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Two questions about Credentials and getting to Canfranc Station

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2023 Vasco, Meseta, Portugues Coastal
Hi all,

I was planning to walk the Catalan starting in mid November to Logrono and continue on the Frances to Santiago. Thanks to all who helped me out with my initial plan. I just returned from New York where I was viciously abused by my daughters and wife when I told them my plans and how long the camino would be. My wife again voiced her most common refrain, if you die out there I will kill you when you get home. My children were far kinder because they said they couldn't take time off from work to go to Spain to collect my body and at best said if I bitched about the weather or my 68 year old aches and pains they would hang up on me. Isn't it great to be in the bosom of one's most cherished loved ones????
Anyway I have decided to walk the Aragones to the CF to Santiago starting about October 20.
My two questions to you sage and experienced Pilgrim compadres.
I wrote to the Pilgrim association in Barcelona (That is where I will fly into) and they told me they issue credentials but they are only open from 6-8PM and only on Saturdays. I checked Gronze and did not see that any albergue in Somport, Canfranc Station or Canfranc that issues credentials. I checked on the Pilgrim office site and there was a long list of Associations in Barcelona.
Can anyone tell me the best place to go to get a credential?
I am assuming the main Cathedral will issue them. But can anyone else give me a reliable location to get a credential. I have searched and have found lots of results for Barcelona but nothing on my question.
Secondly, I have checked Rome to Rio and have found no great option to get to Canfranc Estacion. Whatever I do, I will arrive too late to either start in Canfranc Station or hop on a bus to start in Somport. I know I will have to check conditions before I go as who knows what the weather will be. For all I know I may have to start in Jaca. Any other suggestions that may get me into Canfranc earlier in the day. I also realize that the train and bus schedules may change dramatically between now and October.
Thanks for reading this tedious post.
 
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I will be volunteering (again) at the Albergue de Peregrinos in Canfranc Pueblo around the date you mention. There are usually a limited number of credentials available, but I will make sure to keep one aside for you. Remind me closer to the time if you like.

From Barcelona, there are plenty of connections to Zaragoza. From there, the early train around 8am or so (the canfranero) will take you to Canfranc Estacion, it's a delightful journey. It will get you there around midday or a little after. From Estacion, you can either walk the 7km up to Somport and walk the 12km back down to Canfranc Pueblo to spend the night (my recommendation) or you could just walk straight to Canfranc, pick up your credential and walk on to Villnueva or Jaca. Aragoñes is a treat, you won't regret taking this path, I'm sure..

Edit: I just looked up the schedules. You will need to check again closer to the time to be sure but the train leaves Zaragoza at 8:43am to get you up to Canfranc Estacion at 12:29. That would leave you with about 2 hours to look around the town and station and get some lunch if you want to take the 14:40 bus up to Somport instead of walking up. From there it's a lovely couple of hours walking downhill to Canfranc. At that time time of year, you should have enough daylight to get you all the way down.

One more option is to take a taxi from Estacion up to Somport as soon as you arrive. That will give you 4hrs+ of daylight to make your way down to Canfranc with ease. I mention this because it's worth savouring the walk down from Somport and worth a look around the station itself.
 
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I will be volunteering (again) at the Albergue de Peregrinos in Canfranc Pueblo around the date you mention. There are usually a limited number of credentials available, but I will make sure to keep one aside for you. Remind me closer to the time if you like.

From Barcelona, there are plenty of connections to Zaragoza. From there, the early train around 8am or so (the canfranero) will take you to Canfranc Estacion, it's a delightful journey. It will get you there around midday or a little after. From Estacion, you can either walk the 7km up to Somport and walk the 12km back down to Canfranc Pueblo to spend the night (my recommendation) or you could just walk straight to Canfranc, pick up your credential and walk on to Villnueva or Jaca. Aragoñes is a treat, you won't regret taking this path, I'm sure..
We will definitely be in touch. Thank you so much
 
The tourist office in Canfranc Estacion tries to keep a stack of credentials on hand, too. in addition to the train from Barcelona, the bus to Jaca is also an option. Once in Jaca, you can take the local bus up to Somport and then start walking from there.
 
