The Camino that starts in Oviedo and joins the French Camino in Melide is known as the Primitive Camino. “Primitive” because this is the first pilgrims’ route there are historical references of; King Alphonse II of Asturias and his retinue left Oviedo in the 9th century to visit the tomb of St. James the Apostle, which had been discovered a few years earlier.
DAY 1: Arrive by your own means in Lugo. Accommodation in Lugo. Breakfast included.
DÍA 2: (LUGO-A PONTE FERREIRA-29 KM): Leaving the old Roman City walls of Lugo behind you set out for Ponte Ferreira. The route goes from Lugo through San Roman, Guntin and Pacio, until you reach Ponte Ferreira. In San Roman you can visit the beautiful hermitage of San Román da Retorta. From its 12th century Romanesque origin, only the façades and the lateral columns have been conserved. Nearby is the church of Santa Cruz da Retorta, also Romanesque, and from the same century. When you reach Ponte Ferreira, you cross the small, single arch Romanesque bridge. Accommodation in Ponte Ferreira.
DÍA 3: (A PONTE FERREIRA-MELIDE-20 KM): Today takes you to Melide, the crossroads of the Pilgrims’ Roads, where the Primitive Camino meets the French Camino. In the centre of the town, the French Camino and the Primitive Camino meet. Melide offers us a Pilgrims’ Hospital from 1502, currently the Museo de la Terra de Melide (Museum of the Area of Melide). Outside the Hospital-Museum, the Primitive Camino joins the French Camino in the Plaza del Convento. Here, in the most important square of the town you find the Obra Pía de Santo Antón, which includes the Chapel and the Town Hall. The Serra do Careón (Careon Mountains) is the gateway to the Primitive Camino in the area. This route passes through the parishes of Vilouriz and Villamor, both with ample archaeological remains such as forts, stone crosses and, in places, fragments of the paved path where the natural landscape seems to have stopped time. Accommodation in Melide.
DÍA 4: (MELIDE-ARZÚA-14 KM): After Melide, the Camino takes you through Boente and Castañeda before you reach Arzúa, a cheese-making town. On this leg, the Camino is easy and in good condition, with a mixture of earth and stone paths and minor roads between villages, with gentle ascents and descents, alternating with flat stretches. Accommodation in Arzúa.
DAY 5: (ARZÚA-O PINO/AMENAL-19 KM APPROX): There are still almost 40 kilometres between Arzúa and Santiago Cathedral. The wisest and most logical thing to do is spread this leg over two days, spending the night in either Santa Irene or O Pedrouzo. Arzúa town gives way to O Pino, a comfortable route, with gentler slopes and paths that are always close to the N-547. Accommodation in Amenal.
DÍA 6: (O PINO/AMENAL-SANTIAGO-22 KM APROX): We are nearly there. The walk is becoming serene. It is hard to know if this is out of fear of finally finishing the Camino and not wanting to or not knowing what to do next. You pass the last villages of the O Pino area by leaf-strewn paths, among the last patches of closely growing, symmetrical pine and eucalyptus forests, in some areas there are even some oak trees. The town of Santiago awaits on a hill, near the airport. The pilgrim is led through the parish of Sabugueira to El Monte do Gozo (the Mount of Joy), the first panoramic view of Santiago de Compostela. From here you find yourself on an urban route that ends at the foot of the Baroque façade of the Cathedral. Obradoiro Square is the end and the beginning. Accommodation in Santiago.
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