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Eurostar

Year of past OR future Camino
2019
Planning on travelling by Eurostar in May and I was wondering how long it takes to disembark and pass through passport control because I’m looking to catch the Bayonne train at Montparnasse and I’ve got about an hour and a half between trains, will this be long enough? I’m trying to decide whether to stop over in London or Paris on day one
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances and Finisterre 2014
Camino Frances,Muxia and Finisterre 2015
Camino del Norte,Arzua to Ribadeo 2015
Planning on travelling by Eurostar in May and I was wondering how long it takes to disembark and pass through passport control because I’m looking to catch the Bayonne train at Montparnasse and I’ve got about an hour and a half between trains, will this be long enough? I’m trying to decide whether to stop over in London or Paris on day one
Currently passport control is in St. Pancras station but next year your guess is as good as mine.
I have made the trip 3 times,most recently in February this year,and have always arrived at Montparnasse in less than 30 minutes from leaving the Eurostar.
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Currently on a "Virtual" Camino and striding out across Galicia!
Planning on travelling by Eurostar in May and I was wondering how long it takes to disembark and pass through passport control because I’m looking to catch the Bayonne train at Montparnasse and I’ve got about an hour and a half between trains, will this be long enough? I’m trying to decide whether to stop over in London or Paris on day one
In the past it was a doddle - there's even information on line as to which way you need to walk through the stations. IIRC passports were checked at St Pancras or Ashford before boarding the train and you just streamed off in Paris but let's see what happens after dinner for two this evening!
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
Thanks for the replies, I won’t be booking my trains until March/April and will keep an eye on the situation, as I say I’m weighing up between Glasgow to Paris or London on the first day and then SJPdP on the second day so no great rush or panic I have both options covered, looking forward to the journey though I think you get to see so much more on the train and it gives me a few days to relax before the first hill 🤣👍
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances and Finisterre 2014
Camino Frances,Muxia and Finisterre 2015
Camino del Norte,Arzua to Ribadeo 2015
Thanks for the replies, I won’t be booking my trains until March/April and will keep an eye on the situation, as I say I’m weighing up between Glasgow to Paris or London on the first day and then SJPdP on the second day so no great rush or panic I have both options covered, looking forward to the journey though I think you get to see so much more on the train and it gives me a few days to relax before the first hill 🤣👍
I travel down to London by National Express overnight (no trains in this part of Scotland) spend the day sightseeing and then spend the night at the St.Pancras YHA which is just across the road from the station.
Perfect for that early start,the train that I get departs about 0540.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
@Paul Wilson, I don't know how much longer it may take to change from the Eurostar to the train for Bayonne in Paris but the big news is that your UK passport will be stamped at the Gare du Nord. They are prepared and ready for it in Paris, see https://www.thelocal.fr/20201210/fr...-on-people-and-goods-from-uk-from-january-1st. ☺️
Thanks that very helpful I think I’ll probably play it safe and have my stop over in Paris instead of London and travel to SJPdP the following morning
 

AlwynWellington

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
please see signature
how long it takes to disembark and pass through passport control

At the uttermost ends of my world I suggest nothing will change.

Passport control (PPC) between UK and mainland Europe exists because the UK did not adopt the Schengen Treaty.

As other have said, in your case PPC is at the start of the Journey. Once through PPC, it is there you effectively enter Schengen Europe. So, disembarking in mainland Europe is a relatively trivial matter.

My experience is that same procedure applies to air travel.

A very practical outcome of this arrangement, if you are found to not qualify to enter mainland Europe, is the relevant European authority do not have to hold you at the point of arrival and Eurostar do not have to find you a return seat at a cost to be decided.

Regrettably Eire is not in the Schengen Area, Thus, the old wheeze of travelling to Dublin and then on is not available

A more pressing practical issue is COVID-19. You might want to test the current strength of the Auld Alliance by differentiating yourself from those below your immediate border. But memories might be short.

Kia ora, kia kaha (keep well, be strong/take care)
 
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To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
Thanks that very helpful I think I’ll probably play it safe and have my stop over in Paris instead of London and travel to SJPdP the following morning
A stop-over in Paris is always a good idea 😊. However, I think I need to clarify what I said about UK passports being stamped in the Gare du Nord in Paris as of January 2021. I think this applies only when you leave Paris for London.

Travelling in the other direction, your UK passport will be stamped by French border control in London, I guess. From what I can tell, Eurostar are keeping the current arrangement, where you go through both French and British border control before departure, both in Paris and in London.

