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Luggage Transfer Correos

Travel from Canada

2020 Camino Guides

Genevievala

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances - 2020 (?)
Would love to hear how others chose to make their way from Canada to the Frances! We are travelling from Vancouver next summer - just at the browsing stage right now. I'm looking at Air Transat to Paris, possibly one way and go thru Gatwick on the way back. Flying into Spain from Canada is quite a bit more $$. I'm wondering how easy it is to transfer in Paris to central train station, seems cost is same to fly within France but travelling by train would be a treat in itself. Thank you !
 

FrPeter

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF, PR - 2016; CF 2018; CP 2019; VDLP (to Caceres) 2019
I have flowin Air Transat to Paris few years ago, then took the train from Gare Montparnasse to Lourdes before going to St. Jean. It is easy to get to the train station in the city as there is a bus at the airport that takes you to the station. I haven't done it, but there are SNCF trains at the airport as well. So depending on the destination and time you can take the train from the airport.

Buen Camino.
 

NorthernLight

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
To keep the price down, search for 'multi city' fares, i.e., Vancouver-Paris /Gatwick-Van.
I've found good flights from Santiago to Gatwick with Vueling.
Porto is a good exit city (OPO) if you don't want to go to England.

There is no central train station in Paris; there are half a dozen major stations and each serves different regional destinations. Most trains to Bayonne depart from Montparnass station. It's easy enough to get the RER train to downtown Paris. There is an express, or the regular commuter RER that stops more places which can be convenient for connections to the Metro subway.

Anyway, welcome to the forum! You can find heaps of info on everything if you use the search function, or just browse.

Happy planning.
 

CdnDreamer

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (12, 15 & 18) San Salvador (18), Portuguese (19)
I'm from Toronto, and I have flown into Paris twice. The first time I took a train into Paris, stayed the night and then took a train to SJPdP the next day. The next time I flew Easy Jet out of the same airport (CDG). That was really easy. I had Express Bourricot pick me up at the airport in Biarritz airport and drop me off in SJPdP. But the flights only work together on certain days. I have flown home from Barcelona and from Porto. I prefer to return through Porto as it is easy to get to by bus from Santiago.
 

jozero

Been there, going again...
Camino(s) past & future
CF x 3
With that much time to buy tickets you could setup up a price alert on skyscanner.ca. I always do that and I’ve always managed to get a good deal flying from YVR to Madrid. From there an easy bus or train to Pamplona and then I’ve either taken a taxi straight to SJPDP or to Roncesvalles (depended on the amount of snow!).
 

Jean Ti

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Norte, Primitivo, Frances,Via de la Plata

Camino Portuguese november 2019
On my side I took Air Transat to Barcelona then and a Veiuling flight to Bilboa then a bus to San Sebastian to start the Norte. I also took a fligt from Air Transat to Malaga and the bus to Sevilla to start the Via de la Plata.
 

Donjek

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2012 SJPdP - Fisterra
I went Vancouver to Heathrow, bus to Stansted, overnight Stansted, Ryan Air to Biarritz, SNCF train to SJPdP. Stayed a day in SJPdP trying to get over jet lag.

Homeward was Monbus from Finisterre to Santiago, Renfe train Santiago to Madrid, Easy Jet from Madrid to Gatwick, bus Gatwick to Heathrow, overnight Heathrow, Heathrow to Vancouver.

UK customs are tediously long. They can ask you impertinent questions rather than just checking your documents are in order. The airport security zones are overcrowded and undermanned. I would avoid it next time. The advantage is UK is outside the Schengen area and doesn't count against the 90 day Schengen visa.

If I were to do it again, I would look at Vancouver to Dublin and Dublin to Biarritz. Homeward, Santiago to Dublin, Dublin to Vancouver. It would depend on the schedule if I overnighted at Dublin.

Another option might be via Reykjavik Iceland where you can access Easy Jet's cheap flights.

Oporto is an Air Transat destination. The problem is getting to SJPdP from Oporto ... it'd take more than a day of trains and buses.
 
