A donation to the forum removes ads for you, and supports Ivar in his work running it

Advertisement

The big map o the Caminos de Santiago

Combining the Camino Frances and the Primitivo?

KatieZ

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
June-August 2015
#1
Hello All,
I am planning to walk the Camino Frances starting in June and finishing up in August before I have to return to work (I'm a teacher). I am in pretty good shape and have done a bit of hiking, so I expect to get in the groove of walking easily (I hope). I will be doing the journey alone, and while I am looking forward to whatever the path holds for me, I do want to get the most out of it this first time around.

In my searching, I have found a lot of great information about routes and experiences. Since I am walking and travelling alone, I feel like the Camino Frances will be the easiest route. I also feel like the experience will be really special with all of the other pilgrims. I also recognize that because of the timing, this route will be very crowded. The more I search, the more I feel drawn to the Primitivo. Has anyone walked the Frances from SJPDP to Leon and then headed north to Oviedo to walk to Santiago via the Primitivo? If so, how much extra time did this take? Would you say this route would cut out important or particularly lovely sections of the Frances? Would I need a tent to do the Primitivo? Should I (can I) walk from Leon to Oviedo or should I travel by automobile?

I'd greatly appreciate any advice from anyone who has done this route or plans to. Thanks in advance for the help!

Katie
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2013), Primitivo (2015), Muxia/Fisterra (2015), Haervejen (2017)
#2
Hi KatieZ. Welcome to the forum. I haven't done this, but the Camino del Salvador -- the walk from Leon to Oviedo is supposed to be one of the most beautiful caminos. I know there are folks here who have done what you propose so hopefully you'll get some good advice. Liz
 

jpflavin1

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(10,11,17), Vasco(12), Salvador(13), Primitivo(13), Norte(14), Madrid (16), Mozarabe (18)
#3
Hello All,
I am planning to walk the Camino Frances starting in June and finishing up in August before I have to return to work (I'm a teacher). I am in pretty good shape and have done a bit of hiking, so I expect to get in the groove of walking easily (I hope). I will be doing the journey alone, and while I am looking forward to whatever the path holds for me, I do want to get the most out of it this first time around.

In my searching, I have found a lot of great information about routes and experiences. Since I am walking and travelling alone, I feel like the Camino Frances will be the easiest route. I also feel like the experience will be really special with all of the other pilgrims. I also recognize that because of the timing, this route will be very crowded. The more I search, the more I feel drawn to the Primitivo. Has anyone walked the Frances from SJPDP to Leon and then headed north to Oviedo to walk to Santiago via the Primitivo? If so, how much extra time did this take? Would you say this route would cut out important or particularly lovely sections of the Frances? Would I need a tent to do the Primitivo? Should I (can I) walk from Leon to Oviedo or should I travel by automobile?

I'd greatly appreciate any advice from anyone who has done this route or plans to. Thanks in advance for the help!

Katie
Katie:

Hello and welcome to the forum.

The generic answer to your question is yes it can easily be done. SJPdP to Leon is about 17-18 days.

Leon to Oviedo (The San Salvador) is a 4-6 day walk. The Salvador is a beautiful walk but a sparsely traveled route. It will be very different from the Frances. This Camino also has a separate Credential and certificate. You can obtain at the Albergue in Leon.

The Primitivo is an 11-14 day walk until it reconnects with the Frances. While less crowded than the Frances, it is a well traveled route.

Should you choose to skip the San Salvador, you can get a bus or train from Leon to Oviedo where the Primitivo begins.

Ultreya,
Joe
 
Last edited:
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2004 road cycling
Frances path cycling (2016)
#4
Our group was cycling, and we detoured from Sarria for a night in Lugo - which I found to be quite attractive. The next day we cycled along the Primitivo to Palas de Rei, passing a dozen or two walkers on the way - on lovely and very quiet roads. I understand that the "traditional" Primitivo joins the Frances further to the west.
 

amancio

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Norte, Primit, Salvador, Portug, Arag, Ingles, VdlP, Leban-Vadin, Fisterra, Invierno, LePuy
#5
Great choice!

you will be missing the beautiful area of Bierzo, but the walk to oviedo (5 days) and then the Primitivo (13 days) will only be an increase of 5 or 6 days when compared to the francés. I cannot praise enough the sheer beauty and wild loneliness of Camino del Salvador, the most beautiful of all caminos I have done!
 
