The Mozarabic Way to Santiago is a path with many hundreds of years of tradition behind it whose name honors Christians living in the territory of Al-Andalus (Mozarabs) who know the discovery of the remains of the Apostle Santiago in Compostela, risked their lives attending to the jacobean call. This conglomerate of Andalusian roads resurges today thanks to the effort and determination of the associations of friends of the Camino de Santiago.
The Mozarabic Way is a set of long tradition of jacobean routes from the Andalusian cities of Malaga, Granada, Almeria and Jaen to join in a single path, continue to Córdoba and conclude its route in Mérida, where the route joins with the Via de la Plata. From Merida the route of the Jacobean route runs from south to north the Peninsula to reach Santiago de Compostela, either taking the Sanabrés Way from Zamora or continuing along the Vía de la Plata to connect with the French Route, the busiest route.
One of the main reasons for this network of Andalusian routes in Andalusia is the Mozarabic Way is to promote the heritage, traditions, nature, and gastronomy of these ancient lands through thousands of kilometers of roads with a long tradition and currently in recovery . Through the roads of the Mozarabic Christian pilgrims from all over the region, despite living in Muslim territory, in the direction of Santiago de Compostela, despite the danger of the journey and the immense distance that separated them from the remains of the Apostle. For this they not only had to cross on foot Al-Andalus; They still had to take the Via de la Plata (route known for having been traveled by the caudillo Almanzor after looting the holy city), travel through Castilian lands and reach the north of the Peninsula.
The Mozarabic Way can be started from several cities of Andalusia, dealing in the case of Almeria from the longest possible distance to Santiago de Compostela from the whole of the Peninsula. Walking the Mozarabic pilgrims will cross beautiful landscapes of great patrimonial value, passing through several cities declared Heritage of Humanity (such as Granada, Cordoba or Merida) and by true sanctuaries of nature, such as the Sierra Nevada National Park.
If you want to start your Jacobean route from Andalusia by the Mozarabic Way, here are the different itineraries that you must follow from the cities of Almeria, Granada, Jaen, Malaga and Cordoba to conclude in the city of Mérida. The itineraries are those recommended by the Associations of Friends of the Camino de Santiago of the Mozarabic Way, which also enjoy agreements with certain accommodations along these routes to provide shelter to pilgrims in places that do not have a hostel:
Almería - Rioja (23 km)
Rioja - Alboloduy (15 km)
Alboloduy - Abla (27,2 km)
Abla - Huéneja (21,5 km)
Huéneja - Alquife (20 km)
Alquife - Guadix (27,3 km)
Guadix - La Peza (22 km)
La Peza - Quéntar (27,6 km)
Quéntar - Granada (18,6 km)
Granada - Pinos Puente (19 km)
Pinos Puente - Moclín (16 km)
Moclín - Alcalá Real (21,8 km)
Alcalá Real - Alcaudete (23,7 km)
Jaén - Martos (20,74 km)
Martos - Alcaudete (22,80 km)
Málaga - Junta de los Caminos (10,8 km)
Junta de los Caminos - Almogía (12,2 km)
Almogía - Villanueva de la Concepción (17,5 km)
Villanueva de la Concepción - Antequera (16,3 km)
Antequera - Cartaojal (11,4 km)
Cartaojal - Villanueva de Algaidas (12,5 km)
Villanueva de Algaidas - Cuevas Bajas (9,9 km)
Cuevas Bajas - Encinas Reales (5,7 km)
Encinas Reales - Lucena (20,4 km)
Lucena - Cabra (13 km)
Cabra - Doña Mencía (11,9 km)
Doña Mencía - Baena (8,7 km)
Baena - Castro del Río (19,9 km)
Castro del Río - Espejo (9,6 km)
Espejo - Santa Cruz (12 km)
Santa Cruz - Córdoba (24,3 km)
Córdoba - Cerro Muriano (18,4 km)
Cerro Muriano - Villaharta (21,18 km)
Villaharta - Alcaracejos (35,53 km)
Alcaracejos - Hinojosa del Duque (21,56 km)
Hinojosa del Duque - Monterrubio de la Serena (32,19 km)
Monterrubio de la Serena - Campanario (39,17 km)
Campanario - Medellín (37,33 km)
Medellín - San Pedro de Mérida (28,20 km)
San Pedro de Mérida - Mérida (16 km)
After passing through several of the most popular Andalusian cities and ending up in Mérida, the pilgrim will have to continue on his way through the Vía de la Plata. Unlike other Jacobean routes, the Vía de la Plata offers a different and unique experience, full of cultural and historical heritage. Of course, there will be no shortage of landscapes of great beauty or moments like immersing ourselves in local traditions.
Pilgrims from Andalusia and Extremadura began to use the Vía de la Plata starting through the Mozarabic Way to reach Santiago. Of course, on the Vía de la Plata they should choose between continuing to Astorga and therefore on the French Way; or cross the provinces of Zamora, Ourgense and A Coruña on the Camino Sanabrés.
Both the French Way, and especially the Sanabrés Way, have a very high natural and heritage value. It should also be noted that it is not overcrowded, with the exception of the French Way and one of the most chosen routes by pilgrims along with the Portuguese Way.
The Camino Mozárabe is one of the most demanding routes. An itinerary that once we reached the Vía de la Plata will be extended to two of the previously mentioned variants: the French Way or the Sanabrés Way.
Regardless of our choice, we must be very well physically prepared before starting the Mozarabic Way. Thanks to the involvement of various Andalusian Jacobean associations, we can enjoy much more "comfortable" routes, through paths that are better prepared for pilgrims. Between Granada and Córdoba we will enjoy all kinds of landscapes ranging from gentle hills to long dirt tracks.
With this orography ahead, the best advice will be to have a good pair of boots. It is important that they are comfortable and go with a previous "shooting" to avoid injuries during the routes. Mountain boots are ideal for traveling long distances without affecting our feet.
Another vital aspect for any self-respecting pilgrim is the backpack. The backpack on the Camino de Santiago plays a crucial role. Our recommendation will always be to carry 10% of our weight in it. Not a kilo more, not a kilo less. This is one of the most useful tips and with which you can avoid back pain.
On the Mozarabic Way, one of the main protagonists is the weather. Unlike other routes, it is not recommended to start the Mozarabic Way in summer. Heat is an enemy that we must reject at all costs, as well as being downright dangerous. It must be taken into account that temperatures in Andalusia during these months can reach 40º, putting our health and even life at risk. Autumn or spring are ideal times to do the Mozarabic Way, and although the weather is usually good, it does not become a risk as in other months.
Unlike other routes on the Camino de Santiago, the Camino Mozarabe does not have hostels that offer shelter to pilgrims, nor restaurants that have a specific menu for them.
However, there are alternatives depending on the province, yes. In Baena, for example, host parishes are common, places where, for a really cheap price, we can sleep comfortably.
Something similar happens with restaurants and bars, whether or not they are aimed at pilgrims. The Mozarabic Way does not have facilities for pilgrims, so you will have to arm yourself with patience (and strength) to find places to replenish energy given the great distance between one place and another.
Once we reach the Vía de la Plata, and from here we choose the Camino Frances or the Camino Sanabrés, everything will be much easier when it comes to finding places to sleep and eat on the Camino de Santiago.
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