Camino De Santiago Albergues : My Favourite Camino Frances Accommodation

Created by Colleen Sims * 21 April 2024

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I have been walking and leading groups along the Camino de Santiago for over ten years and I’m often asked which was my favourite albergue.

Truth be told there is no favourite.  Instead, I have a treasure trove of memories from so many amazing places.  I’ve stayed in Palaces and Paradors and Places of Worship and a whole host of different accommodation on the Camino but often it has been the kindness or joy of strangers that has made a stay memorable.

In an attempt to pass on some of that magic I’ve compiled a list of my favourite Camino de Santiago albergues, hostels and hotels.  I’ve already written a similar post for the Camino Portuguese Coastal but this guide is for accommodation on the Camino Frances. 

pilgrims leaving the albergues in the early morning in the streets Estella on the Camino Frances

Camino De Santiago Albergues : How To Use My List

This post is all about my all-time favourite albergue along the Camino Frances.  These are places where I have stayed, and where I look forward to staying again when I walk the Camino Frances.  They’re places that hold special memories for me. 

My criteria may differ from yours and beyond my all-time favourites, there are many other hotels, albergues and apartments that I’ve loved too.  My list isn’t exhaustive either; I know of many fabulous albergue where I’ve yet to stay and new accommodation appears every year.  

However, if you’re looking for a few special places to spend the night then keep reading because maybe my favourites albergue will end up being yours too.  

Top Tip : Not really a tip but I would love to hear about your absolute favourites too so reach out and share your experiences of your special places along the Camino de Santiago; find me on Facebook and Instagram!

 A Note About Negative Reviews

I have also been asked where to avoid and where not to stay on the Camino but I never answer this. 

My bad experience could simply have been a bad day.  I’ll leave the negative reviews to other booking sites and for this guide, I’ll focus on the great places to stay along the Camino Frances.

street art showing a pilgrims and a signpost along the camino de santiago

 My Favourite Albergues and Hotels on the Camino Frances

I want to stress again that my list is not exhaustive. This is a list of places where I have stayed and enjoyed. I know that there are better guides, which provide far more comprehensive information, but having spent hundreds of nights on the Camino de Santiago, I’m confident that my choices will add some great ideas to your Camino planning armoury.

St Jean Pied de Port  – Gite Beilarie

There are many wonderful places to stay in St Jean Pied de Port and I really struggled to choose the best.  Sadly, my absolute favourite was sold in 2023 but a very close second is Gite Beilarie.  Joseph and Jacqueline have created a little haven here for pilgrims.

  • First and foremost they exist for pilgrims and pilgrims are at the heart of what they do
  • The rooms are small and not over-crowded
  • They have bunks and single beds
  • The house and garden are glorious
  • Dinner and breakfast is included and not to be missed

This is a small albergue, it doesn’t pretend to be a hotel but it promises to offer a true taste of pilgrimage and a wonderful start to your Camino journey.  If you can secure a bed here then don’t hesitate!

Napoleon Route – Auberge Borda

We came walking in the mountains for a weekend in October 2020 and watched these buildings take shape.  Auberge Borda is smaller than the more well know Refuge Orisson but oh my the beds are fabulous and not a bunk in sight. 

Laurent works tirelessly to ensure that everyone’s stay is perfect.  He was a pilgrim and understands what pilgrims need. The Refuge is now four years old but looks new, everything is kept in perfect order.  Dinner and breakfast are wonderful, home-cooked and he goes out of his way to cater for special diets.

Word is out that Borda is special, so do make sure you book well ahead to secure one of the beds; there’s also one private room here.  My recommendation is to take your time walking to Orisson and enjoy a leisurely lunch stop and soak up the fabulous mountain views. But spend the night at Borda.

Top Tip : for more information about walking from St Jean Pied de Port to Roncesvalles take a look at my post about How Hard is Day 1 and how to break the stage over the mountains.

early morning view, walking up into the Pyrenees from Auberge Border on the Camino Frances; en route to Roncesvalles

Estella –  Hostel Agora

I found this little Albergue by accident, but once found it became one of my favourites.  Agora is a family run albergue and they are super kind and make you feel very welcome.  But the reason I love the most is the beds and the accommodation; it’s everything you could hope for in a small busy albergue

  • The rooms and communal spaces are spotless
  • The beds are so comfortable, with a light, a socket and your own curtain (I love a curtain)
  • They are easy to climb up into even if you’re on top and very private
  • The bathrooms are excellent and the showers some of the best
  • Breakfast is great too

I could never consider staying anywhere else in Estella now; Agora has all a pilgrim needs.

