Camino Frances accommodation

The Camino Frances offers a range of accommodation options, the most popular being a hostel (in Spanish albergue/refugio or in French auberge). Alternative accommodation options include hostals, rural houses (casa rurales), campsites, and hotels. In larger towns and cities there are options to cater for every budget and comfort level.

Hostels (albergues)

The traditional place to stay on the Camino is a hostel, more commonly referred to as an albergue. There are two types of albergue, public and private.

Public albergues

Public albergues are exclusive to pilgrims i.e., they only admit people with a pilgrim record* (credencial) who are walking, cycling, or horse-riding the Camino. A public albergue is a low-cost accommodation option; some run on a donation basis while others range in price from €10-25 per night.

There are several types of public albergue including:

  • municipal albergue - operated by local government;
  • parish (parochial) albergue - operated by religious institutions such as local churches, convents, and monasteries;
  • association albergue - operated by local or international pilgrim associations.

Public albergues often comprise of large mixed gender dormitory style rooms and shared bathroom facilities. There is no minimum standard with regard to offerings; some albergues provide a basic shelter with a mattress on the floor while others provide more amenities such as a communal kitchen, dining, and lounge area. Some properties permit animals.

Good to know...

In general, most public albergues:

  • operate on a first come first served basis (some give priority to walking pilgrims above cycling pilgrims);
  • do not accept reservations;
  • limit the length of stay to one night (exceptions may be made for health reasons);
  • are seasonal (typically open from 1 April to 31 October);
  • operate fixed hours (check-in tends to be from 1pm and check-out at 8am);
  • do not provide bed linen or towels (some may offer disposable sheets);
  • do not accept luggage transfers;
  • are staffed by volunteers (hospitaleros/as).

Albergues that are exclusive to pilgrims are colour coded yellow on our map.

Private albergues (albergue turistico)

Private albergues are operated by private individuals or a company. While some may be geared towards pilgrims, they may not be exclusive to them. Typically, private albergues charge a higher rate per night than public albergues as they offer more facilities such as a laundry space, internet access, and meals. The rate for a private albergue starts from €35 per night.

Private albergues also offer dormitory style accommodation and some may have private rooms. They may accept reservations in advance; in the instance that there is no direct booking link on our website, we recommend that you contact the property directly to find out.

Albergues often reach capacity in high season (July and August). If this is your preferred choice of accommodation, we recommend that you arrive early on the day or book in advance where possible.

Albergues that are geared towards pilgrims are colour coded yellow on our map. Hostels that do not offer services specific to pilgrims i.e., are open to everyone, are colour coded blue on our map.


The terms 'hostel' and 'hostal' are often used interchangeably, however there are differences between the two. A hostel is a budget accommodation option with fewer amenities than a hostal. A hostel typically offers mixed gender dormitory style rooms with bunk beds and shared bathroom facilities while a hostal generally offers private rooms.

A hostal is often considered to be a budget hotel although they do not provide the full array of services of a hotel. Hostals are often classified by a 1 to 3 stars rating system.

Hostals are colour coded blue on our map.

Rural houses (casa rurales)

Rural houses are country homes that tend to be located slightly off the Camino route. They tend to offer more privacy and amenities than hostels and may be available as a whole holiday home or as a private room. They are typically priced from €50 per night. A rural home stay can provide an insight into Spanish life as the houses typically respect the local architecture and traditional building methods of the region; home cooked meals may also be available. In France, a holiday home is referred to as a gite rural.

Rural houses can be found under the filter option 'guest-house/hostal' on our website. This category also includes pensions which offer private rooms. Pensions differ from rural houses as they are not a homestay and may be located in more urban areas.

Rural homes and pensions are colour coded blue on our map.

Other options

Larger towns and cities on the Camino Frances have other accommodation options such as fondas (a low budget room above a local cafe or bar), campsites, hotels, and paradors (a type of luxury hotel typically located in a converted historic building such as a monastery or castle).

Campsites are colour coded green, and hotels are colour coded blue on our map.

We provide information about the full range of properties to cater for different budgets, comfort levels, and changing accommodation needs as you travel.

*A pilgrim record is a booklet or passport that serves as proof of pilgrim status. It can be obtained free of charge from albergues on the Camino Frances route or from pilgrim offices in larger towns e.g., in Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, 39 Rue de Citadelle. The pilgrm record is stamped at each albergue to document the pilgrim journey.