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Search 69,459 Camino Questions

The isolation of the Camino de Levante

murraydv

Via de la Plata / Portuguese / Ingles / Levante
Time of past OR future Camino
Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Ingles, Levante
I have just returned from another 350klm section of the Camino de Levante from Valencia and I am close to Avila. I will go back again in October and get through Zamora. I have a few observations about the Levante.
The first is the almost complete isolation. I am walking it alone and I am very conscious of safety. I have not met another pilgrim on this route yet, despite the long distance that I have travelled. A few times, where the path looks very steep / dangerous and there is a risk of a fall or injury, I have stuck to the road. Simply because of the complete isolation. If you are doing this Camino, I would suggest that you have a companion.
The second observation that I would make is that the markings and, indeed parts of the route itself are not well maintained. Leaving Mota del Cuervo, there is an official GR239 Camino signpost, indicating that it is 4.6 klm to El Toboso. In fact, it is almost 12 klm from Mota del Cuervo to El Toboso.
There are also instances of new road construction in recent years where the Camino path is interrupted and alternative routes are either not available or not signposted. One would expect that the local authorities would maintain the path by putting up new markings for Pilgrims to find their way around these construction projects.
Another example is where local farmers have put up a fence across the Camino path specifically to prevent pilgrims from walking through their land. The best example of this is a few kilometers beyond Rielves with Barcience in your sights and the Camino path to Barcience is very clear at the other side of the fence. I was very tempted to climb over the fence until I remembered the one thing that I always come across inside a fence on the Levante! Dogs! So, I decided not to take the chance and I walked back to Rielves and walked the road to Barcience.
There were also quite a few occasions whereI came across forks on the path where you have to make a chouce on which route to take. I was very fortunate to have MapMe on my phone with the KML files for all the Caminos. This kept me on the right path on quite a few occasions. I do have to mention an elderly gentleman who I met in Avila. He was out with his yellow paint and paint brush, marking the way for all of us pilgrims.
I don't mean to put people off the Levante. It is a wonderful Camino and I am looking forward to getting back to it in October. But it is a very isolated Camino and it could do with a refresh in terms of markings and rerouting of some sections. The towns and villages along this route are wonderful.

Buen Camino.
Dave
 
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One would expect that the local authorities would maintain the path by putting up new markings for Pilgrims to find their way around these construction projects.
We had a similar experience on the Lana last year (also a wonderful but very solitary camino) in some sections more arrows than the battle of Agincourt, in other sections we were navigating purely by Wikiloc. In most cases the markings are put there by volunteers, like the elderly gentleman you saw near Avila. . If the local association is active, the markings are superb, but otherwise markings fade and eventually disappear. It's a reminder of how much we pilgrims depend on the good will and commitment of local people - unseen and often unthanked. But thank you for your post. Many of us will be eying up the Levante for the future. Buen camino.
 
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I have just returned from another 350klm section of the Camino de Levante from Valencia and I am close to Avila. I will go back again in October and get through Zamora. I have a few observations about the Levante.
The first is the almost complete isolation. I am walking it alone and I am very conscious of safety. I have not met another pilgrim on this route yet, despite the long distance that I have travelled. A few times, where the path looks very steep / dangerous and there is a risk of a fall or injury, I have stuck to the road. Simply because of the complete isolation. If you are doing this Camino, I would suggest that you have a companion.
The second observation that I would make is that the markings and, indeed parts of the route itself are not well maintained. Leaving Mota del Cuervo, there is an official GR239 Camino signpost, indicating that it is 4.6 klm to El Toboso. In fact, it is almost 12 klm from Mota del Cuervo to El Toboso.
There are also instances of new road construction in recent years where the Camino path is interrupted and alternative routes are either not available or not signposted. One would expect that the local authorities would maintain the path by putting up new markings for Pilgrims to find their way around these construction projects.
Another example is where local farmers have put up a fence across the Camino path specifically to prevent pilgrims from walking through their land. The best example of this is a few kilometers beyond Rielves with Barcience in your sights and the Camino path to Barcience is very clear at the other side of the fence. I was very tempted to climb over the fence until I remembered the one thing that I always come across inside a fence on the Levante! Dogs! So, I decided not to take the chance and I walked back to Rielves and walked the road to Barcience.
There were also quite a few occasions whereI came across forks on the path where you have to make a chouce on which route to take. I was very fortunate to have MapMe on my phone with the KML files for all the Caminos. This kept me on the right path on quite a few occasions. I do have to mention an elderly gentleman who I met in Avila. He was out with his yellow paint and paint brush, marking the way for all of us pilgrims.
I don't mean to put people off the Levante. It is a wonderful Camino and I am looking forward to getting back to it in October. But it is a very isolated Camino and it could do with a refresh in terms of markings and rerouting of some sections. The towns and villages along this route are wonderful.

