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Express Bourricot vs. Train?

Brian E

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
May/June 2018
May 2019
Sept 2019
May 2020
So I have started booking flights and other arrangements for a May 2018 Camino. I have decided to fly from CO to Paris and then fly into Biarritz and now deciding on how to get from Biarritz to St. Jean. I kind of like the notion of seeing the faces and anticipation/excitement of what I am assuming would be a lot of pilgrims on the train ride into St. Jean?
On the other hand, Express Bourricot seems pretty easy, fast, and convenient and I would imagine I would be sharing a ride with a few others and not be catching a ride solo? Maybe I will find my Camino BFF's on the Express B ride in? Any thoughts on what people liked or preferred or would maybe do different?

Thanks
Brian
 
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Rick M

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
April ('16,'18, '19, 21)
Express Bourricot seems pretty easy, fast, and convenient and I would imagine I would be sharing a ride with a few others and not be catching a ride solo?

Congratulations on setting off on your Camino, I'm sure you will find it to be a remarkable experience. Express Bourricot is the easiest way to get there. The bus/train is the cheapest, but you need to be comfortable with catching public transit, which is easier than it may seem. In the end, it makes no difference what you choose. You are gonna meet a lot of people on the Frances in May. Whats your hurry? Everyone who took the shuttle or the train, or walked from Biarritz, or skipped the Pyrenees and started in Roncesvalles or Pamplona, or joined from another trail in Leon, or caught up with you because they are a faster walker, or you caught them because they took a rest day, or any other reason, will all be on the trail with you everyday. For me, part of the experience is a chance to meet them all. And meet them you will, the shared experience of pilgrimage binds you to every other walker carrying a backpack and headed West.

Buen Camino!
 

EL01

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2005
Bus routes A1 and A2 were regular and went from Biarritz to Bayonne railway station for euro 1. I found bus and rail fairly easy to use. Routes on chronoplus.eu website. I took a pic of timetable at bus stop a few weeks ago. Attached to give you an idea of frequency.
 

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So I have started booking flights and other arrangements for a May 2018 Camino. I have decided to fly from CO to Paris and then fly into Biarritz and now deciding on how to get from Biarritz to St. Jean. I kind of like the notion of seeing the faces and anticipation/excitement of what I am assuming would be a lot of pilgrims on the train ride into St. Jean?
On the other hand, Express Bourricot seems pretty easy, fast, and convenient and I would imagine I would be sharing a ride with a few others and not be catching a ride solo? Maybe I will find my Camino BFF's on the Express B ride in? Any thoughts on what people liked or preferred or would maybe do different?

Thanks
Brian

I have no idea about taking the train. I have used Express Bourricot and found it a terrific way to get to SJPdP. It was there when I landed in Biarritz, so not much waiting to depart; the van had a number of others, which is common, so the expense to me was around 30 Euro; And it was a quick ride to SJPdP, which meant I had more time to sightsee. :) As I said, I have no way to compare EB to the train, but the next time I will use EB again.
 
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Mark T17

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Kumano Kodo 2012
Frances Sept 2017 (bike)
I wanted to use EB, taxi share or the Biarritz Airport transfer service to SJ but couldn't anybody to do it on 15/9/17, so the bus/train transfer was my plan B that I had to use on the day. Not sure if it was the time my flight arrived at 1.15pm, but the bus and train was a pleasant surprise and only took about 1.5 hours anyway for a total of 11 euro. Also walking from the train station in SJ to the Pilgrims Office is exciting when you see you first yellow arrow with other pilgrims.
 

Ian L

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances summer 2017 (SJPP to Fromista)
Camino Frances summer 2019 (Fromista to Santiago)
I used Express Bourricot so I could get to SJPDP quickly and start walking the same day. We met a couple of other pilgrims on the ride and started walking with one of them that day.
 

HedaP

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances starting SJPdP Sept/Oct 2015, April/May 2017
Can’t compare as haven’t done both but the bus/train option was full of pilgrims, easy to do, and heaps exciting.
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
Both are good. Six of one, half a dozen of another..
Caroline offers a wonderful service, especially if you're arriving in Biarritz too late for the train and/or don't mind spending a bit more.
The train is full of fellow pilgrims, with its own special vibe - besides being cheap and convenient.
Either way you win.
(BTW, off topic, but not all flights to BIQ depart from CDG. If your flight's out of Orly, give yourself LOTS of time to transit: you have to get there by bus or Metro from CDG, then have to go through the whole check-in/security thing all over again. It takes quite some time.)
 
