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How to get to St.Jean Pied de Port in 2024?

For centuries Saint Jean Pied de Port (SJPDP) has played an important role in European Christian culture. The town is the starting point of the Camino Frances, the most popular Camino de Santiago route. Thousands of people arrive every year at the small town of St.Jean Pied de Port in the French Pyrenees to start their journey on the Camino de Santiago. In this post, I’m going to explain different ways of getting to St.Jean by public transport.

There are different ways of getting to St.Jean Pied de Port. Whichever way you choose you’ll have to make at least one switch to get there. It’s a very small place, there are no direct transportation options from major cities in France or Spain. When I walked the French Camino I got to Saint Jean from Barcelona. First, I took a bus from Barcelona to Pamplona, and then another bus from Pamplona to SJPDP.

Departure times and ticket prices can change, please, confirm the information on the companies’ websites following the links provided in the post.

How to get to St.Jean Pied de Port by bus, train, anl plane from different cities in Spain and France
Different ways of getting to St.Jean Pied de Port from France and Spain

Getting to Saint Jean Pied de Port from Biarritz, France

The nearest to St.Jean Pied de Port airport is Biarritz (BIQ), France, 50 km away. Biarritz has stunning beaches and beautiful coastlines. If you decide to fly there you can combine walking the Camino with a beach holiday. 

Getting to Saint Jean via Biarritz might be a good option for the off-season when there is no direct bus from Pamplona to SJPDP.

To find out which airlines have flights to your destination, estimated prices, and timetables we recommend using Skyscanner. This flight search aggregator has information on flights from all over the world. It’s very helpful in finding the best routes. We prefer to buy tickets directly on the airlines’ websites.

The first part of the Camino Frances from St.Jean Pied de Port

Step 1. Fly to Biarritz.

You can find direct flights from London, Bristol, Dublin, Paris, and Brussels as well as flights with one connection from pretty much any biggish European city. Ryanair is one of the airlines that operates flights to Biarritz. You can fly from London to Biarritz for as little as 15-20 Euro, one way if you buy your ticket in advance and are flexible with dates. It’s important to remember that Ryanair is a budget airline and your check-in luggage is not included in your ticket price. You have to pack light for the Camino or pay extra.

Step 2. From Biarritz Airport take a bus to Bayonne.

Txiktxak operates bus line 4 between Biarritz Airport (Biarritz Pays) and Gare de Bayonne (Bayonne train station). Buses leave regularly throughout the day (every 30 minutes or so). It’s a 35-minute ride, the price is 2 euros. Tickets can be purchased at the dispenser or on the bus. Bus lines 3 and 36 go to Bayonne as well but these are not direct lines you’ll have to do a switch.

Step 3. From Bayonne train station take a train to St.Jean Pied de Port.

As of April 2024, there are six direct daily trains. The departure times are 6.29, 8.42, 12.25, 14.12, 17.03, and 18.27. The times can change depending on the season. You can confirm the timetable and purchase tickets online. The journey takes 1h15min., the price is 11 euros. They often have promo tickets online for 5-7 euros.

Pilgrims who got to SJPDP are waiting for a public albergue to open
Pilgrims waiting in front of the public albergue in Saint Jean Pied de Port

Getting to the Camino Frances (SJPDP) from Pamplona, Spain

Step 1. Fly to Pamplona.

Pamplona Airport (PNA) is a small airport with direct flights only from Madrid. You can fly there with one stopover (in Madrid) from many European cities e.g. London, Frankfurt, Paris, Lisbon, Dublin, Amsterdam, etc.

Step 2. From Pamplona Airport take a taxi to the bus station.

Since 2019, no public bus connects Pamplona airport with the city. Travelers can use a shared taxi with a reduced tariff. The price is 0,7 euros per person (compared to 8-15 euros in a normal taxi). Taxis leave every hour from 10.00 to 24.00. The pick-up point is the old bus stop at the arrival. You pay for the taxi with coins.

