CAMINO PRIMITIVO FROM OVIEDO ITINERARY
DAY 1: OVIEDO
Today you will make your way to Asturias in Northern Spain, to start your trip walking the Camino Primitivo from Oviedo, on the oldest Camino de Santiago route.
Visit the city’s Cathedral of San Salvador, a pilgrimage destination for many centuries; admire the elegant architecture of its old town, wander the lively Fontán market area and try Asturias’ famous cider in Calle Gascona.
DAY 2: WALKING FROM OVIEDO TO GRADO – 26KMS
The city’s Cathedral is a beautiful starting point to set off on your Camino Primitivo from Oviedo. From here, you will take your first steps on the trail to Santiago, on the same trail taken by King Alfonso II in the 9th century.
As you leave Oviedo behind, the landscape becomes increasingly rural and you will be following the River Nalon into the small town of Grado.
DAY 3: WALKING FROM GRADO TO SALAS – 22KMS
Today you will kick start the day with the first climb of the route, up to Alto del Fresnu. From here, you will start descending towards the Narcea River and the pretty town of Salas.
Along the way, stop to visit the wonderful San Salvador Monastery, in Cornellana.
As well as Romanesque chapels you will also admire vernacular buildings in the little villages along the way, such as the traditional Asturian square-shaped granaries known as ‘hórreos’; once you enter Galicia you will notice they are built in a different shape.
Salas has a lovely historic centre we recommend exploring.
DAY 4: WALKING FROM SALAS TO TINEO – 20KMS
The first half of today’s walk on the Camino Primitivo from Salas will be a steep climb to Porciles along beautiful tracks through lush woodland. However it is not a very long walking day so take it at your own pace.
Once you reach La Espina it will be relatively easy, and flat all the way to the small town of Tineo, your stop for the night.
DAY 5: WALKING FROM TINEO TO POLA DE ALLANDE – 27KMS
Today’s walk is quite long and challenging, because of the hilly terrain but the scenery is wonderful as you walk along river valleys and through forests.
As you are entering the western part of Asturias, slate roofs start replacing red tiles and you’ll notice a slight change in architecture. Along the way, stop to visit the beautiful 13th century Monastery of Santa María La Real de Obona.
Your stop for the night will be the pretty village of Pola de Allande, down in the valley surrounded by the wonderful Cantabrian Mountains. Pola is one of the villages where the ‘eonaviego’ language or Galician-Asturian is spoken.
There are a few buildings worth visiting in Pola, including the 14th century Palacio de Cienfuegos, the town council and the ‘Indiano’ grand houses, built in colonial style by locals who emigrated to South America in the 19th century.
DAY 6: WALKING FROM POLA DE ALLANDE TO LA MESA – 21KMS
Leaving Pola de Allande in the valley, the Camino Primitivo takes pilgrims up some 600 meters to Puerto del Palo mountain pass. It is a tough start of the day but the views of the Cantabrian Mountains are spectacular.
From Puerto del Palo, the trail becomes much easier for the rest of the day, through wonderful woodland and peaceful paths to Berducedo and the tiny village of La Mesa, where you will be staying tonight.
DAY 7: WALKING FROM LA MESA TO GRANDAS DE SALIME – 18KMS
From La Mesa, the route has a slight climb to Buspol followed by a steep descent towards the River Navia and Grandas de Salime reservoir, taking forest trails through wonderful oak woods; stop for a rest and to admire the great views of the mountains and the valley from Mirador de la Boca de la Ballena viewing point.
From the reservoir the Camino Primitivo climbs gradually again to the town of Grandas de Salime, the last one in Asturias. Make sure to visit the wonderful 12th century Colegiata de El Salvador.
DAY 8: WALKING FROM GRANDAS DE SALIME TO A FONSAGRADA – 25KMS
Today you will be leaving the region of Asturias behind and entering Galicia. The day starts with a gradual and considerable climb to Alto do Acevo at 1100metres, named after the holy trees in the area. It is another day of wonderful woodland tracks and mountain views.
One thing to keep in mind is that the orientation of the scallop shell markings change once you reach Galicia, so don’t get confused by this small but important change today!
The town of A Fonsagrada is your destination today. It is believed to be the place where one of St James’ miracles took place at the Fons Sacrata (sacred fountain) in the centre of town that gives the town its name. It is believed the Apostle turned the fountain water into milk for the children of a poor widow in need.
You shouldn’t leave A Fonsagrada without trying its local specialty ‘butelo’ meat or the pastel de Fonsagrada cake. If you are travelling in September, you might be able to catch the Festa da Xira festival, with a horse market day, a cattle market day and a last day when locals eat at the town’s ‘carballeira’ (oak grove).
DAY 9: WALKING FROM A FONSAGRADA TO O CADAVO – 24KMS
The stage from A Fonsagrada to O Cadavo Baleira is another challenging walking day but again with rewarding superb views and wonderful tracks through forests and woodland.
The Camino Primitivo trail rewards pilgrims with beautiful vistas of Serra do Hospital and Montouto where you will encounter the old pilgrim hospital that gives name to these mountains, built in the 14th century by Pedro I ‘The Cruel’ to look after pilgrims on their way to Santiago.
The ruins are located right next to the Dolmen de Montouto megalithic tomb, some 4000 years old. The area has many dolmens, as well as remains of Celtic settlements known as ‘castros’.
