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Advice on stages for Via Serrana - what did you do?

davkel

Member
Past OR future Camino
Via Serrana, Via de la Plata, Via Sanabres (April)
Hi All

Some background: we are looking at tackling the Via Serrana in April 2022 (followed by the Via de la Plata/Via Sanabres). We've previously done four different caminos to Santiago (Frances x 2, Portuguese, Via Podiensis/Norte/Primitivo), and we think we pretty comfortably manage about 25kms per day, give or take. We hope to hit the way in reasonable shape (no hip, knee or foot problems at least at the start!).

I guess my question is: how should we best divide the Via Serrana into stages? I understand that parts are quite 'sporting/challenging' - from El Comenar to Cortes de la Frontera for example. Is it completely unfeasible to push on the extra 12Kms to Jimera de la Librar?

I see that some people in the early part of the camino base themselves at Jimena and catch the train out each morning and then back again. I'm not sure it's our preferred option - we'd probably forgo albergue-style accommodations and stay somewhere more upmarket if it came to it. And after Ronda, which towns did you stay or wish you'd stayed in?

Anyway, I'd love to hear what your stages were all the way to Seville - and if you were happy with them or would have changed it somehow?

Thanks in advance

David and Kelly
 
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amancio

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, Norte, Primit, Salvador, Portug, Arag, Ingles, VdlP, Leban-Vadin, Fisterra, Invierno, LePuy
Great choice of Camino, particularly for winter! The train is always a possible choice if there is no accommodation, indeed, at least all the way up to Ronda.
In my experience, Colmenar-Cortes de la Frontera can be easily extended to Jimera de Libar if you are fit enough, it is feasible in normal conditions and in reasonably long days, of course. It is actually a stunning stretch!

I would not be able to recommend any stages as such, I only know that particular stretch, but the whole area is gorgeous, perfect for winter walking.
 

alipilgrim

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Listed in my signature
I’m also interested in the answers as I’ve tentatively booked to go in February! From what I understand there are no albergues, except for one near the end that doubles as a homeless shelter.

There’s a good website from the Association that oversees this route, with a list of stages, mileages, and accommodation. Also, a .pdf of this info can be printed out from the site.

https://www.asociacionjacobeacadiz.org/viaserranaetapas.htm
 

davkel

Member
Past OR future Camino
Via Serrana, Via de la Plata, Via Sanabres (April)
Great choice of Camino, particularly for winter! The train is always a possible choice if there is no accommodation, indeed, at least all the way up to Ronda.
In my experience, Colmenar-Cortes de la Frontera can be easily extended to Jimera de Libar if you are fit enough, it is feasible in normal conditions and in reasonably long days, of course. It is actually a stunning stretch!

I would not be able to recommend any stages as such, I only know that particular stretch, but the whole area is gorgeous, perfect for winter walking.
Thanks Amancio- that's very useful advice. Hopefully the weather and conditions will be kind. We'll have to see how we're feeling physically after the first couple of days of walking and take it from there perhaps...
 

davkel

Member
Past OR future Camino
Via Serrana, Via de la Plata, Via Sanabres (April)
I’m also interested in the answers as I’ve tentatively booked to go in February! From what I understand there are no albergues, except for one near the end that doubles as a homeless shelter.

There’s a good website from the Association that oversees this route, with a list of stages, mileages, and accommodation. Also, a .pdf of this info can be printed out from the site.

https://www.asociacionjacobeacadiz.org/viaserranaetapas.htm
Thanks alipilgrim - very helpful
 
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OnHellas

Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances Sept/Oct 2017
Portuguese April 2018 (From Porto)
I walked all bar the last 16km of the Via Serrana in March 2020, Covid stopped us in our tracks!!

I used this guide on line guide book and as I posted in my walk reports it was fantastically accurate.


As for accommodation, the guide helps and Booking.com was also our friend.

