A donation to the forum removes ads for you, and supports Ivar in his work running it

Advertisement

Luggage Transfer Correos

What is the one albergue you would avoid?

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
Manjarin.

Just having coffee gave me the creeps.

Moderator comment - Be aware that the views expressed here are personal and one person's worst place to stay may not be another person's. WM
 
Last edited by a moderator:

jpflavin1

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(10,11,17), Vasco(12), Salvador(13), CP(13), CN(14), Madrid (16), Mozarabe (18), VdlP(19)
The one Albergue I would recommend to avoid is the Municipal in Najera. A large Albergue in a beautiful setting along the river. That being said, They only have a 40 gallon water heater, so cold showers, (probably not so bad in the Summer) but tough in the Spring, and no toilets seats for men or women. The Hospitalero's were also not welcoming. I have four criteria that I believe make a for a good Albergue experience . Hospitalero's, Setting or location, Hot water, and toilet seats. Najera failed on 3. Another persons experience could be different.

Ultreya
Joe
 
M

mikevasey

Guest
I think i was lucky on the Frances, i quite liked them all, even the Xunta hostel at O'Cebreiro.
Nearly stayed at Manjarin, but i was dragged away from my luke warm coffee by my walking partner. On the Norte the only one i have a gripe with is Sabrado dos Monxes, its an incredible monestary, well worth visiting, and a lot of people do walk up from the Frances, but as a place to stay, i have a real aversion to the smell of strong damp. If i ever do stay there again i stay outside the dorm room and sleep under the cloisters.
 

Portia1

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2009, Portuguese 2012
Frances 2016, (Frances 2019)
I did not actually stay in her alberque in Rabe de las Calzadas but I was harranged by the woman running the Albergue there after she found out I was staying at the Liberamous Domine Alberque. She yelled at me and stomped her feet complaining that pilgrims were obligated to stay in the municiple. She yelled after me all the way down the street. I had been warned about her before but encountering her in the flesh was ENOUGH! There are a lot of stories of her poor treatment of pilgrims and my stay at the other Alberque was delightful--very clean, nice young couple and good dinner (albeit with no wine available).
 

KiwiNomad06

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
Portia1 said:
I did not actually stay in her alberque in Rabe de las Calzadas but I was harranged by the woman running the Albergue there after she found out I was staying at the Liberamous Domine Alberque.
I did stay there- and wouldn't again. Although I wasn't harangued, there was always an uncomfortable feeling that if you said/did the 'wrong' thing you might be turfed out, even at 10pm. The building is beautiful- especially the 'museum', dining room etc, and the shower is beautiful. But there were eight people crammed into a very small bedroom and it got very hot.

Rabe de las Calzadas is actually a good option from Burgos though. Gives you time to look around Burgos and then just walk a short day- then gives you a manageable distance to Hontanas next day. I think quite a few people think they might stay in Hornillos del Camino from Burgos but get there and find it full, so they have to walk another 11km to Hontanas, sometimes in the heat.
 

FatmaG

Active Member
Wow, interesting question...

I try to remember them - but it is hard!
Most uncomfortable experiences were mainly because of people (waking up at 4 in the morning; snoring loud; switching on the light at 6 or because of icecold showers, "bad" beds...)

Uuuuu no, now it's coming back... ALTO DO POIO (between 0'Cebreiro and Tricastela).
This was the WORST experience I made.
Damp cold uncomfortable dirty place - they won't see me again there (and you should avaid the place too) !
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2012, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011
I would avoid Albergue de Ribadiso da Baixo were I to walk again. This albergue is delightfully situated on the rio Iso, and a wonderful restoration of the earlier hospital, but it was spoiled by the appalling behaviour of a few people who took advantage of the fact that it could not be locked up at night.
A group arrived back in the dormitory after midnight and made an enormous amount of noise, enough to get a severe talking to by one of the Spanish pilgrims. An hour or so later, one of their number then woke everyone again as he stumbled around trying to find his way to the toilet, left the dormitory door open and could then clearly be heard vomiting. His return journey half an hour later was only a little less disruptive.
I had wondered before this about the practice of locking up the albergues - afterwards I found myself fully committed to the practice.
 

CaminoJohn

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2006,2008,2011; VDLP, Sanabrias (2018)
dougfitz said:
I would avoid Albergue de Ribadiso da Baixo were I to walk again...as he stumbled around trying to find his way to the toilet, left the dormitory door open and could then clearly be heard vomiting. His return journey half an hour later was only a little less disruptive.

Ha! I stayed here while there was a vomiting pilgrim as well!
 
Jpflvin beat me to it! I second avoiding the municipal in Najera! I experienced the cold water shower, hospitlero assigning bunks, I ended up in the middle of the room, no where near the windows and there is no air conditioning. Najera itself was a nice place with a beautiful riverwalk with lots of outdoor dining establishments. That being said, one of my favorites was the very next day, the Santo Domingo de la Calzada, Casa del Santo, newly remodeled, though large about 10-12 people per room, nice showers, large dining room and lounge, the hospitaleros were all Canadians, large garden area in the back with plenty of room to hang your washed laundry.
 
Portia1 said:
I did not actually stay in her alberque in Rabe de las Calzadas but I was harranged by the woman running the Albergue there after she found out I was staying at the Liberamous Domine Alberque. She yelled at me and stomped her feet complaining that pilgrims were obligated to stay in the municiple. She yelled after me all the way down the street. I had been warned about her before but encountering her in the flesh was ENOUGH! There are a lot of stories of her poor treatment of pilgrims and my stay at the other Alberque was delightful--very clean, nice young couple and good dinner (albeit with no wine available).
I'm so glad I was one of the first to stay at the Liberamous albergue & put a dent in that woman's business. :mrgreen: I wasn't too enthusiastic about staying in Hornillos again, so having the option to stay in Rabanal was great. The place was great & the food good. :) I did walk a bit with someone who stayed at that woman's place & he said he liked it, so different strokes for different folks, I guess.

Kelly
 

gregdedman

Active Member
I believe it totally depends on so many things.
Your own energy levels, the weather, the hospitaleros and your expectations to name but a few.

I purposely walked to Manjarin in order to experience something completely different, something so medieval it made me feel like a pilgrim from the dark ages, just for the night. Although Thomas the Templar was a little grumpy that night, he and his helper showed me nothing but kindness during a snowstorm on the mountains. It was a night ill never forget.

Also, don't forget that hospiteleros change every few weeks in some cases and this can dramaticaly affect the quality of the welcome you recieve.

Give me any albergue empty of pilgrim snorers and Im a happy chap!
Of course when it comes to matters of bed bugs and lazy cleanliness of albergues then its harder to stomach but im almost certain even the worst of albergues today are far superior to those of a hundred years ago.

We are all living in a modern world yet some seek and find simplicity on the Camino that truly helps one to regress and to apreciate all that is good and important. Without the bad the good just aint up to much! :)
 

annakappa

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Part frances jun 07/rest frances may- jun 2008/Frances sept-oct 2009/ Sanabres Oct 2010/Frances sept-oct 2011/Aragones Sept-Oct 2012. Hospitalero Sept 2010, Amiga in Pilgrim's Office Oct 2013. Part Primitivo Oct 2013. Portugues from Porto June 2015.
gregdedman said:
even the worst of albergues today are far superior to those of a hundred years ago.

When we were hospitaleros in Guacelmo, I took the advantage of going through their library and found a book relating to the Pilgrimages of the past. In one case apparently, a hospitalero was proud that he kept a very clean albergue, because he changed the straw on the floor serving as mattresses once a year! Anne
 
The railroad albergue in Fromista - really really dirty, expensive, and we had no control over the lights, they jut randomly went on and off. And when we went to the bar next door we got hit on my drunk old men. Not fun.

After that, Espiritu Santu in Carrion was pure bliss! So tranquil and well-kept... single beds...
 
Camino(s) past & future
.
yeah, I think we have to be careful with this one, as conditions and hospitaleros can change a lot and it's not then fair to saddle an albergue with a bad reputation on the basis of one or two strong comments here.
Ultimately I think that if you get out the next morning with your bag and body intact, it ain't so bad. I've found the first 2 stages from SdC to Finisterre quite challenging (perhaps partly because it was raining hard most of the time). Negreira is unstaffed overnight. First time there was an odd, disturbing atmosphere with just a couple of other non-communicative people lurking there. Second time, a nasty gang who shouted drank and smoked their way through til 4/5am. Having complained two years ago about the problem with mice at Olveiroa, I didn't expect to see them again, but there they were (admittedly in fewer numbers) munching their way through people's goodies in their packs. But having said that, one guy we walked with looked at the place and decided to stay in the private pension nearby. Next morning he was covered in bed bug bites, so ultimately I was grateful for the albergue, mice and all...

