Travel Guide

Camino Primitivo – a information & strolling levels 2022

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Camino Primitivo or the Unique Approach is part of the Northern Camino community that features Camino Primitivo, Camino del Norte (the Northern Approach), and Camino Ingles (the English Approach).

The full distance of the Camino Primitivo is 321 km it may be accomplished in two weeks. The path begins on the cathedral of Oviedo and finishes on the cathedral in Santiago de Compostela. It’s thought of to be the hardest out of all Camino de Santiago routes on account of many steep ascents and descents. The route passes by way of two Spanish provinces – Asturias and Galicia and affords a fantastic in-nature experience mixed with good infrastructure. Based on the statistics for 2019 solely 4% (about 16 000 individuals a yr) of all of the pilgrims who stroll the Camino de Santiago select the Primitive Approach.

Obtain our free PDF information to make your Camino Primitivo planning simpler. An inventory of locations to remain on the Camino Primitivo and Camino Primitivo strolling levels.

Scenery on the Camino Primitivo
Embalse de Salime, Camino Primitivo, Spain

Camino Primitivo route overview

  • Distance – 321 km/200 mi
  • Variety of days required – 12-14
  • Place to begin – Oviedo, Asturias
  • Common price – 25-30 Euro per individual per day
  • Lodging – private and non-private albergues, accommodations, pensions

The title “primitivo” refers to its origin as the primary Camino Jacobeo (Camino de Santiago). Spanish king Alfonso II was the primary pilgrim to Santiago de Compostela, he walked the Camino within the IX century to commemorate the invention of the stays of apostle St. James in Compostela a few years earlier. At the moment a lot of the Spanish territory was underneath Moorish management, solely the Northern a part of Spain remained unbiased.

A map of the Camino Primitivo route to Santiago
The map of the Camino Primitivo from Ovideo to Santiago de Compostela

Camino Primitivo might be mixed with the Camino del Norte and the French Camino. Each Caminos have connection routes to Oviedo the place the Unique Approach begins. The Camino de Salvador is a connection route from León (the French Approach) to Oviedo. On the Camino del Norte there’s a route break up simply earlier than Gijón that goes to Oviedo.

One of the best months for strolling

Undoubtedly, summer time is one of the best time to do the Camino. It’s heat with fewer rainfalls although within the mountains the climate is unpredictable and modifications shortly. July and August are the busiest months for this Camino with the finest climate circumstances. We walked this route finish of Could starting of June and bought fairly a little bit of rain although everyone instructed us it wasn’t regular normally it’s heat and sunny this time of the yr.

Shoulder season Could – June and September could be a good time for strolling the climate is good and not many individuals. We wouldn’t advocate strolling the Camino Primitivo low season from November to March as many albergues are closed for this era plus it’s chilly and wet.

Average monthly temperatures on the Camino Primitivo, Asturias
Common high and low temperatures all year long in Asturias, Spain
Average rainfalls on the Original Way, Spain
Common rainfalls all year long in Asturias, Spain

Sensible info for the pilgrimage

There aren’t many information books on the Camino Primitivo, one of the best one is Camino del Norte and Camino Primitivo: To Santiago De Compostela and Finisterre from Irun or Oviedo by Cicerone, 2019.

So as to get the Compostela on the finish of the Camino, it’s good to get two stamps per day for the final 100 km to Santiago de Compostela.

Roads can get fairly muddy on the Camino Primitivo, plus frequent rainfalls, deliver waterproof sneakers, jacket, rain poncho, backpack cowl.

Purchase a native SIM card, it’s very helpful for locating locations and checking on distances. We purchased a Vodafone bundle 2Gb information + 200min. native telephone requires 15 Euro, legitimate for 30 days. It was greater than sufficient for 2 weeks of strolling, we uploaded movies and photographs on Instagram and Fb on daily basis.

The route is marked fairly properly although within the Asturian half indicators are generally complicated.

Hostels for pilgrims on the Camino are known as “albergues“.

Each pilgrim should have a Credential – a pilgrim’s passport that comprises your title. It will get stamped at each albergue you alongside the best way. To remain at public albergues you want a Credential. In addition to for getting the Compostela in Santiago.

You will get a Credential on the Vacationer Workplace, Plaza de Constitucion, Four in Oviedo.

You may’t e-book municipal (authorities) albergues, it really works on a primary come first serve system. Personal albergues might be booked upfront over the telephone or by way of on-line reserving companies.

All municipal albergues on this route price between 5 and 7 Euro pp. Personal albergues have normally higher amenities, are extra snug and fashionable, value between 12 and 14 Euro.

Municipal albergues don’t have lockers we’d advise having a small bag to hold your helpful stuff with.

Within the excessive season most municipal albergues will let you keep solely one night time, they’ll make an exception should you get sick, have some issues together with your legs, and so forth.

Most albergues have washing and drying machines, value between 2,5 to three Euro per load.

You’ll find extra info on lodging on the Camino in our put up Albergues on the Camino de Santiago.

If you wish to make your stroll a bit simpler you should utilize a backpack shuttle service, they drive your backpack from albergue to albergue on daily basis. The typical value is 5-6 Euro per backpack per day. There are a number of corporations providing a baggage supply service on the Camino Primitivo. Correos, Pilbeo, and Caminofacil are the most well-liked.

