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How to Start the Aragones from Oloron St. Marie, Bedous, or Canfranc Estacion

WanderlustingLawyer

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Aragones (2021); Camino Frances (2018)
For anyone looking to walk the Camino Aragones, which meets up with the Camino Frances at Puente La Reina, I highly recommend starting in Oloron St. Marie or Bedous France and actually crossing the Pyrenees and entering Spain by at Somport. It's remote, stunning scenery, and the Pyrenees crossing is more challenging than the one at Roncesvalles. In this video, I provide detailed instructions for getting to Canfranc Estacion from Barcelona/Madrid, and then continuing on to Bedous and Oloron St. Marie.
 
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biarritzdon

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Thanks, that is very nice video presentation. I did something similar a few years ago, I took the train from Biarritz to Pau and then connected to the train to Oloron. I got there early enough in the day to have and afternoon to explore both towns. The 12th c. cathedral has a very nice vibe about it. I also stayed at the monastery in Sarrance and was feted by the monks who live there.
I would caution anyone who chooses this route to have some Camino experience, it is definitely not one I would suggest for your first time out. I was there in the late spring and I was the only pilgrim on the route between Oloron and Eunate, except for a group of French cyclist I stayed with in Arres.
I regretted not going to San Juan de la Pena, but was fortunate enough to do that years later by car.
PS, you mentioned a dog attack, I had a similar situation with some Alsatians who were guarding their flock of sheep as I was walking along the abandoned train track out of Oloron, thank God I had my pole to repel them.
 
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WanderlustingLawyer

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Aragones (2021); Camino Frances (2018)
Thanks for providing your insight! I too would not recommend this as a first Camino, especially for inexperienced hikers. I saw a few pilgrims, but not tons. I am so so so mad at myself for missing the experience in Sarrance - guess I have to get back! My poles also saved me from the dog - along with my screams, which finally brought the owner running.
 

Paul Davidson

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2018
For anyone looking to walk the Camino Aragones, which meets up with the Camino Frances at Puente La Reina, I highly recommend starting in Oloron St. Marie or Bedous France and actually crossing the Pyrenees and entering Spain by at Somport. It's remote, stunning scenery, and the Pyrenees crossing is more challenging than the one at Roncesvalles. In this video, I provide detailed instructions for getting to Canfranc Estacion from Barcelona/Madrid, and then continuing on to Bedous and Oloron St. Marie.
Must be one of the most beautiful starts to a Camino.
 

Alan Pearce

Veteran Member
I flew from Paris to Pau, and started my Camino Aragoeese by walking from Pau to Lescar. The next day was a long walk to Oloron, followed by a shorter day the next day to Sarrance where I stayed in the monastery. The next day was a REALLY long walk from Sarrance to Somport I was so tired that night that I could not drink my share of a bottle of wine that we had with dinner.

Be brave. Life is joyous.

Alan
 
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Albertagirl

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Frances; Aragones; VdlP; Madrid-Invierno; Levante
I walked from Oloron Ste Marie to Puenta la Reina, then on to Santiago, in the fall of 2016, on my second camino walk. I flew from Calgary to CDG in Paris, bus to Orly, plane to Pau, bus into town then train to Oloron Ste Marie. I had some adventures along the way and met a few other pilgrims at various albergues, in particular, at the wonderful albergue at Arres. I visited San Juan de la Pena by bus from Jaca, and it continues to be my favourite site in all of my pilgrimages. I shall go back one day.
 
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Albertagirl

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Frances; Aragones; VdlP; Madrid-Invierno; Levante
Great news as I am scheduled to volunteer at the new Albergue in Canfranc mid-September! Afterwards I plan to bus to Oloron St Marie and start the Camino Aragones!
If you start at Oloron Ste Marie, you will be on the Camino d'Arles until you climb up to Somport Pass. That's fine, if that's how you want to do it.
 

Old Hillwalker

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Del Norte 2018 & 2019
Camino de Torres 2022
In Early September I flew from Boston into Paris and took the train onto Pau. Stayed in a wonderful Pilgrim supporting B&B in Pau. I then walked to LaCommande and stayed at the tiny 4 bed Hostel there. The next morning I walked to Oloron Ste Marie. Then the next day up the valley to Somport Pass and thence onto the Camino Aragon. Lovely trip until I got to the crowds in Puente la Reina.

