Self-Guided Walking Tours & Biking Tours


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Highlights

  • The original pilgrims trail to Santiago
  • Discovering the authentic towns and villages that form the backbone of the route.
  • Completing a unique and rewarding journey and gaining your Compostela in Santiago.
  • Enjoying the fine flavours of the regional food and drink.

The Camino Primitivo, the original pilgrims trail to Santiago is a quieter and more challenging alternative to the Camino Frances. Arguably one of the most rewarding routes, it’s distinct yet unique characteristics paint a perfect picture of authentic Spanish culture providing individuals a true pilgrimage experience.

This section covers the last 100km of the route which is the minimum required to get your Compostela certificate in Santiago. Starting in Lugo, a walled city dating back to Roman times, this section of the walk joins the Camino Frances in the lively market town of Melide. Walking through a mixture of roman paved roads, ancient forests and rural Galicia until you reach your final destination, Santiago de Compostela.

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 Lugo

Enjoy a night in Lugo, a walled city dating back to Roman times. 


Day 2: 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 3: 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 4: 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 5: 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 6: 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 7: 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 on average of 20 – 25 km per day.


You can expect to walk for between five and eight hours each day and much of it is rather arduous walking with some steep inclines/declines.


The Camino Primitivo follows 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.


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 route solo try not to add too many extra nights along the way as you will lose touch with those you have met.


Fewer Nights

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


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.


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.


Compostela/Pilgrims Passport

The pilgrim’s passport is issued by the church of St James, you can obtain one at the start of your walk in the pilgrim’s office or the local church in town.  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.


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 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 hostels with en-suite W/C.
  • Baggage Transfers
  • 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.

What is the Compostela/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.

What equipment do I need?

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.

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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