On this website, in the section Suggested Stages, you have indicated the main routes of The Way; these stages are for those who are used to walking and like challenges. It is important to plan ahead the distance that you will cover each day; this way you will be able to decide where to sleep depending on the time of the year. The Primitive Way is a journey along the different villages of Asturias and Galicia. It is important to highlight that it has historic variations/routes. Some of these routes coincidential with the oficial route and others have been set aside for different reasons that will not be discussed on the site. On this website, for the time being, we indicate the main historic route located in The Principality of Asturias which is called: The Historic Route of Hospitals.We will continue adding the variations related to each territory, together with the ones that are linked to this Way from other Ways.When planing your route, you should bear in mind this historic variation; from the moment you start your way, or even before, you will hear about it. People will be asking you until you get to Tineo: which route are you going to take: Pola de Allande or Hospitales?Now that you are probably considering this new route, we must say that you will not do more or less stages. They will be the same (or even less kilometres). It is your choice to do the official route or the historic one. Without any doubt, you must decide which route to take before you get to Tineo. Why at this point? That will be point in which you will choose one route or the other one, so it is better to plan ahead just in case.If you choose the oficial route, that is Tineo-Pola de Allande, study in-depth the photos of the stage that are included in the secction Suggested Stages.-If you choose the historic route, you should bear in mind the weather forecast. With heavy rain, fog, strong winds, snow or storms, it is advisable not to takethis route for you own safety. The route is about 15 kilometres and there is no help available, only the one provided by other pilgrims. Telephone coverage isscarce so you will be lucky if you can contact the emergency services in case ofa major accident.The historic route has two possible paths that can be taken once you get to El Puerto de La Marta. If you are doing the way for the first time, at this point we recommend takingthe path on your left and continue until El Puerto de El Palo. Although in Spanish this name indicates a mountain pass, do not worry, you will not have to go uphill for a long time. The path is wide and comfortable until getting to a gentle slope just before going uphill to Puerto de El Palo, where you will reach Montefuerado.We recommend stopping for a while a contemplate the ruins of Fana de la Freita (historic gold mine work from the Romans).If it is not your first time on The Way we recommend following the path on the right and go down until La Braña de Vallinadosa. This part is easy, but when getting to a lagoon just before La Fana La Freita. The Way is a little bit chaotic, withou any signs. But dont worry, you wil not get lost because the way it is intuitive (check the photographs of that stage on the website when in doubt). However, you must be careful in that part with the shrubs; it is an area withlivestock and you might find some unwelcome beings on your skin at the end of the day (ticks)If you opr for this option, dont miss: the views at the foot of the lagoon that youwill find once you finish the path you are going down, the views at the foot of Fana la Freita and the cave of Xan Rata.You could plan everything in a better way from Campiello than from Borres, since from Campiello you could see how the next and de departure day will be. From Campiello you can see Pico Mulleiroso and on the left, part of the mountain range where the historic route is.This historic route is a must in The Primitive Way because of its marvellous landscapes and beauty (no matter you look West or East along the Asturian route). At the same time you are enjoying the beauty around you, you will be able to see historical remains from the old hospitals that were shelters to many pilgrims in the past.You will be able to see and admire the enormous work of the roman mining in a lot of traces (like water channels or montium ruins in La Fana la Freita) and the amazing views that will be kept in your memory forever, views and momentsthat you will not be able to experience if you choose the route through Pola deAllandeTo do this variation it is advisable to do a short stage from Tineo to Campiello or Borres. Spend the night at any of these small villages (although Campiello has better accommodation), you will be able to do the historic route from any of these points. From both of them you will do a part of The Way coinciding with the officil one until you get to a place called La Solana. This point is located a kilometre away from Borres and you must take the historic route on the right of official way that takes you to Pola de Allande.There is a sign and a milestone (mojón) that perfectly indicates the way. You wont get lost.Remember to carry enough water and food if the day is hot.The stage, either from Campiello or from Borres, finishes in Berducedo and it will be the variation that you will do one you get to Puerto de la Marta.IMPORTANT PIECE OF ADVICE FOR THIS HISTORIC ROUTEIf you do this route with bad