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Feedback wanted on the Levante

Freetogo

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Francès, Via Podiensis & Camino Portuguès.
I hiked it with the Spanish guidebook and left the maps behind due to weight concerns. My Spanish is rudimentary but the guide was perfect. The Amigos need support so go for it!

If you need reassurance, contact me with your details and I will send/give you my copy. I simply loved Avila and Toledo and especially Tembleque butwould never do that hike again (unlike the Plata which I have hiked three times).
Hi there,
I am searching for " the less walked" caminos, and currently looking at via de la Plata and Levante. Can I ask why you would never walk the latter again?
Ultreïa from Canada...
 
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I am searching for " the less walked" caminos, and currently looking at via de la Plata and Levante

I moved this post to a separate thread, in the hopes it would catch the eyes of other Levante veterans. I’ll start! I look forward to hearing what @filly has to say, because I think he and I generally have pretty similar “camino tastes.” And he was not a fan of the Levante — but come on, @filly, I remember that you found a pretty posh place to stay near Almonacid deToledo (which now has an albergue, I think I remember!).

I would walk the Levante again, without a doubt. I walked it ten years ago! But I would only walk it in the springtime. I left Valencia in early May, and the many kms of wide open grain fields in the middle section of this walk were spectacular - emerald green, waving in the wind, occasional bursts of red poppies, it was just beautiful. There are tons of castles. There is a good number of albergues (and at least a handful more since I walked). Many of the towns are interesting places to spend an afternoon — beautiful plazas, old churches, museums (you walk through the town where Dulcinea supposedly lived, but since Dulcinea isn’t even a historically verified person, you have to relax your judgment a bit).

My (very old) thread details my stages and the many wonderful towns I stayed in. I also had a blog, linked in my signature below.

I would say that the biggest negative is that the first 3-4 days are totally on asphalt. Once the earthen trails begin, soon after Xátiva, home of one of Spain’s most gorgeous castles, there is very little asphalt.

@OzAnnie was on the Levante when covid shutdowns hit, so she has some interesting stories to tell!

Buen camino, Laurie
 
Hey Peregrina2000, those 3 first asphalt days weren't so bad. No traffic at all, very quiet and surrounded by naranjas (oranges). But when you are leaving the asphalt, you have to take the red sticking mud with you. So every advantage has a disadvantage or reverse.
 

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Get a spanish phone number with Airalo. eSim, so no physical SIM card. Easy to use app to add more funds if needed.
Tough, tough and, ummm, tough, but, some wonderful countryside. I was living in Valencia up until June 2022 and chose to walk it 'home' to the UK (long story). Whilst in Valencia I went out with the local Amigo's del Peregrino's, re painting the Flechas Amarillo, a very rewarding experience, so I incorporated the early stages with that. I am glad I did as Peregrina 2000 say's. 'lots of Asphalt at the beginning'. The guide suggests Algemesi as the first stage which is 38 km of pavement. Not an ideal start. I would recommend that you walk your first day as far as you are comfortable and get the metro back to Valencia from say, Silla at 15/16km. Valencia has lots of hidden gems, well worth an extra evenings visit and there is a high quality hostal right beside the station for an early start the next day. A lot of the pueblo's are one horse towns with little to see or do but there are some standout places like Xativa, Tembleque, Villa de Don Fadrique and Avila that sit amongst the ordinary. There are a few long days and a couple of short ones that bring the unexpected such as in Hoya Gonzalez where a local Gypsy family insisted I join them at their family street party outside the albergue. Like any Camino, you come away with lots of memories, and here are my negatives of it. 1. Never walk after 1st May or before 1st September if you can help it. Too damn hot. 2. Be prepared to walk alone. Apart from 5 bicigrino, I never saw another pilgrim. 3. lots of nothing. very beautiful nothing, but lots of it. I found it soul destroying and it became a slog. There are some variations you can do as the Levante interweaves with the Sureste in places and at Campo de Medina you can follow the Sureste to Benevente and then the via de la Plata to Astorga (which I did as I have walked through Zamora twice and didn't fancy third time on the Sanabres). It has very good infrastructure and lots of v good Albergues. To sum up, I'm glad I did it, but won't be doing it again.
 
I did Levante with some Caminos «under my belt» It was very memorable and I clearly see that the lenght was a part of it. Crossing from eastcoast to the West ment changing landscapes and diversity. Toledo and Avilla is both a big hit with me.

I’ve read comments and do not recognise the grife some dwell in. All Caminos serve challenges in my experience. Levante is totally worth it though.

((One last thing. I did benefit of buying a set of maps in Valencia before setting off. Walking again, gpx files would have served some of the same purpose I guess.))

Ultreia!

8331E70C-DE28-4428-AF93-27D27C2953C5.jpeg
 
I wouldn't suggest it as a first Camino but I would most definitely walk it again, and I was crazy enough to do the Valencia - Toledo leg late June! I went back to finish it in April and loved the mountain stages through a couple of passes.

The first part I walked with a Camino friend who I had met walking the Plata from Sevilla to Salamanca so I knew that we were compatible. We were alone in all the albergues except for one. I was also almost entirely alone when I walked Toledo to Zamora.

As others have said, the first 3-4 days are entirely on asphalt which in the heat of the summer not pleasant.
 
Technical backpack for day trips with backpack cover and internal compartment for the hydration bladder. Ideal daypack for excursions where we need a medium capacity backpack. The back with Air Flow System creates large air channels that will keep our back as cool as possible.

€83,-
We did the first week around New Year and will do another stretch now in February. I see no point in summer walking in Spain, ever.
 
Many thanks to all you pilgrims for your fulsome replies! As I like to walk alone and have to limit the length of my caminos, I think I will pass on the Levante!
...e suscia!
 
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