Search 62305 Camino Questions

A donation to the forum removes ads for you, and supports Ivar in his work running it


Advertisement

Accommodation issues (a warning)

SpanBrit

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Unsure, maybe the Madrid + Invierno
I'm currently doing the Camino del norte, starting from Santander, and planning stages. Although the albergue at Santander was open and another was open between here and unquera I will say a lot, maybe even the majority of albergues, are closed. This means you either have to stay in normal hostels, where those exist, or more expensive pensiones, posadas etc... It's also worth noting that these sell out, many many places I checked had no availability this Friday. So yeah, book in advance and be aware that the Camino will likely cost more than you expected because many albergues are closed and any other options are 2/3/4 or even 5 times (or more)as expensive as those.
 
Camino Magnets
A collection of Camino Fridge Magnets
The Way: Through a Field of Stars (audiobook)
A great book to listen to while training for the Camino or to relive the experience!
Time of past OR future Camino
CDN, Primitivo, Sanabrés, Portugués, Ruta do Mar,
I just finished the Ruta do Mar and the Camino Inglés and saw that as a result of the pandemic many albergues and so, so many other businesses have closed. It was so sad to see "Closed Permanently" or "Closing Liquidation Sale" signs in pretty much every single village and town we went through.

Because I had consulted online before I left, I knew that the sensible thing to do was to book ahead; having a group of 5 allowed us to stay at apartments and pensiones along the way at a very reasonable price. If you are alone, that definitely will make your daily expenses surpass perhaps your expected budget.

It would be ideal if you would be able to book your accommodations ahead of time with, perhaps with some fellow peregrinos who'd be willing to share expenses and save themselves some money as well:)
Buen Camino!
 

SpanBrit

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Unsure, maybe the Madrid + Invierno
I just finished the Ruta do Mar and the Camino Inglés and saw that as a result of the pandemic many albergues and so, so many other businesses have closed. It was so sad to see "Closed Permanently" or "Closing Liquidation Sale" signs in pretty much every single village and town we went through.

Because I had consulted online before I left, I knew that the sensible thing to do was to book ahead; having a group of 5 allowed us to stay at apartments and pensiones along the way at a very reasonable price. If you are alone, that definitely will make your daily expenses surpass perhaps your expected budget.

It would be ideal if you would be able to book your accommodations ahead of time with, perhaps with some fellow peregrinos who'd be willing to share expenses and save themselves some money as well:)
Buen Camino!
I agree, booking ahead is essential on the Camino del norte and even that doesn't guarantee getting what you want, I am having trouble finding stuff even two days in advance!
 

grayland

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
Yes
Keep in mind that the outside booking agents such as Booking.com, Hotels.com, Expedia, etc. show only the rooms they have been allotted and will often show fully booked when in fact the property has many vacancies available.

It is strongly recommended to contact the property directly if you see full on one of the outside booking sites.
 
Camino Cups
Browse our selection of Camino Cups on the forum store
Original artwork based on your pilgrimage or other travel photos.

SpanBrit

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Unsure, maybe the Madrid + Invierno
Keep in mind that the outside booking agents such as Booking.com, Hotels.com, Expedia, etc. show only the rooms they have been allotted and will often show fully booked when in fact the property has many vacancies available.

It is strongly recommended to contact the property directly if you see full on one of the outside booking sites.
True, and I have gotten around the problem that way but sometimes they just have nothing or the website is unusable 🤣
 

SpanBrit

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Unsure, maybe the Madrid + Invierno
It's also approaching peak holidays season in a very popular part of Spain for the nationals to take their holidays.
Yeah this is true, I'll actually be meeting my Spanish aunt in a few days but doubt she can put me up. It wouldn't be an issue if most of the albergues weren't shut 😅 anyway don't mean to whine as I'm enjoying myself but people should be aware you can't do the del norte cheaply or play it by ear, you need $ and advance planning.
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
It should get better. I'm leaving from Bilbao and although I've only booked in Bilbao and in Ontón (day 1), after Santander Albergue LA Piedad in Boo is open and takes reservations, in Cóbreces there is an albergue, in SV de la Barquera, in Pendueles, Piñeras de Pría, La Isla, Amandi, Gijón, Avilés, Soto de Luina, Cadaveda, Luarca, La Caridad, Vilela, Mondoñeso, Vilaba, Miraz, Sobrado and As Quintas just to name ones I've looked at. Not all can be reserved though.

Good luck!
 

Drumbo_hiker

Just walk, don’t rush
Time of past OR future Camino
Le Puy, Português, Primitivo & Norte
I’ve found all of the above recently as I book our attempt at the second half starting from Ribadesella towards the end of August (had to abandon in 2019 due to family stuff).
Prices are definitely higher but really recommend contacting directly where possible.
 
2022 Camino Guides
The 2022 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
Pocket guide that pack a punch
1.4 oz (40g) pocket guides with gems of wisdom to ponder during and after your Camino

SpanBrit

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Unsure, maybe the Madrid + Invierno
It should get better. I'm leaving from Bilbao and although I've only booked in Bilbao and in Ontón (day 1), after Santander Albergue LA Piedad in Boo is open and takes reservations, in Cóbreces there is an albergue, in SV de la Barquera, in Pendueles, Piñeras de Pría, La Isla, Amandi, Gijón, Avilés, Soto de Luina, Cadaveda, Luarca, La Caridad, Vilela, Mondoñeso, Vilaba, Miraz, Sobrado and As Quintas just to name ones I've looked at. Not all can be reserved though.

Good luck!
Yeah I'm staying at the albergue in cobreces tonight, idiotically booked it for the wrong day but they were kind enough to change it.
 

RolfMagener

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
F 19, Norte 21, Primitivo 21, Portugues 21, VLP 22
When I started walking the Norte last year in August I found that calling the local tourist information office was the best option as they pretty much always had a list of available rooms that were not very expensive even when bookings and others had none available or were super expensive. You can easily find the local tourist office and number on google maps.
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
I’ve found all of the above recently as I book our attempt at the second half starting from Ribadesella towards the end of August (had to abandon in 2019 due to family stuff).
Prices are definitely higher but really recommend contacting directly where possible.
I never use booking.com, few albergues on it anyway and booking takes a 15% fee which means their price is higher than contacting the albergue directly. I use www.gronze.com for information.
 

RolfMagener

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
F 19, Norte 21, Primitivo 21, Portugues 21, VLP 22
I never use booking.com, few albergues on it anyway and booking takes a 15% fee which means their price is higher than contacting the albergue directly. I use www.gronze.com for information.
I also try not to use Bookings, but the problem is that in August most everything is fully booked as many in Spain are on holiday so there are few options left to find a place to stay.
 
A two-part workshop that guides you into creating a credencial and shares it online
John Brierley 2022 Camino Guide
Get your today and start planning.

Wanderingfriend

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2018
I never use booking.com, few albergues on it anyway and booking takes a 15% fee which means their price is higher than contacting the albergue directly. I use www.gronze.com for information.
I was actually surprised that the albergues charged the same as booking. But I am all for giving the extra 15% to the albergue.consider an extra donation occasionally if you are able to these lovely hosts.
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
I was actually surprised that the albergues charged the same as booking. But I am all for giving the extra 15% to the albergue.consider an extra donation occasionally if you are able to these lovely hosts.
That's surprising cause it would mean that the albergue owners makes less than if directly booked.

From my experience on the Francés at least, many added at least €2 to compensate for booking fees
 
Time of past OR future Camino
CDN, Primitivo, Sanabrés, Portugués, Ruta do Mar,
True, and I have gotten around the problem that way but sometimes they just have nothing or the website is unusable 🤣
Many lodging accommodations, as well as other businesses simply couldn't survive as a result of the pandemic. That's exactly what happened when I began to look for lodging along my Camino this year, many websites were down! I typically like to book directly whenever possible, however this time I did rely on booking.com, and airbnb which, of course allowed me to have a set itinerary and gave me peace of mind.
 

tabbyCat

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
July 2017, July 2022
Thank you very much for this posting. We are starting July 4 and have not decided on Frances verse Norte. We do not want to HAVE TO reserve in advance, so we will take your comments into account for our choice.
 

