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covid travel limitations and getting to/from the Camino

Backagain

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Primitivo (2017)
Frances (2020)
It looks like a lot of the ground transportation options to get to a starting point are seriously limited these days. Where there used to be multiple buses and trains each day, there is now only one option, and sometimes that option only runs a couple of days a week.

So, for someone flying in internationally, what's the best routing to get to Sarria or somewhere else where I can begin a short (5-day) walk? I'd prefer the Frances (Sarria), but am open to anything that will get me to the beginning point in under 3 days' travel including an overnight transatlantic flight.

So far, I've looked into flights to Madrid, Barcelona, Porto, and Lisbon. My current best option (flight to Madrid, flight Madrid to A Coruna, train A Coruna to Sarria) gets me into Sarria at 10pm and I'm hoping to walk the next morning.

Is there anything else that might work? How are most pilgrims getting to their starting point in this time of covid limitations?
 
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Past OR future Camino
Sarria to Santiago 2014
Pamplona to Santiago 2017
Norte. 2018
I just flew to Madrid and spent time there. Took a 715 train from Chamartin to Sarria. Changed trains in Ourense except they had no train driver in Ourense so it was a lovely 1 he bus ride. Arrived about 1pm in Sarria. There is a later nonstop train but doesn’t arrive until 1750. I can tell you a wonderful cheap place in Madrid. Spend a few days and enjoy if you’ve never been there before.
 

Vacajoe

Traded in my work boots for hiking ones
Past OR future Camino
2019
Less options, maybe, but Spain is remarkably open with few COVID restrictions once you arrive (we are here now). In fact, housing may be a bit easier as there are less pilgrims on many routes. Without knowing where you are originating, the old standbys (Madrid, Barcelona, Porto) are all possible.
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012. Hoping now for 2022.
A tag "travel to sarria" has been added at the top of this thread under the title. If you click on it, you'll find a few recent threads suggesting options.
 
Past OR future Camino
Sarria to Santiago 2014
Pamplona to Santiago 2017
Norte. 2018
A tag "travel to sarria" has been added at the top of this thread under the title. If you click on it, you'll find a few recent threads suggesting options.
I have no idea what that means and where a tag is. I can’t even figure out how to post. I just reply to posts. Maybe a set of instructions would help. I can’t be the only old, technically challenged person.
 
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C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012. Hoping now for 2022.
A tag "travel to sarria" has been added at the top of this thread under the title. If you click on it, you'll find a few recent threads suggesting options.

I have no idea what that means and where a tag is.
Yes, I'm thinking about doing a tag-info post. Meanwhile, scroll up the page to see the title of the post. Look under it and see the words "travel to sarria" beside a little tag/label-like icon. Click on the words "travel to sarria".
 

hulagirl

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
I have no idea what that means and where a tag is. I can’t even figure out how to post. I just reply to posts. Maybe a set of instructions would help. I can’t be the only old, technically challenged person.
I too have had great difficulty figuring out how to use the forum.
 

Backagain

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Primitivo (2017)
Frances (2020)
A tag "travel to sarria" has been added at the top of this thread under the title. If you click on it, you'll find a few recent threads suggesting options.
thank you, but I am really open to travel to other starting points as well. My main interest in posting is to get information about what "on the ground" options and work-arounds exist for getting to the beginning of a short walk in this time of limited transportation due to covid.

I'm happy to hear about Sarria, but hope I'll get other suggestions as well here.
 
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alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Past OR future Camino
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
thank you, but I am really open to travel to other starting points as well. My main interest in posting is to get information about what "on the ground" options and work-arounds exist for getting to the beginning of a short walk in this time of limited transportation due to covid.

I'm happy to hear about Sarria, but hope I'll get other suggestions as well here.
Just select your start and ending point on the website address below, and you'll get many options:

www.rometorio.com
 

Backagain

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Primitivo (2017)
Frances (2020)
Just select your start and ending point on the website address below, and you'll get many options:

www.rometorio.com
yes. it's a wonderful site. I've used it. My issue is that where there used to be a number of buses, trains, multiple options, the routes are down to one option per day or less in many places. Which means that my hoped-for links aren't linking up easily.

I posted in the hopes that someone who's been on the ground recently might have a tip or two to share. If there's one route that seems less impacted by covid shut downs, if there's a starting point that won't require three days to get to, I'd love to know.

Sorry my question was not clear. For someone with limited time and a deep desire to walk not to be able to get there easily, and losing a day or two of walking because of this, well..it's disappointing and frustrating.
 

Lhollo

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
CF pt2, Belorado to Sarria, May 21 – June 12, 2022
I’m currently planning, next Spring, to do the reverse of what you first suggested: walk to Sarria, stay there overnight, quick train to Madrid the next day, stay overnight, early flight home the next morning. Like you, I don’t want to cut short my walking time. I think this is quite a simple solution to the Madrid-Sarria route.

