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How To Get To St Jean Pied De Port

Discussion in 'Camino Frances' started by Leslie, Apr 22, 2015.

  1. Crepes4Suzette

    Crepes4Suzette Well-Known Member

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    Mike, make sure you print out a good map of Pamplona (not Brierley's). Like Wily said, it's a hike between. I did it last year and it was farther than I'd thought. The bus station is underground, but has a long rectangular glass and chrome entrance above ground . It is next to the Cuidadela (the Ciudadela is a fort ruin in a large park), so you can just walk along the face of the Ciudadela as a reference. The train station is across the center part of town, down a long, steep hill and then out from the hill several more blocks. I had to stop and ask directions twice. Once there, the train station has a lively cafe and plenty of room to sit.
     
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  2. keithlundy1

    keithlundy1 Active Member

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    Hi Leslie, Well I'm back again and counting the days until the 25th July when I start my journey again. I did try last year but I injured my knee in training too close to my start date which left me with quite a poorly leg so I decided not to risk it and walk it this year, fingers crossed preparation has gone quite well.
    The reason I'm dropping you a note is on my alerts I have an automated message "you have been awarded a trophy" do you know what this is and why. Keith, Norfolk
     
  3. yosemite chic

    yosemite chic New Member

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    El Camino de Santiago, The French Way
    Starting Point in St Jean Pied de Port (SJPP)


    Getting to St Jean Pied de Port, France was the first hurdle of our pilgrim journey. After much research on the Internet when I planned for this trip, I determined that Barcelona would be the best route for me and my husband. We wanted to spend time in Barcelona at the end of our Camino hike for a few days and spend time with some friends. We allowed ourselves three days to spend in Barcelona before heading back to Los Angeles.

    This is how we got to St Jean Pied de Port, France from Los Angeles, California:
    · LAX to BCN (Barcelona) (16.5 hour flight)
    · Barcelona Sants Train Station to Pamplona on Renfe (4 hour ride)
    · Alsa Bus from Pamplona to St. Jean Pied de Port (2 hour ride)
    · Spent the night in SJPP and began our journey the next morning

    Flew from Los Angeles (LAX) at 7:00 am Pacific Time on American Airlines to Barcelona. We arrived the next day, Saturday, April 29 at 7:00 am. Remember, Europe is 9 hours ahead of us. After landing in Barcelona, we took the Terminal 1 (T1) free airport shuttle to Terminal 2b (T2b) where the train station is located and got on our Renfe train to Pamplona. Our train left at 12 noon, so we had time to eat lunch and have a wonderful Spanish coffee, “café con leche”, which by the way was only about $2 Euros. There is food on the Renfe train, but it’s pricey and not so good. Purchase a Bocadillo at the train station and take it with you on the train to eat instead.

    Now, the train ride from Barcelona to Pamplona is a long one and we thought we would be able to sleep a little, but it’s impossible. The train makes a lot of stops at rural towns and takes about 4 hours to reach Pamplona. Also, there was a woman who talked non-stop and loudly! She kept glancing at Brian and me and obviously didn’t know that I am fluent in Spanish and she was speculating as to where we were from. I should have just stuck up a conversation with her, but I was too exhausted.

    Once you get to Pamplona, you have to get to the bus station, which is located in the very Centre of the city on Calle de Yanguas y Miranda. It's a very short bus ride away from Pamplona train station costing only €1.20 and I highly suggest not walking because it’s easy to get lost and if you are on a time crunch, take a taxi from the train station.

    There are only two buses per day that leave from Pamplona to SJPP. The first bus leaves at 1430 and the second leaves at 1730, so plan your flights, train rides, etc. accordingly, or spend the night in Pamplona and get the bus the next day.
     
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  4. Tom V

    Tom V Member

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    Flights to Paris from the US are fairly available and convenient. Easyjet is a commuter that flies to Biarritz from Paris. Then you can take a bushower or taxi to SJPDP.
     
  5. Devereaux Young

    Devereaux Young Member

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    Somewhere in this Forum thread I read that there is a B&B in Pamplona that also transports pilgrims to SJPDP the next day. Can't find it. Anyone have that info? Sounded like a good answer. Thanks!
     
