This walk is part of the trek El Camino Primitivo - from Oviedo to Santiago de Compostela.
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.
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) In Grado, our route goes along the N-634 Av. Valentín Andrés, Calle Eulogio Díaz Miranda and Calle Flórez Estrada, heading southwest. Just where the main road curves right, at a bar called El Pistolo, bear left down Calle Modesto Cuervo Guisasola but almost immediately bear right along a short alleyway Calle la Podada de Arriba and follow a sign Acevedo. Bear right in front of the green coloured buildings to climb up past some pink coloured buildings. The route becomes a tree lined (on the right) track through the countryside, steadily climbing up past farmhouses. After a while, the track comes out onto a tarmacked road with views of the motorway in front. Turn right to reach a bridge with blue railings that crosses a major road with a roundabout down to the left. Carry straight on past the farmhouse and along the road past more farmhouses and through hamlets with the motorway on the left. At a junction, turn left and stay on the road, parrallel to the motorway all the way to El Freisnu. Bear left then right to climb out of the hamlet and follow this country lane under electricity pylons, past hórreos, through La Pelona to reach a local road near more electricity pylons. Bear right to reach a crossroads at an abandoned building with green window frames. To the right, on a hill, we should be able to see the santuario de Nuestra Señora del Fresno. Carry straight on, going downhill parallel to the motorway, over the Puente de La Meredal (where there's a fountain) and on over the bridge over the motorway. The track continues to descend on the other side, eventually going through San Marcelo.
(1) Go down through the village to the fountain, where you can see the hermitage in the valley. Carry straight on to a Stop sign to join the SL-9. Bear left along this road until you reach a roundabout. Just before the roundabout, the route goes off the road to the left to reach the stream Arroyo del Fresno. Cross over the stream and enter a wood with ferns and Eucalyptus trees. The route follows the stream to go through a small hamlet before going under the motorway and through the hamlet close to the Doriga Castle. At a junction turn right towards the castle coming out on the SL-9 near the church of Santa Eulalia de Dóriga.
(2) Take the track going off to the right next to a 3,5t sign. This country lane heads gently uphill to La Veiguina, past a cemetery on the left and then bears left to go under the motorway and into Marcel. At a junction bear left to go across the country down to the AS-15 at La Ponte - Casas del Puente. Follow this road (there's a footpath off the road to the left) until you reach a roundabout at La Rodriga. Bear left along the N-634 to reach the bridge over the river Narcea and enter Cornellana on the other side.
(3) If you need food and refreshments, carry on into the town but the route turns left immediately after crossing the bridge although a scallop shell sign indicates otherwise; follow the sign for the Sanctuario de San Salvador. The route runs alongside the river for a while but turns right after a small bridge over the river Nonaya. This path takes us up to the Monastery of San Salvador de Cornellana. After investigating this monument by taking a small detour to the right, come back to follow the route going south, towards a red coloured building. Before reaching that building, at a road junction, turn right uphill towards Sobrerriba and a tunnel under the motorway. Go through Suburriba (in Asturian), past a few hórreos, gently climbing up the tarmacked road until you reach a white coloured house with four pillars in front. Here the route turns right by the side of the house and carries on the uphill. The path bends round to the left with some magnificent views across the river Nonaya, then descends to follow the river west with the village of Espinedo on the other side. The route goes past a quarry as it bends southwest, finally entering the hamlet of Llamas (fir trees on the left).
(4) Follow this country road west through arable farming and cross over the Reguero las Caleas (an irrigation channel) to eventually reach a T-junction. Turn right, towards the river and at another T-junction turn left away from the river. This fairly straight track (you get the impression that it used to be a railway line) takes us past the cemetery at Villazón and up to a crossroads. Carry straight on southwestwards, past a wooden bench under a peculiar tree (water tap nearby), under a small road and on towards the river Nonaya next to a disused white and blue building. The route passes the spring Fuente Caliente where an ugly metal sculpture/refuge has been erected. Just before reaching the white and blue building (and the bridge over the river) the route bears left along a leafy path running parallel with the river on its south side. This eventually comes out at a stone bridge over the river Nonaya before reaching the hamlet Casazorrina.
(5) Weave your way through this collection of houses and hórreos, going past a green coloured building and bearing right at a fork in the road. The route goes under the motorway and runs alongside the N-634A for about 100 metres then precariously crosses the main road (look for the camino sign a gap in the crash barrier!!). On the other side, diagonally across the road, head for another gap in the crash barrier and the path that leads past a row of trees. This path comes out onto a local road near the church of Santa Ana. Turn left (ignoring the tempting sign for the restaurant La Minesa offering a Menú del Peregrino) to enter the hamlet of Mallecin after crossing the AS-226. Continue along the Av. del Llaniello (ignoring the sign for the Centro Urbano) straight on into Salas vía the Travesía San Roque to end up in the Plaza de la Iglesia.
D : km 0 - alt. 54m - Grado
1 : km 6.45 - alt. 209m - San Marcelo
2 : km 7.93 - alt. 116m - Dóriga
3 : km 10.62 - alt. 42m - Cornellana
4 : km 14.82 - alt. 105m - Llamas
5 : km 19.36 - alt. 150m - Casazorrina
A : km 22.45 - alt. 245m - Salas
There are a number of fountains and other places to fill up your water bottle. Although it means a slight detour, Cornellana is a good place to stop for lunch or just stock up on food and drink (be aware that most shops close between 2pm and 5pm but bars and restaurants are open). For the most part, the route follows the motorway and the river but there are some gentle climbs. Make sure you have your waterproofs handy as the weather can change quite quickly.
Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
As this is an old pilgrims route there are plenty of churches and monasteries to visit. On this stage there are also bridges over rivers and streams. Not so pleasant are the tunnels and road crossings that can sometimes be downright dangerous. 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!
This stage is a bit shorter than the two previous stages and only has a gentle climb at the start. At the beginning, the route follows the river Nonaya and borders the Sierra de Bodenaya. After crossing the river Casandrasín, our journey takes us along the valley with the Sierra de Tineo up to our right. Plenty to see and a few villages to explore, just hope the rain stays off.
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.
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.
The day starts with a climb even though Tineo is already perched over the Villar valley. The route takes us along the southern flank of the Pico Navariego, staying high above the valley and the road below, finally dropping down to Obona and then a fairly flat stroll all the way to Borres.
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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.