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Private rooms availability?

lisaandkids

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
may 2024
Hi, my adult children and I would like to walk from Sarria to Santiago over the course of 10 days (or a different route if anyone has suggestions - we will average about 9 miles a day and have about 12 days). I'm not in the best of health but I think I could do the mileage required over the 10 - 12 days. We would like to stay in private rooms. I can't really find much information on the availability of private rooms in May 2024. Do you think we should book with a tour so that we have reserved rooms or chance it? I've read that some albergues have private or shared rooms for the 4 of us but I don't know how many or their availability. Thank you!
 
A selection of Camino Jewellery
Hi, my adult children and I would like to walk from Sarria to Santiago over the course of 10 days (or a different route if anyone has suggestions - we will average about 9 miles a day and have about 12 days). I'm not in the best of health but I think I could do the mileage required over the 10 - 12 days. We would like to stay in private rooms. I can't really find much information on the availability of private rooms in May 2024. Do you think we should book with a tour so that we have reserved rooms or chance it? I've read that some albergues have private or shared rooms for the 4 of us but I don't know how many or their availability. Thank you!

Hi and welcome here.
There are pro and cons about booking through a company. Some customers complain that the accomodations are a bit off the Camino making it a lonely affair or having to use transport to get there.
IMHO it is doable to book everything yourself. Much more flexibility.
Website from Gronze is a good start..


Here you have a list of albergues with private places and pensiones/ hostales or hotels.
Take into consideration that many places will not be able to take bookings now.
Also May is a month where there are some public holidays in Spain and Spaniards will take the time off to walk part of the Camino. It might be busy but seeing your timeframe you will be fine.

Happy preparations!
 
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
You will also be able to use booking.com now for many private accommodations along that route in May. Make sure to use the filter “ distance from Center of town” to ensure you are close to the trail. Reading comments also provides good info sometimes from pligrims.
 
You will also be able to use booking.com now for many private accommodations along that route in May. Make sure to use the filter “ distance from Center of town” to ensure you are close to the trail. Reading comments also provides good info sometimes from pligrims.

Gronze also has reviews from customers.
A personal choice is that I book directly with the hotel/ pension and not through a business like bookingdotcom .This way the small businessowner is able to make more profit.
 
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The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
If you decide to use a tour company make it a condition, in writing, that the accommodation must be on the route and that you don't need to either walk anything more than a few hundred meters away from the Camino or take a taxi. When they send you details then check that you are OK with the location by looking at booking.com or the accommodation's website.

Edited to change kilometers to meters!!!!!! Sorry, I was watching football!
 
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You will also be able to use booking.com now for many private accommodations along that route in May. Make sure to use the filter “ distance from Center of town” to ensure you are close to the trail. Reading comments also provides good info sometimes from pligrims.
I also use Gronze to check if the properties I see on booking.com are in or near the Camino.

Hi, my adult children and I would like to walk from Sarria to Santiago over the course of 10 days
Sarria to Santiago is about 115 km, or 72 miles. So your daily distance can be shorter, or you can start a little farther back. You could start in Triacastela (139 km/86.5 miles) or O Cebreiro (160 km/99.5 miles) which is a really cute and popular town. This would give you a taste of what the Camino is like before Sarria.
 
Thank you everyone! I like JWillhaus's comment of being able to find rooms on the go without reservations and I found Harland's comment to add to a contract that "you can stay a few hundred kilometers away from the Camino" a bit funny. I'm sure he meant a few hundred meters away and not a few hundred kilometers but my mind envisioned us staying in Madrid and commuting every day when I read that. I'd be tired before I even started the daily walk! It is good advice though on adding that to the contract as I've read where tours sometimes do that to people.

Thank you trecile for the suggestion of starting in Triacastela or O Cebreiro. All of the packaged tours say to start in Sarria but we really wanted a bit more walking.

This has been a very welcoming community and I really appreciate everyone's comments. On some forums people can be quite negative that someone with a health concern shouldn't try to walk a camino or that the 100km isn't really walking a camino in comparison to someone who starts in St. Jean (those people are my heros) so this is refreshing.
 
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You might be a little early. Other than the larger commercial establishments many might not have bought their 2024 diary yet.

Many smaller places will now be closed until late March.

There are many posts in the course of a year from people apprehensive about their ability to walk the distance. The infrastructure in place - especially on the last 100km of the Frances during the main season - is such that it is within the capability of virtually everyone. The challenge is not the distance per se, it is the ability to walk whatever distance you like for multiple days.

