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Full Camino Primitivo: Oviedo to Santiago

The Natural Adventure Company

Self Guided Walking Holidays and Cycling Holidays

Full Camino Primitivo: Oviedo to Santiago

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Full Camino Primitivo: Oviedo to Santiago
Rating
Average rating:   0,  0 reviews
Country
Spain
Activity type
Self Guided Walking
Duration
17 days & 16 nights
Difficulty
Moderate
Accomodation
Comfortable
Availability
April - October

Itinerary

Day 1: Oviedo
Day 2: Grado
Day 3: Salas
Day 4: Tineo
Day 5: Campiello
Day 6: Berducedo
Day 7: Grandas de Salime
Day 8: Castro/Grandas
Day 9: Fonsagrada
Day 10: Paradavella
Day 11: Castroverde
Day 12: Lugo
Day 13: Melide
Day 14: Arzua
Day 15: A Rua
Day 16: Santiago de Compostela
Day 17: Departure

Overview for Full Camino Primitivo: Oviedo to Santiago

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 the Camino Primitivo joins in Melide.

The Camino Primitivo is a Camino 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 Full Camino Primitivo: Oviedo to Santiago

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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: Grado – Salas

A short transfer will take you back to Grado. The first part of the route from Grado to Salas goes uphill following narrow trails and country roads to Cornellana Monastery. Founded in 1024, it was of great religious and political importance throughout the early history of the Christian kingdom in Asturias. Then descend to Salas. Your hotel in Salas is located in the historical town centre, right next to the castle.

  • Walking for the day: 21.5 km, 6 hours, +425m -350m
  • Overnight in a country hotel in Salas (Castillo Valdes or similar), breakfast and dinner included

Day 4: Salas – Tineo

After a short ascent through the beautiful fields outside Salas, you will again follow the main road further ascending for about 5 km and then leave it behind in La Espina. The next section on the way to Tineo takes you through quiet woodlands and fields on quiet country paths.

  • Walking for the day: 20 km, 6 hours, +575m -300m
  • Overnight in Tineo (Palacio de Meras or similar), breakfast and dinner included

Day 5: 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 6: Borres – Berducedo

Our driver will take you to Borres 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 included

Day 7: 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 8: Rest Day or Grandas – Castro

After your first week on the pilgrimage, you may wish to take a day off to rest and relax. If you prefer to do a walk today, there are two routes to choose from: a short walk to the village of Grandas de Salime, where you can visit the ethnographic museum or take a dive in the local swimming pool (swimming cap required) OR a 5-km section of the Camino, from Lake Grandas to Castro where you can visit Chao Sanmartin, an interesting archaeological site of Celtic and Roman origin. You can book a taxi transfer back to the hotel (not included).

  • Walking for the day (optional): 5 km, 2 hours, +300m -20m
  • Overnight in Grandas de Salime (Hotel Las Grandas or similar), breakfast and dinner included

Day 9: Castro – Fonsagrada

A short transfer drops you off at Castro to continue your pilgrimage tour with a section which more or less follows the main road to Puerto El Acebo (1165m), gateway to the province of Galicia. You walk mostly on the main road, taking frequent shortcuts, especially on the descent down into Galicia. At the end, there’s one more short ascent to reach the town of Fonsagrada, said to have been the site of one of the miracles of Apostle St James.

  • Walking for the day: 20 km, 6 hours, +530m -225m
  • Overnight in Fonsagrada (Cantabrico Pension or similar), breakfast included

Day 10: Fonsagrada – Paradavella

From Fonsagrada you first descend to 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 back to Fonsagrada, as there is no other suitable accommodation nearby.

  • Walking for the day: 14 km, 5 hours, +400m -650m
  • Overnight in Fonsagrada (Cantabrico Pension or similar), breakfast included

Day 11: Paradavella – Castroverde

After a short taxi transfer back to Paradavella (or a bit further), today’s route mainly follows rural tracks through wooded areas and open fields, with some short sections along the main road. After O Cádavo, you pass by Villabade (an interesting church) before finally reaching Castroverde.

