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Aragones in October, what do you think?

Daniel H

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Thanks to all that have posted in this sub thread about the Aragones. Your descriptions, advice, and pictures have convinced me to take the road less traveled to begin my Camino walk. Here is my outline for the first part. Feel free to add suggestions or cautions. I will try to post a follow-up of my experiences as thanks to all the help you have given me, and to pay it forward to those yet to come.

A little about me:
I'm 48 and walking alone, for my first camino. My fantastic wife and kids are supporting my desire to make this journey from afar. I'm pretty fit and experienced in remote backpacking trips in the High Sierra, where I live. I also speak Spanish and am comfortable using online maps to figure things out. So I'm not really nervous about the trip. My only concerns are how my body will handle the long daily distances, and what it will be like walking when it will be cold and wet. (I'm from California, where cold rain is a rare pleasure.)

Travel to Oloron:
I'm flying into Madrid and will immediately hop on the first train to Zaragosa, arriving mid day. I'll meet up with a friend, stay the night in Zaragosa, and then catch the morning train to Canfranc, and then a bus to Oloron.

Day 1: Oloron Sainte Marie to Sarrance (monastery), 21 km
Day 2: Sarrance to Borce (?), 22 km
Day 3: Borce to Canfranc (new albergue) 28 km
Day 4: Canfranc to Jaca (?) 21 km + sightseeing
Day 5: Jaca to Arrés with bus/taxi to San Juan de la Peña (39 km if walked the whole way)
Day 6: Arrés to Ruesta
Day 7: Ruesta to Liedena 29 km / then walk or taxi up to Monasterio de Leyre for a stay and music (+ 10 km)
Day 8: Leyre to Monreal (via Lumbier) 32km
Day 9: Monreal to Puente La Reina 30 km
Then onward to Compostela.

I'll need to increase the pace for the latter part of the Camino if I want to make it to the end before my Nov 11 flight back home. This is why I didn't dedicate a tourist day for San Juan de la Peña, or walk it and stay at the hotel on top, but maybe I should.
These first days are an ambitious idea of what I could do, but will always be open to what the Camino and my body tells me.
Thanks for reading and sharing your feedback.
 
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mspath

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Daniel H,
You must be very excited as it soon will be October, the time for your camino.

Your schedule looks great but
I should like to reiterate that
the old royal monastery of San Juan de la Peña, cloister, and pantheon are truly extraordinary and very beautiful. Cut into the rocky hillside, the site is unforgettable; do try to spend more time there.

I have not walked to SJdlP, but driving up the mountain road was steep!

As an architectural historian it was my professional privilege and personal pleasure to visit many special places, but San Juan de la Peña belongs in that unique category of sublime timeless perfection.

Wherever you do go Carpe diem and Buen camino.
 
Last edited:

Myra13

New Member
Past OR future Camino
CdF 2017+2019; Portugues 2018; VdlP 2020 (delayed😷)
Hai Daniel,

For me the distances are to long. We just walked the Aragones. We started in Lourdes, took the GR 108 to the Somport and then down into Spain.
We slept in the new albergue in Canfranc, very nice. They cooked us a meal, because the restaurant nextdoor was closed and because of covid we couldn't use the kitchen.
Then stayed in Jaca. Took the bus at 9.20 to the new monasterio, looked around, walked to the old monasterio. Then it was 14.00. We walked down to our hotel in Santa Cruz (prebooked). We arrived about 4pm.
Next day to Arrès (albergue+dinner+breakfast) there is a bar/shop. Next day to Ruesta (Albergue+dinner+breakfast). On to Sanguesa (pension El Peregrino), restaurants and big supermarket in town. In Monreal stayed in the albergue. They have a kitchen and microwave. We ate in restaurant, but understood it was closing next day. There is a shop. It opens 10 in the morning.
Then we walked to Pamplona.
You have to take enough to eat and drink. The most bars were closed, so no coffee, no boccadillo. Except in the places we stayed. But there may be more closed in oktober.
The streches include hillwalking. We didn't like the route to Ruesta: a very long stretch on the old asfalt road.
I hope this information is helpfull to you.
 

biarritzdon

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF&CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF&CP17, CdN18, CM18, CF18, LePuy19
I think days 7, 8 and 9 are going to be grueling. Is there a way you can add a day to get Puenta la Reina or take a short cut and go to Pamplona from Monreal.
You are missing two major historic and architectural gems in San Juan de la Pena and Euanate.
I did the same thing my first time and wish I had not. I went back on subsequent Caminos. We all don't have the kind of time like I do, do we? Take your time, it is not a race.
 
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Daniel H

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Daniel H,
You must be very excited as it soon will be October, the time for your camino.

Your schedule looks great but
I should like to reiterate that
the old royal monastery of San Juan de la Peña, cloister, and pantheon are truly extraordinary and very beautiful. Cut into the rocky hillside, the site is unforgettable; do try to spend more time there.

