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Pamplona Start

2020 Camino Guides

barryg

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
June: Camino Frances from Pamplona
Hello! I have two related questions:

Last year I flew into Barcelona, took the train to Pamplona and started walking. My question is:

Is there a closer airport to Pamplona than Barcelona that has nominal air fares?

My other question is:

Is there a cost effective way to buy an open ended plane ticket, leaving from Santiago? I noticed, last year, that when I searched out one way fares from Santiago, they were all outrageously priced at over $2,000, while I had a round trip ticket, leaving from Lisbon that was only $600 (both ways). Is it just inevitable that you need to have a round trip ticket, or is there a less outrageously priced alternative to buying a return trip ticket while in spain. I don't want to have a set return end date, and this makes it impossible to have a round trip ticket.

Any ideas will be appreciated.

Warmly,


Barry
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) Portugues(2013)
San Salvador (2017) Ingles (2019)
Hello! I have two related questions:

Last year I flew into Barcelona, took the train to Pamplona and started walking. My question is:

Is there a closer airport to Pamplona than Barcelona that has nominal air fares?

My other question is:

Is there a cost effective way to buy an open ended plane ticket, leaving from Santiago? I noticed, last year, that when I searched out one way fares from Santiago, they were all outrageously priced at over $2,000, while I had a round trip ticket, leaving from Lisbon that was only $600 (both ways). Is it just inevitable that you need to have a round trip ticket, or is there a less outrageously priced alternative to buying a return trip ticket while in spain. I don't want to have a set return end date, and this makes it impossible to have a round trip ticket.

Any ideas will be appreciated.

Warmly,


Barry
Barry, where is your country of origin? I am reading quickly. You will land in Santiago? To get to Pamplona, it is a bit of a roundabout - some other people may have smarter replies. A Train from Santiago to Bilbao, with a bus to Pamplona, takes more than 14 hours. It is a lovely train journey, though! You might get a flight to Madrid, and from there a bus to Pamplona. That would be shorter. Without knowing your arrival options ( ie from where), it is not so easy to try to offer suggestions....
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC

barryg

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
June: Camino Frances from Pamplona
Barry, where is your country of origin? I am reading quickly. You will land in Santiago? To get to Pamplona, it is a bit of a roundabout - some other people may have smarter replies. A Train from Santiago to Bilbao, with a bus to Pamplona, takes more than 14 hours. It is a lovely train journey, though! You might get a flight to Madrid, and from there a bus to Pamplona. That would be shorter. Without knowing your arrival options ( ie from where), it is not so easy to try to offer suggestions....
Hi & thanks for your reply!

I’m coming from Boston, MA, USA.

I need to get to Pamplona by the cheapest & quickest way. I prefer train, but bus would be okay. I want to fly home from Santiagoo
 

TMcA

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pamplona to Santiago (2013)
Le Puy to Pamplona in segments (2013 - 2016)
Pamplona to León
As always, the devil is in the details....that's because airfares fluctuate.

Madrid is closer to Pamplona than Barcelona. And making it a round trip by flying home from Madrid is also going to be, I believe, the cheapest airfare from Boston. I say that because I think flying Santiago to a connecting airport in Europe so you can fly back to Boston is going to be more costly. Anyway, check your options on rome2rio (the site Alex Walker just furnished.)

Ahh, Pamplona. I love that city.
 
Last edited:

davebugg

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2017)
Frances(2018)
Ingles(2019)
Aragones(2020)
Portuguese(2020)
Hi, Barry. . .

alexwalker has posted a solution worth considering. Compare airfares from Boston, to both Madrid and then Barcelona because that will be the largest travel expense. Madrid is also an easy airport to return to from Santiago de Compostela for a flight back to Boston.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) Portugues(2013)
San Salvador (2017) Ingles (2019)
in a wee small voice: Maybe Boston /Dublin /Madrid /Santiago /Dublin /Boston. You could have a look! maybe Dublin is a bit over the top, but it does cover the in depth customs clearance...
I began to look but got distracted. What is for you, you will find.
 

AntonelaG

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
I wen to Madrid and I will go Santiago
I have budgeted almost $ 1800 alone in flight to Pamplona, it is enough, I live in Las Vegas Nevada. But I hope to enjoy that city
 

Tincatinker

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Lots ;0)
@barryg and @AntonelaG (welcome to the forum Antonela), you both need to spend some time on such websites as the recommended www.rome2rio.com or similar and maybe grab a map of Spain.

A general rule is that if you fly into Madrid you can get to anywhere else in Spain by inexpensive train or bus. Many buses depart from Barajas (Madrid airport) T4. Likewise you can get from just about anywhere in Spain to Madrid by inexpensive train or bus.

Yes, if you are really fond of airport departure lounges and airport security you can spend time and money on regional flights or obscure hops that only lift on alternative Wednesdays if the wind is in the right direction but why bother.

