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Just back from Málaga!

2020 Camino Guides

amancio

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Norte, Primit, Salvador, Portug, Arag, Ingles, VdlP, Leban-Vadin, Fisterra, Invierno, LePuy
I just finished Málaga-Baena in 5 days, I was very lucky, all dry days, frosty mornings, but sunny days, the countryside is still green and some plants/trees are starting to blossom too early; the end of the autumn is simultaneous to the beginning of spring, no sign of winter.

My impression is, the first 50 km are quite hilly and demanding, with lots of ups and downs. There was no other pilgrims at all, very lonely, but I enjoyed that too. I did not stay in albergues, I find it is not fair/worth it to heat up a lonely house just for the one soul. The signposting is excellent.
These were my stages

Junta de los Caminos - Villanueva de la Concepción: 32 km, I skipped the exit out of Malaga, I usually avoid large cities when I have a chance. Extremely hilly and demanding stage, particularly the first 18 km, very steep, but also very beautiful landscape and remote places

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This is the type of landscape for the first 12 km, this particular hill of almond trees will look spectacular in twe weeks' time when they are all blossoming.

1579124938245.png
Almogía is a beautiful village, I would have loved having more time to spend the day/night here.

I stayed in Apartamentos Villa Torcal, Villanueva de la Concepción, good place, 40 Euro, a nice heated place, needed it after a demanding day! I heard the local albergue in Villanueva de la Concepción might have been taken over by squatters. My perception is, it has been probably used to house (illegal) inmigrants who work in the olive harvest.

Villanueva de la Concepción - Antequera: 18 km, glorious stage, pity it was a bit misty I did not enjoy the views to the Mediterranean Sea. Stunning, spectacular mountain landscapes, the descent down to Antequera can be quite tricky, very rocky, technical, but simply dramatic. Lots of wild flowers and loneliness. Antequera is a place worth a looong visit, I was amazed.


1579125140569.png
spectacular track down the mountains!

1579125185469.png
top of the Torcal mountains

I stayed in pension Colon, 20 euro a small, simple room, enough. The menu in Hotel Castilla opposite this pension is exceptional value.

Antequera-Villanueva de las Algaidas: 26 km, dull, mostly flat, boring stage, with lots of tarmac too. The albergue in Villanueva seemed a bit old, huge house. I stated in Hostal Chovi, good food, 30 euro, modern room, bar downstairs a bit loud. Cartaojal, along the way, is a boring looking town you can easily skip.

Villanueva de las Algaidas - Lucena: 37,5 km, lots of olive trees and a few hills, stayed in Pension Sara, 27,5, clean and efficient. Loads of olive trees today! The entry in Lucena seems neverending, with a very long industrial park.

1579125569808.png

river Anzur, on the way to Lucena.
The best part of this day was Cuevas Bajas, a lively, cheerful little town, the albergue seems very new and modern, I wish I had stayed here, a truely charming place by river Genil, good bars, shops, lots of people on the street, loved this place!!!

Lucena itself is quite big and full of interesting places to see, but winter days are short and after 37.5 km you are not really in the mood to do so much sightseeing.

This olive tree below is the most beautiful olive tree I have seen, it must be 1000 years old easily, stunning!!!

1579125697509.png

Lucena-Baena: 36 km, 25 of them along a no longer used railway line that has now been covered with tarmac. It skims the town of Cabra, which must be very interesting and then crosses Doña Mencía, a dull, quiet town before the last hills on the way to Baena.

1579126005092.png
Old train line trench followed by the Camino today. Long day.

As a general summary, this is the best camino to do this time of the year, it should not be too cold, everything looks green... in other times of the year, the landscape would not look so green.

1579126188599.png

1579126219155.png

1579126252113.png

A sunflower in January, unbelievable, this is very sad...

