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The big map o the Caminos de Santiago

Why so few pilgrims on the camino of Arles. It is a wonderful path in the spirit of Camino.

Camino(s) past & future
2014 and 2015 and 2016
#1
I walked on the camino de Arles and was delighted by the walk, the welcoming gites and the meetings with the peoples who were walking. I am estonished that this Camino is not more popular; I has wonderful nature, nice gites many of them either Christians or hold by peoples who have walked on the camino and know how to receive tired pilgrins.
I do not know why not so many pilgrins are doing this path
 

Felipe

Veteran Member
#3
Yes, villages "très sympa", landscapes, friendly people. I have not done the Chemin d'Arles (yet) but lived in the region for some time. I posted this in another thread; re post again because it could be useful to you:
The ACIR Compostella informs about three new albergues or gîtes:
- Toulouse, gîte L'Etape, Marie et Vincent welcome walkers in 8 rue Lionel Terray (5 minutes from métro Barrière de Paris, ligne B). lesdavid.toulouse@gmail.com Tel 0682131865
- Agnès et Olivier Kummer, their home in Burlats, 4 km from Castres, for pilgrims and also tourists, in the heights of the Arles Way. olivier.kummer@gmail.com tel 0631858773
- The city council of Grabels (34) offers a gîte d'étape for 13 person, with kitchen and other amenities.
gite@ville-grabels.fr
The photos included look as very good, cozy places.
More info about ACIR accueil@chemins-compostelle.com
(4 rue Clémence Isaure, Métro esquirol, Toulouse)

(you can stamp your credential there)
and http://www.chemins-compostelle.com
Bon chemin!
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP/Burgos 2012; Le Puy/SJPP 2013; Aumont Aubrac/Aire sur l'Adour 2014; Burgos/Santiago 2016.
#4
I abandoned this just a few days after starting out from Montpellier because I encountered so few fellow trekkers. If I ever hear that critical mass has been achieved I'll be there.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy (2010; 2016), Norte, Primitivo, Muxia/Fisterra (2010), Mozarabe, Via de la Plata, Sanabres (2011), Arles, Aragones, Frances (2015)
#5
I loved this path too! Amazing landscapes and encounters... Few pilgrims, but a quiet and quality route. Let's hope it will not reach critical mass! :)

Advertisment in not so big on secondary routes... Popularity goes to King Frances, international hands down. Then, other popular Caminos in Spain get the attention (North, Primitivo, Plata, Portugues, mostly). Then, Le Puy route is King in France (and even before the Frances for the French!). Then, other French ways get bits of interest, with the Arles route coming last.


 

karenhypes

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (09), Chemin Le Puy (10/11), hospitaleros (11), Chemin Arles (Apr 13), Caminho Portuguese (15).
#6
Agree with SYates. It's a hidden gem. Part of the beauty of this walk is the fact that you do NOT meet masses of pelerins. Scenery is spectacular, gites are spotless, food is second to none and the French are very welcoming. If you continue on to Puente La Reina you can also enjoy the Camino Aragones.......another great stretch. Of course if you have the time continue on to Santiago. Dayton and Karen
 
#7
Hmmmmm. Thank you for piquing my interest. I see in a quick look online that to Puente La Reina from Arles would be in the neighborhood of 36 days, which is in my 2017 ballpark. http://chemindarles.free.fr/carte_FR.php.

My questions:

Is there a lot of asphalt?

Is there a May rush like there is on the LePuy route with French walkers on vacation?

Looks like I may have a Norte vs. Arles dilemma -- any comments on that particular choice?

Buen camino, Laurie
 

SYates

Camino Fossil AD 1999
Camino(s) past & future
First: Camino Francés 1999
...
Last: Camino Inglés 2018

Now: http://egeria.house/
#8
...
My questions:

1. Is there a lot of asphalt?

2. Is there a May rush like there is on the LePuy route with French walkers on vacation?

3. Looks like I may have a Norte vs. Arles dilemma -- any comments on that particular choice?

Buen camino, Laurie
1. No
2. No
3. Arles

Bon Chemin, SY
 
#9
Agree with SYates. It's a hidden gem. Part of the beauty of this walk is the fact that you do NOT meet masses of pelerins. Scenery is spectacular, gites are spotless, food is second to none and the French are very welcoming. If you continue on to Puente La Reina you can also enjoy the Camino Aragones.......another great stretch. Of course if you have the time continue on to Santiago. Dayton and Karen
Hi, Karen, did you have a blog when you walked? Thanks, Laurie
 

karenhypes

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (09), Chemin Le Puy (10/11), hospitaleros (11), Chemin Arles (Apr 13), Caminho Portuguese (15).
#10
Hi, Karen, did you have a blog when you walked? Thanks, Laurie
Hi Laurie, Hope all is well with you. Yes, I have a blog. Here is the link to it....http://hypingthecamino.blogspot.ca/2013/04/april-18-arles-camino-day-one.html?m=0 It took us 39 days (I think) from Montpelier to Puente La Reina. We started in mid-April. We had lots of mud and some snow crossing the Somport Pass, but you get what you get. I agree with SY, no, no and Arles....of course we have not walked the Norte. Thanks for asking. Karen
 