If everyone with some health concern was excluded, this forum would be considerably smaller and less interesting. You’ll be fine.
 
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If you decide to use a tour company make it a condition, in writing, that the accommodation must be on the route and that you don't need to either walk anything more than a few hundred kilometers away from the Camino or take a taxi. When they send you details then check that you are OK with the location by looking at booking.com or the accommodation's website.
Wow!! I have stayed at places a few kilometres off route, and found that difficult enough. But this? One would need a small jet on standby :)
 
I think if you want a room with a private bath for up to 4 people, you may want to look look at the smaller pensions or hotels. You have not said if you will need to have your luggage shipped daily, but if you do, you'll need to arrange where to have it shipped the following day no later than the night before. That really does require some daily reservations.
 
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The more restrictions you place on your accommodation choice - more than one person, private room, on the route, etc - the more important it becomes to book ahead. As for health concerns, ignore those who think only the young, fit, wealthy, or whatever should walk. That is the ANTITHESIS of what the Camino is about. All are welcome.
 
someone who starts in St. Jean (those people are my heros)
Please don't feel that way. Those of us who have the time, money, and health to walk long distances are privileged and fortunate to be able to do so. And many of us are simply doing what we love, so perhaps a bit selfish too. My heroes are those who work through adversity and help and support others.
You are no less a pilgrim than anyone else.
 
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As an aside, we will be carrying backpacks and do not need luggage shipped.
Ok, then you should be able to get a bed without too much difficulty. A private room may take a little more looking, but there are little towns every few km/miles. I like Morgade which is not too far from Sarria for the first day. It is family run and they have private rooms as well as an albergue bunk room. Good restaurant, too.

You can walk to Portomarin the second day where there are lots of beds. On day 3 there's lots of little towns with private rooms. We stayed in Gonzar one year. The whole stretch to Santiago can be easily broken up like this into shorter segments.

Best wishes! I am taking a group of University students on this same stretch in a few weeks so watch for my "live from the Camino" thread over the holidays. Many of the Camino services are closed up this time of year, but in May you will have no problems finding places to eat and sleep.
 
I have practical questions and a tip.

How many adults are you talking about here?
If you haven't traveled in Europe before, private rooms that you're going to see in hotels and in albergues are generally pretty small compared to the US, especially along the Camino. If the room is listed for 2, you won't be able to crowd 4 in. And no such thing as a roller bed, even if it would fit.

You're on a pretty popular route ( tongue firmly in cheek), but if you're going to handle your own bookings, how's your Castillian Spanish? Can you plug in a translation app into however you choose to book? I could book in Spanish using Booking or WhatsApp, but phone calls were difficult for me.

More practical suggestions. Get fitted for good shoes, buy them now, and practice. Same for your backpack. And if you do like I did and find the backpack is too much (Primitivo in September), bring a day pack and ship your pack ahead day to day. At that point, you will have to reserve a day ahead...but depending on how many adults are traveling, and their preference for albergues or privacy, you may be reserving anyway.

Two more notes. If you want a Compostela or distance certificate at the end, the last 100km must be on foot (or on horse) and you need two stamps a day from 100km on to Santiago. Very easy to do on the Frances.

And finally. Are you coming to Santiago in search of something? Be it his bones, a revalation, a moment of clarity, or something you can't explain yet...you're a pilgrim. Ignore those who try to feel better about themselves by judging others. Their opinions have no value to you.

Buen Camino.
 
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I figured we would have to get two private rooms. It would be me and my two young adult daughters with perhaps another female friend joining us. When I look at Tripadvisor photos for pensions and albergue private rooms, the rooms look very small. I shudder when I look at pictures of multiple bunk beds in one room. Maybe it's just an American thing, but I can't envision a good nights sleep while sleeping among strangers although sharing a bathroom isn't a big deal.

We don't speak Spanish but have had lots of luck with google translate in other countries. JWillhaus commented that we shouldn't have too much difficulty finding accommodations in late May so I'm hoping that's right.

We probably won't get the certificate at the end but we would like to get the passport (probably through this website) that gets stamped for our "souvenir" and to remember our trip by so the distance isn't something I'm concerned about. Trecile mentioned starting a little further than Sarria and I'm intrigued by that suggestion.
 
