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Past OR future Camino
VdlP(2012) Madrid(2014)Frances(2015) VdlP(2016)
VdlP(2017)Madrid/Sanabres/Frances reverse(2018)
Reading many of the “live” posts from the Francés, it is apparent that the numbers this summer are going to be huge. I had made a decision last month, at last, to start my long postponed Camino in June. I was all set to book flights when I thought it prudent to make some private accommodation bookings immediately. (Albergues are no longer the friendly option for me, now that I am of an age where I will be a disturbance to fellow pilgrims several times during the night. I’m also wary of the Covid menace).

I was in for a shock when I began searching booking.com. Almost all available budget accommodation I wanted was already booked out - and Gronze didn’t help either. It is apparent that albergue accommodation is also becoming scarce. Needless to say I have put it off until August. Even for that month I have encountered some problems - no San Martin Pinario on this trip, for instance.

I know that there are quieter Camino options, but this one has to be the Francés.
 
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06,CF;13,CP;17,SSal;19,Ingles
Reading many of the “live” posts from the Francés, it is apparent that the numbers this summer are going to be huge. I had made a decision last month, at last, to start my long postponed Camino in June. I was all set to book flights when I thought it prudent to make some private accommodation bookings immediately. (Albergues are no longer the friendly option for me, now that I am of an age where I will be a disturbance to fellow pilgrims several times during the night. I’m also wary of the Covid menace).

I was in for a shock when I began searching booking.com. Almost all available budget accommodation I wanted was already booked out - and Gronze didn’t help either. It is apparent that albergue accommodation is also becoming scarce. Needless to say I have put it off until August. Even for that month I have encountered some problems - no San Martin Pinario on this trip, for instance.

I know that there are quieter Camino options, but this one has to be the Francés.
Paul, you could try to contact the places you identify as suitable, directly, once you have found them via a search. In a recent post on another thread, there was a comment about trying to deal directly with establishments. I know from having had to do just that for a local walk, that it is less expensive for both the owner and the guest. More importantly, the establishments have knowledge of what space they actually have, while the booking companies may not.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
Booking.com is a good indicator that reflects demand for private rooms at a given time and given place. Whether you actually book through them is another question. I also don't know to which extent it reflects demand for beds in shared dormitories in municipal and parochial albergues. As an example, for Pamplona, last Saturday Booking.com had only beds for more than €200 on offer but that had already changed by Sunday where plenty of hostel dormitory beds for less than €20 were on offer.

I expect that it will be as busy in the summer of 2022 as it was in the summer of 2019. Whether this summer will be extraordinaryily busy on the Camino Frances, other than in the area closer to Santiago, remains to be seen, imo.

Currently, the section from SJPP to Pamplona appears to be busy. 450 pilgrims were registered by the Pilgrim Welcome Office in SJPP this Sunday 1 May 2022 apparently. But these are the usual numbers for this time of the year in this section of the CF if I am not mistaken as it is their peak season: the first two weeks in May and the first two weeks in September.
 
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Marbe2

Active member
Past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
A few suggestions. 1). Experiment with dates. Sometimes larger group starts at a particular time. Watch out for arrival in places like Ponferrada at holiday weekends like May1, or Festivals,like the Wine festival in Logrono in September. Also be aware of small limited housing towns like Rabanal del Camino, Foncebadon, El Acebo that have limited accommodations but many walkers stop at. Try as an alternative to booking.com, hotels.com? Sometimes I have gotten a room at Hotels.com when booking.com had no availability. And as others have indicated, check the hotels website or call them directly.Lastly keep checking daily. i often fill in-“occupied areas” after others cancel reservations. Be persistent.
 
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Elsiecamino

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Plan to start 2/4/20
A few suggestions. 1). Experiment with dates. Sometimes larger group starts at a particular time. Watch out for arrival in places like Ponferrada at holiday weekends like May1, or Festivals,like the Wine festival in Logrono in September. Also be aware of small limited housing towns like Rabanal del Camino, Foncebadon, El Acebo that have limited accommodations but many walkers stop at. Try as an alternative to booking.com, hotels.com? Sometimes I have gotten a room at Hotels.com when booking.com had no availability. And as others have indicated, check the hotels website or call them directly.Lastly keep checking daily. i often fill in-“occupied areas” after others cancel reservations. Be persistent.
I think this is good advice, we are currently in cacabelos and started in SJPDP on 4th April. We booked through to Pamplona and then had no problem with walking in to Albergues. Unfortunately on the way in to Casterojeraz I fell and hurt my leg. After it was cleaned and dressed I was advised no walking for 2 days and no bag for 10 days to allow time to heal so we have had to go back to booking ahead so the bag can be sent on. So far we have always found something and we try to book 48 hours ahead. We have had lots of help from Hosteleros who have called for us when my school Spanish was not sufficient over the phone.
 
F

Former member 99290

Guest
I’d add that Airbnb is worth a try as well if you’re looking for private rooms. Though the cancellation options are often not as generous. But if you’re searching just a few days ahead you may be pleasantly surprised.

We were recently on the Chemin du Piémont where in some towns there was limited or no accommodation at the time. Twice I tried Airbnb with excellent results - staying with local people - and in fact cheaper than expected. 😎

And you are supporting local residents.
 

Schamber

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
May and June 2022
Reading many of the “live” posts from the Francés, it is apparent that the numbers this summer are going to be huge. I had made a decision last month, at last, to start my long postponed Camino in June. I was all set to book flights when I thought it prudent to make some private accommodation bookings immediately. (Albergues are no longer the friendly option for me, now that I am of an age where I will be a disturbance to fellow pilgrims several times during the night. I’m also wary of the Covid menace).

I was in for a shock when I began searching booking.com. Almost all available budget accommodation I wanted was already booked out - and Gronze didn’t help either. It is apparent that albergue accommodation is also becoming scarce. Needless to say I have put it off until August. Even for that month I have encountered some problems - no San Martin Pinario on this trip, for instance.

I know that there are quieter Camino options, but this one has to be the Francés.
I leave May 25 for the Frances. Luckily I booked the whole way long ago!
 

kamleman

New Member
Past OR future Camino
St.James from O Cebreiro...Primitivo later in 2020
I second the advice on direct contact to those establishments who are full on booking.com. Last year on the Primitivo I chatted with a hotel owner who told me that they only allocate a few rooms to Booking, and leave the others for direct booking. This year on Frances we had to direct contact a few despite starting to book 4 months ago. Also we used Google maps to find places not on booking and contacted them directly. Both my wife and I are 60+, and prefer non communal accommodation!
Anyway, we start on the 20th from Saint Jean. Looking forward to it.
 
Past OR future Camino
VdlP(2012) Madrid(2014)Frances(2015) VdlP(2016)
VdlP(2017)Madrid/Sanabres/Frances reverse(2018)
Thank you all for your responses which I’m sure will be particularly valuable and encouraging to others. It’s clear that I have over-reacted. I hope I will not regret my decision to put it off until August, but it has turned out to be much more convenient for my wife, a long-suffering(?) Camino widow.

Many of you have commented about b.com not being a reliable guide to the true state of affairs - I notice that they always state “only 1 (2,3) room left on this site”, which is a bit of a give-away.

As a general point, though, I was taken aback by how booked-out things were on b.com, so it must reflect the fact that the Camino will be busy in June.

