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Best stops, favourite albergues between SJPP - Burgos?

#1
After reading a bunch of guidebooks and travel blogs we are still looking for more advice on where to stay overnight during our trip. These are the stops we have planned: SJPP (L’Esprit du Chemin), Roncesvalles, Larrasoaña, Cizur Menor, Puente la Reina, Estella, Los Arcos, Logroño, Nájera, Santo Domingo de la Calzada, Belorado, San Juan de Ortega, Burgos.

I read somewhere that since the very popular priest in San Juan de Ortega died stopping there is no longer the wonderful experience it used to be. I'm thinking that we might continue on to Atapuerca. I'm not too sure about Larrasoaña either.

I just started reading Kellys blog http://kellyonthecaminofrances.blogspot.com/ , fantastic read so far, it seems as if I might get a lot of advice there but I am still grateful for any advice I can get.
 
#2
Well here I was getting ready to charge in & say something, but you've already gone to my blog.
:oops:

My personal faves (not in any order): Azofra (the municipal one, no bunks & closets), Villamayor del Rio (huge garden, produce used to make dinner each night, yum, nice rooms, big bathrooms & showers), Roncesvalles. This is not to say that the rest are bad, they're not. I just found these to be special in some way. :) In fact, had I walked further, instead of 15k, I would have stayed at Villoria & not Villamayor. I think both are wonderful places, though.

Kelly
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
#3
"Best" places, especially albergues, mean different things to different people. Best can be 'big, modern, home from home comfort, clean, up-market,' etc.
Or, 'best' can be 'warm, spiritual, traditional, basic' etc.
Many of the 'best' are only rated as such because of the hospitaleros who welcome you there - not because they are the best accommodation.

My suggestions:

Roncesvalles - huge but welcoming.
Pamplona - Paderborn - small, friendly
Eunate - check first if it is open before walking there: Magical!
Lorca - Albergue de Lorca Jose Ramon
Villamayor de Monjardin - Parroquial Santa Cruz (matresses on a raised platform) Donativo
Ventosa - San Saturino - fireplace, classical music, incense.
Granon - sleep on matresses on the floor in the bell tower of a church - sing for your supper. (Often rated No1 on 'best albegue' lists.)
Tosantos - sleep on matresses on the floor, communl meal, attic chapel. (Also up in the top 3 on the best albergue lists)
Atapuerca - comfortable rooms, clean showers, interesting little village. Book a guided bus trip to the archaelogicial ruins close by.
 

grilly

Active Member
#5
I agree with all the suggestions offered to you: Eunate, Grañon, Tosantos, Ventosa... I would have another one: allow the Camino to take you where it wants to take you. A good place for me may turn out to be not so great for you. It depends on so many things. But if you get to a place that does not agree with you, do not hesitate to pack up and leave. We have done it a couple of times and never regretted it. To stay in a place that is not welcoming is not life-giving.
Buen Camino,
May you have the best ever,
claire
 
#6
grilly said:
I agree with all the suggestions offered to you: Eunate, Grañon, Tosantos, Ventosa... I would have another one: allow the Camino to take you where it wants to take you. A good place for me may turn out to be not so great for you. It depends on so many things. But if you get to a place that does not agree with you, do not hesitate to pack up and leave. We have done it a couple of times and never regretted it. To stay in a place that is not welcoming is not life-giving.
Buen Camino,
May you have the best ever,
claire
Very sound advice, we will bear that in mind! Thank you Claire!
 
#7
One of my favorites last year was early on at Trinidad De Arre, along the river just before Pamplona...it's small, very quiet, and most welcoming with a wonderful courtyard and many ammenities. While many pilgrims seemed to be in a great rush doing very long stages, it's an easy day's walk (I was dealing with a foot problem) from Zubiri, and allows you to spend more time in the Pamplona area, if your schedule allows it. If I remember correctly, it was church-run by an order of brothers (?).

