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Camino del Norte - August 2022 accommodations?

paglie87

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino del Norte
Hello!

Newbie here! This might be a very last minute plan but I am thinking about doing Camino del Norte in August. I have been researching a lot, specifically doing this trip on a budget. A few blogs I cam across said this route is doable for around 30euro/day - however, looking at accommodation, specifically hostels, the prices are already above my daily budget. For example, in San Sebastian, cheapest hostel I could find is $65/night; In Zarautz, it's $35/night. I did read that you cannot book a bed at albergues ahead of time, it is basically walk in and hope they have a bed available.

So my questions are:
  • Is this because August is a super busy time for it?
  • It is worth booking rooms ahead of time? or should I wing it once arriving in each town?
  • Will planning ahead be more budget friendly?
Beside accommodation, I would also very much appreciate suggestions on what to pack for the trip. I read August/September are good months on the coast in terms of being sunny majority of the time. I will definitely pack rain jacket, a hoodie, a pair of pants/leggings - would these be enough to keep warm on chillier days?

Food/snacks: Should I pack trail bars/snacks with me for the trip or would I be okay just grabbing food from town to town during my stops?

I think that's all I have for now.

Thank you in advance for reading and providing any feedback you may have! :)
 
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David with new Kit!

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2019, 2021, 2022
I have booked Irún through to Bilbao (August) and only just managed to get booked. But I'm doing private albergues, Casa rurales etc. and not municipal albergues, so can't advise you there.

What I can tell you is that it's costing me between 100 euros and 55euros s night for that first week.

San Sebastian area is where the Spanish go for holiday as it's a wonderful area, hence the lack of affordable accommodation, and in some instances, any accommodation.

I'm expecting prices and availability to improve after Santander.
 

trecile

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PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
August is a super busy time for tourism of all kinds on Spain's northern coast. The pilgrim infrastructure is not as robust on that route as on some other caminos, so you are competing with not just other pilgrims, but also tourists for a place to sleep.

I'd say that 30€ a day is not particularly realistic for 2022 on the Norte, especially in August.
 

paglie87

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino del Norte
I have booked Irún through to Bilbao (August) and only just managed to get booked. But I'm doing private albergues, Casa rurales etc. and not municipal albergues, so can't advise you there.

What I can tell you is that it's costing me between 100 euros and 55euros s night for that first week.

San Sebastian area is where the Spanish go for holiday as it's a wonderful area, hence the lack of affordable accommodation, and in some instances, any accommodation.

I'm expecting prices and availability to improve after Santander.

Ah, okay thank you very much. I'm writing down prices on a spreadsheet as I find places!
 
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paglie87

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino del Norte
August is a super busy time for tourism of all kinds on Spain's northern coast. The pilgrim infrastructure is not as robust on that route as on some other caminos, so you are competing with not just other pilgrims, but also tourists for a place to sleep.

I'd say that 30€ a day is not particularly realistic for 2022 on the Norte, especially in August.

Thank you, really appreciate it. Since you have done Frances, would you think that would be a slightly cheaper option in August?
 

paglie87

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino del Norte
Nope. There are plenty of places to buy daily snacks if you need them. This isn't a wilderness hike.
Haha, I know it isn't but I didn't know if that would be good to have on the longer hikes in case there isn't a place to stop. But thank you, really appreciate it! This will def help with packing.
 

trecile

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
Thank you, really appreciate it. Since you have done Frances, would you think that would be a slightly cheaper option in August?
Because the pilgrim infrastructure is more built up on the Frances than the Norte it will be a slightly cheaper option most of the year.

For example there are towns on the Norte with only one or no dedicated pilgrim albergue, and they are often small. But on the Frances there is usually more than one albergue in any given town. And the towns on the Frances cater to pilgrims - they are so small that they might not exist without the Camino and pilgrim euros. The towns on the Norte cater more to vacationers.
 

Bob from L.A. !

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Camino Francis 2012, 2014, 2016. Camino Norte 2018. Many more to come in my future God willing !
I have written this several times in the last 4 weeks, so forgive my repetition...
I am currently on the Norte (for the second time). Prices are up considerably this time and there are definitely more pilgrims on the trail.
My opinion would be $30 per day would not be doable.
 

