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How do I start to French Route?


Getting to France

Easiest way from UK is to use http://www.ryanair.com from Stansted airport. Fly to Biarittiz and return from Santiago. Both flights from Stansted Airport.
In Biarittiz take local bus to railway station and then train to St. Jean Pied to Port.
If flying into Heathrow take the National Express http://www.nationalexpress.com/ bus from Heathrow to Stansted airport.

Ryanair is a low cost carrier flights can be very cheap.

Bon Camino

William Marques

Staff member
Donating Member
Getting to SJPP

geofones is right about how to get to SJPP via the UK.
An alternative route is via Paris to SJPP. What makes it very easy is the fact that there is a TGV station under Terminal 2 at Charles De Gaulle airport which allows you to bypass a trip into Paris for the sole purpose of catching a train. From there you can get a train directly to Bayonne and then the shuttle to SJPP. If the scheduling is not convenient to Bayonne itself just take the next TGV to Bordeaux and take a local train from there to Bayonne. The shuttle to SJPP takes about an hour but is not very frequent. Check the SNCF website for exact times of all trains.
You would then need to arrange a flight back to Paris from Santiago.
Buen Camino



"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
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peregrinob, you should probably know that the St Jean Pied de Port - Roncesvalles stage is one of the most difficult of the whole camino, although it's also one of the most beautiful, but it could potentially be a poor choice for a first stage -- OTOH it's so beautiful, you don't want to miss it :)

If you could manage to spare an extra week or so for your journey, it might be a good idea to just fly to Bordeaux from the US, then walk to Sant Jean and then on to Santiago from Bordeaux (not from the airport :p it's to the north of the city). This would be closer to the pilgrim spirit for starters, but it would also give you a valuable few days of hiking experience before crossing the Pyrenees into Spain -- and the walk through the Landes is curiously beautiful despite all the flatness and straightness of everything, the people there are wonderfully friendly, the campsites are great, and then you have the walk up through Gascony up into the foothills and mountains of the French basque country.

are they worth their weight? I know lists of albergues/refugios are avaiable online. are there some that i should consider buying? Which ones? also, are there any book recommendations for me before i go?



Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
Bordeaux to St Jean - part of the Via Turonensis

I walked from Orleans last year. There are very few refuges in the South of France. I will try to copy the list here. It is in excel and if it doesn't copy well, I ould send it to Ivar and he can pass it onto you.

Accueil Sur Le Chemin de Tours - Departements 33- 40 - 64
St Martin Lacaussade 33 Halle St Jacques (Mme Desfosse Route Nationale 05 57 33 40 05 Gite neuf, 4 places
Le Pian Medoc 33 Soeurs de Marie Joseph Ermitage Lamourous 05 56 35 28 39
Et de la Misericorde
Blanquefort 33 Hotel le Maurian 67 rue Maurian 05 56 35 55 55 Hotel Centre d'hebergement
Gradignan 33 Prieure de Cayac 11 cours du GL De Gaulle
Le Barp 33 Marie 05 57 71 90 90 Gite municipal pelerin 2 places
Belin-Beliet 33 soeurs Ste familie: Mme Lafitte 05 56 88 00 89
Mme Turbet-Delof 05 56 88 12 64
Mons (sortie de Belin) 33 Gite minicpal (6 places) 06 83 88 44 71 Mr Monceau
05 56 88 00 06 Mairie

Saugnacq et Muret 40 Gite communaute des communes Saugnacq 05 58 07 73 01 Gite d'etape
Pissos 40 voir Mairie 05 58 04 41 40 Gite d'etape
Moustey 40 05 58 07 75 60 Gite d'etape 15 places
Labouheyre 40 presbytere (Pere J-J- Sain Martin) 336 Rue P M Curie 05 58 07 07 71 selon disponibilite
Onesse 40 Hotel Caule 05 58 07 30 01 hotel sans etoile ni suite
Taller 40 Mme Seguin Runcao (6km - Taller) 05 58 89 43 18 Chambre d'hote
Taller 40 Possibilite de gite municipal mairie 05 58 89 41 05 Accueil sommaire
Dax 40 L'arrayade (ancien grand seminaire) 26, bd d'Aspremont 05 58 58 30 30 centre d'hebergement
Dax 40 Centre St Vincent de Paul 05 58 89 90 01
Saint Pandelon 40 05 58 98 72 66 gite 10 places
Cagnotte 40 05 58 73 10 00 gite prive
Sorde 40 Mr Binquet ou Mme Fuertes Abbaye pres de Peyrehorade 05 58 73 61 01 gite paroissiale 6 places + 1 chambre
05 58 73 25 05

