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What would you skip on the Aragones?

LesBrass

Likes Walking
Year of past OR future Camino
yes...
Some of you may remember that last year that we spent 10 days walking parts of the Camino Lebaniego. We live in SW France so we were able to drive to an apartment partway along the route. Each day we chose a section of the camino and walked approx. 10km from our car, then we turned around and walked back. We took picnics and drinks so we were totally self sufficient and we stayed away from towns and tourists. It wasn't a conventional camino, finding places to start where we could park was tricky, but nonetheless we were very grateful for the opportunity and it was a very special walk.

We are camino dreaming again and considering doing a similar walk in July along the Aragones, maybe starting from Oloron-Sainte-Maire? We will (as before) drive to an apartment, take our own bedding and food and keep to ourselves... and we will have both received our vaccinations by July. And of course we'll only go if guidance, cases and restrictions allow.

IF we go... we'll have about 11 days to walk. Conventionally this would be plenty of time to walk the Aragones but as we'll be walking 'there and back' each day (and driving to and fro the start points) we know that there will be sections that we will miss.

I know there are a few Aragones experts out there so I was wondering... if you were us, what sections would you 100% include in your walk?

(p.s. I totally appreciate that we're just camino dreaming at the moment... but... we're staying optimistic)
 
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Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Year of past OR future Camino
Many, various, and continuing.
Some of you may remember that last year that we spent 10 days walking parts of the Camino Lebaniego. We live in SW France so we were able to drive to an apartment partway along the route. Each day we chose a section of the camino and walked approx. 10km from our car, then we turned around and walked back. We took picnics and drinks so we were totally self sufficient and we stayed away from towns and tourists. It wasn't a conventional camino, finding places to start where we could park was tricky, but nonetheless we were very grateful for the opportunity and it was a very special walk.

We are camino dreaming again and considering doing a similar walk in July along the Aragones, maybe starting from Oloron-Sainte-Maire? We will (as before) drive to an apartment, take our own bedding and food and keep to ourselves... and we will have both received our vaccinations by July. And of course we'll only go if guidance, cases and restrictions allow.

IF we go... we'll have about 11 days to walk. Conventionally this would be plenty of time to walk the Aragones but as we'll be walking 'there and back' each day (and driving to and fro the start points) we know that there will be sections that we will miss.

I know there are a few Aragones experts out there so I was wondering... if you were us, what sections would you 100% include in your walk?

(p.s. I totally appreciate that we're just camino dreaming at the moment... but... we're staying optimistic)

Strange you should ask just now. I just came back from there this afternoon!
If I were you I would start at Oloron and walk down as far as San Juan de la Pena and/or Leyre, depending on your mileage. The huge and haunted train station at Canfranc Estacion is a must; museum of Romanesque at Jaca cathedral is not to be missed; neither is the hideaway church in San Juan. The abandoned village of Ruesta is also intriguing.
All that said, you could spend your whole 11 days hiking the network of trails around Somport Pass. It is spectacular country, with lots of tourism infrastructure.
I hope you enjoy, whatever you choose.
 

LesBrass

Likes Walking
Year of past OR future Camino
yes...
Strange you should ask just now. I just came back from there this afternoon!
If I were you I would start at Oloron and walk down as far as San Juan de la Pena and/or Leyre, depending on your mileage. The huge and haunted train station at Canfranc Estacion is a must; museum of Romanesque at Jaca cathedral is not to be missed; neither is the hideaway church in San Juan. The abandoned village of Ruesta is also intriguing.
All that said, you could spend your whole 11 days hiking the network of trails around Somport Pass. It is spectacular country, with lots of tourism infrastructure.
I hope you enjoy, whatever you choose.

Thanks Rebekah! That's really helpful... we love the mountains so that sounds perfect.

