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How to get from Madrid to St Jean-Pied-du-Port?

Kaiso

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2019
I'm in the planning stages of a trip to Spain. The intention is to fly into Barcelona, visit that city and a few others, ending up in Madrid. (Approx. 15 days) From there I'd hoped to travel to St Jean-Pied-du-Port to walk the Camino. I'm not sure what the best way to get there and how long it might take? I hope to land in Spain at the end of April. Nothing is set and my dates can be fluid. Suggestions and advice would be appreciated.
 

EricBerg

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, May 2019
I'm in the planning stages of a trip to Spain. The intention is to fly into Barcelona, visit that city and a few others, ending up in Madrid. (Approx. 15 days) From there I'd hoped to travel to St Jean-Pied-du-Port to walk the Camino. I'm not sure what the best way to get there and how long it might take? I hope to land in Spain at the end of April. Nothing is set and my dates can be fluid. Suggestions and advice would be appreciated.
You could get a flight to Pamplona and then go by bus
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
You can get a one way fare from Boston to Barcelona on April 1 for $176. New low cost airline Level is affiliated with Iberia and flies between Boston and Barcelona. It may pay for you to get into Boston. See flylevel.com

I would probably train from Madrid. Then I would take street bus #9 between the train and bus stations and take ALSA/CONDA bus to SJPdP.

Doing some rough checking I found that flying Level for Boston-Barcelona-Buenos Aires is cheaper than other ways to get to Argentina.

This current thread may help too: https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/sjpdp-from-philadelphia.60892/
 

Felipe

Veteran Member
There are many ways (train, bus, flight) from Madrid to Pamplona; both cities are well connected.
From Pamplona to SJPP, check ALSA buses. Apparently leaving Pamplona at 14:30 and 17:30, takes 1:45 to SJPP:
 

Tincatinker

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Lots ;0)
There is a Camino from Madrid. Why not walk that one? Despite what your researches may have revealed so far there is no such thing as “the” Camino. There is “the” Camino Frances but it is only one of myriad routes. If you are minded to walk that route, starting in StJdP, that small town in southern France, rather than Pamplona, an historic town in northern Spain, then the logistics are challenging but surmountable. And easily sorted with 15 minutes on www.rome2rio.com.
Happy planning and Buen Camino
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times
I highly recommend for your first Camino you walk the Frances. There's nothing like it overall, especially for a first timer. From Madrid I always take the ALSA bus all the way to Saint Jean. Easy and inexpensive.
 

Kaiso

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2019
There is a Camino from Madrid. Why not walk that one? Despite what your researches may have revealed so far there is no such thing as “the” Camino. There is “the” Camino Frances but it is only one of myriad routes. If you are minded to walk that route, starting in StJdP, that small town in southern France, rather than Pamplona, an historic town in northern Spain, then the logistics are challenging but surmountable. And easily sorted with 15 minutes on www.rome2rio.com.
Happy planning and Buen Camino
I originally wanted to do the Camino from Seville but decided it would require to much time. I then looked at Madrid, but decided against it for other reasons. Starting from Pamplona would be an option. Has anyone started from there? What would I lose if I did?
 

Robert Long

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Sept 2016
Camino Portuguse Oct 2018
There is a 7:30AM flight from Madrid to Biaritz France on Iberia Air. Then a short train ride to SJPD or take a van. Last year one way was around $75 US

Buen Camino
 

Anamiri

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances
I originally wanted to do the Camino from Seville but decided it would require to much time. I then looked at Madrid, but decided against it for other reasons. Starting from Pamplona would be an option. Has anyone started from there? What would I lose if I did?
If you read the stats (and someone can put in exact figures here) I think about half the people who walk into Santiago start in Sarria, and the others start progressively along the Camino. So lots of people do start in other towns, Pamplona, Burgos Leon etc.
Personally I like crossing the Pyrenees, from one country to another as it makes for a dramatic start, but for my next one I will start in Leon. Im sure all the people who started in different places enjoyed their Camino just as much.
 
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RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times
I originally wanted to do the Camino from Seville but decided it would require to much time. I then looked at Madrid, but decided against it for other reasons. Starting from Pamplona would be an option. Has anyone started from there? What would I lose if I did?
Starting from Pamplona would be great. Many pilgrims do just that. You would not lose out on the experience of walking the Frances at all.
 

Kaiso

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2019
Last question about travel. When the walk is completed. What is the usual method of travel out for non-EU citizens? I'm assuming pilgrims need to get themselves to a major city with an international airport?
 

EricBerg

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, May 2019
Does really depend upon where you are trying to get back foo, but as a start you can fly to Madrid. Check out Flight Scanner
 

Jackieduda

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF September (2018)
I'm in the planning stages of a trip to Spain. The intention is to fly into Barcelona, visit that city and a few others, ending up in Madrid. (Approx. 15 days) From there I'd hoped to travel to St Jean-Pied-du-Port to walk the Camino. I'm not sure what the best way to get there and how long it might take? I hope to land in Spain at the end of April. Nothing is set and my dates can be fluid. Suggestions and advice would be appreciated.
I had a most expensive lesson trying to figure this out AFTER i had set other plans in stone. My advice: figure out the bus schedule from madrid to pamplona, then from pamplona to st jean before anything else, then work around those dates to get to madrid. Had i done it that way i would have not had to spend $300 usd on a plane from madrid to pamplona in order to make connections in time.
 

