Follow in the footsteps of the very first pilgrim to Santiago.
The Camino Primitivo is where it all began. The first major route to Santiago de Compostela originated in Oviedo, with King Alfonso II of Asturias, who reigned in the late-8th century, unknowingly becoming the first pilgrim after hearing rumours of St James’s body being found. He walked over the Cantabrian Mountains and through Galicia to Santiago, where he designed a chapel that has morphed over the years into the awe-inspiring Santiago Cathedral. Pilgrims now follow in Alfonso’s footsteps, first tackling the steeper, more mountainous sections of Asturias before crossing into Galicia and treading its undulating forest tracks.
From the official starting point in Oviedo, which is famous for its medieval charm, to the spires of Santiago’s cathedral, the path is marked with bronze scallop shells, concrete milestones and yellow arrows. Be wary though: after entering Galicia, the shells face a different direction, with the wider part of the shell pointing towards Santiago. This is just one of the many lessons learned along the Camino Primitivo.