• For 2024 Pilgrims: €50,- donation = 1 year with no ads on the forum + 90% off any 2024 Guide. More here.
    (Discount code sent to you by Private Message after your donation)
  • ⚠️ Emergency contact in Spain - Dial 112 and AlertCops app. More on this here.

Search 69,459 Camino Questions

Reserve early to avoid disappointment!

eamann

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2024 Le Puy - Cahors + Saint-Jean - León
I have just finished reserving my accommodation for the 19 nights I hope to spend, God being willing, walking from Le Puy to Cahors via the Célé valley.

Leaving Le Puy ten days after Easter and planning to arrive in Cahors before the 1 May holiday, I thought my task would be easy, all the more so since BlackRocker57 kindly shared with me her list of the best CH and GDE on the way. In fact, it turned out to be quite difficult. In part this was because I was looking, when possible, for a private bedroom and bathroom.

But prospective walkers should be aware that in most places along the way accommodation is scarce and that the CH and GDE are generally quite small. I regularly found that the best accommodations were already full, two months in advance. In other cases, accommodations were not open until 1 May or had a weekly rest day.

As other posters on the forum have said, the section between Le Puy and Conques is especially busy. French walkers - the majority - are accustomed to booking in advance. I also got the impression, from looking at photos and readings comments, that they tend to walk in groups. Two groups of four people can easily fill a CH or a GDE.

If you are happy to sleep in dormitories and share bathrooms, finding accommodation will of course be easier.
 
A selection of Camino Jewellery
If you are happy to sleep in dormitories and share bathrooms, finding accommodation will of course be easier.
I would think that is generally true - and would add that, typically, the gites on the Le Puy Way are of a high standard, with fewer number of beds than you would find in albergues in Spain and bunk beds are less common. So fewer people sharing both the dormitory and the bathroom/s.
 
I have just finished reserving my accommodation for the 19 nights I hope to spend, God being willing, walking from Le Puy to Cahors via the Célé valley.

Leaving Le Puy ten days after Easter and planning to arrive in Cahors before the 1 May holiday, I thought my task would be easy, all the more so since BlackRocker57 kindly shared with me her list of the best CH and GDE on the way. In fact, it turned out to be quite difficult. In part this was because I was looking, when possible, for a private bedroom and bathroom.

But prospective walkers should be aware that in most places along the way accommodation is scarce and that the CH and GDE are generally quite small. I regularly found that the best accommodations were already full, two months in advance. In other cases, accommodations were not open until 1 May or had a weekly rest day.

As other posters on the forum have said, the section between Le Puy and Conques is especially busy. French walkers - the majority - are accustomed to booking in advance. I also got the impression, from looking at photos and readings comments, that they tend to walk in groups. Two groups of four people can easily fill a CH or a GDE.

If you are happy to sleep in dormitories and share bathrooms, finding accommodation will of course be easier.
Hello, I just finished booking our reservations as well and was fining that problem. Then it dawned on me - the allocate a percent of their rooms to each site - Booking.com, hotels.com, etc. I also found if I contacted properties directly I got a reservation where all the booking sites said they had no an availability. Lastly, keep checking back due to cancellations. Buen Camino. Also - some of the pre plan groups block for certain properties and when it’s closer they free up. So we didn’t prepay for any night - and will check back to see if my preferred property becomes available.
 
€2,-/day will present your project to thousands of visitors each day. All interested in the Camino de Santiago.
Hello, I just finished booking our reservations as well and was fining that problem. Then it dawned on me - the allocate a percent of their rooms to each site - Booking.com, hotels.com, etc. I also found if I contacted properties directly I got a reservation where all the booking sites said they had no an availability. Lastly, keep checking back due to cancellations. Buen Camino. Also - some of the pre plan groups block for certain properties and when it’s closer they free up. So we didn’t prepay for any night - and will check back to see if my preferred property becomes available.
I’d add to that - many of the gites on the Le Puy and other paths in France are not on the major booking sites. And when contacting them directly you may find they are more responsive closer to the time. 😎
 
I have just finished reserving my accommodation for the 19 nights I hope to spend, God being willing, walking from Le Puy to Cahors via the Célé valley.

