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I'm new, please forgive me...

2020 Camino Guides

Cristie

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Plan to walk the Camino.
...if this question has been asked a million times.
Aside for being really new at travelling on my own, I guess I'm a bit of an idiot too because I just don't understand where to start the Camino.
I am a middle age woman, living in Canada, and I would like to do the whole Camino because I have 3 months off. I know it will not take me 3 months to complete it because I too travel on a very tight budget.
But my question is for somebody that has done the Camino and can tell me from Canada I fly first where? Paris?
And how exactly do I get from Paris to Saint Jean Pied de Port? (Please no links because I find them confusing).
Or do you thing it's less complicated if I start in Spain and walk from there on?
Thank you so much and please forgive my stupidity. I feel so ashamed that I can't find this information on my own.
I kept reading the forum with no success despite the amount of info here...

I forgot to mention that I would like to start it in mid-April or beginning of May. Thank you.
 

dollytz

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
camino Frances September 2016
Christie there is nothing stupid about asking a question on a forum where many people may be able to help. I'm planning my Camino from Tanzania, I'll fly to the UK, catch up with friends, sort out my Camino clothes and head to SJPdP by bus and train. I'm sure many people will be able to provide you with the answers you're looking for. Buen Camino.
 

Dutch

Straightforward
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP-SdC sept '13
Porto-SdC May '14
SdC-Finis/Muxia May '14
SJPP-Finisterre sept '14
Pamplona-Burgos march '15
Porto - Sdc may '15
Camino salkantay june '15
SJPP - SdC aug/sept '15

Pacific Crest Trail april thru sept 2016
You can fly to Paris. From there an option would be to fly to Biarritz. This inland flight can sometimes be as cheap as 40-50 euro.
From the airport you could take a shared taxi to Sjpp. Depending on the number of people that share the taxi, it can be around 16 euro.
Or you take the bus from the airport to the trainsstation and then the train to sjpp.
A few euros cheaper (if the shared taxi is full so that you pay 16 euro), but more of a hassle.
If you want the link of the site where to book the taxi, just let the forum know. (You said no links, remember ;) )

You could also take a train from paris to Biarritz/sjpp. This takes longer. I think i would prefer the short flight to biarritz.

Other option, canada to madrid. From madrid train to pamplona, from pamplona bus to roncesvalles. The first place on the spanish side of the border. The place where lots of Spanish people start.
I am not sure if a bus from pamplona goes straight to sjpp. Others will know.

Ps

The question hasnt been asked a million times.......but several million times ;) :) but its still ok haha

Buen camino
 
Last edited:

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I am going to fly to Madrid, spend two nights there to hopefully recover from jet lag, then take the train to Pamplona. I learned about a pensión there called Pensión Corazón Puro. They will pick you up at the train or bus station in Pamplona, take you to their place feed you dinner, then breakfast the next morning. Then, they will drive you to St Jean in the morning.
http://www.corazonpuro.es/Enghome.html

I've also made a reservation for Refuge Orisson to break up the first day's walk through the Pyrenees.
http://www.refuge-orisson.com/en/
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Ch. d'Arles: Oloron Ste Marie to Aragones; Frances (2016); V.d.l.P.; Sanabres (2017)
...if this question has been asked a million times.
Aside for being really new at travelling on my own, I guess I'm a bit of an idiot too because I just don't understand where to start the Camino.
I am a middle age woman, living in Canada, and I would like to do the whole Camino because I have 3 months off. I know it will not take me 3 months to complete it because I too travel on a very tight budget.
But my question is for somebody that has done the Camino and can tell me from Canada I fly first where? Paris?
And how exactly do I get from Paris to Saint Jean Pied de Port? (Please no links because I find them confusing).
Or do you thing it's less complicated if I start in Spain and walk from there on?
Thank you so much and please forgive my stupidity. I feel so ashamed that I can't find this information on my own.
I kept reading the forum with no success despite the amount of info here...

I forgot to mention that I would like to start it in mid-April or beginning of May. Thank you.
Christie:
The answer to your question is really based on where you start from, as well as where you are going. I live in Calgary. I flew to Dallas/Fort Worth then to Madrid and took the Alsa bus to Pamplona last September. There I was picked up by Istvan of Corazon Puro, driven to his pension near Roncesvalles to enjoy the hospitality of him and his wife, then driven to St Jean Pied de Port in the morning to begin my camino. I booked my flights with British Airways through Texas, although it was very roundabout, because that booking would get me to Madrid in time to get a bus to Pamplona in good time the same day. This worked out very well for me. Others fly to Paris then take a connecting flight or train south, eventually arriving in St Jean. I am less familiar with that route, because I did not follow it. However, this year, for my second and somewhat different camino, I am flying Calgary to Toronto to Paris, then changing airports and on to Pau in the south of France to begin my camino near there. I suggest that if you are uncomfortable making your own bookings you might inquire with a travel agent. If you want more specific information from forum members as to possible arrangements, let us know where you live and when you are planning to go and someone who took a different route from myself could offer you options. By the way, I am a senior, will be 68 in two weeks, and enjoyed my camino so much that I am going back in the fall. Because of work and family obligations, many pilgrims walk the camino at a "mature" age and manage just fine. But many of us are nervous and uncertain the first time. It is no bother to help. Buen camino.
 

Rick M

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
April ('16,'18, '19, '20)
...if this question has been asked a million times.
Aside for being really new at travelling on my own, I guess I'm a bit of an idiot too because I just don't understand where to start the Camino.
I am a middle age woman, living in Canada, and I would like to do the whole Camino because I have 3 months off. I know it will not take me 3 months to complete it because I too travel on a very tight budget.
But my question is for somebody that has done the Camino and can tell me from Canada I fly first where? Paris?
And how exactly do I get from Paris to Saint Jean Pied de Port? (Please no links because I find them confusing).
Or do you thing it's less complicated if I start in Spain and walk from there on?
Thank you so much and please forgive my stupidity. I feel so ashamed that I can't find this information on my own.
I kept reading the forum with no success despite the amount of info here...

I forgot to mention that I would like to start it in mid-April or beginning of May. Thank you.
Paris would be a possible first stop from Toronto, but you need to keep going and get closer to the far southwest, where the trail head is. We are flying from Vancouver to Bordeaux via Amsterdam on KLM. This was the cheapest way we could get close. Then, a train from Bordeaux to Bayonne, changing for St. Jean Pied Du Port. You could also get to Bordeaux or Biarritz via London, Paris, or Frankfurt, which are the typical direct flights from Canada. Depends where you live. If you land in Bordeaux or Biarritz, overnight there before taking the train to St. Jean. The train part is easier than it looks. Rail Europe will sell you tickets on line or over the phone, but NO SOONER than 90 days before the train leaves. Pick a hotel near the train station for your first night so you can find it before your train leaves.
 

gigibarry

Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP - Santo Domingo 2012, Santo Domingo- Astorga, Astorga - SdC, 2013, Caminho Portugues 2016?
Living in Ireland, we fly from Dublin to Biarritz and then a short bus/ train or taxi journey to Saint Jean, but I've heard of pilgrims from North America being able to get reasonable flights to Dublin and then flying onward from here. Try options on skyscanner.ie. They often have good prices. Good luck.
 

