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Quickest rout from Melbourne to SJPdP

Gumba

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF with my husband and two boys in March 2018
Planning a winter CF in 2019/2020
#1
Hi Aussies,

For our first Camino (cant believe I am saying that!!!) we wanted to catch the train down from Paris. Next year we are planning on sneaking in a side visit before a family 'do' in the UK. We only have about 8-9 days and that includes the plane from Oz. So I am looking for the quickest way to get from Melb to sjpdp. As there are 4 of us I dont mind paying a bit extra to get a taxi (not a crazy amount, but not on a strictly tight budget iykwim).

Best I can get is to Madrid and then a 4 hour stop over and then to Pamplona on a budget airline. Maybe a taxi to sjpdp... around 35 hours. Can anyone do better than that?

Is it cheaper (airport tax wise) to fly into Spain or Paris? I know Heathrow is a fair bit more expensive..

Thanks
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
#2
What are you including in the 8-9 days?
The travel from Oz and the side trip?
There seem to be two main schools of thought, as you have discovered,
Enter Europe via Paris or Madrid.
Not much in it really time wise.
From Paris, TGV to Bayonne, train to St Jean.
From Madrid, fly or train to Pamplona.
Are you intending to travel for 35 hours and start your Camino straight off?
 

LGLG

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP - Finisterre (2005) ; LePuy - Muxia (2007) ; Porto - SC. (2009) planning Lourdes- SC (2018)
#3
Very tight schedule, if not too tight? Have you taken into account jet lag?Some people may have better and more suggestions (another Camino maybe? ) but here are some thoughts...

I never find the difference in airport taxes a big issue, cost difference depends more on which airline you choose - I always book online, which gives me a good overview of prices, flight duration and options. If you do so, and are willing to consider other airlines than Qantas, you may want to check Sydney also - usually more choices, and I think you would have to think about your arrival times.

Paris or Barcelona would be closer than Madrid (but not that close). Qantas flies Barcelona also. ROme2Rio website is useful to give you travel times to SJPP from various destinations.

A lot of logistics here - my experience is from Paris . Depends on your arrival time, whether you can connect with a train the same day or not, taking into account transfer times also. Check SNCF.

You would also have to plan your transport back to the airport to fly into London, presumedly from a different point - which would be another bus or train?

I dont know about your stamina, or ability to get a good stretch of sleep on road, but to me it seems almost impossible. From Oz I would need a minimum of 3 nights en route to be fit for walking.
 

NomadBoomer

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (September 2017), Vdlp (April 2018)
#4
If you are combining with a UK visit and you want to minimise travel times. You could consider flight to a convenient UK airport and then budget flights to biarritz or bayonne. You would have to do a bit of research to find a good combination of price and transit times.
 

Gumba

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF with my husband and two boys in March 2018
Planning a winter CF in 2019/2020
#6
Thanks everyone. We walked last March - flew into Paris, caught the train down the next day and started walking the day after. While we woke up very early the first few days, jetlag was not an issue - it is much worse for us when we go home. We know we will be fine walking the day after we arrive.

Robo, probably 8 days of walking.

LGLG, we usually fly Etihad or Qatar - we prefer the longer first leg and stop over in Doha or similar.

When we finish our mini walk we will return to Paris to meet other family members.

Thanks, I was hoping for a quicker solution - perhaps Paris it is - at least the train station etc will be familiar to us.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances: St-Jean-PdP - Santiago dC - Muxía - Fisterra (Aug 2017 and March/April 2018)
#7
On my arrival day at Paris CDG, I transferred to Paris Orly and flew to Biarritz, walked to a hotel that is between the airport and the train station, had a nice dinner and a good night's sleep.
The next morning I walked to Biarritz train station, train to Bayonne, train to St Jean PdP, picked up my credential at the Pilgrim Office, and walked to Roncesvalles. Arrived about 4pm.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2015, St. Jean Pied de Port to Burgos
2016, Burgos to Ponferrada
2017, Ponferrada to Atlantic Ocean
#9
On my arrival day at Paris CDG, I transferred to Paris Orly and flew to Biarritz
EasyJet flies direct from CDG to BIQ (Biarritz), saving airport transfer time.


