This year, I finally ticked a major item off my bucket list: hiking the Camino de Santiago. Instead of the most popular French Way, I opted for a beautiful path along the Portuguese coast. This Portuguese Camino, from Porto to Santiago de Compostela, is becoming increasingly popular among hikers. And with good reason! Because who wouldn’t want to spend two weeks walking along the Atlantic Ocean in the north of Portugal and Galicia?
Even though this Camino is newer, it is already well established in terms of accommodation and food options. There are plenty of options to choose from, for every taste and budget. And they are strategically placed, so you can divide the 280 km route in as many stages as you choose. Take a look at my 13-day itinerary for inspiration.
To help you prepare for your own Camino, I’ll give some information on Portuguese Camino accommodation options and my favorite properties that I stayed at.
Accommodation options on the Portuguese Coastal Way Camino
If you’re hiking the Camino Portuguese del Costa, you’ll have a few different options for accommodation.
Camping: you could go camping on your Camino, but I wouldn’t recommend it. Not only does carrying around camping gear increase your load, it won’t be as easy to find places to stay. Wild camping is illegal in Portugal and Spain, and official campsites are rather sporadic. It would require a lot more advance planning.
Pilgrim albergue: the accommodation of choice for pilgrims on the Camino are the municipal albergues. These “albergue de peregrinos” are run by the local government and usually staffed with volunteers. They cater exclusively to Camino pilgrims and cannot be booked in advance. Instead, you have to show up with your backpack and pilgrim credentials to get a bed when they open for the day (usually around 13:00/14:00). It’s first come first serve, but as the Portuguese Camino isn’t as busy as the French Way, you shouldn’t have a problem getting a bed.
The albergues are cheap, at €8-15 a night, and very basic. They usually provide a bed in a dorm, shared bathrooms, and perhaps a kitchen. Some might offer meals, but don’t count on it. They often have a 22:00 curfew and check-out is promptly at 08:00 am. Don’t expect much in the way of comfort, but you’ll meet a lot of other pilgrims here. Municipal albergues don’t allow you to have your luggage transported there, so if that’s your plan, you’ll have to book hostels or hotels instead.
Hostel: there are also plenty of regular hostels that are open to pilgrims and other tourists. Here you can book a bed in advance, although it’s usually not neccessary outside of the high season. Regular hostels are ususally a little bit more expensive, €15-20 a night, and provide more ammenities. If you find yourself in need of comfort, but want to stay on budget, a regular hostel is a good choice.
Hotel: for the more upscale clientel, there are also a lot of hotels along the Portuguese Camino. You’ll find anything from 2 to 5 stars, in different price categories. If the idea of sharing a room with stranger doesn’t appeal to you, this might be a better option than an albergue or hostel. Hotels will also allow you to transport your luggage there with a transport service. If you’re planning to stay in hotels, prices are usually lowest when booked in advance.
B&B: if you want comfort and coziness, consider staying in B&B’s. You can find these smaller, local run, hotels all along the Camino. It’s a great way to meet locals and support the local economy, without sacrificing comfort. B&B’s always include breakfast and some may offer dinner as well.
Booking accommodation for the Portuguese Camino
In most cases you don’t have to book your accommodation is advance for the Camino Portugues. This depends on the type of accommodation and the time of year.
Municipal pilgrim albergues don’t accept reservations, so they cannot be booked in advance. You just show up to get a bed. This is the most flexibel, relaxed, and authentic experience you can have on the Camino. Outside of the high season, you’ll be able to stay in regular hostels without a reservation as well. Although for some of the popular ones it is worth booking a day or so in advance.
If plan to use a luggage transport service, you will have to book your accommodations in advance. That way, they’ll know where to take your bags. The further you book hotels in advance, the cheaper it usually is.
I recommend always booking directly with the accommodation instead of using a thrid party website. This way you usually get the best price and you’ll receive much better customer service in case of a change or cancellation. It also ensures that your money goes to the establishment, without a hefty commission for the booking platform.
However, for the sake of ease, you can use a booking platform like Hostelworld or Booking.com. I recommend downloading the app for easier use.
My favorite accommodations that I stayed at during my Portuguese Camino:
So, with all the different options out there, I wanted to share which ones I think are particularly good choices. These hostels were my absolute favorites that I stayed at during my pilgrimage. They all had either a great atmosphere, terrific facilities, or something special about them. I’ve ranked them in chronological order.
Nice Way, Porto
Before I started the Camino, I made sure to book 2 nights in Porto to explore the city. Because Porto is such a beautiful and fun place! There is no shortage of highly rated hostels in Porto, so I had quite a hard time picking on.
I ended up going with Nice Way Porto, because of the social atmosphere and events they advertised. And I was very happy with my choice! It is definitely one the most fun hostels I’ve stayed in during my travels.
Nice Way manages to be clean and comfortable without being boring, and fun and social without being a rundown backpacker haunt. The bed were good and offered a lot of privacy, everything was clean, and the common room is really cute and inviting.
Looking for things to do in Porto? These are my favorite activities
The daily happy hour always brought everyone down to the common room, so it was a good way to meet fellow travelers. The communal dinners were some of the best I’ve ever eaten in a hostel! And with unlimited sangria and beer, an absolute steal for €10. I you’re taking a solo trip to Porto or want to have a relaxed atmosphere and a bit of comfort before hiking the Camino, I highly recommend Nice Way Porto.