Funny, but not so much, was that in France people wouldn't use English with me until they found out that I was a Yankee, then suddenly they discovered they could speak some English. Some grudges are buried not to deeply in this world.
 
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el guapo 123

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For anyone looking to walk the Camino Aragones, which meets up with the Camino Frances at Puente La Reina, I highly recommend starting in Oloron St. Marie or Bedous France and actually crossing the Pyrenees and entering Spain by at Somport. It's remote, stunning scenery, and the Pyrenees crossing is more challenging than the one at Roncesvalles. In this video, I provide detailed instructions for getting to Canfranc Estacion from Barcelona/Madrid, and then continuing on to Bedous and Oloron St. Marie.
Found that really interesting and video presentation so much better. Agree about crossing the Pyrenees. Next June I plan to take the Valcarlos route which in 3 Caminos. I’ve never taken. Then bus to Pamplona and shared ride BlaBlaCar to Jaca. Bus to Canfranc Estacion and walk from there to Punta La Reina. Who knows I make Finisterre for the first time. Keep the videos coming.
 

peregrino_tom

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
.
Just chipping in as I'm totally in love with this part of the world and can't resist it..
Basically after leaving Oloron you are following the river Aspe up-stream. As you proceed, the mountains grow on either side, and then you are walking up and up the valley, eventually reaching Somport.
I'd just add that if you are fit, familiar with mountain hiking and walking July to mid-September and, have time to be adventurous, there's some amazing hiking to be had on either side of the valley. On the right side you can head up to the high plateau - type Cirque de Lescun into yr browser's image search. From there you can go up onto the ridge and follow GR11 and HRP to Somport, via the wonderful mountain refuge at Lac d'Arlet.
On the left side you can head off at Etsaut along the famous Chemin de la Mature, cut in to the rock face, on the GR10. This eventually takes you to the equally wonderful refuge at Ayous, from where it's less than 3 hrs easy walking across to Somport. Both routes go over 2000m which is why it's best to wait until July to be sure the snow has melted from the paths.
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances; Aragones; VdlP; Madrid-Invierno; Levante
My personal view of the relative difficulty in walking over the Pyrenees on the Frances and on the Aragones is different from that of the OP. I walked the Frances for my first camino, from SJPdP to Santiago, at the age of 67, over the Pyrenees with a night at Orisson. The next year I walked the Aragones from Oloron Ste Marie to Santiago, joining the Frances at Puenta la Reina. The OP's comment that the walk up to Somport was more difficult than that to Roncesvalles on the Napoleon does not agree with my experience. I walked from SJpdP to Orissson, then on the next day to Roncesvalles, and found the two days' walk strenuous and challenging, with a short, steep uphill walk on the first day and a longer day with a slippery downhill on the second. From Borce I walked over the col de Somport to the albergue just past the col, in one day, and found that day easier than either day on the Frances: not so steep uphill as the first, nor ending with a steep downhill before I arrived at my accommodation on the second day. My comment may well be a misunderstanding of the comparison, but I would not want pilgrims to avoid the Aragones on the grounds that the walk up to Somport was more difficult that the walk from SJPdP on the Napoleon to Roncesvalles.
 

sharon w

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Camino Frances 2007
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Via Podiensis, Camino Frances, Camino Finisterre 2012
Cammino di Assisi 2014
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Aussie Camino 2016
We restarted our Chemin d’Arles at Toulouse. Even though the walk wasn’t the best out of Toulouse, the rest of the Chemin was wonderful. We were the only ones in the Gite that night who had walked out of Toulouse. Many take the train to the edge of the city.
Toulouse is very easy to get to, transport wise.
 
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Flog

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2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022
My personal view of the relative difficulty in walking over the Pyrenees on the Frances and on the Aragones is different from that of the OP.

I would not want pilgrims to avoid the Aragones on the grounds that the walk up to Somport was more difficult that the walk from SJPdP on the Napoleon to Roncesvalles

Our mood, our energy, the other pilgrims we encounter, the weather etc..
We each experience and reflect on the same path differently, and each have our own opinion, but should yours be the definitive one?
 
