There are many different types and styles of accommodation along the Camino de Santiago, ranging from hostels to guest houses and luxurious paradores.
To help you plan your Camino trip, we look at the different Camino de Santiago accommodation options so you can decide which ones are the best for you.
Albergues – hostels
There is a good network of albergues (hostels) along the Camino de Santiago, particularly along the most popular route such as the French Way or Camino Frances. The classic Camino albergues are public, run by ‘hospitaleros’ (Camino volunteers) and they can’t be booked in advance. Beds in dorms are allocated on a first come firs served basis. You will need to have your passport stamped, as part of the ‘check in’ process and walkers always take priority over other pilgrims (ie. on horse back or bike pilgrims).
In some towns, particularly along the most popular Camino routes such as the French Way and the Portuguese Way, you will also find privately-run hostels with a similar set up: beds in dorms at low prices.
Guest houses – pensiones
Guest houses can be called ‘pensiones’, ‘hostales’ or ‘casa’ and they are small family-run businesses. They might not have a star rating but they are a good accommodation option where you will have your own room, bathroom and they’ll generally provide dinner.
Bigger Camino towns and cities will have a good range of hotels of all styles and sizes, from 3 star to 4 and 5 star rated properties.
A parador is a luxury hotel belonging to the state-run company Paradores in Spain. They are usually historic buildings such as castles and monasteries; as well as buildings set in nature reserves and areas of outstanding beauty. Check out the many paradores located on the Camino de Santiago in our article: What is a Parador?
The most famous Camino de Santiago parador is the Hostal dos Reis Catolicos in Santiago de Compostela; which has been in operation for 500 years. In Portugal, you will find similar properties and they are called Pousadas de Portugal.
Casas Rurales our country cottages are a relatively recent development in the hospitality industry in Galicia and North West Spain; and one that has brought new life to many rural communities. They are boutique country properties refurbished keeping in mind the traditional architecture of the region.
They are generally farm houses, manor houses and restored homesteads located in rural settings; they generally offer home-cooking using local or even home-grown produce. We work with many casas rurales along the different Camino de Santiago routes and we arrange for our clients to be picked up from the trail.
Bear in mind…
Bigger towns and cities will have a better choice and range of accommodation options; while accommodation in smaller villages and hamlets can be limited. The Camino is a long-distance trail so the mix of accommodation styles will also be part of your journey.
The French Way – Camino Francés is the most popular route and therefore the one with a wider range of accommodation options, however it also gets busier, particularly in Summer months certain towns might get completely booked up. Our advice: if you are planning your trip on the French Way, book well in advance.
At CaminoWays.com we don’t provide hostel accommodation and we work with the best accommodation options for each route and section. Our standard packages generally include accommodation in hotels, guest houses and casas rurales; we also have a ‘country cottages’ option in Galicia and a Superior Collection where you will get booked in the top properties along the way, including 4 and 5-star hotels where available.
We visit our partner properties every year to ensure we always offer the best option available for our Camino tours.
Please note, you don’t have to pack towels or bedding for your Camino trip with us as all accommodation booked will have bedding, towels, pillows, soap, etc… If you have any questions about your specific hotel arrangements, let our Customer Care know.