The Split: Taking the Primitive Route


When you are walking along Camino del Norte, you will come to a divide in the road where you can proceed to Oviedo or on to Gijon. Both are considered the Camino Norte routes. However, if you go on to Oviedo, you then have the option to start the Camino Primitivo, or the original way.

Camino Primitivo, Oviedo Spain
Statue of Alfonso II outside the Cathedral in Oviedo

The Camino started with Alfonso II when he traveled from Oviedo to Santiago to identify the remains of St. James. They say that it’s the most challenging route, as you travel through the mountains. The villages are more spread out and small, so there are days you should bring food for lunch and snacks. However, since it’s less traveled, everything is quite a bit cheaper also.


I highly recommend this path. It was the most beautiful, with the most amount of hiking and the least amount of pavement. Plus, the towns you pass through were some of my favorite: Oviedo is not to be missed on any trip to Spain; Salas and Lugo were both incredible! And we met some wonderful people along this path during our last two weeks of travel. I even cried in Lugo when I realized that we were down to our last 100KM!


Rooftop of Albergue in Salas


We reached Galicia!!


Foggy hikes were common on the Camino Primitivo

Probably the worst news is that when we finished the Camino, we heard that the Primitivo was closed due to wild fires. We felt lucky to walk the Camino with little to no rain (About 2-3 days TOTAL) which is very unusual for that area and this time of year. And Spain was paying for it in massive destruction for a small country that is not used to the tragedy of forest fires, the result of drought.


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