• You might see some error messages on the forum today. We are working on it.
  • For 2024 Pilgrims: €50,- donation = 1 year with no ads on the forum + 90% off any 2024 Guide. More here.
    (Discount code sent to you by Private Message after your donation)
  • ⚠️ Emergency contact in Spain - Dial 112 and AlertCops app. More on this here.
  • Have a look at this Camino Primitivo Guide made by one of our members.

Search 69,459 Camino Questions

How social is the Camino Primitivo?

TheWalkingDutchMan

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino France 2017
Hello everybody,
I'm thinking about doing the Camino Del Salvador and Camino Primitivo in June or September (I prefer to skip July and August because of the heat). I'm considering these routes because I already did the CF a couple of years a go. Moreover, I probably can not get enough vacation time to complete one of the longer routes. I've read that the Primitivo is a lot less busy than the CF, I don't like it when it's very crowded, but too quiet is not good either. Is it easy to form a camino family on these routes this time of year? And is there a big difference in June versus September?

Thank you for your help!

Cheers
 
A selection of Camino Jewellery
I walked this route in September 2022 and found it to generally have that nice balance that I like - i could walk on my own during the day as i prefer but over time got to know the other pilgrims doing similar stages etc. It was a lovely mix of socialability and solitude for me. I'm not someone who taps in to the "camino family" thing but i do like some company in the evenings.
I really loved this route, the landscape is wonderful and there are some really memorable albergues along the way - enjoy it!
(some memorable up hills too for that matter 😂)
 
3rd Edition. More content, training & pack guides avoid common mistakes, bed bugs etc
In my experience, camino “families” either grow organically or they don’t. You can’t force it, or if you do, it’s likely not to be very fun. It just depends on the personalities you run into, the distances they walk, the ways in which you coincide. But the Primitivo surely has enough people walking for there to be some coalescence into what you call the family. I’ve walked the Primitivo with families and without families and I wouldn’t rank the years with families more highly than the years without. I don’t go looking for a camino family when I walk, but I don’t think I’m anti-social either. Sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes groups form based on age (young-uns and old folks), sometimes they form based on language (English speakers and non-English speakers). Sometimes there are just some strong personalities who bring people together. One Primitivo “family” I had was 16 strong, centered by a Spanish-Dutch married couple and consisting of Venezuelans, Spaniards, Dutch, Belgians, Basque, German, and me! But without that central force, I doubt we would have been such a tight group. I enjoyed it immensely but wouldn’t have been sad without it.

Long way of saying that I’m sure you will find companionship on the Primitivo in either June or September and hopefully you will make the kinds of connections you are looking for, but I wouldn’t make it a front and center goal of the Primitivo or any other camino. There are many other wonders on the camino that can fill you up even if you don’t have a family!
 
In my experience, camino “families” either grow organically or they don’t. You can’t force it, or if you do, it’s likely not to be very fun. It just depends on the personalities you run into, the distances they walk, the ways in which you coincide. But the Primitivo surely has enough people walking for there to be some coalescence into what you call the family. I’ve walked the Primitivo with families and without families and I wouldn’t rank the years with families more highly than the years without. I don’t go looking for a camino family when I walk, but I don’t think I’m anti-social either. Sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes groups form based on age (young-uns and old folks), sometimes they form based on language (English speakers and non-English speakers). Sometimes there are just some strong personalities who bring people together. One Primitivo “family” I had was 16 strong, centered by a Spanish-Dutch married couple and consisting of Venezuelans, Spaniards, Dutch, Belgians, Basque, German, and me! But without that central force, I doubt we would have been such a tight group. I enjoyed it immensely but wouldn’t have been sad without it.

Long way of saying that I’m sure you will find companionship on the Primitivo in either June or September and hopefully you will make the kinds of connections you are looking for, but I wouldn’t make it a front and center goal of the Primitivo or any other camino. There are many other wonders on the camino that can fill you up even if you don’t have a family!
Sage.

IMO, organic is way way better than forcing it.

I am still in contact with friends I've met on the Primitivo. In fact, I just realized an old friend from the prim is walking the VDLP just a week ahead of me. I'll probably catch up at some point, and buy him a beer. I am too lazy to look up history but most likely i was there in May or September.
 
If you are Dutch (and forgive me if I’m reading too much into your name), I made a Dutch friend just after Oviedo and he recommended Albergue Ponte Ferreira (just after Lugo) run by a Dutch couple. The place is really nice and the communal dinner and breakfast were wonderful!

