Travel Guide

Albergues on the Camino de Santiago – a complete information

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We’ve stayed at greater than 100 albergues on the seven totally different routes of the Camino de Santiago. Some locations had been superb and have become an essential a part of our Camino recollections, some locations had been simply one other in a single day keep. Albergues have at all times been an essential a part of the Camino de Santiago historical past. Even for those who’re not the sort of particular person that’s snug with staying in a dormitory I’d advocate discovering an awesome albergue in your Camino route (one with a communal dinner for instance) and staying there for one night time simply to experience the spirit of the Camino.

A typical public albergue on the Camino de Santiago
Public albergues on the French Manner of the Camino de Santiago

What’s an albergue?

In easy phrases, an albergues is a hostel for pilgrims. If you happen to’re conversant in hostels it received’t be obscure the entire albergue factor. A regular albergue has one or a number of dormitory rooms with bunk beds (few have regular beds), a shared ablution complicated, a kitchen, and a standard space.

The best way to discover albergues?

A lot of the albergues, particularly public ones, are located proper on the Camino route; you don’t have to stroll round with a GPS or map looking for them. In greater cities and cities there are often arrows pointing the best way to albergues.

If you wish to plan your Camino itinerary prematurely and ensure you’re going to remain solely at the very best albergues alongside the route you possibly can verify critiques of various albergues on Gronze.com. The one drawback of utilizing it’s that the positioning and a lot of the critiques are in Spanish. Now we have detailed itineraries for a number of Camino routes the place you’ll find info on each albergues we stayed at.

Watch our brief YouTube video about albergues on the Camino!!!

Albergues Camino de Santiago YouTube thumbnail

You will discover extra info for planning the Camino stroll in our detailed Greatest Camino de Santiago suggestions put up.

Public vs non-public albergues on the Camino de Santiago

There are two kinds of albergues public (municipal) and personal. Public albergues are often run by the native municipality. Non-public albergues belong to an individual or an organization. Each private and non-private albergues may be discovered on any Camino route the extra fashionable the route is the extra albergues it has.  

Public albergues

Public albergues are often greater than non-public ones, some have as much as 100 beds and are cheaper. Public albergues are completely for pilgrims strolling the Camino, vacationers can’t keep there. There’s often no bedding however most public albergues promote disposable sheets and pillow casing for 1 Euro. The amenities of municipal albergues differ, some are new spacious with good amenities, some are fairly outdated and really primary.

Municipal albergues don’t often enable baggage supply for those who determine to make use of one of many baggage shuttle companies as a substitute of strolling together with your backpack you’ll have to keep at non-public albergues.

The most effective municipal albergues are in Galicia run by the Xunta de Galicia. Most of them are new, spacious, with good facilities, clear, and comfy. From 2021 nearly all public albergues in Galicia cost Eight Euro per particular person. If you happen to determine to stroll the final 100 km on the Camino to Santiago de Compostela or select one of many shorter routes e.g. the Camino Ingles you received’t have any drawback discovering good and price range lodging.

A shared room with bunk beds in a municipal albergue on the Camino
A typical public albergue on the Camino de Santiago in Galicia

Non-public albergues

Non-public albergues are smaller and often extra snug in addition to costlier. Some non-public albergues are for donation. There are fairly a couple of albergues for donation on the Camino Frances. Non-public albergues may be booked prematurely over the telephone or by means of one of many on-line reserving methods. They’re not completely for pilgrims although the vast majority of individuals staying there are often strolling the Camino. The facilities of personal albergues are often higher than these of the general public ones. 

A dorm room with bunk beds in a private albergue on the Camino
A typical dormitory room in a non-public albergues on the Camino

Important variations between private and non-private albergues

Options Public albergues Non-public albergues
Worth 6-Eight Euro 12-15 Euro
Just for pilgrims sure no
Want a Credential sure no
Can keep greater than 1 night time no sure
Might be booked no sure
Permit baggage supply no sure
Entrance doorways shut at 9 pm sure no
Important options of public & non-public albergues on the Camino de Santiago

Amenities

A regular albergue (public or non-public) has a few dormitories with bunk beds (typically one huge room), a standard/eating space, a kitchen, and shared bogs and showers. As I already talked about non-public albergues are often higher geared up. All albergues have scorching showers and electrical energy, many have wi-fi. 