F

Former member 99290

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It’s not important … but I often read on forum posts and elsewhere that the Aragones joins the Frances in Puenta la Reina. I’ve walked the Aragones twice and the path joined the Frances in Obanos. Puenta la Reina is 2-3 kms further west. Unless I went the wrong way … twice! I only add this because if pilgrims are coming from the Aragones, they have the option to stay in Obanos or walk on to PlaR.
 
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Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
It’s not important … but I often read on forum posts and elsewhere that the Aragones joins the Frances in Puenta la Reina. I’ve walked the Aragones twice and the path joined the Frances in Obanos.
From Santa María de Eunate there are two ways to go forward on the Francés. One goes to Obanos and the other to Puente la Reina via the Ermita de Nuestra Señora de Arnotegui. There is a thread on this.
 
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Pilgrim9

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SJPdP-SdC (2017)
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My personal view of the relative difficulty in walking over the Pyrenees on the Frances and on the Aragones is different from that of the OP. I walked the Frances for my first camino, from SJPdP to Santiago, at the age of 67, over the Pyrenees with a night at Orisson. The next year I walked the Aragones from Oloron Ste Marie to Santiago, joining the Frances at Puenta la Reina. The OP's comment that the walk up to Somport was more difficult than that to Roncesvalles on the Napoleon does not agree with my experience. I walked from SJpdP to Orissson, then on the next day to Roncesvalles, and found the two days' walk strenuous and challenging, with a short, steep uphill walk on the first day and a longer day with a slippery downhill on the second. From Borce I walked over the col de Somport to the albergue just past the col, in one day, and found that day easier than either day on the Frances: not so steep uphill as the first, nor ending with a steep downhill before I arrived at my accommodation on the second day. My comment may well be a misunderstanding of the comparison, but I would not want pilgrims to avoid the Aragones on the grounds that the walk up to Somport was more difficult that the walk from SJPdP on the Napoleon to Roncesvalles.

Thank you for your contribution to the dialogue, Albertagirl. I enjoy and try to learn from the interplay of various opinions and information sources, especially in this case as I am still researching the Aragones.

I had tentatively put this route aside as being too challenging but having now read your comments, I have re-instated it as a candidate for my next pilgrimage.
 
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Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances; Aragones; VdlP; Madrid-Invierno; Levante
Our mood, our energy, the other pilgrims we encounter, the weather etc..
We each experience and reflect on the same path differently, and each have our own opinion, but should yours be the definitive one?
I look forward to hearing your experiences and opinions on these and on other pilgrim routes which you have walked. This is how we can assist one another in deciding on and preparing our own walks.
 

Flog

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022
I look forward to hearing your experiences and opinions on these and on other pilgrim routes which you have walked. This is how we can assist one another in deciding on and preparing our own walks.

Indeed.. I have walked both these routes, more than once.
And I do like to offer opinion and advice... when it's asked for.
 
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WanderlustingLawyer

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Camino Aragones (2021); Camino Frances (2018)
My personal view of the relative difficulty in walking over the Pyrenees on the Frances and on the Aragones is different from that of the OP. I walked the Frances for my first camino, from SJPdP to Santiago, at the age of 67, over the Pyrenees with a night at Orisson. The next year I walked the Aragones from Oloron Ste Marie to Santiago, joining the Frances at Puenta la Reina. The OP's comment that the walk up to Somport was more difficult than that to Roncesvalles on the Napoleon does not agree with my experience. I walked from SJpdP to Orissson, then on the next day to Roncesvalles, and found the two days' walk strenuous and challenging, with a short, steep uphill walk on the first day and a longer day with a slippery downhill on the second. From Borce I walked over the col de Somport to the albergue just past the col, in one day, and found that day easier than either day on the Frances: not so steep uphill as the first, nor ending with a steep downhill before I arrived at my accommodation on the second day. My comment may well be a misunderstanding of the comparison, but I would not want pilgrims to avoid the Aragones on the grounds that the walk up to Somport was more difficult that the walk from SJPdP on the Napoleon to Roncesvalles.
Thanks for the alternative perspective! My day did indeed end with steep downhill, but that's probably because I went all the way to Villanua; it was any extremely long day. I still believe this day would be very tough for new pilgrims, unless quite experienced in hiking, but I definitely don't want to discourage anyone from the challenge. Cheers!
 
