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Flying to Europe from Down Under

lissie45

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Planning to walk Frances 2019
Flying from New Zealand generally the cheapest flights are into London, Paris, Rome. Madrid is a few hundred euros more.

Planning on walking SJPP to Santiago maybe Finisterre

I'm starting to think about flights for next year and I'm thinking that the easiest option would be into Paris and train to SJDP and then out of Madrid - assuming there's an easy train connection down to Madrid?

If we had to get back to Paris what's the easiest way to do that from Santiago Fly? Train? It would certainly be a cheaper flight to NZ if we did return to Paris - rather than into Paris and out of Madrid - but I'm wondering how much time/cost it would be to get back to Paris at the end of the walk.

I know about the cheap flights London-Biarritz - but again how to do the return trip if we ended up with using London as the long-haul destination. How easy is it to get back to Biarritz from Santiago - though this is my least favourite option as London is always an expensive hassle.

We're experienced travellers -my Spanish is OK - my French less so - I'm familiar with the trains of Europe and have been to both Paris and Madrid before.

Another option I thought of was to tourist our way back along the northern coast of Spain (an area we've not been to before) - for a few days - assuming that once we got to Irun it would be easy to get back to Paris if necessary.
 

Anamiri

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances
We flew from Santiago to Paris, spent time there, then back via Hong Kong. I've also flown out of Bilbao so if you do the northern coast that is an easy option.
 

davebugg

"When I Have Your Wounded" - Dustoff Motto
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
From either Madrid or Paris you can catch a cheap, quick flight to Biarritz and then a shuttle ride to SJPdP.
 

GettingThere

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Roncesvalles-SdC Apr-Jun 2015
Roncesvalles-Sarria Sep-Oct 2017
(2019: Planning to return!)
Flying from New Zealand generally the cheapest flights are into London, Paris, Rome. Madrid is a few hundred euros more.

Planning on walking SJPP to Santiago maybe Finisterre

I'm starting to think about flights for next year and I'm thinking that the easiest option would be into Paris and train to SJDP and then out of Madrid - assuming there's an easy train connection down to Madrid?

If we had to get back to Paris what's the easiest way to do that from Santiago Fly? Train? It would certainly be a cheaper flight to NZ if we did return to Paris - rather than into Paris and out of Madrid - but I'm wondering how much time/cost it would be to get back to Paris at the end of the walk.

I know about the cheap flights London-Biarritz - but again how to do the return trip if we ended up with using London as the long-haul destination. How easy is it to get back to Biarritz from Santiago - though this is my least favourite option as London is always an expensive hassle.

We're experienced travellers -my Spanish is OK - my French less so - I'm familiar with the trains of Europe and have been to both Paris and Madrid before.

Another option I thought of was to tourist our way back along the northern coast of Spain (an area we've not been to before) - for a few days - assuming that once we got to Irun it would be easy to get back to Paris if necessary.
Hello @lissie45 - we flew from NZ into Paris and out the same way, mainly because we had friends to visit back in France after our Camino. We took the train from Paris to Bayonne to St Jean, and then post-Camino we took the train all the way back. There is one (I think) train per day which goes all the way from Santiago to Hendaye, just over the border into France - but it's a loooong trip (gets there about 9pm) and we broke it with an overnight stop in Leon. And you can't really go any further that night once you get to Hendaye so you would probably need to stay there. Then you can get a train to Paris the next day. A long trip - and we only really did it that way as I say, because we were visiting friends in France on the way back. If I was just wanting to get there quickly I think I'd fly from Santiago to Paris - I think Vueling does this direct, maybe others, and others go via Madrid. I wouldn't try flying to any intermediate place like Biarritz from Santiago (don't think that's possible direct anyway) and then having to fly onward again. You'd have to compare prices I think, in case you ended up spending more on the transfers (plane or train) than you would save by flying into Paris rather than Madrid at the start of your trip.

Of course, if you want to take a little time and see more of the country that's different - you could spend a few days taking trains and meandering slowly back towards Paris (sigh, how nice!). The ones that go along the northern coast are the FEVE service (now owned by Renfe - you can find them on the Renfe website but they don't come up in the normal Renfe itinerary search - their timetables are on a separate page (http://www.renfe.com/EN/viajeros/feve/ or just Google renfe feve). They are slow trains which would be good for stopping in some of the little places. I haven't done that but have heard good things about them - others here may comment. Once you get along to Bilbao you would then take the Euskotren service (also slow) which continues along via San Sebastian to Hendaye/Hendaia. From there you have the fast trains back to Paris.

Good luck with the decision-making!
 

NicMen

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Arriving in Lourdes for my first Camino 29th Aug 16 and starting to walk 31st.
I did Brisbane-Dubai-Barcelona (and then train to Lourdes, where I started my walk) and returned via Madrid-Dubai-Brisbane. It was the most direct way for me.
 

Mack

Member
Camino(s) past & future
April 2017 Sarria to Santiago de Compostela
My advice is return flight to Paris. Cathay Pacific are best usually fare wise. As you are going to Santiago dC fly from there to Paris
 

lissie45

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Planning to walk Frances 2019
Thanks so much - yes lots of options for sure - I’ll keep an eye on flight specials later n the year
 
Camino(s) past & future
please see signature
@lissie45 , kia ora from Porirua

Having family in London, its a no brainer which I use as my northern hub. And then take flights / trains within Europe as required. In 2017 I arrived at Heathrow T2 and four hours later flew from T5 to Madrid, then two buses to Estella to restart from where I had stopped in 2017. Then returned from Santiago when the job was done.

