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Accommodation on the Camino Primitivo

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#1
I've heard from two recent walkers on the Camino Primitivo, one German, one South African. Both had some recommendations on accommodations and I've combined them, hopefully putting the towns in order. Here they are:

-- refugio in Grado is closed. Buy food there and walk 2.8 km more to San Juan de Villapanada

-- in Salas, don't stop at the albergue, keep going a few more km to Bodenaya to a very nice private one.

-- Albergue in Pola de Allande was full in mid-May, but there is a Fonda (nothing fancy).

-- Grandas de Salime -- both said refugio was dirty and stayed at the hostal across the street.

-- Good albergue in Patron, which is about 1.6 km from Fonsagrada (do shopping in Fonsagrada). Albergue has 6 rooms with 4 beds each.

-- Cadavo-Beleira -- gets the "best refugio on the Camino Primitivo" award from my German friend.

Buen camino to everyone setting out on the Primitivo. Laurie
 

TerryB

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Norte/Primitivo (April/May) 2009: Norte/Primitivo (parts) (April/May) 2010: Inglés (May) 2011: Primitivo (April/May) 2012: Norte / Camino de La Reina (April/May) 2013: Camino del Mar / Inglés (May/June) 2015
#2
May 2009: Albergues on the Primitivo near Grado
Terry says that when leaving Grado he would suggest planning on reaching Cornellana (20km because of roadwork diversions) for a night and then going on to the lovely albergue at Bodenaya.
He stayed in a hostel in Grado, the albergue is 3.5km further on and there is no food nearby.
The albergue municipal in Salas (5eu) was dreadful and he went in the hotel. His comment was 'Go anywhere except the albergue' in Salas
At Bodenaya (donativo) everything is new and tonight the hospitalero was cooking for folk. It is about 20km between Cornellana and Bodenaya.

His last text on this said that he is sitting in front of the fire , with a glass of Vino Tinto in his hand and really recommends Bodenaya.
Buen camino
Tia Valeria for Tio Tel
 
#3
I've just got back from the Camino del Norte from Irun to Villaviciosa and then the Camino Primitivo. It was tough but fantastic! We were very lucky with the weather and therefore able to enjoy magnificent views from Oviedo onwards. There's a lot of climbing involved, but it's quiet and the people we met on the way were great (we had a maximum of 12 at any point in an albergue).

Here's my brief overview of places we stayed after Oviedo (we ended up unexpectedly walking the 45km all from Villaviciosa to Oviedo in one day because our plan to stay in El Berron was thwarted by the fact that it only had one hotel - no pensions - and it was full!):

San Juan de Villapanada - Simple albergue (donations). Bit dirty but not bad. Kitchen facilities. Make sure you buy food in Grado as there is NOTHING in Villapanada. We didn't know this and my friend ended up heroically returning to Grado to get food!

Bodenaya - WONDERFUL private albergue (donations). Anselmo, the hospitalero, was an absolute star and created a real feeling of welcome, especially after a tough climb up from Salas. It's a recently renovated building with fireplace, music, good food and a great atmosphere. Along with Guemes on the Camino del Norte, it was my favourite albergue on the whole trip.

Borres - VERY simple accomodation - basically just showers and beds - in an old school building. There was no hospitalero and a donations box. Buy food in Campiello, about 3km beforehand. If you plan to take the Hospitales route (STRONGLY recommended as it's breathtakingly beautiful) then buy food for lunch as there is NOTHING between there and Berducedo (about 25km) . The other alternative is to walk a bit further and stay in Pola de Allande.

Berducedo - Another converted school building but with simple kitchen. There's a decent shop attached to the bar where you get your credential stamped (€3).

