People fly to the Camino Frances from all over the world and many of us arrive by air. There are a number of airports all over Spain, Portugal and France that will be close to the beginning of each route or stage that you walk.
And that’s why we prepared this list of the most popular places where to fly to start your Camino Frances.
How to Get to the Camino Frances
You can choose to start your pilgrimage on the Camino Frances anywhere, but the most common starting places are St Jean Pied de Port for the full Camino Frances, and Sarria for the last 100km of the route.
Starting in St Jean Pied de Port, France
If you take a flight to Biarritz, you can then take a train to Bayonne train station and then on to Saint Jean Pied de Port. Alternatively, you can also get an airport transfer when you book with us.
From Paris, you can take a train straight to Saint Jean Pied de Port to begin your Camino.
Starting Your Camino Frances in Pamplona
The most convenient airports to fly into to get to Pamplona are Bilbao, Santander or Madrid.
You can get to Bilbao from plenty of Spanish, UK, and European Airports. From Bilbao, there is a direct bus to Pamplona which takes about 4 hours with Burundesa bus company.
Getting to Santander might be easier if you are going via or coming through Europe or the UK. There are direct flights from London Stansted and now Dublin, Frankfurt, Milan, Rome, Barcelona, Seville, Valencia, and more. From Santander, you will find a number of busses that go to Pamplona in about 4 hours.
Virtually every company flies to Madrid, so this can be an easy option for getting to Spain and the Camino. From Madrid, you can catch a bus to Pamplona or a train from Madrid train station to Pamplona train station.
Beginning in Logrono
Logrono is a lovely place to start for wine lovers as you will begin your walk-in La Rioja wine region! To start here it is best to fly to Bilbao, Santander or Madrid.
You can catch a train from Bilbao to Logrono which takes about an hour and a half, or you can book an airport transfer when you make your booking with Follow the Camino.
It takes about 2 hours and 40 minutes to get from Santander to Logrono by bus. From Madrid, the bus will take about 3 hours and 40 minutes.
Start Your Camino in Burgos
It is best to fly to Bilbao, Santander or Madrid if you are starting your Camino Frances in the medieval town of Burgos.
You can easily get from Bilbao to Burgos, by bus (2 hours and 40 minutes) or train (3 hours 30 minutes). Of course, an airport transfer is always an option and is quite affordable.
From Santander, we recommend taking the bus or a taxi to Burgos. The bus takes about 2 hours and 40 minutes and the drive is a bit over 2 hours. You could take a train, but most routes take longer than the bus.
Both the bus and the train from Madrid to Burgos take about 3 and a half hours, so these are quite convenient.
Begin the Camino Frances from Sahagun
Sahagun is steeped in history and is a wonderful place to begin your Camino. It is best to fly to Bilbao, Santander or Madrid to begin your trip.
The train from Bilbao to Sahagun takes 4 hours. So does the train from Santander, and the train from Madrid! Check out the Spanish national rail company for the train departure options.
Start Your Camino Frances in Leon
Leon is a great place to start your Camino Frances if you don’t quite have time to walk the whole route but want to experience a lovely chunk of the Way. If you are starting in Leon, fly into Madrid or Santiago de Compostela.
If you decide to fly to Madrid then you can take the train from there to Leon which takes 3 hours and 30 minutes.
If Santiago de Compostela caught your eye, then simply take the train from there to Leon which takes 4 hours and 30 minutes, there are several per day.
Or if you’re more of a bus fan, then there’s an option to take the bus from Santiago de Compostela to Leon which will take 6 hours.
Starting in Ponferrada
If you are beginning your Camino Frances in Ponferrada, it is best to fly to Madrid or to Santiago de Compostela.
The train from Madrid to Ponferrada takes 5 hours and 30 minutes. Or you can take the train from Santiago de Compostela to Ponferrada which takes 3 hours.
Beginning in Sarria
The best way to get to Sarria to start your Camino is to fly to Santiago de Compostela.
Once you arrive, you can take the train from Santiago de Compostella to Sarria, via Monforte De Lemos. This option will take about 4 and a half hours in total, depending on how long the wait between trains is.
Alternatively, you can take two buses to reach Sarria. The first one goes from Santiago to Lugo. Check out timetables so you won’t miss anything! Then you have to take the second bus from Lugo to Sarria which takes 30 minutes.
There are lots of ways to get your Camino Frances adventure started and it’s up to you which way suits you the best. For expert advice on travel to the Camino and your Camino pilgrimage itself – contact our Camino experts who will be happy to help you decide which way is the best for you!
We have been helping pilgrims from all over the world to craft their own customised Camino itineraries since 2006. We love working with our clients to make sure that their Camino experience is exactly what they want and as worry-free as possible.
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Originally published on 8th November 2021