Relevant to your question, I’ve only been once, starting out of Villaviciosa on September 3, 2021. I thought the number of pilgrims was perfect. Everyone who wanted to socialize knew everyone else. By Lugo there were over 20 people on roughly the same schedule. Most people had come on their own. Counting just who I can think of at the moment people were from Spain 8+, U.S. 3, Italy 4, France 1, Germany 2, Holland 1, Denmark 1, Russia 3, England 2. Lugo was a stopping point for a few people and a starting point for lots of new people. I wouldn’t call it a Camino family but it was very social and very fun. Only three of them had done the Salvador and one of them was the Dutch guy.

 
Join our full-service guided tour of the Basque Country and let us pamper you!
... One Primitivo “family” I had was 16 strong, ...
😱
I am far from being introvert, but I would do all I could not to be absorbed into a group that large 😂

I like to socialise, and as I live rather isolated in very day life, I will certainly use Camino opportunities to socialise.
But for me, smaller groups please, and sequentially, not in parallel ;-)
 
I walked this route in September 2022 and found it to generally have that nice balance that I like - i could walk on my own during the day as i prefer but over time got to know the other pilgrims doing similar stages etc. It was a lovely mix of socialability and solitude for me. I'm not someone who taps in to the "camino family" thing but i do like some company in the evenings.
I really loved this route, the landscape is wonderful and there are some really memorable albergues along the way - enjoy it!
(some memorable up hills too for that matter 😂)
Also walked in September 2022, totally agree, perfect balance! You could see the season beginning to change as you walked! Loved it!
Not really any major cities to pass, out with Oviedo/Lugo!
Definitely enough people around though, if you want to socialise!
 
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
I walked this route in September 2022 and found it to generally have that nice balance that I like - i could walk on my own during the day as i prefer but over time got to know the other pilgrims doing similar stages etc. It was a lovely mix of socialability and solitude for me. I'm not someone who taps in to the "camino family" thing but i do like some company in the evenings.
I really loved this route, the landscape is wonderful and there are some really memorable albergues along the way - enjoy it!
(some memorable up hills too for that matter 😂)
Did you do both the Primitivo and the Salvador?
 
Another one here who walked the Salvador and then the Primitivo. The Salvador was very very quiet int he fall last year, but I did still walk a little bit on every one of the 5 days with others, and also on my own, and saw everyone over meals each evening, and even at rest points along the way. One of those walking left at Mieres and everyone joined to bid her adieu/adios...
The Primitivo was busier and only 1 person from the Salvador aside from myself had chosen to continue on. He was many decades younger than I and far far faster. We only saw each other on the Primitive because blisters felled him for a few days.
But I did see a number of people many times along the way for meals and so forth, while still enjoying my quiet walking each day.
I'm not a "camino family" sort of person, but I've made great friends on every camino.
 
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
doing the Camino Del Salvador and Camino Primitivo in June or September
I plan to be be on both of these routes approximately June 8 - 28 this year. I'm walking these routes to avoid the CF crowds. I'm more a loner than a joiner, but I'm open to all the things a Camino provides (even a small 'family').
 
I plan to be be on both of these routes approximately June 8 - 28 this year. I'm walking these routes to avoid the CF crowds. I'm more a loner than a joiner, but I'm open to all the things a Camino provides (even a small 'family').
Make sure that you have really good sun protection, perhaps even an umbrella. The bare-spots as you head up on the Salvador can be *scorching* even when the temperatures are moderate. On a few days I felt rather like a Loony-Toons character scurrying from shady spot to shady spot 100 meters at a time... and I'm a person with a high heat tolerance and pretty dark complexion that isn't much bothered by sun.
 
According to the statistics of the pilgrim's office, last year the number of pilgrims in June and September for the most walked Camino's are:

1678287143071.png

I walked the Primitivo last June and found that there were enough fellow pilgrims to make it enjoyable and not enough to make it crowded.

The only bottleneck I encountered was a full albergue just before the climb to Hospitales, having to walk a bit further to Pola de Allande. Therefore missing out on Hospitales and climbing to Puerto del Palo the alternative way.

In hindsight I'm glad it went this way: In Pola de Allande I got to stay in albergue "La Casita de Aba", where they made a lovely liquor in the evening (something with sugar, peaches, coffee beans, cinnamon and alcohol). Should I be walking the Primitivo a second time, I might be tempted to take the alternative route voluntarily.
 
Down bag (90/10 duvet) of 700 fills with 180 g (6.34 ounces) of filling. Mummy-shaped structure, ideal when you are looking for lightness with great heating performance.