Booking ahead before even I leave home is not the way I like to approach a Camino. It definitely takes away from the experience. On my previous journeys I have booked the first and last days and then winged it. This time I am restricting myself so that I can be in specific locations every day along the way with time to explore - @VNwalking has already figured that out.

I agree with @anamacara that Airbnb can be an excellent alternative. I have used it extensively in France and really enjoyed the experience of meeting locals in their own homes. But in Spain I noticed that this alternative is generally restricted to the bigger urban areas and doesn’t suit my purpose in this case.
 
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nzotto

Hello
Past OR future Camino
2021
Reading many of the “live” posts from the Francés, it is apparent that the numbers this summer are going to be huge. I had made a decision last month, at last, to start my long postponed Camino in June. I was all set to book flights when I thought it prudent to make some private accommodation bookings immediately. (Albergues are no longer the friendly option for me, now that I am of an age where I will be a disturbance to fellow pilgrims several times during the night. I’m also wary of the Covid menace).

I was in for a shock when I began searching booking.com. Almost all available budget accommodation I wanted was already booked out - and Gronze didn’t help either. It is apparent that albergue accommodation is also becoming scarce. Needless to say I have put it off until August. Even for that month I have encountered some problems - no San Martin Pinario on this trip, for instance.

I know that there are quieter Camino options, but this one has to be the Francés.


I just finished the Camino and I suggest what kirkie suggested; look for places then contact directly via email or WhatsApp. I did this and it worked well for me. Buen Camino!
 
Past OR future Camino
Two people to walk the Camino de Santiago in the spring of (2018)
If I had to pre- book a 40 day walk on the Camino Frances, I would look for a different experience. It’s my second walk and the heart of why I’m doing this again is that, day to day, it’s all such a beautiful mystery. I don’t know where I am, what’s ahead, how far I’ll walk, who I’ll meet. . . . Knowing where I HAVE to be that night goes a long way towards sucking the soul out of MY Camino, at least.
 
Past OR future Camino
VdlP(2012) Madrid(2014)Frances(2015) VdlP(2016)
VdlP(2017)Madrid/Sanabres/Frances reverse(2018)
If I had to pre- book a 40 day walk on the Camino Frances, I would look for a different experience. It’s my second walk and the heart of why I’m doing this again is that, day to day, it’s all such a beautiful mystery. I don’t know where I am, what’s ahead, how far I’ll walk, who I’ll meet. . . . Knowing where I HAVE to be that night goes a long way towards sucking the soul out of MY Camino, at least.
I completely agree with you. For me, however, this is indeed going to be that different experience - I am embarking on a geological field trip. My original post was merely an observation which I hadn’t encountered before. I think that the posts above will have alleviated many concerns for June pilgrims.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
Needless to say I have put it off until August. Even for that month I have encountered some problems - no San Martin Pinario on this trip, for instance.
For what it's worth: We've discussed the availability of rooms at San Martin Pinario in an earlier thread. It is an odd situation: They have next to no availability of their standard rooms until the 1st of November 2022 but at the same time forum members emailed them to request beds for pilgrims on their pilgrim floor (that cannot be booked online, only be email) and they were able to book a night or more.

From all I can tell, this situation at SMP is not typical for other accommodation in Santiago. I checked booking.com for a few dates in June and in August 2022 and there are still plenty of availabilities in the same price range as SMP and even at lower prices.
 
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Kathar1na

Member
Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
I also checked the number of Compostelas for April 2019 and April 2022, another useful indicator: 32.000 and 34.000 (ignoring 2020 and 2021 because they were atypical years due to Covid-19 restrictions). A 6% increase is not unusual for the year on year increase of Camino pilgrim numbers. So far, there is no indication of a significant Holy Year 2022 effect or pent-up demand effect. It will be interesting to see how things go during May. If nothing else, it may tell us what September will be like.
 

jeanineonthecamino

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2021, 2022
If I had to pre- book a 40 day walk on the Camino Frances, I would look for a different experience. It’s my second walk and the heart of why I’m doing this again is that, day to day, it’s all such a beautiful mystery. I don’t know where I am, what’s ahead, how far I’ll walk, who I’ll meet. . . . Knowing where I HAVE to be that night goes a long way towards sucking the soul out of MY Camino, at least.
I am mixed on this. For the first couple nights as I acclimate - I find it comforting to know I won't have to go beyond my intended first stop to find a bed. And nothing worse than feeling like you have to race over the Pyrenees to make sure you get that bed in Roncesvalles if that is your intended stop. But after that - I am totally with you!
 

MaryA

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2022
Reading many of the “live” posts from the Francés, it is apparent that the numbers this summer are going to be huge. I had made a decision last month, at last, to start my long postponed Camino in June. I was all set to book flights when I thought it prudent to make some private accommodation bookings immediately. (Albergues are no longer the friendly option for me, now that I am of an age where I will be a disturbance to fellow pilgrims several times during the night. I’m also wary of the Covid menace).

I was in for a shock when I began searching booking.com. Almost all available budget accommodation I wanted was already booked out - and Gronze didn’t help either. It is apparent that albergue accommodation is also becoming scarce. Needless to say I have put it off until August. Even for that month I have encountered some problems - no San Martin Pinario on this trip, for instance.

I know that there are quieter Camino options, but this one has to be the Francés.
My husband and I are starting the Frances on June 1 and were booking accommodations for the first 4 nights, but have found very little available (small hotels) in Pamplona. Any suggestions for us regarding further bookings?
 

jeanineonthecamino

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2021, 2022
My husband and I are starting the Frances on June 1 and were booking accommodations for the first 4 nights, but have found very little available (small hotels) in Pamplona. Any suggestions for us regarding further bookings?
If you can't find a reservation - there will still be the municipal albergue which does not take reservations. And it is very large. And the smaller German run place also does not take reservations. Get an early start from Zubiri and you should be fine. Find out what time they open and aim to be there around that time. Getting into Pamplona early is nice because there is also lots to explore! I don't recall Zubiri to Pamplona being too difficult of a hike. Enjoy your walk along the way - don't race to the bed - just get up a little earlier so that you can be ahead of the crowds. Or - go ahead and book the smaller places. I stayed in the Municipal last year and this year I actually chose a place that is on the far end of town - on the way out of town. I will explore the center of town on my way to the place I will be staying (not an albergue, pension OR hotel lol - not sure what to call it!)
 

Kathar1na

Member
Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
My husband and I are starting the Frances on June 1 and were booking accommodations for the first 4 nights, but have found very little available (small hotels) in Pamplona. Any suggestions for us regarding further bookings?
I guess you have booked Pamplona already? Please don't make the mistake of thinking that just because there is sporadically high demand it is busy everywhere and all the time.

I've not read that municipal, parochial and donativo albergues are currently full in Pamplona and beyond, and this kind of accommodation usually cannot be booked. What can be booked are beds in private albergues. Next to all of them are listed on Gronze.com.

Towns like Pamplona and Logroño are popular touristic destinations; they may be 'very busy' on Saturdays or during their famous and highly popular fiesta weeks but not otherwise. I had a look at the former Eslava hotel in Pamplona, now renamed as Alda Centro, about which you had enquired in another thread. Both Booking.com and their own website shows when they are full in June 2022 and when not. Same for May 2022. Usually only on Friday and Saturday nights! And as already mentioned that does not mean that the municipal albergues are full, too. Buen Camino!


