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Camino Frances - Any Bed Issues?

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Robo

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
For those walking the Camino Frances right now, or recently, how is the bed situation?
Any difficulty finding a bed?
Are people booking ahead more?

I'm sure the regular 'choke points' like Zubiri are still a challenge, but what about elsewhere?

For those who walked pre Covid, would you say the numbers are now 'back to normal' or even higher?
(recognising we are not through Covid yet of course)

Just curious what it's like as I probably won't get back out there till next year.
 
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Robo

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
In Roncesvalles it is much busier than it was in the same period in 2019, the last pre-covid year. Many pilgrims and many reservations, nearly every day full house.

Yes I read your comments on @Anniesantiago 's thread!
Hopefully things will settle down a bit in time,
 

peregrin peregrina

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
april 2022
i'm now in leon. it started getting quite obviously busier when I hit burgos. there is usually a single spot available in an albergue but sometimes need to look at more than one to find a bed.

i guess many albergues are now allowing pilgrims to book ahead! I checked the Booking.com to see what that situation is like for my upcoming days into galicia, and most places are booked solid over the next couple weeks so that's iffy.

if you want to book private accommodations I recommend doing it well in advance.

from Roncesvalles to Burgos it was pretty easy-going but now it seems there is a wave of pilgrims catching up! I am a slow walker so it's hard to stay ahead of the wave lol. it is a great bunch and so very enjoyable one way or the other. should be interesting up ahead!

hope this is helpful.
 

Robo

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
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(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
i'm now in leon. it started getting quite obviously busier when I hit burgos. there is usually a single spot available in an albergue but sometimes need to look at more than one to find a bed.

i guess many albergues are now allowing pilgrims to book ahead! I checked the Booking.com to see what that situation is like for my upcoming days into galicia, and most places are booked solid over the next couple weeks so that's iffy.

if you want to book private accommodations I recommend doing it well in advance.

from Roncesvalles to Burgos it was pretty easy-going but now it seems there is a wave of pilgrims catching up! I am a slow walker so it's hard to stay ahead of the wave lol. it is a great bunch and so very enjoyable one way or the other. should be interesting up ahead!

hope this is helpful.

Thanks. It's interesting to hear how the situation is.
I wonder if there are actually fewer beds now?
I'm sure quite a few accommodation places of all types might have gone out of business in the last couple of years.
Any insights on that @ivar ?

Was just looking at the Stats but the website is playing up a bit.
Though numbers certainly look quite high for April.
 
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peregrin peregrina

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
april 2022
Thanks. It's interesting to hear how the situation is.
I wonder if there are actually fewer beds now?
I'm sure quite a few accommodation places of all types might have gone out of business in the last couple of years.
Any insights on that @ivar ?
(this is my first camino so i dont have anything to compare it to)
 

rometimed

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
(SJPdP: 2015, MAY/JUNE2022!!! ) (Eng Way: 2015)
I'm starting from SJpdp tomorrow but have Orisson and Roncesvalles booked. I'm sure Zubiri is likely to be tough. I'll check back in after a few days.
 

CPURKS

New Member
Past OR future Camino
future Camino Frances
i'm now in leon. it started getting quite obviously busier when I hit burgos. there is usually a single spot available in an albergue but sometimes need to look at more than one to find a bed.

i guess many albergues are now allowing pilgrims to book ahead! I checked the Booking.com to see what that situation is like for my upcoming days into galicia, and most places are booked solid over the next couple weeks so that's iffy.

if you want to book private accommodations I recommend doing it well in advance.

from Roncesvalles to Burgos it was pretty easy-going but now it seems there is a wave of pilgrims catching up! I am a slow walker so it's hard to stay ahead of the wave lol. it is a great bunch and so very enjoyable one way or the other. should be interesting up ahead!

hope this is helpful.
I was wondering do you feel that your "booking.com" reservations are strong or do you have to check with the albergues themselves to verify a "booking.com" reservation?
 

peregrin peregrina

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
april 2022
I was wondering do you feel that your "booking.com" reservations are strong or do you have to check with the albergues themselves to verify a "booking.com
I was wondering do you feel that your "booking.com" reservations are strong or do you have to check with the albergues themselves to verify a "booking.com" reservation?
if it's an albergue i call to reserve and if i know i will be late i call that afternoon to confirm. if it is some different accomodation i just rely on the booking.com info.
 