RolfMagener

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F 19, Norte 21, Primitivo 21, Portugues 21, VLP 22
I did the Norte last year, and started the last week of August thinking it wouldn't be a problem, but it was not much fun and quite more expensive than expected as all the hostels and albergues were fully booked. Finding places to stay was also not easy, even now and then the local tourist offices found me a place even though there was nothing available online. August is the month were all of Spain goes on holiday, as soon as everyone was back at work in September 1st, everything was back to normal.... even the prices.
 
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lt56ny

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10/22 Aragones/Frances
Unfortunately I think the writing is on the wall. I would say if you can start later in the year if it is possible. I started the Norte in October and it was much more affordable and generally had good weather. Or pick another camino. Good Luck
 

MaryOswald

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
planning a fall 2019 trip
I have booked Irún through to Bilbao (August) and only just managed to get booked. But I'm doing private albergues, Casa rurales etc. and not municipal albergues, so can't advise you there.

What I can tell you is that it's costing me between 100 euros and 55euros s night for that first week.

San Sebastian area is where the Spanish go for holiday as it's a wonderful area, hence the lack of affordable accommodation, and in some instances, any accommodation.

I'm expecting prices and availability to improve after Santander.
We did the Norte in 2019 and I agree with it all of this. It is important to make reservations to Bilbao esp in Aug. And those prices, high as they may seem, are the way they are. It's a popular tourist area so fills up quick. After Bilbao everything gets way way cheaper
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I agree with all of the above and would just point out that in August on the Norte you are competing with lots of non-walking tourists in all the beach towns. That means that those places are uninterested in taking in pilgrims and prices are high summer rates. If you walk the Norte out of high season, you will find that many of those private places offer good deals to pilgrims when the tourists have left them. August on the Francés is likely to be much less traveled, at least till you get to Sarria.
 
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My son and I walked the Norte/Primitivo combo in mid-April to mid-May in 2016 and althoughI didn't book ahead at that time, there were a small handful of days I felt the need to have a hospitaler call ahead to the next day for us to make sure we had beds. I can only imagine how things have changed post-covid.
 

Paintboy2

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2021
Yikes. I glad you posted this question. I'm going there too in late July and expecting no big surprises since this will be my 5th Camino. After I read your post I got online and started booking rooms. The cheapest in Irun was $97US and the cheapest in San Sebastian was $104US. I'm hoping that once out of town it will get cheaper. Good luck.
 
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Man in Black

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Camino Frances (2017)
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Chemin St Jacques (2018)
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We are planning to be on the Camino Nortestarting around September 11th. I am wondering if some hostels are even open -- for example at Pozeta and Olabe. Anybody been on the route this year and can help me out?
 

trecile

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
We are planning to be on the Camino Nortestarting around September 11th. I am wondering if some hostels are even open -- for example at Pozeta and Olabe. Anybody been on the route this year and can help me out?
According to Gronze, which is usually up to date, both are open.


 

paglie87

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino del Norte
I apologize for responding so late but thank you ALL very much for your replies and advice! I think I mentally committed to taking on this journey that I couldn't back out of it, so I have been picking up extra work here and there to make this work for me! I have generated an itinerary, booked whatever hostels and Albergues I could ahead of time, and written down the estimated costs for the ones I could not book.
I am very excited to take on this journey! Thank you again for your help.
 

paglie87

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino del Norte
We are planning to be on the Camino Nortestarting around September 11th. I am wondering if some hostels are even open -- for example at Pozeta and Olabe. Anybody been on the route this year and can help me out?
I have been using booking.com to find private albergues. If you use their map option, it will show you what Albergues/hotels are open within the area. It has been very easy to find and book relatively cheap Albergues for myself.
 

synvilla

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances, Norte
Yikes. I glad you posted this question. I'm going there too in late July and expecting no big surprises since this will be my 5th Camino. After I read your post I got online and started booking rooms. The cheapest in Irun was $97US and the cheapest in San Sebastian was $104US. I'm hoping that once out of town it will get cheaper. Good luck.
I started booking rooms last month, for July-Aug. I noticed quickly that the options on booking.com was expensive, but the ones *not* on booking were cheaper (€50-60 for two people private room, compared to €80-90 on booking). The key is to find their old, old websites and email or call them. I found the places to google on the Gronze website, it's up to date on everything except prices (Gronze prices seem to be based only on winter prices).

I also don't know if this will turn out being a good idea, but I've booked some rooms slightly off the camino for €40-50 in order to get my average price down.
 
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