Do you know what the walk is like from Sanguesa? We've driven down from Pamplona to Madrid and loved the area and the wide open views around Soria but if we had to miss a day or two would this be a good place? It's so difficult... and I don't like to miss anything but it's a compromise :D

I really hope we can do this... we don't have a crystal ball of course but... a girl can dream :D
 
Year of past OR future Camino
First one in 1977 by train. Many since then by foot. Next one ASAP.
Thanks Rebekah! That's really helpful... we love the mountains so that sounds perfect.

Do you know what the walk is like from Sanguesa? We've driven down from Pamplona to Madrid and loved the area and the wide open views around Soria but if we had to miss a day or two would this be a good place? It's so difficult... and I don't like to miss anything but it's a compromise :D

I really hope we can do this... we don't have a crystal ball of course but... a girl can dream :D
Been there, done that.... I honestly didn't enjoy the walk west from Sanguesa very much (but then, by that time, having stated in Lourdes, I was tired and my back hurt!) ... If I were to walk the Aragones again, I think that I would just finish at Sanguesa and push on directly to Pamplona.

Give Jaca a chance to impress you. Lot's there -- including the world-class Cathedral Museum, as per Rebekah Scott, above.
 
Last edited:
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CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
Been there, done that.... I honestly didn't enjoy the walk west from Sanguesa very much (but then, by that time, having stated in Lourdes, I was tired and my back hurt!) ... If I were to walk the Aragones again, I think that I would just finish at Sanguesa and push on directly to Pamplona.

Give Jaca a chance to impress you. Lot's there -- including the world-class Cathedral Museum, as per Rebekah Scott, supra.
Plus you can catch the bus from Jaca to the Monastery and back. Worth doing.
 
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LesBrass

Likes Walking
Year of past OR future Camino
yes...
Been there, done that.... I honestly didn't enjoy the walk west from Sanguesa very much (but then, by that time, having stated in Lourdes, I was tired and my back hurt!) ... If I were to walk the Aragones again, I think that I would just finish at Sanguesa and push on directly to Pamplona.

Give Jaca a chance to impress you. Lot's there -- including the world-class Cathedral Museum, as per Rebekah Scott, supra.

Great thank you - we do love the mountains so that has more appeal. Perhaps we'll choose at least one day in this last segment as I also love the diverse nature of the landscape but it's good to know! thank you :D
 

LesBrass

Likes Walking
Year of past OR future Camino
yes...
Plus you can catch the bus from Jaca to the Monastery and back. Worth doing.

That's interesting! If it was safe to do so then using some public transport would be useful. I think we'll leave a day in our schedule though to revisit a few places and spend more time... one of the advantages of having our car with us :D

I have seen a nice apartment near Jaca and I think it might be a good place for us to centre ourselves.

Thank you!
 

NorthernLight

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
After Sanguesa, take the Foz de Lumbier option instead of the Rocaforte route, as the trail through this river canyon is spectacular. Or you could likely find a circular route to return via Rocaforte.

Walkers going east to west through the canyon do not pay. Visitors entering from the west side have to pay an admission fee.
 

LesBrass

Likes Walking
Year of past OR future Camino
yes...
After Sanguesa, take the Foz de Lumbier option instead of the Rocaforte route, as the trail through this river canyon is spectacular. Or you could likely find a circular route to return via Rocaforte.

Walkers going east to west through the canyon do not pay. Visitors entering from the west side have to pay an admission fee.

excellent thank you! sounds wonderful!
 

ranthr

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
C Frances 2005, 2007
Le Puy en Velay -SdC 2009
Via de la Plata 2011
gr 653 from Oloron to Puente la Reina 2012
Gr65 from le Puy to Figeac 2013
Irun to Santander 2013
Porto to SdC 2014
Astorga to SdC 2015
Some of you may remember that last year that we spent 10 days walking parts of the Camino Lebaniego. We live in SW France so we were able to drive to an apartment partway along the route. Each day we chose a section of the camino and walked approx. 10km from our car, then we turned around and walked back. We took picnics and drinks so we were totally self sufficient and we stayed away from towns and tourists. It wasn't a conventional camino, finding places to start where we could park was tricky, but nonetheless we were very grateful for the opportunity and it was a very special walk.

