The Senda Pirenaica crosses the Camino at the western end of the Pyrenees. I am returning there this year, staying in the Roncevaux/Orreaga Pilgrims’ Hostel so I have been reading about the ‘other’ trek.
Fourteen routes over the Pyrenees
Before the 1970s only a handful of walkers had crossed the Pyrenees from E–W but hundreds of thousands had done it from N–S or S–N, and not just at the ends near the coast. Hannibal and Pompey; pilgrims on the Way of St James; Cathars; pedlars; shepherds; Napoleon’s armies; smugglers; Ramond, Russell, and other explorers; golondrinas; priests with Spanish religious statues; political refugees; the entire Spanish government with its paintings and gold; Jews and pilots; maquis; economic migrants; terrorists… All crossed the Pyrenees.
- 1. Pilgrims on the Way of St James: Auritz/Burguete
- 2. Golondrinas: Zuriza and Isaba
- 3. Romans, railways, and roads: Candanchú/Canfranc
- 4. Pilgrims, pedlars, smugglers, hunters, explorers: Bujaruelo
- 5. Soldiers and walkers: Benasque
- 6. Airmen and refugees: Guingueta de Àneu
- 7. Refugees and quixotic soldiers: Tavascan
- 8. Cathars: Cabana dels Espaveres
- 9. The Priest and the statue: Núria
- 10. Botanists: Núria
- 11. Shepherds: Ulldeter
- 12. Politicians, paintings, and gold: La Vajol
- 13. Hannibal, Pompey, and refugees: La Jonquera
- 14. Manel the shepherd: Requesens
- 15. List of routes linking Ariège, Andorra and Catalonia
[Note: some of these routes are not particularly recommended for walkers but are included for their historical interest. Each route includes practical information for those who wish to cross from the Senda Pirenaica (GR11) to the Pyrenean Way (GR10).]
Many of these crossings are now celebrated by official treks, mostly created in the last fifteen years, with interpretive panels and museums by way of explanation. These are known as Grand recorridos transfronterizos in Spanish and Sentiers de randonnée transfrontaliers in French.The Aragon government has just launched a project [Spanish text] to develop them.