On the flip side, i) Najera was fine and welcoming when we stayed there a few years ago ii)The English CSJ guide to VdlP had an update which says the refugio at Canaveral 'continues to have negative reports'. We braced ourselves for who-knows-what and found it to be quite pleasant
 

Sharni

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances: April/May 2011
Camino Norte/Vadiniense/Frances: April/May 2013
Camino Frances: April/May 2016
Maybe we were lucky, but I am in transit now on my way home after walking SJPdP to Santiago and we didn't get any bedbugs at all. We stayed in Albergues only, private, municipal and others and some of the mattresses were pretty grotty but no bed bugs (for which I am extremely grateful) :)
 

OldDad

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances May 2011
falcon269 said:
Manjarin.

Just having coffee gave me the creeps.
Hey. I stopped there and their beer was nice and cold. Got me over the hump.
 

Chori

New Member
Our group stayed at the Aitzenea Albergue in Triacastela, Lugo, this past weekend. I would very much recommend that everyone avoid it if possible. Prior to our trip, I looked up albergues on-line and found a site that had photos of this albergue and many positive reviews (30 out 32 reviews were positive). One of the two negative comments stated that there were bedbugs. The photos on the site showed that the albergue was in an old (200 year-old) building, however, they are taken to show everything in the "best" possible light. It is old and has not been remodeled except for the bathrooms. Old building "charm" only goes so far. Let me tell you what our group experienced. We had our own room because there were 13 of us. At 2:30 am. the woman in the bunk bed next to mine started shouting that a mouse had crawled across her head! That awoke all of us and we were all upset. A man from our group showed us his arm that had been itching him and it was absolutely covered with bites. He got his belongings and walked out of the albergue (despite the lock-up). I couldn't sleep and went to the ladie's room. Another mouse ran in between my legs in the bathroom stall! We couldn't wait to get out of there. Upon rising, one of the other women in our group found a huge tick on the back of her pajama top. It turns out three of our group were bitten by ticks and fleas. One gentleman had to go to the doctor for shots and medication for the bites he had all over his body. I hope this post will help others to avoid this fate.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route. 2018 was Camino #14
I will never again stay at Hornillos or San Javier in Astorga, unless somebody took them over, fumigated them , and cleaned them up. Both are bedbug heaven, in my opinion, and in dire need of adoption. Nearly every person I met on my 2009 Camino who had bedbug bites had stayed in either Hornillos or San Javier. I think the little priest at Hornillos is simply overwhelmed and it's a shame because it could be a lovely stop. The folks at San Javier, however, are apathetic... they just shrugged and handed me my money back when I told them about the bedbugs. They knew, and did nothing... It made me sad, because in 2006, I had a wonderful time there.

Which leads me to agree with the person who said we need to be careful. The conditions change year to year, season to season, hospitalero to hospitalero...
 
Santa Irene was not a good place for me in the state I arrived. It was a long rainy day of over 30km with a 2 hour forced break while we waited in the middle of a forest for a drunken pilgrim to be picked up by an ambulance. Well, I guess you can imagine that it wasnt one of my better days :)

Arriving in Santa Irene to the noisiest albergue I ever stayed in and to no hot water (or no water at all for half of the time) wasnt really what I hoped for. Also there was no shop or bar in the village whatsoever (no prob for me as I had food) but a fair few people were stuck without having a decent dinner.

Obviously that all wouldnt have been so bad without the rain and the long walk but for me it was the one place where I wouldnt stay again.
 

PadreQ

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances Sept Oct 2011, de Astorga 2015
Primitivo Oct 2013
Lebaniego & Ingles Sept (2017)
I am in Villafranca Montes de Oca at the albergue connected to the hotel. So far, very nice. The one I wish I had missed was Ceruena Virgen de Guadalupe. Overpriced at 13 + 7 for dinner. Not at all good value for money. Pedro is creepy and my bed had a hump in the middle. Not too comfy!
 

jujuaway

Member
I just passed thru Estella a week ago. The municipal albergue is discusting. It was filthy and over- crowded. I couldn't even sit up in the bed. The bunk above was so low- such a pity as it a lovely little town and the experience left a bad impression on me.
Two new friends actuall left during the night as the room they were in had few windows and was boiling hot.
My traveling companion now has bed bug bites
and we are of course thinking they came from there.
Since then we are co shying a German guide that actually rates each albergue - never again!!!
Overall the allergies have been fab- currently having a lay day in Burgos- hence having time to respond.
Regards juju
 

sulu

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Ronces-SdC (03-04/10);Oporto-SdC (10/2011); VdlP via Portugal 03/04 2012/2013;Part Invierno 2012; Toulouse to Sarrance 2012; Ingles to Muxia June 2013 Cami Catala and Aragones 2014; El Salvador & Primitivo 2014; Camino de Madrid 2016; Levante 2015,2017
I would avoid the albergue in Calzadilla de los Hermanillas, it was dirty and the key holder was most unwelcoming. Having said that a friend of mine was there during summer and said that it was the best she stayed at. There seems to be one or two that have different accommodation in winter to summer. In fact I had a great night at that albergue, once I'd cleaned it, because the company was so good. My best experiences had to do with the company not the state of the albergue.
My worst experience was in Vilar de Mazarife,the albergue was fine but we ate in total silence, everyone else was German speaking and one family took up one side of the table and did not speak to each other nor to anyone else.
I hasten to add that my very pleasant company in Calzadilla was also German.
I wouldn't do the walk through Calzadilla again though, just in case!
 

Tulle

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
1999 Burgos-SDC, 2003 Leon-SDC, 2007-2012 Le Puy-SDC, 2014 Burgos-Covarrubias, Camino Ingles 3 times
PadreQ said:
I am in Villafranca Montes de Oca at the albergue connected to the hotel. So far, very nice. The one I wish I had missed was Ceruena Virgen de Guadalupe. Overpriced at 13 + 7 for dinner. Not at all good value for money. Pedro is creepy and my bed had a hump in the middle. Not too comfy!
W e stayed at Pedro's last year. Perhaps it was a bit overpriced and the kitchen was not very clean, but the food was good and plentiful. The house was very special, and so was Pedro. It was a place I will remember. I can't understand that you found Pedro creepy, and I don't think it is nice to use his name in the forum.
 

nreyn12

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Walked (2005) (2007) (2008) (2009) (2010) (2011) (2012) (2013) (2014) (2015); Guide leading groups 2013-present
Hi all,
I am just back from a month on the Camino Frances and wanted to add a couple to this list. The funny thing is, though, that none of them were actually bad - they just weren't as good as so many of the others I stayed in.

To skip:

Sansol: after Los Arcos; walk on to Torres del Rio instead, and stay at Casa Mari.

Viana, Andres Munoz: this is the one with the three-high bunk beds. Luckily I had the bottom bunk, but I couldn't work out how I'd have gotten in or out of the upper two, if I'd had to. In general the place felt dirty, and the terrace overlooking Logrono was closed off.

Terradillos de los Templarios, Jacques de Molay: supposedly 20+ years serving pilgrims, maybe time for a break. They advertised beds (as opposed to bunk beds) on the signs coming into town, but that accounted for only a small percentage of their beds. The rest are, in fact, bunk beds in over-crowded dorm rooms, with open ceilings between the rooms so you hear the snorers from all the rooms, not just yours. And the food was disappointing.

Eirexe: very dirty showers; the very overcrowded dorm room had 18 beds and four wall heaters, all of which got turned on.

The happy news is that a night shared with a group of your favorite pilgrim friends can over-ride inferior facilities.

Nancy
 

renegadepilgrim

Veteran Pilgrim and Traveler
Camino(s) past & future
2010: Camino Frances, 2011: Santo Domingo de la Calzada (Hospitalera), 2012: Camino Portuguese from Porto, 2015: Camino Norte
After serving two weeks in Sto Domingo de la Calzada, the one albergue pilgrims seemed to have the most trouble with was the municipal in Logrono. The hospitalero there was known to throw people's packs and boots out of the albergue after 8a...this was reported by numerous pilgrims to three different hospitaleras in three different towns, so I am wagering a guess the information was accurate. I am not sure if they use permanent hospitaleros there, but if this is the case, I would avoid this albergue. Also, there have been reports in the past two weeks of bed bugs there, as well. I had a negative experience there last year as a pilgrim, so when I walk the Frances again, I will be walking through or staying somewhere else....
 
I have never stayed at the municipal albergue in Logrono, even though I've been there three times. :) Each time I got there, it was already full! A shame to hear that the hospitalero was acting that way. It isn't as though that albergue is the only game in town. The church further down has/had a small albergue in its parish hall, where I stayed once & liked it (except for having to sleep on the floor). The other times, I stayed in a pensione & also the Hotel Portales. If bad news continues to be reported about the main albergue in Logrono, I would suggest people budget accordingly for a pensione or a hotel.

Kelly
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Just reading some of the recent posts brought back some memories of the municipal albergue in Eirexe. I stayed there on my first camino in 2000 and it was almost unspeakably unhygenic. But the piece de resistance was the house next door, where the lady of the house (and her totally enebriated husband) prepared meals for pilgrims because there wasn't anyplace in town to eat (how that has changed!).

