Reasons why you should do the Camino Primitivo

Posted on July 23, 2021

If you like nature and rural landscapes then you will love the Camino Primitivo. You will cross forests and cultivated landscapes, as well as bucolic roads and small villages.

Why is it called the Primitive Way?

You have to know that it is the first Camino de Santiago. The Primitive Way follows the tracks of the first pilgrim, who is King Alfonso II. In the ninth century, informed of the discovery of the remains of the Apostle Santiago in the vicinity of Iria Flavia, this king decided to make a pilgrimage from Oviedo and had a church built over the tomb, a place to which more than two hundred thousand people made the pilgrimage in 2012.
This is how the first of the Jacobean routes came about. Surely you knew it, but if not you can not stop reading what we tell you about this spectacular road.

Stages of the Primitive Way

Pilgrims believe that the Primitive Way is the most attractive of all the Jacobean routes. It consists of 13 stages with a total of 164 km, which starts at the foot of the cathedral of Oviedo, after having visited the image of the Savior.

  • Stage 1: Oviedo – San Juan de Villapañada (30 km)
  • Stage 2: San Juan de Villapañada – Salas (20km)
  • Stage 3: Salas – Tineo (20 km)
  • Stage 4: Tineo – Pola de Allade (28 km)
  • Stage 5: Pola de Allade – La Mesa (23 km)
  • Stage 6: La Mesa – Grandas de Salime (17 km)
  • Stage 7: Grandas de Salime – A Fonsagrada (28 km)
  • Stage 8: A Fonsagrada – O Cádavo Baleira (23 km)
  • Stage 9: O Cádavo Baleira – Lugo (30 km)
  • Stage 10: Lugo – San Romao da Retorta (20 km)
  • Stage 11: San Romao da Retorta – Melide (28 km)
  • Stage 12: Melide – O Pedrouzo (33 km)
  • Stage 13: O Pedrouza – Santiago de Compostela (20 km)

Why is it so well known?

Over the years, the Camino de Santiago has become one of the most frequented routes in the world, and is included in the World Heritage List.
The Camino Primitivo is one of the best because of its advantages: it is not very long, it is not as crowded as the other routes, it is mainly surrounded by a natural environment and the landscapes are magnificent.
The fact that you don’t meet many pilgrims makes the way relaxed and you can enjoy the culture and gastronomy.
For many reasons, it is one of the most valued routes. It is perfect for nature lovers: long green meadows with cattle, chestnut trees, peaks at 1,500 meters above sea level, rural landscapes…

Does the current itinerary faithfully reproduce the original?

The answer is yes, and that is what makes it more attractive. You will start from Oviedo and cross Asturias passing through Las Regueras, Grado, Salas, Tineo, Pola de Allande and Grandas de Salime. And of course, you will also visit Oviedo and Lugo.

What constructions can be visited during the tour?

You will not fail to visit the Cathedral of Oviedo (where you will find the statue of Alfonso II the Chaste), the mythical and silent Puerto del Palo, the magnificent Ethnographic Museum and the reservoir of Grandas de Salime, the unforgettable section of the Hospitales Route, the mills of Puerto de Acebo and the Roman wall of Lugo.

The most important variant of the Primitive Way, only for the brave!

The Hospitales Route (25 km) is the most important variant of the Primitive Way and it is the most natural or logical way to go from Borres to Puerto del Palo (within stage 5), passing through Tineo and Allande, avoiding the hard climb to the latter place. This is a mountainous enclave above 1,000 meters without shelters where you can enjoy the solitude.
It is important that you are physically prepared. In winter or in case of fog or bad weather it is not recommended, except for experienced mountaineers.
However, in spring and summer there are no major problems, the signaling is good and you will enjoy the pleasure of observing the Asturian mountain landscapes, which are wonderful.

Did you know that this was the route followed by the first pilgrims?

As a curious fact, on this route there were up to four pilgrims’ hospitals, of which, Fanfarrón and Valparaíso, there are still remains.
If you like adventure, you can’t miss it… and if you like animals, there is a remote possibility of seeing a brown bear!

Tips when making the journey

We recommend for the Primitive Way that you carry little weight, already used shoes with heels to avoid slipping and also walking sticks. Water is not a problem because there are plenty of drinking water fountains along the way.

The Principality of Asturias has invested a lot of effort in recent years to condition the Primitive Route. A perfect signage, routes that have been cleaned and very passable.
Proof of this interest, is the number of people who choose to do it and year after year are increasing.
Enjoy this wonderful experience, crossing Asturian mountains and Galician valleys and enjoying nature.

From Marly Camino we have inspected the Camino de Santiago and we propose new routes for new private groups. If you are interested in more information and booking your trip, write us here and we will give you all the details.


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