We weren’t sure that albergues would be for us – bunk beds in a common room, shared bathrooms, shared kitchen space if you’re lucky. It turns out we’ve come to appreciate albergues and sometimes love them.
True albergues are unique to the Camino in that they are hostels specifically for pilgrims. Some are privately owned, but many are run by municipalities or church groups. Their price per bed has ranged from “Donativo” (donations) to 20 Euros a night. You must present your pilgrim credential to stay in one, and you can stay only one night. Most serve a light breakfast and many serve a home-cooked community dinner.
The quality of these accommodations varies from crowded and a little dingy to bright, fastidiously clean, and very thoughtful in terms of supports for peregrinos. Regardless, the opportunity to spend time with our hosts and others walking the Camino is the best part of staying at an albergue.
Two recent albergue stays were particularly special – very different from on another, but memorable. We think this is at least in part because both were founded by people who have walked multiple Caminos and founded their albergues out of commitment to supporting peregrinos currently walking this path.
On Thursday of last week, we stayed at La Llosa de Cosme in Piñeres de Pria. A private albergue founded by Rosa on the same property as her home, this albergue was housed a small building with only 6 beds, a bathroom and an inside kitchen as well as an outdoor kitchen space, both with dining tables. And part of checkin is receiving a laundry basket; you hand over your dirty laundry, and it is returned washed, dried, and folded.
The real joy at La Llosa de Cosme is the beautiful garden with hammocks and a picnic table. We were joined that evening by Yung Mi from Korea, Tauri from Australia, and Thierry from Belgium along with his 13-year-old son. We prepared our dinners independently, and breakfast was provided. It was the most relaxing stay we’ve had so far. We had met Tauri, Thierry and his son earlier on the Camino, and we enjoyed getting to know Yung Mi. A lovely evening! We hope you enjoy the photos!
Albergue Llosa de Cosme
On Saturday we stayed with Marisol and Jose in their recently opened Albergue de Peregrinos Duesos. Marisol and Jose are peregrinos from Madrid who bought a 200-year old building and surrounding property two years ago and renovated it (themselves) as an albergue with their home attached. They provided communal dinner, breakfast, and did our laundry – all on a donativo basis. Although privately owned albergues often offer inexpensive prices to peregrinos, making their albergue donation based is testament to their commitment.
And for my gardening friends, Jose is an organic gardener. He gave us a tour of his garden – tomatoes, lettuce, collards, squashes, carrots, onions, avocados, oranges, lemons, apples, kiwi, chickens, compost, and vermiculture.
This evening, there were only four hikers there: the two of us, Tauri, and Yung Mi – so fun to spend time with them again. There may be a lot of garden photos below! Our favorite albergue so far!
Love the way those murals are done.
Such an incredible and unique experience! We’re adding it to our list!