Camino(s) past & future
Portugués, Francés, Le Puy, Rota Vicentina, De Soulac, Norte, Madrid-Salv-Primitivo
#11
Hi, just curious, but does the Chemin d’Arles follow a GR route, like the GR65 from Le Puy to SJPDP? If so, that would explain why there is very little asphalt. The GR65 takes you up and down and round about . . . rather than just getting you from A to B (and Santiago). Very pretty and gives you a good workout, but there were a few times when I looked at the map and thought *!*! that, I’m taking the road. Jill
 

SYates

Camino Fossil AD 1999
Camino(s) past & future
First: Camino Francés 1999
...
Last: Camino Inglés 2018

Now: http://egeria.house/
#12
Yes, it is the GR653 and yes, there are a few bits when you walk three sides of a square ;-) Bon Chemin, SY
 
Camino(s) past & future
2012, 2015 ,2017
#13
Hi Laurie, Hope all is well with you. Yes, I have a blog. Here is the link to it....http://hypingthecamino.blogspot.ca/2013/04/april-18-arles-camino-day-one.html?m=0 It took us 39 days (I think) from Montpelier to Puente La Reina. We started in mid-April. We had lots of mud and some snow crossing the Somport Pass, but you get what you get. I agree with SY, no, no and Arles....of course we have not walked the Norte. Thanks for asking. Karen
Hi Laurie, Hope all is well with you. Yes, I have a blog. Here is the link to it....http://hypingthecamino.blogspot.ca/2013/04/april-18-arles-camino-day-one.html?m=0 It took us 39 days (I think) from Montpelier to Puente La Reina. We started in mid-April. We had lots of mud and some snow crossing the Somport Pass, but you get what you get. I agree with SY, no, no and Arles....of course we have not walked the Norte. Thanks for asking. Karen
Hi Karen, a fellow Canuck here from Markham (who knows Tom as well) I just finished reading your blog and paid especially good attention to the walk over the Somport Pass and along the C. Aragones... since I will be joining Sylvia and her South African group end of next May from Lourdes onwards. I am glad we are walking at that time, even tho I hail from the Austrian mountains, I rather not walk in snow. What an accommplishement,belated congratulations.

I also had a look into your Camino Portuguese (I too walked the portion from Porto onwards last July) and to my delight you met my friends Gil and Brenda in Lisboa. Small world.

Buen Camino Ingrid
 
#14
Hello Laurie, ( long time no- see) and others,
We walked this route in 1999!! Oh dear we are that old! We saw few pilgrims in late summer indeed not sure there there any.
It was wonderful with basic provision for pilgrims made by helpful locals. Arles is magical, St. Guillem ( sp?)Le Desert, Toulouse etc, etc, crossing the Pyrenees was much more impressive than the crossing from St.Jean on the CF. I think it was a three day approach. Because we were rare pilgrims we were often especially welcomed and cared for. The Camino Aragonese was wonderful down to Jaca , Sanguese etc. We had to stop at Puente de la Reina because my brother Tom was dying and I wanted to go home to Ireland to see him. I recommend the route highly though it was long ago now. I offer apologies to SY for spreading the info!
Sadly the time distance means we can offer no practical advice but this route deserves pilgrims.......please not too many!
Maricristina
 
Camino(s) past & future
Arles Route (2013/2014 onwards)
#16
Thanks to all the helpful responses, looking forward to Karen's blog, but I'm wondering whether there is a guidebook or website in English you would recommend. My French is pathetic.
I've done the first bit and recommend starting from beautiful Montpellier. I believe that you are following my blog so you can see what I wrote in 2013, I met enough other pilgrims in September to make it interesting but prefer to mostly walk solo. Really hope to get back to it as I had got to St Guilhem and that's where it really starts getting interesting. I understand that accommodation has increased significantly since I was there, I rely on the Miam Miam Dodo guides which are very easy to use if you have little or no French. I speak it fairly fluently but found that most people could communicate in English, I use the word communicate as they may not be any better in English as you are in French but my experience is if you try to use their language they will really try to communicate with you. I met, with one exception, nothing but lively, helpful and friendly people and the food is wonderful. Go for it, it'll be a good challenge!
Ultreïa
 
#17
I've done the first bit and recommend starting from beautiful Montpellier. I believe that you are following my blog so you can see what I wrote in 2013, I met enough other pilgrims in September to make it interesting but prefer to mostly walk solo. Really hope to get back to it as I had got to St Guilhem and that's where it really starts getting interesting. I understand that accommodation has increased significantly since I was there, I rely on the Miam Miam Dodo guides which are very easy to use if you have little or no French. I speak it fairly fluently but found that most people could communicate in English, I use the word communicate as they may not be any better in English as you are in French but my experience is if you try to use their language they will really try to communicate with you. I met, with one exception, nothing but lively, helpful and friendly people and the food is wonderful. Go for it, it'll be a good challenge!
Ultreïa
Thanks for the info, six wheeler. I do have a link to your report (which you nicely posted in the blogs, photos section, thanks!) and look forward to reading it. Is there a reason why you started in Montpellier rather than Arles?

