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Lourdes to Jaca

Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances September 2022
I was looking on the Godesalco planning site https://godesalco.com/plan regarding the trek from Lourdes to Jaca. It lists two different variants; connection by Gavarnie and connection by Panticosa. Has anyone on this forum walked either of these routes? If so what is the difficulty for each of these? I cannot find a guide book and I don't see much in the forum. Most of the info is from Lourdes to SJPDP or from Lourdes to Somport. Thank you.
 
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I’ve not done the Aragones before but this is something I’m planning so I’m quite interested in this thread!

I’ve had a look at the godesalco link, and read the 2 options by Gavarnie and by Panticosa as you mentioned, and…. I don’t understand. 🤷🏻‍♀️ Neither of them seems to follow the routing I have in mind!

From what I gather so far, from Lourdes to Oloron-Sainte-Marie you can follow the Camino Piamonte, and from Oloron-Sainte-Marie to Somport via Arles route… then from Somport you follow the Camino Aragones to Jaca and onwards to Puente La Reina and onwards on the traditional Frances should you wish…
 
From what I gather so far, from Lourdes to Oloron-Sainte-Marie you can follow the Camino Piamonte, and from Oloron-Sainte-Marie to Somport via Arles route… then from Somport you follow the Camino Aragones to Jaca and onwards to Puente La Reina and onwards on the traditional Frances should you wish…

That's just what I did in May 2018. Can recommend it without reservation.

Give yourself at least one full day to absorb Lourdes -- a strange and wonderful place even if you're not Catholic! The walk from Lourdes to Oloron was absolutely charming -- like walking through "The Shire"! (And the French were surprisingly nice, and respectful of pilgrims.)

Walking down from the Somport Pass to Canfranc shines in my memory. my gosh! Breathtaking vistas! ... Jaca has perhaps the best cathedral museum in Spain. Don't miss it! Or San Juan de la Pena, for that matter. ... I later detoured north of the reservoir to visit the monastery at Leyre. Might go to the south if I can ever go back on my own.... By Sanguesa I was tiring, I admit, but oh what a great adventure I'd had. And when I reached Puente La Reina after many quiet days I was shocked by the number of peregrinos coming in from Pamplona.
 
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That's just what I did in May 2018. Can recommend it without reservation.

Give yourself at least one full day to absorb Lourdes -- a strange and wonderful place even if you're not Catholic! The walk from Lourdes to Oloron was absolutely charming -- like walking through "The Shire"! (And the French were surprisingly nice, and respectful of pilgrims.)

Walking down from the Somport Pass to Canfranc shines in my memory. my gosh! Breathtaking vistas! ... Jaca has perhaps the best cathedral museum in Spain. Don't miss it! Or San Juan de la Pena, for that matter. ... I later detoured north of the reservoir to visit the monastery at Leyre. Might go to the south if I can ever go back.... By Sanguesa I was tiring, I admit, but oh what a great adventure I'd had. And when I reached Puente La Reina after many quiet days I was shocked by the number of peregrinos coming in from Pamplona.
Did you use any guidebook at the time? I can see Gronze has info about the Aragones, so does Buen Camino. But BC doesn’t have a guide for Arles and Piemonte yet…

This autumn I was in Jaca, such a marvellous place!! Also went to see Castillo de Javier and Monastery in Leyre… and walked around Foz de Lumbier! I was driving from one place to another though…

Also I’d quite like to see the Canfranc Estacion, now that they have completed the renovation work and now it’s apparently open as a hotel.
 
Also I’d quite like to see the Canfranc Estacion, now that they have completed the renovation work and now it’s apparently open as a hotel.
Don't hold your breath on that one, it may look it from a distance, but it's quite a way from finished..
 
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If it says it's open, I guess it's open. But I've been following the progress of it for the past 3 years or so and less than a month ago it was still a building site with no access allowed inside, not even on the concourse. Having said that, it's a monumental project, a massive site and a spectacular building..

Edit:
In fairness, there was an army of construction workers at it last month, concentrating on the main building and it's possible they will have it partly finished on the inside, ahead of the skiing season, though I would estimate it will take another year or more to complete the works.. These pictures were taken at the end of October, less than a month ago..


Screenshot_20221124-210508_Gallery.jpgScreenshot_20221124-210516_Gallery.jpgScreenshot_20221124-221151_Gallery.jpg
 
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The Canfranc station was open for guided visits in 2018, but we had to wear hard hats.

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Did you use any guidebook at the time? I can see Gronze has info about the Aragones, so does Buen Camino. But BC doesn’t have a guide for Arles and Piemonte yet…
No guidebook. I was walking with one of Forum Member Sillydoll's Amawalkers small groups. We all used her notes and her recommended accommodations. I don't think that she's offering Lourdes-Aragones walks anymore, but if she were I'd be tempted...! Memorable!
 