  6. Crepes4Suzette

    Crepes4Suzette Well-Known Member

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    Devereaux, you might be thinking of Corazon Puro. They closed a couple of years ago because one of the owners had some health issues and they needed to go back to their home country somewhere else in Europe, if I remember. If you need alternatives, there are good ones such as staying overnight close to Pamplona's modern, easy-to-find bus station to take one of several buses out the next day.
     
  7. BROWNCOUNTYBOB

    BROWNCOUNTYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Devereaux, you can order ALSA bus tickets on line from Pamplona to St Jean. We took one that departed around 10 am. The winding ride takes about 90 minutes to get to St Jean. We were able to walk right up the hill to the pilgrim's office and get our passport stamped before it shut at noon (then re-opens later in the day). We had a reservation in St Jean right outside the city gates at Gite Izaxulo. It's a nice place and the hospitalero is very friendly. However, we found out the doors did not open until 3 pm, which was inconvenient. We had to carry our loaded backpacks around for 3 hours. Next camino we'll stay in a place that opens at noon or 1 pm. Bob
     
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  8. Devereaux Young

    Devereaux Young Member

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    Ahh! Too bad. Thx!
     
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  9. Devereaux Young

    Devereaux Young Member

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    Thanks! Good information! This looks like the best choice.
    Can't wait to get started!
     
  10. Darryl Olverson

    Darryl Olverson New Member

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    Hi, we're flying in to Barcelona from NZ, can you please advise the easiest way to get from there to St Jean (we're arriving in mid May). Thanks
     
  11. danvo

    danvo Super Moderator Staff Member

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    You have answer few post higher from yosemite chic. If you only want to buy flying tickets, you can try to find indirect flight as Leslie said. You can find european towns from where are flights to Biarritz and try to find flight from your home to that town. Sometimes it can be much cheaper.
     
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  12. calowie

    calowie Active Member

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    Darryl: We also flew into Barcelona a few years ago. Take the airport train to Barcelona Sants station. The journey is around 20 minutes. Take the RENFE train from Barcelona to Pamplona (buy ahead of time to keep prices cheaper). Walk from train station to bus station (30 minutes) take bus Pamplona to SJPP.
     
  13. Darryl Olverson

    Darryl Olverson New Member

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    Thanks Danvo, much appreciated.
     
  14. Darryl Olverson

    Darryl Olverson New Member

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    Thanks Calowie, I'll check it out.
     
  15. Michael Wilson

    Michael Wilson New Member

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  16. Michael Wilson

    Michael Wilson New Member

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    So are you saying you can fly into Madrid, get a train to Pamplona, then a bus to St Jean? Do you recall what you paid, also what are credentials? Thank you very much.
     
  17. BROWNCOUNTYBOB

    BROWNCOUNTYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Michael, my wife and I followed this same route for both our caminos, but stretched out our journey to St Jean to get used to jet lag and to enjoy Madrid and Pamplona before starting our camino.

    We flew to Madrid, spent the night there. Next morning caught a train from Atocha train station to Pamplona. Cost was around $39 / person. We spent the night in Pamplona, then took a bus the next morning to St Jean. Cost was roughly $24 / person. You can order advance train and bus tickets over the internet. I used "Goeuro" for the train tickets and "Alsa" for the bus tickets. Getting back to Madrid from Santiago, the quickest and cheapest was by air. There is an early morning direct flight to Madrid. In 2015 we flew RyanAir; in 2017 we flew Iberia Express. The average ticket cost was roughly $42. I say average since my wife carried her backpack on the flight and I checked mine on since the trekking poles, knife and scissors were in my backpack.

    A credential is the "pilgrim's passport" which identifies you as a pilgrim and entitles you to stay in albergues for reduced rates. You can buy one in St Jean, in many cathedrals, or register for one in advance prior to your trip. You get these stamped each day in albergues, restaurants, museums, etc. When you get to Santiago, you present these to the pilgrim's office as proof you walked more than 100 kms, then you'll get your compostela / certificate of completion.

    Hope this helps. Buen camino ! Bob
     
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  18. Devereaux Young

    Devereaux Young Member

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    Thanks for this schedule, Rob. Just checked and it is still good for 2018! Gracias!
     
  19. RJS

    RJS Well-Known Member

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    No Problem Devereaux Young – It’s GOOD to know that a post I made nearly 4 years ago is still proving to be useful toady :)

    Good Luck and Buen Camino

    Rob
     
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