Ablutions

Showers and bogs are shared and often separate for women and men except it’s a extremely small albergue with one toilet. You’ll want your individual towel, cleaning soap, bathe gel, and so forth. No want to hold bathroom paper all albergues we’ve stayed at supplied it.

If there are lots of individuals in your albergue go to the bathe proper after the check-in earlier than unpacking and making your mattress, in any other case you would possibly spend 30 minutes ready within the line.

Kitchen

About 80% of all albergues we’ve stayed at had a kitchen. Generally it’s a completely geared up kitchen with the whole lot you want for cooking, typically it’s very primary with a microwave and a few plates. At all times earlier than you go meals procuring try the kitchen to see if it has a range, pots, pans, and so forth. Some albergues (often non-public) supply communal dinner and breakfast for donation or a set worth. 

A dining and cooking area in a public albergue
A kitchen and a eating room in a public albergue on the By way of de la Plata

The price of albergues

Public albergues are the most cost effective lodging possibility on the Camino. Costs differ a bit relying on the route, the typical worth of a mattress in a public albergues is between 6 and eight Euro per particular person. On some Camino routes e.g. the By way of de la Plata public albergues are costlier – 10 Euro pp.

A mattress in non-public albergue prices between 12-15 Euro on common. Within the Basque Nation on the Camino del Norte non-public albergues are costlier, we paid 15-17 Euro on common. Fancier albergues value 20 Euro however these are actually snug with greater beds, particular person lockers, curtains for privateness, bedding, towels, and so forth.

If you wish to understand how a lot it prices to stroll the Camino de Santiago try our put up The price of strolling the Camino. There you’ll find an in depth price range breakdown, money-saving suggestions, and a comparability of the price of totally different Camino routes.

Public albergues and their guidelines

These guidelines can differ a bit relying on albergue, route, and time of the 12 months however general they’re fairly commonplace for all public albergues.

Public albergues can’t be booked prematurely; they work on the precept of first come first serve.

You possibly can keep at a public albergue just for one night time. There could be exclusion e.g. for those who really feel unwell.

The check-in is after 1 pm or later typically. Pilgrims who arrive earlier often begin queuing their backpacks in entrance of the doorway. It’s not essential to do out of season or on quiet Camino routes however on the busy routes just like the French Camino within the peak season, it’s the best way to safe a mattress.

The doorway doorways shut at 9 pm for those who’re out and are available again later you won’t be capable to get inside. At all times ensure to be again earlier than the closing time.

Lights in dormitories go off at 9 pm. No person will power you to sleep if you’d like. You possibly can learn or watch one thing in your telephone however you possibly can’t swap on the sunshine within the dormitory.

The check-out time is Eight am (typically 9 am). Everyone must be out by that point.

A backpack queue at the entrance of an albergue on the Camino
A line of backpacks on the entrance of a public albergue in Pamplona, Camino Frances

Are albergues open all 12 months spherical?

The overwhelming majority of municipal albergues on the Camino are open from Easter week until the tip of October. There are some albergues that keep open within the winter months most of them are on the favored Camino routes such because the French Manner or the Portuguese Camino. If you happen to stroll the Camino between April and October you possibly can make certain that a lot of the public albergues shall be open. The one exception is the Camino del Norte within the Basque Nation a lot of the public albergues are open solely within the peak season between July and September.

Non-public albergues would possibly open earlier or shut later it is determined by the route and the variety of those who stroll it low season. Nearly all non-public and public albergues are closed in the course of the Christmas vacation between the 15th and 31st of December. If you happen to determine to stroll the Camino in December I’d advocate staying for Christmas in a much bigger metropolis the place lodges and hostels keep open whatever the vacation.

Strolling the Camino in winter you would possibly battle to seek out open public albergues however on the intense facet, non-public rooms in lodges and visitor homes are considerably cheaper low season. If you happen to keep each different night time at a lodge it received’t break your price range.

