Routes of Santiago de Compostela: Route of Madrid and the Mendocino Route

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From Manzanares El Real to Santiago de Compostela

Although not all roads lead to Santiago, they nearly do. The Jacobean tradition has united the whole peninsula in this city, which is linked to Manzanares El Real by two of its main routes.

For any city, being centrally located is essential to make it the perfect crossroads, but if you add to that the influence of great personalities, it will then become the ideal centre of attention.

The fact that our municipality has in its territory the passage of two of the great roads to Santiago de Compostela is no coincidence: on the one hand, it is located in the northern part of the Community of Madrid (Camino de Santiago) and, on the other, it was the main town of the duchy of the Mendoza family.

With these characteristics, it was difficult for the Camino de Santiago de Madrid and the Camino Mendocino not to exist. But it would have been even stranger if they did not pass through Manzanares El Real.

Happy journey, pilgrim!

Information for you, pilgrim

Everything you might need on your visit to Manzanares El Real, here you have it.

Although we do not know when the pilgrimage from Madrid to Santiago de Compostela began, the devotional route to visit the tomb of Saint James the Greater from the centre of the peninsula must have been almost established between the 11th and 12th centuries. The importance the apostle had in Madrid around that time is demonstrated by the dedication of one of the ten parishes in Madrid to Santiago at the end of the 12th century, a dedication that must have been materialised by a traditional devotion to the holy place.

Leaving the capital towards the north, we walk through Tres Cantos, Colmenar Viejo, Manzanares El Real and Cercedilla. From here, the path crosses the Sierra de Guadarrama, taking the route of the Roman road XXIV of the Antonine Itinerary at the mountain pass of la Fuenfría, the border between the Community of Madrid and Castilla y León, a road historically used by Galician farmers to reach the fields of Castile during the harvesting season. On the other side, we will pass through Segovia, Valladolid and León, where we will join the French Route in Sahagún, on our way to Santiago de Compostela.

To know the details of the stages of the Camino de Madrid, its main routes and the variants that you can walk, we recommend that you check all the information provided by the best specialised websites you will find below:

Asociación de Amigos de los Caminos de Santiago de Madrid
Federación Española de Asociaciones de Amigos del Camino de Santiago
Web de la Comunidad de Madrid del Camino de Santiago de Madrid

Camino de Santiago - acordeón 1

The Western Way to Santiago de Compostela started from the primitive church of Santiago de Guadalajara, next to the Infantado Palace. After its abandonment and destruction due to the departure of the Mendoza family, the current route leaves from the city’s modern church of Santiago and runs through 14 municipalities in Castilla-La Mancha and Madrid until it reaches Manzanares El Real, where it joins the Camino de Santiago de Madrid and, from there, the French Way.

Its current name, Camino Mendocino, is due to its recent rediscovery by the Asociación Alcarreña de Amigos del Camino de Santiago, who have managed to reconstruct the historic route. Its name, of course, is due to the fact that this route passes through the possessions of one of the most powerful noble families in the history of Spain, the Mendoza family, starting from the city that was their palatial seat, Guadalajara, until it reaches the municipality where they established their duchy and their main fortress, Manzanares El Real.

If you follow this route, when you reach our municipality, go to the tourist office. There we will give you a specific diploma that will certify your trip.

And if you want to have direct access to all the information on this historic route and follow it without getting lost, here you have the three main websites that can help you:

Camino Mendocino de Guadalajara a Santiago
Federación Española de Asociaciones de Amigos del Camino de Santiago
Asociación Alcarreña de Amigos del Camino de Santiago

Camino de Santiago - acordeón 2

Walking the Camino de Santiago de Madrid or the Mendocino one can be a very hard journey at any time of the year. Therefore, here are some tips to prepare for your trip and to make it an enjoyable experience, despite the adversities.


It is very important to plan your route beforehand with all the information available. To help you do this, you have a multitude of guides and maps that can help you to better prepare the route so that you don’t get lost, and you can see them on any of the specialised websites that we have provided above.

Also, keep in mind the time of year you have chosen to make this trip, the means of transport (walking, cycling, horseback riding) and the time you are going to spend on the route, because that will decide the clothes you will need to wear.


