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Travel from CDG to SJPP - overwhelmed & would like advice!

lono

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2018)
Hi all,

Embarking on my first Camino this fall, and my first real international trip. I'll be landing in Paris at CDG (terminal 2A) at 6:55am on August 28th, and was hoping to arrive in SJPP that same day with time to visit the pilgrim's office and stay the night before an early start to the walk the 29th. I feel flexible about the day that I begin walking, but would just really like an early start to ensure a place to stay the next night.

However, I have no experience with international travel or train travel, so I'm looking for advice on the best way to go about it. How much time should I allow to go through customs (and navigate the airport)? Would it be better to stay the night somewhere, like Bayonne? Are there trains to Bayonne from CDG, or do I need to go to a different train station? What is the best website/app to find train schedules for a non-French speaker, and should tickets be bought in advance?

I've been reading lots of other threads on the topic, but so far have mostly just been overwhelmed with the huge amount of options and my lack of knowledge & experience. Any advice would be appreciated!

Many many thanks!
 
Camino(s) past & future
2012 SJPP-Burgos, 2014 Burgos-Leon, 2018 Leon-Santiago
Hello and welcome,

You will likely need to set aside at least an extra day for travel to SJPP.
You can get a TGV (tres grand vitesse—fast train) from CDG airport to Bordeaux. You should have enough time to catch the train if your flight is on time. Get a place to stay overnight in Bordeaux, have a nice dinner, then next day travel to Bayonne and then to SJPP, where you will have reserved a place to stay overnight. Start walking the next morning.
Alternatively you could get an inexpensive flight out of Paris to Biarritz and make your way (bus, cab) to Bayonne for the train or just hire a cab to SJPP, if money isn’t an object.
There are lots of ways to get to the place where you will board the train to SJPP; these are just two possible scenarios.
To reserve your train travel, visit the French National Rail site and book online. You may have to buy your ticket from Bayonne to SJPP
at the station.
Overnight bookings can be done quite easily online at Booking.com.
Allow yourself somewhat of a cushion between modes of transport, so you don’t miss a connection. Another site,
https://www.rome2rio.com/s/Bayonne-France/Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port will give you the options from Bayonne, if you don’t get the train.
It’s not easy, and it can be daunting if your temperament doesn’t find it interesting to make these arrangements, but it can be done if you break the journey into legs and set up one leg at a time.
There is also plenty of good advice on this forum if you do a search for a specific item of interest.

Good luck with your planning, and buen Camino. You can do this.

Best wishes,
Paul
 

mylifeonvacation

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Inglés (from Ferrol June 2014)
Camino Portuguese (from Tui May 2015)
Last summer it took us 2 full hours to get through customs in CDG (coming from the US). I would leave a nice cushion for that in your planning. The airport easy enough to navigate with clear signage. You can also look up maps of how the airport is configured online just to get a sense for it, since you already know the terminal you are arriving at.

Take a look at rome2rio.com to see different transportation options from Paris to SJPP ( or other locations) in addition to the good advice offered above.

Enjoy the planning and the trip! Buen Camino!
 

Marbe2

Active member
Camino(s) past & future
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
If you are taking your first international overnight flight...then consider spending a day or two in Paris! One of the most beautiful cities in the world! Use this website to explore your options. Enjoy Paris! There are decent accommodations around Gare Montparnasse. Do not underestimate the impact of jet lag on the body! Be rested before starting your climb to Roncevalles.

https://www.rome2rio.com/map/Paris-CDG-Airport-CDG/Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port

Use https://www.thetrainline.com/. To purchase tickets. I would be purchasing them now. The closer you get to departure the more they will likely cost you.

There are options to get to the town do SJPdP. Look at
https://www.expressbourricot.com/persons-transport/
And
https://www.caminodesantiago.me/com...ris-charles-de-gaulle-airport-to-sjpdp.53534/
Buen Camino
 
Last edited:

Glenshiro

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy - León, Camino Frances (2012 - 2019)
There are several ways to get from CDG to SJPdP but, if you are not a seasoned traveller, the easiest (though not the quickest) way is to take:

09.19 TGV train from Terminal 2 station at CDG to Bordeaux, arriving 13.00. You will have time for lunch before catching the:

14.49 train from Bordeaux to Bayonne, arriving 16.41, where you will also have time for a meal before catching the:

18.30 train from Bayonne to SJPdP, arriving 19.36.