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trecile

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
I was wondering do you feel that your "booking.com" reservations are strong or do you have to check with the albergues themselves to verify a "booking.com" reservation?
Booking.com reservations are guaranteed. Often the owner will ask what your estimated time of arrival is, because most places - not just albergues have limited check in times.
 
Past OR future Camino
06,CF;13,CP;17,SSal;19,Ingles
So lovely to see you posting. If you are truly at home for a while yet, let it be. I have learned so much since 16th Feb 2020, the date I booked to go to Spain. Ten days later and I could have saved myself a lot of grief.
You know the forum, @Robo. Every yes begs a no! Ask your question in a few months. Having said that - I value the civilised modus operandi of this forum very much - a forum member, currently on a shortish and not aiming at a certificate camino, says it is crazy at the moment, with lots of people stressed to the hilt. Anyone who wishes to contradict me, do feel free, I am only the unofficial messenger!
 
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wanderlustesq

Member
Past OR future Camino
Primitivo
We are in Logrono - and staying mainly in Pensions which, for a couple, are not that more expensive than a double albergue room. So far we have managed to find rooms booking 2-3 days ahead. Booking.com is reliable - but when showing no rooms available, I have phoned and got one. 👍🤞
Booking.com only is allotted a percentage of the beds. Don’t give up checking because Booking.com has none available.
 
Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
I was wondering do you feel that your "booking.com" reservations are strong or do you have to check with the albergues themselves to verify a "booking.com" reservation?
Given recent misunderstandings in another thread, this calls for a bit of clarification, I feel.

"Albergue" covers a variety of accommodations.

There are albergues that accept only pilgrims (with a credential); they allow a stay of only one night; depending on the albergue proprietor, you can either not make a reservation at all or you can make a reservation by email, phone or text message; they do not require prepayment and they do not require credit card details. If you don't turn up by a certain time in the afternoon or fail to confirm when it had been notified to you that you should do this, you risk losing your bed for the night.

There are albergues who are not exclusively for pilgrims but are "oriented towards pilgrims". In reality, nearly all their guests walk a Camino. Often but not always they are on Booking.com or similar or have their own online booking system. Guests have either to pay in advance; or provide their credit card details as a guarantee. It works just like we are used to elsewhere: your booking is guaranteed by consumer law and if you don't turn up at all they have the right to trigger payment and they do. They must and do keep your bed for you, however.

On Gronze.com, you can see whether an albergue is a "pilgrims only" albergue or an albergue "not only for pilgrims but oriented towards pilgrims".
 

Bretom

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Starting our Camino journey next Sept 13th.
For those walking the Camino Frances right now, or recently, how is the bed situation?
Any difficulty finding a bed?
Are people booking ahead more?

I'm sure the regular 'choke points' like Zubiri are still a challenge, but what about elsewhere?

For those who walked pre Covid, would you say the numbers are now 'back to normal' or even higher?
(recognising we are not through Covid yet of course)

Just curious what it's like as I probably won't get back out there till next year.
Hi, I am struggling to find a double room in Pampolona fir 2 nights in September. Getting lots of "sorry we are fully booked already" replies...
 
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Robo

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
Hi, I am struggling to find a double room in Pampolona fir 2 nights in September. Getting lots of "sorry we are fully booked already" replies...

Wow. How are you trying to book? booking.com ?
 

DoughnutANZ

I would rather be fishing
Past OR future Camino
2023
Hi, I am struggling to find a double room in Pampolona fir 2 nights in September. Getting lots of "sorry we are fully booked already" replies...
Thank you for being specific about the type of accommodation that you are looking for. Sometimes posters (not you) find what you found and then post statements indicating that they were unable to find any accommodation/beds. It may well be that it is hard to find double rooms in Pamplona in September on the dates that you are looking but this does not mean that there are no bunk beds or dormitory beds available in Pamplona in September on those dates.

BTW, have you looked on AirBnB?
 

Bretom

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Starting our Camino journey next Sept 13th.
Wow. How are you trying to book? booking.com ?
Trying everything.. using info from booking.com and emailing hotels/ hostel etc directly.. trying to keep under the €50 per night as hoping to complete 15 stages .
 
