Getting to the Camino

Getting to your starting point on the Camino de Santiago will likely include a flight into a major airport (Madrid, Barcelona, and Paris are the most likely) followed by some combination of local flight, bus or train.

Visas and Entry

Spain and France are both among the 26 Schengen states of the European Union (EU), between which there are no internal borders. Citizens of the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and some South American countries are issued a free visa upon arrival with valid passport. This visa is limited to 90 days within a 180- day period, which is cumulative over multiple trips. Most African, Asian, Middle Eastern and some South American nationalities must apply for an advance visa. Visit the EU website and check with your embassy or consulate for visa-related questions.

Flight websites

Book your flights early for best prices and maximum availability.  Look carefully at each airlines baggage policy to see if you will need to check your backpack and what costs checking a bag will add to the overall fare.

Train websites

It’s important to book international trains well in advance for the best prices and availability.

  • (Spanish train website, notoriously difficult to purchase tickets from abroad via website, note 25-40% discount for those 60 years or older)
  • (French train website, also difficult to purchase tickets from abroad)
  • (easier to book through this service, though charge a $7.95 booking fee)

Bus websites

Buses can be booked closer to departure dates as the prices are fixed and do not change.

Airports which fly to/from Santiago de Compostela (SCQ)

  • Dublin (Aer Lingus), Geneva (EasyJet), Bilbao (Iberia), Madrid (Ryan Air, Iberia), Alicante, Barcelona, London-Stansted, Valencia (Ryan Air), Barcelona, Paris, Málaga, Zürich (Vueling)

Airports which fly to Biarritz

(Easyjet, Ryan Air, Volotea, Air France, see

  • Marseille, Manchester, Strasbourg, Dublin, Geneva Stockholm,  London, Lyon, Nice, Rotterdam,  Paris, Brussels.

Getting to St Jean Pied de Port

  • From Paris, take the train to Bayonne (5.5 hours/€30-100), then a local train to St Jean (1 hour).
  • From Madrid, take a train (Renfe) or bus (Alsa) to Pamplona, then another bus (Alsa) from Pamplona to St Jean.