The following albergues are ones that I particularly enjoyed, mainly because of the hospitality of the owners, ambience of the hostel, the food and experiences.
This is only 7km from St Jean but is a good stopping point. It has a lovely atmosphere, a communal dinner, after which everyone has to introduce themselves, and a beautiful view. I had booked in advance by email as I had read it was very busy.
This is on one of the small detours. I hadn’t intended to stay there but it was such a peaceful place that I did so and was very glad. It is run by the RSCJ Sisters. There is a communal meal and optional Mass as well as single beds rather than bunks. If only I had appreciated what a luxury that was at the time!
Rocamador in Estella
This is run by the Capuchin monks and I stayed in a private room as it was the day I broke my wrist. The staff were wonderful to me and there was a lovely atmosphere. There is a communal dining room and flexible meal times.
Albergue Izar in Viana
This albergue had modern clean facilities, very welcoming staff and a communal meal.
Acacio and Orietta in Viloria de la Rioja
This was one of the albergues that I particularly wanted to stay in and it didn’t disappoint. It only has 10 beds,provides a communal meal and lots of chat. An afternoon was spent by the fire reading and talking and was just what I needed on that day.
En El Camino in Boadilla
This was another albergue that I particularly wanted to stay in and wasn’t disappointed. It has a beautiful garden, comfortable beds, good food and a warm welcome. It is family run and one of the sons returned to my previous night’s albergue to pick up my backpack that had been left there.
Santa Marina at Molinaseca
Santa Marina has very modern facilities with good space between the beds (a luxury!), a garden area and a welcoming atmosphere.
La Camnynos in Ambasmestas
I was on my own here in a 10 bed dorm. The food was excellent. Although more expensive than the standard dinner, it was worth it! It has a very hospitable owner and lovely cafe/bar.
Paloma y Lena at San Mamed del Camino
The third one that I ‘had’ to stay at and, again, it more than met expectations. The bathroom was attached to a 10 bed dorm. It had modern facilities, beautiful gardens, a warm welcome and excellent communal dinner. One of the best! (All the more appreciated after staying in the worst albergue the night before – see below).
The worst albergue!
Santa Maria de Poio at Alto do Poio
This albergue had cramped facilities, didn’t feel clean and had only one bathroom (toilet and shower combined) for too many people. If possible, it is worth walking on to the next village.