The Camino Primitivo: From Oviedo to Santiago de Compostela
1 pax min.
The Camino Primitivo or the Original Way, as it name indicates, is the first Camino de Santiago. The path that followed the first of all pilgrims, King Alfonso II, from Oviedo to Santiago de Compostela to visit the newly discovered tomb of the Apostle, in the 9th.
This Camino is made by many fewer pilgrims, the main reason is that this path is the toughest of all routes to Santiago, especially the first stages. Therefore the path is quite unspoilt, it runs mostly along trails and in comparison to other Caminos it has not many facilities. In return, by taking this route you will see the historic cities of Oviedo and Lugo
From Lugo we can choose between to routes: the alternative one runs by Friol and Sobrado de los Monjes where it joins the Camino del Norte and later by Arzúa where it joins the final stretch of the Camino Frances. And the traditional route that converges the Camino Francés in Melide. The variant through Friol is not well waymarked.
Day 1: Flight to Oviedo
Transfer to the hotel. Free time to visit this beautiful city. We’ll take a walk around the old town and we’ll visit the Cathedral of San Salvador. In 2002, Woody Allen received here the Prince of Asturias Award for the Arts and he fell in love with Oviedo. The following year the city unveiled its next tribute to the iconic director , with a lifesize bronze statue.
Day 2: From Oviedo to Grado, 25 km approx.
The Camino starts off at the Cathedral of San Salvador. Following Oviedo we’ll pass by Llampaxua. The path runs along the foothills of Monte Naranco, through the village of Loriana until the climb of Escamplero, before arriving in Grado.
Day 3: From Grado to Salas, 25 km approx.
We leave Grado and we arrive in San Juan de Villapañada with its sanctuary dedicated to la Virgen del Fresno. Along the path we can see the Asturian “hórreos” (raised granaries) which are square-shaped instead of elongated as the Galician ones. In Santa Eulalia de Dóriga, we have the opportunity to visit its Romanesque church.
Then we pass by the Benedictine convent of San Salvador de Comellana, before arriving in Salas.
Day 4: From Salas to Tineo, 20 km approx.
A medieval path brings us to the village of La Espina. Following the village of Pedregal, we arrive in Tineo. In Tineo we have the opportunity to visit the parish church of San Pedro, which was formerly a Franciscan convent.
Day 5: From Tineo to Pola de Allande, 28 km approx.
We leave Tineo and passing through some small villages we reach the monastery of Santa María Real de Óbano. We follow our path passing by Vega del Rey, Berrugoso and Campiello. Later we arrive in Borres. We climb the peak, Alto de Labradoiro, before descending to Pola de Allende.
Day 6: From Pola de Allende to Berducedo, 18 km approx.
We have before us the hardest stage of our Camino since we’ll climb from 550m to 1.100m.
This a very beautiful mountainous stage, with nice views to the surrounding valleys which make our effort worthy. We have a steep ascent until reaching Puerto de Palo, from which we’ll descend towards the pretty village of Montefurado and later on, we arrive in Berducedo.
Day 7: From Berducedo to Grandas de Salime, 19 km approx.
We leave Berducedo to pass first by the village of La Mesa. From the village of Bustol, where we’ll see a pretty chapel, we’ll have the first views to the Salime Reservoir.
In Grandas de Salime, there’s the opportunity to visit the church of San Salvador and the Museo Etnográfico (Ethnographic Museum)
Day 8: From Grandas de Salime to A Fonsagrada, 26 km approx.
You will begin today’s walk with another sharp climb, the peak Alto del Acebo, rising from 700m to 1100m.
From here our efforts will we rewarded by the spectacular views we get.
Day 9: From A Fonsagrada to Cadavo Baleira, 23 km approx.
Little by little we leave behind the mountains and we enter Galicia, passing through small villages with their churches, typical from this region. In the village, Alto de Montouto, we’ll see the remains of the Real Hospital de Santiago, dated back to the 14th century.
Day 10: From Cadavo Baleira to Lugo, 30 km approx.
Today we have ahead one of the longest stages of the Camino Primitivo. On leaving Cadavo Baleira, we’ll go first uphill to drop later towards the city of Lugo, a Roman city which conserves its wall. We can also visit the Cathedral and the old town.
Day 11: From Lugo to Guntín, 20 km approx.
We leave the city of Lugo across the river Miño, the most important of the Galician rivers and very connected to the Camino de Santiago. We already left the mountains and today’s stage is relatively plain, so we’ll gradually recover our strength. The Camino runs mainly by secondary roads where there’s hardly any traffic and always passing through small villages.
Day 12: De Guntín a Melide, sobre 27 km.
Today’s stage leads us towards the Camino Francés, since Melide is the junction where both paths join. Melide is well known by its “pulperías” which we won’t forget to visit.
Day 13: From Melide to Arzúa, 15 km approx.
Today’s stage is short but also beautiful. We`ll change from the quietness of the Camino Primitivo to the crowd of the Camino Francés and we’ll start finding many pilgrims.
On leaving Melide we can visit the Romanesque church of Santa María that also has a very well-preserved frescos. This path runs in the early kilometres by a nice eucalyptus forest, and it will be with us until our destination.
Day 14: From Arzúa to Lavacolla, 30 km approx.
This stage also goes through eucalyptus forests and brings us even closer to our destination. We’ll pass through different towns, among which you’ll find St. Irene and Amenal. In Lavacolla pilgrims were accustomed to have a bath in the river before entering the next day in Santiago.
Day 15: From Lavacolla to Santiago de Compostela, 12 km approx.
Finally we get closer to our destination. We have ahead a short stage, perfect to reach the Cathedral of Santiago before 12 noon to attend to the Pilgrim’s Mass which is held every day at this time.
Before entering the city we will pass through the Monte del Gozo, whose name comes from the joy felt by the pilgrims when seeing the city for the first time.
Day 16. In Santiago de Compostela
Free day to visit this beautiful city, proclaimed a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985. We can visit the market town, Plaza de Abastos or one of its museums e.g. the Museum of Pilgrimages and the Cathedral Museum.
Transfer to the airport.
*There is the possibility to extend the stay in Santiago or Oviedo, if you are interested in it please don’t hesitate to contact Viajes Orbis. When extending your stay, apart from having more time to enjoy the city, we can arrange some excursions.
*It is also possible to combine various trips, e.g. follow the Way of Saint James until Finisterre.
*There’s an alternative route that joins the Camino del Norte with the Camino Primitivo. This variant is made for the ones who walk the Camino del Norte but want to reach Santiago through the Camino Primitivo.
It starts off from Gijon, reaching Oviedo in two days. The Camino del Norte doesn’t pass by Oviedo. If you are interested in it please don’t hesitate to contact Viajes OrbisServices we offer