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Crossing from France

Maxcheese

Member
Past OR future Camino
2019
Hi guys!

I'm set on walking the Norte starting Sept 1st but I have to land in Paris first. What do you think would be my best option for a good start?

I was thinking of flying to Biarritz and then get to St-Jean-De-Luz by train and from there, try to find some way to cross to Irun but I'm not sure at all.

With Covid restrictions and all (fully vaccinated here) what would be your recommendations?

Thank's and buen Camino!

Max
 
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AlexB

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Francés
Hi, I have plans to go to Logroño on mid September and I'm planning to go to Hendaye and cross walking to Irun. At the moment in the spanish government website is asking for the Covid Certificate that you have been vaccinated or a negative Covid test. It says in the website that the advise is reviewed every 7 days.

 

Donny Camino

Member
Past OR future Camino
2016
My wife and I arrive into Biarritz from Canada on Aug 13. We are walking the Norte. We will walk from Biarritz to St Jean de Luz and then to Irun. These initial 2 days promises to be a beautiful walk (many folks start Norte from Biarritz or Bayonne) leading up to the official start in Irun. You do not need a QR code or anything to walk into Spain from France.
 

lovingkindness

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
.
Bonjour @Maxcheese
It is possible to walk along the beach from the mouth of the Nive River to Biarritz then follow Le Sentier Littoral, a coastal trail all the way to Hendaye. I did this in 2011. It is beautiful:

Bidart to St-Jean-de-Luz followed by St-Jean-de-Luz to Hendaye (Maps plus pdf in English, French and Spanish)

There is also a Chemin de St Jacques which starts at the Bayonne Cathedrale and follows a trail slightly inland to Irun:

Bayonne Tourist Office: guide for pilgrims (2021) direction Camino de Baztan
Verscompostella: guide (direction St-Jean-de-Luz and other caminos from Bayonne)

Bon Chemin!
-Lovingkindness
 
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Kathar1na

Member
Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
With Covid restrictions and all (fully vaccinated here) what would be your recommendations?
The Covid restrictions are the same no matter where you cross the Eastern part of the border between France and Spain. The restrictions can change frequently, you ought to be informed about them, comply with them, and it is highly unlikely that there will be public health related checks at a border crossing anywhere in the area when moving from France to Spain. IOW, this shouldn't influence how and where you cross.
 

Donny Camino

Member
Past OR future Camino
2016
We did take the train from Paris to Bayonne in 2016 to do the Frances...nice countryside ride taking about 4 hours. This time we land in Paris, wait 3 hours, and fly Air France to Biarritz; about a 90 minute flight. Either way, it's all good.
 

DonnaM

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Hi guys!

I'm set on walking the Norte starting Sept 1st but I have to land in Paris first. What do you think would be my best option for a good start?

I was thinking of flying to Biarritz and then get to St-Jean-De-Luz by train and from there, try to find some way to cross to Irun but I'm not sure at all.

With Covid restrictions and all (fully vaccinated here) what would be your recommendations?

Thank's and buen Camino!

Max
I'm also starting on the 1st, train from Bordeaux to Hendaye and then walking across...Reading covid rules today, from UK, fully vaccinated I just need proof of that to enter Spain.
 

Liddybee

Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances September 2017
Porto to Santiago September 2018
Via Francigena Upcoming in 2020
We did take the train from Paris to Bayonne in 2016 to do the Frances...nice countryside ride taking about 4 hours. This time we land in Paris, wait 3 hours, and fly Air France to Biarritz; about a 90 minute flight. Either way, it's all good.
I’m currently scheduled to fly from Canada to Paris to Biarritz later in August and I’m struggling to find out how and where we get the required Activities Card in order to take the internal flight and to be able to eat in restaurants etc. Do you know if we can get these at the airport? Hopefully wait times for the tests aren’t too long with only a few hours between flights. Any info you found would be appreciated.
 
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Rent a house in Santiago (1 month minimum)
300m from the cathedral and around the corner from the fresh food market in Santiago. Perfect place to tele commute from (1GB symmetrical connection).

