Where to fly: Which Camino Airport is Best For You?
We often get asked how to get to the Camino de Santiago and which Camino airport is best for the different Camino routes. Where to fly on the Camino. This article shines a light on this topic and will help you make the most of your Camino with the least stressful flight connections.
While flight connections are always possible, you might be unsure which route is closest to the airport you can access from your home country. Some of the full Camino de Santiago routes can take up to five weeks to complete, so the airports vary from route to route. You may fly into Spain from one airport and fly home via another.
Below we’ve listed the most important and popular airports to fly in for the Camino routes. The article is divided into sections, from the main Santiago airport to international hubs and smaller airports. Choose the airport you will land at, and you’ll know which route is closest to you. Keep reading to discover the best airports for your favourite Camino routes.
Main Camino Airport
Santiago de Compostela (SCQ) Airport
Fly into Santiago. If you land at Santiago de Compostela airport (Santiago-Rosalía de Castro Airport), you can walk the last 100km of the Camino routes. You’re also quite close to the Camino Finisterre, as Santiago is the starting point for this route. Flying home from Santiago is also what most pilgrims end up doing, so whether you’re flying direct or connecting through Madrid or Barcelona, you’ll likely visit this airport during your Camino adventure.
Direct flights to Santiago airport are primarily domestic unless you travel from Dublin, London, Edinburgh, Amsterdam and Frankfurt, key transfer stops for the United States and Asia.
Large International Hubs
If you are flying to the Camino from the United States of America, Australia or Asia, you will likely be flying into one of the following international airports. These airports are hives of activity, and you can catch a domestic connecting flight closer to your starting point or, alternatively, catch a train or bus to where you want to go.
Madrid Airport (MAD)
If you fly into Madrid airport, your closest Camino route is the Camino Frances. Madrid Airport (Adolfo Suárez Madrid Barajas International Airport) is a short hop away from all the Camino starting points if you get a flight connection. Alternatively, you can take a train or bus to several stops along the French Way. For example, Pamplona and Logrono are just under 4 hours from Madrid by bus, and Burgos is just under 2 hours from Madrid.
Barcelona Airport (BCN)
The capital of Catalunya, Barcelona, is another huge European airline hub. From Barcelona, the closest Camino route is the French Way, with Pamplona being a 4-hour train ride away. Flight connections at Barcelona Airport (Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat Airport) will take you to any domestic airport along the various Camino de Santiago routes from the Northern Camino, Camino Frances, and Portuguese Way.
Lisbon Airport (LIS)
If you fly into Lisbon airport (Humberto Delgado Airport), you can start the Camino Portugues from Lisbon and walk all the way to Santiago, or walk a shorter section. From Lisbon, you can also catch a connecting flight to Porto, or alternatively, take a 3-hour train from Lisbon to Porto. This would enable you to start the Portuguese Way from Porto and walk or cycle this section of the coastal route. The Rota Vicentina, also known as the Fisherman’s Trail, is also accessible from Lisbon, and the starting point of Porto Covo is located less than 2 hours from Lisbon’s airport.
Rome Airport (FCO)
The Italian capital has two airports, but the main airport is Leonardo da Vinci International Airport in Fiumicino. You can easily access the last 100km of the Via Francigena from Viterbo to Rome from this airport. If you hope to walk the Via Francigena in Tuscany, your flight connection will likely go through this Roman airport. Alternatively, you can board a train from Rome to Florence in the heart of Tuscany.
Paris Airport (CDG)
If you land in Paris, your closest Camino Route is the Camino Frances. From Charles de Gaulle Airport, you can get the TGV close to the starting point of the French Way, Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port. This is the main starting point for pilgrims wishing to walk the full Camino Frances from Saint-Jean to Santiago, the ultimate challenge along the Way of St James.