And @karenhypes I see you and Dayton started in Montpellier as well. Is that where people typically start?
 
Last edited:

karenhypes

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (09), Chemin Le Puy (10/11), hospitaleros (11), Chemin Arles (Apr 13), Caminho Portuguese (15).
#18
Thanks for the info, six wheeler. I do have a link to your report (which you nicely posted in the blogs, photos section, thanks!) and look forward to reading it. Is there a reason why you started in Montpellier rather than Arles?

And @karenhypes I see you and Dayton started in Montpellier as well. Is that where people typically start?
Laurie, We started in Montpelier because we were meeting a young friend we had met and walked with on the Le Puy route. She walked with us for a week as she was in med school there. We missed three days by starting there instead of Arles. No reason not to start in Arles. It just worked out better for us to start in Montpelier.

We used the Miam Miam Dodo book and it was our 'bible.' We also took the Confraternity of St. James books but mainly relied on the MMDD. Very well marked. Dayton and Karen
 

karenhypes

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (09), Chemin Le Puy (10/11), hospitaleros (11), Chemin Arles (Apr 13), Caminho Portuguese (15).
#19
Hi Karen, a fellow Canuck here from Markham (who knows Tom as well) I just finished reading your blog and paid especially good attention to the walk over the Somport Pass and along the C. Aragones... since I will be joining Sylvia and her South African group end of next May from Lourdes onwards. I am glad we are walking at that time, even tho I hail from the Austrian mountains, I rather not walk in snow. What an accommplishement,belated congratulations.

I also had a look into your Camino Portuguese (I too walked the portion from Porto onwards last July) and to my delight you met my friends Gil and Brenda in Lisboa. Small world.

Buen Camino Ingrid
Hi Ingrid. Hope our paths cross some day. Your walk from Lourdes and on to the Camino Aragones sounds fantastic. Enjoy. Karen
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese.
#20
Laurie, the Miam Miam Dodo is all you need. It is a very easy to follow path. We did some of it when we walked the Canal du Midi (which I do not recommend for walkers, btw, although a couple of days would be nice). Maybe I will go back one day and walk the Arles it in its entirety - but like you my Spanish is way better than my French.
 

karenhypes

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (09), Chemin Le Puy (10/11), hospitaleros (11), Chemin Arles (Apr 13), Caminho Portuguese (15).
#21
Hi Laurie, Hope all is well with you. Yes, I have a blog. Here is the link to it....http://hypingthecamino.blogspot.ca/2013/04/april-18-arles-camino-day-one.html?m=0 It took us 39 days (I think) from Montpelier to Puente La Reina. We started in mid-April. We had lots of mud and some snow crossing the Somport Pass, but you get what you get. I agree with SY, no, no and Arles....of course we have not walked the Norte. Thanks for asking. Karen
Laurie, Oops, it took us 35 days from Montpellier to Puente la Reina, not 39. We then took a train to Santiago from Pamplona and walked again to Muxia. Dayton
 
#22
Thanks very much, guys, I have ordered the MMDD! Still not 100% sure, but this gives me a lot to explore once the bad weather hits the Midwestern US.

I have looked at the numbers of pilgrims arriving in Santiago from Arles and even in Summer it was low double digits. I understand there will be more who are walking only part, but still it's something to ponder. On my solitary Caminos in Spain, I can at least talk with people in the villages, in bars and restaurants, etc.. Not so in France. So this will be not only solitary during the walk (fine) but solitary at the end of the day (harder). I

And I'm seeing lots of comments about getting lost and bad marking in the blogs, yet all the comments in the forum report good marking. I was hoping not to take a GPS, is that ok in your opinion?

So those are my doubts, any insight appreciated. Buen camino, Laurie
 

karenhypes

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (09), Chemin Le Puy (10/11), hospitaleros (11), Chemin Arles (Apr 13), Caminho Portuguese (15).
#23
Thanks very much, guys, I have ordered the MMDD! Still not 100% sure, but this gives me a lot to explore once the bad weather hits the Midwestern US.

I have looked at the numbers of pilgrims arriving in Santiago from Arles and even in Summer it was low double digits. I understand there will be more who are walking only part, but still it's something to ponder. On my solitary Caminos in Spain, I can at least talk with people in the villages, in bars and restaurants, etc.. Not so in France. So this will be not only solitary during the walk (fine) but solitary at the end of the day (harder). I

And I'm seeing lots of comments about getting lost and bad marking in the blogs, yet all the comments in the forum report good marking. I was hoping not to take a GPS, is that ok in your opinion?

