Camino Frances 2018 – Estella to Los Arcos

September 13th, 2018 – Day 2
Estella to Los Arcos, 21km

Another crisp dark morning without a cloud in the sky as I left the Agora Hostal in Estella. Again, thanks to our hosts for making my stay as amazing as it was. I shall be back! Leaving the hostel, I started talking with Guillermo from Burgos, who was choosing to walk part of the Camino for his 60th birthday. He was much faster than me, but then again, he is nearly 7 foot tall. He hoped to walk to Sansol today, slightly further than me.

You pass the church of San Pedro de la Rua on your way out of Estella. The many lights illuminate the stairs. Guillermo was always ahead of me and he was happy to be alone. We arrive at the much talked about Monasterio de Santa Maria de Irache which has a wine fountain.  I took a sip, it proved to be too sweet and I moved on. I’m sure some pilgrims will love it, just not this pilgrim.

Church of San Pedro in Estella

Somehow, I let the darkness take me for a walk and bring me on a wrong turn. I was off the Camino. But panic not as I turned a corner and I saw another yellow arrow, And shortly after that, I saw Doug from Canada again. All smiles.  The sun was rising over Navarra as we made our way to Villamayor de Monjardin.

After a gradual climb, we both arrived at Villamayor. There was a chap with a flying drone recording so you might be able to hear the buzzing in the video clip I took below. The main site visited is the Romanesque church of San Andrés, from the XII century. We stopped off here for a bit and had a snack from the Markiola tienda.

After leaving the town, there is a 12km stretch to Los Arcos so I was sure to have enough water and some fruit with me for the morning. Off we went.

The weather was super and once the sun came up, it started to get warm. And by warm I mean 15c in the shade and 20-25c in the sun. I quickly realised I had no sun cream so I was hoping there was a farmacia in Los Arcos or I would be the pink-skinned Irishman, from now on!


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We arrived at Los Arcos, which would be my stop for the day. Doug had decided to walk some more. At the entrance to the town, there was a great tienda and we bought some fruits, drinks and cakes. All waiting for the albergue to open. Looking at my watch, I had quite a while yet. The fabulous Casa de la Abuela in Los Arcos is much revered so I thought I would check it out. I wasn’t disappointed. I said goodbye to Doug, knowing that we would meet again.

I met L&R later on in the evening in the main plaza for a pilgrim menu and some non-alcoholic drinks. The plaza was a full place that night, and all three restaurants were busy with pilgrims. The albergue was full too. I met a lady from Queens in New York who was walking with a Mexican guy. I also met 2 French Canadians with the most basic English but we communicated through Spanish. Which was fun. Tomorrow, I hope to walk to Viana and it will be my last day with L&R. I will walk on then.

Los Arcos at night


  1. Hello dear Camiga,
    I am living your Camino Updates!!

    – “Agora Hostal in Estella” with Puy, Alfonso and Adriana is AMAZING!!
    Each Bunk with their own Light, Plug and Curtain.
    Kitchen to use!!
    Awesome spread of a Breakfast.
    Close in the Old part of Town.

    – “Casa De La Abuela” with Isou and Sara is an all time FAV too!!
    Community Dinner option.
    Laundry done for us.
    Breakfast with Freshly made Cake and Hard Boiled Eggs.
    Close to the Center Square where everyone eats, drinks and talks together.

    Great Updates!!
    Cathy in Santa Cruz, California

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Many thanks for the great blog and postings D. When I read it I’m transported to that special place. I’m always interested in what path peregrinos take out of Estella. I have a preference for the ‘left hand’ route via Luquin and down into Cruce. It’s really quiet and beautiful. I agree with your big shout out for Albergue Casa Abuela in Los Arcos and I’d like to give a big big thumbs up to the Capuchins in Estella, Albergue Rocamador , top Albergue with bunk rooms and twin rooms etc . It’s on the way out of town but a lovely relaxing place to stay.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. P, thank you first of all. That means a lot. I try to journal when on Camino but you know the Camino, it has other plans for you. I have passed through Estella twice but this is the first time to stay there. I have chosen to stay in Ayegui, there is an albergue 2km on. I was interested in this “alternative route” to Villamayor but it was quite dark so I just stuck to what I knew. Maybe another time. The Capuchins albergue was super busy – I passed it on the way to the Agora hostel. It must be a popular albergue.


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