I know what you mean about finding it hard though; I’m not flying far, only from the U.K. but there are currently no flights to the north of Spain from northern U.K. airports so one has to get creative!

I’m sorry I can’t comment on other options for you, and haven’t experienced this route myself on the ground yet either, but I’m sure others here will add more.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I posted in the hopes that someone who's been on the ground recently might have a tip or two to share. If there's one route that seems less impacted by covid shut downs, if there's a starting point that won't require three days to get to, I'd love to know.
I'm not on the ground now, but since the Camino Francés has the most infrastructure it's probably less susceptible to shut downs.
 

Marbe2

Active member
Past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
I am on the CF right now. From the USA. Yes, train travel has been cut back. Many of us have had to wait a minimum of 4-6 hours upon arrival in Spain, just to make connections that we normally would make much quicker in non-Covid times.
.
Flights on US carriers have been changing frequently, particularly on AA. Many very seasoned pilgrims from USA have had to be very flexible about travel to their camino starting locations. None of us, IMO can really be certain too far in advance about arrival times at any destination on the camino.

In order though for us to possibly be more helpful,….When do you want to travel? And what US airport are you originating from.

Is walking to Sarria a must? Might you take the train to say Pamplona and then walk to Logrono and return by bus to Madrid?
 
Camino Magnets
A collection of Camino Fridge Magnets
Fine art photography from the Camino Ways.
Past OR future Camino
2012
yes. it's a wonderful site. I've used it. My issue is that where there used to be a number of buses, trains, multiple options, the routes are down to one option per day or less in many places. Which means that my hoped-for links aren't linking up easily.
@Backagain, when are you planning to travel? I ask because RENFE, Monbus, Aviva and others are posting revised timetables on a monthly or even more frequent basis. So searching for timetable possibilities at any advanced date can be frustrating. There are at least 5 opportunities to travel Madrid to Sarria tomorrow, some of which involve changing trains in Ourense but if you currently search for next week you'll either get that dreaded "this route is not available" message or the offer of the 12:15 train. Because the timetable for October has not yet been published. Its entirely likely that the October timetable will be identical to September so you could plan, in hope, on that basis. If you're looking farther into the future? Well aren't we all...
 

Backagain

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Primitivo (2017)
Frances (2020)
@Backagain, when are you planning to travel? I ask because RENFE, Monbus, Aviva and others are posting revised timetables on a monthly or even more frequent basis. So searching for timetable possibilities at any advanced date can be frustrating. There are at least 5 opportunities to travel Madrid to Sarria tomorrow, some of which involve changing trains in Ourense but if you currently search for next week you'll either get that dreaded "this route is not available" message or the offer of the 12:15 train. Because the timetable for October has not yet been published. Its entirely likely that the October timetable will be identical to September so you could plan, in hope, on that basis. If you're looking farther into the future? Well aren't we all...
Thanks. this is very helpful. I'm traveling in November and the daily schedules, even for this week, keep changing, mostly it's a 12:15 train from Madrid (occasionally with a 7:15 option too) or a single 11:15 daily bus from Santiago.

I think mostly I'm disappointed that a walk that was originally planned for 2020 (originally 1 full month), postponed in summer 2021 (dropped to 3 weeks), and finally rescheduled for November (now only 1.5 weeks) is getting shorter every time I search. To lose a day at the beginning because the buses/trains/planes don't line up, and a day or two at the end because of covid testing requirements is disappointing.

I'm making my peace with losing the extra day at the beginning and if the schedules for October/November improve and my day comes back, then it will be an unexpected gift.
 

NorthernLight

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
If the Inglis starting in Ferrol doesn’t appeal, the circular route from Santiago-Finisterre-Muxia-Santiago is doable for a short 5 day walk.

Either route should be easily accessible from the A Coruña airport.
 

walkinglover

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, '16 and '18; Portuguese '17; Ingles - 19
It looks like a lot of the ground transportation options to get to a starting point are seriously limited these days. Where there used to be multiple buses and trains each day, there is now only one option, and sometimes that option only runs a couple of days a week.

So, for someone flying in internationally, what's the best routing to get to Sarria or somewhere else where I can begin a short (5-day) walk? I'd prefer the Frances (Sarria), but am open to anything that will get me to the beginning point in under 3 days' travel including an overnight transatlantic flight.

So far, I've looked into flights to Madrid, Barcelona, Porto, and Lisbon. My current best option (flight to Madrid, flight Madrid to A Coruna, train A Coruna to Sarria) gets me into Sarria at 10pm and I'm hoping to walk the next morning.

Is there anything else that might work? How are most pilgrims getting to their starting point in this time of covid limitations?
I think I might fly to Madrid to Santiago, then take a bus to Sarria.
 

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