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can i camp outside the Albergues?


New Member
Camino(s) past & future
camino frances 2013
hi i hope someone can help answer this question In 2014 i began my camino from St Jean through to Pamplona. unfortunately i had a major allergic reaction to bed bug bites and had to stop my journey. this year i will return to complete the camino frances. is it possible to camp outside the Albergues in their garden so i can avoid the risk of allergic reaction to bed bug bites? i do not want to douse myself in chemicals for a month. so it seems that camping outside is my only safe option. grateful for any responses. thank you


Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
Cannot answer that one for the whole Camino - I guess just ask at each you stop at - would be nice to sleep outside - I have seen many pilgrims with tents at Roncesvalles and no one seems to mind and I do know that it is a definite Yes! at the modern refugio in Puente la Reina - up the track directly across the road after crossing the medieval bridge - lovely refugio with good food and accommodation, they even have a pool! as well as chalets for groups who want to be away from the refugio - http://campingelreal.com/ Also a Yes! at the camping site/refugio at Castrojeriz. As you come in you will see it signposted down on your left "CampingCamino" http://www.campingcamino.com/- they also have chalets for groups of pilgrims. Great little bar restaurant on site, wonderful big gender separated bathrooms, games room, laundry .. family run and mother does all the cooking, so is properly home made.
I believe that it is ok at San Bol as well but unsure as it changes hands sometimes.

So that is three or possibly four - Anyone have any others they know of??
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Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Over the past years I have had the privilege of staying several times at the now closed Eunate albergue; indeed, it was always most special. (see http://mermore.blogspot.fr/2011/04/aaa-eun.html) When leaving towards Puente la Reina each morning after climbing a gentle rise up to a large stone marker and fountain I would turn back for a final view of "perfection" while offering a silent prayer of gratitude for being able to see this beloved spot once more. Near that marker/fountain to the left is a wood; perhaps you might discreetly camp there.


New Member
Camino(s) past & future
April 2014. May 2015. May 2016
Last may (2015) I walked the Camino through France and as far as Burgos in Spain, Personnally I had no trouble what so ever with bed bugs throughout the whole trip, maybe I was lucky, I don't know, but I did make a point of not using any blankets that were available, I also didn't take a sleeping bag, only a cotton sleeping sack and my own light weight blanket, which I shook out every morning before putting it in my ruck sack. As to your question, I must admit that I don't remember seeing that much "camping area" around the albergues that I stayed in on route in France, I did see a "few" people camping next to, or with in the garden areas in Spain, but that maybe because the Camino gets busyier after St jean. A few of the albergues in France that I used had no place for camping what so ever and many were in very small villages or towns, so not all of then had any official camping grounds to offer as an alternative. Maybe buying a load of OS maps for the Camino Frances might help, as these will show which towns, villages, etc will have camp grounds, other than that, just take a chance, I'm sure that other people have done the same as your going to do, so it could be that there really is no problem after all. Hope this helps, good luck.


Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Via Frances (2012) Vie Del Norte (2015) Via Frances (2016) Le Puy (2017)
There was a woman on the CF in 2012 who had her two babies with her. Many albuergues wouldn't allow them to stay (some did - and the babies had strep throat. It was a disaster.) and she ended up camping outside in some places. But I remember that being a problem in a couple of towns though I don't know exactly why. Maybe there simply wasn't a place to pitch her tent?
I think you might want to do some research into permethrin and any possible risk to your health. I would rather accept that risk - whatever it may be - than risk an allergic reaction to bedbugs.


Staff member
On a number occasions, I have been in an albergue when someone asked about camping on the premises. Some hospitaleros have said yes and some have said no. Be prepared to pay the nightly charge, though (or maybe with a small discount), to cover the usage of the bathrooms, showers, kitchen, grounds, etc.


Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 15,16
Ingles 15
Norte 16, 17
Finesterra /Muxia 16, 17
Primativo 16
Portuguese 17
Some Alburgues will allow camping as others have said. There was a good thread a couple months back, use the search function. All of your questions will be answered in that thread. It is possible to camp every night on the Frances and the Ingles, can't comment on any of the other camino's .


Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Aragones, Vasco del Interior, Baztanes. (Frances Winter, La Plata, Camino de Invierno, Mozarabe, Norte, Primitivo.)
Hi iwbuzz. At some cities, could be a problem to camp outside. It is forbidden in many areas, and at others you cant be allowed to enjoy the use of facilities, like showers, W.C etc.
Talking about bedbugs: I had been sleeping at lots of albergues, for may years and many caminos. NEVER had been biten by bed bugs. Maybe you are a bad luck case :(. Tthere are lots of bed bugs repellents in the market. If walking in summer time, carry with you an anti- bed bug sheet or sleeping bag. It weigths less than a tent. Hope you have better luck next time. Buen Camino


New Member
Camino(s) past & future
camino frances 2013
thanks to all who replied to my question..i guess it's case of once bitten, twice shy! i certainly take all the precautions to avoid bed bugs, and i am relieved to hear that its more unlikely to get bitten. great friendly forum. thanks
Camino(s) past & future
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
I camp out a lot along the Camino because of my reaction to perfumes.
There are many places who will allow you to camp.
As someone mentioned, you may have to pay the fee for using the showers and kitchen, but for me it's worth it to have a quiet space and fresh air.
I'd so go for it.

Also, it has been my experience that there are great camping spaces, almost always, on the OTHER side of each village. So you can walk through, pick up food or eat, then find a place to stealth camp just outside the village. Sometimes there are picnic sites with tables and fountain.

Buen Camino!
Camino(s) past & future
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
Seems like there used to be a thread that listed camping spots on this forum.
Off the top of my head, I know you CAN camp at Orisson, Roncesvalles, Zubiri.
Trinidad de Arre has a nice yard I bet they would let you camp in.
I'd camp at Eunate. I've camped just outside of Cirauqui, on the ROAD (not the Camino) there is a park with tables.
You can camp between Torres del Rio and Viana on the ROAD on the left side, there is a old homestead.
There is a churchyard where you can camp in Ventosa.
I've camped at Epinosa, San Bol, San Anton,
I think they'd let you camp at St. Nicholas, Boadilla,
There are places near Fromista,
I've camped at Hospital del Orbigo, near El Ganso, I think Tomas would let you camp near Manjarin,
I've slept outdoors at Molinaseca.
I think they'd let you camp at La Faba, Pieros may allow it.

These are some of the places I know of, or places I'd ask.
I think you'd be fine if you just ask and be stealthy, leaving no sign.


Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances SJPP to Muxia, April (2014)
Camino Portuguese Lisbon>Santiago, April/May (2016)
It sounds like there will be days when you will not be able to camp. You could bring Tyvek and use as a lightweight groundsheet for your tent, and this could also double as a anti-bed bug sheet for the nights indoors. You would spray it with permethrin such as Sawyer - it is safe, in my opinion, and the same spray/concentration that clothing manufactures use in their "anti-bug" clothing. I know you said you dont want to use bug spray, but you may want to take a second look at the Sawyer permethrin spray, and consider spraying sleeping bag and backpack also. If you decide to use Tyvek footprint wash first with soap and water - this softens the fabric and takes away some of the crinkly feel. Tyvek weight 1443R has better fabric feel. Good luck and.......
Buen Camino,

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