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Bilbao to St. Jean Pied-de-Port

Horst Balkenhol

New Member
Hi,

me and my wife will arrive at Bilbao airport on August 25th with our two bicycles. How do we get to St. Jean Pied-de-Port? By Bus?
This will be our first time on the camino.
 
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Hi Horst,

We have had a thread earlier on how to get from Pamplona to St. Jean Pied de Port, to have a look click here:
viewtopic.php?t=282

So I guess you need to find some way to get from Bilbao to Pamplona. I don't know of busses but there is a train:
http://www.renfe.es/ (look for the English flag for English)

You will find schedules on the site above.

I have not traveled this stretch myself, so if someone has better advice I hope it gets posted here.

Greetings from sizzeling Sanatiago,
Ivar
 
Bilbao to St. Jean Pied-de-Port with bicycles

Many thanks for your reply, Ivar!

Our problem are the bicycles.

I saw the earlier thread before, but I suppose, she went from Pamplona to St. Jean Pied-de-Port WITHOUT a bicycle.

Anyway, I tried your Renfe-link, but Renfe doesn't show trains from Bilbao to Pamplona. Besides this, I thought, it's hardly impossible to travel with Renfe AND bikes??

Probably there are busses from Bilbao to Irun/Biarritz/Bayonne? Do you know, what conditions there are for bicycle transportation in busses?
 
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Bilbao to St Jean

Bilbao to St Jean: Coach service to Hendaye. Ticket and bus stop at Termibus by the Hospital Civile de Basuto. 1.hr 50mins €7. From Hendaye to St Jean by train via Bayonne 3 œ hours http://www.sncf.com (French Rail)
Buen Camino


Bicycle websites etc:

Find info at http://www.mundicamino.com or http://www.csj.org.net who offer a guide ‘The Cycling Pilgrim on the Camino Frances” • Way of St. James: Le Puy to Santiago - A Cyclists’ Guide, by John Higginson, Cicerone Press Group: or http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Santiago_Bicicleta/

Cyclists: Ultreia, Camino de Santiago http://interam.com/camino/
 
Hi again Horst,

My mistake regarding renfe... I saw Bilbao and Pamplona in the dropdown box and I thought there was a route.

Anyway, I did find Alsa (bus) service from Bilbao to Irun (did not try the other destinations you mentioned, so you might try them as well).

Try yourself here:
http://www.alsa.es/ (English link top right corner)

Here is the schedule I found on August 25th:

BILBAO - IRUN , 25/08/2005 VIAJE DE IDA

Depart. Arrival Oneway Round trip
05:00 06:45 7,32€ 13,91€
07:30 09:10 7,32€ 13,91€
08:40 10:30 7,32€ 13,91€
11:00 12:40 7,32€ 13,91€
11:15 13:00 12,85€ 25,70€
14:00 16:30 7,32€ 13,91€
14:00 15:45 7,32€ 13,91€
18:30 20:10 7,32€ 13,91€
20:15 22:00 12,85€ 25,70€
20:45 22:25 7,32€ 13,91€
22:00 23:40 7,32€ 13,91€

Regarding bikes on busses. I did not see anything regarding this on the alsa site. I know that in Galicia this is usually not a problem, but not sure how this is in Bilbao. You might want to try the other bike-resources that were posted in the message above to try and find you answer.

It would be great if you could post your "solution" here once you found your answer.

Welcome to Santiago,
Ivar
 
why go to St Jean anyway? seems an unnecessary complication. The coastal Camino goes through Bilbao. If you join at Barakaldo that's about 5km from the airport. Get off the plane, get on your bike, start pedalling. Why mess around with buses?
 
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I agree with Peter, you should just get the bikes out of the plane and start pedalling.

But why Bilbao ? Why not just fly to Bayonne and cycle up to Saint Jean from there ?

People often make the mistake of thinking that the start and finish of the Camino is Saint Jean or Roncesvalles to Santiago, but really the start and end of the Camino is one and the same place : HOME.

If you're not planning on leaving from your home, and wish to just do the Spanish Camino Frances, that's cool, and you're right to wonder where to start from, but the thing is, the Camino starts when you close your front door and begin your journey. From that point onwards, you should just have Santiago as your goal, and you should make that goal as simple as possible.

If you don't want to miss the wonderful Saint Jean - Roncesvalles stage, and wish to feel you will have done the whole Camino (I would too, in your shoes :) ), I suggest it would be better to fly to an airport in France not Spain, and cycle from there up to Saint Jean. The Camino on the French side is just as beautiful as on the Spanish, and some experience of cycling alone together would be an excellent preparation for the Spanish side.
 
Sorry, Ivar, it's not your fault, my subject wasn't too precise ...

Peter, frankly spoken, we didn't have the coastal camino on the screen. Now we're focused on the Camino Frances (perhaps we're in JabbaPapa's shoes?). So we'll keep the Camino del Norte for another year.

We tried to get flights to Biarritz. Ryan Air does Cologne-London-Biarritz. But they want a paper signed, that they aren't responsible for any possible damage to the bikes. So far we made the experiences, that it's safer to have to have a direct outward flight, in order not to start with repairing bikes. Especially as Ryan wants a "quitclaim deed ". HLX does Cologne-Bilbao direct - cheap and on a fair basis.

