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Exploration day at the end: Estella or Los Arcos?

Lhollo

Member
Camino(s) past & future
(Camino Frances, September 2020… POSTPONED to May/June 2021, SJPP to Belorado section)
I wonder what your suggestions might be for the last few days of our walk. I’ve posted our itinerary below.

We’re spending ten days on the Camino Frances, although that includes time to explore and in transit at the beginning and end—just six of the days will be spent walking.

I’ve booked accommodation in advance all the way up to and including Puente de la Reine. (I have a medical issue so the advance booking is sensible; I’d rather just roll up to albergues really).

Do you think it’s sensible to have a day at the end in Los Arcos? It seems a sleepy sort of place, but having a quiet day to soak it all up might be good. Estella strikes me as more interesting than Los Arcos, though, and I suspect we’d want to explore it, but we probably wouldn’t unwind in quite the same way, knowing we still had the walk to Los Arcos. My partner will worry about being in Bilbao in good time so may not want to hang around on the 10th.

Is either Estella or Los Arcos very different from the places we’ll have already seen by then?

Are there other options that I might consider? I’m not opposed to straying from the route to spend a final night and day somewhere lovely.
Thanks in advance for any ideas you may have!

Here’s the itinerary:


1st September: Pamplona (bus from Bilbao airport)

2nd September:
Saint-Jean Pied de Port (bus). Day exploring the town.

3rd September:
Walk to Roncesvalles

4th September
Walk to Zubiri

5th September
Walk to Pamplona

6th September
Walk to Puente de la Reina

7th September
Walk to Estella

8th September
Either a day in Estella or walk to Los Arcos

9th September
Either walk from Estella or a day in Los Arcos

10th September
Bus to Bilbao Airport for 22.30 flight
 

Glenshiro

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy - León, Camino Frances (2012 - 2019)
I won't say Los Arcos is small, but you could easily play hide-and-seek in it without fear of getting lost. The church is worth visiting, but was only open in the evening when I was there (2017.) The small main square is pretty and everyone congregates there. Can't say much about Estella, as I didn't linger. Why not walk on to Logroño, an easy day's walk and a good stopping off/starting point? (Says he, who stopped in Los Arcos rather than walk to Logroño in 36 degrees.)
 

nidarosa

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Inglés 2009+2017, Francés 2012+2018, Astorga-Santiago repeatedly
Many pilgrims simply bypass Estella, as the camino carries on without crossing the river and stopping at any of its churches; something to do with a royal disagreement back in the mists of time. I have spent time there when my husband was in hospital there, and would absolutely recommend spending a day sightseeing there - it has many buildings of historic interest and is well worth a visit.
 
D

Deleted member 67185

Guest
I won't say Los Arcos is small, but you could easily play hide-and-seek in it without fear of getting lost. The church is worth visiting, but was only open in the evening when I was there (2017.) The small main square is pretty and everyone congregates there. Can't say much about Estella, as I didn't linger. Why not walk on to Logroño, an easy day's walk and a good stopping off/starting point? (Says he, who stopped in Los Arcos rather than walk to Logroño in 36 degrees.)

Are you meaning doing Puente la Reina to Logrono in one stretch?
 

thejoker

Member
Camino(s) past & future
many
Estella is a very interesting small town, with lots of bars for tapas, wine and a beer. I found Asahi in Estella a couple of years ago. There are some nice churches and an amazing view from the hill with the big church complex on. It has lots of restaurants, as well as the popular pilgrim favorite, Bar Mundo.
Los Arcos is a pretty village, or tiny town. The church is stunning and the organ is so sweet if you are lucky to hear it. But it is small and can easily be enjoyed after a leisurely walk from Estella.
Also, breaking up your Camino with a rest day in Estella would surely mean you will appreciate your walk the day after even more.
Buen Camino
 

jefferyonthecamino

http://www.barrerabooks.com/ - Guidebooks
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (1994) & (2013 - 2019)
Portugués (2015 - 2019)
de Madrid (2019)
Argentino/Inglés (2020)
I wonder what your suggestions might be for the last few days of our walk. I’ve posted our itinerary below.