Trecile mentioned starting a little further than Sarria and I'm intrigued by that suggestion
I worked out some possible short stages from O Cebreiro for you.

(Click to enlarge)
Screenshot_20231203_091908_Buen Camino.jpg

If you would be willing to stay in a dorm a night or two you will expand your options. I had never stayed in a hostel before my first Camino, and adjusted to it easily. If you look on Gronze it tells you how many beds are in each room. Some only have two bunk beds.

Gronze is only in Spanish, but if you use the Chrome browser it will automatically translate to English.

This is from a typical albergue listing.

Spanish

Screenshot_20231203_142011_Chrome.jpg

English translation via Chrome

Screenshot_20231203_142025_Firefox.jpg
 
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Thank you so much Trecile! I could do those miles! I'll start looking at Gronze using those towns. I really appreciate you putting that together for me. Some other forums tell me to "look it up" in Google but it's hard to look up when you really don't know the route to take to begin with. And when I look at routes, I think I'm looking at roads instead of trails.
 
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Here's another good site for planning your own stages


I created the stages above using the Buen Camino app

 
Who knew there was an APP for that!
There are quite a few apps for the Camino. They usually have gps mapping, elevation profiles and lists of accommodations along with a biy if cultural information.
The other app I use is Wise Pilgrim

 
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@lisaandkids, my husband and I are Americans and we volunteer every year in albergues on the Camino. I always say some of the worst nights of sleep are often our best Camino experiences. It is the people you meet which make the Camino so wonderful. Every year we meet wonderful people from around the world both as pilgrims and as volunteers. Bunk rooms are not everyone's thing, but they are a chance to meet people. Try to make time to walk by yourself every day so you will walk your own pace and meet others. Make time to share a meal or a cup of coffee with pilgrims beyond your family. Best wishes and Buen Camino.
 
We are pretty friendly and will say hi to anyone we meet so I don't think meeting people will be a problem, especially when we see the same ones a few times around. When we hike in the US only about 1/3 of the people I say hi to on a trail respond, the others just ignore me and won't make eye contact. I've never figured out why or if it's regional.
 
When we hike in the US only about 1/3 of the people I say hi to on a trail respond, the others just ignore me and won't make eye contact. I've never figured out why or if it's regional.
Definitely not a problem on the Camino!
I have a friend that grew tired of saying "buen Camino" to everyone he passed. 😄
 
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Trecile -I'm logged into Gronze now but don't know how to adjust my route. If someone could point me to the right direction, I would appreciate it. I see all the "normal" routes, but not how to customize them for distances.
 
Trecile -I'm logged into Gronze now but don't know how to adjust my route. If someone could point me to the right direction, I would appreciate it. I see all the "normal" routes, but not how to customize them for distances.
I just count the km to fit my Camino stage and go to the next page. Sometimes it means you stop in the middle of one page before going on.
 
Trecile -I'm logged into Gronze now but don't know how to adjust my route. If someone could point me to the right direction, I would appreciate it. I see all the "normal" routes, but not how to customize them for distances.
I don't really understand the question. Gronze is an online guide divided into stages like many guidebooks. It's not necessary to follow those stages, and like guidebooks they can't be changed.

I usually use a combination of websites like Godesalco and Gronze, and the Wise Pilgrim and Buen Camino apps to plan stages. I put it all together in a spreadsheet which I readjust rather often.
 
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Trecile -I'm logged into Gronze now but don't know how to adjust my route. If someone could point me to the right direction, I would appreciate it. I see all the "normal" routes, but not how to customize them for distances.
When you're in Gronze, choose the "Camino Francés" (or enter 'caminofrances' and 'gronze' as your search terms). You will get a page full of rectangles, each labelled as an "Etapa" (stage or step). You want the last five etapas "Desde Sarria". Each of Gronze's stages is a bit longer than you want, but as you open each one, you will find accommodation given for just about every village between the start and end of that stage. You will want to find accommodation at the start and end of each stage and at about half-way. But you don't have to stick to Gronze's stages. Any two places that are not too close and not too far apart will do.
I would echo trecile's recommendation that you start at Triacastela if you can allow the time. You can then see the monastery at Samos, which is one of the best sights on the whole Camino Francés.
Booking.com only reserves one or two rooms in the various hostels. When they say it's full, or they have no accommodation there, it doesn't mean that the place is full. Even if booking.com says they have a room, make direct contact with the hostel/hotel/casa rural/albergue and see if they have a room (or rooms) and book directly as SabsP suggested.
 