Leaving Le Puy ten days after Easter and planning to arrive in Cahors before the 1 May holiday, I thought my task would be easy, all the more so since BlackRocker57 kindly shared with me her list of the best CH and GDE on the way. In fact, it turned out to be quite difficult. In part this was because I was looking, when possible, for a private bedroom and bathroom.

But prospective walkers should be aware that in most places along the way accommodation is scarce and that the CH and GDE are generally quite small. I regularly found that the best accommodations were already full, two months in advance. In other cases, accommodations were not open until 1 May or had a weekly rest day.

As other posters on the forum have said, the section between Le Puy and Conques is especially busy. French walkers - the majority - are accustomed to booking in advance. I also got the impression, from looking at photos and readings comments, that they tend to walk in groups. Two groups of four people can easily fill a CH or a GDE.

If you are happy to sleep in dormitories and share bathrooms, finding accommodation will of course be easier.

CH?

GDE?

I have guesses, but I have never seen these acronyms before. I doubt that I am alone, given new members to this forum arrive daily.
 
Get a spanish phone number with Airalo. eSim, so no physical SIM card. Easy to use app to add more funds if needed.
Those would be my guesses too. It would be nice if people did not post acronyms without explaining them.

In my years of writing technical documentation TLA's (Three Letter Acronyms) were always spelled out completely on first use. Even for well know acronyms!

It would be nice of the Original Poster to reply to confirm our guesses.

Jim
 
Those would be my guesses too. It would be nice if people did not post acronyms without explaining them.

In my years of writing technical documentation TLA's (Three Letter Acronyms) were always spelled out completely on first use. Even for well known acronyms!

It would be nice of the Original Poster to reply to confirm our guesses. For one thing I wonder why CDE but not CDH?

Jim
 
I *really* do not understand any of this booking so far ahead !!

Better IMO to leave things to the last minute (i.e. 1 to 3 days) on the Way, and keep things flexible, except possibly the very first few days.

Nobody can pre-plan a necessary rest day from unexpected fatigue !!
Those would be my guesses too. It would be nice if people did not post acronyms without explaining them.

In my years of writing technical documentation TLA's (Three Letter Acronyms) were always spelled out completely on first use. Even for well know acronyms!
Gîte in French is so short it's not worth abbreviating.
 
Ideal pocket guides for during & after your Camino. Each weighs only 1.4 oz (40g)!
Those would be my guesses too. It would be nice if people did not post acronyms without explaining them.

In my years of writing technical documentation TLA's (Three Letter Acronyms) were always spelled out completely on first use. Even for well know acronyms!

It would be nice of the Original Poster to reply to confirm our guesses.

Jim
Jim, I don’t see that this is a big deal. The forum is not a technical document, more an informal conversation. Many people would be able to guess the meanings of the acronyms, as you did. And, in any case, the meanings were given in post #6 in the thread. I don’t think the OP (Original Poster) needs to reply to confirm. 🙏
 
Last edited:
Jim, I don’t see that this is a big deal. The forum is not a technical document, more an informal conversation. Many people would be able to guess the meanings of the acronyms, as you did. And, in any case, the meanings were given in post #6 in the thread. I don’t think the OP (Original Poster) needs to reply to confirm. 🙏
I guess brand new members who do not know the terminology are on their own.

OK. I tried to help.
 
I guess brand new members who do not know the terminology are on their own.

