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Advice on getting to St Jean PdP from Barcelona?

FrenchWay

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
First timer
I arrive at Barcelona Airport at 1pm on a Wednesday and I was hoping to get to St Jean PdP same day using public transport. Is it possible? Quickest way is to go to Pamplona, then a local bus to St Jean PdP, correct? What time do the buses stop running this time of year?
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I arrive at Barcelona Airport at 1pm on a Wednesday and I was hoping to get to St Jean PdP same day using public transport. Is it possible? Quickest way is to go to Pamplona, then a local bus to St Jean PdP, correct? What time do the buses stop running this time of year?
What time of year are you going?
I checked RailEurope.com for trains from Barcelona to Pamplona for next week, and the train that departs at 3:30 pm arrives in Pamplona at 7:22 pm. I don't believe that there will be a bus to St Jean that late.
You could also look into flying to Pamplona, Biarritz or San Sebastián, but I think that you won't find a bus to SJPdP on the same day.

You can look at Rome2Rio.com for options.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I arrive at Barcelona Airport at 1pm on a Wednesday and I was hoping to get to St Jean PdP same day using public transport. Is it possible? Quickest way is to go to Pamplona, then a local bus to St Jean PdP, correct? What time do the buses stop running this time of year?
I just checked the bus schedule. This time of year there is one bus daily at 2:30 pm.
 

JIMMYN

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Yes
You can take a taxi from Pamplona to SJPP if you need to get there that evening. No reservation required (just go to taxi stand), price should be 100 euro, agree on price before getting in taxi.
 

FrenchWay

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
First timer
Hmmm, looks like I will leave Pamplona early the next day. How quickly can I get to St Jean PdP in the morning (taxi too expensive)?
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Hmmm, looks like I will leave Pamplona early the next day. How quickly can I get to St Jean PdP in the morning (taxi too expensive)?
You haven't mentioned when you are traveling, but right now it looks like there is just the one bus per day, leaving Pamplona at 2:30 pm, arriving in SJPDP at 4:15 pm
 

FrenchWay

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
First timer
Maybe Barcelona to St Sebastian train is better, then I can get to Bayonne early the next morning to catch an early train to St Jean PdP?
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Maybe Barcelona to St Sebastian train is better, then I can get to Bayonne early the next morning to catch an early train to St Jean PdP?
I don't know how early you can get to Bayonne, but you should be able to get to SJPdP earlier in the day via that route.
Is there a reason that you need to get to St Jean so quickly?
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Here's some info about getting from San Sebastián to Bayonne

 

FrenchWay

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
First timer
I only have about 30 days to do the French way and I want to go all the way to Finisterre.

I think flying from Barcelona to San Sebastian, then walking across to Hendaye and catching an evening bus to Bayonne is a good idea. What time is the first train from Bayonne to St Jean PdP?
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I only have about 30 days to do the French way and I want to go all the way to Finisterre.

I think flying from Barcelona to San Sebastian, then walking across to Hendaye and catching an evening bus to Bayonne is a good idea. What time is the first train from Bayonne to St Jean PdP?
With your limited time schedule I would start in Pamplona, especially at this time of year, when the Napoleon route over the Pyrenees is closed.
 

NorthernLight

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
I only have about 30 days to do the French way and I want to go all the way to Finisterre.

I think flying from Barcelona to San Sebastian, then walking across to Hendaye and catching an evening bus to Bayonne is a good idea. What time is the first train from Bayonne to St Jean PdP?
San Sabastian to Hendaye is further than you suggest. Hendaye is across the river from Irun.
 

FrenchWay

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
First timer
San Sebastian Airport, Donostiako aireportua... not the actual town.

EDIT: Actually by the time I pay for all the the tickets, transfer, buy snacks etc to get to Bayonne, I might as well just go to Pamplona and book a taxi to St Jean PdP since the flight to San Sebastian is the same price as the Pamplona taxi = 100 euros?)
 
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FrenchWay

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
First timer
With your limited time schedule I would start in Pamplona, especially at this time of year, when the Napoleon route over the Pyrenees is closed.
Don't you recommend the Valcarlos route? Is the path before Pamplona not beautiful, apart from the Napoleon way?
I am planning to walk 30km+ per day. I am aiming to loosely follow this route I found somewhere on this forum:

