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Can't get a response from Refuge Orisson, what to do?

Jopa57

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances - April/May 2019
#1
Hi,

I'm trying to make a reservation at Refuge Orisson for late April 2019, I have sent them 2 emails through their website and another one directly to refuge.orisson@wanadoo.fr, but they simply do not respond at all. Has anyone had this problem? any suggestions?

J. Paulo
 

Rick M

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
April ('16,'18, '19)
#2
Has anyone had this problem? any suggestions?
Everyone has this problem this time of year. Relax.

Orisson closes over the winter. Every once in a while it seems, someone goes to the electronic in-basket over the winter, and does a bunch of reservations. They will respond, you just need to be patient, it could take weeks. One time I stayed there, it took a month, another time it was about two weeks. Both times, I sent the request in November.

When they DO respond, they will send you a weird looking link (from SARL Apathia if I recall) so you can pay the deposit via Paypal. Its not a spam, its them confirming your booking, but you have to pay in advance. Do that, and you are good to go.

Buen Camino
 

J Willhaus

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
24 May- 14 July (2016)CF
Hospitalera, Zamora Dec 15-31, (2017), Hospitalera Grañón Dec 15-31 (2018)
#3
Yes, be sure to check junk mail so you don't miss the deposit request. They will respond when their holidays are over. Keep in.mind they do not reopen until April so there is time. Good for you to plan ahead. Such an exciting journey ahead of you! The overnight at Orrison helps cement bonds with others and it is such a pretty place.
 

Jopa57

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances - April/May 2019
#4
Everyone has this problem this time of year. Relax.

Orisson closes over the winter. Every once in a while it seems, someone goes to the electronic in-basket over the winter, and does a bunch of reservations. They will respond, you just need to be patient, it could take weeks. One time I stayed there, it took a month, another time it was about two weeks. Both times, I sent the request in November.

When they DO respond, they will send you a weird looking link (from SARL Apathia if I recall) so you can pay the deposit via Paypal. Its not a spam, its them confirming your booking, but you have to pay in advance. Do that, and you are good to go.

Buen Camino

That’s very comforting to know, thanks a lot!

J. Paulo
 

Jopa57

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances - April/May 2019
#5
Yes, be sure to check junk mail so you don't miss the deposit request. They will respond when their holidays are over. Keep in.mind they do not reopen until April so there is time. Good for you to plan ahead. Such an exciting journey ahead of you! The overnight at Orrison helps cement bonds with others and it is such a pretty place.

Thank you, that’s valuable information, I don’t know what I would do without you guys feeding me this!
 

AlexanderAZ

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017 (Sept/Oct): CF: SJPdP-->Fisterra-->Muxia (solo)
2019 (late Sept): CF: SJPdP-->Leon (honeymoon!)
#6
I sent my email last week to get in que for next fall. Salute to the planners! :p
 
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
#7
In addition to what is said above they practice FIFO (first in first out). This means that reservation requests are handled in the order they are received. So, if they have, for example, 40 bed spaces available per night and you are request number 41 for that night, you are out of luck.

This is why you should send your reservation request as soon as you know your travel dates, and then be very patient. They will get around to you eventually.

Also, even if you DO have a paid reservation, don't waste time getting up the hill on your first day. On the day you start out from St. Jean Pied de Port, get started and to Orisson at a reasonably normal hour. Lunch on the deck with a cold drink (or two) is one of life's truly great experiences...at least IMHO

Actual beds are assigned when you arrive, in the order of arrival. So, they fill the main house first, then the bunk area under the deck across the road. Sometimes, seasonally determined, late arrivals are sent to a variety of tents erected in the lawn area just outside and to the rear of the main building.

If all available sleeping space is exhausted, they will send you back DOWN the road about 1 km to the Albergue at Hunto. They also own this property. Hunto is not as preferred as it lacks the food service and the outstanding views. Plus, it is one km DOWN the hill. You would have to walk back UP the hill the next morning...

So, don't be late. Try to arrive before 1:00 pm, IMHO.

Hope this helps.
 

Monasp

I'm a manager of pilgrims office in SJPP
Camino(s) past & future
Camino in 2008.
#8
Hi,

I'm trying to make a reservation at Refuge Orisson for late April 2019, I have sent them 2 emails through their website and another one directly to refuge.orisson@wanadoo.fr, but they simply do not respond at all. Has anyone had this problem? any suggestions?

J. Paulo
Orisson is closed untill april. Try later
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015); Camino Norte/Primitivo (2016); Camino Frances (2017); Le Puy (June 2018)
#9
I have read so many questions and confusion from pilgrims trying to book at Orrison since I have been on this forum and I have sympathy when they don't hear back for so long. Thankfully others chime in with additional information to help alleviate their concerns...That said, it sure would be nice if Orrison would become a part of booking.com (or similar). It is so easy to use and quickly takes the worry out of being stressed and wondering if or when you will hear back from them. I realize there is a cost, but it would be helpful to both pilgrims and the owners themselves.
 
Camino(s) past & future
----
#10
Thank you, that’s valuable information, I don’t know what I would do without you guys feeding me this!
Please let us know when you do get a reply. There seems to be a known communication problem: either people got the email address wrong in the first place or they don't see the reply because it ends up in their spam folder (or perhaps even a spam filter so that they never see it?).

In a Camino FB group to which I belong people reported that they got a reply about a week ago (end of Nov 2018).

They also report that "the reply comes from Sarl Apathia, not refuge.orisson@wanadoo.fr". Sarl Apathia is not the name of a girl, as a poster assumed who put it in their address book to make sure to get the reply instead of it being treated as spam email. It's the name of a commercial enterprise under French law.

People reported that they got replies earlier telling them "to wait until 15 November to request the reservation" but we are past this date now.

