Bono IacobusThe Camino Primitivo or "Primitive Way" owes its name to it being the first recorded pilgrimage route to Santiago.

One of the first of the faithful to follow this route was King Alfonso II the Chaste, who, when ruling the Astur Kingdom, covered the route from Oviedo to Santiago de Compostela in the first thirty years of the 9th century, in order to visit the Apostle's tomb, discovered a few years earlier. This monarch's contribution was key to consolidating the pilgrimage to Compostela by confirming that the remains belonged to James, son of Zebedee. By order of the king, a small church was built on the site of the discovery. The news spread among the community of believers, and thus pilgrimages and the organisation of worship of the Apostle in the incipient city began.

Historically, the point of origin of the Primitive Way lies in the city of Oviedo, the route from Oviedo being joined by pilgrims coming from the north of Spain and Europe. In the 10th century, with the consolidation of the French Way from León, the two itineraries merged in the municipality of Melide.

The journey from Oviedo to Lugo, entering Galicia through O Acebo hill, is a high mountain route. A large part of this itinerary is at an altitude over 800 m with continuous ascents and descents. These orographic features, together with a climate with frequent snowfalls and strong winds, make it a particularly difficult route. The demands of the route led to the proliferation of hospitals for pilgrims along the way.

A large part of the route runs through the heart of nature, crossing woods, mountains, rivers, streams, valleys, crop fields and small hamlets. It also offers the possibility of strolling through historic cities such as Lugo , the oldest city in Galicia with over two thousand years of history, where visitors must not miss its Romanesque cathedral with Baroque and Neoclassical facings, as well as a stroll along the Roman city wall which surrounds the historic city centre, and which was declared a World Heritage Site in 2000.

Day 1

A Fonsagrada / O Cádavo – Stage 1 (26 km)

The itinerary begins in the municipal capital of A Fonsagrada whose town area is home to the "fons sacrata" ("sacred fountain") whose origin is associated with a miracle of St.James the Apostle, who, after being hospitably attended by a widow, converted the water from this fountain into fresh milk for her children. This town has long pilgrimage tradition, with documents existing that prove the passage of pilgrims from as far back as the end of the 12th century. Leaving A Fonsagrada we can already see San Xoán de Padrón with its 18th century church, arriving shortly after at Montouto, where the ruins of what was perhaps the last of the hospitals on the pilgrim routes of Galicia, it remained open until well into the 20th century, and in the vicinity you can still see a beautiful dolmen. Leaving Montouto, we carry on to Paradavella where there are numerous traditional thatched houses (pallozas) and singular buildings, which reflect how traditional building has evolved in this mountain region. The route then descends to the village of A Degolada to rise once again to reach the A Fontaneira high ground and from there to O Cádavo.

Longarela Casa Rural
Castroverde / Stage 1

LongarelaIts name comes from the contraction of the Galician words “longa” and “arela”, which could be translated as meaning “deep desire”. It is an old farmhouse, rich and important in its time, referred to in documents dating back to the 17th century. The current architectural configuration, comprising four buildings renovated in a traditional style, dates from the end of the 19th century and is located in an estate of 70.000 m2 of meadowland, populated with local tree species such as oak, chestnut, holly, birch or ash.

Day 2

O Cádavo / Lugo – Stage 2 (31 km)

We begin this stage of the route by taking a look at the abandoned village of Soutomerille where the Pre-Romanesque church, that was last renovated in the early 17th century, remains in good condition . Leaving Soutomerille behind us, the route approaches Lugo amid crop fields and tiny villages, passing through the towns of Carballido, Fazai and Santiago de Castelo. The Primitive Way enters what was once known as Lucus Augusti through the Porta de San Pedro gate, now following an urban route towards the Romanesque Cathedral of Santa María, coated with Baroque and Neoclassical facings. Particularly worthy of mention are the retrochoir and the Gothic style radial chapels, the Renaissance main altarpiece, as well as the cloister and the A Virxen dos Ollos Grandes chapel, works by Fernando de Casas, also the artist of the facade of the Obradoiro (Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela). The Roman city wall (3rd - 4th century) is also of great interest; it has a perimeter of 2,140 m, 10 gates and 46 turrets, and was declared a World Heritage Site in the year 2000. Other important monuments in the city are: the Convent of Santo Domingo, the Bishop's Palace, the City Hall, the fountain in the Praza do Campo, and the Convent Church of San Francisco, whose convent houses the Provincial Museum. A stroll along the banks of the River Miño may also be thought-provoking, as may be a visit to the city's spa, originally a site of Roman baths, of which some still remain today.

