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Drinking water @hotels

GlennJ

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Planned Camino: Portuguese (April-May 2024)
Hello,

I tried searching the forum threads but didn’t seem to find anything on topic.

I plan to stay in hotels for my Camino next year and, unlike albergues which likely have pantry areas with complimentary drinking water available to pilgrims for refills, hotels may or may not provide complimentary drinking water in their rooms, and not all may have restaurants/bars on site that supply such water to guests or pilgrims.

I normally start my daily morning routine at home drinking 2 full cups of water first thing when I get up. And this is before I’m even out the door. On top of this, when I’m on the Camino, I’ll need to carry an extra 1 liter with me for the initial stage of that day’s walk.

So, this means I’ll need to stock up on drinking water for each morning the night before.

For those who stayed in hotels, what is your experience filling up your bottles with drinking water the night before? Is this readily available at the hotels you stayed at? I will be doing the Camino Portuguese from Porto.

Thanks in advance!
 
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Hi there.

In albergues and other accommodation I’ve only ever used the normal tap water to fill up my water bladder or bottle. If you’re asking about complimentary bottled water I’ve never seen that provided in albergues. Maybe some of the hotels will have that.

As far as I know the tap water on the camino paths from Porto is safe to drink. 😎
 
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Based on our experience tap water on the Camino is safe to drink. My wife has a sensitive tummy and only drinks bottled water at home but she had no issues with drinking tap water on the Camino. Spain has one of the most advanced public filtration and water management systems in the world and 99.5% of its tap water is considered safe for consumption. I think Portugal is almost at the same (if not the same) level. We even refilled our water bottles from the public fountains and had no issues. Buen Camino!
 
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We only use tap water.
Unless.......we pass a water font along the way.
Pat ditches her tap water in favour of the font water.
She says it tastes like a fresh cool mountain stream..............which I guess some of them are :rolleyes:
Never had any problems.

Now back here at home in Sydney?
Never drink tap water till we have filtered it! :oops:
 
Thank you so much everyone for the assurances! This is exactly what I wanted to hear!! I had no doubt tap water would be potable, but was just wondering what the Camino practice was among pilgrims in this respect.

This will also save me the hassle of carrying a second water bottle to store up the necessary amount I may need for my morning needs.
 
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For those who stayed in hotels, what is your experience filling up your bottles with drinking water the night before? Is this readily available at the hotels you stayed at? I will be doing the Camino Portuguese from Porto.
Feel free to research this, but generally speaking, tap water in EU countries is safer and cleaner than water supplied in bottles, and a lot more eco-friendly. I never drink bottled water. Get it from the tap. this will also save you quite a lot of money bearing in mind that when you buy bottled water, you are mainly paying for the plastic bottle, not the contents.
 
Hello,

I tried searching the forum threads but didn’t seem to find anything on topic.

I plan to stay in hotels for my Camino next year and, unlike albergues which likely have pantry areas with complimentary drinking water available to pilgrims for refills, hotels may or may not provide complimentary drinking water in their rooms, and not all may have restaurants/bars on site that supply such water to guests or pilgrims.

I normally start my daily morning routine at home drinking 2 full cups of water first thing when I get up. And this is before I’m even out the door. On top of this, when I’m on the Camino, I’ll need to carry an extra 1 liter with me for the initial stage of that day’s walk.

So, this means I’ll need to stock up on drinking water for each morning the night before.

For those who stayed in hotels, what is your experience filling up your bottles with drinking water the night before? Is this readily available at the hotels you stayed at? I will be doing the Camino Portuguese from Porto.

Thanks in advance!
Spain is a civilised country. Water is safe unless specified otherwise.
 
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
If it comes from a tap at a place of public accommodation or feeding, it is potable and safe to drink.

The only water sources that MIGHT be sketchy are the outdoor rural fountains along the Camino paths, that may or may not be connected to potable water sources.

At fuentes, look for signs indicating whether the water is considered safe to drink.

Hope this helps.

Tom
 
Eight Caminos and I have drank 100% tap water with zero ill effects.
But I do draw the line at trail side fonts which are on some of the routes, especially the rural ones. They are probably OK, but I get concerned when there is a cow pasture directly above or adjacent to one.
Keep in mind that Spain isn't a third world country.
Happy Hydrating!
 
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tap water in Spain and Portugal is perfectly drinkable. I’ve been going to Spain and Portugal for many many years, and the tap water is fine.

The Iberian peninsula isn’t Mexico or Cuba!
OR Flint, Michigan, USA!
 
I think if 10 million Portuguese and 47 million Spanish people can drink the tap water you should be OK.
Still, it does no harm to be a litttle bit streetwise about this: not every basin is connected to the mains, so sometimes the water can sit in a tank for a while, which can, very rarely, lead to problems.
So I'd always run the tap and check there's good pressure and the water is cold (I stayed in a place on the Madrid last year where hottish water came out of both taps).
If in any doubt, just check with whoever is running the place. And if necessary ask if you can use kitchen or bar tap. The justifiable reason for asking is that you have a large water bottle and it won't completely fill from the shallow basin. And when you say that, I've found that staff invariably are eager to help (well in my experience anyway!)
 
I fill my bottles with water from the bathroom tap, same as at albergues. Indoor tap water in Spain is perfectly safe.
"Never" fill your bottles with water from bathroom it is not drinking water and may come from roof tank directly to bathroom and taps can hold ecoli and other contamination.
I was a hotel engineer for 20 years.
 
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"Never" fill your bottles with water from bathroom it is not drinking water and may come from roof tank directly to bathroom and taps can hold ecoli and other contamination.
I was a hotel engineer for 20 years.
This is not true of the tap water in bathrooms in Spain.
 
