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Lourdes to SJPdP?

Antananarivo

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Francés (Sep-Oct 2022)
Start in Lourdes via Oleraon, Somport, Camino de Aragonese down to Puenta la Reina, a more than beautifuf way
Hi there,
My trip is in early September and I'm also thinking about visiting Lourdes for a couple of days before travelling to SJPP.
When you say more beautiful, is compared to what?
How many days would the above take?
Are there enough albergues in that route?

Thanks in advance.
 
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Antananarivo

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Francés (Sep-Oct 2022)
I would like to know about the Lourdes route too!
Hi,
I have been reviewing the information provided by @Hans-Georg Goebel.

I think what that it is not possible to start walking from Lourdes.

Perhaps the advice is actually to get by public transport to a town called Oloron-Sainte-Marie and walk from there to
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And then from Somport, you walk the Camino Aragones to Puente La Reina which is a town after Pamplona. See link here https://www.gronze.com/camino-aragones
 

Vacajoe

Traded in my work boots for hiking ones
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances, Portuguese, Aragon, Norte, SJWayUK, Nive
Lourdes is on the Piemonte route and 5-7 days walking from SJPdP. If you plan to walk to Santiago, you can take the older and more beautiful (compared to the Napoleon) route over the Somport Pass if you divert to the Camino Arles at Oloron St Marie and then continue onto the Camino Aragones. It’s all well marked and a nice, less-traveled route which eventually will put you onto the Camino Frances after Puente la Reina.

Rather than discuss those routes here, I suggest you research the numerous other posts on these routes for more information. However, I will attest that it is a fabulous walk!!!
 

Vacajoe

Traded in my work boots for hiking ones
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances, Portuguese, Aragon, Norte, SJWayUK, Nive
I think what that it is not possible to start walking from Lourdes.
Not sure why you would think this as Lourdes is a significant pilgrimage destination for millions of Catholics each year. 🤔. Due to the number of pilgrims there, there is a wide range of transportation options (train/bus/taxi/plane) to that city as well as walking routes. Additionally, there are a number of pilgrim albergues/gites there.
 
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Antananarivo

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Francés (Sep-Oct 2022)
Not sure why you would think this as Lourdes is a significant pilgrimage destination for millions of Catholics each year. 🤔. Due to the number of pilgrims there, there is a wide range of transportation options (train/bus/taxi/plane) to that city as well as walking routes. Additionally, there are a number of pilgrim albergues/gites there.
I should have been more cleared. I couldn't find in the Gronze.com website camino passing via Lourdes. But thanks for the clarification. I'll research the Piemonte route. Thanks.
 
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irishrock

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances (1st three stages in 2016 and finished in 2017)
I visited Lourdes before my pilgrimage in 2016. I took the trains from Biarritz to Pau and then on to Lourdes. Returning, we went to Bayonne and took the train to SJPP (it ran 2x day-morning/afternoon) back then. There are some good apps (rome2rio) for one that provide train schedules. Best of luck
 
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Former member 99290

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If you walk from Lourdes you will be on the Chemin du Piemont and you will come to St Oloron St Marie, where the Piemont and the Arles Way intersect. From there you can go north west to SJPP or south to the Col du Somport and continue on the Aragones.

Oloron Saint Marie has one of the best gites communale I’ve ever stayed in - Le Relais du Bastet. We walked the Piemont recently and stayed there for the second time. Our first was on the Arles Way in 2016. Le Relais du Bastet is highly recommended. Gréât facilities, small dorms (2, 3 and 4 beds to a room) and a warm welcome from the volunteers.
 
F

Former member 99290

Guest
Something useful for pilgrims in Lourdes. While we were in Lourdes, we stumbled across the pilgrim information office. We were warmly welcome by Luc, from Belgium, the fist volunteer of the season as the office had only opened 5 days before. He kindly let us leave our backpacks in the office while we visited the pilgrimage sites. (Luc gave permission for this photo below to be used).

