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@LTfit and her albergue in Villares de Órbigo

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I know @LTfit has posted about her decision to “live the dream” and buy an albergue — well, she is now installed and it is up and running. Take a look at her webpage. The albergue is in Villares de Órbigo, about 16 kms before Astorga. The website has some really lovely pictures and descriptions of the facility, as well as Lee’s story.

I never would have gotten to know Lee if it hadn’t been for this forum. Years ago, we met in Montserrat to walk the Camino Catalán together, having corresponded via this forum for a few months. Even then, Lee was thinking seriously about how she could merge her “real world” with her “camino world.” I am so happy for her that she has managed to do that. As many of you know, she has years of experience as as volunteer hospitalera and is a pretty hard core peregrina — who else walks three caminos a year?

Well, just to lift a virtual glass to Lee in the hopes (and expectation) that her albergue is a huge success. I am so very much hoping to visit this summer, and I look forward to hearing from lots of forum members who make the stop.

Woo hoo! Congratulations Lee!

Buen camino, Laurie
 

alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
(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
Congratulations @LTfit !

I stayed there last year with Christine, the former owner. It is a charming albergue, and perfectly located between Leon and Astorga. The way out of Leon is much hated, going parralell to a trafficed road. But there is an alternative: after La Virgen del Camino, take left (well marked) and continue to Villar de Mazarife. Good village. Then next day, walk to Villares de Orbigo. Nexct day you will arrive in Astorga. This "alternative" route is easy and quiet, compared to all the traffic and noise on the "common" stretch.

I will definitely stay there again!
 
Last edited:

grayland

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Yes
Knowing Lee and her dedication to all things on the camino, I am certain that her new albergue will be the finest one on the Camino Frances. As a committed pilgrim, she knows what is needed and appreciated by those of us walking.
I highly recommend that you all make an effort to experience the new albergue.
 

NorthernLight

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
I stayed there one November night when Christine had it. It was a nice spot and a nice village. Christine offered me a choice of a bed in my own unheated dorm or a bed in the multi-person heated dorm. Me and my down quilt spend a peaceful night.

Good luck @LTfit !
 

jsalt

Jill
Camino(s) past & future
Portugués, Francés, LePuy, Rota Vicentina, Norte, Madrid, C2C, Salvador, Primitivo, Aragonés, Inglés
Christine told me she was selling, but I had no idea that it was you, Lee, who was buying. Lots and lots of luck, and I wish you all the best. I took my group there in 2017, as I liked it so much the first time, and Christine told me last year, in Feb 2019, that my group is the only group that has ever stayed there. Might be worth advertising a bit more . . . . ? It has always been soooooooo quiet, tooooooooooo quiet, when I have stayed there. Jill
 

m108

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2011-2016
This is my favorite albergue! It was my first time when the owners were Pablo and Belen, secondly to Christine, and this May I will be happy to visit new owner (is planned). Alberge is really exceptional
 

CWBuff

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
in Planning stage: Frances (SJPdP --> SdC) & Finisterre "2021" ... (GOD WILLING!)
Congrats and based on all of the above praises looks like I might alter my plans for this region 😁 ✌ 🙏
 

alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
(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
Congrats and based on all of the above praises looks like I might alter my plans for this region 😁 ✌ 🙏
To be honest; I have hated the walk from Leon to Astorga ever since my first walk along that horrible road, but as from last year, when I walked the alternative route via Villar de Mazarife, it has become a pleasant and easy route to Astorga. And a stop in Villares de Orbigo is perfect: Only ca. 16 kms to Astorga next day, giving you a good day there, which is highly recommendable: Not only is it the chocolate capital (!) of Spain, but there is also a pilgrim museum there, close to the cathedral. Well worth it to have a relatively short walk from Villares, and then enjoy Astorga!

Edit: The alternative route is easy and will give you 3 nice, relaxed days Leon-Astorga.
Leon-Astorga map.png
 
Last edited:

jsalt

Jill
Camino(s) past & future
Portugués, Francés, LePuy, Rota Vicentina, Norte, Madrid, C2C, Salvador, Primitivo, Aragonés, Inglés
Take a look at her webpage.
Is Bea for real?

She's gorgeous!

Bea
albergue mascot
Bea is a Australian Labradoodle pup. Labradoodles are known to be extremely loyal, intelligent and playful. Due to these qualities, as well as their “hypoallergenic” fur which does not shed, many are used as guide dogs for people with allergies. Bea has proven to be a wonderful walking companion and friend. She is full of energy and just loves attention!
thumbnail (7).jpg



Bea’s first visit to Albergue Villares de Órbigo, October 2019
 

Bala

Veteran member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances: SJPdP-Burgos, (2015); Burgos-Sarria (2018); Sarria-Santiago (2018).
Frances (2020)
We had planned to walk the Francés later this year, but now it looks like we'll be doing LePuy. But who knows? Plans do change. If we pass your way, we'll be sure to stop. Meanwhile, wishing you every success.
 

