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Luggage Transfer Correos

Do you already have a place in mind to stay when you reach your destination (stop)?

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IcEaNa

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Plan to go in Sept/Oct '16
Hi! I will be walking the Camino Frances from mid-Sept and it just striked me with regards to finding albergues or places for rest... As I make my way to the next destination during the day, should I already have an albergue/hostel/hotel in mind that I potential want to stay for the night? Or (I might sound silly saying this) should I just walk around aimlessly in that town and see where has vacancies?

It's not so much of whether to pre-book an accommodation, or rather a question of upon reaching, how to decide or where to stay? I could be just worrying too much and should go with the flow but some advice would still be nice :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portugues - 2015
Camino Norte - 2016
Camino Frances - 2018
If you are not walking in Winter you wont really have problems with accomodation. I never prereserved anything and always found a place. You can reserve 5 hotels and one day you get food poisoning, you will be behind and then what..? If you follow the normal schedule... and walk around 6 hours a day and you wake up at reasonable time which is inevitable as most pilgrims leave early and it gets noisy you wont really have problems. Especially on Camino Frances :)
 

nickpellatt

Member
Camino(s) past & future
French 2015 Portuguese 2018 Norte May 2019 Finesterre and Muxia April 2019
I have a tendency to stay in the municipal places, and they more often than not, are on the route.

I generally have an idea of the town I want to stay, and head to the municipal in most instances. They cant be pre-booked anyway ... but if I see a place I fancy on the way there, maybe I'll go there first. Likewise, maybe someone I'm with has an idea or suggestion ... so I go with them.

I'm not above booking ahead from time to time, if there is a place I really want to stay at.
 

IcEaNa

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Plan to go in Sept/Oct '16
If you are not walking in Winter you wont really have problems with accomodation. I never prereserved anything and always found a place. You can reserve 5 hotels and one day you get food poisoning, you will be behind and then what..? If you follow the normal schedule... and walk around 6 hours a day and you wake up at reasonable time which is inevitable as most pilgrims leave early and it gets noisy you wont really have problems. Especially on Camino Frances :)
Thank you!
 

IcEaNa

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Plan to go in Sept/Oct '16
I have a tendency to stay in the municipal places, and they more often than not, are on the route.

I generally have an idea of the town I want to stay, and head to the municipal in most instances. They cant be pre-booked anyway ... but if I see a place I fancy on the way there, maybe I'll go there first. Likewise, maybe someone I'm with has an idea or suggestion ... so I go with them.

I'm not above booking ahead from time to time, if there is a place I really want to stay at.
Thanks! May I know what's the difference between Albergues, Municipals, Hostels and the different types of accommodation?
 

Lirsy

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo, Norte, Francés, Volunteer Hospitalero.
I don´t like making reservations (exception made of the first night and the latest night in Santiago). I am never sure how tired I will be. That depends a lot on the weather, the state of mind, etc.

Usually, I start walking in the morning with a rough idea about the albergue I want to stay in. When I get to a possible place to stay ... I sit in a bar, have a wine (probably with some tapas;)) and after that I decide if I stop there or if I keep walking to the next possible albergue. .. I would say that 75% of the time I decide to go ahead a little further.
 

Lirsy

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo, Norte, Francés, Volunteer Hospitalero.
Thanks! May I know what's the difference between Albergues, Municipals, Hostels and the different types of accommodation?
It is easy. I would divide the albergues in three groups:
  • Donation albergues: Albergues, managed by volunteers without a fix price. You leave what you consider. Please don´t confuse donation and free.
  • Albergues municipales & parroquiales: Are Albergues managed by the parish or by the town hall. They usually counts with basic facilities are the cost is around 5 to 6 Euro.
  • Private albergues: Albergues opened with a comercial pourpose. Usually the facilities are better than in donativo or municipal. The price could range from 9 to 12 Euros.
For sure you can find all kind of exceptions to the private being better equiped than the municipal,....

The ones I like the most (with some exceptions) are the Donation, then municipal or parish and private.
 
Last edited:

IcEaNa

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Plan to go in Sept/Oct '16
Albergue Municipal is financed by the goverment and ran by volunteers (cant be reserved)
Albergue Associated is supported by church or some group
Private Albergue is independent
Hostels etc... are humble hotels

Price varies... but usually 8-12e...
Thank you!
 