People were also informed that they don't take reservations for the beginning of April 2019 because they can't say whether they will be actually open as it will depend on the weather.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
(2019) only 2 weeks available! St. Jean PDP - Pamplona, then Sarria - SDC with the family,
#12
Please let us know when you do get a reply. There seems to be a known communication problem: either people got the email address wrong in the first place or they don't see the reply because it ends up in their spam folder (or perhaps even a spam filter so that they never see it?).

In a Camino FB group to which I belong people reported that they got a reply about a week ago (end of Nov 2018).

They also report that "the reply comes from Sarl Apathia, not refuge.orisson@wanadoo.fr". Sarl Apathia is not the name of a girl, as a poster assumed who put it in their address book to make sure to get the reply instead of it being treated as spam email. It's the name of a commercial enterprise under French law.

People reported that they got replies earlier telling them "to wait until 15 November to request the reservation" but we are past this date now.

People were also informed that they don't take reservations for the beginning of April 2019 because they can't say whether they will be actually open as it will depend on the weather.
I made reservations for April 10. I emailed them on November 17, and they replied on November 30. The initial reply came from refuge.orisson@wanadoo.fr and the following day I received an email from SARL APATHIA which was the invoice for the paypal deposit.

Buen Camino!
 

TSchulen

A Work in Progress
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP-Santiago (Sep/Oct 2018)
#14
it sure would be nice if Orrison would become a part of booking.com (or similar). It is so easy to use and quickly takes the worry out of being stressed and wondering if or when you will hear back from them. I realize there is a cost, but it would be helpful to both pilgrims and the owners themselves.
We were talking to an albergue owner in September and he said Booking.Com takes something like 15% commission. During peak season they will only show a few, if any vacancies on booking.com because they know they can fill beds with those who call or drop in. While it may be convenient for tech savvy pilgrims, the popular albergues are better off not using the online sites.
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2013)-SJPP to SdC
(2014)-SJPP to Burgos
(2015)-Burgos to Leon
(2016)- Leon to Finesterre
#15
Welcome to the club...
I remember the waiting to hear from Orisson about my reservation request was the first anxiety about my upcoming Camino (2013) that was all part of my pilgrim experience.
There will be more anxieties to come for you and
no amount of planning will eliminate all the surprises or setbacks. You will live through them all.
Don’t worry. Buen Camino
 

Jerilyn

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
"CF May 5, 2019"
#16
Hi,

I'm trying to make a reservation at Refuge Orisson for late April 2019, I have sent them 2 emails through their website and another one directly to refuge.orisson@wanadoo.fr, but they simply do not respond at all. Has anyone had this problem? any suggestions?

J. Paulo
I just booked for early May 2019. The reply came about a week and a half after my request. You should hear from them soon.
 

J Willhaus

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
24 May- 14 July (2016)CF
Hospitalera, Zamora Dec 15-31, (2017), Hospitalera Grañón Dec 15-31 (2018)
#17
Although booking.com is easy for the Pilgrim, there are drawbacks for the owner. As mentioned above there are commissions, etc. I would venture to say that Orrison seldom has openings and word of mouth advertising is probably just fine for them. As a new pilgrim, I also had anxiety about my booking with them and I feel that was from my experiences of online booking for almost everything in the US. The camino experience reminded me of trips earlier in life where you called for a reservation or just showed up and hoped for the best.
 

Jamieb

New Member
#18
I emailed my request on November 15th for June date and heard from them the last week in November that my reservation was accepted, email stated they would send me an invoice to pay thru Paypal - I just assumed I would get an email requesting payment and never did.

I just happened to log into PayPal for a different transaction a week later and saw that there was a pending charge/payment request from them on my actual Paypal account. So if you don't actually get an email from them requesting payment - log into your Paypal account and see if there is a request.
 
Camino(s) past & future
----
#19
I just happened to log into PayPal for a different transaction a week later and saw that there was a pending charge/payment request from them on my actual Paypal account. So if you don't actually get an email from them requesting payment - log into your Paypal account and see if there is a request.
I have no idea how that works :D, I guess the email address you used for the reservation must be the same as the email address linked to the PayPal account. Not everyone has a PayPal account. But useful information nevertheless, I suppose.

It would help if Refuge Orisson would explain their booking procedure in more detail on their website. Alas, they have apparently revamped their website some time ago with the result that even the information that was available before is no longer accessible, at least not when I tried it. All you can currently do is fill in the reservation form and send it off.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Portugués, Francés, Le Puy, Rota Vicentina, De Soulac, Norte, Madrid-Salv-Primitivo
#20
it sure would be nice if Orrison would become a part of booking.com (or similar).
Orisson doesn’t need booking.com, or any other online booking system :).

What they need is competition . . . which ain’t gonna happen where they are located :mad:.

But, whatever it takes to book a bed there, it IS worth it :D.

Jill
 

Vacajoe

Traded in my work boots for hiking ones
Camino(s) past & future
Biarritz-Pamplona-Lourdes, Aragones-Frances-Finisterre, Operation Sabre, Marin Ramble
#21
My request for a mid-April bed took about two weeks for a reply, then received an email acknowledging it followed by a request to pay a deposit through PayPal. Remember, it’s winter there and this is a small private albergue that is currently closed for the season. Let this time of waiting be good preparation for the many unknowns and challenges you’ll face on the Camino.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route. 2018 was Camino #14
#22
Just to be safe, I'd go to booking.com and make a reservation for a 2nd night in SJPP.
Be sure to do one that you can cancel if/when you receive confirmation from Orisson.
There is a shuttle that runs to/from Orisson/SJPP so if you don't get a bed in Orisson, you can shuttle down to SJPP for the night, shuttle back up in the morning and continue on over the hill.
 

