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Getting to St. Jean pied de port from Paris

Mikey - camino

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
march 2023
I would like to walk the el camino in mid March 2023 (i had to delay my first plan to walk it in Sept.). Looking at the schedules it seems i need to take a mixture of trains and buses to get to St. Jean. For those of you that have travelled from Paris to St. Jean how did you arrange the trip?

I do not necessarily need to travel to Paris if there is an easier airport to land in what where would that be??

Thanks for any help
 
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Tincatinker

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2012
Train Paris to Bayonne, train Bayonne to St Jean works for most people. Any references to buses that you have seen are likely due to damage to the track between Bayonne and St Jean and should be of no concern. The rail company will shepherd you onto a bus and take you wherever you’re going. Flight Paris to Biarritz/bus/train bus works too. You pays your money and takes your pick
 
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Rick M

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
April ('16,'18, '19, 22)
Sept ('21, '23)
Others have given good advice here, and there is no "right" answer since it's all about personal preference. I strongly recommend at least one night in Paris to get your clock straight and rehydrate for overseas travelers. What's your hurry?. Besides, it's a great place to walk around. After landing at CDG, you can taxi/bus/train into central Paris, then book somewhere to stay near Gare Montparnasse - this is the main TGV terminal. It IS POSSIBLE to catch a train from CDG itself to Bayonnethe day you arrive, but the choices are fewer, and you risk missing a train if you have a tight connection and your flight is late or you were delayed in Customs. If I was in a hurry, I'd fly to Biarritz that day since you are in the airport already anyways.

There are many choices of hotels near Montparnasse station in many price ranges. I prefer the train into central Paris, as its the cheapest option, and you don't need to wait long. The RER-B commuter train goes from CDG (follow the Paris By Train signs), and take the Isle de France signs, not the TGV Grand Lignes signs once you head down stairs in the airport. The vending machine may not take your credit card, so have some paper euros instead, and buy a ticket for a little over 10 euros from the machine. It's about 40 minutes to Denfert-Rochereau station, depending if your train was an express or not. Once there, you are five blocks from Montparnasse. From here, walk to your hotel.......or Montparnasse if you are in a big hurry.

Book your TGV ticket to Bayonne before you go. You can combine it with a separate ticket to SJPP from there, but you don't have to. There are trains every few hours, but 10 AM is a pretty good choice. The train to Bayonne is about 4 hours, and pretty cool if you have never been on a TGV before. Once in Bayonne, you change trains to a TER train for SJPP. The station is small, and the employees sweep pilgrims onto the right platform all day long - just follow all the other people with back packs. Don't worry if that train turns out to actually be a bus, the tracks between Bayonne and SJPP are frequently out of service, but they always have a bus leaving from the parking lot as a substitute. About an hour to SJPP either way. From the station, walk into town to your accommodation. SJPP is a village, not a big city.
 
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J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2016, 2022
When we flew into Paris, we stayed overnight (jet lag) and then flew to Biarritz the next morning. We hired Express Bouricott to take us to SJPDP. You can also take the bus into Bayonne and then the train or some people have walked, beginning their Camino in Paris or even from Biarritz or Bayonne.

Other ways to get there from Canada, fly into Madrid take train or bus to Pamplona, then bus or taxi to SJPDP. Or fly into Barcelona with similar process to get to Pomona, then bus or taxi.

Several ways to get there. Check total costs and time constraints to help you make a choice.
 

Grousedoctor

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2023
Others have given good advice here, and there is no "right" answer since it's all about personal preference. I strongly recommend at least one night in Paris to get your clock straight and rehydrate for overseas travelers. What's your hurry?. Besides, it's a great place to walk around. After landing at CDG, you can taxi/bus/train into central Paris, then book somewhere to stay near Gare Montparnasse - this is the main TGV terminal. It IS POSSIBLE to catch a train from CDG itself to Bayonnethe day you arrive, but the choices are fewer, and you risk missing a train if you have a tight connection and your flight is late or you were delayed in Customs. If I was in a hurry, I'd fly to Biarritz that day since you are in the airport already anyways.

There are many choices of hotels near Montparnasse station in many price ranges. I prefer the train into central Paris, as its the cheapest option, and you don't need to wait long. The RER-B commuter train goes from CDG (follow the Paris By Train signs), and take the Isle de France signs, not the TGV Grand Lignes signs once you head down stairs in the airport. The vending machine may not take your credit card, so have some paper euros instead, and buy a ticket for a little over 10 euros from the machine. It's about 40 minutes to Denfert-Rochereau station, depending if your train was an express or not. Once there, you are five blocks from Montparnasse. From here, walk to your hotel.......or Montparnasse if you are in a big hurry.

