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Feeling somewhat concerned

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Camino(s) past & future
Planning to walk the Camino Frances in September 2019
Please help me out here...

This will be our first Camino and one of the first things I learned was that there is no need to book alburgues you just turn up.

I have just read a thread below with some trepidation as it talks about full accommodation and no beds available. Also saying that you now need to book your beds in advance.

Is this true?

I have tried to book the alburgue in Roncessvalles but I can’t find how to pay so assume it isn’t booked.

Can someone please enlighten me on all of the above?

Many thanks
 

NorthernLight

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
There can be bottlenecks on the Frances when finding a bed can be an issue. If you are leaving St Jean Pied de Port on a weekend, you may face trouble at Roncesvalles, as that's when most Europeans start their walks.

Roncesvalles books some beds, leaves others unreserved but still first come first served. You could try phoning them. It's run by Dutch volunteers, so English is good.

Generally though, stay relaxed about it, and be prepared with a back up plan for the occassional taxi to an albergue or hostal off the trail, just in case.

In three caminos across Spain, I've never booked a bed and always found a safe place to sleep. You can alleviate your stress by booking each day the night before, or in the morning, if it seems necessary.

Don't panic and buen camino.
 

Tim Floyd

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2017
TDMB 2016
Cotswold Way 2018
Another reality is that some times of the year are busier than others. We walked in Sept/Oct of 2017, and with the exception of the first few days out of St Jean we could have just found a place every night. I used my phone and booked a night or two at a time as we went and decided how far we wanted to go on any given day. In recent years there has been a big expansion of Albergues and modest hotels. If you are not picky, or working on a very small budget, you can always find something. You might have to try a few places when you arrive, or, you may have to stay somewhere off segment from the typical guidebook stops, but you will find a place.

Some advice. The Camino is an adventure. Some of your best experiences will happen in moments of spontaneity. We stayed in a treehouse in Puente la Reina! Don't stress over it. As you go you will learn what your comfortable distance is and take it from there.

Have fun! Wish I was going with you.
 

davebugg

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2017)
Camino Frances (2018)
Camino Ingles (2019)
If albergues are the only lodging option you will use, then most of the time it is first come, first serve, with some exceptions. Depending on the albergue structure - parochial, municipal, private - you may or may not be able to reserve ahead.

If you are not wedded solely to albergue beds for lodging, then you will not be stuck without a bed, generally speaking.
  1. If albergues are completo, there are casa rurals, hostals, hotels, etc
  2. IF all lodgings are full, then you can take a taxi to the next town and get a bed for the night. Then taxi back to where you left off the next morning.
This is not a big issue to worry about. Options are always available. If you do find that you are running into a few bottle necks then you can decide to book a room, on a night to night basis, for the next day.

Go with the flow, relax, and know that you won't be stuck out in the cold :)

For Roncesvalles, is this the reservation site you used? If you did not receive instructions for payment, check your junk mail or spam folder.
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times
No worries on the accommodations. It is what it is, and cannot be predicted. Walk relaxed, but be prepared to be flexible a time or two if you have to stay in a pensiones instead of an albergue.

One way to alleviate concerns in availability of accommodations, and I know this is not for everybody, is to carry a ground pad and have a good sleep system/bag. That way you can stretch out in front of a church or other similar covered area for the night. The knowledge of knowing you can always sleep somewhere definitely allows being able to walk relaxed. Like I said, not for everyone and requires not minding the little bit of extra weight of the pad in the pack.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
I have tried to book the alburgue in Roncessvalles but I can’t find how to pay so assume it isn’t booked.
When I reserved, at first my credit card wasn't accepted. I had to call my CC company to let them know that I was trying to pay on the site. But they only allow the beds on the first floor to be reserved there are (I believe) two more floors of beds. Be aware that there are no blankets available. If you want to stay at Orisson, you will have to reserve, as they only have 28 beds.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Planning to walk the Camino Frances in September 2019
When I reserved, at first my credit card wasn't accepted. I had to call my CC company to let them know that I was trying to pay on the site. But they only allow the beds on the first floor to be reserved there are (I believe) two more floors of beds. Be aware that there are no blankets available. If you want to stay at Orisson, you will have to reserve, as they only have 28 beds.
I am under the impression that they send an email that then allows you to pay. I haven’t had anything from them and I cannot find anywhere on the booking form where you can pay.

