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Somport Pass

Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2017), Primitivo (2019)
I am arriving, COVID allowing, in Bilbao near the end of September and am interested in walking the Arles Camino from around Pau to Puente la Reina. This walk would have me going over the Somport pass around October 5 or thereabouts. Does anyone have information regarding whether the pass and albergues will be open at that time?
Thank you in advance
 
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Flog

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2020
With the ever evolving covid situation and the latest delta variant threatening re-opening it's almost impossible to predict anything with any certainty..

But the new donativo albergue at Canfranc, just a few km down off the pass, is expected to open very soon and remain open until the end of October.
 

Vacajoe

Traded in my work boots for hiking ones
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
Hopefully that Confranc albergue remains open past the end of October, especially since my wife and I are scheduled as the hospitaleros there in November! 😎 Each albergue is different, so consult Gronze or Wise Pilgrim for specific closure dates.

As for weather, October should be lovely and cool, but not snowy. Then again, it’s impossible to accurately predict the weather. I think you’ll be fine walking then.
 

Flog

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2020
Hopefully that Confranc albergue remains open past the end of October, especially since my wife and I are scheduled as the hospitaleros there in November!
Yes, sorry! November it is..
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2017), Primitivo (2019)
Hopefully that Confranc albergue remains open past the end of October, especially since my wife and I are scheduled as the hospitaleros there in November! 😎 Each albergue is different, so consult Gronze or Wise Pilgrim for specific closure dates.

As for weather, October should be lovely and cool, but not snowy. Then again, it’s impossible to accurately predict the weather. I think you’ll be fine walking then.
Excellent to know…I will be sure to seek out the Canfranc albergue. The station looks fantastic and I am happy to see renewed interest in the Somport pass. Can’t wait to be there myself!
 
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pinkwadingbird

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
The Somport pass and the surrounding countryside are beyond beautiful. Why this route for walking to Santiago has not caught on is beyond me. I am on the Aragones right now, currently in Jaca. Attached are some pictures for inspiration. I am not a good photographer so it's even more spectacular in real life.
 

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John Saxon

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
Beautiful photos PinkWadingBird. I'll be walking there in September. Any advice on albergues along the way would be welcome.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
The Somport pass and the surrounding countryside are beyond beautiful. Why this route for walking to Santiago has not caught on is beyond me. I am on the Aragones right now, currently in Jaca. Attached are some pictures for inspiration. I am not a good photographer so it's even more spectacular in real life.
Thank you for posting the beautiful photos, @pinkwadingbird.
I'm walking this virtually right now and it's wonderful to see these: Tonight at Canfrac Estacion.
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
Why this route for walking to Santiago has not caught on is beyond me. I am on the Aragones right now, currently in Jaca.
I walked the Aragones from Oloron Ste Marie as my second camino. It was well worth doing, but quite challenging to get to from Canada: flight to CDG, bus to Orly (five hours total time needed for the airport change), flight to Pau, wait for the once an hour bus into town, next train to Oloron Ste Marie. I could have flown from CDG, but the flight from Orly was cheaper. Between when I booked my flight and when I travelled, the free bus to Orly was sold by Air France and so I had to figure it out after landing. The albergue in Oloron Ste Marie was closed, for some silly reason (can't remember why; it may just have been the weekend). And I arrived in the midst of a major storm: no electricity in Oloron Ste Marie, so everything was closed, nowhere to get a meal, and rain bucketing down. In lieu of an albergue, I had booked private accommodation for the night, breakfast included. But the first day's walk was extremely challenging and I finally had to hitch a ride to Sarrance, where I was told that I did not have a booking. I had copies of the emails from the hospitalero who booked me and a monk who had contacted me, so I was given a bed for the night, although neither hospitalero nor monk was there when I arrived. I enjoyed the walk from there up to Somport: easier than the Napoleon and absent the crowds. From there on, it was fairly easy going and San Juan de la Pena was worth any possible challenge. I hope to see it again some day. But I would never recommend this route for a first camino, unless for someone who was an experienced mountain walker, with good rain gear. I knew in advance, from my research, that the Valee d'Aspe has frequent major storms. Still, whatever access route I take, I shall certainly walk the Aragones again. I knew of the buses available to the albergue at the pass, but I wanted to walk up to Somport. It was an adventure.
 

