Favorite Albergues on the Camino Frances

A request from IrishGurrl on our camino Internet forum led me to do some thinking about my favorite albergues on the Camino Frances. After several tries I came to discover the 10,000 character limit on the Forum wouldn’t allow my 29,000 character response. So I’m posting this here so that it might be of some use to future pilgrims. The links go to the helpful Consumer Eroski camino site (in Spanish). My comments are in red.

Stage 1: S. Jean Pied de Port – Roncesvalles

  • L’Esprit du Chemin. Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port Many choose to stay here as they take reservations and are right in the thick of things on Rue de la Citadelle in “old” SJPP
  • Refuge Orisson. Uhart-Cize This is a nice albergue, but at just 10 km outside SJPP is mostly used by those who don’t want to walk the whole way to Roncesvalles. It’s the only place to stop for a late breakfast or early lunch on the Route Napoleon, so everyone comes to know it anyway.
  • Albergue de peregrinos de Roncesvalles. Roncesvalles (Navarra2008, 2012 — this is the monastery’s albergue, which has been greatly expanded and is now one of the finest albergues around. It’s in 2-3 stories, with semi-private double rooms in the top story and modern bathroom facilities. Most everyone stays here, though there are two hotels in Roncesvalles now as well.

Stage 2: Roncesvalles – Zubiri

  • Albergue El Palo de Avellano. Zubiri I stayed here in 2011 and found it to be a nice, private albergue, though as I recall a little more expensive than the others. It’s also around the corner and on the main (auto) route, so a little harder to find. They have a nice common meal in the evenings and modern facilities, plus computer access.

Stage 3: Zubiri – Pamplona/Iruña

  • Albergue de Larrasoaña. Larrasoaña (NavarraStayed here in 2008. A primitive, simple albergue with an annex across the street. Dormitories are blessedly small (5-6 people). Very basic. Hand laundry sink in the back yard.
  • Albergue de Jesús y María. Pamplona (NavarraIf I’m thinking of the right one, I know people who stayed here in 2011. In an historic building in the heart of Pamplona. Renovated, but with an open concept that means sound carries all throughout the building (= noisy). But a nice place.

Stage 4: Pamplona/Iruña – Puente la Reina/Gares

Stage 5: Puente la Reina/Gares – Estella/Lizarra

  • Albergue Maralotx de Cirauqui. Cirauqui (Navarra) I love this little albergue and stayed here in 2008 and 2011. The hostess/owner is quite nice, has lots of good advice, and has a restaurant below the albergue with menu del peregrino and large tables that help create good pilgrim conversation. The upper porch is good for clothes washing and hanging out with pilgrims and the views from the south facing windows are gorgeous.
  • Hospital de Peregrinos de Estella. Estella (Navarra) Stayed in a nice hotel in Estella in 2011.

Stage 6: Estella/Lizarra – Torres del Río

Stage 7: Torres del Río – Logroño

Stage 8: Logroño – Nájera

  • Albergue de Peregrinos de Navarrete. Navarrete (La RiojaThis is Navarette’s municipal albergue, which is 2-3 floors in an older, but renovated building. Cots in large dorm rooms. There was a long line of pilgrims waiting for beds when I arrived here in 2011 and I regret the pilgrims shoved their way into the hospitaleros’ office all hoping to be first. Don’t remember a kitchen here.
  • Albergue de Peregrinos de Nájera. Nájera (La RiojaThis is a notorious albergue due to its single, very large dormitory of 100 +/- beds. Location is great, but a dormitory of that size is automatically a little grim.

Stage 9: Nájera – Sto. Domingo de la Calzada

Stage 10: Sto. Domingo de la Calzada – Belorado

Stage 11: Belorado – Agés

Stage 12: Agés – Burgos

  • Albergue El Peregrino. Atapuerca (Burgos) Nice, grassy lawn right on the main (and quiet) road in Atapuerca. Stayed here in 2011. Dormitories in sort of pre-fab buildings, but modernish. Not a bad place. Sunny.
  • Albergue La Hutte. Atapuerca (Burgos) Stayed here in 2008 and just about froze. Fortunately they provided thick quilts since there was no heat. Adjacent restaurant. A few blocks off the camino and a little more simple than my taste, unless it’s been upgraded in the last 5 years.
  • Albergue Municipal de Burgos. Burgos Great location in removated historic building. I always stay at the Meson del Cid very near here, but have heard good reviews of this albergue.

Stage 13: Burgos – Hontanas

Stage 14: Hontanas – Boadilla del Camino

  • Hospital de Peregrinos de San Antón. Castrojeriz (3,6 km antes) This place is in the ruins of the medieval pilgrim hospital and a hauntingly interesting place to stay. I’ve walked through it and found it a little “rough” for my taste, but it would be an amazing memory for those willing to brave the lack of services.
  • Albergue de Castrojeriz (El Camping). Castrojeriz Just as you come into town. Looks like a campground, but also is an albergue. About 1 km from the restaurants and services of Castrojeriz. I opted not to stay here in 2011, but then found the town’s other albergues full.
  • Albergue de San Nicolás. Itero del Castillo (BurgosI love this albergue. Stay here if you can get in! Only 12ish beds, I think. The Italian volunteers who run it cook a simple, communal meal and then have a footwashing ceremony. A very memorable stay!