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I walked this route in 2009 and found it quite challenging! amaWalkers Camino started offering 16-day accompanied walks on this route in 2016, 2017 and 2018. Accommodation for groups was problematic - that is why we shuttled the group to the alternate northern route from Artieda to the Monasterio de Leyre. The Casa Rural will only accept two night reservations so we shuttled the group from the path back to the Casa and returned them the next day to continue from where they'd stopped.
This was our itinerary in 2018 when Jeffrey walked with Jenny Rooks as group leader.

MayPlaceKMLodging
24ThurExtra night – optional
Appart'hôtel Saint Jean
125FriLourdesAppart'hôtel Saint Jean
226SatLestelle-Bétharram17.0Sci Du Gave apartments
327SunArudy23.4Hotel Arudy-pyrenees
428MonOloron Ste Marie23.2Hotel d’France
529TueSarrance23Las Pas Sages
630WedBorce23Maison Bergoun & B&B
731ThuSomport [Stay at Canfranc Est]18.5 or 24Stay 2 nights in Le Tuca
81FriVillanua [Stay at Canfranc Est]17 or 9Le Tuca - Canfranc Estacion
92SatJaca15Hotel El Acebo
103SunSanta Cruz20.4Hotel Santa Cruz
114MonPuente la Reina de Jaca13San Juan then Hotel Anaya
125TuesWalk to Artieda – taxi to Leyre18.2Hotel Monasterio de Leyre
136WedSanguesa17.6Hotel Yamaguchi
147ThurAbinzano20.4Casa Rural Lantxurda
158FriWalk to Guerendiáin17Casa Rural Lantxurda
169SatPuente la Reina22Restaurant Hotel Bar Plaza
10SunPamplona – optionalHostal Arriazu
 
I was looking on the Godesalco planning site https://godesalco.com/plan regarding the trek from Lourdes to Jaca. It lists two different variants; connection by Gavarnie and connection by Panticosa. Has anyone on this forum walked either of these routes? If so what is the difficulty for each of these? I cannot find a guide book and I don't see much in the forum. Most of the info is from Lourdes to SJPDP or from Lourdes to Somport. Thank you.
We walked this route as the first part of a very long combination of a number of caminos, starting in Lourdes and ending in Montserrat. The walk from Lourdes to Oleron to Jaca is not at all difficult, rolling hills and valleys to Oleron, a steady uphill three-day walk to the Somport pass and then downhill all the way to Jaca. Here's the itinerary we followed:
Start in Lourdes
Bertharram 17 km
Arudy 23.4km
Oloron Ste Marie 23.5 km
Sarrance 22 km
Urdos 25 km
Canfranc Estacion 22km
Jaca 24 km

Tips: The meals enroute were delightful. After all, this is France. In Oleron, don't miss the cathedral portal and be sure to enjoy some galotte and crepes. Our stay in the monastery in Sarrance was unforgettable. The walk from Urdos through the pass at Somport was a sharp contrast to the the challenging, up-and-over from SJPDP to Roncevalles. Rather than an up and over, you will be walking next to mountain streams with towering peaks above you.

We enjoyed Jaca so much we spent two nights. And if you have time, take the 0830 bus up to San Juan de la Pena. The 9th century remains of the monastery down the hill a bit is a jewel. You can then walk downhill back to Jaca...or onward as we did. Bon chemin!
 
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I walked this route in 2009 and found it quite challenging! amaWalkers Camino started offering 16-day accompanied walks on this route in 2016, 2017 and 2018. Accommodation for groups was problematic - that is why we shuttled the group to the alternate northern route from Artieda to the Monasterio de Leyre. The Casa Rural will only accept two night reservations so we shuttled the group from the path back to the Casa and returned them the next day to continue from where they'd stopped.
This was our itinerary in 2018 when Jeffrey walked with Jenny Rooks as group leader.

MayPlaceKMLodging
24ThurExtra night – optional
Appart'hôtel Saint Jean
125FriLourdesAppart'hôtel Saint Jean
226SatLestelle-Bétharram17.0Sci Du Gave apartments
327SunArudy23.4Hotel Arudy-pyrenees
428MonOloron Ste Marie23.2Hotel d’France
529TueSarrance23Las Pas Sages
630WedBorce23Maison Bergoun & B&B
731ThuSomport [Stay at Canfranc Est]18.5 or 24Stay 2 nights in Le Tuca
81FriVillanua [Stay at Canfranc Est]17 or 9Le Tuca - Canfranc Estacion
92SatJaca15Hotel El Acebo
103SunSanta Cruz20.4Hotel Santa Cruz
114MonPuente la Reina de Jaca13San Juan then Hotel Anaya
125TuesWalk to Artieda – taxi to Leyre18.2Hotel Monasterio de Leyre
136WedSanguesa17.6Hotel Yamaguchi
147ThurAbinzano20.4Casa Rural Lantxurda
158FriWalk to Guerendiáin17Casa Rural Lantxurda
169SatPuente la Reina22Restaurant Hotel Bar Plaza
10SunPamplona – optionalHostal Arriazu
Regarding accommodations...we did no prior arrangements for our walk in 2016. We just showed up. In both Betharem and Arudy, there was pilgrim housing. In Oleron, there is a real albergue. Sarrance is the monastery, Urdos a real albergue. In Canfranc there are many choices, as in Jaca. This is not like the Frances; not many pilgrims...so we never had a problem.
 
