A good night’s sleep makes a huge difference to your experience of the Camino de Santiago. There are various standards of accommodation along the Way of St. James, ranging from public pilgrim hostels to luxury historical hotels. Clearly, the likelihood of restful sleep will be greater if you have a private room and there are many options for this.
Find out which Camino accommodation would suit you best.
Pousadas and Paradores
These are usually historical buildings, often former monasteries, fortresses, hospitals or other notable buildings, which have been tastefully converted into luxury hotels.
Original architectural and decorative features make these accommodations truly unique and special while all the usual modern comforts and 5-star service standards allow you to fully relax and enjoy the experience.
Pousadas and Paradores are not available in every location on the Camino but if you are looking for luxury accommodation, we use 4 and 5-star hotels in our Upgraded Camino package to supplement these historical gems and guarantee an elevated level of comfort throughout your journey.
Hotels on the Camino de Santiago
In larger towns and cities, the full range of hotels is usually available, from clean and comfortable 2-star hotels to luxurious 5-star ones. Our standard Camino package typically includes 2-3 star hotels that are on, or as close as possible to, the Camino.
We have personally vetted and negotiated with each of our selected hotels to make sure they provide the quality and service standards we demand for our clients. For example, in some hotels, we have arranged for our clients to have an upgraded breakfast where we feel the basic breakfast is not enough to set you up properly for a day on the Camino.
Portugal and Galicia have some wonderful rural accommodations to offer in the form of country inns. These are usually renovated centuries-old farmhouses or manor houses surrounded by gorgeous countryside. They tend to be family-run and offer home-cooked food, often using produce from the estate. Many have an outdoor pool, or at least pretty gardens to relax in after a day on the trail.
If you are happier staying in the countryside than in towns and cities, our Country Inns programme might be best for you. We’ll arrange for your hosts to collect you from the Camino and take you to the property if necessary.
Guest houses, pensions and residencials
Although we don’t use them, there is another category of accommodation in between hotels and hostels which covers simple lodgings, usually in a family-run establishment. Here, you’d expect to get your own room and a bathroom, although that might be shared with other guests. Breakfast and dinner may or may not be included or available.
Hostels on the Camino
The cheapest option for a bed for the night would be at a pilgrim hostel.
The public albergues are usually staffed by volunteers and operate on a first come, first served basis. This means that people often get up really early in order to get a head start. Priority is given to walkers rather than cyclists.
Room sizes and specific rules vary but you may end up in a mixed dormitory with 40 or more people, sharing bathroom and kitchen facilities. Be prepared to carry your own bedding, towel, soap and even toilet paper as luggage transfer services will not deliver to public hostels.
Private hostels exist where you can book a bed in advance and will usually be sharing with fewer people. They may provide bedding but not towels but it’s best to check and you may wish to take a sleeping bag liner.
Again, we want to make sure you are in accommodations that are conducive to a restful, restorative sleep so we don’t use hostels or guest house level accommodations.