As you begin the planning process for the Camino, one of the choices you will need to make is where to fly into and from that point how will you get to the place where you will begin your Camino. There are many options depending on which Camino you choose and where you will begin. Normally, the first choice is what departure airport works best for you and then where in Spain, France, or Portugal will you fly into. Many factors might influence your decision. For instance convenience, cost, availability of transport options to your departure airport and from your arrival airport.

While you can begin at any point on the Camino, the two primary starting points are Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port (800 km) which is the traditional starting point of the Camino Frances, and Sarria which is the traditional starting point for the last 100 km.

To walk the Camino Frances from Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port (SJPP) pilgrims from the US typically fly into Madrid, Barcelona, or Paris.

Bus – There is a bus station in Terminal 4 at the Madrid Airport (MAD). You could take the bus to just about any point on the Camino where you wanted to start. From Madrid to SJPP for example you would take the bus to Pamplona and then transfer to the bus that goes to SJPP. To get to the station at Terminal 4 you can take the transfer bus that goes from one terminal to the next in a continuous loop.

Train – There are two train stations in Madrid so you need to make sure which station you need. From Madrid to SJPP you would take the train from Atocha station to Pamplona and then transfer to the bus station where you would take the bus to SJPP. the easiest way to get to the Atocha train station from the airport is to take the express bus. Once you exit customs and baggage claim you will find bus stops. Take the express bus to Atocha. It costs €5 per person and goes directly from the airport to Atocha.

Fly – You could also fly to Pamplona (PNA) and then transfer to the bus station to take the SJPP bus.

From the airport in Barcelona (BCN), the best route is to take the RENFE train from terminal 2 to Sants Estació (Barcelona Sants train station). International flights arrive at Terminal 1. Once you exit customs and baggage claim there is a sign that directs you to the transfer bus, which will take you to terminal 2. From the bus stop at terminal 2, you will walk up the stairs and over the bridge back across the road to the train station. The RENFE train travels from Barcelona Airport to Santa. It takes about 20 minutes from the airport to Santa Estació.

The train departs terminal 2 approximately every 1/2 hour starting at 6:08 am.

From the train station, you can take a train to Pamplona. There are 3 to 5 departures daily.

Bus:

ViBaSa( Monbus) is a bus company that goes from Barcelona to Pamplona. The bus departs from the Sants Estació (Barcelona Sants train station) and travels to Pamplona. There are 2 to 4 departures daily.

ALSA operates a bus to Zaragoza with a transfer to a bus to Pamplona from Barcelona Estació Nord. You must purchase the tickets separately as they are considered two journeys.

Once you arrive in Pamplona you will have 2 options to get to SJPP.

The first and most popular is to take the daily bus from the main bus station to SJPP. During most times of the year, there is at least 1 bus and during the busy season, there are two.

The second option is by Taxi. It is costly but easy to get off the train and get a taxi to SJPP. Sometimes other pilgrims are willing to share the cost, which makes it much easier.

Train – From Paris, there is a train to Bayonne where you can connect to the train to SJPP. From Charles de Gaulle (CDG) airporttrains depart from Aeroport CDG2 TGV Roissy station to Bayonne.

Fly – You can fly from Paris(CDG) or (ORY) to Biarritz (BIQ) which is much quicker and many times less expensive and then transfer to the train station in Bayonne, which is very close to travel to SJPP. From the airport take bus line 4 to Gare de Bayonne (The Train Station in Bayonne).

Another option is to hire a car service from Biarritz airport to SJPP. Express Bourricot is an excellent option. You can go on their site and make a reservation. They will then try to fill the van and split the cost amongst all of the passengers.

From the US to get to Sarria the best option is to fly into Madrid.

Train – There is a direct train from Madrid to Sarria. It departs from the Charmartin train station. The easiest way to get to the train station from the airport is to transfer to Terminal 4 on the transfer bus which you can find once you exit the customs and baggage claim. There is a bus that goes from terminal to terminal. Take that bus to Terminal 4. From there go to the train station in the basement. If you already have your ticket for Sarria it will allow you to take the commuter train (you can take any train that comes through, they all go to Charmartin Station. Once at Charmartin you must exit the station and go upstairs to the main train station.