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Thanks, that is very nice video presentation. I did something similar a few years ago, I took the train from Biarritz to Pau and then connected to the train to Oloron. I got there early enough in the day to have and afternoon to explore both towns. The 12th c. cathedral has a very nice vibe about it. I also stayed at the monastery in Sarrance and was feted by the monks who live there.
I would caution anyone who chooses this route to have some Camino experience, it is definitely not one I would suggest for your first time out. I was there in the late spring and I was the only pilgrim on the route between Oloron and Eunate, except for a group of French cyclist I stayed with in Arres.
I regretted not going to San Juan de la Pena, but was fortunate enough to do that years later by car.
PS, you mentioned a dog attack, I had a similar situation with some Alsatians who were guarding their flock of sheep as I was walking along the abandoned train track out of Oloron, thank God I had my pole to repel them.
My plan is to do Camino Aragones this year, july/august, and I am wondering where to start: Oloron or Somport. I have heard that the walk over Pyrenees is quite hard if you start in Oloron. I have done three Caminos so far,the fourth one will be Camino Primitivo in june, my second Primitivo. Is Camino Aragones harder and more difficult?
 

WanderlustingLawyer

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Aragones (2021); Camino Frances (2018)
My plan is to do Camino Aragones this year, july/august, and I am wondering where to start: Oloron or Somport. I have heard that the walk over Pyrenees is quite hard if you start in Oloron. I have done three Caminos so far,the fourth one will be Camino Primitivo in june, my second Primitivo. Is Camino Aragones harder and more difficult?
Hi! I haven't walked the Primitivo so I can't say for sure which is "harder." How much time do you have, and will you be walking alone or with a companion. The route from Oloron to Somport is absolutely stunning and I highly recommend it, especially if you can space it out more than I did. It's pretty solitary though, and personally, I wish I'd done it with someone else. Here is a video I made describing the hike over the Pyranees from France into Somport and onward. Let me know if you have any questions!
 

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2016, 2022
My plan is to do Camino Aragones this year, july/august, and I am wondering where to start: Oloron or Somport. I have heard that the walk over Pyrenees is quite hard if you start in Oloron. I have done three Caminos so far,the fourth one will be Camino Primitivo in june, my second Primitivo. Is Camino Aragones harder and more difficult?
Maybe we will see you! Be sure to stop at Canfranc Pueblo at the albergue. If not to stay over, to get a drink, use the bathroom or say "hi". We'll be there July 15-31 as hospitaleros.
 
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Albertagirl

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I walked the Aragones as my second camino, in 2016, after walking the Frances the previous year. I was 68 at the time. There were some challenges in the Oloron Ste Marie to Somport section, mostly the result of a major storm which occurred the evening when I arrived. It put out the electricity and shut down everything. I already knew from tourist information that the Vallee d'Aspe was very wet. The walk up from Borce was no problem, certainly less steep than the walk to Orisson. I stayed at the albergue at the top. I would not want to have missed the walk up. Buen camino.
 
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Is Camino Aragones harder and more difficult?
I found it quite easy for Santa Cilia on. That was the only part I walked though. I read many warnings about bringing food and water with you. I didn't find any problem with that but I walked in cooler and overcast conditions. If you decide to do a detour and walk to visit San Juan de la Peña (and you absolutely should do that somehow) things will be more difficult.
 
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Camino Primitivo 2022
Hi! I haven't walked the Primitivo so I can't say for sure which is "harder." How much time do you have, and will you be walking alone or with a companion. The route from Oloron to Somport is absolutely stunning and I highly recommend it, especially if you can space it out more than I did. It's pretty solitary though, and personally, I wish I'd done it with someone else. Here is a video I made describing the hike over the Pyranees from France into Somport and onward. Let me know if you have any questions!
I have plenty of time and I do want to walk all the way to Santiago. Primitivo is quite hard, very beautiful thougt, and absolutely my favourite so far. I am going to walk alone, as always.
I am going to see the video soon, thanks for that!
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Primitivo 2022
I walked the Aragones as my second camino, in 2016, after walking the Frances the previous year. I was 68 at the time. There were some challenges in the Oloron Ste Marie to Somport section, mostly the result of a major storm which occurred the evening when I arrived. It put out the electricity and shut down everything. I already knew from tourist information that the Vallee d'Aspe was very wet. The walk up from Borce was no problem, certainly less steep than the walk to Orisson. I stayed at the albergue at the top. I would not want to have missed the walk up. Buen camino.
Thank you, Albertagirl!
 
