St Jean Pied de Port Pilgrim Accommodation : 10 Albergue, Hostels and Hotels

Created by Colleen Sims * 1 November 2023

Pilgrims walking from St Jean Pied de Port beside one of the many hostels or pilgrim albergue available
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Are you starting your Camino in St Jean Pied de Port and looking for pilgrim hostels? I’ve stayed in St Jean many times and created a list of my favourite accommodation choices.

St Jean Pied de Port is a charming medieval town in the French Basque country in South West France.  As the starting point of the Camino Frances, thousands of pilgrims arrive each year to begin their journey to Santiago de Compostela in Spain.  And almost every one of those pilgrims will need somewhere to sleep. 

I know from experience that St Jean gets busy and it’s best to reserve your bed in advance. There are many places to stay and as someone who’s stayed overnight many times, read on to discover :

  • My favourite pilgrim albergue, hostels, hotels and apartments
  • Discover the best places to stay in St Jean Pied de Port
  • Learn the pilgrim lingo and discover the difference between an albergue, auberge and hostel
View from the window of my pilgrim accommodation in Rue de la Citadelle in St Jean Pied de Port
View from my window in Gite Ultreia

Book Accommodation In St Jean Pied de Port In Advance

If you plan to start you Camino in St Jean Pied de Port then I strongly recommend that you spend at least one night in town and I strongly recommend that you reserve your accommodation in advance.  St Jean is a popular tourist destination and if you’re travelling during the busy season (May-September) then accommodation will fill quickly. 

It is not unknown for St Jean Pied de Port to be full; I led a group in September 2023 and we heard that some pilgrims spent the night on the Fire Station floor; so do book ahead!

Top Tip : If you find yourself without a bed then head to the Pilgrim Office in Rue de Citadelle; they may be able to offer assistance.

leaving St Jean Pied de Port in the Rain with Then We Walking Club

Albergues in St Jean Pied de Port

If you would prefer to stay in pilgrim accommodation then there are many pilgrim hostels (albergue, auberge or gites) in St Jean Pied de Port. For this post, I’m listing those that I know, so my list is not exhaustive; it’s just my personal experience.

Municipal Pilgrim Albergue : Ospitalia Refuge

There is a pilgrim hostel in St Jean Pied de Port. Located just a few metres away from the Pilgrim Office, this traditional pilgrim’s accommodation is open year round. You cannot reserve beds but there are several bunk beds available, spread over different rooms. Be warned that in peak season this accommodation is always full.

Address: 55 Rue de la Citadelle, 64220, St Jean Pied de Port (just up the road from the Pilgrim Office)

Telephone: +33 (0)6 17 10 31 89

dormitory with bunk beds in the municipal albergue in st jean pied de port

Private Pilgrim Hostel Accommodation in St Jean Pied de Port

When I travel with my groups and walking club, it’s really important to find accommodation that will impress and put the group at ease. I look for cleanliness, comfort, suitability for pilgrims and character. There are three hostels where we’ve stayed in St Jean Pied de Port which fabulously meet this criteria and have served my groups well.

All three are located in the heart of St Jean Pied de Port and directly on the Camino de Santiago.

Gite Beilari : Such a stunning little hostel, it feels like someone’s home rather than an auberge. The owners are from St Jean and have created a little oasis that oozes the spirit of the Camino. They say that it’s not the number of pilgrims that they welcome but the practice of giving refuge and offering hospitality… to bring people together around their table for a great dinner who, at least for one night, become a family. What more could you ask for on the Camino?

Gite de la Porte Saint Jacques : This glorious hostel is more like a pilgrim retreat and perfect for an extended stay in St Jean. It offers single beds and bunk beds, it’s beautifully appointed, designed and made for pilgrims and will charm you from the minute you walk in the door!

Gite Bidean : This isn’t in Rue de la Citadelle but it is bang on the Camino, metres from the famous St Jean bridge. It’s such a great albergue that I feel it should make the short list; simply because it’s so wonderful. And not a bunk bed in sight! Best of all there is a wonderful home cooked communal dinner, which is perfect for meeting other pilgrims at the start of your journey.



Gite Ultreia pilgrim accommodation street sign, offering beds when available

Hotels in St Jean Pied de Port

Many of the pilgrim hostels in St Jean also offer private rooms but there are also a few hotels that I’d recommend. This choice is perfect for those seeking a little extra comfort and privacy as you find your feet on the Camino. And a hotel is a great choice if you plan to stay a few days in St Jean Pied de Port before you starting walking to Roncesvalles.

Les Chemins d’Elika : This glorious accommodation is almost a hybrid of a small hotel and the best kind of hostel. There is a beautiful garden with wonderful views, free WiFi and a terrace. As well as your own private room, you have the use of a shared kitchen. All rooms include a kettle (I love a kettle!) and of course a private bathroom.

Hotel Les Pyrenees : This former coaching inn is a few minutes walk from the centre of Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port. Now a 4-star hotel, it offers all the comfort you need; ensuite bedrooms (complete with bathrobes and slippers), an outdoor swimming pool and an on-site restaurant. If you’re looking for a hotel to get over your jetlag then this is a good choice.

Errecaldia House : Just a couple minutes from the old town, Errecaldia house is the perfect Basque home away from home.  Stay here to relax, recharge your batteries and pause before starting your Camino.  The house dates from 1673 and is on the doorstop of the citadel.  The owners almost will you to have a great stay and they go out of their way to make you feel welcome. There are only a handful of rooms here so book early to avoid disappointment.



hotel Errecaldie is a beautiful hotel on the edge of St Jean Peid de Port in France

Camping in St Jean Pied de Port

There is a municipal campsite in St Jean Pied de Port : Camping Municipal Plaza Berri. The campsite offers a variety of pitches, including tent pitches, caravan pitches, and spaces for campervans and is open from April to October.

