Where did you stay?

Where did you stay?

Where did you stay?


In the past few weeks I wrote about the different types of accommodation where you can stay along the Camino (¿Dónde vas a dormir?, El albergue and ¿Dónde vas a dormir? (II)). And for this post I wanted to get the stories of people who have already done the Camino about places where they stayed. So I asked the question: where did you stay?


Which Camino?


Although we talk about the Camino de Santiago or the Way of Saint James as if there is just one Camino, the truth is that there are many routes leading to Santiago. There’s the very popular Camino francés, but you could also decide to do the Camino primitivo, Camino del norte, Camino inglés or Camino portugués, to mention just a few.


Let’s just look at the Camino portugués today. As the name suggests, it goes from Portugal to Santiago de Compostela. If you start your pilgrimage from the Portuguese capital, Lisbon (Lisboa in Spanish), you will have to cover a distance of around 600 km. If you walk 25 km per day on average, you will need 25 days to complete it.


Many people start from Porto; in that case, you will need around diez (10) days to walk the 240 km to Santiago. If you don’t have so much time, you can do the Spanish section of this Camino, from Tui. It’s 119 km (enough to get a compostela) and you can do it in cinco (5) or seis (6) days.


In Padrón


All the places these pilgrims tell us about are along the Camino portugués. Scott Prunty has a recommendation for you:

You must visit the monastery (monasterio) in Padrón before pushing on to Santiago. It was the highlight of my walk. We were given a tour by the friars that still study there. Then we were joined by local villagers for a beautiful mass (misa) together.

After a communal dinner (cena) with other pilgrims, we slept in the original cells that friars have lived in for centuries. The whole experience just made a connection to the Camino spirit.


According to the information in the following link, http://www.alberguescaminosantiago.com/albergues-camino-portugues/hospital-de-peregrinos-san-antonio-de-herbon-herbon-la-coruna/ there are 30 beds in this albergue. You cannot book in advance and you must produce your stamped credencial if you wish to spend the night. Apart from la cena that Scott mentioned, you can also have your desayuno (breakfast) here. They take donativo (voluntary donation).


Two places on the coast


Vera Wallström would like to recommend two places:

Pazo Pías in Ramallosa was a great place to sleep at! Single room (habitación individual).

And Camping Mougás, after Mougás. They have a saltwater swimming pool (piscina) with a view, lovely after walking 30km!


In this link you can find pictures and more information about Pazo Pías: http://pazopias.org/contenidos/peregrino 

Vera’s picture of the pool.

In Porriño

And Tess Bouds had a nice experience at the albergue municipal in Porriño:

It is clean & quiet, even though it’s right next to a very large road. I forgot my glasses when I left and had to visit the policía, who called the cleaning lady. Twenty minutes later, I had them and was off. FYI amazing kitchen which you can use if you carry pots, plates, & utensils.

Do you have an “accommodation story” that you would like to share? Just leave a comment!


Today’s Spanish words

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¡Buen Camino!

¿Dónde vas a dormir? (II)

¿Dónde vas a dormir? (II)

¿Dónde vas a dormir? |

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about the main types of accommodation where you can stay while doing the Camino de Santiago. And last week’s post was all about albergues.

Today, I’ll tell you about two more types of accommodation that you can find along the Camino de Santiago, plus I’ll give you a few words and phrases you will need when arranging a place to stay.


¿Dónde vas a dormir? 

  • Casas rurales are privately owned properties, usually old farmhouses or manors that have been refurbished. They are a relatively new type of accommodation. As the name suggests, they are located in rural settings. This means that they won’t always be available, especially if you are around bigger towns. You can just book one habitación (room), but if you are travelling with a group, you should know that many casas rurales give you the option of renting the whole house. 


  • Paradores. Chain of luxury hotels, managed by a state-run company. They are usually located in historic buildings such as castles or convents. In Santiago, for instance, you have the Hostal dos Reis Católicos, right beside the cathedral. It was built in the 16th century as a hospital that cared for the pilgrims arriving in Santiago de Compostela.