Olimpia

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino de Santiago Frances (2014)
Camino del Norte (2017)
I never use booking.com, few albergues on it anyway and booking takes a 15% fee which means their price is higher than contacting the albergue directly. I use www.gronze.com for information.
Right. Booking charges for their service. It is always best to book directly with the hotel, pensión, etc. I was told this by a hotel owner in Venice.
 
Original artwork based on your pilgrimage or other travel photos.
The Way: Through a Field of Stars (audiobook)
A great book to listen to while training for the Camino or to relive the experience!

Tom Conklin

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances (2016)
Porto (Fall 2017)
When I started walking the Norte last year in August I found that calling the local tourist information office was the best option as they pretty much always had a list of available rooms that were not very expensive even when bookings and others had none available or were super expensive. You can easily find the local tourist office and number on google maps.
We didn’t find this problem on the Via did we? I can’t imagine the Via is better off in terms of accommodation than the Norte. I assume this rush for beds is because of high season as much as it is for Covid. When would the Norte be populated like the Via/Sanabres this March/April?
 

HADeWet

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Primitivo September 2018
Santiago to Muxia and Finisterre September 2018.
I just finished the Ruta do Mar and the Camino Inglés and saw that as a result of the pandemic many albergues and so, so many other businesses have closed. It was so sad to see "Closed Permanently" or "Closing Liquidation Sale" signs in pretty much every single village and town we went through.

Because I had consulted online before I left, I knew that the sensible thing to do was to book ahead; having a group of 5 allowed us to stay at apartments and pensiones along the way at a very reasonable price. If you are alone, that definitely will make your daily expenses surpass perhaps your expected budget.

It would be ideal if you would be able to book your accommodations ahead of time with, perhaps with some fellow peregrinos who'd be willing to share expenses and save themselves some money as well:)
Buen Camino!
Thank you for this. I am planning on doing the San Salvador, Ruta do Mar and Inglés late August and early September. Walking solo. Would appreciate it if you could let me know which places you stayed aton the Mar and Inglés. I have two guide books to consult, but ibviously pist-covid not necesseraly upto date any more.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino del Norte
Thank you for the "head's up". I am starting the Norte September 9 and planning to divert to the Primitivo to finish in Santiago de Compostella by Oct 15. I am confused by the range of comments. Is the albergue situation due to businesses closing during COVID, or primarily due to high season in a busy tourist area during a holy year? Is it reasonable to expect this situation to exist past the summer season? I also thought bookings could not be made at alburges in advance.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
CDN, Primitivo, Sanabrés, Portugués, Ruta do Mar,
Both. Covid took care of closing some albergues, and of course, this is the season! Eroski Consumer https://caminodesantiago.consumer.es/ keeps up in a timely fashion with which albergues are open or closed on pretty much all the Caminos. On municipal albergues run by the county you cannot make advanced reservations, mostly private ones do accept reservations ahead of time.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
CDN, Primitivo, Sanabrés, Portugués, Ruta do Mar,
Thank you for this. I am planning on doing the San Salvador, Ruta do Mar and Inglés late August and early September. Walking solo. Would appreciate it if you could let me know which places you stayed aton the Mar and Inglés. I have two guide books to consult, but ibviously pist-covid not necesseraly upto date any more.
I have messaged you privately with some information I hope you might find helpful.
 
Camino Cups
Browse our selection of Camino Cups on the forum store
2022 Camino Guides
The 2022 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino del Norte
Both. Covid took care of closing some albergues, and of course, this is the season! Eroski Consumer https://caminodesantiago.consumer.es/ keeps up in a timely fashion with which albergues are open or closed on pretty much all the Caminos. On municipal albergues run by the county you cannot make advanced reservations, mostly private ones do accept reservations ahead of time.
Thanks! The link you provided is GOLD! Would anyone know if the Wise Pilgrim online guides are updated to reflect currently operating albergues and current prices? Thanks again!!!!
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
Is the albergue situation due to businesses closing during COVID, or primarily due to high season in a busy tourist area during a holy year?
My experience this year indicates that both of these are influences, but not always the only things that affect the availability of accommodation.
Is it reasonable to expect this situation to exist past the summer season?
It is always difficult to generalise about this when, as an individual, we are only interested in finding accommodation at a particular place and day. It could change tomorrow, or be different in a town a few km further on.
I also thought bookings could not be made at alburges in advance.
There are still some, like the Xunta albergues in Galicia, that operate this way. But it has changed substantially for others. On the CP this year, for places I was staying, I found two that didn't allow booking. One was a municipal, the other run by an association.
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
On municipal albergues run by the county you cannot make advanced reservations, mostly private ones do accept reservations ahead of time.
On the CP this year, I found some municipal albergues that allowed bookings, others that didn't. I would ring and ask. If an albergue didn't allow reservations, I would toss up about whether to plan on walking there. If I thought I would get there by mid-afternoon, only then would I plan to use it. For longer days, I preferred the certainty of having a booking somewhere.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
2017 Camino Frances,
2019 C. Portuguese (inland).
Wow! So, what do you do when you simply can’t find accommodation, and you can’t walk any further and there’s no transport to take you back or forward? Call me a scaredy cat but I must confess that I’m now having second thoughts about setting off on the CF in Sep, if accommodation is going to be so difficult if not impossible, especially when doing it solo and with no Spanish lingua to speak of.
 
Camino Cups
Browse our selection of Camino Cups on the forum store
Camino Maps
A collection of Camino Maps from the Camino Forum Store

hel&scott

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2004 St Jean - Santiago, 2008 &18 Seville - Finesterre, 2010 Ferrol - Lisbon, 2012 from Cartehenga.
Wow! So, what do you do when you simply can’t find accommodation, and you can’t walk any further and there’s no transport to take you back or forward? Call me a scaredy cat but I must confess that I’m now having second thoughts about setting off on the CF in Sep, if accommodation is going to be so difficult if not impossible, especially when doing it solo and with no Spanish lingua to speak of.

A bivey bag and a tree / abandoned porch, just make sure you leave it tidy.
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
Wow! So, what do you do when you simply can’t find accommodation, and you can’t walk any further and there’s no transport to take you back or forward? Call me a scaredy cat but I must confess that I’m now having second thoughts about setting off on the CF in Sep, if accommodation is going to be so difficult if not impossible, especially when doing it solo and with no Spanish lingua to speak of.
How remote is this prospect? All of these happening together seems to me to be very unlikely. My take on this is based on 10 pilgrimage walks, six of them on the Iberian peninsula.

  • Transport: I have yet to see anywhere in Spain or Portugal that didn't have a local taxi number advertised. I would take a photo of these just in case I needed to get a taxi. I have only had to do that once, when I badly underestimated the walking distance to accommodation I had arranged, I was soaked and starting to chill, and it was better to get to where I needed to be than be purist about walking another two hours.
  • No accommodation: I have never seen this. Several times on the Camino and in Norway I have found albergues that were full when I arrived, and had to walk on. I have also found, just the once in Spain, where all the accommodation going forward a reasonable distance or a short taxi ride was also full. In that instance, I found a place a short drive away that was about five km off the Camino path. In both Spain and Norway, I have had to walk off path to find accommodation. The most was about nine km in Norway. Fortunately, on that occasion, I was given a lift back to where I had left the path the next day.
    • I realise some paths, like the Norte, are more likely to have the more expensive options booked out by holidaymakers, and it is possible that even being prepared to pay a little, or lot, more isn't going to help.
    • This year, the most that I payed was in a four-star hotel, which I had booked a day beforehand having run out of other options on Gronze and Booking.com.
    • I could have taken the risk of finding a place that wasn't listed in any of the on-line sources that was advertising on the way into that town. There always seemed to be plenty of flyers and hoardings on the way into every town for places that don't list on the booking engines, etc.
    • While I didn't use it regularly, Google maps also provides information about accommodation, including contact details. I did check it from time to time, but didn't use it this year to make any accommodation bookings.
  • Cannot walk any more. This is probably the most likely to occur of these three, and I did see people close to giving up close to the end of the day this year.
    • In the past, I have started looking for a place to stay early in the afternoon, and if there isn't anywhere in one place, still having ample time to walk on. Remember that this is generally going to take an hour or less, and mightn't be an option later in the day when the next albergue is further than four or five km away.
    • This year, I made a reservation for days where I knew I was walking longer distances, and only walked to an albergue I hadn't or couldn't be booked if I could get there by mid-afternoon.
  • Lack of Spanish. Google translate is your friend. And there is no excuse for not learning enough to get on the phone to check price and availability and make a booking.
@Lexicos, I realise that your post might have been made in good faith, but it seems to me that all of these things happening on the CF are individually somewhat remote prospects, and collectively very unlikely to occur all at once. For those planning to do other routes who think that these risks are greater, choose one you think it will be less likely.
 
