Of course, water is the pilgrim’s main drink of choice…and plenty of it to stay hydrated as you walk, even when the weather is not warm. Every village or church has fountains, faucets and sources of safe potable water for the pilgrims. The camelback-type bladders with drinking hoses are popular as a means of easy access to plentiful fluids as you walk. In isolated areas or on those stifling hot days, various friends of the Camino groups, individuals and the Spanish Red Cross often hand out or leave tubs of cool drinks along the path for pilgrims.
Bars and cafes are an integral part of even the smallest of villages or crossroads. A survey reported that Spain has over 135,000 bars, more than the rest of the EU countries all put together. Pilgrims will generally be able find a café or bar on the main square or tucked down a village side street. Bars are also a main source for pilgrim meals and snacks.
The Spanish take pride in their big shiny espresso machines and make excellent coffee. Start your day with one of the two main options: Café solo, very strong espresso-like coffee or café con leche, coffee with milk. Even tea drinkers savor and turn to the revitalizing coffees.
In a place with proverbs like, “a meal without wine is a mean and foolish one,” you can expect to have wine served with your food. The Spanish do not even consider it an alcohol drink, just part of the meal. Spanish wines are known throughout the world; especially the smooth Rioja, Navarra and Ribera reds and crisp Albarino whites. They are delightfully low-priced locally and compliment the regional foods perfectly. Outside of Ayegui, there is even a tap of free wine provided by the Bodegas de Irache to fortify thirsty pilgrims.
Beer drinkers will find the Spanish brands like Estrella de Galicia, Sam Miguel and Cruz Campo refreshing after a long walk. Some of the larger towns like Burgos, Leon and Santiago have opened up English and Irish pubs.