MichaelB10398

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago de Compostela, Lourdes to SdC, SJPP to SdC
...if this question has been asked a million times.
Aside for being really new at travelling on my own, I guess I'm a bit of an idiot too because I just don't understand where to start the Camino.
I am a middle age woman, living in Canada, and I would like to do the whole Camino because I have 3 months off. I know it will not take me 3 months to complete it because I too travel on a very tight budget.
But my question is for somebody that has done the Camino and can tell me from Canada I fly first where? Paris?
And how exactly do I get from Paris to Saint Jean Pied de Port? (Please no links because I find them confusing).
Or do you thing it's less complicated if I start in Spain and walk from there on?
Thank you so much and please forgive my stupidity. I feel so ashamed that I can't find this information on my own.
I kept reading the forum with no success despite the amount of info here...

I forgot to mention that I would like to start it in mid-April or beginning of May. Thank you.
Hello Cristie,
Three months is a long time. You indicated you wanted to walk the whole Camino. That is a little too vague to assist. For example, are you in pretty good shape? Do you walk or hike now? If you are in good shape and want to walk for two to three months - depending on how many days off you take - you may want to consider beginning in Le Puy and then walking to SJPP and then on to Santiago de Compostela. I think you could walk this comfortably in 70 days, but you have 90 days so you could take your time and really enjoy a lot of the beautiful town and villages you would pass through.

There are several ways to get to your desired location. Flying to Paris and then also flying to another city is easy. The train system in France is excellent and you will easily be able to take TGV - fast train - to a major city in southern France and then a normal train to a Le Puy.

If you have not traveled much in Europe in this manner it seems daunting at first, but the reality is that it is quite easy. If you speak a little French you will get on very well indeed.

How long do you want to walk? What are your interests? A little bit more information and we can be more helpful for you as you make decisions about what you are really looking for as a Camino.

Bon Chemin,
 

Cristie

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Plan to walk the Camino.
Christie:
The answer to your question is really based on where you start from, as well as where you are going. I live in Calgary. I flew to Dallas/Fort Worth then to Madrid and took the Alsa bus to Pamplona last September. There I was picked up by Istvan of Corazon Puro, driven to his pension near Roncesvalles to enjoy the hospitality of him and his wife, then driven to St Jean Pied de Port in the morning to begin my camino. I booked my flights with British Airways through Texas, although it was very roundabout, because that booking would get me to Madrid in time to get a bus to Pamplona in good time the same day. This worked out very well for me. Others fly to Paris then take a connecting flight or train south, eventually arriving in St Jean. I am less familiar with that route, because I did not follow it. However, this year, for my second and somewhat different camino, I am flying Calgary to Toronto to Paris, then changing airports and on to Pau in the south of France to begin my camino near there. I suggest that if you are uncomfortable making your own bookings you might inquire with a travel agent. If you want more specific information from forum members as to possible arrangements, let us know where you live and when you are planning to go and someone who took a different route from myself could offer you options. By the way, I am a senior, will be 68 in two weeks, and enjoyed my camino so much that I am going back in the fall. Because of work and family obligations, many pilgrims walk the camino at a "mature" age and manage just fine. But many of us are nervous and uncertain the first time. It is no bother to help. Buen camino.
Corazon Puro is mentioned in two responses. Thank you so much!
I might contact then via email and just leave myself in their hands (especially with the drive to Saint Jean Pied de Port).
If you don't mind me asking, about how much they would charge for the help with the picking up from airport and driving to SJPP)?

I live in Toronto.
 

Cristie

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Plan to walk the Camino.
I am going to fly to Madrid, spend two nights there to hopefully recover from jet lag, then take the train to Pamplona. I learned about a pensión there called Pensión Corazón Puro. They will pick you up at the train or bus station in Pamplona, take you to their place feed you dinner, then breakfast the next morning. Then, they will drive you to St Jean in the morning.
http://www.corazonpuro.es/Enghome.html

I've also made a reservation for Refuge Orisson to break up the first day's walk through the Pyrenees.
http://www.refuge-orisson.com/en/
It sounds like this is the best option so far. Thank you so very much for your response.
You don't know how much it helps a lost soul, such as myself.

Buen Camino!
 

Cristie

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Plan to walk the Camino.
Hello Cristie,
Three months is a long time. You indicated you wanted to walk the whole Camino. That is a little too vague to assist. For example, are you in pretty good shape? Do you walk or hike now? If you are in good shape and want to walk for two to three months - depending on how many days off you take - you may want to consider beginning in Le Puy and then walking to SJPP and then on to Santiago de Compostela. I think you could walk this comfortably in 70 days, but you have 90 days so you could take your time and really enjoy a lot of the beautiful town and villages you would pass through.

There are several ways to get to your desired location. Flying to Paris and then also flying to another city is easy. The train system in France is excellent and you will easily be able to take TGV - fast train - to a major city in southern France and then a normal train to a Le Puy.

If you have not traveled much in Europe in this manner it seems daunting at first, but the reality is that it is quite easy. If you speak a little French you will get on very well indeed.

How long do you want to walk? What are your interests? A little bit more information and we can be more helpful for you as you make decisions about what you are really looking for as a Camino.

Bon Chemin,
Hi Michael,
I'm in good shape and I am used to walking a lot, I'm not that concerned about this aspect.
I have three months off but I don't plan on spending all of them walking the Camino. My goal for the Camino is anywhere from 30 to 40 days. I hope this is realistic.
Unfortunately I don't speak French, so, this is why I am trying to avoid France.
I do speak Spanish though.
I do wish to travel alone most of the time but I'd welcome other travellers' companion too.
Like everyone else, I have some things to figure out and the Camino called me
 

Cristie

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Plan to walk the Camino.
You can fly to Paris. From there an option would be to fly to Biarritz. This inland flight can sometimes be as cheap as 40-50 euro.
From the airport you could take a shared taxi to Sjpp. Depending on the number of people that share the taxi, it can be around 16 euro.
Or you take the bus from the airport to the trainsstation and then the train to sjpp.
A few euros cheaper (if the shared taxi is full so that you pay 16 euro), but more of a hassle.
If you want the link of the site where to book the taxi, just let the forum know. (You said no links, remember ;) )

You could also take a train from paris to Biarritz/sjpp. This takes longer. I think i would prefer the short flight to biarritz.

Other option, canada to madrid. From madrid train to pamplona, from pamplona bus to roncesvalles. The first place on the spanish side of the border. The place where lots of Spanish people start.
I am not sure if a bus from pamplona goes straight to sjpp. Others will know.