So those are my doubts, any insight appreciated. Buen camino, Laurie
No need for a GPS, in our opinion. The sketch maps in the MMDD actually are pretty accurate, at least enough detail that if you think you are lost you'll easily be able to figure it out. We only made one wrong turn, at a crossroads of two GR routes........all GR's are marked the same, red and white blaises. While our combined French wasn't perfect, Karen, very good...... Dayton, enough to order a beer or wine, there were very few times that you couldn't talk with someone. Lots of the gite hosts spoke English and there was usually a pelerin or two around.
Laurie, with your personality you'll have ZERO problems with solitude because of language issues. Dayton and Karen
 
#24
And the questions keep coming....

I see in the blogs that April tends to be a common start time. Is there a reason for that choice, or just happenstance? I can't leave till May, but I can go virtually any time after May 10 or so. If you had your dream pick start date in Arles, when would it be? I'm in the odd position of looking for a time to maximize numbers rather than avoid them! (pilgrims office statistics range over the years from 15-25 Arles starts in July, Aug, and Sep., though I know a lot of people who start in Arles don't walk the whole way to Santiago -- but by that token, it's likely that some of the 2016 arrivals from Arles started in Arles years earlier).

And, coming from the US it also looks like a flight into BCN might be easier than into Paris for getting to Arles. Either way it's a TGV train ride and BCN is much closer. Am I missing something?
 
Camino(s) past & future
Arles Route (2013/2014 onwards)
#25
Thanks for the info, six wheeler. I do have a link to your report (which you nicely posted in the blogs, photos section, thanks!) and look forward to reading it. Is there a reason why you started in Montpellier rather than Arles?

And @karenhypes I see you and Dayton started in Montpellier as well. Is that where people typically start?
Sorry Peregrina
Thanks for the info, six wheeler. I do have a link to your report (which you nicely posted in the blogs, photos section, thanks!) and look forward to reading it. Is there a reason why you started in Montpellier rather than Arles?

And @karenhypes I see you and Dayton started in Montpellier as well. Is that where people typically start?
Hi Peregrina2000, I'm sorry I sent some information to a wrong address. My blog is at www.sixwheeler.net and you will find the bit that I did under the Via Tolosana heading. I did start in Arles but wish I hadn't; between Arles and Montpellier is extraordinarily dull with too much road walking. You could start in Arles for an historical visit then train to Montpellier where the interesting bit starts. Montpellier is lovely too. I swear by MMD but don't worry about language, just try it in bad French and they'll try to help you, people offering accommodation are often multilingual. With one exception (read the blog) everyone I met was so kind and friendly, I met enough other pilgrims for my liking to be interesting but on the whole I'm happy to walk solo.
Good Luck.
 

Felipe

Veteran Member
#26
The good friends of the ACIR Compostelle association (Toulouse) are announcing a free new guide app for "les voies" de Puy, Arles and Piémont Pyrénéen, for the sections crossing the former Midi-Pyrénées region.
It includes: a description of each stage; info about cultural and natural attractives, and local events;
a geolocalized list of lodgings, restaurantes, shops, drugstores, waters sources, picnic areas.
- L'App Store (pour la version iOS) : https://itunes.apple.com/fr/app/chemins-st-jacques-compostelle/id1005201685?mt=8
- Google Play (pour la version Androïd) : https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=fr.mobitour.apps.id123
The app is from the Mobitour company and proposed by the Comité Régional du Tourisme Midi-Pyrénées.
 

Vinnie

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Arles- Muxia 2010 Sep- Dec
Arles- Muxia 2013 Sep- Dec
SJPP- Santiago 2014- 2015 Dec- Jan
Arles- Muxia 2016 Sep- Dec
#27
I've walked the arles route twice, in 2010 and 2013 and will be starting again next week. Both times roughly from late September to early December. In 2010 I only met about 10 pilgrims, in 2013 I didn't see any pilgrims or any hikers for that matter the whole way across France! I only saw one pilgrim on the whole argones and then only for two days. It was for me a great walk in complete solitude. I camped almost the entire Arles way. I of course started seeing pilgrims when I meet up with the camino Frances and was glad of the company. Currently I'm sitting in Inverness Scotland having just completed the West highland way and Great Glen way as a warm up :) to starti g the Arles way again next week.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2014 and 2015 and 2016
#28
Yes, villages "très sympa", landscapes, friendly people. I have not done the Chemin d'Arles (yet) but lived in the region for some time. I posted this in another thread; re post again because it could be useful to you:
The ACIR Compostella informs about three new albergues or gîtes:
- Toulouse, gîte L'Etape, Marie et Vincent welcome walkers in 8 rue Lionel Terray (5 minutes from métro Barrière de Paris, ligne B). lesdavid.toulouse@gmail.com Tel 0682131865
- Agnès et Olivier Kummer, their home in Burlats, 4 km from Castres, for pilgrims and also tourists, in the heights of the Arles Way. olivier.kummer@gmail.com tel 0631858773
- The city council of Grabels (34) offers a gîte d'étape for 13 person, with kitchen and other amenities.
gite@ville-grabels.fr
The photos included look as very good, cozy places.
More info about ACIR accueil@chemins-compostelle.com
(4 rue Clémence Isaure, Métro esquirol, Toulouse)