Castro - There's a long, steep descent to the reservoir and then about a 6km climb up to Grandas de Salime. Having seen inside the albergue I'd call it Grandas de Slime! It's a dark, pokey, place with lots of bunks in a small room and only one shower/toilet for everyone. We got there quite early and had heard from a friend that there was a lovely private albergue in Castro which is just 5km further on. It was €13 but very comfortable and with fantastic views. There's a bar downstairs where you can get a meal and also breakfast in the morning. It's the first building on the left as you come into town (not that there's a sign saying 'Castro' mind you!). We walked right past it and out of town at the other side as there was no sign saying bar/albergue or anything similar. The only indication was crates of empty beer bottles outside.

Padron - €3 albergue with kitchen and plenty of beds (the hot water for showers doesn't come on until 4pm. I ended up with a very cold shower. Fortunately it had been a hot day so it was quick, but not entirely unpleasant!) We walked back into Fonsagrada and ate there.

Cadavo-Baleira - €3 albergue just on the right as you come into town. New and clean. Lots of facilities but with a very strict hospitalera I must admit finding the place a bit cold an soul-less.

Lugo - We stayed in a pension because we wanted to watch the football match that wouldn't finish till after the 10pm curfew. Friends who stayed at the albergue spoke highly about it. I think it was also €3 but I don't know any more details.

Friol - We stayed in a pension (I can't remember the name but it was at the bottom of the main square and began with a B). Comfy and clean. We got bed and breakfast and a good evening meal for €22.

Sobrado dos Monxes - €3 albergue in the hugely impressive and atmospheric Cistercian abbey. Kitchen facilities. Plenty of bars, shops, restaurants in town.

After Sobrado we joined the Camino Frances at Arzua.

I hope you have as wonderful a time on the Primitivo as we did. It was quite simply, magnificent!
Buen Camino
Michael
 

viajero

Active Member
#4
Hi Michael,
I will be walking from Irun to Oviedo next month. Since you have done a comprehensive listing of Primitivo albergues here, I'd love if you could post something on the Camino del Norte section on recommended albergues, suggestions, etc. Also, on previous caminos I have brought a sleeping bag but am thinking of just taking a silk sleep sack this time. do you think that would work out okay? Were blankets provided/needed at albergues?
 
#5
I'll definitely post something on the Camino del Norte in the next week or so. In the meantime I recommend you buy a German guidebook for both even if, like me, you don't speak German! The maps and gradient maps are really useful. I ended up taking photos of them from a German who had the books and it was one of my better ideas which turned out to be very useful. Especially so on the Primitivo because we didn't have a guide. Speaking of which, the only English guide I could find before I left was the one published by The Confraternity of St James, written by Eric Walker and published in 2007. It's pretty crap really - no maps, inaccurate or confusing details etc. It was worth having but partly from a comedy value! I'll be writing to them with suggestions and will include my thoughts when I post about accomodation from Irun to Villaviciosa.

Anyway, you were asking about sleeping bags. It depends on the size and type of bag you've got really. I've got a Vango Venom 300 which is tiny and pretty light. That said, from what I can remember, pretty much all the albergues had a blanket per bed. You could compromise and take a fleece liner instead of a silk one. They're pretty much the same size and would be warmer if there is no blanket (check out 'Sea to Summit Liner' in google). Temperatures should be warmer. Coming across the mountains on the Primitivo there were quite a few times when I was very grateful for both the sleeping bag and the blanket!

If you've any other questions, just ask.

