Real treats amongst the ~300 albergues on the Camino Francés
For many people, the albergues are a big part of their experience as pilgrims and many plan their days to be sure to visit the 'right' ones which fit their needs. Of course it's a question of taste which albergue you like or not. Here we are highlighting our favourites, the albergues which resonated with us and where we often struggled to leave these magical places full of soul.
La Casa Magica, Villatuerta
Truly a magical place to stay
Hidden away up a small side street in Villatuerta, you'll be welcomed warmly with biscuits and other treats after you enter this special albergue. They have single beds in spacious rooms, good quality facilities, a nice courtyard with hammocks to relax in, and even a small pool to cool down. The whole house feels like a Mediterranean film set, but the real treats are the yoga & meditation room and the fantastic food with vegetarian options which will be prepared freshly by the owner chef himself.
Hospital de San Nicolás
Small traditional albergue in the Meseta
Keep on walking past Castrojeriz for another 10 kilometers and stay in the renovated church of San Nicolás from the 13th century. The friendly Italian hospitaleros will go out of their way to make sure that you'll have an unforgettable experience in silence and tranquility. They still practice the traditional ritual of washing the feet of all visiting pilgrims. No electricity means that you have a wonderfully atmospheric candlelit dinner. (Don't worry, there are modern showers and toilets out the back). The 8 beds and mattresses on the floor, together with the dinner and breakfast are by donation.
Hippie albergue in Villarmentero de Campos
When you're walking the pilgrims highway between Frómista and Carrión de los Condes you'll recognise this truly unique albergue from far away. If you stop there, don't be surprised if you don't want to leave anymore. You can sleep in the main adobe house in normal bunk beds, or in the garden in genuine tipis, wooden huts or hobbit beds in huge wastewater pipes, surrounded by chickens and donkeys. You can cook your own food in the well equipped kitchen or get the generous and tasty pilgrims dinner with lots of vegetarian options.
The definitive must stay in Hospital de Órbigo
There is one albergue you shouldn't miss if you're interested in an alternative vegan lifestyle, yoga, meditation or the ecological friendly treatment of this planet: Albergue Verde. A big garden with a beautiful house has been transformed into a living and working experiment of people, pilgrims and their ideas. Amazingly well equipped with solar energy, an organic garden, a yoga yurt and much more, your only regret will be that you have to leave this magical place.
El Serbal y la Luna, Pieros
One of the most atmospheric albergues
Just 1.5 km after Cacabelos, in the tiny village of Pieros, this treasure is easily missed. Be one of the delighted pilgrims who stay there and make use of the meditation and yoga room, sample their amazing sangria, enjoy the wonderful vegetarian food and soak in the spiritual energy of this lovely place. You will recharge your batteries and get inspiration from other like minded pilgrims. You can either relax in the green garden, the sunny terrace or sleep in the well made wooden bunk beds.
Ecológico El Beso, A Balsa
The most ecologically friendly albergue
Also easily missed, this fully organic albergue is located just 1.5 km after Triacastela on the way to San Xil. The owners renovated the historic house using only environmentally friendly products. You can relax in hammocks under 800 year old chestnut trees which create a magical energy. All the food is vegetarian and organic, and vegan is easily catered for. 8km after this albergue, walking under century old trees, you will pass a great donativo rest stop and the spiritual oasis of La Casa Del Alquimista.
Do Sol e da Lúa, Fisterra
Spiritual albergue at the end of the world
Wow, what a place. Great, light, colorful, spiritual and open minded. The lovely staff will treat you like a family member, serve you vegetarian dinner and breakfast and do all their magic to welcome you at the end of the world and your Camino. You can sleep in the nice dorms or in one of the two private rooms, attend a guided meditation in the yoga room or just relax in the public area. On the way to Fisterra, you'll notice creative signs which will lead you all the way to this fantastic albergue.