Dave

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
First: Camino Francés 2002; most recent: Norte/Primitivo 2019
Ach, come on Dave. You are on Camino, how is that a non-event? Glad to hear there wasn't a squad of white-coats waiting to impede your passage ;)
No crowds of adoring well-wishers! No celebratory band! Nobody with a laurel crown prepared to rest upon my head. Total rip-off.
 

biarritzdon

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF&CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF&CP17, CdN18, CM18, CF18, LePuy19
Ach, come on Dave. You are on Camino, how is that a non-event? Glad to hear there wasn't a squad of white-coats waiting to impede your passage ;)
Totally agree with everything but the white coats. I have crossed the Bidassoa bridge many, many times in a bus and on 3 occasions the French border guards were there on the Hendaye side and made everyone get off of the bus with there baggage and checked everything including credentials, etc. I suspect one time it was because they were acting on a tip about an illegal entry because 3 Asian ladies were whisked off in a police bus.
 

Donny Camino

Member
Past OR future Camino
2016
I’m currently scheduled to fly from Canada to Paris to Biarritz later in August and I’m struggling to find out how and where we get the required Activities Card in order to take the internal flight and to be able to eat in restaurants etc. Do you know if we can get these at the airport? Hopefully wait times for the tests aren’t too long with only a few hours between flights. Any info you found would be appreciated.
I have not heard of an "Activities Card" in order to fly internally from Paris to Biarriz...let me know more.
 
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Kathar1na

Member
Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
I have not heard of an "Activities Card" in order to fly internally from Paris to Biarriz...let me know more.
Proof of vaccination or negative test will be mandatory for internal flights and on trains in France. Starts in August, I don't know when exactly, perhaps 9 August?
 

Kathar1na

Member
Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
Great tip...I will research this for sure as we fly Paris to Biarritz Aug 13. Thanks
Get in touch with your carrier, they will know. Is it Air France? It is called pass sanitaire in French, not sure why activities card - it is also necessary for access to large scale events and museums in France.
 
Past OR future Camino
2022_ViadelaPlata_Sanabres_hopefully
However you arrive, I recommend staying in Hondarribia rather than Irun. Or at least visiting Hondarribia - it’s only a couple of kms from Irun and it’s waymarked so you can start your Camino del Norte from there. There’s also a ferry crossing from Hendaye. It’s a magical town. I have been there three times now and each time I’ve felt the same delight.
 
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Rent a house in Santiago (1 month minimum)
300m from the cathedral and around the corner from the fresh food market in Santiago. Perfect place to tele commute from (1GB symmetrical connection).
Past OR future Camino
2022_ViadelaPlata_Sanabres_hopefully
However you arrive, I recommend staying in Hondarribia rather than Irun. Or at least visiting Hondarribia - it’s only a couple of kms from Irun and it’s waymarked so you can start your Camino del Norte from there. There’s also a ferry crossing from Hendaye. It’s a magical town. I have been there three times now and each time I’ve felt the same delight.
PS. Hondarribia and Irun are less than 20 kms walk from St Jean de Luz. Or continue on the train from StJdeL to Hendaye (30mins) to give yourself a day in Hondarribia!
 

Donny Camino

Member
Past OR future Camino
2016
We are indeed flying Air France...will check into that Passe Sanitaire.....and thanks for mentioning Hondarribia...never heard of it...we are booked to sleep in Irun but may check this town out also.
 

Liddybee

Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances September 2017
Porto to Santiago September 2018
Via Francigena Upcoming in 2020
I have not heard of an "Activities Card" in order to fly internally from Paris to Biarriz...let me know more.
This is what I’ve seen so far. im interpreting this as two cards.…a Health card to get in and an Activities card for internal flights, restaurants etc. maybe im reading too much into it?
 
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Maxcheese

Member
Past OR future Camino
2019
I’m currently scheduled to fly from Canada to Paris to Biarritz later in August and I’m struggling to find out how and where we get the required Activities Card in order to take the internal flight and to be able to eat in restaurants etc. Do you know if we can get these at the airport? Hopefully wait times for the tests aren’t too long with only a few hours between flights. Any info you found would be appreciated.
To my understanding, the only requirement is to have your QR code from the spanish government website plus proof of double vaccination. No testing required or any other card since we're not from EU.
 

Maxcheese

Member
Past OR future Camino
2019
Covid aside, train from Paris will be far easier than flying.
I'm actually now thinking of getting off at CDG, get in town, hop on a train to St-Jean-De-Luz and start the next day with a quick walk into Irun for the first one. Might be quicker this way?
 
