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Original Way Cycling – Oviedo to Santiago FULL CYCLE

Cycling Section

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  • originalway-caminoways-oviedo-cathedral
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  • Original Way - Section 1 - Grado - Caminoways.com
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  • Embalse-de-Salime-lake-camino-primitivo-caminoways
  • Original Way - Section 2 - Lugo - Caminoways.com
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Cycling the Original Way: The Original Way or Camino Primitivo #caminoprimitivo is the oldest Camino route, first used by devout pilgrims from Asturias in the 9th Century, including King Alfonso II. The route has been taken by pilgrims ever since and it was the most popular Camino until the 10th century, when the French Way began to grow in popularity. The first half of the Camino Primitivo is one of the most challenging but also one of the most spectacular, as you will be cycling across the mountains of Asturias and into Galicia. The stunning panoramic views from mountain passes and peaceful hamlets will be your reward.

The Original Way starts in the elegant city of Oviedo, which has been a pilgrimage destination for many centuries. From Oviedo, the Camino Primitivo trail takes you into the heart of Asturias, where you should taste its famous cider and delicious regional dishes. Cycling valleys, up mountains and across remote villages you will make your way to the walled city of Lugo, home to an impressive UNESCO-listed Roman Wall, wrapped around the old town.

The second half of the trail is much easier as you will be in hilly farmland and not mountainous terrain. In the lively market town of Melide, famous for its octopus restaurants (pulperías), you will be joining the pilgrims on the French Way (Camino Francés). From here it is an easy ride to your destination: Santiago de Compostela.

*We recommend cycling the Camino only if you have some cycling experience and if you have essential bike maintenance knowledge. Cycling the Camino de Santiago – How it Works.

Trip highlights

  • Visit Oviedo Cathedral, Spain's first pilgrimage site
  • Step back in time at Lugo's UNESCO Roman wall
  • Taste octopus in Melide
  • Explore Santiago's magnificent old town

1 Oviedo

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Explore the historic city of Oviedo, capital of Asturias and a pilgrimage destination for centuries. Oviedo is also a busy and lively University town with plenty to see, do and taste. Make sure to visit some of the city’s many monuments, including El Salvador cathedral, 9th century San Miguel de Lillo, San Tirso Church and San Vicente Monastery, home to the Archaeology Museum of Asturias.

2 Oviedo to Salas - 47km

Original Way - Section 1 - Grado - Caminoways.com

5h | +1145m / -1137m
You will start cycling the Camino Primitivo from El Salvador Cathedral, in the centre of Oviedo. From the city you will head West out of the town. After passing the chapel of El Carmen in Lampajúa (Llampaxuga) the Camino trail continues downhill to Ponte de Gallegos. From here the path follows the wonderful river Nora before making a steep climb to picturesque village of Escamplero. You will cross the river Naló on your way to the village of Grado. From here a tough 5km climb to Alto del Fresnu awaits. The next part of the stage will see you enjoy an easier stretch, cycling down small villages and hilly farmland. It is worth stopping to visit the San Salvador Monastery. After Cornellana there is some more climbing to do. You will spot many square-shape ‘hórreos’, the traditional granaries of the Asturias region.

3 Salas to Pola de Allande - 47km

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5h | +1722m / -1372m
Today’s cycling stage is quite a tough one due to the amount of climbing. After a short cycle along the national road the Camino moves on to a more peaceful path up to La Espina. The last part of today’s stage on the Camino will see you cycling some more challenging, hilly terrain. The path will take you through some lovely peaceful forests as well as the village of Vega de Rey. A nice 300m descent into Pola de Allande will finish today’s stage.

4 Pola de Allande to Grandas de Salime - 37km

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4h | +1681m / -1713m
Today’s Camino will begin with a relatively tough 600m climb to the summit of Puerto del Palo. However your efforts will be rewarded at the top with stunning views of the Cantabrian Mountains. From the summit you will have a 250m descent on a trail known as ‘Camino de los Hospitales’. As you make your way to Berducedo, you will pass through some beautiful, tranquil forests. Of all the sections of the Original Way this is probably the toughest, but it is also the most rewarding. From Berducedo you will climb to Aerogenedores, at an altitude of 1100m. From here you will have magnificent views over the river Navia, the Embalse de Salime reservoir and the surrounding mountains. After this there is a sharp descent, where you will drop 900m in just 7km to the Embalse de Salime dam. The Camino follows a gentle climb from here to Grandas de Salime, your stop for the night.

5 Grandas de Salime to O Cadavo Baleira - 49km

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5h30 | +1781m / -1608m
Another sharp climb to start today’s Camino. From El Acebo, at 1050m, you will enjoy spectacular views of the Cantabrian Mountains, as you head from Asturias into Galicia. After cycling past the villages of Fonfría and Barbeitos, you will reach A Fonsagrada, reputed to have been the site of one of St James’ miracles. It is said that after being approached by an impoverished woman, St James turned the water from the fountain in the centre of the town (Fons Secra – Sacred Fountain) into milk for her children. On your way you will spot the ruins of Hospital de Montouto on a hilltop, which was once the most important of the mountain hospitals in Galicia. The Camino then continues through the hamlets of Calzada, A Lastra and A Fontaneira on the way to O Cadavo Baleira.

