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Possible detour on Arles Route to Lourdes?

2020 Camino Guides

AnnieGoldCoast

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2013, LePuy to St Jean 2014,
Pennine Way 2015, Camino del Norte 2016, Arles (2018)
Hi. We have walked the Arles route in 2018 and loved it so we are planning to walk with our grandson just from Toulouse this time in April 2020. We would love to take him to Lourdes and was wondering if anyone has walked to Lourdes from the Chemin Route - through Pau perhaps. Is there a track we don’t want to do too much road walking. Thank you to any advice anyone may have. Annie
 
Last edited:

O Peracha

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago (2014)
Annapurna Base, Nepal (2014)
GR 5 - Holland to Pompey, France (2015)
Lisbon to Finesterre (2016)
There's at least two ways (probably more) to do this. The one I took this year was:

1. Chemin d'Arles from Toulouse to Maubourguet.
2. Divert to GR 101 just outside Maubourguet. This will take you to Lourdes. However, there is a lot of asphalt.
3. From Lourdes, take Chemin Piemont to Oloron Ste. Marie.
4. In Oloron Ste. Marie get back on to Chemin d'Arles, which will take you to Col du Somport. Alternatively, you could stay on Piemont and head to St Jean Pied de Port.

The other way is to take a GR (can't recall the number) from Toulouse to connect to Piemont. From there, take Piemont all the way to Lourdes.
 

Isca-camigo

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Various ones.
I took the GR101 in June 2014, I went past Mabourguet and stayed in the Happy Coulson gite just after the turn off, I didn't have to backtrack the next day I was shown a way by the gite owners to connect up with it.
The route itself was beautiful and avoided built up areas, for the first 30 km it went through wooded areas on natural forest tracks, and then it came out onto more open farming areas, in these places it was a mix of surfaces, but much still unsurfaced, on the open areas you could see the Pyrenees looming in the way ahead. If there was asphalt for the previous poster then he did not go the way I went and there must be an alternative path to the one I walked.
I stopped at two places after turning of on to the GR. I stopped at Tarasteix Monastery which was about 25-27 km after the turn off, then I stopped in a little place called Ibos which was only 15 km further on, I took full advantage of finding somewhere open for lunch and decided to stay, Ibos has a small welcome house which you can stay at if the Marie is open, they hold the keys. The next day I walked into Lourdes.
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
There are multiple variant ways to do this -- the easiest one hiking-wise is the Maubourguet variant previously described, though there's also a river route out from Toulouse which seems very pleasant along most of the way 'til you reach the Piémont.
 

jennysa

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2011,2012 2013,2014, 2015 Aragones 2012, 2017 2018 Via Francigena 2016,2017 Primitivo 2018,2019
I haven't walked from Tolouse to Lourdes, but twice have caught the train from Tolouse to Lourdes and walked from there up to the Somport Pass. It is very beautiful.
 

AnnieGoldCoast

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2013, LePuy to St Jean 2014,
Pennine Way 2015, Camino del Norte 2016, Arles (2018)
There's at least two ways (probably more) to do this. The one I took this year was:

1. Chemin d'Arles from Toulouse to Maubourguet.
2. Divert to GR 101 just outside Maubourguet. This will take you to Lourdes. However, there is a lot of asphalt.
3. From Lourdes, take Chemin Piemont to Oloron Ste. Marie.
4. In Oloron Ste. Marie get back on to Chemin d'Arles, which will take you to Col du Somport. Alternatively, you could stay on Piemont and head to St Jean Pied de Port.

The other way is to take a GR (can't recall the number) from Toulouse to connect to Piemont. From there, take Piemont all the way to Lourdes.
Thanks so much for your reply. I will start looking at the maps. Were there Gîtes or accommodation on the way?
 

AnnieGoldCoast

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2013, LePuy to St Jean 2014,
Pennine Way 2015, Camino del Norte 2016, Arles (2018)
I haven't walked from Tolouse to Lourdes, but twice have caught the train from Tolouse to Lourdes and walked from there up to the Somport Pass. It is very beautiful.
Thank you for your reply. Yes we have walked the whole Arles route and agree the walk over Somport and the lead up through the Aspe Valley is truly beautiful. I will continue with my investigations. We too have bused to Lourdes but I thought walking there might be nice. Thank you again Anne
 

AnnieGoldCoast

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2013, LePuy to St Jean 2014,
Pennine Way 2015, Camino del Norte 2016, Arles (2018)
I took the GR101 in June 2014, I went past Mabourguet and stayed in the Happy Coulson gite just after the turn off, I didn't have to backtrack the next day I was shown a way by the gite owners to connect up with it.
The route itself was beautiful and avoided built up areas, for the first 30 km it went through wooded areas on natural forest tracks, and then it came out onto more open farming areas, in these places it was a mix of surfaces, but much still unsurfaced, on the open areas you could see the Pyrenees looming in the way ahead. If there was asphalt for the previous poster then he did not go the way I went and there must be an alternative path to the one I walked.
I stopped at two places after turning of on to the GR. I stopped at Tarasteix Monastery which was about 25-27 km after the turn off, then I stopped in a little place called Ibos which was only 15 km further on, I took full advantage of finding somewhere open for lunch and decided to stay, Ibos has a small welcome house which you can stay at if the Marie is open, they hold the keys. The next day I walked into Lourdes.
Thanks that sounds great. We are not fond of Asphalt road walking I guess the secret would to make sure it was during the week (if we were to stay in Ibos) and hopefully the Marie will be open. So your route was about 70 km? And you did that in 2 days? Can you sleep at the Monastery?
loving all this information. It’s such fun working it out and we are so grateful for everyone sharing information. Thanks. Anne
 