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Bretom

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Starting our Camino journey next Sept 13th.
Thank you for being specific about the type of accommodation that you are looking for. Sometimes posters (not you) find what you found and then post statements indicating that they were unable to find any accommodation/beds. It may well be that it is hard to find double rooms in Pamplona in September on the dates that you are looking but this does not mean that there are no bunk beds or dormitory beds available in Pamplona in September on those dates.

BTW, have you looked on AirBnB?
Think we are too old and set in our ways to use the dormitories. Was thinking 2 nights as we hopefully will have walked from SJPP. We have managed to get accommodation in Roncesvalles and Zubiri. Think two nights in Pamplona should see us recovered enough to continue our journey. Thank you for your reply
 

Bretom

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Starting our Camino journey next Sept 13th.
Just booked Alojamientos Olga in Pamplona..Now on to Peunte la Reina.All recommendations gladly received.
 

jeanineonthecamino

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2021, 2022
I was wondering do you feel that your "booking.com" reservations are strong or do you have to check with the albergues themselves to verify a "booking.com" reservation?
I have never had a problem with a reservation made through booking .com. Been using them for many years. The only thing I noticed different on the Camino is sometimes when I arrived - they cancelled the booking .com reservation and had me pay in cash (these were not pre-paid).
 

Richard of York

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Booking.com only is allotted a percentage of the beds. Don’t give up checking because Booking.com has none available.
This is quite right, not all albergues want to do booking.com and many albergues keep beds out of their total for those who don't want to reserve, plus it costs c. 16% to be on booking.com anyway.

Casa Banderas in Vilachá (94km) was full for the first time tonight since Holy Week. Albergue Vilachá should be opening in the next few days though.

All the local albergues (Portomarin area) are on a whatsapp group, so as you approach a place you want to end up,, ask a hospitalero or café owner if they know if such-and-such an albergue has places. They will either know already if it's full or whatsapp ahead (or you can do it yourself) and be able to tell you what the situation is. This weekend Portomarin was full and we knew about it in Vilachá so could tell people to stay in the village or stay in a hotel in town.

Remember what is a day away for you is 20 minutes in the car for us normals, so everyone knows everyone and we all want to help, it's why we're doing it.

We're watching the numbers coming out of SJPP and we can see what is coming a month away, plus there are all the newbies from Sarria and this year looks busy.
 

Esperanza

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
For those walking the Camino Frances right now, or recently, how is the bed situation?
Any difficulty finding a bed?
Are people booking ahead more?

I'm sure the regular 'choke points' like Zubiri are still a challenge, but what about elsewhere?

For those who walked pre Covid, would you say the numbers are now 'back to normal' or even higher?
(recognising we are not through Covid yet of course)

Just curious what it's like as I probably won't get back out there till next year.
I’m on the CF right now, and the bed situation is bad, very bad. It’s my third time, always walked during very popular times, and I have never seen anything like this. I have never walked during a holy year, however.

We (hubs and I) are pragmatic and have no qualms about booking ahead if we have to. In the past, pre-Covid, we always just booked one night ahead without any problems. This time, however, we have had trouble finding anything - dorm bunks, hostal, casa rurales, hotels, anything at all - if looking two or three nights out. Fortunately, we have not had to look for the next night, because we saw what was going on and jumped on it, but let me tell you, accommodations are tight. We have been okay booking 5-7 nights out so far.

I can’t really speak for others, but from what we have heard, there is general consensus among pilgrims that beds are scant. I don’t think it’s really a ‘bubble’ situation, either, because we were going quite slowly, and then rented bicycles for the meseta and sprinted ahead. If it’s a bubble, it’s a huge one.

A couple of unexpected choke points were Atapuerca and Agés, where there was nothing, nothing, nothing. Many people we spoke with couldn’t find a room or a bed, and one person we had spent a lot of time with quit at that point out of frustration. Another just jumped ahead to Sarria to end his Camino early.

Another unexpected choke point was Bercianos. When we looked two days ago for tonight, I called every place listed on Gronze, at least a half a dozen, and nobody had anything. That’s why we’re in Sahagún tonight, where we felt lucky to find bunks at the Santa Cruz monastery. Very nice place.

