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Reservations Ahead

Liam55

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances
Good morning all,

I am due to arrive in St Jean tomorrow Saturday. I have booked 3 other nights ahead on the way including a night in Pamplona.

What's the situation on the ground? I rather not book ahead and see how far a day brings me. But in these pandemic days is it necessary to have booked a week or more ahead?

Maybe just last minute butterflies!!

Thanks a million for all of the info.

LIam
 
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Plato

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Hi Liam,

Starting out from SJPdP on Monday morning myself so one day behind you but our paths should cross somewhere along the way.

I booked Roncesvalles & have pre-reserved a bed in Zubiri and left it at that for the moment.

I'd say once we get going we'll get a sense of what's the best way to organise.

It appears to be a case of booking one day ahead according to many posts on this blog, although I did read comments from some diehards doing it the old way and just showing up and hoping for the best.

Personally I think booking the first few nights is wise.. then just let the Camino do its magic..!

Buen Camino,
Kevin.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I would expect it to be busy. September has been THE most popular month to start from SJPDP in recent years, and I wouldn't expect this year to be different.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
It appears to be a case of booking one day ahead according to many posts on this blog, although I did read comments from some diehards doing it the old way and just showing up and hoping for the best.
I tried doing it the "old way" when I went back to the Frances route in April of 2017 with three family members, which became a real problem. We then started emailing ahead day by day which worked quite well. Possibly a person alone showing up without a reservation would still have better luck at finding beds along the way.
 
Past OR future Camino
2021
Good morning all,

I am due to arrive in St Jean tomorrow Saturday. I have booked 3 other nights ahead on the way including a night in Pamplona.

What's the situation on the ground? I rather not book ahead and see how far a day brings me. But in these pandemic days is it necessary to have booked a week or more ahead?

Maybe just last minute butterflies!!

Thanks a million for all of the info.

LIam
Hi Liam,
Like you I was hoping to wing it and find a bed when I’d had enough for that day.
It is getting challenging to find a free bed or room and I’m having to (reluctantly) book at least for the following night.
It may improve, but in Puente la Reina the Albergues are taking time off! The one I’m in tonight says they won’t open tomorrow or the following day as they reached their 50% target. This was my fourth call with the others saying they were closed or no answer when called, and recalled later!
Good luck and Buen Camino
Bob
 
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David with new Kit!

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
I fly out to Bilbao on Tuesday and arrive Logrono on Wednesday to restart my Camino. I have only booked 4 days ahead and that’s as much as I’m gonna do to be flexible. I do have a plan where I know where I intend to be each of my 36 days, but will only book 4 days ahead anyway.

When I started from SJPP in 2019 the only pinch point I had was Zubiri and from what I read on the forum it’s not much better in Zubiri this year.

if I was starting from SJPP this year, i would book up to and including Zubiri, just to find my feet.

Welcome to the forum and please provide updates on the ground as info is scarce to come upon.
 

Plato

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
I tried doing it the "old way" when I went back to the Frances route in April of 2017 with three family members, which became a real problem. We then started emailing ahead day by day which worked quite well. Possibly a person alone showing up without a reservation would still have better luck at finding b

I fly out to Bilbao on Tuesday and arrive Logrono on Wednesday to restart my Camino. I have only booked 4 days ahead and that’s as much as I’m gonna do to be flexible. I do have a plan where I know where I intend to be each of my 36 days, but will only book 4 days ahead anyway.

When I started from SJPP in 2019 the only pinch point I had was Zubiri and from what I read on the forum it’s not much better in Zubiri this year.

if I was starting from SJPP this year, i would book up to and including Zubiri, just to find my feet.

Welcome to the forum and please provide updates on the ground as info is scarce to come upon.
Yes Zubiri has always been a 'pinch-point' with their municipal albergue that I have yet to see open..
 