Definitely, most recommendable Camino!
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
Thanks! I walked this route in February last year and loved it. Antequera was a huge surprise. Did you visit the Neolithic mounds? Astonishing. Why had I never heard of them? Your photos are bringing it all back. Just what I need on a damp windy night :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Del Estrecho, Ruta Fray Leopoldo,
Vía Serrana, Camino Francés
I just finished Málaga-Baena in 5 days, I was very lucky, all dry days, frosty mornings, but sunny days, the countryside is still green and some plants/trees are starting to blossom too early; the end of the autumn is simultaneous to the beginning of spring, no sign of winter...Definitely, most recommendable Camino!
What a lovely report, Amancio! Your photos of the olive tree and the village of Almogía made me want to be there right now. Thanks for taking the time to share these photos and also for putting in the helpful details about places to stay.
Elaine
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Thank you for taking the time to share your photos and observations...I loved your post!
 

FamPed

Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
There are many different Pilgrim Routes and Caminos in life.
It sounds wonderful, this camino is now on my list to do. 🙂 Loved your pictures, thank you for sharing.
 

amancio

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Norte, Primit, Salvador, Portug, Arag, Ingles, VdlP, Leban-Vadin, Fisterra, Invierno, LePuy
Thanks! I walked this route in February last year and loved it. Antequera was a huge surprise. Did you visit the Neolithic mounds? Astonishing. Why had I never heard of them? Your photos are bringing it all back. Just what I need on a damp windy night :)
Yes, those megalythic tombs in Antequera, any church in Antequera, the streets in Antequera, the bars in Antequera, Antequera is a place to stay for a couple of days and take it easy, most definitely!

1579161731156.png


It was a surprisingly nice Camino, I only picked it because I live just over one hour away, it is near, it is handy, the weather forecast was good and I had 5 days to spare, so I did not think about it twice.
 

amancio

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Norte, Primit, Salvador, Portug, Arag, Ingles, VdlP, Leban-Vadin, Fisterra, Invierno, LePuy
What a lovely report, Amancio! Your photos of the olive tree and the village of Almogía made me want to be there right now. Thanks for taking the time to share these photos and also for putting in the helpful details about places to stay.
Elaine
I thought about you! If you go there next week or so, most almond trees will be blossoming, and you will be able to enjoy the rose tinted pale colour of the flowers and the subtle scent of the trees, Málaga-Antequera would be a dream like camino in 3 shortish days, giving you time to enjoy the sights and Almogía, Villanueva and Antequera, all worth a visit.
 

amancio

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Norte, Primit, Salvador, Portug, Arag, Ingles, VdlP, Leban-Vadin, Fisterra, Invierno, LePuy
Thanks, Amancio, looks like another camino to put on the list! Just what I need....
Well, Laurie, even if you cannot do the whole stretch, the Junta de los Caminos-Antequera is a true gem in winter time, in 3 leisurely days, just perfect. You would love it! I needed these 5 days of outdoors, solitude and physical exercise, it was just perfect!
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Yes, those megalythic tombs in Antequera, any church in Antequera, the streets in Antequera, the bars in Antequera, Antequera is a place to stay for a couple of days and take it easy, most definitely!

View attachment 68661


It was a surprisingly nice Camino, I only picked it because I live just over one hour away, it is near, it is handy, the weather forecast was good and I had 5 days to spare, so I did not think about it twice.
Lucky you!
 

Paladina

old woman of the roads
Camino(s) past & future
CF, primitivo & del norte (2017); VdlP/Sanabres, ingles etc (2018), Mozarabe etc (2019), tbc (2020)
Thanks @amancio for reminding me of what I experienced (and what I missed) on this route last year. You've given me another reason to return.
 

kulkija

Member
Camino(s) past & future
portugues 2018, finisterre-muxia and sections of frances 2019
Thanks for the exciting report, Amancio! I will be in Malaga at the end of the month and I have been considering walking a section of Camino Mozarabe. Your report strongly encourages me to do it, but your day distances are too long to me. Is there any possibility to walk only 15-25 kms per day?
 

amancio

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Norte, Primit, Salvador, Portug, Arag, Ingles, VdlP, Leban-Vadin, Fisterra, Invierno, LePuy
Thanks for the exciting report, Amancio! I will be in Malaga at the end of the month and I have been considering walking a section of Camino Mozarabe. Your report strongly encourages me to do it, but your day distances are too long to me. Is there any possibility to walk only 15-25 kms per day?
Hi Kulkija!

you can indeed take shorter days. To begin with, I would skip the departure from Malaga City, you can take a bus, number 21 to Junta de los Caminos, and safely skip the first 10 km of tarmac, traffic, pedestrian crossings, curbs and red traffic lighs.

