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Camino Primitivo
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Highlights

  • The original pilgrims trail to Santiago
  • Following ancient paths through the Cantabrian mountains
  • The unspoilt regions of Asturia and Galicia
  • Delicious food and drink
  • Completing a unique and rewarding journey and gaining your Compostela in Santiago.

Camino Primitivo is the original pilgrims trail to Santiago, and a quieter and more challenging alternative to the more well-known Camino Frances. It’s distinct characteristics paint a perfect picture of authentic Spanish culture.

Starting in Oviedo, the former medieval capital of Asturia, your journey stretches across the unspoilt regions of Asturia and Galicia. Follow ancient paths through the Galician mountains and lush green valleys, and pass through traditional villages and market towns.

We offer the Camino Primitivo in two sections. You can choose to walk just one or combine them to complete the original way to Santiago.

Please Note - Due to restoration works on the interior of Santiago de Compostela Cathedral, the Pilgrim Mass has been moved to an alternate location in 2019. For more information please read our blog post - Santiago de Compostela Cathedral Restoration 2019

Day 1: Arrive Oviedo and overnight

Oviedo is the capital of Asturias and a delightful university town. If you arrive early enough you can explore it’s many monuments and churches, before enjoying a delicious meal in one of the many restaurants.

Overnight: Oviedo


Day 2: Oviedo to Grado/Transfer to Sama de Grado

Depart Oviedo from the Cathedral of El Salvador, and enjoy easy walking into the hills before crossing the River Nalon into Grado. A transfer will meet you at Grado to take you to your accommodation in either Samo de Grado or Sestiello.

Walk: 28km, 7hrs


Overnight: Sama de Grada


Day 3: Grado to Salas

A short transfer will take you back to Grado, where you will begin to climb up through the Cordillera Cantabrica, eventually reaching the monastery of San Salvador. A descent will then bring you down to Salas

Walk: 23km, 5-6hrs


Overnight: Salas


Day 4: Salas to Tineo

A relatively tough day with about 800m of ascent before walking along the road to La Espina and then on to Tineo.

Walk: 22km, 5-6hrs


Overnight: Tineo


Day 5: Tineo to Borres, Transfer to Tineo

Continue on to Borres, with fantastic views of Tineo behind you and an optional de-tour to the Santa Maria de Obona Monastery.


Walk: 16km, 4-5hrs


Overnight: Tineo


Day 6: Transfer to Borres, Walk to Beducedo, Transfer to Pola de Allande

The route splits here and you continue on the beautiful Hospitales route to Beducedo through the mountains. This is a long day with nowhere really to stop for refreshments but it is spectacularly beautiful. As there is no accommodation in Beducedo, you will be transferred back to Pola de Allande for your overnight accommodation.


Walk: 24km, 6-7hrs


Overnight: Pola de Allande


Day 7: Transfer to Beducedo, Walk to Grandas de Salime

You will be transferred back to Beducedo this morning where you can enjoy panoramic views from a windmill-lined ridge of the Rio Navia. A gentle climb takes you up to Grandes de Salime


Walk: 20.5km, 5hrs


Overnight: Grandas de Salime


Day 8: Grandas de Salime to A Fonsagrada

Another sharp climb to hill-top windmills today as you head into the region of Galicia. A Fonsagrada is said to have been the site of one of the miracles of Apostle St James.

Walk: 28km, 7hrs


Overnight: A Fonsagrada


Day 9: A Fonsagrada to O Cadavo

Walk through rural Galician mountain villages and hardwood forests to Montouto, an amazing place which seems to have been carved out of the mountainside. Continue to O Cadavo for your overnight stay.

Walk: 26km, 6-7hrs


Overnight: O Cadavo


Day 10: O Cadavo to Lugo

A  brief climb is followed by a welcome descent to Lugo.  This beautiful city features impressive city walls surrounding the historic centre, Roman baths and other monuments.

Walk: 32km, 7-8hrs


Overnight: Lugo


Day 11: Lugo to A Ponte Ferreira

A long day following flat, peaceful country roads—a bit of a relief after the all your previous ascents!

Walk: 29km, 7hrs


Overnight: A Ponte Ferreira


Day 12: A Ponte Ferreira to Melide

The route joins the Camino Frances today as you head towards Melide. Walk through eucalyptus groves  and then prepare for the route becoming busier as you join other pilgrims on the Camino Frances

Walk: 20km, 5hrs


Overnight: Melide


Day 13: Melide to Arzua

Leaving Melide behind today’s walk takes you to the “cheese town” of Arzua.