Michael
 

TerryB

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Norte/Primitivo (April/May) 2009: Norte/Primitivo (parts) (April/May) 2010: Inglés (May) 2011: Primitivo (April/May) 2012: Norte / Camino de La Reina (April/May) 2013: Camino del Mar / Inglés (May/June) 2015
#6
Deepfat said
Bodenaya - WONDERFUL private albergue (donations). Anselmo, the hospitalero, was an absolute star and created a real feeling of welcome, especially after a tough climb up from Salas. It's a recently renovated building with fireplace, music, good food and a great atmosphere. Along with Guemes on the Camino del Norte, it was my favourite albergue on the whole trip.
"Deepfat" I agree with nearly everything you have said re the Primitivo. I have only had one chance at a Camino and chose the Primitivo in spite of advice against it. I have had no regrets whatso-ever. If I can do it, so can you- who-ever you are. Some Spanish does help, in some situations it is vital. A good phrase book would cover it. whatever you do try to speak to people in their own language. If they speak English they will help you out! DON´T shout at them and wave your arms around as I saw one pilgrim doing. I have found myself having to translate for French and German pilgrims who speak some English but no Spanish. it doesn´t take much to learn a few words. "Cama", "comida" and as Arn would say "vino tinto".
One more thing - get as much hill walking in as you can before you go.
More when I get back - I am in an Internet Cafe in Arca, just kilometers to go tomorrow to St. James!!

Tio Tel
 

TerryB

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Norte/Primitivo (April/May) 2009: Norte/Primitivo (parts) (April/May) 2010: Inglés (May) 2011: Primitivo (April/May) 2012: Norte / Camino de La Reina (April/May) 2013: Camino del Mar / Inglés (May/June) 2015
#7
Having now arrived back in the UK after 6 weeks in Spain, I would again encourage anyone to have a go at the Camino Primitivo. The accomodation is reasonably well spaced out as 'Deepfat' has said. If you have time it is worthwhile starting on the Camino del Norte. From Oviedo you are into the hills and a few days on the coast will mean that you are more prepared.

The Alberge in San Roman de Retorta IS OPEN, at least for this year. 12 places - the contact is Jaime Lopez tel 982 160 016. I had already booked into the 'Casa da Ponte' at Mosterio/Ferreira but called in at the bar in San Roman (and picked up a sello) on my way through. If you want to do the same the number of the Hostal is 982 18 30 77 - you can pre-book supper and breakfast at the same time.

The Norte/Primitivo will work out to be more expensive than the Frances but the scenery will more than make up for the extra effort and cost. As a bonus in 5 weeks walking I only had 3 wet days!

Walk well and Safely
Tio Tel
 

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
#8
The old albergue in Salas has closed, also the albergue at Godán. There is a new albergue replacing these on the outskirts of Salas, Urbanización La Veiga, 8 Bajo, just north of the Río Nonaya. Keys at the Casa Pacita restaurant, off the Paseo de la Veiga del Rey.

We do not know what it is like as we stayed at the Hotel Soto behind the church, where we had a good room and use of the washing line. The cafe bar El Campo does good meals all day, just up through the archway and across to the left (Open 11.00am until midnight)

Anyone stayed in the new albergue yet?
 
#9
deepfat said:
Castro - There's a long, steep descent to the reservoir and then about a 6km climb up to Grandas de Salime. Having seen inside the albergue I'd call it Grandas de Slime! It's a dark, pokey, place with lots of bunks in a small room and only one shower/toilet for everyone. We got there quite early and had heard from a friend that there was a lovely private albergue in Castro which is just 5km further on. It was €13 but very comfortable and with fantastic views. There's a bar downstairs where you can get a meal and also breakfast in the morning. It's the first building on the left as you come into town (not that there's a sign saying 'Castro' mind you!). We walked right past it and out of town at the other side as there was no sign saying bar/albergue or anything similar. The only indication was crates of empty beer bottles outside.


Michael
The albergue in Castro is closed at the moment and I don't expect it to be open for the rest of this year. From what other peregrinos have told me the one in Grandas hasn't got any better. I can recommend the A Reigada there for decent accommodation and the food is excellent, although at a weekend the menu del día may be a bit pricy but it's still well worth it. As my albergue is not on the camino I hadn't considered pilgrims as it's 7km away, but having listened to complaints from people about the state of the one in Grandas I now offer a "taxi" service from Grandas to Pesoz. I started a thread with more details.

camino-primitivo/topic8692.html
 

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
#10
Another closure we found was at Grado where the Restaurante Narcea is closed and for sale. The Hotel Autobar opposite is open and caters for pilgrims. (In CSJ guide) We got a discount on both room and breakfast on showing our credenciales. (We went to a local bar for supper.) This is one place where both albergues are well out of town.