Day 1: SJPdP - Roncevaux (Roncesvalles) 27 km
Day 2: Roncevalles- Pamplona 42,5
Day 3: Pamplona-Estella 46,2
Day 4: Estella-Viana 40,4
Day 5: Viana- Nájera 42,4
Day 6: Nájera-Grañon 27,3
Day 7: Grañon-Villafranca Montes de Oca 28,4
Day 8: Villafranca-Burgos 39,6 (+/- , took the 'river route' so may be different)
Day 9: Burgos-Castrojeriz 40,3
Day 10:Castrojeriz-Carrión de los Contes 44
Day 11:Carrión-Sahagún 37
Day 12:Sahagún-León 51
Day 13:León-Hospital de Orbigo 36,4
Day 14:Hospital-Foncebadón 42
Day 15:Foncebadón-Cacabelos 42,9
Day 16:Cacabelos-O Cebreiro 37,7
Day 17:O Cebreiro-Sarria 44,9
Day 18:Sarria-Os Chacotes 45,1
Day 19:Os Chacotes-Arca/Pedrouzo 48,5
Day 20: Pedrouzo-Santiago 20,3
Day 21:Santiago-Vilaserio 34
Day 22:Vilaserio-Corcubión 45
Day 23:Corcubión-Finisterre 12
 

NorthernLight

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
Well, live and learn!

The Valcarlos route is lovely. If you are capable of doing 30-40 km per day, starting at SJPDP isn’t an issue. Starting at Pamplona makes sense if you are more comfortable with the 20-30 km range.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Don't you recommend the Valcarlos route? Is the path before Pamplona not beautiful, apart from the Napoleon way?
I am planning to walk 30km+ per day. I am aiming to loosely follow this route I found somewhere on this forum:
I understand that the Valcarlos route is lovely, but I think that you are being very optimistic, unless you normally walk 30+km a day for a month in all kinds of weather.
 

FrenchWay

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
First timer
I have done the Annapurna Circuit alone, carrying my own backpack and equipment. It cannot be harder than that! 😀
 

NorthernLight

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
This itinerary you found above is hugely ambitious and very few can sustain that kind of pace. If you can, all well and good and buen camino to you. But if you aren’t used to it, you risk injury.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
This itinerary you found above is hugely ambitious and very few can sustain that kind of pace. If you can, all well and good and buen camino to you. But if you aren’t used to it, you risk injury.
Also consider that you aren't likely to meet many, if any other pilgrims walking at that pace, so you won't have the opportunity to develop friendships with other pilgrims. Of course that may not be important to you.
 

FrenchWay

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
First timer
How many km per day?
It varied between 7km and 20km per day, BUT it was at high altitude and a very steep ascent. Sometimes I would ascend 500m+ in one day.

Also consider that you aren't likely to meet many, if any other pilgrims walking at that pace, so you won't have the opportunity to develop friendships with other pilgrims. Of course that may not be important to you.
My reason for doing the French way is for the physical challenge and the opportunity to walk through some scenery and nice countryside. I am not very interested in socialising on this trip.
 
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Solitaire

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2007, Chemin du Puy 2016, Primitivo and San Salvador 2018
Hmmm, looks like I will leave Pamplona early the next day. How quickly can I get to St Jean PdP in the morning (taxi too expensive)?
I shared a taxi from Pamplona to Roncevalles around 9am then hitch hiked. Picked up in ten minutes by lovely older French couple They had minimal English I had less French but still a pleasant drive to SJPdP and celebrated with a slap up lunch over looking the river. It had taken me 4 years to get there so felt ecstatic!!!
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
The Valcarlos route is gorgeous, and if you can do what you do in Himalayas, it should be pretty easy by comparison.

I am not very interested in socialising on this trip.
Then why not forget the Frances? There are many authentic ways to Santiago that are less commercialized...you could fly to San Sebastian and do any of the following:
1. The Norte
2. The Norte/Primativo
3. The Via de Bayona to Burgos then continue on the Frances or the Frances/Invierno
4. The Norte to Bilbao then the Olvidado, continuing on the Frances or Invierno.

Just a thought to throw into the mix.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015, 2017, 2019) and plans for 2021 (Sept, Oct)
My wife and I have walked CF three times. Last fall we flew to Barcelona, then took a train the next day to Pamplona. The two prior caminos, we flew to Madrid, spent the night, then took a train to Pamplona. We have stayed in Pamplona one night each time, then take the morning bus to St Jean, arriving just before noon. St Jean is a wonderful village and we've stayed there overnight each time. This schedule allows us to relax (and recover from jet lag) in nice cities / villages three nights before beginning our camino. First camino we hiked the Napoleon route. Last two we hiked the Valcarlos route. Each is nice and enjoyable. This fall we will likely hike the Napoleon route again.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019) VDLP?
I just read up on your trek in Nepal. Sounds pretty amazing and I can see why you should have no problems with doing the CF or any of the Camino Routes. I have just a few observations. As you say you are not too interested in socializing, I can see that. I once met someone who was walking between 45-60K a day. We spoke for about 5 minutes outside an albergue. He was off to get some food and then to bed. He slept with earplugs and eyeshades and was asleep by about 8PM. He said he leaves every day about 4AM. So no time to say hello! I would agree with VNWalking about thinking about another Camino like the Norte or Norte/Primitivo. There may be a little more planning involved as there is less infrastructure. But they are really beautiful.
My only other worry for you would be that I read that Annapurna is about 160-230K depending on where you are starting. The CF is almost 800K and the Norte a little over 800K. I wonder what the accumulated toll on your body will be walking such long distances for 22 or 23 days without a rest. Please listen to your body and rest if you need to. Do not want you to have a long or lingering injury that can impact you for a long period of time.
 