Jopa57

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances - April/May 2019
#24
Everyone has this problem this time of year. Relax.

Orisson closes over the winter. Every once in a while it seems, someone goes to the electronic in-basket over the winter, and does a bunch of reservations. They will respond, you just need to be patient, it could take weeks. One time I stayed there, it took a month, another time it was about two weeks. Both times, I sent the request in November.

When they DO respond, they will send you a weird looking link (from SARL Apathia if I recall) so you can pay the deposit via Paypal. Its not a spam, its them confirming your booking, but you have to pay in advance. Do that, and you are good to go.

Buen Camino
Thanks a lot, that makes me feel a lot better.
 

Jopa57

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances - April/May 2019
#25
My request for a mid-April bed took about two weeks for a reply, then received an email acknowledging it followed by a request to pay a deposit through PayPal. Remember, it’s winter there and this is a small private albergue that is currently closed for the season. Let this time of waiting be good preparation for the many unknowns and challenges you’ll face on the Camino.
Thank you, patient I will be...
 

Jopa57

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances - April/May 2019
#26
Just to be safe, I'd go to booking.com and make a reservation for a 2nd night in SJPP.
Be sure to do one that you can cancel if/when you receive confirmation from Orisson.
There is a shuttle that runs to/from Orisson/SJPP so if you don't get a bed in Orisson, you can shuttle down to SJPP for the night, shuttle back up in the morning and continue on over the hill.
This is great input, thank you!
 

Jopa57

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances - April/May 2019
#27
In addition to what is said above they practice FIFO (first in first out). This means that reservation requests are handled in the order they are received. So, if they have, for example, 40 bed spaces available per night and you are request number 41 for that night, you are out of luck.

This is why you should send your reservation request as soon as you know your travel dates, and then be very patient. They will get around to you eventually.

Also, even if you DO have a paid reservation, don't waste time getting up the hill on your first day. On the day you start out from St. Jean Pied de Port, get started and to Orisson at a reasonably normal hour. Lunch on the deck with a cold drink (or two) is one of life's truly great experiences...at least IMHO

Actual beds are assigned when you arrive, in the order of arrival. So, they fill the main house first, then the bunk area under the deck across the road. Sometimes, seasonally determined, late arrivals are sent to a variety of tents erected in the lawn area just outside and to the rear of the main building.

If all available sleeping space is exhausted, they will send you back DOWN the road about 1 km to the Albergue at Hunto. They also own this property. Hunto is not as preferred as it lacks the food service and the outstanding views. Plus, it is one km DOWN the hill. You would have to walk back UP the hill the next morning...

So, don't be late. Try to arrive before 1:00 pm, IMHO.

Hope this helps.
Great inputs, thanks a lot!
 

Jopa57

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances - April/May 2019
#29
Welcome to the club...
I remember the waiting to hear from Orisson about my reservation request was the first anxiety about my upcoming Camino (2013) that was all part of my pilgrim experience.
There will be more anxieties to come for you and
no amount of planning will eliminate all the surprises or setbacks. You will live through them all.
Don’t worry. Buen Camino
Thank you, I'll try to take the surprises with calm... that would be a valuable learning indeed.
 

Jopa57

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances - April/May 2019
#30
I have read so many questions and confusion from pilgrims trying to book at Orrison since I have been on this forum and I have sympathy when they don't hear back for so long. Thankfully others chime in with additional information to help alleviate their concerns...That said, it sure would be nice if Orrison would become a part of booking.com (or similar). It is so easy to use and quickly takes the worry out of being stressed and wondering if or when you will hear back from them. I realize there is a cost, but it would be helpful to both pilgrims and the owners themselves.
Thank you, couldn't agree more...
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015); Camino Norte/Primitivo (2016); Camino Frances (2017); Le Puy (June 2018)
#31
Orisson doesn’t need booking.com, or any other online booking system :).

What they need is competition . . . which ain’t gonna happen where they are located :mad:.

But, whatever it takes to book a bed there, it IS worth it :D.

Jill
We were talking to an albergue owner in September and he said Booking.Com takes something like 15% commission. During peak season they will only show a few, if any vacancies on booking.com because they know they can fill beds with those who call or drop in. While it may be convenient for tech savvy pilgrims, the popular albergues are better off not using the online sites.
I agree, but Orrison is the only albergue that repeatedly over and over leaves pilgrims who are trying to make a reservation months in advance left dangling and confused until forum members step in with posts to help them better understand the unique booking policy of Orrison. I have read scores and scores of questions posted on this in less than two years.
 
Camino(s) past & future
First one planned for May 2019: Camino Francés
#32
Also, even if you DO have a paid reservation, don't waste time getting up the hill on your first day. On the day you start out from St. Jean Pied de Port, get started and to Orisson at a reasonably normal hour. Lunch on the deck with a cold drink (or two) is one of life's truly great experiences...at least IMHO

Actual beds are assigned when you arrive, in the order of arrival. So, they fill the main house first, then the bunk area under the deck across the road. Sometimes, seasonally determined, late arrivals are sent to a variety of tents erected in the lawn area just outside and to the rear of the main building.

If all available sleeping space is exhausted, they will send you back DOWN the road about 1 km to the Albergue at Hunto. They also own this property. Hunto is not as preferred as it lacks the food service and the outstanding views. Plus, it is one km DOWN the hill. You would have to walk back UP the hill the next morning...

So, don't be late. Try to arrive before 1:00 pm, IMHO.

Hope this helps.
Must admit, that your post does not really help to make me feel at ease :confused:, though that's not due to you t2andreo, but I'm going to be a very slow pilgrim due to personal restrictions.