(you can stamp your credential there)
and http://www.chemins-compostelle.com
Bon chemin!
Yes, villages "très sympa", landscapes, friendly people. I have not done the Chemin d'Arles (yet) but lived in the region for some time. I posted this in another thread; re post again because it could be useful to you:
The ACIR Compostella informs about three new albergues or gîtes:
- Toulouse, gîte L'Etape, Marie et Vincent welcome walkers in 8 rue Lionel Terray (5 minutes from métro Barrière de Paris, ligne B). lesdavid.toulouse@gmail.com Tel 0682131865
- Agnès et Olivier Kummer, their home in Burlats, 4 km from Castres, for pilgrims and also tourists, in the heights of the Arles Way. olivier.kummer@gmail.com tel 0631858773
- The city council of Grabels (34) offers a gîte d'étape for 13 person, with kitchen and other amenities.
gite@ville-grabels.fr
The photos included look as very good, cozy places.
More info about ACIR accueil@chemins-compostelle.com
(4 rue Clémence Isaure, Métro esquirol, Toulouse)

(you can stamp your credential there)
and http://www.chemins-compostelle.com
Bon chemin!

L’expérience du chemin de Arles
j’ai bien profité du chemin de Arles et j’ai aussi pris mon temps de visite ( visite de Arles, de Montpellier, de Toulouse) , En fait en marchant un peu moins , on voit beaucoup plus de choses car on prend le temps de s’arrêter un peu plus; par ex monastère de En Calcat. ou hospitaliers engagés ;
J’ai trouvé ce chemin superbe, c’est le plus beau que j’ai fait jusqu’a présent; avec 3 phases;
1 La Camargue entre Arles et Montpellier le long du petit rhone ; j’ai fait les 2 premères étapes puis pris le bus jusque Montpellier pour éviter les routes et villes
2 Montpellier vers Castres : 10 jours de montagnes, de bois, de vallées et de plateaux superbes dans le parc du haut-Langudoc; vraiment magnifiques mais physiques; faire des petites étapes entre les Montées. ,;
3 Castres vers Toulouse: on suit la RIgole puis le canal de Midi a l’ombre des platanes , très reposant;
Après Toulouse, j’ai fait 3 étapes un peu moins intéressantes mais correctes, J’achèverai sans doute l’an prochain avec le col du Samport;
Les gites tres différents soit très accueillants et dans l’esprit du chemin, soit un ou 2 négligés; mais au total des soirées inoubliables; peu de personnes en Aout mais des vrais pélerins habitués ( 2 a 7 par jour) , belle ambiance; Il y a plus de monde en Mai et en Septembre.
J’ai pris 3 bus; de Vauvert vers Montpellier ( par Nime) , la sortie de Montpellier ( bus 24) et la sortie de Toulouse ( train jusqu’a Pibrac) afin d’eviter les routes et trafic dans les sortie de villes ; je les conseille tous les 3.
Je conseille soit une carte ING en plus du miam miam dodo soit un GPS surtout dans les montagnes entre Montpellier et Castres
Vraiment je recommande ce chemin qui se fait dans l’esprit de Compostelle.
 

lbpierce

Linda Breen Pierce
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
#29
I generally walk only 15-16 km a day. Can someone advise me if there might be gites at that distance on the Arles route? The one guide I looked at had stages in the 20 to 30 km distance.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2014 and 2015 and 2016
#30
I generally walk only 15-16 km a day. Can someone advise me if there might be gites at that distance on the Arles route? The one guide I looked at had stages in the 20 to 30 km distance.
The Arles route has some easy parts and one more difficult part which is the hilly part between Montpellier and Castres. If you have difficulty to walk I am afraid that this part will be difficult for you; just look at the guide like miam miam dodo for the other parts but I would guest it is feasible ; you can start from Castres and walk along the river and canal to Toulouse; and then to the pyrennees; I advice also to go out of the town castres and Toulouse by bus or train to avoid the roads of the town;
 

newfydog

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pamplona-Santiago, Le Puy- Santiago, Prague- LePuy, Menton- Toulouse, Menton- Rome, Canterbury- Lausanne, Chemin Stevenson, Voie de Vezelay
#31
I posted this once before advising people not to skip the section from Arles to Montpelier:

