Accommodation options on the Camino Frances
There is a range of accommodation options located on the Camino Frances pilgrimage route including traditional pilgrim hostels (referred to as albergues or refugios in Spanish, and auberges in French), rural houses, campsites, official hostels and hotels. Places to stay range from budget albergues to luxury hotels. In larger towns and cities there are options to cater for every budget and personal preference. We have provided an overview of the most popular types of accommodation below.
Pilgrim hostels are the traditional place to stay on the Camino Frances. There are different types of pilgrim hostels including municipal, parochial, association and private hostels. Pilgrim hostels, as the name suggests, are exclusive to pilgrims; they only admit pilgrims with a Pilgrim Record or Credencial who are walking, cycling or horse-riding the Camino.
Pilgrim hostels range in capacity from less than 10 to hundreds of places; and in amenities with some offering a basic mattress on the floor while others provide the option of private rooms. Some properties also cater for animals. It is worthwhile noting that pilgrim hostels may have fixed opening times and may close in the low season. Also, pilgrim hostels often reach capacity in peak season so if this is your preferred choice of accommodation, we recommend that you arrive early.
Municipal hostels are operated by local government and are staffed by volunteers (also known as hospitaleros/as). They are an inexpensive accommodation option; some run on a donation basis while others range in price from €5-10 per night. Municipal hostels often comprise of large mixed male and female dormitory style rooms with bunk-beds, shared bathroom facilities, and may accommodate overflow in peak season in public buildings such as town halls and schools. Municipal hostels are often very basic places to stay and the quality, cleanliness and general amenities varies from town to town. Typically, municipals do not accept reservations in advance, rather they operate on a first come first served basis. Some may give priority to walking pilgrims above cycling pilgrims.
Parochial hostels are operated by religious institutions such as local churches, convents and monasteries, and are often staffed by volunteers. They also tend to offer basic accommodation and run on either a donation basis or for a fixed low price.
Association hostels are operated by local or international pilgrim associations. As with municipal and parochial hostels they tend to be staffed by volunteers and run on either a donation basis or for a fixed low price.
Private pilgrim hostels
Private pilgrim hostels are operated by private individuals. Typically, they charge a higher price per night than municipal, parochial or association hostels but offer greater amenities such as washing machines, meals, and internet access. Private hostels may also offer private single or double rooms and ensuite facilities. In general, these hostels are geared towards pilgrims but may not be exclusive to pilgrims.
Private pilgrim hostels may or may not accept bookings in advance, in the instance that there is no option to book through our provider we recommend that you give the property a call to find out. It is also worth viewing a property's website, where available, as some provide the option to book online.
Rural houses (referred to as casa rurales in Spanish) are often beautifully restored family-run country homes offering a more personal service. A rural home stay can provide an insight into Spanish life; the houses typically respect the local architecture and traditional building methods of the region, and home cooked meals may be available. Rural homes offer private rooms with or without a shared bathroom and are typically priced from €45 per night. They generally offer more privacy and amenities than pilgrim hostels. As the name suggests, rural houses are located in a rural setting and are typically slightly off the Camino route.
If you are specifically searching for rural houses on our website, you can find them under the filter option 'guest accommodation'.
Many larger towns and cities on the Camino Frances have alternative options to the pilgrim hostel ranging from low budget fondas (a room above a local cafe or bar), campsites, and official hostels, to hotels and paradors (a type of luxury hotel typically located in a converted historic building such as a monastery or castle).