Last edited:
Time of past OR future Camino
2017 Camino Frances,
2019 C. Portuguese (inland).
How remote is this prospect? All of these happening together seems to me to be very unlikely. My take on this is based on 10 pilgrimage walks, six of them on the Iberian peninsula.

  • Transport: I have yet to see anywhere in Spain or Portugal that didn't have a local taxi number advertised. I would take a photo of these just in case I needed to get a taxi. I have only had to do that once, when I badly underestimated the walking distance to accommodation I had arranged, I was soaked and starting to chill, and it was better to get to where I needed to be than be purist about walking another two hours.
  • No accommodation: I have never seen this. Several times on the Camino and in Norway I have found albergues that were full when I arrived, and had to walk on. I have also found, just the once in Spain, where all the accommodation going forward a reasonable distance or a short taxi ride was also full. In that instance, I found a place a short drive away that was about five km off the Camino path. In both Spain and Norway, I have had to walk off path to find accommodation. The most was about nine km in Norway. Fortunately, on that occasion, I was given a lift back to where I had left the path the next day.
    • I realise some paths, like the Norte, are more likely to have the more expensive options booked out by holidaymakers, and it is possible that even being prepared to pay a little, or lot, more isn't going to help.
    • This year, the most that I payed was in a four-star hotel, which I had booked a day beforehand having run out of other options on Gronze and Booking.com.
    • I could have taken the risk of finding a place that wasn't listed in any of the on-line sources that was advertising on the way into that town. There always seemed to be plenty of flyers and hoardings on the way into every town for places that don't list on the booking engines, etc.
    • While I didn't use it regularly, Google maps also provides information about accommodation, including contact details. I did check it from time to time, but didn't use it this year to make any accommodation bookings.
  • Cannot walk any more. This is probably the most likely to occur of these three, and I did see people close to giving up close to the end of the day this year.
    • In the past, I have started looking for a place to stay early in the afternoon, and if there isn't anywhere in one place, still having ample time to walk on. Remember that this is generally going to take an hour or less, and mightn't be an option later in the day when the next albergue is further than four or five km away.
    • This year, I made a reservation for days where I knew I was walking longer distances, and only walked to an albergue I hadn't or couldn't be booked if I could get there by mid-afternoon.
  • Lack of Spanish. Google translate is your friend. And there is no excuse for not learning enough to get on the phone to check price and availability and make a booking.
@Lexicos, I realise that your post might have been made in good faith, but it seems to me that all of these things happening on the CF are individually somewhat remote prospects, and collectively very unlikely to occur all at once. For those planning to do other routes who think that these risks are greater, choose one you think it will be less likely.
Thanks Dough. That puts it into some perspective. You obviously have a lot more experience than me. I tend to get somewhat nervous in the lead up and yet seem to do quite ok when the real thing lies ahead. I’ve waited too long and done too much prep to now ditch my plans on account if ‘maybe this’ and ‘maybe that.’ I take your experience and your advice as a good guide. I already have my Credential from Paris. All I need decide now is shall it be from Le Puy or from St. Jean. Not a bad dilemma to have. Thanks again for taking time to answer my query.
 

MaxHelado

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Portugués via Variante Espiritual 2022
How remote is this prospect? All of these happening together seems to me to be very unlikely. My take on this is based on 10 pilgrimage walks, six of them on the Iberian peninsula.

  • Transport: I have yet to see anywhere in Spain or Portugal that didn't have a local taxi number advertised. I would take a photo of these just in case I needed to get a taxi. I have only had to do that once, when I badly underestimated the walking distance to accommodation I had arranged, I was soaked and starting to chill, and it was better to get to where I needed to be than be purist about walking another two hours.
  • No accommodation: I have never seen this. Several times on the Camino and in Norway I have found albergues that were full when I arrived, and had to walk on. I have also found, just the once in Spain, where all the accommodation going forward a reasonable distance or a short taxi ride was also full. In that instance, I found a place a short drive away that was about five km off the Camino path. In both Spain and Norway, I have had to walk off path to find accommodation. The most was about nine km in Norway. Fortunately, on that occasion, I was given a lift back to where I had left the path the next day.
    • I realise some paths, like the Norte, are more likely to have the more expensive options booked out by holidaymakers, and it is possible that even being prepared to pay a little, or lot, more isn't going to help.
    • This year, the most that I payed was in a four-star hotel, which I had booked a day beforehand having run out of other options on Gronze and Booking.com.
    • I could have taken the risk of finding a place that wasn't listed in any of the on-line sources that was advertising on the way into that town. There always seemed to be plenty of flyers and hoardings on the way into every town for places that don't list on the booking engines, etc.
    • While I didn't use it regularly, Google maps also provides information about accommodation, including contact details. I did check it from time to time, but didn't use it this year to make any accommodation bookings.
  • Cannot walk any more. This is probably the most likely to occur of these three, and I did see people close to giving up close to the end of the day this year.
    • In the past, I have started looking for a place to stay early in the afternoon, and if there isn't anywhere in one place, still having ample time to walk on. Remember that this is generally going to take an hour or less, and mightn't be an option later in the day when the next albergue is further than four or five km away.
    • This year, I made a reservation for days where I knew I was walking longer distances, and only walked to an albergue I hadn't or couldn't be booked if I could get there by mid-afternoon.
  • Lack of Spanish. Google translate is your friend. And there is no excuse for not learning enough to get on the phone to check price and availability and make a booking.
@Lexicos, I realise that your post might have been made in good faith, but it seems to me that all of these things happening on the CF are individually somewhat remote prospects, and collectively very unlikely to occur all at once. For those planning to do other routes who think that these risks are greater, choose one you think it will be less likely.
All good advice but I'm not convinced by the last point "no excuse for not learning enough (Spanish) to get on the phone". I've been studying Spanish for a number of years and my level is not too shabby but talking to someone on the phone remains the hardest thing to do! It all goes swimmingly until they say something that I don't understand. Is it the case that most albergues have no English speakers?
 
Create your own ad
€2,-/day will present your project to thousands of visitors each day. All interested in the Camino de Santiago.
Pocket guide that pack a punch
1.4 oz (40g) pocket guides with gems of wisdom to ponder during and after your Camino

caminovoices

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 2016, summer 2022....
I'm currently doing the Camino del norte, starting from Santander, and planning stages. Although the albergue at Santander was open and another was open between here and unquera I will say a lot, maybe even the majority of albergues, are closed. This means you either have to stay in normal hostels, where those exist, or more expensive pensiones, posadas etc... It's also worth noting that these sell out, many many places I checked had no availability this Friday. So yeah, book in advance and be aware that the Camino will likely cost more than you expected because many albergues are closed and any other options are 2/3/4 or even 5 times (or more)as expensive as those.
Today we were meant to stay in Guernica but there was zero accommodation. Not even hotels. We had to book a hotel in Bilbao and take a bus there. I don’t know if this will be an issue the entire way but the municipal albergue in Deb’s was also full early evening and they had to send people away. I never booked when I walked the Frances in 2016 (we were early in season). Now I’m thinking I might need to. El Norte is more expensive than I expected (and the first two days from Itún more difficult that I prepared myself for). Perhaps it’s worth considering booking ahead
 

Wanderingfriend

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2018
Today we were meant to stay in Guernica but there was zero accommodation. Not even hotels. We had to book a hotel in Bilbao and take a bus there. I don’t know if this will be an issue the entire way but the municipal albergue in Deb’s was also full early evening and they had to send people away. I never booked when I walked the Frances in 2016 (we were early in season). Now I’m thinking I might need to. El Norte is more expensive than I expected (and the first two days from Itún more difficult that I prepared myself for). Perhaps it’s worth considering booking ahead
Or skipping down to the Frances.
 