I can’t comment on numbers other than an impression that it’s at least as busy as it was other popular times. The shortage of beds is something new, and I think the closing of albergues due to Covid is a huge factor. We walk by closed ones every day it seems, and I think some of the choke points we have seen, like in Atapuerca, have resulted from the municipal in Villafranca being closed, so the private one there is full every night, and more people have to walk further to get to Agés and Atapuerca, and a big logjam is created. BTW, we resolved that problem by walking just a few extra km to Santovenia, where a small and lovely albergue was one third capacity. We then continued on the alternative route into Burgos, parallel to and south of the main route.
 
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Robo

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
I’m on the CF right now, and the bed situation is bad, very bad. It’s my third time, always walked during very popular times, and I have never seen anything like this. I have never walked during a holy year, however.

Thanks for the comprehensive update @Esperanza . It sounds like a combination of issues doesn't it?

  1. Albergues that went out of business during Covid. So less beds.
  2. A surge in Pilgrims coming out of lock downs.
  3. A surge in Pilgrims due to the Holy Year.
Hopefully things will find a natural balance in the coming years as Supply adjusts to meet demand.
If beds are really that scarce, and stay that way, I'm sure people will take the opportunity to buy, rent, reopen some of those closed down Albergues?
 

Esperanza

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
Hopefully things will find a natural balance in the coming years as Supply adjusts to meet demand.
If beds are really that scarce, and stay that way, I'm sure people will take the opportunity to buy, rent, reopen some of those closed down Albergues?
I would hope so. I also hope that perhaps some folks who wish to stay only in private rooms, or not have to book ahead, will consider delaying their caminos until things balance out again, whenever that may be.
 
Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
I think some of the choke points we have seen, like in Atapuerca, have resulted from the municipal in Villafranca being closed
For what it is is worth, the municipal albergue in Villafranca Montes de Oca has been closed for 5 years. I remember years ago before Covid-19 and Holy Years, perhaps even in April, it was impossible to get a private room in Villafranca. I can't remember how long beforehand I tried to book but it was more than a few days.
 

Esperanza

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
For what it is is worth, the municipal albergue in Villafranca Montes de Oca has been closed for 5 years. I remember years ago before Covid-19 and Holy Years, perhaps even in April, it was impossible to get a private room in Villafranca. I can't remember how long beforehand I tried to book but it was more than a few days.
Thanks, I didn’t know how long it had been closed. Nevertheless, something was causing a huge bottleneck in the Agés and Atapuerca area last week, when in mid-September of 2019, also a busy time, we had no problem booking a private room one day out. IME, that is not possible anywhere along the CF at this time, but that particular area was very tight.

ETA: I am not talking about trying to get a private room in a tiny town with one albergue. I am talking about the totality of my experience trying to find any type of accommodation in many different places over the last three weeks on the CF. Beds are very, very tight.
 
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Esperanza

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
Must be a wave. Pilgrims reporting from SJPDP that Orrison not full when they stayed this week.
What I have experienced over the last three weeks isn’t a wave. Sometimes beds go empty at Orrison because people don’t show up for their reserved and paid for beds for whatever reason. It happens. I don’t put much stock in reports of a few empty beds there.

May tends to be a bit busier than June, but I think all bets are off in a post pandemic (even though it’s not really over) Holy Year. Based on what I have seen, it’s going to be a five-month-long tidal wave.
 

JesperK

New Member
Past OR future Camino
CF 2013-2016x2-2018 CP:2014 CF:(2022)
I think it just depends on where you are. I met at least two pilgrims in O Pedrouzo who could not find beds.
Today I've chosen albergue outside the busier towns and staying in Boente - only half full. Since Burgos it has otherwise been full of pilgrims everywhere. In villefranca del bierzo every albergue, pension & hotel was completo. Also in Triacastela & portomarin. I've booked for o pedrouzo & santiago and the beds are going fast for the coming days. And nearly everybody I've met have booked more or less the whole way.
 
Past OR future Camino
Camino Francés (2022 after failed attempt in 2018)
We are in Belorado now, reserving mostly inexpensive private double rooms in hostels or alberques.

We're walking a longer stage in two days because we couldn't find anything San Juan de Ortego through Atepuerca that we could reserve — which we have to do because we're on the slow side and need to know we can take our time. We did try reaching out to places directly, which is how we found the place we booked a little further on.

Our other choke point is Hornillos del Camino. We have dorm beds reserved instead of the private rooms we prefer. We're booking 5 - 7 days out but I think once we get to Léon, we'll book the rest of the trip.

