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How to make reservation for the albergues?

Tina B.

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
26.6.2018. Camino Frances
Hello, dear pilgrims! Where can I find information of which albergue is open? I know some are closed. Is there some unique platform where I can find this information and make a reservation or I need to search contact for each separately? I am little afraid I will not handle this good. I am planning to walk Camino Ingles most likely. Thank you for any information!
 
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LesBrass

Likes Walking
Year of past OR future Camino
yes...
A good place to start would be Gronze.com.. https://www.gronze.com/etapa/ferrol/pontedeume

The list accommodation choices in each town... I then use booking.com to see if I can book... or if not I contact the Albergue direct. I recently thought of walking the Ingles in June and found some very inexpensive private rooms... and was also about to book Albergue beds. There was a new Albergue at Hospital de Bruma who I messaged via Facebook.

Happy planning!
 

biarritzdon

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF&CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF&CP17, CdN18, CM18, CF18, LePuy19
Typically in the past, it was pretty obvious if a public albergues was operating and you placed your bag in a queue and waited for it to open at 1 or 2 or called a number of the local hospitero which would be posted on the door.
If I was booking a private albergue I would ask the people at the albergue where I was staying to make a recommendation for the next night and call ahead for me.
I guess things are changing during Covid.
 
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Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
Hello, dear pilgrims! Where can I find information of which albergue is open? I know some are closed. Is there some unique platform where I can find this information and make a reservation or I need to search contact for each separately? I am little afraid I will not handle this good. I am planning to walk Camino Ingles most likely. Thank you for any information!

Tina I know that @wisepilgrim is keeping track of open albergues here

There is also this website

And there is also Gronze - pick the particular camino and place.

For specific information about the Camino Ingles, see this area of the forum. Recent posts will possibly have news from people travelling there right now.

And Buen Camino!
 

alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Year of past OR future Camino
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
The wise pilgrim app is updated. It contains maps, info, list of albergues with contact info./booking link for each village/town. there are several apps depending on which Camino you will walk.
 
Last edited:

Dave

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
First: Camino Francés 2002; most recent: Norte/Primitivo 2019
Hi Tina,

Here's a list I've prepared on the Inglés and Mar, to supplement all of those other helpful links.

Also, in case it's helpful, I wrote this piece on making reservations for the APOC page and I'll share it here as well...

Those returning to the Camino in 2021 will find it changed by the pandemic in many ways. One of the short-term consequences is that reservations have become far more important, at least for this year. In my communication with albergues and hotels on many routes, the message has been clear: book ahead.

For many pilgrims, this is a change. Maybe some of you are struggling with having that kind of structure, when you prefer to take each day as it comes. For some, it might just be a logistical challenge. How the heck can you go about making and managing all of these reservations?

If you're in that boat, this post is for you. For years now, I've been leading high school groups on pilgrimage, and that group experience has necessitated making a number of reservations in Spain, Italy, and France. Even when walking alone in France, it's far more customary there to book ahead, especially if you're requesting meals. So, I've had a lot of practice. Here's what I've learned...

I'm seeing many pilgrims translate "reservations required" into "well, off to Booking.com then!" And that's certainly a good resource. Some albergues and hotels now will direct you there for reservations and in those cases you have no other option. One of the things I like about Booking and other reservation sites is that you often get a free cancellation option, until just a couple of days before, so you can have confidence without total commitment. That flexibility is helpful.

However, you'll often pay more for the convenience of Booking. It's not a free service; we pilgrims are just blind to the expense it poses to accommodations. You will often get a cheaper rate by booking directly, with albergues and hotels alike. With hotels, in particular, you might be able to get a pilgrim discount by booking directly. Beyond that, many accommodations only make a portion of their beds/rooms available on Booking, so you might trick yourself into believing that everything is filled up, when in reality spaces are still available.

Try emailing accommodations directly. Put the date you're targeting in the subject line, for ease of reference (you'll potentially be sending a lot of these emails, after all). Be very specific in your requests to minimize follow-ups. Do you want a bed or a private room? Is it just you or others? Just one night, right? Will you have a local phone number or whatsapp? Include it if you do; give them a heads up that you don't if you won't, because they will ask for that.

It's fine if you don't have any facility with Spanish/French/Italian/whatever. I use Google Translate for all of my French communications and I'll polish up my Spanish and Italian. It works great, especially if you a) keep your sentences short, b) limit your clauses, and c) avoid any colloquialisms.