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calmeg

Member
Hello! We have done the trip from Vancouver to Barcelona, or Paris, or Pamplona, depending on the best prices. If you are looking only for inexpensive, the best trip would be YVR-CDG on Air transat, and then Porto (OPO) to YVR again on Air Transat, for about 850 mid May-end of June. If you want to go through Gatwick- there are others on this forum who know far more than I do re the UK connections especially post Brexit.
 

mvanert

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Bits and pieces - 2014, 2016, 2018 and 2020?
Would love to hear how others chose to make their way from Canada to the Frances! We are travelling from Vancouver next summer - just at the browsing stage right now. I'm looking at Air Transat to Paris, possibly one way and go thru Gatwick on the way back. Flying into Spain from Canada is quite a bit more $$. I'm wondering how easy it is to transfer in Paris to central train station, seems cost is same to fly within France but travelling by train would be a treat in itself. Thank you !
I live in Vancouver too. There are two ways I prefer to get to St Jean Pied de Port, through London and then flying directly to Biarritz or Paris and either fly or take the train to Biarritz. I use both Google Flights and Rome2Rio.com to find the best flights. What I like about using Rome2Rio is you can combine method of travel, plane/train/bus whatever.
I'll be going next August. I have found in the past, 3 times to the camino, that I get great pricing starting in Janurary of the year I plan on going. Whether I go via London or Paris I find staying one night in either one and traveling the next day to be the least stressful physically. I, too, choose one way to get there and then fly out of Santiago to London and back to Vancouver. That's what we'll be doing next year.
 

Rick M

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
April ('16,'18, '19, '20)
I'm wondering how easy it is to transfer in Paris to central train station, seems cost is same to fly within France but travelling by train would be a treat in itself. Thank you !
Depending on when your flight lands and what day, you may be able to catch a TGV directly from CDG to Bordeaux, then onward to Bayonne. This does not always work well, and you wind up having to overnight in Bordeaux or Bayonne. To complicate matters for a Planner, the train schedules are only solid three months ahead of time. That is the earliest you can buy TGV tickets.

To get to Montparnasse TGV station in Paris ( where the trains to the South West leave from), and then take the TGV to Bayonne onto SJPP, you have choices. The easiest and most expensive way is a taxi! No local would do that though, unless you are a group. Le Bus Direct operates frequent busses from CDG to Montparnasse (and Orly airport), and is also easy but only 12 euros. The fastest way is how a local would do it, by taking the RER B to the Montparnasse station. Its also the most complicated to figure out, as the RER system is the local regional transit and not well set up for tourists. That said, its how I do it.

Oh, and a Pro-tip for buying either bus or RER tickets: your credit card will not work in either of the ticket vending machines. Make sure you have Euros so you can pay cash.

As others have suggested, consider overnighting in Paris. If you are a veteran traveler and know how your body reacts to jet lag, by all means, do as you please. If this is your fist overseas trip though, plan to get off the plane, and take the RER or Bus into Paris to Montparnasse where your nearby hotel is waiting for you. There is a range of hotel choices around the station within a few blocks. Plan to walk, you are a pilgrim after all. Don't be afraid to buy a TGV ticket for 7:00 am the next morning.....these are invariably the cheapest, and you'll be awake!

Final point as you consider fly vs train. The plane is quicker (2 hours vs 5 on the train), but the train is a walk-up-and-get-on affair, versus getting to an airport, security, bag check, queuing for boarding, waiting for takeoff, waiting to deplane, etc,etc. In elapsed time for this trip, the train is likely faster. You can also pick up a picnic lunch the day before at a grocery store in Paris, including wine if so inclined, and make an event of it.

Oh yes, getting home should also be considered. As others have said, Porto is an excellent choice, but connections back to Vancouver will need to be considered. While Toronto looks like its on the way home, it really is not and adds to your travel time. Since you don't really know when you will get to Santiago, expect 1-5 days at the end of "slack" time. Don't be so sure that you know what your plans will be at the end as things have a way of changing along The Way. I usually catch a flight back to Paris on a ticket bought the week before when my plans became clear. Once from Santiago, once from Porto, and once from San Sebastion. You'll have to overnight in Paris once again, but for me thats part of the bonus. Pay attention when buying your ticket back to Paris, most of them go to Orly rather than CDG, so you need to catch a bus to CDG for the return flight.

Buen Camino
 

NorthernLight

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
Re the train ticket purchase ... once ticket sales open up, you can buy online on the oui.sncf website. If you want to buy it from the kiosk at the station, our Canadian credit cards won't work - you have to go to the billet offfice and buy from an agent who can process our credit cards, but expect a long line up!
 

Genevievala

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances - 2020 (?)
Thanks so much for all of the feedback everyone! Lots to think about (daydream about); it's very interesting to hear how others have made the journey. I do think Dublin and Porto are worth a closer look (and 2 cities I've never visited, so that is a bonus).

As a "planner" I agree that the rome2rio site is a great tool. I will head over to Skyscanner now to track Madrid flights, hadn't thought of that!
 

