Search 62305 Camino Questions

Leon to Oviedo ?


Staff member
Now I'm intrigued. Sil posted a link to this website, which describes a route from Leon to Oviedo, and then onto the Primitivo. Has anyone walked this segment of the Primitivo? Is it well marked? Are there albergues? (the association's website doesn't appear to list accommodations). Some of the distances seem kind of long, and I assume there are some serious ups and downs to get across the mountains that separate Leon from Oviedo, but it must be beautiful.

I'd appreciate any and all information. I'm thinking about walking the primitivo next year, and adding the 80-some kms from Leon to Oviedo would work for me.

Hike 30 miles on California’s Santa Catalina Island as part of the Catalina Camino
You are asking two different questions.

About the route Leon - Oviedo, is call "El Camino del Salvador". It's not very well marked, only few albergues, very hard route and very, verny nice.

About the Primitive Route, it's quite very well marked, with a lot of albergues. The Galician part of this camino was marked recently by the AGACS (I was marking it, too) last spring.

Buen Camino,

Javier Martin
Madrid, Spain
Thanks for that information, Javier. With the name "camino del salvador" I've been able to find some more information on google on the route between Leon and Oviedo. But the information is not consistent.

For instance, the catalan amics say the distance is 123km, whereas the site says it's 83 km.

I infer from your comments about it being poorly marked but very nice that you have walked it. How did you find your way? Are there guidebooks? Or good maps?

If anyone has information on the stages, the accommodations, and the conditions of this stretch I would be very appreciative. I am planning to walk the Primitivo next year and am now thinking about adding on the Camino del Salvador, so all advice and experiences are most welcome!

I've never walked it, but I know at least three pilgrims that have done it, two on foot and another one on bicycle. The right information is the one from because by road between Leon and Oviedo the distance is 120 km.

If you confirm me that you understand spanish I can send to the email address that you say something about, written by one of them.

"Quien visita a Santiago
Y no visita a el Salvador
Es como quien visita al siervo
Y no visita a su Señor"

Buen Camino,

Javier Martin
Madrid, Spain.

"Quien visita a Santiago
Y no visita a el Salvador
Es como quien visita al siervo
Y no visita a su Señor"

"Whoever goes to Saint James
and not to the Saviour,
visits the servant
and misses the Master"
The 2024 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
This route was one considered when the CSJ were looking at possibilities for a new refugio before Miraz was chosen and I think Judith walked it at the time. Then it was very undeveloped and from what Javier says not much has changed. The development of this route would help to take some of the pressure off the camino Frances though the Camino Primotivo joins it agian at Arzua or thereabouts so the final section is still as crowded.

If you post the question on Judith may be able to help you.

Buen Camino
Thanks again, Javier. I do speak Spanish, so any information you have from others' personal experiences would be very helpful to me.

And also many thanks to William. I have posted a question on the forum you suggested. By the way, I just recently walked the Norte and spent a night at Miraz. It's a wonderful albergue.
Judith's reply

Eventually Judith replied on the other forum

Re:Laurie for you ..... Leon to Oviedo?
Posted by: Judith
Date: July 18, 2007 10:31PM

Laurie .. I searched back but can't locate your email to help you re your request for info on the RUTA DE SALVADOR ... Leon to Oviedo ... I walked in September 2004. I walked Leon-Robla-Puebla-Pola de Gordon-Buiza-Pajares-Pola de Lena-Mieres-Oviedo.

It was autumn, some of the most beautiful awe-inspiring scenery of northern Spain, but it is definately "off piste"

If you go into "search" I posted my personal experience titled Camino Off Piste Leon - Oviedo on November 10, 2004. However last year, there were complaints that some sections of the descent on the Asturian side were very neglected and difficult to pass, although I believe this was actually rectified by a "cut the way thru the forest" team

If you are walking on your own, be very careful, unless you are an experienced walker and speak reasonable spanish. Most of the way up (to Pajares) is B+ - A and you have to watch out for adverse weather conditions .. low cloud on top can mean dense fog and to get lost up there is not an option .. so you drop down onto the road and follow that way. I was lucky the weather was brilliant ...

Don't expect Albergues a la Camino Frances or any other Camino for that matter.
There is a Hostal in Robla, and a Casa Rural near the top of Pajares .. I found somewhere to sleep every night and I am sure that next time I make this Camino I shall find some others .... yes I will do it again, I enjoy solitary pilgrimages , it is only 4 days to Oviedo, and once into Asturias the way marking is better.

