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Levante Questions

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018)-Frances, Baztan, San Salvador, Primitivo, Fisterra,VdlP, Madrid
#1
1) If you were accustomed to walking 30km on pavement (if we did this twice a week at home, and 10-15km other days of the week), do you see any reason to not do the first few stages as suggested on any of the online sites? (Valencia - Algemesí - Xátiva - Moixent)

2) Is early-April too early a start? (Flights are cheapest then, but I REALLY would want to see wildflowers so would go later if that were necessary - and I do realise every year is different, but what is the degree of confidence with which you might see wildflowers in April? 100% in May!)

3) Is an albergue-only-camino an unrealistic goal?

4) My Spanish is coming along and I am wondering whether it would be better to get the 2013 Spanish guide or stick with the older English one???? Even five years old seems fairly "old" for a guide. Would you risk going without one? The interactive maps on http://vieiragrino.com seem pretty good. Has anyone used them for walking? (Of course they don't have historical information or details about bars or accommodation, but I am happy to eat what I come across without searching out particular places, I want to stick with albergues if I can and I might even prefer to focus on the walking rather than learning this time)

5) Can anyone tell me why I'm asking these questions and why I have created a spreadsheet of distances when it's actually unlikely I'll get to walk next year!
 
A

AJ

Guest
#2
1. No
2. No
3. Yes
4.I used the guide produced by the Amigos which I bought from them in Valencia. The maps are out of date due to road and railway works.
5. You are a sick puppy: so am I.

A number of people rave about the Levante. I found it boring up to Toledo. Everyone I met en route, except one, agreed with me. Having said that, the towns along the way are interesting, it's just the walking that isn't.
 
Camino(s) past & future
'03CF, '08VdlP, '12Porto, '14VdlP via Port '15CPI ‘17Levante to Toledo
#3
Hi @Kiwi-family,
I've just finished Valencia to Toledo and can answer all your questions next week when I'm back in nz. I'll PM you as well so we can chat on phone
My best advice is to make contact with the Pilgrim Association in Valencia and ask them the same questions. @JLWV is also a forum member so you could contact him here
They are wonderful people and very active. They have done an awesome job with the route marking
Albergues are fine for the first week then you are in a black spot but there is always a bed for the night.
It's a camino unlike any other. Difficult (for me the extreme unseasonal heat and distances with nothing). Spectacular days of 'meseta like' scenery and of course walking through the land of Cervantes and Don Quijote
I'll be in touch.
 
Camino(s) past & future
C. Francés (2004-), C. Portugués, C. de Madrid, 1/2 V. Plata, 1/8 Levante, hospitalera Grado 2016.
#4
1. The asphalt roads through the endless orange groves were fine. Plenty of places to rest and stretch if you need to.

2. Shouldn't think so. I've only done the first 160 km of the Levante, so I can't say much about the rest, but there WERE wildflowers in January...

3. Yes. There aren't albergues everywhere, so unless you like really long stretches, YES. But the hotels were ridiculously cheap - €30 for a double room, and the owner washed my clothes for free...

4. The Spanish guide would be better. But make sure you have GPS on your phone, there are tricky bits...

5. Yes, completely.
 
#5
I walked late June/beginning July from Valencia - Toledo and then in April from Toledo-Zamora so I can't tell you about the wildflowers. The first part was indeed Meseta like, the second half more varied and in my option more interesting with a few mountain passes.
We stayed in many municipal albergues but they are nothing like those on other Caminos - in many cases there was only room for 4 pilgrims. Given that we two were alone 95% of the time, it was not a problem. Infrastructure does not accommodate large groups
We had the Amigos guide ordered from the website quoted above. IMHO it was fair, we did have some difficulty getting out of towns but that might have been using.
I would do the Toledo-Zamora stretch again but probably not the first half. The first four days of asphalt was difficult in the heat but now after just finishing the Norte with a tremendous amount of asphalt I guess that it is all relative.
 

sulu

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Ronces-SdC (03-04/10);Oporto-SdC (10/2011); VdlP via Portugal 03/04 2012/2013;Part Invierno 2012; Toulouse to Sarrance 2012; Ingles to Muxia June 2013 Cami Catala and Aragones 2014; El Salvador & Primitivo 2014; Camino de Madrid 2016; Levante 2015,2017
#6
I walk in March because I don't like walking in hot weather! I started the Levante earlier than normal because I wanted to be in Valencia for the Mascleta. If you are walking with the family for educative reasons then being in Valencia prior to the 19th March (feast of St Joseph) is an absolute must.
Spring is early in that area because it is warm, sometimes very warm but each year is different, plenty of orange blossom! I don't think it is particularly good for wild flowers as most of the route is agricultural. I confess to jumping from Algemessi to Albacete, I also found the flatness of Castilla la mancha to be boring, but there are some very interesting towns, the problem is that there is often a distance between them, not usually exorbitant.
I gave up in Toledo, the first time, because I had had enough of my own company and there was no one else. I still think it is a great camino, there is so much history and literature connected to the whole route, I will finish it and, probably next March.
I have photos on my blog: March 2015 was the beginning then March and April 2017, somewhere in the middle I swore never to walk again! I'm still at it.
 