When you’ve got questions concerning the pilgrimage on the Manner of St.James you would possibly discover solutions in our Camino de Santiago FAQ put up.

What do you must keep at albergues?

To have the ability to verify in to any albergue you’ll want a passport or an ID (for EU residents). 

To remain at public albergues each pilgrim wants a Credential (a pilgrim’s passport) with stamps. It proves that you just’re strolling (biking) the Camino. Each pilgrim collects stamps at each place he/she stays alongside the route. On the finish of the pilgrimage, you’ll want your Credential for getting a Compostela certificates in Santiago. For staying at non-public albergues the Credential is often not required.

Our Credentials with stamps from public and private albergues on the Camino de Santiago
Our Credentials with stamps from totally different albergues on the Northern Camino

Helpful gadgets to pack

A lightweight sleeping bag – some locations have blankets some don’t have the identical bedding. I favor to have my very own sleeping bag relatively than sleeping on a mattress or below a blanket that who is aware of how many individuals have used earlier than. As a substitute, you possibly can carry a sleeping bag liner. It’s smaller and lighter than a sleeping bag and shall be sufficient for the summer time months. 

A headlamp – could be very helpful to have if you wish to learn after the sunshine went off, discover one thing in your backpack at nighttime, or pack and go away early within the morning whereas others are nonetheless sleeping.

A fast-dry towel – you don’t get towels in albergues.

Flip-flops – nice for turning into and carrying within the bathe.

You will discover extra particulars on what to pack for the Camino for various seasons for women and men in our Camino de Santiago packing record put up.

Execs and cons of staying at albergues

If you happen to’re a seasoned backpacker and have experience of staying at hostels, sleeping in dorm rooms with 10-20 different individuals, and utilizing shared amenities, staying at albergues received’t be new for you. If you happen to’ve by no means stayed in dormitories earlier than it could be fairly difficult to do it daily for a few weeks. 

Execs

The apparent benefit of albergues is the worth, it’s the most cost effective lodging possibility on the Camino, particularly public albergues that cost between 5 and seven Euro per particular person which considerably reduces the price of the Camino, particularly on an extended route.

Albergues are nice locations to fulfill individuals particularly for those who stroll the Camino alone. You’ll at all times discover somebody to speak to, cook dinner collectively, or exit with. 

Staying at albergues is an essential a part of the Camino tradition. Even when it’s not your cup of tea I’d counsel staying for an evening or two at albergues only for the experience. 

Cons

The primary con is the shortage of privateness. You don’t get lonesome time in albergues, you share a room, a toilet, and a kitchen with different pilgrims. 

One other essential drawback is not getting first rate sleep. The extra individuals within the dormitory the tougher it’s to sleep; some pilgrims rise up very early earlier than 5 am and begin packing, some snore fairly loud, and so forth. It’s nearly assured that a minimum of each second night time you’ll get a snorer in your dorm. Earplugs are a helpful merchandise to have. If it’s a extremely loud snorer I placed on my earphones and swap on enjoyable music, it often helps me to go to sleep.

Theft is one other downside of albergues. We personally have by no means had something stolen in albergues however we’ve heard some tales of cash, telephones, and different valuables stolen from dormitories. My tip right here isn’t to go away your valuables unattended within the dormitory, use a locker if supplied (we at all times pack a small mixture lock), or carry a neck pockets or a foldable backpack each time you allow take it with you.

A communal dinner for pilgrims at private albergue in Guemes on the Camino del Norte
Communal dinner at a non-public albergue for donation on the Camino del Norte

Staying at lodges on the Camino

It’s doable to remain in a non-public room each night time on the Camino. A lot of the routes have loads of lodges and guesthouses. It’s rather more snug however will work out fairly a bit costlier than staying in dormitories. If you happen to’re going to stroll for every week or so the worth distinction received’t be that important however for those who’re planning to stroll for a couple of month it’ll make an enormous distinction.

Costs of personal rooms differ. On common you pay 25-30 Euro for a price range single room and 30-35 Euro for a double. It’s cheaper to remain in non-public for those who’re two individuals as you possibly can see the worth distinction between a single and a double room isn’t that huge.

