Path of Wool (Xacobeo)
It is one of the longest routes of the Camino de Santiago and the longest, together with the Camino de Levante, within the secondary routes. The Ruta Jacobea Camino de la Lana covers more than 675 km in 27 stages through three regions: Valencia and the two Castillas.
The stages of this route that pass through the Ribera del Duero are:
- Stage 23: from Fresno de Caracena to San Esteban de Gormaz.
- Stage 24: from San Esteban de Gormaz to Quintanarraya.
Yes, you have read correctly. In Ribera del Duero we have a small section of the historic Ruta de la Lana, which runs from Alicante to Burgos, where it meets the French route.
This is one of the oldest routes in Spain, but it has not always been connected to the Camino de Santiago. Its initial purpose for which importance was given to this route was because it was a route dedicated to transhumance and because it was the route followed by wool traders and shearers.
In the reign of Alfonso X the Wise, it gained even more prominence due to the rights granted by the monarch to shepherds and owners of transhumance livestock, rights that allowed free passage throughout Spanish territory.
But then you ask yourself, what does this have to do with the Camino? Previously mentioned of the antiquity of the route, but not its connection with the Apostle. It was not until 1999 when it was given a direct connection or, at least, when its relationship was brought to light, when the book La Ruta de la Lana. Pilgrim's Guide to Santiago de Compostela. From Cuenca to Burgos.
This book records the route followed by three pilgrims in 1624 who travelled this route to visit the grave of Saint James the Apostle. This fact made it possible to recover information on pilgrims who took advantage of the routes created by transhumant herdsmen in order to connect to the French Way.
In addition, part of its route coincides with another great route: El Camino del Cid.
The two stages that run through part of the Ribera del Duero can be covered in about seven and a half hours.
More info: Oficina de Turismo de San Esteban de Gormaz.