Ps

The question hasnt been asked a million times.......but several million times ;) :) but its still ok haha

Buen camino
Thank you, Dutch!
The more I hear about it the easier it seems to just fly to Madrid. At least I speak enough Spanish to get by
 

Cristie

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Plan to walk the Camino.
Thank you, Dutch!
The more I hear about it the easier it seems to just fly to Madrid. At least I speak enough Spanish to get by
Also, were would one get a Camino passport I hear about it???
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Ch. d'Arles: Oloron Ste Marie to Aragones; Frances (2016); V.d.l.P.; Sanabres (2017)
Corazon Puro is mentioned in two responses. Thank you so much!
I might contact then via email and just leave myself in their hands (especially with the drive to Saint Jean Pied de Port).
If you don't mind me asking, about how much they would charge for the help with the picking up from airport and driving to SJPP)?

I live in Toronto.
Christie:
Corazon Puro will pick you up in Pamplona, so if you fly to Madrid you must get onward transport to Pamplona. I took the Alsa bus from the Madrid Airport terminal 4 to Pamplona, changing buses in Soria. Istvan picked me up at the bus depot in Pamplona. He charged 25 euros total for pickup in Pamplona, the drive to his Pension in Biskarret and the drive to St Jean in the morning. In addition, there was a very modest charge of 18 euros for supper, a bed for the night, and breakfast. As I was travelling alone and there was space, I had a twin-bedded room to myself. You can also choose to get a connecting flight to Pamplona and Istvan will pick you up at the airport in Pamplona, but I understand that there may be complications with that choice. Or you can take a train from Madrid to Pamplona, but then you must get transport to the train station in Madrid. I took a bus from the airport as that seemed the simplest for me, but others prefer plane or train. You should make an advance booking for whichever you choose, as I have been on a bus to the airport which had every seat full and you can't count on last minute availability. Think it through carefully as to time and connections and all should work out. Good luck!
 

Cristie

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Plan to walk the Camino.
Christie:
Corazon Puro will pick you up in Pamplona, so if you fly to Madrid you must get onward transport to Pamplona. I took the Alsa bus from the Madrid Airport terminal 4 to Pamplona, changing buses in Soria. Istvan picked me up at the bus depot in Pamplona. He charged 25 euros total for pickup in Pamplona, the drive to his Pension in Biskarret and the drive to St Jean in the morning. In addition, there was a very modest charge of 18 euros for supper, a bed for the night, and breakfast. As I was travelling alone and there was space, I had a twin-bedded room to myself. You can also choose to get a connecting flight to Pamplona and Istvan will pick you up at the airport in Pamplona, but I understand that there may be complications with that choice. Or you can take a train from Madrid to Pamplona, but then you must get transport to the train station in Madrid. I took a bus from the airport as that seemed the simplest for me, but others prefer plane or train. You should make an advance booking for whichever you choose, as I have been on a bus to the airport which had every seat full and you can't count on last minute availability. Think it through carefully as to time and connections and all should work out. Good luck!
Ah, Albertagirl, you are seriously putting my mind at ease. Thank you so much!
Any other details that comes to mind from your walk and you think it might help me is so welcomed!!!!
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Ch. d'Arles: Oloron Ste Marie to Aragones; Frances (2016); V.d.l.P.; Sanabres (2017)
Also, were would one get a Camino passport I hear about it???
Christie:
Try santiago.ca for the website of the Canadian Company of Pilgrims. They can provide you with a credencial (camino passport) and much other information. It would be a good idea to book Orisson for your first night on the trail from St Jean Pied de Port. That breaks the strenuous walk to Roncesvalles and you will meet other pilgrims who are starting when you are. Orisson must be booked and paid for in advance to guarantee a place, as it is the only accommodation midway between St Jean and Roncesvalles. The email which I have used for them is refuge.orisson@wanadoo.fr . As you have stated that you have three months, keep in mind that you can only be in the Schengen are in Europe for a maximum of 90 days without getting a visa extension, apparently not so easy to do. If you have a Canadian passport valid for 6 months after your return you will not have to worry about a visa, as you will be given one valid for 90 days when you land in Europe. These details are challenging at first, but you will get all sorted out over time. When are you going? You are better prepared than I was, as I had very little Spanish when I began my first camino. Buen camino.
 

Cristie

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Plan to walk the Camino.
Christie:
Try santiago.ca for the website of the Canadian Company of Pilgrims. They can provide you with a credencial (camino passport) and much other information. It would be a good idea to book Orisson for your first night on the trail from St Jean Pied de Port. That breaks the strenuous walk to Roncesvalles and you will meet other pilgrims who are starting when you are. Orisson must be booked and paid for in advance to guarantee a place, as it is the only accommodation midway between St Jean and Roncesvalles. The email which I have used for them is refuge.orisson@wanadoo.fr . As you have stated that you have three months, keep in mind that you can only be in the Schengen are in Europe for a maximum of 90 days without getting a visa extension, apparently not so easy to do. If you have a Canadian passport valid for 6 months after your return you will not have to worry about a visa, as you will be given one valid for 90 days when you land in Europe. These details are challenging at first, but you will get all sorted out over time. When are you going? You are better prepared than I was, as I had very little Spanish when I began my first camino. Buen camino.
You're a god sent angel. I mean, without your information I wouldn't even known where to begin the Camino. With your help I have some direction.
I am planning on heading to Spain sometime at the end of April 2016. Once I have the flight ticket I'll book the rest.
Again, thank you so much!
 

MTtoCamino

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francis SJPdP to Finnestere April(2014)
Christie:
The answer to your question is really based on where you start from, as well as where you are going. I live in Calgary. I flew to Dallas/Fort Worth then to Madrid and took the Alsa bus to Pamplona last September. There I was picked up by Istvan of Corazon Puro, driven to his pension near Roncesvalles to enjoy the hospitality of him and his wife, then driven to St Jean Pied de Port in the morning to begin my camino. I booked my flights with British Airways through Texas, although it was very roundabout, because that booking would get me to Madrid in time to get a bus to Pamplona in good time the same day. This worked out very well for me. Others fly to Paris then take a connecting flight or train south, eventually arriving in St Jean. I am less familiar with that route, because I did not follow it. However, this year, for my second and somewhat different camino, I am flying Calgary to Toronto to Paris, then changing airports and on to Pau in the south of France to begin my camino near there. I suggest that if you are uncomfortable making your own bookings you might inquire with a travel agent. If you want more specific information from forum members as to possible arrangements, let us know where you live and when you are planning to go and someone who took a different route from myself could offer you options. By the way, I am a senior, will be 68 in two weeks, and enjoyed my camino so much that I am going back in the fall. Because of work and family obligations, many pilgrims walk the camino at a "mature" age and manage just fine. But many of us are nervous and uncertain the first time. It is no bother to help. Buen camino.
Your still amazing me!
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
Hi Michael,
I'm in good shape and I am used to walking a lot, I'm not that concerned about this aspect.
I have three months off but I don't plan on spending all of them walking the Camino. My goal for the Camino is anywhere from 30 to 40 days. I hope this is realistic.
Unfortunately I don't speak French, so, this is why I am trying to avoid France.
I do speak Spanish though.
I do wish to travel alone most of the time but I'd welcome other travellers' companion too.
Like everyone else, I have some things to figure out and the Camino called me
You don't need to speak French to fly to Paris, take a separate flight to Biarritz or jump on the train. And you din't need it for the first night in SJPP. That first day is beautiful, and challenging, and a memory to cherish. If you must, book a night at the Orison albergue and break up the first day in two stages.