Sauveterre de Bearn 64 Mme Becquet 05 59 38 98 08 gite
Guinarthe 64 Mme Warembourg 05 59 38 92 20 petit accueil
Saint-Palais 64 Maison Franciscaine Zabalik 1 avenue de Gibraltar 05 59 65 71 37 accueil pelerin
Ostabat 64 Gite Ospitalia 05 59 37 83 17 gite
Ostabat 64 Maison Ametzanea 05 59 37 85 03 gite prive +
05 59 37 81 56 restaurant
Ostabat 64 Maison Eyharts 05 59 37 81 10 gite
St Jean-Pied-de-Port 64 Gite municipal 55 rue de la Citadelle 05 59 37 05 09 gite (accueil 39 rue de la Citadelle)
St Jean-Pied-de-Port 64 gite Etchtegoyen 05 59 37 12 08 Gite
Honto 64 gite 05 59 37 11 17 gite

St-Jean-d'Angely Centre de Culture Europeennee 33 places de pelerins 05 46 32 60 60 (Tel ahead to book)
Saintes Refuge des pelerins
Hello :)

We did the Camino from St Jean in July 2005. Was absolutely amazing.

This is the book we carried:
A Pilgrim's Guide to Camino Frances: St.Jean Pied De Port to Santiago De Compostela by John Brierley.

We found this book to be worth its weight in gold. Although a little out of date now and a few of the Albergues have come and gone, the maps are fantastic and we couldnt have got by without it.



Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
I had a little book from the Dutch "ANWB" which is in several languages available.
But 1 thing was not very up to date... not all the albergues were registered in it.

Are all (new) albergues in this book, that you know??
This is the book we carried:
A Pilgrim's Guide to Camino Frances: St.Jean Pied De Port to Santiago De Compostela by John Brierley.
Cause walking around with a booklet and a couple of papers in order to find all alberques... did it, but didn't find it very handy.


Maggie Ramsay
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago de Compostela (2005) Via Francigena (2010) Le Puy to St Jean (2014)
getting there

Great to read all the info about getting there, but maybe someone can help with this. Flying from Australia, which is the best city in Europe to land? And then what? I had thought to go to Madrid, then bus or train, but the more I read the more I think there might be a better way. I'm starting in either Ronscevalles or SJDP depending on the weather (might be too snowy on the pass).


Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
Where to fly to

Hola Magnara,
I know that is is difficult to plan the best travel arrangements when yiou are so far away. However, there is no direct and easy way to get to either St Jean or Roncesvalles - both involve flights, train, bus and/or taxi. Remember that one is in France - the other in Spain - so there are no trains between the two or busses.
Roncesvalles is not a town, it is a monastery complex with a Church, Monastery, hostel, a couple of inns and very little else. If you want to start in Roncesvalles then Madrid would be the place to fly to.
You would then get a train or bus to Pamplona and the evening bus to Roncesvalles.
If you want to start in St Jean you can still fly to Madrid - follow the train/bus to Pamplona and bus to Roncesvalles and get a taxi over to St Jean.
Or you can fly to Bilbao and follow this route.
Bilbao to St Jean: Coach service to Hendaye. Ticket and bus stop at Termibus by the Hospital Civile de Basuto. 1.hr 50mins €7. From Hendaye to St Jean by train via Bayonne 3 ½ hours http://www.sncf.com (French Rail)

Once you are there is is less complicated and then you just have to follow the yellow arrows and put one foot in front of the other for ± 800kms!

Let us know what you decide.
Regarding where to fly into. I am canadian and I was going to fly into Paris or Madrid. But I really believe the best option is to fly into London.
From Canada the charters land at gatwick. I really don't want to transfer to Stansted airport so i am looking at flying into Toulouse France., then a train to St.JpdP. I haven't booked my flight so just depends on flight times.
The bonus of going out of london, is using easy jet airlines and ryan air.,
otherwise it may be a pain going from santiago back to paris


Staff member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid.
I've done it three times from Sydney, twice by landing in Paris and taking the TGV to Bayonne, then catching the local train to SJPP, and once by flying into Madrid, then taking the train to Pamplona and the bus to Roncesvalles.
If you want to start at SJPP then Paris is easier, if somewhere in Spain then Madrid.
My choices are influenced by cost - if I had plenty of money I'd take the direct Qantas flight to Paris, it is quickest, but it never seems to be discounted. Hence twice I've gone via London (with a 4 hour wait at Healthrow after a 24 hour flight) and once via Geneva with Swiss Air. The Swiss Air option was good, I flew Cathay to Hong Kong and then changed planes, but the connections were fantastic (1 hour in Hong Kong, 1 hour in Geneva), it happened to be the cheapest way of getting to Europe at the time, I was able to land in Paris and leave from Madrid, and had a stopover on the way home. There are lots of tricks to keeping the cost down (eg if going from Paris buy a TGV buy a ticket direct over the internet). It also depends on whether you want/have time/have the money for a couple of days sightseeing/sleeping in Paris or Madrid or whether you will walk immediately. I've done both. Send an email off list (jillhill@jillhill.com.au) if you want more details.
Camino(s) past & future
June / July 2013 with my husband Alan
Does any one know roughly the price of overnight train from Paris to Bayonne ? I tried to do a search but couldn't find an answer.

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