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Camino Frances vs Camino Primitivo last100km

Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portugues / Camino Frances
#1
Hi, My friend and I did the last 100km Portuguese Tui to Santiago earlier this year and are discussing whether to do Frances or Primitivo next year. The Portuguese was great, and the reason we are coming back to do another walk - already addicted :) but we have some difference of opinion. While I think all the walks are probably great experience, I would like a more social experience as well as nice walk and would therefore prefer to do the Frances. My friend on the other hand is interested in doing the Primitivo which also looks lovely. Can you give me your opinions and advice. Thanks.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (Spring '17)
Primitivo (Spring '18)
Madrid (April '19)
#2
The Primitivo and the Francés merge at Melide, so the last ~53km of the two caminos are the same.

The Primitivo is indeed lovely but the last 100km is not close to being the best of it, in my view.

And although (or rather, because) Sarria is the most popular starting point across all caminos, for the last 100km of the Francés, many experienced pilgrims feel that this stretch is too crowded and commercialised and therefore does not offer the same kind of experience found elsewhere.

Basically, if you can dedicate any more time to it, walking more than 100km, on any route, is likely to give you a richer experience.
 

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018)-Frances, Baztan, San Salvador, Primitivo, Fisterra,VdlP, Madrid
#3
The Primitivo is not unsocial;-)
If you're addicted, you'll be back more than once so I would start at the beginning of the Primitivo and get to enjoy the best of the scenery - see how far you get and then go from there next time.
 

Via2010

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
06/07 & 12 Camino Francés, 08-10 Via de la Plata, 13/14 & 17 Camino Portugués, 18 Camino Primitivo
#4
Why don´t you do Porto-Tui, to complete your Portugues experience? In 2013 really liked the portuguese part of that camino, so I came back in 2014 to do Lisbon-Porto.
 

Davey Boyd

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Seven Compostelas in Three years and counting......
#5
Why not Camino Ingles from Ferrol?

Just a thought,
Davey
 
Camino(s) past & future
Completed GR65 (2016)
#6
Hi, My friend and I did the last 100km Portuguese Tui to Santiago earlier this year and are discussing whether to do Frances or Primitivo next year. The Portuguese was great, and the reason we are coming back to do another walk - already addicted :) but we have some difference of opinion. While I think all the walks are probably great experience, I would like a more social experience as well as nice walk and would therefore prefer to do the Frances. My friend on the other hand is interested in doing the Primitivo which also looks lovely. Can you give me your opinions and advice. Thanks.
I walked the Del Norte to the Primitivo and the last bit of the Frances. The Primitivo ends at the Frances where it joins the Frances; then you walk the last few days on the Frances to Santiago. All those that I spoke with while walking the Frances told me the last 3 days of the Frances were basically the same as most of the previous on the Frances. I would never, but never trade my experience on the Del Norte and Primitivo for what I experienced on the Frances; that would be like comparing apples to bananas. No matter what route you take, there will always be others walking in your direction, so don't worry about the socializing because it happens during and at the end of every day.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portugues / Camino Frances
#7
The Primitivo and the Francés merge at Melide, so the last ~53km of the two caminos are the same.

The Primitivo is indeed lovely but the last 100km is not close to being the best of it, in my view.

And although (or rather, because) Sarria is the most popular starting point across all caminos, for the last 100km of the Francés, many experienced pilgrims feel that this stretch is too crowded and commercialised and therefore does not offer the same kind of experience found elsewhere.

