Whether it is an albergue, hotel or something in between, one thing is for sure, you have a lot of choices for accommodations all along the Camino de Santiago. While I encourage you not to plan too much and just let your journey happen spontaneously this is a list of 5 places not to miss on your trek. (Many of these make an appearance in the book – Sunrises to Santiago – Searching for Purpose on the Camino de Santiago)
1.) Albergue En El Camino – Location: Boadilla del Camino / Price Per Bed: 7 Euros (9 USD) This place is an amazing oasis in the middle of nowhere. Grungy looking on the outside as you enter the gates you are greeted by incredible manicured gardens, green grass, unique camino art and a swimming pool. The owners are incredibly friendly and the entire place is very well run, clean and the showers are hot. They offer a well priced communal meal every evening and have a great patio where you can rest your weary feet and throw back a cold one. When staying here you feel like you transported yourself to a beach somewhere tropical. At least for a little while. They do cram a lot of bunk beds in the rooms so don’t expect any privacy but staying here is so worth it. http://www.boadilladelcamino.com/
2.) Church of Saint John the Baptist – Location: Grañón / Price Per Bed: Donativo (pay what you want) One of the most amazing nights of my trek across Spain happened here. You sleep on the floor with provided mats in a large room attached to the church. Simple accommodations that are hard on your back but that is not what makes this place so special. I attended the pilgrim mass here that happens in the church every evening which was touching. I am not Catholic but inside the beautiful church having the priest bring all pilgrims to the front and locals joining in to pray for our safe passage to Santiago was moving. This is followed by a lively group dinner which is paid for by donations from the previous night’s pilgrims. After that they have a group meditation in the back of the church by candlelight. A phenomenal experience for those looking for a spiritual tune up on their journey.
3.) Hotel Silken Gran Teatro Burgos Location: Burgos / Price: $73 USD per night per room Sometimes on the Camino de Santiago you get tired of sleeping in giant rooms stuffed with snoring people. This hotel with a reasonable price is all the luxury you need. Located just off the the camino trail, as it weaves through Burgos, it is the perfect night’s sleep and has incredibly comfortable cloud soft beds! http://www.hoteles-silken.com/hoteles/gran-teatro-burgos/
4.) Albergue Ecológico El Beso – Location: A Balsa / Price Per Bed – 7 Euros (9 USD) Run by a family who met on the Camino de Santiago this placed is filled with love. It’s location in Galicia is in the middle of a dense green old growth forest. The vegetarian meals offered feature produce grown on site and the solitude is best absorbed while sitting in a tree swing hanging from an 800 year old tree on the property. https://www.facebook.com/albergue.ecologico.el.beso
5.) Albergue del Ave Fénix – Location: Villafranca del Bierzo / Price Per Bed – 6 Euros (7.50 USD) This place is rumored to have bed bugs but we decided stay here anyway because I was injured and did not want to walk anymore. I did not get bed bug bites. Those I got at recommended places earlier in my journey so take guidebook advice with a grain of salt. I am so glad we stayed here. The rooms pack in bunk beds like most albergues and were nothing special. A bit grungy even. The reason why this place makes my list is because of the owner. An older man who built this place with his bare hands and dines with pilgrims every night. His stories from how to make homemade olives (which you get to eat) to the spirit of his albergue are special and worth the stay. The patio is amazing as well and offers a great place to relax after a long day of walking. http://www.albergueavefenix.com/