malingerer

samarkand
Year of past OR future Camino
cf (2), de la plata, cp. (2003 -2018)
I walked the Aragones from Oloron Ste Marie as my second camino. It was well worth doing, but quite challenging to get to from Canada: flight to CDG, bus to Orly (five hours total time needed for the airport change), flight to Pau, wait for the once an hour bus into town, next train to Oloron Ste Marie. I could have flown from CDG, but the flight from Orly was cheaper. Between when I booked my flight and when I travelled, the free bus to Orly was sold by Air France and so I had to figure it out after landing. The albergue in Oloron Ste Marie was closed, for some silly reason (can't remember why; it may just have been the weekend). And I arrived in the midst of a major storm: no electricity in Oloron Ste Marie, so everything was closed, nowhere to get a meal, and rain bucketing down. In lieu of an albergue, I had booked private accommodation for the night, breakfast included. But the first day's walk was extremely challenging and I finally had to hitch a ride to Sarrance, where I was told that I did not have a booking. I had copies of the emails from the hospitalero who booked me and a monk who had contacted me, so I was given a bed for the night, although neither hospitalero nor monk was there when I arrived. I enjoyed the walk from there up to Somport: easier than the Napoleon and absent the crowds. From there on, it was fairly easy going and San Juan de la Pena was worth any possible challenge. I hope to see it again some day. But I would never recommend this route for a first camino, unless for someone who was an experienced mountain walker, with good rain gear. I knew in advance, from my research, that the Valee d'Aspe has frequent major storms. Still, whatever access route I take, I shall certainly walk the Aragones again. I knew of the buses available to the albergue at the pass, but I wanted to walk up to Somport. It was an adventure.
Brilliant! Its one of my secret ambitions! I shall be 83 on 20 July, 2 weeks away. Done some walking in my time including Camino since 2003! Am ex forces and ex mountain rescue so still retain some vestiges of knowledge and capability :) However, I would still like to do that route in the easiest of stages and endurance levels. Tent or tarp for "caught out" situations? I have a Laser Comp I which has seen some rough weather! I have good gear but would possibly buy a GPS and appropriate map. The CANFRANC station appeals to me.

Buen Camino and any advice (apart from DONT) MOST WELCOME. :)

Samarkand.
 
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alhartman

2005-2017 Delightful 346 days in Spain and France.
Year of past OR future Camino
2017
A wonderful route; mine in 2008 from Toulouse to Santiago. Notes say Somport Pass in snow Oct 22. We took a bus from Urdos to Canfranc to avoid the snowy conditions. Probably was passable as looked like 2-4 inches, but I was having ankle and balance problems. So October weather needs watching.
 

Scott Sweeney

Active Member
I am arriving, COVID allowing, in Bilbao near the end of September and am interested in walking the Arles Camino from around Pau to Puente la Reina. This walk would have me going over the Somport pass around October 5 or thereabouts. Does anyone have information regarding whether the pass and albergues will be open at that time?
Thank you in advance
Should be.
 

david g

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
camino frances/finistere sept 2012
Frances May 2015
Aragones/Portugese May 2016
Primitivo July 2017
Nice to know there’s now an albergue in Canfranc. (It’d be wonderful if it was inside the beautiful old train station! 😁) I’m hoping to walk this again this October once I’m finished with the Frances.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2017), Primitivo (2019)
The Somport pass and the surrounding countryside are beyond beautiful. Why this route for walking to Santiago has not caught on is beyond me. I am on the Aragones right now, currently in Jaca. Attached are some pictures for inspiration. I am not a good photographer so it's even more spectacular in real life.
Wow…consider my appetite wetted. Thank you for the beautiful photos!
 
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Flog

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2020
Nice to know there’s now an albergue in Canfranc. (It’d be wonderful if it was inside the beautiful old train station! 😁) I’m hoping to walk this again this October once I’m finished with the Frances.
In case of confusion, please note that Canfranc and Canfranc Estacion are two different places: Canfranc, a small pueblo is 3 or 4km downstream from the bigger town of the same name which has the glorious station building (as well as services and a rail connection from Zaragoza).
 
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Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
would possibly buy a GPS and appropriate map.
I didn't have a GPS or even a phone at that time: just Part 2 of the Confraternity of St James Guide to the Camino d'Arles: Toulouse to Puente la Reina, which I followed from Oloron Ste Marie. But a good map, either a paper map or on a phone, would have been useful.
 

Vacajoe

Traded in my work boots for hiking ones
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
Path was very easy to follow in 2019, but I had maps.me app on my phone just in case. Never needed it! Generally, THE path is usually the ONLY path and it’s a pretty narrow valley so it’s easy to know in which direction one needs to head.
 

intrepidtraveler

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Caminos Madrid, Frances and Finisterre (2015)
Camino Norte-2017; Camino Ingles from A Coruna - 2017
Beautiful photos PinkWadingBird. I'll be walking there in September. Any advice on albergues along the way would be welcome.
John, my main suggestion with albergues would be to plan a day or two ahead. Some places are cutting back on the number of people they'll take to comply with social distancing. There aren't a huge number of options along this route except for maybe in Jaca. This area is also very popular with day hikers on weekends.

Even though gronze.com shows the albergue in Santa Cilia as closed, if you email or call you can stay there. The municipal albergue in Sanguesa reopened the day before I arrived. They have space for just 5. If you miss out there, Pension El Peregrino in Sanguesa at 25€ per night for your own room is a real treat.

If you're planning to stay in Artieda, I would try to arrive in time to get your main meal before they close the kitchen at 3. Dinner is supposed to be at 8:30. The night I was there no food had yet appeared by 10PM although it sure smelled good.

Really liked the Casa Rural in Monreal although not cheap. Very kind, helpful owners and excellent accommodation.

Hope you get this follow-up as I'm posting somewhat after my original entry.

Buen Camino!
 

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