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accomodation in st jean pied de port

prilia

New Member
Hi.

I am new to forums and also to walking el camino frances and I have a lot of questions!

My friend and I are planning to arrive in Biarritz on 8th June quite late in the afternoon and I doubt we will make the train to St Jean.

Can anyone suggest accomodation for that evening - Biarritz, Bayonne or even St Jean? I have read lots of advice about taxis and buses but realistically I doubt we will make the train to St Jean. We are quite happy to head to St Jean the next day and even stay there the night so if anyone has suggestions about accomodation in St Jean too, I would really appreciate it.

What is the earliest time you can register for the walk in St Jean?

Also, is the first day as strenuous as lots make it out to be? I have first class walking shoes but they are not hiking boots! And we are fairly fit but not regular mountain climbers!

Sorry for all the questions but any advice would be really appreciated.

Regards

prilia
 
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Deleted member 397

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I walked from Le Puy in 2007 so had already walked about 800kms by the time I reached SJPDP. I did find the climb to Roncesvalles very strenuous but there is accommodation available in an albergue mid way if you wish. Many start at a ridiculously early hour from SJPDP but it's worth remembering that the albergue in Roncesvalles does not (at least in 2007) open until 4pm.
 

Arn

Veteran Member
Hi Prilia and welcome to the Forum!

You can find much of what you desire here at the Forum and if you wait a few days you'll get a lot of solid info.

Please take a look at the FAQ and Class of 2009 topics. They will give you a good start and a gander at whom will be on the Camino at the same time.

As far as where to stay in SJPDP...directly across from the Pilgrim office is a super auberge. If they are full...the office can direct you to others in close proximity. As to the mid-point stop up the mountain it's the Refugio Orisson:

http://www.refuge-orisson.com/index.html

You can either contact them direct or the folks at the Pilgrim office will call...but be aware, it fills up quickly. The view is breathtaking and the supper to die for.

Buen Camino
Arn
 
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
I second L'Espirit du Chemin in SJPP.

It was awesome! You can see photos of the inside on my Myspace Camino website.

A wonderful place to begin.. I'm sure there are others, but this one will always have a place in my heart!
 
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Janeh

Active Member
I stayed for 2 nights in Bayonne at Hotel Paris Madrid. It is right next to the train station, clean, an easy walk into central Bayonne across the river and was reasonably priced. I paid for a room with my own bathroom, about 32 euros. It had 2 beds so you could both share. The staff were friendly and spoke english.

I then caught the train to St Jean (about 40mins if I remember correctly) and stayed at a B&B in rue du Citadel (main road where the albergue office is and a lot of accommodation there too.) The pilgrim albergue is at the top of the hill, past the pilgrim office. Otherwise there is the Esprit Chemin as already mentioned, although they were hard to contact and after sending them 3 emails I gave up and booked into the B&B a little further down on the opposite side of the street. If you click on the link below there is a list of possible B&Bs
http://www.chemindecompostelle.com/Sele ... Puy25.html
cheers Jane
 

prilia

New Member
Hi Everyone,

I should have joined forums ages ago! Can't believe all the replies and great advice. You have solved lots of my queries so many thanks. I am sure I'll have more questions in the coming weeks.

Kind regards

Prilia
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
Hi Prilia,
William posted this recommendation a few years ago.
"If you need to stay over in Bayonne night walk out of the station and look left across the parking lot. There you will see the Hotel Paris Madrid which is run by Patrick and Sylvie Sorbois. Nothing fancy but clean and friendly, they speak English and it is very close to the train station - less than 50 meters. May 2007 prices: With shower and toilett: 34 € – No private shower or toilet 19 €"

4 reviews on Tripadvisor:
http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review ... taine.html

You can send them an email via Federal-Hotels:
http://fr.federal-hotel.com/hotel_hotel ... _16410.htm

How late do you arrive in Bayonne? The last train leaves at 18h12 and arrives in St Jean at 19h35 - and the last bus at 21h06 arriving at 22h18. (Still bright daylight in St Jean!)

There is a charming B&B that you could stay in if you arrive late - the owner will probably offer to collect you from the station. tim@errecaldia.com http://www.errecaldia.com/


I have got a timetable up to July 2009 but it is too large to attach here. Mail me off line if you would like a copy.
 