Ronald H

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2012
I'm in the planning stages of a trip to Spain. The intention is to fly into Barcelona, visit that city and a few others, ending up in Madrid. (Approx. 15 days) From there I'd hoped to travel to St Jean-Pied-du-Port to walk the Camino. I'm not sure what the best way to get there and how long it might take? I hope to land in Spain at the end of April. Nothing is set and my dates can be fluid. Suggestions and advice would be appreciated.
Take the fast train to Pamplona & the bus to St Jean.
 

John H.

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF - 2017
CP Central - 2017
CP Coastal - 2018
CF - [hopefully again someday]
A few options. I flew to Madrid, took a train from Madrid to Pamplona (or you can take a bus) and then a taxi from Pamplona to SJPP (you can take a bus or shuttle instead of the taxis to save $).

1. Getting to Pamplona and St Jean Pied de Port from Madrid:

a. Fly to Madrid Airport:

b. Shuttle Bus To Train Station: Take the Airport Express Bus from terminal 1 to Puerto De Atocha Train Station. The bus runs every 30 minutes and only has 2 stops after it leaves the airport, Plaza de Cibeles, and Atocha Station (15-30 minutes, 5 €). (A taxi would cost 30 Euros).

c. Train to Pamplona: Take the train from Madrid to Pamplona (Rail Europe / Alvia Train / Renfe) (3 hours, 50-100 €, buy your ticket online in advance to ensure seating).

d. Taxi From Pamplona to SJPP: Take a taxi from the Pamplona train station to SJPP (1 hour, $130 €). I found a few other people at the train station with back packs and we shared the taxi fare. (There are also other bus and shuttle options from Pamplona)

(There is also a bus to Pamplona from Avienda de America Bus Station in Madrid for less € but it takes 5 hours and you need to take a taxi from the train to the bus station. You would take a CONDA bus from Pamplona to SJPdP, OR, take ARTIEDA bus from Pamplona to Roncesvalles and a local taxi from Roncesvalles to St JPP.)

2. Coming home from Santiago de Compostela to Madrid:

a. One time I took a flight back to Madrid (if you know your dates and can book in advance it can be relatively cheap - but no change options)

b. One time I took the train for about 90€, booked it only one day in advance. It was very nice to view the interior Spain scenery (4-5 hours).

Have a great trip.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Sept 2017
Camino Frances Sept 2020
I'm in the planning stages of a trip to Spain. The intention is to fly into Barcelona, visit that city and a few others, ending up in Madrid. (Approx. 15 days) From there I'd hoped to travel to St Jean-Pied-du-Port to walk the Camino. I'm not sure what the best way to get there and how long it might take? I hope to land in Spain at the end of April. Nothing is set and my dates can be fluid. Suggestions and advice would be appreciated.
I too landed in Madrid. Took the train to Pamplona, then a taxi to SJPP. Was going to take the bus, but it was leaving much later, and two other pilgrims were standing at the bus stop when we arrived. The 4 of us flagged down a taxi, for the same cost as the bus. A great way to see the countryside and preview of your days to come.
 

EricBerg

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, May 2019
I too landed in Madrid. Took the train to Pamplona, then a taxi to SJPP. Was going to take the bus, but it was leaving much later, and two other pilgrims were standing at the bus stop when we arrived. The 4 of us flagged down a taxi, for the same cost as the bus. A great way to see the countryside and preview of your days to come.
I live in Alicante and on 28th May I am flying to Pamplona via Madrid. Then by bus to StPdP. I beria fly from Madrid to Pamplona and I will catch 14.30 bus
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances/SJPP 2015, 2016, 2018
Way of St. Francis, Italy 2017
Portuguese/Finisterre 2018 (2019)
Three Camino’s from SJPdP and my favorite way to there is to take the morning flight to Biarritz and pre-arrange Bourricot transport. I was there by noon and had time to enjoy the town before heading out the next day.
 

milo4ever

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, June-July 2019
Three Camino’s from SJPdP and my favorite way to there is to take the morning flight to Biarritz and pre-arrange Bourricot transport. I was there by noon and had time to enjoy the town before heading out the next day.
I haven't seen a morning flight to Biarritz- everything has a connection somewhere it seems! Which airline do you fly?
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances/SJPP 2015, 2016, 2018
Way of St. Francis, Italy 2017
Portuguese/Finisterre 2018 (2019)
I haven't seen a morning flight to Biarritz- everything has a connection somewhere it seems! Which airline do you fly?
It was Iberia, but it looks like they do not have the direct flight anymore. I recently found other flights that used to be direct now having a connection. Too bad, it was such an easy way to go. Buen Camino.
 

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