The website that Grant suggests is good, although it doesn't seem to have been updated since 2004, but perhaps now with 2010 round the bend they might get around to some suprising updating!!!!!! some year now!!.

Please feel free to email me. Be patient with me, as I often am working where there is no access to internet, emails or whatever, and very often difficult mobile phone coverage always supposing I have it with me.

Whatever you decide to do ... Buen buen Camino ...make your heart smile and sing to the skies ..... Ultreia e suseia Judith

Judith's Original post

Camino "Off Piste" Leon - Oviedo
Posted by: judith
Date: November 10, 2004 12:59AM

Four lovely days .. in some of the most beautiful awe-inspiring scenery of northern Spain - Asturias. and it is Un Camino a Santiago, as it joins to the "Primitivo" Camino from Oviedo to Santiago. In the end I only had time to make the four days to Oviedo, a sort of "off piste" aperitif to returning next Spring and starting again from Leon to complete to Santiago using the variant joining with the Camino Frances at Santa Irene just 20kms from Santiago (possibly May)

It was truly beautiful, with the autumn colours, little villages.. following rivers, thru woods .. plenty of ups and downs (bit like a puffy duvet) gentle local people who were always keen to find out who I was, where from and why that way ... did I want a drink? did I think that more pilgrims would come that way? and then the up and up and up to reach and touch the blue heaven .... the view from above the Pass of Pajares was absolutely "the top of the world" ... there was but no-one there just silence and God and the world and I sang at the top of my voice "He who would valiant be .... 'gainst all disaster ........etc..etc " and then on the way down I sang (a la Women's Institute .. I confess) Jerusalem ....... tell me does it ever do "that" to any of you, or am I the only nutter around???.....
There was only one Albergue along the way in the four days, at Pola de Lena and there were 868 pilgrims registered in the Albergue this year !!!!!
The walking each day is different .. from B, B+ to A and although Mudo had warned me about the fog I was very lucky and had clear weather and was fit enough to meet the challenge of the climb.
I always enjoy "finding" little hermitages (Ermitas) where perhaps in the past pilgrims have sat and rested .. and I sit and think about them .... and on the way up thru the mountains to Buiza .. there it was, tucked round a corner in a meadow with autumn gold trees and oh what a joy .. real wild mushrooms that I picked and had for my supper.
There is evidence all along the way that this was and is one of the many Caminos to Santiago, indeed one of the first ones. The delightful Hospitalera, Mercedes. in Pola de Lena has put me in touch with a person in Leon who has dedicated much time investigating this lesser known way, so now I am hoping to learn some of the true history of this Camino.
Ultreia, y buen camino a todos Judith
Many thanks, William. Judith's information has been helpful. In addition, Javier sent me a copy of a diary written by a Spanish pilgrim, and it also has a lot of good information. In fact, I am in the process of translating it into English and will make it available soon. I have found one other web site that provides some good information, but only on the segments that are in Asturias, so it doesn't have any description of the stretch between Leon and Puerto de Pajares. ... sinter.htm

It looks to me that there are (were?) a couple of very poorly marked and overgrown stretches, but the route looks spectacular. I'm not daunted by the elevation gain, but I have such a poor sense of direction that the thought of getting lost on a mountain somewhere between Leon and Asturias gives me great pause. Maybe as we get closer to another Holy Year there will be improvements. If anyone else has walked this stretch recently, I'd really appreciate learning about your experience. Thanks to all!
Technical backpack for day trips with backpack cover and internal compartment for the hydration bladder. Ideal daypack for excursions where we need a medium capacity backpack. The back with Air Flow System creates large air channels that will keep our back as cool as possible.
Hi, Lillian,

Thanks for posting the link to this very pretty brochure. I think that what the Galician Tourism Office refers to as the Original Way, people here refer to as the Camino Primitivo. (The standard websites, mundicamino and the consumer revista Camino site run by Eroski both use that term). The Primitivo goes from Oviedo to Melide, at which point it hooks up with the Camino Frances. I walked the Norte this past summer, and there is a point at which you have to decide whether to continue along the coast further or to take a left and head south to hook up with the Camino Primitivo in Oviedo. I continued on the Norte all the way into Arzua, but I knew many people who left the Norte to go on the Primitivo. From what I heard in Santiago, the way is well marked, largely off road, and beautiful. The only problem seemed to be that there were no accommodations between Lugo and Melide -- and it's about 50 km. Some walkers were able to figure out how to get back onto the Norte after Lugo by going on asphalt to Sobrado dos Monxes, where there is a very large albergue in the monastery. But that seemed to be somewhat difficult and hard to fiture out. This probably sounds complicated, but with a map of the various caminos it should make sense.