Fly – You can also fly to Santiago de Compostela and take the bus to Sarria. This is sometimes challenging as there are limited bus options but it is available.

There are 3 primary starting points for the Camino Portuguese. Lisbon, Porto, and Tui.

Normally when coming from the US most people simply fly into Lisbon (LIS) to begin their Camino from there.

Air – Many airlines fly from the US to Porto (OPO) via a major European city. It simply depends on the airline you choose as to which city you will fly through. Once you arrive at the airport in Porto you can easily take the metro from the airport to the city center.

Train – TAP Airlines flies into Lisbon (LIS) directly from the US. Once in Lisbon you can take the train from Oriente station to Bento station in Porto. It takes about 3 hrs. and costs less than $40.00. Getting from the airport to the train station is a short 2.5-mile drive. A Taxi should cost less than $7. Bento station is the beautiful station in central Porto with all of the breathtaking handpainted blue tiles.

From the US, you can fly into several airports to get to Tui. You can fly into Madrid and then take the train from the Charmartin station to Santiago de Compostela and then on to Tui. You can fly into Santiago de Compostela and then take the bus to the train station where you can train to Tui. You could fly into Lisbon or Porto and take the train to Valenca which is the city directly across the river from Tui and a very easy short walk.

The easiest way to get to the starting point of the Camino Del Norté is by flying into Biarritz (BIQ), France, Bilbao (BIO), Spain, or San Sebastian (EAS), Spain.

From Biarritz airport (BIQ) – The best way to get to take the bus operated by Hegobus, which departs directly from the airport.

From Bilbao Airport – There is a bus to the bus station or train station. Both provide service to Irun.

From San Sebastian Airport – Take a bus or a taxi to the San Sebastian train station, then take the local train (Euskotren) to Irun.

There are two main starting points on the Camino Primitivo, Oviedo is the traditional starting point, and Lugo is the starting point to walk the last 100 Km. Some pilgrims will begin walking the Camino del Norté and then veer off that Camino and onto the Camino Primitive at Oviedo.

Fly – It is possible to fly from Madrid or Barcelona to Asturias airport (OVD). From the airport, you will take the local bus to Oviedo. It is a short ride.

Train – Most pilgrims fly into Madrid and then take the fast train from Madrid directly to Oviedo.

Bus – There is also a bus from Madrid to Oviedo.

Fly and bus – The easiest way to get to Lugo is to fly into Santiago de Compostela and then take the local bus to the Santiago bus station. You can take a bus from Santiago to Lugo.

The Via de la Plata is one of the longest of the main Camino routes. At just over 1000 Km. The traditional starting point to walk the entire route is Seville. Just after Salamanca the route splits. It is possible to walk from Salamanca to Astorga on the Camino Frances and then from Astorga to Santiago. The second option, which is selected by the majority of the walkers is to turn west and follow the Camin Sanabres. The Camino Sanabres travels through Ourense which is the traditional starting point for the last 100 Km. If traveling to Astorga then Sarria (See above under Camino Frances) would be the starting point for the last 100 Km.

Train – From Madrid, there is a fast train to Seville. From the Airport take the express bus to the Atocha train station. There are direct trains several times per day to Seville.

The easiest what to get to Ourense is to fly into Madrid (MAD) and then take the direct train. It departs from the Charmartin train station. The easiest way to get to the train station from the airport is to transfer to Terminal 4 on the transfer bus which you can find once you exit the customs and baggage claim. There is a bus that goes from terminal to terminal. Take that bus to Terminal 4. From there go to the train station in the basement. If you already have your ticket for Sarria it will allow you to take the commuter train (you can take any train that comes through, they all go to Charmartin Station. Once at Charmartin you must exit the station and go upstairs to the main train station.

The Camino Inglés is one of the shortest Camino’s. There are two starting points. Ferrol (120 Km) and A Coruña. (75 Km)

The easiest way to get to either of these starting points is to fly into A Coruña Airport (LCG). from the airport, you can take a bus to Ferrol if that is your starting point. You could also fly into Santiago de Compostela and then take the bus to the bus station to transfer to a bus to either A Coruña or Ferrol.