6 O Cadavo Baleira to Lugo - 30km

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3h | +532m / -786m
From Baleira, the Camino Primitivo continues on to Pradeda, a lovely old village home to a number of old thatched cottages known as ‘pallozas’. You will pass by the convent of San Francisco de Vilabade on the way to Castroverde, before reaching the abandoned village of Soutomerille, sitting in a beautiful rural setting. After cycling across more farmland and crops the Camino arrives in Lugo, a great city for food and sigh seeing. Those into history and archaeology will be impressed with its UNESCO Roman wall, wrapped around the old town.

7 Lugo to Melide - 54km

Original Way - Section 2 - Lugo - Caminoways.com

5h | +930m / -931m
The Camino leaves Lugo from the cathedral and through the oldest gate of the city wall: Porta Miñá. From the old town you will cycle to the quarter of San Lázaro and over the old Roman Bridge. After a few kilometres you will pass a national monument and museum called Santa de Boveda, housing some of the most fascinating early medieval pairings of the entire Iberian Peninsula. The Camino then takes you to San Román de Retorta through farmland and woods. The Original Camino or Camino Primitivo follows ancient tracks still very much in use today, connecting the many small hamlets and country villages in the area, such as Seixalvo, Xende, Ferreira and Merlán. The route continues through Toques and into the historic town of Melide, where the Original Way meets the French Way. You should take the opportunity to sample some of the local cuisine: ‘pulpo á feira”, octopus, is a very traditional dish.

8 Melide to Santiago de Compostela - 48km

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5h | +1046m / -1244m
As you leave Melide you will take forest tracks crossing many pretty streams, as you make your way to the village of Boente and its St James Church. From here you will cycle past the pretty hamlet of Ribadiso, by the river, on your way to Arzúa, famous for its local cheese. Stop to visit the churches of Santa María and La Magdalena if you can. From Arzúa, you will get to the chapel of Santa Irene along quiet country roads. From the tiny village of Rúa the Camino then takes you to Amenal and on to Lavacolla. Lavacolla is the place on the Camino where it was tradition for pilgrims to wash themselves in the river before reaching Santiago de Compostela. The trail to the last hill of the Camino, Monte del Gozo or ‘Mount of Joy’ is lined with ever-present eucalyptus trees. From the Gozo you can catch the first glimpse of Santiago and the spires of the cathedral. From here the Camino descends to your final destination: the Praza do Obradoiro in Santiago de Compostela.

9 Santiago de Compostela

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You have arrived in Santiago de Compostela! After visiting the cathedral and recovering from your cycling adventure, take time to explore this magnificent city, small but always vibrant. Santiago’s UNESCO listed old town will enchant you. Here you will find not only pilgrims but also locals and students, socialising over a few bites and a glass of wine in the many bars, restaurants and cosy cafes.

Hotels and country cottages have been carefully selected for their location, comfort, character, food and hospitality. They are subject to availability and if the hotel described is not available, we will provide you with one of the same standard, comfort and price. Please note: Accommodation is subject to availability.

Oviedo - Standard / Superior

Standard: For our Standard Accommodation, we have hand-picked family-run hotels and guesthouses along the Camino de Santiago for their character and warm hospitality. Up to 3-stars, you will be staying in the centre of town and close to the Camino de Santiago trail.
Superior Collection: Stay in the best hotels on the Camino de Santiago: we have selected luxurious 4 and 5-star hotels, boutique guesthouses and relaxing country homes.

 

Salas - Standard

Standard: For our Standard Accommodation, we have hand-picked family-run hotels and guesthouses along the Camino de Santiago for their character and warm hospitality. Up to 3-stars, you will be staying in the centre of town and close to the Camino de Santiago trail.

Pola Allende - Standard

Standard: For our Standard Accommodation, we have hand-picked family-run hotels and guesthouses along the Camino de Santiago for their character and warm hospitality. Up to 3-stars, you will be staying in the centre of town and close to the Camino de Santiago trail.

Grandas de Salime - Standard

Standard: For our Standard Accommodation, we have hand-picked family-run hotels and guesthouses along the Camino de Santiago for their character and warm hospitality. Up to 3-stars, you will be staying in the centre of town and close to the Camino de Santiago trail.

O Cadavo Baleira - Standard

Standard: For our Standard Accommodation, we have hand-picked family-run hotels and guesthouses along the Camino de Santiago for their character and warm hospitality. Up to 3-stars, you will be staying in the centre of town and close to the Camino de Santiago trail.

