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The Camino Primitivo (The Early Way)

This itinerary starts on the Camino del Norte, in Sebrayo, and goes cross-country towards Oviedo. Junction with the Camino Francés is made at Mélide. Here, pilgrims came to venerate the many relics brought from Toledo after the fall of the Kingdom of the Wisigoths. Very rapidly, these relics became the object of a local pilgrimage, and King Alphonse VI (1072-1109) commissioned the Sainte Châsse (the Holy Reliquary), a veritable treasure of the goldsmith's art, in which to keep them. This reliquary was later placed in the Camara Santa (Holy Chamber) of San Salvador d’Oviedo Cathedral, where it can still be seen today.


A saying going back to 1583 illustrates the enormous popularity of the Oviedo sanctuary : « the one who has been to Santiago de Compostela but not to Saint Sauveur (San Salvador), has visited the servant and neglected the Lord. ». Lugo is the other major city on this route, and is surrounded by ramparts as it has been since Roman times (World Heritage).


The path is signposted. It is less used than the Camino del Norte. It is a route which, in certain places, is subject to great variations in altitude : the highest point stands at over 900 m. From O Cadavo onwards, the path leaves the mountainous area to follow a route which goes gently down towards Santiago de Compostela.

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