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Senior Newbies planning first Camino- advice?

2020 Camino Guides

Maxsmom

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2020)
Hola to all, I'm a complete newbie, planning a first trip for September 2020. I''ll be with a party of other senior newbies and we are using this as a "get to know" Camino stage, as at least a couple of us are thinking about doing a full Camino in the future. Meanwhile for this initial stage, we'll be taking it slow - 10-12 miles per day. Tho, we are planning to hike over the Pyrenees from SJPP to Roncevalles, but in 2 days, not 1.

1) Any suggestions for where to stay in SJPP- not albergue- hotel or B&B? We will be spending 2 night there to relax after travel.

2) any suggestions for places to stay between Roncevalles and Pamplona and between Pamplona and Puenta de Reina? Again, not albergues, but B&B.

thanks for any tips!
 

Molly Cassidy

Travelling light
Camino(s) past & future
Planning to start the Camino Frances from St Jean at the end of May (2020).
I have booked Posada El Camino in Lintzoain. I booked a bed in a shared room but they mostly do private rooms. Not sure about anywhere else as I'll mostly be staying in albergues.
Molly
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Hola to all, I'm a complete newbie, planning a first trip for September 2020. I''ll be with a party of other senior newbies and we are using this as a "get to know" Camino stage, as at least a couple of us are thinking about doing a full Camino in the future. Meanwhile for this initial stage, we'll be taking it slow - 10-12 miles per day. Tho, we are planning to hike over the Pyrenees from SJPP to Roncevalles, but in 2 days, not 1.

1) Any suggestions for where to stay in SJPP- not albergue- hotel or B&B? We will be spending 2 night there to relax after travel.

2) any suggestions for places to stay between Roncevalles and Pamplona and between Pamplona and Puenta de Reina? Again, not albergues, but B&B.

thanks for any tips!
Have you booked into Orisson to break up the walk over the Pyrenees? Or will you walk the Valcarlos route and spend the night in Valcarlos? Or the other option is to walk part way and taxi or take Express Bouricott's Mountain Shuttle back to St Jean, then return to where you left off the next day.

moutain shuttle.png

 

Molly Cassidy

Travelling light
Camino(s) past & future
Planning to start the Camino Frances from St Jean at the end of May (2020).
I have booked Orrison. I'm taking the whole thing fairly slowly, so stopping at Larrasoana as well and taking a rest day in Pamplona before moving forward.
 

RemysMimi

Hooked on the Camino!!
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2018)
Frances or Portuguese (2020)
On my first night in SJPdP, I stayed in a little hotel, Hôtel Itzalpea. Not terribly fancy but affordable with friendly staff and a very nice breakfast. Right in the center of town, very close to the pilgrims office and exit to the way. Plan to stay there again when I return at the end of April for a couple of nights.

BTW: I, too, am a senior. LOL
 

DenyseB

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Walked Camino Frances 2014 & 2015
Camino del Norte 2017, Camino Portuguese 2020
Hola to all, I'm a complete newbie, planning a first trip for September 2020. I''ll be with a party of other senior newbies and we are using this as a "get to know" Camino stage, as at least a couple of us are thinking about doing a full Camino in the future. Meanwhile for this initial stage, we'll be taking it slow - 10-12 miles per day. Tho, we are planning to hike over the Pyrenees from SJPP to Roncevalles, but in 2 days, not 1.

1) Any suggestions for where to stay in SJPP- not albergue- hotel or B&B? We will be spending 2 night there to relax after travel.

2) any suggestions for places to stay between Roncevalles and Pamplona and between Pamplona and Puenta de Reina? Again, not albergues, but B&B.

thanks for any tips!
There is a place I have stayed at twice in SJPdP....it is an old house on the river a very short walk from the village. Gorgeous. The host, Jean Francois is exceptional. It is called Maison DonaMaria. You can tell him I recommended it to you. He will remember me. He serves an awesome breakfast and is a fountain of information.
Between Roncevalles and Pamplona is another place.....this is where Martin Sheen met the Canadian woman in the movie “The Way”....it is called Akerretta.....it is an awesome little hotel. The gentleman who runs it makes an incredible dinner for you too. I would highly recommend them both and I will stay there again in the future.
 

