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Walking the Arles route?

#1
# I've walked from Le Puy to Santiago, want to continue exploring the pilgrim roads in France, have decided to try the Arles route in September 08. What eperience have people had?
# It looks like the section from Arles to Montpellier would be hot, dry, lots of road walking, parallel to the Autoroute so I'm thinking of starting at Montpellier, walking to Castres through the hills, forests of Languedoc. A good idea or would I miss a lot not seeing Arles, St Gilles?
# Any hints on Montpellier to Castres - places to stay, avoid?
Many thanks, Michael
 

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#2
Hi

I live locally.

There are a steady stream of pilgrims along this section.

I think it is worth doing. The route follows Via Domitia (ex Heracles Way) for part of the way which provides historical interest.





The weather in September is not too bad :



That section tends to have cooling breezes (it crosses the plain between the coast and Cevennes hills). Rainfall tends to arrive as rare, but heavy, overnight storms.

Links to more information : http://www.the-languedoc-page.com/tourism/pilgrimage-compostella.htm

Peter
 

KiwiNomad06

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
#3
A friend just told me that the Anglican Dean of Christchurch, here in New Zealand, is about to start walking the Arles route.
"From 30 March to 5 June 2008 the Very Rev Peter Beck, Dean of Christchurch, with his wife Gay and friends Chris and Jean Richards are walking the ancient pilgrimage of the Camino de Santiago de Compestella - some 1500 kilometres from Arles in Southern France to Santiago de Compostela in north west Spain."
http://www.christchurchcathedral.co.nz/events/deanswalk.html
 

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:
#4
I have the CSJ guide book and up-date pages for Arles to Puente la Reina - the CSJ comments are:

A solitary route - very few pilgrims and much of the way is in forest - pilgrims need to be able to cope with loneliness. An expensive route - 80% of the way is in France (more expensive than Spain); there is virtually no free accommodation; and long distances between accommodation may require extended stays for sightseeing which prolongs the journey. Accommodation is difficult and barely sufficient - and may be full in season or closed outside. Hilly, tough terrain as the route crosses the grain of the land - especially hard for cyclists.
I am planning for next year to walk half of the Chemin du Piemont (which starts at Narbonne) to Oloron St Marie and then turning left to Somport to join the Aragones to Puente la Reina.

If you would like any info about the Guide please mail me off the Forum.
 
#5
Hi 'sillydoll',

Just got my flight ticket and should be in Arle at the end of Sept. Know nothing about the route but got a few weeks to get some info, phone if you can give some help.
Thanks Stephen
0835567743
 

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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:
#6
Hi Stephen,
The CSJ UK sell a guide to the Via Tolosana - in two booklets:
Arles to Toulouse and Toulouse to Puente la Reina.
They only cost £5 each and would be invaluable for anyone walking the route.

You can read an overview of the route on their website:
http://www.csj.org.uk/route-arles.htm

They have this to say about theDistinctive features of the route.
A solitary route - very few pilgrims and much of the way is in forest - pilgrims need to be able to cope with loneliness. An expensive route - 80% of the way is in France (more expensive than Spain); there is virtually no free accommodation; and long distances between accommodation may require extended stays for sightseeing which prolongs the journey. Accommodation is difficult and barely sufficient - and may be full in season or closed outside. Hilly, tough terrain as the route crosses the grain of the land - especially hard for cyclists.
This website will give you links to other sites with info on the Arles route:
http://chemindarles.free.fr/liens_EN.php
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances - Lourdes v SJPDP - Santiago (June/July 2010) Camino Frances - SJPDP - Santiago (July/August 2015) Camino Frances - SJPDP - Santiago (June/July/August 2017)
#7
Hi Guys out there i am about to do the walk in 2010,(starting at Lourdes) late June,and onto Oloron -Ste-Marie,then down to the somport pass to Jaca,then turn right,and meet up with all the crowds at Pamplona,( holy year) then onto Santiago,then to the end of the world,does any one have any info on this path,camping sites,total miles to walk etc,i am allowing
Ten Weeks,am looking forward to the big adventure,to get away from the rat race,and be a freespirit, like humans were born to be. :shock:
 

omar504

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016,2017,2018
#8
There is aso a French guide book,web site http://www.chemin-compostelle.fr

Arles - Toulouse - Col du Somport - Puente la Reina
La nouvelle édition a été rédigée en partenariat Les Amis des Chemins de St Jacques en Occitanie (anciennement Q R L), ce qui en fait Le guide Officiel de la via Tolosana !!