"I can see how one could feel the section is boring, but to me that part is wonderful. You start at the Roman amphitheater in Arles, go into the massive wetland of the Camargue with flamingos, white horses and flowers. It is barren in a Meseta sort of way, but full of wildlife. Also you get to visit the amazing cathedral at St Giles with the scenes of beheadings and animals ripping apart the sinners."

amargue

 

jennysa

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino F 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 C Aragones 2012, 2017 2018 Via Francigena 2016 & 17 Primitivo 2018
#32
Hi Karen, a fellow Canuck here from Markham (who knows Tom as well) I just finished reading your blog and paid especially good attention to the walk over the Somport Pass and along the C. Aragones... since I will be joining Sylvia and her South African group end of next May from Lourdes onwards. I am glad we are walking at that time, even tho I hail from the Austrian mountains, I rather not walk in snow. What an accommplishement,belated congratulations.

I also had a look into your Camino Portuguese (I too walked the portion from Porto onwards last July) and to my delight you met my friends Gil and Brenda in Lisboa. Small world.

Buen Camino Ingrid
Fortunately, we will be walking a bit later so snow on Somport should be cleared by then. I walked the Camino Aragones in 2012 and was amazed to find no more than 4 or 5 pilgrims walking this route per day.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 13
VdlP 14
LePuy 15
Invierno DosFaros CP 16
The 88, Japan 17
Sicily. Arles-Santiago Fall 18
#34
I'm looking at this route as well. I picked up a French guide in St Jean Pied de Port when I completed the Le Puy route a last week. If it looks worthwhile I'll report back. Laurie, my French is basic too, but I found more encouragement to try my limited French on the Le Puy and generally in the south of France more than I've ever experienced in the North. As others have reported, there is English and often Spanish spoken by the gite operators. I've been told that France is much more aware of the need to learn English in our changing world and it's become more of a focus in school. I saw a number of schools advertising English immersion...a strange sight as in the far western part of Canada where I live it's quite common to see French immersion schools, so the reverse really stood out for me. Happy planning!
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
#35
Is there a lot of asphalt?
Yes and/or No.

You get to choose.

Is there a May rush like there is on the LePuy route with French walkers on vacation?
Not really sure, but truth is these days it's best to just walk when you can -- the small part of the Arles route I followed in 2014 was not particularly crowded.
 

Isca-camigo

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Various ones.
#36
I walked from Grabels 8/9km past Montpellier, missed out the Section from Castres to Toulouse, and turned off on the route that goes to Lourdes. It is a truly stunning route in parts, after St Guillem you start to go off road and for days you are in beautiful country with hills and sometimes thick foliage around you and it feels like a shock when you walk on the very rare asphalt that you encounter. The paths do zig zag around a bit, accommodation was plentiful and in some cases of a very high quality, someone suggested Le Forge in Joncels, I would stay there if I walk this route again, however Villa Issiates is excellent and quite unique. The asphalt after Toulouse is quite high for about 4/5 days, I would say 60%, apart from leaving Toulouse( which is a pain right up there with Santander and Porto) it is mostly on quiet country lanes. I started on may 21st 2014, and was seeing pilgrims most days at Gite's, it felt perfect in that I was alone most days while walking but was having very social evenings, someone walked the route 10 days before me and she posted that she did not see another soul walking or at the Gite's, and it felt a bit much. There is holidays in May, if you can plan it so you do have accommodation in the evenings there might be quite a few other pilgrims around.
I would like to walk the St Guillem to Castres section again, it ticks a lot of boxes and held its own in the stunning stakes against the San Salvador and Primitivo which I walked on later in the same Camino as the Arles one.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy in July (2015)
#37
I'm trying to budget my next Camino trip and was wondering what a reasonable daily target number might be, starting from from Montpellier and staying in Gites ?

After Protugal last spring, I am spoiled!! :)

Anyone willing to throw out a plug number?
 
Camino(s) past & future
2014 and 2015 and 2016
#38
Very good choice, you will not regret; after Montpellier be ready for the climbing for one week until Castres, then another week to Toulouse and another 10 days to the Pyrennes Mountains, then another week in Spain to join the Camino Frances; ; If you have one month , you should be close to the end; as you know, nothing is written in the sky where you have to stop; you can stop after the mountain and take a bus back to France; Unfortunately, I do no have my notes here. Be ready for walking with few peoples but some gites are particularly friendly and in the spirit of the Compostella; , one advice, stay one day in the monastery En Calcat and meet some monks. Very open minded.
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
#39
I'm trying to budget my next Camino trip and was wondering what a reasonable daily target number might be, starting from from Montpellier and staying in Gites ?

After Protugal last spring, I am spoiled!! :)

Anyone willing to throw out a plug number?
hmmmm, well France will be more expensive, particularly staying in gîtes, but there are definitely also some pilgrim refuges which might either be your only option in some locations, but in some others would actually be a better solution than a gîte.