Order the Brierly guide and start enjoying planning: it really is for many of us addicts one of the best part of this Camino thing. ;)
 

Cristie

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Plan to walk the Camino.
You don't need to speak French to fly to Paris, take a separate flight to Biarritz or jump on the train. And you din't need it for the first night in SJPP. That first day is beautiful, and challenging, and a memory to cherish. If you must, book a night at the Orison albergue and break up the first day in two stages.

Order the Brierly guide and start enjoying planning: it really is for many of us addicts one of the best part of this Camino thing. ;)
What is Brierly guide and where do I order it from?
Thank you!
 

Cristie

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Plan to walk the Camino.
I am going to fly to Madrid, spend two nights there to hopefully recover from jet lag, then take the train to Pamplona. I learned about a pensión there called Pensión Corazón Puro. They will pick you up at the train or bus station in Pamplona, take you to their place feed you dinner, then breakfast the next morning. Then, they will drive you to St Jean in the morning.
http://www.corazonpuro.es/Enghome.html

I've also made a reservation for Refuge Orisson to break up the first day's walk through the Pyrenees.
http://www.refuge-orisson.com/en/
Trecile, when are you flying to Madrid?
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
What is Brierly guide and where do I order it from?
Thank you!
You can order it from this forum, by clicking Shop, I think, or from Amazon.ca. If you live in a large city you might even find it on the shelves of your local Indigo or Chapters. It's the go to guide in English. And while some whine about it, it contains a lot of information. Jus keep in mind that his stages are suggestions, and based on where thwre are more beds, but there are tiny towns and villages that are lovely stops, and they are in his guide.
 

Cristie

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Plan to walk the Camino.
Christie:
Try santiago.ca for the website of the Canadian Company of Pilgrims. They can provide you with a credencial (camino passport) and much other information. It would be a good idea to book Orisson for your first night on the trail from St Jean Pied de Port. That breaks the strenuous walk to Roncesvalles and you will meet other pilgrims who are starting when you are. Orisson must be booked and paid for in advance to guarantee a place, as it is the only accommodation midway between St Jean and Roncesvalles. The email which I have used for them is refuge.orisson@wanadoo.fr . As you have stated that you have three months, keep in mind that you can only be in the Schengen are in Europe for a maximum of 90 days without getting a visa extension, apparently not so easy to do. If you have a Canadian passport valid for 6 months after your return you will not have to worry about a visa, as you will be given one valid for 90 days when you land in Europe. These details are challenging at first, but you will get all sorted out over time. When are you going? You are better prepared than I was, as I had very little Spanish when I began my first camino. Buen camino.
Hi Albertagirl. This might be a stupid question but the Camino is walked both ways (from St Jean to Santiago and then back to St Jean)???
 

Cristie

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Plan to walk the Camino.
Christie there is nothing stupid about asking a question on a forum where many people may be able to help. I'm planning my Camino from Tanzania, I'll fly to the UK, catch up with friends, sort out my Camino clothes and head to SJPdP by bus and train. I'm sure many people will be able to provide you with the answers you're looking for. Buen Camino.
Buen Camino, Dollytz!
I bet you'll have some good stories to share about Tanzania.
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Ch. d'Arles: Oloron Ste Marie to Aragones; Frances (2016); V.d.l.P.; Sanabres (2017)
Hi Albertagirl. This might be a stupid question but the Camino is walked both ways (from St Jean to Santiago and then back to St Jean)???
Of course, originally pilgrims walked, or went horseback, from their homes to Santiago. The camino frances at St Jean Pied de Port is one major meeting point of European routes to Santiago to pass through the Pyrenees from France and on to Santiago. Pilgrims generally went home the same way, and some still do. But most, even pilgrims from Europe, take a plane or train or bus to wherever they want to begin their pilgrimage, walk or bicycle to Santiago, then take a plane, train or bus home again. At Roncesvalles, I met a young woman who had bicycled from her home in Cologne and was going to meet up with family a few days short of Santiago, finish her camino with them, then pack it all up for a motorized return to Cologne. I believe that very few people each year walk or cycle a return journey. And of course we Canadians have to fly, or take a boat, to get to wherever we begin our camino. I have never heard of anyone who got off a plane in Shannon (west coast of Ireland) and walked or took a boat for the rest of the way to Santiago, then turned around and walked back. Last fall, I looked into taking a cruise ship from Barcelona to Houston after my camino, then flying back to Calgary. I might have done it too, if it hadn't been for the timing of the available cruises, which would have required that I start my camino in the heat of summer in order to get the last boat heading from Barcelona to Houston. But don't let me discourage you, if a return journey is what you feel called to. You will have a wonderful time, however you do it.
 

Loretta O'Sullivan

Blueskywa
Camino(s) past & future
CF April 2016 April - Jun
Del Norte, Finesterre 2018 May - Jun
...if this question has been asked a million times.
Aside for being really new at travelling on my own, I guess I'm a bit of an idiot too because I just don't understand where to start the Camino.
I am a middle age woman, living in Canada, and I would like to do the whole Camino because I have 3 months off. I know it will not take me 3 months to complete it because I too travel on a very tight budget.
But my question is for somebody that has done the Camino and can tell me from Canada I fly first where? Paris?
And how exactly do I get from Paris to Saint Jean Pied de Port? (Please no links because I find them confusing).
Or do you thing it's less complicated if I start in Spain and walk from there on?
Thank you so much and please forgive my stupidity. I feel so ashamed that I can't find this information on my own.
I kept reading the forum with no success despite the amount of info here...

I forgot to mention that I would like to start it in mid-April or beginning of May. Thank you.
 

Loretta O'Sullivan

Blueskywa
Camino(s) past & future
CF April 2016 April - Jun
Del Norte, Finesterre 2018 May - Jun
hi we are flying to Paris on 21 April then training it to Bayonne and hoping to get a share taxi to St Jean to start on the 26th - hope to catch up along the way..Lori and Anton
 
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whariwharangi

Guest
Arrive Paris CDG

There are SNCF TGV trains from Paris Gare CDG or Paris Gare Montparnasse. CDG is more convenient but trains leave more frequently from Montparnasse.

From CDG airport to Gare Montparnasse ... take RER B train to St Micheal. Walk from RER station to St Micheal Metro line 4 station. Take Metro line 4 to Metro Beinvenue Montparnasse station. Walk to the TGV train platform at Gare Montparnasse.

Take SNCF TGV train to Bayonne. Depending on the train schedule, there may be transfers at Bordeaux and at Dax. The train to Bayonne terminates in Irun or Hendaye.

Take SNCF TER train from Bayonne to SJPdP.
 