The pilgrim office will still be open. You will need to book the train from CDG to Bayonne, which you can easily do via the French rail website, which has a section in English. Tickets are sent to you by e-mail which you can print out or store on your phone. Current price for the ticket is €162.60.

Good luck and buen camino!
 
D

Deleted member 67185

Guest
Welcome to the Forum, Iono :)

Last year, I took a short and inexpensive flight from CDG to Biarritz. Then took the Express Bouricott shuttle to St Jean. If you want to get to SJPdP in the shortest amount of time, that is the way to go. :)
 

Marbe2

Active member
Camino(s) past & future
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
Welcome to the Forum, Iono :)

Last year, I took a short and inexpensive flight from CDG to Biarritz. Then took the Express Bouricott shuttle to St Jean. If you want to get to SJPdP in the shortest amount of time, that is the way to go. :)


I do not think the connections on the arrival date are good for Easy Jet, Dave?
 

Glenshiro

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy - León, Camino Frances (2012 - 2019)
Sadly, Marbe2 is right - the easyJet flight that day is not until 19.30, and the Air France prices are astronomical by comparison.

Lono, my link to SNCF, the French rail website, did not come out for some reason - here it is.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
You have the options laid out above. It's just a matter of choice.

If this is your first International travel, it will be your first experience of jetlag too. It can make you feel tired and a bit fuzzy in the head. So leave plenty of time for connections.

On my first CF I caught the airport bus into Paris getting off at Gare (station) Montparnasse. I stayed the night near the station. A chance to have a good night's sleep before taking the train from Montparnasse to Bayonne next morning.

From Montparnasse it's about a 2.5 km walk North East (ish) to the river Seine where you will be opposite the Louvre! Even the outside is amazing.

Cross the bridge and look back South West and you'll see the Eiffel tower a few kms away. Notre Dame Cathedral is only another 1.5 kms (ish) walk East from the Louvre.

The old part of Paris is very compact and easy to walk around. And if you get lost, just jump in a taxi back to your Hotel near Gare Montparnasse. (Show the driver the name of the Hotel. No need to speak French)

Though there is actually a bus back from the Louvre to Gare Montparnasse. We just asked a local which bus to get.

First International Travel?
And a chance to walk around Paris for a few hours?
And get a good night's sleep before heading down to St Jean?

Paris is a beautiful city. Like walking around a huge Museum.
One of my favorite cities ever (and Pat's)
Whenever we travel to Europe we try to visit Paris....

Whatever you decide, it will be very new and exciting!

Buen Camino :)
 
Last edited:

msbabb

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francais (Fall, 2018)
You have the options laid out above. It's just a mater of choice.

If this is your first International travel, it will be your first experience of jetlag too. It can make you feel tired and a bit fuzzy in the head. So leave plenty of time for connections.

On my first CF I caught the airport bus into Paris getting off at Gare (station) Montparnasse. I stayed the night near the station. A chance to have a good night's sleep before taking the train from Momtparnasse to Bayonne next morning.



This is what we are doing. Seems to make it a little less stressful to have an evening in Paris and catch the train the next day. That way there is no concern about having to make a connection that same day. And Paris is a great city to spend a little time exploring. Also planning to spend two nights in St. Jean to really get over any jet lag and be ready to walk over the Pyrenees. Buen Camino!
 

biarritzdon

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF&CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF&CP17, CdN18, CM18, CF18, LePuy19
I would like to add that Bordeaux has become my first city of choice in France. There are less tourists, it is easy to navigate and it has plently of day time and night time diversions. My favorite hotel there is Quatre Soeurs near the Opera.
As Glenshiro outlined the there is a possible itinerary from CDG to SJPdP that is doable in one day. It is however dependent on your arrival time at CDG, planes from the US are usually a little early but then it is also hours before the cadre of Paris baggage handlers have had a sufficient dose of their morning espresso trying to wipe the blur of the previous night out of their consciousness. In other words, it is slow start in the morning at CDG. You will also be walking around in a blur after flying all night.
I would suggest collecting your baggage and taking Le Bus (operated by Air France) from CDG T2 to Montparnasse Gare and boarding a midday train to Bordeaux. A first class ticket is not outrageously expensive and you could stretch out, see the French countryside while getting synchronized into the CET zone.
Once in Bordeaux decide whether to stay there or continue on to Bayonne and you should still have time to catch the last train/bus operated by SCNF to SJPdP.
Understanding that you probably don't want to leave decisions to the last minute, follow the advice from Meredith and consult the Rome2Rio site and make you reservations accordingly.
 