€149,-
In my experience, camino “families” either grow organically or they don’t. You can’t force it, or if you do, it’s likely not to be very fun. It just depends on the personalities you run into, the distances they walk, the ways in which you coincide. But the Primitivo surely has enough people walking for there to be some coalescence into what you call the family. I’ve walked the Primitivo with families and without families and I wouldn’t rank the years with families more highly than the years without. I don’t go looking for a camino family when I walk, but I don’t think I’m anti-social either. Sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes groups form based on age (young-uns and old folks), sometimes they form based on language (English speakers and non-English speakers). Sometimes there are just some strong personalities who bring people together. One Primitivo “family” I had was 16 strong, centered by a Spanish-Dutch married couple and consisting of Venezuelans, Spaniards, Dutch, Belgians, Basque, German, and me! But without that central force, I doubt we would have been such a tight group. I enjoyed it immensely but wouldn’t have been sad without it.

Long way of saying that I’m sure you will find companionship on the Primitivo in either June or September and hopefully you will make the kinds of connections you are looking for, but I wouldn’t make it a front and center goal of the Primitivo or any other camino. There are many other wonders on the camino that can fill you up even if you don’t have a family!
Doing the Primitivo in June.
 
Hello everybody,
I'm thinking about doing the Camino Del Salvador and Camino Primitivo in June or September (I prefer to skip July and August because of the heat). I'm considering these routes because I already did the CF a couple of years a go. Moreover, I probably can not get enough vacation time to complete one of the longer routes. I've read that the Primitivo is a lot less busy than the CF, I don't like it when it's very crowded, but too quiet is not good either. Is it easy to form a camino family on these routes this time of year? And is there a big difference in June versus September?

Thank you for your help


From my many years of walking the camino, Camino Family you can find only on the Frances. You will meet nice peregrinos but camino family is special to the frances
 
From my many years of walking the camino, Camino Family you can find only on the Frances. You will meet nice peregrinos but camino family is special to the frances
So how do you define "Camino Family" then?
Does it have to be a certain minimum number of people? A certain strength of bonding? Do you have to walk with them large part of the day, or just meet them in the evenings? Is it sufficient to meet some people again and again but not really every day/evening? Or does it require to walk really synchronous when it comes to stages?
I am really just curious how you would define it and what then the difference is on other Caminos.
 
€2,-/day will present your project to thousands of visitors each day. All interested in the Camino de Santiago.
Hello everybody,
I'm thinking about doing the Camino Del Salvador and Camino Primitivo in June or September (I prefer to skip July and August because of the heat). I'm considering these routes because I already did the CF a couple of years a go. Moreover, I probably can not get enough vacation time to complete one of the longer routes. I've read that the Primitivo is a lot less busy than the CF, I don't like it when it's very crowded, but too quiet is not good either. Is it easy to form a camino family on these routes this time of year? And is there a big difference in June versus September?

Thank you for your help!

Cheers
I walked the Primitivo, my first, starting middle of September 2021. I found a great mix of times with and without people. I did meet up with a trio after the first week and we walked the rest of the days together. The wonderful part was that although we walked to and stayed in the same albergue each day, we tended to walk in our own quiet space each day. As always, after Melide there will be many more peregrinos. Buen Camino
 
Hello everybody,
I'm thinking about doing the Camino Del Salvador and Camino Primitivo in June or September (I prefer to skip July and August because of the heat). I'm considering these routes because I already did the CF a couple of years a go. Moreover, I probably can not get enough vacation time to complete one of the longer routes. I've read that the Primitivo is a lot less busy than the CF, I don't like it when it's very crowded, but too quiet is not good either. Is it easy to form a camino family on these routes this time of year? And is there a big difference in June versus September?

Thank you for your help!

Cheers
I did the Primitivo about ten years ago, no problem finding my Camino family. There was me, six Spanish and six Germans. We sometimes walked separately, sometimes in small groups, then all met up for meals and overnighting. It is probably busier now, but if you go anytime between May and September, I am sure you will find friends!
 
If you are Dutch (and forgive me if I’m reading too much into your name), I made a Dutch friend just after Oviedo and he recommended Albergue Ponte Ferreira (just after Lugo) run by a Dutch couple. The place is really nice and the communal dinner and breakfast were wonderful!

Relevant to your question, I’ve only been once, starting out of Villaviciosa on September 3, 2021. I thought the number of pilgrims was perfect. Everyone who wanted to socialize knew everyone else. By Lugo there were over 20 people on roughly the same schedule. Most people had come on their own. Counting just who I can think of at the moment people were from Spain 8+, U.S. 3, Italy 4, France 1, Germany 2, Holland 1, Denmark 1, Russia 3, England 2. Lugo was a stopping point for a few people and a starting point for lots of new people. I wouldn’t call it a Camino family but it was very social and very fun. Only three of them had done the Salvador and one of them was the Dutch guy.