Past OR future Camino
2022_ViadelaPlata_Sanabres_hopefully
I'm actually now thinking of getting off at CDG, get in town, hop on a train to St-Jean-De-Luz and start the next day with a quick walk into Irun for the first one. Might be quicker this way?
I agree. If your connections work, trains are often a quicker and less stressful option in France. You can often take a TGV directly from CDG airport, to avoid the hassle (and crowds) of the RER and Metro into Paris. I have travelled directly from CDG to Bayonne and Le Puy for previous caminos. Probably one change between CDG and St Jean de Luz. I usually use www.trainline.eu to check. Buen camino.
 

Andrew2019

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2019
Hi guys!

I'm set on walking the Norte starting Sept 1st but I have to land in Paris first. What do you think would be my best option for a good start?

I was thinking of flying to Biarritz and then get to St-Jean-De-Luz by train and from there, try to find some way to cross to Irun but I'm not sure at all.

With Covid restrictions and all (fully vaccinated here) what would be your recommendations?

Thank's and buen Camino!

Max
Hello, I'm hoping to start in mid September and want to do the same thing start sjpp and walk to Irun is this possible.
 

Barbara

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, Norte (twice)and Primitivo, Sureste, In France From home Tours and Vézelay, also Le Puy.
Hello, I'm hoping to start in mid September and want to do the same thing start sjpp and walk to Irun is this possible.
Yes. There are options. GR10, GTC (equestrian version) or the route along the river. You will probably need to invent a link at the ends. It's a long time since I did the GTC.
I just wonder why? SJPP is not anything special in itself.
 
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Dave

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
First: Camino Francés 2002; most recent: Norte/Primitivo 2019

Maxcheese

Member
Past OR future Camino
2019
Hi, I just walked both the GR-10 and the Voie Nive Bidassoa between SJPDP and Hendaye/Irún. Here's what I wrote about the experience: http://davewhitson.com/index.php/2021/07/30/connecting-the-gr-65-and-the-camino-del-norte/
Beautiful text Dave! But looks a bit of a chellenge for day 1 to me! I think I'll start from St-Jean-De-Luz and take the coastal route that leads to Honfdarria/Hendaye and cross to Irun from there instead... I'll spare my legs for the 1000km ahead to Santiago and Muxia ;)
 

BombayBill

Still Learning
Past OR future Camino
2021
Past OR future Camino
2022_ViadelaPlata_Sanabres_hopefully
Hello, I'm hoping to start in mid September and want to do the same thing start sjpp and walk to Irun is this possible.
Hi Andrew. Regarding whether there is anything special about SJPP. If you have already been there, you will know whether you want to return. If you haven’t, know that many people do find this small Basque town quite charming - me included. And it has some unique significance in pilgrim terms as the end of the Le Puy way and the start of the Frances. If you have the time and inclination to do some pre walking before the Norte, your idea to walk from SJPP to the Norte sounds fine and doable according to other posts. Another option might be to walk SJPP on the Frances to Pamplona or further on to Estella and then you can take a bus from Pamplona or Estella to Irun. Be sure to visit Hondarribia if you can - see earlier post. Buen Camino.
 
Past OR future Camino
2019
Hi guys!

I'm set on walking the Norte starting Sept 1st but I have to land in Paris first. What do you think would be my best option for a good start?

I was thinking of flying to Biarritz and then get to St-Jean-De-Luz by train and from there, try to find some way to cross to Irun but I'm not sure at all.

With Covid restrictions and all (fully vaccinated here) what would be your recommendations?

Thank's and buen Camino!

Max
We are in Irun today. We had spare time so walked over to Henday. French police are stopping traffic heading into France checking for Covid compliance. They did not stop pedestrians. The Spanish were not doing any checks of people heading into Spain. Vehicles and pedestrians passed freely. Don’t know if they were checking train passengers. Saw a handful of pilgrims crossing the bridge from France during the afternoon.
 

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Bob from L.A. !

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Francis 2012, 2014, 2016. Camino Norte 2018. Many more to come in my future God willing !
From the airport in Biarittz there are buses every couple of hours to to St. Jean and Irun. ($6.00 per person).
Very easy to get there.
 

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