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Advice on starting in Roncesvalles

cathyg

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Sept 2024
Hi there i'm a first time Camino walker - planning for Sept this year. I have a question if anyone can help. We are going with friends but we can't fly out at the same time so we are going to fly into Biarritz and join them in Roncesvalles (they will walk from SJPP to there on their first day) then we will go from there with them. Just wondering has anyone any knowledge on the best way to get to Roncesvalles. Shoudl we fly to Biarritz or is there closer airport? And what are transport links like to there from airport? thanks in advance
 
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Probably best to take the train to SJPDP. From there you can take one bus per day to Roncesvalles - run by ALSA and leaves at 13:45. Or you can book a ride with Express Bourricot.


 
Pamplona is closer and perhaps easier, just a bus or taxi ride away. To get there from BIQ depends on your tolerance to the various modes of transportation that are available.
 
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Hello @cathyg!
I am also thinking about starting in Roncevalles and decided just to fly directly to Pamplona and take the bus from there. There is a daily bus, Línea Roncesvalles, that is used by a lot of Spanish pilgrims since the traditional start for them of the Camino Francés is Roncesvalles.

Here's a link with the most current information about the bus. I don't know if you know Spanish or not, but it says it leaves from the main station in Pamplona ((Calle (Street) Yanguas y Miranda, 2). It costs 5.45 Euros, and you just buy your ticket on the day from the driver. You cannot buy in advance, but since it's a bus used by locals and pilgrims, I would assume they have enough spaces on the day.

If you click on the button on the far right that says HORARIOS 2024, it will also give you the schedule. From now, until the end of June it leaves Pamplona at 1:30 PM and arrives in Roncesvalles at 2:40 PM. I imagine September will be similar, but you can check back and click on the button again to see if the schedule changes. I'm sure it's also easy to pay a taxi to take you to Roncesvalles, too, but I love taking public transportation when I can and this looks very straightforward and easy.

I'm not sure where you are flying from, but, just so you know, I did some research, and it was not much more money to fly directly from the East Coast of USA to Pamplona via Madrid than it was to fly to Madrid, get to the train station, and take the train to Pamplona. Obviously, it also saves time if you're flying in from another country since you'll be at the airport anyway.

I wish you good luck and Buen Camino!
 
Last edited:
Probably best to take the train to SJPDP. From there you can take one bus per day to Roncesvalles - run by ALSA and leaves at 13:45. Or you can book a ride with Express Bourricot.


Thanks for that train info. I had no idea.
Good to know in case of bad weather
 
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Hello @cathyg!
I am also thinking about starting in Roncevalles and decided just to fly directly to Pamplona and take the bus from there. There is a daily bus, Línea Roncesvalles, that is used by a lot of Spanish pilgrims since the traditional start for them of the Camino Francés is Roncesvalles.

Here's a link with the most current information about the bus. I don't know if you know Spanish or not, but it says it leaves from the main station in Pamplona ((Calle (Street) Yanguas y Miranda, 2). It costs 5.45 Euros, and you just buy your ticket on the day from the driver. You cannot buy in advance, but since it's a bus used by locals and pilgrims, I would assume they have enough spaces on the day.

If you click on the button on the far right that says HORARIOS 2024, it will also give you the schedule. From now, until the end of June it leaves Pamplona at 1:30 PM and arrives in Roncesvalles at 2:40 PM. I imagine September will be similar, but you can check back and click on the button again to see if the schedule changes. I'm sure it's also easy to pay a taxi to take you to Roncesvalles, too, but I love taking public transportation when I can and this looks very straightforward and easy.

I'm not sure where you are flying from, but, just so you know, I did some research, and it was not much more money to fly directly from the East Coast of USA to Pamplona via Madrid than it was to fly to Madrid, get to the train station, and take the train to Pamplona. Obviously, it also saves time if you're flying in from another country since you'll be at the airport anyway.

I wish you good luck and Buen Camino!
The local bus from Pamplona leaves as early as 10.30ish and couple of times per day. The alsa bus leaves 12pm to SJPDP and wont drop of at Roncevalles and costs €22+.
 
Pamplona is closer and perhaps easier, just a bus or taxi ride away. To get there from BIQ depends on your tolerance to the various modes of transportation that are available.
We had some difficulty getting a ride from Pamplona to Roncesvalles on a Sunday in September of '22. We arrived by bus very late Saturday night and slept briefly at an airB&B. The cab companies either declined to send us a cab or didn't answer.

A kind passersby observed us making phone calls near a bus kiosk, and very determinedly called cab dispatchers and flagged down cabs until one driver agreed to help us. My recollection is that he and a friend spent the better part of an hour working on this.

In retrospect it would have been easier had we started from an albergue in Pamplona, or arrived on a weekday.
 
In 2019 I've flown to Biarritz, took the bus to the trainstation in Bayonne (cheap) and took the train to SJPdP.
Depending on the airfare and carrier you can fly to Bilbao or Bordeaux and take a bus or train to Bayonne, too.

I would never ever miss the pyrenean part of the CF, especially as a firsttimer.

HTH
Roland
 
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Hi there i'm a first time Camino walker - planning for Sept this year. I have a question if anyone can help. We are going with friends but we can't fly out at the same time so we are going to fly into Biarritz and join them in Roncesvalles (they will walk from SJPP to there on their first day) then we will go from there with them. Just wondering has anyone any knowledge on the best way to get to Roncesvalles. Shoudl we fly to Biarritz or is there closer airport? And what are transport links like to there from airport? thanks in advance
We had good experience with this service when we had a unexpected delay in starting our Camino in SJPP ~ don’t know if it might help you with a leg of your travel ~
 
Not sure about answering your travel plans, but, you are missing out on a super great walk over the Pyrenees on that first day from SJPP. It's majestic - not to be missed. Not to mention SJPP itself; such a quaint and fun town to experience.
 

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