Gerard Hazelebach

Gerard Hazelebach
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (SJPdP - Santiago) September 2014
"The Peace Walk” (Vienna - Venice) August 2015
Good morning all,

I am due to arrive in St Jean tomorrow Saturday. I have booked 3 other nights ahead on the way including a night in Pamplona.

What's the situation on the ground? I rather not book ahead and see how far a day brings me. But in these pandemic days is it necessary to have booked a week or more ahead?

Maybe just last minute butterflies!!

Thanks a million for all of the info.

LIam
I would stay ahead 3 days at the time if I were you. It is still busy. Advise to use the Gronze.con website they are very up to date with openings and closures of hostels. Buen Camino
 

BrianTravels60

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Good morning all,

I am due to arrive in St Jean tomorrow Saturday. I have booked 3 other nights ahead on the way including a night in Pamplona.

What's the situation on the ground? I rather not book ahead and see how far a day brings me. But in these pandemic days is it necessary to have booked a week or more ahead?

Maybe just last minute butterflies!!

Thanks a million for all of the info.

LIam
Hi Liam,
I am starting on Tuesday and have made reservations as far as Zubiri. I plan on booking a day ahead as I travel. I'd love to see updates based on your experiences.

Buen camino
 

Liam55

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances
Thanks a million.

I'll let ye know what its like out on the ground!!

Liam
 
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Francés, Plata, Levante, Norte (part), Primitivo, Catalan, Lana (part), Madrid, D.V. Francés 2020
I am starting out from SJPdP this coming Wednesday 8 Sept.. I was surprised to be able to reserve without any difficulty a seat in the Express Bourricot shuttle from Biarritz airport, a bed in Auberge Borda and an individual room in Zubiri.

If like Plato you find it difficult to find a bed, try looking in a village either before or after the "classic" stopping points, like Puente la Reina.

Gerard's advice to stay ahead 3 days at the time seems right to me.

Ultreia!
 

Flyguy

New Member
Past OR future Camino
September2016
I will start arrive in Leon on Wednesday and start walking on Friday Sept 9. After looking at greatly reduced availability in places such as Sarria and Portomarin I have booked from Leon to Portomarin. I know the wild card is the availability at the Municipal Alburgues but feel more confident having booked, also at 69 need a bottom bed so have confirmed that also. Those 3am bano trips not so good when climbing out of a top bunk into a dark room. Anyway this will be my third Camino and first making reservations and am not planning any days over 25km, very excited😊😊
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I have been very fortunate to only have a top bunk bed three times on my five Caminos. For me, the problem is climbing up and down the ladders with those killer rungs.....pure torture on my feet! Ouch!!!😧
 
Last edited:

meazara

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Good morning all,

I am due to arrive in St Jean tomorrow Saturday. I have booked 3 other nights ahead on the way including a night in Pamplona.

What's the situation on the ground? I rather not book ahead and see how far a day brings me. But in these pandemic days is it necessary to have booked a week or more ahead?

Maybe just last minute butterflies!!

Thanks a million for all of the info.

LIam
Hi Liam I’m on the Camino now. Started from St Jean on Tuesday (prebookEd St Jean, Orisson & Roncevaux). Zubiri was difficult to get, Albergue agreed to give me a top bunk as I’m sleeping in same form as the few who were lucky to get bed. Pamplona was impossible so myself and a camiga treated ourselves to hotel outside the city tonight (inexpensive ). Word is best to call around but we feel it’s busy now on the way, hostels say the same, it’s a tad easier if you can stay outside the towns and divert from the traditional stages (this is the advice we are getting from pilgrims who are ahead of us). Pilgrim office in St Jean will give a list of Albergues, it’s not complete though as many more on Gronze. Anything else please let me know.
 

