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Guide Books for Chemin d’Arles & Camino Aragones

Ian @ Camino Ramblings

Camino Rambler - CaminoRamblings.com
Past OR future Camino
2021
Hi everyone – spoke to Ivar and he said you may be able to help me find any up-to-date guidebooks for the Chemin d’Arles & Camino Aragones .
Found this one on the CSJ site - but it’s fairly scant for the type of info I’m used to . 0D688E7D-A741-42E6-9724-229BCFD55EA5.png
Any ideas welcome - thanks
 
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Jan_D

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Hi Ian, I did the first half of the Arles last year, and really wished I'd had the Miam Miam Dodo with me. The Arles is definitely the 'road less travelled', and opening times of the albergues, épiceries, etc, can be... well, let's just say what you'd expect in rural France. As a French publication, information about the Arles is updated very regularly. There might not be a lot of description, but believe me, having precise information about the somewhat random opening times of each village's tiny Mairie, so you can get the key for the albergue, is worth the £16 in itself. You can get the 2020/2021 edition from Amazon.
 
D

Deleted member 67185

Guest
Hi everyone – spoke to Ivar and he said you may be able to help me find any up-to-date guidebooks for the Chemin d’Arles & Camino Aragones .
Found this one on the CSJ site - but it’s fairly scant for the type of info I’m used to .
Any ideas welcome - thanks


Like you, I did not locate a good, singular reference guide. I will be walking the Aragones route in Late September with my son, starting at the Somport Ski area.

What I am primarily using is Gronze to deal with the major infrastructure planning (eateries, lodgings, route information, walking stages, etc). I have gleaned information from a lot of threads and posts about Aragones as well.

I have used YouTube videos to look at the terrain issues along the route, as well as with Google Earth. Booking.com and Airbnb have been helpful in some instances, too.
 
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jsalt

Jill
Past OR future Camino
Portugués, Francés, LePuy, Rota Vicentina, Norte, Madrid, C2C, Salvador, Primitivo, Aragonés, Inglés
Hi everyone – spoke to Ivar and he said you may be able to help me find any up-to-date guidebooks for the Chemin d’Arles & Camino Aragones .

Hi, I had the attached pdf on my phone when I walked the Aragones (in reverse) last year, but I didn’t actually look at it much while I was there. Gronze was much more useful in practical terms.

Continuing on the Chemin d’Arles (also “backwards”) I picked up an old and well-used copy of a Miam Miam Dodo guide that had been left in a gite by someone who had come the other way. It was invaluable.

When I continue from where I left off (Castres) I’ll definitely be purchasing the latest Miam Miam Dodo.
Jill
 

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  • GUIA_ARAGONES_ENGLISH.pdf
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Ian @ Camino Ramblings

Camino Rambler - CaminoRamblings.com
Past OR future Camino
2021
Hi, I had the attached pdf on my phone when I walked the Aragones (in reverse) last year, but I didn’t actually look at it much while I was there. Gronze was much more useful in practical terms.

Continuing on the Chemin d’Arles (also “backwards”) I picked up an old and well-used copy of a Miam Miam Dodo guide that had been left in a
by someone who had come the other way. It was invaluable.

When I continue from where I left off (Castres) I’ll definitely be purchasing the latest Miam Miam Dodo.
Jill
Wow thanks Jill – I downloaded that PDF – very useful.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Hi Ian, I did the first half of the Arles last year, and really wished I'd had the Miam Miam Dodo with me. The Arles is definitely the 'road less travelled', and opening times of the albergues, épiceries, etc, can be... well, let's just say what you'd expect in rural France. As a French publication, information about the Arles is updated very regularly. There might not be a lot of description, but believe me, having precise information about the somewhat random opening times of each village's tiny Mairie, so you can get the key for the albergue, is worth the £16 in itself. You can get the 2020/2021 edition from Amazon.
I walked from Le Puy in 2014. I was in the Pilgrim office in Paris and the woman that worked there was trying to get me to buy the Miam Miam Dodo for the Camino. As I spoke no French I bought the very small Michelln guide that had a map of the stages and a few places to sleep. About a week before St. Jean I met a man who also spoke no French and had the Miam Miam and we talked about it and he told me it was a lifesaver especially for the reasons you mentioned above. I saw how easy it was to figure out and kicked myself for not having one. It would have made my fantastic camino a little more fantastic. I was walking to Santiago and figured since I walked before I wouldn't need the Brierley guidebook. Right after I checked into the camino office I walked down the street to the outdoor store and bought his guidebook!
 
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Ian @ Camino Ramblings

Camino Rambler - CaminoRamblings.com
Past OR future Camino
2021
I walked from Le Puy in 2014. I was in the Pilgrim office in Paris and the woman that worked there was trying to get me to buy the Miam Miam Dodo for the Camino. As I spoke no French I bought the very small Michelln guide that had a map of the stages and a few places to sleep. About a week before St. Jean I met a man who also spoke no French and had the Miam Miam and we talked about it and he told me it was a lifesaver especially for the reasons you mentioned above. I saw how easy it was to figure out and kicked myself for not having one. It would have made my fantastic camino a little more fantastic. I was walking to Santiago and figured since I walked before I wouldn't need the Brierley guidebook. Right after I checked into the camino office I walked down the street to the outdoor store and bought his guidebook!

