• PLEASE NOTE: Please think twice before you travel to Spain now. More here.

Search over 55.000 Camino Questions

A donation to the forum removes ads for you, and supports Ivar in his work running it

Advertisement

Trying to plan a route

ememe

New Member
Hi,
I've read through lots of helpful posts, but am still unsure about how to plan my own journey. It's my first time doing a camino, although I've done quite a bit of walking before...Anyway, I'm hoping to start walking in May. just after the holiday! (is starting on the 4th late enough to avoid the holiday crowds?), and I'm really attracted by the camino aragones. So I was thinking to walk from Pau to Pamplona, and then continue on the camino frances- or travel from pamplona to oviedo and continue on the camino primitivo. I don't want to be stuck in crowds, but I don't want to be walking alone all the time either. Any tips of how to achieve this happy medium? Does this sound like a good plan- or a bit much for the first time walker??

Thanks!
Elizabeth
 

omar504

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016,2017,2018
If you really don't like crowds I would rethink your route.Although the aragones would probably not be crowded once you rejoined the frances you will get crowds. The via de la plata might suit you,you wont be alone but you wont be swamped either
 

ememe

New Member
Thanks for the tips. I thought about Via de la plata, but I really want to walk in the pyrennees, which is what i like about the idea of the camino aragones. What do you think about the idea of doing that, and then the camino primitivo? Or is that a bit crazy?
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
How much time do you have?
I am walking for three weeks in June. Starting in Lourdes and walking to Puente la Reina. Then a bus to Pamplona - train to Lugo and Ferrol and walking on the Camino Ingles to Santiago.
Most of the resources for the walk on the Aragones, albergues etc, are on my blog at
http://www.2009pilgrims.blogspot.com
 

ememe

New Member
That sounds like a good plan- but I also wonder if I'll be missing out if I don't walk the camino frances at all..I've got at least a month, but am pretty flexible with dates.
 

Heloise

Member
Hi Elizabeth,

I understand you as you think if you´ll miss something when not walking on camino frances. It has a tradition, history and atmosphere of its own, sure. AND crowds, too, although they can turn out to be a blessing, too, when you meet so many other pilgrims and get many new friends. In the beginning of May there will be already much people on cf.

I walked the camino aragones in september 2006, and coming to Puente la Reina (where the road meets camino frances) was such a shock after those days of solitude and abandoned hamlets of aragon, that I was able to walk only one day, from Puente la Reina to Estella, due to the total change of atmosphere, and then I decided to take a bus to San Sebastian and spend the rest of my time in Basque country (not walking). You can always change your plans according to the voice of your heart. But the other reason for me to end walking in camino frances was that I had already walked it 4 months earlier, and I felt I prefered to keep those memories without blending them with the new ones (I hope you undestand what I mean - it´s a bit hard to write it in english, which is not my nativelanguage:))

Whatever route you choose, have a buen camino - it has already started as you plan it.

Heloise
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
Heloise: your written English is superior to most native speakers I´ve read. Seriously.

Elizabeth: I can´t tell you the number of pilgrims I´ve met who walked part of the Frances, then hopped up, down, or over to another camino and finished from there. Sometimes it was the crowd, sometimes money, sometimes love... So maybe you should stick with your plan, walk over the Pyrenees and along the valley of the Aragonese, and then make up your mind once you hit the Frances. By then you may be part of a merry band of travelers, and you won´t want to miss a moment! The "other caminos" have much to offer, but there really is nothing to compare with the good ol´ Frances.

Reb.
 

Heloise

Member
Rebekah, thank you...

As I read your comment, I remembered my third reason to hop to the Basque country: most of those wonderful pilgrims I had made friends with, had a plan to end their camino in Puente la Reina. As the members of our "family" went back to their homes (mostly in Spain), it changed my experience and lossed my motivation a lot. Afterwards we´ve met a couple of times with some members of that "banda de Arres" both in Finland and Spain. So let the camino take you... and surprise you.
 

ememe

New Member
Hi Heloise and Rebekah,

Thank you so much for your helpful thoughts- I suppose that, like you say, you really can't know until you get there! Am feeling good about the idea to walk the camino Aragones and then see what happens...
By the way, where do you you recommend starting from on the Aragones? I was thinking maybe Oloron Ste Marie.

