Camino Primitivo Full Camino Primitivo from Oviedo to Santiago

Activity:
Walking or Cycling
Duration:
Up to 15 Nights
Distance:
311 km
Difficulty:
Medium
Tour Type:
Self-Guided
Time To Go:
April to November
Price:
6 nights from €557
Rating:

Full Camino Primitivo from Oviedo to Santiago

The Full Camino Primitivo from Oviedo or Original Way is the oldest Camino de Santiago route, first used by devout pilgrims from Asturias in the 9th Century, including King Alfonso II. The Camino Primitivo is just over 300kms long and starts in the elegant city of Oviedo, home of El Salvador Cathedral, which was an important pilgrimage destination in itself for many centuries.

The first section of this wonderful and less known Camino route from Oviedo across the Asturias countryside and into the mountainous regions of Galicia can be challenging but its peaceful tracks and scenery make it a very rewarding trail, it is definitely worth the effort!

The city of Lugo, famous for its impressive UNESCO-listed Roman wall, marks the half-way point of the Camino Primitivo. The city is also considered one of the best places to eat in Galicia. From Lugo, the Camino Primitivo takes pilgrims on an old Roman paved road, crossing quiet hamlets, woodland and quaint medieval bridges. The Camino Primitivo joins the most famous Camino route, the Camino Francés, in the lively market town of Melide, some 50kms away from Santiago de Compostela.

This trail gives you the best of both worlds: you’ll get to enjoy the peace and quiet of the earlier stages and the lively and social aspect of the last days along the Camino Frances. If you are up for a challenge, we recommend you walk the full Camino Primitivo from Oviedo to the historic centre of Santiago de Compostela (15 nights), making sure you have time to explore Oviedo and Lugo. However, you can start at any other point along the route too, talk to our travel experts to adapt your itinerary. Bear in mind you will need to walk at least 100kms from Lugo if you’d like to receive your Compostela certificate in Santiago.

Click below to create or customize your Full Camino Primitivo. You can walk or cycle.

Map of the full Camino Primitivo from Oviedo to Santiago

Itinerary of the full Camino Primitivo from Oviedo to Santiago

This is the most popular itinerary, you may be able to combine or split the distance for each day. Click on get a quote to customize your trip.

Oviedo
Oviedo
You arrive in Oviedo.
26 km
Grado
Grado

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

Your Camino Primitivo starts from the Cathedral of El Salvador in Oviedo city and takes you west out of town. After passing the chapel of El Carmen in Lampajúa (Llampaxuga) the trail takes you downhill to Ponte de Gallegos. The Camino trail from here follows the wonderful Nora river before making a steep climb to picturesque village of Escamplero. You will cross the river Nalón on your way to the village of Grado.

22 km
Salas
Salas

Today’s stage on the Camino Primitivo starts with a relatively tough 5 kilometres climb to Alto del Fresnu. The next part of the stage will be much easier walking, heading back down past small villages and hilly farmland. You will be also passing the San Salvador Monastery, which is well worth a visit. After Cornellana there is some more climbing to do, passing many square-shaped ‘hórreos’, the traditional granaries in the Asturias region, before a gentle approach to Salas.

20 km
Tineo
Tineo

Although this is a relatively short stage of the Camino, it is also quite a tough one due to the elevation. However most of the climbing will be done in the first part of the day, so the afternoon should prove a bit easier. After a short walk on a national road, the Camino Primitivo moves on to a more peaceful path taking pilgrims up La Espina. Here you will split from the Northern Way – Camino del Norte, heading North West and head into an area that is very rich in regional traditions and has plenty of charm and character.

28 km
Pola de Allande
Pola de Allande

Today’s stage on the Camino Primitivo takes you through some more challenging, hilly terrain. The route takes you across lovely peaceful forests as well as the village of Vega de Rey. The final part of today’s section to Pola de Allande involves a sharp 300m descent.

18 km
Berducedo
Berducedo

After Pola de Allande, the Camino has another relatively tough 600m climb in store for pilgrims, heading up to Puerto del Palo summit. However your efforts will be rewarded with magnificent views of the Cantabrian Mountains. From here, you will take a 250m descent following a trail known as ‘Camino de los Hospitales’, with some technical sections. You will pass beautiful, tranquil forests as you make your way to Berducedo, your stop for the night.

20 km
Grandas de Salime
Grandas de Salime

Today is probably the toughest section of the whole Original Way but also the most rewarding. From Berducedo you will climb to Aerogenedores at an altitude of 1100m. From here you should be able to admire the magnificent views over the river Navia and Embalse de Salime, a reservoir surrounded by mountains. After this, you will drop 900m in just 7km to the Embalse de Salime dam. After this sharp descent, the Camino follows a gentle climb to Grandas de Salime.

26 km
A Fonsagrada
A Fonsagrada

You will begin today’s day on the Camino with another sharp climb to El Acebo, at 1050m. From Acebo you will enjoy spectacular views of the Cantabrian Mountains and move from Asturias into Galicia which is known as the land of the Celts. Today’s destination is A Fonsagrada, after passing the villages of Fonfría and Barbeitos first. A Fonsagrada is reputed to have been the site of one St James’ miracles. 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.