Maxsmom

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2020)
There is a place I have stayed at twice in SJPdP....it is an old house on the river a very short walk from the village. Gorgeous. The host, Jean Francois is exceptional. It is called Maison DonaMaria. You can tell him I recommended it to you. He will remember me. He serves an awesome breakfast and is a fountain of information.
Between Roncevalles and Pamplona is another place.....this is where Martin Sheen met the Canadian woman in the movie “The Way”....it is called Akerretta.....it is an awesome little hotel. The gentleman who runs it makes an incredible dinner for you too. I would highly recommend them both and I will stay there again in the future.
great suggestions, I really appreciate them!
 

Maxsmom

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2020)
We should also address the “senior” pilgrim description.

Many of the members here in the forum are in their 70s (and 80s) and walk Caminos on a regular basis. Your level of fitness and preparation is the main factor..not a chronological age.

Welcome to the forum.
Thanks for the comment about seniors and its great to know that we active folks in those decades are well represented here.
 

Maxsmom

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2020)
On my first night in SJPdP, I stayed in a little hotel, Hôtel Itzalpea. Not terribly fancy but affordable with friendly staff and a very nice breakfast. Right in the center of town, very close to the pilgrims office and exit to the way. Plan to stay there again when I return at the end of April for a couple of nights.

BTW: I, too, am a senior. LOL
thanks, really appreciate the recommendation.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019)
I can't give you any hotel tips as I am an albergue kind of guy. I will be 66 next month so I guess I am pretty senior. I will tell you to definitely train, and then to start to train with your pack on. When you start you will probably have aches and pains you never had before. Wear running shoes (my personal opinion) as boots are heavier and I think (just from observation) cause more blisters. Wear your running shoes in training and get a size larger. Your feet will expand. I live in a very hot climate and can't walk long distances. But I have learned how to walk myself into shape. It is pretty easy to do especially when you start. Listen to your body and stop when your body tells you to stop, and rest for 10 minutes at least. Eat high energy snacks and stop when you need to eat. Set no goals on when you will stop just listen to your body. If you have flexibility and the financial means, maybe you should consider when you finish your camino and go home until after you start. After you walk a week or so you will start to find your rhythm and the aches will go away and you will be amazed to find out how strong and good you will begin to feel. You may want to keep going. If you plan on walking 17 to 20K a day you will have no problems stopping when you are tired. Remember to stop for the day when you still feel pretty good. You may think I feel pretty good I can go another 3-5K. You never know what may lay ahead and you will be shocked how quickly fatigue can set in. So my last advice to you would be to stop a kilometer or two early rather than go 3 or 4k too far. Buen Camino.
 

Maxsmom

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2020)
I can't give you any hotel tips as I am an albergue kind of guy. I will be 66 next month so I guess I am pretty senior. I will tell you to definitely train, and then to start to train with your pack on. When you start you will probably have aches and pains you never had before. Wear running shoes (my personal opinion) as boots are heavier and I think (just from observation) cause more blisters. Wear your running shoes in training and get a size larger. Your feet will expand. I live in a very hot climate and can't walk long distances. But I have learned how to walk myself into shape. It is pretty easy to do especially when you start. Listen to your body and stop when your body tells you to stop, and rest for 10 minutes at least. Eat high energy snacks and stop when you need to eat. Set no goals on when you will stop just listen to your body. If you have flexibility and the financial means, maybe you should consider when you finish your camino and go home until after you start. After you walk a week or so you will start to find your rhythm and the aches will go away and you will be amazed to find out how strong and good you will begin to feel. You may want to keep going. If you plan on walking 17 to 20K a day you will have no problems stopping when you are tired. Remember to stop for the day when you still feel pretty good. You may think I feel pretty good I can go another 3-5K. You never know what may lay ahead and you will be shocked how quickly fatigue can set in. So my last advice to you would be to stop a kilometer or two early rather than go 3 or 4k too far. Buen Camino.
thanks so much- great suggestions - much appreciated
 