I have not walked to SJdlP, but driving up the mountain road was steep!

As an architectural historian it was my professional privilege and personal pleasure to visit many special places, but San Juan de la Peña belongs in that unique category of sublime timeless perfection.

Wherever you do go Carpe diem and Buen camino.
Thank you MSPATH,
I do love architecture, especially from greatly different time periods. I was tempted to skip San Juan de la Peña because it isn't an easy side trip, but your comment and others make me sure to include it. Did you stay at the "new" monastary Thank you.
Hai Daniel,

For me the distances are to long. We just walked the Aragones. We started in Lourdes, took the GR 108 to the Somport and then down into Spain.
We slept in the new albergue in Canfranc, very nice. They cooked us a meal, because the restaurant nextdoor was closed and because of covid we couldn't use the kitchen.
Then stayed in Jaca. Took the bus at 9.20 to the new monasterio, looked around, walked to the old monasterio. Then it was 14.00. We walked down to our hotel in Santa Cruz (prebooked). We arrived about 4pm.
Next day to Arrès (albergue+dinner+breakfast) there is a bar/shop. Next day to Ruesta (Albergue+dinner+breakfast). On to Sanguesa (pension El Peregrino), restaurants and big supermarket in town. In Monreal stayed in the albergue. They have a kitchen and microwave. We ate in restaurant, but understood it was closing next day. There is a shop. It opens 10 in the morning.
Then we walked to Pamplona.
You have to take enough to eat and drink. The most bars were closed, so no coffee, no boccadillo. Except in the places we stayed. But there may be more closed in oktober.
The streches include hillwalking. We didn't like the route to Ruesta: a very long stretch on the old asfalt road.
I hope this information is helpfull to you.
Myra,
Thank you so much for your detailed report of your own walk and feedback, especially about what meals are being provided by each place. I'll look at options to shorten some days if I feel tired, and will be sure to carry an easy meal or two with me at all times. I was wanting to walk from Jaca to Sta Cilia (15 k), then catch a taxi from there up to the new and old monasterio, and a taxi back down. I would then walk from Sta Cilia on to Arrés (10 k more). I'll talk with folks in Jaca, since I'm not sure how easy it is to get taxis or what the price is compared to the bus. A stubborn and unrealistic part of me wants to avoid taxis, see everything no matter how far off the path, and still make it to Santiago on time! So taxis to the monasterios at San Juan de la Peña and Lyre are my compromise, plus some long days of 30 km when I'm not doing a lot of sightseeing (or boccadillos) along the way.
 

Daniel H

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
I think days 7, 8 and 9 are going to be grueling. Is there a way you can add a day to get Puenta la Reina or take a short cut and go to Pamplona from Monreal.
You are missing two major historic and architectural gems in San Juan de la Pena and Euanate.
I did the same thing my first time and wish I had not. I went back on subsequent Caminos. We all don't have the kind of time like I do, do we? Take your time, it is not a race.
Biarritzdon,
Seems like I might be too ambitious with my 30 km days. I'll look at some shorter options, but I will make sure to see both San Juan de la Peña and Euanate. I'm okay with an occasional slog, but certainly not three in a row if I can help it. Thank you for your feedback.
 
Past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
First, you must see the old monastery of San Juan de la Peña. The new one (c. 1600) you can miss without much regret. I saw both because I walked the Camino Catalan to the Aragonese and came upon the new monastery first. Half is a museum that has a glass floor above old monks' quarters where you look down on white figures doing the monks' daily activities. All the placards are in Spanish. I didn't spend more than 45 minutes there. Although I would have spent more time there if on a tour I had lots more walking and I had the old monastery to see. As I wrote, if pressed for time skip this. Check about the hotel, I believe it is not open currently. Also it looks like it would be quite expensive.

I spent about an hour and a half at the old monastery. Across the road you can get some laminated cards in English to help you on a self-guided tour.

You should have a better chance of getting a bus from Jaca than Arres and there are buses. If you don't mind skipping a stage you could bus from Jaca to the monasteries and walk from there to Arres or a hotel in the earlier Puente de Reina de Jaca. The albergue in the even earlier Santa Cilia may be closed.

I walked the Aragonese in early November and it was cool but abnormally wet. I even was in a light but wet snowfall at the Alto de Padron after the Aragonese. I wore shorts in the rain and snow so things didn't feel that cold (but I'm a New Englander).

I spent a half hour at Eunate. I found it open on Saturday at 1:45 but whether because of normal hours or because I caught the tail end of a wedding I'm not sure.

Your distances and stage points don't match mine, your age either, so I can't comment on your lengthy daily stages other than I think they can be done but perhaps not done day after day. As a backpacker you should be able to tell. From Santa Cilia there is nothing terribly tough with the terrain.

