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Camino Primitivo

Camino Primitivo

329 km
14 stages on foot
329 cycling stages

In short

Since you are thinking of doing the Camino de Santiago, why not start at the beginning? Discover the Primitive Way, the first pilgrimage route to Santiago. Follow the paths that, in the 9th century, were walked by King Alfonso II: the first pilgrim to a Compostela that did not yet exist. One of the most authentic routes, completely surrounded by nature in the highlands of Asturias and Galicia and far from the noise and stress of everyday life. Shall we do the Camino?

What to expect?

This is the oldest of the routes of the Camino de Santiago. Hence its name. The first pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela officially took place in the year 813, and the first pilgrim was none other than King Alfonso II, the Chaste. He did so after being notified of the discovery of the tomb of the apostle.

The Primitive Way is no friend of crowds. It is a demanding route, like the Camino del NorteThe route is not particularly suitable for cycling (unless you have good technique). It is not particularly suitable for cycling (unless you have good technique). But it is also one of the most attractive routes from the point of view of the landscape, much less humanised than the other routes.

However, due to the small number of people who take this route, the network of hostels and services is not very extensive, so in this case we do recommend that you take advantage of pre-arranged accommodation.

In short: this is your Camino if you want to make the pilgrimage to Santiago in a more introspective and reflective way; if you don't love crowds or if you are simply looking for the most authentic option and trust in your strength.

Where does it start?

If you decide to do this route, and your goal is to obtain the Compostela, you can start from Lugo (104 km), leaving behind the most complicated (and most impressive) mountainous areas. You will join the French Way in Arzúa, 40 km from Santiago.

However, most people start the entire route from Oviedo (313 km) in 14 or 15 stages on foot, splitting it into two trips if necessary, or they start in A Fonsagrada (137 km), at the highest point of the route.

Points of interest

With its more than 300 km in length, the Primitive Way has a large number of points of interest, in addition to its spectacular scenery. Here are some of the highlights:


  • Oviedo Cathedral and its historic centre
  • The historic town of Salas
  • The friars' walk in Tineo
  • The Grandas de Salime reservoir
  • The Roman wall of Lugo and its historic centre
  • The church and nymphaeum of Santa Eulalia de Bóveda
  • The historic centre of Santiago de Compostela, a World Heritage Site