Many accommodations I stayed (not hostels) gave me a free bottle of water. As for fountains, lots of them said non potable. Either they might have been potable in the past or they didn't worry the water quality. Better not count the fountains but take it as a bonus when you find one.
By the way, at my home in UK, upstairs water is kept in the tank for a long time. Since I looked at the water in the cistern in the bathroom, I stopped drinking it. Now I always get it from the kitchen downstairs.
 
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I do enjoy confusion and much of such is being demonstrated in this thread. Most, not all, but most HOT water systems are fed by gravity from roof tanks or the like. The water may well have sat for a period in a tank that has not been properly sealed. Customers of Hanningtons in Brighton in the '70's will recall the interesting flavours and occasional feather in their pot of tea. Kitchen staff were habitually filling kettles from the hot-water system to speed up service.

Cold water systems are connected directly to the cold water main. It would be inefficient, expensive and complicated to route fresh water from the main into a gravity feed tank and difficult to control the pressure of the feed. There may be an idiot of a plumber somewhere on the planet that has created such a system but I think it unlikely. The water supplied directly from the cold water main in Spain, Portugal and even France will meet EC standards for potability. The stuff in the plastic bottle may not. Especially if its been sat in that plastic bottle for a few months and especially if its been exposed to direct sunlight (nasty stuff sunlight).

That said there are some hotels that use harvested rainwater for flushing toilets and urinals. That water will have been stored in tanks and either use gravity or pumps to deliver it to where its required. I would be concerned if I ever encountered a Pilgrim endeavouring to refill their water bottle from the flush system of sanitary ware but I'm aware that the members of this forum are an eclectic bunch. South of the Mediterranean sea I might be inclined to a little more caution. I recall our guide chasing away the local goats so that we could refill our water carriers from one particular well in the High Atlas and further south the spectacle of a un-cured leather bucket disappearing into the murk of a 100m deep well. We boiled that tranche for a good 10 minutes and then filtered it through parachute silk to take the lumps out.

For those who remain nervous of the quality and potability of drinking water available in Europe I will cheerfully, and with a ;), advise that Beer, Wine, Coca-cola, Kas Limon and Orujo are available to all...
 
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Bottled water at a supermarket is usually less than €0,50 for a 1,5 litre bottle....I prefer not to use plastic bottles, but I bought one to keep in my pack for drinking water. I refilled it feom the taps at albergues and the fountains along the path.
 
I Had water from a Fountain a few K short of Melide. awful taste made me feel sick....
 
Feel free to research this, but generally speaking, tap water in EU countries is safer and cleaner than water supplied in bottles, and a lot more eco-friendly. I never drink bottled water. Get it from the tap. this will also save you quite a lot of money bearing in mind that when you buy bottled water, you are mainly paying for the plastic bottle, not the contents.
A very cogent comment. A few years back here ( Australia, and I think it was Sydney), an accredited laboratory tested bottled waters on sale which advertised their purity etc.
Most had trace substances of things they claimed freedom from which were above levels set for tap water. The most expensive checked out exactly the same as tap water so you can guess where that came from.

There was another experiment. I think it may have been organised by national television. Someone was promoting a new brand of bottled water with a fancy French name to the crowds of walkers in the Circula Quay area in Sydney. Most of the walkers carried bottled water with them. They were asked to sample. Nearly all proclaimed it was superior to their bottled stuff. When they asked what the brand stood for they were told tap water. Another example. I took a visiting band group from USA for a tour around Canberra and we stopped at a local park. A thirsty member asked me if the water from a bubbler was safe to drink. I told him yes, it came from pristine mountain streams. He drank and said it was better than anything he had at home. Now this is not always the case as sometimes there can be contamination by heavy flooding but it has to do with the Camino. Sometimes I think there’s a subconscious impression by visitors from overseas that places like Spain, Portugal, Australia etc have third world standards , when their standards are at least as good as, and in some cases possibly even better than, the countries they come from,

De Colores

Bogong
 
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This is not true of the tap water in bathrooms in Spain.
Trecile it's not simply the water coming from the taps it's the risk of cross contamination from the bathroom use,
Another serious concern with hotel bathroom tap water is the possibility of a build-up of harmful bacteria and germs. Let’s be practical here.

The water in an unoccupied hotel room can stay stagnant in pipes for several days to a few weeks, making the water pipes a breeding ground for harmful microbes. This can certainly make the water unsafe to drink.
 
Feel free to research this, but generally speaking, tap water in EU countries is safer and cleaner than water supplied in bottles, and a lot more eco-friendly. I never drink bottled water. Get it from the tap. this will also save you quite a lot of money bearing in mind that when you buy bottled water, you are mainly paying for the plastic bottle, not the contents.
Dick with all due respect we were talking about bathroom taps, which is entirely different than kitchen mains water, as a Facility engineering manager for a multinational hotel group for 30 years we had to carryout water sampling laboratory checks on a quarterly basis.
We never ever recommended drinking from bathroom taps.
 
bathroom taps, which is entirely different than kitchen mains
Good point. As I understand it, kitchen taps are fed from a rising main whereas bathrooms etc are often fed from a cold water tank. Hence the difference between sink and basin.
 
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There's two issues at work here, both of which have been addressed. So, of course, I'll go over them . ;)

First one. GlennJ, the bacterial and other content of "tap water" in most albergues in Spain is similar to that in the UK, US, and most Northern European countries. Non-vulnerable ( no gastric or immune issues) people from those regions can and do drink tap water without issue, as long as its not specifically labeled as non potable.

Unlike Mexico, China, and Egypt, where drinking non- carbonated water was guaranteed to introduce enough foreign fauna to cause the "tourist trots."

If you've been to any of the Northern European countries, the US, or the UK, and you've drunk the water successfully, no worries. If not, and you're not using a hydration bladder, consider switching to carbonated liquids.