I would split it like this as per my personal preferences/favourite towns along the way

Junta de los Caminos - Almogía is 13 km, but it is quite demanding in ups and downs
Almogía - Villanueva de la Concepción is 19 km
Villanueva - Antequera is 18 km
Antequera - Cartaojal is 13 km
Cartaojal - Cuevas Bajas is 23 km
Cuevas Bajas - Lucena is 26 km
Lucena - Cabra is 13 km
Cabra - Baena is 23 km

Just make sure you do not do it in the summer! The first 3 days have beautiful, spectacular landscapes at times
 

kulkija

Member
Camino(s) past & future
portugues 2018, finisterre-muxia and sections of frances 2019
Hi Kulkija!

you can indeed take shorter days. To begin with, I would skip the departure from Malaga City, you can take a bus, number 21 to Junta de los Caminos, and safely skip the first 10 km of tarmac, traffic, pedestrian crossings, curbs and red traffic lighs.

I would split it like this as per my personal preferences/favourite towns along the way

Junta de los Caminos - Almogía is 13 km, but it is quite demanding in ups and downs
Almogía - Villanueva de la Concepción is 19 km
Villanueva - Antequera is 18 km
Antequera - Cartaojal is 13 km
Cartaojal - Cuevas Bajas is 23 km
Cuevas Bajas - Lucena is 26 km
Lucena - Cabra is 13 km
Cabra - Baena is 23 km

Just make sure you do not do it in the summer! The first 3 days have beautiful, spectacular landscapes at times
Thank you so much, Amancio, for the advice! I will start studying the route and hope being on the way soon 👍
 

Colette Z

Happy Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
CF- Finisterre-Muxia 03/17; Camino SK 10/17; Norte 03/18; Ingles 11/18; Augusta 03/19
Thanks! I walked this route in February last year and loved it. Antequera was a huge surprise. Did you visit the Neolithic mounds? Astonishing. Why had I never heard of them? Your photos are bringing it all back. Just what I need on a damp windy night :)
How was the February weather? Did you walk to Santiago? Have you walked VDLP and if yes which is nicer? Thanks
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
How was the February weather? Did you walk to Santiago? Have you walked VDLP and if yes which is nicer? Thanks
Weather was excellent - dry most of the time and a comfortable temperature for walking. I stopped walking in Merida where the route joins the VdlP as I had already walked that. Hard to say which is "nicer": both routes have both scenic and less interesting stretches. On the Mozarabe people often complain that the endless olive groves in the early stages are 'boring' but I did not think so. And discovering places like Antequera and the La Mata ruins was well worthwhile.
 

kulkija

Member
Camino(s) past & future
portugues 2018, finisterre-muxia and sections of frances 2019
Amancio gave a good list of towns with short distances, including Almogía, Cartaojal, and Cuevas Bajas. Do you think that there is accommodation available in these towns in the beginning of February? I would prefer hostels or hotels because I do not plan to carry a sleeping bag with me.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2005,2008,2010,2015.camino Portuguese 2007 .primativo2012.camino Norte 2009.sjpdp to finisterre and muxia 2007. Le Puy to jpdp 2006. Via francigena vercelli to Lucca 2014. Lucca to Rome 2016.
Hi Kulkija!

you can indeed take shorter days. To begin with, I would skip the departure from Malaga City, you can take a bus, number 21 to Junta de los Caminos, and safely skip the first 10 km of tarmac, traffic, pedestrian crossings, curbs and red traffic lighs.