Un itinéraire précis, détaillée jusqu'à la moindre route, le moindre carrefour...
Les commerces, les gîtes pèlerins, les restaurants.
Une recherche historique du patrimoine Jacquaire.
Edition: 2008 - 250 pages, 240 grammes, format A5.

Description Prix
Ouvrage 20.00€
Port* 2.97€
Total 22.97€
Information sur les modes de paiement disponibles

* Prix pour la France, pour les autres pays des frais de port supplémentaires s'ajoutent, ils vous seront indiqués sur le bon de commande, après avoir saisi vos coordonnées.


LEPERE Editions
13, Le Bourg, 27270 GRAND-CAMP, France

Tel: +33 (0)2 32 46 34 99 - Port: +33 (0)6 60 97 92 16
(Délai: environ 5 jours à réception de la commande complète)
 

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:
#10
The route from Narbonne is called Le Chemin du Piémonth Pyrénéen - de la Méditerranee á Roncevaux.
I bought the guide book (in French) from Stanfords last year. Where the Arles route turns south at Oloron Ste Marie this route continues to St Jean Pied de Port and the over to Roncesvalles.
 

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omar504

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016,2017,2018
#11
I like the idea of the GR 653A,from Italy-could be a possibility for next year but once I get to the CF, head home to avoid the hordes and bedbugs,anyone else thinking along similar lines about may next year?
 

omar504

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016,2017,2018
#14
falcon 269..the first link doesn;t seem to work
 

omar504

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016,2017,2018
#15
There is a new Topo guide from the Italian/French border to Arles:
Path to St Jacques de Compostela, the path of Arles: Montgenèvre - Arles GR553D 459kms
Anyone else thinking of this route next year continuing on to Puente La Reina?
 
#16
Hi, I'm going to take this route, on bike, in september (2010) and I am going to start in Toulouse. From Somport into Spain I have quite a lot of information, but I am interested in some lodging advice in the France side. My planned stops are:
Toulouse-L'isle Arné 59km
L'isle Arné-Marciac 78km
Marciac-Morlaas 57km
Morlaas-Bedous 82km
Bedous-Somport 30 km
Could someone please recommend me some cheaper hostals/pensions in or around these 5 french cities/villages? I am also opened to suggestions for other places along the way, as long as there are no more than 5 days from Toulouse to Somport.
A lot of thanks in advance!
Adrian
 

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:
#17
#18
thanks, but no, it doesn't :)
Actually I took my stages from that site, only I will make more than two at a time. For example stages 19 and 20 in the first day and then 21,22 and 23 in the second day.
I am not so worried about the orientation, but about where I will sleep (cheaper).
Thanks a lot nevertheless.
 

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:
#19
oops - sorry!

We got a train from Toulouse to Lourdes (about 175km) and then walked from there.
Lourdes to Asson, Arudy, Oloron, Sarrance, Borce, Somport. I could tell you about those olaces but not the others.
 
#20
Hi sillydoll,
again thanks for the fast answer, I really apreciate it. The way we've planned, we'll sleep in Lescar, (I've read that there is an albergue there, but I don't have the details yet) , some 30 km before Oloron. So I am interested in the villages after Oloron, Sarrance & Borce. Can you please tell me the distances, Oloron-Sarrance, Sarrance Borce and Borce-Somport?
Anwyay, any information about albergues in Sarrance and Borce would be great!
all the best,
Adrian
 

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:
#21
Oloron Ste.Marie has a pilgrim gite http://www.relaisdubastet.com/oloron-ste-marie/

Sarrance has a monastery, you have to phone in advance! You'll get the number from the tourist offices in any of the towns before that.
Or, you can stay a couple of kms before Sarrance at a converted St Jacques monastery and study centre at pilgrim's rates:
http://fontaines.selfip.com/pyrenees-ba ... -rooms.php

22km to Borce which has a small St Jacques shelter for about 8 people. There is also the gite communal which has dormitory accommodation for about 8 euro.
http://www.tourisme64.com/hebergement_G ... +Borce_738

Borce to Somport is about 18km (there is an albergue there) with another 7.5km to Canfranc Estacion
The albergue is Pepito Grillo http://www.pepitogrillo.com/

If you need info on the Spanish Aragones you can check my blog at
http://2009pilgrims.blogspot.com/2009/0 ... asson.html
 

oursonpolaire

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002, Toulouse/Aragon 2005, Cami S Jaume/Aragon 2007/9, Mont Saint Michel/Norte/Vadiniense 2011, Norte/Primitivo 2013, Norte/Primitivo 2014. Norte 2015, Cami S Jaume/Castellano-Aragonese 2016
#22
The albergue in Lescar is just around the corner from the Cathedral-- the tourisme folks can direct you. IIRC from 2005, it bunks about 12 persons.
 