Take your time
We all go the same place, let us go there slowly---Carlo Petrini
Patricio
 
#9
Thank you Patricio and Javier for your combined recommendations of Trinidad de Arre, it's so exciting to see pictures of the albergues, feels like I'm close already! :D
It's great to get a lot of recommendations here and from the books and blogs I've read, I am writing the names of those who have recommended a place next to it in the guidebook we are bringing with us ("Walking the Camino de Santiago" by Ben Cole & Bethan Davies), some of the places (like Grañon) are cluttered with names by now!
One thing we have decided that I'm sure won't change, is that we don't want to rush this experience. We want to take it slow and really get the feel of the country. We want to take leisurly lunchstops and have energy to enjoy our stopover towns. So it's great to have a lot of recommended stops along the way!
 
#10
I agree, Trinidad de Arre is a great place to stay and a nice little town. I would also recommend Granon, you sleep on mats in the loft of a church and everyone helps cook dinner together and you eat a big family style dinner.

Also, I would also recommend to let the camino take you to your destinations. You'll be surprised how often your plans change.
 
#11
Thank you Andrew, I've scribbled your name next to Trinidad de Arre and Grañon (this one definitely sounds like a "don't miss") in my guidebook!
I really like the idea expressed by you and others who have walked before, to let the camino take us where it wants to, I'm sure that's how we will end up enjoying our camino. Still, the planning is so much fun, and learning about all of these wonderful places before we go makes it even more exciting! :D
 
#12
On your return trip, make sure you note down the private albergue at Boadilla del Camino. One of my very favorite stops because the owners were so hospitable & the pool & garden were like heaven on earth.

Kelly
 

amancio

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Norte, Primit, Salvador, Portug, Arag, Ingles, VdlP, Leban-Vadin, Fisterra, Invierno, LePuy
#13
Hali said:
After reading a bunch of guidebooks and travel blogs we are still looking for more advice on where to stay overnight during our trip. These are the stops we have planned: SJPP (L’Esprit du Chemin), Roncesvalles, Larrasoaña, Cizur Menor, Puente la Reina, Estella, Los Arcos, Logroño, Nájera, Santo Domingo de la Calzada, Belorado, San Juan de Ortega, Burgos.

I read somewhere that since the very popular priest in San Juan de Ortega died stopping there is no longer the wonderful experience it used to be. I'm thinking that we might continue on to Atapuerca. I'm not too sure about Larrasoaña either.

I just started reading Kellys blog http://kellyonthecaminofrances.blogspot.com/ , fantastic read so far, it seems as if I might get a lot of advice there but I am still grateful for any advice I can get.
 
#14
WolverineDG said:
On your return trip, make sure you note down the private albergue at Boadilla del Camino. One of my very favorite stops because the owners were so hospitable & the pool & garden were like heaven on earth.

Kelly
Thanks Kelly, that sounds wonderful! Noted with your name in the guidebook for our next trip, we sure wouldn't want to miss heaven on earth! :D
We were thinking of going once a year but I'm not so sure July of a Holy Year (2010) is such a good idea. (July is usually the only time we can get away) At the latest we should be walking our next stage 2011.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route. 2018 was Camino #14
#15
I agree that Trinidad de Arre was lovely. And if you arrive early, there are two spots in a private room for married couples, which is nice. They also have a room for snorers! :lol:

On the road between SJPP and Burgos, we also were enchanted in Viana. We stayed in the Church and the Priest did a special Pilgrim's Mass, dinner, and tour of the lower floors where the art is kept. It was awesome. There was a fiesta going on and we were awakened by a choir singing to the Pilgrims outside our window.... it is a very sweet memory.

Also, if the weather is nice, you may want to sleep outside in the grassy churchyard above Ventosa. The hospitaliera there will let you fix your dinner and shower, but then sleep out up above the city. It's a wonderful view! Be sure to check out the art inside the church there... the picture of Jesus in a skirt and slippers is very curious (I have no idea what the symbolism of this photo is).
 
