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Traveling from the US to Irun ... suggestions?

Debra K

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Norte
#1
How have others traveled from the United States to Irun, to start the Camino del Norte ... thanks :)
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
#2
Once you cross the pond it is very straightforward to get to Irun. You can fly to Biarritz then take a bus from the airport - or a train from the nearby railway station - to Hendaye and simply walk across the river into Spain. Only 1km or so from Hendaye to Irun. Quick and cheap. If you fly to Madrid you can take a direct train to Irun but this would be a much longer and more expensive journey. If you can find a flight to San Sebastian airport you are practically in Irun as you leave the airport terminal.
 
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Debra K

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Norte
#3
Once you cross the pond it is very straightforward to get to Irun. You can fly to Biarritz then take a bus from the airport - or a train from the nearby railway station - to Hendaye and simply walk across the river into Spain. Only 1km or so from Hendaye to Irun. Quick and cheap. If you fly to Madrid you can take a direct train to Irun but this would be a much longer and more expensive journey. If you can find a flight to San Sebastian airport you are practically in Irun as you leave the airport terminal.
Thanks for the input ... I was considering Madrid for the round trip, since I would be in Santiago at the end. I will take a look at getting from Madrid to San Sebastian then Irun ... good info much appreciated!
 
#4
Thanks for the input ... I was considering Madrid for the round trip, since I would be in Santiago at the end. I will take a look at getting from Madrid to San Sebastian then Irun ... good info much appreciated!
Hi, Debra K,

Welcome to the forum. I don't know where you are coming from, but since you say you will be considering Madrid for the round trip, you should price out what they call the "multi city" fare (travel agents call it an open jaw fare, I believe, but on the websites it is multi city). I flew this year from US to Madrid to San Sebastián (the San Sebastián airport is actually in Irún, and it is about a 1/2 hour walk into town from the airport). and then Santiago to Madrid to US. The fare difference between what I did and a round trip to Madrid was about $200 and it saved me a LOT of time.

The other great thing about having this all on one ticket is that if my flight to Madrid from Santiago had been late and I missed my connection, the airlines would have to figure it out, not me. But not if you bought two separate tickets. A few years ago, I was in Madrid waiting for a flight to the US when a young woman came rushing up saying she had flown in from Rome on a separate ticket and missed her flight to the US on American and wondered if they would just put her on the next flight, which was my flight to Chicago. They were happy to do that but she was charged a one way fare, last minute price for the Madrid flight and then on to home. It was much more expensive than her RT flight to Madrid had been -- a cautionary tale, but something you don´t have to worry about if you just book one ticket with all these segments.
 

DebraK

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
(Spring 2016)
#5
Hi, Debra K,

Welcome to the forum. I don't know where you are coming from, but since you say you will be considering Madrid for the round trip, you should price out what they call the "multi city" fare (travel agents call it an open jaw fare, I believe, but on the websites it is multi city). I flew this year from US to Madrid to San Sebastián (the San Sebastián airport is actually in Irún, and it is about a 1/2 hour walk into town from the airport). and then Santiago to Madrid to US. The fare difference between what I did and a round trip to Madrid was about $200 and it saved me a LOT of time.

The other great thing about having this all on one ticket is that if my flight to Madrid from Santiago had been late and I missed my connection, the airlines would have to figure it out, not me. But not if you bought two separate tickets. A few years ago, I was in Madrid waiting for a flight to the US when a young woman came rushing up saying she had flown in from Rome on a separate ticket and missed her flight to the US on American and wondered if they would just put her on the next flight, which was my flight to Chicago. They were happy to do that but she was charged a one way fare, last minute price for the Madrid flight and then on to home. It was much more expensive than her RT flight to Madrid had been -- a cautionary tale, but something you don´t have to worry about if you just book one ticket with all these segments.
Peregrina, Thank you for the warm welcome and helpful information! I live in the southwestern part of the United States and will be looking into the multi-city options that you mentioned. This will be my 3rd Camino. I have walked the Camino Frances, from SJPDP; Camino Portugal from Lisbon; and now planning Camino del Norte for next spring.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Pamplona to Santiago (2013)
Le Puy to Pamplona in segments (2013 - 2016)
Pamplona to León
#6
I believe flying into San Sebastian or Biarritz will add an additional leg to your travel. My wife and I live about 80 miles from Montreal. Last year we flew directly to Paris (usually the cheapest European destination from Montreal). After visiting friends in Paris we took the train to Hendaye just a short walk from Irun. Our high speed train left the Gare Montparnasse around 7:30 AM and we got to Hendaye at 1:30. Painless as long as you buy some food at the station and bring a book to read.

On the return we visited a friend in Marbella and used our multi-city tickets to fly home Malaga-Paris-Montreal just as peregrina2000 described in her post. Your return would probably be from Madrid unless you decide, as we did, to visit other parts of Spain (or even Portugal).

I have suggested on an earlier post the benefits of a Camino + one approach to travel like this...spending a couple of days on the way to or from the Camino in one of the great cities of Europe, (i.e., Paris, Barcelona, Madrid or Lisbon)? Of course, my wife and I are retired and under no pressure to return to family or work.

Buen Camino!

Tom
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015
Norte 2016
#7
I prefer the train less hassle
USA to Paris (Charles DeGaul Airport)
Just before you exit terminal turn right to find the Parisdirect bus office. You can pay for the bus onlne, via credit card at the office, or just pay the driver. Last time I rode it was 17.00 euros. The bus will take you to Montpanasse train station. Take the train directly to Irun. I recommend you buy your train ticket early, the train ticket sales are like airlines the closer to departure the more expensive the ticket, I paid 28 euros several months before I traveled, day of travel was 45.00 euros. The train is TCV and quite fast. There is a little layover in Paris, a couple of hours. The Irun albergue is to the right of the main street in Irun. a little off the beaten tract.
 

backpack45

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Vezelay (2017, in progress); Primitivo & Norte; Geneva/LePuy; Arles; Portuguese; Francés + more
#8
We did it a different way--flew into Barcelona and spent several days there, then by train to Irun. You can finds lot of information on any travel by going to Rome2Rio. Have a wonderful trip!
 
#10
Just to piggyback on Jayree's comments, I think it is important to consider the trip home as well as the trip over when figuring out the "best" route for you. I have met many people walking over the years who got a cheap trip to somewhere in Europe and then found they had to add on hundreds of euros to get to the camino and back, and often had to add days to their travel (and the associated cost) to make it work. Of course, if people are going to spend time in tourist mode, that will change things, but if you are just going to fly to the camino and home from the camino, arriving in Paris or London or Amsterdam or any other city may or may not be the easiest or most economical city for your return trip. My own opinion is that Madrid, with add on flight to starting point and add on from Santiago to Madrid is almost always easiest. Bottom line is that I think it's hard to give recommendations for exact routes, the advice is to look at all of these suggestions and see which one works best for you. This may be one of the more research-intensive parts of the whole Camino, at least if price is a constraint. And it is not nearly as much fun as obsessing over stages and routes!
 

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