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Flight and accommodation problems: Rescheduling everything

Lhollo

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
(Camino Frances, September 2020… POSTPONED to May/June 2021, SJPP to Belorado section)
Hello all!

I’ve taken the sad decision to postpone our September Camino (stage 1 of the Camino Frances) to next May/early June. Last night, I changed my flights, but there’s now a problem because the new flights arrive in Bilbao at 10pm at night. I planned to stay in Pamplona on the first night then take the bus to SJPP the next day.

I have two appealing options, as far as I can tell: I can hire a car or taxi to get to Pamplona, and find accommodation there with a 24 hour reception desk; this presumes that car hire companies at the airport are still open late at night. Or I can change the flights again, lose a day from our Camino, and arrive at around 5pm the next day. Even then, though, I don’t have time to get to SJPP on the same day, but I could get to Pamplona more easily, and we are keen to take that route. I know that staying in Bilbao then taking the coastal route to Bayonne is an option (although for public transport it seems expensive?), but we loved the idea of an extra morning in Pamplona.

(Edit... the first section, from SJPP to Roncesvalles, is particularly important to us so we do want to begin the Camino in SJPP).

The accommodation I had booked in Pamplona is the only one that charges a cancellation fee. Their check-in closes at midnight and so far they have not responded to my enquiries.

Because of a medical condition, we are booking all of our rooms in advance, so all of the rescheduling is on hold until this first night/flight can be resolved.

What do you suggest?
 
Last edited:
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Year of past OR future Camino
"Camino from 2013 to 2019" paused for now...
I suggest start in Pamplona.

Stay overnight in Bilbao and get a bus early the next am to Pamplona and start walking - get your first Stamp at the Cathedral.

Just a thought. I'm sure you will get other suggestions.
 

Lhollo

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
(Camino Frances, September 2020… POSTPONED to May/June 2021, SJPP to Belorado section)
I suggest start in Pamplona.

Stay overnight in Bilbao and get a bus early the next am to Pamplona and start walking - get your first Stamp at the Cathedral.

Just a thought. I'm sure you will get other suggestions.
Ah, I probably should have made clear that the first section from SJPP to Roncesvalles is probably the most important for us of all! Sorry for not making that obvious, and thank you for your reply. Getting to SJPP, ideally via Pamplona, is the issue. I've edited my initial post to reflect this now.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
From Bilbao, why go to Pamplona at all before you walk? You'll get there on foot and will have plenty of time to explore it.
Go to Bayonne, and then to SJPP from there; if you left in the morning there would be enough time to walk to either Valcarlos or Orisson. Or take the direct way to Pamplona from Bayonne on the Baztanes.
Edit, seeing your reply!
 

biarritzdon

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF&CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF&CP17, CdN18, CM18, CF18, LePuy19
If you are not getting into Bilbao until 10pm about your only option is to get into town and find a room. You had better make sure the shuttle bus runs that late from the airport. Even finding an inexpensive hotel there that late at night is going to be an issue. I have stay and several low cost places which are not far from the bus terminal. Hotel St Mames and Optimi Rooms. The second is a hostel with private sleeping pods. The only two accommodations at the airport are a Holiday Inn Express and Hotel New Bibao, I have stayed at both of them and they run shuttles from the airport, they are very popular for business and international travelers because so many flights originate at 6am from the airport.
This will give you the entire next day to get to SJPdP, there is a bus from Bilbao to San Sebastian and Bayonne, train from San Sebastian to Bayonne and of course the train from Bayonne to SJPdP, if yopu chose the break up the transport that way. It's not speedy but it's reliable and you will eventually get there. Check the schedules on Rome2Rio.
 