#16
All good advice above but as has already been mentioned obliquely do not turn your list of the "best" refugios into a straight jacket, thinking I have go to get to x tonight to stay at y's refugio. You seem to have accepted this but it is easy to get caught up in all that planning you have done and not let go.

Take what your body throws at you and listen to it. Many a pilgrim has pushed him or her self too hard early on and regretted it later.
 
#17
William Marques said:
All good advice above but as has already been mentioned obliquely do not turn your list of the "best" refugios into a straight jacket, thinking I have go to get to x tonight to stay at y's refugio. You seem to have accepted this but it is easy to get caught up in all that planning you have done and not let go.

Take what your body throws at you and listen to it. Many a pilgrim has pushed him or her self too hard early on and regretted it later.
Thank you William for this sound advice! The issue of not pushing yourself too hard is very important. I'm sure it can easily happen on a pilgrimage that you just get carried away, there is so much you want to see and do even if you have limited time.
I've learned the hard way to take it easy, I was totally burned out from working too hard as a graphic designer, work also causing a slipped disk in my neck which has since been operated. I have "jumped off the squirrels wheel" as we say in Swedish (the rat-race?) and am now loving my new job as a parish usher, spending time in our beautiful churches and their surroundings and finally realizing that I have to pay attention and listen to my body telling me if I need to slow down. 3 years ago I started taking long nature walks to ease my neck pain and my stressed out body. It was a love affair from the start and whenever I feel the need to slow down I go out walking. This pilgrimage is hopefully going to be a celebration of the easygoing way of life!
 
#18
Anniesantiago, thank you for sharing your favourites and for your lovely descriptions of your experiences!
I have just started looking at your blog and am thrilled by all of the wonderful pictures, it's like being there already! :D
 

Minkey

Active Member
#20
I've always heard lots of good things about the one in Granon. Just casting my mind back and I think there were a couple of nice places/albergues. Larrasoana was one, the other was in Cezur Menor. I've stayed in both in Cezur and prefer the first one run by the Order of Malta. Really nice. I must add that it's not because it's a luxurious place, it's just the people I've met who work there.

Oh... and the Municipal one in Puente le Reina is cool. Nice garden. The "posh" one on the other side of the river is ok I guess. I was disappointed to see that the pilgrim menu there only came with "one glass of wine" but my concern soon turned to amusement when I was presented with a pint of vino!
 
#22
Open up your mind

Certainly the guide books are there to orientate us but sometimes if we follow them without listening to our intuition they can lead us to a crowded spot in the pre-stablished legs and we can see ourserlves spending the night on the floor.
Even in the middle of the summer you will probably be finding a bed If you make your own schedule and stop whenever your body or soul says so.
I have walked the Camino a few times before attending as hospitalera in different Albergues and the only advise I could give to any future Pilgrim is...Open up your mind and let the Camino guide you. :wink:

http://www.dasanimas.com
 
#23
Minkey said:
I've always heard lots of good things about the one in Granon. Just casting my mind back and I think there were a couple of nice places/albergues. Larrasoana was one, the other was in Cezur Menor. I've stayed in both in Cezur and prefer the first one run by the Order of Malta. Really nice. I must add that it's not because it's a luxurious place, it's just the people I've met who work there.

Oh... and the Municipal one in Puente le Reina is cool. Nice garden. The "posh" one on the other side of the river is ok I guess. I was disappointed to see that the pilgrim menu there only came with "one glass of wine" but my concern soon turned to amusement when I was presented with a pint of vino!
Thank you Minkey for sharing your experiences, Cizur Menor will probably be a good stop for us as San Fermin will be going on in Pamplona when we pass through.... Great to hear from someone who has stayed in both of Cizur Menors albergues. I've seen pictures of the one run by the Order of Malta, it looks impressive!
A pint of vino! :D That glass would be enough for me to sleep through any snoring symphonies! (Or maybe it'll make me contribute....)

Javier, thank you for another beautiful picture!

I decided to bring the Brierly guide along with me even though it weighs more than my other guidebook, it's a great read, even more so now that I'm adding short notes of other pilgrims recommendations.
 