Depending upon the place, you might receive a request for a deposit. In France, it's quite common to have a gite ask for a deposit to be made by personal check. Every single time I've responded to politely note this was going to be challenging to pull off as an American, the gite has quickly waived the requirement. In other cases, it's possible to make a deposit via paypal or a credit card.

Typically--and especially if you don't have a phone or are unable to make a deposit--the place will ask you to reconfirm a day or two in advance and also to let them know if you're running late. "Late" varies from place to place, but it's usually around 3-5pm. I often have some long days, so I'm always sure to alert the albergue/gite ahead of time if I anticipate a later arrival. Email might work for confirmations, but it's quite common in France to ask your host one night to phone ahead on your behalf to the next gite, and you may be able to solicit the kindness of your hospitalero/a in Spain as well, especially if they aren't busy at the moment.

Remember that all of these accommodations have taken a financial hit over the last two years and every unfilled bed this summer is a real loss. If you make a reservation, they're counting on you to fill it. There's a lot of trust involved in a non-Booking reservation and every hospitalero/a has stories to share of pilgrims making several different reservations on a given day, in order to give themselves flexibility at the expense of the albergues involved. If your plans change at all, you've got to alert the albergues as soon as possible.

Finally, there are lots of places to track down email addresses for albergues. I've found Gronze to be good for albergues, though it's much more hit-or-miss with hotels. The latest guidebooks often have websites or email addresses, either in the books or on companion websites. And many places now have Facebook pages with direct messaging options.

If you're looking at the Norte, Primitivo, Inglés, or Mar, I've been working to compile updated lists of accommodations, email addresses, and their current status. I shared these once before, but they're all getting a new round of info right now, so I'll offer them here once more:
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2011
I understand things are a bit different post Covid. I walked the CF in 2011. We reserved our first 2 nights on the trail. After that we went daily wanting to walk the way as it came to us and not keep a rigid schedule. I am now in the process of planning a September-October walk on the Via de la Plata. It seems that everyone is saying that with limited alburgues it is important to pre-book all the alburgues. I really do not want to lock myself into having to do xxx miles everyday to make a reserved bed. If, I do not pre-book is it really going to be that difficult to find lodging at night? Will the majority of beds be booked? This is the only part of mt Camino plans that has me bothered.
 
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pagespan

New Member
A good place to start would be Gronze.com.. https://www.gronze.com/etapa/ferrol/pontedeume

The list accommodation choices in each town... I then use booking.com to see if I can book... or if not I contact the Albergue direct. I recently thought of walking the Ingles in June and found some very inexpensive private rooms... and was also about to book Albergue beds. There was a new Albergue at Hospital de Bruma who I messaged via Facebook.

Happy planning!
I recommend staying clear of booking.com because it costs the albergue owners money, and they will either match that price or give you a lower one if you call directly. Also, they don't list every bed on booking, which means that if you think there are no beds because that's the only place you looked, you may be mistaken. Always call them or email them directly if you can.
 

Tina B.

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
26.6.2018. Camino Frances
Hi Tina,

Here's a list I've prepared on the Inglés and Mar, to supplement all of those other helpful links.

Also, in case it's helpful, I wrote this piece on making reservations for the APOC page and I'll share it here as well...

Those returning to the Camino in 2021 will find it changed by the pandemic in many ways. One of the short-term consequences is that reservations have become far more important, at least for this year. In my communication with albergues and hotels on many routes, the message has been clear: book ahead.

For many pilgrims, this is a change. Maybe some of you are struggling with having that kind of structure, when you prefer to take each day as it comes. For some, it might just be a logistical challenge. How the heck can you go about making and managing all of these reservations?

If you're in that boat, this post is for you. For years now, I've been leading high school groups on pilgrimage, and that group experience has necessitated making a number of reservations in Spain, Italy, and France. Even when walking alone in France, it's far more customary there to book ahead, especially if you're requesting meals. So, I've had a lot of practice. Here's what I've learned...

I'm seeing many pilgrims translate "reservations required" into "well, off to Booking.com then!" And that's certainly a good resource. Some albergues and hotels now will direct you there for reservations and in those cases you have no other option. One of the things I like about Booking and other reservation sites is that you often get a free cancellation option, until just a couple of days before, so you can have confidence without total commitment. That flexibility is helpful.

However, you'll often pay more for the convenience of Booking. It's not a free service; we pilgrims are just blind to the expense it poses to accommodations. You will often get a cheaper rate by booking directly, with albergues and hotels alike. With hotels, in particular, you might be able to get a pilgrim discount by booking directly. Beyond that, many accommodations only make a portion of their beds/rooms available on Booking, so you might trick yourself into believing that everything is filled up, when in reality spaces are still available.

