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Best Way From Paris To Sjpp

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by John Simchuk, Feb 6, 2018.

  1. John Simchuk

    John Simchuk New Member

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    We are flying to Paris from Seattle and have been told that the train to SJPP is a viable option. Has anyone done this?
     
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  2. UnkleHammy

    UnkleHammy Well-Known Member

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    I'v gone twice to Saint Jean by starting in Bayonne on the train. I assume that there are connections from Paris. The train appears to be a "local" one as it does not have sleeping options etc. France does have a very good train system and some one else here can help. I just showed up prepared to wait a bit and had no problems. If you are in the U.S. your AAA auto club can help with train reservations.
     
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  3. Crepes4Suzette

    Crepes4Suzette Well-Known Member

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    The trains are a great option from Paris, John. You can look on sncf.com or use Trainline.eu (the old Captain Train). Trainline.eu will give you detailed information about how to pick up your tickets. They're reliable, clear, their site is in English, and are less expensive than some other train ticket brokers also.

    You can get trains via Bordeaux right from Terminal 2 at CDG if you really want to. I think that sounds exhausting after a night flight across the pond, so I haven't ever used that option. Regardless of whether you fly into Orly or CDG, you can get an RER (fast suburban rail) into the city. Then get the metro from Chatelet/Les Halles or whichever RER exit works for you. The trains to Bayonne (a small station) mostly leave from Gare Montparnasse. I stayed overnight in Montparnasse (a great neighborhood with tons of Breton creperies) once very close to Gare Montparnasse. From Bayonne, your ticket will get you on the local train from Bayonne to SJPP. The local train usually goes 4X/day during the high season, but fewer on Sundays.

    The TGVs are fast and smooth, and if you use their discount iDTGV option, you can choose a Zen car where you can sit in blissful silence and watch the French countryside fly by. Happy planning!
     
  4. Wily

    Wily Francés 2016; Portugués 2017; Inglés/Fisterra 2018

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    Hey John - Welcome to the Forum. Let me just piggyback on C4S’s comments and tell you my experience. I landed at CDG after a night flight from Montreal. I arrived very early in the morning since I wanted to have as many travel options as possible just in case my plane was late. Arriving as early as I did, passing through customs took no more than a few minutes. I carried my 36L backpack on the plane with me for fear of it not arriving with me. Since I wanted to travel on that same day, having delayed luggage would have been a big problem. However, I did check my hiking poles and knife. Had there been any problem there, I simply could have purchased new ones in SJPP.

    Because I had a small piece of business in Paris that morning, I chose to take the airport bus shuttle into the city to the Gare Montparnasse instead of catching the train right there at CDG. For €17, you can catch LeBus Direct right outside the arrivals area. I believe it runs on the half hour.

    https://www.lebusdirect.com/en/

    There are a number of trains daily to Bayonne. From there, it’s a final short one-hour train ride to SJPP. If you haven’t already checked it out, here is a link to the SNCF website where you can look at times and fares.

    http://www.sncf.com/

    Depending on the trip you choose, it’s a 4-5 hour trip to Bayonne. As C4S mentioned, the highspeed TGV is very pleasant travel and a great way to see the french countryside. Like airlines, the farther in advance you buy your train ticket, the cheaper it is. As I purchased mine before leaving home, I got it for a very reasonable price. Finally, as I arrived around 7 in the evening, I did have a reservation at an albergue. Although I arrived there late-April, SJPP was already busy, but had I not had a reservation, I could still have gotten a bed. But, to be on the safe side, having that reservation gave me a certain peace of mind as I headed south from Paris.

    Let me just mention that my return was from Madrid. From Santiago, I found it more convenient to take the train to Madrid and spend a couple days there instead of backtracking to Paris. Buen Camino!
     
  5. John Simchuk

    John Simchuk New Member

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    Thank you all for your responses. The information will be a great help in planning our trip. I think we will spend a couple of days in Paris as tourists then go on to Bayonne and SJPP. Also Wily your comments on heading home via Madrid were great. I think that's what we had in mind.
     
  6. Terry Wilson

    Terry Wilson Well-Known Member

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    Hi John Yes I have flown into Paris get the bus into Montparnese station and get the train to St jean with one change they leave about 10am and 12am the 12am one gets you into St Jean a bit late at about 7.30/8 pm. So this time this April I get to CDG at aboyt 8am and it could be a bit tight to get the 10am train so I am staying in Paris the night and getting the 10am the next day this gets you in about 3pm as I remember. Kind regards have fun God bless.
     
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  7. John Simchuk

    John Simchuk New Member

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  8. John Simchuk

    John Simchuk New Member

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    Hi Terry. Thanks for the info. We are definitely going to Paris before the Camino. But as you advised, trying to catch a train soon after arrival in Paris would put too much pressure on getting to SJPP. So we are going to do a little sightseeing in Paris before the Camino.
    Bien Camino!
     
  9. James Orrock

    James Orrock Active Member

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    Hey, C4S, in answer to the question “what’s a botofumeiro and why are they swinging one in a cathedral?" the practical explanation as per your wonderful blog has to do with the necessity of masking the smell of so many sweaty pilgrims crammed together having just completed the Way but the mystical reason has to do with the incense rising above the huddled peregrinos representing their thanksgiving prayers ascending to heaven. Btw, your blog is fantastically informative and fascinating.
     
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