Camino Accommodations defined
Camino accommodations along the way are plentiful with various types of places to stay that will suit your style and budget. Whether your accommodation preference is the communal and social experience of the Albergues or you prefer the privacy and luxury of the higher-end hotel Paradors you will most likely find it on the Camino as the Camino Accommodations are wide and varied.
There are no rules about which accommodation type you use or how often you use them. You can switch types of Camino accommodations up as you see fit. You might like the idea of the large dormitory that offers the experience of meeting many different people, or you might hear about a smaller Albergue that offers some special personal touches, or you might want to have your own room and bathroom every once in a while. However, you choose your Camino accommodations is up to you. You can change it up any way you like.
Below you will find the distinctions between the various accommodations: Albergues, hostals, hotels, and Paradores, who runs them, the different amenities they offer, and approximate price ranges.
- 5 to 9 euros
- Run by the local government with basic to minimal facilities.
- Found in most towns and cities along the Camino.
- They cannot be booked in advance.
- You must have a Pilgrim Credential to go there.
- Priority is generally given to Pilgrims on foot.
- Curfew imposed.
- Donation (donativo in Spanish) of 5-10 euro or whatever you can afford.
- Donations are what keep the facilities running. Donativo does NOT mean it’s free.
- Run by the local church.
- Often offers a mass or Pilgrim blessing by the local priest.
- Shared meals are often prepared by those staying there for the evening.
- Curfew imposed.
- 5 to 10 euros, some donativo (which does NOT mean free).
- Run by local Pilgrim Association or International Confraternity.
- Normally staffed by volunteers with previous Camino experience wishing to give back to fellow Pilgrims.
- Curfew imposed.
- 8 to 12 euros.
- These albergues are organized with standards in the association.
- Facilities vary. Some have pools, restuarants and bars, and laundry facilities.
- Generally modern with single or bunk beds in rooms of 4 beds or more.
- Learn more about Red Network association.
- 8 to 12 euros (more for private rooms).
- Usually family-run businesses.
- Single or bunk beds in dormitory-style accommodations and shared bathrooms.
- Some offer separate rooms with private bathrooms, fresh bedding and towels for a higher cost.
- Many have modern facilities for cooking, laundry, common areas and maybe a swimming pool.
- May offer breakfast (desayunos) 3 to 5 euro, dinner (cena) 8 to10 euro.
- Cleanliness varies from immaculate to mediocre.
- Clean bedding may be offered.
- Blankets often supplied but used by many pilgrims.
- Prices vary depending on the room-to-bed ratio.
- Dormitory accommodations 10-12 euro. Private rooms starting at 35 euro.
- Generally family-run.
- Unique renovated farmhouses, rectories, or grand houses.
- Often located a few kilometers outside of towns and cities along the Camino.
- Sometimes provide free transportation from the closest town to their property.
- Often provide home-cooked meals fresh from their gardens. Check if they are included in the price.
- 25 euro and up depending on amenities in the accommodations.
- What you may know as a 2 to 3-star hotel.
- Rooms double or single occupancy with an en suite bathroom.
- Bedding, towels, and toiletries are provided.
- No room service or coffee makers in the room.
- Come and go as you please with NO time restrictions.
- Most have no kitchen facilities for Pilgrims usage but may offer meals for a fee.
- Ask if breakfast is included (desayuno incluido en el precio?).
- Some are quite lovely and modern and may refer to themselves as hotels so be sure to check out the amenities before you book.
- Starting at 35 euro depending on the type of accommdations, size of the city, and time of year.
- Usually found in and around big cities, but there are hotels in smaller towns too.
- The 3, 4 and 5-star hotels have luxuries and amenities you may be familiar with including bedding, towels, equiped bathrooms with amenities, restaurants and bars.
- Freedom to come and go as you like.
- These accommodations are restored castles, convents, monasteries, palaces, fortresses, manor houses and a few modern Paradores.
- Set up and run by the Spanish government to help in preserving and maintaining the historical buildings.
- Renowned for quality, service and luxury.
- Located all throughout Spain and several along the Camino route in medieval towns.
Booking your camino accommodations in advance.
You can book your accommodations at many private albergues, hostals, and hotels in advance either via their direct websites, Facebook or with Booking.com.
I have found that in some cases booking a few days in advance for prime towns is very wise especially if you are planning on walking a long day and want to be confident your accommodation will be waiting for your arrival at the end of the day.
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