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Albergues, what is provided.

tpatnode

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Future
We are fast approaching our start at Ponferrada. We will likely stay in some hotels as well as Albergues. Other than a bed, what comes with staying in an Albergue? Linens? Bath Towels? Being first timers, we really don’t know.

Is there an evening meal available at some Albergues?

Thank you for your advice.
 
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Vacajoe

Traded in my work boots for hiking ones
Past OR future Camino
2019
Every albergue is different! Beds can range from a mat on the floor (Grañon, Tosantos) to bunk beds to single rooms. There is no “standard” other than the price you pay usually goes up with the quality of the bed you can expect.

The €15-€18 ones give you real sheets and usually blankets, while €5/€6 tends to be a rubber mattress. Many have pillows, some don’t. No one provides towels. It’s really just dependent upon each individually run site.

If you need sheets, pillows, blankets, and towels, you definitely want to look into Casa Rurals and hostals - those are the more traditional accommodations for travelers versus hiking pilgrims.

Guidebooks and Gronze.com can provide info specific to each place you are considering.
 
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good_old_shoes

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Francés ('15, '19)
Via Coloniensis ('16)
Trier-Nancy + Le Puy-Fisterra ('17)
Aragonés ('18)
What you can expect is a place to sleep (bed or mattress), some water to wash yourself (usually hot showers but not always), a toilet and a roof over your head.

Everything else is a bonus.

One important thing is that less luxury does not mean it's a bad albergue. Don't be put off by places that only offer a mattress on the floor and no wifi. There's magic to be found in some of those very basic places if you're open to the experience.

Happy planning and buen Camino!

Edit: If you plan on staying in albergues, bring a lightweight sleeping bag / travel blanket or at least a liner. Sometimes single use paper-like bed sheets and pillow covers can be bought but you'll still need something to cover yourself. A sleeping bag or liner is used by most pilgrims.
 
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J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2016, 2022
If you stay in albergues, you must have your own bedding (sleep sack, liner bag, or similar), your own towel (camp towel) and toiletries. Maybe ear plugs. Give some thought to how you will safeguard your valuables while sleeping (usually I sleep with them in my sleeping bag under or next to my body.). You will likely be in a room with other people as Vacajoe mentions either on a mat but most likely in a bunk bed of some kind with a plastic covered mattress. Some bunk rooms are very large and others smaller. I have posted some photos of the sample varieties of albergue sleeping accomodation types.

In a hostal or hotel you will generally not need bedding or towels.
20160525_160153.jpg 20160602_160336.jpg 20160601_144150.jpg
 
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John Brierley 2022 Camino Guide
Get your today and start planning.
We are fast approaching our start at Ponferrada. We will likely stay in some hotels as well as Albergues. Other than a bed, what comes with staying in an Albergue? Linens? Bath Towels? Being first timers, we really don’t know.

Is there an evening meal available at some Albergues?

Thank you for your advice.
Difficult to answer with certainty. Those I volunteer in provide hot water and a bed only. Pre covid there were blankets, sheets and meals. Be flexible. BTW my wife and I live in Ponferrada. Where are you staying here?
 

Vacajoe

Traded in my work boots for hiking ones
Past OR future Camino
2019
Forgot to address meals in my earlier post! There’s a joke that to cook a meal at the albergue you need three things (a kitchen, pots/pans, and a grocery store), but only two of them are ever available at a time! 😂. Sadly, that’s often true.

Covid closed many of the shared kitchens and closed most of the community meals, but it’s a new year and so far it seems like those items are returning. However, do not count on them as your daily sustenance! While larger cities have grocers, many small villages do not, so you may have to carry your own food to cook if that interests you. You will often see breakfast offered, but remember it is usually Spanish-style, so coffee and toast with butter/jam.

Fortunately, “the market” provides and if there is a place in town for pilgrims to sleep, there will most likely be a place in town for pilgrims to eat! You will not starve to death and most Camino Frances cities have multiple dining options. Again, your best resource is Gronze.com or one of the many apps. Additionally, your hospitaleros are excellent resources as to what is available in town as well as the next cities up the path.
 

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2016, 2022
The large donativo albergue in Ponferrada is San Nicholas de Flue. My husband stayed there for a hospitalero singing workshop in 2018. Last fall he stayed at the AC Hotel in Ponferrada which was restful after the long climb down from Cruz de Ferro.
 