Canuck

Veteran Member
#23
elloyy said:
...lodging advice in the France side. My planned stops are:
Toulouse-L'isle Arné 59km
L'isle Arné-Marciac 78km
Marciac-Morlaas 57km
Morlaas-Bedous 82km
Bedous-Somport 30 km
Hi Adrian,

Here is the info I have from walking Arles-Somport some 4 or 5 years ago.

L'isle Arné - Gite Lamotte. 1 Km before the village - 8 beds - realy nice and cheap. Good kitchen, bring your own food.

Marciac - Camping du Lac. Tent or chalet
- Two hotels.

Morlas - Camping municipal - Free shelter for pilgrims.
- Four hotels

Bedous - Two gites. Le Mandragot et le Choucas. The first one is cheaper.

Lescar - Refuge for pilgrims - Five beds, kitchen, showers. Very cheap. See OT for the key.
- Camping Le Terrier
- All kinds of hotels around. Recommend ETAP hotel. Clean and cheap.

Have a good one,
Jean-Marc
 
#24
wow, thanks everybody, I wasn't expecting so many replies :D .
Very useful information, truth is I was expecting much higher prices for lodging in France, araund 20 eur per person.
For the moment, we've replaced Morlaas with Lescar, because I've read that it's the former capital of the region and very beautifull, so the route is
Toulouse-L'isle Arné 59
L'isle Arné-Marciac 78
Marciac-Lescar 77
Lescar-Bedous 62
Bedous-Somport 30

But it's good to have b-plans, so the gites from Escout or Borce may be an option, we'll see how is the climb going.

I'll mention again that we'll be leaving on Monday 6th of September from Toulouse, on bikes, if anyone else has similar plans please let me know.
 
#25
In Accous (just 4 k behind Bedous) there is possibility to sleep at the paroisse. Ask for Jacques at the church, he'll guide you.
 
#26
Hi everybody!
Just a few more days to go :) I can't wait, I am very excited about biking the camino for 3 weeks.
One more question, if anyone could help: we'll arrive in Toulouse on Sunday 5th around 16:00. Does anyone know a gite in the city? I was hoping to take a walk around the city before leaving, but I wouldn't want to spend too much money on lodging. Also, if there is a gite, is it possible to have problems there, being that is the first day of our trip, and we'll only acquire our credenciales there? ?
 

Canuck

Veteran Member
#27
Here is the list recommended by the Pilgrim Association in Toulouse. They have a representative at the Cathedral St Sernin from 1500 to 1800 to welcome pilgrims every day. Suggest you visit them, at least for your first stamp.

Maison diocésaine du Christ-Roi, 28 Rue de l’Aude 05 62 71 80 30
FJT - Jolimont 2 av. Yves Brunaud (métro Jolimont) 05 34 30 42 80
FJT - 20, grand rue Nazareth O5 61 52 41 34
La Petite Auberge de Compostelle 17 rue d’Embarthe 06 64 44 64 03
Hotel des Arts 1 rue Cantegril 05 61 23 36 21

Cheers,
Jean-Marc
 
#28
Thanks for all the info,Jean-Marc!
I will most certainly try to catch the representative at the cathedral.
I could only check prices for La Petite Auberge de Compostelle, which is 18 euro. Not as cheap as I expected, but far better than other places anyway, so many thanks.
 

Canuck

Veteran Member
#29
elloyy said:
I could only check prices for La Petite Auberge de Compostelle, which is 18 euro.
The prices at the Youth Hostels (CJT) are the same. A difference of one or two Euros. Not worth the hassle.
The Hotel is much higher at 45 Euros for a single room.

God speed,
Jean-Marc
 

jennysa

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 Camino Aragones 2012, 2017, Via Francigena 2016 & 17,
#30
I am planning to walk from Oloron in mid-September this year. Is anyone else planning to walk this route in September?
 
