My husband and I are going to walk the Camino Frances, beginning in Saint Jean Pied de Port, France. We are flying to Madrid first. Does anyone have recommendations for getting from Madrid to Saint Jean Pied de Port without a car? Thanks.
bumblebeth54 - Renfe train from Madrid Chamartin or Atocha (origin depends on route taken) to Irun/Hendaye, France. From Hendaye or Irun: Take a train from Hendaye to Bayonne and then another train from Bayonne to St Jean Pied de Port. From Irun, walk across the border to Hendaye.
You can also take Renfe train from Madrid to Pamplona then from Pamplona take Conda Bus to Saint Jean Pied de Port. I have included the link to the Pamplona bus line which connects Saint Jean.
There are non-stop flights from Madrid to Pamplona (a 1 hour flight) that would get you 75 KM from St. Jean. From Pamplona - the travel becomes a little complicated.
There doesn't seem to be flights from Madrid to Biarritz.
Check out this popular Camino website and forum where there are tons of posts about how to get anywhere on the Camino from anywhere else, plus it is a treasure trove of information about anything concerning the Camino. Rome2Rio is helpful too.
When are you going? Do you have reservations at Orisson or Roncesvalles yet? I recommend doing that as soon as possible. For SJPDP, my recommendation is for Beilari.
I am going back in Oct. to finish my Camino I began in 2018, but which ended unexpectedly with a broken wrist. Walking over the Pyrenees was a highlight in my life. Have gone on 3 Caminos so far and plan on walking one of them every year until I can't anymore.
I flew to Madrid, took a train from Madrid to Pamplona (or you can take a bus) and then a taxi from Pamplona to SJPP (you can take a bus or shuttle instead of the taxis to save $).
You may also want to get a car from barajas airport taxi service for a more comfortable ride that gets you from Madrid to Saint Jean Pied de Port. Either way, enjoy your trip!
Renting a car in Spain and dropping it off in France would probably result in a very large international drop fee--likely hundreds of euros.