IcEaNa

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Plan to go in Sept/Oct '16
It is easy. I would divide the albergues in three groups:
  • Donation albergues: Albergues, managed by volunteers without a fix price. You leave what you consider. Please don´t confuse donation and free.
  • Albergues municipales & parroquiales: Are Albergues managed by the parish or by the town hall. They usually counts with basic facilities are the cost is around 5 to 6 Euro.
  • Private albergues: Albergues opened with a corcial pourpose. Usually the facilities are better than in donativo or municipal. The price could range from 9 to 12 Euros.
For sure you can find all kind of exceptions to the private being better equiped than the municipal,....

The ones I like the most (with some exceptions) are the Donation, then municipal or parish and private.
Thanks so much for sharing your experience and detailed explanations! :)
 

Via2010

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
06/07 & 12 Camino Francés, 08-10 Via de la Plata, 13/14 & 17 Camino Portugués, 18 Camino Primitivo
It depends on which camino you are walking. There are some Caminos where you do not have the freedom of choice. One daily stage = one albergue.

You can use guidebooks or accomodation-lists for a pre-selection, especially if you favour albergues which offer meals/a laundry service/blankets....

Or you can just walk on and have a look and decide spontaneously. But then you should remember that the first albergue you reach when entering a town is not always the best choice.
 

IcEaNa

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Plan to go in Sept/Oct '16
It depends on which camino you are walking. There are some Caminos where you do not have the freedom of choice. One daily stage = one albergue.

You can use guidebooks or accomodation-lists for a pre-selection, especially if you favour albergues which offer meals/a laundry service/blankets....

Or you can just walk on and have a look and decide spontaneously. But then you should remember that the first albergue you reach when entering a town is not always the best choice.
Thanks! I'll keep that in mind!
 

Pingüigrino

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Aragones, Vasco del Interior, Baztanes. (Frances Winter, La Plata, Camino de Invierno, Mozarabe, Norte, Primitivo.)
Albergue Municipal is financed by the goverment and ran by volunteers (cant be reserved)
Albergue Associated is supported by church or some group
Private Albergue is independent
Hostels etc... are humble hotels

Price varies... but usually 8-12e...
No Municipal or Associated Albergues are financed by Asociations, Goverments or any kind of "official institutions". They are financied by the aportations pilgrims give. They are the owners of the building, but they usually don´t afford one single euro for paying the expenses, manteinance, cleaning, taxes. etc of those albergues. Why would the spaniards use our taxes to pay for the albergues? No Free Food in the Camino.(Or acomodation, shower, WIFI...) If you dont pay for it, somebody will.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portugues - 2015
Camino Norte - 2016
Camino Frances - 2018
No Municipal or Associated Albergues are financed by Asociations, Goverments or any kind of "official institutions". They are financied by the aportations pilgrims give. They are the owners of the building, but they usually don´t afford one single euro for paying the expenses, manteinance, cleaning, taxes. etc of those albergues. Why would the spaniards use our taxes to pay for the albergues? No Free Food in the Camino.(Or acomodation, shower, WIFI...) If you dont pay for it, somebody will.
Interesting... Then please explain me how does it work in Galicia if all the albergues municipales are managed by Xunta de Galicia... or how did anyone finance the brutal big albergue in Leon? :)
 

NorthernLight

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
Municipals albergues are managed by the municipal government (Xuntas) using funds raised at the albergue.

Parochial albergues are managed by the parish or convent using funds raised at the albergue, including that big one in Léon.

Donativo albergues are managed by kind hearted people using funds raised at the albergue.

The municipals rely on the summer income to offset the expense of running in winter.

Income may not cover all expenses, which is why some municipalities may chip in for costs, and why some albergues are not so well maintained ... some municipalities have more money than others.

To the original question, it's all part of the daily walk. Your guidebook/app may tell you what's available in a town, with prices and facilities. The price or facilities might guide your decision making on which to go to first. You may walk past a flyer/poster with an advert and pictures that decides you. Other walkers may have said where they are going. You may walk by a place and think it looks nice, and inquire. You may ask a local where the albergue is, and they'll direct you to one. You are spending only one night, so not every one has to be perfect ... it's a bed.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
A caution about the Xunta albergues in Galicia. You will see in guidebooks that they have kitchens. They are unlikely to have anything for you to prepare or eat your food. At least they didn't in the two we stayed at and I've been told this is the case generally.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portugues - 2015
Camino Norte - 2016
Camino Frances - 2018
A caution about the Xunta albergues in Galicia. You will see in guidebooks that they have kitchens. They are unlikely to have anything for you to prepare or eat your food. At least they didn't in the two we stayed at and I've been told this is the case generally.
That is also true and really sad... Beautiful kitchens without plates and pans... I understand they want to help the local economy but its against the spirti of the Camino
 