Alda Pamplona.jpg
 
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Kathar1na

Member
Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
If I had to pre- book a 40 day walk on the Camino Frances, I would look for a different experience. It’s my second walk and the heart of why I’m doing this again is that, day to day, it’s all such a beautiful mystery. I don’t know where I am, what’s ahead, how far I’ll walk, who I’ll meet. . . . Knowing where I HAVE to be that night goes a long way towards sucking the soul out of MY Camino, at least.
A frequent discussion ... for many people, not having to book ahead is an essential part of their experience, others prefer to book ahead a day or more in advance, some even the whole lot from SJPP to Santiago (perhaps first-timers?). It should not matter to a pilgrim how others handle this. And yet it does, and I don't quite get it.

If there are as many beds in a location as there are pilgrims who need a bed for the night, everybody ought to find a bed. If there are too many pilgrims and not enough beds, then some will not get a bed. That's simple arithmetic. So the question is simply who ought to get the bed - the ones who arrive before the latecomers and slowcoaches or the ones who had booked ahead. I've never seen a convincing answer to that question. Given that there are usually bookable and non-bookable beds in every location, one might wonder whether this problem sorts itself out by itself and is merely a topic of discussion on social media?
 
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auburnfive

Active Member
There often seems to be a subtle suggestion that those who pre-book ahead are not experiencing the Camino in the same full way as those who go with the flow. I think it’s more about knowing yourself and what you value. As a single mother of 5, planning is completely a part of my personality. I would not relax and enjoy the people and surroundings if in the back of my mind was the subtle worry about a bed, so having that actually gives greater freedom. One can always cancel, take a taxi or make other adjustments, and looking at the options is an enjoyable pastime in cold winter mon5hs.
 

MaryA

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2022
I guess you have booked Pamplona already? Please don't make the mistake of thinking that just because there is sporadically high demand it is busy everywhere and all the time.

I've not read that municipal, parochial and donativo albergues are currently full in Pamplona and beyond, and this kind of accommodation usually cannot be booked. What can be booked are beds in private albergues. Next to all of them are listed on Gronze.com.

Towns like Pamplona and Logroño are popular touristic destinations; they may be 'very busy' on Saturdays or during their famous and highly popular fiesta weeks but not otherwise. I had a look at the former Eslava hotel in Pamplona, now renamed as Alda Centro, about which you had enquired in another thread. Both Booking.com and their own website shows when they are full in June 2022 and when not. Same for May 2022. Usually only on Friday and Saturday nights! And as already mentioned that does not mean that the municipal albergues are full, too. Buen Camino!


View attachment 124289
Kathar1na,
Thank you for your suggestions. We have NOT booked a place in Pamplona yet. I like to avoid booking.com whenever possible just because their cancellation/change process can be difficult. I think I will have to make phone calls as many of the small hotels listed in Brierly's book do list have websites.
But as my husband said today, "God will provide."

MaryAlice
 

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2016, 2022
I think booking the whole trip in advance could be an issue if you have an injury or illness that disrupts the trip. (We've seen plenty of that on the Live from the Camino threads this spring already.) I know some people feel more "secure" in knowing where they will stay and I, too have made a sprinkling of reservations for our summer Camino and subsequent travels to the northern coast.

I also want to stay at many places that don't take reservations so I don't even try to call or reserve at those. We're walking a less traveled route and as I mentioned on another thread, there seems to be no one on the Forum calendar walking the Aragones when we are. I know there will be other pilgrims, just maybe not ones from the Forum.

I think the main thing is for each person to know how much flexibility they have or can tolerate. For many this is an exotic trip to a land where they speak little or no Spanish and there is a fair amount of anxiety that can go along with that. For others it may be the first time they have done anything like "walking" rather than "touring" or other travel types. I do feel the anxiety and worry and I can hear it in the tenor of the posts here on the Forum. If you can't find a room does that mean you should scrap the whole trip? For some people that may be the solution. I just know that walking the Camino is not like any other kind of travel I had ever done before. It is not like hiking in the back country and it is not like taking a cruise or a driving trip.

Its more like those hippie 60's backpacker in Europe trips that my aunt used to take using the book "Europe on $5 per day". Adventure and wonder at every stop and not a lot of surety of what will happen.
 
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Kathar1na

Member
Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
We have NOT booked a place in Pamplona yet. I like to avoid booking.com whenever possible just because their cancellation/change process can be difficult. I think I will have to make phone calls as many of the small hotels listed in Brierly's book do list have websites. But as my husband said today, "God will provide."
I don't know on which day of the week you are likely to arrive in Pamplona but since you plan to start the Camino Francés on 1 June, I thought I might as well mention that 6 June is Whitsun Monday this year. It is not a public holiday in Spain but it is one in a number of other European countries, and long weekends always encourage more people to go on trips than otherwise, whether it for a short city trip abroad or for a longer trip of two or more weeks.
 

cardifflad52

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
September 2015 completed my first Camino "The English Way "
A few suggestions. 1). Experiment with dates. Sometimes larger group starts at a particular time. Watch out for arrival in places like Ponferrada at holiday weekends like May1, or Festivals,like the Wine festival in Logrono in September. Also be aware of small limited housing towns like Rabanal del Camino, Foncebadon, El Acebo that have limited accommodations but many walkers stop at. Try as an alternative to booking.com, hotels.com? Sometimes I have gotten a room at Hotels.com when booking.com had no availability. And as others have indicated, check the hotels website or call them directly.Lastly keep checking daily. i often fill in-“occupied areas” after others cancel reservations. Be persistent.
Try this alternative as well Airbnb if you come unstuck somewhere , but to be honest if your booking ahead on any sites and for some unknown reason your not going to get there then you could end up losing the cost ..I been fortunate to go in the spring when it's been quiet
 

Kathar1na

Member
Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
I like to avoid booking.com whenever possible just because their cancellation/change process can be difficult.
The use of Booking.com is controversial because of the commission that they take from the owner of the accommodation. However, as a matter of general info, I do not remember their cancellation/change process as difficult as far as accommodation along the Camino Frances through Spain as well as my trail through France is concerned. Quite the contrary.

In Spain in particular, I remember that, in most cases, no prepayment was required and cancellation was usually possible until the day before arrival without penalty. The conditions are clearly stated during the booking process. One mouse click and the reservation was undone without problems or moved to another day. Has this changed now?
 

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2016, 2022
The use of Booking.com is controversial because of the commission that they take from the owner of the accommodation. However, as a matter of general info, I do not remember their cancellation/change process as difficult as far as accommodation along the Camino Frances through Spain as well as my trail through France is concerned. Quite the contrary.

In Spain in particular, I remember that, in most cases, no prepayment was required and cancellation was usually possible until the day before arrival without penalty. The conditions are clearly stated during the booking process. One mouse click and the reservation was undone without problems or moved to another day. Has this changed now?
Some bookings through booking.com do have a cancellation fee and that is usually stated when you make the reservation. I know I have one with that clause.
 
Past OR future Camino
Ingles (after Covid)
Accommodations are not limited to warehouse size municipal albergues with floors upon floors of bunk beds and hundreds of pilgrims in the same space. Also, there are many fine small, family run hotels in Pamplona that are not listed in the Brierley guide. Hotels.com or Booking.com list many of them. And the hotel booking sites aren't evil- they are used by many owners as an advertising tool, which is why they only offer a portion of their inventory on those sites. When I went looking for a website for a hotel I wanted to stay at, Google found them listed on at least 5 of the various booking sites. They may have 20 rooms and offer 3 to Booking. but their listing stays up as advertising after that.
 
