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Flying from Canada...to do pilgrimage...which airport?

Camino(s) past & future
(2007)
#1
hi,

i plan on doing more reading for myself, but thought i'd ask here to get me thinking....

i intend on flying from home (victoria, bc, canada) to do the camino in september.
i know there are multiple starting points for the route and am wondering where most people fly into. are there different airports that i'd want to land in according to which route i want to take to start?

is it cheaper to get flights into, let's say london, and get a domestic flight down or something? i guess that's something i can ask a travel agent too, but i like gathering info from multiple sources because everyone has their own biases for different reasons.

my plan is to do the pilgrimage and then slowly make my way south, most likely till the end of november (follow the warm!), then probably head home.

thanks,
paul
 

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#2
Hi Paul;

I flew from Vancouver to Paris CDG. I caught the train right at the airport and went all the way to Bayonne, having to change trains in Bordeaux. From Bayonne it is a short train or bus ride to St Jean Pied de Port. I stayed over night in Bayonne, there is a pilgrim friendly hotel right next to the train station, the cost was 27 euros.

You can also fly from Paris to Bayonne, but it usually involves taking a shuttle from CDG to a different airport in Paris. Cost wise, this is usually cheaper than the train.

You can also fly from London to Bayonne, but once again you need to change airports in London. Air Canada flies to Madrid, and from there you can get a domestic flight to Pamplona which is where many people start the Camino, but you miss the beautiful section at the beginning. From Pamplona you can bus to St Jean, but I was told the schedule was not that great, only one bus per day.

Buen Camino,
Lora
 

WolverineDG

Veteran Member
Donating Member
#3
You can fly from Paris CDG to Bayonne on Air France. If you go to their website, they have several flights each day, some from Orly, some from CDG. Sometimes the fares quite low (I think my fare came to less than $100US AND I got FF miles). Just be careful that the flight you pick leaves from CDG. If not, you can take the RER from CDG to Orly.

Kelly
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2007)
#4
thanks for the replies so far!

where does the longest route start?
i don't want to msis going through the mountains either.

i am thinking that it's best just to fly into paris for starters?
 

WolverineDG

Veteran Member
Donating Member
#5
What do you mean by "longest way?" From St. Jean?

Another person from BC who is on this board flew into London & from there to Bayonne. I chose to fly into Paris because the exchange rate between the USD & GBP is atrocious.

Are you looking at fares from Vancouver or are you also considering Seattle?

Kelly
 

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WolverineDG

Veteran Member
Donating Member
#6
What do you mean by "longest way?" From St. Jean?

Another person from BC who is on this board flew into London & from there to Bayonne. I chose to fly into Paris because the exchange rate between the USD & GBP is atrocious.

Are you looking at fares from Vancouver or are you also considering Seattle?

Kelly
 
#7
Yes, flying to Paris makes the most sense if you are wanting to start in St Jean. You just need to get from Paris to Biarritz/Bayonne via air or rail.

Just how long of a route are you wanting? You can actually walk from Paris to St Jean which is about 840K. St Jean is kind of the unoffical beginning of the Camino Frances, but you can start anywhere as many Eurpopeans do. For those us who have to cross the Atlantic things are not as simple.

How exciting for you, and your Camino offically begins when you start to make your plans and prepartions.

I walked from SJPP to Santiago this spring, and am now seriously considering returning for more in October, although this time I will have to miss the meseta due to time constraints.

Enjoy!
Lora :arrow:
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2007)
#8
by "longest way" i am just referring to the choice of beginnings of the camino to choose from. there are different ones, right? it was a while ago that i read about it, so i wish i could be more specific.

i plan on spending a few months over there, leaving hopefully the first week of septmeber. not sure when it starts to cool off, but i'll probably make my way south after the walk and maybe go back up to the paris area for a bit.
 

oursonpolaire

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002, Toulouse/Aragon 2005, Cami S Jaume/Aragon 2007/9, Mont Saint Michel/Norte/Vadiniense 2011, Norte/Primitivo 2013, Norte/Primitivo 2014. Norte 2015, Cami S Jaume/Castellano-Aragonese 2016
#9
Toulouse to Pau took me 7 days, 5 to Jaca, and another week to Puenta la Reina in Navarre, and then hooked on to the next 28 days to Santiago. That would be a longer route, and a very agreeable one if you don't mind the solitude and can make your way in French, but I must admit that I am not sure what you are asking.
 
