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Luggage Transfer Correos

Boston, USA to Paris or Madrid?

2020 Camino Guides

10hut

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances
I will be walking the Camino Frances in September/October of 2020 and am looking where others have flown into from the Boston area. Please comment on connecting Buses or trains. Really would like to see if anyone has flown into both Paris and Madrid and which one they found easier for connections. Seems like time schedules do not match up well from airports, buses, or trains for quick transfers and it requires overnight stays. Thanks
 

livinglifeMYway

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012),( 2013) (2014) Camino Del Norte August-September (2016)
I will be walking the Camino Frances in September/October of 2020 and am looking where others have flown into from the Boston area. Please comment on connecting Buses or trains. Really would like to see if anyone has flown into both Paris and Madrid and which one they found easier for connections. Seems like time schedules do not match up well from airports, buses, or trains for quick transfers and it requires overnight stays. Thanks
Hi,
I have flown into both Paris and Madrid from Seattle and found that Madrid was a much smoother transition. I did spend the night in Madrid and left out on an early morning train to Pamplona and then took a bus straight to St Jean from there. Easy peasy...
 

Charlotte Helbig

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés Sept. 2017
Camino Portugués May-June 2019
I flew into Madrid in 2017 from Phoenix (via Dulles). As the flight arrived early in the morning, there was plenty of time to take the metro to Atocha to catch a late morning train to Pamplona. We rested up in Pamplona and took the bus to SJPP the next morning. A piece o' cake....
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I have done both, and thought that flying to Paris, then taking the train from Gare Montparnasse to SJPdP with a transfer at Bayonne was much easier than taking the train to Pamplona, where you either have to walk or take a bus to the bus station, or take an expensive taxi to SJPdP.
In both cases I spent at least one night in Madrid or Paris before continuing on to SJPdP.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2017); Camino a Muxia (2017)
I flew into Paris on an overnight flight from Boston in 2017 arriving around 8:00-8:30 in the morning. I walked from the arrivals section of the CDG airport to the train station and was soon on a high-speed trail to Bayonne and then on to SJPP where I arrived mid-afternoon or so. Started my walk the next morning.
 

CCoach

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (September 2019)
I am traveling on the Camino Frances right now. I flew Norwegian Airlines non stop Boston to Paris and then Easy Jet from Paris to Biarritz. I then took the Express Bourricot shared shuttle from Biarritz to st. Jean-Pied-de-Port. Very easy and pretty inexpensive. I am flying home non stop Madrid to Boston. Hope this helps.
 

SenorJacques

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances - Fall 2020
I too will be flying from Boston in September 2020 to start my first Camino! I've flown into / through both Paris and Madrid on other trips in the past, and based on previous airport experiences I'm leaning towards BOS > CDG ... but will be watching this thread for other perspectives and suggestions.

I flew into Paris on an overnight flight from Boston in 2017 arriving around 8:00-8:30 in the morning. I walked from the arrivals section of the CDG airport to the train station and was soon on a high-speed trail to Bayonne and then on to SJPP where I arrived mid-afternoon or so. Started my walk the next morning.
This is pretty much what I'm planning to do next year, though I may add a night or two in Paris to the beginning of my trip because ... well, Paris :) It somehow seems easier than the Madrid-Pamplona-SJPdP way, though I suppose that since it's the same in terms of "legs" it's likely more to do with familiarty on my part. (I've never been to Pamplona - or indeed anywhere in Spain beyond extended layovers in the Madrid airport, none of which were too pleasant.)

I should also admit that part of the appeal of the Camino for me is gradually discovering places I've never encountered before, and feel that getting to SJPdP via Pamplona will somehow affect that since I will have already "been to" (or at least through!) Pamplona before getting there during my actual walk.
 

blamoca

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2018)
after flying overseas all day ..i would consider staying another night upon arrival anyways to ease jet lag. for me flying is less enjoyable these days with so much security and check in times and hassle increasing more and more ......so opting for an efficient route that is the most stress free is my priority. there are very reliable buses with www.ALSA.es all over Spain including from Madrid airport to Pamplona, then again to SJPDP. an alternative is Train with www.RENFE.com from Madrid Atocha station to Pamplona then ALSA bus to SJPDP . Spanish trains have bar cars....a great way to ease into the journey and start any adventure! .....and you can stand/walk/stretch...but requires tfr by taxi b/w train to bus station in Pamplona and tfr by subway b/w Airport and train in Madrid. Popular also is ride share from Pamlona to SJPDP. It's an all day affair from Boston using either option. good luck.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
Peg and I have visited Barcelona a few times and we flew there to start our Camino Frances. We took a train to Pamplona. We are in Barcelona now and we flew direct from Boston on the low-fare airline Level flylevel.com

You could fly into Barcelona and fly home on another airline from Madrid.
 

