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Duration
9 days
Activities
  • self guided walk
Accommodation
  • 8 nights in a mix of 3 star city and comfortable rural hotels and village pensions
Meals
  • 5 Dinners
  • 8 Breakfasts

Price

$1199USD

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Overview

Trip Code: UPV

Trip highlights


  • Walking sections of the original route to Santiago de Compostela
  • Enjoying the camaraderie of fellow hikers and pilgrims
  • Visiting the fabulous cities and towns of Lugo, Tineo and Oviedo with their wealth of religious and historic treasures
  • Staying at comfortable city and cosy rural hotels and enjoying delicious local dishes

The pilgrim's trail to Santiago de Compostela is one of the great historical 'long distance footpaths' through Europe. According to legend, it all began in the 9th century when the bones of the apostle St James, beheaded in Palestine, miraculously appeared in a village in what is now Galicia. Word spread around the Christian world, reaching (among others) King Alfonso II of Asturias. He undertook the pilgrimage, travelling through dark woods and daunting mountains, from Oviedo to Lugo to Santiago and invited fellow kings and noblemen to follow in his footsteps. The 'original' route became very popular in the early Middle Ages when areas south of the Cantabrian mountains were continuously at war. Walked by millions of 'peregrinos' over the centuries, this self-guided walk reveals the beautiful natural settings, captivating historical monuments, gorgeous rural farmland and authentically friendly villages of northern Spain. Near Lugo, the 'Camino Primitivo' joins the more popular French route.

Trip Grading

moderate

More info about grading system

Make your own way to Oviedo, capital of Asturias. If you arrive early in the afternoon, make sure you visit the Gothic Cathedral devoted to San Salvador, the historic holy site where the Camino begins. This evening you can enjoy the city’s lively atmosphere and explore the charming lanes in the old town and traditional cider houses around the corner from your comfortable hotel.

Meals:  Nil

Setting out from the cathedral, you'll follow the brass Camino shells through the city centre and out into the green Asturian countryside. Quiet lanes and ancient footpaths take you past peaceful villages, some with historic pilgrims’ hostels and inns. From Puerma you will follow the main road to Grado. From Grado a short transfer will take you to your charming rural hotel. Overnight in Sama de Grado. Walking: 6.5-7hrs, 250m/820ft ascent, 375m/1230ft descent.

Meals:  B,D

Today starts with a transfer to La Espina, to avoid the most recent “Camino” - a new motorway! There will be a short section walking on tarmac before you move into more serene landscapes on the way to Tineo, the capital of dairy production in Asturias. Overnight in Tineo, where our usual hotel has an indoor pool and spa. Own arrangements for dinner tonight. Walking: 4hrs, 240m/787ft ascent, 240m/787ft descent

Meals:  B

From Tineo you will traverse forested terrain to reach the monastery at Obona, the region’s first School of Latin and a retreat for scholars in the Middle Ages. You then follow woodland tracks and quiet tarmac lanes to reach the village of Campiello and your overnight accommodation. Walking: 6-6.5hrs, 500m/1640ft ascent, 300m/984ft descent

Meals:  B,D

Transfer in the morning to La Mortera, where your walk begins with a tough ascent on the High Route - “la Ruta de los Hospitales” - traversing steep slopes on barren mountainsides to reach the pass at Puerto del Palo. This section has always been one of the most treacherous, due to extreme winter weather, and you’ll see ruins of centuries-old pilgrims’ hospitals on either side of the pass. Enjoy superb views from the top before the last section, on tarmac, leads to your hotel. Overnight in Berducedo. Walking:7-8.5hrs, 615m/2017ft ascent, 450m/1476ft descent OR 520m/1706ft ascent, 450m/1476ft descent. The shorter option: (18km, 7hrs): this is a lower route requiring a transfer to Pola Allande to start walking - arrangements to be made locally. It's also possible to arrange your pickup at El Palo and transfer on the last section, also to be arranged locally.

