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Accomodations during holy week

Luc007

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
New member - plan to walk camino first time Sept 2018
Hello all,

My CF will begin in Pamplona on April 16 and first day walk to Puente de Reina on the 17th. I booked in the Jakue albergue for that night through Gronze/booking.com. But for the subsequent days/locations (Estella, Los Arcos...) all albergues are booked already~! But many albergues listed on Gronze don't have a "booking" button. Am I to assume it means they don't pre-book? Or do I have to call or email them outside of "booking.com"?

(I wanted my camino to be spontaneous and not tied to a rigid pre-booked schedule. But I had no idea semana santa would be so heavily booked one month in advance! I'm starting to get nervous about finding a bed during this time.)
 

Jan_D

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Aragones (2011)
Frances (2012)
Norte (2013, 2014)
Hospitalera (2014)
Portugues (2017)
Hi Luc, yes you're right, you CAN'T pre-book for the municipal albergues (and this is usually also the case for the parroquial or donativo albergues) - it's first come, first served. If you click on many of the albergues in the list on Gronze, you'll see, "Admite reserve: no". And many of the municipal albergues have close to 100 beds! So there's really no point worrying.

That said, the Spanish are on holiday from Monday 15 April, and walking part of the camino is very popular during in the run-up to Easter. Most folk do the last 100km, but the rest of the Frances can also be busy. However, as you can't book for the municipal albergues, you stand as much chance of getting a bed as anyone. And if it's super-busy sometimes they make a plan - when I was a hospitalero in Logrono, we opened new rooms and put mattresses on the floor for the 'overflow'. A good tip is to stop in the smaller villages, just before or after the 'traditional' stages. It's amazing how much quieter these places are.
 

Davey Boyd

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Seven Compostelas in Three years and counting......
Also, many private albergues do not put all there spaces available on booking sites like booking.com. Often you will find if a booking site says the albergue is full, if you ring the albergue in person they will often still have a bed for you. Worth checking with the place directly if you really want to book there. (Same with other accommodations too).

But like Jan_D has said, there really is no point worrying, and no real point to booking more than a day or two in advance as you don't know what is going to happen. You will be fine.

Davey
 

Luc007

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
New member - plan to walk camino first time Sept 2018
Thank you Jan and Davey. I know the debate rages on as to the merits of pre booking or not. I am in the "not pre-book" camp to keep the camino spontaneous and enjoy greater freedom in choosing where to sleep. I guessed I just got spooked after reading that Holy week was particularly busy and finding "no room at the inn" on Gronze confirmed it.

Buen Camino!
 

Jan_D

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Aragones (2011)
Frances (2012)
Norte (2013, 2014)
Hospitalera (2014)
Portugues (2017)
Thank you Jan and Davey. I know the debate rages on as to the merits of pre booking or not. I am in the "not pre-book" camp to keep the camino spontaneous and enjoy greater freedom in choosing where to sleep. I guessed I just got spooked after reading that Holy week was particularly busy and finding "no room at the inn" on Gronze confirmed it.

Buen Camino!
Actually you'll find pre-bookers are in a minority, except maybe for the first night (or for people who only walking a few days). The vast majority of long-distance pilgrims have no idea in advance how far they'll be able to walk each day, or who they'll meet along the way (imagine meeting a great group and then leaving them to a fun communal meal in the albergue together, because you have to head off to your hotel??)

Luckily, it's only a case of "no room at the *private* inn" over the this period - and as Davey says, even that's sometimes more flexible. But there are plenty of beds in the "albergue de peregrinos" for non-prebookers such as yourself. Yes, the albergues will probably start filling up more quickly than usual over Easter, but you'll soon work out how best to navigate the system! I'm sure you're going to have a wonderful time ;)
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
If you cannot pre-book, then you are compelled to do it 'old school.' Simply walk until you reach a likely albergue, then ask for a bed. If they are "completo" repeat as necessary.

Semana Santa is a HUGE event across Spain. There is a seasonally predictable surge in the number of folks on the Camino routes then, as most Spanish businesses and governments are closed on Holy (Maundy) Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, Easter and the following day - Easter Monday. So, with a minimum investment in personal days off, a person might get up to two weeks off to do a Camino.

Being committed to going then, you just need to do the best you can. One good source for booking information is Gronze.com. It is only in Spanish, but if you can communicate over the phone or have a fellow pilgrim or innkeeper make the call ahead for you, this is a very good way to score a bed at your next planned stop.

ONE NOTE: If you make any reservation SHOW UP, or cancel well in advance so another pilgrim can have your not needed bed.

Hope this helps.
 

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