  • Walking for the day: 20 km, 6 hours, +400m -475m
  • Overnight in Castroverde (Casa Rural La Longarela or similar), breakfast and dinner included

Day 12: Castroverde – 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 until you walk directly up to your modern 4-star 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: 22 km, 6 hours, +150m -250m
  • Overnight in Lugo (Hotel Pazo de Orbán or similar), breakfast and dinner included

Day 13: Lugo – Melide

Today you have a long walk to reach the next accommodation, situated in Melide; however the route is mostly paved and relatively flat. Along today’s route, the Camino Primitivo merges with the French Way. Walk through eucalyptus groves and notice how the route becoming busier as you join other pilgrims on the Camino Frances.

Day 14: Melide – Arzua

Today you begin walking from Melide. You have now joined the French Route, or Camino Francés, which is the most popular of all the Camino variants. Suddenly, you find yourself among a multitude of pilgrims from all over the world, as you follow trails, country roads and footpaths parallel to the main road. Much of the day is shaded and shortly after Melide you will walk through oak and eucalyptus forests. Relax on the river bank at Ribadiso, before ascending to Arzua.

  • Walking for the day: 29 km, 7 hours, +220m -400m
  • Overnight in a 3-star hotel in Arzua (Pazo de Santa Maria or similar), breakfast and dinner included

Day 15: Arzua – A Rua

Upon leaving Arzua perhaps pick up some delicious cheese for lunch; then continue through the old quarter of the town as the walk leads past sturdy oak trees which give way to lush meadows.  Visit the medieval shrine at Santa Irene and the Baroque fountain of healing waters. While not as spectacular as on previous day, today’s walk will enable you to make many new friends among the pilgrims going to Santiago.

  • Walking for the day: 18 km, 4-5 hours, +220m -220m
  • Overnight in a country hotel (O Acivro or similar), breakfast and dinner included

Day 16: A Rua – Santiago de Compostela

Your final stage! You will walk mostly through rural settings and eucalyptus groves. At Monte del Gozo, pilgrims historically make one last stop at the spring in Lavacolla, to wash face and feet before presenting themselves before the Saint. Enter the ancient city of Santiago de Compostela and relish the end of your journey at the Cathedral.

  • Walking for the day: 23 km, 5-6 hours
  • Overnight in a 3-star hotel (A Tafona or similar), breakfast included

Day 17: Departure

Arrange extra nights in Santiago or enjoy breakfast and then make your way to the airport. If you have time, explore the old city of Santiago de Compostela before you leave.

Hotels for Full Camino Primitivo: Oviedo to Santiago

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Accommodation is in nice, mainly 3-star hotels and guesthouses (including a few nights in 4-star hotels), located close to the route of the Camino. 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.

Meals

Breakfast is included (usually buffet breakfast / coffee and toast/bread/croissant) on all days, as well as 11 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 Full Camino Primitivo: Oviedo to Santiago

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Nearest airports are Asturias Airport (OVD)Santander (SDR) or Bilbao (BIO).

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-SDRBilbao-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 Santiago de Compostela

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.

Baggage Transfers

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.

Country Info

Up-to-date travel advice on Spain is available here.

Trip Info for Full Camino Primitivo: Oviedo to Santiago

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Difficulty Grade: Moderate

This walk is graded moderate and includes walks of 19 km per day on average (the longest one is 29 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.

Route Navigation

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 April till the end of October. Best months to visit are April – 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 Full Camino Primitivo: Oviedo to Santiago

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  • 16 nights in nice hotels or guesthouses in private en-suite rooms (mostly 3-star and some 4-star)
  • 16 breakfasts
  • 11 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

Excluded

  • Optional taxi transfer on Day 8
  • Flights and airport transfers
  • Travel insurance
  • All lunches and 5 dinners
  • 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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