weather conditions, use the App from the Instituo Geográfico Español (spanish national geographical institute).Yoy can dowload App from Google Play or the App Store. MAPS OF SPAINOn the upper left corner of the map you will find a icon. Click on the first option: Camino de Santiago. There, you wil find all the ways.Click on «Caminos del Norte» (Ways in the north), then click on «Camino Primitivo» (Primitive Way) and download the Hospitales Route on you mobile phone. You will have to turn on your GPS. This will allow you to know your position in every single moment, even if the route is not well marked or the weather conditions are not the best.PLANNING THE STAGESIf you have the time, we recommend dividing some stages into two for two main reasons:1.The mountainous areas both in Asturias and Galicia, which make more difficult the way.2.The distance that you “have to” cover, according to other guides. Some of the stages that are proposed are too long and you might end up really exhausted going uphill and downhill repeatedly.If you do more stages, your way will be more relaxing and you will be able to enjoy the nature and landscapes around you. Remember: this is not a rat race. We suggest the following stages:1. Oviedo - Grado, into two stages: 2 days 1.1 Oviedo - El Escamplero. (13 Kms.) 1.2 El Escamplero - Grado (city) (13 Kms.)2.Grado - Salas, into two stages: 2 days 2.1 Grado - Cornellana (11 Kms.) 2.2 Cornellana - Salas (12 Kms.)3. Salas - Tineo, into two stages: 2 days 3.1 Salas - La Espina ( 9 Kms.) 3.2 La Espina - Tineo (12 Kms)4.Tineo - Pola de Allande, (taking the official route), into two stages: 2 days 4.1 Tineo - Campiello (13 Kms) 4.2 Campiello - Pola de Allande (15 Kms.)5. Pola de Allande - Alto de El Palo - Berducedo, (taking the official route) (20 Kms.), 1 day. POSSIBLE OPTIONS IN THE HOSPITALES ROUTERH. Ruta de Hospitales (going along el Alto de El Palo),into two stages: 2 days 1 Tineo - Campiello (13 Kms.) 2 Campiello - Alto de El Palo (18 Kms)From El Alto de El Palo you will go downhill by taxi until Pola de Allande and spend the night in this village.RH. La Solana (Samblismo) - Pola de Allande. Taking the oficial route. (10 Kms.). 1 dayThis part covers from the spot the Hospitales Route starts and goes along theoficial route until Pola de Allande. You have to take a taxi from Pola de Allandeto Samblismo.RH. Pola de Allande - Alto de El Palo - Berducedo (Taking the official route) (20 Kms.) 1 dayDoing to the option RH you will do the Hospitales Route and the oficial route as well.6. Berducedo - Grandas de Salime, (21 Kms.). 1 day7. Grandas de Salime - Fonsagrada, into two stages: 2 days 7.1 Grandas de Salime - Alto de El Acebo (14 Kms) 7.2 Alto del Acebo - Fonsagrada (13 Kms.)You have to take a taxi from El Alto del Acebo and spend the night either inGrandas de Salime or Fonsagrada. The next day, take another taxi and go again to Alto del Acebo to finish the stage.8. Fonsagrada - Cadavo (Baleira), into two stages: 2 days 8.1 Fonsagrada - Paradavella (13 Kms.) 8.2 Paradavella - Cadavo (Baleira) (12 Kms.)Like in the other case, you will take a taxi in Paradavella and spend the night in Cadavo. The next day, you will go back by taxi to the same place. There are no hostels in either of these villages or along the route.9. Cadavo (Baleira) - Lugo, into two stages: 2 days 9.1 Cadavo - Castroverde (9 Kms.) 9.2 Castroverde - Lugo (22 Kms)It is not necessary to take a taxi since there are hostels in Castroverde10. Lugo - San Román da Retorta, (19 Kms.). 1 day11. San Romá da Retorra - Mellid, into two stages: 2 days 11.1 San Román da Retorta - As Seixas, or Casacamino (13-15 Kms) 11.2 As Seixas or Casacamino - Mellid (16-14 Kms.)It is not necessary to take a taxi since there are hostels in As Seixas and in Casacamino12. Mellid - Arzúa, (14 Kms), 1 day13. Arzúa - O Pedrouzo, (20 Kms.), 1 day14. O Pedrouzo - Santiago de Compostela, (21 Kms.). 1 dayYou will do The Way within 22 days if you dont take the Hospitales Route; if you take it, you will do The Way within 23 days. We are sure you will not regret your decision.
Once informed of the above, we proceed to indicate the most important recommendations for all The Way, and therefore, for you own route:
1. Check beforehand the weather forecast for the different stages that you want to do2. Bear in mind the distance of each stage3. Look for the accommodation. Public or private. (Public accommodation does not allow booking Private accommodation does)4. Provisioning (food and drink) that you want to take with you: 4.1 To take during the stage every day 4.2 To do in establishments.5. Water supply during the stage: the one you can carry, where the fountains are and establishments where you can buy it6. Transport service during each stage7. Reconsider the amount of weight you will carry and the effort that it will imply (Remember that there are alternatives to carry your backpack)8. Consider to split stages into two days depending on the number of kilometres. (You can contact us in case of doubt)9. Do not set a date to get to Santiago de Compostela. The Way is not a race against the clock10. Write down anything that you would like to stop and enjoy along the different stages11. Before starting each stage, read the information provided. If you wish you can carry the infomation on your mobile phone with you.12. Write down all the possible telephone numbers that you may need.