#10
Hey west coast paul,

I also live in victoria, so if you want to hook up to see photos. Last year as well as this year (just finished the camino norte) i flew into London, then ryan air over to france. This was BY FAR the CHEAPEST way to go. i paid 495cdn. return to london, EVERYTHING included and $23cdn from Santiago back to london. Charters are the cheapest way, check out zoom, air transat and globespan, canadian affairs.
private post mark if you want more information.
dawn
 
#11
Thanks for this info Dawn. Zoom airlines seems to be the only one of those you mentioned that fly into Paris from Vancouver, but the prices are great, especially if you can be a little flexible on the dates.

I like the idea of flying into Paris CDG, it is possible to get a flight to Bayonne/Biarritz from there without having to change airports in Paris.

Can't believe that I am going again, am I crazy? Must be, but can't wait for October! I am hoping that there will not be quite so many people on the trail then....
L. :D
 

Ulysse

Active Member
#12
The flight to Biarritz/Bayonne is from CDG, so you don't have to change airport; you might have to change sections in the airport with a bit of walking to do... good preparation for the rest of your trip.

October is wonderful, not too warm, less crowds but a bit more wet.

Enjoy your 2nd trip. I will be doing a 2nd trip but on a different camino, in the spring this time, can hardly wait.
 
#13
Ulysse
What trail are you considering???

Lora, I found that flying into london, plus flight to spain/or france return was still cheaper than into paris. of course it is the time of year etc. i think zoom only flys into paris in the summer, they started mid june this year. This option was not available.
nice to see you HOOKED on this forum, can't wait to hear your experience in october. hm.... well i am hooked and will consider several trails next year, either in may or september.
dawn
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2007)
#14
ah, ok, by "longest route", i was just trying to remember what i had read
in my 'the pilgrimage road to santiago...handbook'. believe it or not, i bought it at least 6 years ago, and i am just now going!!

anyways, it mentions at least four starting routes:

1) somport to jaca
2) portalet to jaca
3) jaca to puente la reina
4) puerto de ciza

then they all meet up at puente la reina?

i'm sure i'll get an idea from the book, but any comments on the best route for leaving beginning of september? subjective, i know, but i'm curious about people's experiences.

thanks,
paul
 

Ulysse

Active Member
#15
Dawn,

I am looking into the Camino Portuguès, in April; either from Lisbon or Coïmbra to Santiago. Please keep it secret as I want as little traffic as possible. :wink:
 
#16
Hi guys.. and lovely souls
thanks for all the valuable info.
THis was exactly my question,.
I am planning to leave Toronto on the 25th of Sept

So gathering from all the info post.
It seems the cheapest way to get to ST.Jean PP
is to Fly Toronto to London, then switch airports by shuttle to Stanstead. Then fly Rynair to Bayonne. From Bayonne take an hour train to St. JPP.
Correct?

Any ideas on October walking weather. I am from Cananda but I was born in the Middle East so cant take a lot of cold weather.
Should I need to take a sleeping bag?

thanks
Positive vibes
 
#17
check out all charters, i found from western canada flying into london was the cheapest way.
most places have blankets, i would definately take a silk liner. i think in october i would take the bag. i did the camino norte without a sleeping bag in may, and there was afew days i wish i brought one.
dawn
 

Ulysse

Active Member
#18
Natasha

Did you check Air Transat ? I see a $399 flight from Toronto to Paris in Sept.

From Charles de Gaule you get a real fast connection to a flight to Bayonne. May be worth investiagting.

Silk liner should be ok because there are blankets available. I took my lightweight bag in late September last year, I was warm at night. If you are worried about weight a liner should do. However, if you can, get a GOOD poncho as it will surely rain; the more you go west the more chances of showers.
 
#19
thanks for the reply guys/gals..

I am having a hard time fiding flights from Charled De Gule to Bayonne.. can you recommend one . Please.
Also will it be cold in October.. I am from the desert... I struggle through the winters in Canada.. so need to know how many layers I should take...
Thanks
a million
for all the lovely energy out there.
Natasha
 

Ulysse

Active Member
#20
Go to http://www.airfrance.ca and check a flight from Charles de Gaule to Biarritz (same airport for Bayonne and Biarritz).
Prices go from $75 for a saturday in late sept to $153 on week days. You can reserve there much cheaper in Canada than if you book the same flight on the Air France site in France (around 300 euros !)

As to weather do not be afraid. It should be pleasant during the day with freshness at night. A 0°C light bag should be more than adequate.
 

WolverineDG

Veteran Member
Donating Member
#21
Just make sure that your departing flight leaves from CDG. AirFrance also offers several flights to Biarritz from Orly. No big deal really, if there's enough time, since you can take the RER from CDG to Orly.

