General Description: The Camí de Sant Jaume originates at the Benedictine abbey of Santa María de Montserrat northwest of Barcelona leads westward and splits at Tárrega with one branch leading northwest to join the Camino aragonés and a second more westerly route joining the Ruta del Ebro. 77 km from Montserrat to Tárrega. 226 km from Tárrega via Huesca to San Juan de la Peña where the Camino aragonés is joined. The Camino aragonés in turn joins the Camino francés at Puente la Reina. 193 from Tárrega via Lleida and Fuentes de Ebro (joining the Ruta del Ebro) to Zaragoza. The Ruta del Ebro in turn joins the Camino francés at Logroño.
Waymarking: Caminosantiago.org indicates that waymarking is complete on both routes although the Confraternity of Saint James reports that the route is very unevenly waymarked with significant stretches without any yellow arrows and even misleadingly placed indicators.
Terrain: Shortly after departing Monserrat the path drops on a 5% grade for 5 km. After parting ways at Tárrega, the northwest route crosses numerous river drainages but there are only 2 or 3 climbs or descents of more than 3%. The last stage before joining the aragonés features a 2% grade for some 15 km. After the parting, the westerly route is mostly a gradual descent to the Río Ebro.
When to go: The spring and fall months will be the best. Climate tables for Barcelona and Huesca.
Accommodation: The MundiCamino site indicates numerous pilgrim-oriented albergues as far as Tárrega except for none in the 20 km between Jorba and Tárrega. After Tárrega, on the northwesterly route (toward the Camino aragonés), there are only the barest of pilgrim-oriented albergues, perhaps two, until the aragonés is joined. After Tárrega, on the westerly route (toward the Ruta de Ebro) there are only three pilgrim-oriented albergues with more than "roof and floor" facilities. For the most part on both of these routes, where there are gaps in pilgrim-oriented albergues, commercial lodging is available.
Guidebooks: The Catalan Government has produced a free downloadable guide to the Catalan part of the Sant Jaume. (English, Spanish) The guidebook Guía práctica del Camino Jacobeo del Ebro y Camino Catalán has detailed information on the Catalán portion of the route from Monserrat to the point where the Sant Jaume splits off. This guidebook was issued in a new edition in 2008. (Spanish) L'Associació d´Amics del Camí de Sant Jaume publishes what appears to be a complete and thorough guide on the Sant Jaume. Click on the "La guia" link in their site's home page. (Catalán)
Internet links: The Confraternity of Saint James has an overview of the Camí de Sant Jaume. (Route #2 in the list of routes in Catalunya) Caminosantiago.org has general information on both routes. L'Associació d´Amics del Camí de Sant Jaume (Catalán) is a site devoted to the Sant Jaume and (Catalán) The MundiCamino site has a large amount of detailed information. In the MundiCamino site, after selecting English (the small British flag icon), click on Routes in the menu bar and slide down to Camí de Sant Jaume (1), the route that connects to the Camino aragonés, or Camí de Sant Jaume (2), the route connects to the Ruta de Ebro.
Other remarks: English will be only rarely encountered with castillano (Spanish) and catalán being the primary languages. French will be the reserve language.