This walk is part of the trek El Camino Primitivo - from Oviedo to Santiago de Compostela.
Apart from the section going out from Oviedo, the route for the most part goes along paths and roads that lead through pleasant rural scenery, with frequent ups and downs, tracks through woods, meadows and small villages.
Calculated time is computed with the distance, the height difference, and an average speed of 2.2 mph. For an intermediate walker, this time includes small breaks.
(D) After breakfast, make your way to the pilgrims’ San Salvador Cathedral on Plaza Alfonso II El Casto. Don't start walking without visiting the cathedral and make sure you pick up the ¨credential¨ at the Tourist Office, in the Cathedral, in the Church of San Juan el Real or in the hostel. Then it's the best foot forward, heading west, with the cathedral at your back, along Calle Eusebio Gonzalez Abascal. Turn right into Calle San Juan and left at Calle Jovellanos, and right again almost immediately into Calle Luna. Cross over Calle Progreso and head along Calle Sta. Clara and Calle Covadonga. Carry on along Calle Melquiades Álvarez and Calle de la Independencia until you reach Avenida de Santander otherwise known as Avenida del Cantábrico (N-634), which we follow for a short while to the left, crossing it by way of a pedestrian crossing. Bear right along Calle Samuel Sánchez and then across the roundabout to go all the way along Calle Aragañosa to a small roundabout. In front of the bar "El Choque", turn right to go over the FEVE railway line, by way of a pedestrian bridge, and continue along Calle Alfonso I el Católico and right onto Calle Bermudo I el Diácono. Turn left along Calle José María Fernández Buelta as far as Calle Gozon and bear left. At the roundabout, turn right along Calle Carreño then left along Paseo de la Florida. At the next roundabout, turn right along Calle Cudillero then bear left along the pedestrian tarmaced path (follow the yellow sign) through the Parque "Camino de Santiago". This comes out onto a local road Calle Navia, then Calle de Alfonso I el Católico where there are some picnic tables on the left. There's a path that runs parallel to the road that takes us into the first village, San Lázaro de Paniceres.
(1) At the bus stop, carry straight on along Av. de Alfonso Molina then bear left at a sign to Villamar. Take a track up to the right, past a farm building and all the way along to the solitary church of the Virgen del Carmen, in the village Llampaxuga. The route continues behind the church, along a path that goes through a eucalyptus wood and over the Reguero de la Huerta and up to Lloriana. Go past the church Santa María de Lloriana and the fountain to bear right down a track that eventually comes out onto the AS-232 near the bar Casa Valdés in Requejo. Head along the road through La Bolguina and down to the River Nora. Use the old bridge to cross the river, the medieval Puente Gallegos. Go through the village of Gallegos on the main road. At the end of the village take a path to the right that leads into a beautiful chestnut and oak forest. At the beginning, the route descends slightly downhill approaching the river but a switchback left marks the beginning of the ascent, which becomes a steep incline. The track eventually comes out onto the AS-232 next to a large signpost for the AS-233. Turn right and head into Escamplero, a town that has a bar-restaurant (closed Wednesdays) and a pilgrims' hostel.
(2) Keep on along the road until you reach the junction with the AS-233. Turn right and ignore the road left signposted to Premoño but keep on the AS-233 to the next road on the left signposted Valsera, the AS-234. This will take you past the restaurant El Tendejo de Fernando on the left. Shortly after, also on the left, the route passes the pilgrims' hostel. A little way further on, by a metal gate, the route veers off to the left to cut off a curve in the road. Once past a few farmhouses, the track goes back to the main AS-234 road. Turn left and go through the village of Valsera to visit the Fatima chapel before leaving the road again to go down left to the bucolic and lonely valley of the Andallón. Don't cross the river to Ania, rather keep southeast taking a track near a red coloured farmhouse, to go through the hamlet Cueva Oscura and on to Premoño. There's a decent metal bridge over the River Andallón then a long stretch of tarmacked road up to the village, where you'll find the Santa Ana chapel, the only remains of an old pilgrims' hospital.
(3) We leave Premoño by road but bear right in front of an hórreo or granary, onto a wooded path. This comes out onto the road as it crosses the Llonga stream and goes right, through the hamlet of Casa Nueva, leading to Paladín near the Valduno Reservoir. Continue along the road, crossing the River Soto, turn left and follow the road. Bear left onto a track next to a couple of brown garages, towards the Nalón river (the longest and most important in Asturias) at Puerma. Bear right before reaching the river (a metal gate blocks your way) and follow the track that runs parallel with the river, heading northwest. This track passes a cream-coloured farmhouse before joining the AS-234 road, which we follow in a more westerly direction to Laracha and the bridge over the Nalón River. After crossing it, turn right to reach the village of Peñaflor.
(4) Check out the church of San Juan de Peñaflor on the left, then take the street opposite (on the right) into the village, signposted FEVE. Follow the street alongside the railway to a tunnel under the railway on the right. This leads onto a track with a wall on the left (GR® painted mark; red and white) that runs through mixed farmland as far as Molinos de Agosto. Bear right at the sign for the ¨museo etnográfico de Grado¨ and follow the fence to cross the railway once again. Go left along Calle Jove y Valdés then right along a cobbled version of the street with the same name. This should bring you out onto Calle el Puente that will take you over the bridge that spans the Cubia river. The road bends left to take you into the centre of Grado.(A)
D : km 0 - alt. 231m - Oviedo Cathedral on Plaza Alfonso II El Casto
1 : km 4.03 - alt. 238m - San Lázaro de Paniceres
2 : km 11.55 - alt. 242m - Escamplero
3 : km 16.45 - alt. 132m - Premoño
4 : km 22.29 - alt. 56m - Peñaflor
A : km 24.84 - alt. 55m - Grado
It is highly recommended to arrive the day before you start the camino to allow plenty of time to visit the city of Oviedo and rest before starting this long distance trail. Chances are that you'll arrive by train or by bus and will spend the night in a small hostel in the city centre. Check out San Francisco Park (and the statue of Mafalda), stroll through the Mercado El Fontan, drink cider at the ‘sidrerías’ on Calle Gascona, visit the Archaeological Museum, try the traditional dish ‘fabada Asturiana’, go see the Museum of Fine Arts and the Santa Maria del Naranco Church.
Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
Make sure you have the right gear. This part of Spain is very green, the reason being that it rains a lot. One minute it can be warm and humid, the next it can be lashing down with rain. Travel as light as you can but always pack the waterproofs, with something to cover your pack as well. You'll need a sleeping bag, even in the hostels and make sure you have something for blisters as you're sure to get some. Walking on tarmac is hard on the feet and about 50% of the route is on roads. Carry enough water for the day (3 litres is normally enough) and fill up at bars and fountains along the way (avoid streams for drinking water). Take time to enjoy the scenery and to chat to the people you pass, this is not a race and plans should be flexible. Don't leave any rubbish and don't damage the environment. Keep to the Country Code and respect the farmers, vegetation, animals and rivers. Don't take any plants or stones home; take photos (they last longer and you can share them). Say hello to fellow walkers and help anyone who needs it. Take care of yourself and make the most of the moment!
The Camino Primitivo is the Camino de Santiago that goes from Oviedo to Santiago de Compostela through the regions of Asturias and Galicia. It owes its origin to the pilgrimage of King Alfonso II of Asturias in the 9th century, the first of the routes to Santiago de Compostela (hence the name "Primitivo"). Other routes have developed over the centuries but this one holds a certain timeless magic.
This stage follows the motorway and a couple of rivers. There's plenty rural scenery, some ups and downs, tracks through woods, small villages, past ancient monasteries and plenty of hórreos.
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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.