In case your price range permits I’d advocate staying in non-public each as soon as shortly. We often keep in a non-public room a minimum of as soon as every week typically extra usually if you’ll find an excellent deal. It’s very nice to have some privateness after sleeping in dormitories. Some non-public albergues have single and double rooms as properly. Non-public rooms with shared amenities (bathe, bathroom) are cheaper than those with an hooked up toilet.

A standard twin room in a hotel on the Camino
A price range non-public room in one of many guesthouses on the Camino Frances

Tenting on the Camino

Individuals usually ask us about the potential for tenting on the Camino. If you need to do it for the sake of saving cash it’s not price it. Except you’re planning on doing wild tenting which isn’t allowed in lots of locations in Spain specifically on the seashores. Public albergues are the very best and the most cost effective approach of lodging on the Camino. To pay between 5 and seven Euros to sleep in a mattress, to have a scorching bathe, electrical energy and a kitchen isn’t a lot.

If you happen to actually love tenting and relatively sleep in your individual tent at a campsite than in a dormitory then you’ll should do some planning. On some routes, we did see fairly a couple of campsites e.g. The Coastal Route of the Portuguese Camino. Some have barely any e.g. the By way of de la Plata. Earlier than you determine to pack a tent guarantee that the chosen Camino has sufficient tenting spots to make it price carrying additional weight.

Bedbug drawback on the Camino de Santiago

From our Camino experience, I can undoubtedly say that strolling early within the season reduces your probabilities of getting bedbugs in albergues. Many albergues shut for winter, earlier than opening once more in spring many do an annual cleansing which reduces your probabilities of getting bedbugs.

Bedbugs may be simply carried by one particular person from albergue to albergue hiding in a sleeping bag, backpack, and so forth. You may get them anyplace however some albergues are well-known for having mattress bugs. If you wish to ensure you skip such locations verify critiques on Gronze if there are a number of individuals complaining about mattress bugs I’d relatively not keep there.

Mattress bugs often cover in picket cracks, below mattresses, and so forth. Albergues with tile flooring, metallic beds, rubber mattresses, and pillow casings would possibly look not very snug however your probabilities of having mattress bugs there are smaller. Locations with outdated picket flooring and beds, wool blankets, and outdated mattresses are excellent spots for bedbugs.

Out of seven Caminos, I’ve walked I’ve had a bedbug drawback solely on the French Camino. I walked it in September after 1000’s of pilgrims had already walked it that 12 months. I used to be terribly bitten in a single non-public albergue (I present the identify in my Camino Frances levels put up). A few occasions my associates had bedbugs in several albergues although all of them had been non-public. 

Mattress bug bites are totally different from mosquito bites. Mattress bugs often chunk in a line following the vein. Their bites are very itchy, some individuals are allergic to them. If you happen to get up within the morning and see a row of bites you possibly can nearly make sure you had been bitten by mattress bugs. On this case ensure to verify your sleeping bag, garments, backpack, and so forth.

The best way to scale back the probabilities of getting mattress bugs?

When you get to your mattress, raise a sheet/a mattress rapidly if there are lots of mattress bugs you’ll be capable to see them crawling. These guys are usually not very quick as many individuals assume.

Don’t put your backpack on the mattress.

At all times preserve your backpack closed away out of your mattress. I put a rain cowl over it for the night time to ensure mattress bugs received’t be capable to get in.

Some individuals carry mattress bug spray and spray it on their mattress and sleeping bag. I, personally, have by no means used it due to this fact I can’t say if it actually works or not.

Within the morning at all times verify your sleeping bag (for those who use it).

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Hey! A bit about us - we’re John & Maria and we're a couple that loves to travel the world and document our adventures! We enjoy writing, blogging, exploring and sharing our adventures. We’re always embarking on new journeys and here you’ll find articles covering many travel destinations, and topics, such as culture, history, art and cuisine. Our goal and mission is to present compelling stories, photography and personal opinions, as well as serve as an online resource for anyone who wishes to plan their own trips and visit the destinations we've been to. We genuinely love meeting new people, mingling with locals, listening to their amazing stories and trying new travel experiences.

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