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whariwharangi

Guest
Arrive Madrid

From Airport T1T2T3 or T4 take Madrid Metro to Madrid Puerta de Atocha. This requires two transfers.

Alternatively take Madrid Cercanias train from Airport T4 to Puerta de Atocha.

Alternatively take EMT Madrid Aeropuerto Express bus from T1T2T3 or T4 to Puerta de Atocha

Take Renfe train from Madrid to Pamplona. Depending on train schedule there may be a transfer at Zaragosa.

Take taxi from Pamplona Renfe Station to Pamplona Bus station

Take CONDA (ALSA) bus from Pamplona to SJPdP.
 
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whariwharangi

Guest
Biarritz Airport is the closest airport to SJPdP.

There are flights from London, Dublin, Paris, Madrid and other centers in Europe.

Take Chronoplus bus 14 from Biarritz/Anglet airport to Gare Bayonne.

Take SNCF TER train from Bayonne to SJPdP.

Alternatively take Express Bourricot, a private hire taxi, from Biarritz Airport to SJPdP. This must be arranged in advance and is usually shared with others.
 

Cristie

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Plan to walk the Camino.
Of course, originally pilgrims walked, or went horseback, from their homes to Santiago. The camino frances at St Jean Pied de Port is one major meeting point of European routes to Santiago to pass through the Pyrenees from France and on to Santiago. Pilgrims generally went home the same way, and some still do. But most, even pilgrims from Europe, take a plane or train or bus to wherever they want to begin their pilgrimage, walk or bicycle to Santiago, then take a plane, train or bus home again. At Roncesvalles, I met a young woman who had bicycled from her home in Cologne and was going to meet up with family a few days short of Santiago, finish her camino with them, then pack it all up for a motorized return to Cologne. I believe that very few people each year walk or cycle a return journey. And of course we Canadians have to fly, or take a boat, to get to wherever we begin our camino. I have never heard of anyone who got off a plane in Shannon (west coast of Ireland) and walked or took a boat for the rest of the way to Santiago, then turned around and walked back. Last fall, I looked into taking a cruise ship from Barcelona to Houston after my camino, then flying back to Calgary. I might have done it too, if it hadn't been for the timing of the available cruises, which would have required that I start my camino in the heat of summer in order to get the last boat heading from Barcelona to Houston. But don't let me discourage you, if a return journey is what you feel called to. You will have a wonderful time, however you do it.

On the website you recommended I just saw that are different Caminos. So, I was wondering if I could start with Camino France's and return on Camino del Norte (which from the tiny map seems to be along the coast of the ocean, therefore, offering a different view).
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Ch. d'Arles: Oloron Ste Marie to Aragones; Frances (2016); V.d.l.P.; Sanabres (2017)
On the website you recommended I just saw that are different Caminos. So, I was wondering if I could start with Camino France's and return on Camino del Norte (which from the tiny map seems to be along the coast of the ocean, therefore, offering a different view).
If you have the time, the money and the inclination, by all means go for it. There is lots of information about the camino del norte on this forum. Buen camino.
 
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whariwharangi

Guest
On the website you recommended I just saw that are different Caminos. So, I was wondering if I could start with Camino France's and return on Camino del Norte (which from the tiny map seems to be along the coast of the ocean, therefore, offering a different view).
It is possible to walk any Camino in either direction.

Navigation is a bit of an issue.

Usually the way is marked with a yellow arrow painted on the road. Picture an intersection of 5 or 6 roads with an arrow pointing down one of them ... Easy enough if you are following the arrows (and everyone has a story of losing their way) ... not so easy going the other way.
 

Cristie

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Plan to walk the Camino.
hi we are flying to Paris on 21 April then training it to Bayonne and hoping to get a share taxi to St Jean to start on the 26th - hope to catch up along the way..Lori and Anton
Loretta, I'd love to meet up with you in Paris but it all depends on the flight I get.
Will keep you posted.
Thank you for responding to my post!
 

Cristie

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Plan to walk the Camino.
It is possible to walk any Camino in either direction.

Navigation is a bit of an issue.

Usually the way is marked with a yellow arrow painted on the road. Picture an intersection of 5 or 6 roads with an arrow pointing down one of them ... Easy enough if you are following the arrows (and everyone has a story of losing their way) ... not so easy going the other way.
I see...well, you can tell I' all new to all this
 

Cristie

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Plan to walk the Camino.
Arrive Paris CDG

There are SNCF TGV trains from Paris Gare CDG or Paris Gare Montparnasse. CDG is more convenient but trains leave more frequently from Montparnasse.

From CDG airport to Gare Montparnasse ... take RER B train to St Micheal. Walk from RER station to St Micheal Metro line 4 station. Take Metro line 4 to Metro Beinvenue Montparnasse station. Walk to the TGV train platform at Gare Montparnasse.

Take SNCF TGV train to Bayonne. Depending on the train schedule, there may be transfers at Bordeaux and at Dax. The train to Bayonne terminates in Irun or Hendaye.

Take SNCF TER train from Bayonne to SJPdP.
I'm sorry but what are all these acronyms? SNCF TVG...RER B...SNCF TER...?
I've never been to France before
 
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whariwharangi

Guest
wikipedia provides:

SNCF
(Société nationale des chemins de fer français; "National society of French railways" or "French National Railway Company") is France's national State-Owned railway company and manages the rail traffic in France and the Principality of Monaco.

The TGV (French: Train à Grande Vitesse, "high-speed train") is France's high-speed rail service, operated by SNCF Voyages, the long-distance rail branch of SNCF.

The RER B is one of the five lines in the RER rapid transit system serving Paris, France.

Transport express régional, usually shortened to TER, is the brand name used by the SNCF, the French national railway company, to denote rail service run by the regional councils of France, specifically their organised transport authorities. TER is an integral part of SNCF Proximités, a branch of the SNCF dealing with urban and regional passenger rail.
 

Rajy62

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2013, Norte/primitivo 2014, vdlp (2015)
Cristie,
I am in Montreal. Flew air France to paris (CDG) and then to Biarritz. AF flies from Toronto also. Try to get the connecting flight from CDG, otherwise you have to transfer (airport bus) to another airport for local flights to Biarritz. From Biarritz airport bus will take you to the train station that will take you to SJPP.

You can buy the popular Brierley guide from amazon.
Brierley also has a compact map guide which is much smaller.

I find the map version has all the info one needs except detail background/history on various sites/towns.

You can inbox me if you want to know anything more specific...
 
Last edited:

dgallen

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (5), Portuguese, Norte, Primitivo(2), Aragones, Finisterre/Muxia (3), Camino del Rey
I live in Toronto... heading on my 7th Camino in two days. I've tried every which way depending on which Camino I'm traveling on (and the price of the ticket!). I would recommend flying from Toronto to Paris on the way there and getting the train from the Montparnasse Station (Gare) to Bayonne/St Jean Pied de Port. You can typically arrive in Paris before 8:00am and then take the Air France bus direct from the Paris airport (CDG) to the Montparnasse train station which leaves around noon and gets you to St Jean Pied de Port (SJPP) by around 7:30pm. You can sleep on the overnight flight from Toronto and also on the train. It's a bit of a drag and expense to get your return flight back to Toronto from Santiago via Paris so the best option is to fly via Madrid. You can get cheap flights via Ryanair from Santiago to Madrid if you book ahead of time and/or take the bus or train.