AnnieGoldCoast

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2013, LePuy to St Jean 2014,
Pennine Way 2015, Camino del Norte 2016, Arles (2018)
There are multiple variant ways to do this -- the easiest one hiking-wise is the Maubourguet variant previously described, though there's also a river route out from Toulouse which seems very pleasant along most of the way 'til you reach the Piémont.
Thanks. Was there accommodation along the way Gîtes etc?
We have the Confraternity book on the Arles Route published 2016. We used it then. Do you know of any other route books which may show this or other routes. Thanks again. Annie
 

Isca-camigo

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Various ones.
My intention was to do it over two days, stay at the monastery on the 1st night, which I did then kick on to Lourdes however the carafe of wine I had with my meal in Ibos took the wind out of my sails, it's not often my indiscipline turns out to be a great bonus but it did that night as the whole village as part of a music festival descended on the church for a free concert by a type of traditional Sardinian singers , what was an even bigger bonus was the locals afterwards went to the bar and harmonised traditional occitan songs. The next day I arrived in Lourdes it could have been around 21-23km, I didn't have a guide or map, I just winged it aside from the help of the gite owners who told me about the monastery and the path to connect back up with the GR.
 

O Peracha

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago (2014)
Annapurna Base, Nepal (2014)
GR 5 - Holland to Pompey, France (2015)
Lisbon to Finesterre (2016)
Thanks so much for your reply. I will start looking at the maps. Were there Gîtes or accommodation on the way?
I spent one night on the GR101 at the Tarasteix Monastery. And, of course, there are gites on the Arles and Piemont. There is a very helpful organization in Toulouse that can provide routes and list of gites. I can't recall the name off the top of my head but I think this is it - Friends of Chemin St Jacques. However, not positive. If it isn't, the pilgrim desk at the cathedral can direct you. Good luck and bonne route.
 

Felipe

Veteran Member
The association you mention is the ACIR Compostelle. They have a webpage, here. You can get there the stages of different caminos, by e-mail (in French). Be aware that two years ago, its list of Piedmont lodgments was not updated -there were many actually inexistent options, and many sites listed as "donativo" had a tariff (no objections to that, personally...)
 

AnnieGoldCoast

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2013, LePuy to St Jean 2014,
Pennine Way 2015, Camino del Norte 2016, Arles (2018)
I spent one night on the GR101 at the Tarasteix Monastery. And, of course, there are gites on the Arles and Piemont. There is a very helpful organization in Toulouse that can provide routes and list of gites. I can't recall the name off the top of my head but I think this is it - Friends of Chemin St Jacques. However, not positive. If it isn't, the pilgrim desk at the cathedral can direct you. Good luck and bonne route.
My intention was to do it over two days, stay at the monastery on the 1st night, which I did then kick on to Lourdes however the carafe of wine I had with my meal in Ibos took the wind out of my sails, it's not often my indiscipline turns out to be a great bonus but it did that night as the whole village as part of a music festival descended on the church for a free concert by a type of traditional Sardinian singers , what was an even bigger bonus was the locals afterwards went to the bar and harmonised traditional occitan songs. The next day I arrived in Lourdes it could have been around 21-23km, I didn't have a guide or map, I just winged it aside from the help of the gite owners who told me about the monastery and the path to connect back up with the GR.
Terrible what that carafe can do. Has happened to us. However very pleasant. Thanks for all of this. Will be travelling with 18 year old grandson (challenging) so appreciate all this info. We have found locals very obliging. Thanks once again.
 

AnnieGoldCoast

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2013, LePuy to St Jean 2014,
Pennine Way 2015, Camino del Norte 2016, Arles (2018)
I spent one night on the GR101 at the Tarasteix Monastery. And, of course, there are gites on the Arles and Piemont. There is a very helpful organization in Toulouse that can provide routes and list of gites. I can't recall the name off the top of my head but I think this is it - Friends of Chemin St Jacques. However, not positive. If it isn't, the pilgrim desk at the cathedral can direct you. Good luck and bonne route.
Thanks once again. Will follow through with info.
Isn’t it amazing how when you are walking wonderful things happen like the music festival you experienced. Our cruising friends just don’t get it. Happy walking for your next trek. Anne
 

AnnieGoldCoast

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2013, LePuy to St Jean 2014,
Pennine Way 2015, Camino del Norte 2016, Arles (2018)
This is the way I walked, I went past the beginning of the route and stayed at the gite in the next village, I reconnected at point 4 on the map the next day.
That is wonderful thank you. Will study in detail. Is this from a GR guide book or a French guide book? Thanks.
 

