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Valencia - Toledo accommodation and restaurants April 2015

Camino(s) past & future
Francés, Plata, Levante, Norte (part) and Primitivo, 2016 Catalan 2017 Lana (part) Madrid
#1
In the second half of April 2018 I walked from Valencia to Toledo. I had walked this route already in 2009. Here are some notes which I hope may help those who will be setting out on this Camino in the future. They mostly concern accommodation and restaurants but there are also some other recommendations concerning the path to follow and traps to avoid.

During my walk I regularly met other pilgrims who had missed a turn, got lost and walked more kilomètres than necessary. I therefore recommend strongly downloading the GPS tracks of the Camino and using the free Viewranger app (for both iOS and Android) which includes a function which will alert you if you stray more than a given number of metres from your GPS track.

Valencia airport hotel

If you arrive late at the airport and do not want to go to an hôtel in the city centre, you may be interested to know that there is a good, comfortable and reasonably priced Ibis hôtel about 10 minutes away on foot. Unfortunately there is no pedestrian exit from the airport in the direction of the hôtel and you have to improvise and use roads reserved for cars. The hôtel is only five minutes away from a metro station and the next morning you can be at the Estació del Nord in the centre of Valencia in 20 minutes or so.

Starting out from Valencia

Unless you feel strongly that for symbolic reasons you want to start out from the cathedral of Valencia and not miss any stages, I would strongly recommend that you take the train from the Estació del Nord to Alzira. This will save you a day and a half walking through the industrial suburbs and satellite towns of Valencia. Trains are quite frequent, a ticket costs only a few euros and the journey takes about 40 minutes. When you come out of the station at Alzira, yellow arrows will guide you immediately along a pedestrian path (on your right) into the town and onto the Camino.

If you decide to walk from Valencia and are looking for a place to eat and sleep in Almusaffes, I was very pleased in 2009 with my experience in Pensión Nadal.

Xativa

A good place to eat on the way from Alzira to Xativa is the Restaurante Sol in Manuel. The menu costs €16 but is worth it.

In Xativa I stayed in an apartment called Les Coles. For €45 I had a spacious bedroom and sitting room in a recently reconverted townhouse in the historic centre of the town. Some of the apartments have a kitchen as well. It is currently rated 9.4 on Booking.com

If you would like to treat yourself to a very good meal, I would strongly recommend "Tunnel".

Moixent

A good place to have lunch on this stage is Restaurante Saez in Vallada. The menu was € 9.

None of the accommodation options available in the town suited me. Instead, I chose to take the train back from Moixent to Xativa and spend a second night there in my small apartment. However, you must study the timetables carefully because there are few trains from Moixent in the evening. You may end up having to take a bus from the train station in Moixent to l’Alcudia de Crespins where a waiting train will take you to Xativa.

Font de la Figuera

The next morning I took the train from Xativa back to Moixent and started off for Font de la Figuera. Once again you must be very careful to choose the right train and be on the right platform.

Other pilgrims I met letter confirmed that the albergue in the town is very uncomfortable. I stayed for the second time in the Casa Rural L’Amable. Nine years ago I had a very pleasant room for €20. This time round the room was not at all as nice (and very poorly lit) and I was charged €40! If you do choose this CR make sure to agree on the price beforehand.

As regards restaurants, I would strongly recommend Restaurante Colon for lunch (I think it is closed in the evening); I had an excellent menu for € 10. For supper I went to a bar / restaurant called La Fonda (or something similar) near the cultural centre/theatre where I had a satisfactory menu for around € 10.

Almansa

Encasa is a modern hôtel built on the way out of the town, just a short distance from the Camino. My room with all mod cons cost €33.

Almansa boasts a long list of excellent restaurants. I had supper in the bourgeois Rincón de Pedro and I warmly recommend it.

Higueruela

If you would like to have some more comfort than the albergue can offer, the Posada hostal nearby is excellent value. They give pilgrims a very friendly welcome, a comfortable room (with a bath to relax in) only costs €25 and a full evening main meal costs €11.