-Paul
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2015 & 2018) San Salvador (2018)
#10
From Toronto I have flown into Paris and then taken EasyJet to Biarritz and then Express Bourricot picked me up and took me directly to SJPdP. I had a two or three hour wait for EasyJet (I wanted to make sure there was enough time in case my flight from Toronto was late) and about 15 minute wait for Express Bourricot. But there are only one or two flights a day with EasyJet from CDG, so it depends what time your flight arrives from Melbourne. Flights are usually around 10 or 11 am and again around 5 pm.

If you catch a 23 hour flight from Melbourne to CDG, with a 3 hour stop over then EasyJet to Biarritz (2 more hours) and then the drive - about 1 hour - I think this is faster than going through Madrid.
 

Gumba

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF with my husband and two boys in March 2018
Planning a winter CF in 2019/2020
#11
Thanks again. CdnDreamer - my biggest fear is changing airports from CDG to Orly, although it is good that EasyJet flies out of DG. Like you I would need to book plenty of time to allow for a flight delay. We flew in to CDG around 1pm earlier this year, so that would give us plenty of time for a 5pm flight. We are slow walkers so would want to be at sjpdp the night before, not in the morning, getting passports and then heading out etc.

Alwyn, swimming not an option, as you know it is very cold in winter and there might be too many whales/icebergs ;)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2015)
Portuguese (2018)
#12
Fellow Melbournian here. The dreaded flight.... oh my.

I found Paris to Bayonne on train and go from there. It’s the quickest.

You’ll be wrecked, but us Aussies all know that.

Diabolical.
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP-Leon (15)
SJPdP-SdC-Finisterre-Muxia (16)
Lisbon-SdC (17)

Le Puy-Pamplona (19)
#13
How about this then...
Emirates flight 409 leaves MEL daily at 5am to Dubai.
After a 1hr30min transit, Emirates 143 leaves Dubai for Madrid.
After a 1hr55min transit, Iberia 8562 leaves Madrid for Pamplona, arriving at 11:10pm the same ‘day’. Total travel time 26hr10min.
Then sleep the night in Pamplona, and taxi or bus to SJPdP the next morning and start walking.
A few alternatives:
1. As above (starting earlyish and a bit worse for wear...) and walk SJPdP to Roncesvalles day 1;
2. As above (but starting late morning) and walk SJPdP to Orrison day1;
3. As above, but instead of starting in SJPdP, start your walk from Pamplona.
 

Aysen Mustafa

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
I plan on walking the Camino April 2018.
#14
Recommend fast train from Paris to Bayonne & then the local train to SJPdP
I flew to Paris April this year, but I spent a few days. Then took the fast train from Montparnasse to Bayonne and bus (train line is out) to SJPDP, about 1.5 hours. I met an American woman who took the Paris train to Bordeaux and then another train to Bayonne, spent the night and then took the bus in the morning. The bus left about 8am. I purchased my credential, hiking poles, had breakfast etc. and then started walking to Orisson.
You will need to check timetables, or from Paris fly to Biarritz and then catch taxi.
 
Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean 2017.
#15
Very tight schedule, if not too tight? Have you taken into account jet lag?Some people may have better and more suggestions (another Camino maybe? ) but here are some thoughts...

I never find the difference in airport taxes a big issue, cost difference depends more on which airline you choose - I always book online, which gives me a good overview of prices, flight duration and options. If you do so, and are willing to consider other airlines than Qantas, you may want to check Sydney also - usually more choices, and I think you would have to think about your arrival times.