Colette Z

Happy Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
CF- Finisterre-Muxia 03/17; Camino SK 10/17; Norte 03/18; Ingles 11/18; Augusta 03/19
Would love to hear how others chose to make their way from Canada to the Frances! We are travelling from Vancouver next summer - just at the browsing stage right now. I'm looking at Air Transat to Paris, possibly one way and go thru Gatwick on the way back. Flying into Spain from Canada is quite a bit more $$. I'm wondering how easy it is to transfer in Paris to central train station, seems cost is same to fly within France but travelling by train would be a treat in itself. Thank you !
Try TAP Portuguese airline to Lisbon then TAP or Vueling or Ryanair unto Spain.
 

Diane Kinney

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Leon to Santiago May 21 to June 3, 2014
Ponferrada to Santiago September 2015
As I started my Camino in Ponferrada, my destination was to get to Madrid. I flew Toronto to Brussels, Brussels to Madrid. Going home I flew Lisbon to Brussels, had a 24 hour layover which was a wonderful opportunity to see a city I had never seen. I forget the airline but is was Air India’s discount carrier.
 

MichaelF4

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portuguese Coastal 2017
Camino Frances 2018
Camino Frances, Camino Invierno 2019
This year I flew Victoria - Vancouver - San Francisco - Zurich - Bordeaux. And then train to where we started walking on the Vezelay route. Return was Santiago - Frankfurt - Toronto - Vancouver - Victoria.
 

freescot

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
La Plata (2010) Portuguese from Coimbra(2010) Levante (2011) La Lana (2013) Francés from Roncevalles to Molinasaca then the Camino de Invierno (2014)
I always find Skyscanner does a good job of working out all the combinations. You can search prices by whole months and destinations as whole countries.
 

IngridF

Intrepid Peregrina
Camino(s) past & future
2012, 2015 ,2017, 2019
Would love to hear how others chose to make their way from Canada to the Frances! We are travelling from Vancouver next summer - just at the browsing stage right now. I'm looking at Air Transat to Paris, possibly one way and go thru Gatwick on the way back. Flying into Spain from Canada is quite a bit more $$. I'm wondering how easy it is to transfer in Paris to central train station, seems cost is same to fly within France but travelling by train would be a treat in itself. Thank you !
I like the Paris route out and Porto back.
 

aralgate

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 2013
Would love to hear how others chose to make their way from Canada to the Frances! We are travelling from Vancouver next summer - just at the browsing stage right now. I'm looking at Air Transat to Paris, possibly one way and go thru Gatwick on the way back. Flying into Spain from Canada is quite a bit more $$. I'm wondering how easy it is to transfer in Paris to central train station, seems cost is same to fly within France but travelling by train would be a treat in itself. Thank you !
We flew this April from Toronto to Paris CDG via Air France. Had same debate about seeing the country via train but opted to fly to Biarritz. Downside was long layover at CDG. Taxi to St Jean.
Return from Santiago via Veurling to Amsterdam. KLM back to Toronto
 

Simon Shum

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances Oct 2013, Porto, San Salvador & Primitivo 2014. Norte 2016, VdLP & Via Francigena 2017
I like coming back from Porto, easy to get to from Santiago and is beautiful to spend a day or two there.
And I just came back to Saskatoon from Bordeaux via Paris Via Vancouver! I imagine you could do that from Vancouver. Bordeaux is nice to visit and the pilgrim hostel is right in old town. And it is easy to take the bus or train to SJPdP. And if you have time, you could visit Bayonne, Biarritz, Irun in between! (if you are considering this option, speak a bit of French is beneficial) I really enjoyed those places! Bon Chemin and Buen Camino!
 

MichelleElynHogan

Veteran Member
My Experience: Canada to SJPP

First, I live an hour West of Toronto so come this far by plane or train. I know the train may not fit scheduling but why not consider looking over CANADA, before leaving for Europe.

Let's talk about flight starting points. I have flown from Toronto and Montreal. I took the train from Kitchener, ON to Toronto then to Montreal. Ten minutes on a shuttle got me to Montreal Airport. Easy. From Montreal, I took a flight to Dublin, (consider Dublin as a jumping off point as it is a hub for travel throughout Europe), stayed a couple of days and then took a ferry to Holyhead, UK, overnight in a B&B and train to London for 3 days, then a plane from Stanstead to Biarritz. Once there, I walked out the airport door, asked three people wearing backpacks to share a cab with me to SJPP. For an hour, we got to know each other till we reached SJPP, hopped up to the Pilgrim Office pour les Credenciels and find an albergue for the night.