Smallest_Sparrow

Life is rarely what you expect or believe it to be
Past OR future Camino
2012: most of some, all of a few, a bit of others
I have been very fortunate to only have a bunk bed three times on my five Caminos. For me, the problem is climbing up and down the ladders with those killer rungs.....pure torture on my feet! Ouch!!!😧
I wanted a top bunk near the door…took me three days to figure out I could probably get one without begging. The lady in the third albergue must have thought “another crazy American” when I asked with my best pleading pilgrim face if a top bunk might still be available🙄
 
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Kathar1na

Member
Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
I would expect it to be busy. September has been THE most popular month to start from SJPDP in recent years, and I wouldn't expect this year to be different.
And it seems that you are right.

The Pilgrims Office in SJPP reported a record day on Saturday, September 4, with 331 pilgrims passing through the office (that's both arrivals and departures). Note: a record day for 2021. Their absolute record days are in the range of 500+ pilgrims per day.

On FB, a pilgrim reports that yesterday, Tuesday, September 7, they arrived at Roncesvalles a 2pm. Quote: "Not everyone that arrived late got a bed and had to take the bus, glad I booked and paid online".

This means that it is busy in the early sections of the Camino Frances right now in these early weeks of September. It doesn't mean that it is equally busy everywhere along the 800 km trail.
 
Last edited:

Plato

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
And it seems that you are right.

The Pilgrims Office in SJPP reported a record day on Saturday, September 4, with 331 pilgrims passing through the office (that's both arrivals and departures). Note: a record day for 2021. Their absolute record days are in the range of 500+ pilgrims per day.

On FB, a pilgrim reports that yesterday, Tuesday, September 7, they arrived at Roncesvalles a 2pm. Quote: "Not everyone that arrived late got a bed and had to take the bus, glad I booked and paid online".

This means that it is busy in the early sections of the Camino Frances right now in these early weeks of September. It doesn't mean that it is equally busy everywhere along the 800 km trail.
Confirm that... and I would add that being in contact with pilgrims who walk further than me places are increasingly booked out up to Logroño . Very advisable to email at least a day ahead to reserve.. there were pilgrims sleeping outside last night in Zubiri !!
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
there were pilgrims sleeping outside last night in Zubiri !
In April 2017 I was walking with three family members so I had booked ahead through Pamplona. When we arrived in Zubiri a large bus was being loaded up with backpacks underneath and the bus looked completely filled with pilgrims. I have no idea where they were being transported to.
 
Past OR future Camino
2021
Sadly with municipal closed and others filling their 50% then closing for the rest of the week it is getting busy out here. I’m getting away with booking next day, but it is often my second or third choice.
Still being well looked after with variable levels of accommodation and food.
Just keep going.
 
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Past OR future Camino
none past, planing to go on May to do the French walk( 2015) do not have sense of direction
Hi Liam,
Like you I was hoping to wing it and find a bed when I’d had enough for that day.
It is getting challenging to find a free bed or room and I’m having to (reluctantly) book at least for the following night.
It may improve, but in Puente la Reina the Albergues are taking time off! The one I’m in tonight says they won’t open tomorrow or the following day as they reached their 50% target. This was my fourth call with the others saying they were closed or no answer when called, and recalled later!
Good luck and Buen Camino
Bob
Hi Liam, as I arrived to SJPDP on
6/22/21 I was lucky, things
Where opening, pandemic was down, so
I was able to used the Municipals on most of the stages without calling ahead, mind you been the Holy year and planning to arrived 7/25; I really thought it was going to be very busy; the problem began when trying to make it to the municipal in Obradoiro; my cousin call me to push myself because there was only one bed in the municipal. They go first come first serve, even if my cousin wanted to pay for it and reserve it. Guess what, a younger person arrived and I just had to rent the last room in a very nice hostal. From there on the camino was getting busier and since I’m 69 years old, I continue with renting ahead even though I did see some municipal not full. The point of all this is, the covid, remember they maintaining the distances; every other bed or top bed empty so of course it fills out faster. Being a young man I will chance it, more of an adventure. Buen Camino
 

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