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From South Africa to SJPDP - Fly to Paris or Madrid

Romay

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Walking first Camino in September & October (2015)
Hi, I'm looking forward to walking my first Camino at the beginning of September! I will be flying in from Johannesburg, South Africa, and trying to decide whether to fly to Paris or to Madrid. The flight prices are more or less the same. Is it simpler / cheaper / quicker to get to SJPDP from Madrid, or Paris. I'll be on a very tight budget and would prefer not to have to stay in hotels overnight, but at the same time don't want to spend hours and hours on busses and trains after a 24hr flight - I'm not so young anymore ;). Your suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks. Cant wait for the walk!
 
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Elsabe Beard

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Via Podiensis (Sept 2014)
Via Gebennensis (May 2016)
Hi Romay, I'm also a South African from EL, I walked last year from Le Puy en Vellay. You can also fly into Barcelona (book the flight back home from Madrid), and then make your way from there to SJPdP. Maybe train to Pamplona and then a bus to SJPdP. I flew Emirates. Yes, our SA Rand unfortunately doesn't go far in Europe:(
 

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
These days we prefer Madrid. It is cheaper if you need to stay overnight (Paris is horrendously expensive) and the train from Madrid to Pamplona is cheap. From Pamplona it is a local bus to Roncesvales (I think it also goes all the way through to SJPDP these days - anyone have information on this? ) If you don't want to walk from Roncesvales and there is no bus you can stay at Corazon Puro. They will pick you up from the train in Pamplona, feed you, give you a bed for the night, ferry you to SJPDP - all for a reasonable price.

Tip - if you are using the train in Spain, read this first

http://www.seat61.com/Spain-trains.htm#How_to_buy_train_tickets_for_Spain
 

Christo &Nelda

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
April 2015
May 2017
Hi
We did our first Camino this year late April and flew into Barcelona, you arrive early morning and still have time to catch the train to Pamplona, where we shared a taxi to SJPDP. Was very convenient! We spent one day in Barcelona to recover and catch the train the next morning - Barcelona is beautiful! Enjoy your Camino and know you will return a different (and better) person!!
 
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jsalt

Jill
Year of past OR future Camino
Portugués, Francés, LePuy, Rota Vicentina, Norte, Madrid, C2C, Salvador, Primitivo, Aragonés, Inglés
Hi
We did our first Camino this year late April and flew into Barcelona, you arrive early morning and still have time to catch the train to Pamplona, where we shared a taxi to SJPDP. Was very convenient! We spent one day in Barcelona to recover and catch the train the next morning - Barcelona is beautiful! Enjoy your Camino and know you will return a different (and better) person!!
Hi, which airline did you fly from South Africa that took you to Barcelona? Jill
 
W

whariwharangi

Guest
Paris to SJPdP - take SNCF train from CDG2 or Montparnasse to Bayonne. Take SNCF TER train from Bayonne to Cambo les Bains and bus to SJPdP. A lot of people report problems using SNCF site searching Paris to SJPdP so do it in two legs.

Madrid to SJPdP - Take Renfe train from Atocha or ALSA bus from either airport T4 or Avenida de America to Pamplona. Take CONDA bus from Pamplona bus station to SJPdP. CONDA is owned by ALSA so the schedule is on ALSA website.

After being in travel for 24 hours I would recommend staying in either Paris or Madrid for a night before continuing.

A factor to consider is how you will get home from Santiago.

Here are links - you can do your own time appreciation and cost analysis.

SNCF
http://www.sncf.com/

Renfe
http://www.renfe.com/

ALSA
https://www.alsa.es/en/
 

Romay

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Walking first Camino in September & October (2015)
Hi Romay, I'm also a South African from EL, I walked last year from Le Puy en Vellay. You can also fly into Barcelona (book the flight back home from Madrid), and then make your way from there to SJPdP. Maybe train to Pamplona and then a bus to SJPdP. I flew Emirates. Yes, our SA Rand unfortunately doesn't go far in Europe:([/QU
Paris to SJPdP - take SNCF train from CDG2 or Montparnasse to Bayonne. Take SNCF TER train from Bayonne to Cambo les Bains and bus to SJPdP. A lot of people report problems using SNCF site searching Paris to SJPdP so do it in two legs.