To book a taxi you have to phone 30 to 10 minutes before. The phone numbers are (+34) 948 23 23 00 and (+34) 948 35 13 35. You can use special phones at the airport to make a call if your phone doesn’t work in Spain. We have never used this service I can’t say if they understand English or only Spanish.

Step 3A during the season (from 1st April to 20th October). From Pamplona catch a direct bus to St.Jean Pied de Port.

There are direct buses from Pamplona bus station to SJPDP. As of April 2023, there is only one daily bus at noon. The duration of the trip is 1h45min., and the price is 22 Euro. I’d recommend buying tickets in advance. You can purchase tickets and confirm the timetable on the ALSA website.

Step 3B off-season (between 21st October and 1st April). Take a taxi from Pamplona to St.Jean Pied de Port.

You can skip Step 2 and arrange a taxi from Pamplona Airport to St.Jean Pied de Port. Taking a taxi from Pamplona to SJPDP is the easiest option. If you’re a group of people (4-8 people) it won’t be more expensive than taking a regular bus. A taxi can pick you up at the airport, or the bus/train station in Pamplona.

Many pilgrims use Teletaxi San Fermin. You can book a car for up to 8 passengers. Booking has to be made at least 5 days in advance. The price (from the airport to SJPDP) is 124 euros per car (weekdays), and 155 euros (weekends and holidays). The journey takes 1h30min. If you’re traveling solo you can try to find more pilgrims to share a taxi on the Camino forum.

Step 3C off-season (between 21st October and 1st April). From Pamplona take a bus to Roncesvalles. 

Off-season there are no direct buses from Pamplona to St.Jean Pied de Port. There is a bus from Pamplona bus station to Roncesvalles. The bus leaves Monday to Friday at 13.30 and Saturdays at 16.00. No buses on Sundays and public holidays. The journey takes 1h10min., the price is 5,45 euros, paid on the bus, cash only. Confirm the timetable on the website.

Step 4C off-season. From Roncesvalles take a taxi to SJPDP

Roncesvalles is a very small place with a big albergue, a couple of hotels, and restaurants. There will be taxis waiting near the bus stop. You don’t have to book it in advance. Maybe on the bus, you’ll meet some pilgrims to share the taxi with. The drive from Roncesvalles to St.Jean Pied de Port is 30-40 minutes. The price per person depends on how many people are sharing the ride.

A map of France and Spain with Saint Jean Pied de Port and the main cities on it
St.Jean Pied de Port is situated in the south of France close to the border with Spain

How to get to St.Jean-Pied-de-Port from Paris?

Step 1. Fly to Paris.

There are two international airports in Paris: Charles de Gaulle (CDG) and Orly (ORY). There are thousands of flights from all over the world including direct flights from the US, UK, Canada, Australia, and many European cities to both airports. There are public buses and trains that connect both airports with the city.

Step 2. From Paris take a train/a bus to Bayonne, or catch a flight to Biarritz

Train

From Paris, you can take a direct train to Bayonne. Trains leave from Montparnasse Station (Gare Montparnasse). The journey takes 4 hours, and the price is 60+ euros. There is a discount for travelers under 25 and over 60 years old. There are up to 8 daily trains. In Bayonne you arrive and leave for St.Jean Pied de Port from the same train station, you just have to switch trains. Check the timetable and book your ticket online.

Bus

You can get from Paris to Bayonne by bus. There are many daily buses to Bayonne. Buses leave from Bercy Seine Bus Station. The journey takes between 10 and 12 hours. The price starts at 40 euros. There are direct buses from Charles de Gaulle Airport to Bayonne. Departure times and the number of buses depend on the day of the week. The journey takes between 12 and 16 hours, the price is 60+ euros. A direct bus from Orly Airport to Bayonne takes 10-11 hours. Prices start at 45 euros. There are often some promo prices. Check departure times and prices on the FlixBus website.