Pingüigrino

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Aragones, Vasco del Interior, Baztanes. (Frances Winter, La Plata, Camino de Invierno, Mozarabe, Norte, Primitivo.)
Interesting... Then please explain me how does it work in Galicia if all the albergues municipales are managed by Xunta de Galicia... or how did anyone finance the brutal big albergue in Leon? :)
Easy thing. The big one in Ponferrada was built with the donation of a very rich lady who was born in this town. She married a Swiss man, and went to live to Geneva; having no childrens, and being really wealthy and very religious people, they left much of their heritage for charity.
This is the reason of the name of this albergue, San Nicolas de Flue, being this Saint man one of the three holy patrons of Swissland.
It was donated to the parish for running it. The only income they receive are the donatios of pilgrims and the work of volunteers hospitaleros.
(I know well, because am one of those hospitaleros)

The Xunta albergues, in Galicia, were build in old schools, train stations, parish houses etc by the regional government of Galicia. Nowadays private companies manage them under some conditions. They explode the "busines" paying to the Xunta a certain amount of money yearly.
This is economically viable for the large number of pilgrims who walks the last 100 km., that curiously, runs entirely in Galicia.
If you ask yourself why only 100 kmts, why not 200 or maybe 150 kms for obtaining the Compostela...think about this,
Pleased if I have been useful to you.
Ildefonso.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
I understand they want to help the local economy but its against the spirti of the Camino
I don't think that helping the local economy is the reason why there is no cooking equipment in many xunta albergues. It's my understanding that they originally had this equipment (why else build these beautiful kitchens?), but that it was too quickly damaged/stolen. The xunta albergues usually only have one or two employees on site, and that may only be to register pilgrims in the afternoon and evening, then to clean the next day when the Pilgrims are gone. They don't have staff to monitor the cooking facilities.
 
Camino(s) past & future
walk or bike in spring of 2018
I pre-booked for St. Jean, Orisson (reservations required due to high demand) and Roncesvalles. Got to Zubiri just in time to get the last bed at the 6 Euro Municipal (I think it might be closed now) and then was planning on going to Pamplona. Stopped at Zabaldika (about 8 km before Pamplona) to visit the XIII Iglesia de San Esteban where you can climb the belfry and ring the church bells. We got there around 2pm and were told by the very nice volunteer that the nuns had the key to the church and would be there by 6pm. We decided we could not wait that long and were just about to say goodbye when the volunteer cook comes out with fresh oranges and entices us into the large dining / kitchen. He brings out a loaf of bread and some cheese and chorizo and a jug of vino tinto and invites us to sit for a short snack break. It was me and 2 nice ladies from Holland who I had just met the night before (roommates) in Zubiri and we had decided to walk together. Next, Jose, the Spanish volunteer cook, brought out a roasting pan with leftovers from last nights dinner- Roast beef, potatoes, carrots in wine sauce, which he quickly heated and insisted we had to taste! Out of this world delicious- by now it's after 3pm- we decide to stay, ring the bells, & spend the night. We were the first three there, but by 4 pm it started filling up and they were turning people away by 6. Ringing the church bells was a kick, about 10 of us made the climb. Church service with nun was very interesting (I'm not catholic, but enjoyed it) and communal dinner for 20 by Jose was really great. I tell you all of this, because we would have missed out on all of this if we had reserved accommodations in Pamplona, so if you can live by the moment, you will have lots of these kinds of experiences on the camino. BTW, did I mention this albergue was a DONATIVO? This was my first experience with a donativo, and I asked the volunteer hostess what was appropriate. She said it was entirely up to me- no guidance on even a range. I paid 20 Euro, could have paid less but probably should have paid more for this great experience.
 