Chinchilla

In 2009 I compared the rooms in the two hostels which sit side-by-side on the main road. I chose El Peñón. This time around I did the same thing and again I ended up choosing El Peñón The hostel would need an uplift but my double room was clean, the bed was comfortable and my bathroom had a full-length bath where I spent 40 minutes relaxing whilst I answered my emails…

The Dahlia restaurant in the old town has got a very good reputation. I however was disappointed. Perhaps my choice of food was not good.

The old town is a maze and finding your way down to the hostal in the dark is not easy. Note carefully your route up and be sure to follow it down again.

Getting from the hostal back onto the Camino the next morning calls for care because the path leaves from the other side of the town.

Albacete

I stayed in the Castilla Hotel. It is centrally situated and a comfortable room, with a bath, cost €25.

For a top-class meal of local specialities, look no further than Nuestro Bar.

La Gineta

A word of warning: after a few hours walking you see what looks like a town ahead of you and you congratulate yourself on having walked very fast and arriving ahead of schedule. Unfortunately this is just an urbanización. La Gineta is another good hour's walk away. And if you are heading for Los Chopos restaurant, be aware that it is situated on the way out of town and it will take you a further 20 minutes to reach it.

I ate in the self-service section of Los Chopos in 2009 and I noted then that the quality of the food was not anything to write home about. My experience this time round confirmed that. Perhaps the à la carte restaurant would be a better option.

La Roda

I stayed in the Flor de la Mancha hôtel, which is situated at the entrance to the town. I was given a very comfortable bourgeois room for €30, including breakfast. I also ate there in the evening and was quite happy with the quality of the service and the food. Other pilgrims I met were not so pleased. The hôtel makes the famous "miguelito" biscuits typical of La Roda.

Minaya

There is no beating Hostal Antolín at the exit to the town. My room cost me €22 and the supper €11.

San Clemente

I opted to stay in the La Posada del Reloj hostal in the main square. It has had a troubled history over the last few years but the new owners seem determined to make a success of it. My very comfortable room cost me €25 (€ 30 in 2009!).

If you’re looking for a good meal, go no further than Juanito's restaurant, it too situated on the Plaza. I ate there twice for, as far as I remember, €11 each time and I was very satisfied with the service and food.

Be very careful when you leave San Clemente to avoid following the arrows for the Camino del Sureste!

Las Pedroñeras

I stayed in Casa Mauricio. I would not recommend it. True, for €20 I had a bed, bathroom, small sitting area and a small kitchen. But cleanliness was not the strongest point of the lady in charge of the establishment. Three other pilgrims also staying there that night shared my negative appreciation. If I had to go back again, I would stay in the La Bomba hostal or in the new albergue.

If you are keen on fine dining and can afford it, Las Rejas is a Michelin restaurant. The owner is a former pilgrim and even if you are not elegantly dressed she will make you very welcome.

La Mota

I stayed in Hostal Plaza, as do many other pilgrims. Personally I found €26 expensive for my very small room and equally small shower with plastic curtains.

I ate twice at the El Chuletero restaurant. Despite its name, the restaurant offers a wide variety of traditional food and regional specialities at reasonable prices.

Quintenar del Orden

If you approach Quintenar following the GPS track from the Amigos site, it will lead you across the N301. That path no longer exists and there is a wire fence to stop you going any further. Ignore the GPS track, walk to your left for several hundred meters and you will come to a passage under the motorway and you will the familiar yellow arrows on the other side.

I stayed in Hôtel Castellano, an old-fashioned hôtel on the outskirts. For € 33 I had a very spacious double room and a big bathroom. In 2009 a very small room in Pension San Francisco in the centre cost me € 30.

Quintenar has two excellent restaurants - Granero and El Admirez.

Villacañas

I had difficulty finding accommodation because there was a local fiesta. I was put up (for the exorbitant price of € 60!) in a private house, which I would obviously not recommend.

Villacañas has a wonderful restaurant called Salones Torres. Excellent menu (midday only I think) in pleasant surroundings. The owner has been several times to Santiago by bike.

Tembleque

For € 20 I got a very spacious double room in Balcón de la Mancha. Excellent value!

I ate twice (for lack of an alternative) in Maria Belén, a big restaurant beside the motorway. The only thing in its favour was the friendly service. The food was only so-so.

Once more you have to be careful when leaving Tembleque in the morning not to follow the Camino del Sureste.