Now, whether a bathroom or a kitchen tap has water properly fed to it is quite a different discussion. Since albergues are not generally purpose designed hotels, I would have no idea about whether the design properly implements water safety from a tap. To that, I would have to say Caveat Emptor.
 
as a Facility engineering manager for a multinational hotel group for 30 years we had to carryout water sampling laboratory checks on a quarterly basis.
We never ever recommended drinking from bathroom taps
Thanks for sharing your expertise and making this point.

I assume then if bathroom tap water is boiled (if the hotel room that has the convenience of a kettle) and cooled, then it would be ok?
 
"Never" fill your bottles with water from bathroom it is not drinking water and may come from roof tank directly to bathroom

Where I live (EU country), usually even the water that flushes down whatever goes into the toilet is drinking water quality.

The rain that comes off your roof for example is labeled the same quality as what goes down the toilet after use, and you pay for disposal, as a home owner.

No way that water collected in a tank on the roof and sitting there for ages without quality control would be allowed as tap water in a public space like a hotel (maybe for flushing the toilet or for the washing machines).

Unless there's a sign "not drinking water" it is usually fine - from a building like café, restaurant, hotel or private home, all the same. No sign "don't drink it", then you can assume it's drinking water quality. Bathroom or kitchen, doesn't matter.

I'd be surprised If I'm wrong here, but maybe I am.

As far as I know the EU has very strict rules regarding what kind of water comes out of the taps.

Normal common sense is all that is needed.

Don't fill up your bottle in places that are obviously not maintained well or dirty (train station bathroom, for example can be problematic).

Let the water run for a while until it's cold. When it's cold and clear and smells fine, I wouldn't worry at all.

The taste might be bad in some places (I am not used to heavily chlorinated tap water, which is normal in Spain but rare in Germany) but that's a different topic. Also, of course problems can arise because of poor maintenance ect. But that's the exception, not the rule.

So, the advice to "never" drink from a bathroom tap seems a bit extreme to me within the EU countries.

Edit: I found this video clip apparently from the European Council's official YouTube channel, advertising safety of tap water in the EU. It says "In the EU you can drink tap water anywhere, anytime, it is perfectly safe".
 
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Hello,

I tried searching the forum threads but didn’t seem to find anything on topic.

I plan to stay in hotels for my Camino next year and, unlike albergues which likely have pantry areas with complimentary drinking water available to pilgrims for refills, hotels may or may not provide complimentary drinking water in their rooms, and not all may have restaurants/bars on site that supply such water to guests or pilgrims.

I normally start my daily morning routine at home drinking 2 full cups of water first thing when I get up. And this is before I’m even out the door. On top of this, when I’m on the Camino, I’ll need to carry an extra 1 liter with me for the initial stage of that day’s walk.

So, this means I’ll need to stock up on drinking water for each morning the night before.

For those who stayed in hotels, what is your experience filling up your bottles with drinking water the night before? Is this readily available at the hotels you stayed at? I will be doing the Camino Portuguese from Porto.

Thanks in advance!
All hotels have tap water in their bathrooms and tap water is fine to drink in Spain - consistently good, especially when compared to the U.S.
 
In Spain generally, but with a few exceptions, all domestic water comes directly from the rising main and isn't stored, so drinking from any tap is usually safe (the observation about the possibility of cross-contamination from bacteria on bathroom taps is very valid though).

In Ireland and the UK however, normally only the kitchen cold tap is fed off the rising main, everything else from a storage tank, so only kitchen tap water should be considered safe for consumption (though this is slowly changing too, as old gravity fed systems are being replaced with more efficient combi-boilers which can run directly off mains water, doing away with the storage tank.

If in any doubt, fill bottles from a kitchen tap, or from behind the bar and you'll be ok.
 
For the truly concerned, take Halazone tablets with you. Tastes horrible but the water will have been purified. Just don’t do like one Marine did in my unit in the Nam. He was so thirsty he drank unpurified water then swallowed his Halazone tablet. They Medavaced him out an hour later! Not the way to do it.
 
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All hotels have tap water in their bathrooms and tap water is fine to drink in Spain - consistently good, especially when compared to the U.S.
Not true, no point continuing this discussion you believe your correct dispite facts to the contrary.
 
In Spain generally, but with a few exceptions, all domestic water comes directly from the rising main and isn't stored, so drinking from any tap is usually safe
In Ireland and the UK however, normally only the kitchen cold tap is fed off the rising main, everything else from a storage tank, so only kitchen tap water should be considered safe for consumption (though this is slowly changing too, as old gravity fed systems are being replaced with more efficient combi-boilers which can run directly off mains water, doing away with the storage tank.

That's interesting, thank you.

I had not been aware of this difference between the UK (and Ireland) and other countries in Europe. Until now, I had not even been aware that there are houses / countries where there is a storage tank for cold water that feeds all the cold water taps except the tap in the kitchen. Is that the reason perhaps why one sees so often two separate taps for washbasins in the UK instead of one tap with a mixing valve? This arrangement has been a puzzle to me and other visitors from the Continent for all our lives. ☺️

Like others, I have filled water bottles with cold water coming from a washbasin tap without hesitation in Spain, especially when I had a private room and I was not concerned about potential contamination from other guests / pilgrims.
 
That's interesting, thank you.

I had not been aware of this difference between the UK (and Ireland) and other countries in Europe. Until now, I had not even been aware that there are houses / countries where there is a storage tank for cold water that feeds all the cold water taps except the tap in the kitchen. Is that the reason perhaps why one sees so often two separate taps for washbasins in the UK instead of one tap with a mixing valve? This arrangement has been a puzzle to me and other visitors from the Continent for all our lives. ☺️
An outside garden tap or a washing machine might be plumbed from the kitchen too, but conventional practice is that everything in the bathroom is gravity (or pump) fed from the storage tank.