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Richard of York

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
My albergue neighbours appreciate it if people contact via whatsapp because it is so immediate. They also query albergues ahead the same way to ask if they have spaces for their guests for the next day. The replies are immediate.

They had a reservation today for October for someone coming from SJPP. The reply was we'll pencil you in but do check in again nearer the time. Whatsapping seems to be the future.
 
F

Former member 95219

Guest
The use of Booking.com is controversial because of the commission that they take from the owner of the accommodation. However, as a matter of general info, I do not remember their cancellation/change process as difficult as far as accommodation along the Camino Frances through Spain as well as my trail through France is concerned. Quite the contrary.

In Spain in particular, I remember that, in most cases, no prepayment was required and cancellation was usually possible until the day before arrival without penalty. The conditions are clearly stated during the booking process. One mouse click and the reservation was undone without problems or moved to another day. Has this changed now?
I virtually live on booking.com as I have been travelling two years and nothing has changed to my mind. I find the app excellent, very clear and the sort and filter options excellent (sadly i tend to sort by ‘lowest price’!!). Cancellation policies are very clear (though always check which times zone they are relating to, nearly alway the time zone of the property). I tend to find that 0001 day before local time is when you can no longer cancel free. Always try the waive fees option too! Always scroll down the properties offers. It may be €10 For a non cancellable bed and 12 for a cancellable bed. Also if the ‘hero offer’ say €10 for a bed in a female dorm, click on options and you may find same offer for male.

Filter button is good and can hone in on what you want Slight tangent but I am in currently in Argentina and golden rule here is not to use card for anything! due currency issue! The £ peso rate by card is 145 but real rate at Cambio is 255. So for me it is imperative that I filter to select only places that you can pay by cash at property!

To be clear not offering any thought on whether you should book direct and fees. Not a subject I know about!
 

JustJack

Member
Past OR future Camino
May 2023
On a side note, my husband was looking at the SJPDP pilgrim registration numbers updated on one of his Facebook feeds this morning for week 17 comparing this year to 2019. Still not quite up to 2019 numbers (a few hundred less). A sign that it is busy, but more in line with pre-Covid numbers.
How can a regular lay person like myself get access to the pilgrim registration numbers? I'd love to be able to track that.
 
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J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2016, 2022
My husband is on a Facebook group called Camino Pilgrim International Discussion Group. Johnny Walker Santiago posted it there. I am not on Facebook, but he showed it to me this morning.

It also said the ANFAS albergue in Estella would open May 15. This albergue is quite large and is partially staffed by people with disabilities. Hope this helps.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
How can a regular lay person like myself get access to the pilgrim registration numbers? I'd love to be able to track that.
It was originally posted in the Facebook group of the Pilgrims Welcome Office of SJPP. They very occasionally post daily or weekly numbers and they publish their monthly numbers at the end of the year. The data indicate that it is currently as busy in the first stages of the Camino Francés as it was before Covid.

For the calendar week 17 which is the week just before the 1st of May, around two and a half thousand pilgrims visited the SJPP office both in 2022 and 2019. That‘s an average of about 350 per day.
 
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Kathar1na

Member
Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
I leave in 2 weeks and having walked there French way before I booked Orisson ahead but after that will work it out as I go and it always is ok. Part of the fun letting go of technology. Just my way of doing it
Letting go of technology is fun and important for you and for many others who spontaneously share this view in this thread and other threads.

Perhaps you had read only @Peregrinopaul's first post in this thread when you replied and did not notice his other comments. He will be going for a different experience this summer - he is embarking on a geological field trip and so I guess it's important to him that he can stay in those places where he wants to stay. @Peregrinopaul has an excellent knowledge of fascinating geological features along the Camino Frances and he has shared some of this in earlier threads.

Sometimes I feel tempted to say that the Camino de Santiago is much more than not booking ahead, not carrying a smartphone and I don't know what the third thing is, probably meeting people from all over the world ...? :cool:
 

mark stevens

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
back on the Frances in May 2022
Letting go of technology is fun and important for you and for many others who spontaneously share this view in this thread and other threads.

Perhaps you had read only @Peregrinopaul's first post in this thread when you replied and did not notice his other comments. He will be going for a different experience this summer - he is embarking on a geological field trip and so I guess it's important to him that he can stay in those places where he wants to stay. @Peregrinopaul has an excellent knowledge of fascinating geological features along the Camino Frances and he has shared some of this in earlier threads.

Sometimes I feel tempted to say that the Camino de Santiago is much more than not booking ahead, not carrying a smartphone and I don't know what the third thing is, probably meeting people from all over the world ...? :cool:
my fault for not reading the whole thread. each to their own is the best way. mine is a simple one but understand everyone has their own camino. Buen Camino
 

freespirit

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Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances - Lourdes v SJPDP - Santiago (June/July 2010) Camino Frances - SJPDP - Santiago (July/August 2015) Camino Frances - SJPDP - Santiago (June/July/August 2017)
Reading many of the “live” posts from the Francés, it is apparent that the numbers this summer are going to be huge. I had made a decision last month, at last, to start my long postponed Camino in June. I was all set to book flights when I thought it prudent to make some private accommodation bookings immediately. (Albergues are no longer the friendly option for me, now that I am of an age where I will be a disturbance to fellow pilgrims several times during the night. I’m also wary of the Covid menace).

I was in for a shock when I began searching booking.com. Almost all available budget accommodation I wanted was already booked out - and Gronze didn’t help either. It is apparent that albergue accommodation is also becoming scarce. Needless to say I have put it off until August. Even for that month I have encountered some problems - no San Martin Pinario on this trip, for instance.

I know that there are quieter Camino options, but this one has to be the Francés.
Hi like yourself I intended to do the Francis this year but will put it of till next year if God allows, but it would have been my third Camino so i cannot complain, going this year to me seems madness most of the accommodation will probably be full and plenty of crowds which I don't like , people are filling the Camino up.as the last few years have been holding the pilgrims back from walking, but to those who are doing any Caminos good luck
my fault for not reading the whole thread. each to their own is the best way. mine is a simple one but understand everyone has their own camino. Buen Camino
 
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BirdNerd

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Camino Frances April (2020)
My albergue neighbours appreciate it if people contact via whatsapp because it is so immediate. They also query albergues ahead the same way to ask if they have spaces for their guests for the next day. The replies are immediate.

They had a reservation today for October for someone coming from SJPP. The reply was we'll pencil you in but do check in again nearer the time. Whatsapping seems to be the future.
Several bookings preferred Whatsapp. I am wrapping up Camino Frances. Switched to private accommodations after getting sick in Pamplona hostel. Several bookings even used Whatsapp to communicate door code and room number for a contactless experience. My room key was in the door and I never saw hostal personnel. They all provided a number to contact for any issues or questions.
 

Little TT

Member
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Camino Frances (June 2020)
Kathar1na,
Thank you for your suggestions. We have NOT booked a place in Pamplona yet. I like to avoid booking.com whenever possible just because their cancellation/change process can be difficult. I think I will have to make phone calls as many of the small hotels listed in Brierly's book do list have websites.
But as my husband said today, "God will provide."