Paris or Barcelona would be closer than Madrid (but not that close). Qantas flies Barcelona also. ROme2Rio website is useful to give you travel times to SJPP from various destinations.
A couple of corrections; having flown from Dubai to both Madrid & Paris 3 or 4 times Madrid is closer - prob about 1 hour, but I do understand your main point. Now for Qantas - Qantas themselves do not fly to Barcelona or Madrid or even Paris. All their European destinations other than London are code shared with Emirates. Emirates have two flights per day to Madrid - one arrives mid afternoon the other around 8 or 9 PM; I think its two flights to Barcelona and around 3 per day to Paris.
As I said I have done this trip 4 times and I always try to allow a full day off to get over the jet lag. Cheers
 

LesR

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2017)
#16
Hi Aussies,

For our first Camino (cant believe I am saying that!!!) we wanted to catch the train down from Paris. Next year we are planning on sneaking in a side visit before a family 'do' in the UK. We only have about 8-9 days and that includes the plane from Oz. So I am looking for the quickest way to get from Melb to sjpdp. As there are 4 of us I dont mind paying a bit extra to get a taxi (not a crazy amount, but not on a strictly tight budget iykwim).

Best I can get is to Madrid and then a 4 hour stop over and then to Pamplona on a budget airline. Maybe a taxi to sjpdp... around 35 hours. Can anyone do better than that?

Is it cheaper (airport tax wise) to fly into Spain or Paris? I know Heathrow is a fair bit more expensive..

Thanks

Fly to Paris then suburban train to Montparnasse, stay overnight, then catch VFT train to Bayonne Next morning, then the country train (or bus) to SJPP, around 4 pm
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances Mar-Apr 2017, Jan-Feb 2019
#17
How about this then...
Emirates flight 409 leaves MEL daily at 5am to Dubai.
After a 1hr30min transit, Emirates 143 leaves Dubai for Madrid.
After a 1hr55min transit, Iberia 8562 leaves Madrid for Pamplona, arriving at 11:10pm the same ‘day’. Total travel time 26hr10min.
Then sleep the night in Pamplona, and taxi or bus to SJPdP the next morning and start walking.
A few alternatives:
1. As above (starting earlyish and a bit worse for wear...) and walk SJPdP to Roncesvalles day 1;
2. As above (but starting late morning) and walk SJPdP to Orrison day1;
3. As above, but instead of starting in SJPdP, start your walk from Pamplona.

I think this is actually the best option, which is very surprising as we all know that Cats supporters and common sense are usually mutually exclusive! Another alternative is to fly into Barcelona and catch a train (under 4 hours) to Pamplona. But as you only have such a short time to walk I think taking off from Pamplona rather than St Jean is logical, especially as that first leg can be a killer, especially if you've just come off a 30 hour or so trip!
 

Aysen Mustafa

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
I plan on walking the Camino April 2018.
#18
Fly to Paris then suburban train to Montparnasse, stay overnight, then catch VFT train to Bayonne Next morning, then the country train (or bus) to SJPP, around 4 pm
that's the route I took, different times though.
 

Thornley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances [08 ]Portuguese [09 ]Le Puy[10] Norte[ 11] Madrid [12] Figeac - Pamplona [13] Mont Saint Michel - Bordeaux / St Palais - Pamplona [14] Moissac -Burgos [15] , Norte to Oviedo and then Primitivo [16]
Le Puy to Moissac and Dax to Santo Domingo
#19
I think this is actually the best option, which is very surprising as we all know that Cats supporters and common sense are usually mutually exclusive! Another alternative is to fly into Barcelona and catch a train (under 4 hours) to Pamplona. But as you only have such a short time to walk I think taking off from Pamplona rather than St Jean is logical, especially as that first leg can be a killer, especially if you've just come off a 30 hour or so trip!
The advice from Cat land is the best and shortest flight
I would avoid Barcelona
I also would commence at Pamplona day after arrival........ [ 2 days gone]
Puerta [3] Estella [4] Los Arcos [5] Viana [6] Logroño [7]
If you walk past here transport back to an airport with regular flights is ?????????
Train to Madrid [8] and next day fly to UK

1/ You had better be fit
2/ Your bags will go ahead
3/ Your first day will be hard with jet lag and the climb out
**4/ As a disciple of Chairman Eddie ..........i would save it all for another time as you will wish you never started just to depart after a short time.
**5/ If the flight is any longer than the EK's from Melbourne forget it .
Luggage will needed to be stored in Madrid or wherever you land as not much will be required.

