Somport manages to delight all its visitors and pilgrims on the Way to Santiago with its spectacular high mountain landscapes. This border between Spain and France is constituted by the mountain pass of the central Pyrenees. It is located between the valley of the river Aragón, in the Spanish slope, and the valley of the river Aspe, in the French slope.
History tells us that the name Somport derives from the Summus Portus of the Romans and that from the XI century this route was already used by the pilgrims of the south of Europe, who followed the Way of Arles, one of the most popular of the medieval pilgrimage. This happened until the Navarrese and Basque bandits who settled in this area in the twelfth century, made the road to Roncesvalles was the preferred.
Currently, this is once again one of the favorite routes showing the opportunity to live unique and wonderful experiences. In this article we will show you some useful details so that you can enjoy this road to Santiago.
What to see and do in Somport?
The port of Somport is considered an obligatory mountain pass for pilgrims who follow the French way through Aragon, also known as the Aragonese way. It is located at an altitude of more than 1,600 metres and links up with the town of Puente la Reina in Navarre, where it joins the French Route from Roncesvalles.
The Aragonese Way has been one of the most important medieval pilgrimage routes for travellers from France and Italy. Today, at 165 km, it is considered the second most frequented route to complete the pilgrimage to Santiago. This route passes through the provinces of Huesca, Zaragoza and Navarre, and part of its attraction is due to the fact that it preserves more traditions.
165 kilometres of the Somport to Puente la Reina route passes through 20 towns ready to provide basic services. The largest and most recognised towns on this route are Jaca, which has some 12,000 inhabitants, and Sangüesa with some 5,000 inhabitants.
On average it is possible to say that there is a village every 8 km, therefore this road is lonely, a characteristic that gives it a unique feeling of tranquility and freedom. The Somport road allows you to meditate, relax and enjoy beautiful natural landscapes.
This first journey from Somport to Puente La Reina is a descent that culminates in Jaca. The route continues through the valley of the Aragon River and before concluding it is possible to pass through Obanos, where the tranquillity of the route ends and a new stage begins to meet the French route of Roncesvalles.
it is important to note that the most fascinating thing you can see in Somport is the nature that surrounds you, typical of a national park of this nature. You will enjoy beautiful mountains, covered with snow, typical vegetation of the area and a unique fresh air and revitalizing.
In Somport you will also find the ski resort with the best scenarios for the practice of this sport in the Pyrenees. The circuits run through beautiful landscapes with dense forests.
Where can I eat and sleep?
The Aragonese Way has around 18 hostels designed for pilgrims. Of these hostels, 50% are public, run by communities or religious associations. as for hotels that include delicious restaurants, below we will mention some of the most popular.
As for hotels that include delicious restaurants, here are some of the most popular.
Hotel des Voyageurs – Somport
This old and traditional inn on the way to Santiago de Compostela, is one of the most famous places to stay during your journey through Somport. With family betrayals that have passed through 7 generations, this charming hotel hosts athletes, tourists and pilgrims. It has 27 rooms that can cost you from 42 to 80 euros.
If it is not your wish to stay in this place you can still taste some of its delicious dishes. Some of its typical dishes are garbure and trout stuffed with porcini mushrooms.
This inn is not exclusive for pilgrims, but here you can be very comfortable. It can be booked and can cost you from 14 to 55 euros. It has a Bar-Restaurant and a grocery store. You can enjoy its computer service and Wi-Fi. In addition to the receipt for your bicycle.
Gîte Le Somport-Espace Nordique
Open all year round this inn requires you to make a reservation in advance. Skiers who visit this area prefer to stay here, however pilgrims can spend a comfortable time. The price will depend on the season of the year and has free use kitchen, bar and cafeteria.
How to get to Somport?
Many pilgrims prefer to begin their journey in this place and to arrive first they travel to Jaca. From Zaragoza and Huesca there are 3 trains a day. From these 2 trains continue to Canfranc, where you can take the bus to Somport
As well as Alosa Buses directly connecting Jaca with Huesca, Zaragoza and Pamplona. Once you are there you can take a bus from Jaca to the desired destination without any problem.
If the pilgrimage started in Saint Jean Pied du Port, it is necessary to travel approximately 130 km and different means of transport are offered, you can travel by car, bus, train or taxi. Depending on the method you choose, time may vary.