The twin basin taps idea, might be a throwback from victorian times, it certainly defies logic and I've seen a few puzzled european visitors over the years! Mostly, we fit mixer taps in new installations these days..
 
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The comments I posted about Spain refer to domestic (and smaller commercial) installations. Larger hotels might need to store water in order to have adequate capacity at all times.. certainly, that's common here in Ireland. A glass placed beside a basin isn't in itself a guarantee of potable water. Still, it's never bothered me, and I've never had a problem drinking water from hotel taps in Ireland or in Spain..🙂
 
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Technical backpack for day trips with backpack cover and internal compartment for the hydration bladder. Ideal daypack for excursions where we need a medium capacity backpack. The back with Air Flow System creates large air channels that will keep our back as cool as possible.

€83,-
Unless I see a sticker next to the tap in the bathroom that says “no potable” (something I’ve never seen in a hotel or other accommodation in Spain - not on the Camino Francés trail and not in hotels on the Spanish coasts and islands) I will continue to assume in Spain that it is tap water according to the standards I am used to and I will use it both for rinsing after brushing my teeth and for drinking.

As to the original question: I stayed mainly in private rooms (hotels, small hostels, privately run albergues who offer both private rooms and dormitory beds) and do not recall that complimentary bottles of water were in the room - but maybe there was sometimes and I simply don’t remember. I often bought bottled water (preference / taste) so you could buy it in the evening. Buen Camino.
 
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If fountains in the middle of nowhere have water that smells of chlorine, surely it stands to reason that the tap water in a populated area would receive at least equal treatment.
 
Isn't this issue easy, honestly?

Water in Spain, as in the rest of Europe, is perfectly drinkable from taps, bathrooms, fountains. Period. If it is not (a few fountains on the Caminos), it will be marked as "No Potable" (not drinkable).

Buying bottled water is an unneccesary expense as well as you will be carrying plastic that will become a polluting waste sooner or later.

Drinking from streams, though: I would be cautious when walking through farmlands. Not only in Spain: Everywhere.

Spain, all of Europe, and many other countries are not 3rd world countries. As a matter of fact, many countries could learn much from Spain, foodwise, agricultural, history, as well as in quite a few other aspects. And yes, also about water. Ancient aquaducts in Spain (although of Roman origins) come to my mind..
 
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I don't think that hotels would put water glasses next to the sinks if the water was not potable.
Trecile in the recent past a documentary on hotel hygiene found the housekeeping staff cleaning the toilet brushes in the bathroom sink, drink heartily Trecile and Alex.
 
I'm going to go ahead and trust that the water that flows off the toilet brush goes down to the sink and off to a septic tank or sewer system and not into a recirculating system where it will be dispensed onto my toothbrush (or hands or anything else that finds itself in that sink)
 
Trecile in the recent past a documentary on hotel hygiene found the housekeeping staff cleaning the toilet brushes in the bathroom sink, drink heartily Trecile and Alex.
Gravity saves the day. They are not polishing the tap with the brush, I think.

But on a serious note: If your stomach is that sensible, just buy bottles. Problem solved.

Buy a Guinness for me next time at St. James gate.... In a glass, please :cool:

Edit: Judging by your video, this was some Holiday Inn hotel in America: Not exactly European standard...
 
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Technical backpack for day trips with backpack cover and internal compartment for the hydration bladder. Ideal daypack for excursions where we need a medium capacity backpack. The back with Air Flow System creates large air channels that will keep our back as cool as possible.

€83,-
Gravity saves the day. They are not polishing the tap with the brush, I think.

But on a serious note: If your stomach is that sensible, just buy bottles. Problem solved.

Buy a Guinness for me next time at St. James gate....
Thanks for your kind offer of several free pints when in Dublin Alex.

Can't let this drop "sorry", in one of my 5 star hotels where I worked the lab report noted the tap head was contaminated with ecoli and several other bacteria.

I don't think if you had seen that report you would think gravity is the solution, simple solution as you stated is drink potable water from taps or bottled water.
Never from bathroom which is subject to cross contamination from faces (There you made me say it)

I have never ever drank from bathroom taps anywhere always bottled, "never" brushed my teeth with bathroom water in hotels or Albergues.
Maybe I am paranoid but Confucius said "With great knowledge comes great wisdom" here endeth the lesson.
 
No way: I'm the guest: in your country You pay. Common hospitality. See the movie "GriswoldChristmas".

To finish off: I drink water in Spain unless it's marked "No potable". Game over.
Second half pending, I will set your up in Dublin with several pints of beautiful clear Dublin tank water.
 
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I have often had a complimentary bottle of water in my room at a hotel, guest house or bnb. I have been known to drink the bathroom water, although I must admit that it is not very refreshing and sometimes tastes a bit "off". I think other than brushing my teeth in the sink, I will refrain from drinking it in the future after reading some of these posts.
 
I have often had a complimentary bottle of water in my room at a hotel, guest house or bnb. I have been known to drink the bathroom water, although I must admit that it is not very refreshing and sometimes tastes a bit "off". I think other than brushing my teeth in the sink, I will refrain from drinking it in the future after reading some of these posts.
Màith thu Chrissy, you know it makes sence.
 
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Gravity saves the day. They are not polishing the tap with the brush, I think.

But on a serious note: If your stomach is that sensible, just buy bottles. Problem solved.

Buy a Guinness for me next time at St. James gate.... In a glass, please :cool:

Edit: Judging by your video, this was some Holiday Inn hotel in America: Not exactly European standard...
This video is also from nearly 15 years ago. I was traveling 50% plus of the time for work when it came out and it caused an enormous backlash. Covid changed *all* of this, so not really sure how good a 15 year-old video from an "investigative report" is as evidence of sanitation in a Spanish property.

Also was friends with a lady whose sister was head of housekeeping for Marriott when this came out (like at rhe corporate level). She said this caught wvery questionable practice all at once...they all happen but not usually at the same time in the same room in the same property.
 