We are camino dreaming again and considering doing a similar walk in July along the Aragones, maybe starting from Oloron-Sainte-Maire? We will (as before) drive to an apartment, take our own bedding and food and keep to ourselves... and we will have both received our vaccinations by July. And of course we'll only go if guidance, cases and restrictions allow.

IF we go... we'll have about 11 days to walk. Conventionally this would be plenty of time to walk the Aragones but as we'll be walking 'there and back' each day (and driving to and fro the start points) we know that there will be sections that we will miss.

I know there are a few Aragones experts out there so I was wondering... if you were us, what sections would you 100% include in your walk?

(p.s. I totally appreciate that we're just camino dreaming at the moment... but... we're staying optimistic)
I walked from Oloron in a wet May 2012 and did a lot walking along the road in heavy rain up to Somport.
Was warned about some of the path up to Somport but from there I followed the path. I would100% include the strech from Somport to CanfrancEstatión and on to Jaca. You might be tempted to take the bus through the tunnel to Canfranc instead of taking the path up the mountain, but if you do, don´t get off at Canfranc but take the bus up to Somport and walk down.
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
First one in 1977 by train. Many since then by foot. Next one ASAP.
I walked from Oloron in a wet May 2012 and did a lot walking along the road in heavy rain up to Somport.
Was warned about some of the path up to Somport but from there I followed the path. I would100% include the strech from Somport to CanfrancEstatión and on to Jaca. You might be tempted to take the bus through the tunnel to Canfranc instead of taking the path up the mountain, but if you do, don´t get off at Canfranc but take the bus up to Somport and walk down.
Agreed! The walk down from Somport to Canfranc Estacion is about as good as it gets.
 

Flog

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2020
Others will be better aquanted with the route than me, but I took the road from Sanguesa to Liédena and ended up on asphalt for several more kilometers so somehow missed both official ways (I had meant to go by Lumbier). I do recall it was quite a long day but Monreal was a pleasant enough place, nice municipal albergue, decent food in the cafe next door and a well stocked tienda for beer. Yes, the partly restored Canfranc Estacion is magnificent and truly atmospheric, well worth making time for and I agree, it's a beautiful and painless walk down from Somport..
 

dick bird

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Plata, Ingles, Madrid, Norte, Primitivo, Invierno, Aragones, Olvidado, Chemin D'Arles
Some of you may remember that last year that we spent 10 days walking parts of the Camino Lebaniego. We live in SW France so we were able to drive to an apartment partway along the route. Each day we chose a section of the camino and walked approx. 10km from our car, then we turned around and walked back. We took picnics and drinks so we were totally self sufficient and we stayed away from towns and tourists. It wasn't a conventional camino, finding places to start where we could park was tricky, but nonetheless we were very grateful for the opportunity and it was a very special walk.

We are camino dreaming again and considering doing a similar walk in July along the Aragones, maybe starting from Oloron-Sainte-Maire? We will (as before) drive to an apartment, take our own bedding and food and keep to ourselves... and we will have both received our vaccinations by July. And of course we'll only go if guidance, cases and restrictions allow.

IF we go... we'll have about 11 days to walk. Conventionally this would be plenty of time to walk the Aragones but as we'll be walking 'there and back' each day (and driving to and fro the start points) we know that there will be sections that we will miss.

I know there are a few Aragones experts out there so I was wondering... if you were us, what sections would you 100% include in your walk?