IcEaNa

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Plan to go in Sept/Oct '16
I pre-booked for St. Jean, Orisson (reservations required due to high demand) and Roncesvalles. Got to Zubiri just in time to get the last bed at the 6 Euro Municipal (I think it might be closed now) and then was planning on going to Pamplona. Stopped at Zabaldika (about 8 km before Pamplona) to visit the XIII Iglesia de San Esteban where you can climb the belfry and ring the church bells. We got there around 2pm and were told by the very nice volunteer that the nuns had the key to the church and would be there by 6pm. We decided we could not wait that long and were just about to say goodbye when the volunteer cook comes out with fresh oranges and entices us into the large dining / kitchen. He brings out a loaf of bread and some cheese and chorizo and a jug of vino tinto and invites us to sit for a short snack break. It was me and 2 nice ladies from Holland who I had just met the night before (roommates) in Zubiri and we had decided to walk together. Next, Jose, the Spanish volunteer cook, brought out a roasting pan with leftovers from last nights dinner- Roast beef, potatoes, carrots in wine sauce, which he quickly heated and insisted we had to taste! Out of this world delicious- by now it's after 3pm- we decide to stay, ring the bells, & spend the night. We were the first three there, but by 4 pm it started filling up and they were turning people away by 6. Ringing the church bells was a kick, about 10 of us made the climb. Church service with nun was very interesting (I'm not catholic, but enjoyed it) and communal dinner for 20 by Jose was really great. I tell you all of this, because we would have missed out on all of this if we had reserved accommodations in Pamplona, so if you can live by the moment, you will have lots of these kinds of experiences on the camino. BTW, did I mention this albergue was a DONATIVO? This was my first experience with a donativo, and I asked the volunteer hostess what was appropriate. She said it was entirely up to me- no guidance on even a range. I paid 20 Euro, could have paid less but probably should have paid more for this great experience.
That sounds awesome! Will keep a look out for the XIII Iglesia de San Esteban at Zabaldika!

So thankful to everyone who has shared their experience and knowledge! I'm learning so much!
 

Pingüigrino

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Aragones, Vasco del Interior, Baztanes. (Frances Winter, La Plata, Camino de Invierno, Mozarabe, Norte, Primitivo.)
I don't think that helping the local economy is the reason why there is no cooking equipment in many xunta albergues. It's my understanding that they originally had this equipment (why else build these beautiful kitchens?), but that it was too quickly damaged/stolen. The xunta albergues usually only have one or two employees on site, and that may only be to register pilgrims in the afternoon and evening, then to clean the next day when the Pilgrims are gone. They don't have staff to monitor the cooking facilities.
The reason there are not cooking equipment in many of the Xunta´s Albergues are mainly because the employees of those albergues (formerly Xunta´s employees, nowadays workers of the tenants companies) became tired of daily washing and cleaning the dirty kitchenware, left by certain "Piggrims". They throw it away when dirty, or just removed it.
The "clean what you use" concept is difficult to understand for any of us.
But we can use the kitchens if we carry our own kitchen tackle.;)
 

C clearly

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
To the original question, it's all part of the daily walk. Your guidebook/app may tell you what's available in a town, with prices and facilities. The price or facilities might guide your decision making on which to go to first. You may walk past a flyer/poster with an advert and pictures that decides you. Other walkers may have said where they are going. You may walk by a place and think it looks nice, and inquire. You may ask a local where the albergue is, and they'll direct you to one. You are spending only one night, so not every one has to be perfect ... it's a bed.
Excellent description of the usual process.
 

Terry W

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
August 2017
April 2018
April 2019
Hi! I will be walking the Camino Frances from mid-Sept and it just striked me with regards to finding albergues or places for rest... As I make my way to the next destination during the day, should I already have an albergue/hostel/hotel in mind that I potential want to stay for the night? Or (I might sound silly saying this) should I just walk around aimlessly in that town and see where has vacancies?

It's not so much of whether to pre-book an accommodation, or rather a question of upon reaching, how to decide or where to stay? I could be just worrying too much and should go with the flow but some advice would still be nice :)
Hi I have walked it three times I walk fairly fast and I am usualy finished by 1.30 or so and always got beds. BUT last time with my daughter we booked private albergues for the next day. BUT they will only hold the booking till 2pm. So we still had to get a move on.Also look out for the large groups that are booking out whole albergues.If you see parties like this consider staying at a village after or before the main stop.I e en saw a munisipal albergue with a sign on it sold out this was at 12.30! they should not be taking pilgrims till 2 pm. So some thing is going on some thing is changing. Now that I have sounded so negative I will say this Go and do it trust in yourself and if you have a faith trust in him to and you will be alright. Go and open your hart and mind to the Camino just keep an eye on whats happening around you. Wish I was going with you God bless.
Hi! I will be walking the Camino Frances from mid-Sept and it just striked me with regards to finding albergues or places for rest... As I make my way to the next destination during the day, should I already have an albergue/hostel/hotel in mind that I potential want to stay for the night? Or (I might sound silly saying this) should I just walk around aimlessly in that town and see where has vacancies?