Elizabeth
 

Alan Pearce

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Aragones 2008, del Norte 2009, VdlP 2011, Ingles 2014, Camino de Madri 2015, Frances 2017
Hi Ememe

I walked from Pau last year beginning on 3rd of April. I joined the camino frances at Puenta la Reina and arrived in Compostela on 11th May, having averaged about 24 km each day. I enjoyed both the quietness of the Aragones [ and the GREENERY ] and the joy of company once we reached the more popular route. Each was different, but equally enjoyable.
I walked from Pau to Lescar beside sealed roads, and got my pilgrim passport from the tourist bureau there, where they were very helpful. If you follow the arrows on the route to Oloron Ste. Marie from Lescar, it is 32 km of steep and [ probably ] muddy going with no food or refreshment available. It is a tough introduction to the camino. From Oloron to Somport is more gentle, and I did the walk to Somport village on the most glorious spring day imaginable, surrounded by grand mountains covered in snow. If you wish to stay in the [very] old monastory in Serrance as I did you need to book by phone the evening before.
One of the attractions of starting at Pau was that it was 999.9 km from there to Finistere, so by the time I had gotten lost several [alright, many] times I had exceeded 1000 km on my trek. It helped make the 26 hour flight each way seem more worthwhile.
Please let me know if you would like any details of my itinerary.
Buen Camino
Alan
 

Heloise

Member
Elizabeth - I started from Jaca, becouse I was afraid of climbing down the Pyrenees - now if I did it once again, I would defenitely start somewhere in France!
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
I started in Jaca, too. Mostly because it took many shifts of trains, planes, and automobiles to get there, and by then I just wanted to get walking!

If it´s mountains you are interested in walking, definitely start out farther back, in Pau or Lourdes, even... though the Aragonese does offer its share of up-and-down!
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
If you have a month or more, you could walk for two weeks from Lourdes to Puente la Reina, get a bus/train to Oviedo and walk the 369km of the Primitivo to Santiago - about 15 days: and then to Finisterre - another 3 days.
There are any number of combinations and options but this way you get to walk three caminos on one ticket!! And, you can watch the sun go down on the coast of death at the end of your walk.
 

jl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances('05, '07), Aragonese ('05), del Norte / Primitivo ('09), Via Tolosana (Toulouse '05), Via Podiensis (Le Puy '07), Via Lemovicensis (Troyes '09), VF ('12), Winter Camino ('13/'14) Cammino d'Assisi ('14) Jakobseweg (Leipzig - Paris '15) San Salvador/Norte ('15) Ignaciano ('16) Invierno ('16)
Hello Elizabeth, I too have walked the Aragonese way, but I began in Toulouse. There were some descrepancies with the guide book initially, but anywhere along that route would be lovely to begin - and I must admit that Oloron St Maire is one of my favourite towns in that area. Wlaking down the Aragon will be very quiet - when I walked I had a "family" of about 20 fellow pilgrims walking with me, and like others have already mentioned it was quite a shock when I got to Puente le Reina. This was my first Camino though, and I must admit that once I adjusted to the bigger numbers it was fun, interesting and a wonderful experience. If you are walking in May I would be surprised if you will be inundated with people - yes the numbers will be a lot more than on the Aragon, (and there will be even fewer in France!) but nothing like they will be in July and August. So long as you are aware of the potential change in your feelings when you meet more people you are most likely going to be able to adjust.

Whatever you choose - enjoy your planning. Regards, Janet
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Hello, Elizabeth, I haven't walked the Camino Aragones, but it sounds wonderful. Depending on how many weeks you're able to walk, one way to be able to experience the Camino Frances in some of its less crowded parts would be to walk from Pamplona to Leon on the Camino Frances. In Leon, you can walk the absolutely unbelievable four day Camino del Salvador from Leon to Oviedo, and then walk the Camino Primitivo from Oviedo into Santiago. I did Leon to Santiago this way last September (I have several long rambling posts on the two caminos in other parts of this forum) and it was an amazing experience. The Salvador is very untravelled (I was alone a couple of the nights in very nice albergues, but I never felt threatened or anxious), and the Primitivo was crowded enough to form some comraderie but not so crowded as to generate a race for beds.

I took 11 days for Oviedo to Santiago, I think, so that makes the total about 15 days from Leon. For those who want to postpone the inevitable end, this is a way to add a few more days onto your Camino, and because it's so different from the Camino Frances so you get a very different view of Spain -- this route really takes you out into "deep Spain," to borrow a term from the French.

Laurie
 

thora Ramsey

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 2014 beginning about 14th starting near Pau
We want to walk in southern france
Can you help?
Map?
Accommodation info
Terrain?
Thank you very much
Thora Ramsey
Hi,
I've read through lots of helpful posts, but am still unsure about how to plan my own journey. It's my first time doing a camino, although I've done quite a bit of walking before...Anyway, I'm hoping to start walking in May. just after the holiday! (is starting on the 4th late enough to avoid the holiday crowds?), and I'm really attracted by the camino aragones. So I was thinking to walk from Pau to Pamplona, and then continue on the camino frances- or travel from pamplona to oviedo and continue on the camino primitivo. I don't want to be stuck in crowds, but I don't want to be walking alone all the time either. Any tips of how to achieve this happy medium? Does this sound like a good plan- or a bit much for the first time walker??