Am I missing something?

Edit I have checked the junk mail
 
Camino(s) past & future
Planning to walk the Camino Frances in September 2019
Thanks everyone for your replies.

I will continue to try and book Roncesvalles and we will hope to wing it from there...we are flexible and want the experience to be as spontaneous and stress free as possible.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way - voie de Tours - camino francés - Biskaya - Manche)
I will continue to try and book Roncesvalles and we will hope to wing it from there.
You can book and immediately pay for the beds of the albergue of Roncesvalles on their website. Use this link: http://www.alberguederoncesvalles.com/index.php?idioma=2 as it is already set to English as language. Click on Reservations and then on the big round button to start the process. Do not use a browser with an automatic translation from Spanish to English for the Roncesvalles website. Some people have trouble completing the booking because their credit card lacks an option that is required. I see that you are from England, you shouldn't have a problem with the payment. If you plan to walk in early September I'd suggest that you book Roncesvalles. If all fails you can contact the albergue by email which is indicated on the website, they may offer you a different payment option. Best of luck and buen camino.
 
Last edited:

Dorpie

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago to Finisterre to Muxia 2013
Camino Frances May 2015, July 2017, October 2019
Hi @Patrick Hickmott

Delighted to see your response just now. For me the camino is all about spontaneity and reducing stress. Just remember while you're on camino you only have three jobs; walking, finding food and finding accomodation, none of which are that difficult.

To respond to your original post-

It certainly isn't true that you need to book accomodation. In about 70 days on camino I've only ever once had to walk to the next village to find a bed and even that wouldn't have been the case if I were on my own, it was only because I was in a group of four and only two beds were left.

As some have said booking at Roncesvalles can be a bit of a pain, especially when it comes to payment but it is possible.

Buen Camino,

Rob.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Planning to walk the Camino Frances in September 2019
Hi @Patrick Hickmott

Delighted to see your response just now. For me the camino is all about spontaneity and reducing stress. Just remember while you're on camino you only have three jobs; walking, finding food and finding accomodation, none of which are that difficult.

To respond to your original post-

It certainly isn't true that you need to book accomodation. In about 70 days on camino I've only ever once had to walk to the next village to find a bed and even that wouldn't have been the case if I were on my own, it was only because I was in a group of four and only two beds were left.

As some have said booking at Roncesvalles can be a bit of a pain, especially when it comes to payment but it is possible.

Buen Camino,

Rob.
Thanks Rob

I appreciate your reply.

As this is our first time and we have a specific reason for doing it we really want to make it a bit special and booking everything in advance seems to take away something from the experience.
 

Telboyo

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
I intend to leave the UK the day Before Brexit and walkMarch -April 2019 Camino Frances
if there is no bed at Roncesvalles carry onto Burguette or Espinal. It makes it a 30+ KM day, but on the right side you should make it to Pamplona the next day. There is more to see and do in Pamplona thanRoncevalles
 

Tim Floyd

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2017
TDMB 2016
Cotswold Way 2018
Thanks Rob

I appreciate your reply.

As this is our first time and we have a specific reason for doing it we really want to make it a bit special and booking everything in advance seems to take away something from the experience.
So glad to read this. I saw so many living by a rigid schedule and getting frustrated when things went “wrong”. Just go with it. Prepare. Read up. Have some good guidebooks or apps. Then let it unfold. I promise you the best memories will end up being the places and people you discover along the way.
 

Davidmm

Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2017)
When I reserved, at first my credit card wasn't accepted. I had to call my CC company to let them know that I was trying to pay on the site. But they only allow the beds on the first floor to be reserved there are (I believe) two more floors of beds. Be aware that there are no blankets available. If you want to stay at Orisson, you will have to reserve, as they only have 28 beds.
I definitely recommend a stay at Orisson, if only for the experience. After a leasurly walk we were in Roncesvalles before opening time. It was a great start to our Camino last year. (Only stopped for coffee in 2017)
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
I am under the impression that they send an email that then allows you to pay. I haven’t had anything from them and I cannot find anywhere on the booking form where you can pay.