Santo Domingo de la Calzada – Parador Hotel

Ok so this is definitely not an albergue but if your budget can stretch to a night of luxury then stay at the Parador in the heart of Santo Domingo.  When walking with groups we spend the night here and you can reduce the cost by booking twin and triple rooms.

  • The location is perfect; beside the cathedral in the heart of the old town
  • The rooms are extremely comfortable and spacious
  • Everything in the rooms is intended to add comfort and luxury
  • The staff go out of their way to ensure a pleasant stay
  • This is a historic building and feels very special

We stay in Paradors across Spain when we can.  I have stayed in this Parador many times and I have so many happy memories of sitting on their terrace, in the company of pilgrims, sharing stories of our day.  This truly is a wonderful hotel.

Hornillos del Camino  – Albergue Hornillos Meeting Point

I stayed here the first time I walked the Camino Frances and I stayed at Meeting Point and the last time I walked too.  I have tried a few other albergue in the village but this is my favourite stay in town.

The rooms are clean and tidy, the beds are comfortable and check-in easy.  The garden is great for relaxing and ideal too if you’re travelling solo as it’s a natural gathering spot.

My groups particularly loved the evening meal, with one long table and pilgrims from around the world chatting together; it’s just a lovely stay.   There is also a private room too.

Castrojeriz – Hotel Iacobus

Castrojeriz is a glorious little town, famous for it’s huge hill as you leave the following day. I’ve stayed here many times and enjoyed a night in the municipal albergue and in the equally wonderful Albergue Rosalia but my favourite has to be Hotel Iacobus.

I’ve eaten a pilgrim dinner here on every visit and enjoyed the laughter and company of pilgrims each time.  Indeed I love this little hotel so much, it’s now my choice for my group (and they love it too). 

There are solo, double and triple rooms which makes it very cost effective.  Our rooms are comfortable and spacious with lashings of hot water.  It’s a great location and you can sit on the terrace and look out at that hill.  If you’re looking for a private room and a wonderful Pilgrim dinner then I recommend Iacobus.

reaching the top of the hill with Castrojeriz behind in the distance

Boadilla del Camino: Albergue En El Camino

What’s not to love about this glorious little albergue?  En El Camino is indeed on the Camino. It’s a busy albergue and yep! I really did bang my head on the wood above the bed but wow, I’d happily stay here again. 

The artwork is curious and fun, the showers are hot and the evening communal meal is wonderful; there’s even a swimming pool (although I’ve not used it).  This is a real treat of an albergue and the atmosphere is created by not only the many pilgrims who stay, but by the staff who work here.

And if you prefer a private room, they have a hotel across the street.

Carrión de los Condes – Albergue parroquial de Santa María

There are two wonderful albergue in Carrion and it was difficult to choose but I went for this one because of the singing Nuns. This is a simple traditional albergue in every sense, but it is spotlessly clean and there’s a great kitchen for pilgrims and there’s a chance you may hear the nuns sing.

I have very fond memories of my nights in this little town and the pilgrims I shared dinner with.  This is a special place and if you can find a bed then lucky you!

Top Tip : you don’t have to stay to hear the Nuns, all are welcome to Vespers

pilgrims on the camino de santiago walking towards Carrion de los Condes

Ledigos – Albergue La Morena 

I’ve seen this albergue change from a simple albergue into a flourishing, beautiful hostel offering bunk beds and fabulous rooms. 

I’ve lost count of how many visits I’ve made to Albergue La Morena; alone, with friends and with my walking club.  I’ve never been disappointed with the bed or the room or the dinner.

Whilst it feels like a lovely rural hotel it is still at it’s heart, a meeting point for pilgrims walking the Camino and I love it for that reason and the chocolate left on the pillow.

Hostel Quartier Leon Jabalquinto

I have visited Leon so many times and yes of course I’ve spent a few nights in the incredible Parador Hotel; if you’ve watched The Way then maybe a stay here is mandatory?  However, these days my favourite place in town is Hostel Quartier Leon Jabalquinto.

This little gem offers something for everyone.  You can have a bunk, you can have a room for 2 or 3 or 4 you can even have a family room and they are all wonderful.  