Evvie

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
September 2019
I flew into Paris on an overnight flight from Boston in 2017 arriving around 8:00-8:30 in the morning. I walked from the arrivals section of the CDG airport to the train station and was soon on a high-speed trail to Bayonne and then on to SJPP where I arrived mid-afternoon or so. Started my walk the next morning.
I recently did the same thing, although I spent the night in Bayonne.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF2012,Le Puy/CF 2015 Portugues 2017 Norte 2018, CF 2019
I have done both and it is easier from Madrid. You should also look at staying close to the airport if you aren't planning to rest and see Madrid for a couple of days. The flights from Madrid to Pamplona are about the same as the train or bus and alot quicker. Having said that if you are going to rest for a few days go to Paris. Only because there is only one Paris.
 

TaijiPilgrim

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2011), Camino Frances (2015), Camino Ingles (2017), Camino Muxia (2017), LePuy(2019)
When preparing for my two Camino Frances pilgrimages, I evaluated the pros and cons of Paris vs Madrid and chose Madrid. I found it more convenient for a jetlagged flier from Boston to have booked my flight from Boston to Pamplona. That meant Madrid was a connection with a short layover, and I avoided having to change to a different mode of transport. In Pamplona it was easy to taxi to the bus station for short trip to St. Jean or to my Pamplona hostal for the night. In Pamplona, besides the bus, you can arrange a taxi to St. Jean - hopefully sharing the cost with other pilgrims.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2017
I will be walking the Camino Frances in September/October of 2020 and am looking where others have flown into from the Boston area. Please comment on connecting Buses or trains. Really would like to see if anyone has flown into both Paris and Madrid and which one they found easier for connections. Seems like time schedules do not match up well from airports, buses, or trains for quick transfers and it requires overnight stays. Thanks
Last year, we flew Boston-Madrid-Biaritz and returned Santiago-Madrid-Boston. Lay over i Madrid to Biaritz was long but we saw a bit of Madrid, so acceptable.
 
Camino(s) past & future
somewhere between "not enough" and "way too many"
Based upon travel from Boston in both 2014 and 2017, I'd opt for flying Boston to Pamplona. Get an overnight in Pamplona then take the bus to SJPP. The taxi is okay...if you have nerves of steel but I do not anymore.;)

I like biarritzdon's suggestion of evaluating Bordeaux or Bilbao. To make easy comparisons of options, I recommend: https://www.rome2rio.com/

From the Seattle area, I have found that Paris works well for my landing zone but ONLY if one can line up a TGV ticket down to Bayonne which departs CDG airport. (Leave at least 90 minutes between flight arrival and train departure.) I am no fan of transiting through Paris traffic to Montparnasse station especially if the time between CDG arrival and Montparnasse departure is less than 4 hours.

YMMV!

B
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
There have been complaints on some threads lately about difficulty in getting lodging between SJPdP and Pamplona. The Baztan Camino from Bayonne to Pamplona may appeal to you as an alternative and that suggests flying to Paris.
 

Donjek

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2012 SJPdP - Fisterra
Renfe train connects Madrid to Irun/Hendaye and SNCF connects Hendaye to Bayonne and Bayonne to SJPdP. If I were traveling via Madrid this is how I would do it.

There are flights from Madrid to San Sebastian EAS. EAS is located about 3 km from Gare d'Hendaye.

There are flights from Paris to Biarritz BIQ. The local Chronoplus bus takes a half hour to get to Gare Bayonne.

SNCF train connects Paris to Bayonne and Bayonne to SJPdP. If I were traveling via Paris this is how I would do it.

I don't know what to say about connections. I am of the view that staying overnight in Paris, Madrid, or Bayonne is a good idea after an overseas flight across too many time zones. Both Madrid and Paris have very good connections, with several trains every day, particularly when you consider how much of a remote village is SJPdP.
 
