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 school houses. The services and equipment are standardized and a disposable pillow case and bottom sheet are included.
Private – Privately owned and operated albergues differ from the 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 of 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 a walk-able 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.
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 quality vary greatly.
Hostal – a less expensive alternative to a hotel. Hostal’s typically have a bar or restaurant which offers meals and drinks to both guests and the public alike.
Pension – a less expensive alternative to a hostal. 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 sit 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 unite making them a good option for small groups
This information was provided by the wise pilgrim app. www.wisepilgrim.com
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