Getting to and from El Camino
We planned to hike the traditional direction from East to West so that we would finish the pilgrimage in the historical city of Santiago de Compostela.
Boston to Paris, France (CDG)
We planned to arrive in Paris early in the morning so that we could spend the day traveling to St. Jean Pied de Port and begin our trek the following morning. We departed from Boston in the evening and arrived at CDG at 7:40am local time
Charles de Gaulle airport to Paris Montparnasse train station
Buses from CDG shuttled to Paris every 30 minutes, so it was no problem catching a bus. Tickets were about $20 each on Line 4 of Le Bus Direct. Why didn't we take the train from CDG to Bayonne? We bought our train tickets less than three weeks ahead of time (not recommended), so there were no train tickets available from CDG that got us to SJPP that same day. We had limited time to walk el Camino and couldn't spend an entire day at the airport waiting for a more convenient train.
Train Part 1
Paris Montparnasse to Bayonne
We booked the quickest possible tickets and our economy seats were $190 (plus an $8 booking fee) for the two of us. We arrived in Bayonne just before 4pm.
Train Part 2
Bayonne to SJPP
We ate dinner in Bayonne while we waited for our 6pm local train to SJPP. Two train tickets were $26 plus a $8 booking fee. Both train tickets were booked through Rail Europe.
It was just a quick walk up the road from the train station to the adorable town of St. Jean Pied de Port. We checked into our adorable hotel, Itzalpea. We booked this place ahead using booking.com for 70 euros and paid at the hotel.
Obtaining a Pilgrim Passport
First thing we did was get our pilgrim credentials at the pilgrim office. Our pilgrim passports were 2 euros each. Pay attention to the hours of these offices- we lucked out and were the last pilgrims to be registered before they closed the doors promptly at 8pm, sending the rest of the pilgrim-hopefuls in line home to try again the next day. The office opens at 7:30am and most hikers planning to get to Roncesvalles should leave before then, so it is ideal to get this done the night before.
We decided to fly out of Madrid.
Santiago de Compostela to the local airport (SCQ)
We took a taxi from downtown Santiago de Compostela to the airport because our flight was too early to take the bus. It cost 18 euros for the taxi ride. This is the set, universal price for the airport taxi ride in Santiago.
Santiago de Compostela (SCQ) to Madrid (MAD)
Since we booked this flight ahead of time, it was only $46 for two tickets (all fees included). I couldn't recommend this option more! The bus costs more and is a ridiculous nine hour ride to feel sad about the pilgrimage being over.
Madrid to Boston
We spend the two days in Madrid and absolutely loved exploring the city. We stayed at the incredible Only YOU Hotel Atocha for 110 euros on booking.com. Rooms were more than double this price when we arrived at the hotel, so we were thankful to have booked ahead.