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mdelag

Member
Camino(s) past & future
**CAMINO FRANCES: LEON-SANTIAGO sept. (2015)
**CAMINO FRANCES SJPP-SANTIAGO 2017
For me Paris -bayonne-SJPDP is definitely the best and easiest option. Just take a plane that arrives in the morning to Paris and you will have a wonderful afternoon and diner en Saint Jean. Buen Camino
 

Cliff175

Member
Camino(s) past & future
April / May Camino Frances 2013
Portuguese Camino May of 2014
St. jean to pomplona, - Santander to Oviedo, SAN Salvador to Leon , to Santiago in 2015
2017 March -- VDLP Seville to Santiago
Boston to Dublin, Dublin to Biarritz , there is a van service https://www.expressbourricot.com/
or share taxi from Biarritz airport to St. Jean.

Santiago to Dublin , Aerlingus twice a week.... Dublin to Boston
Allows you to buy round trip from Boston to Dublin,
I’m from Fall River ma. ...
 

TaijiPilgrim

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2011), Camino Frances (2015), Camino Ingles (2017), Camino Muxia (2017), LePuy(2019)
Peg and I have visited Barcelona a few times and we flew there to start our Camino Frances. We took a train to Pamplona. We are in Barcelona now and we flew direct from Boston on the low-fare airline Level flylevel.com

You could fly into Barcelona and fly home on another airline from Madrid.
Considering flying Level Airlines Boston to Barcelona. Could you share your experience and opinion? Do seats recline and what about legroom for a tall person? Thanks.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
Considering flying Level Airlines Boston to Barcelona. Could you share your experience and opinion? Do seats recline and what about legroom for a tall person? Thanks.
Keeping it short and only having done one flight, I found it as good as flying economy on the big airlines. We showed up at checkin with our passport, no preprinted pass, and had our boarding ticket in hand in minutes. I don't think our carry-ons were even eye-balled, certainly not measured (don't push it though, the overheads don't have much more room than what is the specified size). Checkin starts 3 hours before the flight and ends 1 hour before. I read that you even had to pay for water but we got a free dinner and breakfast that was pretty good.

Seat backs do recline. I can't tell you about legroom because I arranged to sit facing the bulkhead and that has extra space (at the expense of collaspable armrest tray tables). I'm average height and was *almost* able to stretch out. Seating was 2-4-2 across the width. I think there is a website out in the www that shows configurations for various airlines' flights.

I was pleasantly surprised with everything on my flight. Going home (yep, I'm in Spain and just a few days away from starting camino #2) I will try out one of the seats in the other rows, but not for long.

Edit: We are considering a trip to Argentina next year and Level flys between Barcelona and Buenos Aires. The combined fares, including Boston, may be lower than other fares. We may throw in another trip to Spain.
 
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TaijiPilgrim

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2011), Camino Frances (2015), Camino Ingles (2017), Camino Muxia (2017), LePuy(2019)
Keeping it short and only having done one flight, I found it as good as flying economy on the big airlines. We showed up at checkin with our passport, no preprinted pass, and had our boarding ticket in hand in minutes. I don't think our carry-ons were even eye-balled, certainly not measured (don't push it though, the overheads don't have much more room than what is the specified size). Checkin starts 3 hours before the flight and ends 1 hour before. I read that you even had to pay for water but we got a free dinner and breakfast that was pretty good.

Seat backs do recline. I can't tell you about legroom because I arranged to sit facing the bulkhead and that has extra space (at the expense of collaspable armrest tray tables). I'm average height and was *almost* able to stretch out. Seating was 2-4-2 across the width. I think there is a website out in the www that shows configurations for various airlines' flights.

I was pleasantly surprised with everything on my flight. Going home (yep, I'm in Spain and just a few days away from starting camino #2) I will try out one of the seats in the other rows, but not for long.