Try emailing accommodations directly. Put the date you're targeting in the subject line, for ease of reference (you'll potentially be sending a lot of these emails, after all). Be very specific in your requests to minimize follow-ups. Do you want a bed or a private room? Is it just you or others? Just one night, right? Will you have a local phone number or whatsapp? Include it if you do; give them a heads up that you don't if you won't, because they will ask for that.

It's fine if you don't have any facility with Spanish/French/Italian/whatever. I use Google Translate for all of my French communications and I'll polish up my Spanish and Italian. It works great, especially if you a) keep your sentences short, b) limit your clauses, and c) avoid any colloquialisms.

Depending upon the place, you might receive a request for a deposit. In France, it's quite common to have a gite ask for a deposit to be made by personal check. Every single time I've responded to politely note this was going to be challenging to pull off as an American, the gite has quickly waived the requirement. In other cases, it's possible to make a deposit via paypal or a credit card.

Typically--and especially if you don't have a phone or are unable to make a deposit--the place will ask you to reconfirm a day or two in advance and also to let them know if you're running late. "Late" varies from place to place, but it's usually around 3-5pm. I often have some long days, so I'm always sure to alert the albergue/gite ahead of time if I anticipate a later arrival. Email might work for confirmations, but it's quite common in France to ask your host one night to phone ahead on your behalf to the next gite, and you may be able to solicit the kindness of your hospitalero/a in Spain as well, especially if they aren't busy at the moment.

Remember that all of these accommodations have taken a financial hit over the last two years and every unfilled bed this summer is a real loss. If you make a reservation, they're counting on you to fill it. There's a lot of trust involved in a non-Booking reservation and every hospitalero/a has stories to share of pilgrims making several different reservations on a given day, in order to give themselves flexibility at the expense of the albergues involved. If your plans change at all, you've got to alert the albergues as soon as possible.

Finally, there are lots of places to track down email addresses for albergues. I've found Gronze to be good for albergues, though it's much more hit-or-miss with hotels. The latest guidebooks often have websites or email addresses, either in the books or on companion websites. And many places now have Facebook pages with direct messaging options.

If you're looking at the Norte, Primitivo, Inglés, or Mar, I've been working to compile updated lists of accommodations, email addresses, and their current status. I shared these once before, but they're all getting a new round of info right now, so I'll offer them here once more:
Thank you so much for all these informations!! <3
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019) VDLP?
You would also be amazed how little Spanish you will need to call an albergue to book a bed. If you are still worried keep asking Spaniards if they speak English and when you find one beg them to help you ;)
 

LesBrass

Likes Walking
Year of past OR future Camino
yes...
I recommend staying clear of booking.com because it costs the albergue owners money, and they will either match that price or give you a lower one if you call directly. Also, they don't list every bed on booking, which means that if you think there are no beds because that's the only place you looked, you may be mistaken. Always call them or email them directly if you can.
I totally agree... I use booking sometimes to find accommodation options and then look for them either on Facebook or search for their own website but... it's not always true... I booked 7 beds in St Jean and sent them a Facebook message asking if they would prefer for me to book direct but they said no and directed me back to booking.com.

Sometimes I book on booking.com to secure the bed and then I contact direct and ask if they would prefer me to book via them... at least this way I know I have a bed. I guess if someone is a little unsure and feeling less confident about dealing direct then booking.com might be an easy option to start with.

However, I do agreed that there is a cost. Also I was amending one booking by adding a name for each bed and the Albergue contacted me directly and told me that each amendment counts as a new booking! :oops: I didn't know this so I've taken that on-board for the future :)
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Here's the link to book public albergues in Galicia.

 
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LTfit

Veteran Member
Booking.com charges 15% to use their service thus most albergues add about €2 to their normal price to make up for the difference.

I normally don't reserve but I just returned from walking the San Salvador and the Primitivo and given Covid restrictions and closed municipals I did this time around. I either sent an email or called to reserve.

Please remember to cancel a reservation if you change your mind.
 

alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Year of past OR future Camino
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
FWIW, the list is also available in english on the wisepilgrim.com site. Same links, same everything.
I am trusting the automatic update of your app. :cool:

BTW: I have spent part of the evening doing some planning of my autumn CF. Your app is of great help and assistance/interest. Thank you for doing it: Highly recommended!