Does anyone remember this house -- there were ostriches or some similar bird-like large animal out back, the kitchen looked like nothing had been washed in years, with junk, food, dirty pots and pans stacked everywhere? The amazing thing is that we all ate the meal, survived it, and actually had a very fun evening.
 

GunnarW

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2011), Del Salvador (2013), every year a part starting from the border of NL/B close to Antwerpen
"LA TORRE" - ARCAHUEJA (8km before LEON). Wrong attitude of the guy (bar tender) with bed bugs. I could separate a bed bug in a plastic bag and the guy was saying that it was only one bug, you don't have to worry, my place is desinfected, I have certificates,....

Some orange flags.
Santo Domingo de la Calzada - Casa del Santo: too many beds - almost no space to move - in a room for such a modern albergue. My suggestion: remove the TV area and make a new room with 2 beds you remove from each room.

Burgos - Municipal:
3th floor: much free space (you can easily place some beds close to the wall opposite the bathroom facilities) and almost all beds have a private locker.
5th floor: almost no free space and even no place to put your things.
Why such a difference?
 

kkcamino

New Member
I have submitted this elsewhere, but I thought I would repost to echo the opinion expressed by FatmaG

Let me add to your list of not recommended.

8.6 km past O’Cebreiro is Alto do Poio. If you cross the road to the Hostal Santa Maria do Poio, you will come across the rudest, and obviously the most unhappy bar owner in Spain. After almost four weeks on the Camino, it was my first really unpleasant experience. If I’d walked only 3.5 km more, there is a beautiful new albergue in Fonfria.
 

anniethenurse

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances.Vasco del Interior.Camino Finisterre& Muxia. Camino Portugues. Ruta del Ebro.
ok guys which one of the two albergues in Rabe de las Calzadas I should avoid? Still the same owner?
annie
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
The newer one gets the better reviews:

Los Albergues: Albergue Liberanos Domine
Dirección: Plaza Francisco Riberas, 10
Localidad: Rabé de las Calzadas
Teléfono de contacto: 695 11 69 01

The older one operates a museum:

Óspital albergue de peregrinos Sta. Marina y Santiago
Municipio: Rabé de las Calzadas - (Burgos)
Descripción: Óspital, como en la antigüedad.
Dirección: Al lado de la Iglesia -Plaza Francisco Ribera 6

The competition between the two is vicious.
 

anniethenurse

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances.Vasco del Interior.Camino Finisterre& Muxia. Camino Portugues. Ruta del Ebro.
Thanks mr falcon - I have heard the stories but had never figured out which one was the one owned by the lady with the rules!
annie!
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
Albergue Putzu at the entry to Boadilla del Camino.
I hesitate to name places on boards like these, as sometimes innkeepers have "off" days and bad moods, and I have myself occasionally put the "hostile" in "hospitality." But I live a couple of days down the trail from this place, and have heard some truly hair-raising tales about the guy who runs it: He is an abusive drunk, he is completely motivated by money, he harrasses young woman pilgrims, he does not keep the place clean, he charges different prices according to nationality... you name it. He threw me out of the place one afternoon because I was just having a drink, not signing on for a room for the night. NOT recommended.

I am sad to say the Jacque deMolay albergue in Terradillos, too, is slipping in the rankings. We know the people who run it, they have had a string of deaths in their family lately. But that´s no excuse for some of the behavior we´ve been hearing about.
 

Carole

Member
I just got back a month ago from walking the Camino from SJPP to Finisterre and I would have to say that all of the alberques were fine. The difficulty often with the alberques was the unnecessary noise generated by the pilgrims - disregarding posting saying no phones, silence and no loud alarms clocks in the dorms. They should also include no bright headlamps in the dorms but I doubt it would make much difference. Somewhere after Logrono I started to stayed in more private alberques than municipal ones because of the hot weather the bedbugs became a challenge for me.

I did stay at La Virgen de Guadalupe but unlike the other pilgrim that commented I enjoyed my stay there. It was very clean and Pedro did have issues with pilgrims that would go upstairs to the dorm room in their muddy boots. Because of bedbugs he insisted we place our backpacks on the chairs in our room (four beds per room) which was fine with me. He also insisted that we rest and he did not want people leaving before breakfast so the charge of breakfast was included - hence 13 for board and breakfast. I loved the home cooked food he served. I found the cost reasonable. Because of the heat wave when I was there (around 42C) he served breakfast at 6am instead of 7am. Pedro is a character but for me he was a lovable one. What I love most about Spain is its quirkiness and La Virgen de Guadalupe is a gem.
 

annelise

Active Member
La Virgen de Guadalupe: Interesting place … For me it inspired a very long entry in my journal. This is certainly one of the albergues which I will always remember; other albergues may become more blurred eventually.

Incidentally, I had a look in the guestbook and expressions such as 'interesting', 'special' and 'besondere' abounded.

And I do not think that it was because of the heat wave you were awakened at 6 am. Mid May – cloudy and rainy day – we were much to our surprise rather brusquely ordered to get up and get ready at 6 am.

But glad you enjoyed your stay, Carole. Also, I would not advise against staying there. It was one of those special camino experiences!

I wonder whether the lively bird in the cage hoisted up under the ceiling of the combined small kitchen/dining area is still spreading 'whatever a bird spreads' over the kitchen?
 
M

mikevasey

Guest
Rebekah Scott said:
Albergue Putzu at the entry to Boadilla del Camino.
I hesitate to name places on boards like these, as sometimes innkeepers have "off" days and bad moods, and I have myself occasionally put the "hostile" in "hospitality." But I live a couple of days down the trail from this place, and have heard some truly hair-raising tales about the guy who runs it: He is an abusive drunk, he is completely motivated by money, he harrasses young woman pilgrims, he does not keep the place clean, he charges different prices according to nationality... you name it. He threw me out of the place one afternoon because I was just having a drink, not signing on for a room for the night. NOT recommended.
The 'welcoming' Serafin, hes either your cup of tea or not, see this thread on Eroski to see how people are polarised by himhttp://www.caminodesantiago.consumer.es/albergue-putzu,

I stayed here last November, it is for me one of those examples of where something looked at in isolation could be described as a negative experience, but from it I was told about a place on the San Xil route into Sarria which led to a special meeting for me.

Thankfully when i was here Serafin locked himself away in his room and left us with his helper Lucas, a really nice guy who had walked from Prague, he ended up here when he started walking back.
 

annakappa

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Part frances jun 07/rest frances may- jun 2008/Frances sept-oct 2009/ Sanabres Oct 2010/Frances sept-oct 2011/Aragones Sept-Oct 2012. Hospitalero Sept 2010, Amiga in Pilgrim's Office Oct 2013. Part Primitivo Oct 2013. Portugues from Porto June 2015.
Tulle said:
PadreQ said:
I am in Villafranca Montes de Oca at the albergue connected to the hotel. So far, very nice. The one I wish I had missed was Ceruena Virgen de Guadalupe. Overpriced at 13 + 7 for dinner. Not at all good value for money. Pedro is creepy and my bed had a hump in the middle. Not too comfy!
W e stayed at Pedro's last year. Perhaps it was a bit overpriced and the kitchen was not very clean, but the food was good and plentiful. The house was very special, and so was Pedro. It was a place I will remember. I can't understand that you found Pedro creepy, and I don't think it is nice to use his name in the forum.
We stayed in La Virgen de Guadalupe in 2009. It was like an oasis in the desert for us! We had decided to walk on from Azofra in the afternoon, when it was far too hot. At the entrance to the "phantom" housing estate, we saw a sign for this unexpected albergue in Cirueña (I didn't have anything on my list for this village). We liked the old house, found Pedro very, very welcoming, enjoyed our communal dinner there, went to the prayer service in the church that Pedro organised, had a good night's sleep and set off the next morning after breakfast, thoroughly refreshed and thanking our lucky stars that we hadn't had to walk as far as Sto. Domingo that late afternoon! La Virgen de Guadalupe was added to my list of positive "places to stay". Anne
 

Corina

New Member
I actually had a good experience in Najera- I was very sick and the hospitaleros were wonderful. I couldn't breathe properly so they gave me a bottom bunk and an extra pillow (it's hard to breathe when you're flat). The showers were cold but it was late. It certainly wasn't the worst.
We received a flat, angry response from San Saturnino in town before Najera.
Viana- Andre Munoz- triple bunks and beds that continue to make noise even when you're completely still.
The convent at Santo Domingo was a bit grim- no ladders to the top bunks and a shouting from a nun.
Logrono- so cramped that you had to take your backpack off and pass between the beds sideways.
It's surprising that so many of the best albergues are so lacking in what you would expect to be the best things. I think the best times we had were in the simplest albergues. In Sahagun we were greeted with a glass of cold water while we signed in- I nearly cried.
 