One bit of advice I’d give:- there is a stage that is reported as the toughest 11km of Camino that you’re ever likely to walk. I’ve not walked many Caminos……but the guide was right.
 

davkel

Member
Past OR future Camino
Via Serrana, Via de la Plata, Via Sanabres (April)
I walked all bar the last 16km of the Via Serrana in March 2020, Covid stopped us in our tracks!!

I used this guide on line guide book and as I posted in my walk reports it was fantastically accurate.


As for accommodation, the guide helps and Booking.com was also our friend.

One bit of advice I’d give:- there is a stage that is reported as the toughest 11km of Camino that you’re ever likely to walk. I’ve not walked many Caminos……but the guide was right.
Thanks for this advice. I have the guide you link to and have been reading it avidly. this has led me to think about the day you refer to at length and what might be the best thing to do. Without sounding immodest, I think I can manage to do this and continue on to do the following town (I think it's about 26 kms in total, but I'm not sure if my wife can manage it. In the past, she's skipped the stage and met me further on, but I don't know whether she'd then miss out on the views, which appear to be spectacular. Any thoughts?
 

OnHellas

Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances Sept/Oct 2017
Portuguese April 2018 (From Porto)
Thanks for this advice. I have the guide you link to and have been reading it avidly. this has led me to think about the day you refer to at length and what might be the best thing to do. Without sounding immodest, I think I can manage to do this and continue on to do the following town (I think it's about 26 kms in total, but I'm not sure if my wife can manage it. In the past, she's skipped the stage and met me further on, but I don't know whether she'd then miss out on the views, which appear to be spectacular. Any thoughts?
I’d say follow the guide. Like you, 26km is not a tough day. But believe me, the guide is spot on. It was mainly on a narrow ‘goat’ path and very steep in places. Poles came in to their own. There’s a tunnel through the rocks where even to go on all fours my pack scraped the roof!

However, the views were stunning….although I hoped that the vultures circling above hadn’t marked me out for a feast….following a river through a valley, rugged hills, birds singing. It was worth every step and out of breath moment.

Take an early start, a picnic and plenty of water, add in a few breaks along the way and share with your significant other a very different but special Camino day. You won’t forget it!

Oh, and do let us know how you get on.
 
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Past OR future Camino
Frances Portuguese Finisterre Muxia Ingles Mozarabe VldP Sanabres Serrana Salvador Norte Espiritual
I’d say follow the guide. Like you, 26km is not a tough day. But believe me, the guide is spot on. It was mainly on a narrow ‘goat’ path and very steep in places. Poles came in to their own. There’s a tunnel through the rocks where even to go on all fours my pack scraped the roof!

However, the views were stunning….although I hoped that the vultures circling above hadn’t marked me out for a feast….following a river through a valley, rugged hills, birds singing. It was worth every step and out of breath moment.

Take an early start, a picnic and plenty of water, add in a few breaks along the way and share with your significant other a very different but special Camino day. You won’t forget it!

Oh, and do let us know how you get on.
Totally agree,, it's a wonderful days walk!!
 
Past OR future Camino
Camino Del Estrecho, Ruta Fray Leopoldo,
Vía Serrana, Camino Francés
Is it completely unfeasible to push on the extra 12Kms to Jimera de la Librar?

we'd probably forgo albergue-style accommodations and stay somewhere more upmarket if it came to it. And after Ronda, which towns did you stay or wish you'd stayed in?
Hi @davkel. I agree with @amancio and others that Cañón Las Buitreras will be a highlight of your walk!
You could continue on to Jimera de Libar, but accommodations-wise, you might not want to. The Hotel Las Buitreras in El Colmenar has both a dorm room and private rooms. When you get to Cortes Station, you are not actually in Cortes de la Frontera - it is up the hill from the station. On the lovely walk up to the town itself, you pass Casa de Piedra - very interesting to see - and then when you get to the town, there are numerous inexpensive hotels to choose from. If you continue on to Jimera, you again arrive only at the 'station' part of town. The only hotel (the Inz-Almaraz) is in the town itself, up the hill, and several times when we've been there, it has been closed.
 

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