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Newcastle/Gateshead

Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances ( 2016 )
#1
Hi! I'm a 49yr old Scot planning to walk the Frances from late April, 2016. Looking for suggestions on getting to St. Jean without flying. Ferry from Portsmouth/Plymouth to Santander then coach/bus via Pamplona?
 

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Tincatinker

Moderator
Staff member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Lots ;0)
#3
Hi RichardF , welcome to the Forum. My route in 2012 was Eurostar to Paris, over-night sleeper to Bayonne and morning train to StJdP. I walked to Valcarlos through the afternoon. It made for a gradual transition and the sleeper-train was an introduction to Albergue life (6 bunks in a cabin the size of my potting shed). @Tia Valeria has extensive experience of the Plymouth - Santander route as I recall and may well post. Otherwise try a PM.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances ( 2016 )
#4
Thanks, fellas! Tincatinker, I've just contacted @Tiavaleria for any advice - cheers for the tip!
 

SEB

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
April (2015) SJPdP to SdC; Porto to SdC April (2016)
#5
Hi! I'm a 49yr old Scot planning to walk the Frances from late April, 2016. Looking for suggestions on getting to St. Jean without flying. Ferry from Portsmouth/Plymouth to Santander then coach/bus via Pamplona?
I travelled from Scotland by rail and found that I could get an excellent price from SNCF Voyages (the website for UK travellers). The cheapest fares are released approximately 90 days ahead but you can log in and request an email to be sent when the cheap fares become available to buy. I found it cheaper than the ferry and more direct - no backtracking from Pamplona, but I travelled back to the UK on the ferry. buen camino!
 

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Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances ( 2016 )
#6
I travelled from Scotland by rail and found that I could get an excellent price from SNCF Voyages (the website for UK travellers). The cheapest fares are released approximately 90 days ahead but you can log in and request an email to be sent when the cheap fares become available to buy. I found it cheaper than the ferry and more direct - no backtracking from Pamplona, but I travelled back to the UK on the ferry. buen camino!
Thanks for that, SEB! This is really interesting as I must confess the downside of my current plan is exactly that backtracking from Pamplona which I'd rather not have to do...

Cheers for the tip - I'll certainly follow that up! :)
 

Devon Mike

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Finisterre & Muxia (2014, 2015, 2016 & 2018), Primitivo & Ingles (2017)
#7
Hi! I'm a 49yr old Scot planning to walk the Frances from late April, 2016. Looking for suggestions on getting to St. Jean without flying. Ferry from Portsmouth/Plymouth to Santander then coach/bus via Pamplona?
Hi Richard,

I live in Devon and have used the Plymouth/Santander ferry twice for my journey to SJPP. I will be using it again in May this year.

It goes once a week leaving on Sundays arriving in Santander on Mondays. From there I take a bus to San Sebastian, stay overnight then take another bus to Bayonne and then the final train or replacement bus to SJPP, arriving there about 4pm on the Tuesday to be ready to start walking the following morning.

Coming back from Santiago there is a bus directly to Santander which arrives in time to catch the ferry which goes once a week on Wednesdays.

I don't go via Pamplona as the cost is higher and the bus service to SJPP is a summer service only.

If you are interested in the Plymouth/Santander/San Sebastian/Bayonne/SJPP route, I can give you the exact timetable for the whole journey.

Buen Camino,

Mike
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances ( 2016 )
#8
Many thanks, Mike - much appreciated! Yes, I certainly WOULD like that timetable - it would be VERY valuable info. The route still leaves me with a looong coach trip to Plymouth - unless I can get a great train fare bargain - but at least I wouldn't have the Pamplona backtrack.

Can I ask, when in May you are setting off?

Cheers, Mike!
 

SEB

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
April (2015) SJPdP to SdC; Porto to SdC April (2016)
#9
Thanks for that, SEB! This is really interesting as I must confess the downside of my current plan is exactly that backtracking from Pamplona which I'd rather not have to do...

Cheers for the tip - I'll certainly follow that up! :)
I have just done a sample check on SNCF Voyages and a single train journey from St Pancras to Bayonne, changing stations in Paris (easy to do with ample time allowed for connections) and on Tuesday 24 April there is a departure from London at 7.55am arriving Bayonne 17.34pm cost £64. Try to avoid Mondays or Fridays as these days are always busier therefore more costly. midweek gets you the bargains.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances ( 2016 )
#10
Many thanks for that, SEB! That does sound an excellent way to get there - IF I can get a bargain advance fare to London from Newcastle... Also, I'm thinking more of early May now but I imagine the timetable would hold good.

Thanks, again!
 

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
#11
Brittany Ferries website is good. Choose the route, day of travel etc and you can 'book' to check availablity. Then continue with payment section if you want to make it firm. A hint - if you plan to spend 3 nights in Santiago then book into the Rosa Rosae with Brittany Ferries so making this a package holiday and much cheaper. To do this check out the ferries, don't book it but then check out Holidays in Spain. You may need to e-mail or phone Brittany Ferries as the prices quoted are for 3 days hotel, ferry return included, but with a car. They have to adjust the price if you are a foot passenger, unless you can now work it on-line. The customer service e-mail contact is excellent.
Feel free to PM again if you want more info :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances ( 2016 )
#12
Thanks again, Tia! Truly incredible the amount of extremely valuable info I've received in response to my query - and I'm very grateful!
 


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