#6
I agree with all the positive responses. This is a wonderful choice, and by all means, walk from Oviedo to Leon. It will add a few days to your total, but it is well worth it. There's a ton of information here on the forum about stages, guides, etc, but fire away with specific questions because as Liz says, there's a good sized group of Salvador/Primitivo veterans on the forum. Though Joe is right that the Salvador has been quite the lonely camino (I have walked it twice and never saw another pilgrim, slept alone in albergues, etc.), I think that is changing. Last summer's reports (maybe from Al? or was it Mike? I know it was someone on the forum) were that things were really filling up. There aren't many choices in terms of where to stay, but when the Salvador "fills up" it's nothing like when the Frances "fills up."

You will love it, Katie, buen camino, Laurie
 

edandjoan

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
St. Gallen to Muxia
2012-2018
#7
We walked from SJPP to Leon and then took a bus (there is also a train) to Oviedo and walked the Primitivo Aug/Sept 2014. The El Salvador would have been great, but we didn't have the time. Here is our blog..not real interesting, but a good reference for us to look back. It starts Aug. 16-. There are other entries from other walks.
http://edandjoanscamino.blogspot.com/2014_08_01_archive.html
 

KatieZ

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
June-August 2015
#8
Wow! Thank You all so much! I think it sounds like I will be happy with my choice if I head North at Leon. For those of you who have done this route, should I bring a tent in case I need to camp (either along the busy Camino Frances or the less traveled Salvador/Primitivo) or are there plenty of places to sleep along the way? Also, do any of you hike with a water filter? I am not at all familiar with this region and don't know how far apart towns or cities are on the Salvador/Primitivo. I am so excited now!

Any footwear recommendations for this route/time period? I traditionally hate hiking boots, but am torn between relying on sneakers/chacos and just dealing with more supportive/waterproof Vasques.

Thanks again :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2013), Primitivo (2015), Muxia/Fisterra (2015), Haervejen (2017)
#9
KatieZ, One more thing that might help -- there is a separate fprum for the Camino del Salvador. Laurie (Peregrina2000) has posted her stage there and there is lots of Salvador specific info. Liz
 

Juanma

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo (2015 and 2016)
#11
Wow! Thank You all so much! ............. should I bring a tent in case I need to camp (either along the busy Camino Frances or the less traveled Salvador/Primitivo) or are there plenty of places to sleep along the way?
Hello KatieZ! To answer your question I will say that there are plenty of places to stay in the Primitivo (don't know about Salvador, sorry!); however, I believe you'll be doing it in late July or early August, and that is the busiest time of all, when in some parts of the Primitivo it might be a bit difficult to find a place to stay, so I believe you have three choices: start walking really early every day and literally run to the next albergue if you want to stay in public albergues; OR reserve your place at private albergues by calling one or two days ahead; OR take your tent and use it in the cases when you are unlucky and can't find a place to stay (which will not be too often anyway).
Enjoy your Camino!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Astorga to Santiago, 2010
Camino Frances SJPP to Muxia, 2011
Camino del Salvador, 2012
Camino Primitivo 2012
Camino Portuguese, Coastal, 2013
#12
Hi Katie,
I walked a combined Salvador/Primitivo alone in July/August. I did not bring a tent and I always found a place to sleep. Sometimes, on the Primitivo, it was close, but...
I walked in hiking shoes/not boots and didn't pack any differently than I did for the Frances (except to be more careful at times to have more food and water in my bag on the El Salvador.)
I loved both; the El Salvador especially was a beautiful adventure that brought me, I think, farther off the tourist track than any other route I have walked.
My only advice is to learn the ways of cattle and make peace with them before you go, if possible. I was caught off guard by a fear I didn't know I had :)
Feel free to PM me about the route if you like.
Kelly
 
M

mikevasey

Guest
#13
Last summer's reports (maybe from Al? or was it Mike? I know it was someone on the forum) were that things were really filling up. There aren't many choices in terms of where to stay, but when the Salvador "fills up" it's nothing like when the Frances "fills up."

You will love it, Katie, buen camino, Laurie
Hi, It was me. It was busy in the albergues but out on the camino we only saw one other pilgrim, and he was hiding from the rain, we had the trails to ourselfs and had a great time.

Met one pilgrim who had started in SJPDP and had taken the San Salvador route and two coming back from santiago after starting in Seville, they were going home to Marseilles.
 
