I have a few more posts left to write about my previous Camino but time is not important. While I am home two months, I thought I would write about the places I stayed in. I know some of you might find this post useful, particularly if you want to walk the Coastal Camino.
Straight off, we did not have a negative experience in any of these hostels / albergues – but that said these are my own experiences. I used John Brierley’s guide book and Gronze.com for the planning and I found their maps useful. Other pilgrims gave me tips too so it is always useful to ask your fellow pilgrims for hints instead of doing all the research yourself. Some accommodation I pre-booked in advance on this trip, which would be unusual for me. I tend to pre-book an albergue in the town I am starting and finishing in. If you have any comments or anything to add, please let me know.
So let’s get down to it..
Porto – Porto Wine Hostel
First thing to say about Porto is that there are hundreds of places available here so you are spoilt for choice. There is an albergue exclusively for pilgrims if you prefer that, however reservations are not possible here. If you are flying into Portugal (like I was), try to avail of a hostel as close to the Camino path as possible or as near to the Cathedral. The Porto Wine Hostel is near the old part of Porto and not far from Sé Cathedral. You are 5 minutes from the Sao Bento train station if you wish to avail of a bus or look at the stunning artwork. Checking in you receive a tipple of wine which adds to the experience.
Vila do Conde – Balada dos Mares Vila
Link / Map
I found this hostel on Booking.com and while I didn’t find fault with the town, it was fine for one night. There are far better places to stay here and I think we were a little let down after seeing the rooms. That said the owner was very helpful when we met her. However, I was tired after a long day walking and I was focused on the days ahead. The albergue de Santa Clara wasn’t open at the time but it is now. This is probably a better option if you are looking to stay in Vila do Conde.
Fao – The Spot Ofir Hostel
One of my favourite stops along the Camino Portugués. Sandra is hospitalera here and I found her very helpful. I arrived into Fao after walking 21 km and she was all smiles when she opened the door. The albergue has a pool which I didn’t avail of but it has everything you would expect to have from a well run albergue. The day was made even better after witnessing a traditional Spanish procession. It was a very colourful affair. Most pilgrims tend to end their day in Esposende or further, but I couldn’t say no to The Spot! I will be back!
Anha – Casa da Carolina
Another town that wouldn’t be considered an end of stage town, being 5 kms before Viana do Castelo. It is a quiet town however Casa da Carolina can’t be passed. I found out about this albergue from Carolina on Facebook. She puts so much love into this albergue and it has a real homely feel to it. When we arrived, we were offered a drink to cool us down. We were given a wristband sporting the albergue’s name – I have it kept for safekeeping. Viana do Castelo is by far the bigger town and far more pilgrims prefer to stay there but if you prefer to stay in smaller albergues, I would recommend this one.
Vila Praia do Ancora – Albergue D’Avenida
A private albergue in a town right beside the ocean. The albergue offers you a bunk and there are many restaurants dotting the coast. Their website says they provide laundry services but I can’t remember seeing anyone washing. Again, not a town many pilgrims stop at, preferring to walk to Caminha. I really liked the town. It had a real chill out vibe to it. There are a few other options in this town if you are stuck.
Oia – La Cala – A Pilgrims Inn
Not many pilgrims know of Oia. It’s just a tiny town on the coast – it certainly isn’t one the guides recommend that you stop at. But I don’t follow the advice of the guide books fortunately. There isn’t much to Oia at first. You are walking along a main road for quite some time before you walk into the town, and then you see the monastery standing tall on the coast. I stayed here in 2018 and I knew that I wanted to return. I first learned of La Cala Hostel in 2019. It wasn’t open and there was talk about opening it shortly and it was on the list. Tanya will treat you well if you do wish to stay there.
Baiona – Albergue Estela do Mar
One of the newer albergues I have stayed in, tucked in at the end of Baiona. It has new facilities and it is well equipped, although the owners could add one or two more showers. The bunks are comfortable and you get a plug, light, curtain, locker, which is fairly typical in private albergues. Lots to do in Baiona so you won’t have much time in this albergue.
Vigo – R4 Hostel
I was happy to have bunks reserved when we arrived as R4 Hostel in Vigo was completo when we arrived. It appears that this is a fairly popular albergue in Vigo although some pilgrims choose to stay in pensions for the night which is totally fine. It was €18 for a night each. The owner was a lovely lady who provided us with a decorated sello. Vigo Cathedral is not far from the hostel.
Arcade – With friends
I was grateful to stay with friends in Arcade the following day.
Pontevedra – dPaso Urban Hostel
Very modern albergue in Pontevedra, a little out from the centre. I believe this opened in 2020 – I don’t remember this open the last time I walked through Pontevedra. Very spacious rooms and the bed was comfortable. The owner was great and was very helpful. Definitely recommended.
Tivo – Albergue Vintecatro
Just outside of Caldas de Reis – Tivo has a wonderful albergue in Albergue Vintecatro. I was recommended this albergue (you know who you are!) and decided to take their advice. I’m glad I did. While it is in the middle of nowhere, the albergue is attached to a bar / restaurant so we had everything we needed for the day.
Padrón – Albergue Rossol
We arrived in Padrón wet after a long difficult day but I was quite happy with the albergue when I saw it. This is despite Wallace getting told off by the owner for opening a window in the bedroom (I am unsure why?). Anyway! The bunks were very much like the bunks in dpaso and in Estella do Mar – very modern and clean, with a curtain for privacy. After we cleaned ourselves up, we went out for a super paella!
Santiago de Compostela – Hospedaría San Martiño Pinario
My choice of accommodation in Santiago for quite some time. You get bed and breakfast for €26 – that is quite a bargain considering the location of the Pinario. But what you get is a room to yourself to gather your thoughts, and catch up on a few hours sleep, and maybe plan your next Camino!
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