2021 Camino Guides
Most all Camino authors have decided to use 2020 guides for 2021, with free PDF files with updates coming in the spring. Get yours today.
Peaceable Projects Inc.
Peaceable Projects Inc. is a U.S.-based non-profit group that brings the vast resources of the wide world together with the ongoing needs of the people who live, work, and travel on the Camino de Santiago pilgrim trail network in Spain.

Man in Black

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2017)
Camino Finisterre (2017)
Chemin St Jacques (2018)
Rota Vicentina (2019)
The public transportation from Biarritz by bus to Bayonne was easy, as was the onward train trip to SJPP. There are lots of pilgrims who took this option when we arrived in early September. Seated in the front car, the train conductor even allowed me to come up front and see him drive the train, take pictures and share a conversation. The train ride was lovely and then an easy walk into downtown SJPP.

20170909_180016.jpg 20170909_180016.jpg
 

jmcarp

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances, 2013
Camino del Norte a Chimayó (USA), 2015
Camino Portugues, 2017
Brian, unless you want to go to Paris in advance for tourist reasons, I'd recommend flying into Madrid, then taking a bus or train to Pamplona and then bus to St Jean. See my PM / Conversation with my phone number--I'm also in Denver/Littleton.

Jim
 

jenwearing

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
May 23 (2018) camino Frances from SJPP - first time
So I have started booking flights and other arrangements for a May 2018 Camino. I have decided to fly from CO to Paris and then fly into Biarritz and now deciding on how to get from Biarritz to St. Jean. I kind of like the notion of seeing the faces and anticipation/excitement of what I am assuming would be a lot of pilgrims on the train ride into St. Jean?
On the other hand, Express Bourricot seems pretty easy, fast, and convenient and I would imagine I would be sharing a ride with a few others and not be catching a ride solo? Maybe I will find my Camino BFF's on the Express B ride in? Any thoughts on what people liked or preferred or would maybe do different?

Thanks
Brian

I'm at the same part of planning as you with 28 weeks to go. It seems like so far away still!
I've decided on doing the Express Bourricot. I've heard good things - even if I'm alone its roughly the cost of a taxi (so I'm quoted) and because I land in Biarritz around 6ish in the evening, saving that 30 minutes to and hour that the bus train might add is worth it to me. I've read too that you can stipulate in your email to them that you only want to use the express if there is at least one other to share the cost with and then you aren't surprised with the full cost.
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 - 2019
I recommend the train as it is part of the seminal pilgrim experience, at least IMHO.

The ride is very interesting, the view astounding, and the people you meet you will be around for the next five weeks or so. FYI the small light-rail train DOES have a WC in the middle, over the articulated "knuckle."

It is as good a time as any to start making friends. and forming your "camino family."

I hope this helps.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
I also love that train! The excitement of seeing everyone climb aboard with their backpacks, exchanging first "Buen Caminos", knowing that they are also about to start, and then when you all get out of the train together, everyone milling around trying to get their bearings, and then all heading up together towards the pilgrims office.
 
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caminoagogo

http://camino-a-go-go.blogspot.com/
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés from Leon(2014)
Frances & Sanabres from Ourense (2018)
Portugués (2020)
Has anyone been picked up by EB at Bayonne Train Station before? Any issues there or was it all fairly straight forward? I'm just waiting for my confirmation email back from them and thought I'd ask in the interim. Thanks, y'all:)
 
Year of past OR future Camino
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
Has anyone been picked up by EB at Bayonne Train Station before? Any issues there or was it all fairly straight forward? I'm just waiting for my confirmation email back from them and thought I'd ask in the interim. Thanks, y'all:)

I used EB first time out. Easy. The minivan with sign was in the station car park.

This time we'll try the train. Sounds like fun.
 

Jnlee99

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Past: SJPdP -> Santo Domingo de la Calzada
Future: Santo Domingo de la Calzada -> Santiago
So I have started booking flights and other arrangements for a May 2018 Camino. I have decided to fly from CO to Paris and then fly into Biarritz and now deciding on how to get from Biarritz to St. Jean. I kind of like the notion of seeing the faces and anticipation/excitement of what I am assuming would be a lot of pilgrims on the train ride into St. Jean?
On the other hand, Express Bourricot seems pretty easy, fast, and convenient and I would imagine I would be sharing a ride with a few others and not be catching a ride solo? Maybe I will find my Camino BFF's on the Express B ride in? Any thoughts on what people liked or preferred or would maybe do different?

Thanks
Brian
I took the train. It was a pleasant experience, and no negatives I can think of.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Lycra tribe.
CF (2017/8), VF (2018/9), Old Way (2020), VFnS (2020), CP (rebooked) (2021), VdT (ToDo)
I took the train. It was a pleasant experience, and no negatives I can think of.

Train is a good option but the timings may not match with flights into BIQ. Best to check both flight times and train times. Otherwise it's EB or a taxi.
 