On another note, we do seem to have caught up with a bubble (or more likely, a bubble has caught up to us). We've been walking in relative solitude but today, we had over 40 pilgrims in sight at one point, and every open cafeteria / bar was busy.
 
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Bradypus

Migratory hermit
Past OR future Camino
Too many and too often!
We've been walking in relative solitude but today, we had over 40 pilgrims in sight at one point, and every open cafeteria / bar was busy.
There were 2151 Compostelas issued yesterday and 2077 today. To me that suggests that it is extremely busy in the later stages of the Frances. I strongly dislike reserving accommodation and prefer to be free to stop whenever I feel like it. But in your situation I think I would be looking far ahead too. A pity that pressure of numbers makes spontaneity such a gamble.
 

Richard of York

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
I finished the Inglés today, and the waiting time for a compostela was over an hour so I left and caught my bus back to Ferrol.

Even in the last week it has got horrendously busy on the Francés (where I live). The Inglés is so quiet in comparison, with the number of cafés to reflect that. People please book ahead. Use Whatsapp.
 

NorthernLight

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
Think we are too old and set in our ways to use the dormitories. Was thinking 2 nights as we hopefully will have walked from SJPP. We have managed to get accommodation in Roncesvalles and Zubiri. Think two nights in Pamplona should see us recovered enough to continue our journey. Thank you for your reply
If you can only find a room for one night in Pamplona, consider booking something in Cizer Menor for the second night. It’s only 5 km from Pamplona and your Pamplona hostery will likely hold your bags for the day.


For what it is is worth, the municipal albergue in Villafranca Montes de Oca has been closed for 5 years. I remember years ago before Covid-19 and Holy Years, perhaps even in April, it was impossible to get a private room in Villafranca. I can't remember how long beforehand I tried to book but it was more than a few days.

For what it is worth (😇), the locals blamed the private albergue/hotel for the demise of the municipal. They undercut the muni during the summer months, making it unaffordable for the muni to operate.
 

good_old_shoes

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
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I just read in another Camino forum (german one) reports from pilgrims on the CF right now who said that they noticed a lot of panic about beds, but they personally had not much problems, even as walk-ins in the afternoon. But they apparently prefer non-bookable munis and parroquials, so maybe that's the difference?

I'd find it interesting to get more info from pilgrims staying mainly at those kind of places.
 
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peregrina2000

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Staff member
I think people should look more broadly than booking.com. There are places that have not yet succumbed to the iron grip that booking seems to have on the Camino accommodations market. A friend of mine who owns an albergue on the Camino Francés (which also has several private rooms) reports that they have had availability consistently. They are not on booking, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see that they feel they have no choice but to sign up.

There is no doubt about one thing — as booking gets more and more entrenched, prices are going to continue to rise. So this is kind of a self-inflicted price increase, in addition to what comes with covid, energy pinch, inflation, etc……
 

Esperanza

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
I think people should look more broadly than booking.com. There are places that have not yet succumbed to the iron grip that booking seems to have on the Camino accommodations market. A friend of mine who owns an albergue on the Camino Francés (which also has several private rooms) reports that they have had availability consistently. They are not on booking, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see that they feel they have no choice but to sign up.

There is no doubt about one thing — as booking gets more and more entrenched, prices are going to continue to rise. So this is kind of a self-inflicted price increase, in addition to what comes with covid, energy pinch, inflation, etc……
Yes, some people seem to understand the limitations of booking.com, but not everyone. I use it as a starting point. But this time on the CF, there have been a number of times when looking for beds in dorms a few days ahead that I have telephoned anywhere from 5 to 10 albergues, or everything listed on Gronze that takes reservations, and every single place has said they are completo. Nearly every accommodation that we have stayed at this time has had a sign out that they are full or has said so when we checked in. Many of those were not on booking.com
 

Esperanza

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
I just read in another Camino forum (german one) reports from pilgrims on the CF right now who said that they noticed a lot of panic about beds, but they personally had not much problems, even as walk-ins in the afternoon. But they apparently prefer non-bookable munis and parroquials, so maybe that's the difference?

I'd find it interesting to get more info from pilgrims staying mainly at those kind of places.
I haven’t seen any panic about beds, though I have seen some frustration - and felt some myself.
 