That's why I wanted to book Orisson soon. But obviously booking ahead does not really help to get a good bunk or any if one does not arrive "on time" - whatever "on time" is at my particular travel day. I probably could not cope with being sent back, even 1 km to Hunto. Don't know whether I should even try to start travelling from SJdPP ...
 
Camino(s) past & future
----
#33
That's why I wanted to book Orisson soon. But obviously booking ahead does not really help to get a good bunk or any if one does not arrive "on time" - whatever "on time" is at my particular travel day. I probably could not cope with being sent back, even 1 km to Hunto. Don't know whether I should even try to start travelling from SJdPP ...
Why don't you write to the Refuge Orisson and check arrangements with them directly? You will have to pay for accommodation and food in advance in any case. Check with them when you have to arrive at the latest; whether they guarantee you a bed at Orisson itself or whether there is a risk of being sent to Kayola.

As far as I can tell from previous messages on this forum from people who stayed there in recent years, they no longer offer accommodation in tents. Be aware that May and September are the busiest months, especially the first two weeks of those two months.

"A good bunk" - I don't think you have a choice as to rooms/top or bottom bunk etc. Don't forget that there is also the option to start in SJPP and walk via Valcarlos.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
#34
Must admit, that your post does not really help to make me feel at ease :confused:, though that's not due to you t2andreo, but I'm going to be a very slow pilgrim due to personal restrictions.

That's why I wanted to book Orisson soon. But obviously booking ahead does not really help to get a good bunk or any if one does not arrive "on time" - whatever "on time" is at my particular travel day. I probably could not cope with being sent back, even 1 km to Hunto. Don't know whether I should even try to start travelling from SJdPP ...
Sorry, I was not more reassuring. The point I was trying to make, and you will find it at most every albergue on the Camino, is that the proprietors assign bunks on a "first come first served" basis.

Once you are into Spain, you will occasionally see rucksacks lined up outside the still closed front door if the albergue is not yet open. This is the standard protocol for holding your place in line if you do not want to stand there and wait for them to open.

Refuge Orisson and a few other highly popular albergues along several routes are frequently booked in advance and difficult to score a walk-up bed. You can locate these albergues by searching here in the forum or by asking others for recommendations.

Personally, it is my rule to only stay in an albergue if no commercial lodging is available. But, everyone is different and walks their own Camino.

Perhaps the sole accommodation is assigning bottom bunks to older pilgrims if they are available when you arrive. Being 65, and pear shaped, I always ask on arrival when I have to stay at an albergue. This is a liability issue for the proprietors and a safety issue to older pilgrims who MAY not be able to handle a top bunk.

Arriving 'on time' is a relative and subjective phrase that varies from day to day. If you are arriving on a lightly traveled day, clearly this is all less of a problem. But if you are arriving, say on a Friday or Saturday (typically the highest frequency arrival dates for starting out, and if you arrive too late, your bed choices are more limited.

That is the only thing I was trying to communicate.

I hope this clarifies on that point...
 
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
#36
BTW, how long did it take you to walk from SJPP to Orisson?
Just FYI, because of the steepish climb the first day, I usually make it the 8 km in about 3 hours. I take my time and wait for 'tweedle dee' and 'tweedle dum' to catch me up. Those are my personal nicknames for my lungs...:eek:

I frequently have to stop and catch my breath, figuratively for 'the boys' to catch me up as I do this walk, and a couple of others at the beginning of any long Camino. It can feel like you are hacking up a lung at times, especially if you are a pear-shaped, "chunky monkey" like me...o_O

Preconditioning is important, but not absolutely vital if you are in basically good shape and have no chronic issues that will cause you to fall down stone dead with this sort of exertion. If you have such issues then you need to think about alternatives to walking this first stage. You can get a taxi or shuttle ride to Roncesvalles, or start at Pamplona.

It's all good, and it is YOUR Camino. I know people who have started touring Saint Jean Pied de Port for a day or two then caught a taxi to the 10 km point, 2 km AFTER Orisson, and walking the rest of the way over the Pyrenees into Spain from there. The views are still amazing.

Generally, and for most pilgrims, the first week or so is training, on-the-job, so to speak. After that, your body starts to get used to doing something abnormal daily. After about two weeks your body is conditioned to the pattern. You can search the forum for discussions regarding the emotional or metaphysical stages of a camino.

Hope this helps.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
St Olav/Francés ('16)
Baztanés/Francés ('17)
Ingles ('18)
#37
Nothing. Just wait.
They will reply when they can, on their schedule, not on ours.

agree, but Orrison is the only albergue that repeatedly over and over leaves pilgrims who are trying to make a reservation months in advance left dangling and confused
Making reservations months in advance is a modern thing that we seem to think is the way things 'should' be done. But not that long ago most peregrinos took what was available and were content with that...whether it was a room or a spot outside under the church porch. Some still do.
There is an ease that comes with patience, and a joy with spontaneity.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015); Camino Norte/Primitivo (2016); Camino Frances (2017); Le Puy (June 2018)
#38
I agree, VN, that spontaneity is awesome and I have walked into many, many albergues in Spain spur of the moment. However because of flight schedules I have always booked my first and last nights ahead of time on my previous Caminos.

Orrison is a different "bird" as people who are preparing for their first camino and want to walk the Napoleon route feel staying there is a safety net to help avoid injury and meet other newbies. I think their outdated system of booking causes unneeded angst, especially for new pilgrims who must wait, sometimes months to hear anything back.

My own experience on my first camino was that Orrison was all booked up as I hadn't planned far enough ahead to reserve a bed as I was being spontaneous☺. I was literally afraid to walk the whole way to Roncevalles in one day after reading reports of injuries from doing too much, too soon. I chose the Valcarlos route instead and enjoyed it so much, that I chose to walk it again.