MaryAlice
Hello, we are in Pamplona this evening (a Saturday). We had pre booked our hostel months ago as we wanted private rooms. We walked from Zubiri today with another couple who had no booking. She has just WhatsApp ed me to tell me that they have had to book into a very expensive hotel as there was nothing else available . So maybe booking a couple of days ahead would be good.
 

GlasgowCamino

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Walking Camini Frances starting in May 22 👍
We are currently in Los Arcos and having walked from SJPP there are couple of pinch points(places with shortage of accom). My advice book Zubiri and Los Arcos two or three days ahead. The rest have been fine with plenty of availability. Last piece of advice, look for 1/2 bed apartments as they are cheap(50-60 euros) if you want a private space. Buen Camino
 
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JanedS

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Camino Frances May 2016
Finisterre & Muxia Sept 2016
Mosel Camino May 2018
I stayed in a pilgrim room at San Martin Pinario 2 weeks ago - the receptionist told me that the pilgrim rooms cannot be booked through Booking.com and can be booked only by contacting them directly. A double pilgrim room including breakfast was €40
 

Kathar1na

Member
Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
we are in Pamplona this evening (a Saturday). We had pre booked our hostel months ago as we wanted private rooms. We walked from Zubiri today with another couple who had no booking. She has just WhatsApp ed me to tell me that they have had to book into a very expensive hotel as there was nothing else available . So maybe booking a couple of days ahead would be good.
Advance booking for a stay in commercial accommodation/private rooms on Saturday nights in Pamplona is good advice as demand is apparently high on weekends, i.e. Fridays and Saturdays.

But today, Sunday 8 May, the situation is less dramatic and there are cheap beds to be had even on Booking.com, for example €20 for a dormitory bed at the (private) Albergue de Pamplona-Iruñako. And for tomorrow, Monday 9 May, there are even four private albergues/hostals in Pamplona with free beds in the €16-22 range on Booking.com and that does not include the numerous other albergues in Pamplona that cannot be booked.

I start to wonder whether the demand for private rooms is proportionally higher than it was in 2019, due to the aftermath of the Covid-19 restrictions and also perhaps due to a changing demographic of Camino pilgrims? That would make the private room sector to appear "busier" but it would not make the Camino as such "busier" this year.
 
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Kathar1na

Member
Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
I prefer to walk without reservations and leave my destiny to St. James, come what may
I've read this a few times already that some Camino walkers prefer not to book.

I myself have never been in any doubt that my credit card and a taxi will bring me to a bed for the night if need be.

In fact, since we've been talking about the section SJPP to Pamplona that can be a bit of a bottleneck at certain times of the year such as early May and early September, I vaguely remember that the Navarra government said exactly that when it was announced that the albergue of Roncesvalles would be restricted to about 180 beds from then onwards: that there are plenty of beds in the area, just not exactly on the Camino Francés and not for everyone where they would like to stop for the day. You simply get a taxi to Pamplona or another location nearby and then continue the next day from there, having skipped part of the way, or you pay for another taxi to get you back to where you had stopped the day before. Easy peasy. Or hassle that some of us prefer to avoid.

It is of course a wise decision to start the Camino Francés at the end of September, @barnettstakeagiantstep. It wasn't busy then I guess? 😇
 
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Respectfully, not everyone wants to stay in a gymnasium filled body to body with 100 sets of 10E bunkbeds and the snoring, burping, coughing, sneezing, and farting that comes along with 200 of your closet newest friends, none of whom you know the health or hygiene of. Add in my 4 times a night up to the bathroom (multiplied by at least 20 of the 200), a large number of the early risers and you have a recipe for a sleepless night and chance of catching something. The pushing people towards a community sleeping situation when they are clearly asking for information on private accommodation is really showing itself in multiple places.
People want a private room. If you do catch the 'rona from someone you slept near in a community situation, you have to isolate in...a private room. Please quit judging those who just prefer to do so from the start. I know my walking limitations. For me, continuing on to the next village is not an option. I prebooked. 7 nights on the trail in various pod bunks, private rooms at albergues, and hostals is less than 2 nights at an Ibis on a freeway exit. I will leave the 10E beds to those who need that level of thrift to complete the trip they have planned. In exchange, it will cost me significantly more in income than the savings should I have to stay an additional week in isolation in order to come home because I caught the 'rona due to sleeping next to a cougher.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
Can someone post the graph that shows the number of pilgrim that start each week from SJPP
The first graph below had been produced by the Pilgrims Office of SJPP for 2015. It shows the "two humps" graph typical for the number of pilgrims in SJPP. The purple lines mark weeks 27 April to 17 May and 31 August to 13 September.

The graph for the numbers of pilgrims at the other end of the Camino Francés in Santiago de Compostela has one peak and that is in August - see second graph for 2019 produced by the Santiago pilgrims office. "Busy" is relative, both in time and space.

Note the difference of the scales: 3000 max for SJPP, nearly 60 000 in SdC (all arrivals but the graph for only CF arrivals is similar). Numbers are mainly driven by pilgrims from Spain/Europe i.e. when they take time off from work/go on vacation/vacation patterns.

graphs.jpg
 
F

Former member 99290

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@BookGirl305 Sorry you feel that there is pressure in some of the comments to push people to stay in communal dorms. This ‘conversation’ - private rooms vs dormitories, booking vs winging it - seems to come up with monotonous regularity across many threads. But thé live from thé camino threads that largely attempt to give insight into current conditions including re accommodation can be useful, whatever your preference.

Some people want the dormitory experience and some people don’t. And some people want that experience all of the time, some of the time, never or never again. Some people want to book ahead, others don’t. And on it goes - around and around. I’d recommend trying not to buy in to what others are doing, or saying. Just do what suits you. 😎
 
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auburnfive

Active Member
The first graph below had been produced by the Pilgrims Office of SJPP for 2015. It shows the "two humps" graph typical for the number of pilgrims in SJPP. The purple lines mark weeks 27 April to 17 May and 31 August to 13 September.

The graph for the numbers of pilgrims at the other end of the Camino Francés in Santiago de Compostela has one peak and that is in August - see second graph for 2019 produced by the Santiago pilgrims office. "Busy" is relative, both in time and space.

Note the difference of the scales: 3000 max for SJPP, nearly 60 000 in SdC (all arrivals but the graph for only CF arrivals is similar). Numbers are mainly driven by pilgrims from Spain/Europe i.e. when they take time off from work/go on vacation/vacation patterns.

View attachment 124736
Thank you for this, I’m trying to figure out if starting in SJPP the last week on August will be less crowded than a week or two later, possibly a little dip between the Europeans and North Americans?
 

Kathar1na

Member
Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
I’m trying to figure out if starting in SJPP the last week on August will be less crowded than a week or two later
Judging by this graph from 2015 and by reports from hospitaleros at Roncesvalles in recent years, I would think that the last week of August (week starting on 22 August or 29 August this year) and weeks later in September (week starting 12 or 19 September and later) are good choices.

I would perhaps not start on a weekend (Friday/Saturday) and I would perhaps avoid hitting Pamplona on a Saturday night. Bear in mind that the bottleneck is really only Roncesvalles and the villages before Pamplona and mainly during very specific limited periods/days. I personally don't think that the fact that 2022 has been declared a Jacobean Holy Year has much of an effect in these early sections of the Camino Frances. Buen Camino!
 