Madrid to SJPdP - Take Renfe train from Atocha or ALSA bus from either airport T4 or Avenida de America to Pamplona. Take CONDA bus from Pamplona bus station to SJPdP. CONDA is owned by ALSA so the schedule is on ALSA website.

After being in travel for 24 hours I would recommend staying in either Paris or Madrid for a night before continuing.

A factor to consider is how you will get home from Santiago.

Here are links - you can do your own time appreciation and cost analysis.

SNCF
http://www.sncf.com/

Renfe
http://www.renfe.com/

ALSA
https://www.alsa.es/en/
 

Romay

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Walking first Camino in September & October (2015)
Thanks everyone for all your input. My son booked me a ticket (what a blessing) so I fly into Paris, landing at 14.30 on the 8th of September. (Fly back from Madrid) Judging from the brief look I've had at the websites it that looks like I'll be too late to get to SJPDP & will need to spend a night in Paris. :(. (Yes Elsabe, our Rand is not in a good state.) Any suggestions on a cheap but good hostel where we can book ahead. My friend is travelling on a South African passport so we have to furnish full details of our accommodation for the visa. Makes it a bit tricky having to plan & book every detail. So thanks for all the info!
 
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jsalt

Jill
Year of past OR future Camino
Portugués, Francés, LePuy, Rota Vicentina, Norte, Madrid, C2C, Salvador, Primitivo, Aragonés, Inglés
I fly into Paris, landing at 14.30 on the 8th of September

Hi Romay, that’s a shame as the direct Air France flight from Jo’burg arrives in Paris at 5:30am, so plenty of time to get to St Jean the same day. I would suggest you get out of Paris (very expensive) and get to Bayonne the same day, where there are places to stay near the train station. It may be possible to organise a visa by pre-booking accommodation, with free cancellation, on booking.com. Once you have the visa you can then cancel the booking. Jill
 
W

whariwharangi

Guest
Thanks everyone for all your input. My son booked me a ticket (what a blessing) so I fly into Paris, landing at 14.30 on the 8th of September. (Fly back from Madrid) Judging from the brief look I've had at the websites it that looks like I'll be too late to get to SJPDP & will need to spend a night in Paris. :(. (Yes Elsabe, our Rand is not in a good state.) Any suggestions on a cheap but good hostel where we can book ahead. My friend is travelling on a South African passport so we have to furnish full details of our accommodation for the visa. Makes it a bit tricky having to plan & book every detail. So thanks for all the info!

I don't know about where to find cheap hotels, however, I would suggest looking in the vicinity of Massy. The RER train (light rail transit) from the airport goes there and there is an SNCF TGV station located next to the RER station with trains to Bayonne. Massy is located well away from downtown Paris.
 

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
@Romay for Paris the easiest and cheapest we have found is the Ibis right at the airport. After a long flight it makes sense to go straight there, and not have to cope with getting into Paris until the following day.
 

CK007

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances: May 2014
Finisterre: May 2014
Madrid: May 2016
Del Salvador: May 2016
Primitivo: May 2016
Instead of spending the night in Paris (unless you really want to ;) ), consider taking the night train to Bayonne. I did this last year. Departs around 22:00 from the Austerlitz station and arrives the following morning in Bayonne around 08:30. Thus you still have the afternoon to view some iconic Parisian sights and then travel onwards whilst sleeping. From Bayonne it's a quick bus/train ride to SJPdP.
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
If you do decide on the night train from Paris Austerlitz to Bayonne you will save money by booking early. There are sleeping cars ie. couchettes in both first and second class. Some cars are reserved for women. See more at www.voyages-SNCF.com.

Bon voyage and Buen camino!
 
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