Faucet water is potable on this a part of Spain we by no means purchased bottled water or used any purification and by no means had any drawback.

In Spain like in most nations of Europe, they use Europlug – two spherical pongs, 220-240V. You would possibly want a journey adapter.

It’s attainable to modify from the French Approach or the Camino del Norte and proceed strolling to Santiago on the Primitivo we met fairly a couple of individuals who did that.

If it’s good to purchase some kind of drugs that requires a prescription ask your physician again residence to e-mail it to you. In Spanish pharmacies, they normally ask you to ship it to their e-mail handle should you can’t print it.

In Spanish cities retailers, and supermarkets are normally closed on Sundays and public holidays.

Extra posts on the Camino de Santiago you’ll find HERE.

Camino Primitivo price

Should you keep in albergues and purchase meals in supermarkets you will get away for as little as 15 to 20 Euro a day per individual. Should you keep in albergues, have lunch in a restaurant, cease for espresso or have a beer put together to spend between 25 to 30 Euro pp. per day.

  • Lodging – municipal albergues – 5-7 Euro pp., personal albergues/hostels 12-14 Euro.
  • A meal in a restaurant (Menu del Dia) – 10-12 Euro pp.
  • Meals buying – 6-Eight Euro pp. per day.
  • A cup of espresso – 1-1,Eight euro. Espresso value was fairly an disagreeable shock examine to the opposite areas of Spain or Portugal.
  • A beer in a bar – 1,20 Euro.
  • Backpack supply service – 5-6 Euro per backpack per ыефпу.
  • Laundry – washing – Three Euro per load; drying – 1,5-Three Euro per load.

We now have a complete put up on the price of strolling the Camino de Santiago the place you’ll find the whole lot you want for planning your Camino funds.

Journey insurance coverage for the Camino Primitivo

Strolling like every other outside exercise includes a threat of getting an harm or shedding a few of the gear. It’s all the time really useful to have journey insurance coverage whenever you go away. The Unique Approach of the Camino de Santiago will not be an exclusion although it’s not a excessive altitude trek out of all Camino routes this route is the closest to a typical wild hike within the mountains. The Camino goes by way of some distant areas and it’s a bodily difficult path with many steep ascents and descends on the best way, accidents particularly knee points are fairly frequent.

Ensure that it is possible for you to to get medical help any time you want it. Insurance coverage is kind of helpful as properly in case of a gear break or loss, you possibly can all the time declare it again. Let your insurance coverage firm fear about you and your belongings whilst you take pleasure in strolling the Camino. 

Social life on the Camino

For many people, it’s all the time a difficulty to seek out the proper individual to do a hike with as we don’t need to be lonely or bored strolling on our personal for days. No want to fret about it on the Camino you possibly can come right here alone, you’ll be capable of discover strolling buddies right here. In actual fact, there have been extra single pilgrims on our Camino than {couples} or teams.

There have been individuals from the US, Canada, Australia, France, Spain, England, Germany, and so forth. Should you converse one of many European languages you’ll discover somebody to speak to. The second half of the day when everyone arrived at an albergue was one of the best and probably the most social, individuals cooking, consuming, and ingesting collectively. So should you hike in season between Could and September you undoubtedly received’t be lonely.

Packing listing for the Camino Primitivo

Our fundamental recommendation is don’t pack an excessive amount of bear in mind you’ll have to hold that stuff for weeks. Our backpacks had been about 6-7kg every however we had a laptop computer and an enormous DSLR digital camera with out them you in all probability can decrease it right down to 5kg.

Wish to get one thing particular for the Camino? Purchase a Camino de Santiago T-shirt there are such a lot of totally different choices!

Detailed Camino de Santiago packing listing for various seasons for women and men you’ll discover in our detailed Camino packing put up.

YouTube thumbnail for the packing list for the Camino
Watch our video on what to pack for the Camino de Santiago

Oviedo the start of the stroll

The Camino Primitivo begins from the Oviedo cathedral most pilgrims arrive right here the day earlier than to have a while to discover town. Oviedo is an attractive metropolis with typical cobblestone streets, an attractive cathedral, many eating places and bars. Straightforward to get by bus or by practice from totally different cities in Spain.

Locations to remain in Oviedo

Municipal Albergue El Salvador

Fairly an enormous albergue with many small rooms, {couples} get personal rooms. It may well accommodate 50 individuals, opens at 1 pm. Value 6 Euro pp, plus 1,5 euro for disposable bedding (elective). There are a few native cafes and a grocery store simply across the nook.

  • Scorching water bathe – sure
  • Wi-fi – sure
  • Kitchen with fridge, microwave, plates, cups, and utensils – sure (no range)
  • Washer – sure, 3,50 euro per load
  • Drying rack – sure
  • Blankets – sure
  • Extras – drying machine, Three euro per load, espresso and snack merchandising machine.
  • Location – Four out of 5, about 1km from the cathedral, the place to begin of the Camino Primitivo.
  • Consolation degree – Four out of 5.

Personal albergues and accommodations in Oviedo

Should you’re not prepared to leap straight ahead into ascetic pilgrim’s life and like to remain your first night time in Oviedo in a pleasant and cozy place we’d recommend trying out a few of these accommodations.

The right way to get to Oviedo?

