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Irati Railway Route: walking between Pamplona (CF) and Sanguesa (CA)

Vacajoe

Traded in my work boots for hiking ones
Time of past OR future Camino
2019
Just returned from WALKING from Pamplona to Sangüesa (April 2019), connecting the Camino Frances and the Camino Aragones via the abandoned railway route of Spain’s first electric railroad! A great, relatively easy three day walk which can be done on its own or a unique way to get some “alone time” if the CF crowds are a bit much. 👍

The following details my route from P to S, but either direction works since there is limited signage and no other pilgrims out there for most of the walk. At either end, I recommend the standard albergues (muni in Sangüesa and Jesus-Maria in Pamplona) which were clean and inexpensive. On this route, you have little choice of where to stay: either the one hotel in town or wild camping.

A few more tips:
- The historic railway route can be followed in part, but they are still developing the route (photo below of the rail route) and it follows a major roadway most of the way. I used maps.me or a similar mapping program to find the off-tarmac routes versus following the highway the entire route. I would encourage the same since we walked through forests and grasslands versus roadside paths.
- Both hotels I stayed at are on Booking.com, but we were the only guests at each so pre-booking may not be critical off-season.
- Very little English spoken on the route, but google translate and pantomiming worked! 😂

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*Pamplona-Lérruz-Urroz (23km)
Gradual climb out of Pamplona on a sidewalk next to a little-used paved road. Then cut over a mountain range through the Irati Forest towards the end. No real services enroute, but found some water faucets. Carry lunch! Stayed at “Hotel Rural Muskilda” in Urroz for 60€ - delightful stay with dinner and breakfast available.
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* Urroz-Turrillas-Lumbier (22km)
Nearly identical to the previous day, except less roadside walking. Stayed at Hotel Iru Bide (60€) and had a great dinner. In the morning, wait until they put out the “second breakfast” counter foods around 0900 to 0930 - they were fantastic!
EE07943E-EB53-4310-BEF2-B1340E517C25.jpeg EFC00271-6B89-479B-9EC3-D6B6D06412EA.jpeg


* Lumbier to Sangüesa (15km)
Easy day of flat walking, with half of it on the roadside but worth that part to see the Foz de Lumbier!!! The rail line followed a Roman trade route through a magnificent canyon, leaving a great pedestrian hiking path that shouldn’t be missed.

So that’s it! Three days of walking through farmland, forest, and a Foz with no pilgrims for nearly all of it. A historic route touching on Roman trade caravans, early electric railroading, and Santiago pilgrims!

Buen Camino!
 
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Amy Mello

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Porto to Santiago in Sept 15
Very cool. I had been thinking of walking from Puente La Reina to Pamplona on the reverse CF route. Perhaps this is a better alternative.
 

NorthernLight

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
Very cool. I had been thinking of walking from Puente La Reina to Pamplona on the reverse CF route. Perhaps this is a better alternative.
It will save you from walking up and down the Alto de Perdon, against the pilgrim flow.
 

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