Basically, if you can dedicate any more time to it, walking more than 100km, on any route, is likely to give you a richer experience.
What part of the Primitivo would you recommend?
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portugues / Camino Frances
#8
I walked the Del Norte to the Primitivo and the last bit of the Frances. The Primitivo ends at the Frances where it joins the Frances; then you walk the last few days on the Frances to Santiago. All those that I spoke with while walking the Frances told me the last 3 days of the Frances were basically the same as most of the previous on the Frances. I would never, but never trade my experience on the Del Norte and Primitivo for what I experienced on the Frances; that would be like comparing apples to bananas. No matter what route you take, there will always be others walking in your direction, so don't worry about the socializing because it happens during and at the end of every day.
Hi, I realise there will always be social people on the walks but I was after a more sociable experience this time, if that's possible. On the Portuguese this year Tui to Santiago we did talk to a few people and everyday there were about 6 - 10 people walking in the same vicinity as us, say within 500m, and the hostels were full, and as the trip went on we learnt to get up earlier and join with the early risers. But there wasn't any evening entertainment going out with people from the hostel or meeting at a Camino restaurant and having a special camino meal with half carafe of wine. I spoke to an Australian in Santiago who said this was a common experience on the Frances. I found on the Portuguese while people aren't unsocial they tend to keep to themselves. So I was wondering if the Frances or Primitivo is different from this.
 
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oursonpolaire

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002, Toulouse/Aragon 2005, Cami S Jaume/Aragon 2007/9, Mont Saint Michel/Norte/Vadiniense 2011, Norte/Primitivo 2013, Norte/Primitivo 2014. Norte 2015, Cami S Jaume/Castellano-Aragonese 2016
#9
I've done the Primitivo twice and found, if anything, it was more social than the Francese, although with only a fraction of the pilgrim population. While there were usually only 30 or so per stage, we all hung out together in the one or two bars and eating places in each pueblo. Most (not me, as I am a fan of my own bathroom) stayed in the single albergue in each pueblo but, even when there were cooking facilities in the albergue, most could be found in the bar with their wine or bitter kaz in the evenings.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Completed GR65 (2016)
#10
What part of the Primitivo would you recommend?
All of it. It is a two week walk. It is sparsely used compared to the Frances. The distance between albergues can be a bit challenging so pay attention to that. Carry food all the times because that too can be a hard thing to come across at times.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portugues / Camino Frances
#11
I walked the Del Norte to the Primitivo and the last bit of the Frances. The Primitivo ends at the Frances where it joins the Frances; then you walk the last few days on the Frances to Santiago. All those that I spoke with while walking the Frances told me the last 3 days of the Frances were basically the same as most of the previous on the Frances. I would never, but never trade my experience on the Del Norte and Primitivo for what I experienced on the Frances; that would be like comparing apples to bananas. No matter what route you take, there will always be others walking in your direction, so don't worry about the socializing because it happens during and at the end of every day.
Comparing apples to bananas could you recommend the Primitivo/Del Norte over the Frances for my next trip and which part?
 

alaskadiver

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 2017-Camino Primitivo
April 2019-Camino de Invierno
#12
I recommend the entire Primitivo. You can do it in 2 weeks, 16 days, or 10 days if you’re a fast walker. Or if you only want to walk for a few days and 100km, I second tbd suggest fir the Ingles, or even the Invierno from Montforte.
 