I agree with Jill that it would be nice to have some other lodging options on the way up that "hill".
 

ghostdog

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances April (2019)
#39
Must admit, that your post does not really help to make me feel at ease :confused:, though that's not due to you t2andreo, but I'm going to be a very slow pilgrim due to personal restrictions.

That's why I wanted to book Orisson soon. But obviously booking ahead does not really help to get a good bunk or any if one does not arrive "on time" - whatever "on time" is at my particular travel day. I probably could not cope with being sent back, even 1 km to Hunto. Don't know whether I should even try to start travelling from SJdPP ...
I received a confirmation after 2 weeks. On time for Orisson is 6:30 pm for the meal.
 

oursonpolaire

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002, Toulouse/Aragon 2005, Cami S Jaume/Aragon 2007/9, Mont Saint Michel/Norte/Vadiniense 2011, Norte/Primitivo 2013, Norte/Primitivo 2014. Norte 2015, Cami S Jaume/Castellano-Aragonese 2016
#40
We were talking to an albergue owner in September and he said Booking.Com takes something like 15% commission. During peak season they will only show a few, if any vacancies on booking.com because they know they can fill beds with those who call or drop in. While it may be convenient for tech savvy pilgrims, the popular albergues are better off not using the online sites.
This also applies to commercial accommodation, such as pensions, hostales, and casas rurales. Owners have told me that I should always call if booking.com declares them full, as they almost always have rooms available for casual arrivals.
 
Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean 2017.
#41
Hi,

I'm trying to make a reservation at Refuge Orisson for late April 2019, I have sent them 2 emails through their website and another one directly to refuge.orisson@wanadoo.fr, but they simply do not respond at all. Has anyone had this problem? any suggestions?

J. Paulo

In addition to the advice above, use google chrom to translate your request into French.Yes they do speak English (and Spanish and Basque) but its just that little bit extra that will be remembered.Should be arouned E33.00 for evening meal, bed and breakfast. Cheers (Oh since its only going to take 3 or so hours there is no need to rush out of St John in the morning.)
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2, El Norte incompleto
#42
(Oh since its only going to take 3 or so hours there is no need to rush out of St John in the morning.)
I agree with this. Don't start walking at 7 am with everyone who is going to walk all the way to Roncesvalles. Have a leisurely breakfast, poke around St Jean, and start around 11:00 or so. You will still have plenty of time to relax and enjoy the terrace at Orisson in the afternoon.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
St Olav/Francés ('16)
Baztanés/Francés ('17)
Ingles ('18)
#43
I think their outdated system of booking causes unneeded angst, especially for new pilgrims who must wait, sometimes months to hear anything back.
And what's wrong with angst, anyway? ;)
Part of the camino journey is learning to relax around how life puts itself together, by itself. If we never get out of our comfort zone we never get the lessons we need.

The world is more and more demanding security but ultimately it just can't be found. And asking a business owner to change their system to cater to our insecurities is giving in to naive demands that someone should keep us safe.

The system is what it is. Whether we feel angst or not (some of us do, and others don't) is up to us.
Blaming Orrison for causing the angst is blaming the messenger and missing the source.

I chose the Valcarlos route instead and enjoyed it so much, that I chose to walk it again.
Isn't it gorgeous? If you are concerned about making it to Roncesvalles in one day, this is such a lovely option.
FOMO as far as Orisson is concerned is fed by the Hollywood hype that staying there is an essential part of walking the Camino Frances. It is not.
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2, El Norte incompleto
#44
FOMO as far as Orisson is concerned is fed by the Hollywood hype that staying there is an essential part of walking the Camino Frances. It is not.
I certainly don't think that it's essential to stay at Orisson - after all most pilgrims don't - but after traveling almost 20 hours from the West Coast of the US I am happy that there is the option to split up that first stage while I'm jet lagged and sleep deprived.
 

J Willhaus

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
24 May- 14 July (2016)CF
Hospitalera, Zamora Dec 15-31, (2017), Hospitalera Grañón Dec 15-31 (2018)
#45
The first day--I remember well! I was the first out of the albergue and then spent the next hour waiting on Phil who was the LAST pilgrim out of the albergue. The hill seemed like forever and every sign a tease indicating that we'd only walked 3 km or something.

We stopped for coffee at Hunto after about 5 km. Felt like total wimps. Then struggled up the last 3 (300???) km. As we reached what seemed like a brief flat stretch all we could see ahead with the path going higher and higher. We were so discouraged and then around a bend....there it was...the oasis of Orrison. I almost cried. We had lunch on the terrace with new found friends from the night before. Lazed away the afternoon with our first day of sock washing and siestas. Had a wonderful communal supper with about 40 of our new best friends and slept in a room with a man who had yet to learn any albergue etiquette.

Got up to start it all over again...I was first out of the albergue. Spend an hour waiting on Phil again (What was he possibly doing in there!!!)...and so went the rest of our camino.
20160524_125411.jpg
 
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
#46
This also applies to commercial accommodation, such as pensions, hostales, and casas rurales. Owners have told me that I should always call if booking.com declares them full, as they almost always have rooms available for casual arrivals.
I use booking.com to locate a property, then do a google search to see if they have a direct web page.

If there is a direct web page that provides reservation capability, I prefer that. I use booking.com as a Plan B.

As others have stated, proprietors have to pay booking.com 15% commission. If you book direct you MIGHT save a few €€€. Over a month, it can add up...

Hope this helps.
 

oursonpolaire

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002, Toulouse/Aragon 2005, Cami S Jaume/Aragon 2007/9, Mont Saint Michel/Norte/Vadiniense 2011, Norte/Primitivo 2013, Norte/Primitivo 2014. Norte 2015, Cami S Jaume/Castellano-Aragonese 2016
#47
I use booking.com to locate a property, then do a google search to see if they have a direct web page.