Hi, my adult children and I would like to walk from Sarria to Santiago over the course of 10 days (or a different route if anyone has suggestions - we will average about 9 miles a day and have about 12 days). I'm not in the best of health but I think I could do the mileage required over the 10 - 12 days. We would like to stay in private rooms. I can't really find much information on the availability of private rooms in May 2024. Do you think we should book with a tour so that we have reserved rooms or chance it? I've read that some albergues have private or shared rooms for the 4 of us but I don't know how many or their availability. Thank you!
Download ones of the apps such as Wise Pilgrim or look on Gronze as they list all the different types of accommodation. We nearly always used private rooms so there are plenty of options. I can send you a list of accommodations between Sarria and Santiago.
 
Our group did the Sarris to Santiago section starting March 01, 2020, and used bag transport and a mix of albergues, hotels, private accommodations. We were Tres Amigos, almost 70 years old, with various areas of body rust and other health issues.
We booked ahead to control our daily distances, and always had welcoming hosts, clean accommodations, comfortable beds, sufficient electric for medical devices and charging devices. One location was off of the Camino, but they gave us instructions to go into the only cafe in the small village and have the owner call , which he did, and they picked us up then dropped us the next morning. A great mother-son team with meals in a very nice stone country home.
Private bath in every location, most with a laundry.
Since we were early in the year, Mortgage was not open and our first day was 15 miles to Portomarin, and was our longest day, and we are slowish. Our itinerary was as follows, and might be slightly out of order:
Sarria to Portomarin to Aixere to Palas de Rei to Melide to Arzua to A Salceda to Lavacola to Santiago.
Send PM if you want the exact accommodations.
Covid struck so we had to skedaddle and skipped our last 3 legs, Santiago to Finisterre to Muxia to Santiago, but did drive that section.
 
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I did Sarria to Santiago in May-June of this year, taking my own sweet time. I stayed in private rooms the whole way, sometimes sharing a bathroom. If you send me a message, I’d be happy to share my itinerary or any other details!
 
Welcome to the Forum!
Two things to considers:
1. Be aware that your traveling companions will walk at a different pace/speed than you, especially in the beginning. PLEASE agree, at the start, to walk solo if needed, and to meet at points along the way. My sense is that many unnecessary and discouraging injuries happen because people try to keep up with others (they don’t want to hold their friends/family back). Don’t let that happen to you.
2. Rather than distance, I found it useful to gauge each day by time walking. For me, weather and topography sometimes turned days that looked good on paper into serious slogs. I found I was comfortable with about 6 hours of walking a day, not including lunch breaks. Six hours of flat terrain in beautiful, balmy weather was much different from six hours of a steep and slippery uphill climb in cold, driving rain.
Congratulations and buen camino.!
 
I walked this route last summer. Booked everything through Airbnb. And each place was better than the last! We walked May/June. I started reserving in December. Happy to recommend a few places!
 
Down bag (90/10 duvet) of 700 fills with 180 g (6.34 ounces) of filling. Mummy-shaped structure, ideal when you are looking for lightness with great heating performance.

€149,-
You have lots of useful advice here. As @Bert45 notes, Booking.com only keeps a few rooms on t heir books-- often the innkeeper likes it that way. As the booking agencies likely don't have their lists for the spring yet, contact the business directly-- the Spanish seem to prefer Whatsapp or texting over e-mail, but they still use e-mail. @Kathy F. sensibly suggests that you use a basic metric of hours spent walking rather than kilometres walked. Even so, people often underestimate the stress of repeated days walking, so don't be upset at the occasional melt-down or hours of stony suffering silence-- it's usually cured by a hot shower and a good meal.

Easter falls on March 31 in 2024, and the week beforehand will be challenging for finding a place, as All of Spain travels during Holy Week but as you're travelling in May, that should not be a problem. Labour Day is May 1.

You may wish feel differently about the compostela by the time you hit Santiago, and I would suggest that you line up and get one (or the recreational certificate if you prefer). It's a good thing to put on the wall when you go back, and mystify your friends and colleagues. The credential is an important souvenir (and, in some circumstances, can serve as an alibi!).
 