::::chuckle::: I maintain that there's still two issues here, as I said above. WRT the second, plumbing, I continue to suggest Caveat Emptor. Even if I had enough Spanish to ask the hospitalera/o or desk clerk about their specific plumbing *and* understand the answer, I wouldn't be surprised if they * didn't* know.

As for the first, regardless of how the water is processed, if you are in countries *very* unlike your home, it's likely that you will contract the trots, unless you're drinking and brushing your teeth with *only* carbonated beverages.

Believe me, my stash of Immodium ( a very low dose opioid that induces constipation, and I'm US) was well used in those countries. Bur I didn't need it in Spain.
 
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As for the first, regardless of how the water is processed, if you are in countries *very* unlike your home, it's likely that you will contract the trots, unless you're drinking and brushing your teeth with *only* carbonated beverages.
I've been traveling for more than 40 years in developed and developing countries in North America, South America, and the Caribbean, and have yet to experience any issues. (Not even in Mexico, which at that time was a poster country for not drinking the waterl
 
Hello,

I tried searching the forum threads but didn’t seem to find anything on topic.

I plan to stay in hotels for my Camino next year and, unlike albergues which likely have pantry areas with complimentary drinking water available to pilgrims for refills, hotels may or may not provide complimentary drinking water in their rooms, and not all may have restaurants/bars on site that supply such water to guests or pilgrims.

I normally start my daily morning routine at home drinking 2 full cups of water first thing when I get up. And this is before I’m even out the door. On top of this, when I’m on the Camino, I’ll need to carry an extra 1 liter with me for the initial stage of that day’s walk.

So, this means I’ll need to stock up on drinking water for each morning the night before.

For those who stayed in hotels, what is your experience filling up your bottles with drinking water the night before? Is this readily available at the hotels you stayed at? I will be doing the Camino Portuguese from Porto.

Thanks in advance!
I mostly stayed at hotels after the first week. My understanding is that tap water in Spain is as good as any other industrialized country. It's chlorinated and fluorinated expect for the few that have well water. Given that the water is treated, there's little chance of bacterial contamination. My bigger concern, both here in the USA and elsewhere in the world are organic contaminants, particularly chloramines which can result from the chlorination process. That is why I always filter my drinking water here and when I travel. At home it's pretty easy with efficient and easy to use refrigerator filters that are readily available.

When traveling (such as on the Camino), I carry a squeezable Britta filter bottle. This allows me to drink the tap water in my room and also to fill up my hydration bladder each morning before heading out. If I need more water along the way, I can easily filter more in less than a minute by squeezing it through the bottle. It's so much less expensive and friendlier to the environment than purchasing drinking water.
 
We just finished the CF at the end of October. We stayed in small hotels and a couple of auberges. Between Sarria and Santiago there were a few places where the water was not good to drink. Came out of the tap brown. This is the first time we had seen anything like that in Spain or Portugal the water has always been fine.

On each the 2 or 3 days we observed the brown water we purchased a 5 liter bottle of water for under a euro at the local supermarcado. The locals said this is a problem that had been going on for a month or two, they were quite upset about it and pressuring the authorities to correct it. So my advise is if the water is clear it is probably fine, if not err on the safe side and spend the euro for 5 liters. The 5 liter bottle was enough for two people for nightly use, rehydrating from the day (I drink a lot of water), filling water bladders in our packs back up, and maybe a little left over.
 
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We checked into Casa das Airas, the 'sister' albergue to Casa Barbadelo back on October 8-9th of this year (just after Sarria). As we were heading over to our building to get to our private room, a man was calling at us from a tienda across the street that 'the water in our hotel was not good'. He was trying to sell us a bottle of water so I thought he was maybe not honest. After going to our room, I went back to Casa Barbadelo, (where we had full access to their pool, restaurant, laundry facilities, etc. ) and I mentioned to the guy behind the bar what this person said about the water not being drinkable in our building. I asked him if this was true and he told me it was true. I told him that we had JUST checked in 10 minute prior and he didn't tell us about this. I was shocked. My understanding is that the main albergue, Casa Barbadelo, does not have any water issue but this sister one does.

Other than this situation, I never had any concerns about water from a hotel or albergue water system.
 
All my life I drank tap water. I drank it from kitchen taps, bathroom taps, courtyard taps, in the remote fields and across from LA Sagrada. I lost count on how many times I drank it from the garden hose!!!!
There were only 2 places in the World that i did not do so - Mexico and Peru.'
I'm 64 years old... still kicking and plan on hiking many routes and God Williing more Caminos as part of those.
As many said before - let it run until it gets 'cool' and that's all there is to it.
If someone feels that they do not wish to drink the tap water as they see it / deem it "unsafe" so be it. By all means drink the "safe water of your choice".
I am perfectly content to drink water from any source marked "porable".

I do find it interesting though the observation in original OPs post about "complimentary water" available to Pilgrims in albergues.
I don't recall that on my Camino.
 
I do find it interesting though the observation in original OPs post about "complimentary water" available to Pilgrims in albergues.
I don't recall that on my Camino
I've been offered a cold glass of water upon checking in on a hot day, but never a bottle of water. That's definitely not something I've experienced on the Camino except in a hotel room.
 
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When I walked the Camino Portugues from Porto to Finisterre I only drank tap and fountain water and I'm still alive. I guess it must be alright. 😆
 
It only takes once…now I try not to use bathroom taps and fill up at bars/kitchen taps. Otherwise, I run it though a gravity filter. Just takes a minute and I don’t have to think about GI beasties.
 
