The Catalan Way begins at the Montserrat Monastery and upon reaching the town of Tárrega it diverges into two branches. One of them goes to Zaragoza, until it reaches Pina de Ebro, where it joins the Ebro Way.
The other branch passes through the Monastery of San Juan de la Peña and reaches Santa Cilia de Jaca until it finally joins the French Way coming from Somport.
It is not until Logroño that the two tracks coming from Catalonia become one again.
In 1992, the Montserrat Monastery was chosen as the starting point of the Catalan Way as Cesareo, the founder and abbot, was the first documented Catalan pilgrim to arrive in Santiago.
This route stands out for its landscapes and its rich artistic and cultural heritage.
The Catalan Way of Saint James, also known as “Camí de Sant Jaume”, received pilgrims coming from two different routes: those arriving by land after crossing the Pyrenees through the La Junquera pass; and those reaching the port of Barcelona in boats coming from other coastal cities from the Italian peninsula, Corsica, Sardinia, Sicily, the Balearic Islands, Cyprus, Greece and the Holy Land.
This route is documented since the 10th century, which attests to its antiquity. It is also known that, after disembarking, pilgrims used to head for the Monastery of Montserrat, inhabited by Benedictine monks, who offered their hospitality and care to these “romeus” (“pilgrim” in Catalan).
INFORMATION FOR PILGRIMS
The Catalan Way running towards Santa Cilia de Jaca has no significant slopes for most of the route, although after Loarre it enters a more mountainous section where we may face somewhat more difficult ascents and descents.
The branch that goes to Pina de Ebro does not involve great difficulties. One area to take into account because of the intense heat and the strong wind is the section that crosses the Monegros, especially in spring and autumn.
There are no hostels in any of the stages, but there is a supply of tourist accommodation where they offer discounts for pilgrims.