The bathrooms are great, the bedding is wonderful, the staff are fabulous and there’s a kitchen where you can cook or help yourself to breakfast.  Along with glorious little corners to sit and read, or take advantage of the Wi-Fi, there’s something for everyone here.

The hostel is just a stones throw from the Cathedral, surrounded by pretty little lanes that lead to pretty little tapas bars or open up into one of Leon’s incredible Plazas. You could spend a lot of money in Leon on a hotel, or you can enjoy a glorious stay here.  Trust me.   Book a bed.

Then We Walking Club leaving Leon in the early morning

Villavante – Molino Galochas

We planned to stay in Villavante but there was no room at the inn.  We were told of a new place a little further ahead that might have a room.  What a stroke of luck that was!

Molino Galochas is a glorious little casa where they offer you reading corners and board games and hot tea and make you feel like you’re visiting family.  They grow their own vegetables, cook their own food and they welcomed us like old friends.  It’s small and only private rooms, but if you’re looking for somewhere special it’s perfect.

Rabanal – Albergue Nuestra Señora del Pilar

Many pilgrims coming from Astorga end their day at Rabanal.  It’s a great place to spend the night and many folks talk about the  Confraternity of St James Albergue Refugio Gaucelmo where they serve afternoon tea but for me, I love Albergue Nuestra Senora Del Pilar

This is a family run albergue and they offer private rooms alongside pilgrim bunks.  They also offer an amazing kindness and Isabel in particular goes out of her way to ensure ‘a good way’ for all those who stay.

The building is gloriously old world and the place is full of the buzz of pilgrims.  They offer everything you could need, including an excellent dinner. There’s a lot of choice in Rabanal but this should be top of your list!

El Acebo – La Casa de Peregrino

I think this might be a controversial choice.  When I walked in 2014 we stayed in the very lovely Hostel Meson El Acebo in the old town and it has a lot of lovely features and worthy of a stay.

However, I wondered as we left town, what impact the new large modern albergue/hotel would have on the village.  Thankfully a decade later it would seem that the village is still thriving but I have switched my allegiance from old to the new Casa de Peregrino.

Initially I booked for my walking club, as this offers all that we need. But having stayed here I now love that it is self contained.  It feels like a hotel with bunks and private rooms available along with and on-site bar and restaurant and laundry and swimming pool and Wi-Fi.  It’s just easy to stay here.

All of those conveniences aside the thing that I loved the most was sitting on the terrace, surrounded by pilgrims, mesmerised by the glorious sunset over the mountains.  One of my group hugged me and a tear rolled down her face.  It’s beautiful she said.  And it was.  This seriously has to be one of my most treasured memories. Book a bed at Casa de Peregrino!

sunset on the camino de Santiago, staying at the albergue in El Acebo

Villefranca del Bierzo – Albergue Leo

I stayed in Albergue Leo on my first Camino and it had just opened.  They welcomed us like friends and we were able to warm up from the autumn chill and enjoy dinner around their table.

The beds were super comfortable and if you’re looking for a traditional private albergue this would be my first choice.  It’s in a great location, right on the Camino and even after ten years, they still welcome pilgrims with a smile!

Trabadelo – Casa Susi

Trabadelo is a lovely little town and the perfect stop for lunch for many folks but it would be very remise of me not to mention a very wonderful little albergue run by an equally wonderful couple who were once pilgrims.

Albergue Casa Susi is the fruition of a dream to create a home in Spain, along the Camino, which welcomed weary travellers and made them feel like they’d come home too.  I could wax lyrical about beds and food and smiles but go find out for yourself; you won’t regret your choice.

Las Herrarias – Albergue-Pensión Casa Lixa

There are a number of really lovely places to stay in town but my favourite is Albergue-Pensión Casa Lixa

  • I like it because it offers private rooms and bunk beds and family rooms for groups sharing
  • It’s clean and comfortable and has everything a pilgrim needs
  • It’s a good location, right on the camino
  • The bar and restaurant is busy with pilgrims and I’ve enjoyed many wonderful dinners here

I love the ambience of Albergue-Pensión Casa Lixa; I have many happy memories of this pilgrim hostel!

Colleen, Taking a horse from Las Herrieras on the Camino de Santiago

Fronfria – A Reboleira and Casa Nuñez. 

Ooh Albergue A Reboleira really is one of my most favourite albergue along the entire Camino Frances! 