Outside the office we noticed a bench – complete with USB outlets – provided for walkers. I don’t know if these exist on other Caminos. I’ve never seen them – but maybe they are on some of the more popular routes now. At the top of the pole is a small solar panel that provides energy for the USB outlets. Not all modernisations sit well on the camino, in my opinion. But we thought this one was discreet and useful for modern pilgrims. Even the bench – without the charging outlets and solar panels – is a welcome facility.
 

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Antananarivo

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Francés (Sep-Oct 2022)
If you walk from Lourdes you will be on the Chemin du Piemont and you will come to St Oloron St Marie, where the Piemont and the Arles Way intersect. From there you can go north west to SJPP or south to the Col du Somport and continue on the Aragones.

Oloron Saint Marie has one of the best gites communale I’ve ever stayed in - Le Relais du Bastet. We walked the Piemont recently and stayed there for the second time. Our first was on the Arles Way in 2016. Le Relais du Bastet is highly recommended. Gréât facilities, small dorms (2, 3 and 4 beds to a room) and a warm welcome from the volunteers.
I have read from a couple of people that this route is even more beautiful than the Napoleon route in Camino Frances. Have you done both by any chance?. In any case I know that any route has things to offer.
 
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Former member 99290

Guest
I have read from a couple of people that this route is even more beautiful than the Napoleon route in Camino Frances. Have you done both by any chance?. In any case I know that any route has things to offer.
Do you mean the Col du Somport compared to Napoleon route? Yes I’ve done both. I’m not really one for such comparisons - sorry. I enjoyed both very much. I wouldn’t let that one day determine which route you take.

If you want to walk the Aragones (which will meet the Frances at Obanos or Puenta la Reina) you will walk south some days from Oloron Saint Marie and cross the Col du Somport. If you want to join the Frances at SJPP you will walk north some days and cross via Napoleon or Valcarlos Routes.

Best wishes for your decision. 🙏
 

Antananarivo

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Francés (Sep-Oct 2022)
Do you mean the Col du Somport compared to Napoleon route? Yes I’ve done both. I’m not really one for such comparisons - sorry. I enjoyed both very much. I wouldn’t let that one day determine which route you take.

If you want to walk the Aragones (which will meet the Frances at Obanos or Puenta la Reina) you will walk south some days from Oloron Saint Marie and cross the Col du Somport. If you want to join the Frances at SJPP you will walk north some days and cross via Napoleon or Valcarlos Routes.

Best wishes for your decision. 🙏
Fantastic. Much appreciated.
 
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Br. Diego

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Sanabres - Ourense to Santiago Nov. 4-11
Hi. I am starting this walk on Monday, in 2 days, Nov. 7th walking from Lourdes to Saint Jean Pied de Port. How was your experience in September?
 

Antananarivo

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Francés (Sep-Oct 2022)
Hi. I am starting this walk on Monday, in 2 days, Nov. 7th walking from Lourdes to Saint Jean Pied de Port. How was your experience in September?
Hello there!!

Days before my trip from Australia, I decided to walk from SJPDP. I still went to Lourdes to visit the sanctuary for two full days. It was beautiful!

This was my first Camino, and wanted to be more confident in the process. I felt that SJPDP was easier for someone with no experience.

I did my Camino in 34 days. I could have done it in 30 days - but I decided to accompany two good friends I met on my second day. They had everything prepaid and I adjusted my plans to them, although I slept all the time in albergues.

Good luck with your trip 🤗
 

jbrehove

New Member
Hi. I am starting this walk on Monday, in 2 days, Nov. 7th walking from Lourdes to Saint Jean Pied de Port. How was your experience in September?
Hi, I am walking Lourdes to SJPDP in Fall of 2023. Would love to know the route you took. Are there any guidebooks in English for this? I found one in French.
 
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Vacajoe

Traded in my work boots for hiking ones
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances, Portuguese, Aragon, Norte, SJWayUK, Nive
JBREHOVE: Gronze.com will be your best resource (will translate to English automatically if you are using the Chrome browser) and it’s free! That’s the Piemonte route and the site will provide you all you need to know: lodging, distances, a simple trail map, etc.