Buen camino.
 

dick bird

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Plata, Ingles, Madrid, Norte, Primitivo, Invierno, Aragones, Olvidado, Chemin D'Arles
You can cut the last day a bit shorter by staying at Óbanos where the Aragonés actually joins the Francés - they have a nice big albergue there and you would have more time to visit Sta. Eunate. I would insert a whole extra day for San Juan de al Peña by staying two nights in Jaca (lovely little town, don't miss the cathedral and the 17th cent fortress), you'll need it. The other possibility is to add another day by staying two nights in Sangüesa and visiting Leyre by taxi there and back (or cadge a lift back off a tourist with a car). And what about the station at Estación Canfranc? Worth a look. Otherwise, looks good. Buen camino.
 
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Daniel H

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
First, you must see the old monastery of San Juan de la Peña. The new one (c. 1600) you can miss without much regret. I saw both because I walked the Camino Catalan to the Aragonese and came upon the new monastery first. Half is a museum that has a glass floor above old monks' quarters where you look down on white figures doing the monks' daily activities. All the placards are in Spanish. I didn't spend more than 45 minutes there. Although I would have spent more time there if on a tour I had lots more walking and I had the old monastery to see. As I wrote, if pressed for time skip this. Check about the hotel, I believe it is not open currently. Also it looks like it would be quite expensive.

I spent about an hour and a half at the old monastery. Across the road you can get some laminated cards in English to help you on a self-guided tour.

You should have a better chance of getting a bus from Jaca than Arres and there are buses. If you don't mind skipping a stage you could bus from Jaca to the monasteries and walk from there to Arres or a hotel in the earlier Puente de Reina de Jaca. The albergue in the even earlier Santa Cilia may be closed.

I walked the Aragonese in early November and it was cool but abnormally wet. I even was in a light but wet snowfall at the Alto de Padron after the Aragonese. I wore shorts in the rain and snow so things didn't feel that cold (but I'm a New Englander).

I spent a half hour at Eunate. I found it open on Saturday at 1:45 but whether because of normal hours or because I caught the tail end of a wedding I'm not sure.

Your distances and stage points don't match mine, your age either, so I can't comment on your lengthy daily stages other than I think they can be done but perhaps not done day after day. As a backpacker you should be able to tell. From Santa Cilia there is nothing terribly tough with the terrain.

Buen camino.
Rick, thanks for this post. That is helpful to know how much time you spent at each location. I'm picturing you walking in shorts in all that rain and snow-- New Englanders certainly know something about snow. For some reason I decided to go to college in Maine! We'll see how "young" I feel after a 30+ km day.
 

Daniel H

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
You can cut the last day a bit shorter by staying at Óbanos where the Aragonés actually joins the Francés - they have a nice big albergue there and you would have more time to visit Sta. Eunate. I would insert a whole extra day for San Juan de al Peña by staying two nights in Jaca (lovely little town, don't miss the cathedral and the 17th cent fortress), you'll need it. The other possibility is to add another day by staying two nights in Sangüesa and visiting Leyre by taxi there and back (or cadge a lift back off a tourist with a car). And what about the station at Estación Canfranc? Worth a look. Otherwise, looks good. Buen camino.
Dick, thanks for your feedback and personal experience. I think that two nights in Jaca would make all this feel less rushed and give both Jaca and Juan de la Peña their due, and me an early rest day. I'll see Estaction Canfranc twice, arriving there by train on my way to Oloron, and then again when I walk through. Staying in Obanos is also a good way to ease into the busier Frances. Great suggestions to my itinerary, thank you.
 

dick bird

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Plata, Ingles, Madrid, Norte, Primitivo, Invierno, Aragones, Olvidado, Chemin D'Arles
Dick, thanks for your feedback and personal experience. I think that two nights in Jaca would make all this feel less rushed and give both Jaca and Juan de la Peña their due, and me an early rest day. I'll see Estaction Canfranc twice, arriving there by train on my way to Oloron, and then again when I walk through. Staying in Obanos is also a good way to ease into the busier Frances. Great suggestions to my itinerary, thank you.
You're more than welcome. It's good to see this often overlooked camino get some publicity. Buen camino. Let us know how you get on.
 
F

Former member 31048

Guest
You're more than welcome. It's good to see this often overlooked camino get some publicity. Buen camino. Let us know how you get on.
First time there - at end of Arles Way - we stayed in Obanos and the next day walked as reverse pilgrims back to Pamplona, which was fun! Love the Aragones ❤️
 

DavidCanadian

New Member
Thanks to all that have posted in this sub thread about the Aragones. Your descriptions, advice, and pictures have convinced me to take the road less traveled to begin my Camino walk. Here is my outline for the first part. Feel free to add suggestions or cautions. I will try to post a follow-up of my experiences as thanks to all the help you have given me, and to pay it forward to those yet to come.