Another option is to fly to Lisbon and take a train to SJPP. Train costs are surprisingly cheap. I took one from Logrono to Santiago overnight on the TrenHotel for 65 euros after damaging my leg last year.

If there are any specific questions, feel free to PM.
 

Alan Baker

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (spring 2020)
My wife and I are making a similar plan (but from Toronto).

Our plan is Air Canada Toronto to Paris (CDG) on a multi-city ticket. From CDG, the TGV to Bordeaux, transfer there to the TGV to Bayonne, then local train from Bayonne to St-Jean-Pied-de-Port. That's going to make for long day, so we will stay 2 nights in St Jean before we set off.

On the way home we'll take an EasyJet or Ryanair flight from Santiago to London and spend a few days there. Then it's home to Toronto on Air Canada.

We're just waiting on a decent seat sale to book the Air Canada seats.

From YVR you have an even longer flight, so as others have mentioned an option is to spend a night in Paris (which is never a bad option!), and the next morning pick up the TGV from Montparnasse to Bayonne.

Good luck on your Camino.
 

Donjek

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2012 SJPdP - Fisterra
Consider this as a factor:

The last train leaves Bayonne for SJPdP at 1806. You'd get to SJPdP at approximately 2000. You will then need time to get oriented and find your accommodation or, if you haven't a reservation, find the pilgrim office. By which time you are settled in there will be no place to find a meal and the albergue at which you are staying slams the doors shut at 2300 meaning that even if there were a place to get a meal that late you lose access to your bed. Consider instead to stay in Bayonne instead of stressing about catching the last train. Stop travel at 1800, get a meal and a good night of badly needed rest. The first train leaves Bayonne early so you'll have lots of time to get to SJPdP and decide if you stay there for a night or start walking.
 

NorthernLight

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
If you plan to spend more than one night in SJPDP, consider spending a night at one of those transfer spots instead of rushing through. Bordeaux is historic and Bayonne is a nice town, both with more to see than SJPDP. You could stretch your legs, deal with some jet lag, and still have plenty of time in SJPDP.
 

Marcus-UK

Old Git
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Ingles (2016) Camino Portuguese (2017) Considering Invierno 2019
Would love to hear how others chose to make their way from Canada to the Frances! We are travelling from Vancouver next summer - just at the browsing stage right now. I'm looking at Air Transat to Paris, possibly one way and go thru Gatwick on the way back. Flying into Spain from Canada is quite a bit more $$. I'm wondering how easy it is to transfer in Paris to central train station, seems cost is same to fly within France but travelling by train would be a treat in itself. Thank you !
You can use the Rome2Rio web site to plan the various options available to you if you use the following link:


You can also fly part way from Paris CDG or Orly to Biarritz and then take the local bus and train to SJdP. I only suggest this since the airfare can be cheaper than TGV tickets.
 

Donjek

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2012 SJPdP - Fisterra
Would love to hear how others chose to make their way from Canada to the Frances! We are travelling from Vancouver next summer - just at the browsing stage right now. I'm looking at Air Transat to Paris, possibly one way and go thru Gatwick on the way back. Flying into Spain from Canada is quite a bit more $$. I'm wondering how easy it is to transfer in Paris to central train station, seems cost is same to fly within France but travelling by train would be a treat in itself. Thank you !
CDG is a huge airport. It can take more than an hour just to transfer from one terminal to another. Make sure your time appreciation includes lots of time to make your way through customs and to your connections.

There are SNCF TGV trains from CDG2 airport that go to Bayonne (and terminate in Irun/Hendaye, which is important to know).

There are more frequent departures from Gare Montparnasse.

You must have a reservation and ticket to board a TGV train. You can get a reservation just before boarding if there are still seats available (likely except on holidays).

There is often a transfer at Bordeaux, and sometimes that connection to Bayonne is by slower TER train. The transfer consists of crossing the platform to another train.

There is SNCF TER train service from Bayonne to SJPdP. You cannot get reservations for this train.

You can transfer from CDG to Gare Montparnasse by RER train and Metro or by Le Direct bus. The bus is likely more convenient as the Metro isn't really designed for people hauling luggage. The advantages of the RER and Metro are that it is cheaper and that it won't get stuck in traffic.

RER B train from CDG 1 or CDG 2 to St Michel - Notre Dame and Metro #4 from St Michel to Montparnasse Bienvenue. Allow for ten minute walk from the Metro to the TGV train platform at Montparnasse.

Le Direct Bus #4

CDG and Orly airports

Gare Montparnasse ... includes 'plan de la gare' button that leads to maps of the station

SNCF train

Gare Bayonne
 
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