Happy planning
 

annakappa

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Part frances jun 07/rest frances may- jun 2008/Frances sept-oct 2009/ Sanabres Oct 2010/Frances sept-oct 2011/Aragones Sept-Oct 2012. Hospitalero Sept 2010, Amiga in Pilgrim's Office Oct 2013. Part Primitivo Oct 2013. Portugues from Porto June 2015.
If you fly with Iberia ( if that's a possibility for you), you can then book with their local partner the internal flights in Spain, with open jaw flights (flying into one airport, i.e. Pamplona and leaving from another ie Santiago). The internal flights cone to about the same price as the same route bus fare! We have done this option many times.
 

Bala

Veteran member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances: SJPdP-Burgos, (2015); Burgos-Sarria (2018); Sarria-Santiago (2018).
Frances (2020)
Hello! I have two related questions:

Last year I flew into Barcelona, took the train to Pamplona and started walking. My question is:

Is there a closer airport to Pamplona than Barcelona that has nominal air fares?

My other question is:

Is there a cost effective way to buy an open ended plane ticket, leaving from Santiago? I noticed, last year, that when I searched out one way fares from Santiago, they were all outrageously priced at over $2,000, while I had a round trip ticket, leaving from Lisbon that was only $600 (both ways). Is it just inevitable that you need to have a round trip ticket, or is there a less outrageously priced alternative to buying a return trip ticket while in spain. I don't want to have a set return end date, and this makes it impossible to have a round trip ticket.

Any ideas will be appreciated.

Warmly,


Barry
Barry, flying RT from the U.S.you can get an "open jaw" ticket at a round trip price, no problem. Open jaw -- you fly Boston to Point A in Spain, and fly Point B in Spain back to Boston. You should be able to get a decent fare, provided you have confirmed dates for both flights.

If you try to book an "open ticket" i.e., no confirmed return trip, you will pay the full fare price for the ticket. As you have already discovered, this can cost a few thousand $$ depending on the airline, the dates, and knows what else.

This is the case for any major airline with flights originating in the U.S. I don't know about some of the new low-cost, no-frills carriers such as Norwegian. Out of Boston it's possible you might find something on one of them.

An alternative is to book round-trip and pay the change fee, usually $100-$200 -- plus any fare differential on the day you change to. In other words, if you booked the lowest fare for your return date, but that fare is no longer available when you change the ticket, you pay the best fare available on that day. That could be the same, a higher restricted fare, or full price. The airlines know what they're doing.

But the short answer from out of the U.S. is open jaw, yes; open ticket, mortgage the house. 😖 I wish it weren't so. I fly from Philadelphia and I would love an open ticket. But in spite of what our friends from other countries might tell us, it just ain't so. It seems other countries have this option. We don't.

If by some chance you should find something, please post! Good luck and Buen Camino.
 

nycwalking

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Ourense to Santiago (2019), CF: (2014, 2004, 2002, 2001). On to Fisterra, (2002, 4, 14).
Except on first camino, I always flew either NYC to Madrid and back or Los Angeles to Madrid and back.

As others have stated to and out of and Madrid is very easy.

If you are willing to bus it, you can catch bus to Pamplona at T4.

And, from Santiago I took train to Madrid.

It’s too bad open tickets are so expensive.

Think about giving yourself a hefty time to walk then book accordingly. If you arrive in Santiago ahead of schedule you can walk to Fisterra, sightsee, et cetera. And, it will still be less expensive than an open-ended ticket.

Buen camino whatever you decide.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF2012,Le Puy/CF 2015 Portugues 2017 Norte 2018, CF 2019
Hello! I have two related questions:

Last year I flew into Barcelona, took the train to Pamplona and started walking. My question is:

Is there a closer airport to Pamplona than Barcelona that has nominal air fares?

My other question is:

Is there a cost effective way to buy an open ended plane ticket, leaving from Santiago? I noticed, last year, that when I searched out one way fares from Santiago, they were all outrageously priced at over $2,000, while I had a round trip ticket, leaving from Lisbon that was only $600 (both ways). Is it just inevitable that you need to have a round trip ticket, or is there a less outrageously priced alternative to buying a return trip ticket while in spain. I don't want to have a set return end date, and this makes it impossible to have a round trip ticket.

Any ideas will be appreciated.