Buen Camino.
Dave
Thanks for this helpful information mate 🤝
 
We had a similar experience on the Lana last year (also a wonderful but very solitary camino)
I saw a news article just a few minutes ago saying that the albergue is Villena is closing down as the Trinitarian sisters will no longer be running one. It also says that the local authorities hope to find an alternative.
 
I saw a news article just a few minutes ago saying that the albergue is Villena is closing down as the Trinitarian sisters will no longer be running one. It also says that the local authorities hope to find an alternative.
I hope so too. They were really welcoming and not only did our laundry for us when we asked about washing clothes, they dried, ironed and neatly folded it for us.
 
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Dave, Thank you for your post. I’ll be walking the Levante with my sister in mid October from Valencia to Zamora. I knew it was going to be a quiet Camino, but sounds like it’s even more so than I expected. I’ll also need to figure out how to use MapMe or Wikiloc. I’ve never used either. I was glad to hear that despite everything you thought it was a wonderful Camino. I’m looking forward to walking it.
 
Interesting what you say about safety unless things have really changed since I walked (Valencia-Toledo June/July 2014, Toledo -Zamora April 2015). I never experienced unsafe conditions. The first half I did walk with a companion (we saw one other pilgrim) but the second half from Toledo I walked alone and only saw 2 pilgrims one night.

Maybe due to construction things have changed?

The Lana was also quiet. From Alicante to Cuenca I was in an albergue one night with someone but I never saw anyone while walking.
 
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Dave, Thank you for your post. I’ll be walking the Levante with my sister in mid October from Valencia to Zamora. I knew it was going to be a quiet Camino, but sounds like it’s even more so than I expected. I’ll also need to figure out how to use MapMe or Wikiloc. I’ve never used either. I was glad to hear that despite everything you thought it was a wonderful Camino. I’m looking forward to walking it.
Hi CindyJo.
I walked the Levante from Valencia to Zamora in 2019 and again in 2022 from Valencia to Zamora and continued on the Sanabres to SDC. I did not use MapMe or Wikiloc but used the information provided by
" Associación de Amigos del Camino de Santiago de la Comunidad Valencia". When you enter their website, click on the heading "Levante Way'. This will open up all 42 stages from Valencia to Santiago de Compostela. I saved the first stage to my phone, then the next day, I clicked on the arrow to take me to the next stage. This way I did not have to keep returning to the Amigos site.

The stages describe, elevation, distances, accommodation with contact numbers and shops etc.

For the latest info on the albergues, click on "news". This page will give you information on albergue closures or reopening's. The association is located on the way out of Valencia. See the website for opening hours. They will greet you with a warm welcome, provide up to date info and give you your first stamp along with their own " Levante" passport.

This really is a solitary camino. I did not see any pilgrims in 2019 and only met another in Alpera in 2022. He was walking the Sureste and we parted ways the following day.

Wishing you and your sister a Buen Camino.