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Kathar1na

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I think that sometimes we may jump to conclusions and generalisations that don't convey the actual facts. There are record numbers in some parts and business as usual or even less in other parts. From today's Diario de Navarra:

According to the Tourist Observatory of Navarre, from January 1 to April 30, 7,026 people have stamped their credentials in Roncesvalles, 30% less than in the same period of 2019, when 9,975 did it. The recovery, with the pandemic still raging, is gradual, but there are other more encouraging data that point in the opposite direction: until mid-April, about 25,400 pilgrims had arrived in Santiago de Compostela, a record figure that is 30% more than in 2019.

The data from the Pilgrims Office in Santiago for Compostelas for pilgrims who arrived in April 2022 and indicated SJPP as their departure point appear to support this: there may be a boom in some parts of the Caminos but not everywhere, and it may not be the case when and where you intend to walk.

Compostelas for pilgrims who had indicated SJPP as their starting point and arrived in SdC in the month of April in:
2018: 1508
2019: 1678
2022: 1094 (only!)
 
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RJM

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino's Frances, Fisterre, Portuges. Over 180 day
I think that sometimes we may jump to conclusions and generalisations that don't convey the actual facts. There are record numbers in some parts and business as usual or even less in other parts. From today's Diario de Navarra:

According to the Tourist Observatory of Navarre, from January 1 to April 30, 7,026 people have stamped their credentials in Roncesvalles, 30% less than in the same period of 2019, when 9,975 did it. The recovery, with the pandemic still raging, is gradual, but there are other more encouraging data that point in the opposite direction: until mid-April, about 25,400 pilgrims had arrived in Santiago de Compostela, a record figure that is 30% more than in 2019.

The data from the Pilgrims Office in Santiago for Compostelas for pilgrims who arrived in April 2022 and indicated SJPP as their departure point appear to support this: there may be a boom in some parts of the Caminos but not everywhere, and it may not be the case when and where you intend to walk.

Compostelas for pilgrims who had indicated SJPP as their starting point and arrived in SdC in April 2022:
2018: 1508
2019: 1678
2022: 1094 (only!)
Exactly. Unfortunately sometimes a contributor to this forum experiences something one day, shares it here and members who aren't on the Camino or never walked it before jump to wrong conclusions. Thinking that it will be that way in the future, when in fact it changes day to day.
 

trecile

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
The use of Booking.com is controversial because of the commission that they take from the owner of the accommodation. However, as a matter of general info, I do not remember their cancellation/change process as difficult as far as accommodation along the Camino Frances through Spain as well as my trail through France is concerned. Quite the contrary.

In Spain in particular, I remember that, in most cases, no prepayment was required and cancellation was usually possible until the day before arrival without penalty. The conditions are clearly stated during the booking process. One mouse click and the reservation was undone without problems or moved to another day. Has this changed now?
I'm fine with booking.com passing the extra cost to me, as I find it very convenient having my bookings in the same place.

I normally don't book ahead, but with the number of Covid cases being reported here (a tiny fraction of what's really occurring, I'm sure) I've opted to go for mostly private rooms on my Camino Portuguese.

I've noted the "drop dead" date of each booking on my calendar, so that I (hopefully) don't pay any cancellation fees.

I didn't realize that this time in May is THE time for pilgrims going to Fatima, so I'm especially happy that I've booked.
My albergue neighbours appreciate it if people contact via whatsapp because it is so immediate.
I would have loved to use WhatsApp to book more Than I have, but several places where I wanted to stay aren't on WhatsApp.
It also said the ANFAS albergue in Estella would open May 15. This albergue is quite large and ispartially staffed by people with disabilities
I really enjoyed my stay at ANFAS in 2016, and really appreciated what they are doing in providing jobs to those with challenges.
I stayed in a pilgrim room at San Martin Pinario 2 weeks ago - the receptionist told me that the pilgrim rooms cannot be booked through Booking.com and can be booked only by contacting them directly. A double pilgrim room including breakfast was €40
Exactly right. Pilgrim rooms can only be booked by phone or email.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
Just a bit of a reality check about Pamplona. Booking.com is an indicator of demand for accommodation. It does not reflect availability of dormitory beds in albergues, with one or two exceptions:

Today around 1 pm, Monday 9 May, there were still ten establishments that had availabilities for booking a single bed in the €20-50 price range in Pamplona for tonight. And eleven such establishments in the same price range for tomorrow night. Many more availabilities for a private single bed in the price range above €50. However, for this coming Friday and Saturday, there is only one hostel on Booking.com for €40 and every other availability is higher than €54. So, if you hear or read that Pamplona was full, check whether it was on a Friday or Saturday night.
 
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Jim

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2006- Camino Portuguese
2008- Camino Frances
2009- Sanabres extension of the VDLP
2010- Camino Frances
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2017- Camino Finisterre
A few suggestions. 1). Experiment with dates. Sometimes larger group starts at a particular time. Watch out for arrival in places like Ponferrada at holiday weekends like May1, or Festivals,like the Wine festival in Logrono in September. Also be aware of small limited housing towns like Rabanal del Camino, Foncebadon, El Acebo that have limited accommodations but many walkers stop at. Try as an alternative to booking.com, hotels.com? Sometimes I have gotten a room at Hotels.com when booking.com had no availability. And as others have indicated, check the hotels website or call them directly.Lastly keep checking daily. i often fill in-“occupied areas” after others cancel reservations. Be persistent.
While BOOKING.COM appears to hold the lion’s share of available lodging, also try Centraldereservas.com especially for the larger towns. You won’t find dormitory accommodations, but you will often find budget and moderately priced places along any number of Camino routes. And yes, there is an icon of the British flag to click for English. Have used them every now and again for nearly twenty years for travels within Europe, not just Camino related.
 
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Kathar1na

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Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
While BOOKING.COM appears to hold the lion’s share of available lodging, also try Centraldereservas.com especially for the larger towns. You won’t find dormitory accommodations, but you will often find budget and moderately priced places along any number of Camino routes.
That's useful to know.

However, I entered a few dates for both Logroño and Pamplona and the situation is the same on both sites: there are availabilities during the week and a lot less on Friday and Saturday. For Saturday 14 May, the offer is nearly identical on both sites for Logroño: the cheapest offers for a single person on Booking.com are €18, €80, €200 and €208 and on Centraldereservas.com it is €80, €205, €208, €209.

€18 is of course for a bookable dormitory bed in Logroño. Which makes me wonder again whether there are not plenty of beds in the pilgrim albergues, and the demand for beds is high mainly in popular major towns and mainly for private rooms on weekends, especially Saturdays, but otherwise the situation for Camino pilgrims is not much different from 2019. And people worry needlessly.
 

Kathar1na

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Another useful indicator is the Hotel Norte y Londres in Burgos which is popular with Camino pilgrims. This is further along the Camino Francés but it is a similar picture: they are full this Saturday 14 May, their prices are up on some Fridays and Saturdays but otherwise no particularly high demand visible (note: this is just to get an idea, I know that one can try to ring, try airbnb, etc etc):

Norte y Londres.jpg
 

Kathar1na

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I also wonder if there are fewer rooms given on the weekend to booking.com and more during the week? Just a theory.
I guess we can speculate endlessly about Booking.com policy and their clients' policies.