There are a few of the sparser sort of pilgrim refuge in France, but mostly they're created for the needs of most French pilgrims whose ideas about comfort and such needs are probably closer to what you're looking for than might be typical in Spain & Portugal.

A night at a gîte might be anything between €40 and €100 nightly, or more in some more up-market ones ; and €40 would be quite rare, but your average daily budget would still be lowered because of the existence of some pilgrim refuges that you really just should not miss. €50-75 daily would cover your needs anyway -- I can't speak as to your wants. €100/day ? More ?

But the thing is, gîte prices can vary tremendously, including seasonally, so it's very hard to come up with even a vague notion for a budget -- particularly because in some places the combination of a cheaper hostel/hotel/refuge and a good restaurant might often be a better solution all round. And sometimes a local pilgrim accommodation will just quite simply be best.

Also, while not crowded, you will likely meet other pilgrims on the Way, and these meetings could also influence your decisions at that point.

As far as budgeting the Spanish part, well, there's ample information about that sort of thing all across the forum ... :p

--

If you have one month , you should be close to the end; as you know, nothing is written in the sky where you have to stop; you can stop after the mountain and take a bus back to France
Strange comment -- he's made not even the slightest suggestion about time limits nor only wanting to do a partial Camino ...
 
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Camino(s) past & future
2014 and 2015 and 2016
#40
Yes this is not correct i walked last year and i stay in gites all the way at 34 euros per day with meal and breakfeast
So 45- 50 euros per day is more than enough
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
#41
Yes this is not correct i walked last year and i stay in gites all the way at 34 euros per day with meal and breakfeast
So 45- 50 euros per day is more than enough
What time of year was it ?

Glad to hear the prices are a lot less than I thought though.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2014 and 2015 and 2016
#42
It was end of august; around 50% of the gites are from the conseil regional or municipalities and the price is the same all year; this is also true for the private ones;
Enjoy your walk
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
#43
It was end of august; around 50% of the gites are from the conseil regional or municipalities and the price is the same all year; this is also true for the private ones;
Enjoy your walk
OK thank you, that's great information for Scott !!! -- though my own walk on the Arles Way was 12 years ago, and with a far more meagre budget (I did pop back onto it very briefly in 2014)

Hopefully, Scott can find himself a healthy mix of cheap rural gîtes, essential religious pilgrim hostels and peregrino refuges, the occasional more expensive or cheaper hostelry plus restaurant solutions, as well as all the more intimate beauties of that variant.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017 Santiago
Arles 2018 planned
#44
I am walking from Arles starting in late march this year and given my situation I will need some internet contact daily. In Spain on the French Way this was never a problem but what about this route? I note that some Gites and hotels list internet access in the guide book, is there likely to be nay more?
Also, I understand food availability is much more an issue on this route.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Portugués, Francés, Le Puy, Rota Vicentina, De Soulac, Norte, Madrid-Salv-Primitivo
#45
I am walking from Arles starting in late march this year and given my situation I will need some internet contact daily. In Spain on the French Way this was never a problem but what about this route? I note that some Gites and hotels list internet access in the guide book, is there likely to be nay more?
Also, I understand food availability is much more an issue on this route.
Hi, everytime I have walked in France and wanted to use the “free wi-fi”, it has invariably been “kicked out by the storm” (or a similar French translation).

Now, when I walk in France, and the “free wi-fi” is not working, I ask if it was kicked out by the storm. They invariably agree that that must be what happened ;).

In other words, do not expect the “free wi-fi” to be free wi-fi in France :p.

And yes to your last question :(.

Jill
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#46
I am walking from Arles starting in late march this year and given my situation I will need some internet contact daily. In Spain on the French Way this was never a problem but what about this route? I note that some Gites and hotels list internet access in the guide book, is there likely to be nay more?
Also, I understand food availability is much more an issue on this route.
Plenty of WiFi and plenty of food for much of it.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2014 and 2015 and 2016
#47
If you have already walked before, i would recommend to do it. It is a resl camino for you. Not a tourist walk. Full.of surprised, changing landscape and eecoming gites.
I made it with the french guide "miam miam dodo" and follow their advise. No proiblem for staying night. Alwsys a gite every 20-25 kms and very convivial.
Avoid the town of Montpellier. Take bus and train to go in and out. Go when there are a few peoples. If you do in March you will be alone. I would not advice. Toin May or after. The only difficulty will be the langage. You need minimum of
 