What I'm trying to get more information on is the route from Leon up to Oviedo, that is, about 125 km that would connect the Camino Frances with the Camino Primitivo. My dream would be to walk the Frances till Leon, detour north to Oviedo, and then continue on the Primitivo to Melide and then back onto the Frances.
But I do think that I will walk the Primitivo the next time I am able to squeeze a Camino into my schedule, whether I have to take the bus from Leon to Oviedo or can figure out how to walk it without getting lost a million times. If you are interested, you can see the document that Javier Martin sent to me and I translated and put on this website. I would hesitate to try it based only on that information, but that's just because I have a very very bad sense of direction. I posted the document in the Primitivo section, (the title of the post is soemthing like "Directions on Walking the Camino del Salvador.") It's very hard to get good information on this small segment between Leon and Oviedo, so if there are others who can chime in, it would be very helpful to us.

Thanks much, Laurie
When walking the Camino Primitivo, a good idea when you are in Lugo is to ask Jose Antonio, the very kind hospitalero, about the best way to go.

Lugo-Melide and CF.
Lugo-Palas de Rey and CF.
Lugo-Sobrado and Camino del Norte.

Three different options.

Buen Camino Primitivo,

Javier Martin
Madrid, Spain.
I did the Camino Salvador several years ago on mule-back (mostly.) It was a knockout for loveliness and austerity, but back then it was not well marked at all, and there were roads and some very steep bits to contend with. Since then there´s been a good bit of confusion about what it´s called...I´ve been told many times, in loud voices, that I DID or I DID NOT do part of the Camino Primitivo or Del Norte or whatever. But I swear to God I saw those yellow arrows, over and over! Thanks for clearing this up for me, and it´s very good to know the path is a lot more clear and well-kept these days. Maybe it´s time for a return visit?

Hello all,

I am planning to walk the camino del salvador in August 08. This site, along with the doc Laurie posted and the Asociacion Astur-Leonesa, have been very helpful. Thank you!

I'm wondering still about the availability of albergues along the camino since it seems like there is only a reliable one at Pola de Lena. What have others done in other places along the route?

In addition, we are flying into Madrid from Morocco and are trying to decide the best way to get to Leon from Madrid and then back again from Oviedo.

Hello Lyla,
I can't answer your first few questions but can help with some info on the travel questions.

Train: Scroll down to choose your language - Seleccione su idioma.
You could travel by train from Madrid to Leon - there are about 7 trains a day. Depending on which train you take - Talgo, Regional Express or Alvia - they take between 2 hrs 45 mins and 3hrs 30 mins.
They cost between 25 and 40 euro one way.

You could return by train - there are 4 trains per day and they take 4 - 5 hours, cost 45 euro.

BUS: Only one bus at 17h00

Departure schedules (13/08/2008):
17:00 22:00 show 21,42
17:00 21:00 show 21,42

Return: Also one bus Oviedo Madrid

Departure schedules (29/08/2008):
09:30 15:30 30,86

Good luck!
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.
Hi everybody,
I think I need some advice...I arrive at Bilbao airport and have 19 days to walk. I had planned to get a bus to Oviedo and walk to Santiago and hopefully out to Finisterre. Now I am reconsidering... I still want to walk the Primitivo but, considering the crowds in Santiago, and they will be worse in August, I suppose the road to Finisterre will be as well. So now I started thinking about alternatives, if I leave Finisterre for another year, I could walk the San Salvador route but I fear I would feel too lonely, I don't want the huge crowds but on the other hand, I do want some people around. How lonely would I be?
Or should I follow my original plan?
This is a fine question, and I have no answer. I have only talked to one person this year who planned to walk the San Salvador! It IS a solitary route, but you are never very far from villages and humanity. If you want company, it´s probably best to meet up with someone else who´s interested in Leon and walk north with them.
I´d love to walk it again, or at least parts of it... let me know if you decide to do it, maybe I will go with you!
Hi Rebekah,
Your answer pleased me because I don't mind walking on my own as long as there are people and villages at a fairly short distance, also I speak Spanish so once I meet someone I can always start a conversation. Then again, if you would like to join me in Leon that would be just great. :D I will let you know as soon as I make my mind up. Also, if you talk to someone else who might be interested in joining,please let me know.
I bought the CSJ guide (donativo) and plan to walk the route in late June(ish) _ I am in Thiviers right now.
A selection of Camino Jewellery
A lot depends on what you consider "fairly short" distances. The first day out of Leon is longish, at about 30 km., and the final day into Oviedo is a bit longer still if you don´t stop in Mieres.
Rebekah, I just bought the guide and I am looking att the information at I will consider it all carefully but reading yours and Lauries comments on the Forum makes me really want to do this walk. It must be beautiful to do this Camino and continue on the Primitivo. It's a unity wouldn't you say?
I would have to find a fast way to reach Leon, my plane arrives at 13.15 in Bilbao and since I only have 19 days I'd ' like to get to Leon that same night to be able to start walking next morning.
But we'll see, I'm sure the walk out to Finisterre is a lovely one too and I can't do both :(
I´ve done the Finisterre route, and it is very pretty, but in August it´s going to be crowded and humid and HOT. You´ll get a dose of that in Asturias, too, but without the crowds.