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I got my credencial in Barcelona at Sant Pau del Camp, a 1,000+ year old Romanesque monastery near the Parallel Metro station. I visited it twice during my stay in Barcelona.

Sant Pau del Camp
+34 934 41 00 01

As for taking the Zaragoza train, do a double check on this. I looked at the schedule once and it appeared to me to run only in the winter.
 
Just order your credential from Ivar or American Pilgrims.
Thands for the idea but the cost of getting it from Ivar is very high. The same would be true of getting it from American Pilgrims because I would need to use Fed Ex. The odds of getting it by mail within 3 months is about 25%. I do not know anyone here in Mexico that can rely on the mail
 
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
@lt56ny - In Mid September 2019, we took a train from Barcelona to Zaragoza and then another to Canfranc Estacion, arriving late afternoon. If we’d had time to spare I’d have stayed a day and night in Zaragoza.

Love the Aragones way. The new albergue will be a good excuse to walk it for the third time, not that any excuse is needed. 😎

Enjoy

PS. If you’re searching for trains in October it’s likely too early for the schedule - usually 3 months out.
 
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Please don't count on Canfranc Estacion having credentials that late in the season. Albergue Elias Valina at Canfranc pueblo does NOT keep them on hand, as some "ninja"-type jerks are telling their friends to pretend to start a camino in Canfranc so they can "score a free bed and breakfast" near the ski slopes.
Grrrr.
Let Flog help you with this.
 
Please don't count on Canfranc Estacion having credentials that late in the season. Albergue Elias Valina at Canfranc pueblo does NOT keep them on hand, as some "ninja"-type jerks are telling their friends to pretend to start a camino in Canfranc so they can "score a free bed and breakfast" near the ski slopes.
Grrrr.
Let Flog help you with this.
Noted, pilgrims only
 
€2,-/day will present your project to thousands of visitors each day. All interested in the Camino de Santiago.
@lt56ny - In Mid September 2019, we took a train from Barcelona to Zaragoza and then another to Canfranc Estacion, arriving late afternoon. If we’d had time to spare I’d have stayed a day and night in Zaragoza.

Love the Aragones way. The new albergue will be a good excuse to walk it for the third time, not that any excuse is needed. 😎

Enjoy

PS. If you’re searching for trains in October it’s likely too early for the schedule - usually 3 months out.
Thanks for your input. Yes I know train schedules are certainly going to change between now and then for sure.
 
Please don't count on Canfranc Estacion having credentials that late in the season. Albergue Elias Valina at Canfranc pueblo does NOT keep them on hand, as some "ninja"-type jerks are telling their friends to pretend to start a camino in Canfranc so they can "score a free bed and breakfast" near the ski slopes.
Grrrr.
Let Flog help you with this.
I'd think the ski boots and googles would be a dead givaway ;). We have had people drive up in Zamora with a suitcase in hand claiming to be pilgrims and one in Estella who rode up on his motorcycle!
 
@lt56ny - In Mid September 2019, we took a train from Barcelona to Zaragoza and then another to Canfranc Estacion, arriving late afternoon. If we’d had time to spare I’d have stayed a day and night in Zaragoza.

Love the Aragones way. The new albergue will be a good excuse to walk it for the third time, not that any excuse is needed. 😎

Enjoy

PS. If you’re searching for trains in October it’s likely too early for the schedule - usually 3 months out.
You can 100% rely on collecting your credential from me at Canfranc. If you happen to find one elsewhere beforehand, that's ok too, I won't be offended! When walking, I usually have a spare and almost always end up giving it to someone anyway.
I was actually thinking about sleeping in Zaragoza. In October if the train/bus schedule from Barcelona gets me into Canfranc Estacion early enough I will just start from there and walk to Canfranc and enjoy the new albergue and my new credential and buy Flog a beer or maybe 2 to celebrate my new friendship and my pilgrimage.
 
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I got my credencial in Barcelona at Sant Pau del Camp, a 1,000+ year old Romanesque monastery near the Parallel Metro station. I visited it twice during my stay in Barcelona.

Sant Pau del Camp
+34 934 41 00 01

As for taking the Zaragoza train, do a double check on this. I looked at the schedule once and it appeared to me to run only in the winter.
You are the man with the answers my friend. Hope you are walking soon.
Will definitely double check it is way to early to make a decision on bus/train as we all know the schedule and maybe options will change.
 