The majority of walking is gentle  ascents and descents with the exception of the steep incline into Arzua from Ribadiso. Relax on the river banks before ascending to Arzua.

Walk: 15km, 3.5hrs


Overnight: Arzua


Day 14: Arzua to Rua

Leaving the old quarter of Arzua the Camino leads past sturdy oak trees, which give way to lush meadows. Visit the medieval shrine at Santa Irene, dedicated to a martyr saint from Portugal and the Baroque fountain of healing waters.

Walk: 19km, 4.5 hours


Overnight: Rua


Day 15: Rua to Santiago

Today you can look forward to a fabulous day walking to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. Tall eucalyptus trees sway in the wind as you make your way to the ‘Mount of Joy’ of Monte del Gozo (368m). From here, catch sight of your goal—the impressive spires of Santiago de Compostela’s cathedral.

Walk: 20km, 5 Hours.


Overnight: Santiago


Day 16: Onward Travel

Check out of your hotel and make your way to the airport or train station for your onward travel.


Accommodation

The accommodation is a mixture of small family run hotels, pensions and larger hotels in the big cities. All with private rooms and en-suite bathrooms and all offer a warm welcome to walkers, traditional hospitality and delicious local food. We do recommend that you book this trip early as the area is always popular and the hotels and inns do fill up early.


Solo Walkers & Single Rooms

The Camino is available to solo walkers at a supplement. Single rooms are available although a single supplement is payable.


Meals

A local breakfast is included each morning which usually consists of a coffee and bread with jams. Lunch and dinner are not included as standard so you are free to choose from the available options.

Availability

This trip is available to start on any day from the beginning of March to the end of October. Option & extension prices will be displayed as part of the booking process.


Time of Year

The Camino Primitivo is best enjoyed from March to October. The weather in Northern Spain is very varied, during the winter months (Nov – Feb) some sections of the Camino can be covered in Snow and the path might be harder to follow, we usually recommend walking between March and October the best walking season.


July and August can be extremely busy on the Camino and very hot so we tend to tell people to avoid these months.


The North of Spain is the wettest part of the country, so you can expect rain at any point, though during the summer months it doesn’t tend to hang around for too long. However, we recommend always carrying a light waterproof, just to be on the safe side.


The weather in this part of Spain can be quite changeable so you should be well prepared for all weather conditions.


Solo Walkers & Single Rooms

The Camino Primitivo is available to solo walkers at a single supplement.


Grade & Terrain

This walk is graded moderate to Strenuous and includes daily walks of 15-31km.


The walk is well way-marked and you will also be supplied with turn by turn route notes and detailed maps so you will have no problem following the route each day.


On the Camino you will follow a mixture of farm/dirt tracks, minor roads and footpaths.


Navigation, Route Notes & Maps

The route is marked with yellow painted arrows but please take care at intersections.  There will always be other walkers around in case you are looking for help. A detailed information pack including route notes, local information and maps will be waiting for you at your first accommodation.


Baggage Transfers

Baggage transfers are included (max 20kg per person). Your main bag will
be transferred each day between your overnight accommodation so that
you only need to walk with a day pack.


Additional Nights

There is so much to see and do along the route that many of our clients choose to add extra nights along the walk either as a rest day or simply to do some extra sightseeing. If you are walking the whole route solo try not to add too many extra nights along the way as you will lose touch with those you have met. We would definitely recommend an extra night or 2 in Santiago to attend Pilgrims Mass and walk about this beautiful city.


Fewer Nights

It is possible to walk the Camino in less time but we would not recommend this.


Clothing & Equipment

Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, lightweight clothes, waterproofs and a day pack.


Travel Insurance

It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable Travel Insurance which covers you for the activity, emergency evacuation and hospital care.


General Information

The distances and ascent/descents are approximations of the recommended routes. Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example, proper rain gear (jacket and pants), sun hat and sun screen. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking/cycling gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes for the cooler months and lightweight clothing for summer, and a day pack.


Getting to Oviedo

By Air: Oviedo — Oviedo airport is located 47km north west of Oviedo


From the UK and Europe:

Oviedo is easily reached from the UK by Easyjet who operate a regular direct service.


If you are coming from Europe then please check out Oviedo (Asturia) Airport website and check what airline suits best.


From Overseas:

You have a few options here. You can fly into London and catch an Easyjet flight to Oviedo Alternatively you can fly into Madrid and catch an internal flight or a train from here will take approx 7-8 hrs. You can catch internal flights with either Ryanair, Iberia Vueling airlines to the main hubs of Madrid and Barcelona if you are flying here from overseas.