Book your TGV ticket to Bayonne before you go. You can combine it with a separate ticket to SJPP from there, but you don't have to. There are trains every few hours, but 10 AM is a pretty good choice. The train to Bayonne is about 4 hours, and pretty cool if you have never been on a TGV before. Once in Bayonne, you change trains to a TER train for SJPP. The station is small, and the employees sweep pilgrims onto the right platform all day long - just follow all the other people with back packs. Don't worry if that train turns out to actually be a bus, the tracks between Bayonne and SJPP are frequently out of service, but they always have a bus leaving from the parking lot as a substitute. About an hour to SJPP either way. From the station, walk into town to your accommodation. SJPP is a village, not a big city.
Rick offers a lot of great advice in his post. Having gone from Paris to SJPP twice, taking the train out of the Gare Montparnasse is quite easy and straightforward.

On my first Camino, I added extra stress to my travels by planning on getting to SJPP the same day that I arrived in Paris. The stress came from hoping (and praying a bit) that all my pre-arranged connections worked out. Although I did make it to SJPP by early evening, my travels were not without some complications (a strike shut down the rail service between Bayonne and SJPP on the particular day I was traveling). Having flown from the States overnight and then traveled to the south of France, I was quite exhausted when I reached my destination only to begin my Camino the next morning over the Pyrenees.

Learning from experience, similar to what Rick recommended, if you are flying into Paris, spend rest of the day there to recharge. If it is your first visit to Paris, all the more reason to see a bit of this glorious city. As so aptly put in Rick’s post, “What’s your hurry?” Take the train to Bayonne the next morning and easily arrive in SJPP by afternoon. My preference is to train versus flying. I like to see a bit of new land that I’m a visitor in. Just my personal preference.

On my first CF, I feel that I rushed my journey more than I needed to. You’ll figure out your Camino pace quickly enough. You’ll know what works best for you. Make getting to where you start walking part of this journey as well. Give yourself enough leaway to enjoy every part of the journey as your Camino starts well before to take the first steps out your front door.

One final note, I usually book my return flight out of Madrid. It’s quite easy to fly or take the high speed train from Santiago to Madrid at the end of your Camino instead of returning to Paris.
 

Anik2001

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Past: Frances, Fisterra y Muxia (2017 and 2022),
I flew from Montreal to Bordeaux with Air Transat, a direct flight. From there, you take the train to Bayonne and then to SJPP. Bordeaux is a nice little place to visit if you have already seen Paris.
Buen Camino!
 

Larry E

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
September-October (2020)
It might help get more useful answers if you say where you are travelling from.The closest airport to SJPDP is Biarritz. From there it is a very straightforward low-cost journey by bus to Bayonne railway station then train to SJPDP.
I did this, too, traveling from the USA, spending the night in Biarritz, then train to SJPP. I would do it the same way again, and this is what I recommend to my US Pilgrim friends.
 
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isobelmtl

New Member
I would like to walk the el camino in mid March 2023 (i had to delay my first plan to walk it in Sept.). Looking at the schedules it seems i need to take a mixture of trains and buses to get to St. Jean. For those of you that have travelled from Paris to St. Jean how did you arrange the trip?

I do not necessarily need to travel to Paris if there is an easier airport to land in what where would that be??

Thanks for any help
We have good flights from Montreal to Paris so I chose that option. Stayed overnight and took the train to Bayonne and an easy connection to the train straight to st jean P de P . However recently I hear something about the last leg of the Bayonne to St Jean not running ( train) . Check this , look at Rome 2 Rio for best alternatives
 

trecile

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
However recently I hear something about the last leg of the Bayonne to St Jean not running ( train) . Check this , look at Rome 2 Rio for best alternatives
It's my understanding that this isn't sometime that you have to figure out for yourself - if the train isn't running between Bayonne and SJPDP the train company will organize a bus.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
2006 to date: Over 21 Caminos. See signature line
I would like to walk the el camino in mid March 2023 (i had to delay my first plan to walk it in Sept.). Looking at the schedules it seems i need to take a mixture of trains and buses to get to St. Jean. For those of you that have travelled from Paris to St. Jean how did you arrange the trip?

I do not necessarily need to travel to Paris if there is an easier airport to land in what where would that be??