Am I missing something?
No, that's Orisson that sends an email with an invoice. Follow the instructions that @Kathar1na posted above.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Planning to walk the Camino Frances in September 2019
So glad to read this. I saw so many living by a rigid schedule and getting frustrated when things went “wrong”. Just go with it. Prepare. Read up. Have some good guidebooks or apps. Then let it unfold. I promise you the best memories will end up being the places and people you discover along the way.
Thanks Tim. That's the plan anyway!!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Planning to walk the Camino Frances in September 2019
You can book and immediately pay for the beds of the albergue of Roncesvalles on their website. Use this link: http://www.alberguederoncesvalles.com/index.php?idioma=2 as it is already set to English as language. Click on Reservations and then on the big round button to start the process. Do not use a browser with an automatic translation from Spanish to English for the Roncesvalles website. Some people have trouble completing the booking because their credit card lacks an option that is required. I see that you are from England, you shouldn't have a problem with the payment. If you plan to walk in early September I'd suggest that you book Roncesvalles. If all fails you can contact the albergue by email which is indicated on the website, they may offer you a different payment option. Best of luck and buen camino.
Thanks @Kathar1na. The last time I tried that I just didn't get the payment screen up. All done now!!

😁
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis SJPP
April 2016, August 2017, May 2018
Camino PortuGUESE
May 2019
A lovely alternative to Orrison( which is 8 KLM from St. Jean PdePort) is to walk the Valcarlos path to the right, Valcarlos albergue (12 KLM from JPdP). The main village bar/ shop has the number combination to open it up. It is beautifully scenic and challenging, for me, the next day to Roncesvalles. (183 beds/4 bed cubicles, telephone: 948 760 000) (13 KLM) I've done this way three times, 3 years in a row. I suppose if I did the CF again, I'd go to Orrison for the bonding intro around the communal dinner.
Another handy hint is to stop in the town just before or just after John Brierley's stage ends as this is less congested. We can't book municple albergues ahead but private accommodation can be booked the previous night. I always choose a place with the communal dinners if possible, but bars are usually full of pilgrims.
Buen Camino, mi amigo....
Love
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times
The four times I decided to stay the night in Roncesvalles was during the busy season, I did not have reservations and I arrived between 2:00pm-4:00pm. I never had a problem and there were available beds. I would say as long as you arrive before 6:00pm, no worries.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Planning to walk the Camino Frances in September 2019
A lovely alternative to Orrison( which is 8 KLM from St. Jean PdePort) is to walk the Valcarlos path to the right, Valcarlos albergue (12 KLM from JPdP). The main village bar/ shop has the number combination to open it up. It is beautifully scenic and challenging, for me, the next day to Roncesvalles. (183 beds/4 bed cubicles, telephone: 948 760 000) (13 KLM) I've done this way three times, 3 years in a row. I suppose if I did the CF again, I'd go to Orrison for the bonding intro around the communal dinner.
Another handy hint is to stop in the town just before or just after John Brierley's stage ends as this is less congested. We can't book municple albergues ahead but private accommodation can be booked the previous night. I always choose a place with the communal dinners if possible, but bars are usually full of pilgrims.
Buen Camino, mi amigo....
Love
Thanks Miki. I really appreciate the input.

However, this time we have decided to go all the way to Roncesvalles. I have been able to book the accommodation, so at least I know we have somewhere to stay the first night.

All the best...
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
Well, you've got Roncesvalles sorted. As others have said, there is generally not a lot of problems finding accommodations, especially if you are not wedded to the idea of staying in a particular albergue in a particular town and are comfortable with the possibility that the first place you go to might be full.

If you do find yourself told that the albergue is full, you have a number of options:
- You can ask the hospitalero in the full albergue about other accommodations options in the village or town. Or you can ask in a bar or shop.
- You can walk to the next village.
- You can taxi backwards or forwards on the Camino and then taxi back the next morning to resume where you left off.

If you are finding that this is becoming a consistent problem, you may be caught in a "bubble" of pilgrims walking at the same pace. Taking a rest day could remove you from that bubble and ameliorate the problem.

When I walked with my son in 2016, finding accommodations was not really a problem at all until we got to Galicia. In Triacastela the first three albergues we tried were full. The fourth had plenty of room and there were still more options beyond that, so we were in no danger of going without a bed. But by that point of the Camino I had a fairly good idea of how far we were walking each day and I started to book ahead a day or two to prevent the hassle of trying albergue after albergue after we arrived in a destination. Maybe after Triacastela there would have been no problems, but it wasn't too difficult to make a few calls and since we knew how far we'd want to walk, it didn't feel like it was hampering us.
 