A little about me:
I'm 48 and walking alone, for my first camino. My fantastic wife and kids are supporting my desire to make this journey from afar. I'm pretty fit and experienced in remote backpacking trips in the High Sierra, where I live. I also speak Spanish and am comfortable using online maps to figure things out. So I'm not really nervous about the trip. My only concerns are how my body will handle the long daily distances, and what it will be like walking when it will be cold and wet. (I'm from California, where cold rain is a rare pleasure.)

Travel to Oloron:
I'm flying into Madrid and will immediately hop on the first train to Zaragosa, arriving mid day. I'll meet up with a friend, stay the night in Zaragosa, and then catch the morning train to Canfranc, and then a bus to Oloron.

Day 1: Oloron Sainte Marie to Sarrance (monastery), 21 km
Day 2: Sarrance to Borce (?), 22 km
Day 3: Borce to Canfranc (new albergue) 28 km
Day 4: Canfranc to Jaca (?) 21 km + sightseeing
Day 5: Jaca to Arrés with bus/taxi to San Juan de la Peña (39 km if walked the whole way)
Day 6: Arrés to Ruesta
Day 7: Ruesta to Liedena 29 km / then walk or taxi up to Monasterio de Leyre for a stay and music (+ 10 km)
Day 8: Leyre to Monreal (via Lumbier) 32km
Day 9: Monreal to Puente La Reina 30 km
Then onward to Compostela.

I'll need to increase the pace for the latter part of the Camino if I want to make it to the end before my Nov 11 flight back home. This is why I didn't dedicate a tourist day for San Juan de la Peña, or walk it and stay at the hotel on top, but maybe I should.
These first days are an ambitious idea of what I could do, but will always be open to what the Camino and my body tells me.
Thanks for reading and sharing your feedback.
Several years ago I did the same route with more or less the same stops. We started in Pau in mid-Oct. It was cool and often damp on the French side and sunny and pleasant on the Spanish side. We have walked many different routes to Santiago and Rome. This was one of the best. Do not miss San Juan de la Pena. You can visit it by taxi at the end of that day's walk. An hour or two at most is enough for the visit. Enjoy Jaca. Santa Maria de Eunate was closed on Mondays when we walked past and could not visit.
 
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SioCamino

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
CF 2015, CPo 2016, VDLP[Sev-Các] 2017, VDLP[Các-Sal] 2018
Just to note that the albergue in Obanod remains closed. Today i walked from Tiebas (lovely albergue) to Ciraqui. Buen camino
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Yes, nice albergue but the town itself doesn't have anything that would make you want to stay there for a night. Being tired, sore, cold or wet is what would be the reason.
Rick,
That is exactly the state I was in both times I stayed there during January weather. Read more here
 
Last edited:

dgallen

Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (6), Primitivo(3), Finisterre/Muxia (3), Aragones, Norte, Portuguese, Camino del Rey
As others have mentioned, one of the most interesting (and often beautiful) Caminos. The train station at Canfranc is a treasure... it will be interesting to see how it changes mood wise once they turn it into a hotel. I won't delve into the sites along the way as it is well documented here. My choice would be to the take a taxi from Jaca to San Juan de la Peña. You won't miss much except for the brutal walk up the mountain and you'll both have a lot more time to explore an unforgettable place. Also you'll catch the views walking back down the mountain when you then rejoin the Camino towards Ares. Btw if you do take a taxi, ask the driver if he found my camera from back in 2015. My biggest regret from that Camino is that I lost all my photos between Oloron and SJdlP and didn't get a new camera until Pamplona.

My memories are that the Camino had numerous longer stretches and was challenging ups and downs at times. I missed my coffee breaks as there are few facilities between major stops. On my Camino there was little English spoken amongst the pilgrims (almost all were Spanish from Somport on and before that almost all French). In shops and restaurants be prepared that as well, but in the albergues you should manage even with basic language skills or google translate on your phone.

I did my Camino in early April and had quite a bit of snow at the high elevations toward Somport (it is a major ski centre)... not sure how it will be in October if early snow flies. I checked Meteoblue (if you don't have that app on your phone you must get it) and it looks like temperatures are above freezing for the next week or so. You'll certainly be fine at lower elevations.

I'm envious. You'll love it!
 
Last edited:
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Vacajoe

Traded in my work boots for hiking ones
Past OR future Camino
2019
I’d add a few days, if possible. Your Jaca-Arres with a side trip to SJDlP is waaaay to aggressive. Unlike others, I found the “new” monastery very interesting, with an excellent museum built over the ruins of part of the grounds (all text in Spanish). The parador is nice, but pricey, but we found the Santa Cilia albergue fantastic (definitely get the dinner!) and they allow a two-night stay if you are visiting the monastery. So perhaps Jaca-Cilia with a side visit up the hill.

Leyre is lovely, but so is Javier, an often overlooked place to visit and very important to the Catholic faith. The castle there was a highlight of our walk. Please note that the “music” at Leyre is simply part of a Catholic religious service and not a concert. It may not be what you are expecting, though we thoroughly enjoyed it as members of the faith. There’s a very nice pilgrims albergue in Yesa that is a much less expensive housing option.

