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To book or not to book!

Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Apr-may 2017 Portugues (2018) Norte (2018)
Hi all, i am going to walk the via Podensis in 2019. Probably late April early May start.
Any advise on if i should book ahead for accommodation or take my chances. Curious on recent pilgrims experiences.

I prefer the take my chances method, more freedom to stop along the way if something intriguing comes along.
Camino(s) past & future
'Portuguese,Frances,Norte,Salvador/primitivo,Le puy, Inglés, CDM, Invierno, Fin/Mux, VDLP spring19
Hi @Lee Lauder
It’s generally the accepted thing walking the routes in France to book- as the set up isn’t like the Spanish routes with albergues dotted through villages, and it’s not only for pilgrims walking. French walkers generally are out walking same sections and vying for the accommodation. Many gites etc or places offering Demi Pensión need to know how many they will be preparing food for.
It is a wonderful way (they all are I know :)) but I found that even with fairly high numbers in the first
10 day section., the feeling was relaxed with people not having to rush to a bed as a result of booking.
I know some people ‘manage’ without booking but you ‘may’ find yourself searching. Especially over the weekends.. Time to allow - usually you can book ahead (the day before - or possibly call the morning ) but for the weekends it’s best to sort this out a couple of days prior to be sure.(walkers making the most of weekends).
It’s also a courtesy when turning up where food has to be prepared for you; to let the host know you’re coming.
Ps. If you make a booking and decide against it later or can’t get there -do remember to call and advise/cancel.

Great time to walk btw.
Bon chemin
Camino(s) past & future
Geneva to Irun then Norte to SDC 2015, Piemont Pyreneen 2018
Hello Lee
On my two walks (2015 May -July, and 2018 Sept-Oct) I never booked ahead although on several occasions the hospitalero(a) would call ahead because a good friend ran a gite in what was going to be the next days stop. I also do not have a cell phone, something I will have for my next walk as this year I found that at a number of places there was just a phone number taped to the door and I had to find a person to lend me a phone to either have someone meet me to unlock the door or give me the pass code to get in. A bit of a hassle but never a problem.
As far as preparing food I always carry a little something with me so as to not inconvenience the host(ess). Although as I write this I can't remember an instance where even arriving at meal time and saying I have food I was not offered something.
Like yourself I enjoy the freedom of not having a schedule.
It is a lovely walk
bon chemin
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015); Camino Norte/Primitivo (2016); Camino Frances (2017); Le Puy (June 2018)
I walked a large part of the Via Podiensis last June. I booked the first 3 days ahead of time as I wanted shorter stages and I also booked my last night in Moissac. Yhese were done a month before I left home. I then usually called one day ahead as I went along so the gite owners knew how many were staying as they provided dinner and breakfast.
Camino(s) past & future
March/April 2015, Late April 2016, Sept/Oct 2017
I booked ahead most days... but there were some days I didn't. There were some villages that had places with kitchens-- and those I did not call the day ahead. I did call ahead in the morning whenever there were meals involved. :)


Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances March-April 2016
Le Puy route April-May 2017
Camino Norte to Bilbao June 2017
We started late April and we generally booked 1 to 3 days ahead. In some instances there was plenty of room when we arrived, but in others there was not a soars bed left and booking had been essential. Accommodation can be very limited on some stages with few options and, if you sense this researching a stage end then definitely book. We came across one pilgrim on the Albrac who had not booked and found that there was absolutely nowhere to stay one night. Last we saw of him he was getting in a taxi to head 30km back where someone had found him a room. Another issue on the Albrac is potential snow. We had three days where there was some snow and one afternoon and evening a very heavy blizzard. Walking on to the next village if we hadn’t found accommodation would have been impossible.

Tandem Graham

Every new day an adventure
Camino(s) past & future
Bike: Plantagenets, Littorale, Frances, part Del Norte(all 2017), Walk: Le Puy to SJPdP (2018)
May is quite popular for French walkers who can run bank holidays together for a week or two's holiday. So there might be a bit more stress on the accommodation capacity. But when I walked Le Puy to St JPdP in April 18, I tended to phone ahead at noon, and usually that worked out fine. My thinking was that I would let my muscles decide how far they should go.
Definitely recommend demi pension. Excellent food and good social dining.
Enjoy it, whether you book or not! It's a wonderful, varied and fascinating route.


Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances [08 ]Portuguese [09 ]Le Puy[10] Norte[ 11] Madrid [12] Figeac - Pamplona [13] Mont Saint Michel - Bordeaux / St Palais - Pamplona [14] Moissac -Burgos [15] , Norte to Oviedo and then Primitivo [16]
Le Puy to Moissac and Dax to Santo Domingo
Hi all, i am going to walk the via Podensis in 2019. Probably late April early May start.
Any advise on if i should book ahead for accommodation or take my chances. Curious on recent pilgrims experiences.

I prefer the take my chances method, more freedom to stop along the way if something intriguing comes along.
Different from your past Caminos
You are in a popular time frame
Book the first 2 days , allow the walk out of Monistrol to be in the morning and from then on get your host to arrange the following two days.
After Conques don't worry
Please stay in La Soulie the night before Conques , you will not forget it as its what the Camino is all about.
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Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Apr-may 2017 Portugues (2018) Norte (2018)
Thanks for all the advise! Cant wait to leave work behind for awhile and walk again.


New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Walked Le Puy to Navarrenx April/May 2018 Planning to walk RLS Trail & GR78 Carccassonne in 2019
I walked the Le Puy route in April/May 2018, I found booking a day ahead worked well, when I arrived at where I was staying for the night I would book the next nights accommodation. This let the next host how many people to cook dinner for and took the pressure off me by knowing where I was going the next day. Also you have an idea of how far you fancy walking the next day when you stop. The only exceptions are for French Bank Holidays there are a few in May, then book 2 or 3 days ahead as the french often go walking when there is a holiday in the week
Thread starter OLDER threads on this topic Forum Replies Date
A The Le Puy Route 5
Camino Chris The Le Puy Route 61
K The Le Puy Route 13
Joanne P The Le Puy Route 10
M The Le Puy Route 4

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