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Hostels, the hallmark of the Camino
In the French Way alone there are more than 260, a situation that favors various possibilities for overnight stays and, therefore, a division of stages almost à la carte. The parish and religious orders hostels were the first to receive pilgrims voluntarily and must maintain that philosophy to keep alive the roots of the pilgrimage.
In public shelters, as a rule, the booking is not allowed and they are dealt with according to the order of arrival, leading the priorities who make the walking tour, followed by those who pass it on horseback or by bicycle. To stay in them it is essential to carry the credential and the stay is limited to one night, except for illness or force majeure.
Private hostels allow reservation and it is already customary to book bed in advance, especially in summer and even before leaving home. With the revitalization of the Jacobean route, private hostels have emerged as flies and more than pilgrim hostels seem to be hostels. From the diaphanous rooms filled with bunk beds of the 1990s, it has moved to hostels that, apart from the bunk beds, offer single and double rooms. It is no longer uncommon for them to have bed linen, washer and dryer, kitchen and refrigerator, vending, bar, internet connection and even machines that massage the feet.