Leyre to Lumbier to Monreal? Punishment, truly. Don’t sacrifice your enjoyment of the route simply to make a schedule. Add days if possible, or skip some sights.
 

Daniel H

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
First time there - at end of Arles Way - we stayed in Obanos and the next day walked as reverse pilgrims back to Pamplona, which was fun! Love the Aragones ❤️
Jenny, your blog helped convince me to walk the Aragones. But then I kept reading and now also want to do the Norte. I’m starting to understand why so many of you are repeat pilgrims.
 

Daniel H

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Th
Several years ago I did the same route with more or less the same stops. We started in Pau in mid-Oct. It was cool and often damp on the French side and sunny and pleasant on the Spanish side. We have walked many different routes to Santiago and Rome. This was one of the best. Do not miss San Juan de la Pena. You can visit it by taxi at the end of that day's walk. An hour or two at most is enough for the visit. Enjoy Jaca. Santa Maria de Eunate was closed on Mondays when we walked past and could not visit.
Thanks David. I think the taxi up to San Juan de la Peña is a good option, since I can let the weather and my energy decide if I want to go there that afternoon on arriving in Jaca or the next morning. Good to hear that you remember it being sunny, I’m picturing cold and rainy so I can be pleasantly surprised if it is nice.
 

Daniel H

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Just to note that the albergue in Obanod remains closed. Today i walked from Tiebas (lovely albergue) to Ciraqui. Buen camino
Thanks for the update SioCamino. I’ve been following your posts closely as I get ready to follow in your footsteps. Very helpful! Buen camino!
 

Ksalud

Member
Thanks to all that have posted in this sub thread about the Aragones. Your descriptions, advice, and pictures have convinced me to take the road less traveled to begin my Camino walk. Here is my outline for the first part. Feel free to add suggestions or cautions. I will try to post a follow-up of my experiences as thanks to all the help you have given me, and to pay it forward to those yet to come.

A little about me:
I'm 48 and walking alone, for my first camino. My fantastic wife and kids are supporting my desire to make this journey from afar. I'm pretty fit and experienced in remote backpacking trips in the High Sierra, where I live. I also speak Spanish and am comfortable using online maps to figure things out. So I'm not really nervous about the trip. My only concerns are how my body will handle the long daily distances, and what it will be like walking when it will be cold and wet. (I'm from California, where cold rain is a rare pleasure.)

Travel to Oloron:
I'm flying into Madrid and will immediately hop on the first train to Zaragosa, arriving mid day. I'll meet up with a friend, stay the night in Zaragosa, and then catch the morning train to Canfranc, and then a bus to Oloron.

Day 1: Oloron Sainte Marie to Sarrance (monastery), 21 km
Day 2: Sarrance to Borce (?), 22 km
Day 3: Borce to Canfranc (new albergue) 28 km
Day 4: Canfranc to Jaca (?) 21 km + sightseeing
Day 5: Jaca to Arrés with bus/taxi to San Juan de la Peña (39 km if walked the whole way)
Day 6: Arrés to Ruesta
Day 7: Ruesta to Liedena 29 km / then walk or taxi up to Monasterio de Leyre for a stay and music (+ 10 km)
Day 8: Leyre to Monreal (via Lumbier) 32km
Day 9: Monreal to Puente La Reina 30 km
Then onward to Compostela.

I'll need to increase the pace for the latter part of the Camino if I want to make it to the end before my Nov 11 flight back home. This is why I didn't dedicate a tourist day for San Juan de la Peña, or walk it and stay at the hotel on top, but maybe I should.
These first days are an ambitious idea of what I could do, but will always be open to what the Camino and my body tells me.
Thanks for reading and sharing your feedback.
Don’t skip Arres. My favorite spot, esp the church there. The Hospitalero has the keys
 
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Daniel H

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
As others have mentioned, one of the most interesting (and often beautiful) Caminos. The train station at Canfranc is a treasure... it will be interesting to see how it changes mood wise once they turn it into a hotel. I won't delve into the sites along the way as it is well documented here. My choice would be to the take a taxi from Jaca to San Juan de la Peña. You won't miss much except for the brutal walk up the mountain and you'll both have a lot more time to explore an unforgettable place. Also you'll catch the views walking back down the mountain when you then rejoin the Camino towards Ares. Btw if you do take a taxi, ask the driver if he found my camera from back in 2015. My biggest regret from that Camino is that I lost all my photos between Oloron and SJdlP and didn't get a new camera until Pamplona.

My memories are that the Camino had numerous longer stretches and was challenging ups and downs at times. I missed my coffee breaks as there are few facilities between major stops. On my Camino there was little English spoken amongst the pilgrims (almost all were Spanish from Somport on and before that almost all French). In shops and restaurants be prepared that as well, but in the albergues you should manage even with basic language skills or google translate on your phone.

