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San Sebastian - zero accommodation

2020 Camino Guides

robertc

Member
Hi there,
So my first official day on the Camino Del Norte finished up a bit stressful as I eventually found out that due to a film festival, there was absolutely no accommodation left in San Sebastian unless I wanted to pay a minimum of 150 Euro for a shitty hotel. So I got on a bus to Pamplona.

I'm hoping for some advice now as I plan my next move. I don't want to abandon the Norte, and intend to return to San Sebastian today to regroup and start again.

I know the accommodation options on the Norte are more limited than that Frances. Having said that, there was some space left in the albergue in Irun. My question would be, is it likely that I'll run into more accommodation book outs if I operate on the fly - if so that would suggest to me I should book ahead. However I would rather stay in the donativos so if anyone can advise on how busy those hostels are right now that would be brilliant.

Thanks for any help.
Robert
 

jsalt

Jill
Camino(s) past & future
Portugués, Francés, Le Puy, Rota Vicentina, Soulac, Norte, Madrid, Salvador, Primitivo, Aragonés
I'm hoping for some advice now as I plan my next move. I don't want to abandon the Norte, and intend to return to San Sebastian today to regroup and start again.
Hi, I think I would pre-book my next two nights after San Sebastian, and then see how it goes after that. Good luck!
 
Camino(s) past & future
.
Hi Robert
That was bad luck, but unless it's a mobile film festival moving daily west along the coast I'd treat it as a freak incident..
Suggest you stay with Plan A for a few more days at least. There will be pinch points here and there, but as Kanga says, the further along you go the easier it should get.
And now you've started this thread we'll expect regular updates!
Buen camino, tom
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF2012,Le Puy/CF 2015 Portugues 2017 Norte 2018, CF 2019
I started the Norte last year right around this time. I think once you are past San Sebastian you will not have much trouble anywhere getting a bed. Check Gronze.com and I would say download the Buen Camino app and/or Wisely app. They will give you lots of choices for places to sleep. As Kanga pointed out once you get past the split with the Primitivo you probably won't see more than a few people a day until you get really close to Santiago.
 

MarkyD

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés 31/08/2018 - 20/10/2018
Hi there,
So my first official day on the Camino Del Norte finished up a bit stressful as I eventually found out that due to a film festival, there was absolutely no accommodation left in San Sebastian unless I wanted to pay a minimum of 150 Euro for a shitty hotel. So I got on a bus to Pamplona.

I'm hoping for some advice now as I plan my next move. I don't want to abandon the Norte, and intend to return to San Sebastian today to regroup and start again.

I know the accommodation options on the Norte are more limited than that Frances. Having said that, there was some space left in the albergue in Irun. My question would be, is it likely that I'll run into more accommodation book outs if I operate on the fly - if so that would suggest to me I should book ahead. However I would rather stay in the donativos so if anyone can advise on how busy those hostels are right now that would be brilliant.

Thanks for any help.
Robert
These things can happen. I had a similar experience in Redondela in May this year while doing part of the Camino Portugués. I wasn't aware there was an international puppet convention in town, so everything was taken. I just went to the tourist office and they found us a small pension about 4km away.
In the smaller towns and villages you should be fine. I would just relax and not worry about booking ahead, just walk and see what comes up along the way. If you find yourself stuck, tired or injured; then you can always get a taxi or bus (depending on where you are) to take you to the nearest available accommodation.
The Camino del Norte has less pilgrim accommodation compared to the Francés, but also has less pilgrims too. You just got unlucky with your timing in Donostia - San Sebastian), just as I did at Redondela in May.
 
Hi there,
So my first official day on the Camino Del Norte finished up a bit stressful as I eventually found out that due to a film festival, there was absolutely no accommodation left in San Sebastian unless I wanted to pay a minimum of 150 Euro for a shitty hotel. So I got on a bus to Pamplona.

I'm hoping for some advice now as I plan my next move. I don't want to abandon the Norte, and intend to return to San Sebastian today to regroup and start again.

I know the accommodation options on the Norte are more limited than that Frances. Having said that, there was some space left in the albergue in Irun. My question would be, is it likely that I'll run into more accommodation book outs if I operate on the fly - if so that would suggest to me I should book ahead. However I would rather stay in the donativos so if anyone can advise on how busy those hostels are right now that would be brilliant.

