El albergue |
Last week I wrote about the main types of accommodation where you can stay while doing the Camino de Santiago. To summarise it, I mentioned el albergue (both public and private), el hostal, la pensión and el hotel (you can read the whole post here -and check the pronunciation of these words too!). I briefly commented on each type and said I would elaborate on el albergue.
So, that’s what I’m going to do this week.
Public municipal albergues are the most popular accommodation for the Camino. They are especially designed for pilgrims, which means you need proof that you are a pilgrim if you are planning to stay in one of them. And how do you prove that you are truly a pilgrim on your way to Santiago? Your stamped credencial!
- A very important thing to know about municipal albergues is that they do not take reservations. They operate on a first-come first-served basis, and this can be a problem during the busiest times of the year if you want to avoid the bed race. Also, generally you can only stay for one night. Pilgrims a pie have preference over those a caballo or en bici.
- El albergue is a basic type of accommodation. The prices per night range from €6 to €12, with the private albergues being a bit more expensive. Some of them ask for a voluntary donation only. They usually have big dormitories with literas (bunk beds), which might not suit everybody. And you need to take a pillowcase and a saco de dormir (sleeping bag) or something similar with you. Of course, this means no private baños (bathrooms), but you can still have a much needed ducha (shower) after a long day’s walk. On the other hand, staying in albergues is a great way to feel part of the community, to meet other pilgrims and share your experience with them.
- Albergues offer a variety of services with pilgrims in mind. Many have a lavadora (washing machine) or at least a lavadero (facilities for hand washing). Some also have a cocina (kitchen), where you can cook yourself a meal. Since the services can differ a lot between albergues you should check beforehand in any of the available guides.
- Last but not least, we should mention the hospitaleros, those people in charge of the albergues. They are all volunteers who have at least once done the Camino de Santiago themselves. They take care of the place and will help you with information you may need about the route or the local area.
¿Qué hay en tu albergue?
What is there in your albergue?
* For changes in albergues due to the Covid-19 pandemic, please check this post.
Today’s Spanish words