I did my Camino in early April and had quite a bit of snow at the high elevations toward Somport (it is a major ski centre)... not sure how it will be in October if early snow flies. I checked Meteoblue (if you don't have that app on your phone you must get it) and it looks like temperatures are above freezing for the next week or so. You'll certainly be fine at lower elevations.

I'm envious. You'll love it!
Thank you dgallen! I’ll have a few hours at the Canfranc station as I switch from train to bus, and then will walk past it again a few days later. I’m glad I’ll get to see it before it becomes a hotel. I think the taxi is the best way to get to San Juan de la Peña, at least for me. I’ll be sure to ask about your camera. Wouldn’t that be great if he pulled it out of his trunk? I hope it isn’t too heavy though. My Spanish was pretty good from living in Guatemala, but that was a few decades ago- thank goodness for smiles and pointing. Great tip on the Meteoblue, I just downloaded it. The long searches without coffee breaks are what I’m used to with backpacking in the Sierras, so joining up with the Frances will feel like I’m walking down Main Street. I’m looking forward to both styles. Thanks for your feedback.
 

Daniel H

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
I’d add a few days, if possible. Your Jaca-Arres with a side trip to SJDlP is waaaay to aggressive. Unlike others, I found the “new” monastery very interesting, with an excellent museum built over the ruins of part of the grounds (all text in Spanish). The parador is nice, but pricey, but we found the Santa Cilia albergue fantastic (definitely get the dinner!) and they allow a two-night stay if you are visiting the monastery. So perhaps Jaca-Cilia with a side visit up the hill.

Leyre is lovely, but so is Javier, an often overlooked place to visit and very important to the Catholic faith. The castle there was a highlight of our walk. Please note that the “music” at Leyre is simply part of a Catholic religious service and not a concert. It may not be what you are expecting, though we thoroughly enjoyed it as members of the faith. There’s a very nice pilgrims albergue in Yesa that is a much less expensive housing option.

Leyre to Lumbier to Monreal? Punishment, truly. Don’t sacrifice your enjoyment of the route simply to make a schedule. Add days if possible, or skip some sights.
Thanks Vacajoe,
Your posts have been right on and very helpful, so I’m going to adjust my schedule accordingly, especially those long days. I’m including Javier on my list of sights. I’m going to Leyre primarily for the service, but they also seem to have a schedule of music that features their pipe organ with more modern music. I see that you will be at the Canfranc albergue in November. Sorry that I won’t get to see you in person, but thanks for all your insight into the area.
 
Past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
Here is a track and profile I found on Wikiloc.


Great. This was on my to do list to get some gps tracks as backup. I know everyone might have a slightly different route, so this helps to triangulate. Thank you!
Wikiloc.com is a great place to download tracks. You need to be a member to upload or download tracks but membership is free. If you aren't a member you can still search for tracks and see a load of information about them. Paid membership gets you some other perks such as easier searches. They have a smartphone app that you use when navigating. One great feature is that if you are using the app to follow a track it will beep you if you leave the trail. Another feature is if waypoints are included with the track you can set the app to notify you a bit before you get there.
 

lovingkindness

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
.
Day 1: Oloron Sainte Marie to Sarrance (monastery), 21 km
Day 2: Sarrance to Borce (?), 22 km
Day 3: Borce to Canfranc (new albergue) 28 km
Day 4: Canfranc to Jaca (?) 21 km + sightseeing
Day 5: Jaca to Arrés with bus/taxi to San Juan de la Peña (39 km if walked the whole way)
Day 6: Arrés to Ruesta
Day 7: Ruesta to Liedena 29 km / then walk or taxi up to Monasterio de Leyre for a stay and music (+ 10 km)
Day 8: Leyre to Monreal (via Lumbier) 32km
Day 9: Monreal to Puente La Reina 30 km
Then onward to Compostela.
Hello @Daniel H
Walking from Oloron St Marie to Puente La Reina in 9 days is possible. I did this in May 2017.

The stages were long and the days in May already very hot. I encountered only a handful of pilgrims, mostly in the evenings at the albergues. Water was sometimes an issue. Rather than sleeping with the masses of peregrinos arriving in Puente La Reina from Pamplona, I chose to sleep in Obanos, just a few kilometers after Eunate.

Stage 6: Although I had heard great things of Arrés, I didn't go there. I chose to walk directly from Santa Cilia to Artieda.

NB cross over the bridge into Puente la Reina de Jaca for food suplies. There is a small store at the service station. Fill up on water there.

Attached below is a pdf of stages walked and places where I slept along the Voie de Piemont and Camino Aragonese (May 2017)

Happy planning!
-Lovingkindness

Capture web_29-9-2021_205959_www.gronze.com.jpeg
 

Attachments

  • Carcassonne -Somport Pass-Puente la Reina - SJPP (May 2017).pdf
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Vacajoe

Traded in my work boots for hiking ones
Past OR future Camino
2019
While that last map is good, do NOT take the bifurcation route through Atares from the main path out of Jaca. We did and my wife is still shaking her head three years later. Poorly marked, not maintained, turns into a creek at the hint of rain, crazy steep, etc etc. I’m all for off-the-beaten-track, but that route in April 2018 was a disaster.
 