Pj28

Peter J
Time of past OR future Camino
Sept 2019 Camino Frances
May 2022 Camino del Norte
I'm currently doing the Camino del norte, starting from Santander, and planning stages. Although the albergue at Santander was open and another was open between here and unquera I will say a lot, maybe even the majority of albergues, are closed. This means you either have to stay in normal hostels, where those exist, or more expensive pensiones, posadas etc... It's also worth noting that these sell out, many many places I checked had no availability this Friday. So yeah, book in advance and be aware that the Camino will likely cost more than you expected because many albergues are closed and any other options are 2/3/4 or even 5 times (or more)as expensive as those.
Just finished the Norte from Irun on the 14th June and had very few problems- just do it !!!
 

cbacino

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino del Norte - Primitivo (2018)
Via Francigena (2017)
Appalachian Trail (2016)
I'm currently doing the Camino del norte, starting from Santander, and planning stages. Although the albergue at Santander was open and another was open between here and unquera I will say a lot, maybe even the majority of albergues, are closed. This means you either have to stay in normal hostels, where those exist, or more expensive pensiones, posadas etc... It's also worth noting that these sell out, many many places I checked had no availability this Friday. So yeah, book in advance and be aware that the Camino will likely cost more than you expected because many albergues are closed and any other options are 2/3/4 or even 5 times (or more)as expensive as those.
Just walked Gibraltar to Muxía. There are no albergues on the Via Serrana, Gibraltar to Sevilla, so Booking.com and Airbnb are helpful. Via de la Plata, Sevilla to La Granja, a few albergues closed or full. Camino Sanabrés to Santiago, no problems with lodging as was the walk to Muxía. I walked the Norte in 2018 and found it beautiful but catering more to tourists, so I took the Primitivo at Oviedo and was glad I did.
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
All good advice but I'm not convinced by the last point "no excuse for not learning enough (Spanish) to get on the phone". I've been studying Spanish for a number of years and my level is not too shabby but talking to someone on the phone remains the hardest thing to do! It all goes swimmingly until they say something that I don't understand. Is it the case that most albergues have no English speakers?
You make a fair point. I have also been in similar circumstances, and had to battle through worried that I haven't completely understood what I was being told.
 
2022 Camino Guides
The 2022 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
Original artwork based on your pilgrimage or other travel photos.

Pilgrino21

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances
I just finished the Ruta do Mar and the Camino Inglés and saw that as a result of the pandemic many albergues and so, so many other businesses have closed. It was so sad to see "Closed Permanently" or "Closing Liquidation Sale" signs in pretty much every single village and town we went through.

Because I had consulted online before I left, I knew that the sensible thing to do was to book ahead; having a group of 5 allowed us to stay at apartments and pensiones along the way at a very reasonable price. If you are alone, that definitely will make your daily expenses surpass perhaps your expected budget.

It would be ideal if you would be able to book your accommodations ahead of time with, perhaps with some fellow peregrinos who'd be willing to share expenses and save themselves some money as well:)
Buen Camino!
Hola Peregrina. I thought about doing the Ruta do Mar + Ingles combo for my first Camino but decided against it when I couldn't find much info on the former. Did you use a guidebook only? Where did you start and how long did it take you to walk all the way to SdC?

Any info is appreciated. Just finished the CF + Muxia & Fisterra so I think I'm good for now....maybe 🤔
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2022 CF
(…j but talking to someone on the phone remains the hardest thing to do! It all goes swimmingly until they say something that I don't understand. Is it the case that most albergues have no English speakers?
I sort of solved that problem (not in Spain but in Germany and also Italy) by saying straight away, after the usual hello etc ‘I only speak a little German/Italian…’. Then you go on ‘do you have a bed for such and such a date….’.
It worked for me 🙂 Good luck.
PS. Not many people (even in hotels) speak Spanish in London 😉
 
Time of past OR future Camino
CDN, Primitivo, Sanabrés, Portugués, Ruta do Mar,
Hola Peregrina. I thought about doing the Ruta do Mar + Ingles combo for my first Camino but decided against it when I couldn't find much info on the former. Did you use a guidebook only? Where did you start and how long did it take you to walk all the way to SdC?

Any info is appreciated. Just finished the CF + Muxia & Fisterra so I think I'm good for now....maybe 🤔
I found the Ruta do Mar to be the most amazing Camino I've ever done because of the constant impressive views! I loved everything, from the solitary trails to the wonderful cuisine along the Galician coast.

I pretty much followed the Camino Natural de la Ruta del Cantábrico because it is signed very well. When I tried following inland a couple of times - according to the guidebook by Dave Whitson, it was impossible, even when asking locals! Showing them the map in the guidebook, they still had no idea where the route was, and most importantly, there were no yellow arrows, mojones, yellow shells or any signs directing you on the Camino Ruta do Mar. This Camino de Santiago was officially recognized as such just last year by the Xunta de Galicia and I suspect it will be at least a couple of years before any signs are put up.

I used taxis to move along a couple of times on sections that included walking on a busy road. I also decided not to go to Cariño because it, too, is walking on a busy road. I walked from O Vicedo to Ladrido along the coast and then took a taxi to Ortigueira. Walked from Ortigueira to San Andrés de Teixido and took a taxi to Cedeira. Walked from Cedeira along the coast to Valdoviño and then Valdoviño to Ferrol on the coast as well. On these last sections I made sure we had a bocadillo and plenty of water because the towns are, few and far in between.

I traveled in a group of 5, so the accommodations where quite reasonable for us on the Ruta do Mar because we divided everything by 5. From Ferrol on it was just my husband and I. Booking ahead was by far the best choice simply because along the Ruta do Mar the choices were extremely limited - especially in April.

Ultreïa!,
 
Last edited:

WalkerForever

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2021
Just finished the Norte from Irun on the 14th June and had very few problems- just do it !!!
But that is early in the season, before the Spanish take their holidays. I am cancelling my Norte this year because so many public albergues are still closed from the pandemia.
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
I'm on the Norte now, left Bilbao on Monday and just arrived in San Vicente de la Barquera. So far no problem for me as I walk long stages but for people who stopped in Santillana yesterday and didn't reserve a few days in advance could not stop in Comillas and need to walk on to San Vicente.

Tomorrow I wanted to stay in Pendueles but the donativo is closed cause on sale, another closed tomorrow for some family thing which leaves Casa Flor which I've been told to stay away from by someone I know who recently stayed there. As I'm not so exigente as they say in Spanish I might just stay there. We'll see.
 
John Brierley 2022 Camino Guide
Get your today and start planning.
Camino Way Markers
Original Camino Way markers made in bronze. Two models, one from Castilla & Leon and the other from Galicia.

Marbe2

Active member
Time of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
Keep in mind that the outside booking agents such as Booking.com, Hotels.com, Expedia, etc. show only the rooms they have been allotted and will often show fully booked when in fact the property has many vacancies available.

It is strongly recommended to contact the property directly if you see full on one of the outside booking sites.
I think contacting the property is great advice if the booking sites do not have availability. However, when searching for accommodations, for late Sept. and thru Mid Oct. on the CF I am not finding any difference in vacancies for private rooms in albergues,hostels, and hotels whether using the booking sites or the accommodtion site.
Those accommodations with private rooms between SJPdP and Pamplona and Logrono., and Astorga to SdC are pretty bookedup. That is io say there won’t be availability on certain days. I am just raising awareness that you may not find availability in certain towns, if you wait until September to reserve. If you can sleep in a tent, or have funds for taxis ( which are now considerably more than before…gas prices?) then you will likely eventually find something somewhere.
 
