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Camino Frances?

Shortyadamk

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2020
My girlfriend and I have somewhat randomly found ourselves in Spain with several months to explore. We were thinking of heading towards Roncesvalles on Monday with the intention of walking the Camino. Any word on whether the lockdowns will affect albergues or refugios, restraunts or other things along the way?
 
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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
My girlfriend and I have somewhat randomly found ourselves in Spain with several months to explore. We were thinking of heading towards Roncesvalles on Monday with the intention of walking the Camino. Any word on whether the lockdowns will affect albergues or refugios, restraunts or other things along the way?
Welcome to the forum, @Shortyadamk. This is an impossible question to answer, as things change daily. If you scroll through all the posts involving covid on different caminos, which is this sub-forum, you will see that there have been different spikes, different lockdowns, different regulations, depending on where and when.

One thing I can tell you is that people are walking now, take a look at @filly’s thread, for instance. He started in Roncesvalles on October 5, so his experiences are pretty recent. I wish you both a lot of luck on your walk if you start out, and you should check back here for updates as you go along, because we have an active bunch who post notices and provide suggestions. People in the towns you walk through will undoubtedly be a good source of up to date information.

Many have suggested that people starting to walk now should definitely make reservations a day ahead. Most public albergues are closed, I believe, and many private places never opened this year. October is when things start to slow down even in a good year, so I think you will have to pay careful attention to what’s available. You should also be prepared to spend more than what would be the case in a “normal” year.

Good luck and buen camino, Laurie
 

Shortyadamk

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2020
Welcome to the forum, @Shortyadamk. This is an impossible question to answer, as things change daily. If you scroll through all the posts involving covid on different caminos, which is this sub-forum, you will see that there have been different spikes, different lockdowns, different regulations, depending on where and when.

One thing I can tell you is that people are walking now, take a look at @filly’s thread, for instance. He started in Roncesvalles on October 5, so his experiences are pretty recent. I wish you both a lot of luck on your walk if you start out, and you should check back here for updates as you go along, because we have an active bunch who post notices and provide suggestions. People in the towns you walk through will undoubtedly be a good source of up to date information.

Many have suggested that people starting to walk now should definitely make reservations a day ahead. Most public albergues are closed, I believe, and many private places never opened this year. October is when things start to slow down even in a good year, so I think you will have to pay careful attention to what’s available. You should also be prepared to spend more than what would be the case in a “normal” year.

Good luck and buen camino, Laurie
Thank you for this information, very helpful!
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
My girlfriend and I have somewhat randomly found ourselves in Spain with several months to explore. We were thinking of heading towards Roncesvalles on Monday with the intention of walking the Camino.
If you would like to start in St Jean or Valcarlos instead then read on. PLM has service on Tuesdays to Valcarlos and Pekotxeta (it and Arnéguy are essentially one town with an international border running through it).

3.5.3 Pamplona to Valcarlos and Arnéguy with PLM coaches​

PLM Autocares has a Pamplona-Valcarlos-Arnéguy bus that runs all year with service on Tuesdays and Fridays (but not if a holiday.) The bus leaves Pamplona at 11:00 and is scheduled to arrive in Valcarlos at 12:30 and Arnéguy at 12:45.

The PLM homepage and the Pamplona to Arnéguy schedule are at:

  1. PLM homepage: https://plmautocares.com/
  2. Webpage with schedule: https://www.plmautocares.com/horarios/
  3. PDF of schedule: https://plmautocares.com/Horarios_PLM.pdf
  4. JPG of 2017 schedule: https://www.plmautocares.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Nuevos_Horarios_2017.jpg

Suggestion​

This may be an interesting trip to take: Board the bus in Pamplona and get off in Valcarlos to walk the 11.7 km (7.27 miles) to St. Jean. Or stay on the bus for a little longer and walk a shorter 8.4 km (5.22 miles) to SJPdP from Arnéguy. The next day walk up the Route Napoleon ridge walk to Roncevalles.

