Cid's daughters are abused and abandoned by their husbands. Traditionally, academics have placed this legendary event in Castillejo de Robledo.

 

The journey

On this route you will see a large part of the essence of Castile, one of the most important kingdoms of Spain in the Middle Ages. The countryside alternates with dry cropland in the valleys of the Rivers Arlanza and Duero with juniper, oak and pine forests and flat land and moors. The route crosses six natural areas protected by the Natura 2000 Networking Programme, including the juniper forest in the valley of Arlanza river and La Yecla (a limestone cliff as you leave Silos and next to the road, well worth a visit) and the area around the Duero river in Soria, which is of great environmental importance, but which was also geographically and politically important in the Middle Ages since it was the natural border between Castile and Al Andalus. This importance can be seen in the many lookout posts and castles that mark out this unique area between Langa de Duero and Berlanga de Duero, whose emblem is the huge caliphal fortress of Gormaz, once governed by El Cid.

You will pass by two of the large foundational monasteries of Castile: that of San Pedro de Cardeña and that of Silos, and very close to that of Arlanza (8 km from Covarrubias), and you will visit mythical places that form part of the history of El Cid, including Vivar del Cid, San Pedro de Cardeña, Castillejo de Robledo and San Esteban de Gormaz, among others. Of course, the route also includes Burgos, the city of El Cid par excellence, with good infrastructures and excellent monuments with its Gothic cathedral at the top of the list, declared a World Heritage Site. On the route, you will also come across many examples of Romanesque architecture in the fascinating cloister of Santo Domingo de Silos, the paintings in the hermitage of San Miguel in Gormaz, the churches of San Esteban de Gormaz and in many other villages that have examples of the so-called rural Romanesque style, which is very humble but highly suggestive and evocative. This section is also predominated by small, quiet villages, some of which have maintained their medieval 'aroma' and are of recognised interest, such as Covarrubias, Santo Domingo de Silos, Langa de Duero, San Esteban de Gormaz, El Burgo de Osma, Berlanga de Duero and, of course, at the end of this route, in Guadalajara, the impregnable Atienza, all of which have been declared Historical and/or Artistic Sites.

Special mention must be made of the Visigothic Hermitage of Quintanilla de las Viñas, which dates from the seventh century and is located under the Castle of Lara, in the desolated, imposing lands of Tierra de Lara.

In Santo Domingo de Silos the road route differs from the hiking route, although both routes come back together 50 km further on in Alcubilla de Avellaneda, in Soria. This small section has a few surprises: the first is Caleruega, the hometown of the founder of the Dominican Order, with a Romanesque church and medieval tower. From Caleruega we set off for Peñalba de Castro, which is home to the archaeological digs of the Roman town of Clunia. It was one of the large imperial towns of Roman Hispania. The site can be visited.

 

El Cid and culinary delights

As far as gastronomy is concerned, on this route you must remember to try the famous black pudding of Burgos, a reference in traditional Burgos cuisine, which is based on heavy stews, such as olla podrida, and roast suckling milk lamb, dishes you can also try in Soria and Guadalajara. The journey through Soria, a paradise for wild mushroom enthusiasts, will provide travellers, especially when they are in season, with succulent surprises made with saffron milk cap, cep, king trumpet mushrooms, amanita, mushrooms and truffles, which are gaining in popularity at tables in Soria, together with game stews (roe deer, venison and wild boar). As far as fish dishes are concerned, trout and cod cooked in many different ways are typical in all three provinces. Although there are other designations of origin, such as that of Arlanza river, the most typical wines on this route come from Ribera del Duero and are recognised internationally. Finally, we recommend rounding off this culinary adventure with some of the region's typical deserts, including Burgos cheese served with walnuts and honey or any of the many sweets and biscuits made with butter from Soria.

 

Scenic or Singular roads

The term ‘Scenic Road' on the Way of El Cid is used for the sections of road that are of particular importance because of the countryside, history or artistic heritage. This route has the following Scenic or Singular Roads:

The road sets off from the town of Silos, whose monastery has a world-famous Romanesque cloister, and crosses the natural area of the juniper forests of El Arlanza, with a stop-off in La Yecla, a narrow limestone gorge with high walls used as a nesting ground by a good number of birds of prey. The section ends, after a gentle downhill, in Espinosa de Cervera, a small village with a beautiful example of the rural Romanesque style. The road surface is good and there is not a lot of traffic.

Crossing the River Duero near Navapalos and coming across this small village, so closely associated with the Poem, watched over by a solitary Islamic lookout post is an exciting experience. We leave it and continue to a short but entertaining climb with fantastic views over the plains of the River Duero (protected natural area), where we arrive after a downhill section and see among the tops of the poplars, ash and willows, the huge caliphal fortress of Gormaz and the Romanesque Shrine of San Miguel. The views from the castle are highly recommended. The road has very little traffic. Cycling tourists will work up a bit of a sweat, but they will really enjoy the experience.

 

Signposting

The roads are signposted at crossings and strategic places. For greater convenience, we recommend you to download the track.

 

Tips and recommendations

  • Although they are not on the route, if you like art and history, we recommend visiting two places: (1) in Covarrubias you can go along a very attractive road to the Monastery of San Pedro de Arlanza (7 km), one of the foundational monasteries of Castile, located in a very unique area; and (2) from Berlanga de Duero you can go to the Mozarab Shrine of San Baudelio de Berlanga, 9 km away, a tiny church where you can see what remains of its original Mozarab paintings (most of them are in New York's Metropolitan Museum).
  • Remember that the road you are on is also used by cyclists and you might come across a few of them on your journey. Respect them and take great care. Especially when overtaking: keep a safety distance of 1.5 m.
  • Book your accommodation in advance. You are about to travel through one of the areas with the lowest population density in Europe. Some villages are very small and have limited infrastructures. Book your accommodation at the end of the stage in advance and if you change where you plan to finish the route, check that there is accommodation available there.
  • Get your Letter of safe conduct. The Letter of Safe Conduct is a personalised 'passport' you can have stamped at many towns and villages on the Way of El Cid. You can use it to get discounts of at least 10% in more than 200 places of accommodation and benefit from special offers. It is free and you can apply for it at any of the more than 70 tourist information offices on the route or at the Way of El Cid Consortium.
  • Your literary guide. You might think it's unnecessary weight, but for many it is essential: don't forget to take with you a the Poem of The Cid; you will be able to recreate some of its passages on site. If your Old Spanish is not so good, take a modern version!

Rev. ALC: 16.07.08

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