the compostela is a certificate of accomplishment given on completing the Way. To earn the compostela one needs to walk a minimum of 100 km or cycle at least 200 km.
A credential is the 'pilgrim passport'.
3. Various accommodations
There are various accommodation types to choose from depending on your budget and the experience you want to get out of the journey. There are 3 classifications for accommodation types:
I. Albergues or refugios
II. Hostales/ pensions
Albergues or refugios
There are three types of albergue; municipal, associated and private. The municipal and associate Albergues are the cheapest and the only type you cannot book and they operate on a 'first-come first-served' basis. Depending on the town and your luck you may end up sharing a room between 100 to 14 people. But hey if you have earplugs and don’t mind people snoring this will be right for you. These cost between 5 and 10 Euros for a night (Often breakfast is provided). Municipal and associated albergues do not take reservations, but some private albergues you can even book online.
The private albergues provide dormitories with single beds and bunk-beds, but many also have options for single and double rooms. These rooms obviously cost more, but they provide some privacy for pilgrims who prefer this type of accommodation. It cost anywhere between 10 and 15 Euros a night, sometimes with breakfast.
Albergues cater only for the pilgrim (meaning they are not for walking tourists. you need to have a pilgrim credential to sleep in an albergue). A credential is the 'pilgrim passport'.
Hostals along the camino route are rather like 2 or 3 Star hotels. They best comparison is like a B&B although breakfast rarely served or available. They cost anywhere between 25 and 45 Euros per night depending on whether you require your own bathroom or shared bathroom.
Anywhere from 45 euros and up as they usually cater for tourist pilgrims and holiday makers. You will find hotels usually in big cities like along the Camino route.
Hostals and hotels take reservations and you can also book online.
My favourite accommodation
When I arrived in Astorga I went straight to the albergue where my friends were staying for the night. I heard the person in front of me asking if he could have a room and the albergue attendant said yes but not here follow me. I decided to follow them meanwhile asked my friends if I was not back in 10 minutes get me a bed. The men walked for 20 metres and the attendant looked at me and said, do you want a room. I said yes. And he told me the price. I was not sure if I understood correctly as he said it in Spanish. Anyways a nun greets me and said that will be 15euros. I was like do I get my own room. And nun replied yes and your own bathroom too. Oh did I mention wifi until 21.00 and a view of the beautiful cathedral too. I was quite pleased with myself scoring a bless dwelling for the night.
4. No need to carry anything
If you think carrying your own back pack is too much, fear not. These days you can pretty much walk the whole way with just your passport and your bank card. There are several companies who deliver your luggage from a small backpack to a suitcase from one destination to another. The cost depends on the company and roughly will cost you between 4 to 8 euros. The only issue is you are limited to where you can park yourself for the night.
However if you chose to carry your own my advice is don’t burden yourself with unnecessary weight. The clothing and technical gear will very much depend on the individual as well as the season. I carried less than 6kg and I thought it was too much. The goal is to carry no more than 10percent of your body weight.
Here is a what I suggest
Backpack ( I carried a 20litre osprey backpack. But depending on your body weight and size I recommend no more than 30 to 40 litres.
A guide book. Not a necessity as everything is online and wifi is available in almost everywhere. My phone was my guide book
Your credential, passport in a waterproof bag.
A water bottle of some kind or even a camel back. you can fill up your water bottle along the Camino but good to have when you have a long way between water stops.
Toiletries. Absolutely Minimum. You can always buy them along the way. Sunscreen is a must if you are walking in summer time.
Prescription medication if you rely on them but pharmacies are easy to find so no need to carry medical supplies like bandages etc. There are even vending machines along the way that sells from compeed to nail clippers.
As for footwear I had one pair of north face gortex shoes and a pair of flip flops . Please remember to break them in before going on the Camino.
If you are planning to sleep in albergues a light weight sleeping bag or a sleep sack will come in handy. Albergues are kept very clean and some give you a disposable pillow case and sheet.
Torch or you can use your phone
Phone, camera, a Swiss Army knife
Ear plugs especially if you are planning to sleep in albergues.
Clothing. I guess this is a personal choice. I took 4 T-shirts, 3 pairs of leggings, shorts, long sleeve top, 3 pairs of exoficcio underwear, 1 pair of shorts, 3 pairs of socks and a north face gortex jacket and hat.
You can do your washing in a machine for 4 euros and another 3euros for machine dry. Alternatively you can hand wash whilst in your shower and hang them dry at no cost. If your clothes aren’t dry in the morning fear not. Backpacks are made to hang wet clothes so you can dry them in no time.