Program your Ignatian Way
For starters, visit the website of the Shrine of Loyola. You will find a map indicating the location of the sanctuary as well as information for accommodation.
For public transportation to Loyola, the major gateways will be either San Sebastian or Bilbao; these two cities have airports and major train stations (check the website of RENFE for train services to these cities). You can travel by train to Zumárraga from Madrid and Barcelona (from Zumárraga there is a direct bus to Loyola).
Once you reach San Sebastian (also known as Donostia) or Bilbao, you will have to take a bus to the Sanctuary of Loyola.
From Bilbao Airport, you can take a bus to either the Bus Station in San Sebastian; or, you can take a bus to the bus station in Bilbao (the Termibus); these services are run by the Pesa bus company (website of Pesa). You can also do the combination with Autobus from the Bilbao – Eibar Airport (see Pesa) and then Eibar – Azpeitia (Loyola, see Lurraldebus).
From the airport of San Sebastián, you can take an Interbus service (website of Interbus) to the Bus Station in San Sebastian.
From Donostia-San Sebastian, take the La Guipuzcoana bus which reaches Loyola in one hour. The bus stop is in Avenida de la Libertad (Freedom Avenue) in between the streets Txurruka and Garibai. Line Lurraldebus UK01.
Using Public Transport During Your Pilgrimage:
If you wish to use public transportation to skip over part of the pilgrim route because of time constraints or health problems (or sheer exhaustion!), here is some general advice about Spain’s bus and train systems in this part of the country:
From Loyola to Logroño, public transportation can be inconvenient. You may have to switch trains and busses if you wish to skip towns on this part of the Camino
From Logroño to Manresa, you will generally find much better public transport connections, both trains and busses. As one would expect, train or bus connections between major cities like Bilbao, Logroño, Zaragoza, Lerida, and Barcelona will be fast, plentiful, and efficient. On the other hand, connections between small towns will be scarce. A handful of the smallest towns on the Camino will not be served by public transport at all.
Unfortunately, there is no “master schedule” of transport, schedules change every few months, so you will have to inquire from local authorities if you wish to take public transport.
The train station is located in the Plaza de Europa. Logroño can be reached by train from Bilbao, Zaragoza, Madrid or Barcelona. Consult the RENFE website to see the connections and schedules.
The train station is located on the street Cuesta de la Estación. Tudela can be reached by train from Bilbao, San Sebastian, Zaragoza, Madrid or Barcelona. Consult the RENFE website to see the connections and schedules. If you arrive at Zaragoza airport, from there you can take a bus to Tudela.
The train station Zaragoza Delicias is on the street La Rioja. Zaragoza can be reached by train from Bilbao, San Sebastián, Logroño, Madrid or Barcelona. Consult the RENFE website to see the connections and schedules. In the same train station you can find the bus terminal, so from here you can take bus routes to other minor destinations; this will be a very convenient option for pilgrims. Check the website of the bus station for times and destinations.
The train station of Lleida Pyrenees is located in the Plaza Ramon Berenguer IV. Lleida can be reached by train from Zaragoza, Madrid or Barcelona. Consult the RENFE website to see the connections and schedules. The bus station is a 10 minutes walk on the street Saracíbar 2, in parallel with the river Segre and near the parish of San Ignacio.
Despite the Ignatian importance of this city, it is not easy to reach by public transport. By public transport, you can opt for the bus (Hispanic Igualadina) to Guimerà and there to transfer to another bus to Verdú (Autocars Agramunt). The best option is to take a RENFE train to Tárrega and then take a bus Autocars Agramunt company or a taxi to Verdú (973 310 060).
Igualada can be reached by train from Barcelona (Plaça Espanya station). For schedules and more information see www.fgc.cat.
Montserrat can be reached by train from Barcelona. First go to the town of Montserrat Monistrol of the line of the FGC (Railways of the Generalitat de Catalunya) in Barcelona to Manresa. The departure point is Plaça Espanya station and you should get off at Monistrol Vila station, where a brand new rack railway, opened in 2003, joins the village of Monistrol with the monastery of Montserrat; the service usually runs every 20 minutes and lasts 15 minutes. For schedules and more information see www.fgc.cat.
Manresa can be reached by train from Barcelona. If you travel with the line of the FGC (Railways of the Generalitat de Catalunya) from Barcelona to Manresa (Plaça Espanya station), get off at the station Manresa – Viladordis. From there ask for directions to La Cova de Manresa, located 5 minutes on foot towards the river Cardoner. You can also get from Barcelona to the RENFE railway line. From the train station you can see the building of La Cova de San Ignacio. You cross the Cardoner river by the Old Bridge and go up the first street next to the bridge.
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