Edit: We are considering a trip to Argentina next year and Level flys between Barcelona and Buenos Aires. The combined fares, including Boston, may be lower than other fares. We may throw in another trip to Spain.
Thank you, Rick. It sounds like a positive experience. Let me know when you return what your final evaluation might be. Also - Peg's thoughts. My husband is 6 feet tall but I am 5 feet - so he is more concerned about the seats. I am more concerned about customer service and flights on time and as scheduled. Negative reviews regarding these points.
I assume you missed the protests in Barcelona. I read a post from a pilgrim who had to abandon the bus to the airport and walk. I wonder what the airlines have done to help passengers delayed.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
About our Level flight: we may have been just lucky. Asking for Peg and our friend Sandy's opinion (they were impressed too) I discovered that we had free meals but others did not. We were up front in economy and I didn't look back but Sandy did and she saw no meals being served in the section behind us.

Discussing this among us it appears to be because of a lucky break for us. When you book you get a Level ID number and an ID for Iberia. I called Iberia for some reason as a better choice than Level and as a "by the way" asked about seating. The representative then offered the seating for Peg and me outbound and me inbound. Those must have been seats assigned to Iberia on the flight and so we got Iberia meals. Sandy also got her outbound seat this way with a different representative. She didn't make inbound seating reservations on that call so she could coordinate inbound seating with Peg. Her further calls to Iberia about seating got her to two more different representatives who both said that Iberia could not seat Level customers. Peg and Sandy may be flying home hungry. So that means you may be flying hungry and cramped too.

Yes, missed the mess at the airport but there may be more there later. Today we drove to a small town outside Vic and got off the highway just before a traffic jam caused by a protest. We are told it is going to happen tomorrow morning too, the morning that I have to return the rental car. Being in the mountains means that alternative roads may add as much time as a jam and being with Peg means a very early start is out of the question.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (Sep/Oct 2018)
Camino Portugues (Sep 2020)
If you are starting from Saint Jean Pied de Port, I would suggest looking for flights into Pamplona - no need to stop in Spain first. I flew out of Boston last September, stopped in Munich, then on to Pamplona. The Bus runs several times a day at that year to SJPdP. Pick a return flight from any point in Spain, then book a flight from Santiago to your departure city once you're in Spain - Vueling is cheap and efficient. I flew out of Barcelona back to Boston. it was quicker and cheaper than flying into Spain or France and then trying to figure out how to get to Pamplona / SJPdP. PM me if you have any questions

Buen Camino
 

GingerHaddad

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
September (2018)
In September I flew to Paris, caught a Renfe train to Biarritz, then a van shuttle to St Jean. SO easy - and I don’t like buses. Train was about 60E and van shuttle 12E.
 

Donjek

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2012 SJPdP - Fisterra
If you are starting from Saint Jean Pied de Port, I would suggest looking for flights into Pamplona - no need to stop in Spain first. I flew out of Boston last September, stopped in Munich, then on to Pamplona. The Bus runs several times a day at that year to SJPdP. Pick a return flight from any point in Spain, then book a flight from Santiago to your departure city once you're in Spain - Vueling is cheap and efficient. I flew out of Barcelona back to Boston. it was quicker and cheaper than flying into Spain or France and then trying to figure out how to get to Pamplona / SJPdP. PM me if you have any questions

Buen Camino
I wouldn't recommend going via Pamplona to SJPdP. You're better off going to San Sebastian EAS or Biarritz BIQ.

There are 1, 2, or 3 buses daily from Pamplona to SJPdP in summer months (depending on the month) ... however they all arrive at SJPdP too late to start walking that day.

There are several trains from Gare d'Hendaye, located about 3 km from EAS airport, to Bayonne. Its close enough to walk if you have the time.

The Chronoplus bus offers local bus service all day from BIQ airport to Gare Bayonne.

There are 3 or 4 SNCF TER trains daily from Bayonne to SJPdP --- all year --- with the earliest arriving at SJPdP mid morning.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (Sep/Oct 2018)
Camino Portugues (Sep 2020)
I wouldn't recommend going via Pamplona to SJPdP. You're better off going to San Sebastian EAS or Biarritz BIQ.

There are 1, 2, or 3 buses daily from Pamplona to SJPdP in summer months (depending on the month) ... however they all arrive at SJPdP too late to start walking that day.
Personally, I wouldn't recommend flying from the US and starting the Camino on the same day you arrive. The flight I took from Boston would have put us in SJPdP mid afternoon (We ended up staying a few days in Pamplona first). I would recommend spending a night in Saint Jean - See the town, stretch your legs, etc. Has anyone left the US and started walking from SJPdP the next day? How far did you go?
 

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