fraluchi

RIP 2019
Camino(s) past & future
One every year since 2007
Corina said:
It's surprising that so many of the best albergues are so lacking in what you would expect to be the best things. I think the best times we had were in the simplest albergues.
Our experiences and remarks of appreciation and/or complaint to owners or hospitaleros, at the over 80 albergues where we could stay during our 3 "caminos" from Roncesvalles to Santiago de Compostela (2008, 2009, 2011), were invariably related to the balance between owner/hospitalero attitude, available amenities, and our physical/mental state.
In several albergues we enjoyed amenity improvements as opposed to others which were run down, in others the previous hospitaleros were friendlier (and efficient) than later ones, or the other way 'round, and when we arrived worn out at an albergue, we rated the "available bed" as being the most important.
Commenting upon "worst" or "best" albergues is like writing to Tripadvisor in the hospitality industry. A "rating" needs various factors, where the combination of each and all of them are weighted and fairly expressed. I have a problem in stating which was the "worst" albergue, when and why.
 

annakappa

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Part frances jun 07/rest frances may- jun 2008/Frances sept-oct 2009/ Sanabres Oct 2010/Frances sept-oct 2011/Aragones Sept-Oct 2012. Hospitalero Sept 2010, Amiga in Pilgrim's Office Oct 2013. Part Primitivo Oct 2013. Portugues from Porto June 2015.
Municipal in Hornillos. That is the only one that I purposely avoided this year, even although it means a very long day's walk to reach Hontanas. Astorga: well I wouldn't stay at S. Javier again, even although when we did, I knew of their bed bug problems, fortunately they didn't bite us. However, having served as hospitalero in Rababal (one day's walk from Astoga), we treated many people with bed bug bites, having slept the night before at S. Javier. That was in 2010, but when walking again this year, we heard the same story regarding S. Javier. Anne
 
Well, I kinda have a grudge against the municipal albergue in Hontanas for giving me bedbugs, and the railway albergue in Fromista was horrible (dirty, no control over lights and being harassed by men in the bar next door) but other than that, I really think it depends on the hospitalero/a and what sort of mood you're in. I was grateful for every night that I slept with a roof over my head. :)

Though one would possibly want to avoid Ave Fenix in Villafranca del Bierzo in a snowy December... even though the water was the hottest ever, the showers were pretty much open air and the dorms not much warmer! :p

Oh, and once (in Santo Domingo) the hospitalero was so nasty he wouldn't even let my friend put her second shoe on before chasing her out the door, because it was ten to eight in the morning. Which we laughed about later on.
 

tastrom

Passionate long distance walker
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP - SdC (9-10/2011), SJPP - SdC (4-5/2013), Sevilla - SdC (9-10/2014
Last year I stayed in Albergue Ave Fenix in Villafranca del Bierzo. I usually start very early. This morning I wanted to get started 06:30, but I couldn't get out. I tried all doors, but I was completly loocked in. The doors were opened at 07:00. Considering that this Albergue has had a fire some years ago I feel this is a safety issue. I don't think this is in accordance with local building regulations.
 

wayfarer

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP-Santiago-Finistera-Muxia. April/May 2012
Sarria-Santiago Sept. 2013
SJPP - Almost Orrison April 2014
Where else!! The Virgin of Guadalupe in Ciruena. The reasons are covered in another thread. :) :)
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
Albergue Ave Fenix in Villafranca del Bierzo
They had some major renovation going on this spring, so the problems may be solved. Their view is gone, however, because of new construction. Sunset on their veranda was quite beautiful.
 

rubyslippers

Ruby Slippers
Camino(s) past & future
April-May (2008) September (2012)
annakappa said:
Municipal in Hornillos. That is the only one that I purposely avoided this year, even although it means a very long day's walk to reach Hontanas. Astorga: well I wouldn't stay at S. Javier again, even although when we did, I knew of their bed bug problems, fortunately they didn't bite us. However, having served as hospitalero in Rababal (one day's walk from Astoga), we treated many people with bed bug bites, having slept the night before at S. Javier. That was in 2010, but when walking again this year, we heard the same story regarding S. Javier. Anne
Being a retired flight attendant this is one thing that concerns me about hiking this year. I never experienced Bed Bugs, but I see the problems they create. I know how to check hotel rooms, but not sure about albergues. I have sprayed my bag/liner/sleeping bag/hat etc with Premethrin. Do you think this will help? I hiked in SPRING last time May. This time Sept/Oct. Any ideas?

Thanks Anne
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
The permethrin has worked for me for total bed bug protection -- no bites in ten caminos. Having walked in spring and fall, fall has more bed bugs. They have had all summer to breed and be moved along the pilgrimage by the pilgrim masses. It is OK to watch for them, but I recommend that you do not let worry about them ruin your experience. Unless you are allergic, a bite is a very minor annoyance. A bit more annoying is treating your equipment when you get home, but I do that regardless of whether I have seen a bed bug or not!
 

rubyslippers

Ruby Slippers
Camino(s) past & future
April-May (2008) September (2012)
falcon269 said:
The permethrin has worked for me for total bed bug protection -- no bites in ten caminos. Having walked in spring and fall, fall has more bed bugs. They have had all summer to breed and be moved along the pilgrimage by the pilgrim masses. It is OK to watch for them, but I recommend that you do not let worry about them ruin your experience. Unless you are allergic, a bite is a very minor annoyance. A bit more annoying is treating your equipment when you get home, but I do that regardless of whether I have seen a bed bug or not!
thanks so much. I kinda figured the reason I hadn't seen one last time is because I traveled in the spring. I've had friends (FA) who bring them home and their houses get infested and it is tough to get rid of them later. I'll stick with the Premethrin1 :) Someone also suggested slipping your bag into a garbage bag before you set it down on the floor. thought that was a good idea too.
 

FrancesK

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (April/May 2012); Le puy (Sept 2013)
CaminoJohn said:
dougfitz said:
I would avoid Albergue de Ribadiso da Baixo were I to walk again...as he stumbled around trying to find his way to the toilet, left the dormitory door open and could then clearly be heard vomiting. His return journey half an hour later was only a little less disruptive.

Ha! I stayed here while there was a vomiting pilgrim as well!
I may have been a vomiting pilgrim...no, im joking!! I loved this albergue though, I would go out of my way to stay here again.

The one i would avoid would have to be Ave Fenix in Villafranca. Don't be fooled by the 'history' of the owner. The place was dirty, the hospitalerios drunk at time of checking in (and i was stopping early on this day!) and i got bed bugs. I would avoid this place like the plague.
 

agnesczaj

Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP - SdC - Finisterre (Fall 2012)

Future:
Via de la Plata
Primitivo
Mozarabe
WolverineDG said:
Portia1 said:
I did not actually stay in her alberque in Rabe de las Calzadas but I was harranged by the woman running the Albergue there after she found out I was staying at the Liberamous Domine Alberque. She yelled at me and stomped her feet complaining that pilgrims were obligated to stay in the municiple. She yelled after me all the way down the street. I had been warned about her before but encountering her in the flesh was ENOUGH! There are a lot of stories of her poor treatment of pilgrims and my stay at the other Alberque was delightful--very clean, nice young couple and good dinner (albeit with no wine available).
I'm so glad I was one of the first to stay at the Liberamous albergue & put a dent in that woman's business. :mrgreen: I wasn't too enthusiastic about staying in Hornillos again, so having the option to stay in Rabanal was great. The place was great & the food good. :) I did walk a bit with someone who stayed at that woman's place & he said he liked it, so different strokes for different folks, I guess.

Kelly
Can someone help me locate Liberamous Domine Albuquerque on the map please?
 
Camino(s) past & future
Many
This is an excellent thread. It also happens to reinforce my own personal belief that the hospitalero makes the albergue... mostly.

Many of the albergues on this list were also memorable for me in all of the wrong ways, but others were quite the other way around. The Najera Municipal for example was nice and cool on a hot day, and with the help of some ear plugs provided the peace I needed. The private albergue there on the other hand is consistent in it's ability to disappoint. O'Cebreiro is and will always be full of scout groups and taxigrinos. Ribadiso was an excellent place to put down the tent in a protected area. Monjarin is Monjarin, and while I personally never felt comfortable staying there, the soup that Thomas provided one evening got me through a particularly grueling Astorga to Ponferrada etapa.

Calzadilla is a tough call, as it is clearly a well placed end of stage. From what I can gather the owners of the bar across the street have taken over operations, so perhaps it will get better.

Putzu, well let's just say that everything you hear about Serafin is pretty accurate. My biggest complaint with the place is that he only opens the doors when the mood suits him, making it difficult for pilgrims to depend on.

But the albergue that caught my attention in the thread was the one in Rabe. That town, sort of like Castrojeriz, has always made me oddly uncomfortable. The same could also be said of Los Arcos. Something of a generations old rivalry that runs through every interaction. I have followed locals down the Calle Oriente in Castrojeriz for example and noticed that they only greeted every other person they passed. But back to Rabe; I had a chat with the hospitalera in Liberanos last month while fact checking for the app, and she mentioned that the owner of the other albergue had passed away. Pilgrims passing that way now have only one option.

