Many pilgrims divide this section into two parts, as it is quite long, and spend the night at Mansilla de las Mulas, the “Manxilla” mentioned in the Codex Calixtinus. The path leaves El Burgo Ranero towards the lake of Manzana and the creeks of Valle de la Granja and Valdasneros. Wide Castilian fields will surround you all the way.
At the 8th kilometre you will find a detour towards Villamarco, and there are another 5 kilometres to go until the village of Reliegos, an ideal place to take a break. The walled town of Mansilla de las Mulas is the end of the day for some, welcoming walkers through the gate of the castle.
Those who continue still have one hour to Villamoros de Mansilla and Puente Villarente with its medieval bridge over the river Porma, an old pilgrim’s hospital and many services for pilgrims.
The next stop is almost 30 kilometres away from the beginning of the day’s journey, in Arcahueja, and has some steep sections. After crossing Arcahueja, we cross Valdelafuente, and after climbing the hill in el Portillo, you can already see the city of León.
From there you will arrive at the neighbourhood of Puente Castro, in León, separated from the main city by the river Torío. Then you will follow Santa Ana until you reach the church of El Mercado (12th century) and the beautiful plaza del grano (grain square). You continue along la Rúa, a shopping street that ends on the Calle Ancha, where you can see Gaudí’s Casa de Botines and the Palacio de los Guzmanes, the present headquarters of the provincial delegation.
Visiting the cathedral of Santa María—with its numerous stained-glass windows-- is also recommended in León, as is the Real Basílica de San Isidoro, with the “Puerta del Perdón” and its pantheon, labelled by many as the Sistine Chapel of Romanesque architecture. Apart from its important heritage, León also has a very lively atmosphere of food and drink. Here
10 things to do in León.