It’s a great route, but not heavily traveled and finding open places for food or sleeping can be a problem depending upon the time of year (and if it’s a Monday…since it’s France🙄😂)
 

caminka

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
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I think what that it is not possible to start walking from Lourdes.
It is totally possible to walk from lourdes to sjpp, I did the vice-versa route this summer and it took me 7 days (sjpp - st just ibarre - mauleon licharre - hopital st blaise - oloron - arudy - lestelle betharram - lourdes).

the waymarking is good, distances manageable, there is enough accommodation (actually more then stated on gronze) and you definitely need to plan ahead for food and water (and reserve most of the accommodation, as is usual in france).

there is one really really beautiful day (arudy - oloron), the rest are perfectly fine, but there is a good amount of small road walking.

the last two days are a bit brutal if you are not used to steep climbs and steep descents, especially in summer. climbs and descents can be avoided by taking small and bigger roads.
 
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caminka

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
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Something useful for pilgrims in Lourdes. While we were in Lourdes, we stumbled across the pilgrim information office. We were warmly welcome by Luc, from Belgium, the fist volunteer of the season as the office had only opened 5 days before. He kindly let us leave our backpacks in the office while we visited the pilgrimage sites. (Luc gave permission for this photo below to be used).

Outside the office we noticed a bench – complete with USB outlets – provided for walkers. I don’t know if these exist on other Caminos. I’ve never seen them – but maybe they are on some of the more popular routes now. At the top of the pole is a small solar panel that provides energy for the USB outlets. Not all modernisations sit well on the camino, in my opinion. But we thought this one was discreet and useful for modern pilgrims. Even the bench – without the charging outlets and solar panels – is a welcome facility.
I haven't noticed the bench outside the pilgrim info office! (I was in a hurry to get to the train station.) very french-like, useful but discreet.
 

caminka

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
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Hi, I am walking Lourdes to SJPDP in Fall of 2023. Would love to know the route you took. Are there any guidebooks in English for this? I found one in French.
see above post #22. I can also provide more detailed info if required, especially on practicalities.
 

jbrehove

New Member
see above post #22. I can also provide more detailed info if required, especially on practicalities.
Thank you. Some questions... As for accomodations, I guess I just look for places in those towns and call ahead? What is waymarking, I assume not yellow arrows? Is the route you provided along the GR78? We speak English and Spanish but not French. How critical is French? Thanks for the info.
 
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Vacajoe

Traded in my work boots for hiking ones
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances, Portuguese, Aragon, Norte, SJWayUK, Nive
We speak no French, but managed along that route with English and Spanish (and a little Google translate). It’s always advised to call at least one day ahead in France if staying at gitês so they know you are coming and will be open. For pilgrim albergues, we simply showed up.

Waymarking refers to any trail indication (arrows, badges, blazes, signs, etc).
 

caminka

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
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Thank you. Some questions... As for accomodations, I guess I just look for places in those towns and call ahead? What is waymarking, I assume not yellow arrows? Is the route you provided along the GR78? We speak English and Spanish but not French. How critical is French? Thanks for the info.
Look on grozne. Yes, it is customary in France to call a day ahead (unless otherwise noted). If you learn a few phrases, that is very helpful. Otherwise, ask in turist offices to make a call for you, or a fellow pilgrim, or hospitalero.

The route is waymarked as a GR. It is indeed GR78. Waymarking is mostly perfectly adequate. (There were one or two occasions in towns where I blundered around a bit.)
 

jbrehove

New Member
Thank you. Some questions... As for accomodations, I guess I just look for places in those towns and call ahead? What is waymarking, I assume not yellow arrows? Is the route you provided along the GR78? We speak English and Spanish but not French. How critical is French? Thanks for the info.
I just purchased this guidebook. Its in French, but published in 2022..

Chemin du pi mont pyr n en *03 GR78/65/108/108A 2022​

 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Time of past OR future Camino
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All right.

Apart from the route typically talked about, via Mauléon-Licharre, there is a significant variant route that cannot be ignored, via Oloron-Sainte-Marie > Moumour > Navarrenx > end of the Le Puy route (variant via Saint-Palais) > Voie de Navarre (Ostabat) > SJPP.

And the only reasonable Winter Camino possibility from Oloron onwards.
 
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