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Sureste or Levante

2020 Camino Guides

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018)-Frances, Baztan, San Salvador, Primitivo, Fisterra,VdlP, Madrid
and why????
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Hi, @Kiwi-family,

I’m not able to compare since I have only walked the Levante, but as you undoubtedly know they do overlap. I think @Bad Pilgrim has walked both, and maybe he will chime in.

The positives of the Levante, IMO:

— it starts in the BEAUTIFUL city of Valencia, well worth a day or two to enjoy. I split the first stage to Algemesí by walking from Valencia to Silla and then taking Cercanías back to Valencia. That gave me another half day in town, which I really enjoyed. From moorish Alcázar to Calatrava-land with his many wild buildings built on a diverted riverbed. Second day, Cercanías back to Silla and on to Algemesí.

— the castles are astonishing. The one at Xátiva is one of the best I’ve ever climbed around. You spend lots of other days walking towards others, all perched up high.

— the infrastructure is surprisingly good. At least half of the stages had albergues. And the private places were typically all around 20€

— Ávila and Toledo are great stops. Walking into Toledo brings you up on the hill with the El Greco view of the city. It was jaw-dropping. And of course you merge onto the Vdlp at Zamora, and who can complain about another day in Zamora.

— you can visit “Dulcinea’s house” and see the Quijote windmills.

— the plazas mayores are some of Spain’s finest. Arévalo, Tembleque, Chinchilla and a couple other places will knock your socks off.

— the countryside in springtime is dizzyingly bright green with big red splotches of poppies. Many endless fields with undulating waves of grain.

— the mountain days between Toledo and Ávila are some of the best.

And the downsides? — The main downside is that I think the first four days are 99% asphalt. That was VERY hard on my feet. Though now that I am a converted trail runners person, I bet I would breeze through that part of it. The other downside is that the city of Albacete is pretty dreary. I am really stretching here to think of downsides. :) It is a very solitary walk, which i think you enjoy. I lucked out by meeting two French peregrinos on day 3, and we walked into Santiago together weeks later. We weren’t glued together, just agreed where to stop at the end of the day and then off we went at our own speeds. It was perfect. Maybe you would be lucky like that too.

So, as I think you can tell, IMO this is an absolutely wonderful walk. Forum member @JLWV is our link to the amigos association, and I would definitely be in touch with him if you plan to do the Levante.

Buen camino, Laurie
 

MikeJS

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francis (2011), Norte (12), VdlP (16). Sureste/Invierno (17). Olvidado/San Salvador/Primitivo (19)
I have only walked the Sureste and as Laurie said they do overlap a lot. In fact at many points it is easy to swop back and forth between the 2. From my notes there was not a lot of road walking for the first few days of the Sureste except for day 1 getting out of Alicante. However, as I don’t overly mind walking on asphalt (except for the traffic) I sometimes simply do not record it. Of course the Surest ends further north of the VdlP and is a great opportunity to skip along the short section of the Frances and then onto the Invierno!
 

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018)-Frances, Baztan, San Salvador, Primitivo, Fisterra,VdlP, Madrid
Laurie (@peregrina2000 ) you have me convinced that the Levante is an excellent choice! @MikeJS you have given me another idea. I was thinking if I did the Levante I would join with the Sanabres which I have done once and loved BUT I much prefer doing something new and your post helped me realise that instead of heading left at Granja, I could continue on north to Benavente and ultimately Astorga...and what's not to love about a day in Astorga! Then a quiet night at Rabanal simply because I love it there and maybe the possibility to visit the castle at Ponferrada the next day (it was closed when I passed on my very first camino). Then dip down onto the Invierno which meets back with the Via de la Plata/Sanabres final few stages into Santiago, which happens to be my favourite approach of them all.
Thanks to both of you!
Mike, do you have any standout memories from the Sureste - things like Laurie has mentioned about the Levante. Because they are so close I would happily walk out of my way to see a special something. I can see I am going to have to plot both routes on googlemaps so I can see more clearly the overlap!
 

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018)-Frances, Baztan, San Salvador, Primitivo, Fisterra,VdlP, Madrid

MikeJS

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francis (2011), Norte (12), VdlP (16). Sureste/Invierno (17). Olvidado/San Salvador/Primitivo (19)
Laurie (@peregrina2000 ) you have me convinced that the Levante is an excellent choice! @MikeJS you have given me another idea. I was thinking if I did the Levante I would join with the Sanabres which I have done once and loved BUT I much prefer doing something new and your post helped me realise that instead of heading left at Granja, I could continue on north to Benavente and ultimately Astorga...and what's not to love about a day in Astorga! Then a quiet night at Rabanal simply because I love it there and maybe the possibility to visit the castle at Ponferrada the next day (it was closed when I passed on my very first camino). Then dip down onto the Invierno which meets back with the Via de la Plata/Sanabres final few stages into Santiago, which happens to be my favourite approach of them all.
Thanks to both of you!
Mike, do you have any standout memories from the Sureste - things like Laurie has mentioned about the Levante. Because they are so close I would happily walk out of my way to see a special something. I can see I am going to have to plot both routes on googlemaps so I can see more clearly the overlap!
I thin all the stand out places are the same ones as Laurie mentioned on the Levante. I think you will love the Invierno.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I just knew that was going to happen....here's a map with Sureste, Levante, Lana, Sanabres, Invierno and relevant bits of Frances and Via de la Plata as well. Shows the overlap quite well - you can zoom in and out.