Last edited:

Marbe2

Active member
Time of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
Wow! So, what do you do when you simply can’t find accommodation, and you can’t walk any further and there’s no transport to take you back or forward? Call me a scaredy cat but I must confess that I’m now having second thoughts about setting off on the CF in Sep, if accommodation is going to be so difficult if not impossible, especially when doing it solo and with no Spanish lingua to speak of.
Leicos, I can’t speak to your exact time schedule, but I can tell you that when I-tried,in May, to book late Sept from SJPdP to Pamplona, I could not find sufficient openings to book it. At that time I was able to book up to Roncevalles
but not from there to Pamplona. And Sarria to SdC is pretty full from the end of September to mid October. Also watchout for accommodation availability between Astorga and Molineseca…especially Rabanal and Foncebadon and (no surprise) O Cebreiro. When I walked in May, there was no availability on certain days between Rabanal and Molineseca and pilgrims were talking about it concerned about where they would find a place.
 
Last edited:

synvilla

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances, Norte
Not surprising, but the housing options from Sarria to Santiago are reporting 95% fully booked/reserved for the rest of the summer

 
Time of past OR future Camino
2017 Camino Frances,
2019 C. Portuguese (inland).
Leicos, I can’t speak to your exact time schedule, but I can tell you that when I-tried,in May, to book late Sept from SJPdP to Pamplona, I could not find sufficient openings to book it. At that time I was able to book up to Roncevalles
but not from there to Pamplona. And Sarria to SdC is pretty full from the end of September to mid October. Also watchout for accommodation availability between Astorga and Molineseca…especially Rabanal and Foncebadon and (no surprise) O Cebreiro. When I walked in May, there was no availability on certain days between Rabanal and Molineseca and pilgrims were talking about it concerned about where they would find a place.
Hello Marbe (and Synvilla) thank you for your replies and your information. That is a real worry. It’s tough enough managing the logistics from afar (from Australia and now from Athens) and the demands of the walking itself without having to worry about a place to wash, rest and sleep at night. Added to that, the high temperatures that we’re currently experiencing are a bit of a bombshell. July, August is way too hot, for me, and it sounds like the demand for accommodation doesn’t let up in September, which was my hope. It’s obviously a busy, bumper year and the odds are slowly stacking up against it. It’s a long way to come, only to pull the pin on it now. I have until 22 July to think about it. Between now and then, between Greece and Cyprus, I’ll have to work out what next!!
 

synvilla

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances, Norte
Before the pandemic I did SJPdP-Santiago completely without booking, only staying in albergue and I was fine. I was shocked to not be able to find housing for less than €20 in Santiago, when the rest of the trip had been €10 or below a night.

This year, I'm doing Irun-Ribdadesella and I've been prebooking mostly pensiones and casas rurales (private room for two people). Heading closer to Santiago doesn't seem worth the hassle this summer, as the crowd past Sarria is intense. It was somehow easier to mentally adapt to something different being well prepared of the price difference, so I've decided to embrace the luxury of private rooms. I'm starting in Irún on July 16, so it's the season when Spaniards are on vacation too.

Ended up with an average price of €52 per night for two people, so about €26 per person. I used a mix of Airbnb, booking and emailing/calling places directly. Overall, those who are listed on Gronze but aren't on booking have been significantly cheaper than the ones who are on booking.

It'll be interesting to see if I can cancel some bookings and rely on some albergues donativos, for example I'm quite keen to experience the ones in Laredo and Güemes. We'll see. I'm walking with my SO who would prefer only staying at albergues, to get the communal experience as well as the freedom of walking until your ready to stop, but I've decided to overrule him since I don't think that option is feasible for the Norte this summer.
 
Camino Cups
Browse our selection of Camino Cups on the forum store
Camino Socks
Browse the Camino Socks collection on the forum shop

Peter Isherwell

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Northern Coast of Spain
Hello Everyone,

I have been walking Camino del Norte for the last week and I find most of albergues half full, with exception of Sirena in San Sebastian which is not surprising as it is a major tourist hub and Sirena is not a pilgrim only hostel.
I can provide a last minute count while I am on the way. So far the numbers are like
Irun municipal - 25
Hondarribia Convent - 7
San Sebastian Sirena - nearly full, reserve
Ulia albergue before San Sebastian had vacancies
Twelve Tribes sect (Monte Ulia) certainly has vacancies (surprise surprise)
Saint Martin albergue before Orio - 8 of us
Deba Municipal - about 40
Izarbide had 4 pilgrims
Markina Municipal - about 25, one dormitory was empty,
Larrabetzu Municipal has only 11 beds now, filled up quickly
Lezama had 10 people all top bunks empty,
Pobeña Municipal had 24 people,
Islares albergue despite rumors is closed
Pontarron albergue is closed but Pontarron bar has pilgrim rooms for 20 euro per person and is not full.
 
Last edited:

LTfit

Veteran Member
I'm currently also walking, left Bilbao last Monday. Now having my first coffee break in Ribadesella on my way to La Isla. I've been reserving one day in advance for me and another pilgrim and have been having no problems when staying in "in-between" stages. If you wanted to stay in Comillas or in Llanes it was according to other pilgrims impossible to book only one day in advance, everything was booked out but as I skipped both of those towns I was fine. But I have been walking longer distances than most (>30 km).

If there is wifi in La Isla I'll post details.

Given the above it's unusual that I see no one for hours and hours. Since Bilbao I've only seen 4 or 5 a day.
 

Peter Isherwell

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Northern Coast of Spain
Hello Everybody,

Current albergues occupamcy on Camino del Norte continued
Update 6th July 2022

Albergue in Liendo/Hadas -17 so few beds left
Convent in Laredo didn't fill up
Isla (isla in Cantabria) - 6 pilgims
Güemes - 38 pilgrims
Santander albergue - I dont know but there is an alternative inexpensive place to sleep near Cathedral, see the picture below
Albergue Piedad - full (22 people) - Boo de Pielagos is kind of a bottleneck
Albergue Huella del Camino (26 beds) - full

I think my updates have not much sense anymore as every albergue starting from Güemes gets full.
And it is not typical Spanish holiday season yet, which is August.
Seems like del Norte can't cope with current wave of pilgrims.
Single room in a Pension, f you are lucky 40 euro, if you are extremely lucky - 30 ( but not at beach towns).
 

Attachments

  • santander.jpg
    santander.jpg
    298.1 KB · Views: 7
Last edited:

synvilla

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances, Norte
Hello Everybody,

Current ALBERGES OCCUPANCY on Camino del Norte continued
Update 6th July 2022

Albergue in Liendo/Hadas -17 so few beds left
Convent in Laredo didn't fill up
Isla (isla in Cantabria) - 6 pilgims
Güemes - 38 pilgrims
Santander albergue - I dont know but there is an alternative inexpensive place to sleep near Cathedral, see the picture below
Albergue Piedad - full (22 people) - Boo de Pielagos is kind of a bottleneck

To be continued

Thank you for these updates!! I'm heading out next week so I'm very grateful for these updates.
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
Signing in from Gijón.

In the albergue in La Isla there were 23 pilgrims so booked out. Who knows where they all came from!

Last night the wonderful donativo in Amandi was full with 11. There are only 5 bunkbeds but Sergio pulled out a mattress for Joona a Finn who arrived late. Sergio made the most delicious vegan paella and mixed salad for us. This morning we were woken up by music and had a communal breakfast. What a great atmosphere!

During my walk since Bilbao I kept asking myself where is that fantastic donativo albergue I stayed in several years ago and voilà it was the one in Amandi.

Here in Gijón there are no reasonably priced albergues. Although Gronze quotes €20 for a bed in Bungaloo Hostel, when I called they said that a bed in a dorm was €35😳. I will be sharing a double room with a fellow pilgrim in Pension Vegadeo for €20.

That's it for now. Will be staying tomorrow in the Albergue de Peregrinos in Avilés as the one further on (forget the name) is closed.

