Any pilgrims from Down Under like to share how they got to SJPP or thereabouts to start with. Specifically I am leaving from Perth, WA. Cheap airfares all seem to be via Amsterdam, Finland etc!! Any tricks for a more efficient & economic trip?
Hi, I've always flown Qantas which limits the European destinations. First time I flew Qantas from Sydney to Frankfurt, then Frankfurt to Madrid on Iberia. Both flights booked together through Qantas. This meant that if there was any delay, missed flights etc at Frankfurt, Qantas would guarantee me a place on the next flight. I stayed a couple of nights in Madrid to recover from jetlag, then got the bus to Pamplona, and evening bus to Roncesvalles. There was a taxi waiting at Roncesvalles for pilgrims wanting to go on to SJPP.
Last year, I travelled Qantas/Air France to Paris. I then went on to Lourdes, but you can get the TGV train from Paris to Bayonne, then train from Bayonne to SJPP. A couple of nights recuperating in either Paris or Bayonne would be a good idea before walking.
While cheap airfares are available, as you say they go to odd places like Amsterdam etc. Be careful of these flights because it might cost you more in the long run to get a connection to Spain.
To get to SJPP in April this year, we found a cheap flight from Sydney to Paris and a $90 Air France flight to Bayonne and then the short railway trip to SJPP. Booking on-line seems to be the cheapest way to get flights. Bayonne and the train trip to SJPP are both wonderful. Just watch the weather over the Route Napoleon!
Last year, we used a different route to get to the Camino. We flew with Singapore Airlines via Milan to Barcelona. Then we travelled by train to Pamplona and shared taxi to Roncesvalles. Barcelona is fantastic and the train trip to Pamplona was only about euro32.
We flew Quantas from Sydney to Singapore, where we changed to Air France to Paris. We spent 2 days there before flying to Pau, and walking on to Compostela from there.
After finishing our walk at Finisterre, we caught a bus back to Compostela, then an overnight train to Madrid. Then Air Framce to Paris, another Air France flight to Singapore, and then Quantas home.
The Quantas entertainment system is much better than that of Air France
Whichever way you get there [and home], Buen Camino
All our travel has been ex-Adelaide three years ago we flew to London and then cheap flight RyanAir to Bairritz stayed at Bayonne then train to SJPP (had 2 days in London)- At the finish we had a flight booked from BArcelona to Paris (easyjet cheap) and then from Paris home via Singapore (Air Singapore was great) .
Next year we will go to Paris and then Maybe TGV to Bayonne/Bairitzz OR cheap flight to Bairitzz for the Camino Norte -And then after the walk out of Barcelona to Singapore and Home. I like the idea of a bit of train travel although I think the air travel will be slightly cheaper.
Last Year we did Malaysia/KLM really cheap fligt to Lisbon via KL & Amsterdam (long but REALLY CHEAP) and then after a few days in Lisbon and train to Oporto to start the Camino Portuguese. We have found that the jet lag is not as bad going over to Europe via asia as it is on return-either its the way you go around the world or its excitement -cheers