Mora

The first half of the stage is flat but then it goes up into olive groves (this section is very picturesque if the weather is sunny), the path is often rough, and later it leads you up a long slope around the foot of a castle, making this a quite strenuous stage. The last stretch into the town takes you past a factory billowing out clouds of noxious smoke.

The best choice for paid accommodation is Los Conejos, not far from the Camino. I paid € 30 for a very comfortable room, including breakfast. It is also a good choice for eating. If you want something more gastronomical you will have to go to La Zafra.

Nambroca

This village is halfway between Mora and Toledo and is a welcome rest point on this long leg. I had lunch in a restaurant called la Casona on the main street. The menu of homemade food was € 9.

Toledo

When you come down the hill from Cobisa to Toledo you arrive on the big road going round the town, the Ronda de Toledo. The GPS tracks and the guidebooks suggest that you turn right, follow the river all the way round to enter Toledo by the Puente de Alcantara. This is a scenic walk and shows off Toledo at its best. BUT be aware that this will add several kilometres more to your day, following a road that goes up and down and last but not least, climbing up from the river level to the old town built on a hill! If you have walked 40km you may prefer a shorter route to your hôtel or albergue. In which case, turn LEFT and enter into the town a few hundred metres further on by the Puente de San Martín.

A good choice of hôtel is the centrally located Santa Isabel, recommended in many guidebooks. I stayed there already in 2009. This time a double room cost me € 45. The rooms are small.

The choice of restaurants is immense. I was very pleased with my meal in Colección Catedral, just a few minutes away from the hôtel.

Finally, if like me you need to go to the station, there are escalators which will take you down rapidly from the Miradero conference centre in the the old town to the river level near the bridge leading to the station.
 

JLWV

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Levante (2014-2016); Levante to Toledo (2017-2018), to be continued; Fisterra & Muxia (2018);
#3
Very interesting report. I transfer it to the Amigos/Valencia
 

JLWV

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Levante (2014-2016); Levante to Toledo (2017-2018), to be continued; Fisterra & Muxia (2018);
#4
Unfortunately there is no pedestrian exit from the airport in the direction of the hôtel and you have to improvise and use roads reserved for cars. The hôtel is only five minutes away from a metro station and the next morning you can be at the Estació del Nord in the centre of Valencia in 20 minutes or so.
This same station can be used to reach the hotel if you want to avoid walking on the cars' roads. Just go to the metro station in the airport, and travel by metro to the first stop: "rozas"
 

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JLWV

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Levante (2014-2016); Levante to Toledo (2017-2018), to be continued; Fisterra & Muxia (2018);
#5
the train from the Estació del Nord to Alzira. This will save you a day and a half walking through the industrial suburbs and satellite towns of Valencia. Trains are quite frequent, a ticket costs only a few euros
I agree on the fact that at least the 15 first km (to SILLA) are unpleasant, so an alternative is to skip those km. Both Silla and Alzira (and Algemesi) are on line C2, which destination may be indicated as Xativa, Alcudia CR, or Moixent (same line, different final city). On working days and ''horas puntas'', there is a train every 15 mn. For Silla the line C1 is also available (destination Gandia and Grau de Gandia)
 

JLWV

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Levante (2014-2016); Levante to Toledo (2017-2018), to be continued; Fisterra & Muxia (2018);
#6
to take the train back from Moixent to Xativa and spend a second night there in my small apartment. However, you must study the timetables carefully because there are few trains from Moixent in the evening. You may end up having to take a bus from the train station in Moixent to l’Alcudia de Crespins where a waiting train will take you to Xativa.
Due to works on the railway the CERCANIAS trains stop at l'Alcudia CR, and the continuation of travel to Vallada, Montesa and Moixent is by bus. This bus stops on the same stations as should do the trains. Nevertheless, some train of medium distancy, coming from Villarobledo, stops also in the stations of Moixent and Xativa, and continues directly to Valencia. The return to normal situation, i.e. cercanías to Vallada, Montesa and Moixent is said to be done this summer.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés, Plata, Levante, Norte (part) and Primitivo, 2016 Catalan 2017 Lana (part) Madrid
#7
Thank you for the additional information and clarification you have added!
 

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