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I found it quite easy for Santa Cilia on. That was the only part I walked though. I read many warnings about bringing food and water with you. I didn't find any problem with that but I walked in cooler and overcast conditions. If you decide to do a detour and walk to visit San Juan de la Peña (and you absolutely should do that somehow) things will be more difficult.
Thank you!
 

Flog

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022
My plan is to do Camino Aragones this year, july/august, and I am wondering where to start: Oloron or Somport. I have heard that the walk over Pyrenees is quite hard if you start in Oloron. I have done three Caminos so far,the fourth one will be Camino Primitivo in june, my second Primitivo. Is Camino Aragones harder and more difficult?
You shouldn't find the Aragoñes difficult in comparison to the primitivo, but you will find far fewer pilgrims and fewer options for eating and sleeping. With three caminos behind you, I'm sure you'll more than manage it..
 
Time of past OR future Camino
2018, 2022 (planning - Voie du Puy or Via Tolosana
My personal view of the relative difficulty in walking over the Pyrenees on the Frances and on the Aragones is different from that of the OP. I walked the Frances for my first camino, from SJPdP to Santiago, at the age of 67, over the Pyrenees with a night at Orisson. The next year I walked the Aragones from Oloron Ste Marie to Santiago, joining the Frances at Puenta la Reina. The OP's comment that the walk up to Somport was more difficult than that to Roncesvalles on the Napoleon does not agree with my experience. I walked from SJpdP to Orissson, then on the next day to Roncesvalles, and found the two days' walk strenuous and challenging, with a short, steep uphill walk on the first day and a longer day with a slippery downhill on the second. From Borce I walked over the col de Somport to the albergue just past the col, in one day, and found that day easier than either day on the Frances: not so steep uphill as the first, nor ending with a steep downhill before I arrived at my accommodation on the second day. My comment may well be a misunderstanding of the comparison, but I would not want pilgrims to avoid the Aragones on the grounds that the walk up to Somport was more difficult that the walk from SJPdP on the Napoleon to Roncesvalles.
I am very glad to read this, Albertagirl, because I am nearly sure now that I will be walking the Chemin d'Arles in May, as my second Camino. If all goes to plan, I will celebrate my 69th birthday around the time I am approaching the Col de Somport- and it would be nice if it is less demanding than was the Route Napoleon over the Pyrenees. That was a hard slog for me!
 
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I walked the Aragones as my second camino, in 2016, after walking the Frances the previous year. I was 68 at the time. There were some challenges in the Oloron Ste Marie to Somport section, mostly the result of a major storm which occurred the evening when I arrived. It put out the electricity and shut down everything. I already knew from tourist information that the Vallee d'Aspe was very wet. The walk up from Borce was no problem, certainly less steep than the walk to Orisson. I stayed at the albergue at the top. I would not want to have missed the walk up. Buen camino.
By the way, is there any list of accommodations for this portion of the Chemin d'Arles and Aragones, similar to the list given at Pilgrim Office in St Jean PdP for CF? I ask because of your mention of "the albergue at the top" at Somport? I am aware of MiamMiam Dodo but wondering if there is a basic list of auberges/albergues?
 

biarritzdon

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I found it quite easy for Santa Cilia on. That was the only part I walked though. I read many warnings about bringing food and water with you. I didn't find any problem with that but I walked in cooler and overcast conditions. If you decide to do a detour and walk to visit San Juan de la Peña (and you absolutely should do that somehow) things will be more difficult.
I didn't think about bringing lots of cash with me after Jaca. There were no ATM's so I had to abort about halfway and take a bus to Pamplona
 

dick bird

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Plata, Ingles, Madrid, Norte, Primitivo, Invierno, Aragones, Olvidado, Chemin D'Arles
By the way, is there any list of accommodations for this portion of the Chemin d'Arles and Aragones, similar to the list given at Pilgrim Office in St Jean PdP for CF? I ask because of your mention of "the albergue at the top" at Somport? I am aware of MiamMiam Dodo but wondering if there is a basic list of auberges/albergues?
There is a very helpful pilgrim office in Toulouse, if that is where you start from. They provided us with just such a list. Or you can write to them, they would probably email the list.
 