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Can I 3rd or 4th recommend L'Espirit du Chemin? :) It did take a few tries to get my email to go through to them, but it was worth it. :) They held dinner for me since I was coming in on the 7:30 pm train. My only complaint, & it's not about them, was that the albergue in Orisson claimed I didn't have a reservation, even though I had confirmed it by email. Next time, if I start in SJPP, I will print out the email confirmation & bring it with me!

Kelly
 

colinPeter

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
SJPP-SDC (2009) Somport-Jaca, Burgos-SDC, Cee-Muxia (2012) Le Puy - Aumont-Aubrac (2014) SJPP-SDC (Oct 2015)
Hi Prilia

I haven't stayed at either place yet (Hotel Paris Madrid, L'Espirit du Chemin), but plan to in April.
What I can tell you is that Sylvie, from Hotel Paris Madrid, is great to communicate with, just email via Federal-Hotels (link in previous post). If you have any french use it if not english will be fine.
Also, L'Espirit du Chemin will start taking reservations for 2009 from 15th March.

Happy planning.

Col
 
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kubapigora

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
On the Camino since 2008
There is a charming B&B that you could stay in if you arrive late - the owner will probably offer to collect you from the station. tim@errecaldia.com http://www.errecaldia.com/

Yes- I confirm! Tim is a great person and he can pick you up from the station whenever you wish (just let him know earlier). His B&B got a wonderful views over the valley and great, comfy rooms. Tim will also prepare a breakfast for you and give you very helpful tips on the village or pyrenees crossing.
 

KiwiNomad06

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
I would like to 'fifth' l'Esprit du Chemin if you end up staying in SJPP- I loved it there.

As far as reservations in Orisson goes, they now ask everyone to reconfirm the night before, and state that if you don't, they might cancel your reservation. (Maybe they never said that when you walked Kelly, but they definitely tell everyone that now.) They can be a bit capricious with reservations though. The day we stayed there, a German couple arrived who had made a reservation through the Pilgrim Office that very morning. But when they reached Orisson they were told there was 'no room'. No matter how much the couple protested, the management of Orisson would not budge, and the couple found that they had no option but to take a taxi back to SJPP for the night, and start all over the next day.

As far as how strenuous the climb from SJPP is, it is very steep in places, and if you do it all at once, it is a longish walking day. But it was not actually as hard as I had feared, because many kilometres of the Route Napoleon were actually on a very quiet road. That was an awful lot easier to manage than the tree root kind of climbs we experience in the ranges near where I live!!! I was fortunate though to experience ideal walking conditions, and there are times the weather makes it impossible to take this route.

Nearer the top of the pass, you strike out over mountain paths. These were not very rugged when I walked in good weather, though the mud in places was amazing. I had good walking shoes with vibram soles, and they were fine for the terrain. The mud though was a challenge for my socks! It was a very thick black mud from the thick layer of leaf litter under some of the beautiful trees up there. And when I washed out my socks in Roncesvalles that evening, I had never seen so much black coming out of them. I had to rinse them out numerous times before the water ran clear!!!
Margaret
 
Actually, Margaret, they did tell me & the folks at L'Espirit called them for me when I arrived, but the woman on the phone (she was yelling so loud I could hear) said I did not have a reservation, never had a reservation & since I was dumb enough to leave the confirmation email at home, I really couldn't protest too much. ;) So I went the Valcarlos route. Left a bad taste in my mouth for them though & later I found out they made some guy pay full price & only gave him a tent to sleep in. Since there aren't too many other places to stay along the Route Napoleon so I could break up that day, I've decided to start from Roncesvalles, unless I really get in shape & feel I could make it over the hump in one fell swoop.

Either that, or I'll "cheat" & take a taxi to Hunto or Orisson. ;)
Kelly
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
Kelly, Walter Starkie wrote that the Camino Frances started in Paris.
So, it really doesn't matter if you start at Tours, Bordeaux, St Jean, Val Carlos, Orisson or Roncesvalles. You could always stay in the free lodging - the Tee-pee on the way up to Roncesvalles!
 
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KiwiNomad06

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
sillydoll said:
Kelly, Walter Starkie wrote that the Camino Frances started in Paris.
So, it really doesn't matter if you start at Tours, Bordeaux, St Jean, Val Carlos, Orisson or Roncesvalles.