Terry Callery

Chi Walker
Camino(s) past & future
"Portuguese Camino - In Search of the Infinite Moment" Amazon/Kindle books authored
"Slow Camino"
The first stage from Saint Jean is up over the Pyrenees mountains and is a 1200 meter climb over the first 24 kilometers to Roncesvalles. Just to put that in perspective, If a modern building is 4 meters per story, then that is like climbing the stairwell of a 300 story building. With an 18 pound pack.
I was 63 when I did my slow camino, and because it was February and because of the very difficult first day, I took the bus from Pamplona and started in Roncesvalles at the top of the Pyrenees to avoid the first day brutal climb. I would suggest you consider starting from Pamplona or Roncesvales.
Then again, if you are in excellent condition there are many seniors who do it. Look at the elevation map before you decide is all I am saying, not to discourage you.
If you decide to leave from Pamplona, stay at Hotel Eslava (inside the walls of the old city off Plaza Virgin - I walked there from train station) )for 38 Euros private room not far from Camino route very nice "old world" Hotel. Have breakfasts at Cafe Iruna which was Hemingway's favorite - also very Victorian and old world.
The first leg of the Camino is not at all representative of most of it - it is some of the most difficult of the entire route. Not really a great place for a "test run".
 

Maxsmom

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2020)
The first stage from Saint Jean is up over the Pyrenees mountains and is a 1200 meter climb over the first 24 kilometers to Roncesvalles. Just to put that in perspective, If a modern building is 4 meters per story, then that is like climbing the stairwell of a 300 story building. With an 18 pound pack.
I was 63 when I did my slow camino, and because it was February and because of the very difficult first day, I took the bus from Pamplona and started in Roncesvalles at the top of the Pyrenees to avoid the first day brutal climb. I would suggest you consider starting from Pamplona or Roncesvales.
Then again, if you are in excellent condition there are many seniors who do it. Look at the elevation map before you decide is all I am saying, not to discourage you.
If you decide to leave from Pamplona, stay at Hotel Eslava (inside the walls of the old city off Plaza Virgin - I walked there from train station) )for 38 Euros private room not far from Camino route very nice "old world" Hotel. Have breakfasts at Cafe Iruna which was Hemingway's favorite - also very Victorian and old world.
The first leg of the Camino is not at all representative of most of it - it is some of the most difficult of the entire route. Not really a great place for a "test run".
great advice, we are evaluating the climb - luckily we have several months to increase our uphill mileage.. your ideas and suggestions are great- thanks!
 

grayland

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Yes
@Maxsmom....keep in mind that many thousands of pilgrims from all over the world...and of all ages and fitness levels..make the walk from St. Jean every year. Many stop at Orisson or ValCarlos to break the walk into two parts. However, most walk to Roncesvalles in one day. Orisson has a very limited number of beds available and there are many more walkers every day than there are beds.

Much is written about the "hardship"....but it is very doable by folks have have done some preparation.
The myths and horror stories are greatly over done.
I have done both routes serveral times and IN MY OPINION they are about equal in difficulty despite the "stories". The real difficulty is that it is the first day and is a long uphill walk. People are full of doubt and worry that adds to the hard day.
However...the sense of accomplishment upon reaching Roncesvalles is life changing for most people. You will know that you can continue on the rest of the adventure.
 

Maxsmom

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2020)
@Maxsmom....keep in mind that many thousands of pilgrims from all over the world...and of all ages and fitness levels..make the walk from St. Jean every year. Many stop at Orisson or ValCarlos to break the walk into two parts. However, most walk to Roncesvalles in one day. Orisson has a very limited number of beds available and there are many more walkers every day than there are beds.