Should you come from abroad the best approach of attending to Oviedo is to fly to Mardid. Many ailines provide direct flight to Barajas Airport in Madrid from everywhere in the world. From Madrid you possibly can take a direct bus to Oviedo. There are various day by day buses from Madrid together with direct buses to Oviedo from the airport. Costs range between 15 and 35 euro. Journey time between 5 and 6 hours. You’ll find up-to-date itinerary and costs on the ALSA web site. There are direct buses to Oviedo from different Spanish cities e.g. Avilés, Gijón, Leon.

You will get from Madrid to Oviedo by a direct practice. It takes 4h30min. The worth is 40 euro. It’s a bit quicker than by bus. You will get by practice from Barcelona as properly however it’s a really lengthy journey 10-11 hours with one connetction in Leon.

The bus and the practice stations in Oviedo are in the identical place, about 20 min. stroll to the Cathedral, the place to begin of the Camino.

An old monastery on the Camino Primitivo
A monastery on the best way to Grado. Within the mornings it was typically very cloudy and wet

Camino Primitivo strolling levels

Day 1. Oviedo – Grado, 25 km/15,5 mi

San Lazaro – La Bolguina – El Escamplero – Paladin – L’Arche – Grado

It’s essential to begin strolling early so as to have sufficient time for a number of lunch and relaxation breaks alongside the best way. The primary day is all the time troublesome on any Camino. This stage is kind of difficult on account of a number of steep ascents and descents.

You may break up he first day on the Camino Primitivo into two; stroll from Oviedo to El Escamplero, 12 km, and the subsequent day from El Escamplero to Grado, 13 km. It’s a very good choice should you don’t need to spend an evening in Oviedo and somewhat begin strolling the identical day you arrive.

Our first day was very difficult on account of heavy rain that continued all morning. The Camino Primitiv route begins on the cathedral of Oviedo after which goes by way of town into the hills.

Highlights of the day

  • Oviedo Cathedral and the historic middle.
  • Pastoral surroundings; inexperienced hills, small villages, cows and sheep strolling round.
  • Lovely mountain surroundings.
  • The historic middle of Grado and the Sunday market.


  • A number of ascents and descents on the Camino


A giant city with many church buildings, a pleasant historic middle, many retailers, and so forth. Should you’re within the metropolis on Sunday you’ll stroll by way of an enormous native market the place you should buy scrumptious native cheeses, ham, salami, bread.

  • ATM – sure, many on the best way
  • Retailers – sure, many supermarkets on the best way, most open on Sundays.
  • Eating places, cafes – many on the best way.

Municipal albergue

A pleasant home that may accommodate 16 individuals. It’s fairly new, clear and has all the mandatory. Value – donation. Opens at 2 pm.

  • Scorching water bathe – sure
  • Wi-fi – no
  • Kitchen with range, fridge, pots, plates – sure
  • Washer – no
  • Drying rack – sure
  • Blankets – sure
  • Location – Four out of 5
  • Consolation degree – Four out of 5.

Extra locations to remain in Grado*

*A whole listing of lodging on the Camino you’ll find in our downloadable PDF file.

A typical scenery on the Original Way of St.James
The surroundings on the primary day of the Camino Primitivo.

Day 2. Grado to Salas, 24 km/15 mi

Grado – Villapañada – La Doriga – Cornellana – Casazorrina – Salas.

A ravishing stroll by way of the mountains and small villages, we left early within the morning and all meals locations had been nonetheless closed, we walked all the best way to earlier than we may have some meals and occasional. There’s a lengthy uphill after Grado. It was fairly a muddy day, largely strolling by way of the forest on the trail however on account of heavy rains it was very soiled and moist so good waterproof sneakers are important.


  • Lovely surroundings.
  • A few outdated small villages/cities.


  • Muddy path
  • Many up and down-hills


A pleasant city with an attractive church and picturesque surroundings.

  • ATM – sure, a number of.
  • Retailers – sure, one fairly massive grocery store and a few smaller retailers.
  • Eating places – sure, a number of, some closed on Mondays.

Albergue de Salas, municipal (momentary closed*)

*as of March 2022

There aren’t any indications to the municipal albergue, to seek out it ask locals for ‘albergue municipal‘. It may well match 16 individuals. Value 5 euro pp. It opens early you possibly can simply are available, take a mattress and an individual in cost will arrive later to register and gather cash.

  • Scorching water bathe – sure
  • Wi-fi – no
  • Kitchen with solely microwave and a few utensils, cups, and plates – sure
  • Washer – sure, Three euro per load
  • Drying rack – sure
  • Blankets – sure
  • Extras – drying machine (2,5 euro per load), heaters
  • Location – Four out of 5, 100m away from the path
  • Consolation degree – Four out of 5

Extra locations to remain in Salas

A narrow cobbled street and an old stone wall of Salas, Camino Primitivo, Spain
The historic middle of Salas, a small city on the Camino Primitivo

Day 3. Salas to Tineo, 20 km/12,Four mi

Salas – Bodenaya – La Espina – Tineo.

A pleasant strolling day with fairly a little bit of uphill strolling, a few pilgrim’s relaxation stops; a spot with espresso and snack merchandising machines, bathrooms, tables, and chairs. The primary place to cease for espresso is La Espina, 9km away.


  • Waterfall, about 2km from Salas, 250m down-hill detour
  • Forest stroll


  • Muddy path
  • Lengthy uphill to start with


Fairly an enormous city with an attractive view of the valley and the mountains.