JLWV

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Levante (2014-2016); Levante to Toledo (2017-2018), to be continued; Fisterra & Muxia (2018);
#7
1) No; I know many people avoid pavement if possible, but I think it is not a reason enough to lost knowing the first stages. But I understand people who jumps over the first 15 km (Valencia to Silla), because it is mainly industrial or sport zones with limited interest. It is easy to do as there is a train (cercanias) which goes to Silla (both line C1 to Gandia and line C2 to Xativa, l'Alcudia CR or Moixent). This option reduces the stage's length from 38 to 23 km.

2) No, early April is OK, including march if the yearly weather helps. But until you reach Moixent flowers will be mainly of trees for agricultural productions (oranges, peaches, caquis..). After La Font de la Figuera, and further Almansa, you will see large extensions of poppies...

3) Yes, you cannot rely ONLY on albergues. You may do it until la Font de la Figuera, mainly free municipal ones, excepted in Xativa where they are private. Also albergues in Alpera (alternative way), Higueruela, Hoya Gonzalo, but not in Chinchilla and Albacete..... Nevertheless hostales use to be cheap, and do not discard Casas Rurales which can be cheap out of holidays seasons.


4) I began with the Spanish guide, later I used customized maps (printed from Spanish IGN with downloaded tracks, and own notes in the margins (accommodations, number of inhabitants, geological data, type of vegetation: planning is grateful part of the way for me)). Now I still use the guide but mainly rely on my telephone through ORUX program and AACS on-line guide. The tracks for Levante may be downloaded from AACS website, IGN website, and Wikipedia (several contributors). It seems this technology is more and more used nowadays.


5) ...?
 
#8
Just seeing this post now, Rachel, so I don't really have much to add, except that I don't think there is any way to "build up your body" to prevent shin splints/tendonitis from pavement. In fact, a lot of pavement walking right before leaving may make it more likely that you'll get tendonitis once you start walking. I walked from Valencia, making sure to ice my shins every night, and I also broke the first stage up into two -- day 1 walked to Silla and then took the Cercanias back to Valencia so I could have more time there, it is a beautiful city with lots to do. Day 2 -- took train back to Silla and walked on to Algemesi.

When I walked the Levante in 2013, I remember noting that about half of the nights were in albergues (from Valencia to Zamora, so excluding the Sanabres part), and I thought that was pretty good. Since then, more have opened, but not enough to get you to 100%.
 

hel&scott

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2004 St Jean - Santiago, 2008 &18 Seville - Finesterre, 2010 Ferrol - Lisbon, 2012 from Cartehenga.
#9
Is an albergue-only-camino an unrealistic goal?!
Yes, take a bivey bag. The infrastructure on this route are extremely limited... We did it in Autumn 2012 and started in Cartehenga as we wanted to do the diagonal, from the Med to the Atlantic. We figured it would be similar in terms of distances, signage and albergues to the vdp. We were wrong, while things did improve after joining up to the Levante proper our general conclusion was it is really a cycle route. We usually walk over 1000kms on a Camino and regularly do over 30kms a day, but this route broke us, after weeks of rough sleeping we gave up after 800km.
 

digger

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Mozarabe; Almeria to Santiago May & June 2016
#10
Hi Rachel,
Departing Valencia 20 May. Will collect data & pass to you if you still intend to do this one later.
Hi to all.
Digger
 

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018)-Frances, Baztan, San Salvador, Primitivo, Fisterra,VdlP, Madrid
#11
Hey @digger You out there? I'd love info. Even though I am still looking forward to this year's walk which does not start until September, I am hatching another plan....next year is my 50th. I'm wondering if I can wrangle it to walk fifty days - one for each year. Valencia to Muxia and Fisterra, hoping the Sanabres might be rain-free this time round! I'd love to hear whatever you can tell me. Which guide? Was it out of date? Would a route on maps.me be sufficient?
 

digger

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Mozarabe; Almeria to Santiago May & June 2016
#12
Hi Rachel,
Fifty caminos! Wow, you’re a legend! Sorry, playing the fool again.

I do have some info on the Levante. I really liked the route for it’s solitude and scenery and it’s really not that tough. I don’t think you’ll have any trouble doing it in 50 days - I started on 21 May and I’ll be in Astorga tomorrow.