I am sure you have found airlines operating out of NZ tend to have their best prices when returning from your arrival airport. A few years ago Singapore, for example, flew to Barcelona. If that is still the case, from Barcelona you can train (or bus) to Pamplona (direct or through Logrono) then bus to Saint-Jean. Then return to Barcelona through Madrid, for example.

Kia kaha
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
I am a big believer in Open Jaw flights if the numbers make sense for you. Simply put, an "open jaw" is a triangle, where you fly from A to B, but return C to A. The "open jaw" is the bit you traverse using other means, like your feet...a bus, train, rental car, etc.

For example, I fly non-stop Miami to Paris then take a train to Saint Jean Pied de Port to start on the Camino Frances to Santiago. From Santiago, I either bus or fly to Madrid and then on-stop back to Miami.

All airlines offer these routes and fares. The trick is finding a carrier that flies both INTO your first destination (in the above example Paris) and back from your departure point (in the above example Madrid).

One less flight into an airport is one less hassle, at IMHO.

Hope this helps.
 

Gabi Wehler

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Planning to walk the Camino Frances mid May 2018
Flying from New Zealand generally the cheapest flights are into London, Paris, Rome. Madrid is a few hundred euros more.

Planning on walking SJPP to Santiago maybe Finisterre

I'm starting to think about flights for next year and I'm thinking that the easiest option would be into Paris and train to SJDP and then out of Madrid - assuming there's an easy train connection down to Madrid?

If we had to get back to Paris what's the easiest way to do that from Santiago Fly? Train? It would certainly be a cheaper flight to NZ if we did return to Paris - rather than into Paris and out of Madrid - but I'm wondering how much time/cost it would be to get back to Paris at the end of the walk.

I know about the cheap flights London-Biarritz - but again how to do the return trip if we ended up with using London as the long-haul destination. How easy is it to get back to Biarritz from Santiago - though this is my least favourite option as London is always an expensive hassle.

We're experienced travellers -my Spanish is OK - my French less so - I'm familiar with the trains of Europe and have been to both Paris and Madrid before.

Another option I thought of was to tourist our way back along the northern coast of Spain (an area we've not been to before) - for a few days - assuming that once we got to Irun it would be easy to get back to Paris if necessary.
Found it cheaper to fly to Madrid and bus to pamplona. You have to consider flight cost from Paris or London plus train or bus anyway
 

Walton

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2016 Sjpp to Sdc. 2017 Lisbon to Sdc to Finisterre. 2018 ?
In 2016 We flew to Paris on Thai via Bangkok and then took the train from Gare Monparnasse to Bayonne connecting with another train from Bayonne to SJPP. It was very easy and by booking the Paris to Bayonne train directly, we were able to a get Seniors discount fare.
From Santiago return to Paris, we flew Vueling back to Paris - prebooked and paid for the fare at a really good price.
In 2017 we returned and did the Camino Portugal from Lisbon. On that occasion we flew to and from Madrid on Emirates (Never again!) via Dubai. We then flew Easyjet from Madrid to Lisbon and caught the train back from Santiago DLC to Madrid. We booked that at the Pilgrims booking office - Very easy and got a good fare too! Dubai was interesting.
There are lots of options
Buen Camino
Graham
 

Helen Aussie

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2017
Camino de Saint Jacques 2018
Last year I flew from Amsterdam to Bordeaux and a train to SJPP. We were already in Europe. It was a pain flying back to Amsterdam as I had to book 2 planes via Geneva with no guarantee of connection plus an overnight in Amsterdam plus a late night flight back to Australia. This year I am walking the Le puy camino and have booked an extremely cheap ticket in the Qantas sale. It is open jaw flying into Lyon and out of Madrid. This gives me multiple options after I walk to SJPP. I could simply walk to Pamplona and catch a train to Madrid. The Rome2rio app is helpful with how to plan your trip. Enjoy the anticipation.
 

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018)-Frances, Baztan, San Salvador, Primitivo, Fisterra,VdlP, Madrid
Maybe we’ve been lucky, but our last couple of trips and our upcoming one, Madrid was cheaper than the other big cities. I’ve seen the odd flight for under NZ$1,000 but they are rare as hen’s teeth. If that’s what you’re comparing with, then I guess our return flights to Madrid for NZ$1,400 in October aren’t so great, but I was pleased with them. And there’s a flight from Santiago back to Madrid at the end for 25 euros - cheaper than the train!
 

Marcus-UK

Old Git
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Ingles (2016) Camino Portuguese (2017) Considering Invierno 2019
If you are traveling to Paris and are considering the Paris Biaritz flight. Then ALSA (1 to 2 changes) and Flixbus (1 change) provide buses from Santiago to Bayonne, where you can pick up a taxi or local bus for the last 6KM to Biaritz. The downside is that Flixbus takes around 11 hours and Alsa 19 hours. But it is only around 21 Euros for the Flixbus.
 

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