  • ATM – sure
  • Supermarkets – sure
  • Eating places, bars, cafes – sure

Albergue Mater Christi de Tineo, municipal

You received’t miss this albergue, there are many arrows pointing the best way, it’s proper on the city entrance. It may well match 31 individuals. It’s normally open, you possibly can are available, select a mattress, a person in cost comes late afternoon to register pilgrims and gather cash. Value 5 euro pp.

  • Scorching water bathe – sure
  • Wi-fi – no
  • Kitchen with very restricted facilities; a microwave and a few plates and cups – sure
  • Washer – sure, Three euro per load
  • Drying rack – sure
  • Blankets – sure
  • Extras – drying machine, Three euro per load
  • Location – Four out of 5
  • Consolation degree – 2 out of 5, very primary.

There are two personal albergues/hostels nearer to the middle with higher amenities, value from 10 euro pp.

Extra locations to remain in Tineo

Day 4. Tineo to Pola de Allande, 28 km/17,Three mi

Tieno – Campiello – Borres – Porciles – Pola de Allande.

An extended and tiring day I’d advocate beginning early. On the best way from the albergue, there’s a bakery that opens at 6 am you should buy recent bread there. The subsequent place to cease for espresso or lunch is Campiello, 14km away.

As an choice you possibly can break at the present time on the Camino Primitivo into two; keep in Campiello (there are two personal albergues there, each have eating places, one has a grocery store), and proceed the subsequent day to Pola de Allande, 15km. It’s a very good choice should you really feel drained, don’t push your self somewhat stroll a brief day and relaxation extra. There’s a municipal albergue in Borres 17km however it’s greater than primary and there aren’t any retailers, just one bar.


  • Lovely morning view of Tineo from the highest of the hill.


  • Many smallish up-hills
  • A muddy path alongside cow pasture fields
  • Lengthy and steep down-hill, 300m, to Pola de Allande

Pola de Allande

A small and comfy city surrounded by mountains.

  • ATM – sure
  • Grocery store – sure, closed from 2 pm to 4.30pm
  • Eating places, bars, cafés – sure

Albergue de peregrinos de Pola de Allande, municipal (momentary closed*)

As of March 2022

The albergue is true on the entrance to the city, straightforward to seek out simply observe the yellow arrows. Value 6 euro pp. Opens at 1 pm.

  • Scorching water bathe – sure
  • Wi-fi – no
  • Kitchen with range, pots, pans, cups, plates, utensils – sure
  • Washer – no
  • Drying line – sure
  • Blankets – sure, solely a pair
  • Location – 5 out of 5
  • Consolation degree – Four out of 5.

Extra locations to remain in Pola de Allande

A countryside scenery on the Camino Primitivo
Improbable surroundings on the best way to Tineo

Day 5. Pola de Allande to La Mesa, 23 km/14,2 mi

Pola de Allande – Puerto del Palo – Montefurado – Lago – Barducedo – A Mesa.

From the start of the day you begin strolling uphill, probably the most troublesome strolling day on the Camino Primitivo. The path goes by way of the mountains for some time there will probably be no place to cease for a cup of espresso or lunch, the closest place is Berducedo, 19km away. We’d recommend having breakfast in Pola there are a number of cafés on the best way that serves breakfast from 6 am.

Should you really feel very drained after a protracted steep uphill as an choice you possibly can keep in Barduceda, 18km from Pola, there are two albergues; one municipal and one personal, a few bars, and a small store. By the best way, the municipal albergue in A Mesa is among the worst on the Camino the one in Berducedo is best.


  • Beautiful view over the mountains
  • Montefurado – a tiny village on the highest of the hill with outdated rock homes and partitions, just one resident and lots of cows.


  • Very lengthy and steep up-hill, 600m within the first half
  • Robust wind and mist on the highest, put together rain-jacket

La Mesa

There may be nothing right here besides for 2 albergues and a restaurant, it’s not a city or village if you wish to purchase some meals do it in Barducedo.

  • ATM – no
  • Grocery store – no
  • Restaurant – sure

Albergue de peregrinos de La Mesa, municipal (momentary closed*)

*as of March 2022

There are two albergues; one municipal and one personal, municipal one may be very dilapidated with outdated mattresses, small, smelly, and really humid. No one stayed right here, each albergues situated subsequent to one another. Value 5 euro pp. There are 12 beds.

  • Scorching water bathe – sure
  • Wi-fi – no
  • Kitchen with range, pots, pans, cups, plates, utensils – sure
  • Washer – no
  • Drying traces – sure
  • Blankets – sure, solely a pair
  • Location – 5 out of 5
  • Consolation degree – 2 out of 5.

Albergue Miguelin, La Mesa, personal

It’s extra like a pleasant hostel than albergue, the whole lot is new (opened in 2018), very clear and cozy; massive beds, lockers, mattress gentle, superior showers, good frequent space, spacious and fashionable. It may be booked upfront. There are 16 beds and a few personal rooms.

  • Scorching water bathe – sure
  • Wi-fi – sure
  • Kitchen – no however you should utilize the kitchen of municipal albergue, each are run by the identical individual.
  • Washer – sure
  • Drying rack – sure
  • Blankets – sure
  • Location – 5 out of 5
  • Consolation degree – 5 out of 5.