I met several people from Europe who had walked out their own doors - in Belgium, Holland, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, France- and walked to Santiago from there. One couple, that I came across quite often for several weeks, even walked home again. Meeting them I was quite glad to come from the Antipodes so nobody could ever suggest that to me as even a remote possibility!!
Margaret
 

Arn

Veteran Member
Well, I guess where you start from can be a determining factor.

Long before there was a Westernized Americas (or even an Americas for that matter) pilgrims did leave from home to make their pilgrimage to Santiago, Roma or Jerusalem. Today, as Sil and many more will tell you, the pilgrimage to Santiago is a world-wide undertaking.

Now, Margaret, who I just know is a traditionalist wants to do it right. Might I suggest, since you're going by plane...once the "fasten seatbelts' sign is off...begin walking the aisle, from 1st class (where you may see me drinking a gin and tonic) to the aft cabin...make a pit stop and continue the journey until you arrive in Madrid...or wherever you touch down. Does that make you feel more authentic?

Now back to the thread...the L' Espirit du Chemin is fantastico! All the hospitaleros are 1st class and they want to make your Camino as memorable as possible. I had the most enjoyable send off and would have stayed a month there...had they allowed it!

Orisson does have an outside section under the observation/libation deck...reminds me of a sheep stall, but serviceable. As far as taking a taxi...either back to SJPDP because of a mix-up or a taxi back up to Orisson or even Roncesvalles...remember...the Camino will decide what's a REAL Camino and how you will walk the Way.

Don't over plan...over schedule...or go over weight...just get in tune with an adventure, or in my case a discernment of the future.

Buen Camino

Arn
 

diaz1350

New Member
Hi,
Just a note regarding accomodation in ORISSON 1/2 way from SJPDP and Roscenvalles is PRIVATE and not a regular donation type of Albergue?? Is that why you need to book and confirm so much??? If so, do you need a lot of notice in the bookings??? I planned to stay there but am not sure as to the day I will arrive.
Regards Begonia
 

KiwiNomad06

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
Orrison is still in France rather than Spain so is actually more of a gite d'etape rather than an albergue, and it is private. In France it is the norm to book to stay in such places, and groups of people walking may well have reserved a long time ahead. It is hard to know how far ahead you need to reserve. Several of us 'guessed' our arrival dates when we still had about ten days walking left in France and were all able to reserve, and some people who stayed there with us even booked the day before in the Pilgrim Office in SJPP. But I think there are other times when it might be booked out earlier than that, and French people we met along the route warned us we needed to reserve as early as we could if we wanted to stay there.

I can't remember the exact cost, but I think it was around 30 Euro for demi-pension, ie dinner and breakfast as well as a night's stay. (There is nowhere else to eat nearby - the gite is the only building- there isn't a village there, and there was no kitchen for doing your own cooking.)

Actually in Spain itself, there are not many 'donativo' type albergues now, though there are some (eg Granon and Rabanal). Most of the municipal albergues have a fixed rate for a bed, mostly from 3-5 Euro.
 

gaulsdog

Member
When I walked from SJPP TO Burgos in 2007 I stayed in The Paris Madrid in Bayonne. It is right next door to the railway station, it might be only a one star but it is a lot cleaner than a lot of 4 stars I have stayed in. You can phone and make a reservation on +33 (0)55 551398
They speak perfect English and are very welcoming. Good petit dejeuner for about 4 euros.
Their are a couple of good restraunts at the other side of the square opened until late.
I got the first train from Bayonne to SJPP in the morning and when I arrived I went straight to Accueil Saint Jacques and got my credencials. Went to the shop and got plenty of water and something for lunch and started walking. I arrived in Roncesvalles about 5 ish booked into the Albergue had a shower then went to mass and then dinner. It was a lovely day I had lots of time, no rush. Good luck

Gaulsdog
 
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bpondugula

Active Member
Hallo
Thanks for the info, I am glad that i can confidently say that i have planned my travel to SJPP and my stay as well.

Regards
Bharat
 

miratur

New Member
I am trying to get in contact with Refuge Orisson to make a booking for an overnight stay but I am unable to get in touch with them through their web site. Does anyone know their email address?

