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From Holland to Leon?

Wurtzinator

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino de Frances
Dear fellow pilgrims!

I am excited to start my first pilgrim journey on the Camino de Santiago in June and I need your advice on how to get there the best way. I am a student, so I want to do this as frugal as possible. So based on my research, I think that as a rookie it is easiest to walk the Camino de Frances with regard to terrain & fellow pilgrims for socialising and support.

It is my first time ever and I would like to walk about 300km in total. So naturally I thought it would makes sense to start half way if I do want to see Santiago de Compostela. Halfway being in the area around Leon. So, how do I get there best from Holland?

I live in Groningen (the very north of Holland), so naturally I think that flying either from Amsterdam or Bremen (Germany) might be best. Rome2Rio suggested me to fly from Amsterdam to Bilbao, and then take the train or the bus to Leon.

I read here that some people suggest not to go to Leon, but to start in Astorga as the camino is much nicer and the extra time I could use as a buffer. There is no bus to Astorga, but a train based on the Renfe website. Then flying back from Santiago de Compostela to Amsterdam or somewhere near would be best I guess?

So my question more succinctly:


1. From where to where should I fly if I aim to do approx. 300km in total on the Camino?
2. What are the cheapest option to travel from said airport destination to the actual starting place of my trip?
3. As it will be the busiest season in June, should I book the return flight in advance? Or should I not risk it should I not make it in time?

What are your thoughts?

Thanks so much in advance! :)
 

Bradypus

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
In your position I think I would ignore those who suggest skipping the Leon to Astorga section. One of the really good things about the Camino Frances is that it is very varied: you experience many different landscapes as you cross the country. Many people dislike the meseta. Others love it. If you start in Leon you will have a short taste of the meseta before entering into more hilly country.

Your quickest and cheapest option for travel is very likely to be to fly to Madrid then take a train or bus to Leon or Astorga or wherever you finally decide. I use kayak.co.uk to search for flights and fares. It is a very useful tool. You might also find flights to Asturias airport (OVD) but those are likely to be long and involve changing flights in Madrid or even Lisbon. If you are sure of when your return flight to Holland will be then it probably makes sense to book it well in advance. In summer seats are likely to be in short supply and prices will rise accordingly since almost all airlines these days set their fares by demand and not at a fixed price.
 

Bradypus

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
A PS. to the message above. When you search for flights for your return journey to Holland it is worth looking at flights from A Coruna and Vigo as well as Santiago. Both are easy to get to by train and you may find flights that are cheaper or more conveniently timed for you.
 

Purky

The Dutch guy
Camino(s) past & future
Reality is frequently inaccurate
At the moment I'm a couple of weeks away from walking the Camino del Salvador (starting from Leon) in May, and I choose to fly from Holland to Santiago. It was the cheapest return fare I could find at that time (January), and the Renfe train to Leon is just under € 20,- for a four and a half hour trip.
I'm also keeping an eye out for a rideshare with Blablacar (to Leon and from Oviedo back to SdC), which might not be cheaper, but is a bit quicker and could fit better in my timeframe.
 

Wurtzinator

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino de Frances
Thank you so much for the replies! I will check out the suggested fares/routes and come back soon! :)
 

Thomas1962

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2010/2011/2012/2013: Madrid -Salvador -Primitivo 2014: EPW 2015: Amsterdam - SdC
You can also check a flight to Madrid, then train or bus to Leon.
 

biarritzdon

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF&CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF&CP17, CdN18, CM18, CF18, LePuy19
Check out Rome2rio.
 

Mark McCarthy

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2014 2015
Lourdes 2 SdC 2016
Sarria 2 SdC April&Oct 2016 & (April 2018)
Camino Baztan June 2017
I would suggest bus from Madrid Airport, there are 8 buses a day. The bus fare is between €25 and €34 and takes about 4 and half hours. Alternatively the train takes just over two hours but you have to navigate the local trains to get across to Charmatin. The advantage with Madrid is there are usually plenty of cheap flights there including on the way back from Santiago. Leon is a brilliant city with lots to see and do. The first 8 km out of Leon aren't brilliant but if you then choose the route via Vilar de Mazarife it is a really lovely walk. Plus the bridge at Hospital del Orbigo is well worth seeing. Whatever you choose, I wish you Buen Camino!
 

Anamiri

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2016, 2017, 2019 Camino Frances
Another bonus about starting in Leon, is that you have a couple of days to get used to walking, carrying a pack etc before you get to the mountains.
 

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