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Questions about starting in Easter Weekend 2022 (SJPP)

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Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances - April 2022
Dear all,

Looking forward to walk the camino Frances again. After seven years it will be my second hiking-sabatical! I am able to start the camino in Saint Jean in Easter Weekend. I did not yet book a train I am doubting about wich day to start and what to do with reservations. Will it be very crowdy starting that weekend in SJPD?

My questions:
- Will there be any difference between starting on Friday 15 (Good Friday), Saterday 16 or Sunday 17 (Easter Sunday)?
- Is it possible to book the albuergue in Roncevalles? Do they allow reservations?
- I want to walk the Napoleon route and will try to book a night in Orisson. What if the route is closed? Will there be enough beds in Valcarlos?
- Will there be special services to attend in SJPP or Roncevalles those days because of Easter?
- I will arrive by train in Bayonne in the evening (don't know wich date yet). Are there possibilities to travel by train or bus in the evening to SJPD?

Thanks in advance!

Marleen
 
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Kathar1na

Member
Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
I will arrive by train in Bayonne in the evening (don't know wich date yet). Are there possibilities to travel by train or bus in the evening to SJPD?
Let me answer this question because there have been recent threads about this with confusing, contradictory, wrong, outdated and incomplete comments.

The short answer is: Yes.

The longer answer is:

Good Friday (15 April 2022) is not a public holiday in France.​
Easter Monday (18 April 2022) is a public holiday in France.​
The weekday timetable for public transport applies for Good Friday.​
The Saturday timetable for public transport applies for the Saturday before Easter Sunday.​
The Sunday timetable for public transport applies for Easter Sunday and Easter Monday.​
You can find the timetable for public transport for the line Bayonne to SJPP by clicking on this link:​
This is the timetable for the TER train run by the national French railway company SNCF. SNCF replaces this TER train by a TER bus if need be. This does not change departure times. A single ticket costs €10,50. Note: On the timetable it says that engineering works are programmed during 28 February and 11 March 2022 with small changes of the schedule. This does not concern you as you plan to travel in April.​
There is also a kind of taxi share service for Biarritz/Bayonne-SJPP with competitive pricing when the taxi is full.
Buen Camino!
 
Last edited:

mspath

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
maria1975,
Kathar1na has provided much helpful info in the above post.
Please do make your reservations for travel in both France and Spain as early as possibile. Easter weekend is unofficially considered the start of "the" tourist season and, hence, very busy.

You can book in both Roncesvalles and Valcarlos. See this Gronze link for many possibilities.
 

DavidCanadian

New Member
Dear all,

Looking forward to walk the camino Frances again. After seven years it will be my second hiking-sabatical! I am able to start the camino in Saint Jean in Easter Weekend. I did not yet book a train I am doubting about wich day to start and what to do with reservations. Will it be very crowdy starting that weekend in SJPD?

My questions:
- Will there be any difference between starting on Friday 15 (Good Friday), Saterday 16 or Sunday 17 (Easter Sunday)?
- Is it possible to book the albuergue in Roncevalles? Do they allow reservations?
- I want to walk the Napoleon route and will try to book a night in Orisson. What if the route is closed? Will there be enough beds in Valcarlos?
- Will there be special services to attend in SJPP or Roncevalles those days because of Easter?
- I will arrive by train in Bayonne in the evening (don't know wich date yet). Are there possibilities to travel by train or bus in the evening to SJPD?

Thanks in advance!

Marleen
While it was many years ago now we started from SJPP early in the morning of Palm Sunday. The day was heavy with clouds and a mist that turned to snow as we approached Roncesvalles. The Napoleon route was closed and we found that the Valcarlos route was enchanting. The Palm Sunday evening mass was moving and I will never forget that evening meal with fellow pilgrims. The huge albergue was warm and inviting . I will never forget that day or that first week on the Camino. All that to say that if you can start from SJPP on Palm Sunday you should consider it and the opportunity to walk through those Spanish towns and villages during Holy Week as they prepare for Easter. It was special.
 
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Kathar1na

Member
Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
Will there be special services to attend in SJPP or Roncevalles those days because of Easter?
Below is a link to the services during the week from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday in Roncesvalles in 2021. This week is called Semana Santa in Spain. I assume that the timetable will be similar in 2022:

Roncesvalles is a very small village. I don't think that you will see any of the processions for which the Semana Santa is famous in cities like Burgos or Sevilla but also in smaller towns and in villages other than Roncesvalles.

