Itinerary, description of stages, practical informations, accomodation, GPS tracks of the Camino Mozarabe from Antequera to Alcaracejos.
Camino Mozarabe : Antequera to Alcaracejos
The camino Mozarabe joins the main cities of the east of Andalucia (Almeria, Jaén, Málaga) to Cordoba and then to Via de la Plata in Mérida. It’s still quite unknown and few pilgrims are walking this way.
It’s quite well marked. It’s possible to sleep in pilgrims albergues (often donativo) in some places or small hostales or pensions (around 15€). In some towns, the city hall has mats in the sport center (polideportivo) but between this option and the hostal at 15€, I preferred the second solution.
Some stages are long. The heat can be a problem. I was there first half of May and the temperature was already around 35°C in Cordoba.
I liked these lonely ways in deep untouristical and traditional Spain. But the elements above can make this way difficult.
My way : GPS track Antequera – Alcaracejos with possibility to see the track on Spanish IGN topographic map.
From Cabra to Baena, I didn’t walked on Mozarabe way but through Sierras Subbéticas natural park. See notes and informations about each stage below.
On the website of Santiago ways in Andalucia, in Camino Mozárabe page , it’s possible to upload good guidebooks, in English from Granada, Malaga, Almeria or Jaén and in Spanish from Alcaudete. There are also informations about accomodation.
The website Malaga Santiago association gives stage information and GPS tracks to upload.
The website Caminomozarabedesantiago.com has also guidebooks to upload in Spanish and English.
I used Iphigenie application (available on Apple Store and Androïd : http://iphigénie.com/?lang=fr). It gives access to topographic maps of Spanish IGN.
My stages :
|34km||Notes : With the uploaded guidebooks and the marks on the way, it’s easy to follow the way. After days in mountains, this stage is almost flat. In Cartaojal, the Camino Mozárabe is marked on the right to Villanueva de Algaidas. The GR7 goes straight on an asfalted road with few traffic to Cuevas Bajas. There, the way crosses Rio Genil east of Cuevas Bajas.
430 mètres de dénivelés. GPS track Antequera – Encinas Reales
|8h||Logistics : See internet websites and guidebooks above. Albergues in Villanueva de Algaidas y Cuevas Bajas. In Encinas Reales, in fact there is nothing and it seems no longer possible to expect any help from the city hall. I found a solution but I advice against making night stop in Encinas Reales.|
|32km||Notes : The way is well marked. A ford to cross Río Anzur. Industrial area before Lucena. Then Via Verde (former railway line) flat and easy until Cabra. 470 meters of ascent. GPS track Encinas Reales – Cabra|
|7h||Logistics : Restaurants and bars in the industrial area of Lucena. Albergue in town. In Cabra, no albergue but pension Guerrero has clean and quiet rooms with private bathroom (15€).|
|31km||Notes : After Cabra, the camino still follows the Via Verde (easy but a bit monotonous). I choosed to cross Sierras Subbéticas park and the white village of Zuheros. From the former Cabra railway station, the Ermita way goes up to 1000m of altitude. Then río Bailón camino goes to Zuheros.
Then I reached Baena walking first on Via Verde in direction of Luque then, after few meters, I took a way on the left, crossed the main road, and followed up on a trail through olive groves. It goes down on the other side of the hill to join Camino Mozarabe near Casilla de los Alarcones ruins. 950 meters of ascent. GPS track Cabra – Baena (via le parc des Sierras Subbéticas)
|8h||Logistics : There are springs inside the natural park. All services in Zuheros (hotel, restaurants…). In Baena, Ruta del Califato albergue (in the upper part of the town near the castle) has rooms for pilgrims : 10€ for bunk bed (without breakfast) or 19€ in private bedroom (with bathroom and breakfast).|
|20km||Notes : It’s not easy to find the marks inside Baena. Just take the road to Cañete de las Torres. Then it’s well marked. Almost flat (130 meters of ascent). Olive groves everywhere. GPS track Baena – Castro del Río|
|5h||Logistics :Bar near the bridge on río Guadajoz. Castro del Río : public albergue (donativo – key at the local police).|
|39km||Notes : Long stage with 640 meters of ascent and almost no shadow. It must be better to make the detour to Santa Cruz and stop there for one night.
The direct way isn’t well marked. GPS track Castro del Río – Cordoue
|9h||Logistics : Nothing until Cordoba. Take plenty of water. No albergue in the city. The Youthhostel, near the Mezquita has beds in rooms of 4 (26€-31€ depending of the season).|
|18km||Notes : Short stage after the long one of yesterday. Inside Cordoba, there are marks but sometimes not easy to see in the middle of all signs. It’s nice to find again trees, shadow and mountains. Just before Cerro Muriano, I made a short detour to Ermita Santa María de Los Pinares. From there view to all Cordoba plain. 500 meters of ascent. GPS track Cordoue-Cerro Muriano|
|4h||Logistics : After Cordoba, 2 restaurants in Doña Manuela urbanisation. A restaurant at the entrance of Cerro Muriano. Then several bars, restaurants, shops along the road. Accomodation : see internet websites and guidebooks above de logement. I went to bar Casa Bruno, along the road (the fourth or fifth bar), 20€ in a confortable and modern apartment. Hostal in bar X, one hundred meters further. There is also possibility in the house of a Dutch family.|
|21km||Notes : Easy stage quite flat (275 meters of ascent). The way is parallel to the main road, few meters away so quite pleasant.GPS track Cerro Muriano-Villaharta|
|5h||Logistics : In El Vacar : bar and shops. In Villaharta : bar Mirasierra at the entrance of the village has rooms in a confortable apartment (15€).|
|35km||Notes : El camino use the transhumance way “la Cañada Real Soriana”. Long stage with 630 meters of ascent. After Calatraveño pass, the countryside changes. It’s flatter and the end of the stage is a bit monotonous. Tap of drinking water after Calatraveño pass in front of the first house (Villa San Juan) on the left at the end of the way down. GPS track Villaharta – Alcaracejos|
|8h||Logistics :Drinking water : see above. Nothing during all the stage. In Alcaracejos, I went to Hotel rural Miguel Angel (the owner is at restaurant-bar Estéfany on the road to Pozoblanco). Quite luxuous for a pilgrim…. 25€ the night (pilgrims fare) in private room with bathroom. There are other hotels in the village.|
From Alcaracejos, I went north to join Guadalupe Caminos. The link to Almadén can be done on small trails but there’s no accomodation in Santa Eufemia.