Extra locations to remain in La Mesa

Two old houses in the middle of nowhere on the Camino
Montefurado, a tiny village on the high of the move with solely on resident residing right here

Different route from Tineo to La Mesa by way of Hospitales, 46 km/28,5 mi, 2 days

There may be an elective route on the Camino Primitivo by way of Hospitales. The full distance to A Mesa will probably be a bit shorter, the path goes up by way of the mountains. It’s price taking this route provided that the climate is sweet in any other case it is going to be cloudy, windy and also you received’t see something. The path splits on the second day at La Mortera, on the primary day you continue to stroll on the primary route, and joins once more on the second day at Puerto del Palo.

Day 4. Tineo to Borres, 18 km/11 mi

Borres is a tiny village with an albergue and a bar, no store. Take note the albergue in Borres may be very primary and doesn’t have a kitchen however you will get meals and occasional within the bar.

Day 5. Borres to La Mesa, 28km/elective Barducedo, 26 km/16 mi

From Borres you stroll for 15km by way of the wild with out something or anyone after that the path joins the primary route at Puerto del Palo from the place it’s 13km to A Mesa. On a transparent day, you’ll be capable of take pleasure in beautiful mountainous surroundings.

Day 6. La Mesa to Grandas de Salime, 17 km/10,5 mi

La Mesa – Embalse de Salime – Grandas de Salime.

It was the day with probably the most stunning surroundings, one lengthy downhill, a lot of the day slight uphill. We’d recommend having breakfast in La Mesa there isn’t any place to cease on the best way besides one restaurant 4km earlier than Salime.


  • Tiny rocky chapel, after the primary up-hill from La Mesa, the smallest and cutest chapel we’ve ever seen
  • Beautiful view over Embalse de Salime (water reservoir) on the best way right down to the dam. Probably the most spectacular water physique on the Camino Primitivo.
  • A balcony/viewpoint on the dam on the right-hand aspect of the highway (stroll by way of the door).
  • Anthropology museum in Grandas de Salime, 1,5 euro entrance price.


  • Steep and lengthy down-hill to the dam
  • Some highway stroll alongside the dam however the highway will not be busy

Grandas de Salime

A pleasant city, we had been fairly pleased we determined to remain and to not stroll on. There are two albergues right here, one municipal and one personal, and a few pensions.

  • ATM – sure. Don’t use Telebanco, it fees 5 euro fee.
  • Grocery store – sure
  • Eating places – sure

Albergue de Grandas de Salime, municipal

A really good and neat albergue with good amenities, situated very near the grocery store and bakery. There are 25 beds, it opens at 12.30pm. Value Eight euro pp. together with disposable bedding.

  • Scorching water bathe – sure
  • Wi-fi – sure
  • Kitchen with electrical range, pots, plates, utensils – sure
  • Washer – sure, Three euro per load
  • Extras – drying machine (Three euro per load), espresso, cool drinks and snacks merchandising machine
  • Drying traces – sure
  • Blankets – sure
  • Location – Four out of 5
  • Consolation degree – 5 out of 5
Embalse de Salime, a dam surrounded by the forest on the Camino in Asturias
Embalse de Salime, an attractive dam within the forest simply earlier than Grandes de Salime

Day 7. Grandas de Salime to A Fonsagrada, 28 km/17,Three mi

Grandas de Salime – Cereixeira – Castro – Venta del Acebo – Barbeitos – A Fonsagrada.

A pleasant day of strolling with some up-hills, a forest stroll, and some muddy roads. The day went fairly quick for us it didn’t really feel we walked 26km. At present you permit Asturias and enter a unique province – Galicia, there will probably be an indication indicating it.


  • It was so cloudy and misty that we didn’t see a lot.
  • Noticed a pricey and a genet within the forest.


  • Some highway stroll however the roads weren’t busy we noticed a automotive each on occasion
  • Very steep up-hill proper on the finish all the best way to A Fonsagrada.

A Fonsagrada

A pleasant and fairly massive city with a number of albergues, hostels, and pensions. A superb place to purpose for in excessive season as there are lots of lodging choices. Consideration! Municipal albergue was once in Padron, 2km away from the city however it was moved now it’s in A Fonsagrada subsequent to the church.

  • ATM – sure.
  • Supermarkets – sure
  • Eating places, bars – sure

Albergue de A Fonsagrada, municipal

Positioned subsequent to the church, near the supermarkets and eating places. An outdated home was an albergue, new, spacious and fashionable, extra like a cool hostel than a municipal albergue. One among our favourite albergues on the Camino Primitivo. Opens at 1 pm. Value Eight euro together with bedding. It may well accommodate 40 individuals.

  • Scorching water bathe – sure
  • Wi-fi – no
  • Kitchen with electrical range, fridge, only a few pots, plates, and utensils – sure
  • Washer – no
  • Extras – massive lounge space, heaters
  • Drying traces – sure
  • Blankets – no
  • Location – 5 out of 5
  • Consolation degree – Four out of 5, a fantastic place however the kitchen will not be outfitted very properly.

Extra locations to remain in A Fonsagrada

Day 8. A Fonsagrada to O Cadavo Baleira, 25 km/15,5 mi

A Fonsagrada – Padron – Paradavella – A Lastra – Fontaneira – O Cadavo Baleira.