BTW: Are there any settings on my iPhone that needs to be activated in order to receive automatic updates?
 

hecate105

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
'09 Portuguese Estellas '14 Aurelia '16 St Davids '17 Via Augusta/V dl P. '18/'19 Michael Mary Way
I thought the point of albergues were that you could not 'book'!!!
I take a list of albergues with me and ask when i get there if there are beds left... there always has been. If a place is full/verging on full - they usually say there are some mattresses they can drag in - or you can use the floor anyhow.
How can you know where you will get in a day? Anything could and does happen! Also - to be free of electronics is a really good - how likely are you to find a phone box each day?
Lets keep i real - why turn pilgrimage into another capitalist race to win....?!
 

alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Year of past OR future Camino
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
I thought the point of albergues were that you could not 'book'!!!
It was. The increase in traffic has made the municipal albergues a minority. Private albergues have made booking ahead a real issue. They happily accept bookings: Important part of their business. Now it is phone booking, booking.com booking, etc.. I suspect soon we will need to book with hotels.com as well...

It was different back before 2015 or so: It was then first come, first serve. More businesslike today, unfortunately. Albergues are more like low-price bed businesses with an optional cheap, mediocre, dinner..
how likely are you to find a phone box each day?
Very slim: Phone boxes have been removed: Outdated technology. Use your iPhone. It is a brave new world, unfortunately.

Lets keep i real - why turn pilgrimage into another capitalist race to win....?!
Unfortunately, over the years, business has become more important than pilgrimage on the Caminos. Money talks.

I just have to accept, and adjust to that. It is not fun. The charm of not knowing where you will end your day seems to be ending. It is sad.
 
Last edited:
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David Tallan

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
1989
I thought the point of albergues were that you could not 'book'!!!
I take a list of albergues with me and ask when i get there if there are beds left... there always has been. If a place is full/verging on full - they usually say there are some mattresses they can drag in - or you can use the floor anyhow.
How can you know where you will get in a day? Anything could and does happen! Also - to be free of electronics is a really good - how likely are you to find a phone box each day?
Lets keep i real - why turn pilgrimage into another capitalist race to win....?!
There are a number of kinds of albergues. Some can be booked, others cannot. In these covid times, some that formerly could not be booked now like to know in advance of arrivals.

Phone boxes were more frequent during my first Camino in 1989 than they are now. The expectation these days is that most people, pilgrims and otherwise, carry a phone.

After a while, on pilgrimage, I tend to get a sense of how far I can expect to walk in a day.

Being courteous and letting one's host know to expect you doesn't necessarily equate to a "capitalist race to win" in my experience. Yours may be different.
 

hecate105

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
'09 Portuguese Estellas '14 Aurelia '16 St Davids '17 Via Augusta/V dl P. '18/'19 Michael Mary Way
It does marginalise the poorer pilgrims tho'.... I consider myself fairly well off but my current car (rural area so we have no option) cost less than a new iphone. I have met pilgrims travelling on a euro a day (after their albergue cost/donation) Many people cannot afford the kind of travel/holidays that the media etc seem to think everyone can. But pilgrimage gives a space away from the 'slings and arrows' of ordinary life/concerns and was/should be affordable to all. (or hiking!)
Having to book ahead and get to a place on time takes away the whole point of pilgrimage....
I can understand private albergues having a booking system - but I must only of stayed in municipal perhaps..... as i have never booked or been turned away. But also I have never walked/cycled the French Way - so perhaps that is different.
I just think it is something we should - as pilgrims - keep in mind....!
 

Doughnut NZ

From Aotearoa New Zealand
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
It does marginalise the poorer pilgrims tho'.... I consider myself fairly well off but my current car (rural area so we have no option) cost less than a new iphone. I have met pilgrims travelling on a euro a day (after their albergue cost/donation) Many people cannot afford the kind of travel/holidays that the media etc seem to think everyone can. But pilgrimage gives a space away from the 'slings and arrows' of ordinary life/concerns and was/should be affordable to all. (or hiking!)
Having to book ahead and get to a place on time takes away the whole point of pilgrimage....
I can understand private albergues having a booking system - but I must only of stayed in municipal perhaps..... as i have never booked or been turned away. But also I have never walked/cycled the French Way - so perhaps that is different.
I just think it is something we should - as pilgrims - keep in mind....!
I only booked a room at St. Jean while walking the Frances during May/June 2019 and never missed out on a bed.