Much is written about the "hardship"....but it is very doable by folks have have done some preparation.
The myths and horror stories are greatly over done.
I have done both routes serveral times and IN MY OPINION they are about equal in difficulty despite the "stories". The real difficulty is that it is the first day and is a long uphill walk. People are full of doubt and worry that adds to the hard day.
However...the sense of accomplishment upon reaching Roncesvalles is life changing for most people. You will know that you can continue on the rest of the adventure.
thanks, this is very encouraging. We are planning a rest day from international travel in SJPP and then a 2-day walk over the mountain (with transport back to SJPP and then back up to Orisson the next am) -- we are inspired to do this- thanks!
 

MisterH

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017, 2018 neither successful
Hola to all, I'm a complete newbie, planning a first trip for September 2020. I''ll be with a party of other senior newbies and we are using this as a "get to know" Camino stage, as at least a couple of us are thinking about doing a full Camino in the future. Meanwhile for this initial stage, we'll be taking it slow - 10-12 miles per day. Tho, we are planning to hike over the Pyrenees from SJPP to Roncevalles, but in 2 days, not 1.

1) Any suggestions for where to stay in SJPP- not albergue- hotel or B&B? We will be spending 2 night there to relax after travel.

2) any suggestions for places to stay between Roncevalles and Pamplona and between Pamplona and Puenta de Reina? Again, not albergues, but B&B.

thanks for any tips!
There is "Hotel des Pyrenees" which has a great location, but is way too expensive for me. It is a real four star hotel and restaurant. Rooms can be booked with booking.com.
 

davebugg

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2017)
Frances(2018)
Ingles(2019)
Aragones(2020)
Portuguese(2020)
Hola to all, I'm a complete newbie, planning a first trip for September 2020. I''ll be with a party of other senior newbies and we are using this as a "get to know" Camino stage, as at least a couple of us are thinking about doing a full Camino in the future. Meanwhile for this initial stage, we'll be taking it slow - 10-12 miles per day. Tho, we are planning to hike over the Pyrenees from SJPP to Roncevalles, but in 2 days, not 1.

1) Any suggestions for where to stay in SJPP- not albergue- hotel or B&B? We will be spending 2 night there to relax after travel.

2) any suggestions for places to stay between Roncevalles and Pamplona and between Pamplona and Puenta de Reina? Again, not albergues, but B&B.

thanks for any tips!
I quite enjoy my stays at Gite Makila in St Jean, which is almost next door to the Pilgrim Office there.

In Larrasoana, Casa Tau.
 

JoEllen

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017
Hola to all, I'm a complete newbie, planning a first trip for September 2020. I''ll be with a party of other senior newbies and we are using this as a "get to know" Camino stage, as at least a couple of us are thinking about doing a full Camino in the future. Meanwhile for this initial stage, we'll be taking it slow - 10-12 miles per day. Tho, we are planning to hike over the Pyrenees from SJPP to Roncevalles, but in 2 days, not 1.

1) Any suggestions for where to stay in SJPP- not albergue- hotel or B&B? We will be spending 2 night there to relax after travel.

2) any suggestions for places to stay between Roncevalles and Pamplona and between Pamplona and Puenta de Reina? Again, not albergues, but B&B.

thanks for any tips!
El Jardin de Muruzubal has both albergue (dormitory) beds and pension rooms. It is just before Puente la Reina and is a wonderful oasis - big beautiful yard/garden, very clean accommodations, pool, fantastic dinner and Alicia and Carlos are wonderful hosts. You can reserve ahead on booking.com or just call them. Alicia speaks English very well. I highly recommend it.
 

brentchase

New Member
Hola to all, I'm a complete newbie, planning a first trip for September 2020. I''ll be with a party of other senior newbies and we are using this as a "get to know" Camino stage, as at least a couple of us are thinking about doing a full Camino in the future. Meanwhile for this initial stage, we'll be taking it slow - 10-12 miles per day. Tho, we are planning to hike over the Pyrenees from SJPP to Roncevalles, but in 2 days, not 1.

1) Any suggestions for where to stay in SJPP- not albergue- hotel or B&B? We will be spending 2 night there to relax after travel.

