Before I say anything else, I want to say that the walking from Sarria to Santiago is some of the most spectacular scenery along the Camino Frances, in my opinion. I love ALL of the Camino, but this section is special. It is the last 100 or so kilometers, and is the required minimum walking if one expects to receive a Compostela (which is a Certificate saying you completed your Pilgrimage.) Here is a Compostela I found on the internet since I do not have a photo of my own.
So here are a few notes from our walk. Remember, make the walk your OWN. Don't be afraid to stop if the mood hits you, or to take a different route, or stay in a different place. Just ride the wave and let the Camino take care of you - you'll have a wonderful time!
I understand you are starting your walk in Sarria. I've walked this section twice, once in 2006 and once in 2009. The last time, I stayed at the Municipal Albergue.
I'm sorry to start off on a negative note, but the Municipal Albergue at Sarria was one of my LEAST favorites on the entire Camino. It was crowded, dirty, and dark. So I can not suggest you stay there.
Instead, try to get into Hostal Don Alvaro! I just LOVED this place! I'm not sure if they take reservations, but I believe they do! So you might call or email ahead and tell them you are beginning your walk there, and see if they will allow you to book a bed. Here are some photos. Don't let the starkness of the outside put you off. Inside it is very inviting and warm!
Albergue Don Alvaro, Sarria Apr 13, 2010
In the middle of old town Sarria, a beautiful private albergue on the Camino Frances to Santiago de Compostela. Several rooms with bunk beds and the bathroom right nextdoor, clean and tidy, with extra wool blankets for the beds. A sunny terrace with deck chairs, a garden with a fountain and a living room with an open fire place are a perfect hang out places. There's also a fully equipped kitchen. Internet access for 1,50 € per hour (April 2010). The house dog is shy and named Dana. No curfew for morning check-out. Costs 9 € per night.
I'm not sure what time you arrive in Sarria, but if you want to begin walking that day, you could walk to Ferreiros, where there is a nice small albergue. The walking in this section is just lovely.
|Albergue at Ferreiros is behind a bar and near a park|
Ferreiros is small, but nice. When we stayed in 2006, it was clean and tidy. There was a small kitchen there, but not a lot of utensils. The showers were not so clean, but "ok." I would have loved to sleep out in the park. There was a place to wash clothes and hang them on a line outside.
For me, if you want to stay somewhere BETWEEN Sarria and Portomarin, and if you are lucky to get there early enough, or to BOOK ahead, a wonderful choice is Casa Morgade Pension! You can't miss it because many pilgrims stop there for food, which is very good.
|Pilgrims stop here for lunch because it is halfway between Sarria and Portomarin|
|The dinner they served us was lucious! And the Casa is beautiful!|
|This is one of the many patios|
|A sitting room with a warm fire for evenings|
|4 twin beds in our shared room - hostal style|
The walking from Casa Morgade to Portomarin is full of wonderful sights to see. Old Celtic artwork, and green everywhere!
Once we arrived near Portomarin, we saw many signs saying there was a NEW albergue there! We followed the signs up the hell and to the left to the new place and found it to be very clean and equipped with a large kitchen and a TELEVISION! We hadn't seen the news since we left so it was quite a treat. There were rows and rows of beds, so no privacy. But the showers were very clean and I have no complaints at all. I would stay there again any time. We cooked up a huge meal of pasta. There was a very well-equipped grocery store in town where we bought all the food we needed for the next few days.
|Portomarin's New Albergue Has a Nice Sitting Room|
|A beautiful new kitchen with a wonderful view!|
|I was soooo cold when I arrived... getting warm with a hot foot bath!|
|Old Roman Road|
The next day we walked to Santa Irene but found bedbugs in the albergue, so we walked to Arco do Pino and found a lovely place to stay at Casada Gallega, Rua N 22 along the path. The owner is next door across the street (you pass her as you walk to the Casada).. It was 30 euro for a double, had a nice kitchen, was very clean... a great place to stay.
|This is where local women used to do their laundry|
|The walking was gorgeous|
Next day you walk into Santiago. On the way we passed two albergues. One was a hotel with a restaurant near the airport and I think I will stay there next time I pass through. There were many people stopped here for bocadillos and toilets.
Once we arrived back in Santiago, we stayed at our "regular" place. It is a little secret that I hope others will keep.
|Joe was able to put his fingers into the spaces on the Tree of Jesse. I understand this is no longer possible.|
Since you asked me for advice, here is the best advice I can give you or anyone walking the Camino Santiago.
"Don't worry, you'll get a bed... just go...and trust the Camino to take care of your needs!"
* * *
If you'd like to walk the Camino
but aren't quite ready to do it alone,
see my website:
but aren't quite ready to do it alone,
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for more information about
Guided Walks on the Camino Santiago
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