Hi, my adult children and I would like to walk from Sarria to Santiago over the course of 10 days (or a different route if anyone has suggestions - we will average about 9 miles a day and have about 12 days). I'm not in the best of health but I think I could do the mileage required over the 10 - 12 days. We would like to stay in private rooms. I can't really find much information on the availability of private rooms in May 2024. Do you think we should book with a tour so that we have reserved rooms or chance it? I've read that some albergues have private or shared rooms for the 4 of us but I don't know how many or their availability. Thank you!
If you absolutely need private rooms I wouldn't take chances in May. Try looking at booking.com for towns along the way and reserve. Most are fully refundable.
 
I'm logged into Gronze now but don't know how to adjust my route. If someone could point me to the right direction, I would appreciate it. I see all the "normal" routes, but not how to customize them for distances.
You separately keep track of your stopping points and add up the distances for each day. Another useful tool is https://godesalco.com/plan, but I'm not sure I'd bother for a 10 day trip.
 
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Thank you all for your helpful replies! I've PM'd several people for details and I've figured out Gronze. I also signed up (well my husband did it for me) for an app that allows you to play with the distances. I've been wanting to do this several years and am really excited to try for it! If any of you are religious, prayers for guidance for myself and my kids would be appreciated. Again, thank you all for your time and responses!
 
A Treasure Trove Of Interesting Pilgrim Hacks! Learn & Share Your Own Too!
I suggest that you and your kids take along inexpensive travel liner sleep sacks just in case you have to, or perhaps decide to, spend a night in an albergue. There are some very inexpensive sleep sacks on Amazon (some under $20.00), and they're lightweight, approx. 150 grams.
 
Hi, we walked the full Camino in 2016 and a number of nights booked private rooms with private bath rooms. I used booking.com to find the places then asked the people we were staying with to call two days ahead for us letting them know we were two 72 year olds from New Zealand and would definitely be staying with them. Most asked us to confirm at 3pm where we were and then knew when to expect us. On our arrival they were very happy to see us and gave us a glass of orange juice or wine. Down load the App Camino Ninja which you enter "I WILL START HERE TODAY" then scroll down the towns and you will see the ks. When you choose the town you want you click it on "I WILL STAY HERE TONIGHT" Then you click on that town and you will see a lot of accomadation places , what they offer and the number of rooms and double only rooms and their prices.
We are walking the camino again and have planned on 59 days with a day a week for rest. Once we have completed the STJPdP to SdC camino we are going to Le Puy in France and walk to SJPdP this 775ks long on the way I will turn 80 years young. Buen Camino and just relax and enjoy the journey the destination will come up very quickly.
 
Lots of great input from the members. One site I used, but haven't seen mentioned is Godesalco.com. www.godesalco.com/plan/Frances. You pick the starting/end point and the next screen gives details and distances, aka you choose where to stop. I used this for planning, and then let the camino and my body pick the actual stopping point for the day.

Bob
 
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Hi Lisa, the last 100 km of French Way are easy and well signed, you don't need companies who arrange travel for you. I used Forwalk web page. It's free online. It is a great tool with maps, information about the different stages and a list of accommodation along the Way. It will tell you how far off the Camino an accommodation is. You can also check reviews and book your accommodation in advance comfortably using this guide https://app.forwalk.org/2/1/en/10/#-8/42.9/8.7/180
 
Hi, my adult children and I would like to walk from Sarria to Santiago over the course of 10 days (or a different route if anyone has suggestions - we will average about 9 miles a day and have about 12 days). I'm not in the best of health but I think I could do the mileage required over the 10 - 12 days. We would like to stay in private rooms. I can't really find much information on the availability of private rooms in May 2024. Do you think we should book with a tour so that we have reserved rooms or chance it? I've read that some albergues have private or shared rooms for the 4 of us but I don't know how many or their availability. Thank you!
Nellie Meunier Ultreya Tours is the best way to go info@ultreyatours.com
 
Nellie Meunier Ultreya Tours is the best way to go info@ultreyatours.com
Having spent time on the Camino frances ea yr for the last 4 yrs, the only way I've seen to have private rms is to book w hotel/motel.
I am in my 70s & a bit of a private person. Some hostels have private accommodation but generally for only 1 or 2 people. I have found that part of the charm, excitement, & unending fun is meeting the others on the trail & in the hostels & exchanging parts of life w them. It is an experience unique to the Camino & well worth trying out. Once you take the leap to communal living, especially w the unique people drawn to the Camino, you may just find yourself in a beautiful dimension previously unknown to you & your family.
Good luck & BUEN CAMINO!!!
 
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