Regardless of the time of year you go on the Camino, you know that the weather can change and give you a surprise. For this reason, we recommend that you carry the following in your rucksack:

  • Three cotton T-shirts.
  • Three changes of underwear and socks.
  • Two pairs of trousers, one short and one long.
  • A jumper, coat and/or fleece and mackintosh.
  • Swimsuit.
  • Winter hat and gloves, and a hat to protect you from the summer sun.
  • Appropriate footwear for your modality, but always one size bigger and already used to avoid chafing: boots, trainers and sandals to rest after each journey.


In addition to the medicines you may need to take with you for any disease you may have, there are items that you cannot miss in your first-aid kit so that you can keep on walking, no matter what:

  • Pins and thread to cure blisters.
  • Disinfectant (alcohol, hydrogen peroxide).
  • Anti-inflammatory cream and painkillers.
  • Scissors, bandages, gauze, adhesive tape, plasters.
  • Sun cream, body cream and lip balm.


On the way you may not know where you will be able to eat, sleep, in what conditions, how steep the terrain is, etc. That is why it is important you make room for these items that can make your journey more comfortable:

  • Walking stick, staff, or any stick to help you walk.
  • Toilet paper.
  • Small sheet and pillowcase.
  • Small towel.
  • Water bottle.
  • Torch.
  • Energy bars or any food supplement.
  • Saucepan and cutlery.
Camino de Santiago - acordeón 3

To begin with, you should know that in Manzanares El Real we provide the following services that you may find useful:

  • Bars and restaurants.
  • Grocery stores, clothes shops, corner shops, etc.
  • Health centre and emergency service.
  • Taxi service: 615 151 531.
  • Chemists’.
  • Bicycle workshop.
  • Stables for horses.

We also offer several places where you can stay and rest. All of them include most of the services (hot water, shower, kitchen or restaurant, washing machine, etc.), but we advise you to visit their websites or call them beforehand so that they can inform you of the options they offer:

La Encomienda de RayyRosa (645 908 079)
Hostel La Pedriza (91 704 99 13)
Camping El Ortigal (91 853 01 20)
Hotel Rural El Yelmo (91 853 06 55)
Hotel Rural Mirador La Maliciosa (91 852 70 65 / 654 32 01 91)
Piedra Libre Casa Rural (699 376 363 - 657 455 223)

Camino de Santiago - acordeón 4

Pilgrim, we know how important it is for you to do the Camino de Santiago and remember the journey forever. To do this, in Manzanares El Real you can get your pilgrim passport, stamp the journey and receive the Camino Mendocino certificate:


Parish office
C/ del Cura, nº1
Tuesday and Thursday from 19:30 to 20:30h.
Saturday from 10:30 to 12h.
Price for each Camino Pilgrim Passport 2€.


Tourist Office
C/ del Cura, nº5
Thursday and Friday from 9:30 to 14:30h.
Saturday, Sunday and bank holidays from 9:30 to 15:00h.
Phone: 91 878 01 96

Town Council
Plaza del Pueblo, nº1
Timetable: Monday to Friday from 8:30 to 13:30h.
Phone: 91 853 00 09

Centro de Visitantes La Pedriza
Camino de La Pedriza s/n
Timetable: Monday to Sunday from 9:00 to 15:00h.
Phone: 91 853 99 78

Local police
Plaza del Pueblo, nº1
Phone: 606 968 765

Parish office
C/ del Cura, nº1
Tuesday and Thursday from 19:30 to 20:30h.
Saturday from 10:30 to 12h.

Nuestra Señora de las Nieves Church
Summer timetable:
from Tuesday to Saturday: 20 h.
Sunday: 9.30 h. and 12 h. (in July and August also at 20 h.)
Winter timetable (from October):
From Tuesday to Saturday: 19 h.
Sunday: 9.30 h., 11 h. and 12 h.


Tourist Office
C/ del Cura, nº5
Thursday and Friday from 9:30 to 14:30h.
Saturday, Sunday and bank holidays from 9:30 to 15:00h.
Phone: 91 878 01 96

Diploma Camino Mendocino

In pictures

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Activities in Manzanares El Real

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