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It only takes once…now I try not to use bathroom taps and fill up at bars/kitchen taps. Otherwise, I run it though a gravity filter. Just takes a minute and I don’t have to think about GI beasties.
Portugal and Spain are first world countries. Water from municipal sources is potable, no need to treat...again.
I mean do what you want to do, obviously but I would say to the uninitiated first time pilgrim on the Portugues or the Frances and other popular routes, to go ahead and drink from hotel taps and taps from bars, cafes etc and all fountains marked as potable. No need to treat it and no need to buy bottled water.
I would say the overwhelming majority of GI sickness on the Camino is from traveler type virus such as the Norovirus. Caused by your fellow pilgrim's filthy hands because they didn't wash them properly after going to the loo and then they touched cups, glasses, utensils, doorknobs etc. Gross.
 
I mostly stayed at hotels after the first week. My understanding is that tap water in Spain is as good as any other industrialized country. It's chlorinated and fluorinated expect for the few that have well water. Given that the water is treated, there's little chance of bacterial contamination. My bigger concern, both here in the USA and elsewhere in the world are organic contaminants, particularly chloramines which can result from the chlorination process. That is why I always filter my drinking water here and when I travel. At home it's pretty easy with efficient and easy to use refrigerator filters that are readily available.

When traveling (such as on the Camino), I carry a squeezable Britta filter bottle. This allows me to drink the tap water in my room and also to fill up my hydration bladder each morning before heading out. If I need more water along the way, I can easily filter more in less than a minute by squeezing it through the bottle. It's so much less expensive and friendlier to the environment than purchasing drinking water.
Does this get rid of the chlorine taste? I’m very spoiled when it comes to tasty tap water and really struggle with the high chlorine content in Spain. Not worried about the chemical composition but purely the taste aspect.
 
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Oh, *that's* why I like Spanish tap water! ;)

(I grew up in a major city where the water was both chlorinated *and* fluoridated. Look Ma, no cavities!)

I started drinking black coffee as a young adult when I realized that I hated the taste of non-chlorinated water. Still pretty much do, many years later.
 
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Portugal and Spain are first world countries. Water from municipal sources is potable, no need to treat...again.
I mean do what you want to do, obviously but I would say to the uninitiated first time pilgrim on the Portugues or the Frances and other popular routes, to go ahead and drink from hotel taps and taps from bars, cafes etc and all fountains marked as potable. No need to treat it and no need to buy bottled water.
I would say the overwhelming majority of GI sickness on the Camino is from traveler type virus such as the Norovirus. Caused by your fellow pilgrim's filthy hands because they didn't wash them properly after going to the loo and then they touched cups, glasses, utensils, doorknobs etc. Gross.
That is true but, as we observed, there are occasional problems that do occur in the municipality supplied water. We have always drank tap water in Portugal, Spain, Italy, etc. until we ran into the localized problem this past October. Hence my motto, if it is clear no fear.
 
Portugal and Spain are first world countries. Water from municipal sources is potable, no need to treat...again.
I mean do what you want to do, obviously but I would say to the uninitiated first time pilgrim on the Portugues or the Frances and other popular routes, to go ahead and drink from hotel taps and taps from bars, cafes etc and all fountains marked as potable. No need to treat it and no need to buy bottled water.
I would say the overwhelming majority of GI sickness on the Camino is from traveler type virus such as the Norovirus. Caused by your fellow pilgrim's filthy hands because they didn't wash them properly after going to the loo and then they touched cups, glasses, utensils, doorknobs etc. Gross.
I usually prefer less travelled routes, haven’t been on the Frances since 2012 and haven’t walked the Portugués yet. So I think it depends on where you are. good point about the Noro, though. Here’s to healthy walking!
 
Does this get rid of the chlorine taste? I’m very spoiled when it comes to tasty tap water and really struggle with the high chlorine content in Spain. Not worried about the chemical composition but purely the taste aspect.
Nothing like warm, smelly water on a hot day.
 
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
Nothing like warm, smelly water on a hot day.

There are worse things...
Coming over the hospitales but with still an hour or more to make it down into Berducedo in the heat, I found myself dangerously low on water and had to ration the last quarter litre or so, cursing myself for my own short-sightedness. Taking tiny sips to conserve it, the water was no longer warm, it was hot now, and smelt of molten plastic, no matter.

But, I wasn't the only one struggling that day, and a young Polish guy with his girlfriend who I shared a meal with later told me jokingly: "We passed you, we were gasping and saw you stopping to take a sip and my girlfriend said: Look, he has water, let's kill him!!"
 
::::chuckle::: I've told the anecdote before; please forgive me.

I took 2.5 L of water and electrolytes over Hospitales in 60ish-70ish weather, as I sort of recall, plus three tiny containers of tomato spread to go with the bread I bought in Campiello - and that was after breakfast, 2 grande cafe con leches, and juice. Rationed it on the back half, still drained it dry with a couple of km to go, drank all three little containers, and upon arrival at the cafe/albergue, promptly drank 3 12 oz Radlers and the rest of someone else's water glass. Threw away the bread.

*That* was one day where I did *not* care about water taste. ;-)

But back to OP's question, I suspect they more than have their answer.
 
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::::chuckle::: I've told the anecdote before; please forgive me.

I took 2.5 L of water and electrolytes over Hospitales in 60ish-70ish weather, as I sort of recall, plus three tiny containers of tomato spread to go with the bread I bought in Campiello - and that was after breakfast, 2 grande cafe con leches, and juice. Rationed it on the back half, still drained it dry with a couple of km to go, drank all three little containers, and upon arrival at the cafe/albergue, promptly drank 3 12 oz Radlers and the rest of someone else's water glass. Threw away the bread.

*That* was one day where I did *not* care about water taste. ;-)

But back to OP's question, I suspect they more than have their answer.
Interesting. I took 3 L of water over the Hospitales because I had been advised to, in July, and only ended drinking 1.5-2 L of it.
 