SioCamino

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
CF 2015, CPo 2016, VDLP[Sev-Các] 2017, VDLP[Các-Sal] 2018
Thank you dgallen! I’ll have a few hours at the Canfranc station as I switch from train to bus, and then will walk past it again a few days later. I’m glad I’ll get to see it before it becomes a hotel. I think the taxi is the best way to get to San Juan de la Peña, at least for me. I’ll be sure to ask about your camera. Wouldn’t that be great if he pulled it out of his trunk? I hope it isn’t too heavy though. My Spanish was pretty good from living in Guatemala, but that was a few decades ago- thank goodness for smiles and pointing. Great tip on the Meteoblue, I just downloaded it. The long searches without coffee breaks are what I’m used to with backpacking in the Sierras, so joining up with the Frances will feel like I’m walking down Main Street. I’m looking forward to both styles. Thanks for your feedback.
The bus to SJdlP leaves Jaca at 9:15, costs €15 including entry and it's up to yourself after that if you want to take the bus back down (for us it left at 2pm) or walk from there. I found it super value.
 

lovingkindness

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
.
While that last map is good, do NOT take the bifurcation route through Atares from the main path out of Jaca. We did and my wife is still shaking her head three years later. Poorly marked, not maintained, turns into a creek at the hint of rain, crazy steep, etc etc. I’m all for off-the-beaten-track, but that route in April 2018 was a disaster.
Hi there, @Vacajoe
I hitched a ride from a gas station in Jaca up to San Juan de la Pena then walked from there down to Ste Cilia... :)
 

Scott Sweeney

Active Member
Thanks to all that have posted in this sub thread about the Aragones. Your descriptions, advice, and pictures have convinced me to take the road less traveled to begin my Camino walk. Here is my outline for the first part. Feel free to add suggestions or cautions. I will try to post a follow-up of my experiences as thanks to all the help you have given me, and to pay it forward to those yet to come.

A little about me:
I'm 48 and walking alone, for my first camino. My fantastic wife and kids are supporting my desire to make this journey from afar. I'm pretty fit and experienced in remote backpacking trips in the High Sierra, where I live. I also speak Spanish and am comfortable using online maps to figure things out. So I'm not really nervous about the trip. My only concerns are how my body will handle the long daily distances, and what it will be like walking when it will be cold and wet. (I'm from California, where cold rain is a rare pleasure.)

Travel to Oloron:
I'm flying into Madrid and will immediately hop on the first train to Zaragosa, arriving mid day. I'll meet up with a friend, stay the night in Zaragosa, and then catch the morning train to Canfranc, and then a bus to Oloron.

Day 1: Oloron Sainte Marie to Sarrance (monastery), 21 km
Day 2: Sarrance to Borce (?), 22 km
Day 3: Borce to Canfranc (new albergue) 28 km
Day 4: Canfranc to Jaca (?) 21 km + sightseeing
Day 5: Jaca to Arrés with bus/taxi to San Juan de la Peña (39 km if walked the whole way)
Day 6: Arrés to Ruesta
Day 7: Ruesta to Liedena 29 km / then walk or taxi up to Monasterio de Leyre for a stay and music (+ 10 km)
Day 8: Leyre to Monreal (via Lumbier) 32km
Day 9: Monreal to Puente La Reina 30 km
Then onward to Compostela.

I'll need to increase the pace for the latter part of the Camino if I want to make it to the end before my Nov 11 flight back home. This is why I didn't dedicate a tourist day for San Juan de la Peña, or walk it and stay at the hotel on top, but maybe I should.
These first days are an ambitious idea of what I could do, but will always be open to what the Camino and my body tells me.
Thanks for reading and sharing your feedback.
You will enjoy this route. Option you could fly into Lourdes but sounds like you made good plans. When in Oloron you must buy a Baret.
Enjoy
 

Daniel H

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Hello @Daniel H
Walking from Oloron St Marie to Puente La Reina in 9 days is possible. I did this in May 2017.

The stages were long and the days in May already very hot. I encountered only a handful of other pilgrims, mostly in the evenings at the albergues. Water was sometimes an issue. Rather than sleeping with the masses of peregrinos arriving in Puente La Reina from Pamplona, I chose to sleep in Obanos, just a few kilometers after Eunate.

Stage 6: Although I had heard great things of Arrés, I didn't go there. I chose to walk directly from Santa Cilia to Artieda.

NB cross over the bridge into Puente la Reina de Jaca for food suplies. There is a small store at the service station. Fill up on water there.