2) any suggestions for places to stay between Roncevalles and Pamplona and between Pamplona and Puenta de Reina? Again, not albergues, but B&B.

thanks for any tips!
Hi
I started to walk caminos when I was 60 and when I stayed in SJPP I used albergues and they were fine and they help to get you in the right spirit. I’ve done this route several times and when I leave sjpp I always stop at Orisson which breaks up the mountain journey.Also it’s safer than trying to do it in one day to Ronsevalles. When you get to Roncevalles then there are hotels etc to stay in. However there is a fabulous newish alberque which has great showers and the beds are set in pods of 4 so it can be quite private if you are with friends. You won’t have problems in getting nice accommodation in the other places. But if you can start your walk say on a Monday or Tuesday and try to avoid major holiday time
Gave a great time and enjoy the experience
I’m doing the Camino Del Salvador which will be different
Regards. Mike
 

Maxsmom

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2020)
El Jardin de Muruzubal has both albergue (dormitory) beds and pension rooms. It is just before Puente la Reina and is a wonderful oasis - big beautiful yard/garden, very clean accommodations, pool, fantastic dinner and Alicia and Carlos are wonderful hosts. You can reserve ahead on booking.com or just call them. Alicia speaks English very well. I highly recommend it.
thanks for recommendation, alas its booked. Was surprised to see so much is booked already- so Im starting to reserve using booking.com.
 

Maxsmom

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2020)
Hi
I started to walk caminos when I was 60 and when I stayed in SJPP I used albergues and they were fine and they help to get you in the right spirit. I’ve done this route several times and when I leave sjpp I always stop at Orisson which breaks up the mountain journey.Also it’s safer than trying to do it in one day to Ronsevalles. When you get to Roncevalles then there are hotels etc to stay in. However there is a fabulous newish alberque which has great showers and the beds are set in pods of 4 so it can be quite private if you are with friends. You won’t have problems in getting nice accommodation in the other places. But if you can start your walk say on a Monday or Tuesday and try to avoid major holiday time
Gave a great time and enjoy the experience
I’m doing the Camino Del Salvador which will be different
Regards. Mike
thanks! We are planning to break up the trek to Roncevalles. great tip about starting on a Mon or Tues- we're excited!
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
thanks for recommendation, alas its booked. Was surprised to see so much is booked already- so Im starting to reserve using booking.com.
Just because a place is unavailable on booking.com doesn't mean that it's already fully booked. It just means that the rooms that have been made available to Booking.com are reserved. I have been able to reserve places that aren't available on booking sites by calling or emailing them direct.
 

NOLA Cajun

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2016), Via Francigena (Lucca to Siena, 2017), Frances/San Olav/Invierno (planned 2021)
I did CF at the age of 53. Hotel Itzalpea the first night in SJPdP. Nothing fancy but nice an clean. Here is my mistake: I flew from US to Paris, took trains to SJPdP, arrived there in the evening and started my Camino the next morning. I had a reservation in Orrison but I arrived there pretty much exhausted. That was very surprising since I was generally in good shape, running 10k races, hiking, backpacking etc. And yet this not-so-difficult hike to Orrison ended up taxing me a little. I think this was my tiredness from the trip, the jet lag, etc. I see that you plan to stay a day at St. Jean - very smart move!
And my comment on the never-ending debate on boots-vs-shoes, hiking-vs-running. I always walk in hiking boots for two reasons. In soft shoes, like runners, I may bruise the soles of my feet on all the hard paths. Some of my Camino friends ended up buying hiking boots in Burgos, for that reason. Second, I always wear boots when hiking, because I am prone to losing my balance and rolling my ankles. A sprained ankle means the end of the Camino. A boot protects my ankles.
And one more advice to seniors - invest in good, solid hiking poles. They will save your knees!
 
