The French Way offers a wide variety of options both in terms of quality and price. The classification of accommodation may vary depending on the region. In any case, we recommend that you check the services that are available before you make your reservation. Here are the classification standards.
Along the Way you will find three types of hostels: pilgrim hostels, youth hostels and tourist hostels. Hostels typically offer accommodation in multiple bedrooms with shared services such as bathrooms, kitchens, etc.
Pilgrim hostels are usually publicly-owned establishments, run by non-profit organizations. Their one-night rate does not usually exceed €6, in Galicia prices may reach up to €8. The price is considered a donation. In practice, many of them, in addition to the price for spending the night, offer further services for an extra charge, such as bed linen or similar. These hostels only accommodate pilgrims who accredit they are doing the Way by showing their credential, and they do not accept reservations. In La Rioja they are called “traditional” hostels or “albergues de hospitaleros”.
Tourist hostels. These are run by private companies in Navarre, Burgos, Palencia, León, Lugo and Pontevedra, being classified as tourist hostels on the Camino or Caminos de Santiago. Their categories are ranked usually 1st or 2nd class. In Huesca hostels do not have a specific classification. In La Rioja tourist hostels located on the Camino de Santiago are called pilgrim hostels. These hostels accommodate all kinds of visitors, so it is not necessary to accredit your pilgrim status. Many of them accept bookings, depending on internal managerial decisions. Tourist hostels are required to display an identification plate indicating their classification as such.
Youth hostels. Their purpose is to provide affordable accommodation adapted to the needs of the young population and thus promote their mobility. The only requirement is to be the holder of a hosteller card in the pertinent class: youth, adult, family or group.
HOTELS, “HOSTALES” & “PENSIONES”
Hotels, “hostales” and “pensiones” are hospitality establishments that occupy a building totally or partially and offer accommodation. Hotels and some “hostales” also offer catering services. They are called “rural” when they are located in small rural towns.
“CASAS RURALES”, “VIVIENDAS DE TURISMO RURAL”, “POSADAS” & “APARTAMENTOS TURÍSTICOS”
Along the Way you will be given the choice of renting country houses (“casa rural”) – in rural settings, whether the full house or by rooms. These establishments are typically located in small towns and feature more traditional architecture. Rural tourism houses and rural apartments may not feature such more traditional architecture.
Although the rating of these types of accommodation may differ between regions, tourist apartments offers accommodation in an accommodation unit that can be located in a building or in a residential block. They are more typically found in urban areas.
Accommodation in country houses is available in all regions. In Galicia they are also called “casa de aldea” or “casa rectoral”. In Castile and León in rural areas you will also find “posadas”, rural tourism accommodation establishments located in a building of traditional architectural, historical, cultural or ethnographic value, in towns with more than 3,000 inhabitants.
CAMPING SITES & CAMPERVAN PARKING SITES
Doing the Way in a van, campervan, tent or caravan is also a good option. Camping sites are located in open air areas and they are fitted for campers to stay there, in exchange for a fixed fee; they generally include facilities such as toilets, laundry rooms, bar, restaurant, etc.
Campervan parking sites are areas for transitory or short technical stops in larger trips that make it possible for campervan users to visit the locality and its points of interest. Stays are usually limited to a maximum of 48 - 72 hours. They can be free or paid. Some of them offer extra services such as water supply and grey water discharge points, for example.