Where to Fly Into for Camino de Santiago: A Guide for Pilgrims
The Camino de Santiago, also known as the Way of St. James, is a popular pilgrimage route in northern Spain that attracts thousands of pilgrims from around the world. With its rich history, stunning landscapes, and spiritual significance, it’s no wonder that many people are drawn to this ancient path. If you’re planning to embark on the Camino de Santiago, one of the first decisions you’ll need to make is where to fly into. In this article, we’ll explore the best airports to consider and answer some common questions to help you plan your journey.
1. Which airport is closest to the starting point of the Camino de Santiago?
The most popular starting point for the Camino de Santiago is the city of Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port in France. The closest airport to this starting point is Biarritz Airport (BIQ), located approximately 55 kilometers away. From Biarritz, you can easily reach Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port by bus or taxi.
2. Are there any airports in Spain that are near the Camino de Santiago?
Yes, if you prefer to start your pilgrimage in Spain, there are several airports to consider. The closest airport to the Spanish starting point in Roncesvalles is Pamplona Airport (PNA), which is around 50 kilometers away. Other airports within a reasonable distance include Bilbao Airport (BIO) and Santiago de Compostela Airport (SCQ).
3. Which airports have direct flights from major international cities?
Santiago de Compostela Airport (SCQ) is the main airport serving the region and offers direct flights from major international cities, including London, Paris, Frankfurt, and Dublin. Bilbao Airport (BIO) also has direct flights from various European cities.
4. Is it more convenient to fly into a larger airport or a smaller regional airport?
This depends on your preferences and travel plans. Larger airports like Santiago de Compostela and Bilbao offer more flight options and often have better connectivity. However, smaller regional airports like Pamplona and Biarritz are closer to the starting points of the Camino de Santiago, saving you time and transportation costs.
5. How can I reach my desired starting point from the airport?
Most airports have convenient transportation options to help you reach your starting point. You can take a bus, train, taxi, or even hire a private transfer service. Many pilgrims also choose to share rides or hire a shuttle service to reach their desired starting point.
6. Are there any budget airlines that fly to the airports near the Camino de Santiago?
Yes, several budget airlines operate in the region, offering affordable options for travelers. Ryanair and Vueling are two popular budget airlines that fly to Santiago de Compostela Airport (SCQ), while easyJet and Air France serve Biarritz Airport (BIQ).
7. Can I combine my Camino de Santiago pilgrimage with a visit to other cities in Spain or France?
Absolutely! Many pilgrims choose to extend their trip and explore other cities before or after their pilgrimage. In Spain, you can visit cities like Barcelona, Madrid, or Seville, while in France, you can explore Bordeaux, Toulouse, or Paris. The excellent transportation network in both countries makes it easy to combine your pilgrimage with additional travel experiences.
In conclusion, when planning your Camino de Santiago pilgrimage, it’s essential to consider the airports that best suit your needs and starting point. Whether you prefer a smaller regional airport or a larger international one, there are several options to choose from. Remember to book your flights in advance, research transportation options, and consider combining your pilgrimage with a visit to other captivating cities along the way. Buen Camino!