The Camino Aragonés

11 July 2021 – 24 July 2021

(Yeah! We’re going to walk a camino!)

The Camino Aragonés probably dates back to the 11th century, when the kings of Aragon decided to rebuild and improve the travel networks within their territory. They repaired Roman roads, built bridges, and added shelters and baths along their routes; the modernisation was possibly driven by the arrival of pilgrims as the appearance of religious relics increased the number of monasteries and sanctuaries and led to the creation of new routes for pilgrims.  Whilst the route was very popular for a several centuries, by the sixteenth century the golden age of pilgrimage had passed and the route fell into decline.

The Camino Aragonés officially starts at Somport and runs westwards through the provinces of Huesca, Zaragoza to Navarra. The scenery is dominated by the mountains to the North and rolling hills to the South.  Somport, or Summus Portus as it was named by the Romans, is a Pyrenean mountain pass on the border between France and Spain, at an altitude of just over 1,600 meters. The route merges with the camino Frances near the Navarran town of Puente la Reina at Óbanos, just after the often missed Ermita de Santa María de Eunate

The Aragonés is 166km long but we’ll be adding a further 60km to this by starting our journey on the Arles camino at Oloron Sainte Marie.  The route is very much quieter than the more popular northern routes but it is said to be remarkable for its spectacular and varied terrain and mostly unspoiled trails as the wooded slopes of the Pyrenees give way to the steep limestone hills of the valley of the upper river Aragon. 

Oloron Sainte Marie to Puente La Reina

Our reasons for starting in Oloron in part was because we wanted to enjoy the mountains for longer.  The Aragonés starts at the top of the Somport Pass and heads away from the mountains, we’d read that the route from Oloron along the Aspe river is also very beautiful.  Also, we booked our accommodation many months ago and had no idea what the COVID situation would be.  Starting in France (where we live) meant that we could stay in France and walk in the mountains if crossing the border into Spain wasn’t possible.

Whilst we have 12 days, which should be ample for walking this camino we’ve decided to do what we did last year on the Lebaniego and centre ourselves in a holiday apartment and drive each day to the start of the stage.  It means that we have to walk ‘there and back again’ to the car but whilst this restricts us with how much ground we can cover, it does means that we get to walk the trail twice… so we make the most of the amazing views!

We have one week in Oloron and a second week between Jaca and Puenta La Reina.  We know that we won’t be able to walk every step, as we don’t have time, but we’ll try to cover as much as we can! 

And of course I’ll blog whilst I walk… and I hope you’ll be joining us as we wander along this most beautiful trails!

11 thoughts on “The Camino Aragonés

  1. Bon camino ….. would love to join you as it looks great but will join you in spirit through the blog – add a few photos as those are my personal memories of the caminos I have done – with Dave and then with Tim and Edward.
    good luck and Keeeeeep Waaaaalking!
    guillaume de manzac

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey Colleen, what wonderful news. I’m thrilled you can make this work out. I can’t wait to see your marvellous photos from this route.
    It must be thrilling to be in the planning stage with all the apprehension and excitement that comes with it. I love to read your posts and soak up the European atmosphere until I get back there.

    I’m currently planning to do the latest ‘triple-treat camino’ that @jungleboy (Nick and Wendy) have posted on the forum. The caminho Nascente, Portugues camino Torres, and finally the Camino Geira to Santiago. Not sure how far I’ll get. They took 60 days in total. I have all of September and October 2021 to get as far as I can, barring leg/feet issues (hahaha).
    Cheers, grace

    Liked by 1 person

    • WOW! Grace… what a walk you have planned! We have plans for the autumn but I am so worried that COVID will again scupper our travels! It’s almost too hard to think too far ahead… but we’ve had both vaccines and we’re hopeful that there will be lots of walking in the near future! We might even be in Santiago in Mid-October… and if I’m really lucky I’ll be in the other Santiago in November! Looking forward to hearing about your walk! safe travels pilgrim ❤

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  3. We’ll be thinking of you …… and where we should have been …….whilst we sit at home in our cold & rainy garden ……. dreaming of one day being allowed to go abroad again without having to jump through 50 hoops! Enjoy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am so sad you wont be here… 2022 will the year when everyone can travel… well lets hope that 2022 is the year! 😦

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