It has been cloudy and at times rainy the last 2 days but I'm now sitting in the sun having my favorite end of the stage drink - a clara con limón 😊☀️
 
Camino Jewellery
A selection of Camino Jewellery
Learn how to Get "Camino Ready " 2nd Edition. In English, Spanish, German and Korean

Peter Isherwell

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Northern Coast of Spain
Here in Gijón there are no reasonably priced albergues. Although Gronze quotes €20 for a bed in Bungaloo Hostel, when I called they said that a bed in a dorm was €35😳. I will be sharing a double room with a fellow pilgrim in Pension Vegadeo for €20.

Hi LTFit,
Do you know someone who stayed in Deva Camping before Gijon? It would be nice to hear current opinion about it. Gets so many negative comments on Gronze, I stayed there a few years ago and enjoyed a really big pool there, it was free for pilgrims
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
Hi LTFit,
Do you know someone who stayed in Deva Camping before Gijon? It would be nice to hear current opinion about it. Gets so many negative comments on Gronze, I stayed there a few years ago and enjoyed a really big pool there, it was free for pilgrims
No, sorry. The location has personally never appealed to me.

What I can say is that Pensión Vegadeo is just fine but WAY out of the center of Gijón though almost right on the Camino on the way out of town. Probably takes about 4 km off the walk to Avilés tomorrow.
 

synvilla

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances, Norte
Signing in from Gijón.

In the albergue in La Isla there were 23 pilgrims so booked out. Who knows where they all came from!

Last night the wonderful donativo in Amandi was full with 11. There are only 5 bunkbeds but Sergio pulled out a mattress for Joona a Finn who arrived late. Sergio made the most delicious vegan paella and mixed salad for us. This morning we were woken up by music and had a communal breakfast. What a great atmosphere!

During my walk since Bilbao I kept asking myself where is that fantastic donativo albergue I stayed in several years ago and voilà it was the one in Amandi.

Here in Gijón there are no reasonably priced albergues. Although Gronze quotes €20 for a bed in Bungaloo Hostel, when I called they said that a bed in a dorm was €35😳. I will be sharing a double room with a fellow pilgrim in Pension Vegadeo for €20.

That's it for now. Will be staying tomorrow in the Albergue de Peregrinos in Avilés as the one further on (forget the name) is closed.

It has been cloudy and at times rainy the last 2 days but I'm now sitting in the sun having my favorite end of the stage drink - a clara con limón 😊☀️
I've noticed that Gronze base their prices for temporada baja, i.e winter season when there aren't many tourists and there are lots of available rooms... Many places charge quite a bit more during the summer months, sometimes double the winter price. I wish Gronze would be more transparent about this, but ah, Gronze is still an excellent resource.
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
I've noticed that Gronze base their prices for temporada baja, i.e winter season when there aren't many tourists and there are lots of available rooms... Many places charge quite a bit more during the summer months, sometimes double the winter price. I wish Gronze would be more transparent about this, but ah, Gronze is still an excellent resource.
Agree completely!

Now in the municipal in Avilés and seeing pilgrims I've never seen before, in fact only 3 familiar faces.

The municipal is now €9 and not €8 as per Gronze.
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
It's day 12 for me from Bilbao and today I walked from Avilés to Soto de Luiña today (walked through Muros de Nalón where most stay and has 3 albergues). I'm staying at the albergue de peregrinos, an old schoolhouse, which does not take reservations but has more than enough beds. It's almost 7 p.m. and the upper bunks aren't being used.

Tomorrow another long stage to a donativo in La Ronda just off the Camino 3 km after Luarca. I'll report back tomorrow or the next day when in La Caridad.
 
Camino Socks
Browse the Camino Socks collection on the forum shop
Camino Jewellery
A selection of Camino Jewellery

Rocco

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Portugues Coastal (March 2022)
I'm currently doing the Camino del norte, starting from Santander, and planning stages. Although the albergue at Santander was open and another was open between here and unquera I will say a lot, maybe even the majority of albergues, are closed. This means you either have to stay in normal hostels, where those exist, or more expensive pensiones, posadas etc... It's also worth noting that these sell out, many many places I checked had no availability this Friday. So yeah, book in advance and be aware that the Camino will likely cost more than you expected because many albergues are closed and any other options are 2/3/4 or even 5 times (or more)as expensive as those.
When you get to Asturias, check out the recently opened Albergue de Peregrinos Duesos (after Ribadesella and before La Isla). Gorgeous place run by 2 wonderful pilgrims-turned-hospitaleros. Communal meal, donativo. It is about 500 m off the actual Camino, but totally worth it. And they take reservations. https://www.facebook.com/alberguedeperegrinosduesos/
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
Another update from the Norte. Last night after a long day from Soto de Luiña follow the mountain route (see my live thread of yesterday) to La Ronda (about 3 km after Luarca) I stayed in Casa Lua which I highly recommend. The small donativo has 5 bunkbeds and there were 8 of us. Lua and César cook a nice communal dinner and also offer breakfast. A nice homey place.

Today in the municipal in La Caridad. With only 18 beds it filled by early afternoon but there is a private albergue almost right next door.

Tomorrow to Albergue A Pena in Vilela where a group of us has reserved.

Weather still fantastic and although there is another heatwave in Spain us on the coast are doing fine.
 

LenaOnTheRoad

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2013, Camino Portugues 2013, Via de la Plata 2016
@LTfit @Rocco @Peter Isherwell
It seems you are the right guys to ask for this: If on your camino you see a nice albergue that needs a volunteer/hospitalera in August, please let me know! For some health condition, I can't walk this year (my plan was the Camino del Norte), but I at least wanna spent the planned month there...I was so much looking forward to it.
Much appreciated
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
@LTfit @Rocco @Peter Isherwell
It seems you are the right guys to ask for this: If on your camino you see a nice albergue that needs a volunteer/hospitalera in August, please let me know! For some health condition, I can't walk this year (my plan was the Camino del Norte), but I at least wanna spent the planned month there...I was so much looking forward to it.
Much appreciated
Not really sure as the situation on the Norte is quite different than on the Francés where I have volunteered on 6 occasions for two weeks via the Spanish Amigos Federation HOSVOL.

But you could contact the private donativo in Amandi after Villaviciosa. Sergio and Bonnie run a lovely small albergue and when I stayed there there was a volunteer who had stayed there in the past.
 
A two-part workshop that guides you into creating a credencial and shares it online
Peaceable Projects Inc.
Peaceable Projects Inc. is a U.S.-based non-profit group that brings the vast resources of the wide world together with the ongoing needs of the people who live, work, and travel on the Camino de Santiago pilgrim trail network in Spain.

Dan T

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Planning on walking Camino del Norte June 2023
I had my trip to the Norte cancelled in 2020, and am just beginning to plan again, hoping for May/June 2023. Flying from Australia is a very long way to travel, just to find I have nowhere to sleep each night. After reading some of these posts recently, I have been questioning whether I should go ahead with it at all, or just go to Lisbon and drink wine in the sun on a rooftop instead. I can only hope some albergues re-open in the next 12 months, The Norte is the one I really want to walk, I just want to look at that ocean for as long as I possibly can.
 

Rocco

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Portugues Coastal (March 2022)
Not really sure as the situation on the Norte is quite different than on the Francés where I have volunteered on 6 occasions for two weeks via the Spanish Amigos Federation HOSVOL.

But you could contact the private donativo in Amandi after Villaviciosa. Sergio and Bonnie run a lovely small albergue and when I stayed there there was a volunteer who had stayed there in the past.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
2017 Camino Frances,
2019 C. Portuguese (inland).
A lot can change in a year Dan. A lot can change in a couple of months. Keep to your plans for 2023. This is an unusual year with a lot of pent up demand so yes, accommodation can be an issue but in my (limited) experience, if you’re flexible and not on a shoe string budget you’ll nearly always find accommodation. Like you, I’ve travelled a long way this year and am waiting for a “window” to start my third Camino. Extreme heat and fires have put things on hold, for now, but I’m hoping by Sep-Oct things may settle. If not, there’s always next year. You’re planning well ahead. Plenty of time to alter your plan, if necessary.
 

