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Málaga - Cordoba Feb-March 2020

davidweisz

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
del Norte
Lahn & Mosel(Germany)
VdlP
Brandenburg (Germany)
Mozárabe
Hey. I just got back from Cordoba. I had started walking on Feb 28. Here are some thoughts. Generally, I liked it. Sometimes boring stages, but the villages were really nice, big plus on this Camino for sure!

Albergues

They are generally great. You will have to call local police and usually they come to bring you the keys. I spoke Spanish so I had no problem, no idea whether they speak English.

Almogia: Spacious and clean; little bit outside town.
Villanueva de la Concepción: I did not stay there, the albergue was occupied by a "pilgrim" (woman with two dogs) who has lived there for the last 2 weeks, was very creepy.
Antequera: Really, really basic albergue. I would recommend staying there only if you are on a really tight budget. There are really good hostales (Hotel Manzanilla, directly at the main plaza for 25€)
Villanueva de Algaidas: Great albergue, good kitchen.
Encinas Reales: Decent albergue, rather dark and humid, really cold as it is kind of an basement.
Doña Mencia: Small albergue in the historic center. The pilgrims before me had left it in a horrible state, otherwise decent.
Castro del Río: Nice albergue, spacious.

The other stages had no albergues, so I stayed in Hotels:

Lucena: Pensión Sara (28€ single room /bath): Really simple Hostal, not the best experience, it was OK for one night.
Santa Cruz: Hostal José (28€single room/bath): Amazing value, really spacious, clean. GREAT FOOD.

Generally the albergues were cold, they have some simple heaters but I would rather recommend bringing a warm sleeping bag, if you go in winter.

Landscape:

Málaga - Antequera: Amazing mountain scenery, beautiful views.
Antequera - Encinas Reales: The sea of olives. Rather monotonous, but still amazing views so it was fine.
Encinas - Reales - Lucena: Horrible one. Really boring stage, only olives, then through an industrial zone into Lucena.
Lucena - Doña: see below
Doña - Castro: worst one, lots and lots of concrete road, boring landscape
Castro - Cordoba: pleasant walking through agricultural landscape

Weather

Really cold in the mornings (2-3°C), warm to hot in the afternoon (15°C to 30°C)

Alternative routes

There are some options to go alternative routes, which deviate from the Camino, I did one and really recommend it!!


From Cabra to Doña I decided to go through the mountains, rather than follow the Camino (which follows the valley). The route I took is called Sendero del Río Bailón (http://www.juntadeandalucia.es/medioambiente/servtc5/ventana/mostrarFicha.do?idEquipamiento=42974).
It's 12km long, but starts at the mountain top (about 5km from Cabra) at 1,100m above sea level. It ends at the village of Zuheros, 3.5km from Doña on another hiking trail. This makes a total (in theory) of 20.5km. HOWEVER, you need a permit which you can only get at the visitor center of the Nature Reserve. To get the reserve, you have to walk 8km on a really nice hiking trail through a valley, which starts where the Camino leaves the Vía Verde to the left to go into Cabra. Instead of going left, go right and just follow the trail. The trail ends at a highway, which you will have to follow for about 2.5km to the visitor center. You can then walk back to where the trail ended and take a paved road up to the mountain top where the Sendero to Zuheros starts.

Cabra - Visitor Center 10km (about 2.5km lots of traffic)
Visitor Center - starting point 7.5km (all paved road, last 5km little to no traffic)
Sendero to Zuheros 12km
Zuheros - Albergue 3.5

Total thus 33km (instead of 11km on the Camino)

The trail however is really worth it. Amazing mountain landscapes, meadows with sheep and beautiful views; then an oak forest and finally an amazing, dramatic canyon.

If you have any questions about this camino, feel free to ask :)
 
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david46

Should be old enough to know better...
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances, Portugese, St. Jaume, Del Sur, Primitivo, Vadiniense, Salvador, Mozarabe
Hey. I just got back from Cordoba. I had started walking on Feb 28. Here are some thoughts. Generally, I liked it. Sometimes boring stages, but the villages were really nice, big plus on this Camino for sure!

Albergues

They are generally great. You will have to call local police and usually they come to bring you the keys. I spoke Spanish so I had no problem, no idea whether they speak English.

Almogia: Spacious and clean; little bit outside town.
Villanueva de la Concepción: I did not stay there, the albergue was occupied by a "pilgrim" (woman with two dogs) who has lived there for the last 2 weeks, was very creepy.
Antequera: Really, really basic albergue. I would recommend staying there only if you are on a really tight budget. There are really good hostales (Hotel Manzanilla, directly at the main plaza for 25€)
Villanueva de Algaidas: Great albergue, good kitchen.
Encinas Reales: Decent albergue, rather dark and humid, really cold as it is kind of an basement.
Doña Mencia: Small albergue in the historic center. The pilgrims before me had left it in a horrible state, otherwise decent.
Castro del Río: Nice albergue, spacious.

The other stages had no albergues, so I stayed in Hotels:

Lucena: Pensión Sara (28€ single room /bath): Really simple Hostal, not the best experience, it was OK for one night.
Santa Cruz: Hostal José (28€single room/bath): Amazing value, really spacious, clean. GREAT FOOD.

Generally the albergues were cold, they have some simple heaters but I would rather recommend bringing a warm sleeping bag, if you go in winter.

Landscape:

Málaga - Antequera: Amazing mountain scenery, beautiful views.
Antequera - Encinas Reales: The sea of olives. Rather monotonous, but still amazing views so it was fine.
Encinas - Reales - Lucena: Horrible one. Really boring stage, only olives, then through an industrial zone into Lucena.
Lucena - Doña: see below
Doña - Castro: worst one, lots and lots of concrete road, boring landscape
Castro - Cordoba: pleasant walking through agricultural landscape

Weather

Really cold in the mornings (2-3°C), warm to hot in the afternoon (15°C to 30°C)

Alternative routes

There are some options to go alternative routes, which deviate from the Camino, I did one and really recommend it!!


From Cabra to Doña I decided to go through the mountains, rather than follow the Camino (which follows the valley). The route I took is called Sendero del Río Bailón (http://www.juntadeandalucia.es/medioambiente/servtc5/ventana/mostrarFicha.do?idEquipamiento=42974).
It's 12km long, but starts at the mountain top (about 5km from Cabra) at 1,100m above sea level. It ends at the village of Zuheros, 3.5km from Doña on another hiking trail. This makes a total (in theory) of 20.5km. HOWEVER, you need a permit which you can only get at the visitor center of the Nature Reserve. To get the reserve, you have to walk 8km on a really nice hiking trail through a valley, which starts where the Camino leaves the Vía Verde to the left to go into Cabra. Instead of going left, go right and just follow the trail. The trail ends at a highway, which you will have to follow for about 2.5km to the visitor center. You can then walk back to where the trail ended and take a paved road up to the mountain top where the Sendero to Zuheros starts.

Cabra - Visitor Center 10km (about 2.5km lots of traffic)
Visitor Center - starting point 7.5km (all paved road, last 5km little to no traffic)
Sendero to Zuheros 12km
Zuheros - Albergue 3.5

Total thus 33km (instead of 11km on the Camino)

The trail however is really worth it. Amazing mountain landscapes, meadows with sheep and beautiful views; then an oak forest and finally an amazing, dramatic canyon.

If you have any questions about this camino, feel free to ask :)
The woman and her dogs were there in December when I stayed at the albergue in Villanueva de la Concepción. She was OK and was living in a room separate from the main albergue.
 

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