OK. I tried to help.
As did I - by writing what the letters stand for. If brand new members find their way to this thread they will see that. New members are rarely if ever ‘on their own’ on this forum. Though I give people researching the Le Puy Way plenty of credit for being able to work out this and more. Either way, no harm done and thanks to @eamann for the original post also aimed at helping others. 🙏
 
Last edited:
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,-
To summarize:
> Reasons for booking months in advance:
1. French walkers tend to travel in groups and can fill up lodgings
2. You speak little or no French and prefer to stay in places that speak English (MMD indicates)
3. You prefer a smaller or single room

> Reasons for booking 1-2 days in advance
1. Demi-pension needs a headcount for dinner

> Reasons for not booking in advance
1. You are fluent in French
2. You don't care where you sleep or whether you eat
3. You are very flexible, have a high tolerance for ambiguity, and regard the accompanying uncertainty as a delightful part of the adventure.

Please remember that France is not Spain. The number of walkers in any given town on any given night will be one-tenth the number on the CF (50 vs 500). These are much smaller, mom-and-pop establishments. Madame often does her own cooking for the demi-pemsion dinner (and still manages to turn out four-course meals for a dozen!). These are highly seasonal businesses: full during May and September, half-full in April, early June, and early October. Nearly empty the other months open.
Having now walked from Prague halfway across Spain, I can say from experience that the Le Puy route was the most enjoyable section for me: nicest scenery, best food, most personal pilgrim lessons. Bon Chemin!
 
I *really* do not understand any of this booking so far ahead !!

Better IMO to leave things to the last minute (i.e. 1 to 3 days) on the Way, and keep things flexible, except possibly the very first few days.

Nobody can pre-plan a necessary rest day from unexpected fatigue !!

Gîte in French is so short it's not worth abbreviating.
I assume you plan on staying in allbergues - those of us discussing reservations are not. We are staying in hotels, apartments, etc - places with private bathrooms and other amenities. We have chosen these accommodation options for personal reasons that I am not going to discuss here. So unlike the numerous albergue beds where the tradition is to just show up, it doesn’t work that way for other accommodations. So buen camino!
 
Get a spanish phone number with Airalo. eSim, so no physical SIM card. Easy to use app to add more funds if needed.
I assume you plan on staying in allbergues - those of us discussing reservations are not. We are staying in hotels, apartments, etc - places with private bathrooms and other amenities.
Many private Albergues have private rooms with a good degree of comfort. I have nothing against any pilgrims staying in hotels and whatnot, but booking so far ahead still makes no sense to me with regard to the pilgrimage as a pilgrimage.

Not that deliberate suffering etc. is some sort of necessary or desirable part of it, certainly not !!

But rather that the Camino has its own rhythm that too much over-planning will break -- Part of it is, if you plan every step beforehand, then what can you possibly learn along the Way ?
So unlike the numerous albergue beds where the tradition is to just show up, it doesn’t work that way for other accommodations. So buen camino!
Some of the more comfortable private Albergues you may not get into by just turning up, unless you're walking alone.
 
Good thing my choices are what makes sense to me. So the fact a choice I make doesn’t make sense to YOU is irrelevant to me. You make your choices and I will make mine; my Camino is what is important to ME. Last week I rewatched an episode of Ted Lasso. He talked about being a kid and how he was treated then and as an adult. He learned that being curious vs being judgemental was eye opening.
Buen Camino.
 
Good thing my choices are what makes sense to me. So the fact a choice I make doesn’t make sense to YOU is irrelevant to me. You make your choices and I will make mine
Of course, but that doesn't mean I'm being "judgmental" --I'm just suggesting that more flexibility leads to improvement in one's experiences.
 
St James' Way - Self-guided 4-7 day Walking Packages, Reading to Southampton, 110 kms
Many thanks to all of you who have commented on my post and my apologies for not having been able to answer sooner!

A special apology to MassNative for not spelling out CH and GDE.

When possible, I always contacted the CH or GDE directly - I avoid Booking.com as far as possible - but even so it was not always easy to find private accommodation. So, as I said in my original post, "À ton entendeur, salut !".
 