Traditional local pilgrimages with processions and special services at Roncesvalles take place in May. Here is a link and some photos, some of them showing the penitents in traditional clothing and the men carrying wooden crosses on their backs: Pilgrimages to Roncesvalles
 

Kathar1na

Member
Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
As to special Easter services in Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port ... there are hundreds of pilgrims who start the Camino on Easter weekends from SJPP every year but I cannot remember that anyone ever mentioned anything in particular. From what I see on the web, there is apparently an Easter vigil service on Saturday evening (after sun down?) held in SJPP. Perhaps someone can shed some light on Easter traditions in Catholic Churches in France.
 

Bob from L.A. !

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Francis 2012, 2014, 2016. Camino Norte 2018. Many more to come in my future God willing !
You are "adventurous " to start at that busy time. Good luck!
 
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances - April 2022
Let me answer this question because there have been recent threads about this with confusing, contradictory, wrong, outdated and incomplete comments.

The short answer is: Yes.

The longer answer is:

Good Friday (15 April 2022) is not a public holiday in France.​
Easter Monday (18 April 2022) is a public holiday in France.​
The weekday timetable for public transport applies for Good Friday.​
The Saturday timetable for public transport applies for the Saturday before Easter Sunday.​
The Sunday timetable for public transport applies for Easter Sunday and Easter Monday.​
You can find the timetable for public transport for the line Bayonne to SJPP by clicking on this link:​
This is the timetable for the TER train run by the national French railway company SNCF. SNCF replaces this TER train by a TER bus if need be. This does not change departure times. A single ticket costs €10,50. Note: On the timetable it says that engineering works are programmed during 28 February and 11 March 2022 with small changes of the schedule. This does not concern you as you plan to travel in April.​
There is also a kind of taxi share service for Biarritz/Bayonne-SJPP with competitive pricing when the taxi is full.
Buen Camino!
Thank you very much! This is really helpfull. I will arrive by train around 16:00 in Bayonne so I will be able to travel early in the evening to SJDP!
 
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances - April 2022
maria1975,
Kathar1na has provided much helpful info in the above post.
Please do make your reservations for travel in both France and Spain as early as possibile. Easter weekend is unofficially considered the start of "the" tourist season and, hence, very busy.

You can book in both Roncesvalles and Valcarlos. See this Gronze link for many possibilities.
Thank you! That list is very helpfull!
 
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Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances - April 2022
Thanks all of you for answering! Because of the advice to book as soon as possible and the notification 'adventurous at this busy times' I booked my trainticket and the first nights during Easter Weekend. I hope to start from Saint Jean on Good Friday and will stay at Auberge Borda before going to Roncevalles on saterday where I hope to attend the mass in the evening! Feeling excited about it!
 

Kathar1na

Member
Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
Thank you very much! This is really helpfull. I will arrive by train around 16:00 in Bayonne so I will be able to travel early in the evening to SJDP!
Buen Camino! BTW, I had emailed French Rail SNCF. They confirmed that there is a disfunction with their online timetable for Bayonne-SJPP from late March onwards but that they will fix it. They also sent me the timetable for Bayonne-SJPP for the first 6 months in printed form. I attach it to this post. It is the same pdf file as the one that is online and that I had linked earlier.

So, no worries :).
 

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Past OR future Camino
CF 2015, CF 2018, Primitivo 2019, CF 2022
Dear all,

Looking forward to walk the camino Frances again. After seven years it will be my second hiking-sabatical! I am able to start the camino in Saint Jean in Easter Weekend. I did not yet book a train I am doubting about wich day to start and what to do with reservations. Will it be very crowdy starting that weekend in SJPD?

My questions:
- Will there be any difference between starting on Friday 15 (Good Friday), Saterday 16 or Sunday 17 (Easter Sunday)?
- Is it possible to book the albuergue in Roncevalles? Do they allow reservations?
- I want to walk the Napoleon route and will try to book a night in Orisson. What if the route is closed? Will there be enough beds in Valcarlos?
- Will there be special services to attend in SJPP or Roncevalles those days because of Easter?
- I will arrive by train in Bayonne in the evening (don't know wich date yet). Are there possibilities to travel by train or bus in the evening to SJPD?

Thanks in advance!

Marleen
!!!!!!!!!! Buen Camino Marleen! ❤️😍😍😘
 
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances - April 2022
Buen Camino! BTW, I had emailed French Rail SNCF. They confirmed that there is a disfunction with their online timetable for Bayonne-SJPP from late March onwards but that they will fix it. They also sent me the timetable for Bayonne-SJPP for the first 6 months in printed form. I attach it to this post. It is the same pdf file as the one that is online and that I had linked earlier.

So, no worries :).
Thank you very much!!! You are very helpfull! I will travel in one day from home to Saint Jean by train on April 14th!
 
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