A donation to the forum removes ads for you, and supports Ivar in his work running it

Advertisement

See the full Camino Forum Store here with many more camino products.

SJPP to Finisterre June/July 2012

whitfieldkl

New Member
I am trying to plan my trip for this summer (busiest time I know) and had a few questions for past pilgrims. I am going to be flying from Atlanta, Ga or Nashville, Tn and I am planning to buy my (two) plane tickets around late January/ early February. I was wondering if I should fly into Madrid or Paris? I assume these two cities will be the cheapest to fly into from North America because of the tourist attraction and high number of flights in the summer. I would prefer to fly into Madrid because I've been there before and I speak fairly good Spanish while I speak no French at all. It also seems quite a bit closer to SJPP but I am not sure how to get there from Madrid. Could you guys help me out?

I guess the only other things right now are what should I be doing (besides walking) this far ahead to prepare for the camino? I'm trying to collect things as I go so I don't have to spend a lot of money all at once. Is there anywhere to sleep outside if it is a nice night? That would definitely be something I'm interested in but having lived in Santiago for about six weeks this summer, I'm not sure there are enough nice nights to even think about it. Did any of you ever run into problems with full hostels? What did you do? That's my biggest fear walking it in the summer time. How much clothes did you take and what is the laundry situation like? Is there enough internet to bring a computer or is that a waste of weight in the pack? Thank you so much for reading this and giving me your input! I get more and more excited about this trip everyday!
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Hi, whitfieldkl,

Welcome to the forum -- and have fun planning your camino. One thing you'll soon see is that there are a lot of strong opinions on both sides of every question.

Except for the times I have walked exclusively in France, I always fly in and out of Madrid. Getting to any starting point in Spain is pretty easy from Madrid, and it's also very easy to return to Madrid from Santiago for your flight home. For you, it would mean taking a train, plane or bus up to Pamplona, and then getting over to St. Jean. That used to be a problem, because the only option was a taxi, which is frequently mentioned on this forum, here's just one link: el-camino-frances/topic8229.html

As of last year, there seems to be a summer-only Alsa bus that goes from Pamplona to St. Jean as well. traveling-to-from-the-camino/topic11050.html (I say "seems to be" because I'm not sure if anyone has confirmed that it will go again this year).

There have also been a lot of recent posts about full albergues and what to do, but I think the consensus from experienced pilgrims is that people usually find beds, and it's not worth ruining your camino by worrying about it. If you are really worried, you can make reservations ahead of time in private albergues, pensiones, hotels, etc (but not the non-profit ones), but that's risky because it locks you into a schedule you might not want to follow.

I never sleep outside so I'll let others opine on that question. Buen camino, Laurie
 

ksam

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese '08, Frances '11, del Norte '14, Invierno '16, Ingles '17, Primitivo October 2018
Welcome whitfieldkl! There is another way around to SJPP. I found the info here on the forum, so this wasn't of my own discovery. Take the train from Chamartin (one of two major train stations in Madrid) to Hendaya. Then you switch to the French trains (same station, very easy) and get to Bayonne...and then switch (again same station) to the lovely little train that takes you up into the mountains, to SJPP.

Including the subway in Madrid, I actually rode on 5 lines that day! While that may sound rather alot, it was very easy and couldn't have gone smoother. And this perigrino speaks (properly) only English and German and un poco Espanol. So that should tell you how easy it was. The subway in Madrid is amazing. Clean, clear and easy to follow. Chamartin, while a fairly large train station, same thing. All in all a very easy smooth transition to the start of my Camino. In fact, you can even buy the train ticket at the airport itself, which is what I did the day I arrived.

Ahhh wish I was going again. Like, tomorrow! Buen Camino!
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
For $2,500 you can fly into Pamplona from Atlanta, and back to Atlanta from Santiago de Compostela through London on Iberia Airline. There may be other options; Atlanta seems like a pricey place to fly from. You will save several hundred dollars using surface transportation to Pamplona/SJPcP.

From Pamplona, take the bus to SJPdP, or just start walking in Pamplona. I did not find anything in crossing the Pyrenees that would be worth repeating, though I did repeat it once, and the hassle of getting to SJPdP is significant from either Spain or France.