#24
Hali,
I agree with most of the comments below, but most of all, the unexpected experiences are sometimes the best ones!
I stayed last week in Puenta la Reina, Estella, Viana, Ventosa, Cirinuela, Belorado, SJOrtega, Burgos, Castrojeriz and Fromista. Of all these places I will remember Ventosa for the shared dinner, Cirinuela for the simplicity and the people I was with, and SJOrtega because it was such a wonderful experience to get there and the garlic soup. Oh, and the new albergue in Burgos just above the cathedral, €3 and more like a hotel than an albergue.
I wish you a lot of wonderful moments along your way!
Rolf
 

annakappa

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Part frances jun 07/rest frances may- jun 2008/Frances sept-oct 2009/ Sanabres Oct 2010/Frances sept-oct 2011/Aragones Sept-Oct 2012. Hospitalero Sept 2010, Amiga in Pilgrim's Office Oct 2013. Part Primitivo Oct 2013. Portugues from Porto June 2015.
#26
Ventosa is also one of my favourite albergues, however Hali, however much you plan, you will find that there are moments that you stay somewhere completely different than what you have on your list. This can happen for many reasons, starting with blistered feet or leg problems. But then there is the weather - rain, wind, too hot, etc., you name it.
Last year we squelched into Villafranca Montes de Oca, the weather was awful so we didn't want to risk climbing over the mountain to San Juan de Ortega, because, in fact the priest who run the albergue had only just died. The albergue in Villafranca was on my "don't stay here" list. Turns out that it was friendly, clean not overcrowded and we are glad that we stayed there. Our next stop was Atapuerca (not where we intended to stay, but by then we were out of schedule, so to speak). What happened there was that we met a lady who recognised us from a time when I had a small shop in a small village in the South of Switzerland. So, surprise, surprise. But that's the Camino.
It can also happen that you walk past a place and say "Hey, that looks nice" - turns out that the hospitaleros are friendly and welcome you as we always hope to be welcomed and so you stay. Of course, this then could put the rest of your "planned pilgrimage" out of wack! I suggest that you keep a list of places that people have recommened to you, but then don't be too worried if it doesn't always turn out.
Anne
 
#27
We walked in late October 2008 and found the few albergues open to be very hospitable but our favorite was in Uterga. After walking on rocks all day and descending from Alto del Perdon our feet were in need. We limped into Camino del Perdon and got a double room. It was fantastic! The staff was so kind and the food was fantastic. The place was a bit expensive but it was so worth a splurge.
 
#28
annakappa said:
It can also happen that you walk past a place and say "Hey, that looks nice" - turns out that the hospitaleros are friendly and welcome you as we always hope to be welcomed and so you stay. Of course, this then could put the rest of your "planned pilgrimage" out of wack! I suggest that you keep a list of places that people have recommened to you, but then don't be too worried if it doesn't always turn out.
Anne
Thank you Rolf for your very up-to-date recommendations, and thank you Anne and Nicole for describing your favourites! Ventosa keeps getting mentioned and now has a lot of names and short descriptions scribbled next to it in my guidebook.... I hadn't read anything special about Uterga before, sounds great, I googled it and it has a homepage with very nice pictures! http://www.caminodelperdon.es/albergue/

Anne, in the above quote you describe precisely how we intend to go about our camino. We will let it take us wherever it wants to, but we will bring along a lot of descriptions from other pilgrims which we will enjoy reading every day when we feel that we will soon be needing to find a place to stay. And if we end up staying in any nice albergues which haven't been recommended here, then I will come back and recommend them myself after our first camino stage! :D
 
#29
Hali, the private albergue in Uterga is a very nice one. I spent about an hour there recovering from the downside of the Alto del Perdon. :) Staying there makes visiting Eunate easy in the next morning. :)

That's another albergue you might want to consider, although I haven't heard that it is still open.