Marcee

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
future camino in 2019
I just finished my camino on June 2nd 2019. The only places I saw pilgrims not getting a bed were Orisson, Roncesvalles and Zubiri. Orisson because there is only 1 or 2 places to stay. This should be booked at least a month in advance. Roncesvalles has plenty of beds but if you arrive after 4pm there will be a long line and there is a chance of not getting a bed. After a hard walk I didn’t want to risk it. I had to email and call with my CC information because I too had a problem booking online. I’m so glad I did because some people were turned away. Zubiri was were I saw lots af people turned away. The Municipal Alberge was closed for some reason (renovation?) some even took a taxi to Pamplona. The rest of my camino I called a day ahead or used booking.com with no problems. I liked calling the Alberges directly because most would just hold a bed for you until 2 or 3pm with no cc info. That left me with the option of stopping anywhere if I felt tired with no charge. After those 3 cities I didn’t hear of anyone not getting a bed. Its a personal preference. Some Pilgrims liked the adventure of not booking ahead and it’s seemed they always found a place to stay. I also recommend booking Santiago de Compostela. It was nice to know I could take my time arriving in Santiago and taking it all in without worrying about accommodations.
Good luck and buen Camino
 

cosan

Member
Camino(s) past & future
july 2016
Please help me out here...

This will be our first Camino and one of the first things I learned was that there is no need to book alburgues you just turn up.

I have just read a thread below with some trepidation as it talks about full accommodation and no beds available. Also saying that you now need to book your beds in advance.

Is this true?

I have tried to book the alburgue in Roncessvalles but I can’t find how to pay so assume it isn’t booked.

Can someone please enlighten me on all of the above?

Many thanks
I have walked along the Camino Frances five times and have never been turned away from an albergue. This may be because I usually stop walking by midday. Occasionally I walk in the late afternoon and on those days I phone ahead and reserve a bed in a private albergue. If you get to Roncevalles by opening time of 2pm you will get a bed. I have stayed there in September and July and did not reserve ahead.
 

runner

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 1, 2019
There can be bottlenecks on the Frances when finding a bed can be an issue. If you are leaving St Jean Pied de Port on a weekend, you may face trouble at Roncesvalles, as that's when most Europeans start their walks.

Roncesvalles books some beds, leaves others unreserved but still first come first served. You could try phoning them. It's run by Dutch volunteers, so English is good.

Generally though, stay relaxed about it, and be prepared with a back up plan for the occassional taxi to an albergue or hostal off the trail, just in case.

In three caminos across Spain, I've never booked a bed and always found a safe place to sleep. You can alleviate your stress by booking each day the night before, or in the morning, if it seems necessary.

Don't panic and buen camino.
I just finished CF and booked three nights in advance as I went along. I was fed up with sleeping in a room full of rude people so I would call and book a private room which many have. It was perfect. If you can afford it, do it that way unless you want the experience of go with the flow them be prepared to find full albergue sand have to walk farther. And no, I would not do it again, ever! Way to many people on a cheap vacation.
 

1946caminoman

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 1999, 2008, 2012, 2018
Please help me out here...

This will be our first Camino and one of the first things I learned was that there is no need to book alburgues you just turn up.

I have just read a thread below with some trepidation as it talks about full accommodation and no beds available. Also saying that you now need to book your beds in advance.

Is this true?

I have tried to book the alburgue in Roncessvalles but I can’t find how to pay so assume it isn’t booked.

Can someone please enlighten me on all of the above?

Many thanks
Relax! Roncesvalles can be problematical though. My suggestion is to stay in Orisson on Day 1. Then you will reach Roncesvalles in good time. Other than that, avoid stage towns. And book between Sarria and Santiago
 

bikerkvw

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, Inglish, Camino de la Plata. Future Camino Francis
I just finished CF and booked three nights in advance as I went along. I was fed up with sleeping in a room full of rude people so I would call and book a private room which many have. It was perfect. If you can afford it, do it that way unless you want the experience of go with the flow them be prepared to find full albergue sand have to walk farther. And no, I would not do it again, ever! Way to many people on a cheap vacation.
I am sure not everybody in the room was rude. I hope you learned by the end of your Camino not to prejudge people. You don't know what a person's life is like until you walk in their hiking boots.
 
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C Camino Frances albergues, pensions and hostals 8
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