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biarritzdon

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For those who like to watch videos, this is the Chemin D'Arles from Toulouse. The GR route is easy to follow, the people were kind (and those that could spoke English unprompted). Highly recommended.
Dick,
Fabulous video. I walked Le Puy to Toulouse then jumped on a bus to Burgos to finish the Camino in 2019. I did Oloron Ste. Marie to Santiago a few years earlier and your photos give me goose flesh. Thanks!
 
F

Former member 99290

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Hi Anna. Gronze is usually a good starting point At the end of Arles, it continues with Aragones. 😎


 

Albertagirl

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Frances; Aragones; VdlP; Madrid-Invierno; Levante
The Confraternity of Saint James publishes an English guideboook to the Chemin d'Arles. I purchased a copy of the second section: ii Toulouse to Puente la Reina to help me along the way. It is currently listed on their website. As a guidebook, it was not updated very frequently, but rather pilgrims who passed through reported changes. These reports were inserted in copies of the guide when I bought mine.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
2018, 2022 (planning - Voie du Puy or Via Tolosana
Hi Anna. Gronze is usually a good starting point At the end of Arles, it continues with Aragones. 😎


Thank you! I will check out Gronze. Getting close for you two, now, isn't it?
 
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Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
I didn't think about bringing lots of cash with me after Jaca. There were no ATM's so I had to abort about halfway and take a bus to Pamplona
Come to think about it I don't remember using an ATM on the Aragonese. I had some euros in my pocket in Huesca and I used an ATM there. I must have taken out 300€, my usual. It was four days to the Aragonese and then five days to Puente la Reina.

I just now tried ATM in Sangüesa in Google Maps and it showed a few locations.
 

biarritzdon

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CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF&CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF&CP17, CdN18, CM18, CF18, LePuy19
Come to think about it I don't remember using an ATM on the Aragonese. I had some euros in my pocket in Huesca and I used an ATM there. I must have taken out 300€, my usual. It was four days to the Aragonese and then five days to Puente la Reina.

I just now tried ATM in Sangüesa in Google Maps and it showed a few locations.
I believe you are correct but I ran out of cash 2 stages before there. I could have bailed out of the bus but I had already paid the full fare to Pamplona; and yes, as we passed through Sanguesa I say a bank. My bad!
 

Vacajoe

Traded in my work boots for hiking ones
Time of past OR future Camino
2019
It’s a good point to note that many of the things that pilgrims simply accept as fact on the CF or CP are not easily available on the CA: banks, ATMs, water, bathrooms, morning cafe, lunch, private rooms, etc. While you will find all of these in Canfranc, Jaca, and Sanguesa, you need to plan accordingly for the smaller villages you’ll be passing through. Some simply host an albergue and food, while others have zero commercial establishments.
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances; Aragones; VdlP; Madrid-Invierno; Levante
When I walked the Aragones, the bigges problem was water. In a couple of places there was a water fixture along the camino route which had recently been attached to a hose or pipe which went away from the camino and offered no access to pilgrims. Both were clearly originally designed as pilgrim fountains. I supposed that the major changes which the construction of the Yesa reservoir in the valley had brought about had made this change necessary to supply local residents with water. In my opinion, it is necessary for pilgrims to carry lots of water and to fill up whenever safe water is available.
 
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Linda Fantillo

RiverWalker
Time of past OR future Camino
September/October 14, May 17, September 18,
May22
I am very glad to read this, Albertagirl, because I am nearly sure now that I will be walking the Chemin d'Arles in May, as my second Camino. If all goes to plan, I will celebrate my 69th birthday around the time I am approaching the Col de Somport- and it would be nice if it is less demanding than was the Route Napoleon over the Pyrenees. That was a hard slog for me!
Hi Anna, I will be doing this route also. Plan to start walking from Oloron St. Marie on the 18th of May. I am 71 and have a few Caminos behind me. When are you planning for?
 