Apartments in St Jean Pied de Port

We’ve stayed in St Jean Pied de Port previously just for a weekend and not as part of a Camino. It’s such a glorious little town and the hike over the mountains to Roncesvalles is glorious in the late Autumn. When we’re travelling we prefer to stay in an apartment and so I’ve included a few in my list that I would recommend and book again and again.

Studio Real Camino: What can we say about this pretty house. It is quirky and perhaps more of a cross between an apartment and hotel? It’s well appointed but not too fancy and the kitchen is more of a kitchenette and it’s absolutely perfect for a few days. There is a lovely private terrace, a quiet corner to sit and relax and you can enjoy a really great breakfast before you start your hike. If you want a place to stay for a few days then this is the perfect spot!

Villa Esposenda : Villa Esposenda can be either a hotel or an apartment but the one bedroom apartment is a favourite of ours. It’s in a great location, just a few steps away from the old town and with views of the ramparts or Irouleguy vineyards and mountains. It’s a perfect space for a few days or longer and ideal for groups sharing.

Résidence Pierre & Vacances : I wasn’t sure about including this apartment but we did stay here and we had a lovely comfortable visit. It’s a traditional holiday apartment and offered us all that we needed for a long weekend. We visited in October so the pool was closed and the complex was very quiet; it might be busier in the peak season. It’s a little bit of a walk from the centre but we quite enjoyed that; we even discovered a few artisan shops that were aimed at locals rather than tourists. I’d certainly stay here again and it’s great for a short or long stay.



Albergue, Hostel, Gite or Auberge : Different Accommodation Styles

If you’re looking for somewhere to stay in St Jean Pied de Port then there really is a host of accommodation options available, including albergue, hostels, hotels, apartments, gites and campsites.  But what’s the difference between these types of accommodation?

Albergue or Refugio

These are Spanish terms and are used to describe pilgrim hostels along the Camino de Santiago.  In France these would be called a Refuge or an Auberge.  They offer simple, comfortable pilgrim accommodation and usually offer excellent value for money.

A municipal albergue maybe considered more simple than their private counterpart, but many pilgrims feel that they are more authentic.  I’m not sure I agree with this, sometimes maybe, but not always.  One of my worst pilgrim nights ever was in a modern, cold, damp, soulless municipal albergue that has thankfully long since closed!

Some private albergue offer both bunk-beds in dormitories and sometimes also offer a few private rooms (Gerry’s favourite option!).  Usually there will be communal bathrooms, mixed-gender bedrooms, a kitchen and an area where you can wash your clothes.

A town sign showing the route of the Camino de Santiago; in French the Chemin de St Jaques

Auberge or Refuge

These are simply the French equivalent of an albergue, refugio or hostel. They offer the same services but in France the name is different.

In France, an auberge can also be an inn or bar/restaurant and doesn’t always offer accommodation. In our village, the restaurant is called Auberge de Commerce but it’s days of offering accommodation ended long ago.


A hostel is simply the anglicised way of saying albergue or auberge.  There is one difference worth considering. Hostels are similar to a pilgrim albergue but sometimes they are not exclusively for pilgrims. 

Pilgrim accommodation usually has a ‘lights-out’ policy at 10pm but hostels may have open doors at any time.  This can be an issue if you’re planning an early start and folks are still awake and talking at midnight.

I have stayed in some amazing hostels; like Quartier Leon Jabalquinto in Leon (stay there if you’re in Leon!). It’s not exclusively a pilgrim albergue, but nonetheless fabulous.

If you’re choosing a hostel then it’s worth checking the facilities and house rules if you think noise could be a problem.


Gite is another French word.  It is more often associated with self catering holiday accommodation and often a rural house.  However, a number of the pilgrim accommodation in St Jean call themselves a Gite; but they are aimed at pilgrims and they do offer pilgrim services.

Gite Makila Dorm in St Jean Pied de Port is perfect for pilgrims, as it's next door to the pilgrim office
Fabulous bunk beds in pilgrim accommodation in St Jean

How Many Days Do You Need in St Jean Pied de Port?

I always recommend at least one night in St Jean Pied de Port but if you can spare the time then spend two. If you’ve had a long journey or a long-haul flight then the extra night will give you the rest that you need and will help you prepare for the challenging first stage, crossing the Pyrenees. And there is so much to see and do in St Jean that you will easily fill your time exploring.

However long you decide to stay in St Jean, please do take my advice, decide where you will stay and book your bed in advance.

Where to Stay in Roncesvalles

Just as I recommend booking ahead in St Jean, I also offer the same advice for Roncesvalles. There are just 5 options for staying overnight in Roncesvalles and I’ve listed those choices below. Checkout these accommodation choices and get booking!

Click Links Below to Book Hotels and Albergue in Roncesvalles


Pilgrim boots used to display brightly coloured flowers in rue de la citadelle in St Jean Peid de Port

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance

Whenever you travel overseas it’s imperative to travel with a good travel and medical insurance policy.  None of us expect anything bad to happen, but in the event of an incident, you want to be sure that your insurance will be there for you.

I’ve had the mis-fortune to end up in hospital in Peru, Indonesia, Portugal and Ireland; every time my insurance took care of everything. We all hope and expect to complete our Camino without incident but I would never leave home without full and comprehensive insurance.

Globelink : We have used and recommended Globelink for years and we’ve not heard of any issues. They are a great choice for European and UK Residents.

TrueTraveller : We have this policy now for an extended global trip and we are very happy with the cover, especially considering our ages and pre-existing conditions

Safety Wing : Many of my travelling buddies from the USA have recommended this company to me, although we’ve not used them personally.

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