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Getting to St Jean from Madrid in early April

Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances : April /May 2017
#1
I would like to hear from aspirant pilgrims whether they are also struggling to get from Madrid via Pamplona to St Jean Pierre de Pont ? Im trying to get from Madrid to SJPDP in one day on Sunday , 9 April. I know that I can fly to be Biarritz and take a train from Bayonne to St Jean ,( I am also trying to minimise my expenses on travelling to St Jean ) I would like to try it from the Spanish side via Pamplona and Roncesvalles. It is very easy to get to Pamplona but from there the trouble starts !! I have been looking at all possible variants of how to get from Pamplona to St Jean Pierre de Pont via Roncesvalles! The trial goes dead in Roncesvalles, because from there, there seems to be no clear answer of whether there are buses of Alsa going across the Pyranees to SJPdP. Is there anyone out there who can help me with information or even better are you also trying to get to St Jean Pierre de Pont from the Pamplona side and not from the Biarritz/Bayonne . I would love to hear from you please . Thank you very much for your kind cooperation
 

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Camino(s) past & future
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
#2
Have you considered hitching a ride down from Roncesvalles to SJPdP? Or taking a taxi? The route N135 passes "the door" and is often used by non-pilgrims out for a Sunday drive.
 
Last edited:
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances : April /May 2017
#4
Have you considered hitching a ride down from Roncesvalles to SJPdP? Or taking a taxi? The route N135 passes "the door" and is often used by non-pilgrims out for a Sunday drive.
My friend, I am so glad that you are mentioning hitchhiking. I considered that but I did not know that is the N135 is actually a functioning road. Can you tell me ( from experience ) whether you have noticed a few cars per day going from Roncesvalles to SJPDP ?

I have an idea about taxis, and I will look for other aspirant pilgrims to share a taxi with me. If I don't find any "takers" ill hitchhike.

I hear from you kindly
 

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Camino(s) past & future
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
#7
My friend, I am so glad that you are mentioning hitchhiking. I considered that but I did not know that is the N135 is actually a functioning road. Can you tell me ( from experience ) whether you have noticed a few cars per day going from Roncesvalles to SJPDP ?

I have an idea about taxis, and I will look for other aspirant pilgrims to share a taxi with me. If I don't find any "takers" ill hitchhike.

I hear from you kindly
I have walked up to Roncesvalles following the Valcarlos alternate camino which eventually parallels N135 more than 10 times. There are always trucks and cars going both ways along the route; often tourists drive up to Roncesvalles to have a meal in one of the hotels especially on Sundays.
 
W

whariwharangi

Guest
#8
There is a 1430 ALSA bus from Pamplona to SJPdP that day. It costs 22 Euro. Ditto Monday.
The CONDA (ALSA) bus is the only service from Pamplona to SJPdP for the date of travel. You likely won't get to Pamplona on time to catch it.

CONDA
http://www.conda.es/eventos.php?tipo=3&id=438

CONDA is owned by ALSA. ALSA sets the schedule. The 1730 bus service slated for starting 1 April actually starts up about mid month. Refer to the ALSA schedule where SJPdP is found by typing 'Saint Jean de Pied de Port' in the destination block.

The only way to get to SJPdP same day from Madrid on a Sunday ...

Take Renfe train from Madrid to Irun/Hendaye. (some terminate in Hendaye ... where you want to be) Or

Take ALSA bus from Madrid to San Sebastian, and take Renfe Cercanias from San Sebastian to Irun. (Note PESA and ALSA offer bus service on a limited schedule from San Sebastian to Place de Basques Bayonne)

Take Donostialdea Metro from Irun Colon to Hendaia. (or taxi the 3km)

Take SNCF train from Gare d'Hendaye to Bayonne.

Take SNCF train from Bayonne to SJPdP. Last train leaves 2110 on Sundays and Fridays only. During weekdays it leaves 1806.
 