Climate-wise it was one of many worst days on our Camino, it rained from early morning, we had been moist, chilly and depressing.


  • One lengthy down-hill
  • Many up-hills generally fairly steep

O Cadavo Baleira

A small city with three albergues, one municipal and two personal. There are retailers however all of them are closed on Sundays it’s important to deliver meals with you from A Fonsagrada or eat in one of many eating places. There are a few bars a bit additional away from the albergue that provide you with tapas without spending a dime should you order drinks.

  • ATM – sure.
  • Store – sure
  • Eating places, bars – sure

Albergue de O Cadavo Baleira, municipal

The albergue is ok not as new and fashionable because the one in A Fonsagrada however the whole lot works good and it’s clear. Value Eight Euro, together with disposable bedding. Opens at 1 pm.

  • Scorching water bathe – sure
  • Wi-fi – no
  • Kitchen with electrical range, fridge, pots, plates, utensils – sure
  • Washer – no
  • Drying traces – sure
  • Blankets – no
  • Location – 5 out of 5
  • Consolation degree – Four out of 5.

There’s a new personal albergue down the road for 10 Euro with higher amenities.

Extra locations to remain in O Cadavo Baleira

Day 9. O Cadavo Baleira to Lugo, 30 km/18,6 mi

Vilabade – Castroverde – Vilar de Cas – Gondar – Castelo – Lugo.

We’d recommend beginning the day early so as to have extra time in Lugo, it’s a pleasant metropolis with quite a bit to see. The municipal albergue in Lugo has solely 40 beds so should you arrive late you won’t get a spot however there are lots of personal albergues and hostels there. You will get breakfast and occasional at Vilabade there’s a meals kiosk there, individuals who run it’s going to open an area church for you, inform you just a little bit in regards to the Camino Primitivo (should you perceive Spanish).


  • Umbrella fountain in entrance of the church in Castroverde seems wonderful if it rains.
  • The historic city of Lugo; spectacular large Roman partitions, Gothic cathedral, cobblestone streets.
  • Calle de los Vinos in Lugo (road close to the cathedral), don’t miss it particularly over weekends, there are a number of bars the place should you order drinks you get free tapas, small beer 1,20 Euro, massive – 2 Euro.
  • Bakery Meson de Crecente in Lugo throughout the highway from Puerta de San Pedro they’re opened until late, have scrumptious pastry, good espresso, you get one thing candy together with your espresso without spending a dime.


  • Lengthy distance, 30km, comparatively flat with one up-hill to start with.
  • Somewhat little bit of strolling on the highway however more often than not there have been no vehicles.


A giant metropolis with an attractive historic middle behind the outdated Roman partitions; cobblestone streets, cathedral, church buildings, museums, and so forth. A few of our Camino mates, who arrived too drained for strolling across the metropolis, stayed right here for 2 days to have an opportunity to see it. Keep in mind, you’re not allowed to remain for 2 nights within the municipal albergue however personal albergues received’t thoughts.

  • ATMs – sure.
  • Supermarkets – sure. The subsequent day there will probably be no retailers on the best way if you wish to purchase one thing purchase it in Lugo.
  • Eating places, bars – sure

Albergue de peregrinos de Lugo, municipal

A pleasant and massive place contained in the Wall, near the eating places and cathedral. It may well match 40 individuals, opens at 1 pm. Value Eight euro together with disposable bedding.

  • Scorching water bathe – sure
  • Wi-fi – sure
  • Kitchen – sure, with very restricted facilities
  • Washer – sure, Three euro per load
  • Drying traces – sure
  • Extras – drying machine, 1,5 euro per load
  • Blankets – no
  • Location – 5 out of 5
  • Consolation degree – Four out of 5.

Extra locations to remain in Lugo

Day 10. Lugo to San Romao da Retorta (Castrelo), 20 km/12,Four mi

Lugo – San Lazaro – San Vicenzo do Burgo – San Romao da Retorta/Castrelo.

It could have been a straightforward strolling day and we had been planning to stroll additional to the subsequent place however it rained very arduous, we had been utterly moist and determined to cease at San Roman da Retorta. As an choice to make your subsequent day shorter you possibly can stroll 5km extra and cease at A Covela (there is just one personal albergue there).


  • Good view on Lugo and the Previous Roman bridge from the outskirts of town.
  • A ravishing stroll by way of the forest.


  • Half of the day strolling on the highway although not very busy.

San Roman da Retorta (Castrelo)

Each locations are mainly the identical village, there’s nothing right here apart from one municipal and one personal albergue with a restaurant.

Albergue O Candido (personal)

We arrived fairly early, didn’t need to proceed strolling in heavy rain, the municipal albergue was closed until 1 pm so we didn’t need to wait and checked in to the personal one. Value 12 euro. The restaurant right here will not be nice, they serve ready-made meals, salads, sandwiches, not superb espresso.

  • Scorching water bathe – sure
  • Wi-fi – sure
  • Kitchen – no however we may get sizzling water, use microwave and plates.
  • Washer – no, they ship laundry to Lugo (get again the identical day) the place it will get washed and dried. It’s simpler and cheaper to do it your self within the albergue in Lugo.
  • Drying traces – no
  • Extras – heaters within the dorms and a hearth downstairs, nice for drying garments and sneakers.
  • Blankets – no
  • Location – 5 out of 5
  • Consolation degree – Four out of 5

Extra lodging choice choices in San Romao

| Municipal albergue, Eight euro | Casa Castrelo |

A small waterfall hidden in the forest on the Camino route
A small waterfall within the forest on the Camino Primitivo

Day 11. San Romao da Retorta/Castrelo to Melide, 28 km/17,Three mi

Ferreira (O Carballal) – As Seixas – Casacamino – Irago de Arriba – Melide.