(p.s. I totally appreciate that we're just camino dreaming at the moment... but... we're staying optimistic)
I wouldn't skip anything. If you have your own transport, the monasteries of San Juan de la Peña and Leyre (which are off the main camino route) will be very easy to get to. Neither is to be missed. The Lumbier gorge will also be accessible from Sanguesa. If you want to experience a little bit of camino life, walk from Jaca to Arres - a volunteer-run albergue, then back next day. Starting from Oloron Sainte-Marie also is a good idea, beautiful little city. You live in SW France so you probably know the region and all about the gites. The station at Canfranc is nearly restored and gives guided tours. The stretch from Monreal to Obanos was broken up a little with limestone quarries but you can take your time and choose your route. Finally, there is the little gem of S.Eunate, just before Obanos. Enjoy. Latest news from Spain (RTVE) is saying that Spain could be open to tourism in Spring if they achieve 40% vaccination. Tentative, but encouraging. Buen Camino.
 
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dick bird

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Plata, Ingles, Madrid, Norte, Primitivo, Invierno, Aragones, Olvidado, Chemin D'Arles
About walking over the Somport Pass: the path (GR route) follows the road, but is narrow, slippery and steep. It's fine if you are going for a Sunday hike, but very hard work if you want to get somewhere. We walked up the road. Yes, there is traffic, but there is a hard shoulder most of the way and it is by no means as dangerous as a lot of other stretches of camino that go along the road, especially after you pass the turn-off to the tunnel. Even in drizzly weather, the views were special. There is also a local bus that goes up to Somport (the crossing point between France and Spain).
 

LesBrass

Likes Walking
Year of past OR future Camino
yes...
Many many thanks for these great ideas... it helps a lot in deciding where to base ourselves. I’ll spend some time looking at the maps and plan out our days now. I might even be able to squeeze in another day of walking 😂

Fingers crossed we can make it happen... I was due to walk this route last year.
 
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JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Year of past OR future Camino
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If I were to skip anything, it would be the stretch between Oloron and Lurbe Saint-Christau ; even though some stretches between there and Borce can feel a bit claustrophobic, and some parts of Oloron to Lurbe Saint-Christau are OK. Knowing the area, I could personally tarmac my way 'round the bits I found to be more unpleasant 'til Lurbe Saint-Christau, but you can't know in detail which those are in advance unfortunately.

But the Monastery at Sarrance is brilliant, and there's a great pilgrim/hiker refuge/bar/restaurant at IIRC Borce.

Some people find parts of the descent from the Somport to Jaca to be "boring" ; but honestly, the only thing about that section that annoyed me a little, though it also amused me, was the proliferation of weekend walker holidaymakers occasionally "clogging up" the trail.

The hike up to the Somport pass itself is beautiful enough ; but you should definitely carry some extra weight of food and water on that day, which I neglected to do myself and it was a mistake.

When I was there in 2014, they were however prepping a different trail on the French section than the previous one, and the parts of that project that had already been waymarked were a clear improvement over what was.
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Year of past OR future Camino
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Been there, done that.... I honestly didn't enjoy the walk west from Sanguesa very much
Me, it was the stretch leading into Sangüesa I didn't much care for, but that's mostly from getting lost in the middle of it and then it started pouring down with rain when I started backtracking.

Worked out OK in the end, but that was a frustrating afternoon !!
 

LesBrass

Likes Walking
Year of past OR future Camino
yes...
Thank you all again for these insider tips... it really helps a lot with the planning!

I'm feeling excited about this now... I've booked two apartments today... one in Oloron which will work for 5 days allowing us to walk 'there and back' to Somport/Canfranc and then a second apartment between Sanguesa and Jaca... which will give us a good base for the walk from Canfranc and onwards.

No car journey will be more than an hour for us and the roads look good to drive so we're happy.

I've put all the tips and good advice so far into a spreadsheet and we can adjust and vary things when we're there. Last year on the Lebaniego we swapped a few days when we knew the weather was going to be very hot... so it will be nice to have some flexibility. I've manage to squeeze in 13 days of walking too :D

In my head we'll end our camino at Eunate - which seems to me a wonderful place to end! Fingers crossed this will work for us! It feels good to be planning a camino!
 