Thanks
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Year of past OR future Camino
Many, various, and continuing.
One more good word for the Paris Madrid in Bayonne: I have never been there, but I met Patrick the proprietor last Spring... He stayed with me at the pilgrim refuge in Salamanca, during his pilgrimage up the Via de la Plata! So they don´t just speak English there. They speak Pilgrim!

Reb.
 
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prilia

New Member
Hi.
Thanks to all who have given me invaluable advice regarding setting out in June from St Jean. I can't believe it's 3 months to go!
Anyway to my next question. Does Orisson ever reply to emails about bookings? I have sent an email but have heard nothing and am reluctant to hassle them but I plan to go easy on my first day and really want to break the journey between St Jean and Roncesvalles so am apprehensive if I dont have a bed at Orisson. Can I ring them or is that too intrusive? Maybe I'm just not in a camino frame of mind yet and should not worry so, although I am not a young-ish one in body but definitely one in spirit!
Is there any other accomodation half-way if Orisson doesn't work out?
Thanks.
Prilia
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:

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sillydoll

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:

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KiwiNomad06

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
prilia said:
Hi.
Anyway to my next question. Does Orisson ever reply to emails about bookings? I have sent an email but have heard nothing and am reluctant to hassle them but I plan to go easy on my first day and really want to break the journey between St Jean and Roncesvalles so am apprehensive if I dont have a bed at Orisson. Can I ring them or is that too intrusive?
Prilia
I have just checked my Miam Miam Dodo from last year, and it says that Orisson is open from the end of March until the end of October. So it is probably just that your e-mail has arrived while the place is still all closed up for the winter.
It is perfectly OK to ring Orisson, though I found it tricky at first as they had an answerphone message that was in French and went too quickly for me to understand...
Margaret
 

miratur

New Member
Yesterday I made a booking to stay at Refuge Orisson and today I received an acknowledgement of my email from them. So I think that they are open for business.
 
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prilia

New Member
Hi to all,

Just to say I have booked accomodation with Orisson via email and paid a deposit through paypal (very simple).

I really appreciate all the help everyone has given me and I am more relaxed about my start knowing I don't have to kill myself the first day!

Staying in L'Esprit du Chemin on the night of 11th June and Orisson the following night. After that it is the Camino that decides. Hope to meet some of you en route. I am now starting to believe it's going to happen!

Many thanks again for all help and advice and safe travels to all.

Prilia
 

Janno

New Member
Tried to book Orisson for 12/5 but the albergue is full. He has offered a place in a 2-person tent. Sounds a bit cozy to me ....

Does anyone have any experience of tenting here? I can't see myself making Roncesvalles in one go but seems like Honto isn't far enough. While reasonably fit I'd like to break up the walking over the first few days.

Your advice/comments welcome. May just go via Valcarlos.

Separately, thanks v much for this forum which has proved immensely helpful.
 

frasert

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
April/May 2013 SJPDP to Burgos
April/May 2015 Burgos to SDC or Leon to Finesterre (undecided)
Hi
I was hoping to arrive mid afternoon in St Jean on Tuesday 23 April and just "wing it as far as accomodation is concerned. Is this reasonable or should I book ahead?

Thx in advance
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
frasert said:
Hi
I was hoping to arrive mid afternoon in St Jean on Tuesday 23 April and just "wing it as far as accomodation is concerned. Is this reasonable or should I book ahead?

Thx in advance

frasert,

It all depends on the 'luck of the draw', ie how many pilgrims are looking for a place on the same day.

In Saint-Jean the office for the Amis du Chemin de Saint Jacques is at 39 rue de la Citadelle. In season the pilgrims office is open from 7h30 to 12h30 and then from 13h30 to 22h. They can provide you with a Credential and lodging assistance. Their volunteers help run the albergue at 55 rue de la Citadelle. Recently renovated this is a fine place to stay, but they do NOT take reservations. If their albergue is full they will help you find other pilgrim lodgings when you are on site. They keep up to the minute lists of available space throughout the SJPdP area.

If you want to reserve a place ahead here is the link from the bureau de tourism for all the pilgrim albergues in SJPdP. >>http://www.saintjeanpieddeport-paysbasque-tourisme.com/fr/hebergements/gites-groupespelerins.html.

Good luck and Buen Camino,

Margaret Meredith
 

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