Dan T

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Planning on walking Camino del Norte June 2023
A lot can change in a year Dan. A lot can change in a couple of months. Keep to your plans for 2023. This is an unusual year with a lot of pent up demand so yes, accommodation can be an issue but in my (limited) experience, if you’re flexible and not on a shoe string budget you’ll nearly always find accommodation. Like you, I’ve travelled a long way this year and am waiting for a “window” to start my third Camino. Extreme heat and fires have put things on hold, for now, but I’m hoping by Sep-Oct things may settle. If not, there’s always next year. You’re planning well ahead. Plenty of time to alter your plan, if necessary.
Thanks Jimmy. I won't be on a shoestring, but at the same time I can't be spending $100+ per night. But I am going ahead with it - I need to plan this far in advance to raise the funds, and to prep my wife & child for spending a month without me. Exciting times - best of luck with your plans, I hope it all comes together for you soon.
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
I arrived in Santiago on Sunday and to cap things up here, all in all I had no problem finding an albergue between Bilbao and here where I am staying in the lovely San Martín Pinario (my splurge when in Santiago) where a single with bathroom is only €25 on the pilgrim floor.

Me and my walking companions booked one day in advance for private albergues when a municipal was not available. We are fast walkers so the few times there was a municipal we also got a bed (La Caridad with 18 beds and Sobrado dos Monxes with 98!!!).

Yesterday in Santiago the temps finally dropped to about 25c. Sleeping in 35-38c the past few days (of course without airco) has been difficult.

Good luck to all those planning. I'm heading home.
 
Camino Magnets
A collection of Camino Fridge Magnets
How to Successfully Prepare for Your Camino
This book's focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared.
Time of past OR future Camino
Yearly and Various 2014-2019
Via Monastica 2022
Safe journey, @LTfit!
I've been traveling myself and missed most of your last posts. You made short work of the Norte - it seems like you just started - well done!
 

synvilla

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances, Norte
I'm reaching Bilbao tomorrow and I thought I'd chime in with some updated info on the first week of the camino.


* San Sebastián is really expensive. There's on donativo on the way in, which is also a bakery. Walked by it by accident, they told me it was an albergue. Didn't know about it/haven't read about it. It's right after the split of GR-121 and the official camino, on the official camino. Other than that, I recommend skipping San Sebastián completely. If you do want to stay there, book beforehand.

* There's a lovely albergue in Orio, 13 km past Sand Sebastian. I talked to the hospitalera, she said they're full most days but not all and that's very random

* Zarautz is tricky, reserve

* Deba gets full every day. It's a bottle neck. Many people don't get beds. Arrive early, be willing to walk to Izarbide (5 km ahead, up up up the mountain) or book something else.

* In Markina-Xemein there's a lovely albergue you can book ahead, great dinner too

* In Gernika, there is no albergue. From Markina you either do 18 km day and stop in Mendata (the albergue is full every day, so you book and pay beforehand), or you do a 35-36 km day to the mountain albergues after Gernika, OR you take a bus to Mundaka for €1,80 (which they say is super beautiful port town with hostel beds available)

* Bilbao is best to reserve
 
John Brierley 2022 Camino Guide
Get your today and start planning.
Learn how to Get "Camino Ready " 2nd Edition. In English, Spanish, German and Korean

LTfit

Veteran Member
I'm reaching Bilbao tomorrow and I thought I'd chime in with some updated info on the first week of the camino.


* San Sebastián is really expensive. There's on donativo on the way in, which is also a bakery. Walked by it by accident, they told me it was an albergue. Didn't know about it/haven't read about it. It's right after the split of GR-121 and the official camino, on the official camino. Other than that, I recommend skipping San Sebastián completely. If you do want to stay there, book beforehand.
There was a donativo run by the Amigos Association when you just enter SS but it was closed before the pandemic. I read that this was due to lack of donations. This seems to be the case for several other municipals along the Norte which have closed over the past several years. Reason cited: groups of young people walking very short stages (i.e. walking from beach to beach) and leaving little to nothing. Sigh.
* There's a lovely albergue in Orio, 13 km past Sand Sebastian. I talked to the hospitalera, she said they're full most days but not all and that's very random

* Zarautz is tricky, reserve

* Deba gets full every day. It's a bottle neck. Many people don't get beds. Arrive early, be willing to walk to Izarbide (5 km ahead, up up up the mountain) or book something else.

* In Markina-Xemein there's a lovely albergue you can book ahead, great dinner too

* In Gernika, there is no albergue. From Markina you either do 18 km day and stop in Mendata (the albergue is full every day, so you book and pay beforehand), or you do a 35-36 km day to the mountain albergues after Gernika, OR you take a bus to Mundaka for €1,80 (which they say is super beautiful port town with hostel beds available)
Although no albergue, Gernika is IMHO a must stop to visit the Peace Museum (Museo de la Paz). We visited it then continued on walking. This was 7 years ago but I still remember it very vividly and get goosebumps just thinking about it. It recounts the bombing of Gernika during the Spanish Civil War.
* Bilbao is best to reserve
In the past I stayed in a donativo run by the Amigos outside of the city center but as it was closed I reserved in the Metropolitan Hostel which though not at all for pilgrims was very clean (real sheets) with kitchen. From there it was about a 15 minute walk to meet up with the river route (I had walked the other route before).
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Yearly and Various 2014-2019
Via Monastica 2022
This seems to be the case for several other municipals along the Norte which have closed over the past several years. Reason cited: groups of young people walking very short stages (i.e. walking from beach to beach) and leaving little to nothing. Sigh.
People. Entitlement and selfishness are so unfortunate.
 
Last edited:

synvilla

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances, Norte
So, I've now arrived in Bilbao. I have almost every night booked, but I hate private accomodations. I want albergues and the community, otherwise some of the soul of the camino gets lost.

Any advice on which of the following 7-10 stages I could cancel my reservations and expect to successfully find albergues? Tomorrow/Portugalete is unfortunately too late to cancel, but after that I think it's still possible for most stages.
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
So, I've now arrived in Bilbao. I have almost every night booked, but I hate private accomodations. I want albergues and the community, otherwise some of the soul of the camino gets lost.

Any advice on which of the following 7-10 stages I could cancel my reservations and expect to successfully find albergues? Tomorrow/Portugalete is unfortunately too late to cancel, but after that I think it's still possible for most stages.
What are your exact planned stages? I only booked a day in advance in the case of private albergues. I stayed in two lovely, homey private albergues with communal meals. When I know your stages maybe you can fit them in.

Bilbao - Ontón is a nice first day where you can stay in a donativo but I see that you're going to Portugalete.
 
Last edited:
Camino Socks
Browse the Camino Socks collection on the forum shop
Donation to the Forum
A donation to this forum helps it continue to exists and also removes all ads for you.

synvilla

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances, Norte
What are your exact planned stages? I only booked a day in advance in the case of private albergues. I stayed in two lovely, homey private albergues with communal meals. When I know your stages maybe you can fit them in.

Bilbao - Ontón is a nice first day where you can stay in a donativo but I see that you're going to Portugalete.
We don't mind at all which town to stay in, right now we are following the Gronze guide stages but it isn't necessary for us to follow them. We don't want to walk too long stages though, ideally below 30, 18-25 km being the sweet spot
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
We don't mind at all which town to stay in, right now we are following the Gronze guide stages but it isn't necessary for us to follow them. We don't want to walk too long stages though, ideally below 30, 18-25 km being the sweet spot
Ok so I won't give you my stages as in the 3 weeks from Bilbao to Santiago I did an average of 33 km per day and about 6 or 7 days of more than 35 km. I use Gronze too but rarely follow their designated stages, following them also puts you in places that tend to be the most busy.

My suggestions but keep in mind this is very subjective. I am also a volunteer hospitalera in donativo albergues so, when at all possible, I like to stay in those. Also prefer small places.

1) In Piñeres de Pría (33,6 km after Pendueles) Albergue La Llosa de Cosme +34 609 861 373
Lovely owners who wash and dry your clothes (included in price of €12 if I recall). Albergue is in a little house separate from owners. Only 4 bunkbeds. Stocked kitchen so you can make coffee or tea as you wish.

