Of the many great things about the Camino de Santiago, it is affordable (particularly for a First World country) and thus accessible for people from all around the world.
- Lodging: 22.4€/night
- Dining (bars, restaurants, coffee shops): 8.7€/day. See my Food in Spain post for typical meals.
- Groceries (supermarkets, stores): ~8.0€/day
- Miscellaneous (Pilgrim’s passport, socks, additional data SIM minutes): 1.5€/day
From the above, my average daily cost (again, not including transportation to the start in Irún and from the finish in Santiago de Compostela) was 40.6€/day. At the exchange rate during my trip, this was about US$51/day.
So if you were to spend 21 days on the Camino, plus 1 day before and after, and spend $1000 in transportation costs from and to the United States, you can expect to spend around $2173 total. Not bad for a 3.5-week vacation.
Since other than flights, lodging was my greatest expense, I dedicated the next section to it.
From the table below, you can see that from the 23 nights I dedicated for purposes of the Camino (21 days hiking + 1 night before + 1 additional day after), I stayed in:
- Albergues 5 times @ average of 8.8€/night
- Hotels 6 times @ average of 28.5€/night (these typically had staff attending a front desk during most of the day or even occasionally 24 hours)
- Pensions and Bed & Breakfasts 10 times @ average of 27.7€/night (usually had to telephone upon arrival and wait for someone to come)
- Friend’s place 1 time (free)
- Stealth camping 1 time (free)
You can see that while private rooms (typically 1-3 stars) were very affordable at a cost of less than 30€/night, they were 3.5X more expensive than the albergues (pilgrim hostels). So if you had a stricter budget, you could easily spend less on places to stay if you didn’t mind having less privacy. Just be sure to bring earplugs!
You can also bring a tent and find places in the countryside to camp, especially along the more rustic caminos such as the Del Norte and Primitivo routes that I did for the first 500 or so miles. But considering the low costs of the albergues, I would not recommend this. A good tent, for example, costs as much as three weeks worth of staying in pilgrim hostels. Better to lighten the load by leaving your tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, and cooking equipment at home.
|–||0||San Sebastián||friend’s house||0.0€||–|
|Del Norte||1||Zarautz||construction site||0.0€||–|
|Del Norte||2||Etxebarria||Pensión Txomin Ostatua||45.0€||–|
|Del Norte||3||Larrabetzu||Albergue de Peregrinos||10.0€||donativo (donation)|
|Del Norte||4||Pobeña||Albergue de Pobeña||10.0€||donativo (donation)|
|Del Norte||5||Laredo||Pensión Tucán||30.0€||–|
|Del Norte||6||Santander||Pensión Isabel||17.0€||split room with peregrino|
|Del Norte||7||Cóbreces||Albergue Viejo Lucas||14.0€||included breakfast|
|Del Norte||8||Colombres||Pensión Ayambre||15.0€||–|
|Del Norte||9||Nueva||Pensión San Jorge||28.0€||–|
|Del Norte||10||Sebrayu||Albergue de Peregrinos de Sebrayu||4.0€||–|
|Del Norte||11||Oviedo||Hotel Favila||28.0€||–|
|Primitivo||13||Pola de Alande||Hotel La Nueva Allandesa||30.0€||included breakfast|
|Primitivo||14||Grandas de Salime||Albergue de peregrinos de Grandas de Salime||6.0€||–|
|Primitivo||15||O Cadavo||Hotel Moneda||25.0€||–|
|Primitivo||16||Lugo||B&B Muralla Romana||33.0€||–|
|Primitivo||17||Melide||Pensión El Molino||25.0€||–|
|Frances||18||O Pedrouzo||Pensión Compás||25.0€||–|
|Frances||19||Santiago de Compostela||Hotel Códice||33.0€||split with Tori|
|Fisterra||20||Olveira||Pensión Casa Loncha||39.0€||–|
|Fisterra||21||Finisterre||Pensión Cabo||20.0€||split with Tori|
|–||22||Santiago de Compostela||Hotel Exe Central Santiago||35.0€||–|
Average cost for all 23 nights above = 22.4€/night (~US$28/night at the exchange rate during my trip)