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(First Post) Has anyone done the Arles-CF route and the SJPP-CF that can compare them?

Camino(s) past & future
Camino francés, verano 2017
#1
Hi!
I will be doing my first camino this summer. I am trying to decide if I want to start in Oloron or Saint Jean Pied de port. As I understand from the topo map, the France portion is the most climbing that you do on the way. Which route has less elevation change?

Which route did you enjoy most and why?

I speak Spanish, but I do not speak French. Should I plan to start in Spain instead?

Muy amable!
Buen Camino
-Kati
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#2
Both cross the Pyrenees, and there is quite an elevation change. There will be fewer pilgrims from Oloron to Puente La Reina. The Camino Aragones is very nice, but hot in the summer. If you want to start in Spain, Pamplona is a good choice.
 
A

AJ

Guest
#3
I have walked both and enjoyed both and would agree with Falcon.

There are FAR fewer pilgrims on the Aragones, which some would prefer. I would hesitate to put one over the other because they are different, so it depends on what kind of experience you want to have. Having said that, if you walk the Aragones and continue to SdC from Puente la Reina, you will have a taste of both worlds which may help you decide what you would prefer to do in the future.

Be warned though, when you reach Puente la Reina, it will be a shock!!
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
#4
I'd actually suggest starting in Oloron, but walking from there to SJPP rather than through the Somport.

The Somport way is lonelier and some of the sections up from Oloron to the pass can be psychologically difficult (there's no particular physical difficulty, except perhaps in some of the very last few km up to the pass, particularly if you run low on water) -- though the Aragon Way in Spain, especially from Jaca onwards, is very beautiful.
 

BShea

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
(9/2013) Le Puy
(5/2015) CF
(5/2016) Le Puy
(5/2017) CF
(9/2017) Le Puy
#5
Here are three elevation maps. The first shows the route Jabbapapa recommended from Oloron through Saint Jean (Voie des Piemonts). The second shows the route from Oloron through to Puente la Reina (Voie d'Arles). The third shows the route through France that is the "most popular" (Voie du Puy) which is nothing compared to the Frances.
http://www.chemins-compostelle.com/itineraires/8/la-voie-des-piemonts
http://www.chemins-compostelle.com/itineraires/6/la-voie-d-arles
http://www.chemins-compostelle.com/itineraires/10/la-voie-du-puy-en-velay

It really depends on what you're looking for... the least elevation change vs. the least amount of other walkers. Because I would like to get a couple of days under my belt before tackling the Pyrenees, I am starting in Aroue, France. It is on the Le Puy route and is easily accessible by public bus out of Bayonne. Click on bus 811.
http://transports64.fr/horaires-interurbains?lang=fr

On the Voie du Puy, chances are you'll have a slightly easier time being Frenchless. I think they're getting used to more and more non-French speakers. I've heard the Voie d'Arles is pretty isolated.

Bon chemin!
 

frida1

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances April 11-May 11 2014
#6
I'd actually suggest starting in Oloron, but walking from there to SJPP rather than through the Somport.

The Somport way is lonelier and some of the sections up from Oloron to the pass can be psychologically difficult (there's no particular physical difficulty, except perhaps in some of the very last few km up to the pass, particularly if you run low on water) -- though the Aragon Way in Spain, especially from Jaca onwards, is very beautiful.
We are walking the Arles Way, beginning next week. I've done other caminos and understand Arles is much less traveled. Is this what you mean by "psychologically difficult"? Or something else?
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
#7
We are walking the Arles Way, beginning next week. I've done other caminos and understand Arles is much less traveled. Is this what you mean by "psychologically difficult"? Or something else?
No, the Way between Oloron and the Somport is simply tedious as such -- unless you enjoy tarmac in the middle & cliffsides left & right ?
 

frida1

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances April 11-May 11 2014
#8
I'd actually suggest starting in Oloron, but walking from there to SJPP rather than through the Somport.

No, the Way between Oloron and the Somport is simply tedious as such -- unless you enjoy tarmac in the middle & cliffsides left & right ?
Probably no more tedious than some parts of the Portugues Camino from Lisbon. I think I can handle that.
The Somport way is lonelier and some of the sections up from Oloron to the pass can be psychologically difficult (there's no particular physical difficulty, except perhaps in some of the very last few km up to the pass, particularly if you run low on water) -- though the Aragon Way in Spain, especially from Jaca onwards, is very beautiful.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino francés, verano 2017
#9
Thanks for all the thoughtful input! Still haven't made my decision, but I'm sure I'll choose one soon ; )
 
A

AJ

Guest
#10
No, the Way between Oloron and the Somport is simply tedious as such
I do not agree that it is tedious. There is some fine scenery. However, the road is narrow and may be frightening to those averse to bitumen. I have heard bad things about the path above the river but have no first hand knowledge.
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
#11
I have heard bad things about the path above the river but have no first hand knowledge.
It can be a bit scary in a couple of places, as well as almost impracticably muddy towards the Oloron end.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino francés, verano 2017
#12
Here are three elevation maps. The first shows the route Jabbapapa recommended from Oloron through Saint Jean (Voie des Piemonts). The second shows the route from Oloron through to Puente la Reina (Voie d'Arles). The third shows the route through France that is the "most popular" (Voie du Puy) which is nothing compared to the Frances.
http://www.chemins-compostelle.com/itineraires/8/la-voie-des-piemonts
http://www.chemins-compostelle.com/itineraires/6/la-voie-d-arles
http://www.chemins-compostelle.com/itineraires/10/la-voie-du-puy-en-velay

It really depends on what you're looking for... the least elevation change vs. the least amount of other walkers. Because I would like to get a couple of days under my belt before tackling the Pyrenees, I am starting in Aroue, France. It is on the Le Puy route and is easily accessible by public bus out of Bayonne. Click on bus 811.
http://transports64.fr/horaires-interurbains?lang=fr

On the Voie du Puy, chances are you'll have a slightly easier time being Frenchless. I think they're getting used to more and more non-French speakers. I've heard the Voie d'Arles is pretty isolated.

Bon chemin!
Thank you for these elevation maps! They really helped answer my question-if going from Oloron cut out some of the elevation (it doesn't, the big slope is 300 meters higher)

I think your idea of starting a few days before Saint Jean is a wise one.
 


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