🙏 Thanks so much - Good advice and I enjoyed the story too . I quite enjoy a sociable camino - Would you say Arles to Somport is very quiet ? - and does it get busier after Somport on the way to The Francés junction ?
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
🙏 Thanks so much - Good advice and I enjoyed the story too . I quite enjoy a sociable camino - Would you say Arles to Somport is very quiet ? - and does it get busier after Somport on the way to The Francés junction ?
I never walked the Camino from Arles. I can tell you that if you are not going in the summer (I started in September) it was very quiet from Le Puy all the way to St. Jean. It is also a Camino that is populated mostly by retired people. Most of the people I met were walking in small groups with close friends. Everyone was super nice and friendly. During the day I would come across very few pilgrims. Many days none at all after the first few kilometers. Also I speak no French. I have functional Spanish. I do not think I met more than a few people that could speak English and just a few more that spoke Spanish. So in that way it can be lonely. I found that although people I met at night were very nice they tended to walk only with their friends. I do not think there is anything like a camino "family" like you encounter on the CF or CP. It was a very solitary camino. I would imagine that the Arles Camino would be similar.
 
D

Deleted member 67185

Guest
Here is something else that I dug up:

 
Last edited by a moderator:

Jan_D

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
🙏 Thanks so much - Good advice and I enjoyed the story too . I quite enjoy a sociable camino - Would you say Arles to Somport is very quiet ? - and does it get busier after Somport on the way to The Francés junction ?

Arles to Toulouse is VERY quiet. I walked in June last year, and on the "busiest" night, there were 4 of us in the albergue. For about 10 days you'll be walking through the Parc Naturel du Haut-Languedoc, which is stunningly beautiful but very remote. Most days, you won't see another soul until you get to the destination, usually a tiny village in the middle of nowhere, with only a few amenities. Hence why it's important to have precise information: if you get there after the Mairie or épicerie has closed, you won't have many other options!

I think it gets busier from Toulouse onwards. I walked the Arles/Aragones from Pau about 9 years ago, and although it was a while back, I remember it being quite sociable. It's also a gorgeous walk, especially from Oloron Ste Mairie, as you approach the Pyrenees. Then you have the spectacular views over the Somport pass, and the dry lunar landscapes of the Aragon valley. You're going to have a great time!
 
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Ian @ Camino Ramblings

Camino Rambler - CaminoRamblings.com
Past OR future Camino
2021
Here is something else that I dug up:


Thanks again - this is great info - I’m beginning to form a picture of an initial plan x
 

Ian @ Camino Ramblings

Camino Rambler - CaminoRamblings.com
Past OR future Camino
2021
Arles to Toulouse is VERY quiet. I walked in June last year, and on the "busiest" night, there were 4 of us in the albergue. For about 10 days you'll be walking through the Parc Naturel du Haut-Languedoc, which is stunningly beautiful but very remote. Most days, you won't see another soul until you get to the destination, usually a tiny village in the middle of nowhere, with only a few amenities. Hence why it's important to have precise information: if you get there after the Mairie or épicerie has closed, you won't have many other options!

I think it gets busier from Toulouse onwards. I walked the Arles/Aragones from Pau about 9 years ago, and although it was a while back, I remember it being quite sociable. It's also a gorgeous walk, especially from Oloron Ste Mairie, as you approach the Pyrenees. Then you have the spectacular views over the Somport pass, and the dry lunar landscapes of the Aragon valley. You're going to have a great time!

😆 I can feel small changes in my plans are occurring as I read this 👍. - Thanks for the insights xx
 

jsalt

Jill
Past OR future Camino
Portugués, Francés, LePuy, Rota Vicentina, Norte, Madrid, C2C, Salvador, Primitivo, Aragonés, Inglés
Would you say Arles to Somport is very quiet ?

It was very quiet when I walked as it was the end of winter, and I was often the only person in the albergue or gite. It snowed at Somport but I was able to walk over the pass on the road. I was so happy to see the bar/hostel at the top of the pass open for some hot coffee, but it was early in the day, so I didn't stay there.

Beware of public holidays. I stopped at Castres because it was Good Friday morning and everywhere was booked out. I couldn’t go forwards, or backwards, or even stay where I was in Castres, as my room there was fully booked for Easter. As I had walked all the way from Santiago (in reverse – I was heading for Rome) it was time to stop anyway – I needed a rest! I was relying on budget accommodation and I couldn’t afford to waste money by kicking my heels in an expensive hotel over Easter – it was cheaper to change my return flight and fly back home.

By the way, I remember I had the CSJ guide of the Arles route with me, and although it’s a great little booklet it wasn’t of much use to me walking in reverse. It has no maps, and I found it impossible to understand the walking directions going in the different direction! You might find it helpful, but Miam Miam Dodo is much better.
 
Past OR future Camino
Francés : Sarria-Santiago (2013)
Via Podiensis : (2014-17)
Via Tolosana : Arles-Toulouse-(2018-19)
I've walked Arles to Toulouse in September, considered one the busiest times and found it extremely quiet. I understand it gets busier after Toulouse, so I can't speak for that portion. The Parc Naturel Régional du Haut-Languedoc is very remote, like Jan_D said, and I did carry my own food and water, but found, with a little advance research, that it can be done without walking more than 20 or so km/day, which was important to me. The MMDD was good (and I had the latest) but I found the Gronze website more up-to-date. This is not like the Le Puy route where there are plenty of options. Since things may have changed even more given the confinement in France, if I were you I'd make sure I had alternatives if my first choice didn't work out. Definitely reserve in advance a few days if possible as the mairies for the municipal gîtes have limited days/hours when they're open and someone may have to call or email you back, which takes time. Also ask your hosts before you leave each day about the availability of food/grocery stores/ATMs/restaurants for that day's walk so you don't have the unpleasant surprise of finding out that the one grocery store/restaurant in question closed a year ago.
 
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