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Original Way

Oviedo to Santiago

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  • Original Way - Section 1 - Grado - Caminoways.com
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  • Original Way - Section 2 - Lugo - Caminoways.com
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The Original Way of the Camino de Santiago 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 Original Way starts in the elegant city of Oviedo, home of El Salvador Cathedral, an important pilgrimage destination for many centuries. Across the mountains of Asturias, the trail takes pilgrims along peaceful tracks, mountain passes with magnificent views and quaint mountain villages. The first half of this Camino route can be challenging but the views are definitely worth the effort! The city of Lugo marks the half-way point of the Camino Primitivo. The city famous for its impressive UNESCO-listed Roman wall, and for being one of the best places to eat in Galicia. After Lugo, the Camino Primitivo takes pilgrims on an old Roman paved road, crossing quiet hamlets, woodland and unique medieval bridges. The Original Way joins the most famous Camino route, the Camino Francés, in the lively market town of Melide.

Click on ‘booking’ or ‘get a quote’ to customise your Camino trip

Trip highlights

  • Visit Oviedo's Cathedral, Spain's first pilgrimage site
  • Follow peaceful paths across the mountains of Asturias
  • Witness 2000 years of history in Lugo's walled city
  • Get your Compostela pilgrim certificate in Santiago

1 Oviedo

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Explore the delightful city of Oviedo, capital of Asturias and a pilgrimage destination for centuries. It is also a busy and lively University town. Make sure to visit some of the city’s many monuments, for example: the elegant El Salvador cathedral, the 9th century San Miguel de Lillo, the church of San Tirso and the Monastery of San Vicente, home to the Archaeology Museum of Asturias.

2 Oviedo to Grado - 25km

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8h | +483m / -649m
Your walk begins in the centre of Oviedo at the Cathedral of El Salvador and moves west out of the town. After passing the chapel of El Carmen in Lampajúa (Llampaxuga) the trail moves downhill to Ponte de Gallegos. The path from here follows the wonderful river Nora before making a steep climb to picturesque village of Escamplero. You will cross the river Nalón on your way to the village of Grado.

3 Grado to Salas - 22km

Original Way - Section 1 - Grado - Caminoways.com

4h30 | +662m / -488m
Today starts off with a relatively tough 5 kilometre climb to Alto del Fresnu. The next part of the stage will see you enjoy an easier walking, descending through small villages and hilly farmland and passing the monastery of San Salvador which is well worth a visit. After Cornellana there is some more climbing passing many ‘hórreos’, granaries typical to the Asturias region, before the gentle approach to Salas.

4 Salas to Tineo - 19km

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5h | +765m / -343m
Although this is a relatively short stage of the Camino, it is also quite a tough one due to the amount of climbing. However most of the climbing is in the first part of the day, so the latter part should prove to be a bit easier. After a short walk along the national road the Camino moves on to a more peaceful path that takes you up to La Espina. Here you will move away from the north west bound “Northern Way” and head into an area that is very rich in regional traditions and character.

5 Tineo to Pola de Allande - 28km

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8h30 | +957m / -1029m
Today’s stage of the Camino will see you travelling through some more challenging, hilly terrain. The path will take you across lovely peaceful forests as well as the village of Vega de Rey. The final part of today’s walk to Pola de Allande involves a sharp descent of 300m.

6 Pola de Allande to Berducedo - 17km

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5h | +943m / -670m
Day 6 begins 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 here there is a 250m descent on a trail that is known as the “Camino de los Hospitales”, which has some quite techincal sections. As you make your way to Berducedo, which is your final destination of the day, you will pass through some beautiful, tranquil forests.

7 Berducedo to Grandas de Salime - 20km

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4h30 | +674m / -1043m
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 which sits at an altitude of 1100m. From here you will have magnificent views over the river Navia, the Embalse de Salime, which is a reservoir and the surrounding mountains. After this there is a sharp descent, where you will drop 900m in just 7km to the dam of the Embalse de Salime. The Camino follows a gentle climb from here to Grandas de Salime.

8 Grandas de Salime to A Fonsagrada - 26km

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7h | +902m / -500m
You will begin todays walk with another sharp climb to El Acebo which sits at 1050m. From here you will get spectacular views of the Cantabrian Mountains and move from Asturias into Galicia which is known as the land of the Celts. Today’s destination of A Fonsagrada, will be reached after passing the villages of Fonfría and Barbeitos. The town of A Fonsagrada is reputed to have been the site of one of the miracles of the Apostle Saint James. It is said that after being approached by an impoverished woman, he turned the water from the fountain in the centre of the town (Fons Secra) into milk for her children.

9 A Fonsagrada to O Cadavo Baleira - 23km

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7h | +880m / -1116m
From A Fonsagrada the trail passes through A Pobra de Buron on what is known as the “Camino de Oviedo”. You will see the ruins of Hospital de Montouto on a hilltop, which was once the most important of the mountain hospitals in Galicia. The Camino then follows a path through the villages of Calzada, A Lastra and A Fontaneira on the way to O Cadavo Baleira. The town is regarded as being the second most important community on the Original Way. It is said that Alphonse II the Chaste fought the Moors in battle nearby.

10 O Cadavo Baleira to Lugo - 30km

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8h | +532m / -786m
On the way to Pradeda, which is a lovely old village, you will pass some of the slate mines that this particular area is famous for. The village itself is home to a number of old thatched dwellings known as “Pallozas”. You will pass by the convent of San Francisco de Vilabade on the way to Castroverde, after which you will see the unusual abandoned village of Soutomerille in a beautiful setting. After passing though more agricultural land the Camino arrives in Lugo, with its rich Roman heritage and impressive wall.

