As you may already know, there are as many ways to Santiago de Compostela as there are pilgrims from different origins, since the Camino de Santiago started, in the Middle Ages, from the pilgrim’s own front door. Nowadays, with today’s means of transport, we can choose where to start from without having to travel for miles to get to the Jacobean basilica. However, it is very suggestive to think about the idea of starting the Camino from home. For this reason, we have brought you today a very particular Camino: The Camino de Santiago from Andalusia.
If you live in Andalusia, perhaps you would like to make a pilgrimage in this authentic way.
In the Autonomous Community of Andalusia we can identify several roads to Santiago that run through it, although practically all of them connect at some point with the main Andalusian road to Compostela, the Vía de la Plata. Although this route is the Andalusian route par excellence and recognised in the statistics of the Pilgrim’s Office in Santiago de Compostela. We can list some others, such as the Mozarabic Way, the Via Augusta from Cadiz to Seville and the Southern Way, etc. Let’s take a look at each of them, are you coming?
The Silver Route
The Silver Route is perhaps the best known of the routes that run through and from Andalusia. In fact, it is the only one that comes closest to Santiago de Compostela before dying out on another Jacobean route, namely, the French Wayor the Sanabrés Way. Its name has nothing to do with the precious metal, but rather with the derives from the phonetic evolution of the Muslim word “al-Balath“ which means “pavement” or “cobblestone road”: in fact, this route is called “road” because in some sections it runs along the magnificent paved Roman road of the 1st century B.C. that linked Emerita Augusta (Merida) and Asturica Augusta (Astorga).
A route with a strong historical justification (in fact, it was one of the first to be born), and travelled by 9,201 pilgrims in 2019, 2.65% of the total and in moderate annual increase.
In Andalusia this route runs through the province of Seville, being its capital, Seville, the official start of it. It passes through Camas, Santiponce, Guillena, Castilblanco de los Arroyos, El Berrocal, Almadén de la Plata and El Real de la Jara, being signposted with yellow arrows, although depending on the Autonomous Community the signposting may be more complete, as in the case of Galicia.
About 956 km separate Seville from Santiago de Compostela. Andalusia is very rich in natural, cultural and historical heritage. The landscape is painted with vineyards, olive groves, and ancient pastures, where we can find pigs and cattle (watch out for the bulls!). In the province of Seville we will not find a great difficulty in the terrain, although there is some ascent, being suitable for pilgrims on foot and by bicycle. It is a route with little traffic and in some places with few services, and there is a very important recommendation to take into account: choose well when to do it, because in the central summer months the heat can be suffocating and very dangerous. This can be applied to any route that runs through Andalusia.
A division of stages could be:
Seville – Guillena (21 km)
Guillena – Castilblanco de los Arroyos (18 km)
Castilblanco de los Arroyos – Almadén de la Plata (28 km)
Almadén de la Plata – El Real de la Jara (13 km)
The Vía de la Plata would reach this point in Andalusia, where it would pass to the province of Badajoz, in Extremadura, through which the Way would continue to Santiago de Compostela.