M

Mark Lee

Guest
#9
ALSA bus. Easy peasy.
Bus leaves from in front of T4 Madrid airport, goes to Soria, you change bus there and then on to Pamplona and change bus again and off to SJPdP you go.
Cheap, too.
ultreia
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances : April /May 2017
#10
I would really like to thank you all for your kind inputs regarding my questions about how to get to St Jean from Madrid. Thank you very much all of you ! I have enough ideas now and I still think that I will try the Pamplona way and hope to get for 1700 bus to St Jean from Pamplona arriving late at night in SJDPDP but it's better than spending a night in San Sebastian or in Bayonne. I'm very eager to get onto the Camino. I can always spend a day or 3 at the end of the Camino. One cannot see everything!! that is impossible!!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances : April /May 2017
#11
ALSA bus. Easy peasy.
Bus leaves from in front of T4 Madrid airport, goes to Soria, you change bus there and then on to Pamplona and change bus again and off to SJPdP you go.
Cheap, too.
ultreia
Mark I would like to thank you very very much for your precise information and I think that is exactly what I will do. I will take the bus to Soria from there to Pamplona and then I hope to get this bus ( which I cannot trace on their web site) from Pamplona to St Jean. I'm sure I will find that elusive Conda|Alsa bus in Pamplona!! thank you very much for your trouble I really appreciate it
 
Camino(s) past & future
Portugués, Francés, Le Puy, Rota Vicentina, De Soulac, Norte, Madrid-Salv-Primitivo
#12
and then I hope to get this bus ( which I cannot trace on their web site)
Hi Gerhard, as you are arriving on a Sunday – not a good day for public transport in Europe – maybe if you posted your scheduled time of arrival in Madrid (not necessarily the exact time of arrival from Johannesburg :):cool::p), we could help you work out the best way to get from Madrid airport . . . to St Jean Pied de Port, so you can start your camino :)
Jill
 
M

Mark Lee

Guest
#13
Mark I would like to thank you very very much for your precise information and I think that is exactly what I will do. I will take the bus to Soria from there to Pamplona and then I hope to get this bus ( which I cannot trace on their web site) from Pamplona to St Jean. I'm sure I will find that elusive Conda|Alsa bus in Pamplona!! thank you very much for your trouble I really appreciate it
You do the Madrid to Pamplona on one transaction/reservation/inquiry and the Pamplona to St Jean on a second. I didn't combine them all into one.
Go to the ALSA site. After you finish with the Madrid to Pamplona one, then put Pamplona as your point of departure. Then change your destination country to France, and type in or find St Jean Pied de Port in the drag down and enter it, and then make sure you show it as an "outward journey" (one way) and then enter the date and make your reservation.
I physically had and carried two separate sheets of paper. One with my Madrid to Pamplona reservation, and the other with my Pamplona to St Jean.
cheers
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances : April /May 2017
#14
Thank you very much Jill and Mark I really appreciate your trouble of answering me regarding moving from Madrid to St Jean. thank you very , much I will first try my luck again with the suggestions as done by Mark and then if I don't come right I will contact you ,Jill, in this regard. Thank you very much I really appreciate your indulgence.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015); Camino Norte/Primitivo (2016); Camino Frances (2017); Le Puy (June 2018)
#15
Thank you very much Jill and Mark I really appreciate your trouble of answering me regarding moving from Madrid to St Jean. thank you very , much I will first try my luck again with the suggestions as done by Mark and then if I don't come right I will contact you ,Jill, in this regard. Thank you very much I really appreciate your indulgence.
I arrive in Madrid at 7:40 am on April 11th. My group of 4 family members will then take the Renfe train to Pamplona. We have secured a taxi service that caters to pilgrims that will pick you up at the train or bus station in Pamplona at your requested time and take you to SJPdP. They hold your reservation with a credit card, but you pay in cash on arrival (if i remember correctly). They also have a good cancellation policy and even help coordinate you with other pilgrims when possible to help you save $. Our group of 4 will pay $25 each. A bus was only running once a day in early April at a time that did not work for us and was actually a few dollars more! Reserving the taxi service has eliminated much stress for us.....www.taxipamplona.com
 

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