Address: R. de Sampaio Bruno 12 3rd, 4000-439 Porto, Portugal
Price per night: from €20 a night
The Spot, Ofir
My second favorite place I stayed at after Porto came completely spontaneously. I had originally planned to hike further, but the first couple days proved a bit more challenging than I had expected. So when I check my Camino app to see which accommodations were nearby, The Spot in Ofir immediately caught my eye. Or more accurately, the pool did.
A dip in a pool was exactly what I craved after a long and sweaty day of hiking. The prices online were €16/night, so well within my budget as well. But instead of booking online, I decided to just walk there. Which worked out great, because the owner threw in breakfast for free! In my experience, you almost always get a better deal as a walk-in!
The hostel is a cozy little house, very clean, with a big kitchen and a garden with a pool. The owner is a lovely woman with a cute dog. The rooms are small, but clean and light. I ended up grabbing a few things from the supermarket down the street to cook myself dinner and met a few of the other guests, who I would end up running into a few more times during the Camino. All in all a great place to stay!
Address: R. dos Veigas 14, 4740-369 Fão, Portugal
Price per night: from €16 a night
Bom Caminha, Caminha
Now this is the only hostel that I picked based on other peoples recommendations. I had met several people who had stayed in Bom Caminha and absolutely loved it. And it also helped that it was the first hostel walking into Caminha, and I was exhausted. I managed to get the very last bed for €18/night (a shared double room, rather than a dorm).
Bom Caminha is a more classical backpacker hostel: colorful, chaotic, and charming. There is a big kitchen with everything you need to cook. The highlight is the little backyard with hammock, a great place to relax and chat with other guests. I ended up meeting several people here that were on the same route as me and I ran into a few more times during the Camino.
Caminha itself is a lovely little town, with a great atmosphere. If you’re planning a stop here during your pilgrimage, and you’re eager for some company, you should definitely stay at Bom Caminha.
Address: Rua de, R. Benemérito Joaquim Rosas 25-29, 4910-130 Caminha, Portugal
Price per night: from €15 a night
La Cala – Pilgrim’s Inn, Oia
You know how some places just feel like home? That is what La Cala did for me. From the warm welcome with a free check-in beer to the fresh croissants for breakfast, this hostel really goes out of their way to make you feel welcome.
It’s not surprising, because La Cala was started by a pilgrim. The owner, Tanya, is a lovely women who created the perfect pilgrim hostel based on her own experiences hiking the Camino. It’s a cozy place, with super comfortable beds, a great shower, and fully equipped kitchen. At €20/night, it was a bit pricier, but this included breakfast and use of the washer/dryer!
The hostel is small, though, so be sure to send a WhatsApp message to reserve a bed. Several tired people had to be turned away! The thing that made my stay here especially memorable was the company. Because it’s just a few beds, I instantly bonded with the other guests, and we had a lovely dinner together that night and breakfast in the evening. This was the first nights I truly felt part of the Camino community!
Address: Calle Laurel Or, Rúa do Loureiro, 22, 36794 Santa Maria de Oia, Pontevedra, Spanje
Price per night: from €20 a night
El Pazo Pais, Ramallosa
Just passed Baoina lies El Pazo Pais hotel in Ramallosa. This former monastery has been turned into a beautiful hotel and pilgrim hostel. It can be booked online for regular visitors, but they have special prices for pilgrims. No need to book ahead, simply show up there and ask for a room. For just €15/night you’ll become a private room!
These rooms are very simple cells, traditionally where monks would sleep, with a single bed, closet, table, chair and washbasin. There are shared bathrooms with showers and toilets, as well as a common room. Unfortunately, there is no kitchen and no food served. But you can either eat at a local restaurant, or pick up some simple snacks and a bottle of wine from the supermarket.
The buildings and the garden are absolutely gorgeous, and I particularly enjoyed the experience of staying in a former monastery. And after sleeping in huge dorms, having a private room was a welcome luxury!
Address: AL FINAL, Camiño da Cabreira, Rúa Damas Apostólicas, 21, 36370 Nigrán, Pontevedra, Spanje
Price per night: from €15 a night
O Lagar de Jesus, Padrón
On my last night before reaching Santiago de Compostela, I decided to treat myself. Instead of spending the night in Padrón, I hiked a bit further out towards Santiago. This saved me a good 3 km on the last day and meant that I could stay in a beautiful property: O Lagar de Jesus.
As soon as I saw the picture of the pool online, I knew that I should try to get a bed there. Luckily, it was very quiet, since most people book accommodations in Padrón proper. It was well worth the effort, though! Everyone I spoke to in Santiago remembered passing this hotel and wishing they had stayed there.
And that’s because O Lagar de Jesus is a stunning old country house with a huge garden. The stone buildings are beautifully restored and decorated. Add the big pool in the garden and I could’ve easily spent a whole week here! The hosts are lovely people and gave me a warm welcome. At €20-23 a night, this is one of the pricier places I stayed during my Camino, but it was worth every cent.
Address: 40 – A, Vilar, 15980 A Escravitude, A Coruña, Spanje
Price per night: from €23 a night
If you’re planning to hike the Camino Portugues de la Costa, you don’t have to worry about finding a place to sleep, there are plenty of accommodations to choose from. The Portuguese Camino trail is lined with cool hostels, unique B&B’s, and cozy albergues. Whatever your budget and travel style, you’ll always find a suitable place to lay your head.
That also allows for a lot of flexibilty, especially if you’re going outside of the high season (July-August), as you won’t have to compete with other tourists. If you’re not sure which accommodations to pick, I personally recommend each of the ones listed above. They were the most memorable of my 13 day hike along the Portuguese and Galician coast.
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