Kelly
 
#22
Hello everyone..
I really need some advice on how to fly from paris CDG to Bayonne. I tried air france as per the suggestions but did not see Bayonne as a destination..
please help
 
#24
Hi guys.. more questions..
since i can't seem to find a flight Paris CDG to Bayonne.. I found TGV train from Paris to Bayonne.
. So the question is does any one know if I can buy the ticket at the airport?
at CDG?
thanks

natasha
 

Dale

Active Member
#25
TGV trains have reserved seating so you would be advised to buy in advanced to be sure you get a seat all the way through to your destination. It's a great service by the way so fast and comfortable.
 

Ulysse

Active Member
#26
Natasha

The site I gave you is working perfectly but I also told you to look for a flight to BIARRITZ not Bayonne (however the airport is the same)

Now if you want to travel by train it is your choice, good luck.
 
#27
Ulyse, sorry
the site was working perfectly, I just did not see Bayonne on the list of destinations.. But not that I know Birritz and Bayonee is the same place? that would make sense.
But I did look into Birritz and is show 400.00 so that seems way more than the train.
But thank you so much for your help.
Natasha
 

WolverineDG

Veteran Member
Donating Member
#28
Natasha, I'm sorry I wasn't clear in my response to your post. The flights you are looking for are Paris CDG to Biarritz (BIQ I think). From Biarritz, you can take the bus (cheap but takes a while) or taxi (short but costly) to Bayonne. There is a tourist kiosk in the airport & they have loads of information on both options.

Just make sure when you purchase your tickets you purchase a flight departing from CDG & nort ORY (Orly). Although if you do & you have time, it''s an easy fix--just take the RER from CDG to Orly (make sure to ask which train to board since that particular line has a few branches, not all of which go to Orly).

Kelly
 

kahu

New Member
#29
Kia ora, I'm a Kiwi in Canada about to start the Camino in about a weeks time. Woo woo!
I'm seriously doing very last minute organising and have a couple of questions I hope someone can help with. Firstly I've left it too late to book on the TGV, they won't let you do it within 5 days (I'm trying for 3days time). Will I be ok just showing up and trying to get on? (No French is going to add to the adventure!) Also can anyone recommend a cheap backpackers in Bayonne where I will stay for 4-5nights? And finally I was going to get a straightfoward rain poncho rather than take a jacket, is this wise? Thanks so much!
Arohanui, Kahu
 

William Marques

Moderator
Staff member
Donating Member
#30
Firstly I've left it too late to book on the TGV, they won't let you do it within 5 days (I'm trying for 3days time). Will I be ok just showing up and trying to get on? (No French is going to add to the adventure!)
No guarantees but you should be OK. I am a never book ahead type and have never had a problem yet with rooms or buses/trains.

Also can anyone recommend a cheap backpackers in Bayonne where I will stay for 4-5nights?
No a backpackers but you may need something better after a 24 hour flight plus train ride. If you walk out of the station in Bayonne and look left across the parking lot. There you will see the Hotel Paris Madrid which is run by Patrick and Sylvie Sorbois. A comfortable room can be had for about 25 euros +/- (old price).

And finally I was going to get a straightfoward rain poncho rather than take a jacket, is this wise?
Yes, but try to get one that covers your pack if you do.

Does any one know if there is a car route along the Frances Camino..
Yes there is. Not on it but close nearby and well signposted.

Buen Camino
William
 

Dale

Active Member
#32
Just as a reference point to give everyone an idea of the cost I just checked the cost of flying open jawed, into one city and home from another. I live in the maritimes so I'm sure that adds to the cost of the flights. I plan to stay in Spain for two months so I selected a Departure date of April 1, 2008 from Moncton NB to Paris and a return date of May 31, 2008 from Barcelona . Believe it or not Air Canada had the best price $1085.60 . That includes all taxes and airport charges.

Sometimes it isn't easy to find sites where you can book your own open jawed flights. I use Cheapoair.com they seem to find the cheapest flights and there open jawed search engine is easy to use.

http://www.cheapoair.com/Default.aspx?t ... =RoundTrip
 
#33
hello.. If I am flying to do the Camino Frances from Toronto, can you advise me if I should fly to Paris and head South or Fly to Madrid? go North?

please kindly advise the best route to get to St. jean Pied de Port
 

jeff001

Active Member
#34
If you are starting from SJPdP it is better to fly into Paris. This thread and others have extensive discussions of how to get to SJ from there.
 

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