Information about stage 2 through Somport: Stage from Jaca to Arres
2 for support
- Km 0. Jaca (All Services)
Thanks to the bronze shells, strategically placed on the pavement, we managed to advance through the network of streets in the center of Jaca. The tour allows you to see the Gothic Clock Tower and the Church of Santiago . Next to it we can turn right onto Calle del Coso and further on to the left onto Bajada de Baños . Thus we arrive at the roundabout where the gas station is located to take the N-240 in the direction of Pamplona. Shortly, next to the military barracks, we leave the national road to our left and continue through an urbanization and a small industrial estate until the outskirts of Jaca. Thus we arrive at the foot of the hermitage of La Victoria, symbol of the victory over the Muslims to which the Jaqueses go on a pilgrimage on the first Friday of May (Km 2.8) . At this point we cross the N-240 and shortly take a cabañera (cattle glen) that rises next to the right shoulder and that passes through the forest on the banks of the Aragón river. After twenty minutes, you take the national road again at the height of La Botiguera to cross the Gas River (Km 5.2) and arrive next to the Municionero booth . A wooden post on the GR 65.3.2 indicates the detour to Atarés and San Juan de la Peña (see observations section) , but we continue straight ahead in the direction of Santa Cilia along the GR 65.3. Immediately, before kilometer point 288 of the N-240, cross the road and leave it on the right. Later on, it crosses again to take a path that reaches the Atarés ravine,that we saved by a walkway conditioned in the Holy Year of 2010 (Km 7.7) . Once we have passed it, we come out onto the road that goes up to Atarés and, pay attention, we take it to the right. It leads us to a path that we begin by leveling out to drift into a section with a more pronounced profile that reaches the Berdún Canal viewpoint , a small vantage point over this vast orographic depression covered with cereals and furrowed by the Aragón river and the gray strip of the N-240 (Km 11.3) . We descend abruptly and pass behind the Aragón hotel and the historic Esculabolsas inn, an old inn for travelers and merchants. After crossing a stream of water we walk a few meters across the field and cross the A-1603 road that goes up to Santa Cruz de la Serós and San Juan de la Peña. Immediately afterwards we continue straight ahead by a cabin that takes us to Santa Cilia de Jaca , a town we enter after crossing the road. The urban itinerary takes us to the very historic center.
- km 15.3. Santa Cilia de Jaca (Hostel. Bar. Bakery. Pharmacy)
We left Santa Cilia for a cabañera and some tracks close to the national road, after which we managed to subtract two and a half more kilometers from the total of the stage. Arriving at kilometer 300, we cross the N-240 and leave the Pirineos campsite on the right (Km 18.7) . Adhering to the left shoulder we cover two kilometers, up to kilometer point 302, and we cross the national highway to enter a shady path that goes down to the river bank, where hundreds of pilgrims have taken advantage of the boulders to form vertical structures similar to chimneys with them . The set of all of them forms an amazing landscape. In three hundred meters we reach the stone bridge over the Aragon of Puente la Reina de Jaca .
- km 21.4. Puente la Reina de Jaca (Bars. Shops. Pharmacy)
Without crossing it, we leave this service town on the right and continue straight on a local road in the direction of Arrés, leaving the A-132 road to the left that goes to Huesca. Further on, a wooden post marked ‘PR-HU 23. Arrés 3 Km’ invites us to take a path that ascends the slope of Mount Samitier . The first kilometer overcomes a strong unevenness but the hardness subsides until finally reaching 700 meters of altitude in Arrés , end of the stage.
- Km 25. Arrés (Hostel. Bar)
- Cabañeras, crosses and the hard shoulder of the N-240: With the name of cabañeras, the ravines or cattle lines are known in Aragon. They are wide but their floor ends up causing chafing on the soles of the feet and dreaded tendonitis, even more so if they wear heavy, high trekking boots. The most comfortable, which will serve us throughout the Camino, are trail shoes, lighter and designed for mountain races. During the day, the N-240 is traveled and crossed several times. Maximum caution!
