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Biarritz to SJPP in the evening

2020 Camino Guides

Hitman0

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (May/June 2020)
I am arriving in Biarritz by air at 5:45 pm, May 2 and am trying to figure out if it is practical to travel to SJPP in the evening and start my Camino early the next morning or if it makes more sense to overnight in Biarritz/Bayonne and travel to SJPP first thing in the morning and start a little later. Any advice would be appreciated.
 

biarritzdon

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF&CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF&CP17, CdN18, CM18, CF18, LePuy19
It totally depends on how and where you are arriving. If you have been traveling for days, SJPdP will still be there the next morning and you will be refreshed after spending the night in Bayonne or Biarritz. Both cities have lots of dining option and you shouldn't have a problem finding a place to stay even though that is a day after a big holiday. Several reliable places near the train station in Bayonne and my new fav in Biaritz, Hotel St. James, is next to the marche with all of it's restaurants and tapas bars.
 

Staffman

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances April-May 2019
Via De la plata/Camino Sanabres/Finisterre/Muxia (2020)
I arrived at the Biarritz airport last April about the same time in the evening. I would strongly advise you take a room in Bayonne, preferably near the train station, then catch your train at about 11am the next morning. This will give you ample time to arive in SJPdP, get to the Pilgim Office for your credential and other helpful information, find an albergue, and get a good meal in you for your start the next morning. Don't rush it. Take your time and enjoy every minute. Buen Camino.
 

RoseW

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2018
Camino Portuguese 2020
I remember planning this and expecting to arrive at the exact same time, with the same dilemma, thinking that I could probably just share a taxi with other pilgrims arriving at the same time, worst case scenario, paying the entire cost myself or going online and booking https://www.expressbourricot.com/ (you have to book online but you can do it at the last second if there are seats).
Unfortunately it is France and they changed my flight last second to a different city so I ended up in Bayonne much later, forced to stay the night there, woke very early to take a (very late) taxi and then a very late bus to Bordeaux in the AM still feeling quite panicked but in Bordeaux, I saw dozens of pilgrims waiting for the noon bus to SJPP. I immediately felt better and in the end, it was all totally fine. The lovely hostel owners in SJPP kept my reservation for me and didn't charge me for the night I didn't show (I emailed them as soon as I knew I wouldn't make it of course).

All this is to say - Hopefully you get there and see other people waiting for cabs and you can easily join one but have a couple of back up options at the ready. Also, an extra night in that part of France is kind of a gift.
 

Tony Murray

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Cycled from León to Santiago (2017)
If you do it the way you have stated you will loose a day --maybe that's ok. I booked the expressbourricot from the airport to SJPP. Four others who were on the same flight from Dublin had pre-booked too, so the cost was just 19€--great value. If you do it this way, my advice is to explore SJPP the next morning and then walk to Orrison. Do keep in mind that this is a tough introduction to the Camino so don't be overly ambitious on your first day. Orrision is lovely and the communal dinner is a great introduction to the Camino but you MUST book it. I didn't follow the stages as set out by Brierley and so avoided all the big towns and cities. From Orrision I then stoped at Espinal, Larrosoana and Cizur Menor. However, I have learned from my two Camino's just go with the flow. You will meet amazing people and you may decide to hook up with them for a few days (a Camino family). So don't over plan it -- it's the Camino, it always provides (and surprises) Hope this helps. Buen Camino.
 

davebugg

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2017)
Frances(2018)
Ingles(2019)
Aragones(2020)
Portuguese(2020)
I am arriving in Biarritz by air at 5:45 pm, May 2 and am trying to figure out if it is practical to travel to SJPP in the evening and start my Camino early the next morning or if it makes more sense to overnight in Biarritz/Bayonne and travel to SJPP first thing in the morning and start a little later. Any advice would be appreciated.
Me? I would be heading to SJPdP and have time to enjoy the evening, get rested after seeing the town, and be set to go the next morning.

The first option for travel to SJPdP starts before you board your flight to Biarritz.

Look for fellow pilgrims -- packs, shells, patches, anxious expressions :). Ask if anyone would like to share a taxi, or if anyone has space to share a ride. I'm sure you'll have no problem getting a few takers. After arriving in Biarritz, do the same as you walk through the terminal to the front entrance, and look around the front entrance as well.

Email or contact Express Bouricott to see if they are running shuttle vans at your arrival time. Again, the ride is shared so the total cost is pretty low per person.
https://www.expressbourricot.com/contact-and-booking/

On my first Camino from SJPdP in 2017 and again in 2018, I arrived from Paris to Biarritz at about the same time as your scheduled time, and took Express Bouricott both times.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2017, 2018 neither successful
I would reccomend that you plan on 2 nights in Saint Jean. It is an interesting town and if anything goes wrong in your getting there, the one day buffer may be nice to have.
 

Tony Murray

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Cycled from León to Santiago (2017)
Hi Mister H, while I see your point about two nights in SJPP I am not sure it is worth it. Yes if you are getting off a long haul flight and you need to catch up with sleep. But is you are staying in a albergue, sleep does not come easy. You may also be pumped up and excited so it is difficult to rest for a full day. My suggestion is to have one night and then take it easy on your first day. The walk from SJPP to Roncesvalles is tough and you are locked into the stages that Brierley sets out in his book. I followed a lot of YouTubers to see and listen to their experiences. On the basis of a view blogger I wanted to avoid Zubiri. Being off the page (Brierley's book that is) is great as you have less of a race for beds. So a tough 8k walk to Orrison is strenuous enough for most walkers.
 

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