The historic town of Los Arcos, strategically located between Estella and Viana (Navarra), is an unmissable stop on the famous Camino de Santiago. This charming town, crossed by the Odrón River, perfectly combines history, art, folklore and gastronomy. 

The Arches and the Camino de Santiago

Los Arcos, like other towns such as Puente La Reina, Estella and Viana, experienced notable development thanks to the pilgrimages to Santiago de Compostela. During the Middle Ages, this town-road welcomed pilgrims, generating a flourishing trade and a cultural exchange. Above all, influenced by the arrival of visitors from France.

Today, Los Arcos stands out as a milestone and end of one of the stages of the French Camino de Santiago. Legacy of old inns, hospitals for pilgrims and merchants’ houses that still reflect the rich history of the region, every pilgrim who is making the Organized trip from Sarria to Santiago de Compostela You will pass through this city and you will be dazzled.

Little street in Los Arcos

Accommodation for Pilgrims

Pilgrims who choose Los Arcos as a resting point will find various accommodation options. Some of the best options are places like the Isaac Santiago Pilgrims Hostel, with 70 places available at a price of €8 from April to October, and Grandmother’s house, which offers 20 bunk beds and 4 rooms with prices ranging between €15 and €48 from March to October.

Other Jacobean Routes

You may also be interested in knowing other pilgrimage routes to Compostela, such as the Northern Way, which runs from west to east along the Cantabrian coast in about 35 stages. It is one of the most demanding, and not the best one to do in winter, since the climate is usually very hostile.

And on the Atlantic coast, the Portuguese Way, from Porto, which passing through Viana do Castelo and Vigo can be done in about two weeks. Many pilgrims who choose this route start in Viana do Castelo, to make it about 75 km shorter.

Finally, the Portuguese Way from Tui in 5 stages, which although it starts in Lisbon, many decide to do it from the neighboring city of Tui (Pontevedra), in about 8 days.

How to get to Los Arcos

When planning your trip, it is wise to consider the option that best suits individual preferences and needs, whether opting for the flexibility of the car or choosing the convenience of public transportation.

By car

Los Arcos is strategically located located on the A-12 Highway, known as the Camino Highway, which connects Pamplona and Logroño. This road provides direct and comfortable access to the town from both cities, offering travelers an efficient route to reach Los Arcos.

In addition to the A-12 Highway, Los Arcos is crossed by the NA-1110 highway, which previously functioned as the national highway and links the town with other nearby towns such as Viana, Torres del Río and Sansol. This route is a picturesque option that allows you to explore the beauty of the surroundings during the trip.

By bus

Los Arcos has bus services that connect the town with other nearby cities, providing a public transportation option for those who prefer not to use private vehicles. There are daily routes that cover the journey between Logroño and Pamplona, offering travelers flexibility in their arrival and departure times.

To obtain updated information on schedules and routes, it is best to have professional help and, of course, plan your trip well in advance. exist organizing companies of the Camino de Santiago who offer their services to pilgrims from the planning of the trip. 

Places that you cannot miss in Los Arcos 

These are some of the places that you cannot leave out of your time in Los Arcos. 

Church of Santa María in Los Arcos

Basilica of Santa María

The Basilica of Santa María de Los Arcos, the oldest religious temple in NavarraIs a early Christian architectural treasure which combines Roman, early Christian and medieval elements. Its history dates back to XNUMXrd century, when it was a Roman mausoleum that was later transformed into a Christian basilica in the V century. For everyone who does the French Route of the Camino de Santiago, this is undoubtedly a must-visit site.

Gates of the Walls

The old medieval walls of Los Arcos, today integrated into the urban structure, have imposing doors. He Tobacconist Portal, with its wide semicircular point of large ashlars; and the Castile Portal, next to the river and the Parish Tower, are visible testimonies of the historical richness of the place.

Plaza de Santa María

Furthermore, the Plaza de Santa María, accessible from the Portal de Castilla, is the heart of the town. It is surrounded by 17th century buildings and dominated by the portico of the parish church. This is a picturesque place that invites you to immerse yourself in the historical atmosphere of the town.

The Refrigerator of Los Arcos

A unique attraction is The Refrigerator of Los Arcos, built in 1720 by the Brotherhood of the Blessed Souls of Purgatory. This peculiar structure, considered one of the first refrigerators in history, was used to store snow in winter and auction it in March, being a curious testimony of the practices of the time.

Thyssen-Bornemisza Culture House

The Thyssen-Bornemisza Culture House, inaugurated in 2000 in honor of Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza, is a space that enriches la cultural offer of Los Arcos. Its connection to local history adds a special touch to this cultural center.

Los Arcos Culture House

Town Hall 

The Town Hall, built in 1764, shows the elegance of the baroque constructions. It stands out for its ornamental details, like the cover with decorated hardware and shields

Participate in local events in Los Arcos

On the other hand, the visit may coincide with the local festivities. For example, the celebrations in honor of Our Lady of the Assumption and San Roque in August, the Camino de Santiago Fair or the Pilgrimage to San Blas in February. Immersing yourself in any of these traditions will add a special touch to the experience.

Tips and Advice for pilgrims visiting Los Arcos

Planning your visit during local festivals can offer a unique cultural experience. However, to avoid crowds, it is advisable to choose dates outside of the main events. Write these tips down in your map of the French Camino de Santiago to make sure you don’t forget any details.

Accommodation reservations

Given the popularity of Los Arcos as a stopping point on the Camino de Santiago, especially during the high season, it is advisable make accommodation reservations in advance. This way, you ensure a comfortable place to rest.

Detailed Exploration: Take your time!

Touring every corner of Los Arcos will reveal surprising architectural, historical and cultural details. Taking the time to thoroughly explore Plaza de Santa María, walk along Calle Mayor and visit each hermitage will add value to the experience.

Local gastronomy

Don’t miss the opportunity to taste the local gastronomy. Los Arcos offers a variety of culinary options that reflect the rich gastronomic tradition of the region. Take the opportunity to taste authentic dishes and discover unique flavors.

If you want to live this adventure to the fullest, don’t forget to plan your trip with professional advice like the one we offer you at Mundiplus.