So I checked all your links and timetables. At least ALSA doesn't transport bicyclees across the border (Pesa?). So sillydoll's proposal turns out to be the most practicable. We'll try to go with ALSA to Irun and enter the train in Hendaye. The timing might be a bit tight for one day. So perhaps we start pedaling from Bayonne or even Irun.

I'll tell you what came out, afterwards - end of September.

So far - many thanks for your help! :eek:)
 
Bilbao to St. Jean with BIKES

Hi Ivar,

as promised, here's our Bilbao - St. Jean - report (following Sillydoll's advice):

6:30 AM Arrival at Bilbao airport (from Cologne with HLX).

The bikes should be left packed (e.g. cardboxes) for the bus-transport!
9:25 Airport shuttle bus to Bilbao Termibus - 1,15 EUR.
11:30-13:00 Alsa-Bus to Irun - 10,32 EUR (incl. 3,- EUR for the bike)
The bus should have started at 11:00, was late.
We did the 2km's Irun-Hendaye by bike, afterwards we found out, that the Alsa-bus' last stop is Hendaye.
So one should try to leave the bus not before Hendaye.

The bicycles should be unpacked for the small luggage compartments of the SNCF-trains. Their luggage compartments have hooks in the ceiling to hang the bikes up.
15:30-16:00 SNCF-train Hendaye -> Bayonne (departures 06:48/13:28/15:30/16:20/16:47/18:39).
17:30-18:30 SNCF-train Bayonne -> St.Jean Pied-de-Port.
The SNCF-railway timetable shows only two trains a day from Bayonne to St.Jean Pied-de-Port with bicycle-transport.
In fact ALL Bayonne-St.Jean (departures 08:55/15:04/17:30/19:58 ) trains take bikes!
I lost the prices for the trains (about 10 EUR).

And yes, the Saint Jean - Roncesvalles stage is for sure a wonderful stage!!

Horst & Christine

[edited by Ivar: inserted a space between the '8' and the ')' to remove the smily that appeared.]
 
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Thanks for your report Horst, this will be useful information for future travelers of that stretch.

I did edit your post to take away the smiley that appears. The problem is that with these smiles, when you write '8' and the ')' without a space one of them appears. It is fixed now.
 
Bilbao to St. Jean with BIKES

Hi Ivar,

as promised, here's our Bilbao - St. Jean - report (following Sillydoll's advice):

6:30 AM Arrival at Bilbao airport (from Cologne with HLX).

The bikes should be left packed (e.g. cardboxes) for the bus-transport!
9:25 Airport shuttle bus to Bilbao Termibus - 1,15 EUR.
11:30-13:00 Alsa-Bus to Irun - 10,32 EUR (incl. 3,- EUR for the bike)
The bus should have started at 11:00, was late.
We did the 2km's Irun-Hendaye by bike, afterwards we found out, that the Alsa-bus' last stop is Hendaye.
So one should try to leave the bus not before Hendaye.

The bicycles should be unpacked for the small luggage compartments of the SNCF-trains. Their luggage compartments have hooks in the ceiling to hang the bikes up.
15:30-16:00 SNCF-train Hendaye -> Bayonne (departures 06:48/13:28/15:30/16:20/16:47/18:39).
17:30-18:30 SNCF-train Bayonne -> St.Jean Pied-de-Port.
The SNCF-railway timetable shows only two trains a day from Bayonne to St.Jean Pied-de-Port with bicycle-transport.
In fact ALL Bayonne-St.Jean (departures 08:55/15:04/17:30/19:58 ) trains take bikes!
I lost the prices for the trains (about 10 EUR).

And yes, the Saint Jean - Roncesvalles stage is for sure a wonderful stage!!

Horst & Christine

[edited by Ivar: inserted a space between the '8' and the ')' to remove the smily that appeared.]
Thank you for posting this,
do you know if there has been other way of getting to Pamplona or SJPDP from Bilbao with a bike?
 
Thank you for posting this,
do you know if there has been other way of getting to Pamplona or SJPDP from Bilbao with a bike?

You'll have to check with service providers to determine bike transport practices.

PESA bus from Bilbao Loiu Airport BIO to Plaza Pio XII San Sebastian/Donostia.

To get to Pamplona:

ALSA bus or Renfe train from San Sebastian Plaza Pio XII to Pamplona.

To get to Gare Bayonne:

ALSA bus from San Sebastian Plaza Pio XII to Gare Bayonne

PESA bus from San Sebastian/Donostia Plaza Pio XII or Euskotren from San Sebastian Amara station to Gare d'Hendaye, and SNCF train from Gare d'Hendaye to Bayonne.

To get to SJPdP:

SNCF train from Gare Bayonne to SJPdP.

CONDA (ALSA) bus from Pamplona to SJPdP.

Alternatively;

Take airport shuttle from Bilbao Airport to Bilbao Termibus.

Termibus is co-located with San Mames Euskotren Tram

Take Euskotren (including three transfers) from Bilbao San Mames
to Hendaia station. Hendaia is colocated with Gare d'Hendaye. Take SNCF train from Hendaye to Bayonne and from Bayonne to SJPdP
 
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