Lavdrum

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Plata-2015/Portugues 2016/Norte(Irún>Avilés) July 2017/Francés Oct.2017/Salvador-Primitivo July 2018
I arrived at Biarritz airport on Ryanair from Dublin. I had planned to take the bus to Bayonne train station and then the train to SJPP but as I waited in line at passport control another passenger alongside me asked if I was interested in sharing Express Bouricot with him and 3 others. I agreed,it was fast and efficient and cost me 19 euros.
 
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Camino Masks
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CdnDreamer

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (12, 15 & 18) San Salvador (18), Portuguese (19)
I've done both. My first camino I flew into Paris and took a train to Bayonne, then the next morning I took the train to SJPdP. It was exciting to meet pilgrims on the train. (The first pilgrim I met on both trips was at the Toronto airport!)

The second camino I flew into Paris and then flew to Biarritz. In Paris while waiting for the second flight, I met many pilgrims and before boarding the flight we found enough pilgrims to fill the Express Bourricot van.

I enjoyed the train ride the first time, but after two flights, it was nice to be picked up and dropped off in SJPdP. You may want to think about how well you travel, the length of time you have been travelling to arrive in Biarritz and where you are staying in SJPdP. You will probably meet lots of people at the albergue as well. Also, would you feel you missed something if you don't take the train?

I don't think it will make a difference to whether or not you meet other people to walk with. It is just a very small part of an exciting adventure! Buen camino!
 

JulieandPeter

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances Spring 2015
Frances Fall 2017
Le Puy to SJPDP Fall 2018
Frances Fall2019
Frances Summer 2020
I've done both. My first camino I flew into Paris and took a train to Bayonne, then the next morning I took the train to SJPdP. It was exciting to meet pilgrims on the train. (The first pilgrim I met on both trips was at the Toronto airport!)

The second camino I flew into Paris and then flew to Biarritz. In Paris while waiting for the second flight, I met many pilgrims and before boarding the flight we found enough pilgrims to fill the Express Bourricot van.

I enjoyed the train ride the first time, but after two flights, it was nice to be picked up and dropped off in SJPdP. You may want to think about how well you travel, the length of time you have been travelling to arrive in Biarritz and where you are staying in SJPdP. You will probably meet lots of people at the albergue as well. Also, would you feel you missed something if you don't take the train?

I don't think it will make a difference to whether or not you meet other people to walk with. It is just a very small part of an exciting adventure! Buen camino!
I have done both as well and would write the exact same words as CdnDreamer if she had not already done so.
.
 

Sandra Butchko

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2018
I've done both. My first camino I flew into Paris and took a train to Bayonne, then the next morning I took the train to SJPdP. It was exciting to meet pilgrims on the train. (The first pilgrim I met on both trips was at the Toronto airport!)

The second camino I flew into Paris and then flew to Biarritz. In Paris while waiting for the second flight, I met many pilgrims and before boarding the flight we found enough pilgrims to fill the Express Bourricot van.

I enjoyed the train ride the first time, but after two flights, it was nice to be picked up and dropped off in SJPdP. You may want to think about how well you travel, the length of time you have been travelling to arrive in Biarritz and where you are staying in SJPdP. You will probably meet lots of people at the albergue as well. Also, would you feel you missed something if you don't take the train?

I don't think it will make a difference to whether or not you meet other people to walk with. It is just a very small part of an exciting adventure! Buen camino!
 

Sandra Butchko

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2018
Hi, my cousin and I are just looking at booking flights and flights into SJPdP are tricky - need to change airports and time factors. What airport did you fly into - and does the train leave from the airport? Thanks
 

CdnDreamer

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (12, 15 & 18) San Salvador (18), Portuguese (19)
Hi @Sandra Butchko I believe the train to Bayonne leaves from downtown Paris. You can catch trains from the Paris (CDG) airport to the train station. Check Rome2Rio website for information. I flew from Toronto to Paris (CDG) because it is cheaper than going to Madrid. Easy Jet flies from CDG to Biarritz airport, usually twice a day. I didn't have to change airports when I arrived in France.
 
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J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2016 CF;
Hospitalera, Zamora 2017, Hospitalera Grañón 2018, Hospitalera Estella 2019
We took EB and my husband had an enjoyable conversation with the driver about fly fishing in the Basque country. Phil speaks no French and the driver spoke very little English, but the language of a fly fisherman apparently knows no boundaries. The trip was convenient for us although more costly as there were no other passengers. Our plane from Paris had other pilgrims who apparently took the bus (train tracks washed out at that time.) I have a tendency toward motion sickness and since the road is narrow and hilly, twisty, I think the bus might have done me in.o_O
 

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