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Almeria vs Malaga

LesBrass

Likes Walking
Past OR future Camino
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!
 
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C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012. Hoping now for 2022.
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
Past OR future Camino
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
Past OR future Camino
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
 
D

Deleted member 73526

Guest
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:
 
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LesBrass

Likes Walking
Past OR future Camino
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.
 

alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Past OR future Camino
(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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D

Deleted member 73526

Guest
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
Past OR future Camino
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
 
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alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Past OR future Camino
(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
Past OR future Camino
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
Past OR future Camino
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!
 
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LesBrass

Likes Walking
Past OR future Camino
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
Past OR future Camino
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/com...-after-walking-mozarabe-malaga-cordoba.46823/
My two photo-videos from this route: https://www.caminodesantiago.me/com...os-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

Member
Past OR future Camino
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.
 
Past OR future Camino
Caminho Português / Variante Espiritual 2021
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.
@peregrina2000, What do you mean by “they will take care of you all the way to Granada?” I’m new to the forum. I walked the Caminho Português in September, but I didn’t know about / engage with any associations. As I’m considering the route from Almería for December, I’d welcome education on how these associations work. Thanks so much.
 
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C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012. Hoping now for 2022.
See my reply to your post on one of the other threads here.

Although it is best to respond to existing threads with specific relevant questions, it is getting difficult to provide a good overall "package" of advice in all these different threads. Perhaps start a new thread with all your questions and considerations, and we'll be all over it! 😂
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
The Almeria association is unusual if not unique. They have built and take care of all the Albergues between Almeria and Granada. Look at their website for the most current version of their guide. If you let them know when you will be arriving they will meet you in Almeria and fill you in on the Albergue situation. When I walked several years ago there was a bit of a “mob” and the association ferried inflatable mattresses up and down the route.

Here’s the link to their website.

 
Past OR future Camino
Caminho Português / Variante Espiritual 2021
See my reply to your post on one of the other threads here.

Although it is best to respond to existing threads with specific relevant questions, it is getting difficult to provide a good overall "package" of advice in all these different threads. Perhaps start a new thread with all your questions and considerations, and we'll be all over it! 😂
Ha. Hope so. :)
I was reluctant to begin a new thread if people had addressed the questions elsewhere, so thanks for the nudge.
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
@peregrina2000, Wow. That’s some terrific support.
I suggest that you do contact the association if you are planning on sleeping in the association run albergues. When I contacted them in June all the albergues but one or two were still closed so I decided to walk another route. There are other private accommodations available (hostales and such) and per the associations Facebook pages there were every few days one or two pilgrims leaving from Almería but I had heard so much about their albergue infrastructure and service that I decided to postpone until they were open. I haven't looked at the recent status.

I also contacted the Association in Málaga in June but they strongly advised not to walk at that time due to inadequate lodging. Hopefully the situation has changed since then.
 
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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I suggest that you do contact the association if you are planning on sleeping in the association run albergues. When I contacted them in June all the albergues but one or two were still closed
Thanks for pointing out that I got way ahead of myself. My comments referred to pre-Covid life. LT is absolutely right that you should contact the association before heading to Almeria. The guide shows what is closed as of October.
 
Past OR future Camino
cf (2), de la plata, cp. (2003 -2018)
Thanks for pointing out that I got way ahead of myself. My comments referred to pre-Covid life. LT is absolutely right that you should contact the association before heading to Almeria. The guide shows what is closed as of October.
I notice no one mentions the genuine old fashioned sherry bars tucked away in Malaga! Remember, sherry and sea food were designed for each other and I know a place where the sea food is brought in fresh in large panniers . Nope, I aint gonna tell you. You'll just have to explore! Enjoy :)

Samarkand
 
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LTfit

Veteran Member
Yes. The first several days were fabulous... then came olive trees... and more olive trees...
And it wouldn't have been so bad if the yellow arrow in the middle of one of those groves had actually pointed in the right direction. I walked around forever trying to find the next arrow until at one point I called the Amigos Association in Granada (I had bought their guide before setting out). According to them it was all my fault and that I had followed an old route (!). I ended up having to retrace my steps and continued on the road until I by chance found another arrow. I was not a happy camper!

I actually got lost several times, but I hear that signage has improved since I walked in 2014. Also didn't see another pilgrim until Mérida!
 
Past OR future Camino
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
And it wouldn't have been so bad if the yellow arrow in the middle of one of those groves had actually pointed in the right direction. I walked around forever trying to find the next arrow until at one point I called the Amigos Association in Granada (I had bought their guide before setting out). According to them it was all my fault and that I had followed an old route (!). I ended up having to retrace my steps and continued on the road until I by chance found another arrow. I was not a happy camper!

I actually got lost several times, but I hear that signage has improved since I walked in 2014. Also didn't see another pilgrim until Mérida!
Yes, and there was that!
 

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