Jodean

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
22 Sept. to 21 Oct. 2015, Pamplona to Santiago
6-23.04 Porto to Santiago 2018
17.09-30.09 CF 2018
Yes, there are usually plugs next to the beds, but there may not be as many as you wish for. In albergues that have sort of a pod design beds or curtains on each bed, they often have a plug and a shelf for your phone.
Have never seen an albergue that did not have clotheslines, usually outside so that your clothes dry quickly.
 
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J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2016, 2022
Sometimes you may need to ask for a drying rack. Check with the hospitalero on clothes drying areas if it is not immediately obvious. When charging your phone in places with not many outlets, be sure to keep an eye on your device for safety and also take it off the charger to allow others an opportunity when your device is charge.
 

biarritzdon

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF&CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF&CP17, CdN18, CM18, CF18, LePuy19
You will learn quickly there is some protocol regarding phone charging and that you need to keep an eye on your phone and electric outlet adapter. The adapters seem to mysteriously disappear and/or others will unplug your phone for you and use your adapter for their phone.
 
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jeanineonthecamino

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2021, 2022
Varies widely! But for the most part you can expect a bed (often bunk), during COVID we were given a disposable bottom sheet and pillow case (pretty flimsy - but a barrier between the pilgrim and a bed), and access to a shower. Electrical outlets - may be 1 or 2 in a room or 1 at every bed. But - there is always SOMEWHERE to charge your phone (even if on rare occasion that means plugging in outside your room). Bring an outlet/converter with extra plugs (if you need an actual plug) and usb ports so that others can plug in too!

Other bedding? Usually no - but sometimes. More likely in a private room.
Towels? Usually no - but sometimes (usually pay extra or you are in a private room)
Communal meals - sometimes - usually for an additional fee (not always) And during COVID - lots of places weren't hosting them. Some were.
Communal kitchens - sometimes - but were often closed during COVID. Sometimes open though. Some are better stocked with cooking supplies than others.
Laundry - Lots of handwashing and clothes lines available. Sometimes machines are available - usually for a fee. Once in a while they do laundry for you (that is always a treat). Places that have a laundry machine may or may not have a dryer (most due if they have a washer though).

Anyhow - albergues with minimal amenities can be quite nice - but don't expect the comforts of a hotel. Some are VERY basic - but are fine for most pilgrims. If you need/want more amenities - do your research when selecting albergues/hotels etc. If you need the comforts of home or hotels - then plan to book hotels or airBNB types of places, mabye even bed and breakfasts.
 

WGroleau

Wandering Weirdo
Past OR future Camino
2015 & 2016 (partial)
If you stay in albergues, you must have your own bedding (sleep sack, liner bag, or similar), your own towel (camp towel) and toiletries. …
Change "must" to "should," and I'll go along. Like someone else said, they're all different.
 
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Esperanza

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
Can one expect a place to recharge phone? WiFi? A place to hang clothes to dry?
Albergues will generally have a place to hand wash your clothes and clotheslines, but casas rurales and hostales (cheaper, smaller hotels) often don’t. This is surprisingly the case even for those that are right on the camino and cater to peregrinos. I have found a length of parachute cord is very handy to use as a clothesline when we don’t stay in albergues. A wadded up plastic bag makes an effective drain stopper.
 

Marbe2

Active member
Past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
I didn’t see this issue addressed…but make sure you can exit the albergues after it closes in case of a fire! Do a safety check…how to get out in case of any emergency. Some albergues still may lock you in and only open the doors at a specific time in the morning. Check when you come in. Don’t stay in any place that doesn’t have an easy emergency exit point and make sure it isn’t blocked before you go to sleep!
 

puttster

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Pamplona, Jun 2022
We will likely stay in some hotels as well as Albergues. Other than a bed, what comes with staying in an Albergue?
It sounds like most replies are referring to albergues as the municipal albergues. These are the bottom of the line, as I appreciate it. Are these those the ones you are asking about?

There are more upscale albergues though, like the Beilari, that Yoyo posted. From the looks of it, the upscales outnumber the municipals.
 