It's not so much of whether to pre-book an accommodation, or rather a question of upon reaching, how to decide or where to stay? I could be just worrying too much and should go with the flow but some advice would still be nice :)
 

Terry W

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
August 2017
April 2018
April 2019
That is also true and really sad... Beautiful kitchens without plates and pans... I understand they want to help the local economy but its against the spirti of the Camino
Dont get me started on the kitchens and this has nothing to do with the operaters. Last time three months ago my daughter and I shared accomadation several times with a non European group ( yes Shoot me). This group started cooking at two pm for the evening meal, and you could not get near the kitchen. In fact one day I mussel ed in to get one hot plate and got looked at big time. Not only did you have to wait for them to finish cooking in the pot but you had to wait for them to finnish eating out of the pot as well. Unfortunately I would say lets get rid of the kitchen and and that would generate more eating out possabilities
Ways around it by a pitza stick it in the microwave.
Good luck God bless.
 

Telboyo

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
I intend to leave the UK the day Before Brexit and walkMarch -April 2019 Camino Frances
The night before I would plan a destination for the next day which I would invariably miss, either falling short or arriving too early. When I got tired I would look at a map and decide to stop at the next place if it was 3 or so km away. I would walk there and stop at the first or only place I liked the look of. It did not really matter what the place was like because it is only for 1 night.
 

IcEaNa

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Plan to go in Sept/Oct '16
Go and do it trust in yourself and if you have a faith trust in him to and you will be alright. Go and open your hart and mind to the Camino just keep an eye on whats happening around you.
Thank you for reminder! God Bless!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Jul-Sept 2019: Six weeks in Northern Spain.
Apr 2018 Asturias
May 2016 CP: Portuguese
So thankful to everyone who has shared their experience and knowledge! I'm learning so much!
Keep using the SEARCH function and you'll continue learning...in abundance! ;)
As @Via2010 mentioned, it seems to make a difference as to which Camino Route a person is walking as well as, what time of year. Keep this in mind for the future Camino's that might well occur in your life!
Buen Camino!!!
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
Hi! I will be walking the Camino Frances from mid-Sept and it just striked me with regards to finding albergues or places for rest... As I make my way to the next destination during the day, should I already have an albergue/hostel/hotel in mind that I potential want to stay for the night? Or (I might sound silly saying this) should I just walk around aimlessly in that town and see where has vacancies?

It's not so much of whether to pre-book an accommodation, or rather a question of upon reaching, how to decide or where to stay? I could be just worrying too much and should go with the flow but some advice would still be nice :)
I generally have a place in mind. I decide where to stay based on a few things. Some places I read about or hear about from other pilgrims, either ones I've met in person or things that I've read in forums like these. Casa da Fernanda on the Camino Portugues or Grañon on the Camino Frances are examples of those. Otherwise, I'll look at the listings of albergues in my guidebooks, apps and on websites like Gronze.com, see what they have to offer in terms of amenities and what the prices are, along with any comments that may be attached from people that stayed there, and decide based on that. If you are travelling with other pilgrims, you may end up staying where they are.

When I get to a town or village, I try and find the albergue I've decided on. The apps and maps in the guidebooks help with this. If it is full, I go to my next choice. If I find I am on my third or fourth choice before finding a bed, I may start to consider booking a day or so ahead (although that wan't your question).
 