Apparently, there may also be French Douane staff in future who travel on the Eurostar trains to perform random checks.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
Again thanks again for the replies, this was not intended to be a brexit post rather its purely a logistical query, I have approx 1hr 30mins between arrival at gare du nord and departure from Montparnasse I understand this could alter after 1st Jan but an idea of current time will give me a benchmark when the time come to book my ticket in March
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
A stop-over in Paris is always a good idea 😊. However, I think I need to clarify what I said about UK passports being stamped in the Gare du Nord in Paris as of January 2021. I think this applies only when you leave Paris for London.

Travelling in the other direction, your UK passport will be stamped by French border control in London, I guess. From what I can tell, Eurostar are keeping the current arrangement, where you go through both French and British border control before departure, both in Paris and in London.

Apparently, there may also be French Douane staff in future who travel on the Eurostar trains to perform random checks.
I do love Paris but I would arrive early evening so sadly wouldn’t get much time to enjoy it as I’m planning an extra day in SJPdP before I start to get a chance to see the town
 

pelerine

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Norte 10, Primitivo 13, Plata 14+15, Salvador 16, Torres 17, Portugues 18, Mozarabe 19
I have no passport issues and I always have to change between Gare du Nord (or Est) and Gare Montparnasse when visiting the family. I always allow for at least one hour on the direct Métroline (Nr 4) between the two stations. Often I have three hours! Saw the back of my train leaving once many years ago. Never again!
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
I’ve got about an hour and a half between trains, will this be long enough
Did you see this: https://www.eurostar.com/uk-en/travel-info/your-trip/your-onward-connection/connecting-in-paris

They reckon it takes 45 minutes to get from train to train, or rather platform to platform. Do take their advice and buy your Paris Métro ticket at the bar buffet on board Eurostar to save you time on arrival as the queues at the ticket machines can be long. I have done this connection several times but cannot remember how long it took me. There's quite a bit of walking involved, already at the Nord station but even more so at the Montparnasse station.

I know that I got faster each time I did it because, unlike the very first time, I knew exactly where to go such as turn left, go down, straight on etc, which signs to look for - do I need to go in the direction of Porte de Clignancourt or is it Montrouge for me ☺️? - and what to do. Bon voyage!
 
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AlwynWellington

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
please see signature
Really? Post Brexit?

My vision was about Passport Control and the Schengen Area treaty, which @Paul Wilson was enquiring about.

What Covid-19 is doing at present is another matter.

Surely Brexit is all about testosterone (no offence intended), as I see it through the end of the telescope I choose from time to time and as informed by those of my nearest and dearest living close to that action these past 15 years or more. The message I was getting as I walked from Calais down (exactly 100 years after WWI was ending in that part of the world) was the EU, first and foremost, was about creating reasons for not going to war. But this is a throw away comment made long after the initial information request was resolved.

I could have added my real-time experience of travel through Paris in September 2018. On what was to be my last day of 21 walking from Canterbury Cathedral, I decided to call a halt to proceedings. My intention was to reach Reims and then decide what to do. I had achieved that within a fortnight and decided to carry on as my return flight was two weeks away.

A week later, on the approach to Chaumont-en-haut-Marne, I made my decision and called into the SNCF ticket office to get to Paris. The lovely TER follows the Marne all the way to its destination with the Seine in Paris itself. So I enquired about getting from Gare l'Est to Paris-Bercy (where a bus would take me to Brussels for two days R&R). This is about the same distance as Gare du Nord to Montparnasse. The advice was use the Metro and given the name of the app to download. Did that there and then (I was the only customer that Sunday afternoon) and got it sorted even though neither of us had the speech of the other - but we did have goodwill.

I could possibly have walked down through Place de République and then Place de la Bastille but was afraid of being delayed by all the sights to be seen.

On arrival the next morning it was a breeze walking from l'Est to du Nord. The problem was identifying what the access to the Metro looked like and my usual confusion by the sun being "upside-down". With one change (the Metro is so well laid out underground, in that part of Paris at least) I was at my destination in about 30 minutes.

@Robo, I wish you kia ora, kia kaha (good health, take care/be strong)
 

Lance Chambers

Lance Chambers
Year of past OR future Camino
Sarria (2015), SJPdP (2016), Burgos (2017), SJPdP (2018), Burgos (2019), SJPdP (2020?).
There are cheap flights from Gatwick to Bayonne. About AUD$114 (about 80 pounds) last time I looked.

