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Almeria vs Malaga

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LesBrass

Likes Walking
Camino(s) past & future
yes...
I've been following a few of the recent posts for the Mozarabe in February. Next year it's possible that we (husband and me) might have three weeks in the area and I was thinking that perhaps we could spend the time walking; the Mozarabe from Malaga to Merida is the right length.

For those that have walked either of the two variants, what are the differences between the two routes? Husband can only ever be away for a maximum of 21 days which makes the Malaga option our preferred choice.

🆒 All thoughts welcome ... thanks!
 

C clearly

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
I walked from Almeria in 2018 and found it difficult (rocky river beds and a headwind) although very satisfying once it was done! If I were to do it again, I would try the route from Malaga.
 

LesBrass

Likes Walking
Camino(s) past & future
yes...
@C clearly - I was reading about that rocky river bed which did put me off a little... also we've just visited Granada. So perhaps another reason why Malaga would be better?
 

george.g

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
French way 10, 11
Norte 12
Vdlp 13
Levante 14
Mozarabe/Malaga 15
Augusta 16
Mozarabe/Almeria 17
Hi.
Maggie and I walked from Malaga in 2015, find her day by day record of our trip at her blogg "Trepidatious traveller"
Regards
George
 

Raggy

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Mozarabe Almeria (2017)
Cherhill to Canterbury - Pilgrims' Way (2018)
Via Francigena (2019)
Sounds like you're leaning toward Malaga. Maggie has descriptions of the two routes on her blog:

For the sake of completeness, I'll point out that there is also an option to start in Jaén. The total distance is about 90km shorter than the Malaga route - so that might give you an extra few days to play with. The association in Jaen appears to be very active and friendly. Travel connections to Jaén might be the reason that it's less popular than Almeria and Malaga, which both have airports. You'd be looking at a bus from Malaga or train from Madrid via Cordoba to get there:
 

LesBrass

Likes Walking
Camino(s) past & future
yes...
@george.g I'm a big fan of Maggie's blogs and have poured over both... spotted you a couple of times too :)

@Raggy many thanks for the info... I agree that I do think we are leaning towards Malaga - transport is a good reason too. I guess I'm a little worried because I see so many folks start from Almeria and I'm thinking are we missing something by choosing Malaga? Is there are reason why one seems more popular?
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
@george.g I'm a big fan of Maggie's blogs and have poured over both... spotted you a couple of times too :)

@Raggy many thanks for the info... I agree that I do think we are leaning towards Malaga - transport is a good reason too. I guess I'm a little worried because I see so many folks start from Almeria and I'm thinking are we missing something by choosing Malaga? Is there are reason why one seems more popular?
I can think of two reasons: It's longer. ;) And the Almeria Association is a pilgrim magnet. They are amazing and wonderful people. They will take care of you all the way to Granada.

I would love to go back and start in Malaga someday, it looks very nice too.
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
I found the first days from Almeria not pleasant: stony riverbeds, and then a steep, narrow path climb on the day from Alboloduy ; not nice. After that, smooth walking. Malaga could bee a good alternative, IMHO, especially since you are already there. Sounds sensible.
 
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Raggy

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Mozarabe Almeria (2017)
Cherhill to Canterbury - Pilgrims' Way (2018)
Via Francigena (2019)
Is there are reason why one seems more popular?
I've become something an evangelist for the Almeria route because of the kindness and hospitality of the Almeria association. Pretty much everyone who walks from Almeria is wowed by it.

But I didn't know about the Almeria angels when I chose my camino. I liked the idea of a long camino that went through Granada and Cordoba - two cities that I already knew and loved. The routes from Malaga and Jaén miss Granada.

In addition to the kind-hearted Camino angels and the world-renowned city of Granada, you have Almeria and Guadix - both great little cities with interesting history. The Sierra Nevada mountains provide some beautiful backdrops to the way from Almeria.

On the downside, those dry riverbeds are tough, and there's a steep scramble up a rocky, slope at Alboloduy. But those challenges are surmountable, and the sense of achievement is great.
 

george.g

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
French way 10, 11
Norte 12
Vdlp 13
Levante 14
Mozarabe/Malaga 15
Augusta 16
Mozarabe/Almeria 17
I can think of another reason to start in Almeria, you get to visit Granada and the Alhambra.
I walked from Almeria in 2017, and enjoyed it so much, I’ve booked a flight early April so I can walk it again, (sounds daft I know) but thinking I’ll divert onto the Torres after Salamanca.
Regards
George
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
I've become something an evangelist for the Almeria route because of the kindness and hospitality of the Almeria association. Pretty much everyone who walks from Almeria is wowed by it.