JOURNEY1 - Thursday, June 7, 2012
Atlanta › London
Departure
21:15 / Atlanta , Hartsfield Jackson , Terminal N
Arrival
10:15 Day 8 / London , Heathrow , Terminal 5

London › Madrid
Departure
12:40 / London , Heathrow , Terminal 5
Arrival
16:00 / Madrid , Barajas , Terminal 4S

Madrid › Pamplona
Departure
18:15 / Madrid , Barajas , Terminal 4
Arrival
19:10 / Pamplona

Duration
15h: 55m

Fare
$2,502.50

JOURNEY2 - Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Santiago de Compostela › Madrid
Departure
6:50 / Santiago de Compostela
Arrival
8:00 / Madrid , Barajas , Terminal 4

Madrid › London
Departure
8:55 / Madrid , Barajas , Terminal 4
Arrival
10:15 / London , Heathrow , Terminal 3

London › Atlanta
Departure
15:00 / London , Heathrow , Terminal 5
Arrival
19:05 / Atlanta , Hartsfield Jackson , Terminal N
Duration
18h: 15m
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Just a little p.s. to the Madrid component.

As I've posted about on another thread, traveling-to-from-the-camino/topic11742.html the C-1 line of Cercanias trains (Cercanias is the commuter rail system)has been extended out to Barajas T4. This opened just weeks ago. Travel time to Chamartin train station from Barajas is 11 minutes! Travel time to Atocha train station is 25 minutes! The line also goes to one or two bus stations. This new line is a dream come true for pilgrims seeking to get onto public transit in Madrid from the airport.

buen camino, Laurie
 

dkenagy

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
April-June 2009 (Frances) (little bit of bus-riding)
March-May 2012 (Frances) (walked every inch)
April 2017: VDLP: I'll be 75
We booked Atlanta to Biarritz via Paris for the same frequent flyer miles as Atlanta to Paris alone. The flight combination (AF 681, then AF 7498) gets you to Biarritz at 2:15 PM in plenty of time to reach the Bayonne train station to catch the last train to St Jean (leaving at 6:10 PM). We will have to change airports in Paris (CDG to ORY), but there's plenty of time for that, too - 3.5 hours, in fact. We did this because we don't want to spend a night in Bayonne, preferring two nights to conquer jet lag in the much prettier St Jean.
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
Atlanta to Biarritz via Paris
What is your return routing from Santiago? I get a one-way fare quote from Atlanta to Biarritz as $2,408.
 

gypsy9

Active Member
As you are starting from SJPP, I would suggest flying into Paris (CDG). There are some great fares out of the States if you book ahead. Also check out the possibility of flying from CDG to Biaritz (then you can bus or train to SJPP or taxi-pool with other pilgrims outside the airport).
Sometimes the domestic flight is comparable to the train ticket. Just a thought. Even in high season, there is the chance of a good price.
 

whitfieldkl

New Member
WOW you guys are amazing! I am looking at plane tickets now and though its still a little early to buy, the tickets to Madrid and Paris are around $1000-1500 and thats really as much as I'd like to spend. I'm a student so as I'd like to spend $2500 on travel, I don't think thats going to be an option for me. The 5 trains from Madrid to SJPP sound like an amazing option! I have ridden the Madrid subway and the railway system in and around Santiago so the trains option sounds like probably the easiest way for me. Thank you guys so much for all your help!

-Katherine
 

dkenagy

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
April-June 2009 (Frances) (little bit of bus-riding)
March-May 2012 (Frances) (walked every inch)
April 2017: VDLP: I'll be 75
It is never clear to me, on this forum, who is posting a reply to whom. This is to Falcon269.

I posted an itinerary for ATL to BIZ which did not include the return leg from Madrid. We chose Madrid because it's easily accessible from Santiago via train.

At first we tried to book one way and leave the return open because of uncertainty. We learned (1) that Delta does not permit the use of Frequent Flyer points for one way trips and (2) one way prices are fantastically high (see other posts). Being thus forced to choose a return date without knowing when we'll finish walking, we left PLENTY to time and will while away any excess in Madrid. (We once spent two consecutive full days in the Prado and still didn't see it all, much less reflect upon/appreciate what we did see).

