There are similar routes to the Ramat de Camins trail around the world, including those which go from village to village such as the Camino de Santiago and the Volta de l’Annapurna, and others which barely take in villages, such as the GR 10 and GR 11 long-distance trails, covering the length of the Pyrenees. Other routes take in mountain refuges, such as the Carros de Foc and the Tour del Mont Blanc.
All of these routes can be covered in different ways:
- in their entirety, or partially, covering certain stages
- covering some sections on pubic transport, by car or using other vehicles
- alone or in a group
- with or without a guide
- choosing between tougher or easier variants
The Ramat de Camins trail is no exception. There are plenty of diferent ways to enjoy it, including those which are still to be discovered as it’s a “living” trail. For instance, as ancient paths are recovered, a wealth of variants and short cuts will open up with them, making for even more alternatives.
The trail is suitable for just about all walkers as it nearly always sticks to ancient paths or woodland tracks, making it difficult to lose one’s way. As a result, you don’t need to be a hardcore hiker to do it. These are paths which people have trodden since well before roads and cars appeared.
The difficulty some may find is the length of the stages, with distances conditioned by the location of overnight accommodation. However, since the route was first covered in 2007, new establishments have opened which offer the possibility to break some sections and cover shorter distances.
The toughest stages are those which go through the Bonaigua, Vielha and Gelada mountain passes, along with the one which goes into the Aigüestortes National Park and the Sant Maurici lake via Espot. Some hiking experience would be useful for these stages, which should really be covered when weather conditions are favourable.
THE BEST TIME TO GO
The trail can be done all year round, although in the winter the highest sections are not usually accessible due to snow. Wet winters may also render some lower sections effectively inaccessible.
The trail has no unified signage system, although the majority of sections have plaques with the Ramat de Camins logo on them.
- Ramat de l’Est. Scale. 1:50.000. Mapa Guia Excursionista. Editorial Alpina.
- Tremp. Scale. 1:25.000. Mapa Topogràfic de Catalunya, núm. 35. Institut Cartogràfic de Catalunya.
- Parc Natural de l’Alt Pirineu. Scale. 1:50.000. Editorial Alpina.
- Val d’Aran. Scale. 1:40.000. Editorial Alpina.
- Vall de Barravés – Ribagorça. Scale. 1:25.000. Editorial Alpina.
- Alta Ribagorça. Scale. 1:50.000. Mapa Comarcal de Catalunya. Institut Cartogràfic de Catalunya.
USEFUL PHONE NUMBERS
- Emergency services: 112
USEFUL MOBILE APPS
- Weather: El Temps
- Weather: Météo France
- Parc Natural de l’Alt Pirineu: Alt Pirineu, deixa’t guiar
- Emergency services: Alpify
The equipment needed depends on how we cover the trail (walking days, transport, overnight stays etc.), but the main thing is to stick to the essentials. Heavy weight really can go against us and affect whether we enjoy the route or find it a struggle. Don’t worry if you forget something either, as the route goes from village to village, offering a chance to get things along the way if needed.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that the average altitude along the route is 1,100 m, rising to 2,470 m at the highest point. Changes in the weather may be abrupt and although it might be pleasant and sunny first thing in the morning, temperatures can drop at midday, with rain and snow a possibility, even in the summer. Because of this, we need to be prepared.
The list of essentials is as follows:
- Rucsack, with weatherproof cover
- Good walking shoes or boots
- Telescopic walking sticks, particularly for anyone susceptible to knee problems
- Water bottle
- Head lamp
- Clothing: waterproof, fleece, spare underwear, convertible trousers or stockings, t-shirts, thin gloves, cap or sun hat, clothing to sleep in, handkerchiefs, swimming costume, bag for dirty washing etc.
- Toilet bag: sun cream, toilet paper and personal materials
- First aid kit: to include treatment patches for blisters.
- Documents: ID card or passport, social security card or International healthcare card, FEEC membership card or equivalent walking federation card, cash, credit card etc.
- Nutritious and filling food for lunch time and a penknife
- Optional: camera and accessories, map, route descriptions, book to read, paper, pen, GPS, sunglasses, soft shoes to relax in.
- We recommend you bring your mobile phone and charger, but bear in mind there are some areas without network coverage.
HOW TO GET TO THE START POINT
For directions to Pobla de Segur by car, type the name of the place you’re setting off from in the ‘From’ field and click ‘Go’.
Other ways of getting to Pobla de Segur
- By train, taking the Lleida–la Pobla de Segur line until the final stop. Highly recommended. This line is known as the Tren dels Llacs (literally, the ‘Train of the Lakes’).
- By bus, using the company Alsa, which operates services from Lleida and Barcelona in the direction of Esterri d’Àneu, Val d’Aran and Pont de Suert (www.alsa.es. Tel. 902 422 242).
- By car-sharing. There are currently various Facebook groups for finding cars travelling to the Pallars area, as well as webs specialising in car-sharing.
From Pobla de Segur, go by car or take a taxi to the Font de la Figuereta rest area, which is where the Raman de Camins trail starts.