CWBuff

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
in Planning stage: Frances (SJPdP --> SdC) & Finisterre "2021" ... (GOD WILLING!)
@alexwalker
My initial thought was to do León - San Martín del Camino (25.5 km) and San Martín del Camino - Astorga (24.7 km). Somewhat mid-point and keeping it to a realtively average distance (if you will) be it that it will be my 1st Camino (although, who knows I might be one of those long distance walkers by then ;))
Was not planning to stop at Astorga (way-back-when last year I did post a question of possible stop after Leon to 'play tourist'. a lot of suggestions for Astorga; you suggested Ponferrada - which was my plan) .... up-unitl couple of days ago when for whatever reason I started looking up Astorga (possibly Gaudi Cathedral?) and got totally blown away by possibilities.
So now - THIS!
Decisions, decisions....:rolleyes:
 

alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
(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
@alexwalker
My initial thought was to do León - San Martín del Camino (25.5 km) and San Martín del Camino - Astorga (24.7 km). Somewhat mid-point and keeping it to a realtively average distance (if you will) be it that it will be my 1st Camino (although, who knows I might be one of those long distance walkers by then ;))
Was not planning to stop at Astorga (way-back-when last year I did post a question of possible stop after Leon to 'play tourist'. a lot of suggestions for Astorga; you suggested Ponferrada - which was my plan) .... up-unitl couple of days ago when for whatever reason I started looking up Astorga (possibly Gaudi Cathedral?) and got totally blown away by possibilities.
So now - THIS!
Decisions, decisions....:rolleyes:
:) Choices, choices...

Yes Astorga is a great place, and so is Ponferrada. Actually, you can stop in Astorga, then next day in Rabanal del Camino, and next day Ponferrada, passing the Iron Cross.
 

CWBuff

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
in Planning stage: Frances (SJPdP --> SdC) & Finisterre "2021" ... (GOD WILLING!)
LOL
That would be 3 days in a row to be a tourist.
Don't have that 'luxury' 😁
(That's what I meant when I said 'stop'. Basically looking for a full day of playing, not merely an overnight usual stop)
Perhaps I will get lucky and proficient enough that I will be able to shift my timeline and work it all out 👍
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
Thank all of you for your heartfelt comments and especially to Laurie (@peregrina2000) for the thread. 😍

Albergue Villares de Órbigo was first opened in July 2010 by Pablo and Belén - the same year as my first Camino! In 2010 I also joined this wonderful Forum and as a result have personally met many if you (and I hope to meet more!). I plan on giving a 10th year anniversary party for the pueblo and pilgrims sometime in July to mark the occasion. I'll be sure to let you all know. Who knows, maybe I will do so on my birthday July 13th.

It certainly will be an unusual year, for many reasons. We will just have to go with the flow!

Blessings to you all and ultreia!
 

pelerine

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Norte 10, Primitivo 13, Plata 14+15, Salvador 16, Torres 17, Portugues 18, Mozarabe 19
To be honest; I have hated the walk from Leon to Astorga ever since my first walk along that horrible road, but as from last year, when I walked the alternative route via Villar de Mazarife, it has become a pleasant and easy route to Astorga. And a stop in Villares de Orbigo is perfect: Only ca. 16 kms to Astorga next day, giving you a good day there, which is highly recommendable: Not only is it the chocolate capital (!) of Spain, but there is also a pilgrim museum there, close to the cathedral. Well worth it to have a relatively short walk from Villares, and then enjoy Astorga!

Edit: The alternative route is easy and will give you 3 nice, relaxed days Leon-Astorga.
View attachment 70570
I walked the alternative “counterflow” from Astorga to Leon connecting the VdlP with the San Salvador and found this a very pleasant walk. Not having walked the CF I cannot compare it with the official route.
 

Anik2001

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: Camino Frances (2017), future: Frances again (2020)
I will be near Leon around the 20th of July. Will definitely try to stop in Villares de Orbigo and meet one of the forum members! I was hesitant at first, knowing the albergue was being sold. Now I look forward to it!
 

shefollowsshells

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Several alone and with children
I know @LTfit has posted about her decision to “live the dream” and buy an albergue — well, she is now installed and it is up and running. Take a look at her webpage. The albergue is in Villares de Órbigo, about 16 kms before Astorga. The website has some really lovely pictures and descriptions of the facility, as well as Lee’s story.