Pazo de Orbán e Sangro
Lugo / Stage 2

Pazo de Orbán e SagroThe construction of the Casa de los Sangro (The Sangro Family House) began in 1730. Commissioned to the architect from Compostela, Lucas Ferro Caaveiro, it underwent some modifications in 1769, such as the incorporation of the Quiroga family coat of arms, which presides its facade. The building, located in the heart of Lugo's Old Town was renovated and opened as a hotel in March 2008. Of notable interest inside is its staircase (stone on the first floor and timber on the next two floors), the decor of each of its spacious bedrooms and bathrooms, as well as the abundance of unique details such as paintings, lamps, radiators, wood carvings, etc. which decorate the public areas; all of which keeps in harmony with the splendour of an 18th century mansion house.

Day 3

Lugo / Ferreira – Stage 3 (27.2 km)

We start in Lugo from the Porta Miñá or Porta do Carme (the oldest gate in the wall) crossing a Romanesque bridge until we come to the San Lázaro district. We go through the small town of San Vicente do Burgo which has an interesting Baroque church. Located 3 km from the way, we can visit the Paleochristian Church of Santalla de Bóveda, declared a National Monument, which conserves one of the most interesting sets of murals of the early medieval period of the Iberian Peninsula. Back on the route, we go through Bacurín, with its 12th century Romanesque church dedicated to San Miguel, and subsequently through the village of O Francés to enter the municipality of Guntín, crossing the parish of San Romao da Retorta. Further ahead we come to the Romanesque Church of Santa Cruz da Retorta with a monogram of Christ of the so-called “Trinitarians”, characteristic of the areas of influence of the Camino de Santiago (Way of St. James). The route continues through Seixalbos and Xende until arriving at Ferreira.


Casa da Ponte
Palas de Rei / Stage 3

Casa da PonteThis former farmhouse located in the A Ulloa district was built between 1840 and 1841, and renovated in 1993 for use in rural tourism since 1995. It is composed of two floors, each with an area of 130 m2. The ground floor houses the communal spaces (kitchen, dining room, lounge and wine cellar), while upstairs there are five bedrooms and the bathrooms. It is set in an estate of 3,000 m2 where other buildings such as the hay loft, the oven or the raised granary (hórreo) have also been preserved. The land borders with the River Ferreira and the Roman bridge over which the Camino Primitivo runs.


Day 4

Ferreira / A Castañeda – Stage 4 (28.2 km)

On leaving Ferreira we come to Leboreira, Augas Santas and Merlán, entering the province of A Coruña through the municipal district of Toques after crossing the Careón mountain chain and the towns of Vilouriz and Vilamor. The route then takes us to Melide, a town with a long history associated with the pilgrimage to Compostela. At this point, the route merges with the French Way. Worthy of mention in this town are the Church of Sancti Spiritus, which houses tombs of the 15th century nobility, and the Romanesque Church of Santa María de Melide. Beside the Chapel of San Roque there is a 15th century Gothic stone cross (cruceiro) which is considered to be one of the oldest in Galicia. Leaving Melide behind us, the route passes through Boente, where a noteworthy feature is the Church of Santiago, until we reach A Castañeda, where the lime kilns used to build the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela were located.


Casa Milia I and II
Arzúa / Day 4

Casa MiliaCASA MILIA I occupies a former farmhouse which has been recently renovated in stone and timber. The first masonry construction dates from 1940, undergoing refurbishment in 1993, and is conserved today in perfect condition. It has a usable area of 130 m² divided into four bedrooms each with its own bathroom, together with a social lounge and a spacious garden surrounding the house.

