Camino Primitivo or the Original Way

The Camino Primitivo, or Original Way, maps out the final steps through Galicia from Oviedo to Santiago de Compostela. The Camino Primitivo is considered to be the very first of the pilgrimage routes to Santiago and is believed to have been the route taken by King Alphonse II during the 9th Century. King Alphonse II is accredited with confirming that the remains unearthed in Compostela were those of St James the Apostle. You can read more about the history of this route here.

In medieval times, thousands of pilgrims, mostly coming from Asturias and the northern coast, were walking the Camino Primitivo to reach the Tomb of the Apostle St James the Great.

Nowadays, the Camino Primitivo is the link between the Northern Way, which starts in San Sebastian and ends in medieval Oviedo, and the French Way, which the Camino Primitivo joins in Melide. The Camino Primitivo is also a much quieter route than both the French Way and Portuguese Way.

The Camino Primitivo is one of the most beautiful, challenging, and rewarding sections on the Camino de Santiago. It crosses a mountain range at 1100m above sea level where you will witness spectacular views of the Embalse de Salime (artificial lake), the River Navia and of course the surrounding mountains!

Follow the Camino has created two manageable sections for walking the Camino Primitivo. First, walking from the city of Oviedo, dating back to the early Middle Ages, to the Roman city of Lugo. This section passes through the undulating mountains of Galicia and can be accomplished over 11 days. The second section, from Lugo to Santiago de Compostela, allows you to obtain the Compostela and will take you through a largely Roman influenced area of rural Galicia. This section also joins the French Way in the town of Melide.


“We thoroughly enjoyed all aspects of our Camino experience. I would consider doing the Camino again, but would prefer to do it over a longer period of time, with shorter walks each day.”


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Other Ways to experience the Original