We're starting in St Jean March 17 and expect to be cold. The extent of our sleeping gear will be silk sacks and homemade fleece blankets that we carry in "Space Bag" brand compression bags which allow expulsion of air before sealing to minimize volume. These will be the only plastic bags in our packs; we don't like plastic bags or pre-dawn bag rattlers. FYI: We have on occasion used albergue blankets with never a problem. We carry 30-40 liter packs with 15 pound loads. The less we carry the less we have to keep track of -- and -- the quicker we can locate what we're looking for.
 

georgia jugs

New Member
whitfielddk

We plan on flying out of Atlanta on May 1 to Madrid and taking the bus to SJPP. The rates are high right now but I think they will go down the closer we get to May, so we haven't bought our tickets yet. Do you live in the Atlanta area?

Georgia Jugs
Patti & John
 

whitfieldkl

New Member
Fellow Georgians!

I currently live in the Nashville area for school but I'm from Athens and that's where I'll be when we leave. I am planning to buy our tickets around late January/ early February. Airfare is so finicky these days I'm afraid to wait too late to buy them. Maybe we'll see you guys on the camino sometime this summer!

Katherine
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
Iberia Airline has direct Miami to Madrid round trip flights for just over $617. Getting from Atlanta to Miami is no easy feat, but you can save a lot of money if you can get there.

Buen Camino.
 

georgia jugs

New Member
Katherine,

We are practically neighbors! We live in Hoschton, but since nobody has ever heard of Hoschton, Ga, we always say Atlanta.

Georgia Jugs
 

whitfieldkl

New Member
OH MY! We are practically neighbors! I pass by the Hoschton exit on 85 on my way home from Nashville! Thats so crazy! Is there some way to do private messaging on here or could I get you guys' email? Maybe we will be able to meet up sometime this summer. It would be amazing to get to see some friendly faces while we are so far from home! I am thinking we might try to do that Iberia flight from Miami for $617 that falcon suggested. That sounds pretty dang good to me.

Katherine
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
If you like playing Russian roulette, wait on the Iberia ticket. The Euro is in slow descent, and the European airlines tie their fares to the Euro. As it drops, so will the airfare. Research has shown that Thursday is the cheapest day to buy a ticket. "Yield management" by the airlines can result in 250 different fares for 250 seats (theoretically), and many airlines change Wednesday night. Try to wait until the airline computer has decided to discount the seats on a particular flight. The downside is that the fare will go up as the plane fills as the airline tries to gouge the last-minute flyer, so waiting until the last minute is usually the most expensive tactic. Once you are done booking your flight in this very serendipitous system, you can keep your blood boiling by contemplating the rude and invasive treatment you will be getting at the airport. There was a time we would have died standing up instead of living on our knees. These days, the knee pads are a necessary part of daily equipment.
 

Get on our Mailing list for new products on the Camino Store and news from the Camino Forum








Advertisement

Booking.com

Most downloaded Resources

Forum Rules

Forum Rules

Camino Forum Store

Camino Forum Store

Casa Ivar Newsletter






Forum Donation

Forum Donation
For those with no forum account, it is possible to donate here as well. Thank you for your support! Ivar

Follow Casa Ivar on Instagram

When is the best time to walk?

  • January

    Votes: 16 1.2%
  • February

    Votes: 10 0.8%
  • March

    Votes: 54 4.2%
  • April

    Votes: 196 15.2%
  • May

    Votes: 321 24.9%
  • June

    Votes: 94 7.3%
  • July

    Votes: 23 1.8%
  • August

    Votes: 27 2.1%
  • September

    Votes: 369 28.6%
  • October

    Votes: 154 12.0%
  • November

    Votes: 17 1.3%
  • December

    Votes: 7 0.5%
Top
AdBlock Detected

We get it, advertisements are annoying!

Sure, ad-blocking software does a great job at blocking ads, but it also blocks useful features of our website. For the best site experience please disable your AdBlocker.

I've Disabled AdBlock