A little bit of History
It is thought that, in the tenth century, the most important pass to reach the Iberian Peninsula through the Pyrenees was in Puerto del Palo, following an old Roman road. When the city of Jaca becomes the capital of the Kingdom of Aragon in 1035, the pass of Somport becomes more important. Years later, this route began to be adapted as a pilgrimage route.
This route comes from France, but in the Spanish section runs through the provinces of Huesca, Zaragoza and ends in Navarra, in Puente la Reina, where it joints the French Way.
This route is normally done in 6-7 stages. The first stage is the most complicated and the most beautiful by far. It starts from the height of Somport, in the Pyrenees, and border with France, at about 1600 meters of altitude. It goes down to the city of Jaca. The other stages do not present great difficulties. Although the number of pilgrim hostels is correct, its distribution is somewhat irregular and there are not many options to play with the distances of the stages.
The stage with more accumulated change of level is the first one, although practically everything is descent from the Height of Somport. From the city of Jaca the orography softens a lot, although we can find some minor slopes.
The best season
Summer is the best time, although it is quite hot. But in winter it is easy to find a lot of snow in the first stage, which may make it very difficult to walk. In spring there may still be a lot of snow or we may have difficulty waving a river, due to melting.
Pilgrim hostels and other accomodations
The average distance between towns with pilgrim hostel is 10.3 km (May-2013). The distribution is somewhat irregular, with a lot of concentration in the first part of the route. Despite this, the route can be done in 6 or 7 stages. Most of the hostels are good but they are small and in summer, with the largest affluence of pilgrims, it is easy to get crowded.
The continuation to Santiago
El Camino Aragones ends in the town of Puente LaReina (Navarra) where it meets the French Way and through which you have to continue to get to Santiago de Compostela. See the Camino Frances
The weather is hot in summer and cold in winter. The first stage takes place in the Pyrenees, so the climate is very cold in winter with frequent snowfalls.