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lt56ny

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019) VDLP?
You might like to edit this!
PS for a serious walker, 40km per day for 20 days is no problem (though I did have a half-day in Leon)
I fixed it thanks. I never ventured into that territory haha. But I will definitely take your word for it!:)
 

Juspassinthrough

in our minds, we're vagabonds, you and I
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2017)
Camino Inglés 2019
Leon-Sarria, June (2019)
Camino Aragonés (2023?)
I only have about 30 days to do the French way and I want to go all the way to Finisterre.

I think flying from Barcelona to San Sebastian, then walking across to Hendaye and catching an evening bus to Bayonne is a good idea. What time is the first train from Bayonne to St Jean PdP?
I find the DB Navigator app to be very helpful with trains across Europe and, it actually shows more connections than the Renfe app.
 

Vacajoe

Traded in my work boots for hiking ones
Camino(s) past & future
2019 Biarritz-Pamplona-Lourdes
2018 Aragon/Frances/Finis
2018 Operation Sabre
2018 Marin Ramble
I am REALLY excited to hear how this journey for pilgrim “FrenchWay” turns out! It’s doable, but definitely a challenge. Please keep us updated!
 

Vacajoe

Traded in my work boots for hiking ones
Camino(s) past & future
2019 Biarritz-Pamplona-Lourdes
2018 Aragon/Frances/Finis
2018 Operation Sabre
2018 Marin Ramble
Fly to Biarritz, then train or taxi to SJPdP (or walk which you can do in 2 days at your 40K+ a day). Flights next week from Barcelona are as cheap as $125US.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
Just in case you find yourself in Pamplona on FRIDAY morning you could take a bus to Pekotxeta, which is essentially Arneguy. You could start from there and just miss a few hours walk from SJPDP to Arneguy.

Edit: Sorry. My neurons in charge of calendar reading came back from dinner. They are making me confess that they had nothing to do with my mess up with dates.
 
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yakremark

Sister Kay Kramer CDP
Camino(s) past & future
CF (Sept. 2012)
CF (Oct-Nov. 2014)
Maybe Barcelona to St Sebastian train is better, then I can get to Bayonne early the next morning to catch an early train to St Jean PdP?
I took the train to St. Sebastian, then spent the night there, and early train to Bayonne, then on to SJPP via bus. It worked out well!
 

FrenchWay

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
First timer
I took the train to St. Sebastian, then spent the night there, and early train to Bayonne, then on to SJPP via bus. It worked out well!
What time is the early train to Bayonne?

What time did you arrive in SJPP and start walking? How many hours is it from SJPP to Roncesvalles via the Valcarlos route? About 5-6 hours?
 
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NorthernLight

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
How many hours is it from SJPP to Roncesvalles via the Valcarlos route? About 5-6 hours?
It’s about 12 km to Valcarlos on a gentle route. It’s about 12 km from Valcarlos to Roncesvalles with a steep hill and no resources (so top up with water at Valcarlos). If the footpath through the forest is not viable, you can stay on the road for this second half but be watchful of vehicles.
It took me all day to walk this route but I am not a fast walker. Consider that it will take twice as long to do the second half as it does the first because of the hill.

There is an albergue in Valcarlos, so if you get there too late to reasonably expect to get to Roncesvalles before dark, you have an option.
 

Donjek

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2012 SJPdP - Fisterra
I arrive at Barcelona Airport at 1pm on a Wednesday and I was hoping to get to St Jean PdP same day using public transport. Is it possible? Quickest way is to go to Pamplona, then a local bus to St Jean PdP, correct? What time do the buses stop running this time of year?
Quickest way is fly from Barcelona to San Sebastian EAS.

San Sebastian EAS airport

Take taxi or try to figure out the local bus system or walk the several km from the airport across the border to Gare d'Hendaye.

The options from Gare d'Hendaye are SNCF train to Gare Bayonne or Txik Txak bus (which runs every hour) to Place de Basques in downtown Bayonne, a km or so from Gare Bayonne.

The next stage is SNCF train from Gare Bayonne to SJPdP. There are 4 or 5 trains daily from Bayonne.

Find Schedules for Hendaye to Bayonne and Bayonne to St Jean Pied de Port at SNCF website:

No value going to Pamplona. I'm not sure when the Pamplona SJPdP bus starts running (usually around Easter) but even if it is running its once per day leaving at about 2PM. The schedule does increase to 3 buses daily in summer. If you're going to take bus or train from Barcelona you'd be as well off to take Renfe/SNCF train from Barcelona to Toulouse and SNCF train from Toulouse to Bayonne.
 
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