If there is a direct web page that provides reservation capability, I prefer that. I use booking.com as a Plan B.

As others have stated, proprietors have to pay booking.com 15% commission. If you book direct you MIGHT save a few €€€. Over a month, it can add up...

Hope this helps.
I have had astonishingly bad luck trying direct reservations on web pages; many--- yes, many--- Spanish hoteliers do not seem to use them. Posadas de Compostela seemed quite startled one year when I turned up-- the clerk was puzzled, and said so few people use it, they don't look at it that often.... Telephone works best, although I use my best John Wayne Spanish to make it clear that I am not a native speaker.
 

TSchulen

A Work in Progress
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP-Santiago (Sep/Oct 2018)
#48
I agree, but Orrison is the only albergue that repeatedly over and over leaves pilgrims who are trying to make a reservation months in advance left dangling and confused
Not exactly true, but because they are the first stop for some pilgrims I understand the frustration. If people are concerned that they won't get a reservation, and can't make it to Roncesvalles, they should consider previous advice from members and book in Valcarlos as a backup. Or, start further down the road. Not being able to walk the Napoleon route is not a good reason to abandon plans to walk the Camino. Getting from SJPdP to Santiago will require some faith and flexibility.
 

Jopa57

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances - April/May 2019
#49
Sorry, I was not more reassuring. The point I was trying to make, and you will find it at most every albergue on the Camino, is that the proprietors assign bunks on a "first come first served" basis.

Once you are into Spain, you will occasionally see rucksacks lined up outside the still closed front door if the albergue is not yet open. This is the standard protocol for holding your place in line if you do not want to stand there and wait for them to open.

Refuge Orisson and a few other highly popular albergues along several routes are frequently booked in advance and difficult to score a walk-up bed. You can locate these albergues by searching here in the forum or by asking others for recommendations.

Personally, it is my rule to only stay in an albergue if no commercial lodging is available. But, everyone is different and walks their own Camino.

Perhaps the sole accommodation is assigning bottom bunks to older pilgrims if they are available when you arrive. Being 65, and pear shaped, I always ask on arrival when I have to stay at an albergue. This is a liability issue for the proprietors and a safety issue to older pilgrims who MAY not be able to handle a top bunk.

Arriving 'on time' is a relative and subjective phrase that varies from day to day. If you are arriving on a lightly traveled day, clearly this is all less of a problem. But if you are arriving, say on a Friday or Saturday (typically the highest frequency arrival dates for starting out, and if you arrive too late, your bed choices are more limited.

That is the only thing I was trying to communicate.

I hope this clarifies on that point...
Thanks for the information on the protocol for holding the place in line, I didn't know about that one!
 

Jopa57

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances - April/May 2019
#50
Just FYI, because of the steepish climb the first day, I usually make it the 8 km in about 3 hours. I take my time and wait for 'tweedle dee' and 'tweedle dum' to catch me up. Those are my personal nicknames for my lungs...:eek:

I frequently have to stop and catch my breath, figuratively for 'the boys' to catch me up as I do this walk, and a couple of others at the beginning of any long Camino. It can feel like you are hacking up a lung at times, especially if you are a pear-shaped, "chunky monkey" like me...o_O

Preconditioning is important, but not absolutely vital if you are in basically good shape and have no chronic issues that will cause you to fall down stone dead with this sort of exertion. If you have such issues then you need to think about alternatives to walking this first stage. You can get a taxi or shuttle ride to Roncesvalles, or start at Pamplona.

It's all good, and it is YOUR Camino. I know people who have started touring Saint Jean Pied de Port for a day or two then caught a taxi to the 10 km point, 2 km AFTER Orisson, and walking the rest of the way over the Pyrenees into Spain from there. The views are still amazing.

Generally, and for most pilgrims, the first week or so is training, on-the-job, so to speak. After that, your body starts to get used to doing something abnormal daily. After about two weeks your body is conditioned to the pattern. You can search the forum for discussions regarding the emotional or metaphysical stages of a camino.

Hope this helps.
Thanks, it did help a lot. I'm sure it will take me at least 3 hours as I'll have the same need as yours (to wait for the "boys" to catch up)
 

Jopa57

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances - April/May 2019
#51
The first day--I remember well! I was the first out of the albergue and then spent the next hour waiting on Phil who was the LAST pilgrim out of the albergue. The hill seemed like forever and every sign a tease indicating that we'd only walked 3 km or something.

We stopped for coffee at Hunto after about 5 km. Felt like total wimps. Then struggled up the last 3 (300???) km. As we reached what seemed like a brief flat stretch all we could see ahead with the path going higher and higher. We were so discouraged and then around a bend....there it was...the oasis of Orrison. I almost cried. We had lunch on the terrace with new found friends from the night before. Lazed away the afternoon with our first day of sock washing and siestas. Had a wonderful communal supper with about 40 of our new best friends and slept in a room with a man who had yet to learn any albergue etiquette.

Got up to start it all over again...I was first out of the albergue. Spend an hour waiting on Phil again (What was he possibly doing in there!!!)...and so went the rest of our camino.
View attachment 49661
Loved the idea of having lunch at Orrison, do they sell lunch there or do you have to bring your own food?
 

Jopa57

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances - April/May 2019
#52
I use booking.com to locate a property, then do a google search to see if they have a direct web page.

If there is a direct web page that provides reservation capability, I prefer that. I use booking.com as a Plan B.

As others have stated, proprietors have to pay booking.com 15% commission. If you book direct you MIGHT save a few €€€. Over a month, it can add up...