Of course, but that doesn't mean I'm being "judgmental" --I'm just suggesting that more flexibility leads to improvement in one's experiences.
My last comment on this - JabbaPapa - it is your judgement that flexibility leads to improvement in one’s experiences. Using “suggesting” in the sentence doesn’t change anything. A suggestion is an opinion - yours. Glad that works for you. Buen Camino.
 
Hello, I just finished booking our reservations as well and was fining that problem. Then it dawned on me - the allocate a percent of their rooms to each site - Booking.com, hotels.com, etc. I also found if I contacted properties directly I got a reservation where all the booking sites said they had no an availability. Lastly, keep checking back due to cancellations. Buen Camino. Also - some of the pre plan groups block for certain properties and when it’s closer they free up. So we didn’t prepay for any night - and will check back to see if my preferred property becomes available.
that is very true ... in fact, the vast majority of private accommodation providers on the Via Podiensis who are registered with these behemoth booking sites, don’t like them one little bit ... they are seen as a necessary evil ... so they only release one or two rooms to them and, because the booking sites take a substantial premium [15 to 18%] from each reservation, the price is also higher. For this reason [and others] I prefer to make my reservation requests directly with the accommodation hosts ...
 
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,-
does it really ... how so??
More flexibility on where you'll stop and sleep impacts many parts of a Camino, including finding out that some place and/or some people are preferable (to you personally) here rather than there.

If you need a rest day you're not bound by reservations you've made days, weeks, or months previously.

And so on and so forth -- see many other threads.

There is nothing "judgmental" about any of this, despite continued accusations thereto.
 
Part of it is, if you plan every step beforehand, then what can you possibly learn along the Way ?

I'm also one who doesn't like to reserve too far ahead - but that also depends on the path, the time of year and my circumstances at the time. Reading through the comments above - I think the point of contention @JabbaPapa is your insistence that your way = a better Camino experience. Whether intended or not, it comes across that you are making 'judgements' about someone else's choices and the experience they will have - rather than just noting what's important to you. The flexibility you describe may be central to your Camino. There are plenty of people who share that view. For many others, that is not the case. It doesn't mean that they cannot possibly learn anything along the Way - nor that their experience will be less than yours - just different.
 
Last edited:
Join our full-service guided tour of the Basque Country and let us pamper you!
I have just finished reserving my accommodation for the 19 nights I hope to spend, God being willing, walking from Le Puy to Cahors via the Célé valley.

Leaving Le Puy ten days after Easter and planning to arrive in Cahors before the 1 May holiday, I thought my task would be easy, all the more so since BlackRocker57 kindly shared with me her list of the best CH and GDE on the way. In fact, it turned out to be quite difficult. In part this was because I was looking, when possible, for a private bedroom and bathroom.

But prospective walkers should be aware that in most places along the way accommodation is scarce and that the CH and GDE are generally quite small. I regularly found that the best accommodations were already full, two months in advance. In other cases, accommodations were not open until 1 May or had a weekly rest day.

As other posters on the forum have said, the section between Le Puy and Conques is especially busy. French walkers - the majority - are accustomed to booking in advance. I also got the impression, from looking at photos and readings comments, that they tend to walk in groups. Two groups of four people can easily fill a CH or a GDE.

If you are happy to sleep in dormitories and share bathrooms, finding accommodation will of course be easier.
Loving this thread's replies - takes me back to playground arguments back in the day.. . .
Play nicely people . . .maybe go for a walk . . .? 😄
 
I'm also one who doesn't like to reserve too far ahead - but that also depends on the path, the time of year and my circumstances at the time. Reading through the comments above - I think the point of contention @JabbaPapa is your insistence that your way = a better Camino experience.
Not what I'm saying -- though I certainly agree with your comments about time of year, circumstances, and which Camino route.
Whether intended or not, it comes across that you are making 'judgements' about someone else's choices and the experience they will have - rather than just noting what's important to you.
So, I'm being judged then ? This has nothing to do with my personal preferences, but it has to do with frustrations that I have heard pilgrims express on the Camino from having booked very far ahead. Underestimating or overestimating their capabilities, finding themselves unable to continue with new friends met along the way, and many other negatives that others have expressed.