Ross
 
3rd Edition. More content, training & pack guides avoid common mistakes, bed bugs etc
G
Hi CindyJo.
I walked the Levante from Valencia to Zamora in 2019 and again in 2022 from Valencia to Zamora and continued on the Sanabres to SDC. I did not use MapMe or Wikiloc but used the information provided by
" Associación de Amigos del Camino de Santiago de la Comunidad Valencia". When you enter their website, click on the heading "Levante Way'. This will open up all 42 stages from Valencia to Santiago de Compostela. I saved the first stage to my phone, then the next day, I clicked on the arrow to take me to the next stage. This way I did not have to keep returning to the Amigos site.

The stages describe, elevation, distances, accommodation with contact numbers and shops etc.

For the latest info on the albergues, click on "news". This page will give you information on albergue closures or reopening's. The association is located on the way out of Valencia. See the website for opening hours. They will greet you with a warm welcome, provide up to date info and give you your first stamp along with their own " Levante" passport.

This really is a solitary camino. I did not see any pilgrims in 2019 and only met another in Alpera in 2022. He was walking the Sureste and we parted ways the following day.

Wishing you and your sister a Buen Camino.

Ross
Ross
I am so familiar with that website. I use it all the time. But the highlights that I have flagged in my earlier post have not been captured by the Associación de Amigos del Camino de Santiago de la Comunidad Valencia. I have huge respect for the association, but developments take place and it is difficult for them to keep up. For Albergues etc, they are fine. But for direction, things have changed. We need, as a Camino community, to encourage authorities to update routes and maintain markers along the way. Otherwise, remote Camino’s like the Levante will die away to the more Camino’s.
 
I have just returned from another 350klm section of the Camino de Levante from Valencia and I am close to Avila. I will go back again in October and get through Zamora. I have a few observations about the Levante.
The first is the almost complete isolation. I am walking it alone and I am very conscious of safety. I have not met another pilgrim on this route yet, despite the long distance that I have travelled. A few times, where the path looks very steep / dangerous and there is a risk of a fall or injury, I have stuck to the road. Simply because of the complete isolation. If you are doing this Camino, I would suggest that you have a companion.
The second observation that I would make is that the markings and, indeed parts of the route itself are not well maintained. Leaving Mota del Cuervo, there is an official GR239 Camino signpost, indicating that it is 4.6 klm to El Toboso. In fact, it is almost 12 klm from Mota del Cuervo to El Toboso.
There are also instances of new road construction in recent years where the Camino path is interrupted and alternative routes are either not available or not signposted. One would expect that the local authorities would maintain the path by putting up new markings for Pilgrims to find their way around these construction projects.
Another example is where local farmers have put up a fence across the Camino path specifically to prevent pilgrims from walking through their land. The best example of this is a few kilometers beyond Rielves with Barcience in your sights and the Camino path to Barcience is very clear at the other side of the fence. I was very tempted to climb over the fence until I remembered the one thing that I always come across inside a fence on the Levante! Dogs! So, I decided not to take the chance and I walked back to Rielves and walked the road to Barcience.
There were also quite a few occasions whereI came across forks on the path where you have to make a chouce on which route to take. I was very fortunate to have MapMe on my phone with the KML files for all the Caminos. This kept me on the right path on quite a few occasions. I do have to mention an elderly gentleman who I met in Avila. He was out with his yellow paint and paint brush, marking the way for all of us pilgrims.
I don't mean to put people off the Levante. It is a wonderful Camino and I am looking forward to getting back to it in October. But it is a very isolated Camino and it could do with a refresh in terms of markings and rerouting of some sections. The towns and villages along this route are wonderful.

Buen Camino.
Dave
When my husband and I walked the Levante in 2015, one of the pilgrim association presidents told us often the farmers move the stones, even the ones with yellow arrows on them, in order to utilize maximum space in their fields. I guess if few enough pilgrims are passing through, nobody is complaining about signage (?) This same association president didn’t say it but we got the impression he had been out ahead of us, painting yellow arrows so we wouldn’t get lost. I do not recall seeing even one other pilgrim on the entire route! We walked starting in late February of that year so maybe it was too early in the season for others to be there. The weather was pretty cold at times and I recall it snowed on us in Avila. It’s a lovely solitary Camino if you enjoy that sort of thing. We did.
 