Time of past OR future Camino
2018, 2022 (planning - Voie du Puy or Via Tolosana
Hi Anna, I will be doing this route also. Plan to start walking from Oloron St. Marie on the 18th of May. I am 71 and have a few Caminos behind me. When are you planning for?
Hi Linda, it's great to hear about your plans, too. I am a bit unsure about exact dates because of a special family event in Toulon at beginning of May, and even a little undecided about the starting point (Arles vs points further along the route...?) But, your query is a good stimulus- I need to decide this soon. I'm waiting for delivery of the MMDD guide to help clarify my planning. If you know this route already, that would help, too - do you want to keep in touch via pm on this Forum?
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Time of past OR future Camino
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The OP's comment that the walk up to Somport was more difficult than that to Roncesvalles on the Napoleon does not agree with my experience.
In pure hiking terms, I'd agree -- getting over the pass itself is pretty simple, and it's a rather shorter hike from the bottom of it to the other side than SJPP > Roncesvalles.

What I did find more difficult was the monotony of much of the walk to reach the pass, enclosed as you are in such a narrow passage between claustrophobic mountain barriers on either side. (Of course, there are some wonderful places along the Way.)

Otherwise, for the Somport, I'd advise a start from Lourdes rather than from Oloron.
If you start at Oloron Ste Marie, you will be on the Camino d'Arles until you climb up to Somport Pass. That's fine, if that's how you want to do it.
IIRC the French GR waymarking ends, and the Spanish begins (yellow arrows !!) somewhat before the pass itself. And hmmmm, Oloron-Sainte-Marie > Puente la Reina has "official" names and so on, but technically it's still a variant route of the French Way. Spanish Camino maps in the 1990s showed the Ways to Santiago via both Roncesvalles and the Somport as the "Camino Francés".

Somewhat similarly, the stretch between Zaragoza and Logroño is simultaneously part of the Camí Catalàn, the Via del Ebro, the Camino Ignaciano, and of course, both the Camino de Santiago and the Via Romea -- and which of those it is for an individual pilgrim depends mostly on that pilgrim's own intents and purposes.
It’s not important … but I often read on forum posts and elsewhere that the Aragones joins the Frances in Puenta la Reina. I’ve walked the Aragones twice and the path joined the Frances in Obanos. Puenta la Reina is 2-3 kms further west. Unless I went the wrong way … twice! I only add this because if pilgrims are coming from the Aragones, they have the option to stay in Obanos or walk on to PlaR.
There are two options for joining the Francès -- the most obvious one takes you to Obanos, but a variant does take you straight to Puente.
I didn't think about bringing lots of cash with me after Jaca. There were no ATM's so I had to abort about halfway and take a bus to Pamplona
There's bound to be one in Sangüesa -- and IIRC a few of the Albergues & restaurants etc. on the Way accept cards. (? Not really certain, as I was rather penniless on those days) But yeah, definitely carry a bit more food & cash than usual !!
 

Flog

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022
For anyone looking to walk the Camino Aragones, which meets up with the Camino Frances at Puente La Reina, I highly recommend starting in Oloron St. Marie or Bedous France.
I'm looking back over these Aragoñes threads in anticipation of my next one! I've already walked the Aragoñes twice before from Somport.

This time, I'm hoping to walk the few days from Oloron St. Marie up and over the pass to take up my next hospi stint in Canfranc in mid October. I want to do as you have, take the bus from Canfranc Estacion to Bedous and the train from there to Oloron to begin walking. I have the train schedules but I can't find a schedule online for the bus? Is it a daily service? I should have paid more attention last time I was up in Canfranc Estacion!!
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
I want to do as you have, take the bus from Canfranc Estacion to Bedous and the train from there to Oloron to begin walking.
You can't get to Bedous from Canfranc without a 40km drive from Astun to Bedous according to rome2rio.
 
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Flog

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
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Yes, I see that too, thanks..
But in her video, @WanderlustingLawyer makes a clear reference to taking a bus from Estacion to Bedous. I'm sure I could get a taxi but would only do as a last resort...
 

lbeckhusen

Laurin B
Time of past OR future Camino
Francis Portugese Primitivo Norte VdLP
I will be volunteer Hospitalero in Canfranc beginning September 15 after which I also plan to travel to Oloron St Marie and walk to Puente La Reina
 

Flog

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022
I will be volunteer Hospitalero in Canfranc beginning September 15 after which I also plan to travel to Oloron St Marie and walk

Ah, looks like you will be about 10 days ahead of me! My plan is to head to Oloron around the 10th..
 