Multi-city flights are a bargain these days and often cheaper than round trip tickets. For example I did a sample (using Google Flights) Toronto to Paris direct on April 24th returning on June 8th from Madrid (stopover in Amsterdam) to Toronto and the total fare is $699 Canadian... which is pretty darn cheap. It's best to book quickly when flight prices are this good. Google Flights is an excellent tool to find pricing/routing and provides a multi-city option.
 

RENSHAW

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2003 CF Roncesvalles to Santiago
2/4 weeks every year on CF reaching Burgos or Leon. Hospitalero San Anton June 2016.
I am going to fly to Madrid, spend two nights there to hopefully recover from jet lag, then take the train to Pamplona. I learned about a pensión there called Pensión Corazón Puro. They will pick you up at the train or bus station in Pamplona, take you to their place feed you dinner, then breakfast the next morning. Then, they will drive you to St Jean in the morning.
http://www.corazonpuro.es/Enghome.html

I've also made a reservation for Refuge Orisson to break up the first day's walk through the Pyrenees.
http://www.refuge-orisson.com/en/
This is your answer and good advice unless you feel uncomfortable starting with some tough days days in the Pyrenees then get a Bus from T4 to Pamplona and start at Pamplona. You have 3 months so you can afford to start the first week with 10 to 15km per day,
Also , remember that there will be a few hundred pilgrims in Pamplona on the Camino - some your age and some from from Canada ...you will not be alone once you have started - you may even make you first buddy on the Bus to Pamplona .......... Enjoy!! , Relax.
 

movinmaggie

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015) Scotland GGW (2017) Primitivo
...if this question has been asked a million times.
Aside for being really new at travelling on my own, I guess I'm a bit of an idiot too because I just don't understand where to start the Camino.
I am a middle age woman, living in Canada, and I would like to do the whole Camino because I have 3 months off. I know it will not take me 3 months to complete it because I too travel on a very tight budget.
But my question is for somebody that has done the Camino and can tell me from Canada I fly first where? Paris?
And how exactly do I get from Paris to Saint Jean Pied de Port? (Please no links because I find them confusing).
Or do you thing it's less complicated if I start in Spain and walk from there on?
Thank you so much and please forgive my stupidity. I feel so ashamed that I can't find this information on my own.
I kept reading the forum with no success despite the amount of info here...

I forgot to mention that I would like to start it in mid-April or beginning of May. Thank you.
Hi Cristie and welcome to the forum
I'm from Victoria,BC. First, please don't be hard on yourself. You will find many understanding hearts here. I'll just share what I did. Flew British Airways Vancouver to Madrid, then took the Renfe train to Pamplona. I made a reservation with Corazon Puro to be picked up and spend my first night with Istvan & Barbara. Wonderful hosts. I also had made a res at Beilari Albergue in St Jean for thr following night. These two experiences alone gave me a wonderful start to my walk; combined with stunning weather. By the time you take that first step, you will have already made new friends. I also need as on my own ( by choice), but will treasure my times walking with others periodically. I wish you a heartfelt Buen Camino.
 
P

Pabloke

Guest
Hi, Cristie.

Actually, there is no starting point. Camino starts at the front door of your house.

Spaniards use to start in Roncesvalles because is the beginning of the Camino Francés which is the name for the main spanish path to Santiago.

Lately, has become famous among people around the world starting in Saint Jean Pied de Port/Donibane Garazi and then crossing the Pyrenees.

You can start walking from wherever you want. León, Burgos, Pamplona, Saint Jean, Paris, Rome or, even, Moscow. But the Camino Francés starts in Roncesvalles.
 

RENSHAW

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2003 CF Roncesvalles to Santiago
2/4 weeks every year on CF reaching Burgos or Leon. Hospitalero San Anton June 2016.
[QUOTE="Pabloke, post: 394937, member: 45]
You can start walking from wherever ................... But the Camino Francés starts in Roncesvalles.[/QUOTE]
Waaaayyyy! , let the fun begin!! In defense , in 2003 , my Spanish book guide on the Camino Frances made no mention of SJPDP.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Hi Cristie and welcome to the forum
I'm from Victoria,BC. First, please don't be hard on yourself. You will find many understanding hearts here. I'll just share what I did. Flew British Airways Vancouver to Madrid, then took the Renfe train to Pamplona. I made a reservation with Corazon Puro to be picked up and spend my first night with Istvan & Barbara. Wonderful hosts. I also had made a res at Beilari Albergue in St Jean for thr following night. These two experiences alone gave me a wonderful start to my walk; combined with stunning weather. By the time you take that first step, you will have already made new friends. I also need as on my own ( by choice), but will treasure my times walking with others periodically. I wish you a heartfelt Buen Camino.
Did you also stop at Orisson? I have a reservation there for the night after I stay at Corazon Puro. I'm wondering if I should change the date and spend on night in SJPDP?
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Ch. d'Arles: Oloron Ste Marie to Aragones; Frances (2016); V.d.l.P.; Sanabres (2017)
Did you also stop at Orisson? I have a reservation there for the night after I stay at Corazon Puro. I'm wondering if I should change the date and spend on night in SJPDP?
@trecile:
I can share my own experience as to how I spent my first days on the camino after long flights from western Canada and a bus ride from Madrid airport to Pamplona. I stayed one night at Corazon Puro, then was driven into St Jean Pied de Port in the morning and began my camino, staying at Orisson the next night. I was just eager to get going. There are various factors which may influence your decision as to whether to stay a night in St Jean. Will you need another night to recover from jet lag? Do you really want to spend time in St Jean to see the town? How much time do you have to complete your camino and do you want to take one day of your available rest time at this point?
Instead of staying in St Jean, I booked a second night at Corazon Puro the night after Roncesvalles. That gave me a short and easy day after two strenuous days and a chance to leave behind at Corazon Puro a few items that I could do without when walking over the mountain. I was also fortunate to have good weather for both my days walking from St Jean to Roncesvalles, while the next day turned into foul weather on the mountain. That is not to be controlled or predicted, but turned out well for me. Consider what you think will work best for you. For additional information, I was 67 at the time and in pretty poor shape, but an experienced mountain hiker. Whatever you choose should work for you. Be sure to confirm that you can change your reservation at Orisson before making other changes in your schedule, as Orisson is always heavily booked. Have a wonderful time. Buen camino.
 

biarritzdon

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF&CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF&CP17, CdN18, CM18, CF18, LePuy19
My apologies if I have repeated something that has already been said because I have been away from the Forum for several weeks doing flood relief work in East Texas and I'm too lazy to scroll through the recent threads.
If you use the service provide by Coranzo Puro and have not tested your legs the first day to Orisson, it is a wonderful stop in the Pyrenees.
IMHO, stop at as many places that might interest you, walk some long day and walk some short days it doesn't matter but visit the historic sites. Take in the best and worst of the Camino and lock those experiences into you memory bank.
I am one of the volunteers who work at San Anton for a few weeks in the summer and it amazes me how many pilgrims skip a night there because they are in a hurry to get from Burgos to Castrojeriz.
Slow and easy is a good mantra.
 