We’re spending ten days on the Camino Frances, although that includes time to explore and in transit at the beginning and end—just six of the days will be spent walking.

I’ve booked accommodation in advance all the way up to and including Puente de la Reine. (I have a medical issue so the advance booking is sensible; I’d rather just roll up to albergues really).

Do you think it’s sensible to have a day at the end in Los Arcos? It seems a sleepy sort of place, but having a quiet day to soak it all up might be good. Estella strikes me as more interesting than Los Arcos, though, and I suspect we’d want to explore it, but we probably wouldn’t unwind in quite the same way, knowing we still had the walk to Los Arcos. My partner will worry about being in Bilbao in good time so may not want to hang around on the 10th.

Is either Estella or Los Arcos very different from the places we’ll have already seen by then?

estella, no doubt, enough to keep you entertained for a couple hours (or more), lots of places to indulge and small/quiet enough to endorse a long siesta.
los arcos reminds me somewhat of puente la reina, but with less character; estella is unique.
 

Lhollo

Member
Camino(s) past & future
(Camino Frances, September 2020… POSTPONED to May/June 2021, SJPP to Belorado section)
Thank you all for the help! That was pretty conclusively in favour of Estella 😀 I’ve gone ahead and booked two nights there, at the Hosteria de Cortidores. 🙏
 

NorthernLight

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
Estella may be an easier place to exit the camino than Los Arcos, but no doubt you can bus from Los Arcos to Logroño, or back to Estella, and connect to a Bilbao-bound bus there.

Do save some time in Bilbao to visit the Guggenheim museum.
 

Glenshiro

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy - León, Camino Frances (2012 - 2019)
Are you meaning doing Puente la Reina to Logrono in one stretch?
No, I should have made it clear, Los Arcos to Logroño in one stretch! However, I see that Lhollo has booked two nights in Estella, so she can pick up from there (next year?) Something to look forward to!
 

Lhollo

Member
Camino(s) past & future
(Camino Frances, September 2020… POSTPONED to May/June 2021, SJPP to Belorado section)
No, I should have made it clear, Los Arcos to Logroño in one stretch! However, I see that Lhollo has booked two nights in Estella, so she can pick up from there (next year?) Something to look forward to!

Yes, We’ll have a final night in Los Arcos then hopefully pick up from there next time. I was a bit put off by the 17mile stretch from Los Arcos to Logroño even though the terrain looks easy; I suspect we’ll want a rest at that point. Thanks again for your help. I’m excited about it all!
 

Lucyk

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Primitivo 2015
I wonder what your suggestions might be for the last few days of our walk. I’ve posted our itinerary below.

We’re spending ten days on the Camino Frances, although that includes time to explore and in transit at the beginning and end—just six of the days will be spent walking.

I’ve booked accommodation in advance all the way up to and including Puente de la Reine. (I have a medical issue so the advance booking is sensible; I’d rather just roll up to albergues really).

Do you think it’s sensible to have a day at the end in Los Arcos? It seems a sleepy sort of place, but having a quiet day to soak it all up might be good. Estella strikes me as more interesting than Los Arcos, though, and I suspect we’d want to explore it, but we probably wouldn’t unwind in quite the same way, knowing we still had the walk to Los Arcos. My partner will worry about being in Bilbao in good time so may not want to hang around on the 10th.

Is either Estella or Los Arcos very different from the places we’ll have already seen by then?

Are there other options that I might consider? I’m not opposed to straying from the route to spend a final night and day somewhere lovely.
Thanks in advance for any ideas you may have!

Here’s the itinerary:


1st September: Pamplona (bus from Bilbao airport)

2nd September:
Saint-Jean Pied de Port (bus). Day exploring the town.