timr

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Several and counting...
I pre-booked for St. Jean, Orisson (reservations required due to high demand) and Roncesvalles. Got to Zubiri just in time to get the last bed at the 6 Euro Municipal (I think it might be closed now) and then was planning on going to Pamplona. Stopped at Zabaldika (about 8 km before Pamplona) to visit the XIII Iglesia de San Esteban where you can climb the belfry and ring the church bells. We got there around 2pm and were told by the very nice volunteer that the nuns had the key to the church and would be there by 6pm. We decided we could not wait that long and were just about to say goodbye when the volunteer cook comes out with fresh oranges and entices us into the large dining / kitchen. He brings out a loaf of bread and some cheese and chorizo and a jug of vino tinto and invites us to sit for a short snack break. It was me and 2 nice ladies from Holland who I had just met the night before (roommates) in Zubiri and we had decided to walk together. Next, Jose, the Spanish volunteer cook, brought out a roasting pan with leftovers from last nights dinner- Roast beef, potatoes, carrots in wine sauce, which he quickly heated and insisted we had to taste! Out of this world delicious- by now it's after 3pm- we decide to stay, ring the bells, & spend the night. We were the first three there, but by 4 pm it started filling up and they were turning people away by 6. Ringing the church bells was a kick, about 10 of us made the climb. Church service with nun was very interesting (I'm not catholic, but enjoyed it) and communal dinner for 20 by Jose was really great. I tell you all of this, because we would have missed out on all of this if we had reserved accommodations in Pamplona, so if you can live by the moment, you will have lots of these kinds of experiences on the camino. BTW, did I mention this albergue was a DONATIVO? This was my first experience with a donativo, and I asked the volunteer hostess what was appropriate. She said it was entirely up to me- no guidance on even a range. I paid 20 Euro, could have paid less but probably should have paid more for this great experience.
I thoroughly approve of your style! Definitely a man after my own heart. I never book, except sometimes for the first night if I am arriving late. I have never (in Spain) not had a bed. Elsewhere in Europe I have never lacked a roof, though I have on occasion lacked a bed and/or a shower. ;)
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
Thanks! May I know what's the difference between Albergues, Municipals, Hostels and the different types of accommodation?
Albergue is basically a hostel: cheap accommodations for travellers with dormitories and shared washrooms. On the Caminos, there are several types of albergues, depemnding on who is operating them, as you've probably read above. They include the municipals, that you mention in your question. I tend to think of the albergues in the following categories:
- municipal albergues, operated by the municipality. These are often among the less expensive and more basic, and generally don't take reservations (although there are exceptions to this). I believe that in Galicia, these are operated by the Xunta (province), rather than the local municipality as is more common elsewhere on the Caminos. They are generally exclusively for pilgrims.
- parrochial albergues, operated by the Church or religious groups or orders. These also tend to be basic in their offerings and inexpensive. They may also be "donativo" (by donation). They are generally exclusively for pilgrims.
- association albergues, operated by various "friends of the Camino" associations. Like the parrochial albergues, these also tend to be basic in their offerings and inexpensive. They may be "donativo" (by donation). They are often staffed by volunteer "hospitaleros" who are, themselves, former pilgrims and with experience to empathize with what you are going through and pilgrim needs. These also often do not take reservations. They are generally exclusively for pilgrims.
- private albergues, operated by private individuals. These tend to be a bit more expensive and offer a bit more amenities. They are more likely to take reservations. Some have private rooms as well as the dorm rooms available. They may or may not be exclusively for pilgrims. They may or may not be run by former pilgrims. They often reflect the personality of the owner.

Other accommodation options are not aimed so much at pilgrims as at the general tourist population, although they are certainly used by some pilgrims, either regularly or as an occasional treat along the way. They include casa rurales (like bed and breakfasts), hostals (cheap hotels, not to be confused with hostels), and hotels of the various star levels. There are also "paradors" in several towns along the way. These are five-star accommodations run by the government generally in historically significant locations. You can't miss seeing the Parador de los Reyes Catolicos in Santiago de Compostela along one side of the most famous square by the cathedral where everyone gets their photo taken. It was ordered to be built by Ferdinand and Isabela after their pilgrimage and originally used as a pilgrims hospice.

A note on "donativo" albergues: The practice commonly recommended in this forum for payment at donativo albergues is, if you can afford it, to pay a little more than you would at similar accommodations elsewhere in order to help cover the costs of those who are forced to pay less or not at all by circumstances. I tend to suggest thinking of it as if you are accommodated according to what has been paid by your predecessors and paying according to what you would like to be offered to subsequent pilgrims.
 

november_moon

Veteran Member
Like many others, I'd have an idea of where I planned to stop for the night - I used a guidebook, so I would check to see what sorts of options there were based on the info in the guide, and then have an idea of which place I would probably aim for. I didn't always end up staying there - sometimes it would be full so I'd go to the next place, or I'd follow friends into another place, or maybe I'd find something that looked good on the way to the place I was aiming for. One day I almost stopped at a place because they advertised pancake breakfast - it was really too early in my walking day to stop though, so I continued on.
 

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