The Camino Primitivo, Primitive Way or Camino Primitivo is the fourth most popular pilgrimage routes known collectively as The Way of St James, the others are the Camino Portugues, Camino Frances and Camino del Norte. This is the oldest route of the Camino de Santiago, from Oviedo (North Spain) to Santiago de Compostela. Generally, Pilgrims make the Camino Primitivo as a short route to rejoin the Camino Frances after visit the Holy Chamber in Oviedo Cathedral.
About the Camino Primitivo route
The Primitive Way is one of the most challenging ways, crossing high and low regions with an unstable weather, going from hot and dry to cold a misty within hours. The path goes through hardly populated mountain passes and rainy stretches that make barely touched green landscapes. The main issue with his way is a few pilgrim hostels (albergues). Although there is a great amount of private accommodation, it doesn’t have too many specialized services.
Total distance: 313kms
The Camino primitivo is not suitable for cycling the whole route, as there are constant ups and down hills. This Way starts in Oviedo and crosses Western Asturias to get to Galicia through Lugo. From Melide it follows the same route as the French Way. The Way goes through mountainous areas hardly populated, beautiful landscapes and paths. We have to highlight Oviedo, Lugo and also Santiago de Compostela. It is a hard Way because of a number of rises that it has such as the Palo mountain pass (before Grandas and Salime). Some stretches are complicated when it rains. Asturias is better indicated than Galicia but it is easy to walk through the Way.
The Primitive Way is 321 kilometers long (199.5 miles), 170 kilometers (105.6 miles) go through Galicia after entering in Lugo through A Fonsagrada. Normally, there are 13 or 14 stages that have between 20 and 30 kilometers (12.5 and 18.6 miles) each one. The biggest problem with this route is that offers a small amount of public accommodation.
Get to the starting points
It is located 300 kilometers (186 miles) from Santiago de Compostela. It is where the Primitive Way begins, the oldest way.
If you want to get there you can use one of the multiple roads that get to this city, such as A-63 that links Oviedo and La Espina; A-66 that links Oviedo with Seville; A-64 that links Oviedo with Villaviciosa or the AS-II that links Oviedo and Gijón. Other national roads that you can use to get to Oviedo are: N-630, N-634, AS-232, As-242 and the AS-266.
If you want to get there using public transport you have to know that Oviedo is well-communicated thanks to its three train stations that link the city with Madrid, Barcelona, Alicante, Ferrol, León, Santander, etc. You can also get there by bus because it has a bus station where you can take many buses to many international destinations such as Belgium, France, United Kingdom and Switzerland.
This is another starting point of the Northern Way. It is located 150 kilometers (93 miles) from Santiago de Compostela.
The best option to get there by road is using the LU-630 that goes in parallel line with the St. James’ Way. If you want to get there using public transport you can take a bus that goes from Lugo to A Fonsagrada (Her-Vei company).
The Primitive Way is great to discover the Camino´s true roots. If you enjoy peaceful walks surrounded by green mountains, and you don´t mind getting a bit wet, this way is for you. It is a hard route, but it is really lovely. It goes through two of the most striking autonomous communities in Spain. This region is famous because it rains a lot but it doesn’t matter when you are enjoying of one of the most beautiful landscapes in the world, following the steps of King Alfonso II the Chaste.
The Camino Primitivo is divided into 14 stages and 313km in length. The most important cities in this way are:
Grandas de Salime, Spain
A Fonsagrada, Spain
Points of Interest
Visigothic temple of century IX, is one of the most outstanding exemplars of pre-Romanesque Asturian.
Cistercian monastery whose Romanesque church has its origins in the 13th century.
Palace built in the town of Salas between the fourteenth and sixteenth centuries, with an impressive defensive tower.
It begins to build in the year 1129 but is reformed successively, showing a great variety of architectural styles.