I never would have gotten to know Lee if it hadn’t been for this forum. Years ago, we met in Montserrat to walk the Camino Catalán together, having corresponded via this forum for a few months. Even then, Lee was thinking seriously about how she could merge her “real world” with her “camino world.” I am so happy for her that she has managed to do that. As many of you know, she has years of experience as as volunteer hospitalera and is a pretty hard core peregrina — who else walks three caminos a year?

Well, just to lift a virtual glass to Lee in the hopes (and expectation) that her albergue is a huge success. I am so very much hoping to visit this summer, and I look forward to hearing from lots of forum members who make the stop.

Woo hoo! Congratulations Lee!

Buen camino, Laurie
What wonderful news!!!!! Always a wealth of info,I'm certain her albergue will be a treasured place!
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2018)
Congrats! I have no idea when I'll be back on the Camino but will be sure to check out your new spot. Best wishes for a wonderful new adventure!
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
All the very best to you both in your new home, Lee and Bea!!! ❤
I really look forward to walking through your door.
And who knows? If my time in Italy gets cancelled because of this virus, it may be sooner rather than later.

The Ditch Pigs hid out there last year. There'll be a few little piggies planning to sneak back and greet the new management.
Well, little piggies, watch out for Bea! Dogs do so love to chase piglets....
🤭
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
All the very best to you both in your new home, Lee and Bea!!! ❤
I really look forward to walking through your door.
And who knows? If my time in Italy gets cancelled because of this virus, it may be sooner rather than later.


Well, little piggies, watch out for Bea! Dogs do so love to chase piglets....
🤭
I soooo hope to see you come through the door! Of course I do not hope that your plans in Italy fall through but...I want to have you safe and healthy (and to see you sooner than later ;) .

Un abrazo amiga
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
You can count on it, Lee, at least at some point. I'll let you know how plans unfold.......
Meanwhile, I rejoice in your and Bea's good fortune, and never mind that I'll miss seeing you in Leiden! Some things are just too wonderful, and having you there in your gorgeous albergue is one of them.
Abrazos fuerte, peregrina!
♥
 

JennyH94

Pilgrim in progress
Camino(s) past & future
CF - sections and whole (2012-2019) and part VF (2017)
Thanks so much Laurie for this terrific news and Lee, hearty congratulations and every best wish for happiness and success.
The albergue looks beautiful and I can feel the welcome flowing out from the photos on your webpage.
Villares de Orbigo is on one of the most beautiful stretches of the CF, IMO - pilgrims walk out of the village and walk up the slight rise, passing through a farm - it’s a lovely, warm experience to feed the cows with the abundance of straw available.
Buen Camino Lee and little Bea in your new life in this very special village.
Cheers from Oz -
Jenny
 

jsalt

Jill
Camino(s) past & future
Portugués, Francés, LePuy, Rota Vicentina, Norte, Madrid, C2C, Salvador, Primitivo, Aragonés, Inglés
I plan on giving a 10th year anniversary party for the pueblo and pilgrims sometime in July to mark the occasion. I'll be sure to let you all know.
I am watching this thread, so do please let us know, as I will be in the area in July 🍾😃
 

thejoker

Member
Camino(s) past & future
many
This is a village I have never stayed in as I have always stopped off in Hospital de Orbigo to enjoy this lovely place with its huge portions of delicious food at restaurant Los Angeles at what I consider to be the end of the Meseta. However, I'd love to stay in Villares after reading this thread. Does anyone know if this albergue has private rooms as I am totally paranoid now about disturbing others with bathroom visits in the night (I am rather too portly and climbing down from a top bunk makes such a noise) and snoring after drinking wine and eating a big meal. I always take my sleeping bag at the start of the Frances, but leave it in the Roncesvalles box after 2 albergue stays at Orisson and Roncesvalles, where I eat a miniscule amount for dinner and stick to water, before I switch to private rooms for the rest of the Camino.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
This is a village I have never stayed in as I have always stopped off in Hospital de Orbigo to enjoy this lovely place with its huge portions of delicious food at restaurant Los Angeles at what I consider to be the end of the Meseta. However, I'd love to stay in Villares after reading this thread. Does anyone know if this albergue has private rooms as I am totally paranoid now about disturbing others with bathroom visits in the night (I am rather too portly and climbing down from a top bunk makes such a noise) and snoring after drinking wine and eating a big meal. I always take my sleeping bag at the start of the Frances, but leave it in the Roncesvalles box after 2 albergue stays at Orisson and Roncesvalles, where I eat a miniscule amount for dinner and stick to water, before I switch to private rooms for the rest of the Camino.
Take a look at the website (linked in the original post) — there are private rooms with shared bath and with private bath.
 

thejoker

Member
Camino(s) past & future
many
Perfect...thank you!
I opened the website page before, but it wouldn't load properly with pictures scrolling over the information and details, but I've just tried again and it loaded fine this time.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
Hoping to book a night on April 5, before we hit Astorga.
 

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