JOSEPH SITKO

One foot in front of the other
Camino(s) past & future
primitive / green
#13
Hola My wife and I walked the Primativo this past May and loved it. Beautiful scenery , quiet walks during the day and if you wanted it, company in the evening. If you are looking for say the last 100 km, I suggest starting from Lugo. A beautiful Roman walled city. I had researched this forum and discovered alternate routes for the Primativo and Northern routes. Leaving Lugo you follow a slow river for a few kms on your way to Friol. Carry on to Sobrado and the Monetary , joining with the Northern route. On to Biomorto and staying at their new alberge if you choose . This sets you up for a days walk to join the French route, a days walk from Santiago . Biomorto to Sante Irene is via Ferradal and A Brea . A quiet country side walk and company at night. Hope this helps. Ciao
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portugues / Camino Frances
#14
All of it. It is a two week walk. It is sparsely used compared to the Frances. The distance between albergues can be a bit challenging so pay attention to that. Carry food all the times because that too can be a hard thing to come across at times.
I would love to and can take two weeks holiday to do the walk but as I am working I only have limited holiday a year - 5 weeks, I have to stretch it out over the year. If I wasn't working I'd happily spend 4 weeks doing a walk. I'm guessing you are from Europe, retired or not?, and devote a good part of your holiday to the Camino. Wish I had more holiday :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portugues / Camino Frances
#15
Hola My wife and I walked the Primativo this past May and loved it. Beautiful scenery , quiet walks during the day and if you wanted it, company in the evening. If you are looking for say the last 100 km, I suggest starting from Lugo. A beautiful Roman walled city. I had researched this forum and discovered alternate routes for the Primativo and Northern routes. Leaving Lugo you follow a slow river for a few kms on your way to Friol. Carry on to Sobrado and the Monetary , joining with the Northern route. On to Biomorto and staying at their new alberge if you choose . This sets you up for a days walk to join the French route, a days walk from Santiago . Biomorto to Sante Irene is via Ferradal and A Brea . A quiet country side walk and company at night. Hope this helps. Ciao
Sound great. How many days is that about?
 
Camino(s) past & future
Completed GR65 (2016)
#16
What part of the Primitivo would you recommend?
Having walked on all three, I'd say as far as scenery, not overly developed for tourists, and authentic as it gets, the Primitivo is tops. The Del Norte is over the top beautiful with ocean cliffs, beaches, and a few beautiful ocean front towns plus a variety of topography as does the Primitivo. The Frances has long flat boring stretches of uninspiring topography. Start at Irun and you can figure out the rest of the way with lots of guide books plus get Michelin maps. There are apps that are also extremely useful.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portugues / Camino Frances
#17
Having walked on all three, I'd say as far as scenery, not overly developed for tourists, and authentic as it gets, the Primitivo is tops. The Del Norte is over the top beautiful with ocean cliffs, beaches, and a few beautiful ocean front towns plus a variety of topography as does the Primitivo. The Frances has long flat boring stretches of uninspiring topography. Start at Irun and you can figure out the rest of the way with lots of guide books plus get Michelin maps. There are apps that are also extremely useful.
Now you've got me thinking should I do the Del Norte or Primitivo, what would you suggest for beauty and socialising?
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portugues / Camino Frances
#19
Thanks guys, the Primitivo is calling me, although the Del Norte does look beautiful that shall be 2020 walk. Now just to decide which part. mmm...

Also I was wondering if there is an opportunity to hire a bike for a day. I thought it would be interesting to cycle for one day and walk the rest.
 
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JOSEPH SITKO

One foot in front of the other
Camino(s) past & future
primitive / green
#20
If it sounds llike you have two weeks to walk may I suggest the Primativo from Oviedo to Santiago ( 2 weeks ) or my previously suggested Lugo to Santiago via 'Camino Verte'. It should take 5 days and maybe for the other week , a walk to Muxia and Fisterra. End your trip at the lighthouse or watching the sun go down on the beach at Praia Mar de Fora.
Member ' Dandabika ' mentioned apps might be useful. I downloaded trails off of Wikiloc and loaded them on Maps.me ( no internet plan needed ) . Found it very useful when I had a question about the arrow directions. Good walking. 20180601_214617.jpg
 
#21
I understand what you are looking for but think it’s impossible to predict which camino route will provide it. I don’t think one camino attracts introverts, another partiers, etc. So much of it is the luck of the draw, your mental state, etc. I have been on the Norte a bunch of times. First time, in 2006, we became a bunch of 8 or 9; another time, though the crowds were much bigger, I fell into a group of four. Once, I broke up my Norte with a quick 6 day trip home — the differences in groups, socializing, etc, were enormous, and this was same camino, same time of year, just 6 days different. Same variation on the Primitivo. Once my “group” was three young joyous 20-somethings; four years later, the “Primitivo 15” (our WhatsApp name) walked into Santiago together.

Going with your gut instincts, as you seem to be doing, is the best option, IMO!
 

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