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JanelMcB

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF (2018)
There is a place I have stayed at twice in SJPdP....it is an old house on the river a very short walk from the village. Gorgeous. The host, Jean Francois is exceptional. It is called Maison DonaMaria. You can tell him I recommended it to you. He will remember me. He serves an awesome breakfast and is a fountain of information.
Between Roncevalles and Pamplona is another place.....this is where Martin Sheen met the Canadian woman in the movie “The Way”....it is called Akerretta.....it is an awesome little hotel. The gentleman who runs it makes an incredible dinner for you too. I would highly recommend them both and I will stay there again in the future.
How for is the SJPdP place from the Pilgrim's Office? Can you stay there for more than one night? Was planning on staying at Beilari for two nights but would like to try your place if it's close the the PO. Thank you. Will look for Akerretta. Thank you for that.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
How for is the SJPdP place from the Pilgrim's Office? Can you stay there for more than one night? Was planning on staying at Beilari for two nights but would like to try your place if it's close the the PO. Thank you. Will look for Akerretta. Thank you for that.
Google Maps shows that Maison Donamaria is 650 meters from the Pilgrims Office
Screenshot_20200215-083744_Maps.jpg
 

DenyseB

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Walked Camino Frances 2014 & 2015
Camino del Norte 2017, Camino Portuguese 2020
How for is the SJPdP place from the Pilgrim's Office? Can you stay there for more than one night? Was planning on staying at Beilari for two nights but would like to try your place if it's close the the PO. Thank you. Will look for Akerretta. Thank you for that.
Probably a 10-15 minute walk. Just down the hill, passed the church, turn left. Five minutes along the river, (passed one bridge) then you come to a second bridge....cross it and the house sits right on the river.
 

Tessera

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF (Fall 2015)
Another vote for Hotel Itzalpea, and for trekking poles! It took me a few days to begin using them effectively but they really helped. I walked at age 62. The first two days (SJPP to Orisson, then to Roncesvalles) were the hardest of the whole Camino for me. Have a wonderful time!
 

Lydia Gillen

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2007/8/9, 2011 , 2012/13/14. C.F 2015
Camino Portugues 2017,2018,2019
volunteering
You could use Booking .com and gronzé.com and onlypilgrim. These sites give users reviews and you can make your own decisions. another site is euroski however that is only in Spanish.
I would advise you all to learn a bit of Spanish.. It weighs nothing to carry and can mean so much as you can relate to local people.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances May / Jun 2015
Camino Frances Oct / Nov 2016
Camino Frances May June 2018
CF(2020)
You have received a lot of great advice, and I am not sure that I can add anything meaningful, other than words of encouragement. I walked my first Camino Frances in 2015 at the age of 70. And my pack was somewhat over the highly touted 10% of body weight. When I depart SJPdP on 5 May I will be halfway from 75 to 76. And my pack weight will be about the same. I have walked both the Napoleon route and Valcarlos. And on the Napoleon route I stayed at Orisson. I plan my walks so that I cover about 20 - 22 km a day, only occasionally going 24 or 25. And I book ahead. Being an old guy, the bottom bunk means a lot. I have used Booking.com, Hotels.com, and Onlypilgrims.com with great success. Sometimes I have also booked directly with the albergue or Casa Rural. I cannot say enough good about Jesus at Onlypilgrims. For me, at least, the secret is taking it easy, planning each day, arriving early enough to enjoy the local sights...and to do my laundry! Buen Camino.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2019, 2020)
Hola to all, I'm a complete newbie, planning a first trip for September 2020. I''ll be with a party of other senior newbies and we are using this as a "get to know" Camino stage, as at least a couple of us are thinking about doing a full Camino in the future. Meanwhile for this initial stage, we'll be taking it slow - 10-12 miles per day. Tho, we are planning to hike over the Pyrenees from SJPP to Roncevalles, but in 2 days, not 1.

1) Any suggestions for where to stay in SJPP- not albergue- hotel or B&B? We will be spending 2 night there to relax after travel.