Thanks!
Elizabeth
Hi Elizabeth we are thinking of doing the same but a bit later have you any leads ad to where to obtsin guides and maps thors
 

thora Ramsey

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 2014 beginning about 14th starting near Pau
We want to walk in southern france
Can you help?
Map?
Accommodation info
Terrain?
Thank you very much
Thora Ramsey
Hi Ememe

I walked from Pau last year beginning on 3rd of April. I joined the camino frances at Puenta la Reina and arrived in Compostela on 11th May, having averaged about 24 km each day. I enjoyed both the quietness of the Aragones [ and the GREENERY ] and the joy of company once we reached the more popular route. Each was different, but equally enjoyable.
I walked from Pau to Lescar beside sealed roads, and got my pilgrim passport from the tourist bureau there, where they were very helpful. If you follow the arrows on the route to Oloron Ste. Marie from Lescar, it is 32 km of steep and [ probably ] muddy going with no food or refreshment available. It is a tough introduction to the camino. From Oloron to Somport is more gentle, and I did the walk to Somport village on the most glorious spring day imaginable, surrounded by grand mountains covered in snow. If you wish to stay in the [very] old monastory in Serrance as I did you need to book by phone the evening before.
One of the attractions of starting at Pau was that it was 999.9 km from there to Finistere, so by the time I had gotten lost several [alright, many] times I had exceeded 1000 km on my trek. It helped make the 26 hour flight each way seem more worthwhile.
Please let me know if you would like any details of my itinerary.
Buen Camino
Alan
Hi Alan thankyou for this imput friend and I want to begin from Pau walking yo Pamplona on 11 May
I have been unable to find maps ot guide on internet what did you use?
Your itinerary for this section would be great if you could share
Also where did you stay?
I dont have sleeping bag so think the gites are not possible
What temperatures do you think we might expect?Rain?
Thank you
Thora
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
Ememe has not visited the Forum since March 9, 2009! You may hear from Alan, but it is not likely that you will hear from Elizabeth.;)
 

Alan Pearce

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Aragones 2008, del Norte 2009, VdlP 2011, Ingles 2014, Camino de Madri 2015, Frances 2017
Hi Alan thankyou for this imput friend and I want to begin from Pau walking yo Pamplona on 11 May
I have been unable to find maps ot guide on internet what did you use?
Your itinerary for this section would be great if you could share
Also where did you stay?
I dont have sleeping bag so think the gites are not possible
What temperatures do you think we might expect?Rain?
Thank you
Thora
Hello Thora

Your question is a godsend as I have to have blood tests this morning and I have 2 hours to wait before that can happen. So instead of moping around and wishing I could have some breakfast, or at least a cup of tea, I can go way back in my camino memory to see just what I can remember.

I used an old Confraternity guide by Marigold Fox, but they have now published a newer edition which covers the route you are wishing to travel. It is a 2011 Guide to the Camino Arles, and is in the second booklet
"Toulouse to Puenta la Reina". [go to CSJ website, click on bookshop, click on pilgrim guides, click on guides to the roads through France].

My itinirary was as follows: Pau Airport to Lescar [Albergue, arranged through the tourist office], Oloron Sainte Marie [Albergue], Sarrance [Albergue in a VERY old monastary, has to be arranged by phone the night before], Somport [ this was 42 KM walk uphill, stayed at albergue/bar/restuarant Aysa], then stayed at albergues at Jaca, Arres [ my favourite albergue of them all!],Ruesta, Sanguesa, Monreal, and Puenta la Reina. Puenta la Reina is a little past Pamplona but you can see that city as you walk during the day and I imagine you could detour over to it if you wished.

I started in early April, and it was cool in the higher country with light frosts in the morning. As you are going in May, then logically it would be warmer, but only a fool would try to tell you exactly what the weather will be like. Likewise with rain - I experienced very litte, but winter rains had left the paths very muddy underfoot.

From Lescar to Somport was solitary - I met one pilgrim in Sarrance, and one in Somport. After Jaca, there was more company.

I hope this has given you something to mull over, and I am now 30 minutes closer to my blood tests!

Buen camino

Alan

Be brave. Life is joyous.
 

econodan

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Caminos Catalan, Aragones, part of Frances, Ruta del Salavador, Primitivo, and Finisterre (2012);
Cammino San Pellegrino, Italy (2013);
Lebaniego, Vadiniense, and Invierno (July 2014)
Hi Thora,

We walked along the Aragones in May 2012, starting from Jaca and following it until we encountered the Camino Frances in Obanos (next to Puente de la Reina). It's a beautiful camino, and we didn't encounter too many other pilgrims. You should be prepared for rain, and we had a couple of quite cool days (plus some very warm ones).

