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Need advice - female solo ok on Mozarabe in May?

Nickyf

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (May 2018)
Camino Mozarabe? (May 2019)
Hi all

I'd really appreciate your help with this!

I would love to do part of Mozarabe 15-20 May (did part of Frances last May) - I have a soft spot for Andalusia..!

BUT I have a couple of major questions/concerns:

1. SAFETY - Would Mozarabe be safe for a woman walking on her own? I know there are far less walkers on Mozarabe compared to Frances. While I really enjoy the 'solo' state. I'd like to feel physically and mentally safe and sound, and 'not have to worry'.

2. SIGNPOSTING - is there good enough signposting in place? Camino Frances is super, with no need for map reading, way finding, etc. I understand there will be much less signposting, but how little? And is it reliable? Does it mean I'll need to read a map or have my map open on my phone regularly? And I do get a bit nervous about 'getting lost'!

3. LANGUAGE - I speak very little Spanish (unfortunately!). Again, this was not an issue on Camino Frances, will it be on Mozarabe?

4. ACCOMODATION, do i understand right that there are no/not many albergue choices on route?

4. IF I go for Mozarabe, with 5-6 days, which part of the path comes highly recommended?


Of course I could do another part of Frances this year, but I do gravitate towards Andalusia.

Thank you so much. Any advice would be really helpful!
Nicky
 
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Bradypus

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
Too many and too often!
I walked the Mozarabe from Malaga to Merida in February. As a man I am probably not well placed to answer your question about safety. But for several days I met up with a Swiss woman walking solo who never expressed any particular fears about doing so.

Signposting is pretty good most of the way though there were a couple of places where I missed a turn and found having offline maps using Maps.me and a gps track of the route very helpful. Also useful when passing through larger towns like Cordoba where it can be difficult to find the arrows. If you know where the route enters and leaves a town then the parts in between are generally straightforward.

Language - far less English spoken along the Mozarabe than you find on the Frances. You will need a basic minimum of Spanish for things like contacting hospitaleros by phone. Albergues are not routinely staffed and keys are often kept by the local police or a bar.

Accommodation - in almost all the towns and villages along the way there will only be one albergue. Not the choice that you find on the Frances. Some are tiny - only three or four beds. Most towns have a hostal or two with private rooms as an alternative. Stages may be a lot longer than you would find on the Frances without food or water available during the day. For some stages it is essential that you have stocked up on both before setting off. Like the Via de la Plata it is a route which demands more forward planning than the Frances where you can basically make your plans on the hoof.

Not clear from your post which branch of the Mozarabe you intend to walk. On the Malaga branch for a 5 or 6 day walk I would suggest starting in Malaga itself and walking to Villanueva de Algaidas or beyond depending on your own fitness and preferred daily distances. Hilly but beautiful and the Neolithic burial chambers in Antequera are extraordinary.
 
Last edited:
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances Portuguese Finisterre Muxia Ingles Mozarabe VldP Sanabres Serrana Salvador Norte Espiritual
If you start at Almeria the Camino Association there is fantastic ,and is 9 stages to Granada and they have donativo Albergues all the way now,,, the signs are all there and they publish their
own PDF guide too,, was a fantastic way and is getting busier and I think absolutely no problem going alone
 
Year of past OR future Camino
“It’s your road, and yours alone. Others may walk it with you, but no one can walk it for you.” Rumi
Hi Nickyf
Bradypus answers your questions so I will add that if you meet up with The Camino Association before leaving Almeria, they will give you plenty of information regarding the Camino from Almeria to Granada. I had a phonenumber to one of the people from the Association and I could call her any time, I had the need for it. It only happened once when I needed a keycode for the Albergue in Abla, which is a beautiful albergue on top of a hill.
I just came back yesterday from walking it and it is a beautiful Camino, it is a challenge but with stunning sights. I felt very safe and met friendly local people and I would do it again any time.
Buen Camino to you
 

p_mci

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés, Inglés, Portugués (2014) Norte, Primitivo (2015) Vía de la Plata (2017) Mozárabe (2018)
Hi,
This is a very special Camino. I walked alone (well, I met 2 others walking as well) from Almeria to Merida last year in April with no problems. Maybe skip the first couple of days out of Almeria and focus on the stages before Granada (Guadix, La Peza, Quentar). That way, you'll have the Sierra Nevada and almond blossoms as the backdrop and avoid the stony riverbed. If you want to visit the Alhambra in Granada, reserve the ticket in advance. As already mentioned, the Association for this portion of the Mozarabe is excellent, can provide the guide in pdf and help you along the way (in English too). Download the free app 'maps.me' too, just in case you get off track
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
Frances Portuguese Finisterre Muxia Ingles Mozarabe VldP Sanabres Serrana Salvador Norte Espiritual
Hi,
This is a very special Camino. I walked alone (well, I met 2 others walking as well) from Almeria to Merida last year in April with no problems. Maybe skip the first couple of days out of Almeria and focus on the stages before Granada (Guadix, La Peza, Quentar). That way, you'll have the Sierra Nevada and almond blossoms as the backdrop and avoid the stony riverbed. If you want to visit the Alhambra in Granada, reserve the ticket in advance. As already mentioned, the Association for this portion of the Mozarabe is excellent, can provide the guide in pdf and help you along the way (in English too). Download the free app 'maps.me' too, just in case you get off track
Try the app Windy Maps,,,, offline once you download the area of the world you are walking in,,, and has the actual Camino route on it ,
 