JP

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2014 - Camino Portuguese 2016 (Coimbra to Albergaria-A-Velha) - Camino Frances 2017.
If I had three months I would start in Puy en Velay walking the Camino Podiensis in France and walk to St Jean Pied de Port and from there make my way to Santiago by way of the Camino Frances.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
@trecile:
I can share my own experience as to how I spent my first days on the camino after long flights from western Canada and a bus ride from Madrid airport to Pamplona. I stayed one night at Corazon Puro, then was driven into St Jean Pied de Port in the morning and began my camino, staying at Orisson the next night. I was just eager to get going. There are various factors which may influence your decision as to whether to stay a night in St Jean. Will you need another night to recover from jet lag? Do you really want to spend time in St Jean to see the town? How much time do you have to complete your camino and do you want to take one day of your available rest time at this point?
Instead of staying in St Jean, I booked a second night at Corazon Puro the night after Roncesvalles. That gave me a short and easy day after two strenuous days and a chance to leave behind at Corazon Puro a few items that I could do without when walking over the mountain. I was also fortunate to have good weather for both my days walking from St Jean to Roncesvalles, while the next day turned into foul weather on the mountain. That is not to be controlled or predicted, but turned out well for me. Consider what you think will work best for you. For additional information, I was 67 at the time and in pretty poor shape, but an experienced mountain hiker. Whatever you choose should work for you. Be sure to confirm that you can change your reservation at Orisson before making other changes in your schedule, as Orisson is always heavily booked. Have a wonderful time. Buen camino.
@Albertagirl As I will be spending two nights in Madrid before taking the train to Pamplona, I probably won't need the night in SJPDP, and I think that I will be eager to get started by then.
What time of year did you go? How many days did it take you to get to Santiago?
I'm 58, in good shape, but I've never backpacked before. I do walk quite a bit, and have some good hills/mountains to train on in my area.
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Ch. d'Arles: Oloron Ste Marie to Aragones; Frances (2016); V.d.l.P.; Sanabres (2017)
@Albertagirl As I will be spending two nights in Madrid before taking the train to Pamplona, I probably won't need the night in SJPDP, and I think that I will be eager to get started by then.
What time of year did you go? How many days did it take you to get to Santiago?
I'm 58, in good shape, but I've never backpacked before. I do walk quite a bit, and have some good hills/mountains to train on in my area.
@trecile:
I walked the camino from Sept. 30 last fall, arriving in Santiago on Nov. 17. I took 6 days that I did not walk: a three day retreat in Santo Domingo de Silos, which I reached by bus from Burgos, and a three day rest in Leon. I gave myself so much extra time that I spent six days in Santiago and I had to hang around in Muxia and Finisterre for another six days before my booked flight home on Nov. 30. I didn't really know how long it would take and I wanted to walk my camino at leisure. I am going again this fall and will give myself a little less time to walk further: a week on the camino d'Arles and another week on the Aragones, before joining the camino frances at Puenta la Reina: about 900 k. to Santiago, with eight weeks to walk the route and, I hope, time for a leisurely walk and adequate rest days. I find it challenging to decide how long I need and I prefer to have extra time rather than being stressed out and having to rush.
 

movinmaggie

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015) Scotland GGW (2017) Primitivo
Did you also stop at Orisson? I have a reservation there for the night after I stay at Corazon Puro. I'm wondering if I should change the date and spend on night in SJPDP?
Personally, I think it would behoove you to stay one night in St. Jean. It is such a lovely town and you're giving yourself that much more rest. The first two days of your walk cannot be taken lightly. There are other options for overnight accommodations in St. Jean. If you can't decide now; be sure to check with the Pilgrim Office when you arrive in St. Jean and let them guide you. The thing that helped me at Beilari, was getting to know so many people who were starting out just like me. The communal evening meal brought such a sense of closeness to others. And these are the same folks that you are going to keep seeing all along the way of your journey…..It will all be wonderful. Take heart…and stay tuned to this forum. Maggie
 

Urban Trekker

Happy Trails
Camino(s) past & future
English Camino (2013)
Portuguese Camino (2014)
French Camino (2016)
Way of Saint Francis April 2017
...if this question has been asked a million times.
Aside for being really new at travelling on my own, I guess I'm a bit of an idiot too because I just don't understand where to start the Camino.
I am a middle age woman, living in Canada, and I would like to do the whole Camino because I have 3 months off. I know it will not take me 3 months to complete it because I too travel on a very tight budget.
But my question is for somebody that has done the Camino and can tell me from Canada I fly first where? Paris?
And how exactly do I get from Paris to Saint Jean Pied de Port? (Please no links because I find them confusing).
Or do you thing it's less complicated if I start in Spain and walk from there on?
Thank you so much and please forgive my stupidity. I feel so ashamed that I can't find this information on my own.
I kept reading the forum with no success despite the amount of info here...

I forgot to mention that I would like to start it in mid-April or beginning of May. Thank you.
First, decide which camino you want to walk. The French route is the most popular followed by the Portuguese. Next search air fares using Madrid or Paris, or Lisbon, if walking the Portuguese, to get the best deal. I'very had good luck with Google flight. Once you book your plane ticket start looking at rail connections, transportation, and accommodations.

Pension Corazon Puro cost 45 US cash. A bargin. It includes transportation from train or bus station in Pamplona to the pension, lodgings, dinner, breakfast, and AM transportation to Saint Jean.

I like to fly into Madrid. We will arrive at 0900 from the west coast. Ground transportation is easy and and simple. Clear customs, walk to terminal 2, catch bus 203 and take to the Atocha train station, and catch our pre-booked train to Pamplona.

Guide books can be purchased from Amazon.com and is a must have item. I purchased 2 different ebooks and downloaded to my edge phone. Read it cover to cover before you go, on the plane, and daily on the camino.
Buen Camino

Happy Trails
 

Dutch

Straightforward
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP-SdC sept '13
Porto-SdC May '14
SdC-Finis/Muxia May '14
SJPP-Finisterre sept '14
Pamplona-Burgos march '15
Porto - Sdc may '15
Camino salkantay june '15
SJPP - SdC aug/sept '15

Pacific Crest Trail april thru sept 2016
I would say, skip Sjpp. Just start walking once you get there or walk from Orisson, also a possibility. The nice part to roncesvalles start from Orisson anyway and you also get to skip the hardest climb of the whole day, sjpp to orisson.

Sjpp is the biggest tourist trap on the whole camino imo. Even a bit anti-climatic. If you do plan to stay there, just remember it is full of tourist and not just of the pilgrim kind. Busloads of daytrippers, campervans, cars with and without caravans ect ect ect.