Thanks for any help.
Robert
 
Having just returned two weeks ago from volunteering in Deba, the Municipal was filled everyday by at least 3 and many times 2.
There are usually less pilgrims these days but times have changed. To avoid disappointment, I would make reservations.
 

helgeh

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
none
I (and a girlfriend) based in Bilbao We will start at Irun 13.oct ( go B-Irun Train or bus?) We have booked as far as Debia. Here I think the Hostel Txalupa is too expensive for sleeping in big rooms.. I read about Kanpaia but I don`t get answer on Facebook, today I tried mail. You know anything about that? Have any other recommandations for us?
Good advices and tips about the next places on the way to Bilbao received with thanks too
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2018)
I started in Irun on the 17th and haven't had any problems with a mix of booking and "winging it", although I do plan my day to ensure I arrive by 4 if I dont have a booking (earlier in very popular smaller albergues). It is fairly busy but there seem to be pensions in the 30 to 50 euro range if you get stuck. I think the international film festival in San Sebastian created an unusually tight situation.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2018)
To answer your question about donativos. I've stayed in as many as I can, largely because the shared pilgrim experience is so good in them. I haven't had any problems as above, although one pilgrim who arrived at the Monasterio de Zenarruza at 5.30 pm was directed back 1.5 kms to a bed in the village.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
I wasn't aware there was an international puppet convention in town,
Now I'm imaganing the entire town of Redondela full of puppets - puppeteers relaxing in bars and cafes, eating with one hand while a puppet entertains the other diners with the other hand. Others walking their marionettes down the street...
😂😂😂
 

JCB

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
CN(2019)
Hi there,
So my first official day on the Camino Del Norte finished up a bit stressful as I eventually found out that due to a film festival, there was absolutely no accommodation left in San Sebastian unless I wanted to pay a minimum of 150 Euro for a shitty hotel. So I got on a bus to Pamplona.

I'm hoping for some advice now as I plan my next move. I don't want to abandon the Norte, and intend to return to San Sebastian today to regroup and start again.

I know the accommodation options on the Norte are more limited than that Frances. Having said that, there was some space left in the albergue in Irun. My question would be, is it likely that I'll run into more accommodation book outs if I operate on the fly - if so that would suggest to me I should book ahead. However I would rather stay in the donativos so if anyone can advise on how busy those hostels are right now that would be brilliant.

Thanks for any help.
Robert
I'm in Llanes, about 3 weeks ahead of you. I've seen plenty of empty beds in the donativos. You might want to consider reservations in Bilbao if you get there on a weekend.
 

Dinah Shaw

Volcano Climber
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Norte and Frances Sept 6 - Oct 11, 2016
Hi there,
So my first official day on the Camino Del Norte finished up a bit stressful as I eventually found out that due to a film festival, there was absolutely no accommodation left in San Sebastian unless I wanted to pay a minimum of 150 Euro for a shitty hotel. So I got on a bus to Pamplona.

I'm hoping for some advice now as I plan my next move. I don't want to abandon the Norte, and intend to return to San Sebastian today to regroup and start again.

I know the accommodation options on the Norte are more limited than that Frances. Having said that, there was some space left in the albergue in Irun. My question would be, is it likely that I'll run into more accommodation book outs if I operate on the fly - if so that would suggest to me I should book ahead. However I would rather stay in the donativos so if anyone can advise on how busy those hostels are right now that would be brilliant.

Thanks for any help.
Robert
You should be fine. Pre book a couple and go from there.
 

Karl Oz

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances
Portuguese
Aragones
Sanabres
Piamonte
Elizabethpfad
These things can happen. I had a similar experience in Redondela in May this year while doing part of the Camino Portugués. I wasn't aware there was an international puppet convention in town, so everything was taken. I just went to the tourist office and they found us a small pension about 4km away.
In the smaller towns and villages you should be fine. I would just relax and not worry about booking ahead, just walk and see what comes up along the way. If you find yourself stuck, tired or injured; then you can always get a taxi or bus (depending on where you are) to take you to the nearest available accommodation.
The Camino del Norte has less pilgrim accommodation compared to the Francés, but also has less pilgrims too. You just got unlucky with your timing in Donostia - San Sebastian), just as I did at Redondela in May.
nothing worse than being jerked about by a bunch of puppeteers at a convention...
 

jsalt

Jill
Camino(s) past & future
Portugués, Francés, Le Puy, Rota Vicentina, Soulac, Norte, Madrid, Salvador, Primitivo, Aragonés
I'm hoping for some advice now as I plan my next move. I don't want to abandon the Norte, and intend to return to San Sebastian today to regroup and start again.
Hi Robert, please come back to this thread and let us know how it's going for you now. Did you return to the Norte?
 

robertc

Member
Hello!
I did indeed. The albergues have been mostly full but I've not had a problem getting a bed as I'm usually pretty early. I booked ahead for San Sebastien and Zarautz but winged it after that. Now in Pobeña. I've heard that a lot of people only go to Bilbao but the albergue here was fairly full, but there may have been a second room they didn't use, I'm not sure.
So the film festival in San Sebastien was really the problem but, I think if you walked slowly and depended on municipal albergues you could still find yourself in a little bother. The other thing I'd note is that this Camino is more expensive than the Frances so hotels or pensions (where they exist) are more pricey and not as plentiful.
That's my twopence for now.

P.s. if you're an English speaker, I wouldn't come on this Camino and expect to meet other English speakers very much. I've met a few Americans and that's it. It's been a more solitary experience but the scenery is more beautiful too.
 

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