Kelly
 
#30
WolverineDG said:
Hali, the private albergue in Uterga is a very nice one. I spent about an hour there recovering from the downside of the Alto del Perdon. :) Staying there makes visiting Eunate easy in the next morning. :)

That's another albergue you might want to consider, although I haven't heard that it is still open.

Kelly
Thank you Kelly, it's good to know that Uterga has nice albergues, I've read Swedish blogs telling about the same problem you mention about the downside of Alto del Perdon.
By the way, your pictures of the sleeping arrangements and comments on the state of the bathrooms are great, very important considerations IMO as well! :D
Also, your comment on the best way to handle blisters is spot-on, "to not get them in the first place" :lol:
With a very sunny Easter in Sweden I've enjoyed training walks with backpack 3 days in a row, 8K, 22K, 10K and then great dinners with red wine to make it really camino-like!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2009), Via Podiensis (2011), Via de la Plata/Camino Sanabres (2014)
#31
Peace! Thank you for all your suggestions and sound advice! I'm hoping to do the Camino in the later part of May 2009. How much should one budget (like a minimum amount) for a day during the camino, for lodgings, food, etc... Are reservations necessary for the albergues?

Blessings,
Manny D
 
#32
Manny, all of the municipal albergues are first come, first served. :) Some of the private albergues (I think Sil has a post which has a list or links to a list of them) do take reservations. Generally, you should budget about 25-30 EURO (not USD) per day. Most of that will be food & you can cut a few corners there by preparing your own meals. Yogurt & fruit in the a.m., tuna w/oil on bread, cheese, fruit for lunch, & whatever you can throw together in the evening for dinner. I was once in a group of 3 others & we bought a dozen eggs & boiled them up for dinner & lunch the next day.

Kelly
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2009), Via Podiensis (2011), Via de la Plata/Camino Sanabres (2014)
#33
Thank you very much, Kelly. It feels good to know that there are so many angels guiding me along the Camino and you're one of them! I will search for Sil's list of albergues.

Peace,
Manny D.
 
#34
Trinidad de Arre was one of my favorite albergues as well. I agree though that you should let the Camino take you where it will. A lot of the charm in the albergues has to do with who else is there. I have always heard good things about Granon, but for whatever reasons have not made it there. Have had fabulous and not so fabulous experiences in Belorado. Heard great things about albergue in Torres del Rio. Boadilla was also really nice, they took me to Fromista to see a farmacist recently because my hands had blistered (from the sun, I think...in winter, who knew?) and the dinners there are wonderful, and they have a living room, with a 2 fireplaces, which was so nice, this was the week it opened this year, it was still cold out, and there were only 7 or 8 of us staying there.

Things don't really get crazy until Galicia.

liz
 
#35
Even in April, I was finding the private albergues booked, which was unfortunate. I understand why they do it, I guess, but it would be nice if they left a couple beds open for people who don't book ahead. I know some people were saying they made reservations as a back-up plan, but then didn't always end up staying there. Just be aware of it, I'm kinda' a no reservations pilgrim, seems too much like a planned holiday to me, but I did end up having to walk further than I wanted to. May will be a busy month (but that's not to say there are a lack of beds, there are more and more albergues every year.)

Liz
 
#36
Hali said:
3 years ago I started taking long nature walks to ease my neck pain and my stressed out body. It was a love affair from the start and whenever I feel the need to slow down I go out walking. This pilgrimage is hopefully going to be a celebration of the easygoing way of life!
Hi Hali, I love the above statement. I feel the same way about walking, especially in nature and beautiful peaceful places. An I too am planning my walk to be a "celebration of the easygoing way of life". I find the simple things to be the loveliest.

Good luck on your Camino
 
#37
Thank you Liz, for sharing your experiences and favourite stops, and also for letting me know about private albergues being booked up, I didn't know that was possible. Good to know, not that we will want to book ahead but we will be prepared that this might make it harder to find a bed in the private albergues in July....

Thanks so much Rita for your reply, I totally agree with you about the simple things being the loveliest!

Good luck on your camino as well! :arrow:
 

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