Camino Tip No. 40: Don’t fret about accommodations

Camino Tips 40aThere are many places to stay along the Camino Francés:

  • Albergues: dormitories accommodating 4 to 120 beds with communal bathrooms. Albergues can be run by the church (parroquial), by the local municipality (municipal),  or by individuals (privado). Some are priced on a donation basis (donativos), using the money from one day’s collection to buy the meal ingredients for the next day.  Some albergues have private or semi-private accommodations for an extra charge. Others have kitchen facilities providing a more communal atmosphere.
  • Refugios: (another word for albergues). In 2011, “albergue” was the more commonly used term.
  • Pensiones: private rooms with a shared bath (sometimes down the hall)
  • Casas Rurales: private homes resembling a B & B, often outside of town
  • Hoteles: hotels
  • Paradors: historic buildings converted into five-star hotels

Be open to all possibilities. If your body tells you to keep walking, do so. If you are tired, stop early. If you are concerned about not finding lodging, ask the proprietor where you stayed the night to phone ahead to make a reservation.

Since there are often many choices for accommodations in each town, I am listing the places I stayed at, with comments. I hope this list will help you make a decision as where to stay.

Albergue Municipal de Peregrinos

Roncesvalles Albergue Large dormitory-style
St-Jean-Pied-de-Port, FR  L’Auberge du Pèlerin Private Clean, nice veranda with clothes line. Near pilgrim’s office
Valcarlos Hotel Clean rooms, hot shower/bath. Good restaurant. Personable.
Roncesvalles Albergue Camped on church grounds. Hot showers, clean washroom.
Espinal Camping Urrobi Campground Clean washrooms, quiet, Sunday meal in early in afternoon
Zubiri  El Palo de Avellano “The Hazel Stick” Private Hostel Super clean, wonderful food, large sitting room
Pomplona Albergue de Peregrinos (Jesús y María) Municipal Large, noisy (high ceilings reverberate snoring)
Puente la Reina Albergue de los Padres Reparadores Parroquial Large communal kitchen, nice showers. Allows camping on grounds.
Estella Albergue San Miguel Arcangel Parroquial, Donativo Our first communal experience; clean, dining outdoors.
Los Arcos Casa de Austria Private Old-fashion wringer for drying clothes. Crowded. Sangria available for purchase.
Logroño Alberque Parroquia de Santiago el Real Parroquial, Donativo Mattresses on the floor. Only two showers and toilets. Nice shared meal.
Logroño Camping La Playa Private Clean campground with tent sites and bungalows.Hot showers and well-maintained restrooms
Navarrette La Casa del Peregrino Private 6 twin beds and 7 bunk beds. Nice kitchen
Nájera Albergue de Periginos Municipal Large room with lots of beds (92)
Azofra Albergue Municipal de Peregrinos Municipal All rooms are doubles. Bath down the hall. Large communal kitchen. Spring-fed wading pool. Laundry facilities
Cirueña Albergue Virgen de Guadalupe Private Beds and meals served on the second floor, bathrooms & shower (2) on the first floor. Musty-smelling sitting room, tasty supper
Grañon Hospital de PerigrinosAlberque San Juan Bautista Parroquial, Donativo Mattresses on the floor below bell tower. Wonderful sitting/dining area with rocking chairs, piano, and other instruments. One of my favorite places on the Camino
Belorado Alberque Paroquial Parroquial, Donativo Kitchen used to be a church in the parish hall. The bunks are on the second floor, bathrooms and showers are on the first floor.
Villafranca Montes de Oca, Hotel San Anton Abad Private 3-Star hotel with modern albergue. Upscale pilgrims menu. We stayed in the hotel, but all the pilgrims raved about the albergue. We liked it so much, we stayed there on our second trip.
Agés La Taberna de Ages Municipal Modern, nice showers
Burgos Albergue Municipal de Burgos Municipal Clean, elevators to sleep quarters, large communal kitchen
Hornillos del Camino Albergue Municipal Municipal Kitchen limited to microwave. 14 bunks. When full, mats are put on gym floor (30). Only 2 showers for everyone.
Casterjeriz Camping Camino de Santiago Private Campsites, laundry, hot showers, restaurant in camp store
Frómista Albergue Municipal de Frómista Municipal Clean, no kitchen
Carrión Albergue Santa Clara Parroquial 4 twin beds per room, washroom with clothes line in courtyard
Terradillos de los Templarios Albergue Perigrinos Jacques de Molay Private New, like a chalet. Walls don’t go to the ceiling so lights and noise can be disturbing. Nice sitting area. Different pilgrims menu.
Molinaseca Albergue Santa Marina Private New, each room has only 6 bunks (12 sleepers), plenty of windows and air. Serves supper.
Villafranca de Bierzo Albergue Vina Femita Private Very new. Twin beds with linen. Reading lamps next to the bed. Space-age shower. Good food. Rated “Three-shells” by the new rules of hostels in Castilla y León tourist lodge.
Piedrafita Del Cebrero Hostal Rebollal Private This is not exactly on the Camino. We stayed here because we got lost. Pricy. Good food. Average room. Very nice staff.
Sarria Casa Peltre Private Modern, Classy. One room with 14 beds, rooms with 4 bed on the second floor. Bright, reading desk, large sitting room some kitchen. We very much enjoyed our stay here.
Triacastela Albergue Aitzemea Private Old stone-walled interior. Kitchen limited to microwave. There is a large table in the sitting room. Sleeps 44.
Portomarín O Mirador Private Comfortable, but tight quarters
Mellide Alberque de Melide Municipal Sleeps 156 but was not very busy the night we stayed and had a room to ourselves so it was quiet.
Arzúa Albergue Ultreia Private Sleep Quarters above the cafe. Kitchen limited to microwave. No hot water for showers and we were the first to arrive. Hopefully, that has been since addressed. Sleeps 39.
O Pedrouzo Albergue Porta de Santiago Private Bright color scheme resembles a converted storefront. Lockers for security.
Santiago Mundoalbergue Private Have bunks with a queen-size mattress on the bottom. Clean, Friendly staff. Since there is no curfew, people arrive and leave at all hours, making it difficult to sleep. Otherwise, a good place to end the Camino.

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