The Route of the Cid is a tour that, basically, follows the path of Don Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar, “El Cid” according to the literary master work The Poem of the Cid (“El Cantar del Mío Cid”, in Spanish). That’s why is not a straight path from one point to the other but, instead, it follows several routes that, according to the poem, where the ones the Cid walked in different points of his life.
It’s a project run by a public entity, The Poem of the Cid Committee (“Consorcio Camino del Cid”, in Spanish), where deputies, of all the provinces the route goes through, participate (Alicante, Burgos, Castellón, Guadalajara, Soria, Teruel, Valencia y Zaragoza).
As an activity for hikers, the Route of the Cid is well take care of, one of the best in Spain, it’s guaranteed the maintenance of the signing and the constant updating of the tours. It’s not only a route for hikers because it has several other options: a pavement road, for a car or cyclists, and a non-pavement road, for hikers.
In this article we’ll talk about the second road, the one without pavement. It’s a combination of several routes for hikers and ATB, but there are some several hard sections. That’s why there are some variations of the original path about to be finish, so the bikers can travel on them.
These routes all go through different places and here is a classification according to their length (each route is supposes to be twenty kilometer per day):
- Two days route: Gallocanta Ring is a circular tour passing the province of Zaragoza and Teruel.
- Three days route: Álvar Fáñez Attack Branch is all in Guadalajara.
- Eleven days route: The Southern Defense Line begins in Valencia and ends in Orihuela (Alicante).
- Twelve days route, with two possibilities: The Conquest of Valencia that goes through the provinces of Teruel, Castellón and Valencia; and The Borderlands that goes through Soria, Guadalajara and Zaragoza.
- Thirteen days route: The three Muslim Kingdoms go across three provinces: Zaragoza, Guadalajara and Teruel.
- And there is a Fifteen days route, the longest one, called The Exile that begins in “Vivar del Cid” (Burgos) and ends in Atienza (Guadalajara), going across the province of Soria.
Like any other long route, they have a letter or save-conduct that you have to stamp in every point of the route, it can also get discount in lodgings. It also works for some special offers and, if you get four stamps in every province (remember that there are eight provinces) you get a certification of the Route of the Cid.
We love this initiative because it offers a good number of options on several paths and the most interesting thing is that it’s really easy to plan this activity. We have talked about the routes that are marked and updated, but another great virtue of the Route of the Cid is that you can find a lot of travel documents and information in their web site in English (www.caminodelcid.org) where you can find everything: guides, common topographic mapping and references for GPS, lodgings,…
Definitely The Route of the Cid is formed with several routes that get bigger and updated every year. Right now there are two new routes being properly signposted: The Olocau Branch (one day) and The Kingdom’s Ring in Valencia (four days), which will improve the already varied offer at our disposal.