Overview for Camino Primitivo Highlights: Oviedo to Lugo
The Camino Primitivo, or Original Way, is considered to be the very first of the pilgrimage routes to Santiago and is believed to have been the route taken by King Alphonse II in the 9th century. The Camino Primitivo is also the link between the Northern Way, which starts in San Sebastian and ends in Oviedo, and the French Way, which merges with the Camino Primitivo in Melide, after Lugo. So if you want to walk completely off the beaten track and experience only the part of the Camino Primitivo which does not coincide with the final stage of the traditional Camino Frances, this is the itinerary for you.
The Camino Primitivo is a route which is both quieter and more demanding compared to the French Way or the Portuguese Way as it crosses the rugged and diverse landscapes of the Asturias in Northern Spain, where you will witness spectacular views of the Embalse de Salime, the River Navia and the surrounding mountains. It is highly recommended for those who have already completed the traditional Camino routes and a looking for a more challenging and rewarding walk.
Itinerary for Camino Primitivo Highlights: Oviedo to LugoGo to top of page
Day 1: Arrive at Oviedo
Oviedo is the medieval capital of Asturias and also a delightful university town. If you arrive early, you can explore its many monuments and churches. Visit the Gothic Cathedral devoted to San Salvador, an important Saint for pilgrims going to Santiago. Enjoy the lively atmosphere in the old town centre with plenty of cafés, restaurants, bodegas and cider houses, just around the corner from your comfortable 4-star hotel.
- Overnight in a 4-star hotel (Campoamor or similar), breakfast included
Day 2: Oviedo – Grado
Start your first walk of the Camino Primitivo, following the Jacobean copper shells through the narrow lanes in the city centre, then out into the green Asturian countryside. Tarmac lanes and old footpaths will take you past quiet villages. From Puerma you continue along the main road to Grado. From there, a short transfer will bring you to a charming rural hotel in Sama de Grado.
- Walking for the day: 26 km, 6-7 hours, +250m -375m
- Overnight in a 3-star hotel in Sama de Grado (Casa de la Veiga or similar), breakfast and dinner included
Day 3: La Espina – Tineo
Today’s route starts with a short transfer to La Espina. The walk on the way to Tineo takes you through quiet woodlands and fields on serene country paths.
- Walking for the day: 11 km, 4 hours, +240m -240m
- Overnight in Tineo (Palacio de Meras or similar), breakfast and dinner included
Day 4: Tineo – Campiello
After a hearty breakfast in Tineo, you will walk through woodlands to reach the peaceful village of Obona, with its historic Monasterio de Santa María la Real. Then you continue on to Campiello and your next accommodation, a welcoming family-run establishment.
- Walking for the day: 18 km, 6 hours, +500m -300m
- Overnight in Campiello (Casa Herminia or similar), breakfast and dinner included
Day 5: Borres / La Mortera – Berducedo
Our driver will take you to Borres or La Mortera to begin your walk along the original high route, or “ruta de los hospitales”, crossing steep slopes to reach the high pass of Puerto el Palo. Pilgrims’ hospitals were built here centuries ago – on either side of the mountain pass – due to the extreme weather conditions in winter. You will enjoy superb views on your way up. From the pass you’ll continue for another 9.5 km – mainly on road – to reach your hotel in Berducedo.
- Walking for the day: 22 km, 8-9 hours, +650m -450m or 18 km, 7 hours, +520m -450m (easier option)
- Overnight in an albergue in Berducedo (Casa Rural Camín Antiguo or similar), breakfast and dinner included
Day 6: Berducedo – Grandas de Salime
From the tiny village of Berducedo, the Camino first makes an ascent up to the windmills above La Mesa , then it does a steep descent down to Lake Salime. You’ll enjoy superb views for the first 5 km, then the lovely shade of chestnut trees as you walk down to meet the road. The last 2.5 km follow the tarmac road across the dam and up to your hotel in Grandas de Salime, overlooking the lake.
- Walking for the day: 15 km, 6 hours, +330m -970m
- Overnight in Grandas de Salime (Hotel Las Grandas or similar), breakfast and dinner included
Day 7: Fonsagrada / Poboa – Paradavella
Short transfer to Fonsagrada and the village of Póboa de Burón, to pick up the oldest Camino Primitivo trail, a high route across green pastures and fields of heather on the way to the ruins at Hospital de Montouto (another pilgrims’ hospital of medieval origin). After an easy descent to Paradavella, a taxi drives you to your hotel in Cadavo.
- Walking for the day: 14 km, 5 hours, +400m -650m
- Overnight in Cadavo (Hotel La Moneda or similar), breakfast and dinner included
Day 8: Castroverde – Gondar / Lugo
Today, you will enjoy the beauty of Galician countryside, as you walk on quiet tarmac lanes and dirt tracks from one hamlet to the next, passing gorgeous examples of traditional architecture. When you reach Gondar, a short transfer will bring you to your hotel in the heart of Lugo’s historical centre, just 100m from the splendid Roman walls, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Walking for the day: 18 km, 5 hours, +200m -400m
- Overnight in Lugo (Hotel Mendez Nunes or similar), breakfast included
Day 9: Departure
Arrange extra nights in Lugo or enjoy breakfast and then make your way to the airport.
