full camino primitivo TOUR
Oviedo ⇒ Santiago de Compostela
Camino Primitivo means “The Original Way.” It was the first route, along which the Spanish pilgrims walked to see the sepulcher of St. James. It is claimed that King Alfonse II, who proclaimed the discovery of the Apostle’s remains, was the first to walk to Santiago from Oviedo along the Camino Primitivo.
Following the King’s footsteps today is quite a challenge: the Camino Primitivo is, perhaps, the most difficult route to Santiago as it leads over high mountains ranges for quite some distance. Magnificent views into green valleys and pristine nature make up for the pilgrims’ physical struggles, and the seclusion of this primordial way create a truly unique atmosphere. While the solitude of the Camino Primitivo allows the pilgrims much time and space for introspection, the few pilgrims that do meet up other on this Way often built strong bonds.
The seclusion of many stages of the Camino Primitivo, its long history and natural beauty make it especially interesting for experienced pilgrims – those who have already walked on different Caminos to Santiago. At the same time, more and more first-time pilgrims choose this trail because of all the amazing aspects of a special, more nature-oriented and personal experience it has to offer, like no other Camino.
Ranging only 316 kilometers, this is one of the shorter Caminos. It is a special highlight for mountain lovers and nature fans, and for those fit enough for a physical challenge.
Read More about the Camino Primitivo ⇒
Only approx. 4% of all pilgrims walk the Camino Primitivo, which is, among other factors, also due to the challenging profile of its terrain. In many parts, walking here essentially constitutes mountain hiking, and solid footwear, above-average physical condition and reasonable preparation are important pre-requisites not to be ignored. Actual experience in mountain hiking is not necessary, but it pays off to prepare physically for this more strenuous, but picture-perfect hike. Even though there are sufficient guesthouses and shops along the Way so as to still be able to walk without much hassle, the infrastructure on this unique Camino is not quite the same as that on the Camino Francés, and logistical considerations should also not be ignored.
Tour Type: Self-Guided
Availability: April through October
- April 01 – June 30: Regular Season
- July 1 – September 15: High Season
- September 16 – October 31: Regular Season
Duration: 16 Days Total / 13 Days Walking
Total Distance: 316.3 km. (196.5 mi.)
Average distance: 24.3 km. (15.1 mi.) / Day
Prices (per person):
Starting at € 760
Starting at € 1,090
15 nights in single / double room
English-speaking emergency assistance
Your full digital Travel Info Package
We are proud to be working together with hand-picked, high quality and mostly locally owned and operated service providers.
Your journey will be booked through, and your Travel Package will include all the information you will need to access your lodging locations and to process your check-in.
Luggage transfer on walking days
Breakfasts (subject to availability)
Lodging for additional night(s) stays
If you wish to walk your Camino Stages with a light backpack, carrying only the basic necessities, we will be happy to arrange for your luggage to be forwarded from one hotel to the next on your walking days.
Breakfasts are not available everywhere, and they are often served late, starting around 8 am. However, if you wish to include brekfasts, we will be happy to do so, where possible.
Spending an extra night in a given town throughout your journey is often a good idea: you give your body a rest, relax and enjoy exploring the town. In Santiago, two nights are included in most of our Tours by default as we believe it’s the least a Pilgrim would need to enjoy the City; however, you have the option to opt out of it.
We will be happy to arrange for an airport shuttle transfer for you from your airport of arrival to the starting point of your journey. The same goes for the departure, unless you end your journey in Santiago and fly out of Santiago Airport. In that case, a taxi can be easily arranged for the time of your choice directly at the Reception Desk at your Hotel.
What’s NOT Included:
We do not book flights, nor organize any rail or commercial bus-line travel. However, if you need assistance in deciding how to get to and back from your Camino Tour, we will be happy to assist you with tips and ideas!
We strongly recommend to all our travelers to get a Travel Insurance; however, we do not sell any such policies. For our international clients, it is best to get a policy in their country of residence, as some countries offer insurances only to their own residents.
This is a date-flexible tour; therefore, it is self-guided – no Tour Guide will be accompanying you. If you are interested in joining a Group Tour with a Tour Guide, please check our Guided Tours page. (Note: our Guided Tours take place on set dates that are planned ahead.)
Day 1: Arrival in Oviedo
Your travels bring you, at last, to the beautiful City of Oviedo – the capital of the ancient Kingdom of Asturias. Check in at your hotel and spend the rest of the day and evening exploring the many amazing sites Oviedo has to offer, many dating back to the 8th and 9th centuries when Asturias was experiencing its heyday.