lbeckhusen

Laurin B
Time of past OR future Camino
Francis Portugese Primitivo Norte VdLP
Ah, looks like you will be about 10 days ahead of me! My plan is to head to Oloron around the 10th..
I’m not sure how I will get from con Frank to Orion Saint Marie but I’m pretty sure the locals will tell me when I’m there
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
Try https://transports.nouvelle-aquitaine.fr/

I found this on a webpage that linked to a couple of its pdf schedules for Somport-Canfranc-Bedous-Oloron but the end dates for the schedules were June 4 and July 1. In French. Here is that webpage:
 
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Scott Sweeney

Veteran Member
For anyone looking to walk the Camino Aragones, which meets up with the Camino Frances at Puente La Reina, I highly recommend starting in Oloron St. Marie or Bedous France and actually crossing the Pyrenees and entering Spain by at Somport. It's remote, stunning scenery, and the Pyrenees crossing is more challenging than the one at Roncesvalles. In this video, I provide detailed instructions for getting to Canfranc Estacion from Barcelona/Madrid, and then continuing on to Bedous and Oloron St. Marie.
We started our Camino Argones from Paris to Aix-en-Provence, and then on to Saint-Maximin-la-Sainte-Baume ( Sanctuary of Mary Magdalene and not a official start to the Argones. ) and walked to Oloron, Lescar and then over the mountains to Jaca. We did spend a night at ConFrance Estacion and did get to see the light show at the train station. We did get to San Juan de la Pena by bus and walked back to Jaca. We got to Saint Mary of Eunate the last day of that season. When we met up with the CF we walked back to SJPP. It was this route that told me I couldn't cross the Pyrenees two times in one Camino. By far one of our favorite Caminos.

Sounds like you had a good time.
 
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Flog

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022
Try https://transports.nouvelle-aquitaine.fr/

I found this on a webpage that linked to a couple of its pdf schedules for Somport-Canfranc-Bedous-Oloron but the end dates for the schedules were June 4 and July 1. In French. Here is that webpage:

That's really helpful thanks, I couldn't find that! Even if the schedule is reduced later in the year, there clearly are buses between the two towns! Leaving from Zaragoza early morning, I should be able to get to Oloron by the late afternoon, one less thing to worry about!
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
That's really helpful thanks, I couldn't find that! Even if the schedule is reduced later in the year, there clearly are buses between the two towns!
I was headed to this thread anyway, before seeing your post, to add that possibly the service is only provided during ski season and Wanderlust had the luck to be be in the area during that time. Perhaps you should contact
https://transports.nouvelle-aquitaine.fr/ so you will have the opportunity to seek other transportation if that is the case.
 

Flog

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022
Yes, now that I have the website, perhaps I can find a French speaker to look into it for me! I'm confident I'll figure something, thanks again!
 

Vacajoe

Traded in my work boots for hiking ones
Time of past OR future Camino
2019
Hey Flog! (And Laurin!). There was definitely a bus running from Estacion to Oloron in November 2021 (pre-ski season). We found that the tourist office in Estacion had all the answers to all the questions and one person even spoke English! Their #: +34 974 37 31 41


EDIT: I should add that I was told the bus route is designed to replace the non functioning sections of the Canfranc-Pau train route. So it leaves Canfranc and will stop in Bedous IF the train is running to there, otherwise it will terminate in Oloron.
 
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Flog

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022
Either option good to know! Thanks!!
Yeah, I remember they were very helpful at the tourist place!
 
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Linda Fantillo

RiverWalker
Time of past OR future Camino
September/October 14, May 17, September 18,
May22
I recently walked from Oloron St.Marie to Canfrac Stn. And then on to the Aragones. Write if you have any questions.
 

lbeckhusen

Laurin B
Time of past OR future Camino
Francis Portugese Primitivo Norte VdLP
Hey Flog! (And Laurin!). There was definitely a bus running from Estacion to Oloron in November 2021 (pre-ski season). We found that the tourist office in Estacion had all the answers to all the questions and one person even spoke English! Their #: +34 974 37 31 41


EDIT: I should add that I was told the bus route is designed to replace the non functioning sections of the Canfranc-Pau train route. So it leaves Canfranc and will stop in Bedous IF the train is running to there, otherwise it will terminate in Oloron.
Thanks as always Vacajoe🙏
 

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