In La Espina we again used a pension, 'El Dakar'. It was cheap and had good food. Shared bathroom, no heating possible in bedrooms. Unfortunately my bed was really damp, probably due to the awful weather. I wouldn't recommend it, but in dry weather it would be different I expect.
 
#11
Thank you Laurie!
My husband and I are planning to do the Primitivo this year. We haven't booked our tickets yet - were watching to see how crowded it is due to it being a special year. Also trying to guage what would be the best time to do the Primitivo in terms of 1)avoiding peak-hour traffi and 2)getting fairly dry weather/good footing on the tracks???

Does anyone have suggestions weather-wise? We were thinking maybe the first week in September would be relatively dry (???) Or last week in August? I realize no wise person ever tries to predict weather, but does anyone know if there is a chart somewhere that shows annual rain patterns?

Buen camino to everyone who is out there! Tia are you out there now?

If the refugios are full, what are the alternatives on the Primitivo? Are there generally hostels or hotels or something in the vicinity?

Ann
 

jl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances('05, '07), Aragonese ('05), del Norte / Primitivo ('09), Via Tolosana (Toulouse '05), Via Podiensis (Le Puy '07), Via Lemovicensis (Troyes '09), VF ('12), Winter Camino ('13/'14) Cammino d'Assisi ('14) Jakobseweg (Leipzig - Paris '15) San Salvador/Norte ('15) Ignaciano ('16) Invierno ('16)
#12
I walked the Primitivo in the third week of Sept last year and had good weather all the way. The day I left Lugo was misty, but the sun eventually burned the mist off and a fine day followed. At any time of the year you could strike wet weather - after all this is Glaicia, with its reputation for rain. I find though that by walking in September I strike the most stable of weathers. The only problem is that the conditions are not crystal clear - the cold, and wind, hasn't driven away the pollution and so there is always a haze in the air. regards, Janet
 

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
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C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
#13
anngw said:
.............
My husband and I are planning to do the Primitivo this year.
.................
Buen camino to everyone who is out there! Tia are you out there now?

If the refugios are full, what are the alternatives on the Primitivo? Are there generally hostels or hotels or something in the vicinity?

Ann
Hi Ann,
We are home having walked part of the Primitivo before going back to the coast and walking part of th Norte (for reasons which belong elsewhere on the forum). We did not plan to walk right through this year. Our impression was that there were not many pilgrims around although that might have had something to do with the weather and people keeping to the Norte rather than the Primitivo.
Terry however walked last year from Santander, through Oviedo then the Primitivo through Lugo to Melide and Santiago. We recorded his daily travels on his blog http://walktocompostela.blogspot.com/, and also here on the forum on the thread http://www.caminodesantiago.me/board/pilgrim-introductions/topic3628.html. There is quite a bit there about where he stayed which might help you.
Buen Camino
Tia Valeria
 

