Based in Spain since 2006

Montes de Oca to Atapuerca

Villamayor to Montes de Oca

Day 6

Accommodations: Burgos (B, L, D)

Walking: 19 km / 12 mi

Today we walk from Villafranca Montes de Oca to Atapuerca. After a good climb through the woods, we reach San Juan de Ortega. San Juan was a disciple of Santo Domingo and also dedicated his life to helping pilgrims. The Augustinian monastery, founded in 1150, houses a chapel dedicated to San Nicolás, who apparently saved San Juan from drowning during his pilgrimage to the Holy Land..

San Juan de Ortega

Juan of Velázquez, better known as Saint Juan de Ortega, lived from 1080 to 1163 in Spain. He was a devoted priest and hermit, deeply influenced by Dominic de la Calzada. Indeed, San Juan was a follower of Saint Dominic. Like Saint Dominic, San Juan’s most renowned deeds involved repairing roads and bridges along the Camino de Santiago, the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela. Additionally, he established a hospice to provide refuge for weary pilgrims and founded the monastery of San Juan de Ortega.

After Dominic’s passing in 1109, Juan embarked on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem and almost persihed on his return journey by sea. Once back in Spain, he sought solace in a secluded spot named Urteca or Ortega. There, he erected a hermitage to focus on contemplation, situated along the hazardous path to Santiago. Despite the area’s reputation for banditry, San Juan dedicated himself to creating safe passage, constructing a hospice and the San Juan de Ortega monastery. He also built a church dedicated to Saint Nicholas, attributing his survival at sea to the saint’s intercession. Until his death in 1163, Juan labored tirelessly to maintain and enhance the pilgrimage route.

San Juan Ortega
San Juan Ortega

We finish the day in Burgos where we visit the 13th century Gothic Cathedral of Santa María, considered one of the most beautiful cathedrals in Spain.

Burgos Cathedral
Elevation Profile for the Montes Oca to Atapuerca stage on the Camino de Santiago
Elevation Profile for the Montes Oca to Atapuerca stage on the Camino de Santiago

Atapuerca to Burgos