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Camino Primitivo or continue on the Norte?

Kjack2222

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
August 2017
Hello all,

I'm currently working on planning my next Camino, I mean to do the Norte, but I'm trying to decide how I should finish the trail. Should I continue all the way along the Norte to Santiago, or branch off on the Primitivo to get to Santiago? Any differences in terms of feel, terrain difficulty, historicity, etc. would be greatly appreciated!
 

norelle

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2011 April, 2014 March) San Salvador, Primitivo, Finisterre, Muxia (June 2015) Del Norte (Sept/Oct 2016)
Hi Kjack!
When I walked the Norte the decision was easier for me because I had already walked the Primitivo - so I stayed on the Norte.
You can decide on the day - lots of people did. Most people I had met on the Norte choose to head off to the Primitivo so it was very quiet on the Norte after the split.
The Primitivo is busier and more mountainous. The Norte is beautiful too - and you walk through some interesting villages. From my experience, the walking is less strenuous on the second part of the Norte BUT the Primitivo is so worth it for the beauty.
Sorry I haven’t been much help except to say - there’s no wrong decision, they’re both beautiful!
Burn Camino
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
See how you feel when you get to Villaviciosa. When we walked the Norte we were planning to turn onto the Primitivo, but as one of us was not so fit, we continued on the coast. I've not regretted it - the walk from there we really enjoyed. Fabulous seafood! Also much less walked - most people seemed to turn onto the Primitivo. Which meant it was easier getting accommodation, with no overcrowding or rush for the albergues. (it was in spring). Particularly enjoyable is the section from Ribadeo south - would not have missed that for quids.

Since then I've also walked the Primitivo and it is lovely. But very strenuous. Mountains and mountain scenery. Very scenic. And getting quite crowded. Whereas the Norte is a nice stroll in the park! Soft Galician paths.

In terms of history, and cultural heritage, I think the continuation of the Norte wins. The Primitivo is a walk through small mountain villages, whereas the Norte has the some spectacular churches and monasteries, and fascinating Gothic cemeteries (the ones with all tall spires on the gravestones).

Either way is good.
 

peregrino_tom

Member
Camino(s) past & future
.
Either way is good.
Seconded. I loved both and couldn't say I preferred one over the other.
If I went this way again I'd probably take the Primitivo as I did it longer ago. But after Lugo I'd aim to follow the green arrows via Friol to stay at Sobrado dos Monxes and then explore the new Norte options to avoid joining the Frances until the last few km (joins at the airport I think?).
 

bmcbride

CVRambler
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2014), Camino Inca (2015), Primitivo (2017), Portugues (2018), Finisterre (2018)
I agree with the comment about avoiding joining the Frances until the last few kms., if possible. I really enjoyed walking the Primitivo - beautiful scenery, peaceful and serene. I knew that other people were walking, because I would meet them at the albergues each afternoon/evening. Other than that, I would have thought I was the only one. After joining the Frances at Melide, it was much busier and noisier.
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
The Primitivo is my favorite Camino to date but when I walked it in April I had already walked the entire Norte once before. And as I walked the Norte during different periods (1-2 weeks at a time in October and June during different years) when I reached Villaviciosa I did not feel the need to leave the coast.

I guess it really depends how you felt when you reach the split off and whether you have the chance to come back again to do the Primitivo should you decide to continue on the Norte.
 

MikeJS

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francis (2011), Norte (12), VdlP (16). Sureste/Invierno (17). Olvidado/San Salvador/Primitivo (19)
I walked the Primitivo this Oct and decided against worrying about when I joined the Frances as I knew I would only be on it for a day and a bit. I walked from Ferreira to Arzua and then to SdC the next day.
 

jpflavin1

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(10,11,17), Vasco(12), Salvador(13), CP(13), CN(14), Madrid (16), Mozarabe (18), VdlP(19)
Hello all,

I'm currently working on planning my next Camino, I mean to do the Norte, but I'm trying to decide how I should finish the trail. Should I continue all the way along the Norte to Santiago, or branch off on the Primitivo to get to Santiago? Any differences in terms of feel, terrain difficulty, historicity, etc. would be greatly appreciated!
Kjack2222:

I would stay on the Norte. This is a great Camino. Challenging in the beginning with all the 500m climbs but it eases up a bit as you move into the last third. I would not worry about connecting with the Frances as you are only on the route 2 days.

Many people make this decision as they near Villaviciosa and predicate their decision on what others they have been walking with are going to do. I had no issues with crowding on either route but did walk them awhile back and in April.

I would save the Primitivo for a double (San Salvador/Primitivo 15-18 days) or triple (Madrid/Salvador/Primitivo 27-30 days).

These are all good Camino's.

Happy walking,
Joe
 

MikeJS

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francis (2011), Norte (12), VdlP (16). Sureste/Invierno (17). Olvidado/San Salvador/Primitivo (19)
Kjack2222:

I would stay on the Norte. This is a great Camino. Challenging in the beginning with all the 500m climbs but it eases up a bit as you move into the last third. I would not worry about connecting with the Frances as you are only on the route 2 days.

Many people make this decision as they near Villaviciosa and predicate their decision on what others they have been walking with are going to do. I had no issues with crowding on either route but did walk them awhile back and in April.

I would save the Primitivo for a double (San Salvador/Primitivo 15-18 days) or triple (Madrid/Salvador/Primitivo 27-30 days).

These are all good Camino's.

Happy walking,
Joe
Or triple Olvidado/San Salvador/Primitivo ……...
 

Redvespablur

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Norte/Primitivo April/May 2016
Voie Littorale May 2020
We loved the Norte/Primitivo combo. Norte was great training for Primitivo- shame to waste strong legs.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I walked the first half of the Norte before turning onto the Primitivo in April/May 2016 and loved the variety that combination offered. I am finishing up the Norte starting from Oviedo this spring as its been in the back of my mind as unfinished business.
 

Gwaihir

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: Nijmegen (Holland) to Fisterra, July-November 2019.

Future: Te Araroa, NZ
What do the green arrows indicate? I'm continuing on del Norte as well.
 

lettinggo

Active Member
Hello all,

I'm currently working on planning my next Camino, I mean to do the Norte, but I'm trying to decide how I should finish the trail. Should I continue all the way along the Norte to Santiago, or branch off on the Primitivo to get to Santiago? Any differences in terms of feel, terrain difficulty, historicity, etc. would be greatly appreciated!
Hola
What season are you planning to walk?
Primitivo can be hard in the winter, but I would say it is more interesting - although much harder than the end of Norte - especially if you are tired after walking from Irun.

Buen Camino :)
Lettinggo
 


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