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Past OR future Camino
Future
For those walking the Camino Frances right now, or recently, how is the bed situation?
Any difficulty finding a bed?
Are people booking ahead more?

I'm sure the regular 'choke points' like Zubiri are still a challenge, but what about elsewhere?

For those who walked pre Covid, would you say the numbers are now 'back to normal' or even higher?
(recognising we are not through Covid yet of course)

Just curious what it's like as I probably won't get back out there till next year.
Zubiri last night, no reservations. I arrived at 1430 and first place I checked [Albergue Zaldiko] had a bottom bunk for 14 euro. Today I walked into Albergue Jesus y Maria at 1405 and again got a bottom bunk.
 
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CWBuff

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Past OR future Camino
Frances May-June/2022
Finisterre June-July/2022
Must be a wave. Pilgrims reporting from SJPDP that Orrison not full when they stayed this week.
Stayed at Orisson 2 days ago
They were full, Kayla was full and the folks who stayed at Bourda said it was full
Some whom I shared a room with there told me today thatt7
 

CWBuff

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances May-June/2022
Finisterre June-July/2022
They had problems getting bed in Roncesvalles And had to go to Burkette
Approaching Zubiri the talk on The Way wa that Zubiri was complet
 
F

Former member 99290

Guest
Just a little aside ... as many Camino walkers are 'serial offenders' - if you do stay at accommodation you've booked online - and you'd happily stay there again or recommend to others, it's worth asking the owner for their direct contact details. Many even still have an old fashioned business card. We've often stayed somewhere - and then when we've wanted to return, we've contacted them directly - often via Whats App or email - and / or given direct contact details to someone else.
 

biarritzdon

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF&CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF&CP17, CdN18, CM18, CF18, LePuy19
Just booked Alojamientos Olga in Pamplona..Now on to Peunte la Reina.All recommendations gladly received.
Jakue has the space and several options for the types of rooms you can book.
 
Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
Anecdotal evidence on the forum seems to tell us that the Camino (Francés) is now either much fuller than ever before, or as frequented as the last time the poster walked, or not as full as usually, or even 'empty'.

Here's another recent news article, about the Burgos area. Quote: The data about the Camino de Santiago are close to those of other months of May prior to the Covid-19 health crisis and the associations / albergues / 'shareholders' connected to it are looking forward, with great hopes, to the coming summer months.

This article says that May and September are the months with the highest pilgrim influx which is true for the Burgos area but not everywhere. The overall highest influx is in Galicia, from O Cebreiro and particularly from Sarria onwards, and in the summer months: June, July, and August. My guess is that it is there where any effect of the Holy Year 2022 and of the PR campaigns connected to it will be felt, and not so much elsewhere. Which would be very similar to previous Holy Years, btw.
 
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Scarlet Fez

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2016, Portuguese 2017, Del Norde 2018
Very interesting and helpful thread. It will not be my first Camino but was considering getting myself to Burgos and walking for 10-14 days in mid June depending on logistics. Having walked the Frances, Portuguese and part of the Del Norte before and never pre-booked a bed. This was part of the magic of the Camino as sometimes out of adversity and not getting your 1st or 2nd choices sometimes some of the best experiences and friendships were made. If it is just going to be a stressful bed race then perhaps I'll have consider not bothering this year. This will be disappointing as I particularly wanted to come over to support the infrastructure of the Camino by walking some of it.
Travelling alone and happy to stay where ever is available does have its advantages so I'll keep an open mind on it for a week or so.
Never walked during a Holy Year before so that must be considered of course.
 

CWBuff

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances May-June/2022
Finisterre June-July/2022
It is quite stressful especially for total newbies like me
Folks are using bunch of different apps to make reservations
Booking. Com reports over 75% of places booked which leaves expensive hotels or private establishments
 

pennyjwright

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances (2016, 2019) Le Puy (2017)
I've never booked on the previous 3 Camino Frances trips I've made over the last few years but various posts on this forum made me a little uneasy about depending solely on municipals/donativos.

I'm starting from Sahagun next week and have used Gronze to contact hostels directly via WhatsApp to book, with four exceptions where I'm hoping the municipals/ non bookable hostels will have space (shorter days so earlier arrival). I would note though that several hostels in Triacastela are already saying completo for Thursday 9 June.

My Camino experience will be different this year - and that's fine. I'm just happy to be walking!
 