Hotels for Camino Primitivo Highlights: Oviedo to LugoGo to top of page
Accommodation is in nice 3-star hotels (5 nights) and comfortable guesthouses (3 nights). All of them have private en-suite rooms and offer a warm welcome to walkers, traditional hospitality and delicious local food. We have carefully hand-picked all places and regularly monitor their quality. We have tried to choose accommodations that offer friendly service, clean and comfortable rooms and local flavour.
*Hotels are subject to availability. In case a particular hotel is fully booked for your desired dates, we will replace it with a hotel of equal or higher value and quality level. We will provide exact accommodation details to you upon booking confirmation.
Breakfast is included (usually buffet breakfast / coffee and toast/bread/croissant) on all days, as well as 6 dinners. When no restaurant location is available on route, lunches and snacks should either be bought from local shops, or packed lunch can be pre-ordered from your hotel the night before. Where no dinner is included, most places serve hearty and reasonably priced pilgrim menus.
Travel for Camino Primitivo Highlights: Oviedo to LugoGo to top of page
Please note that flight information can change rapidly, and not all flights run daily. Please do check directly with the airlines’ websites or Skyscanner before finalising any booking with us. Please do not book your flights before we have confirmed your booking.
Transfers to/from Airports
Arrival in Oviedo
If you are flying to Asturias Airport-Ranon (OVD), there’s a regular shuttle bus service to Oviedo city centre. Departures every hour on the hour. Travel time is 45 min.
If you are flying to another airport (Santander-SDR, Bilbao-BIO or Valladolid-VLL), there are good bus connections to Oviedo from those cities. For up to date timetables and reservations, go to www.alsa.es. You can also book your bus tickets in advance through us.
Departure from Lugo
The closest airport is the one at Santiago de Compostela. If you’re travelling back to Asturias airport (OVD), Santander (SDR) or Bilbao (BIO), there’s a morning bus from Santiago that takes you to Oviedo, Santander or Bilbao. The trip to Oviedo takes about 8h30min, to Santander 9h30min and to Bilbao 11h30min. Bus tickets can be booked online at www.alsa.es or through us.
All hotel to hotel luggage transfers on walking days are included (maximum one piece of 20 kg per person). When arriving at hotels, sometimes your luggage will have been taken to your room awaiting your arrival. However don’t be surprised if in some places your luggage is waiting for you at the reception desk. Please politely ask someone from the staff if you need assistance to bring it to your room.
Up-to-date travel advice on Spain is available here.
Trip Info for Camino Primitivo Highlights: Oviedo to LugoGo to top of page
Difficulty Grade: Moderate
This walk is graded moderate and includes walks of 16 km per day on average (the longest one is 26 km); the terrain is flat or hilly (read more about difficulty grades) without steep ascents or descents. You will follow a mixture of dirt roads, woodland paths, minor roads and some busier roads close to the bigger towns and cities.
The routes are generally well waymarked, and the itinerary is relatively easy to follow, but please take care at intersections. There will always be other walkers around in case you are looking for help. We strongly advise you to follow only marked trails and never try to shorten the path through the unknown and unmarked terrain. We will provide you with detailed road notes and maps, and you can call our 24/7 local assistance phone number anytime. More detailed info on route navigation will be included in your holiday information pack.
When to Go
This trip is available from 28 April till the end of October. Best months to visit are May – June and September – October as in summer months it may become too hot (and crowded). The flexibility of self-guided holidays means that there are no fixed dates and you can start your trip on any date during the season.
What to Bring
We recommend that you travel as light as possible – airlines might charge you an extra fee, and during ground transfers, the place might be limited. Ideally, you should bring one piece of luggage weighing not more than 15 kg (to be checked in) and a daily pack (15 – 20 l rucksack) for your everyday essentials (snacks, drinking water, camera, etc.). Below is a non-exclusive list of what you should bring to this trip. More detailed info will be included in your holiday information pack. If you need further advice, please contact a reputable outdoor retailer or us.
- Good hiking boots or trail running shoes
- Hiking socks
- Several t-shirts (preferably breathable/fast drying)
- Packable waterproof and windproof jacket with hood
- Synthetic mid layer or warm fleece
- Trainers and/or sandals – to relax and wear inside accommodation
- Sunglasses, sunscreen and lip salve
- Hat/Baseball cap
- Personal First Aid kit (wet wipes, flu remedies, stomach remedies)
Included for Camino Primitivo Highlights: Oviedo to LugoGo to top of page
- 8 nights in 3-star hotels (5 nights) and comfortable guesthouses (3 nights) in private en-suite rooms
- 8 breakfasts
- 6 dinners
- Detailed journey documentation and practical information (road book)
- GPS tracks
- Luggage transfers from hotel to hotel on all walking days (up to 20 kg per person)
- All return transfer from the trail to accommodations where needed as described in the itinerary
- 24/7 phone assistance by our local office / representative
Single Room & Solo Traveller Supplements
- Single room supplement applies to members of a group who require a single room
- This holiday is available for solo travellers; as costs are not shared, there is a solo traveller supplement to the standard price.
To see the price of the holiday for your desired dates, including the cost of different options and supplements, please click the CHECK AVAILABILITY button above.
Other Trip-Related Costs
- Entrance fees for attractions and museums
- Flights and airport transfers
- Travel insurance
- All lunches and 2 dinners (in Oviedo and Lugo)
- Personal expenses such as snacks, drinks, phone calls, extra transfers, tips, etc.
- Any items not specifically mentioned as ‘included’ in the programme
Extensions and Optional Extras
- Extra nights along the trail are bookable upon request
- Airport transfers
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