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Opening an albergue

Time of past OR future Camino
September 2022
After having the most amazing time on my Camino Frances journey, I would like to know how hard it is to buy and open an Albergue in Spain or Portugal as a US citizen? Has anyone had any experience in doing this? I know it isn't easy as I talked to a few American couples who have done it. If there are any resources out there that explains it I would appreciate it, thank you so much. I can't be the only one thinking this after finishing!
 
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If I were you I would volunteer as a hospitalera first. However satisfying working in a refugio is it's a totally different kettle of fish to walking a Camino. And you would be working, each day, every day - there's a lot going on behind the scenes that pilgrims don't get to see.

I once owned an old farmhouse in France and the bureaucracy associated with that was quite onerous - I've no doubt that the bureaucracy in Spain could be just as bad but you must follow your dreams.

You'd probably miss Target and Walmart though 😉
 
If I were you I would volunteer as a hospitalera first. However satisfying working in a refugio is it's a totally different kettle of fish to walking a Camino. And you would be working, each day, every day - there's a lot going on behind the scenes that pilgrims don't get to see.

I once owned an old farmhouse in France and the bureaucracy associated with that was quite onerous - I've no doubt that the bureaucracy in Spain could be just as bad but you must follow your dreams.

You'd probably miss Target and Walmart though 😉
Agreed. I volunteered at three albergues on two different caminos in Spain one summer, to get a feel for what it's like. It's bloody hard work. And you don't get to know pilgrims well because they're only with you for one evening, then you're up cleaning toilets and getting ready for the next crowd. Volunteer first.
 
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Hi Peter, I am volunteering in Portugal in August, and hoping to volunteer in Spain in October! Thinking it will give me a good idea on how it is to be in the day to day activity of working in an albergue. And still have the dream of opening one, although it sounds somewhat daunting! Keep me posted if you make any progress on that! Thanks!
 
Good on you! I’ve helped set up/ run a Backpackers, not quite the same but close.
Many years experience with the same, but none with Albergues! I’ve only completed one Camino to date- the Ingles- and only stayed in the private Albergue in Bruma. Time constraints ( and my nature- plan for the worst, hope for the best….) meant that I booked everything. Turned out to be justified ( Semana Santa) but that’s another story!
Heading back mid July, Primitivo this time, only the first night booked. Hope to stay primarily in Albergues this time.
Which country are you hoping to move to/ open your Albergue in?
My personal preference is Portugal, purely because it’s cheaper, and more people speak English. (Though I’d also learn the local language of course. Just as I’m currently leaving German - 😩). I’d also love to have some land with it, so I can grow more of my own food, have chicken’s again, etc. More work, but very fulfilling.
I’d love to hear how you get on. Which Albergues are you heading to? And what are you doing in between?
 
If I were you I would volunteer as a hospitalera first. However satisfying working in a refugio is it's a totally different kettle of fish to walking a Camino. And you would be working, each day, every day - there's a lot going on behind the scenes that pilgrims don't get to see.

I once owned an old farmhouse in France and the bureaucracy associated with that was quite onerous - I've no doubt that the bureaucracy in Spain could be just as bad but you must follow your dreams.

You'd probably miss Target and Walmart though 😉

If I were you I would volunteer as a hospitalera first. However satisfying working in a refugio is it's a totally different kettle of fish to walking a Camino. And you would be working, each day, every day - there's a lot going on behind the scenes that pilgrims don't get to see.

I once owned an old farmhouse in France and the bureaucracy associated with that was quite onerous - I've no doubt that the bureaucracy in Spain could be just as bad but you must follow your dreams.

You'd probably miss Target and Walmart though 😉
Hi Jeff, I am volunteering this summer 2 weeks in Portugal, 2 weeks in Spain and I also run a little vacation rental on my farm which I really enjoy that's why I think I would like it! And I never go to Target or Walmart- not that kind of girl! And I do agree that the bureaucracy might make it too hard unfortunately. Otherwise this is a dream come true.
 
Good on you! I’ve helped set up/ run a Backpackers, not quite the same but close.
Many years experience with the same, but none with Albergues! I’ve only completed one Camino to date- the Ingles- and only stayed in the private Albergue in Bruma. Time constraints ( and my nature- plan for the worst, hope for the best….) meant that I booked everything. Turned out to be justified ( Semana Santa) but that’s another story!
Heading back mid July, Primitivo this time, only the first night booked. Hope to stay primarily in Albergues this time.
Which country are you hoping to move to/ open your Albergue in?
My personal preference is Portugal, purely because it’s cheaper, and more people speak English. (Though I’d also learn the local language of course. Just as I’m currently leaving German - 😩). I’d also love to have some land with it, so I can grow more of my own food, have chicken’s again, etc. More work, but very fulfilling.
I’d love to hear how you get on. Which Albergues are you heading to? And what are you doing in between?
Hi Peter, leaving my little farm in California in August, heading to Lisbon, then caminoing up to Santiago after volunteering a couple weeks, then off to Spain, hopefully volunteering on the Frances 2 weeks, gone a total of 3 months. Just saw this albergue for sale on the Frances, if I could figure it out I would! What a dream come true that would be! Good luck with your Camino Primitivo!
 
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Albergue San Miguel in Hospital de Orbigo is going for Sale for personal reasons ( Is an private Albergue dedicated to Art and Painting) this albergue is located in the French way, in a beautiful town between Leon and Astorga. For Serious inquiries please contact: alberguesanmiguel@gmail.com . Full assistance will be given about regulations, professional procedures and way to manage it.

 

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Albergue San Miguel in Hospital de Orbigo is going for Sale for personal reasons ( Is an private Albergue dedicated to Art and Painting) this albergue is located in the French way, in a beautiful town between Leon and Astorga. For Serious inquiries please contact: alberguesanmiguel@gmail.com . Full assistance will be given about regulations, professional procedures and way to manage it.

I saw that Arturo thank you for sending this. That is a great place, I stayed there last year. Trying to find some helpers to share it with me.!
 
How to avoid failure "be prepared"
3rd Edition. More content, training & pack guides avoid common mistakes, bed bugs etc

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