Day 2: Oviedo – Grado • 25.6 km. (15.9 mi.)
To leave this beautiful city, the pilgrim only needs about an hour. Even before the outskirts of the city there is the possibility of a short and highly-recommended detour of approx. 1 km. (0.6 mi.) to visit two impressive, pre-Romanesque churches: Santa Maria del Naranco and San Miguel de Lillo. Afterwards, passing a number of sleepy little villages and going up and down ever so slightly, the Camino eventually reaches Grado, the stage goal of this pilgrimage day.
Distance: 25.6 km. (15.9 mi.) | Difficulty: Easy
Day 3: Grado – Salas • 24.8 km. (15.4 mi.)
Today, the Camino will gradually become increasingly hillier; however, except for a few short steeper climbs, the path is still quite easy to walk. At noon you can stop in The charming small town of Cornellana is an inviting mid-day stop for lunch and some rest. From there, the Camino leads on to today’s destination town of Salas. The historic center of Salas, with its fortified church and the fortress tower, are absolutely awe-inspiring.
Distance: 24.8 km. (15.4 mi.) | Difficulty: Easy
Day 4: Salas – Tineo • 19.5 km. (12.1 mi.)
Leaving Salas behind, the Way follows the beautiful forest paths, leading steadily but moderately on up the mountain to the village of Bodenaya. Upon reaching the summit, the Camino then continues along the slope. The view to the left opens up time and time again, rendering magnificent panoramas of the mountain world of Asturias.
Distance: 19.5 km. (12.1 mi.) | Difficulty: Moderate
Day 5: Tineo – La Mortera (Campiello) • 19 km. (11.8 mi.)
In the morning, te Camino leaves Tineo on a steadily ascending, picturesque path along the mountain slope. Enjoy the spectacular views of the green mountains of Asturias! During a short detour, you can visit the ruins of the Santa Maria Real Monastery in Obona. At the end of the day, Pilgino-pilgrims choose this route over the alternate “de los Hospitales” trail. Today’s walking day ends in La Mortera, from where there is a transfer to the accommodation in Campiello.
Distance: 19 km. (11.8 mi.) | Difficulty: Moderate
Day 6: La Mortera (Campiello) – Berducedo • 21.8 km. (13.6 mi.)
On this day’s journey, the absolute highlight of the Camino Primitivo awaits the pilgrim. Along the medieval path over the heights (Ruta de los Hospitales) and past the ruins of the old pilgrim hospices, you will cross the bare mountains of Asturias, where the enchanting views of this Camino’s mountain world will open up again and again. You will encounter the free-ranging herds of cows and horses who claim these wild, wide-open spaces as their home. In the last third of today’s journey, the Camino crosses small farming communities as it leads down to the quaint town of Berducedo.
Distance: 21.8 km. (13.6 mi.) | Difficulty: Challenging
Day 7: Berducedo – Grandas de Salime • 19.4 km. (12.1 mi.)
Today, the Camino leads from Berducedo via La Mesa to Grandas de Salime. On this route, you will be rewarded with stunning views over the valley when you reach the reservoir of the river Navia. From here on, the Camino continues across heathlands and via Buspol, until pilgrims reach the day’s journey destination of Grandas de Salime.
Distance: 19.4 km. (12.1 mi.) | Difficulty: Moderate
Day 8: Grandas de Salime – Fonsagrada • 24.5 km. (15.2 mi.)
Before setting out, it is important to stock up on provisions in the morning as there will be no supplies all the way until Fonsagrada. The Camino to Castro is flat and pleasant; however, from there on, it goes uphill all the way until you cross the border into Galicia at the Alto del Acebo pass. Here, you will also be able to set your first site upon today’s destination: Fonsagrada. Once you have crossed Paradanova, you can choose between the right (steeper, but also prettier) and the left path, which will finally re-merge at Fonsagrada.
Distance: 24.5 km. (15.2 mi.) | Difficulty: Challenging
Day 9: Fonsagrada – Cádavo • 22.9 km. (14.2 mi.)
In the beginning of today’s journey, the Camino will still continue to follow mountainous paths across a mix of countryside landscape and woods. Winding up, the Way will then lead on to the ancient, partially restored pilgrims’ hostel with an original chapel, where you can take an break and rest. Afterwards, a steep and partly stony trail will lead on to to Fontaneira and then on to today’s destination: Cádavo-Baleira.