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Lhollo

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
(Camino Frances, September 2020… POSTPONED to May/June 2021, SJPP to Belorado section)
If you are not getting into Bilbao until 10pm about your only option is to get into town and find a room. You had better make sure the shuttle bus runs that late from the airport. Even finding an inexpensive hotel there that late at night is going to be an issue. I have stay and several low cost places which are not far from the bus terminal. Hotel St Mames and Optimi Rooms. The second is a hostel with private sleeping pods. The only two accommodations at the airport are a Holiday Inn Express and Hotel New Bibao, I have stayed at both of them and they run shuttles from the airport, they are very popular for business and international travelers because so many flights originate at 6am from the airport.
This will give you the entire next day to get to SJPdP, there is a bus from Bilbao to San Sebastian and Bayonne, train from San Sebastian to Bayonne and of course the train from Bayonne to SJPdP, if yopu chose the break up the transport that way. It's not speedy but it's reliable and you will eventually get there. Check the schedules on Rome2Rio.
Thank you! I think I'll either do this, or reschedule the flight. What is taxi availability like at night, from Bilbao airport? I presume that it'd be fairly simple to jump in a taxi to a hotel nearer to the bus station?
 

biarritzdon

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF&CI15
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Thank you! I think I'll either do this, or reschedule the flight. What is taxi availability like at night, from Bilbao airport? I presume that it'd be fairly simple to jump in a taxi to a hotel nearer to the bus station?
Taxis are normally waiting for planes to land, so probably not a problem. Hotel rooms are harder to come by.
 

Lhollo

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
(Camino Frances, September 2020… POSTPONED to May/June 2021, SJPP to Belorado section)
Taxis are normally waiting for planes to land, so probably not a problem. Hotel rooms are harder to come by.
Excellent! I've booked a place in Bilbao: AliciaZzz Bed And Breakfast. It's close to the station. We'll abandon the idea of going through Pamplona and instead head to Bayonne the next morning, then over to SJPP. As ever, you've been a brilliant help on the forum! Thank you!
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
If you are thinking of rescheduling the flight, consider flying to Bayonne/Biarritz airport instead of Bilbao. It is the most convenient for getting to SJPP.
 

Lhollo

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
(Camino Frances, September 2020… POSTPONED to May/June 2021, SJPP to Belorado section)
If you are thinking of rescheduling the flight, consider flying to Bayonne/Biarritz airport instead of Bilbao. It is the most convenient for getting to SJPP.
Thanks for this. I've managed to rearrange things so it's all ok now. I did want to fly to either of the airports you suggested but the flights in total would be 4x the price of those to Bilbao, from my part of the UK, so it's just not feasible for us! It took me quite a long time to accept this :D
 
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Juspassinthrough

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Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2017)
Camino Inglés 2019
Leon-Sarria, June (2019)
Camino Aragonés (2023?)
I see you’ve worked it out but for others looking for other convenient points of entry, Bordeaux (BOD) offers another option. Regular shuttle between the airport and station. Trains to Bayonne with a change to SJPP. From BOD, I was in SJPP in about 4 hours.
 

Michael; Camino-addicted

Take your time to enjoy a beautiful moment
Year of past OR future Camino
A few Caminos
Next plan - Camino de Baztan
An idea for your way back or the flight to your second stage whenever it will be.

Airport Vitoria-Gasteiz in the Basque Country.

By train it´s around one hour away from Pamplona and also Burgos. There are no direct flights to UK (for example via Mallorca), but they are quite cheap.

And.....Vitoria-Gasteiz is a very nice city if you have one day :)
 

biarritzdon

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF&CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF&CP17, CdN18, CM18, CF18, LePuy19
Excellent! I've booked a place in Bilbao: AliciaZzz Bed And Breakfast. It's close to the station. We'll abandon the idea of going through Pamplona and instead head to Bayonne the next morning, then over to SJPP. As ever, you've been a brilliant help on the forum! Thank you!
Good for you. Keep in mind this B&B may be close to the train station but the bus terminal is probably about 2 miles away.
 