But I didn't know about the Almeria angels when I chose my camino. I liked the idea of a long camino that went through Granada and Cordoba - two cities that I already knew and loved. The routes from Malaga and Jaén miss Granada.

In addition to the kind-hearted Camino angels and the world-renowned city of Granada, you have Almeria and Guadix - both great little cities with interesting history. The Sierra Nevada mountains provide some beautiful backdrops to the way from Almeria.

On the downside, those dry riverbeds are tough, and there's a steep scramble up a rocky, slope at Alboloduy. But those challenges are surmountable, and the sense of achievement is great.
I agree with your points completely. And Alboloduy is quite fantastic at nighttime, viewed from above. Only a tiny village, but completely lit up. A gem.
 

LesBrass

Likes Walking
Camino(s) past & future
yes...
Guys... Youre meant to be convincing me that they're both equally good... But I'm still wondering if Almeria has the edge :oops: it has Angels !

We've just spent two days in Granada (also honeymooned there but many years ago ) so I don't mind that we'd miss it this time. Does the route from Malaga also have hidden gems😀

I am only mulling options really...way to soon to make plans... Isn't it ?
 

Magwood

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
See signature line for links to daily posts to blogs from many caminos
Antequera is certainly a gem of a town on the Málaga route, with an impressive castle and old section. And Lucena is probably worth exploring, but I was too tired when we arrived to bother.

I’d say the first few days from Málaga are a bit of a challenge with lots of elevation. Whereas the challenge from Almería is the interminable river bed walking which is very wearing. Give me mountains any day!

There were no angels as such on the route from Málaga back in 2015, but we were met with kindness at every stage end.

I think you will have to walk both routes Colleen, so that you will be able to advise future enquirers!
 

LesBrass

Likes Walking
Camino(s) past & future
yes...
Antequera is certainly a gem of a town on the Málaga route, with an impressive castle and old section. And Lucena is probably worth exploring, but I was too tired when we arrived to bother.

I’d say the first few days from Málaga are a bit of a challenge with lots of elevation. Whereas the challenge from Almería is the interminable river bed walking which is very wearing. Give me mountains any day!

There were no angels as such on the route from Málaga back in 2015, but we were met with kindness at every stage end.

I think you will have to walk both routes Colleen, so that you will be able to advise future enquirers!

Maggie you know I want to do both don't you :rolleyes: :)

I'm inspired to walk so many routes but for now time is our biggest restriction. So perhaps next year Malaga and after that... well who knows! We can't decide 100% because there is also a little seed of an idea to walk the Masar Ibrahim trail in March 2020 but... time... so it will be a late decision but I think it will be Malaga or the Masar... maybe :)

(p.s. see you next year too I hope!)
 

bjorgts

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Caminos in Spain, France, Portugal, Germany since 2003. Last: Camino del Sur March 2019
I have walked both caminos, but I find it difficult to say who is the "best". They are different, and the walkers are different too, and when I read the comments here, I am sometimes surprised that people like/do not like different than me.

I too think that the Association in Almeria is important for the popularity of this route. They are great! I liked that camino very much. BUT: When we walked from Malaga very early spring 2017, we said several times: Why are there so few walkers on this beautiful camino?! (And the days Magwood describes as “a bit of a challenge with lots of elevation”, I have described as “two days in paradise”. ) That’s how it is …

You find my report from Malaga – Cordoba here: https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/short-report-after-walking-mozarabe-malaga-cordoba.46823/
My two photo-videos from this route: https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/two-new-foto-videos-from-camino-mozarabe-malaga-cordoba.48220/
My photo-video from Almeria - Granada:
https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/new-photo-video-almeria-granada.52519/
 
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digger

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Mozarabe; Almeria to Santiago May & June 2016
In my humble opinion:
The views along the way from Almeria are a huge attraction.
Some of the albergues are outstanding.
The Almeria Association is extraordinarily helpful.
Tip: Get your stamp the day before you start as the office opens late in the mornings.
 

Magwood

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
See signature line for links to daily posts to blogs from many caminos
This is a bit of an afterthought...I made a video of my walk from Málaga which may be of interest -
 

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