John Lunde

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017 Santiago
Arles 2018 planned
#48
Jsalt, Falcon and Jose, thank you for your information.
I have walked Le Puy to Santiago, not all in one year, and I expect parts of the Arles route will be more difficult in terrain and perhaps in other ways. I am thinking of taking a phone that will take a French SIM card in case the "free wifi" has taken a holiday. I am assuming that I will find enough accommodation open from late March onward.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2014 and 2015 and 2016
#49
Dear John
If I can can still add something; you know that if you walk in a natural park in the forest and it is suny and you are with a few nice peoples, it can be the paradise, if you are alone in the forest climing a steep walk, and it is raining and you are alone, it can be hell; I just wanted to say that If you are doing this camino in march starting from Arles, I am afrait you will be in the second situation after Montpellier; the walk between Montpellier and Castres is really spectacular in the natural park and in the forest but I would not do in March; I strongly suggest to start from Castres or from Toulouse which is easy access; and then go to reach the pyrennées and the col du Samport and then the spain part. It is the second half of the camino and you can do the first half next time in the summer or May-june when the weather is nicer and there will be more peoples; From Toulouse, I have followed the advice to go out of the town by train. At the station of Toulouse, you take the regional train going to Auch and you go down at le Colomier or further on at Isles Jourdain.
I really hope that you will enjoy this camino; it is a camino like You can dream, varioius nature, nice and welcoming gites, only real pilgrins with a friendly exchange; please learn some french. Bon chemin
 
Camino(s) past & future
2014 and 2015 and 2016
#50
A last advice that I found on this forum: down load the application ; "maps.me" . it gives the location and the direction that you are walking directly from the GPS. there is no need of tel or data connection. So it works even in the deepest forest far away from the " civilisation"; You have to down load the local map before you go. The app will ask you for it. Very useful when you lost your way or you want to verify where you are.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy (2010), Frances (2010). Finisterre (2010), Geneva (2012), Portuguese (2014), Sanabres (2016)
#51
I am walking from Arles starting in late march this year and given my situation I will need some internet contact daily. In Spain on the French Way this was never a problem but what about this route? I note that some Gites and hotels list internet access in the guide book, is there likely to be nay more?
Also, I understand food availability is much more an issue on this route.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy (2010), Frances (2010). Finisterre (2010), Geneva (2012), Portuguese (2014), Sanabres (2016)
#52
Hi John, I'm planning to walk from Toulouse beginning on April 21, and am reading all I can find about the Arles Chemin. Let me know what you find out about availability of wifi, and anything else. I know there are days when everything closes, and getting food can be a problem if you don't anticipate. I'll probably get a French sim card for my phone, just in case I need it.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017 Santiago
Arles 2018 planned
#53
Linnea,
A French sim card is a good idea and you may find you have to call ahead for the night's lodging. Beware Sundays and Mondays if you want to eat. Carry some backup food. After the 1st of May stores will be closed more frequently for holidays. I have walked from Le Puy in yerds past adn food was an issue at times. Enjoy your trip.
 

Dan

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2013
Chemin Le Puy 2014
Pennine Way, UK 2015
Camino Del Norte 2016
Arles Route 2018
#54
We are starting the Arles route next Wednesday 21 March - going through to Puente la Reina.
It seems from some of the advice in this thread that we may be starting a bit early. But, it will be what it will be. I always found that everything I read and heard before every walk flew out the window once we were on the way; it was either easier or harder, wetter or dryer, and the accomodation better or worse than we had been led to expect.
I think it's just that everyone's tastes are different, as are their background experiences which shape their reaction to the events which occur on the way. And, without a doubt, that's also why we meet such interesting fellow walkers.
We don't mind it being cold or wet (strange for Aussies, I know). Heat saps our energy on these treks. We had a bit of that on our first Camino and it was awful. We also had mud near Hontanas, and it was awful. Yeah, I'm concerned about striking mud in the areas mentioned above in this thread. But we'll get over it.
If there's time, I'll attempt to post from points here and there a 2018 account of what the Arles route is really like - well, what I think it's really like ... ;-)
buen camino
Dan
 

snale

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
arles
vdlp
le puy
#55
I have walked the Arles route through to Puente la Reina in 2014 and 2017. Last year we encountered very few other pilgrims or walkers generally. We couldn't understand why and some of the accommodation was no longer available.
Get a SIM card in France if you need internet access everywhere. A beautiful but challenging camino.
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
#56
We couldn't understand why and some of the accommodation was no longer available.
The truth is that quite a few of the local town halls are overtly hostile to the Camino and to pilgrims in general, for multiple, sometimes opposite, reasons that would most probably violate forum rules if discussed.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy (2010), Frances (2010). Finisterre (2010), Geneva (2012), Portuguese (2014), Sanabres (2016)
#57
Linnea,
A French sim card is a good idea and you may find you have to call ahead for the night's lodging. Beware Sundays and Mondays if you want to eat. Carry some backup food. After the 1st of May stores will be closed more frequently for holidays. I have walked from Le Puy in yerds past adn food was an issue at times. Enjoy your trip.
Thank you, John. I have walked from Le Puy in April-May, also, so I know about the closings and difficulty of finding food sometimes. And needing to call ahead. Once we get going I'll post on my blog caminobleu.blogspot.com Linnea
 
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