1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Good Idea To Book First Night Alberque In St Jean?

Discussion in 'Camino Frances' started by Byron, Sep 3, 2017.

  1. Byron

    Byron New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2017
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location:
    UK
    Hi there,

    I am arriving in St Jean pied de Port on 14 September at 7pm by train from Bayonne. Was wondering if its a good idea based on the time I am arriving, whether I should book a hostel for the night, in advance?

    I am a first timer...so nervous and excited in equal measure. Your thoughts would be welcome!

    Cheers
    Byron
     
    hindsfeet likes this.
  2. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2016
    Messages:
    1,679
    Likes Received:
    3,106
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Upstate New York
    Hey Byron - Welcome to the forum. In a word, yes, book your bed in SJPP. Because you are arriving late and because September is a busy month, having a bed reserved will keep you from having to look around for one. I'd do so right away. Here is a partial list of albergues along the Camino including SJPP that might help you.

    https://www.caminoteca.com/img/cms/list-of-albergues-on-camino-frances-2017.pdf

    You should also book in Roncesvalles. As they now offer fewer beds for pilgrims, having one reserved is wise since you might arrive late after the long climb over the Pyrenees. You can do this right in their website.

    http://www.alberguederoncesvalles.com/

    From there on, it's up to you as to whether or not you want to reserve ahead. Buen Camino!
     
    Greg Canning likes this.
  3. RJS

    RJS Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2014
    Messages:
    968
    Likes Received:
    1,065
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Cumbria UK
    Home Page:
    Good info already posted and only a few snippets to add – These are regarding booking the first few night’s accommodation in advance


    1. Definitely reserve your bed / room at Saint Jean Pied de Port – Sites like booking.com have both beds in private Albergue’s and rooms in hotels, but book ASAP as the cheaper / better options get booked up early
    2. If you are considering staying at Orisson then it’s essential to book your bed there http://www.refuge-orisson.com/en/ – Many pilgrims walk from Saint Jean Pied de Port to Roncesvalles in a single day (I did so myself, but at that time there wasn’t the option of staying at Orisson) – However, I now recommend that unless you are a hardened experienced trekker then staying at Orisson is a good idea and has the advantage that this allows you to do some sightseeing in Saint Jean Pied de Port before you start your walk (Many Pilgrims miss doing this and Saint Jean Pied de Port is a really beautiful; place and far too nice to miss) – So, apart from the obvious of it easing you into your pilgrimage by splitting the first and usually considered as the hardest day of the walk into two. You needn’t set off until you have taken an early lunch and can then walk the 8k uphill to Orisson and have a leisurely start to your pilgrimage.
    If Orisson is already full up when you try to reserve your bed, ask if they had any beds available at the nearby Kayola gîte ?? - And if Kayola gîte is also full then there was a recent thread on here where someone also wanted to break the Saint Jean Pied de Port to Roncesvalles section into two stages and couldn’t find accommodation to enable them to do this, so, they walked up to Orisson one afternoon, returned to Saint Jean Pied de Port by taxi, then spent the night at Saint Jean Pied de Port, caught a taxi back to Orisson the next morning and continued their walk to Roncesvalles. - Now this may sound somewhat convoluted, but, especially if you aren’t an experienced walker, better than burning out on your first day.

    Just one thing to be aware of when making your booking and that is Not to use the contact from on the above website, but to reserve your beds using the email address next to the contact form, then, as there have been a few reports of people who haven’t had confirmation emails sent, if it were me, I would telephone them just so that I was 100% sure that I had a bed waiting for me when I arrive :)

    1. It is now also possible to book a bed in the municipal Refugio at Roncesvalles on their website at http://www.alberguederoncesvalles.com/

    1. Then after Roncesvalles, you should be OK and not have to book beds until you get closer to Santiago de Compostela – The closer you get to Santiago de Compostela, the busier the “Way” will get – You will see this slowly happen and be able to judge for yourself when there is a need to book a bed in advance, but I would certainly expect that, IF you are intending walking well into the afternoon then you will have to book in advance after Sarria and probably even before – But if you are stopping walking soon after mid day then it might well be possible to walk all the way from Orisson without reserving a bed
    My own recommendation is that you should reserve your beds in the above places ASAP and preferably it should done as soon as you have all the details of your flights.