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Anamiri

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2016, 2017, 2019 Camino Frances
Can one expect a place to recharge phone? WiFi? A place to hang clothes to dry?
Albergues usually have somewhere to hang your clothes, but often Hostals did not. or only offered limited space.
I would rig up a temporary thing with poles and clothes line.
Pegs are not usually available.
 

trecile

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
It sounds like most replies are referring to albergues as the municipal albergues. These are the bottom of the line, as I appreciate it. Are these those the ones you are asking about?
No, municipal albergues are not "bottom of the line." There are municipal and parochial albergues that are much nicer and provide more services than some private albergues.

Here's a couple of pictures of the municipal albergue in Azofra

20190520_131818 (1).jpg 20190520_150314.jpg

Compare it to this private albergue in Atapuerca

Atapuerca.jpg
 
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Tincatinker

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
2012
“Bottom of the line”; one star on Tripeadvertiser, the sort of place where only the scum of the pilgrim hordes would congregate?
B:(&@$(, F:(&($97, H;($, someone needs to remember that the pilgrimage to the bones of Santiago is a pilgrimage not a slightly challenging hiking holiday where the local peasantry may or may not appreciate your presence or even your F;(&@$( €x contribution to their otherwise miserable lives.
/@@);&&( - As a pilgrim I hope for a roof and a dry bed. Everything above and beyond that is a blessing granted by gods old and new and the kindness of strangers.

If anyone is looking for a holiday - try your local travel agent. Your €50 a day will probably get you a blast

EDIT: I’ve censored myself heavily but I’m still raging
 

trecile

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
“Bottom of the line”; one star on Tripeadvertiser, the sort of place where only the scum of the pilgrim hordes would congregate?
B:(&@$(, F:(&($97, H;($, someone needs to remember that the pilgrimage to the bones of Santiago is a pilgrimage not a slightly challenging hiking holiday where the local peasantry may or may not appreciate your presence or even your F;(&@$( €x contribution to their otherwise miserable lives.
/@@);&&( - As a pilgrim I hope for a roof and a dry bed. Everything above and beyond that is a blessing granted by gods old and new and the kindness of strangers.

If anyone is looking for a holiday - try your local travel agent. Your €50 a day will probably get you a blast

EDIT: I’ve censored myself heavily but I’m still raging
I like to think that since @puttster hasn't yet been on the Camino that he doesn't realize the wide variety of accommodation there is in within every category.
 

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2016, 2022
“Bottom of the line”; one star on Tripeadvertiser, the sort of place where only the scum of the pilgrim hordes would congregate?
B:(&@$(, F:(&($97, H;($, someone needs to remember that the pilgrimage to the bones of Santiago is a pilgrimage not a slightly challenging hiking holiday where the local peasantry may or may not appreciate your presence or even your F;(&@$( €x contribution to their otherwise miserable lives.
/@@);&&( - As a pilgrim I hope for a roof and a dry bed. Everything above and beyond that is a blessing granted by gods old and new and the kindness of strangers.

If anyone is looking for a holiday - try your local travel agent. Your €50 a day will probably get you a blast

EDIT: I’ve censored myself heavily but I’m still raging
It does seem like the pilgrim aspect may be missed somehow. As a pilgrim one should be grateful for what is offered/provided. Sometimes that's a paradore and sometimes it's a mat on the floor. We don't need to suffer, but I am always grateful at the end of the day. My feet usually hurt and I am glad for somewhere that I can take off my boots and rest.
 
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Karl Oz

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances
Portuguese
Aragones
Sanabres
Piamonte
Elizabethpfad
We are fast approaching our start at Ponferrada. We will likely stay in some hotels as well as Albergues. Other than a bed, what comes with staying in an Albergue? Linens? Bath Towels? Being first timers, we really don’t know.

Is there an evening meal available at some Albergues?

Thank you for your advice.
You will get a bed and pillow. Beyond that, anything is a bonus!
 
Past OR future Camino
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
Change "must" to "should," and I'll go along. Like someone else said, they're all different.
I don't know... "must" pretty well covers it in my experience.
I can't think of any albergues, except privates, where you are not expected to have your own sleeping bag.
 
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David Tallan

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
1989
They may exist, but I've never stayed in an albergue that didn't provide pillows.
That's in over 150 days on different routes.
When I stayed at Grañon, (very highly recommended in these forums) it provided neither bed nor pillow. Just a mat on the floor. I didn't miss the bed as much as I missed the pillow.
 

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