I would split it like this as per my personal preferences/favourite towns along the way

Junta de los Caminos - Almogía is 13 km, but it is quite demanding in ups and downs
Almogía - Villanueva de la Concepción is 19 km
Villanueva - Antequera is 18 km
Antequera - Cartaojal is 13 km
Cartaojal - Cuevas Bajas is 23 km
Cuevas Bajas - Lucena is 26 km
Lucena - Cabra is 13 km
Cabra - Baena is 23 km

Just make sure you do not do it in the summer! The first 3 days have beautiful, spectacular landscapes at times
Hi Amancio,
Thank you for this information
Are there places to stay at each of these stages?
Now another Camino to be added to my "bucket list"!!!
Best wishes
Annette
 

anthikes

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2016 SJPdP > SdC
2018 Porto > SdC
2019 Sevilla > SdC
Great photos. Not sure why a sunflower would be sad though? Southern Spain has always had very mild winters, hence why so many Northern Europeans flock there for the warmth and sun.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Del Estrecho, Ruta Fray Leopoldo,
Vía Serrana, Camino Francés
Amancio gave a good list of towns with short distances, including Almogía, Cartaojal, and Cuevas Bajas. Do you think that there is accommodation available in these towns in the beginning of February? I would prefer hostels or hotels because I do not plan to carry a sleeping bag with me.
Here are some places that might work for you:

Almogía Casa Sarandy - guest room Also, the photos of the Albergue La Noria show blankets.
Cartaojal Cortijo Carrillo - double or twin room - a little beyond Cartaojal, but the camino goes right by it
Cuevas Bajas Casas Las Canteras - cabana actually in Cuevas de San Marcos, but maybe they would pick you up? Or you could use a taxi shuttle from Villanueva de las Algaidas? Also, it looks like the municipal albergue has blankets.

This page gives numerous options: Albergues de Málaga

The "search on the map" features on the following sites are very helpful; note that you have to zoom way in to get all the possibilities for a particular area to show up.
booking.com
google maps
airbnb
escapada rural
trip advisor
homeaway
casas rurales
hundredrooms
hometogo
viasur
brujulea
 
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kulkija

Member
Camino(s) past & future
portugues 2018, finisterre-muxia and sections of frances 2019
Here are some places that might work for you:

Almogía Casa Sarandy - guest room
Cartaojal Cortijo Carrillo - double or twin room - a little beyond Cartaojal, but the camino goes right by it
Cuevas Bajas Casas Las Canteras - cabana actually in Cuevas de San Marcos, but maybe they would pick you up? Or you could use a taxi shuttle from Villanueva de las Algaidas? Also, it looks like the municipal albergue has blankets.

The "search on the map" features on the following sites are very helpful; note that you have to zoom way in to get all the possibilities for a particular area to show up.
booking.com
google maps
airbnb
escapada rural
trip advisor
homeaway
casas rurales
hundredrooms
hometogo
viasur
brujulea
Here are some places that might work for you:

Almogía Casa Sarandy - guest room
Cartaojal Cortijo Carrillo - double or twin room - a little beyond Cartaojal, but the camino goes right by it
Cuevas Bajas Casas Las Canteras - cabana actually in Cuevas de San Marcos, but maybe they would pick you up? Or you could use a taxi shuttle from Villanueva de las Algaidas? Also, it looks like the municipal albergue has blankets.

This page gives numerous options: Albergues de Málaga

The "search on the map" features on the following sites are very helpful; note that you have to zoom way in to get all the possibilities for a particular area to show up.
booking.com
google maps
airbnb
escapada rural
trip advisor
homeaway
casas rurales
hundredrooms
hometogo
viasur
brujulea
Hi Islandwalker,
thank you very much for all this information. I have mostly used booking.com to check the availability of accommodation. But your list shows that there are many other possibilities as well. It is so good to know before starting the walk that there is at least some place to stay overnight in each stopover.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Del Estrecho, Ruta Fray Leopoldo,
Vía Serrana, Camino Francés
You're welcome, @kulkija. Another source I ran across are the descriptions that inakipilgrim posted along with his Wikiloc tracks. If you open them in Chrome to get the translation, you'll see that at the end of each description, he gives numerous details about the places he stayed in spring 2018. For example, here's (the google translation of) what he says about Almogia:
  • Albergue la Noria:
  • Donation
  • 8 places in berth.
  • It has no kitchen. Microwave only
  • No dishes or cutlery
  • It is very clean and well maintained.
  • To eat:
  • Returning where we have reached the hostel ... about 60 m. of this: Coco Bar. Menu. € 8.5
  • Next door is the Dia supermarket
Although you mention you won't have a sleeping bag, it looks like most of the albergues have blankets. He also lists some hotels.