Tincatinker

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
2012
I would note though that several hostels in Triacastela are already saying completo for Thursday 9
That’s as likely the early to mid-May “wave” from StJdP / Pamplona moving on through. Give it a few days after and they’ll be wondering where all the Pilgrims have gone. The “un book able” are still reporting plenty of beds. The Camino has not yet adjusted to the concept of the masked pilgrim in need of 10 sq/m of personal space
 
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JoroAtanasof

Member
Past OR future Camino
one too many
For those walking the Camino Frances right now, or recently, how is the bed situation?
Any difficulty finding a bed?
Are people booking ahead more?

I'm sure the regular 'choke points' like Zubiri are still a challenge, but what about elsewhere?

For those who walked pre Covid, would you say the numbers are now 'back to normal' or even higher?
(recognising we are not through Covid yet of course)

Just curious what it's like as I probably won't get back out there till next year.
The only place that was full was Pamplona but I arrived at 17:30 that was on 30th April. Starting from there to o’cebreiro I stayed in mixture of albergues . From o’cebreiro all the way to Finistera I stayed in municipal albergues . (Municipal Albergue in Finistera is closed during weekends and holidays at least that was the case when I arrived last Sunday).
 
Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
The only place that was full was Pamplona but I arrived at 17:30 that was on 30th April.
Oh yes, the 30th of April in Pamplona which was a Saturday night and a long weekend because the Monday was a public holiday in many regions of Spain. No surprise if Pamplona had many visitors who needed a bed.

The non-pilgrim tourists must have pushed the Camino pilgrims out of the booked accommodations and into the non-bookable pilgrims-only albergues of which there is actually only one in Pamplona, according to Gronze, and it has 26 beds. Everything else is either bookable or merely 'oriented towards pilgrims' but not exclusively for pilgrims ...

Thanks for your feedback, interesting to read, and Buen Camino!
 

DoughnutANZ

I would rather be fishing
Past OR future Camino
2023
Very interesting and helpful thread. It will not be my first Camino but was considering getting myself to Burgos and walking for 10-14 days in mid June depending on logistics. Having walked the Frances, Portuguese and part of the Del Norte before and never pre-booked a bed. This was part of the magic of the Camino as sometimes out of adversity and not getting your 1st or 2nd choices sometimes some of the best experiences and friendships were made. If it is just going to be a stressful bed race then perhaps I'll have consider not bothering this year. This will be disappointing as I particularly wanted to come over to support the infrastructure of the Camino by walking some of it.
Travelling alone and happy to stay where ever is available does have its advantages so I'll keep an open mind on it for a week or so.
Never walked during a Holy Year before so that must be considered of course.
The numbers this year are no more than 2019 and possibly less.

The people complaining about a lack of beds are the people who only stay in reserved, private rooms.

In addition, many of the people who are complaining have not walked during early May before and don't realise that they are walking in a large wave of other people like themselves. They don't realise that the wave drops off quite quickly.

I suspect that these people are also using guide books and staying in all the most popular stopping towns.

If you have the same approach as you have had in prior years then you are unlikely to have a problem.

Nothing is guaranteed. For me, that is part of the attraction.
 

Scarlet Fez

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2016, Portuguese 2017, Del Norde 2018
The numbers this year are no more than 2019 and possibly less.

The people complaining about a lack of beds are the people who only stay in reserved, private rooms.

In addition, many of the people who are complaining have not walked during early May before and don't realise that they are walking in a large wave of other people like themselves. They don't realise that the wave drops off quite quickly.

I suspect that these people are also using guide books and staying in all the most popular stopping towns.

If you have the same approach as you have had in prior years then you are unlikely to have a problem.

Nothing is guaranteed. For me, that is part of the attraction.
Thanks for taking the time to reply, that has made me feel a bit more optimistic and as I hinted at before my previous Camino experiences have been 'go with the flow' and you will be alright and the next positive experience is just round the corner. Just considering jumping on a flight to Bilbao from Bristol either 9th or 14th of June, are there any Spanish/French public holidays around that time as I have experienced a pilgrim surge before in 2019 when I was repeating the Frances but this time in stages and walked from St Jean to Burgos. But that was a schoolboy error on my behalf. Found it easy to get from Burgos to Bilbao so intend to do the same in reverse and continue from Burgos.
 
Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
Another news article about current numbers; this time it is about the Rioja region where pilgrims from SJPP walk through before they reach the Burgos region. Similar content to the content of the earlier article about Burgos: the number of pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago (C. Francés) is similar to the year 2019 before the pandemic. By the end of the year, the albergue of Logroño is even hopeful to reach a higher number of pilgrims staying there but so far they have not yet reached that level, only around 85% of their 2019 pilgrims figures.

The pilgrim albergues in Logroño and Navarette are operating at full capacity again.

Interesting tidbit: In the Rioja section of the Camino, they have 30% Spanish pilgrims and 70% foreign pilgrims. I would not be surprised if that proportion is the exact opposite the closer you get to Santiago and especially from Galicia / Sarria onwards.

 
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Ianinam

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
CF 2013 / CP 2018
By the end of the year, the albergue of Logroño is even hopeful to reach a higher number of pilgrims staying there but so far they have not yet reached that level, only around 85% of their 2019 pilgrims figures.

This is totally similar to the figures in Roncesvalles: up till now we had 86% of the amount of pilgrims in 2019.
 

Bradypus

Migratory hermit
Past OR future Camino
Too many and too often!
This is totally similar to the figures in Roncesvalles: up till now we had 86% of the amount of pilgrims in 2019.
My impression is that fewer beds are available post-Covid with the permanent or temporary closure of some albergues and hostals. Raw pilgrim numbers themselves don't fully explain the situation. Is the balance of supply and demand different this year?
 

Richard of York

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Here on the 1st day out of Sarria the only day I would recommend you book is Saturday.

*edit* to say that's now, check the date you read this, it will vary.
 

irrie

Member
Past OR future Camino
2022 camino frances
I am walking the camino frances and am now in Boente, just after Melide. I started in St Jean Pied de Port on april 21. I had booked the accommodations at home from SJPD to Pamplona. Then booked 2-3 days ahead either through booking.com or contacting directly with the info from gronze.com. I prefer private rooms and about once a week I only could book a bunkbed, no problem. The last 2 weeks I booked 4-5 days ahead. Almost every time I could book at my first choice. Only o Cebreiro was a problem. Booking.com was full and I rang all the other accommodations without success. Then I rang a accomodation which was full on booking.com and they had a double room for me!!
Don’t be afraid to make a booking by telephone. Learn a fee spanish sentences to make the booking. Don’t expect that english is spoken. For me every booking I made by phone worked out fine. They only want your first name (I was Irma de Hollanda) and your nationality.
 
Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
My impression is that fewer beds are available post-Covid with the permanent or temporary closure of some albergues and hostals. Raw pilgrim numbers themselves don't fully explain the situation.
This may well be true. Also, changing demographics and lingering health concerns may be causing a (relative) greater shift to beds in private rooms instead of bunk beds in dormitories.

But the frequently predicted avalanche due to a combination of Holy Year 2022 and pent-up demand from 2020 and 2021 has not yet manifested itself in the Pilgrim Office's Compostela numbers. There is an increase compared to 2019 but so far it is not dramatic. Next week or so, they will have reached their 100,000th Compostela for this year but it will be only a few days earlier than in 2019 and 2018 when this milestone was reached on the 9th of June and on the 16th of June respectively. Ah, the net does not forget ... 😊
 
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A Kerryman

Member
Past OR future Camino
2018,2019, 2021
For those walking the Camino Frances right now, or recently, how is the bed situation?
Any difficulty finding a bed?
Are people booking ahead more?

I'm sure the regular 'choke points' like Zubiri are still a challenge, but what about elsewhere?

For those who walked pre Covid, would you say the numbers are now 'back to normal' or even higher?
(recognising we are not through Covid yet of course)

Just curious what it's like as I probably won't get back out there till next year.
Los Arcos at 2 o clock afternoon, Albergue
completo and Pilgrims heading off in buses .It’s busy in the popular stops but Cirauqui last night had some beds .
 

Richard of York

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Total randomness in Vilachá (94km). My neighbours Casa Banderas was full yesterday and almost so on Saturday, and it only had one person tonight.
It appears timing seems to be an issue after Sarria. Many start on Saturday and Sunday in Sarria because of trains from Madrid, many want to arrive in Santiago on Saturday or Sunday for mass on Sunday.
 

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