Warmly,


Barry
Just to give you an idea of what I do. I live in Mexico and my best option is almost always to fly into Madrid. I would imagine wherever you live flights to Madrid will be as competitively priced as any other major city in Europe or Spain. I always check Barcelona just in case. I never go in summer and this year will arrive in Spain on October 26th so prices are lower. I will stay in Madrid for 2 days to buy a few things and get over my jet lag. I am flying to Pamplona for $41US, which is not that much more than the train or bus and only takes an hour. I have booked a flight from Santiago back to Madrid after my Camino ends in December for $25US. I usually don't book so far in advance but at $25US no problem. Both flights are on Iberia and you can carry your pack on board even the short flight from Santiago.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I originate from Chicago and always fly round trip to Madrid. From there you can take a train or bus to Pamplona. Both options are nice and relatively inexpensive. I then fly from Santiago back to Madrid on Ryan air.
I, too, always heard about "open jawed" flights, but my research always made the price jump too high for my comfort level.
 

tpmchugh

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013)
Camino Frances (2015)
Camino Frances (2016)
Camino Frances (2018}
Hello! I have two related questions:

Last year I flew into Barcelona, took the train to Pamplona and started walking. My question is:

Is there a closer airport to Pamplona than Barcelona that has nominal air fares?

My other question is:

Is there a cost effective way to buy an open ended plane ticket, leaving from Santiago? I noticed, last year, that when I searched out one way fares from Santiago, they were all outrageously priced at over $2,000, while I had a round trip ticket, leaving from Lisbon that was only $600 (both ways). Is it just inevitable that you need to have a round trip ticket, or is there a less outrageously priced alternative to buying a return trip ticket while in spain. I don't want to have a set return end date, and this makes it impossible to have a round trip ticket.

Any ideas will be appreciated.

Warmly,


Barry
Fly into Dublin then on to Biarritz and walk to Pamplona. Or from Dublin, fly into Bilbao where you can get a bus to any of Pamplona, Burgos or Logroño. Going back, fly to Dublin and go through US customs and immigration before flying. I am making the assumption you originate in the USA. If not, apologies
 

barryg

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
June: Camino Frances from Pamplona
As always, the devil is in the details....that's because airfares fluctuate.

Madrid is closer to Pamplona than Barcelona. And making it a round trip by flying home from Madrid is also going to be, I believe, the cheapest airfare from Boston. I say that because I think flying Santiago to a connecting airport in Europe so you can fly back to Boston is going to be more costly. Anyway, check your options on rome2rio (the site Alex Walker just furnished.)

Ahh, Pamplona. I love that city.
Yes, I love Pamplona too. I only stayed there one night but was mesmerized, especially at night where everyone gathers in the streets to drink eat and talk and their voices echo off the walls of the buildings. Thanks for your post. I assumed as much about the flight from Santiago. I think it's a 6 hour train ride to Madrid?
 

barryg

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
June: Camino Frances from Pamplona
Hi, Barry. . .

alexwalker has posted a solution worth considering. Compare airfares from Boston, to both Madrid and then Barcelona because that will be the largest travel expense. Madrid is also an easy airport to return to from Santiago de Compostela for a flight back to Boston.
Yes, I read his post and I am going to do that.
 

barryg

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
June: Camino Frances from Pamplona
Hi, Barry. . .

alexwalker has posted a solution worth considering. Compare airfares from Boston, to both Madrid and then Barcelona because that will be the largest travel expense. Madrid is also an easy airport to return to from Santiago de Compostela for a flight back to Boston.
Oh yes, and thank you very much!
 

barryg

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
June: Camino Frances from Pamplona
If you fly with Iberia ( if that's a possibility for you), you can then book with their local partner the internal flights in Spain, with open jaw flights (flying into one airport, i.e. Pamplona and leaving from another ie Santiago). The internal flights cone to about the same price as the same route bus fare! We have done this option many times.
Yes, I flew with Iberia last time, didn't know about the internal flights, so thanks very much!
 

barryg

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
June: Camino Frances from Pamplona
Barry, flying RT from the U.S.you can get an "open jaw" ticket at a round trip price, no problem. Open jaw -- you fly Boston to Point A in Spain, and fly Point B in Spain back to Boston. You should be able to get a decent fare, provided you have confirmed dates for both flights.

If you try to book an "open ticket" i.e., no confirmed return trip, you will pay the full fare price for the ticket. As you have already discovered, this can cost a few thousand $$ depending on the airline, the dates, and knows what else.

This is the case for any major airline with flights originating in the U.S. I don't know about some of the new low-cost, no-frills carriers such as Norwegian. Out of Boston it's possible you might find something on one of them.

An alternative is to book round-trip and pay the change fee, usually $100-$200 -- plus any fare differential on the day you change to. In other words, if you booked the lowest fare for your return date, but that fare is no longer available when you change the ticket, you pay the best fare available on that day. That could be the same, a higher restricted fare, or full price. The airlines know what they're doing.

But the short answer from out of the U.S. is open jaw, yes; open ticket, mortgage the house. 😖 I wish it weren't so. I fly from Philadelphia and I would love an open ticket. But in spite of what our friends from other countries might tell us, it just ain't so. It seems other countries have this option. We don't.

If by some chance you should find something, please post! Good luck and Buen Camino.
Thank you for your reply. I must confess I do not know what RT stands for.
 

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