Distance: 22.9 km. (14.2 mi.) | Difficulty: Challenging
Day 10: Cádavo – Lugo • 29.8 km. (18.5 mi.)
On the first stretch of today’s journey, to Castroverde, the Camino leads on over very pleasant paths and narrow roads. After the first moderate ascent, the route continues across a plain, level and only slightly downhill. Beyond Castroverde, it is important to have sufficient supplies for the remainder of the walking day as there are practically no bars or shops on this route all the way until Lugo. After this long, but easy-walking stage, the pilgrims are finally rewarded as they find themselves standing in front of the majestic, UNESCO-listed Roman city walls of beautiful Lugo.
Distance: 29.8 km. (18.5 mi.) | Difficulty: Easy
Day 11: Lugo – Ferreira • 35 km. (21.8 mi.)
After the southern crossing of the river Rio Miño, the Camino will lead you uphill for a while. Before reaching San Román, it is advisable to follow the northern Via Romana, which is quite a bit more picturesque than the alternative route. The Way continues past sleepy villages until it finally reaches Ferreira – the destination of today’s easy to walk, but very long stage.
Distance: 35 km. (21.8 mi.) | Difficulty: Moderate
Day 12: Ferreira – Castañeda • 28 km. (17.4 mi.)
Today, you will go to As Seixas until you finally reach Melide, where the Camino Primitivo flows into the French Way. This will become quite obvious as you will start seeing many more pilgrims wo walk Camino Francés – by far the most popular of all Caminos to Santiago. Consider having lunch in one of the famous Pulperías in Melide – the busy town toward the end of your day’s journey – here, you will get octopus served on wooden boards the traditional way: simply boiled, cut with scissors, accompanied by cooked potatoes and seasoned only with olive oil, salt and paprika. Pop into the charming little church of Santa María as you walk out of Melide to take a look at its well-preserved Romanesque wall paintings and its stunning altar dating back to the times of the Visigoths. The Camino will now take you into the beautiful Galician eucalyptus forests, passing a couple of more quaint villages until you reach you the end of your today’s in Castañeda.
Distance: 28 km. (17.4 mi.) | Difficulty: Easy
Day 13: Castañeda – O Pedrouzo • 23 km. (14.3 mi.)
Castañeda – O Pedrouzo • 23 km. (14.3 mi.)
Day 14: O Pedrouzo – Santiago de Compostela • 20.5 km. (12.7 mi.)
The Camino has yet just the perfect amount of beautiful scenery, peacefulness and calmness in store for you as you plunge into a beautiful eucalyptus forest right outside O Pedrouzo. As you pass a couple of villages, eucalyptus gives way to conifers, and you will find yourself walking alongside the Airport of Santiago – the feeling of reaching the journey’s end and the impending departure for home is often sensed quite strongly here. Walk up to the top of the Monte do Gozo – the Mount of Joy – and you will behold Santiago de Compostela for the first time! Let the Camino guide you, one last time, into the heart of this magical City. Congratulations, dear Pilgrim: You. Have. Arrived. Celebrate, and enjoy!
Distance: 20.5 km. (12.7 mi.) | Difficulty: Easy
Day 15: Free Day in Santiago de Compostela
We strongly feel that, after this amazing journey, it is instrumental to spend (at least!) one full, extra day and another night in Santiago, which is why it is added in our program “by default” (though you can opt out of it). This is both the time and the place to unwind, to reflect upon and enjoy your journey’s end and, most importantly, to take it easy on yourself with your post-Camino re-entry into the big, wide World. Aside from that, UNESCO-listed city of Santiago is full of incredible places to explore, and you can collect your very well-earned Compostela (Certificate of Completion) as well as attend the Pilgrims’ Mass at the Cathedral.
Day 16: Departure from Santiago de Compostela
Farewell, Santiago; farewell, Camino – and sage travels on your journey back home or to your next adventure! And here is another option well-worth considering: to continue the Camino on to Finisterre (the “End of the World”) and / or to Muxía – two stunning, mystical places on the majestic Atlantic coast.
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tour combination options
Our Full Camino Primitivo tour can be easily combined with:
Santiago de Compostela ⇒ Finisterre
Starting at € 280
Distance: 90.5 km. (56.2 mi.)
Duration: 6 Days Total / 4 Days Walking
Camino Finisterre – Muxía
Santiago de Compostela ⇒ Finisterre ⇒ Muxía