And some agree and some don't, but the food restaurants serve is also very much tailored to tourists. Not very nice.
 

susanawee

susanawee
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances-(2013/14/18
Camino Salvado Perth -(2015)
West Highland Way (2016)
Lyon France 2017
...if this question has been asked a million times.
Aside for being really new at travelling on my own, I guess I'm a bit of an idiot too because I just don't understand where to start the Camino.
I am a middle age woman, living in Canada, and I would like to do the whole Camino because I have 3 months off. I know it will not take me 3 months to complete it because I too travel on a very tight budget.
But my question is for somebody that has done the Camino and can tell me from Canada I fly first where? Paris?
And how exactly do I get from Paris to Saint Jean Pied de Port? (Please no links because I find them confusing).
Or do you thing it's less complicated if I start in Spain and walk from there on?
Thank you so much and please forgive my stupidity. I feel so ashamed that I can't find this information on my own.
I kept reading the forum with no success despite the amount of info here...

I forgot to mention that I would like to start it in mid-April or beginning of May. Thank you.
Please don't ever apologise for how you feel.... We all have had our doubts and our worries. So many, including myself, often have difficulty negotiating the internet, not to mention looking up endless links etc. There are lots of lovely people here on this very special forum and I am sure that you will get as much help and encouragement as you need. I know that I most certainly did when I first joined this forum ......there is a wealth of information here.......kind regards and lots of positive vibes coming your way.
 

Jacobus

Pilgrim since 2008
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2008 09 14
Del Norte 2011. Portuguese 2015, 2017Ingles 2015 Fisterre 2015.
...if this question has been asked a million times.
Aside for being really new at travelling on my own, I guess I'm a bit of an idiot too because I just don't understand where to start the Camino.
I am a middle age woman, living in Canada, and I would like to do the whole Camino because I have 3 months off. I know it will not take me 3 months to complete it because I too travel on a very tight budget.
But my question is for somebody that has done the Camino and can tell me from Canada I fly first where? Paris?
And how exactly do I get from Paris to Saint Jean Pied de Port? (Please no links because I find them confusing).
Or do you thing it's less complicated if I start in Spain and walk from there on?
Thank you so much and please forgive my stupidity. I feel so ashamed that I can't find this information on my own.
I kept reading the forum with no success despite the amount of info here...

I forgot to mention that I would like to start it in mid-April or beginning of May. Thank you.
Hi from Ottawa!
On my first Camino in 08 I flew to Charles Degaul and then bus to Montemartre Train Station. I got on the Hendaye train and disembarked at Biaritz and got on the local train to SJPP.
During any part of your travel...
Look for others with scallop shells on their back pack, say hello and mention the Camino. Ask questions. Make suggestions. Just like here in the forum.
You will be fine!

Jim
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Jim,

You would have taken the bus to the Paris Montparnasse station for the TGV to Bayonne and Hendaye.

Glad you had a good journey!
 

CdnDreamer

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (12, 15 & 18) San Salvador (18), Portuguese (19)
April 23, 2015 I flew Air Transat from Toronto to Paris (CDG airport). I think the flight left around 5 pm and arrived in Paris early in the morning. I had about a 2 hour window to catch the Easy Jet flight from the same airport but had to get from Terminal 3 to Terminal 2 (easy to follow the signs) The Easy Jet flight was cheap and got me to Biarritz Airport around noon. I had booked the Express Bourricot (I think through email) and they picked me up at the airport along with a few other pilgrims and drove us to SJPP. I think it was about an hour drive. I took a sleeping pill before getting on the plane in Toronto (just an over the counter medication) and slept through both flights. No jet lag as I had my full 7 hours sleep. I stayed in SJPP the first night and then walked to Orisson later in the morning the next day. There just aren't the hills for practicing climbing mountains in Toronto. It is a steep climb up to Orisson. On my third night I stayed at Corazón Puro Pensión and it was a really nice place.

There are so many different ways to get there and to return home. I chose Paris because Air Transat flies there more often than to some of the cities in Spain. It depends when you are going. I returned home on Air Transat from Barcelona, as I wanted to see that city while I was in Spain.

Have fun planning your trip. Buen Camino!
 

Jacobus

Pilgrim since 2008
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2008 09 14
Del Norte 2011. Portuguese 2015, 2017Ingles 2015 Fisterre 2015.
Jim,

You would have taken the bus to the Paris Montparnasse station for the TGV to Bayonne and Hendaye.

Glad you had a good journey!
Of course ...thank you
 

jeffnd

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
March/April 2014
Getting to SJPP
If you are flying into Paris, it's very easy to get to St. Jean. Go to any Metro station in the city and tell them you want to go to Gare Montparnasse. It's sort of the main rail hub for the city. Once you're there, find the ticket office and ask for a ticket to Bayonne. It's about a 5 hour ride. Once you arrive in Bayonne, go to the ticket counter and ask for a ticket to St. Jean Pied de Port. For me, that was the easiest way to get to St. Jean. Just 2 trains and you're there. No buses, no taxis, just 2 trains.
 

RobS

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP to SdC, 2017
Lugo to SdC, 2014
hospi, July 2016
Primitivo, 2017
hospi, 2017
Porto to SdC, 2017
I am going to fly to Madrid, spend two nights there to hopefully recover from jet lag, then take the train to Pamplona. I learned about a pensión there called Pensión Corazón Puro. They will pick you up at the train or bus station in Pamplona, take you to their place feed you dinner, then breakfast the next morning. Then, they will drive you to St Jean in the morning.
http://www.corazonpuro.es/Enghome.html

I've also made a reservation for Refuge Orisson to break up the first day's walk through the Pyrenees.
http://www.refuge-orisson.com/en/
I think your plan is reasonable. I was just a bit older than you when I walked my 1st time, in June 2012. I also had lots of walking :) but little backpacking experience. I went from Madrid to Pamplona, to Roncesvalles, to SJPdP in one day of train, bus, and taxi. I started walking the next morning. It was a long first day, but I got over the Pyrenees without trouble. With the excitement of beginning my camino, I was unaware of jet lag. My whole trip lasted 38 days; I walked on 30 of them. If you're on the camino between July 15 and 31, stop in at Monasterio San Anton (near Castrojeriz) and say hello to a fellow Oregonian. I'll be there hospitalero-ing.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I think your plan is reasonable. I was just a bit older than you when I walked my 1st time, in June 2012. I also had lots of walking :) but little backpacking experience. I went from Madrid to Pamplona, to Roncesvalles, to SJPdP in one day of train, bus, and taxi. I started walking the next morning. It was a long first day, but I got over the Pyrenees without trouble. With the excitement of beginning my camino, I was unaware of jet lag. My whole trip lasted 38 days; I walked on 30 of them. If you're on the camino between July 15 and 31, stop in at Monasterio San Anton (near Castrojeriz) and say hello to a fellow Oregonian. I'll be there hospitalero-ing.
I will miss you by a month or so. I start from SJPDP on August 22.
 

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