SLOChick

Member
Camino(s) past & future
May or September (2018)
I am doing the way DaceBugg suggested... taking my time w a night at the Ibis Hotel off of Terminal 3 at CDG. Easy Jet the next day to Barritza and an over night near the airport w Express Bouricott taking me into SJPdP .... why rush it ... start getting over jet lag and take in the moments!
Buen Camino
 

kayagee66

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2016)
Le Puy - Roncesvalles (2016)
Figeac - Cahors (2017)
Stevenson Trail (2018
Go to Montparnasse Bienvenue using the metro or Gare Montparnasse using taxi etc. It’s a big station so allow time to find your departure point.
Direct trains to Bayonne from there. Book early as poss for best prices. Train to Sjpdp is a set price, but you could get your ticket early to save time at the station.
Use Oui-Sncf app or website. Tickets download to your phone or print them out. You can also get the actual ticket from a ticket machine at a station. Select English language, type in your name and reference number.
I stayed in Bayonne a few times. An Ibis near the station. And another hotel near the station (there is more choice) There is a lot more choice in the centre over the bridge. The cathedral is good and you could get a credential there.
Here are times for 28th August. As you can see it is easily possible for you to get to Sjpdp in a day. But prices are high as you have left it late. There is also a train from Bayonne at 07:42 every day.
Good luck.
 

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piggyhinton

Member
Hi all,

Embarking on my first Camino this fall, and my first real international trip. I'll be landing in Paris at CDG (terminal 2A) at 6:55am on August 28th, and was hoping to arrive in SJPP that same day with time to visit the pilgrim's office and stay the night before an early start to the walk the 29th. I feel flexible about the day that I begin walking, but would just really like an early start to ensure a place to stay the next night.

However, I have no experience with international travel or train travel, so I'm looking for advice on the best way to go about it. How much time should I allow to go through customs (and navigate the airport)? Would it be better to stay the night somewhere, like Bayonne? Are there trains to Bayonne from CDG, or do I need to go to a different train station? What is the best website/app to find train schedules for a non-French speaker, and should tickets be bought in advance?

I've been reading lots of other threads on the topic, but so far have mostly just been overwhelmed with the huge amount of options and my lack of knowledge & experience. Any advice would be appreciated!

Many many thanks!
when youarrive at CDG you will have to go to a different train station to get the train to Bayonne, Gare Montparnase, easiest way is to take the number 4 coach from CDG to Montparnase, it's a coach which just goes a circuit of all train stations in Paris, its name is "the Bus Direct" its easy and costs about 16 euros. Then you get the train to Bayonne after that its a train to St Jean ( or bus if the train is not working bus is from Bayonne train station) I am afraid you will not do it in a day so youwill have to stop for the night somewhere, according to the train times. Tickets for all trips can be bought at thestations exept for the Bus Direct which you pay the driver. Buen Camino
 

lono

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2018)
This forum is a life-saver! Huge thanks to everyone who shared their opinions and advice. Though there are (of course) still a lot of options, it feels much more manageable to decide which may be right for my situation. I will have a day or two in Paris to explore before flying back home in October, so I believe I will stay the night in Bordeaux and make my way to SJPP the next day to start walking the morning of the 30th. I'd mostly overlooked jet lag (oops) so I agree that it would likely be better to take it slow and give myself time to adjust and reinvigorate. Hard to do with all the excitement of starting the Camino!
 

Rex

One Step at a Time
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP to Santiago (2013)
Lisboa to Santiago (2018)
via Francigena (1st Half ~ 6/2021)
Buen Camino. Taking an extra day to get settled in the new time zone is a good idea. I did not on my first Camino and “hit the wall” about the time I crossed over the top of the Pyrenees and pretty much stumbled down the trail into Roncevalles in a rain soaked sodden heap. 11 hours of sleep, and being the last person out of the albergue the next morning set me right, but I wouldn’t recommend it as the way to start your trek. Taking an extra day to travel and at least partially adjust yourself to the time zone will be worth it. Bonne chance!
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
Welcome @lono !
If you think you'll be jetlagged, and will be seeing Paris later, why not just fly?
There are connections through either CDG or Paris's other airport, Orly. If the flight leaves from the latter (most do), it's a bus ride away and you need to got through the check-in procedure. But there is a regular terminal to terminal bus. Just leave plenty of time.
Then from Biarritz, you can either take local transport to the Bayonne station and then the train/bus up to SJPP, or go direct via Caroline at Express Bourricot (it's a shared van with cost depending on the number of people. You need to book ahead).
I travelled more than 24 hours to get to Paris, and so the flight and the ride up with Caroline was a Godsend. Then I spent an extra day in SJPP relaxing, resting, and getting grounded - which was also a blessing.
 

kayagee66

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2016)
Le Puy - Roncesvalles (2016)
Figeac - Cahors (2017)
Stevenson Trail (2018
Or have a day in Paris, get the train from Montparnasse to Bayonne (it’s only a 4 hour train journey). Check the 1st class price, sometimes it’s anout the same as 2nd class. It’s a nice journey.
 