11 Lugo to Ferreira - 26km

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6h | +540m / -462m
The Camino leaves Lugo through the oldest gate of the city wall which is called the Porta Miñá. From here you will walk to the quarter of San Lázaro and cross the old Roman Bridge. After a few kilometres you will pass a national monument and museum called Santa de Bóveda, housing some of the most fascinating early medieval paintings of the entire Iberian Peninsula. The trail heads to San Román de Retorta through farmland and woodlands.

12 Ferreira to Melide - 28km

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8h30 | +385m / -466m
The Original Camino or the ‘Camino Primitivo’ as it is also known uses ancient tracks still very much in use today. These paths join up the many small country villages and hamlets in the area, such as Seixalvo, Xende, Ferreira and Merlán. The route continues through Toques and into the historic town of Melide in A Coruña. This is where the Original Way joins with the French Way. You should take the opportunity to sample ‘pulpo’ (octopus) in one of the many ‘pulperías’ in town and grab a few ‘melindres’, aniseed cakes traditional from Melide.

13 Melide to Arzúa - 13km

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3h30 | +288m / -356m
As you leave Melide you will travel along forest tracks crossing many pretty streams, as you make your way to the village of Boente where you will see the church dedicated to Santiago. From here you will pass through the picturesque village of Ribadiso on your way to today’s destination. Arzúa is in the heart of dairy country, so make sure you try some of its famous cheese. Visit the church of Santa María and the church of A Magdalena.

14 Arzúa to Rúa - 18km

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5h15 | +326m / -435m
Today’s walk will take you through beautiful peaceful forests and villages, mostly. Along the way you will pass the chapel of Santa Irene which houses some very interesting statues of Santiago. This stage of the Camino continues along serene country roads. Rúa is a very peaceful hamlet with ‘hórreos’ (granaries) and granite farm houses.

15 Rúa to Santiago de Compostela - 19km

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5h20 | +431m / -449m
This is the final day of your journey to Santiago de Compostela. From Rúa the route passes Amenal and on to Lavacolla. Lavacolla name comes from the fact that pilgrims used to wash themselves in the river here before reaching Santiago. The trail to Monte do Gozo or ‘Mount of Joy’ is lined with ever-present eucalyptus trees. The Mount itself is topped with an enormous sculpture commemorating the visit of John Paul the Second to Santiago. From here the Camino descends to Santiago de Compostela. You will enter Santiago by the bustling Rúa de San Pedro and into the old town by Porta do Camiño. You have arrived!

16 Santiago de Compostela

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You have arrived in Santiago de Compostela! After visiting the Cathedral and recovering from your walk, take time to explore this gem of a city, small and vibrant. Its UNESCO listed old town will enchant you. Here you will find not only pilgrims but also locals and students, enjoying a few bites and glasses of wine in the many bars, restaurants and cosy cafes.

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

Grado - 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.

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.

Tineo - 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.

Berducedo - 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.

Ferreira - 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.

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.

Arzúa - Standard / Country Cottage

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.
Country Cottage: ‘Casas Rurales’ are beautifully restored country homes and farmhouses in the heart of peaceful rural communities. Our Country Cottages are renowned for their exceptional food, unique settings and personal touch.

Rua - 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 and relaxing country homes.
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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How to Get There

Live information on Rome2Rio. We can also arrange private transfers if you prefer, just ask us.

 

Oviedo

Asturias Airport 50km: You can take the Alsa bus from Asturias airport to Oviedo Bus Station, departing every hour. The journey takes 45 min approx. See www.alsa.es.

Santander Airport 190km: There are three bus connections between Santander airport and Oviedo each day (taking 2h30-3h30 approx.). See: www.movelia.es.

 

Lugo

Santiago de Compostela Airport 85km: There is a direct bus from Santiago de Compostela airport to Lugo bus station (5 times/ day, 2h30). See: www.movelia.es. This bus line, see www.empresafreire.com, also stops in Santiago city centre. Vigo airport (190km)

Vigo Airport 190km: From Vigo to Santiago you can take the train or bus and then from Santiago you can take a direct bus to Lugo city. See: www.empresafreire.com.Madrid (Barajas) airport (500km)

Madrid Barajas Airport 500km: There is a bus route from Madrid airport to Lugo, three times a day, taking 6h30-7h30. See: www.movelia.es.

 

Santiago de Compostela

Santiago de Compostela Airport 12km: There is a shuttle bus from Santiago city centre to the airport, departing every 30min. Bus stops include the bus station (Estación de Autobuses), the train station (Estación de Ferrocarril) and the city centre (Plaza de Galicia). See www.empresafreire.com.

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).Porto airport (210km)

Porto Airport 210km: There is a direct bus connection between Santiago (Estación de Autobuses) and Porto airport once or twice a day (taking 4h or 6h). See www.alsa.es.

Transfers to and from Airport

How to get to Oviedo: 
From: Asturias airport (50km)
The journey from/to the airport takes 45 min. Alsa offers buses between Oviedo (starting point: bus station – Estación de Autobuses de Oviedo) and the airport every hour. Seewww.alsa.es.
From: Santander airport (190km)
There are 3 bus connections between Oviedo and Santander airport each day (taking 2h30-3h30). See: www.movelia.es.

How to get back from Santiago: 
Best Option: Santiago de Compostela airport (12km)
There is a shuttle bus from/to the airport in Santiago, departing every 30min. Bus stops are. e.g., the bus station (Estación de Autobuses), the train station (Estación de Ferrocarril) or the city centre (Plaza de Galicia). See www.empresafreire.com.
Alternative Option: 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).
Alternative Option: Porto airport (210km)
There is a direct bus connection between Santiago (Estacion De Autobuses) and Porto airport once or twice a day (taking 4h or 6h resp.). See www.alsa.es.