If you are doing it to keep others happy Adrian give it a miss mate, come back and give it a red hot go with all the time in the world.
 

Alison C

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino de France in 2016
#20
A couple of corrections; having flown from Dubai to both Madrid & Paris 3 or 4 times Madrid is closer - prob about 1 hour, but I do understand your main point. Now for Qantas - Qantas themselves do not fly to Barcelona or Madrid or even Paris. All their European destinations other than London are code shared with Emirates. Emirates have two flights per day to Madrid - one arrives mid afternoon the other around 8 or 9 PM; I think its two flights to Barcelona and around 3 per day to Paris.
As I said I have done this trip 4 times and I always try to allow a full day off to get over the jet lag. Cheers
Qantas code shares with British Airways who code share with Iberia. In September I flew with Qantas, Sydney -SIN-LHR-Iberia to Madrid, train to Leon in this case. Agree jet lag is fairly minimal exiting from Australia but you need a good 8 hours sleep on arrival as little sleep in economy from Australia via Singapore.
 

Thornley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances [08 ]Portuguese [09 ]Le Puy[10] Norte[ 11] Madrid [12] Figeac - Pamplona [13] Mont Saint Michel - Bordeaux / St Palais - Pamplona [14] Moissac -Burgos [15] , Norte to Oviedo and then Primitivo [16]
Le Puy to Moissac and Dax to Santo Domingo
#21
Hi Aussies,

For our first Camino (cant believe I am saying that!!!) we wanted to catch the train down from Paris. Next year we are planning on sneaking in a side visit before a family 'do' in the UK. We only have about 8-9 days and that includes the plane from Oz. So I am looking for the quickest way to get from Melb to sjpdp. As there are 4 of us I dont mind paying a bit extra to get a taxi (not a crazy amount, but not on a strictly tight budget iykwim).

Best I can get is to Madrid and then a 4 hour stop over and then to Pamplona on a budget airline. Maybe a taxi to sjpdp... around 35 hours. Can anyone do better than that?

Is it cheaper (airport tax wise) to fly into Spain or Paris? I know Heathrow is a fair bit more expensive..

Thanks
What have you decided Gumba that could assist other pilgrims .
Every assistance is appreciated.
 

Gumba

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF with my husband and two boys in March 2018
Planning a winter CF in 2019/2020
#22
Thornley, we decided it was all to hard and are taking our side trip in Dublin and then a week's walk in the Cotswolds!!!

Seriously though, we have committed to a winter camino starting mid December 2019- Jan 2020. After spending ages researching the various ways my husband announced that there really was only one way - fly to Paris and catch the train down... He has always like a train journey and for me, it is less stressful worrying about connections. We did it this was earlier this year (flew in to Paris, stayed in a hotel just down the road from Montparnasse train station and got the 8am train down, arriving in sjpdp (as the snow fell) around 3pm (delay at sjpdp). Its familiar for us and our kids too.

The week's walk in England is because others in our party want to but it will kickstart a fantastic training week for us too.

Thank you to everyone for all their suggestions - no way is the wrong way, we are all lucky that there are many options :)
 

Thornley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances [08 ]Portuguese [09 ]Le Puy[10] Norte[ 11] Madrid [12] Figeac - Pamplona [13] Mont Saint Michel - Bordeaux / St Palais - Pamplona [14] Moissac -Burgos [15] , Norte to Oviedo and then Primitivo [16]
Le Puy to Moissac and Dax to Santo Domingo
#23


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