Buses run every 2 to 3 hours during the daytime from the airport to Oviedo (approximately 5 euros). Timetables can be viewed at Alsa. Alternatively a taxi would cost roughly 40 euros.


Getting to Lugo

From the UK and Europe:

Santiago de Compostela is the nearest airport and is easily reached from the UK by Ryanair who operate a regular direct service.


If you are coming from Europe then please look at the Santiago Airport website and check what airlines suit you best.


From Overseas:

You have a few options here. You can fly into London and catch a Ryanair flight to Santiago but remember they don’t have much weight allowance. Alternatively you can fly into Madrid and catch an internal flight or a train from here will take approx 7-8 hrs. You can catch internal flights with either Ryanair or Vueling airlines to the main hubs of Madrid and Barcelona if you are flying here from overseas.


Santiago de Compostela Airport is situated 134Km outside of Lugo. There is a bus connection to the city centre, operated by Freire S.L, the journey time is one hour 30 minutes and a ticket costs €15.00.


Getting back from Santiago de Compostela

From the UK and Europe:

Santiago de Compostela is easily reached from the UK by Ryanair who operate a regular direct service.


If you are coming from Europe then please look at the Santiago Airport website and check what airlines suit you best.


From Overseas:

You have a few options here. You can fly into London and catch a Ryanair flight to Santiago but remember they don’t have much weight allowance. Alternatively you can fly into Madrid and catch an internal flight or a train from here will take approx 7-8 hrs. You can catch internal flights with either Ryanair or Vueling airlines to the main hubs of Madrid and Barcelona if you are flying here from overseas.


Santiago de Compostela Airport is situated 12 Km outside of Santiago city. There is a bus connection to the city centre, operated by Freire S.L,the journey time is 20 minutes and a ticket costs €3.00.

Included

  • Accommodation in small rural hotels and guest houses with en-suite W/C.
  • Baggage Transfers
  • Transfers as per itinerary
  • A detailed information pack for the group leader including route notes, maps, and local information
  • Camino guide book.
  • Emergency support from our local and UK offices in the event of a problem.

Excluded

  • Return travel to Spain.
  • Lunches, dinners (optional), snacks or drinks.
  • Travel Insurance.
  • Personal Equipment.
  • Taxi transfers or public transport should you need to skip a stage.

Extras

  • Additional nights accommodation along the way.
  • Single supplements.

Committing to the Camino is a big commitment and you will undoubtedly have a huge number of questions and queries.

I hope the answers below will go some way to answering your queries, alternatively I would strongly suggest you visit the Camino Forum or Camino de Santiago website which have a wealth of information on the Camino.

How fit do I need to be?

The average daily distance of our Camino tours are between 20 and 25 kilometers and you can expect to walk for between five and eight hours each day. You should do as much walking as possible prior to your walk as this will simply add to your enjoyment. That said if you are not at peak fitness you will find you will soon walk yourself fit.

What type of trails does the Camino follow?

A mixture of farm/dirt tracks, minor roads and footpaths. The route is marked with yellow painted arrows but please take care at intersections.  There will always be other walkers around incase you are looking for help.

Pilgrims Passport

The Pilgrims Passport is available in any church/pilgrim office on the route and these are clearly marked in your guidebook.   You need to get the passport stamped in churches, restaurants and hotels along the way.  At the end of the walk in Santiago you can obtain your Compostela Certificate (only if you have walked the last 100km).  For the other sections of the trail, the passport is used as a souvenir with all the colourful stamps you will receive.

How far in advance do I need to book?

We suggest you book as far in advance as possible as the Camino is extremely popular. Numbers can rise by up to 100, 000 people. We will always try and accommodate late bookings but realistically you need to book at least 6 weeks prior to departure.

Can I walk with my bags?

Yes, some people prefer to walk carrying their own bags as a true pilgrim would have. You can select the option for removing the baggage transfers in Step 2 of the Booking Engine.

When is the best time of year?

I would recommend April/May when the spring flowers are at there best and September/October when the colours are just lovely. June, July and August can be very hot if you are not used to walking in the heat while the temperatures can fall sharply in the winter with some accommodation closing down for the end of season.

What happens if I can’t walk a stage?

Public transport and taxis are available, if you are need of support our local partner in Spain will be more that happy to help.

Can I change my itinerary once I start walking?

Unfortunately we are unable to change your accommodation bookings and itinerary once you start walking as alternative accommodation is generally not available at such short notice.

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