I was actually thinking about sleeping in Zaragoza. In October if the train/bus schedule from Barcelona gets me into Canfranc Estacion early enough I will just start from there and walk to Canfranc and enjoy the new albergue and my new credential and buy Flog a beer or maybe 2 to celebrate my new friendship and my pilgrimage.
Make it three and I'll be your friend!!😂just kidding..
I was gonna suggest staying a night in Zaragoza anyway, to take the early train. I believe, I'm pretty sure, the schedules I posted will be valid for October. That was when I travelled.
 
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I'd think the ski boots and googles would be a dead givaway ;). We have had people drive up in Zamora with a suitcase in hand claiming to be pilgrims and one in Estella who rode up on his motorcycle!

They would..
I had a man stand in front of me a couple of weeks ago with a perfectly stamped credential from Sarria. He was 70, British, wearing a suit, shirt and tie that wouldn't have looked out of place applying for a mortgage. I remarked, in a fun way, that he was the best dressed pilgrim I'd ever seen. 'Yes, I took a shower when I got to Santiago' was his defensive reply. 'Yes, I always take one after five days of walking too', I told him.
 
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As for taking the Zaragoza train, do a double check on this. I looked at the schedule once and it appeared to me to run only in the winter.
Maybe it was because I forgot about scheduling only going for three months out.

Here's something else to look for with the schedule, there is a place to stop between Zaragoza and Jaca, La Peña Estación on the Camino Catalan. The station name incorporates two names though, see this link:
La Peña

It is not a scheduled stop so you may have to ask a conductor to have it stop. As far as I know there is no lodging there but, depending on the time of the stop, you could walk to the albergue in Ena or further to Botaya if it is open for guests. See Gronze. The next day continue on the Catalan to visit the new (c. 1600) and old monasteries of San Juan de la Peña (and maybe the church at Santa Cruz) finishing at Santa Cilia on the Aragonese. From there bus to Somport. On your walk from Somport west stay at Arres instead of Santa Cilia if you already spent the night there.

Definitely visit the old San Juan de la Peña monastery somehow.
 
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I will be volunteering (again) at the Albergue de Peregrinos in Canfranc Pueblo around the date you mention. There are usually a limited number of credentials available, but I will make sure to keep one aside for you. Remind me closer to the time if you like.

From Barcelona, there are plenty of connections to Zaragoza. From there, the early train around 8am or so (the canfranero) will take you to Canfranc Estacion, it's a delightful journey. It will get you there around midday or a little after. From Estacion, you can either walk the 7km up to Somport and walk the 12km back down to Canfranc Pueblo to spend the night (my recommendation) or you could just walk straight to Canfranc, pick up your credential and walk on to Villnueva or Jaca. Aragoñes is a treat, you won't regret taking this path, I'm sure..

Edit: I just looked up the schedules. You will need to check again closer to the time to be sure but the train leaves Zaragoza at 8:43am to get you up to Canfranc Estacion at 12:29. That would leave you with about 2 hours to look around the town and station and get some lunch if you want to take the 14:40 bus up to Somport instead of walking up. From there it's a lovely couple of hours walking downhill to Canfranc. At that time time of year, you should have enough daylight to get you all the way down.

One more option is to take a taxi from Estacion up to Somport as soon as you arrive. That will give you 4hrs+ of daylight to make your way down to Canfranc with ease. I mention this because it's worth savouring the walk down from Somport and worth a look around the station itself.
Hello, I am the co-hospitalero in Canfranc Pueblo until May 31 and I double confirm my colleague saying that the Albergue Elias Valiña has the credenciels. You can also get it at the tourism office in Canfranc Estacion just before you get to Canfranc the village (which is 4 km after). Hope this helps.
 
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
I visited the station. Strange. Does any know of any book of fiction in English about Canfranc? Please.
 
I visited the station. Strange. Does any know of any book of fiction in English about Canfranc? Please.
Unlikely, but you never know, there is so much fascinating history about the place. There is at least one book in children's fiction, here you go! Though not in English...Screenshot_20220613-170955_Photos.jpg
 
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The view between Somport and Canfranc is so stunning (assuming decent weather) that it would be a sad thing to miss it by starting the walk in Canfranc.