Flight

As for flights, there is no airport in Bayonne. You can get a direct flight from Paris to Biarritz, another town about 4km from Bayonne. Transavia operates direct flights from Paris Orly to Biarritz. The flight is 1h30min. Prices start at 64 euros. Air France offers direct flights from Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport. The flight is 1h30min. Prices start at 180 euros.

From Biarritz Airport take a bus line 4 to Bayonne. The bus ride takes about 30 min. and costs 2 Euros.

Step 3. From Bayonne train station catch a train to SJPDP.

From Bayonne train station you can follow instructions from this section “How to get to SJPDP from Biarritz/Bayonne?

One of the streets of St.Jean Pied de Port, Camino Frances
Saint Jean Pied de Port is the starting point of the Camino Frances. Thousands of pilgrims arrive here every year to walk the Camino

How to get to the Camino Frances from Madrid?

Step 1. Fly to Madrid.

There are many international flights to Barajas Airport (MAD) from all over the world. We often fly to Madrid to walk one of the Camino de Santiago routes in Spain. I like the airport it’s very convenient. It’s easy to get to the city center, a bus, or a train station using the subway. It costs 6 Euro to get from the airport to the city.

Step 2. From Madrid take a bus, a train, or catch a flight to Pamplona.

Any of these options is good depending on your preference, availability, and price. Flights are more expensive but faster. Buses are cheaper but much slower. Pamplona’s name in Euskera (the language of the Basque Country) is Iruña don’t get confused if you see on your ticket both names. 

Flight

Flying is the easiest and fastest way of getting to Pamplona. There are direct flights from Madrid to Pamplona operated by Iberia Airlines and Vueling. The flight takes 1 hour. If you buy in advance you can get a ticket for as little as 23 euros (Iberia Airlines).

Bus

Buses leave from the Avenida America Bus Station and Barajas Airport Terminal 4 (T4). Currently, there are no direct buses from Madrid to Pamplona. They all have a 1-2-hour transfer in Zaragoza or Soria. It’s one ticket, you don’t have to go anywhere just get off one bus and get on a different one. There are several daily buses. The journey takes 5-6 hours (some buses take longer). The average price is between 22 and 30 euros. You can buy a ticket and check departure times on the ALSA website. In Pamplona, you arrive and leave for St.Jean from the same bus station.

Train

Trains to Pamplona leave from the Atocha Train Station. There are 10+ daily trains from Madrid. The train ride takes between 3 and 4 hours, the average price is between 20 and 30 euros. Check the timetable and buy your ticket on the RENFE website. From the train station in Pamplona, you have to get to the bus station first to catch a bus to SJPDP.

Step 3. From Pamplona take a bus or a taxi to St.Jean Pied de Port.

From Pamplona follow the above instructions for getting to St.Jean from Pamplona.

The center of SJPDP from the castle
A view of SJPDP and the valley from the Medieval Castle

How to get to SJPDP from Barcelona?

Step 1. Fly to Barcelona.

There are many direct international flights to Barcelona Airport El Prat (BCN) from all over the world including direct flights from the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Ireland, and other European countries. It’ll be easy to get here. The airport is connected with the city by direct bus, train, and metro lines.

Step 2. From Barcelona take a bus, or a train, or fly to Pamplona.

Train

Taking a train from Barcelona to Pamplona might be the best option. It’s fast, reasonably priced, and direct. There are 3-4 daily direct trains from Barcelona Sants Train Station to Pamplona (Iruña). The journey takes 4 hours. The average price is between 40 and 50 euros (promo tickets from 30 euros for some dates). You can buy your ticket and confirm the timetable online.

Bus

There are daily buses from Barcelona to Pamplona. Buses leave from Barcelona Nord and Barcelona Sants bus stations. As of April 2024, there are two buses to Pamplona (one day and one night). The journey takes 6 hours. The price is 30 euros. You can buy tickets and confirm the itinerary on the MonBus and FlixBus websites.