I looked up trains and buses from Bilbao to Leon. There is one of each, and both leave Bilbao in the morning and arrive in Leon at about 2 p.m. My suggestion to you, if you don´t mind a long day of transport, is to spend your first night in Bilbao. See the Guggenheim, have a nice dinner, rest up. Take the bus or train the next morning to Leon. Have a big Menu del Dia at the Leon bus station cafeteria, one of the best Menus in town. Then get the next bus or train to LaRobla. Start walking from there, either that afternoon to Pola de Gordon if the weather is good and you´re up for it, or the following morning to Buiza. Skipping up to La Robla cuts out the bits of Leon suburbia and asphalt that make that first day so long.

If you are not a "Camino Fundamentalist" you can also save yourself a lot of asphalt (and trim down a very long last day) if you catch the train in Pola de Lena and get off in MIeres.

I've never walked it, but I know at least three pilgrims that have done it, two on foot and another one on bicycle. The right information is the one from because by road between Leon and Oviedo the distance is 120 km.

If you confirm me that you understand spanish I can send to the email address that you say something about, written by one of them.

"Quien visita a Santiago
Y no visita a el Salvador
Es como quien visita al siervo
Y no visita a su Señor"

Buen Camino,

Javier Martin
Madrid, Spain.

Is this meant to be about doing the Camino San Salvador or about visiting Oviedo? I am, God willing, planning to take the train to Ovcido from the Camino Frances and back again.
Is this meant to be about doing the Camino San Salvador or about visiting Oviedo? I am, God willing, planning to take the train to Ovcido from the Camino Frances and back again.
Javier has not visited for two years, so I doubt he can illuminate the meaning. I took the bus from Leon to Oviedo. It was a very scenic ride. I am sure the train is equally spectacular. Both terminals are next to each other.
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.
On each members profile, it gives the date he/she last visited the forum( that is if they log on) and if you look at their posts you can see when the last one was.
Ideal sleeping bag liner whether we want to add a thermal plus to our bag, or if we want to use it alone to sleep in shelters or hostels. Thanks to its mummy shape, it adapts perfectly to our body.
If walking the Salvador and not wishing to go through the Leon outskirts there is a bus from Leon to Carbajal (on the Salvador). It is an ALSA bus. It says Carbajal on the front display and you catch it at the first bus stop along Calle Ramon y Cayal from Plaza Domingo. It costs 1.40e. You get off at the terminal at the far end of Carbajal where the bus stops, reverses into a side road before returning the way it came. From the bus stop in the side road get off the bus, walk towards the front of it and turn right at the T junction. After a short stretch of asphalt road it becomes a track. Keep walking and before there are any side turnings you will see a Camino sign directing you. You are now back on the Camino.
Is this meant to be about doing the Camino San Salvador or about visiting Oviedo? I am, God willing, planning to take the train to Ovcido from the Camino Frances and back again.
If going to Oviedo there is are buses from the Bus Station every hour most of the day. They take 2.5 to 3.5 hours depending on the the day of the week/time of day/the route followed. Costs vary between 13e and 17e. They go to the Oviedo Bus Station.
Oh, how things change! This thread started with my first Salvador question, posted in 2007. I then walked it in 2008 (actually did two days to Pajares with the now-disappeared Javier Martin on this thread), and then walked it again several years ago. Both times, I/we met no other pilgrims at all. Now people talk about albergues being full on the Salvador! Though the number of people may change, the amazing beauty of the route remains constant.

Buen camino to all, Laurie

p.s. Although walking is my hands down preference, the train from Leon to Oviedo is two hours and very comfortable. Check the RENFE site for cheap tickets, many are cheaper than the bus.
Oviedo is spectacular, I spent 2 nights before rejoining the Norte in June 2014. The audiotour of the cathedral has a "pilgrim price." The pilgrim cemetery within was poignant.

Heading westward on the norte

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