Thanks for any help
I fly into Madrid or Pamplona every year.
From the Madrid airport during season, you can catch a bus directly to SJPP.
However, I catch the bus to Pamplona, spend a couple of days recovering from the time change, then nab an inexpensive bus to SJPP.
As I've said before, this way when all the pilgrims in the world are staying in Pamplona on your way back through, you've already seen it and you can stay somewhere "between" the Brierley stages, and get out of the wave of pilgrims.

I've also flown into Paris and taken the train to Bayonne then SJPP.
I much prefer the trip through Madrid.
 

Joe C

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Francés (2019)
If you take the train from Paris to Bayonne the same day you fly in, another option is to overnight in Bayonne. We did this in 2019. Hotel was right by the station, and it was a pleasant place to walk and relax, before taking the train (or, as is often the case, bus) in the morning. We were only walking to Orisson on the first day, though, so it was fine getting into SJPdP in mid-morning.
 

Sharonih

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF (SJPdP to Santiago) March 15, 2018
I would like to walk the el camino in mid March 2023 (i had to delay my first plan to walk it in Sept.). Looking at the schedules it seems i need to take a mixture of trains and buses to get to St. Jean. For those of you that have travelled from Paris to St. Jean how did you arrange the trip?

I do not necessarily need to travel to Paris if there is an easier airport to land in what where would that be??

Thanks for any help
I actually flew from Paris to Barritz with Ryanair Air as I got a superb deal and so much quicker. I had planned to take a train from Barritz but they were on strike so I took a quick easy bus ride.
 
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KellysMom

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances - May (2019)
I flew from BC Canada to Paris and stayed overnight near the Gare Montparnasse. Walked to the train the next morning, train from Paris to Bayonne with an easy transfer to the train from Bayonne to SJPdP. As a solo traveler who had never taken a train before, I was pretty nervous, but it was so easy and a beautiful way to travel.
 

Schamber

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
May and June 2022
I would like to walk the el camino in mid March 2023 (i had to delay my first plan to walk it in Sept.). Looking at the schedules it seems i need to take a mixture of trains and buses to get to St. Jean. For those of you that have travelled from Paris to St. Jean how did you arrange the trip?

I do not necessarily need to travel to Paris if there is an easier airport to land in what where would that be??

Thanks for any help
We flew to Paris and stayed two nights. I booked the train from Montparnasse to SJPP. Last Nay it was two trains and one bus. It may be 3 trains now. It was easy.
 

Roscoe

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
April 2023 Camino Frances
We flew to Paris and stayed two nights. I booked the train from Montparnasse to SJPP. Last Nay it was two trains and one bus. It may be 3 trains now. It was easy.
I am flying to CDG and have a connecting flight from there to Biarritz, where I am staying the night. From there, I'll travel to SJPP
 

Andybm3

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Portuguese Camino - September 2016
TGV to Bayonne is best route for me - pretty strait forward - I hope to start my next Camino March 10 from SJPP
 
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bforderhase

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
April-May 2023
If you take the train from Paris to Bayonne the same day you fly in, another option is to overnight in Bayonne. We did this in 2019. Hotel was right by the station, and it was a pleasant place to walk and relax, before taking the train (or, as is often the case, bus) in the morning. We were only walking to Orisson on the first day, though, so it was fine getting into SJPdP in mid-morning.
Joe, thinking of taking train from Paris to Bayonne and spending the night there before heading to SJPDP the next day. Too much stress to make from the US to SJPDP in one leg.... Which Bayonne hotel did you stay in? See there are several within walking distance of the train station. Thought I could explore Bayonne a bit in the morning before taking the train to SJPDP. Start the Camino the following morning. Also - how long is the train ride from Bayonne to SJPDP? Other option for me is to do as you did. Take train to SJDPD and immediately start towards Orisson. Planning to start late April 2023. Thanks! Barb
 

Joe C

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Francés (2019)
Joe, thinking of taking train from Paris to Bayonne and spending the night there before heading to SJPDP the next day. Too much stress to make from the US to SJPDP in one leg.... Which Bayonne hotel did you stay in? See there are several within walking distance of the train station. Thought I could explore Bayonne a bit in the morning before taking the train to SJPDP. Start the Camino the following morning. Also - how long is the train ride from Bayonne to SJPDP? Other option for me is to do as you did. Take train to SJDPD and immediately start towards Orisson. Planning to start late April 2023. Thanks! Barb
Hi, Barb! We took the high-speed bullet train from Paris. Rome2Rio shows this as just under four hours.

We stayed at Hotel Cote Basque, right across the street from the train station. https://hotel-cotebasque.fr/

The train to SJPdP is about an hour. If it isn't running (which sounds like it is quite often), they put you on a bus that pushes it closer to two hours.
 

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