GR 65.3: Santiago Path
The pilgrims who used the Port of Somport to cross the Pyrenees came, through the logic of Roman ways, from north-eastern France and from Italy.
The main ways came together in the city of Toulouse, which is why this route is called the Toulouse Path. It then passed through Auch and Pau and, after Oloron, entered the Valley of Aspe befre reaching the Summus Portus (now Somport), where it entered Aragon.
The GR 65.3 crosses the areas of the high Valley of the Aragón: Jacetania, Canal de Berdún and Valdonsella. The route begins at the Port of Somport, the border between Spain and France at an altitude of 1,632 m, from where it drops down to Canfranc and Villanúa. From here, there are two variants to the Path that reach Castiello de Jaca. It then passes through Jaca, an important milestone as it is a city of great historic importance.Its Romanesque cathedral served as a model for subsequent buildings along the Santiago Path.The path, permanently alongside the river Aragón, then heads west. At a short distance from Jaca there is a variant that, after leaving Atarés, climbs up to the Romanesque monasteries of San Juan de la Peña and Santa Cruz de la Serós. From here, after passing through Binácua, it connects with the original path and heads towards Navarra, crossing the villages of Santa Cilia and Puente la Reina and close to the localities of Arrés, Martes, Mianos and Artieda. Later on, Ruesta (with a campsite, hostal and an important refurbishment project by the CGT union) and Undués de Lerda are the last Aragonese localities along the Path before entering Navarra and following on to Santiago.
There is another variant known as the GR 65.3.3, Santiago Path through the Port of Palo. This variant reaches Aragon (Valley of Echo) from France through one of the key passes to cross the Pyrenees. It covers La Selva de Oza, passing through Siresa and Echo, crossing the Sierra de los Dos Ríos lengthways and over the Gorge of Biniés until reaching Biniés and then Berdún and Martes, which is where it connects with the GR 65.3.
The linear route of the GR 65.3, with a length of 190 km, consists of five stages, without counting variants or SR, which may include another 4 or 5 stages.This path is a variant of the Euroepan E-7 path.
Departure point: Somport
Arrival point: Undués de Lerda
Distance (km): 190
No. of stages: 5
Somport - Candanchú - Canfranc Estación - Canfranc - Villanúa - Castiello de Jaca - Jaca - Santa Cilia - Puente la Reina.
Variante GR 65.3.1 :
Villanúa - PR-HU 24 crossed, GR 65.3.2: Crossed (El Municionero hut) - Atarés - Cuatro caminos - San Juan de la Peña - Santa Cruz de la Serós - Binacua - GR 65.3 and GR 65.3.3 cross: Port ofl Palo -Oza - Siresa - Echo - Biniés - Berdún - GR 65.3 crossed.
Along the route, accommodation and food is available in the localities between Somport and Jaca. Beyond Jaca, there are pilgrims' hostals in Martes, Artieda, Ruesta and Undués de Lerda. Santa Cilia has a campsite and there is an inn and hotel in Puente la Reina. You can eat in Santa Cilia, Puente la Reina and Ruesta. There is rail transport to Canfranc, Villanúa, Castiello and Jaca. Tourist Offices in Canfranc, Jaca and Puente la Reina.