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Camino Aragonés

General Description: The dramatic Camino aragonés begins in the Pyrenees Mountains at Somport (1600 meters or 5200 ft of altitude) and terminates just east of Puente la Reina, where it joins the Camino francés. 160 km from Somport through Jaca to Puente la Reina. The Camino aragonés is the continuation into Spain of the French Vía Tolosana, the Arles route.

Waymarking: Extremely well marked with painted yellow arrows as well as plaques and signposts, the latter usually with stylized scallop shell symbols.

Terrain: The Camino aragonés begins at Somport which is on the French-Spanish border at an altitude of 1600 m from where the path drops some 400 m in only 7.4 km. After reaching Jaca, about 32 km along the route, the route is fairly flat until about 60 km from Puente la Reina where there is a long ascent of just over 300 m. The route then descends to Puente la Reina.

When to go: The route is traversed at all times of the year primarily because there are at least minimal services available year round. However there is very likely to be snow in the winter months and early spring in the higher elevations on the French-Spanish border. Somport is at 1600 m elevation and Jaca is at about 800 m. Those walking the aragonés will probably be continuing on the Camino francés after it is reached at Puente la Reina.

Accommodation: The aragonés is well populated with albergues as well as hotels, hostales and casas rurales.

Guidebooks: Confraternity of Saint James: Toulouse to Puente la Reina (2011 but with a 2014 update included), covering the French Via Tolosana (Arles) route from Toulouse across the pass at Somport to Puente la Reina on the aragonés. A companion guide covers the section Arles to Toulouse. It is not uncommon for guidebooks for the francés to have a section on the aragonés also.

Internet links: The Confraternity of Saint James has an overview of the Via Tolosana (Arles) route that includes the section in Spain starting on the pass at Somport. The site RutasNavarra.com has detailed information on the sections in Navarra. In the drop down menu "Tipos de Rutas", select "CS Caminos de Santiago" and then click "Mostrar Rutas". (Spanish) The Asociación de Amigos del Camino de Santiago Jaca has a great deal of information about the aragonés between Somport and Puente la Reina. (Spanish, English, French)

Other remarks: Despite being very well waymarked, being well documented and having numerous albergues, the aragonés is little traveled, even in the summer. If you have trouble with steep downhill sections, take note that the first 7.5 km leaving the pass at Somport averages a 6% downhill. It is possible to reach the Estación Canfranc and Somport from Jaca by the bus service of the Comarca de La Jacetania.

Rev 12/28/14

American Pilgrims on the Camino
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