Camino Mozarabe-Malaga - 01 - Malaga-Almogia
Camino Mozarabe-Malaga - 02 - Almogia-Villanueva de la Concepcion
Camino Mozarabe-Malaga - 03 - Villanueva de la Concepcion-Antequera
Camino Mozarabe-Malaga - 04 - Antequera-Cuevas Bajas
Camino Mozarabe-Malaga - 05 - Cuevas Bajas-Lucena
Camino Mozarabe-Malaga - 06 - Lucena-Baena

Have fun planning!
 

NPD

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2014; TBD 2017
@amancio, thank you very much for your very detailed post and kind responses to everyone on this thread. I am coming to Malaga on 27 March and will have until 3 April to walk. I was hoping to get from Malaga to Cordoba to have the sense of accomplishment of going from one city to the other, but I wanted to ask if you think that is too unrealistic or too hard? In terms of fitness, I am able to walk 35km per day without complaining too much, as long as there is wine and cheese along the way :) About your accommodations, did you book them in advance or did you just locate them once you arrived in the daily stops? Thank you very much!
 

Magwood

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
See signature line for links to daily posts to blogs from many caminos
Thanks @amancio for such lovely memories of this camino, and indeed the area at this time of year. Having recently returned to the UK after living for twelve years in southern Andalucia, very close to Málaga, I am really missing the wonderful weather at this time of year, particularly after a couple of months of never ending rain and grey skies (with a few spectacular exceptions)
 

amancio

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Norte, Primit, Salvador, Portug, Arag, Ingles, VdlP, Leban-Vadin, Fisterra, Invierno, LePuy
Great photos. Not sure why a sunflower would be sad though? Southern Spain has always had very mild winters, hence why so many Northern Europeans flock there for the warmth and sun.
What I found sad is the fact ir is blooming so outrageously out of season
 

amancio

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Norte, Primit, Salvador, Portug, Arag, Ingles, VdlP, Leban-Vadin, Fisterra, Invierno, LePuy
@amancio, thank you very much for your very detailed post and kind responses to everyone on this thread. I am coming to Malaga on 27 March and will have until 3 April to walk. I was hoping to get from Malaga to Cordoba to have the sense of accomplishment of going from one city to the other, but I wanted to ask if you think that is too unrealistic or too hard? In terms of fitness, I am able to walk 35km per day without complaining too much, as long as there is wine and cheese along the way :) About your accommodations, did you book them in advance or did you just locate them once you arrived in the daily stops? Thank you very much!
Hola amigo!
that is a realistic approach, you can do the sames stages as I did (although I would change Villanueva de Algaidas to Cuevas Bajas as destination, even if there is only one albergue in Cuevas Bajas and nothing else).
You can also skip the first 10 km out of the city of Malaga and start in Junta de los Caminos

And from Baena you can do it in two good days, these are the distances

Baena-Castro del Río, 20 km
Castro del Río-Córdoba, 42 km, no towns in between

or also

Baena-Espejo (aprox 30 km) or Baena-Santa Cruz (aprox 42 km), then
Espejo-Cordoba (aprox 38), or Santa Cruz - Cordoba (aprox 28 km)

Check in gronze.com, the stages between Baena and Cordoba are well described there!
 

Raggy

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Mozarabe Almeria (2017)
Cherhill to Canterbury - Pilgrims' Way (2018)
Via Francigena (2019)
And from Baena you can do it in two good days,
I spent three days for the Baena to Cordoba stages. For pilgrims who are confident about walking 40+km, I think the preferred route is to walk straight from Castro del Rio to Cordoba. It takes a bit of courage to go that way with no towns en route, but the overall distance is the shortest and you pass by Ategua architectural ruins:

If walking solo, be sure to inform people that you're taking that route and keep them updated.
 
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