To all of this I would add one observation, and wonder if others have noticed the same. While visiting albergues for the app this summer the one thing I noticed more than ever was that they almost always seemed more exhausted than ever before. Perhaps the work of being a full time hospitalero has caught up to the many of the private albergue owners, perhaps it is the crunch of the Spanish economy which has brought ever more pilgrims with ever less money. Perhaps it is the addition of so much competition in an already competitive market. I don't know for certain, but it is worth keeping in mind that they too are part of the human structure of the camino, and deserve an equal portion of the kindness that we share with one another. It is not an easy job to sustain when things get tough.
That said, I am still looking for an angel investor to help realize my dream of moving the family out of Iceland and into Galicia. :)
 

MoniRose

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
(5/28-7/4, 2012) Camino Frances - SJPP to Santiago
(7/22-8/2, 2013) Camino Finesterra
(?) Camino Le Puy
When I walked into the albergue in Santibanez I had a bad feeling. It was the only night in 40 that I did not shower. Also, I got sick to my stomach that night and had to bus to Astorga the next morning. I don't know what it was, just a bad, bad feeling. It was the "town that time forgot" - NO services, the one cafe closed for the day at 2:00pm, and the mass was only 10 MINUTES!!! Very oppressive!!

I thought it was just me, but several days later talked with two other people who had stayed there on a different night than me and they felt the same.

In fairness, I do have to say the gentleman who ran it made me some hot tea in the morning and let me stay in bed until 9:30 (remember, I got sick) but he really didn't have a choice as it took the taxi two hours to get there! I thought I would NEVER get out of that town.

The best - Carrion de los Condes, behind the church of Santa Maria run by the nuns. AMAZING!!!
- M :arrow:
 

MoniRose

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
(5/28-7/4, 2012) Camino Frances - SJPP to Santiago
(7/22-8/2, 2013) Camino Finesterra
(?) Camino Le Puy
Another I loved - St. Nicolas, right next to the road after climbing out of Castrojeriz. Nice shower/restroom facility in the back, but the albergue slept only 12 (we only had 8 stay the night) and had no electricity - dinner and breakfast by candlelight. The two gentlemen who ran it, and the gardener, were lovely and the place seemed to just enfold me when I first entered it. I arrived there at 9:30am and didn't want to leave, so I didn't! - M :arrow:
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
There are three albergues in Mazarife. In which one did you have a problem? Thanks.
 

RENSHAW

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2003 CF Roncesvalles to Santiago
2/4 weeks every year on CF reaching Burgos or Leon. Hospitalero San Anton June 2016.
falcon269 said:
Manjarin.

Just having coffee gave me the creeps.
Hey Falcon , This was close to top of my list of what I wanted to experiece on the Camino Fances , back in late October 2003 -- he he , yes it was wierd - there was a foot of snow , no toilets , no runing water - it was gloomy inside with half a dozen 'failed shepherds' that had nothing to do with the camino, hanging on - Old gamon hocks , stale bread and an eccentric man in fancy dress ................. but , you missed out bud - This was one of my highlights - Those of us that did stay were fed , there was vino as well and we slept snug......with about 5 extra blankets each - what a night - the type you tell those wide eyed grandchildren about - sorry about your creeps ........in fact , I would even consider being hospitalero there , honest....... one mans bread ..hehe. :mrgreen:
 

jcy

New Member
Villadangos del Paramo municipal hostel appears to have a bed bug infestation. I checked in there today and saw a bed bug on the bed right away. My friends and I checked a few mattresses and they were all spotted with bedbug droppings. Since the hospitalera was out for the afternoon we just left and stayed in the hostal nearby.
 

Caminobd

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Walked Camino Francis, Saint Jean to Santiago, 2012 & Pamplona to Santiago 2014
I second Anniesantiagos vote on hornillos. A couple of days after staying there I discovered what happens to me when bed bugs bite. I am one of the minority that reacts. My youngest daughter as well reacted. I was pretty unhappy for a little while. We washed all our clothes at the first opportunity and we bought black garbage bags, put our packs in them and left them in the hot meseta sun all afternoon. So far we haven't experienced any further problems.

Also, the woman who worked in the bar down the street snapped at my daughter who was just needing to get some food, which scared her and caused her to cry. I completely understand what it must be like for workers who are always having to deal with the needs of hundreds of pilgrims in the hot summer months but I did feel bad for my kid who is always kind and caring of the feelings of others. On the upside, the church was a pleasure to sit in during the hot afternoon heat.

Kelly
 

elzi

Active Member
I think so much of your albergue experience depends of how you feel on the day day and who you are there with. You can have a great night in a horrible albergue or a miserable evening in the most beautiful place dependent on mood and circumstance...

That said, I´m confused by the post above about the hospitalera in the Rabe de las Calzadas passing away. From what I understand from talking to other pilgrims (I just arrived in Santiago yesterday) she was still harassing unfortunate people only a couple of weeks ago! I heard she was threatening to steal credencials if they didn´t follow her "rules" - mostly a complex set of scary conditions related to bedbugs. I realise there are mixed opinions on her but from my own terrible experience with her I would avoid avoiding staying there at all costs!!!!

Also yes, Hornillos is not great, pretty dirty, but I´ve stayed there twice, and last time a lovely man gave me some lettuce form his allotment nearby... it´s all good in the end!
 

scruffy1

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Holy Year from Pamplona 2010, SJPP 2011, Lisbon 2012, Le Puy 2013, Vezelay (partial watch this space!) 2014; 2015 Toulouse-Puenta la Reina (Arles)
Os Chacotes, the so-called Pilgrims Pavilion-huge barn-like dormitories, jam packed with beds, piles of boots in the stairway, no place normal to eat and constant noise until 2200, snoring echoing off the walls until 0430 when the first have given up trying to sleep and leave waking up everyone else and the noise begins again. I repeat myself but any port ina storm? I woiuld rather sleep outside in the rain!
S
 

BoldenMD

Member
I absolutely hated the municipal in Hontanas. I was in a top bunk, which had no railings of any sort (the ladder didn't either), and I actually hurt my elbow trying to get down in the middle of the night (and also ended up half-falling and accidentally turning on the light in my dorm on my way down (sorry, folks). The bathrooms were decrepit, too. It was after that that I made finding a room or a great albergue a serious priority. I stayed in top bunks in other places, such as Roncesvalles and Agés, and they were generally fine, but the experience in Hontanas was just generally awful. I will admit that my experience may also be colored by the fact that it was the end of a very long day for me (around 36 kilometers, so I was tired). Let me add that I had a great experience at the restaurant in the municipal in Agés. The food was good and the communal atmosphere was just great, especially hanging out back with the other pilgrims.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francès (SJPDP - Santiago) - Summer 2012 / Camino Aragones (Lourdes to Finisterre) - Fall 2013
I think you have to take in account that everyone has a different experience in every albergue, since hospitaleros keep changing. For example, I had a really good time in the municipal albergue in Najéra, because the hospitalero's were lovely! They had put down plates of fruit and had cold lemonade for us.

Personally, I didn't really like the albergue in Hornillos del Camino either, because the beds looked awfully dirty. I probably got my bedbugs there. The town isn't that exciting as well, though we did meet some nice pilgrims there. The 'worst' albergues were on the meseta, in my opinion. But I can tell you, when you've walked miles in the blazing heat, anything that looks like a bed looks good. Don't worry too much about bedbugs, having them is not the end of the world.
 

jennysa

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino F 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 C Aragones 2012, 2017 2018 Via Francigena 2016 & 17 Primitivo 2018
The private albergue at Fromista, not because of the facilities but because of the most unwelcoming attitude of the owners. When I was there in October, a pilgrim walked out after paying because she felt so unwelcome. Large signs everywhere announcing all the things that pilgrims cannot do and they make no effort to assist in any way.
 

rickster

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012), LePuy (2013), Coastal Portuguese( 2013), Norte (Fall 2014)
The albergue in Larrasoana. I was in the overflow building downstairs, top bunk, next to restrooms. Upstairs wasn't much better. In fact, I would recommend skipping Larrasoana all together, especially on Sundays, when nothing is open and it is difficult to find somewhere to eat.
 

colinPeter

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP-SDC (2009) Somport-Jaca, Burgos-SDC, Cee-Muxia (2012) Le Puy - Aumont-Aubrac (2014) SJPP-SDC (Oct 2015)
Rebekah Scott said:
Albergue Putzu at the entry to Boadilla del Camino.
.....have heard some truly hair-raising tales about the guy who runs it:
The Rother Guide gives it "3 shells". I guess they haven't met the guy who runs it. He basically yelled at my wife & I to go and find the "Hotel" up the road, although the place seemed empty.
Two married german girls who we walked with for sometime, tried a little later. They said he seemed to "check them out" then told them he was full. I spoke to a local who told me that it was reported that only a select few were admitted if he thought they would "party" that night.
Don't know why anyone would stay there, the Albergue up the road (en el Camino) has been a highlite the two times we've stayed there.
 

