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Primitivo Difficulty

2020 Camino Guides

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
Last edited:

Davey Boyd

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Again, soon as possible!
Welcome to the forum Dannyboy!

Well, I have walked the Primitivo twice now. I really don't think it is much harder than the Camino Frances. The difference is that the Primitivo is hilly almost all the way, but is a lot shorter than the Frances, which has more flat bits. To me the Le Puy route and the Camino San Salvador were a little harder.

Both times I met children and older pilgrims walking the Primitivo without difficulty. Age range I saw was 6 years old to in the 80's.

With a bit of pre-training walking, most people do Ok. It is a really stunningly beautiful route. You will love it! I think it is my favorite in Spain so far.

Go for it
Buen Camino!
Davy
 

evanlow

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances06
Primitivo07
Plata08
Norte12
Levante(14-15)
Vasco16
Mozarabe(16-17)
Madrid17
Portuguese18
Most of the path still skirts around the contours of the mountains. Despite that there are still some ups and downs. I would say for 70 percent of the route, it is borderline between beginner and intermediate...
 

musicman

Ensuitepilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
2004, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016,2017,2018
I walked it in June at 72 years,and having walked several Caminos I think it is a tough fortnight, but doable certainly - be sure to check for weather updates, daily as you are in the Asturias region.
And, in the mountains in particular, some of the paths can become very slippery, especially going downwards. Buen Camino .
 

jennysa

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino F 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 C Aragones 2012, 2017 2018 Via Francigena 2016 & 17 Primitivo 2018
I have walked it twice - last year and again this year in May - and I am 74. It is definitely harder than the CF but I credibly rewarding and quite manageabl. After Lugo it is a breeze. I can't wait to walk it again
 

MarkyD

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés 31/08/2018 - 20/10/2018
Welcome to the forum Dannyboy!

Well, I have walked the Primitivo twice now. I really don't think it is much harder than the Camino Frances. The difference is that the Primitivo is hilly almost all the way, but is a lot shorter than the Frances, which has more flat bits. To me the Le Puy route and the Camino San Salvador were a little harder.

Both times I met children and older pilgrims walking the Primitivo without difficulty. Age range I saw was 6 years old to in the 80's.

With a bit of pre-training walking, most people do Ok. It is a really stunningly beautiful route. You will love it! I think it is my favorite in Spain so far.

Go for it
Buen Camino!
Davy
Thanks Davey, you've at least given me the trigger to go for it, hopefully next year, if I can slide out of Madrid when it's hot in the summer.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2008, 2009), Camino Frances (2011)
Porto to SDC (7/2017) Primitivo (9/2019)
I am 67 and just return home from 12 days on the Primitivo from Oviedo to Santiago. I found it hard and vowed that I would never again walk this path. Now that I am home and reflecting back I can't wait to walk it again. Know that when joining the Camino Frances at Melide the volume of pilgrims can be shocking after the Primitivo!
The weather forecasting was never correct. Fog, heavy mist and drizzle to bright blue skies!

I think hard or difficult are relative to the mind set and ones individual experience.
 

zrexer

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2014, 15,16 & 19 Camino Frances
2017 Camino Portuguese
2018 Camino Primitivo
My wife and I walked it in September of 2018. We had allotted 14 days to walk it based on what we had read about the difficulty level. We actually ended up needing only 12 days as it was easier than expected. We are both in our late 50's.
Definitely harder than most days of the Francis, but it is only 12 to 14 days versus 33 of the Francis so less wear and tear on your body.
Very scenic and probably my favorite of our six Camino walks.
 

DeansFamily

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 18/916/10/17 Muxia/Finisterre 18/10-22/10/17 Norte 21/4-29/5/18 Primitive 20/9-5/10/18 VdlP
We walked it last October and loved it. Yes, there are a few big long hills and the Hospitales was tough on the way up but it was so worth it! I would definitely do it again. Do it...you won’t regret it. Buen Camino
 

AlainC

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Primitivo (2017)
Hello Dannboy. I walked the Primitivo as my first Camino at age 64 in September 2017. While I cannot compare it to other Caminos, I can say that it is very enjoyable and there are enough albergues that you don’t have to worry until you join the Camino Frances. It is a very hilly Camino but definitely doable for someone in good physical condition. I had trained for approximately 5 months by walking 4 to 5 days a week before leaving for Spain. My distances in training varied from 3 Km to 12 Km increasing as I was getting closer to leaving. I averaged 25 Km per day on the Camino and did not have any problems, except for sore knees which I expected since I had knee injuries playing sports when I was younger. I would say you should go for it.
Buen Camino
From a Canadien pilgrim
 

MikeJS

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francis (2011), Norte (12), VdlP (16). Sureste/Invierno (17). Olvidado/San Salvador/Primitivo (19)
It is different for everybody and only you can know how far you want to walk each day. Without doubt, if you start at Ovideo then the first few days will feel tough. As many camino veterans know it's often around the 10 day mark, assuming you avoid getting blisters in the beginning, that you feel really ‘camino’ fit. There are some long ups and downs on the Primitivo, but in my opinion none are especially steep. However, I came from the Olvidado and the San Salvador so had climbed many very steep hills in the days before. You can see my personal opinion of my 8 days on the Primitivo here - https://mikesroaming.blogspot.com/2019/10/oviedo-to-sallas-48km.html
I don’t do any training before the camino, but I walk my dog a lot, play golf 3 times a week and try to run regularly! I’m 65½ with a hip replacement.
 
Camino(s) past & future
August 2015
I have walked it twice - last year and again this year in May - and I am 74. It is definitely harder than the CF but I credibly rewarding and quite manageabl. After Lugo it is a breeze. I can't wait to walk it again
Hi Jenny
May I ask how many days did it take between Oviedo and Melide? Would you have been able to keep to shorter stages if you wanted to? I’m considering Primitivo but I’m not interested in 30+ k days. Normally I like to keep in in the low 20s. If the terrain is quite difficult, even less. Asking you because of your age and can-do attitude.
Rachel
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2017), Primitivo (2019)
Hi Jenny
May I ask how many days did it take between Oviedo and Melide? Would you have been able to keep to shorter stages if you wanted to? I’m considering Primitivo but I’m not interested in 30+ k days. Normally I like to keep in in the low 20s. If the terrain is quite difficult, even less. Asking you because of your age and can-do attitude.
Rachel
Excepting the Hospitales portion, you can certainly adjust your walking to fit a shorter distance. The infrastructure around the Primitivo has been developed. After Lugo, the path is less mountainous...and ful of options.
Although hilly, the route is available to every relatively fit person, and quite beautiful
 
Camino(s) past & future
August 2015
Excepting the Hospitales portion, you can certainly adjust your walking to fit a shorter distance. The infrastructure around the Primitivo has been developed. After Lugo, the path is less mountainous...and ful of options.
Although hilly, the route is available to every relatively fit person, and quite beautiful
Thanks for your quick response. Lots to think about.
 

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