M

mikevasey

Guest
#14
Oops, just realised that I missed giving the relevant info for the bulk of your question.

We walked the Salvador in 8 days, we took our time so we could have late starts, walk slowly and breathe in deeply the mountain air, we actually did stop on a few occasions and just breathe deeply. Most pilgrims do it in 5 days, I don't think it would be too hard, the biggest problem on the San Salvador in July will be finding a bed, I don't know if last year was the first time it happened on this route, but a lot Spanish were using this and the Primotivo as their route to Santiago in their holiday periods ( July and August). If you are on the Primitivo in August, you might need to book ahead where possible, I have heard a lot of reports of people taking tents and all facilities being stretched by the numbers of pilgrims.

Buen Camino
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2011 April, 2014 March) San Salvador, Primitivo, Finisterre, Muxia (June 2015) Del Norte (Sept/Oct 2016)
#15
I'm planning on walking the Salvador/Primitivo starting mid June from Leon! I hope that puts me ahead of the crowds on the Primitivo.
Getting pretty excited - thanks to all who have posted about these caminos.

buen camino
 
#16
I'm planning on walking the Salvador/Primitivo starting mid June from Leon! I hope that puts me ahead of the crowds on the Primitivo.
Getting pretty excited - thanks to all who have posted about these caminos.

buen camino
Hi, Norelle,
My last time on the Salvador/Primitivo was in 2011, and I know there's been a lot of growth since then. But I was there in mid June and I was alone on the Salvador, never met another peregrino/a, and I was in a group of about 10 or so on the Primitivo. I do think the real crunches come in late July and August.
Buen camino, Laurie
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2011 April, 2014 March) San Salvador, Primitivo, Finisterre, Muxia (June 2015) Del Norte (Sept/Oct 2016)
#17
Hi Laurie
Thanks for your reply! Sounds like I'll be a little early for the real crowds......

buen camino
 

KatieZ

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
June-August 2015
#18
Hi Katie,
I walked a combined Salvador/Primitivo alone in July/August. I did not bring a tent and I always found a place to sleep. Sometimes, on the Primitivo, it was close, but...
I walked in hiking shoes/not boots and didn't pack any differently than I did for the Frances (except to be more careful at times to have more food and water in my bag on the El Salvador.)
I loved both; the El Salvador especially was a beautiful adventure that brought me, I think, farther off the tourist track than any other route I have walked.
My only advice is to learn the ways of cattle and make peace with them before you go, if possible. I was caught off guard by a fear I didn't know I had :)
Feel free to PM me about the route if you like.
Kelly
Thank you Kelly! I appreciate your response. As I continue to plan, I may send you a message or two. - katie
 
Camino(s) past & future
Caminho Portugues (2017)
#19
Great choice!

you will be missing the beautiful area of Bierzo, but the walk to oviedo (5 days) and then the Primitivo (13 days) will only be an increase of 5 or 6 days when compared to the francés. I cannot praise enough the sheer beauty and wild loneliness of Camino del Salvador, the most beautiful of all caminos I have done!
This is great advice! I think I will do as advised; starting at SJPDP, CF to Leon, then San Salvador to Oviedo, rendezvous with my friends starting there and follow the Primitivo to Santiago. Thanks!
 

alaskadiver

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 2017-Camino Primitivo
April 2019-Camino de Invierno
#20
You definitely don't need a tent on the Primitivo. Besides, there isn't any place to camp as the entire route traverses private farmland. Farm animals are roaming free and the ground is not suitable. Be aware that unlike the Frances, there isn't a water source every couple of kilometers. There are days when you will go half the day (or all day as in the case with The Hospitales Route) without water sources. Especially in the heat of summer you will need to carry 2 liters of water. I carried 3 liters and still had to ask locals for a refill a couple times.
 

amancio

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Norte, Primit, Salvador, Portug, Arag, Ingles, VdlP, Leban-Vadin, Fisterra, Invierno, LePuy
#21
This is great advice! I think I will do as advised; starting at SJPDP, CF to Leon, then San Salvador to Oviedo, rendezvous with my friends starting there and follow the Primitivo to Santiago. Thanks!
Still, keep your eyes open and do not make a decision before you make it to Leon, once in Leon, follow your heart!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances: SJPdP -> Fisterra, (sep 26- oct 18, 2017)
#22
May I suggest a different option. Skip the CF all together and do the CdN -> CP in stead. Last year I had the the same consideration, and while I ended up doing the whole of CF (because in Leon it just felt more natural to finish the route I started) If I had the opportunity to go back and change my trip I Believe the CdN/CP would have been the better choice.