Hope this helps.
Good hint, thanks!
 

J Willhaus

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
24 May- 14 July (2016)CF
Hospitalera, Zamora Dec 15-31, (2017), Hospitalera Grañón Dec 15-31 (2018)
#54
Loved the idea of having lunch at Orrison, do they sell lunch there or do you have to bring your own food?
Sandwiches and beer and a view we admire.
 
Camino(s) past & future
March/April 2015, Late April 2016, Sept/Oct 2017
#56
In addition to what is said above they practice FIFO (first in first out). This means that reservation requests are handled in the order they are received. So, if they have, for example, 40 bed spaces available per night and you are request number 41 for that night, you are out of luck.

This is why you should send your reservation request as soon as you know your travel dates, and then be very patient. They will get around to you eventually.

Also, even if you DO have a paid reservation, don't waste time getting up the hill on your first day. On the day you start out from St. Jean Pied de Port, get started and to Orisson at a reasonably normal hour. Lunch on the deck with a cold drink (or two) is one of life's truly great experiences...at least IMHO

Actual beds are assigned when you arrive, in the order of arrival. So, they fill the main house first, then the bunk area under the deck across the road.
....
We walked in April, and arrived kind of late. We ended up in the bunk area-- which was fine. I didn't sit on that gorgeous deck, as it was foggy, rainy, and pretty chilly out. But I think there was a fire going in the dining area. :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
#57
it's all good. Just looking downhill, back towards St. Jean Pied de Port gives me a very good feeling...
 
Camino(s) past & future
The French Way May/June (2015) Complete.
Proposed - Porto Way from Lisbon May(2017).
#58
He
Hi,

I'm trying to make a reservation at Refuge Orisson for late April 2019, I have sent them 2 emails through their website and another one directly to refuge.orisson@wanadoo.fr, but they simply do not respond at all. Has anyone had this problem? any suggestions?

J. Paulo
Hello, My wife and I walked the French Way in May 2015 and encountered the same problem, in that they did not reply. Upon our arrival our reservation was in tack. They explained they are very busy, which they were, and are not good at replying to emails. We still found the lead up unnerving. Once in St Jean Pied de port the Pilgrim Office actually called Orisson for us to make sure we had a room. It's a short hike, but very challenging in that its up hill all the way. Many went onto Ronceivallas in one day, but that is down hill most of the way and equally as challenging.
 

Gaddong

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2018) CF SJPDP April 22, to May 27.
#59
I have read so many questions and confusion from pilgrims trying to book at Orrison since I have been on this forum and I have sympathy when they don't hear back for so long. Thankfully others chime in with additional information to help alleviate their concerns...That said, it sure would be nice if Orrison would become a part of booking.com (or similar). It is so easy to use and quickly takes the worry out of being stressed and wondering if or when you will hear back from them. I realize there is a cost, but it would be helpful to both pilgrims and the owners themselves.[/QUOTE
 

Gaddong

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2018) CF SJPDP April 22, to May 27.
#60
Booking service is nice and yes convenient..... but... This process of finding out and waiting etc. is part of the camino... Yes you are already on the camino as soon as you decide you gonna go. So learn to slowdown, be patient, be smart. I am not just saying this - I experienced it this year in April I started at SJPDP and walked straight 18 miles a day for 34 days 2 blisters is all the damage that I know. My wife and I were so planned out, I had excel on my phone with the spread sheets of all the chosen albergue's etc. no reservations just the list. Non of these preparation worked. The first day I said to myself I am yours Camino de Frances do as you please... I met a 76 year old woman at Orisson who asked if she could walk with me I said OK... I had a day rest in SJPDP and I started at 7 AM... it took us until 10:45 PM to get to Roncesvalles with the help of a couple giving us a lift the last 2 KM. Needless to say everything closed except for Hotel Roncesvalles. Planning did not work in this situation the most text ever had with my wife and son all worried. She made it to Santiago in 52 days.

I followed the yellow signs, and when my body says its time to rest I do and I check in an albergue... If I feel welcome I fall in line and check in (in 31 of the places) if I feel the wrong vibe my legs normally say lets go buddy (only 3 places). I walked the camino with my wife via the internet with lots of encouraging texts from her. I did not plan to be all by myself but the last 2 weeks she could not go medically... We were in tears but strong so I did... she knows my route really well... I decided that the camino teaches you a lot of things about life - I learned that the beauty of life is living...Buen Camino ...
 

Thornley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances [08 ]Portuguese [09 ]Le Puy[10] Norte[ 11] Madrid [12] Figeac - Pamplona [13] Mont Saint Michel - Bordeaux / St Palais - Pamplona [14] Moissac -Burgos [15] , Norte to Oviedo and then Primitivo [16]
Le Puy to Moissac and Dax to Santo Domingo
#61
Also, there is the alternative of walking to Orisson, getting transport back to SJPP for the night, and then a ride back up to Orisson in the morning.
There are only 40 odd beds in Orisson yet hundreds leave SJPP each day.
Many ( more than people realise) go by Valcarlos and stay there the night in wonderful accommodation
Many ( more than people realise) walk to Orrison , have lunch and a look around , call the taxi to take them back to SJPP and their accommodation , enjoy dinner and then the next day taxi back to Orrison
Both these methods will get you past Roncesvalles the following day which leads to a short walk into Pamplona , good rooms and a city to be enjoyed.
 

Val&Tom

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2019
#62
Hi,

I'm trying to make a reservation at Refuge Orisson for late April 2019, I have sent them 2 emails through their website and another one directly to refuge.orisson@wanadoo.fr, but they simply do not respond at all. Has anyone had this problem? any suggestions?

