The Camino Primitivo, or Original Way, is the first pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela to be historically recorded. It follows the 9th-century path believed to have been taken by King Alfonso II of Asturias and his entourage when they left Oviedo to visit the newly discovered remains of the Apostle Saint James in Compostela. Spanning the final section of the Camino Primitivo, this itinerary begins in Lugo, the only city in the world to be entirely surrounded by intact Roman walls, then continues along country lanes, paved Roman roads and wooded trails as far as Santiago de Compostela. At Melide, the Camino Primitivo converges with the last stretch of the more popular French Camino.
Lugo – A Ponte Ferreira (29 km)
A Ponte Ferreira – Melide (20 km)
Melide – Arzua (14 km)
Arzua – Pedrouzo (20 km)
Pedrouzo – Santiago de Compostela (20 km)
En suite hotel accommodation
Daily luggage transferPilgrim’s kit (passport and shell)
Detailed information prior to start
24/7 support telephone number
Walking along the best preserved Roman walls in Europe
Sampling tapas in Lugo and local cuisine in towns along the way
Walking through a typical Galician landscape of forests and farmland.
Reflecting on your journey in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, then soaking up the vibrant atmosphere of the old town
Take a walk through Lugo’s beautiful old quarter and along the top of the 3rd-century Roman walls, an UNESCO World Heritage Site. Sampling some delicious pinchos (tapas) in the bars and restaurants of the Plaza de Santa María in the city centre is another highlight.
Day 2. Lugo – A Ponte Ferreira (29 km)
Leave Lugo through the Porta Miña, the oldest gate in the wall, and head towards the neighbourhood of San Lázaro and the old Roman bridge. Pass Santa Eulalia de Bóveda, a national monument converted into a museum housing some fascinating medieval paintings. Enjoy the rural Galician surroundings and the freshness of the air as you walk to San Román da Retorta and onwards to A Ponte Ferreria.
Overnight: A Ponte Ferreira
Day 3. A Ponte Ferreira – Melide (20 km)
As its name suggests, the Camino Primitivo follows very old tracks that still serve to connect small rural villages such as Seixalvo, Xende, Ferreira and Merlan. Your stop for the night is Melide, where the Camino Primitivo joins the French Camino. Melide is famous for the number of “pulperías,” restaurants that serve Galicia’s most traditional dishes, “pulpo a la plancha,” or boiled octopus.
Day 4. Melide - Arzúa (17 km)
Your shortest stage crosses several streams and follows a forest trail, bringing you to the village of Boente, the pretty medieval hamlet of Ribadiso and finally the town of Arzúa, famous for its local cheese. By now, you will be well used to the rhythms of the Camino, the quiet moments of reflection interwoven with exuberant discussions that so often shorten the journey.
Day 5. Arzúa - Pedrouzo (20 km)
After your night in Arzúa, the Camino will take you through hamlets and farmlands, up and down shallow river valleys, and through forests of eucalyptus, pine and deciduous trees. Along these last stages of the Camino, the number of walkers increase, and it is always nice to meet pilgrims from every corner of the world. Follow a mix of country backroads and forest tracks as far as Pedrouzo where you can relax and look forward to your final day of walking.
Day 6. Pedrouzo - Santiago de Compostela (20 km)
Leave Pedrouzo and follow a country wooded track towards the hamlet of Amenal. The Camino continues along quiet roads and rivers until a path lined with rows of tall eucalyptus trees leads you to the pilgrim complex overlooking Santiago de Compostela known as Monte do Gozo (Mount of Joy). Descend through the outskirts of the city, then weave through the narrow streets of the old town until you reach Plaza do Obradoiro and beautiful Santiago Cathedral. Now it’s time to relax and explore this magnificent spiritual and cultural city, the goal of every pilgrim from medieval times right up to today.
Overnight: Santiago de Compostela
Day 7. Free day in Santiago de Compostela
Time to relax and enjoy all the things this wonderful city has to offer. You may like to reflect on your journey in the magnificent Cathedral, where you can also visit the shrine containing the relics of the Apostle Saint James. Exploring the narrow cobbled streets of the old town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, sampling some local dishes, and kicking back in a terraza are other popular activities, not to mention a fitting reward for all that walking.
Overnight: Santiago de Compostela
Day 8. Santiago de Compostela
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast at the end of your Via de la Plata adventure. See you next time!
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