Raggy

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2017, 2018, 2019
1. SAFETY - Would Mozarabe be safe for a woman walking on her own? I know there are far less walkers on Mozarabe compared to Frances. While I really enjoy the 'solo' state. I'd like to feel physically and mentally safe and sound, and 'not have to worry'.
Other solo female walkers have done this Camino and I expect that they will comment here.

I will point out that there is one known annoyance / nuisance for female pilgrims. In Cordoba province, during the long stage from Villaharta to Alcaracejos, there is an elderly farmer at km 18 who has pestered female pilgrims in the past. The Guardia Civil has been informed.
I would advise precautions on this stage - Do not stop to talk to him. Walk with someone else if possible. Keep in touch with Angel (owner of the accommodation in Villaharta), if you do this stage alone. And report any incident to Guardia Civil.

Speaking as a man who walked solo, I felt very reassured by the association in Almeria who met me at the start of my walk (and I also met members of the assoc. in Alquife and Guadix) and checked in with me every day. They take very good care of pilgrims on their patch. After Granada, you aren't in the care of such a helpful association but you can still call the guys in Almeria if you meet any trouble.

2. SIGNPOSTING - is there good enough signposting in place? Camino Frances is super, with no need for map reading, way finding, etc. I understand there will be much less signposting, but how little? And is it reliable? Does it mean I'll need to read a map or have my map open on my phone regularly? And I do get a bit nervous about 'getting lost'!
With few exceptions, the signposting is good to very good. (Exceptions include the way out of Granada, which still confuses pilgrims and is an unattractive stage - nothing worse than being in ugly suburbs and not sure if you're on the right path).

3. LANGUAGE - I speak very little Spanish (unfortunately!). Again, this was not an issue on Camino Frances, will it be on Mozarabe?
Heh. I think that the people in Andalusia and Extremadura are among the friendliest people that I have ever met and they are very tolerant of my poor Spanish. Most of the things that pilgrims need to ask are quite repetitive so it hardly matters that English speakers are few and far between.

4. ACCOMODATION, do i understand right that there are no/not many albergue choices on route?
The April guide to accommodations between Almeria and Merida can be downloaded from the Almeria association facebook page (Click the "Posts" menu):
As you can see, there is a mix of albergues (donativo municipal and private - €6 to €20) and cheap hotels (less than €25). Sometimes you might have to do a shorter stage or a longer stage than you prefer because there aren't so many options.

4. IF I go for Mozarabe, with 5-6 days, which part of the path comes highly recommended?
That is quite a short time. The following sections might give you the prettiest walking. Transport to the start and from the end point would require some time too.
1. Hueneja to Granada
2. Moclin to Cordoba.
3. Villaharta to Medellin (with the safety warning above), then bus to Merida.
 

caminotony

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Santiago-Finisteree 2016; St Jean-Pamplona 2017
Hi all

I'd really appreciate your help with this!

I would love to do part of Mozarabe 15-20 May (did part of Frances last May) - I have a soft spot for Andalusia..!

BUT I have a couple of major questions/concerns:

1. SAFETY - Would Mozarabe be safe for a woman walking on her own? I know there are far less walkers on Mozarabe compared to Frances. While I really enjoy the 'solo' state. I'd like to feel physically and mentally safe and sound, and 'not have to worry'.

2. SIGNPOSTING - is there good enough signposting in place? Camino Frances is super, with no need for map reading, way finding, etc. I understand there will be much less signposting, but how little? And is it reliable? Does it mean I'll need to read a map or have my map open on my phone regularly? And I do get a bit nervous about 'getting lost'!

3. LANGUAGE - I speak very little Spanish (unfortunately!). Again, this was not an issue on Camino Frances, will it be on Mozarabe?

4. ACCOMODATION, do i understand right that there are no/not many albergue choices on route?

4. IF I go for Mozarabe, with 5-6 days, which part of the path comes highly recommended?


Of course I could do another part of Frances this year, but I do gravitate towards Andalusia.