- Final climb to Arrés: It is the only part of the stage with a clear climb. It is convenient not to prime yourself at the beginning, since the first kilometer is the hardest.
- The monastery of San Juan de la Peña is located seven kilometers from Santa Cruz de la Serós and eleven from the N-240 junction. If any pilgrim wants to go up on foot, the most classic option is to do it from the intersection to Atarés / San Juan de la Peña marked by the GR 65.3.2. The detour is next to the road, after the Gas River on the N-240. The climb is beautiful but terribly demanding. O Cebreiro is child’s play compared to this climb. Anyone who decides to go up should know that they can spend the night in the Monastery’s hostel or go down to Santa Cruz de la Serós later,(22.5 km from Jaca), or continue to Santa Cilia de Jaca (29 km from Jaca) where there is a hostel for pilgrims. Whether on foot or by taxi, the visit is well worth it.
- From March to October there are usually volunteer hospitaleros at the Arrés hostel . They, with the donations, are in charge of buying and preparing a dinner that is tasted collectively. For the rest of the months, you can buy food on the way through Puente la Reina de Jaca or eat at the bar in Arrés.
What to see, what to do
- SANTA CRUZ DE LA SERÓS: On the N-240, at the height of the Aragón hotel, there is a junction on the left that goes up the A-1603 road to Santa Cruz de la Serós. It’s four kilometers.
- Traditional architecture: Popular architecture built by the people for the people. The houses, built in carved stone, are characterized by V-shaped roofs covered with superimposed slabs and endowed with truncated-conical chimneys, which are topped by rude figures known as ‘scare-witches’.
- Church of Santa María: Romanesque, from the 11th or 12th centuries, it was part of a monastic complex inhabited until 1555 by Benedictine nuns. It has a single nave divided into three sections, two portals, three apses – two of them rectangular – and a formidable tower with mullioned windows.
- Hermitage of San Caprasio: Small construction dating from the first half of the 11th century and responding to the Lombard Romanesque construction scheme, a style from northern Italy that is also represented in the famous churches of the Catalan Vall de Boí. It was restored in the middle of the 20th century under the direction of the architect Chueca Goitia in order to suppress later additions to the original.
- SAN JUAN DE LA PEÑA:
- Royal Monastery: Nestled in the same Sierra de la Peña, under a gigantic rock of Mount Pano , it has its origins in a 10th century monastic center that was refounded by King Sancho Garcés III , nicknamed El Mayor, in the 11th century. The Roman rite was introduced in San Juan de la Peña in the year 1071. After the serious fire of the year 1675, it was decided to build a new monastery on a meadow known as Llano de San Indalecio , located somewhat higher up. In the old monastery you can see the Hall of the Councils , the Mozarabic church , the Romanesque – consecrated in 1094 -, the flowery Gothic chapel of San Victorián , and the cloister, unique for its location and the expressive capitals of the archway carved by the master of San Juan de la Peña , which narrate the Genesis and the life of Jesus.
- SANTA CILIA DE JACA: Officially, the first and only intermediate stopover town on the second day of the Aragonese Way. At an altitude of 650 metres, the town center of Santa Cilia sits on the Berdún Canal, next to the Aragón river plain. The distribution of the town was planned at the end of the 12th century or in the 14th century, giving rise to the rectilinear and perpendicular streets that we can see today. The construction of second homes, the closest to the N-240, are expanding the limits of this historic town on the Camino de Santiago. It is worth going into a bakery in Santa Cilia, they make compact loaf bread that hardly gives off crumbs when cut.
- Church of El Salvador: Single nave. It took over from an old medieval church and was built in the 18th century, keeping some elements from earlier times such as the bell tower and the Gothic portal .
- ARRÉS: On a hill and at an altitude of 700 meters, Arrés is an incomparable viewpoint of the Berdún Channel . From its privileged position you can see, in defined strata, the cereal fields, the forest on the banks of the Aragón river, the scrubland and in the background the Pyrenean barrier.
- Church of Santa Águeda: From the 16th century, it has a single nave, a porticoed atrium and a polygonal apse. In Arrés there is also a fortified tower from the 15th century.