I had an email from the Albergue Ponte Ferreira yesterday, sadly the dutch couple are selling up due to health issues but it is being taken over by someone else.
 
Very light, comfortable and compressible poncho. Specially designed for protection against water for any activity.

Our Atmospheric H30 poncho offers lightness and waterproofness. Easily compressible and made with our Waterproof fabric, its heat-sealed interior seams guarantee its waterproofness. Includes carrying bag.

€60,-
I had an email from the Albergue Ponte Ferreira yesterday, sadly the dutch couple are selling up due to health issues but it is being taken over by someone else.
I'm sorry to hear that, they were so lovely!
 
For me the primitivo was perfect. I hate crowds, but don't want to be totally isolated either. On the Norte - I met people when in dorms, but when I stayed in privates I was totally isolated because I didn't run into pilgrims in towns and rarely saw them while walking.

I switched to the Primitive and it was much easier to find pilgrims all along the way when I wanted to be around other pilgrims. I still walked alone a lot, but there were a few days I had on and off walking buddies. But when I passed through towns I could always spot pilgrims at bars and chose to or not to join them or at least say hi. And the pilgrim spirit was definitely felt. But it was NOT crowded at all. I could walk alone anytime I wanted to. Which was frequent.
 
I taped into a Camino family on Frances, and I have fond memories of that. I still chat with some of them. On the Primitivo next month I expect more solitude, and I am fine with that as well. One foot ahead of the other and then we will see what happens, for me that is what these walks are about.
 
A selection of Camino Jewellery
I had a lovely Camino family out of Oviedo. It grew and shrank as we moved along at slightly different paces, but we spent many evenings together and shared albergue space. I’m still in touch with a particular one, in fact we spoke yesterday as she is traveling in Scotland.
 
Hello everybody,
I'm thinking about doing the Camino Del Salvador and Camino Primitivo in June or September (I prefer to skip July and August because of the heat). I'm considering these routes because I already did the CF a couple of years a go. Moreover, I probably can not get enough vacation time to complete one of the longer routes. I've read that the Primitivo is a lot less busy than the CF, I don't like it when it's very crowded, but too quiet is not good either. Is it easy to form a camino family on these routes this time of year? And is there a big difference in June versus September?

Thank you for your help!

Cheers
I did the San Salvador and half of the Primitivo in September and it was great. Good weather. Not many on the San Salvador but not too many on the Primitivo
 
Sometimes groups are nice. Sometimes solo is nice. Sometimes walking with one other person is nice. Sometimes, you don't get to choose, given the nature of the camino you are on. We do sometimes miss the camaraderie of the CF, which we have avoided for many years now because of the crowds, and because so many other options are available.

On pretty much every camino, my partner and I make some time to walk solo, and arrange a meeting point at the end of the day.
 
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
I taped into a Camino family on Frances, and I have fond memories of that. I still chat with some of them. On the Primitivo next month I expect more solitude, and I am fine with that as well. One foot ahead of the other and then we will see what happens, for me that is what these walks are about.
I did actually find some great people this time aswell, most people are nice. But is was not a family like in 2018. We stayed in the same albergues, but I walked 80% of the time alone. My choice.
 
I've not yet been lucky enough to do the Primitivo, but in answer to one of your other questions I would suggest walking it in June will afford the most beautiful landscapes as it is still generally late spring in the mountains in this part of the world(subject to crazy weather anomalies). That said September will still be beautiful, but too early for fall colours - however you will likely coincide with the Berrea which is a magical time to be in these beautiful mountains.
 

Most read last week in this forum

Hi all! Started today from Oviedo to Escamplero. Now I know, why so many people say it's a bit of a challenge to come out of Oviedo. I got lost just once, but was rescued by a very friendly guy. A...
I have been trying to find a way to avoid the circus during the last stages of Frances. In two hours you can take the Lugo - Ourense train and walk the last stages on the Plata. Is it a good idea...

❓How to ask a question

How to post a new question on the Camino Forum.

Forum Rules

Forum Rules

Camino Updates on YouTube

Camino Conversations

Most downloaded Resources

This site is run by Ivar at

in Santiago de Compostela.
This site participates in the Amazon Affiliate program, designed to provide a means for Ivar to earn fees by linking to Amazon
Official Camino Passport (Credential) | 2024 Camino Guides
Back
Top