Great details and thanks. How was food in the places you stayed?
If you're asking this question of me, the answer is that other than the monastery, there was no food or meals at the places we stayed. I would say that most of the time, we bought baguettes, meat, cheese, drinks, etc at markets and ate at the places we were staying at. In towns with restaurants, we took advantage of the marvellous cuisine of this area of France. I don't recall that we were ever hungry.
 
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I was in Jaca for a couple of nights:
Restaurante Biarritz - a traditional Asador, really good food! And excellent service too.

And then for the other time I ate out, I went to a dive bar next to the army base, they specialise in burger and I had venison… and the waiter shouted to the kitchen “Bambiiii”. Place is called Casa Esteban.

Around the cathedral there are various eateries… a chocolate place, an ice cream place… should you wish to cook, there are at least about 5 supermarkets in town, from the usual Eroski to more upscale looking one called bonArea. There’s also a large Mercadona but it’s on the edge of town. Heck, there’s even a McDonald’s there!
 
We walked this route as the first part of a very long combination of a number of caminos, starting in Lourdes and ending in Montserrat. The walk from Lourdes to Oleron to Jaca is not at all difficult, rolling hills and valleys to Oleron, a steady uphill three-day walk to the Somport pass and then downhill all the way to Jaca. Here's the itinerary we followed:
Start in Lourdes
Bertharram 17 km
Arudy 23.4km
Oloron Ste Marie 23.5 km
Sarrance 22 km
Urdos 25 km
Canfranc Estacion 22km
Jaca 24 km

Tips: The meals enroute were delightful. After all, this is France. In Oleron, don't miss the cathedral portal and be sure to enjoy some galotte and crepes. Our stay in the monastery in Sarrance was unforgettable. The walk from Urdos through the pass at Somport was a sharp contrast to the the challenging, up-and-over from SJPDP to Roncevalles. Rather than an up and over, you will be walking next to mountain streams with towering peaks above you.

We enjoyed Jaca so much we spent two nights. And if you have time, take the 0830 bus up to San Juan de la Pena. The 9th century remains of the monastery down the hill a bit is a jewel. You can then walk downhill back to Jaca...or onward as we did. Bon chemin!
Thank you!!
 
I walked from Lourdes to Jaca via the Col du Pourtalet (1794m) last September. I followed the GR78 to begin with, but later I took to the road. My stops were: Asson, Arudy, Eaux-Chaudes, Gabas, Sallent de Gallego, Biescas, Sabiñanigo, Jaca. For a detailed description involving more of the GR78, read Charl Durand's blog: http://charldurand.blogspot.com/2015/07/camino-de-santiago-day-one-lourdes-to.html. He crossed into Spain via Col de Peyrelue -- yet another variation.
 
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We walked this route as the first part of a very long combination of a number of caminos, starting in Lourdes and ending in Montserrat. The walk from Lourdes to Oleron to Jaca is not at all difficult, rolling hills and valleys to Oleron, a steady uphill three-day walk to the Somport pass and then downhill all the way to Jaca. Here's the itinerary we followed:
Start in Lourdes
Bertharram 17 km
Arudy 23.4km
Oloron Ste Marie 23.5 km
Sarrance 22 km
Urdos 25 km
Canfranc Estacion 22km
Jaca 24 km

Tips: The meals enroute were delightful. After all, this is France. In Oleron, don't miss the cathedral portal and be sure to enjoy some galotte and crepes. Our stay in the monastery in Sarrance was unforgettable. The walk from Urdos through the pass at Somport was a sharp contrast to the the challenging, up-and-over from SJPDP to Roncevalles. Rather than an up and over, you will be walking next to mountain streams with towering peaks above you.

We enjoyed Jaca so much we spent two nights. And if you have time, take the 0830 bus up to San Juan de la Pena. The 9th century remains of the monastery down the hill a bit is a jewel. You can then walk downhill back to Jaca...or onward as we did. Bon chemin!
Thank you for the info!
 

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