Attached below is a pdf of stages walked and places where I slept along the Voie de Piemont and Camino Aragonese (May 2017)

Happy planning!
-Lovingkindness

View attachment 110089
Loving Kindness,
Thank you for the pdf of places you stayed in your journey. I'm glad to hear that it is possible to do it in 9 days, but like others have said, it seems that it would be an ambitious schedule. I'm researching shorter options so that I can make a decision depending on how I am feeling that day. Since this is my first camino, it is hard to picture how my body is going to respond-- so we shall see.
I love that you walked the Camino Frances in reverse! So many options... Thank you for sharing.
 
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F

Former member 31048

Guest
Jenny, your blog helped convince me to walk the Aragones. But then I kept reading and now also want to do the Norte. I’m starting to understand why so many of you are repeat pilgrims.
Oh, that’s great Daniel. Was it the 2016 blog (when we did the Aragones after the Arles Way) or the 2019 where we started in Canfranc?
 

lovingkindness

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
.
Loving Kindness,
Thank you for the pdf of places you stayed in your journey. I'm glad to hear that it is possible to do it in 9 days, but like others have said, it seems that it would be an ambitious schedule. I'm researching shorter options so that I can make a decision depending on how I am feeling that day. Since this is my first camino, it is hard to picture how my body is going to respond-- so we shall see.
I love that you walked the Camino Frances in reverse! So many options... Thank you for sharing.
You're welcome.

Buen camino, peregrino!
 

Daniel H

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Oh, that’s great Daniel. Was it the 2016 blog (when we did the Aragones after the Arles Way) or the 2019 where we started in Canfranc?
It must have been your more recent trip. I'll have to go back and look for the earlier posts. They are really helpful. Thanks!
 
Past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
NB cross over the bridge into Puente la Reina de Jaca for food suplies. There is a small store at the service station. Fill up on water there.
And depending on the time of day you could have lunch or dinner at Meson Anaya just up the street (next to the Hotel Anaya). Look for trout (trucha) or other Aragonese favorites on the menu. I was told the trout was wild caught.
 
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F

Former member 31048

Guest
It must have been your more recent trip. I'll have to go back and look for the earlier posts. They are really helpful. Thanks!
Oh, no matter Daniel! Was just curious. It's a wonderful Way - good for the local people and accommodation owners that it is becoming a little more popular - but don't tell too many people! Smiley face.
 

Scott Sweeney

Active Member
Thanks to all that have posted in this sub thread about the Aragones. Your descriptions, advice, and pictures have convinced me to take the road less traveled to begin my Camino walk. Here is my outline for the first part. Feel free to add suggestions or cautions. I will try to post a follow-up of my experiences as thanks to all the help you have given me, and to pay it forward to those yet to come.

A little about me:
I'm 48 and walking alone, for my first camino. My fantastic wife and kids are supporting my desire to make this journey from afar. I'm pretty fit and experienced in remote backpacking trips in the High Sierra, where I live. I also speak Spanish and am comfortable using online maps to figure things out. So I'm not really nervous about the trip. My only concerns are how my body will handle the long daily distances, and what it will be like walking when it will be cold and wet. (I'm from California, where cold rain is a rare pleasure.)

Travel to Oloron:
I'm flying into Madrid and will immediately hop on the first train to Zaragosa, arriving mid day. I'll meet up with a friend, stay the night in Zaragosa, and then catch the morning train to Canfranc, and then a bus to Oloron.

Day 1: Oloron Sainte Marie to Sarrance (monastery), 21 km
Day 2: Sarrance to Borce (?), 22 km
Day 3: Borce to Canfranc (new albergue) 28 km
Day 4: Canfranc to Jaca (?) 21 km + sightseeing
Day 5: Jaca to Arrés with bus/taxi to San Juan de la Peña (39 km if walked the whole way)
Day 6: Arrés to Ruesta
Day 7: Ruesta to Liedena 29 km / then walk or taxi up to Monasterio de Leyre for a stay and music (+ 10 km)
Day 8: Leyre to Monreal (via Lumbier) 32km
Day 9: Monreal to Puente La Reina 30 km
Then onward to Compostela.

I'll need to increase the pace for the latter part of the Camino if I want to make it to the end before my Nov 11 flight back home. This is why I didn't dedicate a tourist day for San Juan de la Peña, or walk it and stay at the hotel on top, but maybe I should.
These first days are an ambitious idea of what I could do, but will always be open to what the Camino and my body tells me.
Thanks for reading and sharing your feedback.
And for a strange stay don't miss the ruins at Yesa. When we stayed there the hosts, food and the patio was great.
 

Karl Oz

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances
Portuguese
Aragones
Sanabres
Piamonte
Elizabethpfad
I walked it from Oloron, and it is a great, if somewhat energetic camino. The walk up to the Monastery is brutal, take plenty of water if you if you do this, otherwise maybe utilise the bus. Fortunately the albergue in St Cilia is wonderful and is run by a lovely woman.
 

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