TerryB

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Norte/Primitivo (April/May) 2009: Norte/Primitivo (parts) (April/May) 2010: Inglés (May) 2011: Primitivo (April/May) 2012: Norte / Camino de La Reina (April/May) 2013: Camino del Mar / Inglés (May/June) 2015
#14
anngw said:
If the refugios are full, what are the alternatives on the Primitivo? Are there generally hostels or hotels or something in the vicinity?
Hi Ann,
It may help if I list places where I found / there is a good chance of alternative accommodation on the Primitivo.
Grado - Hotel* Auto bar, Florez Estrada, 29 Tel. 985 75 1127. Almost going out of town on the far side from Oviedo, opposite petrol pumps / bus stop.
Cornellana - Possibilities here but no up to date info.
Salas - Hotel* Hotel Soto Behind church above bank. Tel 935 83 00 37
La Espina Pension Dakar 985 83 70 62. N.B. No heating and damp bed in very wet weather in May 2010! Should be O.K. in warmer conditions. Menu del Dia worth having.
Tineo Pension ** Pension Tineo Behind El Arbol supermarket. Owner is to be found at Restaurante Bar Tineo Tel.985 800 710. Can highly recommend this one. Shining new with super efficient heating!
Campiello Private 'Casa Rural'. Casa Herminia Tel. 985 800 011. About 11 kilometers from Tineo.
Pola de Allande Hotel* Nueva Allendesa Tel. 985 80 70 27
Grandas de Salime Pension A Reigada
Hotel** Labarra Tel.985 62 71 96
Fonsagrada Hospedaje Cantabrico Tel. 982 35 00 35
Cadavo Hotel* Hotel Moneda Tel. 982 35 52 05
Lugo Hotel Hotel Espana Tel. 982 23 15 40
Mosterio Pension Casa da Ponte tel 982 21 45 80 (or 982 18 30 77) Excellent breakfast available if booked.

These will give you a good chance of 'booking ahead' should things be busy. Both last year and this, I found the local people so kind and helpful. In some cases they would make a phone call for me, or even phone round until they found somewhere to take me in! To link with another thread - "Angels speak Castellano (or Gallego !)".

Blessings on your walking
Terry
 
#15
I walked the primitivo 1-18th of may. I can add some things, maybe useful for people...

Grado - Hotel* Auto bar, Florez Estrada, 29 Tel. 985 75 1127. Almost going out of town on the far side from Oviedo, opposite petrol pumps / bus stop.
Cornellana - Possibilities here but no up to date info.
I stayed in the albergue and found it o.k. I understood that apart from the albergue there is one simple hotel. The rest was closed (don't know if that was temporary)

Salas - Hotel* Hotel Soto Behind church above bank. Tel 935 83 00 37
as said, there's a new albergue. I stayed in Soto which I liked. 20 euro's for a single room (pilgrims price)

La Espina Pension Dakar 985 83 70 62. N.B. No heating and damp bed in very wet weather in May 2010! Should be O.K. in warmer conditions. Menu del Dia worth having.
Tineo Pension ** Pension Tineo Behind El Arbol supermarket. Owner is to be found at Restaurante Bar Tineo Tel.985 800 710. Can highly recommend this one. Shining new with super efficient heating!
The albergue is quite good. Clean, warm, organized.

Campiello Private 'Casa Rural'. Casa Herminia Tel. 985 800 011. About 11 kilometers from Tineo.
Pola de Allande Hotel* Nueva Allendesa Tel. 985 80 70 27
stayed in albergue. Albergue could have been a little cleaner but was in itself good. At the restaurant of the hotel you can get a surprise meal with typical asturian dishes for € 14,- It was very good!!!

Grandas de Salime Pension A Reigada
Hotel** Labarra Tel.985 62 71 96
The albergue is terrible. I stayed in la Barra, 48 euro's for room with 2 beds. Quite good and clean.

Fonsagrada Hospedaje Cantabrico Tel. 982 35 00 35
Albergue is reasonble but cosy, rooms are a bit small.

Cadavo Hotel* Hotel Moneda Tel. 982 35 52 05
Albergue is good and clean and warm.

Lugo Hotel Hotel Espana Tel. 982 23 15 40
I stayed in Pension Alba, €25,- for a single room, was very good! After entering through the gate in city wall, turn left immediately, it's on your left hand side after appr. 50m.
Albergue is clean and not bad but designed by people who never walked a camino themselves it seems. Big dorm, washing facilities could be better, very small and simple.

Cathelijne
 
#17
I correct my earlier post, the albrgue de Castro (Grandas de Salime) has reopened under new management, quicker than expected, I can strongly recommend it, the restaurant has a good reputation.
 
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