Stage 15: Boadilla del Camino – Carrion de los Condes

  • Albergue de Frómista. Frómista (Palencia) Right in the heart of Fromista. Stayed here in 2008. At first was told it was full, then finally the hospitalera opened an overflow room. Not sure why I wasn’t offered a bed right away. Hand laundry and clotheslines. No kitchen that I can remember, but ample restaurants immediately adjacent. Just across from Fromista’s famous church.
  • Albergue Villalcázar de Sirga. Villalcázar de Sirga (Palencia) Stayed here in 2011 and enjoyed it just fine. The albergue is quite simple and there are few services in this tiny town. However, the altar pieces in the church are just amazing and well worth the 1 Euro cost of entry. These would be prized pieces in any museum in the world.

Stage 16: Carrión de los Condes – Terradillos de los Templarios

Stage 17: Terradillos de los Templarios – El Burgo Ranero

Stage 18: El Burgo Ranero – León

Stage 19: León – San Martín del Camino

Stage 20: San Martín del Camino – Astorga

  • Refugio Parroquial Hospital de Órbigo. Hospital de Órbigo (León) A little odd to find a big mural of the Alps here, but there’s an Alpine feeling to this albergue. Nice grassy lawn in the back. Two floors of rambling rooms in the front and single floor annex in the back. Bathrooms are oddly placed around the inner courtyard. The archetypal albergue. Stayed here 2008 and 2011.

Stage 21: Astorga – Foncebadón

  • Albergue de Murias de Rechivaldo. Murias de Rechivaldo (LeónFriends stayed here 2011. Very simple, basic albergue on the main road (off the camino a couple of blocks)
  • Albergue Casa Las Águedas. Murias de Rechivaldo (LeónRight on the camino. A private albergue with mid-sized dormitories, washer/dryer, snacks, restaurant. Competent private albergue. Stayed here 2011. Would stay here again.
  • Albergue Gaucelmo. Rabanal del Camino (LeónThis is the albergue of the Confraternity of St. James and is well-loved by pilgrims who stay here. Stayed here 2008 and found the British hospitaleros to be the very best. Basic, simple, perfect albergue. Don’t remember the kitchen, but ate a lovely meal across the street. Adjacent to the monastery that has nightly Vespers at 7:00.
  • Albergue parroquial Domus Dei. Foncebadón Stayed here in 2011 and enjoyed the Bavarian hospitaleros. The overflow room (which doubles as a chapel) is ice cold at night. Communal meal cooked by pilgrims with chapel service. Good (but cold) memories here. (Remember, Foncebadon is nearly at the top of the mountains)

Stage 22: Foncebadón – Ponferrada

Stage 23: Ponferrada – Villafranca del Bierzo

Stage 24: Villafranca del Bierzo – O Cebreiro

Stage 25: O Cebreiro – Triacastela

Stage 26: Triacastela – Sarria

  • Albergue del Monasterio de Samos. Samos (LugoThis is a very simple albergue in the basement of the monastery, accessed from the main street by the monastery’s gas station. One large dormitory with murals on the walls and bunk beds. Coed bathroom. Get there early to get hot water. It’s simple, but I like this place mostly for the Vespers at the monastery each evening and the beautiful monastery tour in the afternoon.

Stage 27: Sarria – Portomarín

  • Albergue Mercadoiro. Mercadoiro (Lugo) Nice, grassy lawn. Stayed here in 2011 and enjoyed a meal in the restaurant of the albergue. Rambling building with small rooms and modernish bathrooms. Would stay here again.

Stage 28: Portomarín – Palas de Rei

  • Albergue Buen Camino. Palas de Rei (Lugo) I believe I stayed here in 2011, though the names of the various PdR albergues are a little confusing. If I’m remembering this correctly the albergue is a rabbit warren above the second floor. The Fire Dept would go crazy here as it’s easy to get lost in the little rooms and alcoves.

Stage 29: Palas de Rei – Arzúa

  • Albergue Ultreia. Arzúa I believe I stayed here in 2012. Also has a hostel, if I’m correct. Nice place.
  • Albergue Vía Lactea. Arzúa Stayed here in 2011. Room was sort of mildewy, but the kitchen and bathrooms worked out nicely. Sort of an outdoor shower. Dining room oddly placed in the front, far from the kitchen. A block or two off the camino, but a competent albergue.

Stage 30: Arzúa – Pedrouzo 

I always bite the bullet and walk directly from Arzua to Santiago, so I’ve never tried any of the remaining albergues (I stay in the Altair Hotel in Santiago as a plush and comfy retreat after a long camino).

Stage 31: Pedrouzo – Santiago de Compostela

4 thoughts on “Favorite Albergues on the Camino Frances

  1. Thanks Sandy!

    That is a great list with invaluable information for first timers like me. I love getting personal recommendations about places to stay so this is perfect 🙂

    IrishGurrrl

  2. Hi Sandy:

    I am having difficulties locating “Mercadoiro!” Would you be kind enough to enlighten yours truly as to where that place might be, please? I thank you in advance.

    Bon Camino…

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