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Mozarabic Way

The Mozarabic Way frames a set of roads in Andalusia, which begin in Malaga, Granada, Jaén, Córdoba and Almería; they link with the Via de la Plata at the height of Mérida. These roads have recently been recovered by the Andalusian Jacobean associations, and already have a certain infrastructure in terms of accommodation.

It is known by the name of Mozarabic Way to the set of Ways of Santiago that followed in the Middle Ages the pilgrims of the Andalusian cities belonging to the old Muslim territory of al-Andalus. Today, more specifically, the Mozarabic Way is called the Ways of Santiago that begin in Malaga, Granada, Jaén and Córdoba, and that link with the Via de la Plata in Extremadura. These routes have been recovered by several Andalusian Jacobean associations, with the involvement of regional and local institutions.

The dominant orography between Granada and Córdoba is of gentle hills, with some exception of hills not so soft (for example in Moclín), and the most recurrent landscape feature are the immense extensions of olive groves, almost infinite, that cover as far as the eye can see. They never end, they are tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, or perhaps millions of olive trees. In fact, more than 80% of the route between Granada and Córdoba crosses olive groves. Although of subtle beauty, especially for those not accustomed to this peculiar and Cartesian forest, the monotony of the landscape for so many days ends up boring a little. And on the way, when in the distance we see a village or a lagoon with many ducks, the heart rejoices.

Between Granada and Córdoba most of the route runs along dirt tracks (dust, pressed or loose stone), and to a lesser extent on asphalt tracks and secondary roads. There is also a short stretch along the national road N-432 (Granada – Córdoba – Badajoz), which carries a certain traffic, not excessive, as there is no alternative motorway. This national has a wide shoulder, but we must be very careful especially when crossing it.

Another of the usual characteristics of the Mozarabic Way (between Granada and Córdoba) is the considerable distance between towns, intermediate sections in which we only see some farmhouses. It is convenient to supply ourselves with water, because the sources do not abound and some do not always flow water.

We must avoid the summer months to make this path. It would be really dangerous. The heat will very possibly be a persistent enemy in spring and autumn, but in summer the very high temperatures, which can easily reach 40 degrees of official temperature (in the shade), make it inadvisable to choose this route. On the long tracks between the olive groves the sun falls to lead, inclement, and if walking with official temperatures of 27 or 28 degrees in full sun is already tiring, with canicular temperatures of ten or twelve degrees more would be a real foolishness.

Dry heat is a powerful and silent dehydration, so even with moderate temperatures we must bring enough water, drink frequently even if we are not thirsty and avoid, at least during the stage, alcoholic beverages. Of course the hat or cap is essential on this road.

Currently there are few pilgrims who make the Mozarabic Way, very recently signposted, to the link with the Via de la Plata, so it is most likely not to coincide with any.

The cyclability of the route is almost complete, since most of the itinerary advances along comfortable dirt or asphalt tracks, without significant slopes except for the ascent to Moclín and the subsequent descent. In the only places where cyclists can have some difficulty, which does not seem to be excessive, is in the wading of a river or stream with a short embankment.

In many sections the Mozarabic Way runs along the same itinerary as the Route of the Caliphate, whose signage with wooden stakes we frequently find. It is a route from Cordoba to Granada for walkers and cyclists, which aims to publicize the Muslim historical and cultural legacy of the towns of passage.


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