    Usually (Apart from Roncesvalles) if you need to reserve a bed, you can only do so in private Albergue’s and hotels, Municipal Refugio’s operate on a first come, first served basis – But If you need to reserve a bed, you will be able to do this on a day to day basis, so will still be able to maintain most of your flexibility.

    I hope the above info helps

    Best Regards

    Rob
     
  4. Byron

    Byron New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2017
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location:
    UK
    Thank you so much! Will get booking now!
     
    Greg Canning, Wily and RJS like this.
  5. RJS

    RJS Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2014
    Messages:
    968
    Likes Received:
    1,065
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Cumbria UK
    Home Page:
    No Problem – Pleased to be of help :)

    If you have a chance, please pop up a post to let us know how you get on as this will provide useful and up-to-date info for those following in your footsteps

    Buen Camino

    Rob
     
    Byron and Greg Canning like this.
  6. hindsfeet

    hindsfeet Donating Member Donating Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2017
    Messages:
    207
    Likes Received:
    470
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Arizona
    How exciting Byron....You are close now to a great adventure. I am sure that I will be nervous as well. Then I fall back on the wise words of Eleanor Roosevelt..."DO ONE THING EVERY DAY THAT SCARES YOU". You got this!!! Buen Camino!
     
  7. Byron

    Byron New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2017
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location:
    UK
    Hi Rob

    Have booked Orisson and Roncesvalles and St Jean so I feel much better for it. It just means that I can chill on that first day and walk only 8km to get into my Camino. Thank you.
     
    Babs44 and UnkleHammy like this.
  8. Byron

    Byron New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2017
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location:
    UK
    Thank you so much!!! I really am looking forward to starting now.
     
    hindsfeet and UnkleHammy like this.
  9. RJS

    RJS Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2014
    Messages:
    968
    Likes Received:
    1,065
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Cumbria UK
    Home Page:

    Wonderful – I am pleased to hear that you have managed to secure yourself a bed, especially in Orisson as there is a Big demand here for a limited number of beds – But also in Saint Jean Pied de Port and Roncesvalles – From there on people tend to thin down a little as there are more options of places to stay and some people walk faster / further than others :) – So you will soon suss out whether further booking ahead is necessary :)

    There was some recent good advice on here about trying to avoid the stops mentioned in the more popular guidebooks as these tend to get much busier than the smaller intermediate stops



    Good Luck and Buen Camino

    Rob
     
  10. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2016
    Messages:
    1,679
    Likes Received:
    3,106
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Upstate New York
    Hey Byron - Sounds like you're all set with your first few reservations. I'm sure you'll get into your Camino quite nicely.

    Let me second Rob's comment regarding the less common stopping spots along the Camino. Many pilgrim's follow Brierley's book quite closely. If you stop a bit short of or just past his recommendations, you're likely to find fewer pilgrims vying for beds. For example, there are often large crowds leaving Roncesvalles for Zubiri. Walk a few kilometers farther to Larrazoaña and the bed situation might be quite different.

    Two other things might be helpful to remember. Getting in early in the afternoon usually makes finding a bed much easier. I always ended around 1 to 1:30 and was often one of the first at the albergues. Pilgrims walking in at that hour, even without reservations, could find beds most of the time.

    Second, if it is crowded when you walk, look ahead a night or two for where you want to stay and ask one of the hospitaleros to call an albergue for you. Even by reserving just the afternoon before, you can usually get you a bed even if it's crowded. The hospitaleros will be glad to assist you.

    You will very quickly figure out what works for you as you walk. It's not rocket science! I found myself getting into a very comfortable daily routine which gave me a lot of flexibility and allowed me to have a great journey. Buen Camino!
     
Loading...

Share This Page