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Where to start?

Socalgal

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Norte 17
We are considering doing the VDLP at the end of September this year. However, if we get to Seville and it is too hot we are thinking of getting a train further north and starting in another city. For those of you who have hiked the VDLP, which are the most scenic stages? Which cities would be good to start from? Just getting an idea of what's out there. Thanks in advance
 
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Raggy

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
If the weather is the deciding factor, I guess you'll need to look at the regional forecast when you start and see how far you need to go to have more comfortable temperatures.

Check out the planning tool on godesalco to get an idea of stages. -

You'll see that there's a >30km stage to Almaden - the longest stage on the Camino. If you find that you're struggling in the heat and you aren't confident about longer stages, Almaden would probably be a logical starting point (or Zafra). Then you can allow yourself to walk shorter stages.

As you look at the weather map, you should check the temperature in Merida - the former Roman capital, with splendid Roman ruins. I guess it might be cooler than the southern end of the VDLP. It would be a shame to miss it and I think it's a decent city to start from. It's a spectacular city in its own right and the stages from Merida to Caceres are nice. (I have heard that the way into Merida on the VdlP is not so pleasant).

A couple of days further along from Merida, is the city of Caceres - a beautifully preserved medieval city. The way out of Caceres takes you along a busy road. So if you're skipping stages and looking for an optimal place to start, I'd suggest Casar de Caceres - a few km after Caceres.

Public transportation from Seville to places on the VDLP is by bus. The express trains out of Seville run diagonally toward Madrid (via Cordoba and Ciudad Real). They don't follow the VDLP northward. If you find that the weather forecast on the VDLP is really not to your liking, you could, conceivably, take the train from Seville to Madrid and join the Camino de Madrid instead.
 
Last edited:
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
The end of september has the odds with you as regards heat. Raggy's comments are correct. Caceres is a really nice place to spend some time and the ruins at Merida can occupy a half day themselves. If memory serves, the buses that were mentioned do travel often so that you can start anywhere and just skip the days that the heat may be bad for you. I did that in May (due to rain not as much as heat) from Seville to Salamanca.

I think you will find the VDLP less "scenic" than expected (unless you like flat pasture land). Can't stress enough the lack of places to stop on many stages.

If you do stop in Casar de Caceres try to get a room at La Encarncion. It's a small rural home/hotel that is run by a great couple. A little bit outside town, it's a very very nice place to stay.
 
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Camino Masks
12 different designs, shipped world wide from Santiago.
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Frances ('10), Portugues ('11), Promitivo ('13), VdlP ('14), Ingles ('16), Torres ('17), Litoral '19
You'll see that there's a >30km stage to Almaden - the longest stage on the Camino. If you find that you're struggling in the heat and you aren't confident about longer stages, Almaden would probably be a logical starting point (or Zafra). Then you can allow yourself to walk shorter stages.
We caught the bus from Seville to Almaden in late August 2014. It was very hot but we managed the remainder of the VdlP by generally keeping the stages short and starting early in the day. We were walking for 51 days and used three additional days to see the sights in Merida, Salamanca and Ourense.
 

ranthr

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
C Frances 2005, 2007
Le Puy en Velay -SdC 2009
Via de la Plata 2011
gr 653 from Oloron to Puente la Reina 2012
Gr65 from le Puy to Figeac 2013
Irun to Santander 2013
Porto to SdC 2014
Astorga to SdC 2015
Museums are often closed on Mondays. I arrived in Merida on a Monday and stayed two nights to get to the Roman Museum, walked to Aljucén onTuesday, took a bus back to Merida and a taxi back on Wednesday morning. But I am some kind of museumfreak. Via de la Plata was a reminder of Roman history to me. I was really impressed of all the historical reminders along the route.
 

amancio

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances, Norte, Primit, Salvador, Portug, Arag, Ingles, VdlP, Leban-Vadin, Fisterra, Invierno, LePuy
I would say you will be ok, just skip one or two stages and start in Guillena or Castilblanco de los Arroyos, those are areas where you will find shade, this camino does not get really exposed till 12km ahead of Fuente de Cantos. The hottest area, if all comes to all, would be Tierra de Barros, between Fuente de Cantos and Mérida. After that, you find trees again.

Buen camino!
 
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