You should have a level of confidence in your ability to navigate the camino in reverse.

A few additional points​

  • A Tuesday trip should be better than a Friday one because on Friday SJPdP will start filling up with tourists and pilgrims wanting to start on a weekend.
  • This bus does not go to/from SJPdP probably because that would require an international license. Also, although it is likely that the bus route passes through Roncevalles, PLM Autocares apparently is not licensed to stop there.
 
Last edited:
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Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (July 2016), Primitivo (July 2018), Portuguese (March 2019)
If you would like to start in St Jean or Valcarlos instead then read on. PLM has service on Tuesdays to Valcarlos and Pekotxeta (it and Arnéguy are essentially one town with an international border running through it).

3.5.3 Pamplona to Valcarlos and Arnéguy with PLM coaches​

PLM Autocares has a Pamplona-Valcarlos-Arnéguy bus that runs all year with service on Tuesdays and Fridays (but not if a holiday.) The bus leaves Pamplona at 11:00 and is scheduled to arrive in Valcarlos at 12:30 and Arnéguy at 12:45.

The PLM homepage and the Pamplona to Arnéguy schedule are at:

  1. PLM homepage: https://plmautocares.com/
  2. Webpage with schedule: https://www.plmautocares.com/horarios/
  3. PDF of schedule: https://plmautocares.com/Horarios_PLM.pdf
  4. JPG of 2017 schedule: https://www.plmautocares.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Nuevos_Horarios_2017.jpg

Suggestion​

This may be an interesting trip to take: Board the bus in Pamplona and get off in Valcarlos to walk the 11.7 km (7.27 miles) to St. Jean. Or stay on the bus for a little longer and walk a shorter 8.4 km (5.22 miles) to SJPdP from Arnéguy. The next day walk up the Route Napoleon ridge walk to Roncevalles.

You should have a level of confidence in your ability to navigate the camino in reverse.

A few additional points​

  • A Tuesday trip should be better than a Friday one because on Friday SJPdP will start filling up with tourists and pilgrims wanting to start on a weekend.
  • This bus does not go to/from SJPdP probably because that would require an international license. Also, although it is likely that the bus route passes through Roncevalles, PLM Autocares apparently is not licensed to stop there.
I second this. Walking from Roncevalles to St. Jean via Val Carlos and then back to Roncevalles is a lovely couple of days. I highly recommend it. My wife and I did exactly that last summer and absolutely loved it. If you want to make it absolutely perfect, have dinner in the le Chat Perche in St. Jean.
 

Thomas1962

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2010/2011/2012/2013: Madrid -Salvador -Primitivo 2014: EPW 2015: Amsterdam - SdC
Welcome to the forum, @Shortyadamk.
Many have suggested that people starting to walk now should definitely make reservations a day ahead.
As an albergue owner (not on the Frances) I can second this. First for yourself to make sure that the albergue in which you are planning to go is open, but also to let the albergue know that at least someone is coming. Albergues might choose to close for the day if there is no reservation for that day, and when there is only a little change someone is coming.
 
Last edited:

mdelag

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
**CAMINO FRANCES: LEON-SANTIAGO sept. (2015)
**CAMINO FRANCES SJPP-SANTIAGO (2019)
My girlfriend and I have somewhat randomly found ourselves in Spain with several months to explore. We were thinking of heading towards Roncesvalles on Monday with the intention of walking the Camino. Any word on whether the lockdowns will affect albergues or refugios, restraunts or other things along the way?
Hi !!! I would say go for it. I know that thibgs change every day, people are walking that is true, just take precautions:make reservations, get a camino app (I recomend BUEN CAMINO), and enjoy your days in the Camino...BUEN CAMINO !!!
 

grayland

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
Yes
Go for it!
It will be a grand adventure regardless of what is open or not. You will remember it for the rest of your lives.
You really don't have to have much of a plan. Just start walking toward Santiago and the rest will just happen. You will find the information you need as you walk.
 

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