Camino Mozarabe to Santiago
The Camino Mozarabe consists of a set of paths that pass through eastern Andalusia, using cobbled roads that have more than a thousand years of history. This route departs from Malaga, Almería or Jaén.
All of them end up joining to enter Córdoba together and continue onto Merida, where the Camino Mozarabe joins the Via de la Plata route that comes from Seville. You can read more about this great southern route in our article about the route of the Via de la Plata. In it, we explain the various paths that form the Via de la Plata, among which is the Camino Mozarabe.
History of the Camino Mozarabe
Like the rest of the Via de la Plata, the Camino Mozarabe uses the Roman road known as Via Augusta. Its name is due to the inhabitants of the region known as the Al-Andalus, during the Arab conquest.
Many of the people who inhabited that area of Spain, despite Arab domination, remained faithful to Christianity. They were called Mozarabs and they were the ones who opened this pilgrimage route. If you want to know more about the origin of the routes on the Camino de Santiago you can learn more in the linked article.
However, like many other itineraries on the Camino de Santiago, the Camino Mozarabe also fell into oblivion during the 19th century. The recovery of some routes began from the end of the 20th century, however, the recovery of the Camino Mozarabe has been much more recent. You can see more information about the history of the Camino de Santiago, if you are interested in this topic.
Infrastructure and signalling
The signage on the Camino Mozarabe is adequate, however, in some sections, it can be somewhat lacking, and can be disorientating for the pilgrim. You should not forget that work is still being done to provide this route with all the necessary infrastructure.
On this route, you will not have any problems finding a place to sleep. While it is true that its network of hostels is still somewhat scarce, the route has a lot of accommodation, which without being hostels, welcome pilgrims. In addition, the Camino Mozarabe crosses highly touristic areas such as Malaga, Granada or Córdoba, where the hotel network on offer is especially extensive.
Finally, one of the drawbacks of this route is the small number of fountains where the pilgrim can be provided with water. This, together with the long distances that sometimes separate some localities from others, will force you to always be prepared with water and food at hand.
From where to start the Camino Mozarabe
The Camino Mozarabe consists of three different routes. The one which starts from Almería, the one that begins from Jaén and the one starting in Malaga. Although many pilgrims prefer to start the tour from Granada or Cordoba.
The Camino Mozarabe from Almería is the longest and is the only itinerary that allows you to visit the Alhambra on the tour. It joins the Camino Mozarabe that comes from Jaén in Alcaudete. Not far from here is Baena, where the Camino Mozarabe joins up from Malaga.
With all the Mozarabic Caminos linked, from Baena, the route heads to the imposing city of Cordoba. From there, it continues to Merida, where pilgrims who come down the Camino Mozarabe join those who come from Cadiz or Seville.
From Almería to Granada
To complete the Camino Mozarabe from Almería, and to continue along the Via de la Plata to Santiago de Compostela, is to do the longest Camino de Santiago in all of Spain. In total, it involves walking 1420 km, crossing the Iberian Peninsula from south to north.
El Camino Mozarabe to Santiago from Almeria to Granada can be divided into 9 stages until reaching Granada. The following could be a stage plan for this section:
- Almeria-Santa Fe de Mondujar (25 km)
- Santa Fe de Mondujar – Alboloduy (15 km)
- Alboloduy – Abla (27 km)
- Abla – Hueneja (26 km)
- Hueneja – Alquife (21 km)
- Alquife – Guadix (22 km)
- Guadix – La Peza (20 km)
- La Peza – Quéntar (23 km)
- Quentar – Granada (20 km)
The meeting of the Jaen and Almeria routes
From Granada, the route that comes from Almería has 4 more stages, before reaching Alcaudete, where it converges with the Camino Mozarabe to Santiago that comes from Jaen. The stage plan is:
- Granada – Pinos Puente (19 km)
- Pinos Puente – Moclin (16 km)
- Moclin – Alcala Real (21,8 km)
- Alcala la Real – Alcaudete (23,7 km)
For its part, the Camino from Jaen, much shorter than that of Almeria, will have faced two stages, until reaching Alcaudete. These are:
- Jaén-Martos (20 km)
- Martos-Alcaudete (22,5 km)
On this section, pilgrims, in addition to the signage of the Camino de Santiago, begin to encounter the signs for the Route of the Caliphate, which runs between Granada and Cordoba. It is a tourist route that allows you to discover Muslim heritage.