Does this get rid of the chlorine taste? I’m very spoiled when it comes to tasty tap water and really struggle with the high chlorine content in Spain. Not worried about the chemical composition but purely the taste aspect.
For the most part, yes. The higher the efficiency of the filtration system, the more of the "chlorine taste" that's removed. I find that the Britta squeeze bottles are not quite as good as the carbon block system in my refrigerator at home, but they do an excellent job. The main thing to keep in mind is that filtering efficiency decreases with time and amount of water that is filtered. I change my bottle filters about ever 2 to 3 months, depending on how often I use them. If I'm preparing for a major hike (such as the Camino, I change them the day before I leave.
 
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Interesting. I took 3 L of water over the Hospitales because I had been advised to, in July, and only ended drinking 1.5-2 L of it.

I deeply suspect I weigh a lot more than you do, sir. ;-)
I took two, (and just to keep On topic, from the Albergues tap!), plus a half litre of Aquarius. It was a warm but misty day, and whilst I gave away around 250 mils to a companion who'd run out, I finished the rest. Plus water, two fresh OJ's and another Aquarius in the very first bar. From memory I was a week behind David. (Third week of July).
Whilst weight may very well have a part to play, at 70 kilos and around 1.73 meters tall I don't think thats so in my case. As I think has been demonstrated here on many an occasion our individual water needs vary greatly from person to person!
 
plus a half litre of Aquarius
For Americans who might be reading this post, 'Aqua Aquarius' is a European electrolyte drink that is similar to Gatorade or Powerade. At first, I was disappointed at not finding many electrolyte drinks along the Camino when a friend pointed of that 'Aqua Aquarius' is such a drink. I tried it and became my go to drink on Camino breaks. To my knowledge, it's not available in the USA, or at least I haven't seen it anywhere. Good stuff!
 
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Hello,

I tried searching the forum threads but didn’t seem to find anything on topic.

I plan to stay in hotels for my Camino next year and, unlike albergues which likely have pantry areas with complimentary drinking water available to pilgrims for refills, hotels may or may not provide complimentary drinking water in their rooms, and not all may have restaurants/bars on site that supply such water to guests or pilgrims.

I normally start my daily morning routine at home drinking 2 full cups of water first thing when I get up. And this is before I’m even out the door. On top of this, when I’m on the Camino, I’ll need to carry an extra 1 liter with me for the initial stage of that day’s walk.

So, this means I’ll need to stock up on drinking water for each morning the night before.

For those who stayed in hotels, what is your experience filling up your bottles with drinking water the night before? Is this readily available at the hotels you stayed at? I will be doing the Camino Portuguese from Porto.

Thanks in advance!

Hello,

I tried searching the forum threads but didn’t seem to find anything on topic.

I plan to stay in hotels for my Camino next year and, unlike albergues which likely have pantry areas with complimentary drinking water available to pilgrims for refills, hotels may or may not provide complimentary drinking water in their rooms, and not all may have restaurants/bars on site that supply such water to guests or pilgrims.

I normally start my daily morning routine at home drinking 2 full cups of water first thing when I get up. And this is before I’m even out the door. On top of this, when I’m on the Camino, I’ll need to carry an extra 1 liter with me for the initial stage of that day’s walk.

So, this means I’ll need to stock up on drinking water for each morning the night before.

For those who stayed in hotels, what is your experience filling up your bottles with drinking water the night before? Is this readily available at the hotels you stayed at? I will be doing the Camino Portuguese from Porto.

Thanks in advance!
I finished a Camino in early October and stayed in a variety of accommodations along the way. Although I never heard of anyone staying at these accommodations having an issue with the water, I never drank anything but bottled water. After a bout of dysentery in Egypt many years ago, my digestive system became extremely sensitive and I found that anything but bottled water was might cause a risk. I just spent too much time and money planning the Camino and saw no reason to jeopardize it by taking a chance. I guess I’m just saying that if you want to be absolutely certain about the water, drink bottled water while on the Camino.
 
On the CF, dnk for CP, hotels rarely supplied bottled water and if they did it would not be enough for your purposes. Normally, I either use the tap water where we are staying, or we’ve buy1.5 liter bottles of water in certain areas where the hotels may be older and I simply don't want to drink from their faucets (personal choice). In most supermarkets a l.5 liter bottle is around €1. I then-fill up 3 half liter bottles which usually is enough for the days journey. I periodically disinfect or replace the bottles.
 
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I finished a Camino in early October and stayed in a variety of accommodations along the way. Although I never heard of anyone staying at these accommodations having an issue with the water, I never drank anything but bottled water. After a bout of dysentery in Egypt many years ago, my digestive system became extremely sensitive and I found that anything but bottled water was might cause a risk. I just spent too much time and money planning the Camino and saw no reason to jeopardize it by taking a chance. I guess I’m just saying that if you want to be absolutely certain about the water, drink bottled water while on the Camino.
Spain ain't Egypt. What do you drink at home? Bottled or Tap?

Looks like you have issues back home: https://www.ewg.org/tapwater/state.php?stab=SC
 
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Spain ain't Egypt. What do you drink at home? Bottled or Tap?

Looks like you have issues back home: https://www.ewg.org/tapwater/state.php?stab=SC
If you have never had a bout of amoebic dysentery than you are not aware of the lingering issues that typify the infection. Any change in drinking water can cause a problem for me even if the water is potable and the changes slight. There is a significant difference in the flora and fauna of potable drinking water, changing from location to location, particularly in small localized water systems that typify northern Spain. This is acerbated by differing amounts of additives like chlorine, fluorine, ozone and other oxidizers. No, I don’t drink bottled water at home but we do filter our tap water. I even drink bottled water when traveling in the US. I made my suggestion that drinking bottled water on the Camino was one way of guaranteeing that your trip would not be interrupted by a drinking water situation. So if you are fortunate and can tolerate changes in drinking water, good for you.
 