Flight

There are no direct flights from Barcelona to Pamplona all flights have a layover in Madrid. Flights are operated by Iberia Airlines. A flight can take between 3h30min. and 6 hours depending on the connection. The average price is 50+ euros.

Step 3. From Pamplona take a bus or a taxi to St.Jean Pied de Port.

From here follow the instructions for Getting to SJPDP from Pamplona.

Where to stay in Saint Jean Pied de Port?

There is one public (municipal) albergue in SJPDP that is exclusively for pilgrims. This albergue can’t be booked in advance it works on the first come first serve principle. If you’re new to the albergue culture our detailed post on the albergues on the Camino de Santiago might be helpful for you.

There are many private albergues, hostels, and hotels in the town. In the season between June and September, I’d recommend booking your accommodation in advance.

Questions or Comments?

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Bernadette O'Donoghue

Tuesday 31st of October 2023

Hi I would be grateful if you could tell me how to get to SJPDP from Manchester airport next September 2024 kind regards Bernadette ( also thinking about using the galiwonders company , would you recommend them thank you ( myself and my husband are in our 60s )

Stingy Nomads

Wednesday 1st of November 2023

Hello Bernadette. Than you for the comment. There are direct flights from Manchester to Paris, Barcelona, and Madrid. You can fly to any of them just choose the best fight for you. To find best flights and airlines that operate the routes you can use skyscanner. Buying tickets is better directly on the airline website. It's not difficult to get to St.Jean-Pied-de-Port from any of the three cities. You can just follow the steps described in this post. We have never used any company on the Camino de Santiago. I can't recommend them or any other based on my experience. We have detailed posts on the Camino Frances https://stingynomads.com/camino-frances-walking-itinerary/ and https://stingynomads.com/french-way-camino-de-santiago-guide/ where you can find PDF files with walking stages and places to stay along the route. It might be helpful in your planning. September is the busiest month on the Camino so booking accommodation in advance might be a good idea. Not for the entire route but a week or so ahead. Buen Camino

Ann/Dave Essensa

Thursday 4th of May 2023

My husband is flying into Barcelona on May 15th. What website do we use for bus schedules and tickets. Should he book tickets in advance or can he just show up?

Stingy Nomads

Friday 5th of May 2023

Hello. If you read this post there is a section on how to get to St.Jean Pied de Port from Barcelona where you can find the name of the bus company with the link to the websites where you can find schedules and buy tickets. I would suggest buying tickets in advance. It's the busy time now and if your husband just shows up there might be nothing available. Buen Camino

Marge Pearson

Saturday 21st of January 2023

Thank goodness for your wonderful website. What is your suggestion of a taxi company from Pamplona to St. Jean Pied du Port? WE fly from Seattle to Madrid May 17th, arrive Madrid - May 18th. Booking flight to Pamplona, and now trying to connect up with a taxi service to get to St. Jean. I sure would appreciate suggestions you might offer. My tired body of that day will be so grateful for suggestions. PS. I do receive you newsletters.... Great info. Marge Pearson

Stingy Nomads

Wednesday 25th of January 2023

Hello Marge. Thank you for the comment. There is a direct bus from Pamplona bus station to St.Jean Pied de Port. You can use it to get to the starting point of the Camino. If you prefer a taxi then you can try Teletaxi San Fermin https://taxipamplona.com/en/the-way/?noredirect=en-US. The bus is much cheaper and takes just 15 minutes longer than the taxi. Buen Camino

Patricia Terrell

Tuesday 20th of December 2022

Looking to walk the northern route in 2023

Steve

Sunday 27th of February 2022

Hi, I have been trying to book Bayonne to St Jeans for 1st May 2022... There are no trains available only buses. Unsure if the service is cancelled or the line is down..whatever...it's buses only.

Stingy Nomads

Sunday 27th of February 2022

Hello, Steve. Thank you for the question. I see that there are only buses and a train + bus combination from Bayonne to St.Jean. I'm not sure if it's a temporary or a permanent change. I'll check it out and update the post accordingly. Cheers

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