Accommodation options on the Camino Frances

There is a range of accommodation options on the Camino Frances, the most popular being a pilgrim hostel (which translates to 'albergue' or 'refugio' in Spanish, and 'auberge' in French). Alternative options include private hostels, rural houses, campsites, and hotels. In larger towns and cities there are options to cater for every budget and comfort level. An overview of the types of accommodation is available below.

Pilgrim hostels (albergues)

Pilgrim hostels are the traditional place to stay on the Camino Frances. As the name suggests, they are exclusive to pilgrims and only admit those with a Pilgrim Record (or credencial) who are walking, cycling or horse-riding the Camino. Pilgrim hostels are an inexpensive accommodation option; some run on a donation basis while others range in price from €5-10 per night.

There are different types of pilgrim hostels including municipal hostels operated by local government; parochial hostels operated by religious institutions such as local churches, convents and monasteries; and association hostels operated by local or international pilgrim associations. Pilgrim hostels are staffed by volunteers (or hospitaleros/as).

Pilgrim hostels are often basic places to stay and generally comprise of large mixed male and female dormitory style rooms with bunk-beds, and shared bathroom facilities. They may also offer a kitchen, communal dining, and lounge area. The quality also varies with some offering a basic mattress on the floor while other newer properties may provide a small number of private rooms. Some properties also permit animals.

Good to know...

In general, most pilgrim hostels:

  • do not provide bedding or towels but most offer disposable sheets for a small fee;
  • 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);
  • limit the length of stay to one night only, although exceptions may be made for health reasons;
  • have fixed hours of operation; check-in tends to be from 1pm and check-out at 8am; entrance doors generally close at 9pm;
  • are seasonal and typically open from April to the end of October;
  • often reach capacity in peak season so if this is your preferred choice of accommodation, we recommend that you arrive early.

Private hostels

Private hostels are operated by private individuals. Typically, they charge a higher price per night than pilgrim 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 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 directly.

Rural houses

Rural houses (or casa rurales) are country homes that present another accommodation option on the Camino. They tend to be located slightly off the Camino route but again offer more privacy and amenities than pilgrim hostels. Rural homes offer private rooms with or without a shared bathroom and are typically priced from €45 per night. A rural home stay can provide an insight into Spanish life as the houses typically respect the local architecture and traditional building methods of the region; home cooked meals may also be available.

If you are specifically searching for rural houses on our website, you can find them under the filter option 'guest accommodation'.

More options

Many larger towns and cities on the Camino Frances have other accommodation options. These range from low budget fondas (a room above a local cafe or bar), campsites, to hotels and paradors (a type of luxury hotel typically located in a converted historic building such as a monastery or castle).

We provide information about the full range of properties to cater for different budgets, comfort levels, and changing accommodation needs as you travel.