2) any suggestions for places to stay between Roncevalles and Pamplona and between Pamplona and Puenta de Reina? Again, not albergues, but B&B.

thanks for any tips!
I turned 72 on my camino last Sept/Oct 2019. I didn't stay in Albergues. Let me do a lookup where I stayed. I'll get back to you!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2019, 2020)
I turned 72 on my camino last Sept/Oct 2019. I didn't stay in Albergues. Let me do a lookup where I stayed. I'll get back to you!
Here's where I stayed within the villages you mentioned. There were a couple that were outstanding that I sort of noted, but none of them was a dud at all.
Gure Lana – B&B – SJPP (great place!)

Apartamentos de Montana Mendiola 0 Casa Ferran – Valcarlos

Casa de los Beneficiados – Roncesvalles

Pensión Amets – Zubiri

Casa Batit – Viscarret-Guerendiain (great place!)

Casa Elita – Larrasoana

Hotel Tres Reyes – Pamplona

Hotel Jakue – Puente la Reina
 

GingerHaddad

Member
Camino(s) past & future
September (2018)
Hola to all, I'm a complete newbie, planning a first trip for September 2020. I''ll be with a party of other senior newbies and we are using this as a "get to know" Camino stage, as at least a couple of us are thinking about doing a full Camino in the future. Meanwhile for this initial stage, we'll be taking it slow - 10-12 miles per day. Tho, we are planning to hike over the Pyrenees from SJPP to Roncevalles, but in 2 days, not 1.

1) Any suggestions for where to stay in SJPP- not albergue- hotel or B&B? We will be spending 2 night there to relax after travel.

2) any suggestions for places to stay between Roncevalles and Pamplona and between Pamplona and Puenta de Reina? Again, not albergues, but B&B.

thanks for any tips!
Highly recommend you contact Katherine at Follow the Camino and she will book your pensions/inns for you at the pace you desire, with breakfast and luggage transport. Additionally they send you detailed walking notes for each day, a training program and lots of great info. I’ve used them three times now (I’m 66 and doing the Frances in four segments) and they’re great! Thought I wanted to carry my entire pack the first time until I walked the hills between Sarria and Portomarin - couldn’t keep my balance going down even with poles. Called Katherine on a Friday afternoon at 3pm and she had luggage transport arranged before she went home that evening! I think you have to make your own reservation for Refuge Orisson if you want to stay there, or you can shuttle back to St Jean, stay there for the night, and shuttle back up to Orisson the next morning. Depending on the type of b&b/inn you want, about $80 a day or so and worth every penny. I chose standard pensions/inns, they were uniformly neat, clean, with excellent food. Buen Camino!
 

Bohemiana

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
First Camino will be April 2015
FYI--many alburgues have private rooms and sometimes even private rooms with a private bath. We stayed in a shared room at Orisson the first night and even though we didn't sleep well the experience was fantastic and was a perfect way to start our Camino. The second night we stayed at the huge monestary in Roncesvalles that has 2 bunk beds in a little cubical--we didn't like staying there because people left the windows open and it was very cold inside the dorm and the hot water ran out early in the afternoon. The rest of our Camino we stayed in private rooms in B&Bs, hostels, hotels and alburgues. Our average cost was about $40-50 per night which isn't bad for 2 people.
 

Hilarious

Hilarious
Camino(s) past & future
Planning stage Camino Frances from SJPdP (Sept. 2019)
Hola to all, I'm a complete newbie, planning a first trip for September 2020. I''ll be with a party of other senior newbies and we are using this as a "get to know" Camino stage, as at least a couple of us are thinking about doing a full Camino in the future. Meanwhile for this initial stage, we'll be taking it slow - 10-12 miles per day. Tho, we are planning to hike over the Pyrenees from SJPP to Roncevalles, but in 2 days, not 1.

1) Any suggestions for where to stay in SJPP- not albergue- hotel or B&B? We will be spending 2 night there to relax after travel.

2) any suggestions for places to stay between Roncevalles and Pamplona and between Pamplona and Puenta de Reina? Again, not albergues, but B&B.

thanks for any tips!
Gare Luna in SJPdP - lovely hosts and B&B. Casa Los Bienificados in Roncesvalles (apartment and hotel). Hotel Akerreta in Akerreta. Wonderful owner and meals.
 

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