Final day of strolling with out crowds of pilgrims on the paths. There are a number of eating places on the best way the place you possibly can cease for lunch or espresso.


  • Some components of the path by way of the forest. To be sincere, the final three days of the Camino Primitivo are much less spectacular than the primary half.


  • Some up-hill strolling although not steep or lengthy.


The Camino Primitivo merges with the Camino Frances in Melide. For the final two days, you stroll on the French Camino. While you attain town don’t be stunned there will probably be lots of of pilgrims there. The final a part of the French Approach from Sarria is the most well-liked Camino route. No want to fret about lodging, there are lots of albergues, together with one municipal for 120 individuals. The city is known for pulperias – eating places the place you possibly can eat pulpo (octopus cooked with spices).

  • ATMs – sure.
  • Supermarkets – sure
  • Eating places, bars – sure

Albergue O Cruceiro, personal

We arrived earlier than 12 pm and didn’t really feel like ready for the municipal albergue to open so we went to the primary albergue we noticed. It’s near supermarkets and bars. Value 12 Euro pp. together with disposable bedding. It may be booked upfront.

  • Scorching water bathe – sure
  • Wi-fi – sure
  • Kitchen (cooking plates, pots, plates, cup, cutlery) – sure.
  • Washer – sure, Four Euro per load.
  • Drying traces – no
  • Extras – AC, drying machines, lounge space, TV, lockers, every mattress has a private gentle and an outlet.
  • Blankets – sure
  • Location – 5 out of 5
  • Consolation degree – 5 out of 5.

Our mates stayed within the municipal one, it was high quality, the value is Eight Euro.

Extra locations to remain in Melide

Day 12. Melide to O Pedrouzo, 33 km/20,5 mi

Melide – Boente – A Fraga Alta – Ribadiso da Baixo – Arzua – Calle – Salceda – Mojon – O Empalme – Santa Irene – A Rua – O Pedrouzo.

After the quiet Camino Primitivo, you begin strolling on the French Camino with lots of if not hundreds of different pilgrims. There are various espresso retailers, eating places, albergues on the best way, each 5km at the least. To get from the Camino Primitivo to the French Approach was like to come back out of a quiet forest proper in the course of an enormous and busy metropolis.


  • Fairly a little bit of strolling alongside the highway
  • A whole bunch of pilgrims on the route, particularly after Arzua
  • Distance, 33km – the longest day on the Camino

O Pedrouzo

Don’t know if this place would exist with out the Camino, the city is mainly just one road with many albergues, eating places, cafes, and so forth. There are a number of personal albergues/hostels and accommodations in addition to one municipal albergue. We didn’t keep right here we determined to problem ourselves and walked all the best way to Santiago in at some point, 53km. It was powerful however we made it by 6 pm and had been fairly pleased to be completed at some point earlier and have extra time to discover Santiago.

  • ATMs – sure.
  • Supermarkets – sure
  • Eating places, bars – sure

Locations to remain in O Pedrouzo

| Albergue O Trisquel | Pension Maruja | Pension 23 | Pension Diana | Pension 9 de Abril |

Day 13. O Pedrouzo to Santiago de Compostela, 20 km/12,Four mi

O Pedrouzo – San Paio – Lavacolla – Monte do Gozo – Santiago de Compostela.

On the final day on the Camino Primitivo, we’d recommend beginning early if you wish to make it to the Pilgrim Mass at 12 pm (there’s a Pilgrim Mass at 7.30pm as properly). Keep in mind you’re not allowed to enter the cathedral with a backpack you possibly can both depart it in your albergue or on the Pilgrim’s Reception Workplace, 100m from the cathedral.

Notice! As for March 2020, the Lots happen in numerous areas as a result of renovation within the Cathedral.

The simplest choice is to remain in one of many albergues on the best way to the cathedral you possibly can simply drop your backpack there and proceed strolling as we did. We stayed at Albergue Turistico La Credencial, a pleasant place, snug dormitories, clear, good amenities, a bit removed from the historic middle however proper on the French Camino and 500m from the bus station. Value 16 Euro for a dorm mattress. Typically totally booked particularly in season.


  • Beautiful forest proper after O Pedrouzo.


  • The final 10km of the stroll aren’t properly marked, no distances, you mainly observe the gang.

The Camino Primitivo affords an attractive forest and mountain surroundings. Should you’d like so as to add some sea views to finish the image we will advocate a 3-4-day stroll from Santiago de Compostela to Finisterre – “the top of the world”. Should you don’t really feel like strolling anymore however nonetheless want to go to Finisterre and Muxia capes you are able to do a day bus tour from Santiago.

The Cathedral of Santiago at the sunset
The Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, the top of the Camino Primitivo

Santiago de Compostela the top of the Camino Primitivo

There are various nice things to do in Santiago de Compostela to maintain you busy for a few days from going out for wine and tapas to visiting museums and doing day journeys to the coast.