You will pass the villages of Paradavella, A Lastra and A Fontaneira before reaching O Cadavo, Baleira; where you will be staying tonight.
DAY 10: WALKING FROM O CADAVO TO LUGO – 30KMS
A long walking day awaits today from O Cadavo to the city of Lugo. There is one more small climb to achieve to Alto da Vaqueriza where you will enjoy fantastic panoramic views of the plains below, the Chaira and Lugo in the distance.
On this last stretch into Lugo you will be passing through many little villages and hamlets. The Camino Primitivo retains its rural character but the challenge of the mountain trails are behind us.
The town of Castroverde is the only stop with services so take a break and refuel on supplies here if needed before continuing on to Lugo. You will enter the city crossing the Porta de San Pedro, Saint Peter’s Gate, across the Roman Wall and into the Old Town.
DAY 11: REST DAY IN LUGO
After ten days of sometimes challenging walking, we have scheduled a well deserved rest day in Lugo, a wonderful city where you should explore its historic quarter and iconic Roman Wall, a UNESCO World Heritage Site built by the Romans in the 3rd century.
It is in the old quarter where you will find the wonderful Cathedral of Santa Maria or the House of Mosaics, once the home of a wealthy Roman where you can see original Roman mosaics; as well as some of the best bars and restaurants to try the local delicacies.
DAY 12: WALKING FROM LUGO TO PONTE FERREIRA – 26KMS
After a day’s rest enjoying Lugo city, you will set off leaving Lugo’s Old Town through Porta Miñá, the oldest gate of the Roman Wall, named after the Miño River, as many pilgrims have done for many centuries.
Passing the neighbourhood of San Lázaro and the old Roman Bridge you will quickly leave the hustle and bustle of the city behind to walk through chestnuts and oak forests and farmland to Ponte Ferreira.
Along the way, you will see the various Romanesque Churches, such as Santa Eulalia de Bóveda and San Miguel; and the Baroque San Vicente do Burgo Church.
DAY 13: WALKING FROM PONTE FERREIRA TO MELIDE – 21KMS
From Ponte Ferreira, the Camino Primitivo takes you through tiny little villages and hamlets and across farmland, following ancient tracks and trails.
Today you will be reaching the market town of Melide, where the Camino Primitivo joins the Camino Frances. From now on, you will leave the peaceful quiet trails of the Camino Primitivo and encounter many more pilgrims as you get closer to Santiago.
In Melide, we recommend trying Galicia’s most traditional dish: octopus, which is cooked to perfection in the many octopus restaurants in town, known as ‘pulperías’. Another local delicacy you must try if you have a sweet tooth are Melide’s ‘‘melindres’ aniseed-flavoured sweet pastries.
Melide is also home to what is believed to be the oldest cruceiro in Galicia, dating from the 14th century; and some wonderful Romanesque churches in the town’s old quarter.
DAY 14: WALKING FROM MELIDE TO ARZUA – 15KMS
From Melide to Arzua it is an easy stretch of just 15kms, on the Camino Frances trail across the Galician countryside, through oak forests and passing meadows and plenty of pastures with happy cows. The picturesque hamlet of Ribadiso, by the medieval bridge over the River Iso, is a great stop for a rest and a picnic.
You are in dairy land and you shouldn’t leave Arzua without trying some of its local cheeses, particularly the iconic ‘tetilla’. Since 1975, the town hosts an annual Cheese Festival dedicated to its local specialties.
The Romanesque Church of Santa María and the Convent of A Magdalena are also two must-see monuments in Arzua.
DAY 15: WALKING FROM ARZUA TO RUA – 20KMS
Continuing your walk on the Camino Frances route, you will be following trails across woodlands, farms and little hamlets in rural Galicia. It is worth stopping at the Santa Irene Chapel with the statue of St James. Unlike previous days, you will encounter plenty of services along the trail catering for pilgrims.
Your stop for the night is the pretty hamlet of Rúa.
DAY 16: WALKING FROM RUA TO SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA – 20KMS
Today is your last day walking the Camino de Santiago and as you get closer and closer to Santiago, the excitement among pilgrims is palpable. From Monte do Gozo you will catch the first glimpse of the city.
Entering the Old Town and finally reaching the Praza do Obradoiro with other pilgrims from all over the world is quite a special moment you will remember forever. Enjoy your achievement!
DAY 17: EXPLORING SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA
After completing your Camino Primitivo from Oviedo, it is time to discover the wonderful city of Santiago de Compostela. The UNESCO World Heritage Site Old Town can be easily explored on foot, enjoying its vibrant atmosphere.
After a visit to the Cathedral and its treasures, head to the Abastos Market where you will find all the Galician delicacies on display from seafood and fish to cheeses, meats, vegetables and sweet treats.
The market is the city’s second most visited attraction and there are lovely cafes and bars nearby, where you can enjoy a cafe con churros, a glass of wine or sit down for lunch.
Don’t forget to request your Compostela certificate at the Pilgrims Office.
DAY 18: SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA AIRPORT
Today we say goodbye to Santiago de Compostela as you travel back to the airport for your flight home. We hope you enjoyed your Camino experience!
The Camino Primitivo from Oviedo self guided walking tour is completely flexible and our travel experts can adapt it to your needs, talk to our team today.