From Bayonne you catch the train directly to St Jean.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
There are cheap flights from Gatwick to Bayonne.
I have to agree with Paul who said earlier that he thinks you get to see so much more on the train and it gives you a few days to relax before the first hill. I've done the long journey to Bordeaux which is nearly as far as Bayonne both on high speed long distance trains and on planes and the train journey feels a lot more like a real journey. And it does give you a different view of the landscape and the people and the towns. ☺️
 

Lance Chambers

Lance Chambers
Year of past OR future Camino
Sarria (2015), SJPdP (2016), Burgos (2017), SJPdP (2018), Burgos (2019), SJPdP (2020?).
I have to agree with Paul who said earlier that he thinks you get to see so much more on the train and it gives you a few days to relax before the first hill. I've done the long journey to Bordeaux which is nearly as far as Bayonne both on high speed long distance trains and on planes and the train journey feels a lot more like a real journey. And it does give you a different view of the landscape and the people and the towns. ☺️

My next Camino will be as soon as I can get into Spain. Have done it 5 times already and know the places I want to see again and the routes I want to walk and those I do not.

It's no longer a pilgrimage from 0 to 800 but rather a wonderful return to the places I love and slow gentle strolls so I can spend more time relaxing, getting fitter, appreciating the landscapes, the food, the people I meet, etc.

I hope to return every year until I can no longer do it or I'm dead.
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
2019
There are cheap flights from Gatwick to Bayonne. About AUD$114 (about 80 pounds) last time I looked.

From Bayonne you catch the train directly to St Jean.
Yes I flew to Porto to walk the Portuguese last spring but this Camino is different it represents the end of 30yrs in the fire brigade and new beginnings I have always enjoyed train journeys I find them more relaxing and less blue light so I plan to take my time to reach the start and enjoy each step like savouring a nice wine 👍 enjoy your journey when you get there buen camino mi amigo
 
Year of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
@Paul Wilson, I just mention this because I remembered it, I don't say that you should do it. ☺️

There is a marked camino trail in Paris, a "chemin de Saint Jacques de Compostelle" that goes straight through Paris, from north to south. It passes just outside of the Gare du Nord, then later past a beautiful Gothic church tower - all that is left over from a medieval church dedicated to Saint James -, crosses the river Seine and passes the famous Notre Dame Cathedral. One can follow this trail for about 5 km from the Gare du Nord and then one would have to leave it and turn left for about 1,5 km to reach Gare Montparnasse. Somewhere along this trail one can also see a sundial that the artist Dalí put on the wall of a house.
 
Last edited:
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
@Paul Wilson, I just mention this because I remembered it, I don't say that you should do it. ☺️

There is a marked camino trail in Paris, a "chemin de Saint Jacques de Compostelle" that goes straight through Paris, from north to south. It passes just outside of the Gare du Nord, then later past a beautiful Gothic church tower - all that is left over from a medieval church dedicated to Saint James -, crosses the river Seine and passes the famous Notre Dame Cathedral. One can follow this trail for about 5 km from the Gare du Nord and then one would have to leave it and turn left for about 1,5 km to reach Gare Montparnasse. Somewhere along this trail one can also see a sundial that the artist Dalí put on the wall of a house.
I didn’t know about this trail but I had looked at a path from Gare du Nord to Montparnasse after your advice on Paris. I do love walking through a city in the evening I find it reveals more of itself when the commuters and shoppers have gone I think I know my decision now thanks
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
Before this year I travelled between Paris terminals many times including Gare du Nord to Montparnasse. Mostly it's quick and smooth. I always buy a metro ticket on the Eurostar so I don't have to faff around with ticket machines in Paris. I'd normally allow 1hr 30 to do this interchange comfortably, and like others have actually done it in 30 minutes.

However, I have had a couple of rather fraught journeys when the train to Paris has arrived quite late, so now I always check out whether there is a later rain to my final destination. If there isn't, I replan or allow a good amount of extra time for the interchange. There's no great hardship in having an hour or two spare in Paris.

There is excellent information about the interchange on Seat61: https://www.seat61.com/changing-stations-in-paris.htm
 

Marbe2

Active member
Year of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
There are pros and cons to train verses air travel and many of these have been expressed here and in previous posts.

However, I urge all pilgrims to stay alert to the fact that in 2021 the omnipresent COVID 19 Virus needs to be considered and factored into our travel plans. Even if we all receive a vaccine that has a questionable efficacy of 95 percent, that would mean that 5 percent of the population will likely get it. And it seems possible we can spread it, even if we are vaccinated. And what happens when the masses begin vacationing again?

Therefore, as pilgrims, I ask you to consider in 2021, not what is the most pleasurable way, but what is the safest way for you and others to arrive and return from your pilgrim route. It seems to me that air travel will usually take the least amount of time with the best filtration options. Am I overreacting?
 
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