You can read details and see pics on our blog (linked below), but the basic itinerary from Jaca was to Santa Cruz de la Seros (detour to the Monasterio San Juan de la Pena, which is a must see) where we stayed in an hostal, then Santa Cilia (basic albergue), Artieda, Sanguesa, Izco (basic albergue, no restaurants but they sold food to prepare in the albergue), Tiebas (very nice, well equipped, and new albergue), and then on to Obanos.

Post again if you want to follow up on any of this. Buen camino.

Dan
 

kwmetz88

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Walking to santiago from france june 23-aug 31!
Hello Thora

Your question is a godsend as I have to have blood tests this morning and I have 2 hours to wait before that can happen. So instead of moping around and wishing I could have some breakfast, or at least a cup of tea, I can go way back in my camino memory to see just what I can remember.

I used an old Confraternity guide by Marigold Fox, but they have now published a newer edition which covers the route you are wishing to travel. It is a 2011 Guide to the Camino Arles, and is in the second booklet
"Toulouse to Puenta la Reina". [go to CSJ website, click on bookshop, click on pilgrim guides, click on guides to the roads through France].

My itinirary was as follows: Pau Airport to Lescar [Albergue, arranged through the tourist office], Oloron Sainte Marie [Albergue], Sarrance [Albergue in a VERY old monastary, has to be arranged by phone the night before], Somport [ this was 42 KM walk uphill, stayed at albergue/bar/restuarant Aysa], then stayed at albergues at Jaca, Arres [ my favourite albergue of them all!],Ruesta, Sanguesa, Monreal, and Puenta la Reina. Puenta la Reina is a little past Pamplona but you can see that city as you walk during the day and I imagine you could detour over to it if you wished.

I started in early April, and it was cool in the higher country with light frosts in the morning. As you are going in May, then logically it would be warmer, but only a fool would try to tell you exactly what the weather will be like. Likewise with rain - I experienced very litte, but winter rains had left the paths very muddy underfoot.

From Lescar to Somport was solitary - I met one pilgrim in Sarrance, and one in Somport. After Jaca, there was more company.

I hope this has given you something to mull over, and I am now 30 minutes closer to my blood tests!

Buen camino

Alan

Be brave. Life is joyous.

Alan-

Do you happen to know the names of the albergues in Arres and Sarrance?
 

Alan Pearce

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Aragones 2008, del Norte 2009, VdlP 2011, Ingles 2014, Camino de Madri 2015, Frances 2017
Alan-

Do you happen to know the names of the albergues in Arres and Sarrance?

The place I stayed in at Sarrance is the 14th century Sanctuary of Notre-Dame-de-Sarrance. When I was there the pilgrims room had no heating, and was very cold. Must ring the night before to book
05 59 34 54 78 and French is required - if you don't speak French the tourist bureau or your place of stay in Oloron may do it for you. There is also Auberge Sarrance, a combined restuarant/bar/shop/PO that has 5 rooms for rent - 05 59 34 56 92

Arres is a tiny, semi-ruined, semi-restored village on a rocky crag. The albergue is the Albergue- Hospital de Peregrinos 974 348 129. It is an old stone house, staffed by volunteers, and when I stayed there the women peregrinos helped prepare the evening meal and the men washed up afterwards. There is a steepish climb on the last bit of the trail before you arrive in Arres.

Wow, there is nothing like a good dose of nostalgia! I leave in 4 days for Spain [ that will make 6 visits in 7 years ] to lay down some more good memories.

Alan

Be brave. Life is joyous.
 

sulu

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
a few since 2010
Hello Thora,
You say that you don't have a sleeping bag. Are you planning on carrying a liner? Albergues don't usually provide sheets and even if they do you don't know when they were last changed :( Not until Galicia will you be provided with a disposable sheet and pillow case every night. Most will provide blankets and a liner may be sufficient but if you are not carrying either a bag or a liner you would be wise to think hostals or pensions, not albergues. There is possible confusion over the name of sleeping places, a hostal in Spain is a hotel not a place with bunk beds and no sheets.
Good luck with your planning, the Aragones is lovely.
Sue
 

Advertisement

Booking.com

Similar threads

Camino Conversations

Camino Conversations

Forum Rules

Forum Rules

Forum Donation

Forum Donation
For those with no forum account, it is possible to donate here as well. Thank you for your support! Ivar

Follow Casa Ivar on Instagram

Most downloaded Resources

When is the best time to walk?

  • January

    Votes: 16 1.2%
  • February

    Votes: 10 0.8%
  • March

    Votes: 56 4.2%
  • April

    Votes: 200 15.2%
  • May

    Votes: 328 24.9%
  • June

    Votes: 95 7.2%
  • July

    Votes: 24 1.8%
  • August

    Votes: 27 2.0%
  • September

    Votes: 380 28.8%
  • October

    Votes: 158 12.0%
  • November

    Votes: 17 1.3%
  • December

    Votes: 7 0.5%

Camino Forum Store

Camino Forum Store
Top