Hostels on the Camino de Santiago: How do they work?

The hostels of the Camino de Santiago and the hospitaleros that are behind are fundamental pillars so that the Jacobean phenomenon works correctly every year. This is how they work

Fernando Borjas
30/05/2018 19:36
Albergue Camino de Santiago

Albergue Camino de Santiago

This is how the public and private hostels on the Camino work

Even if it is the first time you do the Camino de Santiago and you are still with the preparations, it is more than likely that you have heard about the hostels on the Camino de Santiago. We speak of accommodations, both public and private, intended for the reception of pilgrims who travel the Jacobean routes, with some norms and peculiarities of operation that pilgrims must know before we embark on the Camino. You must bear in mind that it is only allowed to stay one night in these hostels (to make way for the pilgrims who come behind) except in case of illness.

The figure of the hostel, of altruistic character, is fundamental so that the pilgrims can travel the Camino being able to recharge their batteries by resting, showering or recharging their batteries before each hard stage with a good breakfast at popular prices. The hostels are for the exclusive use of pilgrims who travel on foot, by bicycle or on horseback and that is why we must always present ourselves with our Camino de Santiago credential duly completed, in order to prove that we are pilgrims traveling to Santiago.

Not all the pilgrim hostels are the same and they work in the same way, however we can assume that we can differentiate them into two clear groups: public management and private management.

Public hostels

The public hostels are managed by public institutions such as the Xunta de Galicia, by town councils or even by neighborhood associations, with pilgrims being cared for by voluntary hospitaleros, who collaborate in a disinterested way. They are not for profit, however they require a donation from the pilgrim to cover the expenses we incur (cleaning or maintenance); This is usually between 6 and 8 euros.

In general, you can not reserve a place in public hostels; pilgrims are given a bed in strict order of arrival at the accommodation, with the pilgrims having priority on foot on the pilgrims by bicycle and these in turn on the pilgrims on horseback.

Private hostels

Unlike public, in most private hostels you can call in advance to reserve a place, which for many pilgrims is an insurance to avoid unpleasant surprises at the end of the stage. While in the public the pilgrims leave a donation, in private hostels the price usually ranges between 10 and 12 euros.

Important considerations when you stay in a hostel

Maybe you might be interested: With what attitude should you face the Camino de Santiago before leaving?
In most hostels, public or private, you will find several types of services, such as washing machine or dryer, which entail a payment, or internet connection, as well as showers with hot water, sinks and spaces to wash and hang clothes and cook our Own food. The above are the "most common minimum services" but of course you will find hostels with more amenities, such as lockers, recreation areas, common spaces for resting and chatting, etc.

When you stay in a hostel you should have a respectful attitude towards other pilgrims and towards the voluntary hospitaleros / staff of the accommodation: it is not a hotel, so do not make too much noise when going to bed and getting up to leave in the morning, respect the schedules of rest and do not forget to take care and preserve the state of the facilities as if they were yours. Think that the next pilgrim who will use the toilets or the showers can be you, so leave everything as you would like to find it.

One last piece of advice: be grateful and kind to the hospitaleros when you arrive, living and leaving; If all this continues to work, it is thanks to his willingness to help and assist the pilgrim.

Do you think we have left something about the operation of the hostels of the Camino de Santiago? Help us improve with your contribution in the comments


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Recent activity
Sin avatar
Angel Pereiro Saavedra 26/06/18 10:28:20
Algo que quizá os olvidéis, es que Samos tambien es de donativo, hay albergues en el Camino como el de Zamora, Najera etc.que son municipales y somos los hospitaleros voluntarios, los que nos encargamos de su mantenimiento.
En los albergues de donativo, no se les exige ninguna cantidad, hay algunos que dan, otros no, unos más otros menos, pero el trato es siempre el mismo a todos.
Ese trato que desde tiempos inmemoriales se les daba de acogida a los peregrinos, cuando llegan en invierno una taza de café con leche, un colacao caliente y en verano una bebida fresca.
La satisfacción del hospitalero, es cuando al día siguiente se despiden de ti, com una sonrisa dándote la mano y esa frase tan bonita de gracias.
Mientras siga habiendo albergues de donativo, habrá hospitaleros voluntarios y se mantendrá el espíritu del Camino de Santiago, tal y como era y no se convertirá en una atracción turística mas
4 0
Ramón Fernández Fernández
Ramón Fernández Fernández 31/05/18 12:47:27
Albergues del Camino de Santiago: ¿Cómo funcionan?
Leo esta noticia y me deja impresionado.
¿Desde cuando los albergues públicos gestionados por la Xunta los atienden hospitaleros voluntarios?
¿Desde cuando en los albergues públicos de la Xunta se paga con un donativo?
Creo que esta información del articulo es errónea, los albergues de donativo es otra cosa completamente distinta.
Pueden ser albergues de donativo los que en ningún momento tienen estipulado una cantidad a cobrar, pueden ser religiosos, de asociaciones, y si son públicos claro, pues puede acceder cualquier peregrino y cierto es que no se admite reserva. En algunos, pocos, los albergues de donativo pueden aportar incluso la cena y el desayuno de manera tradicional como sucede en los albergues que tiene la Asociación Gallega de Amigos del Camino de Santiago (AGACS) y que el peregrino aporta un donativo, el que estime oportuno y siempre de manera totalmente privada.
No se puede informar si no es de forma rigurosa.
Muchas gracias.
1 1
Ramón Fernández Fernández
Ramón Fernández Fernández 31/05/2018 12:50:59
Se me olvidaba de puntualizar algo muy importante: En los albergues que nombro si son atendidos por hospitaleros voluntarios. Dichos albergues están situados en el convento de san Antonio de Herbón y en el alto de san Roque en Corcubión, es decir, Camino Portugués y Camino Fisterra-Muxía.
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