The Camino Mozárabe

The Camino Mozárabe - Stage 1 - Malaga to Almogia


Having previously walked 2 Caminos across Spain, (The Camino Frances and the Norte) we were interested when we heard that a Camino covers the 745miles/1200km from Malaga to Santiago de Compostella, in Galicia. Having searched in Malaga previously for information on the walk and not found any, we had printed out the details of the various stages from Malaga to Antequera, whilst we were in England. The first days' walk initially heads in an easterly direction from Malaga out of the city, before heading north to Almogia.

We left our accommodation in Torremolinos early at 7am to catch the bus to Malaga, with our rucksacks packed for a long distance trip. Arriving in Malaga at 8am, we walked to the start of the Camino Mozarab at Santiago's Church on Granada street. The church was closed, and there was nowhere to collect our stamp or Camino certificate from. (see later). We photographed the notice board with a map on, which shows the route through Malaga. We left at 8.25am following the route (signed-posted with shells or yellow arrows) left past the Picasso Museum, passing the church of San Agustin to the Cathedral with another map outside, then followed the Plaza de La Constitucion, Compania and Puerto Neuva streets, (from the Cathedral there were no more signs) until we reached La Aurora bridge with a shell on the left hand side post, going over a wide dried up river bed.

We continued for 4 miles/7km along Marmoles, Martinez Maldonado, Carlos Haya and Lope de Vega streets. Stopping along the way for breakfast at Mason el Martinette cafe, (9.15am) it was very good value at €5 for 2 coffees and 2 toasts with tomato-our normal breakfast in Spain. Inside the bar is an interesting collection of hanging hams. We spotted the first yellow arrows seen for a while on Edificio altos de Teatinos. More yellow arrows appeared, then at the top of Calle Lopa de Rueda (4 miles/6km 10.20am) was a stone sign. After 5.5 miles/9km at 10.50am we came to a large notice board for Stage One from Malaga to Almogia, saying 9miles/14.3 km along the GR245. We were delighted to have now picked up the signs, as they were missing through a large part of Malaga-maybe they weren't allowed to be up, or maybe the walk could start from here to save the urban walk. But we were happy to have started from the Church in the middle of Malaga, feeling it is the correct start.

We turned left past Europa School (11.05am), following the signs through a housing estate, under a motorway bridge, before turning right following Camino and GR 245 signs, onto a tarmac road, through a beautiful white arch, (beside a board for the GR248 Puerto La Torre), then turning left down the main road. A short distance later we were happy to arrive at Jose Carlos restaurant in La junta de los Caminos (6.5miles/10.5km), ordering more coffee and toast (12pm), leaving at 12.15pm with the day warming up nicely.

Turning right out of the bar, walking along the road for 400m, then we headed left at a sign, down a road between a large panadera and junta building. After following the road for a little while, the path goes along a dried up riverbed, over a bridge, then left down a dirt track(12.50pm), passing the estate of Hacienda los Villares (1pm), with a beautiful tiled frieze of horses. The path here is well signed-which was fortunate as for the next few hours we saw no people. There is little shade, the path is dry and dusty and it had become very hot. However, the views all around made the journey worth the effort, with fabulous views to the mountains beyond Torremolinos, to the sea and the airport valley. We could hear bells on goats in the distance too.

Passing through the village of Nunez we were met by scary loud dogs, which were fortunately behind fences. (11.5 miles/18.5km 2.45pm) The path continues to undulate across large dusty fields, again with little shade. This was the end of October in Southern Spain and still very hot. We were happy we weren't walking in the Summer heat. Continuing round the corner our destination-the town of Almogia appeared (3.30pm), with great views of mountains all around. We followed another track, then turned right (3.55pm) happy to see a sign-Almogia 0.7 km.

Fifteen minutes later we were sitting in Cafe bar Central in a beautiful square by the town hall, happy to be in some shade at last. But the walk was not over!! After a drink we continued following more Camino signs. Almogia is beautiful with white washed buildings located on a hillside, with steep streets and lots of steps!! At the top we continued past the Auberge, which looked shut (but had information outside on how to book) to our destination of La Posada Almogia, happy to arrive as it had been a long day. The hotel was very quiet, and would normally be serving food and drinks. It was good value at 45€ for an en-suite room, the friendly owner apologised for the bar being shut-we were just happy to have found somewhere to stay.

We went to Bar el Pelon for dinner. There was no menu, so we just asked for some meat (in Spanish). A large portion of stew, chips and bread arrived. Then unexpectedly a large portion of sizzling garlic prawns. We wondered what the bill would be, but it was a reasonable price of 27€ for the food, a beer, a coffee and a fizzy water. It was idyllic, with the sun setting over the Mediterranean in the far distance, making the long day worthwhile.