J. Paulo
Hang on in there. We had a bit of a sweat but they do reply. They send an email saying that they will send you an invoice to pay through PayPal. The email comes from his niece who runs a hotel/guest house just outside STPdP, whom he recommends we stay at. We’ve got our night booked for May, so all is well for us. It’ll be ok for you too.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013)
#63
I've heard so much hype about Orisson and the need to stay there to set oneself up for the perfect camino, that I'm beginning to get turned off. One of our members, who shall remain nameless, was saying on another thread that when she sees someone racing to get a bed, she automatically slows down, "It's called being rebellious ....;)." I'm inclined to feel the same way about Orisson. Too bad, because back in 2013 when I did have a reservation at Orisson - ultimately cancelled at short notice due to bad weather - in my dealings with its proprietor Jean Jacques (I believe that's his name) I found I quite liked the guy.
 
#64
Wow, over 60 responses to one regularly asked question. Perhaps some fundamentals for this Forum?

1) When there is a question, even like this, do a search. In this case, "Orisson," would be sufficient to find what you need.

2) When responding, check the thread to make sure contributed information is not getting repeated over and over.

Hope this helps. 😎
 

Thornley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances [08 ]Portuguese [09 ]Le Puy[10] Norte[ 11] Madrid [12] Figeac - Pamplona [13] Mont Saint Michel - Bordeaux / St Palais - Pamplona [14] Moissac -Burgos [15] , Norte to Oviedo and then Primitivo [16]
Le Puy to Moissac and Dax to Santo Domingo
#66
does it have a similar number of “even” beds? 😎.
Joe , its on a hill , the beds will never be even;)
But just to give you a laugh this late at night ......why pay 2.50e plus for a beer when from this point on its always around 1.20e-----1.30e.
36e for a tight [ not loose] dorm when all you have to do is walk there , return to St JPP[ taxi] and recommence @ Orrison [ taxi] then pay 55e for a MAGNIFICENT private room in Hotel Akerreta.
Its one of the musts when commencing.... Martin Sheen might still be there with the old landlord [ bull fighter] .........then Pamplona for the evening pintos .
However i envy "your" way to Pamplona as we adore staying in Biarritz.
Go to sleep and think of a good reply:D
 

Jane A

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2019)
#68
Hi,

I'm trying to make a reservation at Refuge Orisson for late April 2019, I have sent them 2 emails through their website and another one directly to refuge.orisson@wanadoo.fr, but they simply do not respond at all. Has anyone had this problem? any suggestions?

J. Paulo
Hi J. I’m traveling with friends and we’re doing same thing, same timing. Best of luck w/ your reservation.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese.
#69
Orisson also has a Facebook page and from there you can link to Messenger, if you use that service.

Huntto is another possibility. It is only 6km out of SJPDP - but those kilometres are all steeply uphill, so don't have to be walked the following day.

Recently I've had varied reports from both Orisson and Huntto. Personally my experiences at both have been excellent, but I have not stayed at either for a few years.
 

Thornley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances [08 ]Portuguese [09 ]Le Puy[10] Norte[ 11] Madrid [12] Figeac - Pamplona [13] Mont Saint Michel - Bordeaux / St Palais - Pamplona [14] Moissac -Burgos [15] , Norte to Oviedo and then Primitivo [16]
Le Puy to Moissac and Dax to Santo Domingo
#70
Recently I've had varied reports from both Orisson and Huntto.
** Diplomatic ...............................from a learned person.

I know in our little next of the woods at least 15 Australian pilgrims who have ;
Walked to Orisson , had an "overpriced beer", took in the view , returned to a private room or classy albergue in St JPP , had a wonderful dinner , enjoyed this vibrant towns night life [ Pilgrims ] and then returned by taxi to Orisson to continue their pilgrimage .
Over get lag , had a warm up the previous day up the hill for a few hours [ thats all it is three hours max ] and comfortable in themselves . They all reached Burguette and stayed there in various levels of accommodation

We and most i know who walk from Le Puy head to Valcarlos after walking into St JPP for late breakfast or lunch .
Then the next day Burguette or for some a few kms onwards for a wonderful night in a homely environment .
 
Last edited:
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances - April/May 2019
#71
Please let us know when you do get a reply. There seems to be a known communication problem: either people got the email address wrong in the first place or they don't see the reply because it ends up in their spam folder (or perhaps even a spam filter so that they never see it?).

In a Camino FB group to which I belong people reported that they got a reply about a week ago (end of Nov 2018).

They also report that "the reply comes from Sarl Apathia, not refuge.orisson@wanadoo.fr". Sarl Apathia is not the name of a girl, as a poster assumed who put it in their address book to make sure to get the reply instead of it being treated as spam email. It's the name of a commercial enterprise under French law.

People reported that they got replies earlier telling them "to wait until 15 November to request the reservation" but we are past this date now.

People were also informed that they don't take reservations for the beginning of April 2019 because they can't say whether they will be actually open as it will depend on the weather.
I did get a response after about 2 weeks
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances - April/May 2019
#72
** Diplomatic ...............................from a learned person.

I know in our little next of the woods at least 15 Australian pilgrims who have ;
Walked to Orisson , had an "overpriced beer", took in the view , returned to a private room or classy albergue in St JPP , had a wonderful dinner , enjoyed this vibrant towns night life [ Pilgrims ] and then returned by taxi to Orisson to continue their pilgrimage .
Over get lag , had a warm up the previous day up the hill for a few hours [ thats all it is three hours max ] and comfortable in themselves . They all reached Burguette and stayed there in various levels of accommodation

We and most i know who walk from Le Puy head to Valcarlos after walking into St JPP for late breakfast or lunch .
Then the next day Burguette or for some a few kms onwards for a wonderful night in a homely environment .
That sounds a very attractive alternative...
 

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