Confluence with the Camino Mozarabe from Malaga
One stage later, the Camino Mozarabe joins the section that comes from Malaga. The distance between Alcaudete and Baena is 24.6 kilometres. For their part, pilgrims leaving Malaga can follow the following stage plan:
- Málaga-Almogía (20,8 km)
- Almogía-Antequera (26,9 km)
- Antequera-Villanueva de Algaidas (24,1 km)
- Villanueva de Algaidas-Lucena (32 km)
- Lucena-Cabra (12,2 km)
- Cabra-Baena (22,3 km)
From Baena to Cordoba
Now, advancing all together, the Camino Mozarabe is on its way to Cordoba. Only two stages separate Baena from Cordoba:
- Baena – Castro Del Río (20 km)
- Castro Del Río – Córdoba (39 km)
From Cordoba a Merida on the Camino Mozarabe
Between Cordoba and the end of the Camino Mozarabe, in Merida, there are a total of 231 kilometres that can be divided into 8 stages. Some of them more than 30 kilometres in distance, due to the great distances that separate the localities in this region. The stage plan for the last stretch of the Camino Mozarabe could be:
- Córdoba – Cerro Muriano (16,6 km)
- Cerro Muriano – Villaharta (20,5 km)
- Villaharta – Alcaracejos (35,2 km)
- Alcaracejos – Hinojosa Del Duque (21,5 km)
- Hinojosa del Duque – Monterrubio de La Serena (31,7 km)
- Monterrubio de La Serena – Campanario (39,6 km)
- Campanario – Medellín (36,5 km)
- Medellín – San Pedro de Mérida (29,3 km)
- San Pedro de Mérida – Mérida (16 km)
What to see and do on the Camino Mozárabe
On the Camino Mozarabe to Santiago, you will find numerous buildings, historical and tourist attractions. One of the things that stand out is the change that occurs in architecture along the route, from mosques to Roman theatres.
In fact, this route links two rich cultures: Arabic and Roman. Two important civilizations that left a great legacy in Spain and that offer the pilgrim truly interesting contrasts.
Below we tell you about some of the wonders of this route. Recommended places as natural environments of enormous landscape beauty, archaeological remains and important monuments.
Natural environments and archaeological sites
On this route, you will have the opportunity to come across various natural places on the journey. Many of them dotted with archaeological remains. Some of them are:
- Sierra Nevada: pilgrims passing through Granada will have the opportunity to enjoy one of the most famous natural environments in Spain. The second-largest mountain range in Europe.
- Torcal de Antequera: those who decide to make the Camino Mozarabe from Malaga will have the opportunity to visit this place, full of curious geological formations in limestone rocks.
- Campo de los Túmulos: in Antequera, those who follow the route from Malaga can also visit the Menga and Viera dolmens, both declared as World Heritage Sites.
- Sotos de la Albolafia: in Cordoba, you will find this natural space declared as a natural monument. It is located next to the foot of the River Guadalquivir and is characterized by the presence of small islets, formed by river sediments.
- Mausoleos romanos de Cordoba: a necropolis from the 1st century.
- Teatro Romano de Merida: a historical theatre erected during Ancient Roman times and inaugurated in 16-15 BC.
On the journey you will also find numerous Arab baths. Some of them in Jaen, Granada and Cordoba.
Monumental heritage of the Camino Mozarabe
In addition to the previous locations, on the Camino Mozarabe, you will find a rich monumental and artistic heritage. This includes religious, civil and military architecture. Two of the most prominent are:
- Alhambra de Granada: a city that dates back to the time of the Al-Andalus. One of the most beautiful and important Arab legacies to be found in Spain.
- Mezquita de Cordoba: It is one of the most impressive mosques in the country and declared as a World Heritage Site. A must-see if you pass through the city!
In addition to the monuments, during your time on the Camino Mozarabe, you can enjoy one of the most peculiar types of architecture in Andalusia: the white villages. The origin of these villages comes from centuries ago, when different Mediterranean cultures chose to whiten the outer walls of their homes with lime, water and sand. The purpose of this type of construction was to avoid the direct impact of the sun and to refresh the interior of the houses.
Do you feel like doing the Camino Mozarabe?
As you can see, doing the Camino Mozarabe is an excellent option for your holidays. Beautiful landscapes and rich architecture await you on this route. In addition to excellent Andalusian cuisine.
In order for you to decide to start your adventure in the south of Spain, we leave you this article about 10 reasons why you should do the Camino de Santiago. Do not think about it anymore and encourage yourself to do the Camino Mozarabe!
However, it is not a highly recommended route for summer months, but if you only have days off in that season, don’t miss our publication about La Via de la Plata in summer. We would advise you that the optimal time for this route is in the spring or autumn, but nothing is impossible.
If you have further questions about this route or want us to help you organize your trip, do not hesitate to contact us. At Santiago Ways, we work with the Camino Mozarabe from Granada to Merida.