Rachel, when I click on that link, it just brings up the google maps app and not your map. Since @HeidiL “liked” the post, I think I must be doing something wrong. Any ideas?
 

LesBrass

Likes Walking
Camino(s) past & future
yes...
I just knew that was going to happen....here's a map with Sureste, Levante, Lana, Sanabres, Invierno and relevant bits of Frances and Via de la Plata as well. Shows the overlap quite well - you can zoom in and out.

Wow... I LOVE this! thank you! I have wanted to walk the Levante since I finished the VdlP in 2016 but I think it should be walked in Spring... so it's on my spring wish list... 2021 I reckon... not too long to wait! And this map shows perfectly where to jump around to make the best of the walk. Thank you! ❤
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
Laurie (@peregrina2000 ) you have me convinced that the Levante is an excellent choice! @MikeJS you have given me another idea. I was thinking if I did the Levante I would join with the Sanabres which I have done once and loved BUT I much prefer doing something new and your post helped me realise that instead of heading left at Granja, I could continue on north to Benavente and ultimately Astorga...and what's not to love about a day in Astorga! Then a quiet night at Rabanal simply because I love it there and maybe the possibility to visit the castle at Ponferrada the next day (it was closed when I passed on my very first camino). Then dip down onto the Invierno which meets back with the Via de la Plata/Sanabres final few stages into Santiago, which happens to be my favourite approach of them all.
Thanks to both of you!
Mike, do you have any standout memories from the Sureste - things like Laurie has mentioned about the Levante. Because they are so close I would happily walk out of my way to see a special something. I can see I am going to have to plot both routes on googlemaps so I can see more clearly the overlap!
If you will end on Levante for any reason you don't have to walk Sanabres again at least not for the larger part of it. In Zamora you can turn left (west) and walk VdlP Portugues through Braganca and back to Spain through Verin where you can decide to join Sanabres at either Laza or Ourense.

Happy planning!
 

Davie Blisters

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
.
Just when I thought it was safe to return to this site someone had to post this!

Having returned from my 2019 Camino Mixta (Madrid, Frances, Salvador, Primitivo) which I like to call 'Camino Madfrasaltivo' I quickly planned my next Camino on VDLP so that I could then lead a normal life until Spring 2020.

Thanks guys I am now planning my 2021 Camino Mixta - which I like to call 'Camino Levsurfravierno' :D
 

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018)-Frances, Baztan, San Salvador, Primitivo, Fisterra,VdlP, Madrid
@Davie Blisters you knew all along that it would not be safe - it’s a risk you were eager to take! For the record, my most recent Camino was your Camino Madfrasaltivo. Great combination.
@KinkyOne thanks for the suggestion. I walked the beginning of that route (stayed in Valdeperdices then went and visited that delightful wee church a bit further on before hoofing it back to Montamarta) My main reason not to take up your suggestion is I want to speak as much Spanish as possible! Zamora to Astorga and then the Invierno have captured my imagination.
 

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018)-Frances, Baztan, San Salvador, Primitivo, Fisterra,VdlP, Madrid
Rachel, when I click on that link, it just brings up the google maps app and not your map. Since @HeidiL “liked” the post, I think I must be doing something wrong. Any ideas?
No idea! It seems @LasBrass has managed to view it. When I get to my computer I’ll PM the link to you and see if that works.
 

OzAnnie

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
'Portuguese,Frances,Norte,Salvador/primitivo,Le puy, Inglés, CDM, Invierno, Fin/Mux, VDLP spring19
I am having same problem as Laurie trying to view your link Rachel.
When I click on it ; it opens up google maps and find me (currently visiting family in USA). Just shows local streets here ., not a map of spain.

It’s not urgent though - just wondered why
Enjoy your planning. It’s sounding great.
Annie
 

MikeJS

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francis (2011), Norte (12), VdlP (16). Sureste/Invierno (17). Olvidado/San Salvador/Primitivo (19)
I am having same problem as Laurie trying to view your link Rachel.
When I click on it ; it opens up google maps and find me (currently visiting family in USA). Just shows local streets here ., not a map of spain.

It’s not urgent though - just wondered why
Enjoy your planning. It’s sounding great.
Annie
It opens as expected for me in UK….
 

mla1

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF (2000); Ch St. Giles (2013); Le Puy to SJPP (May/June 2015); vdlp 2016
I also got to see this cool map. Thanks! For those who can't see it -- maybe cut and paste the link into a different browser? I have no idea if that would work but it's what I would try first.
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Far too many...
and why????
Basically there isn't so much of a difference. As people point out, you can switch between them as you go along. It is the part before Almansa that is different, as you have already seen on the maps. I prefer to start from Alicante, as I have grown fond of the places along the way, for exampel the Ermita of San Pascual, the castle in Sax... And I think there is a little bit less of asphalt compared to the start from Valencia.

I would certainly move between them to try to find the better accomodation. For example, I would not stay in the deplorabe Villanueva de Bogas but choose to go to the larger town of Mora (just outside Toledo).

/BP
 

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