I, of course, don't know how Covid has changed things.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
Yes, the whole idea of the Refugios/albergues was to ensure accommodation for those who could not afford a hotel. Which is the case for most of us, if we are walking the long distance routes that take a month or more.
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
It does marginalise the poorer pilgrims tho'.... I consider myself fairly well off but my current car (rural area so we have no option) cost less than a new iphone. I have met pilgrims travelling on a euro a day (after their albergue cost/donation) Many people cannot afford the kind of travel/holidays that the media etc seem to think everyone can. But pilgrimage gives a space away from the 'slings and arrows' of ordinary life/concerns and was/should be affordable to all. (or hiking!)
Having to book ahead and get to a place on time takes away the whole point of pilgrimage....
I can understand private albergues having a booking system - but I must only of stayed in municipal perhaps..... as i have never booked or been turned away. But also I have never walked/cycled the French Way - so perhaps that is different.
I just think it is something we should - as pilgrims - keep in mind....!
Although prices to stay in a private albergue have gone up about €2 over the past 2 years, where in Europe can you get a roof over your head, a bed and a hot shower for €10, €12 or €15?

We live in a (post?) Covid age where health regulations are still in place limiting capacity. Given regulations, owners (and pilgrims alike) would like to have an idea how many, if any beds are available. This seems reasonable to me.

Pilgrimage is IMHO a state of mind and reserving a bed does not have to change that. This comes from someone who has over the past 11 years walking Caminos rarely, if ever reserved and stayed in municipal or parochial albergues whenever possible. I am surprised to say that my reserving a bed during my recent San Salvador and Primitivo Caminos did not have a negative effect on my experience. I guess because I didn't let it.
 
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Tina B.

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
26.6.2018. Camino Frances
Dear pilgrims, you have been very helpful to me and I thank to everyone on each answer! As conversation went wider I want to ask also can I stay in an albergue in Santiago for two nights if after that I am traveling to my starting point of Camino in Ferrol. I am trying to match the planes and dates so I will rather stay in Santiago for two nights first because I saw some cheaper albergues than in Ferrol. Thank you!
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Dear pilgrims, you have been very helpful to me and I thank to everyone on each answer! As conversation went wider I want to ask also can I stay in an albergue in Santiago for two nights if after that I am traveling to my starting point of Camino in Ferrol. I am trying to match the planes and dates so I will rather stay in Santiago for two nights first because I saw some cheaper albergues than in Ferrol. Thank you!
Yes, I believe that most, if not all albergues in Santiago will allow you to stay two nights.
 

PIERRE GERMAN

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
Booking.com charges 15% to use their service thus most albergues add about €2 to their normal price to make up for the difference.

I normally don't reserve but I just returned from walking the San Salvador and the Primitivo and given Covid restrictions and closed municipals I did this time around. I either sent an email or called to reserve.

Please remember to cancel a reservation if you change your mind.
Hi. I will be walking the San Salvador beginning Sept and I would truly appreciate any help you can give me regarding accommdation. I have read your post of when you walked this and I found it very helpful. I will also walk the Invierno after and if you have any tips on this camino I would be grateful if you could share. If you prefer I can give you my email address.
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
Hi. I will be walking the San Salvador beginning Sept and I would truly appreciate any help you can give me regarding accommdation. I have read your post of when you walked this and I found it very helpful. I will also walk the Invierno after and if you have any tips on this camino I would be grateful if you could share. If you prefer I can give you my email address.
You are lucky as the municipals along the Salvador may be open by then. I stayed in Pensiones as that was all there was available in Pola de Gordón, Pájares and Pola de Lena (look at www.gronze.com for details). In Oviedo the Amigos Albergue de Peregrinos is open. Look at Gronze to decide which stages you want to walk. In La Robla and other towns there are also some private albergues.

I suggest that you check out the Invierno forum for details about that route as I believe someone has walked it recently and may be able to help you out.

Ultreia!
 

PIERRE GERMAN

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
You are lucky as the municipals along the Salvador may be open by then. I stayed in Pensiones as that was all there was available in Pola de Gordón, Pájares and Pola de Lena (look at www.gronze.com for details). In Oviedo the Amigos Albergue de Peregrinos is open. Look at Gronze to decide which stages you want to walk. In La Robla and other towns there are also some private albergues.

I suggest that you check out the Invierno forum for details about that route as I believe someone has walked it recently and may be able to help you out.

Ultreia!
Thank you for your prompt reply. Much appreciated.
 
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“All” Albergues on the Camino Frances in one pdf ivar
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“All” Albergues on the Camino Frances in one pdf
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A selection of favorite albergues on the Camino Francés Ton van Tilburg
Favorite Albergues along the Camino Frances
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Profile maps of all 34 stages of the Camino Frances ivar
Profile maps of all 34 stages of the Camino Frances
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