I walked Valencia to SdC in 2016. I found the route a little boring to Toledo, but after that enjoyed it very much.

I don't recall any dangerous sections, but do recall that the waymarking was sometimes inadequate. Having said that, I never got lost.

I did meet a few, a very few other pilgrims who all agreed with my view of the route as far as Toledo, except for one lady who thoroughly enjoyed all of it.

Do have a traditional paella whilst in Valencia. The one with rabbit and roman beans, not the more common seafood one. There is also a resto in Zamora which does the best menu I have ever had. It is on the same road as the tourist info, a little further out of town on the opposite side of the road and in a park.

If you are int Romanesque churches, Zamora is a treat.
 
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I walked Valencia to SdC in 2016. I found the route a little boring to Toledo, but after that enjoyed it very much.

I don't recall any dangerous sections, but do recall that the waymarking was sometimes inadequate. Having said that, I never got lost.

I did meet a few, a very few other pilgrims who all agreed with my view of the route as far as Toledo, except for one lady who thoroughly enjoyed all of it.

Do have a traditional paella whilst in Valencia. The one with rabbit and roman beans, not the more common seafood one. There is also a resto in Zamora which does the best menu I have ever had. It is on the same road as the tourist info, a little further out of town on the opposite side of the road and in a park.

If you are int Romanesque churches, Zamora is a treat.
Great advice to try the rabbit paella in Valencia. It's delicious. I Iove rabbit myself and used to breed them just for lunch and dinner. There's nothing quite like a tasty rabbit, particularly on Sundays.
 
The first is the almost complete isolation. I am walking it alone and I am very conscious of safety. I have not met another pilgrim on this route yet, despite the long distance that I have travelled.
Hi Dave, this is a very interesting point for me.

The first time I walked this way (my way from home, 2014-2016), I only met 6 pilgrims between Valencia and Zamora, but the second time, just before the pandemy, and unfinished, we were 6 pilgrims in Almansa, 3 in Alpera, and 4 in Hoya Gonzalo, but less later.

At the Association in Valencia we expanded last year 285 ‘credenciales’ for the Camino de Levante, but crossing data with the lists of the albergue in Algemesi (end of first usual stage) and of a bar at the entry of Vallada (on third stage), we observe that at least 73 % of the pilgrims on this way did not visit our Association. So we can estimate that approximately some 285/0,37 = 770 pilgrims were on the Levante in 2022.

It would be interesting to consolidate our statistics that members on the way inform us (a private mail to me for example, or a mail to the Association) of their presence (starting date, starting city, country of origen, sex and age, if alone or in group, and mode of pilgrimage: foot, bike…). This kind of statistics are useful for the negotiation with cities to have albergues.

Thanks for your information, and Buen Camino
Jean-Luc
 
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Leaving Mota del Cuervo, there is an official GR239 Camino signpost, indicating that it is 4.6 klm to El Toboso. In fact, it is almost 12 klm from Mota del Cuervo to El Toboso.
Yes, 12 km, I transmit the information to the person in charge.

Another example is where local farmers have put up a fence across the Camino path specifically to prevent pilgrims from walking through their land. The best example of this is a few kilometers beyond Rielves with Barcience in your sights and the Camino path to Barcience is very clear at the other side of the fence.
You are right.
The local authorities informed us of that circunstancie last year, telling they had marked the alternative way. The corrected track has been loaded on our web, but is not yet in the APP of the IGN (Mapas de España).
A few members of us were there some days ago. I interrogated them yesterday. They did not get lost as they had the track, but confirm that the marks are unclear on this part. …an other task for us!
Jean-Luc

Post data: on picture, former track in green, new one with red dots.
 

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Our Atmospheric H30 poncho offers lightness and waterproofness. Easily compressible and made with our Waterproof fabric, its heat-sealed interior seams guarantee its waterproofness. Includes carrying bag.

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