As to my personal preferences, they have nothing to do with what was a simple suggestion that somehow was confused for "judgmentalism". I have accused nobody of anything.

If the response had been "I want to book so far ahead for reasons XYZ" then as far as I'm concerned, fine. Instead, someone made it personal.
 
Loving this thread's replies - takes me back to playground arguments back in the day.. . .
Play nicely people . . .maybe go for a walk . . .? 😄
You're right - I agree, except for the part about loving the thread. 😞. I rarely get involved in these sorts of discussions on the forum. And, when I do, I almost always regret it, as is the case this time. But every now and then, some comments just get under my skin - like the one I quoted at #24- and, against my better judgement, I respond. Though I think I do 'play nicely'. Luckily, I am just about to go out for a walk but before that I will 'unwatch' this thread. Bon chemin to all. 😎
 
Last edited:
New Original Camino Gear Designed Especially with The Modern Peregrino In Mind!
Are there accommodations on this route that are strictly first come first serve like municipal albergues in Spain? I thought you had to book in advance.
 
I found this discussion quite interesting and informative. I wanted to walk the Le Puy next year, but abandoned the effort due to the accommodations issue raised by Eamann. I certainly needed a planning tool/publication (which I didn't have) and guidance from those that have walked this path. Maybe '26 lol.
 
Are there accommodations on this route that are strictly first come first serve like municipal albergues in Spain? I thought you had to book in advance.
Hi @ElCee I hope I can help. To your second question first - you don't HAVE TO book in advance - it's more a question of what your needs are, what you're comfortable with and your ability to adapt to distances etc if no accommodation is found, as highlighted in the above discussion.

To your first question - On the Le Puy Way, in addition to privately owned gites and chambre d'hotes, you have e.g. Gites Municipale, Gites Communale and Gites Presbytere. Many of these gites take reservations, but sometimes not far in advance and not for large groups. A good source for this information is Gronze.com It lists the gites and other accommodations along the Le Puy Way - and whether or not they take reservations. The 'rules' vary.

As an example, for much of the past year we have been living in Lectoure, a popular overnight stop for pilgrims on the Le Puy Way. There are quite a few excellent privately owned gites and chambre d'hotes. There is also the wonderful Gite Presbytere - which is donativo, accommodates 10 people, offers a communal dinner and breakfast They have a great team of volunteers. They do take reservations but no more than 48 hours before and not for groups of more than 4 people.

Last 'season' we helped out the volunteers who manage the Gite Presbytere. Anecdotally, even in the peak of the season, when other accommodations were full, pilgrims often arrived at the gite in the late afternoon and were able to find a bed. Also, and they don't advertise this - but if a pilgrim arrives and the gite is already full, the volunteers would do everything in their power to find a bed for the pilgrim including in the home of a local person. I am sure they are not the only ones who do this along The Way.

I hope that information is useful. Bon chemin.
 
Last edited:
Ideal sleeping bag liner whether we want to add a thermal plus to our bag, or if we want to use it alone to sleep in shelters or hostels. Thanks to its mummy shape, it adapts perfectly to our body.

€46,-
This tendency towards booking everything in advance is making it more difficult to walk a spontaneous Camino. I suppose the majority of those booking in advance are reserving private rooms, but if the shared dormitory accommodation becomes full, then those not wanting to be stuck to rigid, pre-determined stages are in trouble.

If ever I repeat the Le Puy - Cahors section around busy times, I'll probably carry a tent and mattress in case there's no room - it almost happened to me in St. Côme / Espalion last year.
 
This tendency towards booking everything in advance is making it more difficult to walk a spontaneous Camino. I suppose the majority of those booking in advance are reserving private rooms, but if the shared dormitory accommodation becomes full, then those not wanting to be stuck to rigid, pre-determined stages are in trouble.