My point is that it can be busy at times and busy in places but so far I cannot see that it is exceptionally busy everywhere all the time because it is a Holy Year and post-Covid. The 1st of May weekend was definitely busy and towns that attract not only pilgrims but many other categories of tourists are busy on weekends so that is something to bear in mind if one wants private rooms.

As a matter of fact, I saw this on FB today by someone who passes through Pamplona right now on her way to SJPP and stopped by at the Pamplona albergue where she will stay later:

While I was there, I asked the hosts how far in advance they felt was wise to make reservations this year. They said yes, it's very busy this year, but in general if you make your reservations for a weekday, 3 days in advance is probably a good idea. But she said weekends are very busy and they are usually booked up, so she recommended making weekend reservations 5 days in advance.
 

Kathar1na

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I also had a look at the daily Compostela numbers for May 2019 and May 2022 as published on the website of the Pilgrims Office in Santiago. The numbers fluctuate depending on the day of the week. But overall and so far, I can't see signs of a huge Holy Year 2022/post Covid restrictions avalanche:

1652270944617.png
 
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dbier

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Last 114km Camino Frances, Jul 21
2023 - Camino P
My husband and I walked the last 114 kilometers into SdC last July (2021), arriving the Saturday before the feast day..... super crowded. Especially when the King of Spain came to Mass on Sunday. We waited 4 hours in line and barely made it into the last Mass of the day.

My point is that you're likely to see greater crowds as you get closer to the feast day. Especially if Covid restrictions stay loose.

By way of more direct comparison, what were the arrival figures like for Easter week?
 

Kathar1na

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I found another potential indicator, a bit like the proverbial canary in the coal mine: albergue El Palo de Avellano in Zubiri. They have 59 dormitory beds, 2 private double rooms and 1 quadruple room, and their own online booking system. There are only two dates in May with a double room still available but on every day, except today and next Tuesday, dormitory beds are available. So far, they are fully booked only on one day in June and one day in July, otherwise there are beds available all throughout August and September until the end of their season in October 2022.

Avellano.jpg
 
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Former member 99942

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We are currently in Los Arcos and having walked from SJPP there are couple of pinch points(places with shortage of accom). My advice book Zubiri and Los Arcos two or three days ahead. The rest have been fine with plenty of availability. Last piece of advice, look for 1/2 bed apartments as they are cheap(50-60 euros) if you want a private space. Buen Camino
What are 1/2 bed apartments?

Saw your name. I hike the west highland way and the Great Glen way the weeks leading up to hiking the Camino next year.
 

GlasgowCamino

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Walking Camini Frances starting in May 22 👍
What are 1/2 bed apartments?

Saw your name. I hike the west highland way and the Great Glen way the weeks leading up to hiking the Camino next year.
We have used a number of options for accomodation. Booking, phoning directly( as long as your Spanish is passable), airbnb and just looking at the village you are going on google maps. In larger towns deff look at apartments as if there are 2 or more of you it often wirks out cheaper than albergues/hostals. Tonight we are in Sahagun, private aprt, £39 for the night. Used same apartment option in Pamplona, logrono, burgos and here. Buen camino
 
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Helenakc

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Reading many of the “live” posts from the Francés, it is apparent that the numbers this summer are going to be huge. I had made a decision last month, at last, to start my long postponed Camino in June. I was all set to book flights when I thought it prudent to make some private accommodation bookings immediately. (Albergues are no longer the friendly option for me, now that I am of an age where I will be a disturbance to fellow pilgrims several times during the night. I’m also wary of the Covid menace).

I was in for a shock when I began searching booking.com. Almost all available budget accommodation I wanted was already booked out - and Gronze didn’t help either. It is apparent that albergue accommodation is also becoming scarce. Needless to say I have put it off until August. Even for that month I have encountered some problems - no San Martin Pinario on this trip, for instance.

I know that there are quieter Camino options, but this one has to be the Francés.
Hi have you thought about using the companies who book it all in advance for you?
 

rometimed

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(SJPdP: 2015, MAY/JUNE2022!!! ) (Eng Way: 2015)
I'm in Puenta la Reina and so far this has felt like less people than 2015. Not much less, maybe 10-15%
 
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mark stevens

Active Member
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back on the Frances in May 2022
We have used a number of options for accomodation. Booking, phoning directly( as long as your Spanish is passable), airbnb and just looking at the village you are going on google maps. In larger towns deff look at apartments as if there are 2 or more of you it often wirks out cheaper than albergues/hostals. Tonight we are in Sahagun, private aprt, £39 for the night. Used same apartment option in Pamplona, logrono, burgos and here. Buen camino
Cheers. It’s pretty empty so far for us but sure a Sunday night in Pamplona won’t be. Big day ahead of us tomorrow and it’s gonna be 30c
 
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Kathar1na

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Yesterday, on the last Friday in May, a whopping 2,654 Compostelas were issued. This is a record for this year.

The total number for May 2022 is likely be higher than for May 2019, and the Xunta‘s press release and the news media will announce yet another récord histórico.

During the week, daily Compostela numbers had been below 2,000, and on some days even below the corresponding day in May 2019. Likely reason: more people do a 5-7 day Camino with start and arrival on a weekend, such as Sarria to Santiago, than those on longer Caminos where the arrival day is any day of the week.

It confirms my expectations: that this Holy Year’s increase will manifest itself mainly on the popular Caminos in Galicia and in Santiago itself, and especially during the summer months.
 
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Kathar1na

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The total number for May 2022 is likely be higher than for May 2019
The data about pilgrims and Compostelas registered at the Pilgrims Office in Santiago are available now: total numbers for May 2022 are higher compared to May 2019 but not dramatically so.

The increase for the Camino Francés is modest.

Surprise: The number of pilgrims who obtained a Compostela and indicated SJPP as their point of departure is down: 5405 pilgrims in May 2019 versus 4304 pilgrims in May 2022.
 
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Former member 99290

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Another variable. We know that not every pilgrim arriving in SdeC goes to the pilgrims office seeking a Compostela. I havent done so since 2013. Perhaps in years gone by a greater percentage of total people arriving in SdeC presented at the pilgrims office? Anecdotally many pilgrims, particularly those walking their ‘umpteenth’ camino, do not.
 
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Kathar1na

Member
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Anecdotally many pilgrims walking their ‘umpteenth’ camino do not.
You are right and I am aware of this. However, these figures are the only solid data that are available. It will be interesting to see the May data from the Pilgrims Office in SJPP should they eventually make them available. But it is the same thing there: Not everyone goes there, and for example I've never registered there on the two times that I set out from SJPP to Roncesvalles. The main point: So far, it is hard to detect a Holy Year 2022 effect although posters frequently mention it or predict it.
 
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Kathar1na

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Well, just what we are talking about: There are news in the various Spanish media according to which more than 100,000 Compostelas have already been awarded to pilgrims since the beginning of this year, as announced by the head of the regional Tourism Agency of Galicia.

Estimates say that the real number of arrivals surpasses the number of Compostelas by 30% to 50%. How do they estimate this? Apparently it is based on data registered by the town administrations along the Caminos in Galicia concerning the increase of water consumption and the amount of trash collected by the municipal services. Not what we want to be remembered by, of course (and that's regular trash and not the one left on or next to a path).

They have also started a pilot project with sensors that have been installed between Sarria and O Pino to count peregrinos ...