Distance 16 miles (26km)

Duration of Walk 8 Hours 30 minutes including breaks

Elevation Gained 2481 feet (756m)


The Camino Mozárabe - Stage 2 - Almogia to Villanueva de la Concepción


This is a relatively easy day of 11.5miles/19km, but was made harder in the heat with little shade, and with no cafe/bars along the way. The route is well-signed posted mainly along tracks through wide open undulating countryside, with great views. Villanueva soon comes into view with the Sierra del Torcal behind it.

After the heat of the previous day, we wanted to make an early start, but somehow this did not really materialise. We had our customary breakfast of coffee and toast at Cafe Bar el Coco. The Mediterranean diet did not seem to be happening here-the outside area was very busy with local men drinking brandy and coffee whilst smoking. I wondered where all the ladies were!! The decorations inside were amazing, complete with various animals' heads displayed on the walls. We went to the nearby Dia supermarket (opens at 8.30am) and purchased empanada, fruit, drinks, croissants etc, before leaving at 9am. It was a cold morning probably due to the altitude we were at, and we were glad to have our hats, gloves, and coats on, but ready for the heat of the day later, we wore shorts.

From Dia supermarket, we re-traced our steps towards our hostel, but just before we reached it, turned right at the Camino signs. It was a cold but beautiful morning, and the air was very fresh. We followed the track, which runs behind new houses, then steeply descends to a lovely house with pool with great views. What a fabulous location for a swim! Back up a track, we turned right by a brick store, along a farmers' track, with another sign Almogia 4.7km, Villanueva 14.5km (10.00am). We walked through the dusty scrub land with olive trees and tracks leading to isolated houses, again we met no-one either walking, farming or driving. The views back to the sea and all around were excellent.

Rounding the corner we came to an information board for Mirador de Puerto Pacheco, with our destination situated on a hillside far in the distance. It is always reassuring to see where we are going, however far it seemed. We went down another path, passing a little well, a water trough covered in flies, and a dried up river bed.

The weather had really warmed up since the morning, and we ate our lunch under a large tree (12pm). Leaving at 12.20pm, we turned right along the road, with a sign Villaneuva 8.9km, Almogia 10.3 km, then across another dried up river just before crossing the main road A-7075 to Villanueva with a sign Attention Peligro. A helpful local farmer appeared and took great lengths to kindly tell us the way in Spanish, without being asked! Perhaps he just wanted a chat. The road option could always be taken at this point. The path goes steadily up a small hill passing a few houses. We stopped on top of the hill for a snack (9.5 miles 2pm), surrounded by big empty ploughed fields with Villanueva still looking far away. We continued through a farm with a barn full of hay, and hens and goats running around. Then returned to the main road-mind the cars (we did seem to have come round in a big semi-circle) turning right along the road (2.25pm), going over an old bridge, passing some buildings, then just before the road turns left, there is a path to the right signed 2.4km to Villanueva. The track passes a sewage works and is lined by pretty trees. At the junction with another road, we went left into the town, passing unoccupied new homes. Happy to

have arrived, we went to Bar Pascual in the main square which was very lively with locals (3.20pm).

We had had another great day, easier than the previous one with less elevation and it was 2 miles shorter. After a drink we checked into Apartamentos Villa Torcal, which we had booked on It was a lovely big apartment, (45€ a night for 2), as a bonus the building has a rooftop terrace with great views. We went to Restaurant Oasis nearby for drinks and tapas, there was not a price list, but it was really good value (10€ for drinks and tapas). Unfortunately this being Spain, main meals were not served till 8pm.

If you had time to spare in Villanueva, Torcal National Park visitor centre and walks round the strangely shaped rock formations are accessible by car or taxi. I had assumed wrongly that the Camino would go past some of these interesting rock formations-but as it is a National Park there is limited access.

Distance 13 miles (21km)

Duration of Walk 7 Hours 30 minutes including breaks

Elevation Gained 1956 feet (596m)

Useful Websites Cafe Bar el Coco Breakfast Apartment Bar Oasis. Tapas and breakfast Torcal national park



The Camino Mozárabe - Stage 3 - Villanueva de la Concepción to Antequera


This is a fabulous walk of 9miles/15km, with 1300feet/400m of ascent. It follows an easy route alongside the Torcal mountainside, to the Puerto de La Escaleruela, with sublime views to Antequera and the surrounding countryside. It is definitely more interesting than the previous day. We were planning to take a look round the historic town of Antequera before returning by bus to Malaga.