The choice is all yours and, as I said before, you don’t have to stay in the same type of accommodation every night. Just be aware of all the possibilities available and decide which one is the best fit for you, based on your personal circumstances.


Useful Spanish phrases

If you have booked your accommodation in advance, you can just show up and say Tengo una reserva (I have a reservation). If you haven’t, it can happen sometimes that you get to your destination after having walked for many hours and you find a sign at the albergue saying completo (full, no vacancies). Oh, no! you have to start looking for another place for the night.

A very useful question in this situation (and many others) is ¿Tiene…? (Do you have…?). You can then finish the question accordingly. Since we are talking about accommodation, you can just say ¿Tiene una habitación (individual/doble)? (Do you have a single/double room?). In the case of double rooms, you might ask for one with una cama (one bed) or dos camas (two beds).

And don’t forget to ask about el baño! ¿Con baño? (en suite), ¿Con baño compartido? (with shared bathroom).


donde vas a dormir


¿En un albergue (público o privado), en un hostal, en una pensión, en un hotel, en una casa rural o en un Parador?

(For the pronunciation of albergue, hostal, pensión and hotel, please go to this previous post).

If you have done the Camino already and you have any accommodation-related story that you would like to share, I’d love to hear about it.

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¡Buen Camino!

El albergue

El albergue

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.


El albergue

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.

Albergue de Pontedeume
Albergue de Neda
sleeping in an albergue


For the pronunciation of albergue and litera, you can go to last week’s post.

For the pronunciation of credencial, a pie, a caballo and en bici check this other post.


Read about Gary’s experience as an hospitalero.


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¡Buen Camino!

¿Dónde vas a dormir?

¿Dónde vas a dormir?

¿Dónde vas a dormir? |

In previous weeks I wrote about decisions you have to make before you embark on this adventure that is the Camino de Santiago. If you missed these posts and you would like to read them as well as learn some more Spanish, just click on the questions ¿Cómo vas a hacer el Camino? and ¿Qué vas a llevar en la mochila?

I have a new question for you this week:

¿Dónde vas a dormir?

…or Where are you going to sleep?


When choosing accommodation, you have a few options, depending on your circumstances and the type of experience you want to have.

  • For some, you can only have a true pilgrim experience if you stay in public albergues (hostels). I will write another post just on albergues, but you should know, at least, that you need your stamped credencial to stay in them and that they operate on a first-come first-served basis, which means you cannot book them in advance. An albergue is a basic type of accommodation. They usually have big, shared rooms, with literas (bunk beds). The number of people per room varies from one albergue to another. The prices per night range from €6 to €12. Some of them ask for a voluntary donation only.


  • Private albergues are a bit more expensive but they have the advantage that you can book a space in advance. Apart from that they don’t differ much from the public albergues: mostly shared dorms with several literas, although some of them also have private rooms.


  • Hostales and pensiones (guesthouses). They are usually small family-run businesses, with less services than hotels. You’re more likely to find  rooms with private bathrooms in this kind of accommodation.


  • Hoteles (hotels). In bigger towns you will find a wide range of hotels for all budgets and offering different services.

You don’t have to stay in the same type of accommodation every night. You could go for albergues most nights, but then one day you feel like pampering yourself, or you need more privacy, or… whatever and you give the albergue a miss for a night or two. No problem! Also, if you are travelling as a part of a group, it might be difficult to get literas for everybody in the albergue. So, have you decided where you are going to stay during your Camino?


Why don’t you leave a comment saying: Voy a dormir en… and complete with un albergue/una pensión/un hostal/un hotel. But before you answer, you might want to check the rest of available accommodations in this other post: ¿Dónde vas a dormir? (II)

If you prefer to listen, check this podcast episode:

For the pronunciation of credencial, check this other post.


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Make sure you don’t miss any posts or announcements by subscribing for free here. That way, when a new post is out, you will get it in your inbox. And… you get access to exclusive content too.


¡Buen Camino!