Lugo - Standard / Superior

Standard: For our Standard Accommodation, we have hand-picked family-run hotels and guesthouses along the Camino de Santiago for their character and warm hospitality. Up to 3-stars, you will be staying in the centre of town and close to the Camino de Santiago trail.
Superior Collection: Stay in the best hotels on the Camino de Santiago: we have selected luxurious 4 and 5-star hotels, boutique guesthouses and relaxing country homes.

Melide - Standard

Standard: For our Standard Accommodation, we have hand-picked family-run hotels and guesthouses along the Camino de Santiago for their character and warm hospitality. Up to 3-stars, you will be staying in the centre of town and close to the Camino de Santiago trail.

Santiago de Compostela - Standard / Superior / Parador

Standard: For our Standard Accommodation, we have hand-picked family-run hotels and guesthouses along the Camino de Santiago for their character and warm hospitality. Up to 3-stars, you will be staying in the centre of town and close to the Camino de Santiago trail.
Superior Collection: Stay in the best hotels on the Camino de Santiago: we have selected luxurious 4 and 5-star hotels, boutique guesthouses, relaxing country homes and stunning heritage ‘Parador’ hotels so you can feel pampered.
Parador: Full of history, classic ‘Paradors’ or heritage buildings will make your Camino experience extra special.

Oviedo Average Temperature & Rainfall

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Lugo Average Temperature & Rainfall

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Santiago Average Temperature & Rainfall

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Flying IN and OUT

How to get to Oviedo:
Best Option: Asturias airport (50km)
EasyJet has direct flights to Asturias from London (Stansted) and Lisbon. Vueling Airlines connects Asturias with Paris (Orly). There are many domestic flights from Madrid or Barcelona. See www.skyscanner.com.
Alternative Option: Santander airport (190km)
Ryanair flies to Santander from London (Stansted), Dublin, Edinburgh, Frankfurt (Hahn), Paris (Beauvais), Milan (Ciampino) and Dusseldorf (Weeze). See www.skyscanner.com.

How to get back from Santiago:
Best Option: Santiago de Compostela airport (12km)
Aer Lingus has direct flights to Dublin; Ryanair to London (Stansted), Milan (Bergamo) and Frankfurt (Hahn), Vueling to London Gatwick, Paris (Charles de Gaulle), Amsterdam, Berlin, Brussels, Munich, Dusseldorf, Rome and Zurich; Easyjet to Geneva, London (Gatwick), Rome and Basel; Swiss to Zurich; Turkish Airlines to Istambul. Santiago de Compostela Lavacolla airport also has many flight connections with other Spanish cities; including many daily flights to Madrid and Barcelona. See www.skyscanner.com.
Alternative Option: Vigo airport (90km)
Direct flights to Dublin, Edinburgh (Ryanair), London-Luton (Air Nostrum), Madrid, Barcelona, Bilbao, Lisbon, Rome and Paris. See: www.skyscanner.com.
Alternative Option:
Porto airport (210km)
Porto airport is connected with many airports all over Europe, including London (Gatwick) with easyJet, Dublin, Liverpool and Rome (Ciampino) with Ryanair. There are a few direct flights to New York (Newark) with TAP and Toronto (Pearson International) with Air Transat. See www.skyscanner.com.

Transfers TO and FROM Airport

How to get to Oviedo:
Best Option: Asturias airport (50km)
From Asturias airport you can take the ALSA bus to Oviedo bus station in the city centre, taking 45 minutes approx. Departures every hour. See www.alsa.es.
Alternative Option: Santander airport (190km)
There are three bus connections between Santander airport and Oviedo each day (taking 2h30-3h30). See: www.movelia.es.

How to get back from Santiago:
Best Option: Santiago de Compostela airport (12km)
From Santiago city centre, you can take a shuttle bus to Santiago airport (departing every 30 minutes). Bus stops include Plaza de Galicia (city centre), bus station (Estación de Autobuses) and train station (Estación de Ferrocarril). See www.empresafreire.com.
To: Vigo airport (90km)
From Santiago you can take a train to Vigo Guixar (see www.renfe.com) or a bus to Travesia de Vigo (every hour). You should then take a city bus from Travesia de Vigo to Vigo Airport (every 30 min).
To: Porto airport (210km)
There is a direct bus between Santiago (Estación de Autobuses) and Porto airport once or twice a day (taking 4h or 6h resp.). See www.alsa.es.

Please select from our available tours below and proceed to booking. Contact the team if you have any special requests.


Select your trip

1. Tour options - Select your trip type

  • Stay in our selected accommodation. Price pp, half board.

    Single Room
    €1127
    Double/Twin Room
    €930

2. Select Date

3. No. of rooms

  • Single (1 bed)
  • Twin Rooms (2 beds)
  • Double (1 large bed for 2)

What's Included

  • Luggage transfers from hotel to hotel
  • Rooms en-suite
  • Half board (dinners included in the smaller towns)
  • inc. notes & map(s) & pilgrim passport, what to bring, useful information

We also offer

  • Airport Transfers, Hotel Upgrades (where available), Bike Rental