The first time we stayed it was just a place on the map, they told us we had to walk across the road for dinner and I was like… really? And now every time I plan a Camino Frances, I ensure that I can spend just another night here.

  • You can have bunk beds lovely private rooms (for 1,2 or 3)
  • There is a little bar, serving snacks and drinks
  • The fabulous communal dinner in their traditional round house is a joy
  • There is a wonderful lounge area where pilgrims gather
  • And at night there is inevitably music and dancing.

This albergue doesn’t really fall on an end stage along the Camino Frances, but if you can work it into your plans then book a bed and stay here.  It’s wonderful.

Morgade – Casa Morgarde

Another hotel that falls in between stages; which is ideal if you’re trying to avoid the busy end stages after Sarria.

Casa Morgade is a peach of a Casa Rural.  This hostel has a wonderful ambience and offers twin rooms and a few single rooms.  There’s a great restaurant serving a pilgrims menu, they even have great gluten-free  choices.

The restaurant and bar come alive at night with pilgrim chatter. It’s quite isolated so the rural Galician views are picture perfect and it’s right on the Camino. I totally recommend you reserve your bed!

the beautiful countryside of Galicia on the Camino Frances

Coto – Casa de los Somoza

I discovered Casa de los Somoza after another huge downpour.  We stopped early to avoid the rain and spent the night here, drying our boots in front of a huge Woodburning stove.  We had a triple room and ate a hearty meal with a couple from the Netherlands. 

I love this hotel and have such fond memories of staying here.  It has grown over the last decade and is no longer the little hotel we discovered but nonetheless it’s still wonderful.  I spent my 60th birthday here, in the company of special pilgrim friends, drinking sangria and eating dinner on the terrace enjoying late May sunshine. 

Another hotel that sits between the main stages but definitely worth the extra few kilometres; it’s popular so reserve in advance!

Ribadiso de Baixois – Albergue de Peregrinos

It’s true that the Albergue de Peregrinos de Ribadiso de Baixois is quite traditional and rustic. And it’s true that the bathrooms can be a tad chilly.  However, it has a jetty beside the river where you can bath your feet or swim if you dare in the river. 

One of my most treasured Camino memories is here, one hot afternoon in the company of pilgrims and a very dear friend who is no longer with us.

Next door to the albergue is an excellent bar (where maybe sometimes the staff could smile a little more) but the food is excellent and they have gluten free beer and it’s a pilgrim stop so the company is always excellent.

Consider a night here in this pilgrim albergue; it’s a special place.  They don’t accept reservations, but it is a large albergue so fingers crossed you secure a bunk.

photo of pilgrims soaking our feet in the albergue on the camino de santiago

Santiago – Hospedería San Martín Pinario

No Camino for me, is quite complete without a stay at Hospedería San Martín Pinario.

They do offer private rooms more akin to a hotel but they also offer simple pilgrim accommodation. This is my favourite place to stay and if you are looking for budget friendly accommodation, in my humble opinion, it’s perfect.

It’s true the rooms are quite sparsely decorated but they are clean and comfortable. Solo rooms include a single bed and your own bathroom and breakfast.  And you also get to stay in one of the city’s most historic buildings right opposite the cathedral. 

To reserve your room you must contact the Hospedería direct or try booking on their website; I’ve had much more success with email and stress you wish to book pilgrim rooms.

Top Tip : Hospedería San Martín Pinario is a beautiful building and well worth a visit even if you’re not staying, you can even stay for lunch. It’s opposite the cathedral before you enter the Praza do Obradoiro. Honestly my favourite place to stay in the city! And for more information take a look at my post about Things To Do In Santiago de Compostela.

hospedería san martín pinario my favourite place to stay

Camino De Santiago Albergues: My Favourite Places To Stay

So there you have it.  This was really hard to do and I know that I’ve had amazing nights elsewhere and not included those albergues.

In truth, the Camino Frances is littered with glorious little albergue and incredible hotels.  Sometimes you have to accept a little discomfort to find the magic but that’s ok.  Other times you may forego the history and the character for the company and convenience and that’s fine too.

If you are walking from St Jean Pied de Port to Santiago de Compostela and you managed to secure a bed in my all time favourite places to stay; then you will have managed to enjoy a few excellent nights sleep!

Are you Walking the Camino Frances?

I have a series of posts about the Camino Frances that you might find useful :

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