Cammino Francese

Section 1 from Somport: Somport-Jaca

31 km Difficulty
The first section of the Aragón variant is long, though downhill, an important positive factor. However, one has to tread carefully when going down in order to avoid injuries at this early stage. Pilgrims on bicycles may face more difficulties as the terrain is rough and they will have to take the main road every now and then to make progress.

The beginning of this beautiful Camino variant starts at the Camino sign of Somport. From here you descend towards the river Aragón. Less than a kilometre away you will find the ruins of the old 11th-century pilgrims’ hospital of Santa Cristina.

The path runs through a beautiful mountainous landscape and across the main road to continue towards the Canal Roya and the ravine of Izas. Still descending, you will reach Canfranc Estación after 7 kilometres, this is a good place to get some provisions and access all services. Here you will also find the Estación Internacional, opened in 1928 and currently under renovation. If you continue your descent towards the dam, you will find the Torre de Fusileros, built in the 19th century at the entrance to the village of Canfranc, infamously known in Spain for the fire that devastated the village in the 1940s.

You have completed a third of the section here and must continue now through the pass that goes under the road 330 to reach the beautiful cave of Güixas, which you may visit upon request. There are two options for pilgrims to get to Castiello de Jaca from Vilanúa: the first one turns to the right and goes through the village with views over the valley and around the Parque Ocio Aventura; the second turns left and runs for 5 kilometres between fields and asphalt, to cross the bridge over the river Aragón.

Arriving at Castiello de Jaca is an opportunity to rest, with less than ten kilometres remaining to finish the section. Past the church of San Miguel, the path gets closer to the river and takes you to the chapel of San Cristóbal. You need to give it the last push when climbing up from Salud to Jaca. At 800 metres, Jaca offers the 11th-century Cathedral of San Pedro with its Museo Diocesano. You must not miss the chance to see the clock tower and enjoy the atmosphere of this Camino village.

I consigli del postino

“When going down the valley, do not miss the International Railway Station of Canfranc, which achieved the feat of communicating Spain with France through the Pyrenees, it was opened by king Alfonso XIII. It is an architectural wonder of great beauty in an amazing spot. In Canfranc Estación you can also get some provisions. Later, in Canfranc Pueblo, do not forget to buy some local cheese, as it will help you regain your strength for the Camino”.Mariano Palacín Sanchez, Correos de Canfranc.