When considering where to stay, there are many options. From Shared to Private, from very basic to Five Star hotels.
Types of Shared Accommodations on the Camino
Municipal – These albergues are almost always run by the local government. they are exclusively for pilgrims and are usually the least expensive of the options. Nearly all have kitchens. Few accept reservations.
Xunta – Similar to a municipal, but unique to Galicia where the government has set up a large network of albergues built largely into former schoolhouses. The services and equipment are standardized and a disposable pillowcase and bottom sheet are included.
Private – Privately owned and operated albergues differ from municipal albergues in that they more often accept reservations, provide service to non-pilgrims, and typically have a higher price. They are often newer with more services (meals, etc.), though it is important to note that quite a few do not have a kitchen. They frequently have a bar or restaurant attached.
Association – Various associations around the world maintain albergues which are staffed by members (volunteers) on a rotating basis. Several “Friends of” associations from around Spain do the same. These typically fall somewhere between a Municipal and a Private from a price/service standpoint. Because of the way they are run they almost always provide fresh and friendly hospitaleros who are former pilgrims giving back to the community for a few weeks.
Parochial – Similar to an albergue run by an association, with the important distinction that the organization in charge is a religious order.
Camping – Although not strictly an albergue, several campsites have been included as an inexpensive alternative. Few of these are in town, but all are within walking distance. It should be noted that most of the land along the Camino is private. If you want to camp you must either obtain permission from the land owner or choose a designated camping area/ campsite.
Polideportivo – This is the Spanish version of a sports hall or sports club. They are stuffed with whatever bedding is available. (if it is available) during periods of extremely high traffic to handle crowds.
Below you will find a list of Albergues available on the Camino Frances. This is the most current list available, however, Albergues open and close frequently.
Here is a list of accommodations for the Camino Portuguese
Some of the best experiences on the Camino can be staying in a Donativo albergue. Please remember that Donativo does not mean free, it means that you should give what you can and if possible a minimum of what you would have paid had you stayed in an albergue that charged. Please also consider that if you share a communal meal and or breakfast you should leave payment for that as well. The Donativo albergue is a Camino institution that is dying out because many pilgrims who are capable of supporting them simply choose to use them as a way to sleep and eat for free.
Types of Private Accommodations
Parador – Generally considered to be a luxury hotel chain in Spain, and usually located in a rehabilitated building of historical importance such as castles, pilgrim hospitals, and the like.
Hotel – The standard hotel class, the range of services, and the quality vary greatly.
Hostal – a less expensive alternative to a hotel. Hostels typically have a bar or restaurant that offers meals and drinks to both guests and the public alike.
Pension – a less expensive alternative to a hostel. Pensions typically offer private rooms with shared bathrooms, although this is not always the case.
Hotel Rural – Similar in class to a hostel, but typically found in a more rural setting; The distinction between a Hotel Rural and a Casa Rural is over hard to discern.
Casa Rural – Similar in style and service to a B&B and sits in a rural setting or small village.
Apartment – Available primarily in larger cities, apartments offer multiple bedrooms as well as a kitchen and are rented as a whole unit making them a good option for small groups
This information was provided by the Wise Pilgrim app. www.wisepilgrim.com