RENSHAW

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2003 CF Roncesvalles to Santiago
2/4 weeks every year on CF reaching Burgos or Leon. Hospitalero San Anton June 2016.
colinPeter said:
Don't know why anyone would stay there, the Albergue up the road (en el Camino) has been a highlite the two times we've stayed there.
Sure is! And you can always have a 'Party' there , within reason of course. :mrgreen:
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
Sure is! And you can always have a 'Party' there, within reason of course
Eduardo had to help a Swiss girl to her bed in the middle of dinner because she ignored the "within reason" part. :D
 
W

whariwharangi

Guest
Albergue Lua in Negreira (Camino Finisterre). The assistant hospitelero had a Pitbull that was barking anytime someone came to the door. The hospitelero was just getting up (4PM) after a night of drinking and had to be reminded to go outside to smoke (the odour of smoke lay heavy in the albergue). The bathroom was dirty (had not been cleaned) No hot water (apparently accidently shut off during the drunken party the night before). Between the dog, the television, and the loud conversations between the hospitelero and his buddies, there was no peace to be had.

After an hour of this I packed up and moved on a km to the municipal albergue where there was peace, hot clean showers, and other pilgrims to talk to. I did get my money back with apologies from the assistant hospitelero.
 

RENSHAW

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2003 CF Roncesvalles to Santiago
2/4 weeks every year on CF reaching Burgos or Leon. Hospitalero San Anton June 2016.
Late October this year , I was walking in the Maseta and I had decieded that this time , I wanted to avoid the albergue at Poblacion de Campos - I felt it a bit grotty and had been very ill after spending a night there on my last camino.
On passing at noon , I noticed a chariot pram parked outside this albergue - I was intrigued after all the threads about walking with a baby and knocked on the door.
The albergue was officially closed but there was a young german couple in their mid 20s and the chariot was for their dog , a border collie that had been injured in an accident and lost the use of one of it's front legs. The dog was been pushed around like lord muck but throw a stick and watch that dog go - their argument was that the stoney path was tough on the dog's paws - point taken.
The couple had little cash and were helping out at the local Hostal in exchange for lodgings at the Albergue and some food - sure they were given some cash after their 10 day stint as well.
So , I stayed , I stayed in fact for two while days. Two other pilgrims also joined us and I cooked a comunal meal for us all one evening.
The Albergue had a vibe about it , one could come and go as you pleased , sleep when you wanted to - there was a general 'Hippie' atmosphere , much like the old San Bol albergue.
And so , I had a ball , let my hair down , relaxed ........... and I had been hell bent on passing it by.- just goes to show - you never know. :mrgreen:
 
Glad you found the muni at Negreira. I found the atmosphere at the bar there fantastic. The girl working there spoke good English and was very pleasant. All the pils seemed relaxed and happy. Mind you aren't we always after a long slep?
allan
 

danoco

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (May 2013)
I just finished St Jean to Burgos in May 2013. The worst I heard about was San Juan de Ortega. We heard it was very dirty from a couple of Americans who were doing the camino backwards. So we went on to Ages and had a great time in the municipal. We emailed some friends who were a day behind us to avoid San Juan. They didn't get the email and stayed. They also confirmed it was dirty.
 

nc6000

John Lernihan
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, Camino Portugues & Camino Del Norte
I would avoid Larrasoana, when I was there it was a Sunday and there was nowhere to get dinner or even get a coffee. Stopping at Zubiri instead seems to be a better option but doesn't look great either.

The municipal in the converted church in Sahagun looked pretty bad too. I was considering staying there but decided to keep walking it was so bad.
 

Pieces

Veteran Member
I didn't really stay anywhere horrible, but i do agree on avoiding Larrasoana. Shame really, it is a beatifil little village where one can while away by the river, even going for a dip, but the lack of food DOES take away from that experience...
 

flyswatty

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Walked in May 2012 - Burgos to Santiago; Planning to walk in May 2013 - SJPP to Burgos!
nc6000 said:
I would avoid Larrasoana, when I was there it was a Sunday and there was nowhere to get dinner or even get a coffee. Stopping at Zubiri instead seems to be a better option but doesn't look great either.

The municipal in the converted church in Sahagun looked pretty bad too. I was considering staying there but decided to keep walking it was so bad.

I stayed there last year and thought it was fine. Did you actually spend time in the living quarters? I liked the set up of bunks being in groups of 4. The kitchen facilities were good as well.
 

nc6000

John Lernihan
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, Camino Portugues & Camino Del Norte
flyswatty said:
nc6000 said:
I would avoid Larrasoana, when I was there it was a Sunday and there was nowhere to get dinner or even get a coffee. Stopping at Zubiri instead seems to be a better option but doesn't look great either.

The municipal in the converted church in Sahagun looked pretty bad too. I was considering staying there but decided to keep walking it was so bad.

I stayed there last year and thought it was fine. Did you actually spend time in the living quarters? I liked the set up of bunks being in groups of 4. The kitchen facilities were good as well.
No, I didn't spend much time there. I just had a quick look around, there wasn't a hospitalero there and only a couple of pilgrims. Maybe it wasn't as bad as I initially thought.
 

supersullivan

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria-Santiago 2012. SJPP-Santiago-Finisterre-Muxia 2013. Ponferrada-Santiago June 2014. Leon-Santiago-Finisterre September 2014. April-May 2015: SJPP- S de C- Finisterre -Muxia- S de C.
The municipal in Muxia was one I would not return to, even though facilities are good and the place is very clean, it has a totally sterile atmosphere, architect designed to make a statement and that statement did not include any concept that tired, weary human beings would reside overnight, huge expanses of bare concrete walls, most peregrinos decamped as soon as showered and beds were made up to a couple of the seafront cafe/bars where within minutes a true camino atmosphere existed. I arrived on a Sunday and was glad that my Muxiana certificate was available from the hospitalero waiting than having to wait for the council offices to open on Monday but there wasn't even a word said when handed over, a total contrast to the municipal in Finisterre which although comparatively cramped and lacking sufficient showers for its capacity, greeted everyone collecting a Finisterra warmly, offered free hugs :) and a racion of tortilla and was altogether a more human and humane albergue.
Seamus
 

anniethenurse

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances.Vasco del Interior.Camino Finisterre& Muxia. Camino Portugues. Ruta del Ebro.
Actually I don´t like the negative reviews - having a bad experience depends on so many different things. Maybe the hospitalero had a bad day. Anyone can have a bad day. Maybe there were bed bugs that made the stay miserable. Maybe a pilgrim can have a bad day...

Next time a ´bad albergue´can be the best albergue.

What can we expect for €5? If you get a bed and hot shower, somewhere to keep your belongings.

In my country you can get one coffee or one beer for €5.

A bad review maybe closes an albergue.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francès (SJPDP - Santiago) - Summer 2012 / Camino Aragones (Lourdes to Finisterre) - Fall 2013
jpflavin1 said:
The one Albergue I would recommend to avoid is the Municipal in Najera. A large Albergue in a beautiful setting along the river. That being said, They only have a 40 gallon water heater, so cold showers, (probably not so bad in the Summer) but tough in the Spring, and no toilets seats for men or women. The Hospitalero's were also not welcoming. I have four criteria that I believe make a for a good Albergue experience . Hospitalero's, Setting or location, Hot water, and toilet seats. Najera failed on 3. Another persons experience could be different.

Ultreya
Joe
Indeed! I had a lovely experience at the municipal in Najera in June 2012. Very welcoming hospitaleros, one of which was a very aimable Canadian woman. They had made fresh fruits that they put out on plates for the pilgrims to have upon arrival. Lovely people. You are right, the albergue itself wasn't that comfortable. I didn't care about the showers because I went swimming in the municipal pool.

I don't think I've slept in an albergue that I would 'avoid' next time... I'm just going to try not to sleep in the same albergues to make this camino a little different than my last.

Edit: Allright, thinking about it, I would probably avoid the 'albergue' in Monte do Gozo :mrgreen: Not my thing.
 

flyswatty

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Walked in May 2012 - Burgos to Santiago; Planning to walk in May 2013 - SJPP to Burgos!
nc6000 said:
flyswatty said:
nc6000 said:
I would avoid Larrasoana, when I was there it was a Sunday and there was nowhere to get dinner or even get a coffee. Stopping at Zubiri instead seems to be a better option but doesn't look great either.

The municipal in the converted church in Sahagun looked pretty bad too. I was considering staying there but decided to keep walking it was so bad.