3rd September:
Walk to Roncesvalles

4th September
Walk to Zubiri

5th September
Walk to Pamplona

6th September
Walk to Puente de la Reina

7th September
Walk to Estella

8th September
Either a day in Estella or walk to Los Arcos

9th September
Either walk from Estella or a day in Los Arcos

10th September
Bus to Bilbao Airport for 22.30 flight
I spent an unexpected three days in Estella (Long story -- I got very ill and had to end my Camino) and I found it to be a wonderful place to visit. I'd go back just to be on holiday. And FWIW, if by chance you need it, there is a bus that goes from Estella to Burgos and stops in Los Arcos...
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
Estella probably, because it has more to offer and is easier for transport, but the church is Los Arcos is a marvel! The interior is really spectacular.
 
Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean May/June 2017. Plans to walk Porto 2020
I also vote for the 12Cth Church in Los Arcos. I have been there twice and on one occasion we had the organ played as part of the Mass - totally overwhelming. Also the priest gives pilgrim blessings in about 5 or 6 languages (or at least he did in 2017).
 

John H.

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF - 2017
CP Central - 2017
CP Coastal - 2018
CF - [hopefully again someday]
The walk to Los Arcos is wonderful; hours of quiet walking through hay fields. Hope you don't miss this.
 

SEB2

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF (2015), CP (2016), part of Vasco (2019)
Hello @Lhollo, as other forum members have said the church in Los Arcos is beautiful but it is hit and miss as to whether it will be open when you are there, so my preference would be for Estella. Stayed there for two nights last year in September to meet up with a friend. I had passed through quickly on my first Camino, but this time could linger and fell in love with the place. This was helped by staying at Agora Hostal run by Puy and her family. The longer stay meant I was able to walk up to the San Pedro church (there is a lift!) and was guided to visit the cloisters there by a kind woman looking after the church and visitors. This is a special place to reflect on your journey, so calm and peaceful. But my most treasured memory is of going down to the riverside by the bridge, there is a bench there, and watching kingfishers darting back and forth across the river and under the arches of the bridge. Lots of good places to eat, and the walk coming into the town is glorious - watch out for the hundreds of sand martins nesting in the high banks on your left and swooping over the river around Hosteria de Curtidores. Buen Camino.
 

Lhollo

Member
Camino(s) past & future
(Camino Frances, September 2020… POSTPONED to May/June 2021, SJPP to Belorado section)
The walk to Los Arcos is wonderful; hours of quiet walking through hay fields. Hope you don't miss this.

We won’t miss it! Our last day of walking will be Estella to Los Arcos :)
 

Lhollo

Member
Camino(s) past & future
(Camino Frances, September 2020… POSTPONED to May/June 2021, SJPP to Belorado section)
Hello @Lhollo, as other forum members have said the church in Los Arcos is beautiful but it is hit and miss as to whether it will be open when you are there, so my preference would be for Estella. Stayed there for two nights last year in September to meet up with a friend. I had passed through quickly on my first Camino, but this time could linger and fell in love with the place. This was helped by staying at Agora Hostal run by Puy and her family. The longer stay meant I was able to walk up to the San Pedro church (there is a lift!) and was guided to visit the cloisters there by a kind woman looking after the church and visitors. This is a special place to reflect on your journey, so calm and peaceful. But my most treasured memory is of going down to the riverside by the bridge, there is a bench there, and watching kingfishers darting back and forth across the river and under the arches of the bridge. Lots of good places to eat, and the walk coming into the town is glorious - watch out for the hundreds of sand martins nesting in the high banks on your left and swooping over the river around Hosteria de Curtidores. Buen Camino.

Thank you! I’m now even more excited about the extra day in Estella. Kingfishers and sand martins nearby sounds particularly lovely.
 

hummingbirdmom

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances:
September 28, 2019- SJPDP - Estella ✔
April 1, 2020- Estella - Belorado
I really liked Estella and that is where I ended my first trip. I stayed at the Hostel Agora and loved it. I'm going back in April and starting from Estella again. So, I haven't seen Los Arcos yet, but I really liked Estella.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I really liked Estella and that is where I ended my first trip. I stayed at the Hostel Agora and loved it. I'm going back in April and starting from Estella again. So, I haven't seen Los Arcos yet, but I really liked Estella.
Hostel Agora is great!
 

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