Spain ain't Egypt. What do you drink at home? Bottled or Tap?
For 15 years I have been drinking tap/fountain water on various Caminos in Spain. No problems.

For goodness sake: Spain has better systems than most countries. They even have (almost) free health care, unlike many countries who want to believe they have good systems. Of course you can drink tap/fountain water in Spain, unless marked "No Potable". Egypt OTOH....

This is valid for ordinary people. If you have medical issues, it may be another matter.
 
I don’t know how I can make this any clearer, but I’ll try. I am not comparing Spain’s drinking water to Egypt. I am simply saying that people who have alimentary issues are better served by drinking bottled water while on the Camino. People spend a lot of resources planning and paying for their caminos and you can r3move the fear of getting sidelined by a stomach problem by drinking bottled water. If you are fortunate to not have any digestive issues and can drink water from any potable source than that’s great and I envy you. I have worked in 22 countries and vacationed and hiked in many more. I have learned through experience that bottled water keeps me on track. Others might have the same issues and concerns and I’m telling them that bottled water is a great way to head off any problems. It’s cheap and readily available all along the Camino.
 
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Thankfully I don’t have any of these concerns but @Quahaug I’m sure you’re not alone in needing to take extra precautions with drinking water. I saw no disparagement in your posts. Your situation has a place in this thread and no doubt there will be some who will appreciate your input. 🙏
 
I seem to have no issues with drinking tap water in Europe, but I had food poisoning once, not on the Camino, and it was awful. Years ago in Mexico I was told to boil all the water and wash all fruits and veggies in bleach water. I did as told and thankfully had no issues. I think the concern was intestinal worms.
 
I seem to have no issues with drinking tap water in Europe, but I had food poisoning once, not on the Camino, and it was awful.
Water in Europe is perfectly safe. Food poisoning can be had everywhere. I have had it in Norway, from oysters. Unless you have medical issues regarding water, water is safe everywhere in Europe, including (not least) Spain. No need to buy something you can get for free.

It seems some people think Spain/Europe is a 3rd world area. Quite irritating. It is not. It is a sophisticated, 1st world continent. With a history unlike most others. Better than most others in its class. Also water.
 
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I don’t know how I can make this any clearer, but I’ll try. I am not comparing Spain’s drinking water to Egypt. I am simply saying that people who have alimentary issues are better served by drinking bottled water while on the Camino.
I don't understand how you can reach this conclusion. The almost complete lack of transparency about what water sources are used, how the water is treated and what contaminants are present suggests to me that you are relying on the marketing hype of the bottled water suppliers. I would also suggest that is going to be the least reliable source of water quality information. It appears you are prepared to suggest people trust advertising over independent scientific testing.
 
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I don't understand how you can reach this conclusion. The almost complete lack of transparency about what water sources are used, how the water is treated and what contaminants are present suggests to me that you are relying on the marketing hype of the bottled water suppliers. I would also suggest that is going to be the least reliable source of water quality information. It appears you are prepared to suggest people trust advertising over independent scientific testing.
Indeed. Hysteria for normal people. And I emphasise "normal people"
 
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If you have never had a bout of amoebic dysentery than you are not aware of the lingering issues that typify the infection. Any change in drinking water can cause a problem for me even if the water is potable and the changes slight. There is a significant difference in the flora and fauna of potable drinking water, changing from location to location, particularly in small localized water systems that typify northern Spain. This is acerbated by differing amounts of additives like chlorine, fluorine, ozone and other oxidizers. No, I don’t drink bottled water at home but we do filter our tap water. I even drink bottled water when traveling in the US. I made my suggestion that drinking bottled water on the Camino was one way of guaranteeing that your trip would not be interrupted by a drinking water situation. So if you are fortunate and can tolerate changes in drinking water, good for you.
I think I can tick-off three bouts of amoebic dysentery in my career ( career as in an uncontrolled down hill progression) through life. On each occasion I most likely acquired the infection because some shit didn’t wash the shit off their hands before juggling my lunch. Fecal contamination of tap water just doesn’t happen in Europe unless you’re in a war zone. Just now, if I was in Ukraine I’d probably be willing to pay the premium for bottled water. In Gaza I’d be embarrassed by my wealth. And in Spain I’d be content to take the tap water as safe. As safe as the streets, as safe as the Barrios as safe as any of us are anywhere anywhen.

Meanwhile the plastic bottled water industry is buggering our planet
 
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The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
I think Quahaug has made it clear that their situation is not "normal", but also, they expect, not unique. See post #85.
So then we can finish this discussion by saying that if you cannot drink ordinary water in Spain, you will need to buy bottles or bring your own water. Interesting, to say the least. There must be some serious health issues, which I of course respect, going on if you can't drink ordinary water in Spain. But then again, I prefer red, so no problem for me.
 
Hello,

I tried searching the forum threads but didn’t seem to find anything on topic.

I plan to stay in hotels for my Camino next year and, unlike albergues which likely have pantry areas with complimentary drinking water available to pilgrims for refills, hotels may or may not provide complimentary drinking water in their rooms, and not all may have restaurants/bars on site that supply such water to guests or pilgrims.

I normally start my daily morning routine at home drinking 2 full cups of water first thing when I get up. And this is before I’m even out the door. On top of this, when I’m on the Camino, I’ll need to carry an extra 1 liter with me for the initial stage of that day’s walk.

So, this means I’ll need to stock up on drinking water for each morning the night before.

For those who stayed in hotels, what is your experience filling up your bottles with drinking water the night before? Is this readily available at the hotels you stayed at? I will be doing the Camino Portuguese from Porto.

Thanks in advance!
I found it was easy to buy a gallon of water in most places. If the hotel didn't provide it I would buy it, drink my fill, fill my bottles and then donate the rest to a pilgrim down the hall or just left it.
 
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