Lhollo

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
(Camino Frances, September 2020… POSTPONED to May/June 2021, SJPP to Belorado section)
Good for you. Keep in mind this B&B may be close to the train station but the bus terminal is probably about 2 miles away.
5DF04928-9D77-4649-8E37-2BCA3E115894.png I hope I haven’t misunderstood the bus information on Rome2Rio. The thing is, I zoomed in on the route and the quickest bus appears to leave from by the train station, as in the screenshot. If I’ve got this wrong then worst case scenario we’ll take a taxi. Edit… So I’ve now realised that the quickest option on Rome2Rio is with Ibericoach, in the middle of the night, and only three days per week. You’re quite right and all the other buses leave from the terminal on the other side of the city, but according to Google it’s only a 31 minute walk. Hey ho! Thanks for drawing my attention to this 👍🏻
 
Last edited:

jsalt

Jill
Year of past OR future Camino
Portugués, Francés, LePuy, Rota Vicentina, Norte, Madrid, C2C, Salvador, Primitivo, Aragonés, Inglés
So I’ve now realised that the quickest option on Rome2Rio is with Ibericoach, in the middle of the night, and only three days per week.

Rome2Rio is just a guide. Follow the links to the source. The actual transport schedules are often quite different. Happy planning and Buen Camino!
 
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biarritzdon

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF&CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF&CP17, CdN18, CM18, CF18, LePuy19
There are two companies from the Bus Terminal, some times they want you to have a ticket in hand. When it gets closes to the day of your departure you might want to check that out, there was a time when they wouldn't sell tickets on the buses. The ticket office at that Terminal is pretty crowded most of the time.
 

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!
I came in late to Bilbao, took taxi to Holiday Inn, then got a taxi right to the train station early next morning...easy transition.

If time is a factor in making connections spend the money for a taxi!
 

owms2323

Credential question
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino de Frances (2014) Camino Frances (2016) Camino Finisterre/Muxia (2017)
Hello all!

I’ve taken the sad decision to postpone our September Camino (stage 1 of the Camino Frances) to next May/early June. Last night, I changed my flights, but there’s now a problem because the new flights arrive in Bilbao at 10pm at night. I planned to stay in Pamplona on the first night then take the bus to SJPP the next day.

I have two appealing options, as far as I can tell: I can hire a car or taxi to get to Pamplona, and find accommodation there with a 24 hour reception desk; this presumes that car hire companies at the airport are still open late at night. Or I can change the flights again, lose a day from our Camino, and arrive at around 5pm the next day. Even then, though, I don’t have time to get to SJPP on the same day, but I could get to Pamplona more easily, and we are keen to take that route. I know that staying in Bilbao then taking the coastal route to Bayonne is an option (although for public transport it seems expensive?), but we loved the idea of an extra morning in Pamplona.

(Edit... the first section, from SJPP to Roncesvalles, is particularly important to us so we do want to begin the Camino in SJPP).

The accommodation I had booked in Pamplona is the only one that charges a cancellation fee. Their check-in closes at midnight and so far they have not responded to my enquiries.

Because of a medical condition, we are booking all of our rooms in advance, so all of the rescheduling is on hold until this first night/flight can be resolved.

What do you suggest?
Our first camino we spent the night in Bilbao, took the morning bus to Bayonne, then to SJPP. We stopped in Orisson, then Roncesvalles. I wouldn't miss Orisson for anything. Anyway we spent 2 nights in Pamplona when we got there.
 

drvnsmiln

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
SJPP - SdC '14
SdC - Fin-Muxia. '14
Sarria - SdC '14
VdlP '17
Levante '19
Portugues '19
If you are thinking of rescheduling the flight, consider flying to Bayonne/Biarritz airport instead of Bilbao. It is the most convenient for getting to SJPP.
You could also consider flying into Pau and taking the train/bus to SJPP
 

Barbara

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances, Norte (twice)and Primitivo, Sureste, In France From home Tours and Vézelay, also Le Puy.
If you fly in to Pau you could just start walking from there, either to Somport or St. Jean.
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2017), Primitivo (2019)
Excellent! I've booked a place in Bilbao: AliciaZzz Bed And Breakfast. It's close to the station. We'll abandon the idea of going through Pamplona and instead head to Bayonne the next morning, then over to SJPP. As ever, you've been a brilliant help on the forum! Thank you!
Also, if the Pamplona establishment charges a cancellation fee, maybe they will move your dates, without charge, to the third night after SJPP ( which is when you might arrive by foot). Perhaps worth a try!
 

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