So, you’ve decided to take the trip of a lifetime and walk the Camino de Santiago. One of your main concerns is likely to be where you will sleep every night of your Camino.
There is a saying on the Camino. “It’s Your Camino. It’s Your Way”, especially when it comes to your accommodation choices.
Many Pilgrims decide to trust that the Camino will provide which means they don’t book ahead yet this approach is becoming more and more difficult as the popularity of the Camino is at an all-time high, especially in the summer months when the number of Pilgrim are at their highest. Pilgrims who take this approach tend to have to set off before dawn and race towards their destination to ensure that they have a bed for the night.
For those of you who prefer to book ahead of time, there are the following options available to you.
Albergue is another word for Hostel offering dorm-style accommodation intentionally placed at strategic points along the Way. While Municipal/Church Albergues provide an invaluable service, they are very basic, often with plastic-covered mattresses, disposable sheets and a lack of pillows. The size of the dorm rooms can vary from 10 people right up to 100 people. Some Municipal/Church Albergues provide accommodation on a donation basis while most charge €6.00 per night at the present time (increasing to €8.00 from 2020).
Private Albergues tend to be a little more comfortable with better quality mattresses, sheets and pillows. Dorm occupancy tends to be lower – you can get lucky and find yourself sharing with just 3 other guests although most tend to accommodate around 10 people.
All Albergues provide basic cooking facilities and some will offer a commune Pilgrim dinner for an extra 5 to 10 euros.
There is usually a lack of lockers for your personal items so you will need to keep your valuables with you at all times. You will also need to bring along a sleeping bag/liner depending on the time of the year.
One major downside to Albergue accommodation is the risk of experiencing bedbugs. Bedbugs are not necessarily a sign of unhygienic conditions – the nature of the Camino means that Pilgrims are more likely to carry bedbugs from one place to another. Most Albergues will remind you not to place your rucksack on your bed at any point during your stay.
If the idea of sleeping with random strangers doesn’t appeal to you (there will always be on snorer in the room), there are plenty of guesthouses, hotels and even Paradors that offer you the option of a good night’s sleep in the privacy of your own room.
A good alternative to Albergues, especially if you are on a budget, is to book ahead and stay in a guesthouse or basic hotel. Rooms tend to be basic yet clean, some will have a shared bathroom, others ensuite and most will offer you breakfast to set you up for your day on the Camino.
2* 3* Hotels
If you want a little comfort and extra facilities then you will have plenty of medium-priced hotels to choose from. Some hotels have swimming pools – the perfect way to rest and relax after your day on the Camino. Breakfast is usually extra yet more substantial.
4* 5*Hotels & Paradors
If you are looking to walk your Camino de Santiago in style, then you will find that some of the places on the Camino have high-end hotels or even Paradors which are former Palaces converted into stunning hotels. This is a luxury Camino! Having stayed in quite a few Paradors through Spain, I can recommend a stay for the WOW factor and ultimate comfort. Obviously, a stay at a Parador comes at a much higher price.
Whichever accommodation option you prefer, here at Wild Camino we offer custom Wild Camino Self-Guided Journeys specifically tailored to your needs. From Albergues to Paradors, if you want to book ahead and beat the daily rush for a bed, let us take care of the mundane leaving you to enjoy the magic of the Portuguese Camino de Santiago. Click the button below to contact us and start your Camino.
(c) Samantha Wilson 2019. All Rights Reserved.