I used the guide produced by the “Friends” and mined a whole heap of other stuff from various web sources to more or less write my own. I’ll be home by mid-July. If you can wait until then I will have tidied it up a bit (less speling mistooks). Hope you and your family are all well,
Digger
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés and I've walked the caminos from Arles and from Vezelay in France and Via de la plata and Camino Sanabrés, Camino de Madrid sept 2015, and plan to walk Camino de Madrid once again in May 2016 and in the autumn2016 Camaino de Levante
#13
Hi Rachel,
Fifty caminos! Wow, you’re a legend! Sorry, playing the fool again.

I do have some info on the Levante. I really liked the route for it’s solitude and scenery and it’s really not that tough. I don’t think you’ll have any trouble doing it in 50 days - I started on 21 May and I’ll be in Astorga tomorrow.

I used the guide produced by the “Friends” and mined a whole heap of other stuff from various web sources to more or less write my own. I’ll be home by mid-July. If you can wait until then I will have tidied it up a bit (less speling mistooks). Hope you and your family are all well,
Digger
Hi,
I an on the way, now in Higueruela and trying to find out Joe to download the gpx tracks of via de levante. Do you know??
Best,
Margareta
 

digger

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Mozarabe; Almeria to Santiago May & June 2016
#15
Hello Margareta,
May I suggest:
douglasajohnson.com
I found this very useful.
Regards,
Digger
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés and I've walked the caminos from Arles and from Vezelay in France and Via de la plata and Camino Sanabrés, Camino de Madrid sept 2015, and plan to walk Camino de Madrid once again in May 2016 and in the autumn2016 Camaino de Levante
#16
Hello Margareta,
May I suggest:
douglasajohnson.com
I found this very
Hello Margareta,
May I suggest:
douglasajohnson.com
I found this very useful.
Regards,
Digger[/QUOTE

thanks a lot for your quick answer With a very good Link!!
What I am really looking for is the gpx that I could open in Google Earth. I simply can’t find it and people have told me it is very good to have for Via de Levante.
Best,
Margareta


Digger
Lovely
Hello Margareta,
May I suggest:
douglasajohnson.com
I found this very useful.
Regards,
Digger
 

digger

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Mozarabe; Almeria to Santiago May & June 2016
#17
I’m sorry Margareta but I can’t add to what I’ve said. I am what people in Australia call a computer numpty. In a one-in-a million longshot, do you have a relative called Roger who served with the UN in Iran?
Digger1]12
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés and I've walked the caminos from Arles and from Vezelay in France and Via de la plata and Camino Sanabrés, Camino de Madrid sept 2015, and plan to walk Camino de Madrid once again in May 2016 and in the autumn2016 Camaino de Levante
#18
So sorry I don’t have Roger as a relative! That would really have been great!
Thank you, Digger
Sun is beaming mercylessly nearby Albacete.
 

digger

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Mozarabe; Almeria to Santiago May & June 2016
#19
I was in Albacete two weeks ago so if you think I can answer any question about what’s ahead on Camino de Levante please ask. I have taken a lot of advice from this forum and to date have not offered much in return. Buen Camino, Digger
 

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018)-Frances, Baztan, San Salvador, Primitivo, Fisterra,VdlP, Madrid
#20
I used the guide produced by the “Friends” and mined a whole heap of other stuff from various web sources to more or less write my own. I’ll be home by mid-July. If you can wait until then I will have tidied it up a bit (less speling mistooks). Hope you and your family are all well,
Digger
Would love to see it. No hurry - given that we’ll get back from our next Camino on November 2, I’d be pushing my luck for the next one to be in May. So it might have to be “now that i’m Fifty, how about I walk 50 days?” ;-) By then the girls will be old enough (14 and 16) to do their own schooling for a month before meeting me with daddy in Zamora.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés and I've walked the caminos from Arles and from Vezelay in France and Via de la plata and Camino Sanabrés, Camino de Madrid sept 2015, and plan to walk Camino de Madrid once again in May 2016 and in the autumn2016 Camaino de Levante
#21
I was in Albacete two weeks ago so if you think I can answer any question about what’s ahead on Camino de Levante please ask. I have taken a lot of advice from this forum and to date have not offered much in return. Buen Camino, Digger
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés and I've walked the caminos from Arles and from Vezelay in France and Via de la plata and Camino Sanabrés, Camino de Madrid sept 2015, and plan to walk Camino de Madrid once again in May 2016 and in the autumn2016 Camaino de Levante
#22
Thank you, Digger! I’ll take you uo on that when I need!
Buen camino you too!
Margareta
 

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