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The Way of El Cid. First section: Exile

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  • Equestrian statue of El Cid, Burgos © Turespaña

    Equestrian statue of El Cid, Burgos © Turespaña

  • Monument to El Cid in Vivar del Cid © Turespaña

    Monument to El Cid in Vivar del Cid © Turespaña

  • Royal monastery of Las Huelgas Reales

    Royal monastery of Las Huelgas Reales

  • Atienza © Turespaña

    Atienza © Turespaña


The 'Song of El Mío Cid' tells of El Cid's exile in 1088, at the hands of King Alfonso VI. Accompanied by his family and a handful of loyal knights, he abandoned Castile. This first part of the route along the Way of El Cid covers the journey made by the famous knight from Vivar del Cid (Burgos) to the town of Atienza (Guadalajara).

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This section passes through the provinces of Burgos, Soria and Guadalajara. It covers 341 kilometres by road and 285 kilometres along paths divided into different stages. If you are travelling by car it is advisable to set aside four days for the trip to ensure you have time to visit all the different sites. The option for walkers takes about 15 days, and five for cyclists.
The route begins at the birthplace of the protagonist, Vivar del Cid. It passes through landscapes of farmlands alternating with mountains and forests, and includes several historic cities and towns and a range of important monuments. The best way to make sure you see everything is to drop into the tourist offices in each place.

Notable places
is one place where it is well worth spending a little time. Its cathedral, awarded the World Heritage designation by the UNESCO, contains the mortal remains of El Cid and of his wife, Doña Jimena. However there are many more monuments to be seen in this city, including the church of San Nicolás and the Monastery of Las Huelgas. Further ahead, another interesting place is the Monastery of San Pedro de Cardeña, where El Cid took his leave of his wife and his daughters on his way into exile.

After passing through Covarrubias, the next point on the route is another monastic site which is an essential element of this journey: the Monastery of Santo Domingo de Silos, the congregation to which El Cid donated some of his estates. Its famous cloister is a genuine treasure of Romanesque architecture. Other buildings in the Romanesque style include the church of Castillejo de Robledo –with its mural paintings– and the churches of San Miguel and Nuestra Señora del Rivero in San Esteban de Gormaz.

Before reaching Gormaz, the location of the caliph's castle of which El Cid was once the keeper, it is also worth stopping at El Burgo de Osma to see the Gothic cathedral and its historic centre. Berlanga de Duero is another significant village on this route in the footsteps of El Cid, as he was granted its dominion by King Alfonso VI in 1089. Its attractions include the castle with its Renaissance layout, and the collegiate church.

The final point on this trip is Atienza, another interesting town. Its streets are lined with noble houses and Romanesque and Gothic churches. There are also outstanding views to be had from the castle.


What to see on the route See more

To continue your journey

What to do

Cycle touring

Cycle touring


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