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For open albergues in winter see http://www.aprinca.com/alberguesinvierno/


Private (48, 13€, March to November) Santo Tomás de Canterbury, on Avenida La Lastra, left off the Camino shortly after entering the city and about 3km from the centre, signposted. Kitchen, laundry facilities. Café / restaurant. Modern facilities. Private rooms. Website www.alberguesantotomas.com Tel 987 392 626 Open 10:00

Private (40, 12€) Albergue Check In, on the Camino before the city centre, on Avenida Alcalde Miguel Castaño. Laundry facilities, microwaves. Spacious and modern. Website www.checkinleon.es Tel 686 956 896 Open 10:00

Religious (60, 15€) Albergue Ademar / San Francisco de Asís, on Avenida Alcalde Miguel Castaños, at Plaza Santa Ana, better to follow Avenida Castaño rather than the Camino. It's on the left after 300m. Laundry facilities. Private rooms. In a slightly grim student halls of residence. Website www.alberguescapuchinos.org Tel 637 439 848 Open early

Convent (132, 8€) Albergue del Monasterio de las Benedictinas / la Carbajalas, turn right 100m after passing the city wall on to Calle Escurial, it's about 20m up on the right. Laundry facilities. Mass and pilgrim blessing. The original pilgrim albergue in León. Separate dorms for men and women. Website www.alberguesleon.com Tel 680 649 289 Open 11:00

Private (7, 22€) Zentric Hostel, on Calle Legión, left off the Camino at Plaza de San Marcelo, just before where it turns right on to Calle Ancha. New in 2022. Private rooms, Website www.zentrichostel.com Tel 636 946 294 Open 14:00

Private (60, 16€, March to October) Albergue Muralla Leonesa, from Las Benedictinas continue straight then turn right into Calle los Castañones, then straight on to Calle Tarifa. Laundry facilities. Private rooms. Website www.alberguemurallaleonesa.com Tel 987 177 873 Open 12:00

Private (20, 22€) Albergue León, on Calle Ancha on the Camino on the left, just after Café Valor, 1st floor. Kitchen. Website www.leonhostel.es Tel 987 079 907 Open 13:00

Private (86, 17€, July to September) Albergue Unamuno, on Calle San Pelayo. Student halls of residence. Laundry facilities. Evening meal and breakfast. No curfew. Recently renovated. Website www.albergueunamuno.com Tel 601 377 423 Open early

León is a major city with all facilities on or near the Camino. The route followed by the Camino continues more-or-less straight until an abrupt right turn on to Calle Ancha, which brings you up to the cathedral. From here it zigzags past the city's major sites until it leaves the city centre over the footbridge beside Hostal de San Marcos. Tourist Office opposite the entrance to the cathedral. Supermarkets, Mercadona and Dia on the Camino on the way into town, in the centre on the Camino just after the Convent Albergue, more supermarkets, Coviran and Carrefour on Calle Ancha. Pharmacy, banks and an internet café on Avenida Ordoño II, which is left where the Camino turns right on Calle Ancha. Fiestas, the patron saints of León are San Juan and San Pedro whose festival takes places at the end of June with street theatre and the usual mayhem. La Palomera 16 July. San Froilán 4 October, with a medieval street festival with costumes, music, food, donkeys, camels, owls, everything medieval basically.

There are many restaurants and cafés in the area between the convent albergue and the cathedral, this is the so-called Zona Humida / Wet Zone. Local specialities include Cecina de León, a beef sausage with a dark appearance eaten cut into thin slices; Morcilla de León, made of pig's blood and onions, a first cousin of Morcilla de Burgos except in a semi-liquid form; Sopa de Trucha / Trout Soup with bread, garlic and paprika; Trucha Frita / Fried Trout, sometimes eaten cold. León has a strong Tapas culture, some good places to sample it are: El Botijo on Plaza San Martín, excellent tapas as well as platos combinados. Also on Plaza San Martín Nuevo Racimo de Oro has also been recommended. La Taberna De Trastámara, on Calle Trastámara, near the convent albergue, has been recommended for lunch.

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Copyright © Gerald Kelly 2024. All text and photos.