#32
Hi Jenny,
I Replied to your private message but not sure if it was sent, so here goes
The weather was excellent no rain except one evening at 5.
I read this route can be windy and there is a lot of grit on the path.
IN the rain I think light boots are better than runners on this camino.
I got a train to Oloran and would have started there if I had time.
The bus from Oloran went over the pass rather than through the tunnel.

When on the Frances i slept in Granon and it was a memorable experience, i am sure you will enjoy being there.
Buen camino
Justin
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Catalan, (May-July 2012), Via Francigena (Barcelona to Rome - 2015), Via Francigena (Rome to Canterbury - 2016)
#33
I wonder if anyone can tell me whether the route from Arles to Montpellier is well-marked. I'll be walking it in reverse, since I'm headed for Rome this time. I have guide books to get me from Arles to Rome, and I'm finding my own way from Barcelona to Montpellier. I was hoping to find a well marked route between Montpellier and Arles. Any information would be appreciated. Muchas gracias!
 

dalston999

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Walked Le Puy/Santiago/Fisterra/Murxia Sept/Oct 2012, Portugues march 2013, Arles April 2013
#34
I walked the route the other way from Montpellier to Puenta la reina in April May last year and found it generally well marked, certainly in France the routes are marked in both directions. You should have no problem.
 

FatmaG

Active Member
#35
Indeed - the Jacobean Arles Route is marked as a GR (it is the GR653; grande randonnée = "great distance walk") with white & red marks that can be followed in both directions.
 

John Lunde

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017 Santiago
Arles 2018 planned
#36
I am thinking of the Arles route for next spring. Previously I have walked from Le Puy to Santiago and found food availability in France to be spotty. The villages have lost their retail to the car culture and big stores in cities. Can anyone tell me about the availability of food and beds on the Route from Arles to Toulouse? At my age and condition I can't do the back to back 30 km days anymore.
 

frida1

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances April 11-May 11 2014
#37
My partner and I (both 63) walked this last spring. We started in Montpellier and reached Castres 10 days later, with no rest days. I recommend Miam Miam Do Do and the Confraternity of St. James guide for planning purposes. We noticed the listings were not 100% percent correct, as some places had closed, but it's pretty good. It seems to me they list almost every available place to stay except possibly some local Chambre d'hote that don't advertise. Our stages were mostly 25 -28 k and included 600-680 meters of ascent and descent most days, sometimes more. I think the Le Puy route has lots of ups and downs, so that's probably not an issue for you. Except for the first stage of Montpellier-St. Guilhem, stages have no facilities between them that we noticed, except possibly water fountains. So you do need to be prepared.

We met very few walkers in May. One group found the walking difficult and cobbled together transportation with buses and taxis, so I know that is possible.

You need to carry the food you need for the day, but villages with chambre d'hôte or albergues generally have a restaurant and a footsore. The French village restaurants were a highlight for us and always very welcome. We usually booked a day in advance, because even with very few walkers, some villages had very few beds available. Also, we wanted to be sure the listed accommodation actually existed and was open.

The way is well-marked in general. You do go through forest and there are other footpaths that can be confusing. We met 3 people who had gotten off the correct trail and needed extra kilometers to get right again. We had one very wet day St. Guilhem to Blacquiere, and with very low visibility and a rocky, steep climb this day was difficult, and could even be somewhat dangerous.

It is a beautiful walk, but much more lonely than the Frances, and more difficult than either Frances or the Portuguese from Lisbon.

It's a wonderful camino for experienced walkers, but I think best to get the info from the guides unless you are really prepared to wing it.

Stages:
Montpellier-St. Guilhem
St. Guilhem-Blacquiere (there is a village in the middle called Peyroux with a restaurant and store but no lodging).
Blacquiere-Lodeve
Lodeve-Bosquet (there is at least one option for a stop between these two)
Bosquet - St. Gervais le Mare
St. Gervais le Mare - Murat
Murat-Salvetat (at Salvetat, only an albergue with I think 9 beds for lodging. There is a very nice chamber d'hôte about 5 k before Salvetat, but we didn't stay there so I don't know more)
Salvetat-Angles (at Angles only an albergue with 7 beds for lodging)
Angles-Boissezon
Boissezon-Castres (this is a very welcome shorter day)
 

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