CASA MILIA II is a cosy country guesthouse, located beside the farmhouse of the same name. It was built in 2001 in a rustic style, with a stone facade. It has four double rooms each with bathroom, a dining room and restaurant where visitors can enjoy traditional Galician cuisine.

Day 5

A Castañeda / O Empalme – Stage 5 (21.3 km)

Crossing a medieval bridge, we go over the River Iso, arriving at the hospital of Ribadiso, today converted into a pilgrims' hostel. Continuing along the route we enter Arzúa, where we can see many traces of its pilgrim tradition, such as the Church of Santiago and the Gothic Chapel of A Magdalena. Moreover, the district is known for cheesemaking under the Arzúa-Ulloa Designation of Origin. We leave the town and continue along the route, crossing through the villages of A Calzada, A Calle and Ferreiros, A Salceda and A Brea, completing the stage in O Empalme.


A Pena de Augasantas
Touro / Stage 5

Casa da PenaThe house was acquired in the mid 17th century by a Galician emigrant to Cuba. Known as the “Casa da Pena”, it was first used as a summer home, later to become a permanent residence at the end of the 18th century. The building, typically Galician, with a rectangular ground and different levels, held up by robust walls and chestnut beams, was renovated in 2001, conserving its original morphology and elements. It is surrounded by an estate populated by local tree species, some of which are several hundred years old, and it is enclosed by walls and fences typical of the period.

Day 6

O Empalme / Santiago de Compostela – Stage 6 (23.2 km)

We begin this stage passing through the villages of Santa Irene, with its singular chapel and fountain, and A Rúa to reach Pedrouzo (Arca), capital of the municipal district of O Pino. Leaving O Pino we enter the municipal district of Santiago, passing through the airport's surroundings. Upon arrival in A Lavacolla, pilgrims traditionally washed themselves in its stream and then climbed Monte do Gozo to get a view of the Cathedral towers in the distance for the first time. Descending, we begin an urban stretch which enters the city through the San Lázaro district. The traveller then reaches the old Os Concheiros district, which used to be home to stalls selling scallop shells to the recently arrived pilgrims. Going down San Pedro street we come to the Porta do Camiño, followed by Rúa das Casas Reais, the Praza de Cervantes and Rúa da Acibechería to reach our finishing point at the Cathedral of Santiago.



The route is 156 kilometres, which is covered in 6 days / 7 stages with the Bono Iacobus.. At the end of each stage, walkers are collected from the last stretch of their route and taken by car to nearby rural accommodation, where they spend the night, following a well-deserved homemade supper cooked with local products.

In the morning, after a filling breakfast, the pilgrim can once again be taken by car to the beginning of the route for the day.

Optional services:

  • Picnic lunch for each day’s journey.
  • Taxi luggage transfer service.

Price (dinner and breakfast included)

  • 1 Person (single room) 530 € (VAT included)
  • 2 Persons (double room) 760 € (VAT included)

The BONO IACOBUS can be reserved all year long except Easter and the month of August either individually, for couples or groups. For further information about the BONO IACOBUS please call us on (+34) 902 190 160 / +34 981 568 521 or send us an e-mail:
(*) Distributed through legally authorised Travel Agents.

How to arrive at A Fonsagrada

  • Transfer Santiago – Lugo and Lugo – A Fonsagrada, both routes by bus which operates every day. Timetable Santiago – Lugo: Frequent departures operated by two bus lines. Average journey takes two hours, depending on the route. Timetable Lugo - A Fonsagrada: Frequent departures, depending on the day.
    • Bus operator (Santiago – Lugo): MONBUS – Tel.: +34 902 292 900 -Web:
    • Bus operator (Santiago – Lugo): EMPRESA FREIRE – Tel: +34 981 588 111 - Web:
    • Bus operator (Lugo – A Fonsagrada): HERVEI – Tel: +34 982 222 900 - Web:
    • Santiago Bus Station: C/ San Caetano, s/n – Tel: +34 981 542 416 - Web:
    • Lugo Bus Station: Plaza Constitución, s/n – Tel: +34 982 223 985

The information concerning operating days, timetables and journey times are GUIDELINES only, and should be confirmed with the company operating the service.

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