Yellow Camino shell and arrow painted on a wall in Andalucia

Camino de Santiago Routes in Andalucia

While most people are aware of the classic routes of the Camino de Santiago like the Camino Francés from St Jean Pied de Port, and the Camino Portugués from Lisbon or Porto, did you know that there’s also a network of alternative Camino de Santiago routes in Andalucia?

Not all lead directly to Santiago de Compostela. Instead, they merge to form a network of Camino routes throughout the region, joining the Via de la Plata at various points where the way continues onwards to Santiago.

These Andalucian routes will be quieter and lacking the pilgrim infrastructure of the better-known routes but, if you want to spend some quality time in the beauty of the Andalucian countryside (and as someone who’s lived here since 2017, I can highly recommend it!) then read on to find out more.

As I live in Andalucia I plan to walk some of these routes and will be updating this post, as well as writing full route reports, as and when I do.

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Via Serrana

Start point: La Linea de la Concepción
End point: Utrera
Distance: 229.5 kms

The Via Serrana begins in La Linea de la Concepción, just across the border from Gibraltar, and passes through the Serrania de Ronda until it reaches Utrera, where it meets the Via Augusta, 39 kms outside of Seville.

Although it starts near the sea in La Linea, this is primarily an inland route which passes through some of Andalucia’s famous ‘pueblos blancos’ (white villages) including Jimena de la Frontera, Ronda, and Olvera as well as Setenil de las Bodegas which has houses built, quite literally, into the rock which overhangs the Rio Guadalporcún.

View of the Puente Nuevo (New Bridge) in Ronda in Andalucia
View of the Puente Nuevo (New Bridge) in Ronda

There are twelve suggested stages between La Linea and Utrera spanning three provinces (Cadiz, Malaga, and Seville).

  • La Línea de la Concepción to San Martín del Tesorillo (31 kms)
  • San Martín del Tesorillo to Jimena de la Frontera (21 kms)
  • Jimena de la Frontera to El Colmenar (20 kms)
  • El Colmenar to La Cañada del Real Tesoro (14 kms)
  • Cañada del Real Tesoro to Jimera de Libar (11 kms)
  • Jimera de Líbar to Ronda (18 kms)
  • Ronda to Setenil de las Bodegas (21.5 kms)
  • Setenil de las Bodegas to Olvera (15.5 kms)
  • Olvera to Coripe (26 kms)
  • Coripe to Montellano (16 kms)
  • Montellano to El Coronil (14 kms)
  • El Coronil to Utrera (21.5 kms)

As I live close to the start of the Via Serrana in Castellar de la Frontera, in the Parque Natural de los Alcornocales, I’m planning to walk at least as far as Ronda (115 kms) and possibly to Olvera (an additional 37 kms). Thanks to the excellent rail network between Castellar and Ronda I can do most of the stages as day walks and return home each evening.

Camino del Estrecho

Start point: Algeciras
End point: Puerto Real
Distance: 148 kms

The Camino del Estrecho begins in the busy port of Algeciras and heads north via the town of Tarifa where it joins the Via Augusta at Puerto Real. This route has a mix of coastal and inland walking with the added bonus of stunning views of Jebel Musa in Morocco across the Strait of Gibraltar.

Sand dune at Bolonia Beach in Andalucia
The sand dune at Bolonia Beach is one of the highlights of the Camino del Estrecho

There are seven suggested stages for the Camino del Estrecho.

  • Algeciras to El Pelayo (19 kms)
  • El Pelayo to Tarifa (18 kms)
  • Tarifa to El Lentiscal (24 kms)
  • El Lentiscal to Tahivilla (17 kms)
  • Tahivilla to Benalup Casas Viejas (20 kms)
  • Benalup Casas Viejas to Medina Sidonia (20 kms)
  • Medina Sidonia to Puerto Real (30 kms)

This is another route which starts fairly close to my home and, while I’ve walked and hiked in this area many times I’ve yet to tackle any of the actual Camino route, so I plan to walk some, if not all, at some point.

Via Augusta

Start point: Cadiz
End point: Seville
Distance: 190 kms

The Via Augusta, or Roman road, begins in Cadiz and passes through the grape growing areas around Jerez de la Frontera, birthplace of sherry, before reaching Utrera, where it’s joined by the Via Serrana, and then northwest to Seville.

View of Cadiz Cathedral in Andalucia
Make sure to spend a day or two exploring Cadiz

There are seven suggested stages between Cadiz and Seville.

