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A couple of queries re stamps on passports


I plan to walk from Leon to Santiago in September and would appreciate some help with a couple of issues.

I intend to stay the odd night in small hotel or private accomodation. How will I get a stamp on my passport in a town as I will not staying in the local Albergue who would normally stamp it?

Will i experience any difficulty getting accomodation in the albergue of the next town if they see from my passport i stayed in a hotel the previous night?

I will be travelling on a irish pilgrims passport, is there an office or church i should be going to in Leon to get my first Spanish stamp to confirm i have started my pilgrimage in leon.

Many thanks for all the useful information i have gathered from this site over the last months.

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Don´t worry.- It is very easy.-.-

You can stamp your credential in the same shelter of Leon although you do not sleep in the shelter.

You can get all stamp that you want, in many places although and you don´t sleep.-
Buen Camino, and repeat DON´T WORRY
All private albergues, and many hotels, have their own stamps. You can also get stamps from the church in the town/village you're spending the night in, the local bar, or tourist office.

The albergues don't worry about where you spent the previous night.

In Leon you can get your passport stamped at any open albergue, the Cathedral, the tourist office, and even the concierge in San Marcos Hotel.
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As the others have pointed out, it's not difficult to find a place that offers sellos. Often, there will be a sign telling you the place offers a sello. The most interesting one that I got was the one that's more of a self-sello in Cirauqui, one of the towns between Puente La Reina & Estella. As you go through the tunnel, you will pass a small table surrounded by "sello" signs. You get out your passport & stamp it yourself. If you do this, then when you are on a hilltop outside the city, turn around & look back. If the sun is just right, you will see the tunnel you just walked through & that is also on your sello! :)

I found that in both larger cities and in small towns, the tourist office had a stamp(sello) for your passport. As you get closer to Santiago, most of the cafes and bars in the small villages have a stamp as well.
The last time I walked the Camino Frances there was a rumor going around that everyone needed to have two stamps a day in order to qualify for a compostela. So that got us all in stamp-procuring mode. I found that stamps are to be found in the oddest places -- I have several from pharmacies, a few from the town hall of small towns, bars, you name it. Sellos are everywhere! And it's kind of fun to go through them once you're done to remember the circumstances -- oh, that pharmacy in Viana, that was where I got the gel insert that saved my foot's life!
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
To say "the albergues don´t care about where you spent the previous night" isn´t always perfectly accurate, esp. along the way to Finisterre or Muxia, or along the seaside towns of the Camino del Norte. If your last-night stamp is from a place less than 6 or 8 kilometers distant, you might appear to be one of the drifters who sometimes taxi or bus from one albergue to the next, making use of the practically-free accommodations out of necessity or desire for a cheap beach holiday. As one hospitalera told one of them, "A pilgrim travels."

But as for your query, no worries! Public libraries, medical centers, and tiny taverns often have their own sellos.

The one which impressed my Spanish friends the most was from the Guardia Civil post in Tamarite de Litera near Balaguer. The Guardia Civil, seeing me walking in an unshaded landscape at 36°C, stopped me and drove me into the pueblo (I have always had a tendency to coöperate with men with weapons) where they made me orange juice and stamped my credencial.

Generally, all churches have sellos, and so do the ayuntamientos-- in remoter places, the ayuntamiento seal will be the easiest available. I cannot recall if it is compulsory or just strongly advised to get two per day in the last 100 km, but as Laurie/Peregrina2000 points out, it's fun to look at them months later. As well, one of my overly-legally-minded friends points out, they are proof of your alibi that you were in Spain, should you have need of one.
Sellos are also sometimes proof of where you stayed the night before, a familiar feeling among those of us who've experienced the infamous "Camino Amnesia." :shock: It's really interesting that you literally cannot remember where you stayed unless you look at your credencial. (And here's where the newbies say "But that won't happen to me." hee hee, that's what I said!!!) :D

The 2024 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
You can see pictures of some 1 200 camino sellos on this website:

There is also a blog on the site (which has links to this forum) and the latest post advises that they are working with a German company of board games to make a game dedicated to the Camino de Santiago. This is a game of questions and answers Siguendo Road where you get stamps in different boxes. Inicially it will only be in German, although they intend to release it in more languages.
The first edition came out in 2003 and has become the go-to-guide for many pilgrims over the years. It is shipping with a Pilgrim Passport (Credential) from the cathedral in Santiago de Compostela.

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Official Camino Passport (Credential) | 2024 Camino Guides