I believe most people who are drawn to the CP as part of their first would not really enjoy the overcrowdness, turism and “attitude” on the CF. While many argue that CF is the best for first time/solo travellers I dont think that is the case anymore, after reading many travelaccounts. You will not be alone on the CdN but it will be a more solitude experience and maybe even a more pure pilgrim experience for those that seek this. Im not saying the CF is bad or the wrong choice for all, however I someone feels drawn the the CP then the CF is a strong contrast and the CdN might be a better choice.

Another thing - If you leave the CF after Leon you will miss the beauty of the camino from Astorga, which IMO was the second most beautiful part of the CF after the pyrenees. In the end, Listen to your heart
 
Camino(s) past & future
Caminho Portugues (2017)
#23
May I suggest a different option. Skip the CF all together and do the CdN -> CP in stead. Last year I had the the same consideration, and while I ended up doing the whole of CF (because in Leon it just felt more natural to finish the route I started) If I had the opportunity to go back and change my trip I Believe the CdN/CP would have been the better choice.

I believe most people who are drawn to the CP as part of their first would not really enjoy the overcrowdness, turism and “attitude” on the CF. While many argue that CF is the best for first time/solo travellers I dont think that is the case anymore, after reading many travelaccounts. You will not be alone on the CdN but it will be a more solitude experience and maybe even a more pure pilgrim experience for those that seek this. Im not saying the CF is bad or the wrong choice for all, however I someone feels drawn the the CP then the CF is a strong contrast and the CdN might be a better choice.

Another thing - If you leave the CF after Leon you will miss the beauty of the camino from Astorga, which IMO was the second most beautiful part of the CF after the pyrenees. In the end, Listen to your heart
Thanks for your perspective. I walked the Portugues last year and loved it. I’m really drawn to the Primitivo for it’s supposed less traveled way, but kind of feel drawn to the CF for its camaraderie and just starting in SJPP. I like your suggestion of starting the Norte, though. Kind of like Frost’s “Road not Taken”.
 
#24
I agree with all the positive responses. This is a wonderful choice, and by all means, walk from Oviedo to Leon. It will add a few days to your total, but it is well worth it. There's a ton of information here on the forum about stages, guides, etc, but fire away with specific questions because as Liz says, there's a good sized group of Salvador/Primitivo veterans on the forum. Though Joe is right that the Salvador has been quite the lonely camino (I have walked it twice and never saw another pilgrim, slept alone in albergues, etc.), I think that is changing. Last summer's reports (maybe from Al? or was it Mike? I know it was someone on the forum) were that things were really filling up. There aren't many choices in terms of where to stay, but when the Salvador "fills up" it's nothing like when the Frances "fills up."

You will love it, Katie, buen camino, Laurie
It was April 2017 last time I walked the El Salvador Laurie. Just two of us all the way.
I endorse the above - it is the most beautiful of all the Caminos I have walked. But I have not walked the Primitivo and I know many say nice things about it's scenery
 
Camino(s) past & future
Caminho Portugues (2017)
#25
All these possibilities have gotten me really psyched about my next Camino. I rEally like the hybrid approach. For me the issue is always time; never enough of it. I still want to have enough time to ‘stop and smell the flowers’, but constrained by schedules, job, etc. whatever way I take, I know that it will be worth it. Buen Camino
 

OLDER threads on this topic




A few items available from the Camino Forum Store



Advertisement

Booking.com

Most read today

Most downloaded Resources

Forum Rules

Forum Rules

Camino Forum Store

Camino Forum Store

Casa Ivar Newsletter

Forum Donation

Forum Donation
For those with no forum account, it is possible to donate here as well. Thank you for your support! Ivar

Follow Casa Ivar on Instagram

When is the best time to walk?

  • January

    Votes: 11 1.4%
  • February

    Votes: 5 0.6%
  • March

    Votes: 35 4.4%
  • April

    Votes: 114 14.5%
  • May

    Votes: 192 24.4%
  • June

    Votes: 55 7.0%
  • July

    Votes: 15 1.9%
  • August

    Votes: 12 1.5%
  • September

    Votes: 236 30.0%
  • October

    Votes: 96 12.2%
  • November

    Votes: 11 1.4%
  • December

    Votes: 5 0.6%
Top