Debra Garcia

The Garcias
Camino(s) past & future
Plan to walk with my husband June 2018
Hi all,

Embarking on my first Camino this fall, and my first real international trip. I'll be landing in Paris at CDG (terminal 2A) at 6:55am on August 28th, and was hoping to arrive in SJPP that same day with time to visit the pilgrim's office and stay the night before an early start to the walk the 29th. I feel flexible about the day that I begin walking, but would just really like an early start to ensure a place to stay the next night.

However, I have no experience with international travel or train travel, so I'm looking for advice on the best way to go about it. How much time should I allow to go through customs (and navigate the airport)? Would it be better to stay the night somewhere, like Bayonne? Are there trains to Bayonne from CDG, or do I need to go to a different train station? What is the best website/app to find train schedules for a non-French speaker, and should tickets be bought in advance?

I've been reading lots of other threads on the topic, but so far have mostly just been overwhelmed with the huge amount of options and my lack of knowledge & experience. Any advice would be appreciated!

Many many thanks!
We flew from London gatwick to Biarritz and then had a shuttle ride into SJPDP. See if there maybe flights from CDG to Biarritz.We were initially going to take the train from Paris down but they were on strike at the time.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances - May 2015; Camino del Norte/Primitivo - July/August 2016; Camino Portugues - Sept 2017
I agree with davebugg above: Fly from CDG to Biarritz, then share a shuttle directly from the airport to SJPdP with Express Bourricot. Trip takes about one hour. Costs from 19 euros and up, depending on how many passengers are sharing. You do have to book it in advance though:

https://expressbourricot.com/persons-transport/
 

MoniRose

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
(5/28-7/4, 2012) Camino Frances - SJPP to Santiago
(7/22-8/2, 2013) Camino Finesterra
(?) Camino Le Puy
I flew in and out of Paris from US. When I arrived, took a short inexpensive flight to Biarritz, then a short shuttle ride to SJPdP. I used the shuttle mentioned above. After my Camino I spent a week in Paris to celebrate!
The only thing I would do differently is spend an extra day in SJPdP to look around and rest. I was pretty exhausted arriving in the evening and then walking over the mountain so long (10 hours) the next day!
Enjoy the journey!
Buen Camino!
 

Owienurse

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino September 2017
My friends and I flew from Chicago to Paris (CDG) then took the airport bus to Gare Montparrasse. From there we took the train to Biarritz and Express Bourricot shuttle van to SJPD. I booked the train tickets from Gare Montparrasse to Biarritz and the Express Bourricot shuttle before I left for Paris. Everything went very well! We stayed in SJPD for 2 days because we knew we would have jet-lag. Our first day we walked from SJPD to Orrison. ( we booked a room at Orrison a few months before our trip because it really fills up fast!).
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances - May 2015; Camino del Norte/Primitivo - July/August 2016; Camino Portugues - Sept 2017
My friends and I flew from Chicago to Paris (CDG) then took the airport bus to Gare Montparrasse. From there we took the train to Biarritz and Express Bourricot shuttle van to SJPD. I booked the train tickets from Gare Montparrasse to Biarritz and the Express Bourricot shuttle before I left for Paris. Everything went very well! We stayed in SJPD for 2 days because we knew we would have jet-lag. Our first day we walked from SJPD to Orrison. ( we booked a room at Orrison a few months before our trip because it really fills up fast!).

By the way, there is a train going from Gare Montparnasse to SJPdP via Bayonne. That would save you the trouble and cost of going via Biarritz and then taking the Express Bourricot shuttle.
 

deanfromoz

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances - October 2019
Last summer it took us 2 full hours to get through customs in CDG (coming from the US). I would leave a nice cushion for that in your planning. The airport easy enough to navigate with clear signage. You can also look up maps of how the airport is configured online just to get a sense for it, since you already know the terminal you are arriving at.

Take a look at rome2rio.com to see different transportation options from Paris to SJPP ( or other locations) in addition to the good advice offered above.

