Walking the Camino to Leon in Spain

It is Day 17 on the Camino Frances and today we are walking the Camino to Leon in Spain, one of the largest cities on the Camino Frances route. Todays route takes us from Mansilla de las Mulas through to Leon.

It is a Sunday and today is Corpus Chico in Spain. What we witnessed when we arrived was fabulous ! 

Camino Frances Day 17 Overview

  • Distance – 20km
  • From – Mansilla de las Mulas
  • To – Leon
  • Min/Max Elevation – 793m/900m
  • Elevation gain – 190m
  • Steps – 34,000
We had a great stay in Mansilla de las Mulas and once again we are up early and on the trail for 6.30am. Even though we are having a shorter day today the urge or need to get up and walk is starting to get overwhelming on an ‘everyday’ basis. 

I am actually starting to look forward to the physical challenge each day as I get fitter and fitter.
The walk to Leon is relatively flat and we head out with a planned stop in Puente Villarente for breakfast. There are numerous cafes and bars here to stop and relax. 

We chilled here for some time in the Spanish Camino sunshine.

We passed a lovely small church with yet another Stork’s nest on top of the church. I think this is the fourth village where we have seen a Storks nest. They are really interesting. 

In the UK storks nests are a thing of the past and are not seen anymore but on the Camino Frances they seem to be a part of the traditional day to day life.
church with a stork

The walk into Leon was easy enough and I did most of it with my headphones in and listened to some energetic music and just spent a couple of hours by myself.

Sometimes the solitude of walking alone is really cathartic and good for the soul. I definitely like to do it every so often.

About 3km out from the city centre I caught up and got talking to an Irish Pilgrim and for quite some time we talked about life in general as well as the Camino, of course. 

Typically when talking with a Pilgrim whilst walking, that you haven’t met before, conversation is really easy. Introductions can be made really easy as the following subjects form the basis of a simple Pilgrim dialogue system.

The following subjects are normally covered in one way shape or form:

  • Where did you start ?
  • How far have you walked ?
  • Where are you going ?
  • Are you walking the whole way ?
  • Which Albergue are you staying in ?
  • Why are you walking the Camino ? (this is the big question)

I covered all these topics with the Irish Pilgrim and we had a great chat.

Without realising it I had got a few miles ahead of Pilgrims Bob and Burny so said goodbye to the Irish Pilgrim and waited at a cafe bar. 

Once again chatting with more pilgrims about the Camino.


Leon is the capital city of the province of Leon and is a fabulous city.

It is one of the main stopping places on the Camino Frances and a traditional stopping point for Pilgrims to take a rest day. 

Most Pilgrims have been walking for up to 3 weeks at this stage and a rest day is either needed or welcomed.

This old city has some beautiful architecture with the main feature being the old Cathedral, which is one of the best in Spain.

By day this city has its roots firmly in the Spanish past and traditions and by night has a lovely energy that sweeps over the streets and plazas of the old quarter, the Barrio Humedo. 

If you like busy, energetic nightlife this city is for you ! 

arrival into leon

When we arrived into Leon it was a Sunday afternoon and more importantly the 3rd Sunday in May. 

As expected we thought there may be some kind of religious traditional procession on and we walked right into the middle of it.  What a sight !

Corpus Chico Procession in Leon

The Confraternity of the Holy Sacrament of the Minerva was established in the Real Monasterio de San Claudio de Leon in 1612, by its Abbot Vicente de Arce and seven other monks, to worship the Holy Sacrament of the Altar.

Some years after it was founded, the Leonese confraternity practically disappeared, and was re-founded in 1637 by trader in the city of Leon, in particular by the members of the guilds of jewellers, handkerchief makers, ironworker and wax makers of the parish of San Martín. 

In January 1638, when Bartolomé Santos Risoba was bishop of Leon, the institution of the Minerva at the Monasterio de San Claudio was approved.

Every third Sunday of the month the Confraternity goes to the Monasterio to celebrate the Minerva with a mass and procession with the Sacrament. 

The major event of the Confraternity, “La Minerva Mayor” took place on the third Sunday of May and continues to this date.

On my journey on the Camino Frances I was lucky enough to be in León on the day of the Corpus Chico procession at the Cathedral in León. 

The procession was amazing and I recommend being there on the day if your camino schedule allows.  Enjoy some of the videos I took below in the Plaza de Regla in front of the cathedral.

We also met up with our friends from Bermuda Rex and Rob who we kept meeting as we walked along the Camino. After this meeting we kept in touch the whole way and became great friends.

Once we arrived in Santiago they were a day behind us and we welcomed them into the square in Santiago and celebrated in style.

Rex and Rob from Bermuda walking the camino together

Things to do in Leon

Leon in Spain is a fantastic city to take a lazy afternoon after a morning on the Camino or even take a rest day and discover something amazing as the city is full of fantastic things to do.

Wether you want to do a walking tour of the city and cathedral, check out Gaudi or experience the Leon urban outdoor escape rooms the choice is there. 

Although some people just prefer to have a table in the sunshine and watch people go about there business. A spot of people watching can be very therapeutic.

Accomodation in Leon

Leon has a diverse and eclectic mix of hotels, hostels and Albergues which offer great accommodation for whatever budget you have from the 5* Parador de Turismo Leon to a basic Albergue at the Hostel Orejas

Check out the Parador, its amazing.

Accommodation in Leon
9.4/10Our Score

248 Hotels, Hostels and Albergues

186 within 1/2 mile of the centre of Leon

Fabulous choice of accommodation

Mark Stevens
Mark Stevens

I am a long distance walking nerd and fell in love with the Camino de Santiago in 2016 when I walked the French Way for the first time. I've been blogging since then and my aim is to help all Pilgrims with hiking and walking advice.

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