I stayed there last year and thought it was fine. Did you actually spend time in the living quarters? I liked the set up of bunks being in groups of 4. The kitchen facilities were good as well.
No, I didn't spend much time there. I just had a quick look around, there wasn't a hospitalero there and only a couple of pilgrims. Maybe it wasn't as bad as I initially thought.
Thanks for responding. It's so interesting to hear the different opinions. There have been other places listed that people panned that I thought were just fine. There are so many factors that can influence us. For me, sometimes the social possibilities, the kindness of the hospitalero or the fatigue of my body might result in me overlooking things like cleanliness. I love that it is all part of the journey and makes for great storytelling and sharing when you get home. A bad place to stay can be a great way to bond over a beer with a fellow pilgrim. Ahhh, the war stories of the Camino ;)
 

Mark2012

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014) Camino Finisterre (2012, 2013, 2014) Camino Portugues (2013), Camino del Norte (2015)
I'm sympathetic to the view that a) there are a lot of subjective judgements at play when assessing albergues and b) the manner and mood of the hospitalero and/or the pilgrims can influence an experience. I've read above about places I stayed in 2012, and I would barely recognise them from the negative review. Which isn't to say that I think anyone is "wrong", more that we shouldn't treat these reviews as carved in stone, they are a snapshot of a given day for the most part. Yes, I note that a few albergues seems to come up again and again, so I might pay more heed to that. In general, all information of this sort is useful, but always subject to change!

When I walked the Frances (May & June 2012 and hopefully again this coming July and August), I was mainly fortunate. Some of the albergue experiences were excellent, some less so, but only one outright negative experience. Considering it was more than 18 months ago, I am reluctant to name the village and the albergue, as much may have changed in the interim; although my understanding is that this was a private albergue and my "run-in" of sorts was with the owner, so I don't know how much it is likely to have changed. Anyway, given the time that has passed, I just don't know if it would be fair to "name names", but my story stands in its own right. I wondered at the time if there was fault with me or my friends, were we being insensitive or selfish, but the passage of time hasn't altered how I felt at the time, which was that we were treated very poorly.

Anyway, so, here's the story: It would have been a longish walking day, around 30km. I was ahead of a few of my Camino friends. I entered a village having agreed with my friends that morning that we would stop there. There were two albergues on either side of the street, about 100 metres from each other, so I was willing to guess that competition between them might be quite fierce. I walked into the first albergue, which had a front bar area. No-one seemed to be around, so rather than wait I left and walked up the street to the other albergue. I was greeted on the doorstep by the hospitalero who was extremely friendly and welcoming. It was a fairly hot day, so I was glad of that reception. He seemed very obliging, he even told me to shower and freshen up before paying for my bunk, which, again, made me very happy. Having had 99.9% positive albergue experiences up to this point, I thought I was shaping up for one of the best experiences yet. Not long afterwards, one of my friends arrived, and he too received a positive reception. Another of our friends had, if memory serves, arrived a little bit earlier and checked into the other albergue (this might seem like excessive detail, but it matters!). The fourth of our group arrived a little bit later, and this is where things began to go awry. Apparently, the hospitalero did not like how my friend looked - he was an Italian with dreadlocks. When my friend arrived, the hospitalero was all smiles, and took his money, but then followed him up the stairs, gave his money back and said something to the effect of "I don't want your type here", the implication being that because my friend had dreadlocks, he assumed he was a drug-user. So, my friend came back down the stairs and relayed this to me. I didn't quite know how to react. The hospitalero had been extremely friendly to me and my other friend (neither of us had dreadlocks!). I felt there must have been some kind of misunderstanding, some miscommunication, language barriers and all that (though it seems Spanish and Italian are similar enough for speakers of one to understand the other). My friend with the dreadlocks then went down the street to the other albergue and joined our other friend, who had checked in there when she arrived in the town.

So.... this was June 2012. It was during the European Championships, and it was enjoyable to watch the football by evening. My other two friends were German and my Italian dreadlocked-friend was half-German, so we had all planned on watching Germany play that evening against Holland (big match!), but now we found ourselves split between two albergues with one friend not welcome in the place where I was staying. This meant that if we were all to watch the match together, then my friend and I staying in albergue B would have to walk down to albergue A, and that might have posed problems for the curfew. My German friend and I sat in the garden discussing this sudden awkward turn of events, in truth uncomfortable being where we were given the unfair treatment of our other friend. My friend asked the hospitalero if it would be possible to watch the football with our friends in albergue A and be able to get back in afterwards. The answer was no, so we decided the best solution was to watch the first half of the match with our friends in albergue A and then come back to albergue B and watch the second half without them. Not ideal, but not the end of the world. My friend then stepped into the bar again to order a drink and when he came back he said "trouble". He said the hospitalero had become visibly angry and was now saying that if we didn't eat our evening meal in his albergue then we wouldn't be able to watch the match on the tv in his bar area. Well, at this point, all trust was shattered. It was a needless situation in the first place. Pre-judging our Italian friend as he did created the problem. Had he not done so, our other friend would have ended up calling up to albergue B, watching the match with us, and no doubt we would have bought four meals, some wine, and a few beers. Instead, my other friend and I decided we couldn't stay in albergue B anymore. The situation had turned completely sour. The hospitalero had gone from extremely friendly to extremely hostile and I wouldn't have been comfortable eating any food that came from his kitchen. So, I brought my empty beer glass into the bar, set it on the counter, smiled and said "gracias", to which I got a grunt and an aggressive gesture with his jaw, without being looked at. Then, we went up to the dorm, packed up, threw on our rucksacks, and left albergue B (mercifully, without the hospitaltero seeing us) and walked 100 metres back the road to albergue A, checked in there, joined our friends, and made sure to put a lot of money in their cash register that night!

The whole scenario in albergue B seemed so against the Camino spirit. My Italian friend had walked the Frances in its entirety once previously, and had never experienced treatment like that. According to the hospitaltero in albergue A, the owner of albergue B was well known for turning on pilgrims if he perceived some slight. Assuming that to be so, I formed the impression that he wasn't very well suited to what he was doing with his life. Mercifully, it was business as usual after that, and from that point on all experiences were positive!
 
Last edited:
Camino(s) past & future
2013 Camino Frances SJPP / 2014 Camino Portugues / 2015 Camino Ingles / 2015 Hospitalero Training
2016 (fall) Camino Sanabre / Hospitalero?
Manjarin.

Just having coffee gave me the creeps.
Albergue Titas , Boadillo del Camino was my mistake. A very clean soulless place . No early leaving (8 of us, had to wait for the owner retrieved the key) I was glad there wasn't a fire! Mr Grumbles wasn't the best of hosts. Sleep is an option. The beds are new, there are small lights at each bed. The problem is that this is one large room. At one end are the restrooms, they don't have a ceiling so when the light comes on, a toilet is flushed , hands are washed or various bodily sounds are made, they are shared.
 

obinjatoo@yahoo.com

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2012 Dieppe, FR Bici CF.
2014 Ruta Vasco/CF/Primativo
Late October this year , I was walking in the Maseta and I had decieded that this time , I wanted to avoid the albergue at Poblacion de Campos - I felt it a bit grotty and had been very ill after spending a night there on my last camino.
On passing at noon , I noticed a chariot pram parked outside this albergue - I was intrigued after all the threads about walking with a baby and knocked on the door.
The albergue was officially closed but there was a young german couple in their mid 20s and the chariot was for their dog , a border collie that had been injured in an accident and lost the use of one of it's front legs. The dog was been pushed around like lord muck but throw a stick and watch that dog go - their argument was that the stoney path was tough on the dog's paws - point taken.
The couple had little cash and were helping out at the local Hostal in exchange for lodgings at the Albergue and some food - sure they were given some cash after their 10 day stint as well.
So , I stayed , I stayed in fact for two while days. Two other pilgrims also joined us and I cooked a comunal meal for us all one evening.
The Albergue had a vibe about it , one could come and go as you pleased , sleep when you wanted to - there was a general 'Hippie' atmosphere , much like the old San Bol albergue.
And so , I had a ball , let my hair down , relaxed ........... and I had been hell bent on passing it by.- just goes to show - you never know. :mrgreen:
Ha ha ha! I met that couple in the fall of 2012! It was out past Leon on the way to Astorga on the alternate route. There was a young man who had set up a "hang out" of sorts. He was parked near the barn of an abandoned farm. He was out n the middle of nowhere. He provided, free food, water, juice, tea, coffee, snacks, you name it. He would take no money. There was a little hovel he created with a roaring wood stove that he was cooking and heating water on. It was a very cold and blustery day and I spent a few hours there warming up. That young couple was there and that dog was the happiest dog I've ever met. At the time he still had all 4 legs biut one was badly mangled and it just sort of hung limp. 3 legs and he could chase a ball like nobody's business. They sure loved that dog. I hope I can find them again when I go back this summer. That was one of my best days on the trail.
 

Thornley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances x 2 , Norte x 2 , Le Puy x 3 , Portuguese x 2,
Mont St Michel , Primitivo .
The municipal in Muxia was one I would not return to, even though facilities are good and the place is very clean, it has a totally sterile atmosphere, architect designed to make a statement and that statement did not include any concept that tired, weary human beings would reside overnight, huge expanses of bare concrete walls, most peregrinos decamped as soon as showered and beds were made up to a couple of the seafront cafe/bars where within minutes a true camino atmosphere existed. I arrived on a Sunday and was glad that my Muxiana certificate was available from the hospitalero waiting than having to wait for the council offices to open on Monday but there wasn't even a word said when handed over, a total contrast to the municipal in Finisterre which although comparatively cramped and lacking sufficient showers for its capacity, greeted everyone collecting a Finisterra warmly, offered free hugs :) and a racion of tortilla and was altogether a more human and humane albergue.
Seamus
A shame about Muxia Seamus.
A little walk into town is without doubt an albergue in the best dozen on the camino.
Bella Muxia is superb with wonderful hosts.
 