24 km
O Cadavo Baleira
O Cadavo Baleira

From A Fonsagrada the trail takes you to A Pobra de Burón 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 pilgrim hospitals in Galicia. The Camino then follows a path through the villages of Calzada, A Lastra and A Fontaneira on the way to the town of O Cadavo – Baleira. It is said that Alfonso II the Chaste fought the Moors in battle nearby.

30 km
Lugo
Lugo

On the way to Pradeda, is a lovely old village, you will pass some of the region’s famous slate quarries. The village itself is home to a number of old thatched dwellings known in Galicia as ‘pallozas’. You will pass by the convent of San Francisco de Vilabade on the way to Castroverde, and then the abandoned village of Soutomerille in a beautiful setting. After passing though more farmland the Camino enters the city of Lugo, with its rich Roman heritage and impressive UNESCO-listed Roman wall.

Lugo is home to the best preserved Roman wall in Europe, stretching over 2km wrapped around the city’s old town. Explore the gorgeous town centre, go for a stroll on the wall to get a different perspective of the city and taste delicious (generally free) ‘pinchos’ in the bars and restaurants near Praza de Santa María before you head back home or continue your Camino to Santiago. If you are travelling in October, don’t miss the traditional San Froilán festivities.

26 km
Ferreira
Ferreira

The Camino leaves Lugo by the Cathedral and through the oldest gate of the city wall which is called Porta Miñá (referring to the Miño River). 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 Eulalia de Bóveda, housing some of the most fascinating early medieval paintings of the entire Iberian Peninsula. The trail heads to San Román da Retorta through farms and woodland.

21 km
Melide
Melide

The Original Way follows ancient tracks still very much in use today, connecting 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 the province of A Coruña. This is where the Original Way or Camino Primitivo joins the French Way. You will notice the volume of pilgrims will be much higher from now on. You should take the opportunity to sample ‘pulpo’ (octopus) in one of the many ‘pulperías’ (octopus restaurants) in town and grab a few ‘melindres’, Melide’s traditional aniseed cakes.

13 km
Arzúa
Arzúa

As you leave Melide you will be now walking with other pilgrims on the Camino Francés (French Way), following forest tracks, crossing many pretty streams and meadows, on your way to the village of Boente where you will see the Santiago Church. You will pass the picturesque village of Ribadiso on your way to today’s destination, Arzúa. Arzúa is in the heart of dairy country, make sure you try some of the local cheese. Worth visiting the church of Santa María and the church of A Magdalena in town.

18 km
Pedrouzo - Rua
Pedrouzo - Rua

Today’s Camino trail takes you mostly across peaceful forests and small hamlets. Along the way you will pass the chapel of Santa Irene, home to interesting St James statues. This stage of the Camino continues along serene country roads. Your stop for the night is the town of Pedrouzo where you can spot a few traditional ‘hórreos’ (granaries) and granite farm houses.

19 km
Santiago de Compostela
Santiago de Compostela

This is the final walking day of your Camino journey to Santiago de Compostela. From Pedrouzo the route takes you to 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 hill itself is topped with an enormous sculpture commemorating the visit of John Paul II 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!

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 but vibrant. Santiago’s UNESCO listed old town will enchant you. Here you will find not only pilgrims but also locals and students, enjoying a few bites over a glass of wine in the many bars, restaurants and cosy cafes.

Accommodation

Standard Hotel & Guesthouse

We have hand-picked hotels and guesthouses along the Camino for their character and warm hospitality. Up to 3-stars, you will be staying in the centre of town and close to your Camino trail. All rooms are en-suite with bathroom.

For our family packages, we have hand-picked establishments with outdoor space and swimming pools where possible. Where accommodation with private outdoor space is not available, we have selected comfortable hotels with spacious common areas as well as a convenient location close to recreational areas and sights. As your comfort is our priority, we try to book hotels located within walking distance of the Camino. Despite our effort, on rare occasions your accommodation can be located a few kilometers away from the trail, so we organise transportation to/from your accommodation.

Access

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.

Whats Included

All our trips include selected accommodation with private bathroom, holiday pack with electronic route information guidebook, links for your google maps and 24/7 support number providing assistance during your trip, for instance organising support vehicle if needed.

OPTIONAL: You will also have the option to add or remove the Luggage transfers (one bag up to 20kg per person), dinners (where available), bike rental and airport transfers.

Accommodation: We aim to book you into each of the towns listed on the itinerary, however in case of low availability we may book you 2 nights in the same town with provided transfers. If you are booking Superior collection or Country cottages, please note it is subject to availability and therefore cannot be guaranteed. Superior/Country cottage accommodation may be away from the route with included transfers. See http://caminoways.com/country-cottages for more details.

Bike Rental: If you have booked bike rental please note that €100 refundable deposit per bike will be charged on departure date.

NOT INCLUDED: Flights, drinks, city tax, Travel Insurance (Recommended)

*This year, important restoration works continue at Santiago Cathedral in order to get the cathedral fully restored ahead of Holy Year 2021. Read more here.

Diana, Romania - August
Camino Primitivo organised by CaminoWays. Excellent organisation, timely and reliable. Very professional and kind personnel. Value for the money - accommodation and everything else was excellent.
Claire
Specialist: Claire
Customer Experience Director Claire hails from the lovely Midlands and spent some years living in Galway in the West of Ireland, where she completed a degree in languages. She ...
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