🤯
 

Scarlet Fez

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So many on repeat Camino visits may only do sections of the route so the data could be very misleading. I myself will hopefully be starting again at Burgos on Saturday but only likely walk for 2 weeks or so so unlikely to be in the data at all apart from where I rest my head.
 

biarritzdon

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I fit into the group that Anamcara posted on this thread. After eleven Caminos, I only took home 4 Compostelas along with just one distance certificate. However, in 2014 I did proudly collect a certificate for the 800th anniversary of the pilgrimage of St. Francis to SdC.
I have walked multiple routes from 500km to 1500km every summer since 2012 and my choice was to fly under the radar after a certain number of finishes in SdC and not check in at the Pilgrim Office. I suspect there are lots of veteran pilgrims who do the same thing which would definitely skew the numbers of how many pilgrims finish the route every year.
Circling back to the OP's question about accommodations, my last Camino was pre-Covid in 2019 and I never had a problem with finding place to sleep because I was always at the door of the albergue when it opened at 1 or 2pm.
 

nycwalking

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Ourense to Santiago (2019), CF: (2014, 2004, 2002, 2001). On to Fisterra, (2002, 4, 14).
I fit into the group that Anamcara posted on this thread. After eleven Caminos, I only took home 4 Compostelas along with just one distance certificate. However, in 2014 I did proudly collect a certificate for the 800th anniversary of the pilgrimage of St. Francis to SdC.
I have walked multiple routes from 500km to 1500km every summer since 2012 and my choice was to fly under the radar after a certain number of finishes in SdC and not check in at the Pilgrim Office. I suspect there are lots of veteran pilgrims who do the same thing which would definitely skew the numbers of how many pilgrims finish the route every year.
Circling back to the OP's question about accommodations, my last Camino was pre-Covid in 2019 and I never had a problem with finding place to sleep because I was always at the door of the albergue when it opened at 1 or 2pm.

I have the St. Francis certificate. A very special document.

I walked SJPP to Fisterra March-April 2014.
 
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biarritzdon

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As the sign clearly states some where shortly after Roncevalles, "Don't Stop Walking,"
 

amancio

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Frances, Norte, Primit, Salvador, Portug, Arag, Ingles, VdlP, Leban-Vadin, Fisterra, Invierno, LePuy
Reading many of the “live” posts from the Francés, it is apparent that the numbers this summer are going to be huge. I had made a decision last month, at last, to start my long postponed Camino in June. I was all set to book flights when I thought it prudent to make some private accommodation bookings immediately. (Albergues are no longer the friendly option for me, now that I am of an age where I will be a disturbance to fellow pilgrims several times during the night. I’m also wary of the Covid menace).

I was in for a shock when I began searching booking.com. Almost all available budget accommodation I wanted was already booked out - and Gronze didn’t help either. It is apparent that albergue accommodation is also becoming scarce. Needless to say I have put it off until August. Even for that month I have encountered some problems - no San Martin Pinario on this trip, for instance.

I know that there are quieter Camino options, but this one has to be the Francés.
it is a pity how things are evolving regarding albergues and accommodation after COVID. In any case, please beware: August is even busier probably, maybe end of August/September might have some easier opportunities.
 

Kathar1na

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So many on repeat Camino visits may only do sections of the route so the data could be very misleading. I myself will hopefully be starting again at Burgos on Saturday but only likely walk for 2 weeks or so so unlikely to be in the data at all apart from where I rest my head.
The real actual accurate numbers don’t matter that much. It is the patterns of the behaviour of a huge number of people, of the majority, that matter most. And they are amazingly similar by month, by weekday, by year, by section (of the CF in particular). The question is whether these patterns suddenly and clearly change for some reason. Btw, the “repeat” walkers are unlikely to contribute to any Holy Year effect. They’ll walk anyway, Holy Year or no Holy Year …
 
Past OR future Camino
06,CF;13,CP;17,SSal;19,Ingles
Reading many of the “live” posts from the Francés, it is apparent that the numbers this summer are going to be huge. I had made a decision last month, at last, to start my long postponed Camino in June. I was all set to book flights when I thought it prudent to make some private accommodation bookings immediately. (Albergues are no longer the friendly option for me, now that I am of an age where I will be a disturbance to fellow pilgrims several times during the night. I’m also wary of the Covid menace).

I was in for a shock when I began searching booking.com. Almost all available budget accommodation I wanted was already booked out - and Gronze didn’t help either. It is apparent that albergue accommodation is also becoming scarce. Needless to say I have put it off until August. Even for that month I have encountered some problems - no San Martin Pinario on this trip, for instance.

I know that there are quieter Camino options, but this one has to be the Francés.
I wish you well for your forthcoming Camino. In a different context, yesterday I booked accommodation in the country where I live. The booking websites had their various quotes. I rang the place directly, and did not even bother quoting the prices I had seen. The quote I got was less than any of them. It might be worth preparing a short spiel in Spanish to use if calling an albergue/pension/hotel to ask for a price for your bookings.
 

Kathar1na

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It will be interesting to see the May data from the Pilgrims Office in SJPP should they eventually make them available
They have published their figures for this year in their Facebook group, and Pierre Baillet has turned them into a graph: no increase due to Holy Year or Covid-19 pent-up demand visible; for the first sections of the Camino Frances between SJPP and Pamplona, the data for 2022 and 2019 are similar. These data don't say anything about a possible diminished offer of beds for pilgrims and other tourists. BTW, an unexpected development in numerous countries including Spain: There is a demand for service staff in restaurants that is higher than the offer. Waiters and waitresses found other jobs during the pandemic or discovered that their jobs did not provide a good work-life balance for them, and so it has become noticeable that enough of them are not returning to this service sector in numbers that are currently needed.

Blue graph: Pilgrims at SJPP pilgrim office in 2019
Orange graph: Pilgrims at SJPP pilgrim office in 2022
Source: http://www.pierre-compostelle.com/2022/06/saint-jean-pied-de-port-retrouve.html


SJPP 2019 and 2022.jpg
 
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F

Former member 99290

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Thanks for that @Kathar1na Our idea of a mid October start still looks ok if we ever get around to the Frances again - 🤞

Also, as an aside, we have the same service staff shortages in many cities in Australia - chefs, waiters, waitresses etc - for the same reasons. Some of our local cafes and restaurants in the small community where we live have still not been able to resume their pre lockdown opening times, purely due to staff shortages. So the impact on their businesses continues 😞
 
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Kathar1na

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To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
Needless to say I have put it off until August.
@Peregrinopaul, does it mean that you will start the Camino Frances in August or end it in August? Don't take my word for it but I would not be surprised if June and July and in particular August will be really 'hot' months on the Frances and Portugues, for example from O Cebreiro, Tui and Sarria onwards, and especially on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays in Santiago de Compostela. I had planned a stint in Galicia this year, hence my interest in predictive data to find a good time for myself. Now I am no longer sure whether I will go or not and I am merely interested in following developments and in finding out how accurate or inaccurate my guesses will turn out :cool:. For yesterday (10 June - a Friday), the Oficina in SdC published the number of 2710 pilgrims - now that is a lot compared to their June 2019 numbers. On weekdays, the numbers are still comparable for 2019 and 2022.

Buen Camino to you!
 
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@Peregrinopaul, does it mean that you will start the Camino Frances in August or end it in August?
Neither, unfortunately (understatement). I have had to put it off yet again until next year. Family complications. I did have it all pre-booked, which I don't like doing.
 

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