2) In Amandi about 7 km after Villaviciosa. Albergue de Peregrinos La Ferrería is a donativo run by pilgrim Sergio and partner Bonnie. I'm so pleased I stayed here for a second time (first time back in 2016). Must have been serendipity. The days after starting in Bilbao I kept asking myself, "where was that lovely donativo along the Norte". Even when I reserved it hadn't clicked that this was that albergue! Communal dinner and breakfast. Sergio made a delicious vegan paella. Only 10 beds so need to reserve.

3) In La Ronda, Casa Lua 2 km after Laredo and 500m from the Camino but well marked. I had already stayed in Laredo during previous Norte and it tends to be a bottleneck. Lovely pilgrim couple opens their home to pilgrims and offers a communal dinner and breakfast. Also donativo. If I recall also only 5 bunkbeds.

4) Albergue de Peregrinos in Miraz supported by the CSJ, the English Pilgrim Confraternity. Donativo run by volunteers. Well stocked kitchen and nice outdoor area. No communal dinner but offer breakfast. Need to buy food in tiny store in the albergue 2 km before. It didn't work out last time to stay there so glad it worked out this time.

The rest of the places I stayed in were municipals or privates which are mentioned in Gronze.

Ultreia!
 

Rocco

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Portugues Coastal (March 2022)
Ok so I won't give you my stages as in the 3 weeks from Bilbao to Santiago I did an average of 33 km per day and about 6 or 7 days of more than 35 km. I use Gronze too but rarely follow their designated stages, following them also puts you in places that tend to be the most busy.

My suggestions but keep in mind this is very subjective. I am also a volunteer hospitalera in donativo albergues so, when at all possible, I like to stay in those. Also prefer small places.

1) In Piñeres de Pría (33,6 km after Pendueles) Albergue La Llosa de Cosme +34 609 861 373
Lovely owners who wash and dry your clothes (included in price of €12 if I recall). Albergue is in a little house separate from owners. Only 4 bunkbeds. Stocked kitchen so you can make coffee or tea as you wish.

2) In Amandi about 7 km after Villaviciosa. Albergue de Peregrinos La Ferrería is a donativo run by pilgrim Sergio and partner Bonnie. I'm so pleased I stayed here for a second time (first time back in 2016). Must have been serendipity. The days after starting in Bilbao I kept asking myself, "where was that lovely donativo along the Norte". Even when I reserved it hadn't clicked that this was that albergue! Communal dinner and breakfast. Sergio made a delicious vegan paella. Only 10 beds so need to reserve.

3) In La Ronda, Casa Lua 2 km after Laredo and 500m from the Camino but well marked. I had already stayed in Laredo during previous Norte and it tends to be a bottleneck. Lovely pilgrim couple opens their home to pilgrims and offers a communal dinner and breakfast. Also donativo. If I recall also only 5 bunkbeds.

4) Albergue de Peregrinos in Miraz supported by the CSJ, the English Pilgrim Confraternity. Donativo run by volunteers. Well stocked kitchen and nice outdoor area. No communal dinner but offer breakfast. Need to buy food in tiny store in the albergue 2 km before. It didn't work out last time to stay there so glad it worked out this time.

The rest of the places I stayed in were municipals or privates which are mentioned in Gronze.

Ultreia!
Day before Amandi, I would again recommend the Albergue de Peregrinos Duesos (before La Isla) Brand new, communal meal, donativo and wonderfully hospitable hosts Marisol and Jose Luis. Take reservations.
 

Vacajoe

Traded in my work boots for hiking ones
Time of past OR future Camino
2019
Skip San Sebastián!?!?!?! Sacrilege!!!! Even with the added cost of accommodations, it’s worth the cost for the food, music, and beautiful swimming beach. As a couple, my wife and I found a motel for $40US, so not too much more than an albergue.
 

Dan T

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Planning on walking Camino del Norte June 2023
Skip San Sebastián!?!?!?! Sacrilege!!!! Even with the added cost of accommodations, it’s worth the cost for the food, music, and beautiful swimming beach. As a couple, my wife and I found a motel for $40US, so not too much more than an albergue.
Even though it will only be the end of Day 1, I am planning on having a rest day so I can spend 2 nights enjoying the very things you mentioned. That walk from Irun to San Sebastian is the thing I just can't shake, I simply have to do it.
 
Pocket guide that pack a punch
1.4 oz (40g) pocket guides with gems of wisdom to ponder during and after your Camino
Create your own ad
€2,-/day will present your project to thousands of visitors each day. All interested in the Camino de Santiago.
Time of past OR future Camino
See signature. Too many to list here.
I had my trip to the Norte cancelled in 2020, and am just beginning to plan again, hoping for May/June 2023. Flying from Australia is a very long way to travel, just to find I have nowhere to sleep each night. After reading some of these posts recently, I have been questioning whether I should go ahead with it at all, or just go to Lisbon and drink wine in the sun on a rooftop instead. I can only hope some albergues re-open in the next 12 months, The Norte is the one I really want to walk, I just want to look at that ocean for as long as I possibly can.
Don't sweat it, I think. I always, and my friends, found a place to stay rather easily in Sept 2021 and May/June 2022. I love the ocean too.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
See signature. Too many to list here.
Even though it will only be the end of Day 1, I am planning on having a rest day so I can spend 2 nights enjoying the very things you mentioned. That walk from Irun to San Sebastian is the thing I just can't shake, I simply have to do it.
The walk from Irun to San Sebastián can be a bitch. I did it with covid (whoops, I didn't know) but also healthy 2 different times. Why does the Camino always require the first day to be the hardest? Well in my experience it's probably because I am less fit on the first day vs. day 20 or whatever. I think sometimes the Camino makers are sadistic, but in the end those first 4 or 5 days will set u up with success for the rest of the trip. Not knowing anything about you and your physical abilities, however.
 

Dan T

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Planning on walking Camino del Norte June 2023
The walk from Irun to San Sebastián can be a bitch. I did it with covid (whoops, I didn't know) but also healthy 2 different times. Why does the Camino always require the first day to be the hardest? Well in my experience it's probably because I am less fit on the first day vs. day 20 or whatever. I think sometimes the Camino makers are sadistic, but in the end those first 4 or 5 days will set u up with success for the rest of the trip. Not knowing anything about you and your physical abilities, however.
I live in a part of Australia called the Adelaide Hills, so I'll definitely be fit enough for the hilly sections, as I walk them most days. I like the idea of a grueling first few days, I feel like I should be made to earn it. I honestly can't wait. In 2019/20, I almost drove myself crazy with the researching/planning/youtubing, before the whole thing got cancelled for obvious reasons and it broke my heart. This time, I'm trying to push it to the back of my mind, and play it cool.
 
Last edited:

Magwood

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
See signature line for links to daily posts to blogs from many caminos
I thought about doing the Ruta do Mar + Ingles combo for my first Camino but decided against it when I couldn't find much info on the former. Did you use a guidebook only? Where did you start and how long did it take you to walk all the way to SdC?

Any info is appreciated.
I walked the Ruta do Mar (with various alternative stages so that I could follow the coastline more closely) back in 2016. Things may have changed a bit by now but I wrote a daily post to my blog with info and contact details about where I stayed. You’re welcome to take a look, starting at day 24.
 

Most read last week in this forum

Would tô know members thoughts on Camino del Norte for Scenary and walk about 1 week walk if you had to choose.
We have previously walked the final stretch of the CdeF from Sarria to SdeC, have walked twice from SdeC to Finisterre and also we have walked the last 100km or so of the Portuguese Camino into...
The graph below shows that numbers by month of Compostelas issued for Pilgrims on the Camino Norte (as defined by the Pilgrim Office) have declined slightly since 2019. Keep in mind that the data...

Forum Rules

Forum Rules

Camino Updates on YouTube

Camino Conversations

Most downloaded Resources

This site is run by Ivar at

in Santiago de Compostela.
This site participates in the Amazon Affiliate program, designed to provide a means for Ivar to earn fees by linking to Amazon
Top