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Pamplona / Iruña

Private (26, 10€, March to October) Casa Paderborn, a little off the Camino before the city walls. Cross the zig-zag bridge or turn left immediately after Puente de la Magdalena. It's on the banks of the river. Run by German volunteers. Laundry facilities. Breakfast. Small garden by the river. Website jakobusfreunde-paderborn.com Tel 948 395 423 Open 13:00

Private (20, 20€ with breakfast) Albergue Casa Ibarrola, on the Camino on the right as it enters the old city. Kitchen, laundry facilities. Space-agey capsule beds, good facilities, positive reports. Website www.casaibarrola.com Tel 692 208 463 Open 12:00

Private (22, 18€) Albergue de Pamplona / Iruñako Aterpea, on the Camino on the left. Kitchen, laundry facilities. Breakfast. Spacious, modern dorms. Website www.alberguedepamplona.info Tel 685 734 207 Open 11:00

Private (35, 18€) Plaza Catedral, opposite the cathedral a little to the left of the Camino. Kitchen, laundry facilities. Breakfast. Website www.albergueplazacatedral.com Tel 620 913 968 Open 12:00

Municipal (112, 11€, closed Christmas) Jesús y María, left of the Camino on Calle Compañía, turn left at Calle Curia. Kitchen, laundry facilities. Under the management of ASPACE, an organisation which offers employment to people with cerebral palsy. Comfortable, modern. Pamplona's oldest pilgrim albergue. Tel 648 008 932 Open 12:00

Religious (14, donativo, May to October) Albergue Diocesano, right of the Camino at the end of Calle Mayor, at Calle Recoletas, 1 (Betania Centro Cultural). Communal evening meal. New in 2023. Open 14:00

Private (26, 18€ with breakfast) Aloha Hostel, leave Plaza del Castillo by its south west corner, walk down Avenida San Ignacio to a roundabout, it's on Calle Sangüesa opposite and a little left. Kitchen, laundry facilities. Website www.alohahostel.es Tel 648 289 403 Open 13:00

Pamplona, with a population of 197,000, is the biggest city on the Camino Francés and has all services you're likely to need. Tourist Office on Plaza Consistorial next to the Ayuntamiento / Town Hall. Supermarket Carrefour on Calle Mayor which is on the Camino, open all day and Sunday morning. Pilgrim shop Caminoteca on Calle Curia, open from 07:00 every day March to October, has everything for pilgrims, run by pilgrims from Hungary. Locutorio / Call Shop for SIM cards, internet, printing, on Calle San Lorenzo, right off Calle Mayor. Free WiFi on Plaza del Castillo. If you need to forward excess luggage there's a Post Office / Correos on Paseo Sarasate, just south west of Plaza del Castillo, open Monday to Friday 08:30 to 20:30 and Saturday 09:30 to 14:00. There are also has hotels to suit everyone's pockets. However, beware! Pamplona is popular for party / stag / hen weekends and some of the accommodation around the centre also caters to this clientèle. The famous running of the bulls / encierro takes place here during the San Fermín festival from 7 to 14 July, during this time this otherwise pleasant and beautiful city becomes Backpacker Hell.

Pamplona is a good place to sample typical Navarran cuisine, such as Alcachofas con Almejas / Artichokes with Clams, or the vegetarian Borraja con Patata / Borage with Potatoes. Several restaurants on Calle San Nicolás, just west of Plaza del Castillo do regional specialities and also have cheap menús del día (from about 11€). Restaurante Catachu on Calle Lindachiquia is good. Historic Café Iruña on Plaza del Castillo was a favourite Hemingway haunt and, despite being a tourist attraction, is also a good place to try the tapas / pinxos. Bodegón Sarria on Calle Estafeta is good for pinxos. Restaurant Mesón El Caballo Blanco, on Calle Redin, beside the cathedral, has been recommended, as has Bar Oreja on Calle Joaquín Jarauta. For vegetarian food Sarasate on Calle San Nicolás has been recommended, it's above a fish shop / pescaderia. On the same street Restaurante Baserri is also recommended. Café Valor on Paseo de Saraste has delicious Churros con Chocolate.

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Copyright © Gerald Kelly 2024. All text and photos.