Thank you so much. Any advice would be really helpful!
Nicky
I’m on my way home today after 7 days on the Mozarabe, Granada-Cordoba and can only recommend it very highly.
I met two walkers in seven days, a handful of cyclists and quite a few jolly olive farmers buy you’re on your own almost entirely.
Stayed in the key villages for between €20/35 a night, usually booked in advance.
My Spanish is limited but I got by and people were touched I was even trying, showering me with (undeserved) compliments.
Signposting pretty good apart from leaving Granada - I’d take a cab to the suburbs and start from there as the walk out isn’t that interesting anyway.
 

Raggy

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2017, 2018, 2019
My Spanish is limited but I got by and people were touched I was even trying, showering me with (undeserved) compliments.
This.
Signposting pretty good apart from leaving Granada - I’d take a cab to the suburbs and start from there as the walk out isn’t that interesting anyway.
There are also public transportation options out of Granada:

1) Mon to Sat - 0323 Bus from Avda. de Andalucia to Pinos Puente or further
If you choose to skip the way out from Granada, you can catch a bus 0323 from Granada
If you take the bus to Pinos Puente, you will skip all of the industrial zones and ugly outskirts of Granada.
If you continue to Olivares, you will also skip all of the above and some dull road walking after Pinos Puente
If you continue to Moclin, you will skip all of the above and a beautiful but steep climb.

2) Mon to Sun - Tram ("Tranvía Metropolitano") from Estación Ferrocarril to Albolote
The tram gets you past the industrial zones. The last stop is at Albolote (about half way to Pinos Puente). From there you can walk to Atarfe to pick up the Camino again. After Atarfe, follow the Camino through Sierra Elvira to Pinos Puente (10km walk). It's not a great walk, but the tram gets you through a lot of it.
 

Nickyf

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (May 2018)
Camino Mozarabe? (May 2019)
Thank you so much everyone! I was about to dismiss plans for Mozarabe altogether, but the great advice and support from you has made such a difference. I now have good information and advice and will try and plan my Andalusia walk properly. Thanks @Raggy @caminotony @Martyduc @p_mci @Ekelund @Bradypus . Your kindness has made a difference! :)
 
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Original artwork based on your pilgrimage or other travel photos.

NTange

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
El Camino de Santiago
Hi all

I'd really appreciate your help with this!

I would love to do part of Mozarabe 15-20 May (did part of Frances last May) - I have a soft spot for Andalusia..!

BUT I have a couple of major questions/concerns:

1. SAFETY - Would Mozarabe be safe for a woman walking on her own? I know there are far less walkers on Mozarabe compared to Frances. While I really enjoy the 'solo' state. I'd like to feel physically and mentally safe and sound, and 'not have to worry'.

2. SIGNPOSTING - is there good enough signposting in place? Camino Frances is super, with no need for map reading, way finding, etc. I understand there will be much less signposting, but how little? And is it reliable? Does it mean I'll need to read a map or have my map open on my phone regularly? And I do get a bit nervous about 'getting lost'!

3. LANGUAGE - I speak very little Spanish (unfortunately!). Again, this was not an issue on Camino Frances, will it be on Mozarabe?

4. ACCOMODATION, do i understand right that there are no/not many albergue choices on route?

4. IF I go for Mozarabe, with 5-6 days, which part of the path comes highly recommended?


Of course I could do another part of Frances this year, but I do gravitate towards Andalusia.

Thank you so much. Any advice would be really helpful!
Nicky
Hi all

I'd really appreciate your help with this!

I would love to do part of Mozarabe 15-20 May (did part of Frances last May) - I have a soft spot for Andalusia..!

BUT I have a couple of major questions/concerns:

1. SAFETY - Would Mozarabe be safe for a woman walking on her own? I know there are far less walkers on Mozarabe compared to Frances. While I really enjoy the 'solo' state. I'd like to feel physically and mentally safe and sound, and 'not have to worry'.

2. SIGNPOSTING - is there good enough signposting in place? Camino Frances is super, with no need for map reading, way finding, etc. I understand there will be much less signposting, but how little? And is it reliable? Does it mean I'll need to read a map or have my map open on my phone regularly? And I do get a bit nervous about 'getting lost'!

3. LANGUAGE - I speak very little Spanish (unfortunately!). Again, this was not an issue on Camino Frances, will it be on Mozarabe?

4. ACCOMODATION, do i understand right that there are no/not many albergue choices on route?

4. IF I go for Mozarabe, with 5-6 days, which part of the path comes highly recommended?


Of course I could do another part of Frances this year, but I do gravitate towards Andalusia.

Thank you so much. Any advice would be really helpful!
Nicky
Hi Nicky.
I too am considering the Camino Mozarabe. Would love to know how things turn out for you.
 

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