  • Cadiz to Puerto Real (28 kms)
  • Puerto Real to Jerez de la Frontera (29.5 kms)
  • Jerez de la Frontera to El Cuervo de Sevilla (29 kms)
  • El Cuervo de Sevilla to Las Cabezas de San Juan (30 kms)
  • Las Cabezas de San Juan to Utrera (34 kms)
  • Utrera to Alcalá de Guadaira (20 kms)
  • Alcalá de Guadaira to Seville (19 kms)

Camino del Sur

Start point: Huelva
End point: Zafra
Distance: 176 kms

The Camino del Sur is a new route which heads north from Huelva before joining the Via de la Plata in Zafra.

The Camino del Sur has seven suggested stages:

  • Huelva to Trigueros (19 kms)
  • Trigueros to Valverde del Camino (27 kms)
  • Valverde del Camino to Minas de Riotinto (27 kms)
  • Minas de Riotinto to Aracena (28 kms)
  • Aracena to Cañaveral de León (25 kms)
  • Cañaveral de León to Valencia del Ventoso (31 kms)
  • Valencia del Ventoso to Zafra (15 kms)

Via de la Plata

Start point: Seville
End point: Astorga
Distance: 970 kms

For anyone who has the time and is up for a challenge then the Via de la Plata is a good choice. It begins in Seville and heads north to Zamora at which point pilgrims have the choice of continuing to Astorga where the route joins the Camino Francés or following the Camino Sanabrés to Santiago via Ourense.

Plaza de España in Seville in Andalucia
The beautiful Plaza de España in Seville is worth a visit

The Via de la Plata is one of the least walked Camino routes and it takes around seven to eight weeks to walk the entire route from Seville to Santiago.  

Camino Mozárabe

This Camino has several starting points within Andalucia which eventually join the Via de la Plata although the main route is from Almeria.

Start point: Almeria
End point: Merida
Distance: 620 kms

The route from Almeria goes via Granada. At Alcaudete it meets up with the short Camino de Jaén (43 kms from Jaen to Alcuadete) and at Baena it’s joined by the route from Malaga (150 kms from Malaga to Baena)

Alhambra Palace in Granada in Andalucia
The Alhambra Palace in Granada is a must visit attraction

Once the roads converge the Camino Mozárabe continues north through Cordoba and onwards to Merida where it joins the Via de la Plata.

The Camino Mozárabe is one of the least inhabited routes, so the stages are long and good planning skills are required for anyone intending to walk this route.

Practical Tips for the Andalucian Routes

Weather/When to go

While Andalucia is blessed with year-round good weather some months are better for walking than others.

Winters, while mild, can be wet with most rain falling in January and February. As well as it being uncomfortable to walk in rain, rivers often flood which can cause detours or delays.

Summers are ridiculously hot so, unless you have absolutely no choice, try to walk outside of the summer months. Temperatures in July and August in Andalucia can reach 40°c and, on routes where there is little in the way of shade, sunstroke is a real threat.

These routes are also not set up to cater for pilgrims to the same extent as the more popular routes so there won’t be opportunities to stock up on water and other provisions frequently throughout the day.

The spring and autumn months are recommended but be aware that even in autumn the temperature can still reach 30°c or more. Having walked and hiked in Andalucia for several years I would suggest March to May, and then September to November, for the best conditions.

Poppies growing wild in the Andalucian countryside
Spring is a riot of colour in Andalucia

Accommodation

It may not be easy to find accommodation on all routes, particularly albergues and cheap hostels, which is why some of the suggested stages on some routes are longer than normal. If you prefer to walk shorter distances on the Camino be aware that it may not be possible in Andalucia with distances often of 30 kms between towns. However, it’s worth looking on booking.com.

Food and drink

If you’re used to stopping regularly for a café con leche and some tapas on the Camino then you’ll be disappointed on some stretches of these routes so always make sure you have plenty of food and water with you at all times.

Guidebooks

It sometimes seems that every man and his dog has written a guidebook about the most popular routes of the Camino de Santiago but, when it comes to the routes through Andalucia, there aren’t so many. I’m a big fan of the Cicerone guidebooks and they do have one for the Via de la Plata.

Language

While you can probably get by easily enough with a smattering of Spanish on many routes, on some of these Andalucian routes you’ll be passing through small towns and villages that are off the beaten track so it’s worth trying to learn at least some of the language before you set off.  

The Lonely Planet Spanish phrasebook is a worthwhile investment and it’s small enough to slip in your pocket. I bought this book when I first moved to Spain and it was worth its weight in gold in the early days.

Have you walked any of these routes? I’d love to hear about your experience so leave a comment below.

Buen Camino!

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Discover more about the Camino de Santiago routes that start in Andalucia in Southern Spain and end in Santiago de Compostela

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