If ever I repeat the Le Puy - Cahors section around busy times, I'll probably carry a tent and mattress in case there's no room - it almost happened to me in St. Côme / Espalion last year.
Is it a busy (spring break) time? Then rather than carrying extra weight for “just in case” you could either make a reservation (only during busy times) or call a property further away. They will often pick you up and take you back for free. Just an idea.
 
Are there accommodations on this route that are strictly first come first serve like municipal albergues in Spain? I thought you had to book in advance.
There are a few, but they are not common in the first half of the route. In general people call and make a reservation the night before. The hosts will usually call for non-French speakers. After Moissac there are larger places that can accommodate spontaneous guests.

You are mostly staying in people’s homes, and the host cooks a communal meal. It’s just not polite to show up for dinner unannounced
 
The 2024 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
I have just finished reserving my accommodation for the 19 nights I hope to spend, God being willing, walking from Le Puy to Cahors via the Célé valley.

Leaving Le Puy ten days after Easter and planning to arrive in Cahors before the 1 May holiday, I thought my task would be easy, all the more so since BlackRocker57 kindly shared with me her list of the best CH and GDE on the way. In fact, it turned out to be quite difficult. In part this was because I was looking, when possible, for a private bedroom and bathroom.

But prospective walkers should be aware that in most places along the way accommodation is scarce and that the CH and GDE are generally quite small. I regularly found that the best accommodations were already full, two months in advance. In other cases, accommodations were not open until 1 May or had a weekly rest day.

As other posters on the forum have said, the section between Le Puy and Conques is especially busy. French walkers - the majority - are accustomed to booking in advance. I also got the impression, from looking at photos and readings comments, that they tend to walk in groups. Two groups of four people can easily fill a CH or a GDE.

If you are happy to sleep in dormitories and share bathrooms, finding accommodation will of course be easier.
Hi,
We start to walk le Puy-en-Velay to sjdpp on Friday 5th of April. So far we have only reserved the two nights in le Puy-en-Velay. We'll stay in gîtes or hotels I think based on your comments. My plan is to ring the day before to check availability. If you leave 10 Days after Easter, you are in the middle of the French school holidays which on top of guesthouses not opening before May may be the reason why it's all booked in the categories you are looking at . Anyway I am sure the Camino will provide.
 
(Ed) When we did this route we booked it one day at a time. Many times we asked our current host to call ahead for us. A number of them knew each other so it was like an underground railroad. When we didn’t have them call, we would go to the Officine de Turisme and ask them to call for us. We didn’t always get our first pick, but we never went without a place to sleep/eat (if you have a number of criteria, this might be an issue). Sometimes we had a private room and sometimes we had to share but we never had a bunk bed. The demi pensions were a game changer. Not worrying about dinner or breakfast made things so much easier. Breakfasts weren’t always substantial but we had some wonderful dinners. Many times, staying in the gites felt like home stays. So welcoming. Also, the spontaneity factor gets lost when you prebook your entire walk. My recommendation, just go. Enjoy. The LePuy route is definitely one of my favorites. Bon Chemin!
 

Most read last week in this forum

A special thank you to Dave Whitson for his shortcuts on the GR 65. We had a beautiful day walking by the river Lot into Cahors instead of the regular route. It takes a lot of work to create...
Hello - I am planning to walk about the first half of the Via Podiensis next month, May 2024. I will start from Le Puy and walk for 16 days. I am flying into Paris and would like to purchase a sim...

❓How to ask a question

How to post a new question on the Camino Forum.

Forum Rules

Forum Rules

Camino Updates on YouTube

Camino Conversations

Most downloaded Resources

This site is run by Ivar at

in Santiago de Compostela.
This site participates in the Amazon Affiliate program, designed to provide a means for Ivar to earn fees by linking to Amazon
Official Camino Passport (Credential) | 2024 Camino Guides
Back
Top