RENSHAW

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2003 CF Roncesvalles to Santiago
2/4 weeks every year on CF reaching Burgos or Leon. Hospitalero San Anton June 2016.
Ha ha ha! I met that couple in the fall of 2012! It was out past Leon on the way to Astorga on the alternate route. There was a young man who had set up a "hang out" of sorts. He was parked near the barn of an abandoned farm. He was out n the middle of nowhere. He provided, free food, water, juice, tea, coffee, snacks, you name it. He would take no money. There was a little hovel he created with a roaring wood stove that he was cooking and heating water on. It was a very cold and blustery day and I spent a few hours there warming up. That young couple was there and that dog was the happiest dog I've ever met. At the time he still had all 4 legs biut one was badly mangled and it just sort of hung limp. 3 legs and he could chase a ball like nobody's business. They sure loved that dog. I hope I can find them again when I go back this summer. That was one of my best days on the trail.
I last saw them at Leon where I stopped , it was bitterly cold and they had slept in the park in their tent. Before saying goodbye I gave them my much cherrished camping gaz stove with a full canister - it went to a good home.
 

rubyslippers

Ruby Slippers
Camino(s) past & future
April-May (2008) September (2012)
Good places, less so places all change from year to year. You are never sure where you might want to end up. You may change your mind. don't worry so much and just start walking. Enjoy it and go with it, good or bad. It's all part of the Camino and as you stumble into some of them you'll learn more about yourself that you will learn about the place you stay. :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route. 2018 was Camino #14
I have submitted this elsewhere, but I thought I would repost to echo the opinion expressed by FatmaG

Let me add to your list of not recommended.

8.6 km past O’Cebreiro is Alto do Poio. If you cross the road to the Hostal Santa Maria do Poio, you will come across the rudest, and obviously the most unhappy bar owner in Spain. After almost four weeks on the Camino, it was my first really unpleasant experience. If I’d walked only 3.5 km more, there is a beautiful new albergue in Fonfria.
Oh man! I had the same experience here in 2009.
The guy must have had hemorrhoids!
 

Icacos

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013)
1) San Juan de Ortega

2) The place near the top of montjardin run by the dutch fundamentalists
Are you saying that the albergue in San Juan de Ortega is one to be avoided? Because my stay there provided one of my more memorable Camino experiences.

My friend and I had walked 27 k that day through dreadful wind and cold. We dragged ourselves into San Juan de Ortega completely exhausted, and were delighted to get beds in the only albergue. Up to then we had stayed solely in private rooms so this was our very first full-fledged albergue dormitorio experience and we were both quite apprehensive about it.

The albergue is in a former monastery and is old, old, old. I sat on the bed and sank almost to the floor, which resulted in some uncontrollable giggles, but at least the room was heated. The bathroom was dilapidated; I don’t think anyone could have made it look clean, but I am sure it was. But the toilets worked and there was lots of hot water – at least in the evening; there was none whatsoever the next morning. Yes, there was a shower door missing, but that stall had the advantage of having a shelf provided by the adjacent window sill. Best of all the men had their own bathroom so we didn’t have to share ours with them. When I had to go to the bathroom during the night I walked outside in the frigid air to get there before I realized that I could have walked through the adjacent dormitorio even though I would have risked disturbing those sleeping in that room. I saw no sign of bed bugs. I think we paid 3 euro each.

We had a lovely dinner at the one bar / restaurant in the village and chatted with the two pilgrims who shared our table. Our hospitalero had warned us that the bar would be closed in the morning, but that we could get something to eat / drink from the ‘machine’ in the lobby. But was the machine working next morning? No, it was not. Which meant that the whole lot of us set off in the frigid, frosty morning without even a hot drink - no, I did not see anyone using an electric coil:rolleyes:. It was all a great learning experience, and we would have been hard-pressed to complain about anything after that.

So …… what’s there to avoid about the albergue in San Juan de Ortega? :)
 
Last edited:

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
So …… what’s there to avoid about the albergue in San Juan de Ortega?
I agree! I stayed there on my first Camino Frances, complete with garlic soup. There was no hot water, and the showers were broken. All illumination came from a single 11 watt bulb in the middle of the room. It was cold and dank, and the bunk sagged like a hammock. Still, I would not have missed it. I did not stay again on multiple repeat caminos; once was exactly the right number of times to stay for me.:)
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
But was the machine working next morning? No, it was not. Which meant that the whole lot of us set off in the frigid, frosty morning without even a hot drink - no, I did not see anyone using an electric coil:rolleyes:. It was all a great learning experience, and we would have been hard-pressed to complain about anything after that.

So …… what’s there to avoid about the albergue in San Juan de Ortega? :)
Aha! Looks like the electric coil might come in handy on the Frances after all. ;)

I have never slept in the albergue, though I have spent a long time in the amazing adjacent church. When I walked my first Camino, the garlic soup was still on offer. I was walking with a highly allergic friend, and we wanted to partake in that evening ritual. But when we entered the dorm room, she had a horrible reaction to (we think) the black mold on the walls and ceiling. We had to leave quickly and continued on, and in those days the next albergue was in Olmos de Atapuerca, which was a long slog for us. I know there has been a fair amount of EU and Spanish money spent in San Juan de Ortega (are they building some fancy hotel in the monastery?), but it sounds like the money was not spent on the albergue. Buen camino, Laurie
 

Icacos

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013)
..... once was exactly the right number of times to stay for me.:)
Ha …… I love that ! :)

.... I have never slept in the albergue, though I have spent a long time in the amazing adjacent church. ....
We also attended a lovely service at the Church, celebrated by two priests from a neighbouring village. After also receiving the pilgrim’s blessing, we sat outside on the benches, leaning against the church wall and warming ourselves in the late afternoon sun. It was magnificent.
 

hughb

Member
Camino(s) past & future
C del Norte June 2013 plus Finisterre.
Part of Camino del Norte July 2015
Hopefully the Camino Ingles 2016
Trust me this tongue in cheek and based on the Norte route. Miss Guemes, once you are there you will never want to leave and you will want to return. Then there was the convent at Laredo with what can only be described as the 'dear sisters'. Clean starched sheets, fabulous soft warm towels, far too much luxury on a Camino for 5 euros. Oh and then there was Bilbao albergue with the singing hospitalerio. shared food, fabulous wine, superb company. The fabulous friendship offered at Boo, good food, you need to miss it in case you cannot leave! All of the albergues and many more were just too much. They seem to be calling me back again. Oh dear! Here we go again. Buen Camino. The albergues are all as good as you make them.
 

Dzyduck87

Northwest Canada
Camino(s) past & future
May 2014
I have submitted this elsewhere, but I thought I would repost to echo the opinion expressed by FatmaG

Let me add to your list of not recommended.

8.6 km past O’Cebreiro is Alto do Poio. If you cross the road to the Hostal Santa Maria do Poio, you will come across the rudest, and obviously the most unhappy bar owner in Spain. After almost four weeks on the Camino, it was my first really unpleasant experience. If I’d walked only 3.5 km more, there is a beautiful new albergue in Fonfria.
I frequently see posts about unfriendly staff/bar owners. Personally, I LOVE meeting old grouches, I see it as a personal challenge to make them smile. Some of the grumpiest old men I know have become my dearest friends. Don't go looking for 5 star service, and expect everyone you meet to enrich, please and enlighten your experience. Be prepared to do that for others as well.
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
Interesting thread. Maybe because it has started just a few days before my 2011 Camino Frances. But I won't write anything on that topic. First it would be tooo long, second it is so much about individual perception of things and (at least) third I'd be most likely expelled from the forum. Why?

Well... Begin reading at the top of the thread...

Ultreia!
 

Book your lodging here

Get e-mail updates from Casa Ivar (Forum + Forum Store content)




Advertisement

Booking.com

Most downloaded Resources

Forum Rules

Forum Rules

Camino Forum Store

Camino Forum Store

Casa Ivar Newsletter

Forum Donation

Forum Donation
For those with no forum account, it is possible to donate here as well. Thank you for your support! Ivar

Follow Casa Ivar on Instagram

When is the best time to walk?

  • January

    Votes: 12 1.2%
  • February

    Votes: 5 0.5%
  • March

    Votes: 41 4.0%
  • April

    Votes: 154 15.1%
  • May

    Votes: 254 24.9%
  • June

    Votes: 78 7.7%
  • July

    Votes: 21 2.1%
  • August

    Votes: 18 1.8%
  • September

    Votes: 296 29.0%
  • October

    Votes: 123 12.1%
  • November

    Votes: 12 1.2%
  • December

    Votes: 5 0.5%
Top