The route pilgrims usually take from the South of Spain to link with the Via de la Plata, before proceeding with their excursion to Santiago de Compostela, is this Camino in Andalusia. This beautiful, secluded route would take about 20 days to finish and you would walk 417 km.
This is a relatively new but old route. It’s been used for centuries by pilgrims across Andalusia. However, it was marked in 1999, so pilgrims from Granada, Málaga, Jaén, and elsewhere in Andalusia could make their way to Santiago de Compostela.
This is one of the most unique routes of the Camino de Santiago because it is secluded and relatively unknown. It’s believed that it is modeled after an older route originating from Granada.
It’s along this route where you’ll experience Andalusian life and the simplicity of rural Southern Spain. You can’t miss the history and the influence of Moorish and Roman influences in the art and architecture along the way.
This route is a bit treacherous as you navigate the Sierra Nevadas, through you get to experience the rolling hills of olive groves and orange trees. When you typically think of Spain, you think of white villages up in the hills surrounded by land as far as you can see.
You will experience that on this route, which makes it one you shouldn’t overlook.
Advantages of the Camino Mozárabe
It is well-waymarked throughout, with those familiar yellow arrows to guide you along the way. The Amigos del Camino de Santiago de Córdoba has a fantastic website full of information about this route, including detailed maps of each stage.
Sites and History
Since you’re starting off in Granada, you have a big opportunity to see incredible sites. First off, there’s the Alhambra, an Arabic fortress, and palace that was built in 889 A.D.One of the most well-known monuments in Granada is the bullring, Monumental del Frascuelo. It’s a gorgeous arena that is worth a visit, even if you don’t agree with bullfighting.In Córdoba, you could choose to stop and visit sites such as the Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos,
Disadvantages of the Camino Mozárabe
Due to the terrain, you do need to be in great shape to take this route on. There are a few shallow streams without spans, particularly in the area after Córdoba and where you might have to walk or swim across.
Long Days on the Camino Mozárabe
The disadvantages to this route are the terrain and the distance between some towns. They can make for incredibly long and trying days in the early stages to get to Santiago de Compostela. It’s a long, lonely route with very few pilgrims.
You’ll often have very long days of 30 to 40km because the terrain isn’t inhabited. This is the type of route where it’s you and nature. You’re alone with your thoughts and God (and maybe some cattle).
If you do choose this route, your planning must be impeccable. There really isn’t room for error as there really aren’t towns to stop at to take a break along your way.
You Better Know Spanish
You won’t find a lot of English speakers on this route, so you should have a good command of Spanish and Andaluz.
How to Get to the Camino Mozárabe
The starting point is in Granada, which is very accessible from a number of destinations. The closest airport is in Málaga. From there, you can take a 2-hour bus ride to Grenada. If you stop in Madrid first, you can take the train. You’ll take the high-speed train to Antequera and transfer to a bus which will take to you to Granada.