Milan Airport (MXP)
A huge international airport, flying into Milan Malpensa Airport will give you access to the Via Francigena in Tuscany or even the full Via Francigena route. You will need a flight connection here to Rome, Pisa or Florence airport or, alternatively, a train. Italy’s train service runs throughout the length of the country.
Porto Airport (OPO)
If you fly into Porto airport (Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport), you are perfectly positioned to walk or cycle the Camino Portugues from Porto. You can walk the full route to Santiago or choose to do a section. Porto is a city gem, and you can explore the centre in a day or two, so it’s the perfect place to start your Camino. You may need to get a flight connection in Lisbon en route to Porto or when you are flying home, depending on your final destination.
Vigo Airport (VGO)
If you are flying into Vigo airport, you are in the perfect position to start the last 100km of the Camino Portugues from Vigo to Santiago. This little airport serves London but is primarily domestic, with connections to Madrid, Barcelona and Bilbao airports.
A Coruna Airport (LCG)
A Coruna airport is located at the beginning of the Camino Ingles or Celtic Camino from A Coruna to Santiago. Traditionally, this route was followed by pilgrims coming from Ireland and the UK. As this trail is less than 100km, pilgrims sometimes choose to complete a portion of their Camino in Ireland, hence the name Celtic Camino. The small airport in A Coruna serves the domestic destinations of Madrid and Barcelona and is an international service to London.
Bilbao Airport (BIO)
Fly to Bilbao Airport to benefit from an enviable location on the Camino del Norte. From here, you can walk a section of the Northern Way. The closest route to you is, of course, a week-long walk from Bilbao to Santander. You can also get a transfer to San Sebastian when you land and end up spending a week walking from San Sebastian to Bilbao, with your Camino culminating in Bilbao.
San Sebastian Airport (EAS)
If you land at San Sebastian airport, you can walk the Camino del Norte from San Sebastian to Bilbao or the full Camino del Norte from San Sebastian to Santiago. This wonderful city is home to a wide array of high-quality restaurants. It’s a food lover’s paradise and the perfect place to begin your Camino.
Biarritz Airport (BIQ)
Located in southern France, Biarritz Airport (Biarritz Pays Basque Airport) is the perfect access point for those hoping to walk the Camino Frances, starting in Saint Jean Pied de Port and Camino del Norte from San Sebastian. The airport is just a 40-minute drive across the France/Spain border to San Sebastian in the Basque country and the starting point of the Northern Way.
Florence Airport (FLR)
If you fly into Florence, your best Camino route is the Via Francigena in Tuscany. Florence is located in the heart of Tuscany, and the city is well worth a visit in its own right. From the airport (Florence Airport Peretola), Lucca is less than 100km away, as is Siena so this airport will work very well for your walk from Lucca to Siena. If you are coming from outside Europe, you may have a connecting flight through Rome, Milan, Madrid or Barcelona before reaching Florence.
Pisa Airport (PSA)
The best airport for the Via Francigena in Tuscany is undoubtedly Pisa airport. From Pisa, Lucca is just a short 30-minute train ride away. Siena is less than 2 hours from Pisa, so this airport is ideal for getting home after your Camino adventure. If you are coming from outside Europe, you may have a connecting flight through Rome, Milan, Madrid or Barcelona before reaching Pisa.
Asturias Airport (OVD)
This airport will give you easy access to Oviedo, which is less than an hour away. From Oviedo, you can walk the full Camino Primitivo all the way to Santiago de Compostela. The Camino Primitivo was first used by pilgrims from Asturias in the 9th century and continues to be a charming route to explore. Asturias Airport serves many European destinations and has good flight connections with Madrid, Barcelona, Paris and Milan.
We hope this article about Camino Access Points helps you make the most of your Camino planning and travel from your home country. If you have any questions about accessing a Camino airport or need help planning your own adventure, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
We offer transfers to get you from the airports to the Camino start points, and if you need information, our team are always here to help. For more information about where to begin your Camino, be sure to read our article about the best Camino starting points.