Camino, Walking

Camino Guide Part 3: Which Pilgrimage Route? – Camino Aragonés and Camí de Sant Jaume

11 Mar , 2014  

This serialised instalment of our comprehensive Guide to the Camino de Santiago focuses on the Camino Aragonés from the Pyrenees and the Catalan route, the Camí de Sant Jaume.

Camino Aragonés

caminoargonesThe Camino Aragonés begins high in the Pyrenees at Somport on the French-Spanish Border. The route descends from the Pyrenees to the town of Jaca, where it the follows a series of climbs and descents over the dramatic and desolate Aragonés Valley.  After 170km through the region of Aragon it reaches Navarra where it joins the Camino Francés at Puente La Reina.

Pros:
•    Quiet route.
•    An extension and alternative starting point of the Camino Francés.
Cons:
•    There is a steep path and decent from the starting point at Somport.

Camí de Sant Jaume

camistjaumeThe Camí de Sant Jaume is the Catalan route to Santiago de Compostela. There are two main routes which start at the Monastery in Montserrat; 40km from Barcelona. Both routes descend from the Sierra de Montserrat and then pass the towns of Igualada, Cervera and Tàrrega.

From Tàrrega the route splits in two directions, one route joins the Camino Francés at Puente La Reina via the Camino Aragonés. It goes north-west via Balaguer, Monzón and Huesca to the Monastery of San Juan de la Peña, where it then joins the Camino Aragonés at Santa Cilia de Jaca.

The other route takes the less known Ruta Del Ebro, it passes the historic city of Zaragoza, and joins the Camino Francés at Logroño (70km further than Puente La Reina).

Pros:
•    The Montserrat starting point is a short 1 and half hour train journey from Barcelona.
•    It offers a more individual experience with very few pilgrims taking the routes in comparison with busier routes.
Cons:
•    The way marking and infrastructure on both routes are not as well developed as some of the other alternative routes.

These are not routes we currently offer at Macs Adventure, but a great alternative way to join the Camino Frances, where we can support your Camino from Logrono or Puente La Reina.

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I have been a member of the Macs Adventure team since March 2013, and since joining my travel wish-list has developed ten-fold! Glasgow is my home, and a wonderful city to live in, however I love nothing more than enjoying the access to the Scottish countryside on my doorstep.