If by the top of your Camino you are feeling such as you’ve stayed sufficient in albergues and slept sufficient in dormitories there are many good accommodations in Santiago the place you possibly can lastly have some privateness and luxuriate in consolation.

Locations to remain in Santiago de Compostela

Excursions and actions in Santiago de Compostela

When you have a few days in Santiago you possibly can spend a while exploring town and its environment.

Getting the Compostela in Santiago

To get the Compostela (the accreditation of pilgrimage to the Tomb of St.James) go to the Pilgrim’s Reception Workplace in Santiago. One of the simplest ways is to reach there earlier than Eight am (opening time) and stand in a queue, some individuals do it the subsequent day after they arrive in Santiago. Should you arrive there later within the day you would possibly spend ready between 1 and three hours relying on the season.

To get Compostela you need to present your Credential with stamps that confirms that you just’ve walked greater than 100km and pay 5 Euro. As an choice, you possibly can kind a bunch and apply to your Compostela as a bunch you then don’t wait within the queue you fill out the kinds and are available again later at a longtime time to gather your Compostela.

We had been instructed that the primary 10 individuals within the queue get a free meal in one of many metropolis eating places, not 100% positive about it as we didn’t attempt. To be first within the queue it’s important to be on the workplace earlier than 7 am, it opens at Eight am.

Botafumeiro ceremony within the Cathedral of Santiago

Formally it’s accomplished solely on particular non secular celebrations like Easter, Christmas. It was once a part of the Friday Mass however apparently, it’s a really costly ceremony and now to see it exterior of the talked about above days individuals must pay. It prices 400 Euros to e-book the Botafumeiro ceremony throughout the Pilgrim Mass at 12 pm.

You may share the fee between as many individuals as you need or it’s possible you’ll be fortunate and anyone arranges it for the day you’re there. It’s essential to e-book it beforehand.

I’ve seen the ceremony solely as soon as and it was actually spectacular, one thing to experience should you’re a bunch of individuals we’d recommend reserving Botafumeiro to have a good time the top of the Camino and to make that day much more particular. Keep in mind no picture or video is allowed throughout the Mass even should you personally pay for Botafumeiro.

Closing ideas in regards to the Camino Primitivo

It was our second Camino de Santiago, we completed the Camino Portuguese two days earlier than we began the Primitivo, and I need to say these are two utterly totally different experiences. We each love climbing within the mountains and the Camino Primitivo is as shut as you will get to it on any Camino de Santiago, with no massive cities and busy roads, extra countryside, mountains, and forest.

Although it felt fairly wild and untouched there’s sufficient infrastructure to make your stroll nice; totally different lodging and meals choices, straightforward to discover a place to cease for espresso and lunch in the course of the day, the route is properly marked, and so forth.

This Camino is a good mixture of a “wild” climbing experience with good infrastructure. One more reason we actually favored the Primitivo is not many individuals, examine to the opposite Caminos de Santiago, solely 5% of all pilgrims stroll this Camino plus the distance321km will not be so long as the French or Northern Camino you possibly can full it throughout your customary vacation.

Our favourite albergues on the Camino

  • Albergue de San Juan de Villapañada (municipal) – a fantastic place with beautiful areas, superb amenities, pleasant individuals, nice vibe, 5 Euro pp.
  • Albergue Miguelin, A Mesa (personal) – very snug new albergue with the whole lot you possibly can look forward to finding in a pleasant hostel, 12 Euro pp.
  • Albergue de A Fonsagrada (municipal) – an superior albergue in an enormous outdated home with conventional thick stone partitions, very fashionable and comfy, snug beds, massive frequent space, 6 Euro pp.

Probably the most difficult day

Day 5 or 6 relying in your itinerary from Pola de Allande to A Mesa, 22km, the longest and hardest uphill stroll on the route with a subsequent lengthy descent. There are a few long-distance days, 30km+ (you possibly can break up them into shorter days) they’re fairly powerful however normally, it’s a flat stroll.

Probably the most stunning day

Stroll from A Mesa to Grandes de Salime, 17km; lush inexperienced forest, beautiful turquoise colour Embalse de Salime, stunning mountains, nice lookouts. We had been pleased it was a brief day and we may cease quite a bit for photographs and benefit from the surroundings.

Beneficial books and guidebooks

Helpful apps for the Unique Approach

  • Camino Help Pilgrim Santiago. Free obtain, out there for Android and Apple.
  • TrekRight Camino Primitivo. Price US$10, out there for Android and Apple.
  • Buen Camino de Santiago. Free obtain, out there for Android and Apple.
  • Properly + Camino Primitivo; a Clever Pilgrim information. Price US$6, out there for Android and Apple. We haven’t used it however I noticed many sad customers complaining in regards to the app, I’d advocate studying the evaluations earlier than shopping for it.

Camino Primitivo route planning assets


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Hey! A bit about us - we’re John & Maria and we're a couple that loves to travel the world and document our adventures! We enjoy writing, blogging, exploring and sharing our adventures. We’re always embarking on new journeys and here you’ll find articles covering many travel destinations, and topics, such as culture, history, art and cuisine. Our goal and mission is to present compelling stories, photography and personal opinions, as well as serve as an online resource for anyone who wishes to plan their own trips and visit the destinations we've been to. We genuinely love meeting new people, mingling with locals, listening to their amazing stories and trying new travel experiences.

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