We packed up early, and returned to the Oasis Restaurant for Breakfast, again having coffee, toast with tomatoes and homemade olive oil. We were leaving when the owner kindly gave us a free portion of churros-in general too greasy for me but very popular in Spain, we then ordered more coffee too. We went to the handy Dia supermarket for water and food. The walk is signed off the main road near Dia, and heads up a steep street to a notice board with details of Stage 3. There was a fabulous sun rise and the mountains looked very appealing. We had spent too long eating breakfast, not leaving until 8.45am, but we made good time along the tarmac road. After one mile it turns into a rough track, passing a large house with beautiful gardens and lots of dogs. Whilst walking parallel to the limestone cliffs to our right, we passed cultivated fields and olive trees with beautiful views of mountains and the sea. We took care when meeting a farmer who came towards us along the path with a very large herd of goats/sheep and a few dogs. Obviously they have right of way. In hindsight I think they distracted us so much that we lost the path. We continued for a while past a white-washed farmhouse, and down into some fields before we realised.that (3.4miles). We looked for the path, but could not see it, and didn't wish to re-trace our steps. Instead we followed the side of a ploughed field, turned right up a dried-up stream bed, before we climbed out of it onto a wide track by a house. Lo and behold there was a yellow arrow, we were very pleased to be back on track, and hopefully would remain so. (10.45am 4 miles).

We followed the signs along a smaller track to the right, then through a roped gate following red and white signs, but no yellow ones. Arriving at Puerto de La Escaleruela (5 miles), we stopped to admire the tremendous views and stopped to eat our empanada. The puerto is a popular destination for a walk from Antequera, and there were a few people around. We followed the ancient steep cobbled path downwards, (signed 4.1km to Antequera), then along a path, passing fields. Look for the mountain to the right which looks like a lying down head. We turned right down a main road, then left down the A343, then right into Antequera with great views of the Alcazaba. Passing a church to the left we stopped for tapas and drinks at Bar la Socorrilla. (12.40pm)

Antequera is a really interesting town, with both Roman and Moorish remains and we were pleased we had arrived in time to enjoy it. We visited the Alcazaba (castle)-definitely worth the €6 charge, with plenty of information boards, old walls and towers to climb, gardens and views over the Roman ruins. We walked through the town to check out where Stage 4 of the walk would start from for another time - near to Santiago's Church in Santiago's Square.

Continuing past the church for another ten minutes, we arrived just outside town at the Dolmens which are thought to be burial chambers of tribal leaders and date from around 2,500 BC. We did a quick tour of the 2 chambers, but didn't have time for the visitor centre. After a thirty minute walk back into the town, we arrived at the bus station in time to catch the 5.30pm bus to Malaga. We were pleased we had booked tickets on-line at lunch time, as the bus was busy. Our rucksacks were stored in the luggage compartment underneath.

Distance 10 miles (16km)

Duration of Walk 5 Hours 45 minutes including breaks

Elevation Gained 1776 feet (510m) Lunch


There are many Caminos (walks) across Spain created by pilgrims walking to Santiago's Church in Santiago from various parts of Europe, for over 1,000 years. The Mozarabic Way is one of the historical routes used since the Middle Ages by pilgrims from different parts of Andalusia.

Like many of the Caminos the Camino Mozarabe fell out of use during the 19th century. Other routes began to be popular from the 1970s onwards, with an explosion of pilgrims in this century. The most popular one is Camino Frances from Saint-Jean-Port in France, taking about 30 days to reach Santiago.

The recent interest in the Camino Mozarabe from Malaga has been more gradual, the first way marked yellow arrows were installed by volunteers in 1999. The route is rarely flat, passing through olive groves, following mainly old tracks and paths, before joining the Via de La Plata in Merida. It is recommended to avoid the route in the very hot Summer months, instead aim for the months of March-May and September-October, even in October we found it very warm. Accommodation is found along the way, some of which can be booked in advance. At present it is a very quiet route, going through some towns, and sparsely inhabited countryside.

Most of this walk was well signed-posted, but we had printed off the information from in advance.

This is a walk that we would recommend with superb views. Check the weather forecast before setting off. Being at an altitude we did take hats/gloves and buffs for the morning and evening, as there was a definite chill in the air.

We booked the accommodation in advance, and were very pleased that we had. None was apparent when we arrived in the towns. The route was very quiet-we only met walkers near Antequera, out on a day walk. I am not sure if it ever gets busy? The towns were also very quiet.

As usual wear boots, we wear Lowa. Take a phone and battery chargers, so the apps can be used. Take sun hats, sun tan lotion and plenty of food and water as there are large stretches with nowhere to replenish supplies. Walking sticks maybe useful if the path is unstable with loose rocks and sand.

We always take a stroll round in the evening to find the start of the next stage, in order to save time the next day. We sometimes leave in the dark too.

I always take a photo of the Stage notice board, so the map on it can be checked later.

This area of Southern Spain is accessible from England either by driving through France and Spain, or flying to Malaga then hiring a car or catching the reliable, cheap public transport.

Websites used Stages Information Information Pilgrims guide castle Burial chambers Bus