He was an important medieval knight and military leader, in the service of different kings and lords. His numerous deeds are recounted in the famous Cantar del Mío Cid, and inspire the Camino del Cid, a set of routes that you can travel by car, motorcycle, road bike, mountain bike or simply walking. They run through eight provinces of our country, two of them Aragonese, Zaragoza and Teruel, which are the ones we want to tell you about.
Route 1: Borderlands (motor vehicle, cycling, mountain biking and hiking)
Between 254 and 282 kilometers, depending on how you do it.
This route starts in Atienza, in Guadalajara, and ends in the Zaragoza town of Ateca, passing through Soria. It is inspired by the path that El Cid took after being banished by King Alfonso VI, to the siege of the village of Alcocer, very close to Ateca.
The route passes by numerous castles, such as those of Atienza, Medinaceli, Monreal de Ariza or Calatayud, witnesses of the military importance that these territories had eleven centuries ago. It also crosses five protected natural areas: the ravine of the Dulce river, the Maranchón and Layna moorlands and the savin groves and banks of the Jalón river.
Like the other routes, if you decide to do this one on foot, you should know that the Camino del Cid is not as crowded as, for example, the Camino de Santiago. That is why it is possible that you will not come across many hikers. Take the opportunity to reflect and, above all, enjoy the vast and beautiful landscapes that you will walk through. In addition, every time you approach a village, we recommend that you go to a bar or inn to chat with the locals. This way you will make the experience much more enriching.
Route 2: The three taifas (motor vehicle, cycling, mountain biking and hiking)
Between 297 and 312 kilometers
This route passes through the taifas of Zaragoza, Toledo and Albarracín, and begins where the previous one ends: at the gates of Calatayud, after El Cid chased there the Muslim generals who fled the battle after the conquest of Alcocer. By now, his legend is known in all the territories, which, together with his large army, allows him to move freely through them.
The most important landmarks of this route are the Poyo del Cid, in Teruel, Molina de Aragón, in Guadalajara, Albarracín, in Teruel, and Cella, a town in Teruel where, as stated in the Cantar, Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar gathered all the men who wanted to accompany him to conquer Valencia.
You will visit four important medieval walled complexes: Calatayud, with its important Mudejar heritage, Daroca, Molina de Aragón and its imposing castle and, finally, Albarracín, one of the most beautiful villages in Spain.
If you choose to cycle along it, you should know that this route has three ‘singular roads’, sections that stand out for their scenic, historical or artistic value: the road between Villafeliche and Murero, the one between Ventosa and Torete and the one between Orihuela del Tremedal and Bronchales.
Route 3: The Conquest of Valencia (motor vehicle, cycle touring, mountain biking and hiking)
Between 202 and 251 kilometers
From Cella, the Cid sets out to reconquer Valencia, and passes through places like Teruel, Mora de Rubielos, Rubielos de Mora, Segorbe or Sagunto, until he reaches the capital of the Turia.
Focusing on the Aragonese part of the route, this route passes through towns with an important cultural and artistic heritage. The Mudejar of the city of Teruel, with its towers and cathedral, or the architectural beauty of the palaces of Mora and Rubielos are well worth a stop during your trip. Surely Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar himself will forgive you the more than justified detour while waiting for you in Valencia.
Route 4: Gallocanta Ring (motor vehicle, cycling, mountain biking and hiking)
Between 49 and 78 kilometers
This circular route begins and ends in Daroca, the village where El Cid camped for several days at the end of the 11th century. It also goes around the Galllocanta lagoon, one of the largest salt lakes in Western Europe. If your steps bring you here between December and February, you will be able to observe the thousands of cranes that reside here until they continue their migration.
Route 5: Montalbán Ring (motor vehicle and bicycle touring)
One of the most important camps of the Campeador stood in what today is El Poyo del Cid, a town very close to the beginning and end of this route, which will show you medieval castles and small charming villages, such as La Hoz de la Vieja or Montalbán. It starts and ends in Calamocha, one of the best places to enjoy Teruel ham, so don’t miss the opportunity.
Route 6: Maestrazgo Ring (motor vehicle and cyclotourism)
The Maestrazgo mountain range had an important strategic value in the time of El Cid, due to its rugged terrain and its location between the Islamic kingdoms of Lérida and Zaragoza and the county of Barcelona. The epicenter of this ring is in Onda, a town whose castle was conquered by Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar, according to the Cantar.
The route runs through an extensive natural area and five protected areas, as well as numerous villages declared historical-artistic sites, such as Rubielos de Mora, Linares de Mora, Mosqueruela or Iglesuela del Cid.
Route 7: Ring of Morella (motor vehicle and cycle touring)
Many of the towns through which this route passes were the scene of attacks and battles fought by El Cid. Sieges and assaults with which he supplied his army with provisions. In this area, moreover, he fought one of the battles that most contributed to increase his legend, in which he defeated the hosts of Al-Múndir, commanded by Berenguer II of Barcelona.
This ring is especially popular among motorcyclists, thanks to the beauty of the natural landscapes of the Maestrazgo of Teruel. It also passes through beautiful villages such as La Iglesuela del Cid, Cantavieja, Mirambel or Morella.