Isca-camigo

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Various ones.
I took it off the internet. The FFrandonee book covering the GR 653 Arles route after Toulouse has the Lourdes detour, I didn't know this until I saw the book at the pilgrims welcome house In Arundy on the Piedmont route.
 

AnnieGoldCoast

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2013, LePuy to St Jean 2014,
Pennine Way 2015, Camino del Norte 2016, Arles (2018)
The association you mention is the ACIR Compostelle. They have a webpage, here. You can get there the stages of different caminos, by e-mail (in French). Be aware that two years ago, its list of Piedmont lodgments was not updated -there were many actually inexistent options, and many sites listed as "donativo" had a tariff (no objections to that, personally...)
Thanks for the info. Anne
 

AnnieGoldCoast

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2013, LePuy to St Jean 2014,
Pennine Way 2015, Camino del Norte 2016, Arles (2018)
I took it off the internet. The FFrandonee book covering the GR 653 Arles route after Toulouse has the Lourdes detour, I didn't know this until I saw the book at the pilgrims welcome house In Arundy on the Piedmont route.
Thanks. Will check it out. After the walk there we could bus back to Pau then walk through Lescar (we remember a wonderful Gîte there) to continue on the original route through to Puenta la Reina. Are there any other variations you could recommend? Anne.
 

Isca-camigo

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Various ones.
I can't help you with any variations, after Lourdes I went via the Piemont route and then on to the Voie Ossau and over the Pyrenees that way. In Lourdes I stayed at tthe private reception for St Jacques pelegrins, if it is still open it has prime location views of the Sanctuary, curfew 10pm. There is a train from Lourdes to Pau which may be quicker.
Good luck.
 

AnnieGoldCoast

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2013, LePuy to St Jean 2014,
Pennine Way 2015, Camino del Norte 2016, Arles (2018)
I can't help you with any variations, after Lourdes I went via the Piemont route and then on to the Voie Ossau and over the Pyrenees that way. In Lourdes I stayed at tthe private reception for St Jacques pelegrins, if it is still open it has prime location views of the Sanctuary, curfew 10pm. There is a train from Lourdes to Pau which may be quicker.
Good luck.
Thanks so much. Feel a lot better informed now. And good luck with your next trek. Anne
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2020? Looks like.... nowhere! 😁
I took it off the internet. The FFrandonee book covering the GR 653 Arles route after Toulouse has the Lourdes detour, I didn't know this until I saw the book at the pilgrims welcome house In Arundy on the Piedmont route.
I had that GR book too, good maps.
 

lthrnck55

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Sept/Oct 2014

Camino Frances via Lourdes Sept/Oct/Nov 2020 ( Hopefully )
I haven't walked from Tolouse to Lourdes, but twice have caught the train from Tolouse to Lourdes and walked from there up to the Somport Pass. It is very beautiful.
Hello,

Around the first week of October, I plan on walking either from Lourdes to St. Jean Pied de Port OR from Lourdes to Puenta la Reina via the Somport Pass.

My question is - you stated that the Somport pass route is beautiful. I have walked from SJPDP over the Pyrenees. Is the walk over the Somport pass and the extra kilometers worth it, in your opinion?

I hope I phrased that question right. Thanks for any information you can provide.

Buen Camino,

Roger
 

gypsy9

Active Member
Hello Roger--I have walked both ways:

Lourdes to SJPP (twice as I loved it so much) and also via Somport, on the Arles Way. Oloron St Marie is the "pilgrim's choice". SJPP or Somport?

Both ways, truly wonderful and to be experienced!

To answer your query; Yes, it is worth walking via the Somport especially as it will be a new experience and you have already stepped out from SJPP.

There will be a next time (ah, inevitable) when you can walk Lourdes to SJPP.
Buen Camino





I
 

DLJ

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
(4/2012) St.Jean to Santiago; (9/2013) Geneva to Le Puy-en-Velay and beyond
Hi. We have walked the Arles route in 2018 and loved it so we are planning to walk with our grandson just from Toulouse this time in April 2020. We would love to take him to Lourdes and was wondering if anyone has walked to Lourdes from the Chemin Route - through Pau perhaps. Is there a track we don’t want to do too much road walking. Thank you to any advice anyone may have. Annie
There is a relatively new GR861 from Toulouse to St. Bertrand de Comminges, then 60 kms. on I believe GR78 to Lourdes. A total of about 150 miles. It supposedly has very little road walking. It follows the Goronne River.
 

lthrnck55

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Sept/Oct 2014

Camino Frances via Lourdes Sept/Oct/Nov 2020 ( Hopefully )
Hello Roger--I have walked both ways:

Lourdes to SJPP (twice as I loved it so much) and also via Somport, on the Arles Way. Oloron St Marie is the "pilgrim's choice". SJPP or Somport?

Both ways, truly wonderful and to be experienced!

To answer your query; Yes, it is worth walking via the Somport especially as it will be a new experience and you have already stepped out from SJPP.

There will be a next time (ah, inevitable) when you can walk Lourdes to SJPP.
Buen Camino





I
Thanks a lot for the feedback and info Gypsy! Much appreciated.
 
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