Meals:  B,D

From Berducedo, the route makes a slight detour to skirt a modern-day reservoir which effectively 'erased' the historic Camino in the mid-20th century. Follow a steep path down through lovely woodlands, then cross the dam to reach your charming hotel overlooking the water. Overnight in Grandas de Salime. Walking: 6.5hrs, 330m/1083ft ascent, 970m/3182ft descent

Meals:  B,D

Today starts with a 30 minute transfer to avoid a long section on tarmac. On the drive to Fonsagrada you will cross the border into Galicia. The walking route takes you past the old pilgrims’ hospital at Montouto, to Paradavella. A short afternoon transfer takes you to your accommodation outside Castroverde, a beautifully restored old manor house surrounded by a huge garden. Walking: 4.5hrs, 400m/1312ft ascent, 650m/2132ft descent

Meals:  B,D

A morning transfer takes you into Castroverde, then today's walk is a celebration of quintessential Galician countryside. Walking along quiet country lanes and farming tracks from one hamlet to the next, you'll pass gorgeous examples of traditional architecture, from stone barns to historic “pazos”. If you don't fancy walking so much, your hosts can drive you beyond Castroverde, to shorten the stage. Your comfortable hotel is located in Lugo’s historic town centre, just 100m from its splendid Roman walls, a UNESCO World heritage site. Walking: 4.5-5hrs, 200m/656ft ascent, 400m/1312ft descent

Meals:  B

Trip concludes in Lugo after breakfast.

Meals:  B


Inclusions

  • 8 breakfasts, 5 dinners: Breakfasts are usually continental inclusive of breads, cheese, ham, tea, coffee & juices. Dinner will consist of 3 courses, usually starting with a salad, followed by chicken, red meat, fish or a pasta dish & finishing with a dessert of fruit or cakes.
  • 8 nights in a combination of quality hotels, farmhouse B&Bs and guesthouses on a twin share basis generally with ensuite facilities
  • 1 walking guidebook and detailed day-by-day description of the itinerary for each room booked
  • Luggage transfer (max 20kgs per person)
  • Visitor tax
  • Emergency hotline
  • Transfers as described (days 2, 3, 5, 7 and 8)

  • Travel to Oviedo and from Lugo
  • Drinks, 2 dinners and lunches
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Entrance fees
  • Guide - this is a self guided tour
  • Travel insurance

Grading

moderate  

The walking is graded moderate (3). Daily walks are between 11 and 24km on well marked trails over diverse terrain – from relatively flat to mountainous. Daily ascents are between 200-800m. The trip is graded moderate as it is mainly on well defined trails, with a few off path sections only. There are many ups and downs and walking poles are definitely a good idea. A good level of fitness is required. As with all of our trips it is important that you are well prepared. We suggest that you undertake regular exercise – swimming, cycling, and jogging, two to three times a week for three months prior to your departure.


Departure dates

Daily from 28 Apr to 31 Oct

Notes

H
High Season
DN1
High season is from 1 Jul to 31 Aug and a supplement applies
DN2
This trip can be easily combined with our "Sarria to Santiago" walk (trip code CT6)
DN3
This tour will NOT entitle you to the Compostelana, as the official pilgrimage certificate requires completion of the last 100km on foot (or 200km by bike) into Santiago. If you are intent on getting the certificate, you can extend this trip with a 4-day walk from Lugo to Santiago (no taxi transfers). Your luggage will be transferred while you walk from hotel to hotel, getting your pilgrims’ passport stamped regularly. Please ask our consultants for details.

Want to organise a private group?

Fundraising events, sporting groups, family treats; learn how you can organise a Private Group from just 6 travellers.

Total Priceper person from

$1199USD

Options & Supplements*
  • single supplementUSD$360
  • single traveller surchargeUSD$580
*Prices listed are per person

Trip reviews


Why travel with us

Making Europe Affordable

We offer different levels of accommodation and comfort so that even the most budget conscious can treat themselves to active holidays on Europe's most celebrated tracks and trails. Our trips are great value for money because you only pay for what you want.  

Self-Guided Specialists

Our wide range of self-guided itineraries embody the UTracks philosophy of exploring Europe your way. We handle the logistics so all that's left for you to do is enjoy exploring Europe at your own pace. Most depart daily with a minimum of two people, meaning maximum flexibility.

Our Wide Range

With close to 400 trips in almost 50 countries, including the largest range of bike & boat holidays in Europe, we're confident that we can organise an Alps walk, Camino de Santiago or Via Francigena experience, Food Lovers' trip or a tour in a lesser-known pocket of Europe that you will love. 

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