I started at Somport in late Sept and the bus from Canfranc dropped me at Somport with enough daylight left that I could have walked down that day; but I stayed the night in Somport and got glorious early morning light as I wandered down the hill.
 
Just a brief note on that Somport-Canfranc segment: they have rerouted it so it stays closer to the roadway. It’s a bit shorter, but also a bit less scenic. 😞. If time, weather, light, and your will allows, look for the old route further up the hillside - better views and takes you past several interesting “Line P” military gunnery emplacements. The key is to NOT cross the highway as you descend the hill from the old hospital at Somport - instead, stay on the uphill side and you’ll see the old path which is still clearly evident.
 
The view between Somport and Canfranc is so stunning (assuming decent weather) that it would be a sad thing to miss it by starting the walk in Canfranc.

I started at Somport in late Sept and the bus from Canfranc dropped me at Somport with enough daylight left that I could have walked down that day; but I stayed the night in Somport and got glorious early morning light as I wandered down the hill.
I have left my options open about where I will start. I would like to start in Somport. As you said the weather will determine everything for me. Thanks
 
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Hi all,

I was planning to walk the Catalan starting in mid November to Logrono and continue on the Frances to Santiago. Thanks to all who helped me out with my initial plan. I just returned from New York where I was viciously abused by my daughters and wife when I told them my plans and how long the camino would be. My wife again voiced her most common refrain, if you die out there I will kill you when you get home. My children were far kinder because they said they couldn't take time off from work to go to Spain to collect my body and at best said if I bitched about the weather or my 68 year old aches and pains they would hang up on me. Isn't it great to be in the bosom of one's most cherished loved ones????
Anyway I have decided to walk the Aragones to the CF to Santiago starting about October 20.
My two questions to you sage and experienced Pilgrim compadres.
I wrote to the Pilgrim association in Barcelona (That is where I will fly into) and they told me they issue credentials but they are only open from 6-8PM and only on Saturdays. I checked Gronze and did not see that any albergue in Somport, Canfranc Station or Canfranc that issues credentials. I checked on the Pilgrim office site and there was a long list of Associations in Barcelona.
Can anyone tell me the best place to go to get a credential?
I am assuming the main Cathedral will issue them. But can anyone else give me a reliable location to get a credential. I have searched and have found lots of results for Barcelona but nothing on my question.
Secondly, I have checked Rome to Rio and have found no great option to get to Canfranc Estacion. Whatever I do, I will arrive too late to either start in Canfranc Station or hop on a bus to start in Somport. I know I will have to check conditions before I go as who knows what the weather will be. For all I know I may have to start in Jaca. Any other suggestions that may get me into Canfranc earlier in the day. I also realize that the train and bus schedules may change dramatically between now and October.
Thanks for reading this tedious post.
You will enjoy this walk we did this in autumn 2018 but started at the tomb of Mary Magdalene in the cliffs of Sainte Baume mountain.
Many things to see, Pau, San Juan de la Pena.
There was (pre covid) nice place to stay at the ruin at Yesa reservoir, very nice. We've been to Santiago enough and had no desire to continue on the Frances but what we did was to walk back to SJPdP. Completely different.

buen Camino
 
You will enjoy this walk we did this in autumn 2018 but started at the tomb of Mary Magdalene in the cliffs of Sainte Baume mountain.
Many things to see, Pau, San Juan de la Pena.
There was (pre covid) nice place to stay at the ruin at Yesa reservoir, very nice. We've been to Santiago enough and had no desire to continue on the Frances but what we did was to walk back to SJPdP. Completely different.

buen Camino
Thanks and I am looking forward to this camino. Continuing on the Frances is the big question for me too. I was thinking when I got to Logrono to go down and walk the Madrid. But it seems in November finding albergues will be tough on more than a few stages. Don't really have the budget for private hostels. I was also thinking of heading all the way over to Lisbon and rewalking the Portugues. This time walking on the coast instead of the Central route when I get to Porto. I think I will just wait until I start walking and let the camino decide for me.
 
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