Enjoy the planning and the trip! Buen Camino!
Thanks for this information. I was considering taking a connecting flight from CDG Paris to Biarritz with a 2 hour connection time. On reflection, it may be better for me to take a flight a couple of hours later just to give myself the time. Unfortunately this will get me into Biarritz at around 9pm, leaving me with no choice but to spend the night there before heading to St Jean the following day.

Any suggestions for affordable accommodation in Biarritz or Bayonne? I'll then get a train to St Jean the following morning.
 

Rex

One Step at a Time
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP to Santiago (2013)
Lisboa to Santiago (2018)
via Francigena (1st Half ~ 6/2021)
I stayed at the Hotel IBIS (on Blvd Alsace Lorraine), just a five minute walk from the Gare Bayonne. Reasonably priced, with a buffet breakfast option in the morning. My cheap flight from Orly arrived in the early evening at Aeroport Biarritz. There is a bus from Aero Biarritz to Gare Bayonne (30-40 min ride, depending on traffic) and Hotel IBIS is about four blocks from the train station. Next morning, had a bit of coffee and toast at IBIS and walked over and bought a ticket to SJPDP. Got to Gare Bayonne about 30 minutes before my morning train and was plenty early. The train was not full and was a lot cheaper than the shuttle to SJPDP. I bought some fruit, picked up my credential at the Camino office and was hiking up the hill toward Orrison by 10am.
 

Dewdrop

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances August (2018).
I stayed with a lovely lady in her home. She hosts pilgrims. Call Socorro at 00 33 6 83 14 70 68.
 

Dogbreath

Doug Johnson, Indiana, USA
Camino(s) past & future
CF (SJPdP --> SdC) Sep/Oct 2019
Currently the voice of no-experience. Here is what I have planned for next week.

I have 2:40 in CDG to clear customs and get on a TGV from CDG to Bordeaux (4 intermediate stops, over a 3 hour journey). There I connect with another TGV (nonstop from Gare Montparnasse), head to Biarritz with a couple of stops enroute. Upon further review by the line judges of this forum and Beilari's recommendation, I've hooked up with Express Bourricot to get to SJPdP vs. de-training in Bayonne and going over by SNCF local train. A long one-day of travel; I'm giving myself the next day to acclimate the body before heading into the Pyrenees.

The IFFY question. I have 10 minutes in Bordeaux to make the connection. Assumption on my part -- the high-speed TGV's have a good on-time record + should the incoming to Bordeaux train be delayed, the out-going train will be held for connecting passengers to walk across the platform. Should this not work out, I have absorbed the recommendations above for spending the night in Bordeaux rather than Beilari in SJPdP. I'll advise all concerned how this goes next Wednesday (9/11 -- auspicious date, si?).

This is what I thought would be the most 'user-friendly' when I began planning last winter. Next time I believe I'd fly CDG --> Biarritz. We all have to have our 'first Camino' sometime, right? The Learning Curve begins with the first step.

Gracias all!
 

Donjek

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2012 SJPdP - Fisterra
Currently the voice of no-experience. Here is what I have planned for next week.

I have 2:40 in CDG to clear customs and get on a TGV from CDG to Bordeaux (4 intermediate stops, over a 3 hour journey). There I connect with another TGV (nonstop from Gare Montparnasse), head to Biarritz with a couple of stops enroute. Upon further review by the line judges of this forum and Beilari's recommendation, I've hooked up with Express Bourricot to get to SJPdP vs. de-training in Bayonne and going over by SNCF local train. A long one-day of travel; I'm giving myself the next day to acclimate the body before heading into the Pyrenees.

The IFFY question. I have 10 minutes in Bordeaux to make the connection. Assumption on my part -- the high-speed TGV's have a good on-time record + should the incoming to Bordeaux train be delayed, the out-going train will be held for connecting passengers to walk across the platform. Should this not work out, I have absorbed the recommendations above for spending the night in Bordeaux rather than Beilari in SJPdP. I'll advise all concerned how this goes next Wednesday (9/11 -- auspicious date, si?).

This is what I thought would be the most 'user-friendly' when I began planning last winter. Next time I believe I'd fly CDG --> Biarritz. We all have to have our 'first Camino' sometime, right? The Learning Curve begins with the first step.

Gracias all!

The Bordeaux transfer is a matter of crossing from one side of the platform to the other. If your train is late the other waits. The Bayonne - SJPdP train waits for the Paris train too.
 

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