Camineiro

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
several
Some of you may remember that last year that we spent 10 days walking parts of the Camino Lebaniego. We live in SW France so we were able to drive to an apartment partway along the route. Each day we chose a section of the camino and walked approx. 10km from our car, then we turned around and walked back. We took picnics and drinks so we were totally self sufficient and we stayed away from towns and tourists. It wasn't a conventional camino, finding places to start where we could park was tricky, but nonetheless we were very grateful for the opportunity and it was a very special walk.

We are camino dreaming again and considering doing a similar walk in July along the Aragones, maybe starting from Oloron-Sainte-Maire? We will (as before) drive to an apartment, take our own bedding and food and keep to ourselves... and we will have both received our vaccinations by July. And of course we'll only go if guidance, cases and restrictions allow.

IF we go... we'll have about 11 days to walk. Conventionally this would be plenty of time to walk the Aragones but as we'll be walking 'there and back' each day (and driving to and fro the start points) we know that there will be sections that we will miss.

I know there are a few Aragones experts out there so I was wondering... if you were us, what sections would you 100% include in your walk?

(p.s. I totally appreciate that we're just camino dreaming at the moment... but... we're staying optimistic)
Hi Les Brass,

I wouldn‘t skip and like to miss any part of the C‘aragones.
When I did the aragones in 2012 every part was worth walking.

Did you think about taking public transport from your end point of the day back to your starting point. There are busses circulating between Oloron Ste.Marie and Canfranc Estacion, as well as from Canfranc to Jaca and, last but not least, between Jaca and Pamplona.
 

Camineiro

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
several
Been there, done that.... I honestly didn't enjoy the walk west from Sanguesa very much (but then, by that time, having stated in Lourdes, I was tired and my back hurt!) ... If I were to walk the Aragones again, I think that I would just finish at Sanguesa and push on directly to Pamplona.

Give Jaca a chance to impress you. Lot's there -- including the world-class Cathedral Museum, as per Rebekah Scott, supra.
Hmmm ... seems like you‘ve missed and left out the canyon section at Foz de Lumbier.
You should do it again. 😉
 
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ranthr

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
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On the walk down from Somport.
 

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LesBrass

Likes Walking
Year of past OR future Camino
yes...
Hi Les Brass,

I wouldn‘t skip and like to miss any part of the C‘aragones.
When I did the aragones in 2012 every part was worth walking.

Did you think about taking public transport from your end point of the day back to your starting point. There are busses circulating between Oloron Ste.Marie and Canfranc Estacion, as well as from Canfranc to Jaca and, last but not least, between Jaca and Pamplona.

I know what you mean... I hate skipping too :) If it's safe to do so then we could take public transport and not do the 'there and back' - last year we decided to stay away from others totally and we kept to the car... kind of like isolating whilst on holiday :D Earlier my brother said he might be joining us (for the holiday and not the walking) so he could also be able to drop us off and pick us up which would be a great bonus!

I guess we won't know until July but worst case will be that we skip a little but get to see quite a lot in our 2 weeks. I'll be happy with that ❤️
 

fransw

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2012; Le Puy - Conques 2014;Camino Aragonese Oloron Ste Marie - Puenta la Reina 2018
I walked from Oloron in a wet May 2012 and did a lot walking along the road in heavy rain up to Somport.
Was warned about some of the path up to Somport but from there I followed the path. I would100% include the strech from Somport to CanfrancEstatión and on to Jaca. You might be tempted to take the bus through the tunnel to Canfranc instead of taking the path up the mountain, but if you do, don´t get off at Canfranc but take the bus up to Somport and walk down.
I had the same experience in wet May 2018, I tried to walk along the narrow road in heavy rain up to the Somport but it was very dangerous with all those heavy trucks...It was a relief to get to Canfranc, afterwards it went better.
 
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