Camino Primitivo - Last Section
The Compostela is the certificate of accomplishment eligible to those who complete a minimum of 100 km of the pilgrimage to arrive in Santiago de Compostela. This is the final stage of the Camino Primitivo from the ancient Roman city of Lugo to Santiago.
How To Earn The Compostela
To earn the Compostela, you will need to have walked at least the last 100 km of the Camino. In practice, that usually means walking from Sarria to Santiago de Compostela (115 kms). However, many choose to start their walk from the Sanctuary of O Cebreiro in the Galician mountains (158kms).
We provide you with the credencial document issued by the Cathedral of Santiago as part of your travel pack. You must have this stamped at the beginning of your journey in Lugo and collect at least two more stamps each day. This way you are recording your journey by distance and by route. On arrival at the Pilgrim Office in Santiago, your credencial will be checked for compliance before receiving your Compostela certificate.
Most people on the Camino spend a week or two walking the final section of the Camino Frances through Galicia, but you can also earn your Compostela by walking other the final 100kms of other Camino routes to Santiago.
- Camino Frances from Sarria
- Via de la Plata from Ourense
- Camino Portugues from Tui
- Camino on horseback on the Camino Frances, Camino Portugues or Camino Primitivo
- Camino by bike requries at least the last 200 kilometres.
The Camino Experience
The Camino de Santiago de Compostela was proclaimed the first European Cultural itinerary by the Council of Europe in 1987 as well as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This European pilgrimage route has been taken by pilgrims to Santiago for more than one thousand years.
There are many reasons to walk the Camino - seeking spiritual enlightenment, for adventure, freedom from everyday life, the opportunity to meet new people and enjoy the camaraderie of the road. We hear tell from our clients, stories of encounters with many others who become like a Camino family during the journey. There are many special aspects of the Way that makes this experience so special and memorable.
As experts in the Camino de Santiago, we have considerable experience tailoring walks for those who are new to walking or who find it difficult walking for long distances.
See our Gentle Steps Camino Frances if you prefer to walk at a slower, more relaxed pace.
We will be happy to create a personalised itinerary designed specifically around your needs and interests.
Earn the Compostela Certificate by Completing the Final 100km of the Camino de Santiago
In practice, this means walking the Camino Primitivo from Lugo to Santiago de Compostela in 6 days.
You can also earn your Compostela by walking the last 100 km of other Ways to Santiago such as the Camino Portugues from Tui, or the Via de la Plata from Ourense.
Please do not hesitate to get in touch if you would like us to create a different, personalised itinerary designed specifically around your needs and interests.
The following is our most popular 7-day itinerary starting at Sarria on the Camino Primitivo:-
Day 1 - Arrival in Spain and Transfer to the Camino
Arrival and transfer to Lugo on the Camino Primitivo, the last section of the route that originates in Oviedo in the Royal Province of Asturias. Stay overnight in Lugo.
Day 2 - Lugo - San Roman de Retorta, 19.6kms
You follow the bronze shells out of the ancient Roman city, passing through the Santiago Gate, to shadow country roads winding through an undulating wooded landscape. There are one or two stopping points on the way to San Roman with its C12th Romanesque Church.
Day 3 - San Roman - Merlan, 14.7 kms
A walk along the old Roman road and country tracks, passing small settlements like Ferreira with it's Roman bridge and onto a country hotel at Merlan (San Salvador).
Day 4 - Merlan - Melide, 13.6 kms
Today you walk through stands of aromatic eucalyptus trees, on well trodden country paths, passing small villages until arriving in Melide. This medieval township has close links with the Jacobean pilgrimage, and you will notice a surge in the number of walkers in town. Visit the town's medieval centre and churches, and try Melide's local delicacy: Pulpo (Octopus).
Day 5 - Melide - Arzua, 14.3 kms
Today's walk takes you through meadows, oak and eucalyptus woodland through countless small hamlets, some of which bear names that echo their historical connections with the Pilgrim's way. This is the county of Arzua, a land with a strong dairy production and known for its delicious cheeses.
Day 6 - Arzua - Arca, 19 kms
Walk on natural pathways with good shade offered by trees. The Camino now becomes busier with pilgrims as we near the fabled city of Santiago.
Day 7 - Arca - Santiago de Compostela, 20.1 kms
The first part of your final stage into Santiago is through dense woodland. Enjoy the shade and peace -as you approach the city, aspahlt roads take over. After leaving the town of A Lavacolla, the Way approaches the Monte do Gozo (The Mount of Joy), a small hillock from which the pilgrim was able to see, for the first time, in the distance, the towers of the Cathedral of Santiago, hence the name of this spot.
Before you know it you descend into the urban stretch that will lead you to the heart of Santiago de Compostela's old town and on to the tomb of St James, housed in the stunning Cathedral.
A second night in Santiago de Compostela is highly recommended as there is so much to experience and enjoy.
Located on a hill on the banks of the river Miño, the city of Lugo preserves major remains of its Roman past, among them its ancient wall, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Inside the walls, you'll find quiet pedestrianised streets, wide squares and spacious gardens. Here is the Cathedral, the Archiepiscopal Palace, the City Hall and some of the best restaurants in Galicia, serving the excellent fresh meats and fish which have earned Lugo gastronomic acclaim.
The greatest example of the city's Roman legacy is its wall, built between the 3rd & 4th centuries AD in what was known at the time as Lucus Augusti. This stone construction has managed to survive the passage of the centuries and continues to mark the boundary between the historic quarter and the newer area of urban expansion. You can stand atop this 10 metres high wall and stroll along the 2,266 metres of its perimeter. The Carmen gateway, more commonly known as Porta Miñá, was traditionally used by the pilgrims heading for Santiago de Compostela.
Food & Drink
For any traveller on the Camino, nourishment and refreshment becomes a major part of the daily routine. And also a daily reward. There are many places to enjoy good food along the way to suit all tastes and budgets. We also aim to cater for those with particular dietary needs.
Breakfast whether light or substantial can be topped up mid morning at cafes or bars - the Spanish "desayuno" is between 10 and 11 when cafes and bars fill with locals having their proper breakfast.
Lunches are often taken as picnics, with items of fresh local produce purchased each morning before you set out on the trail.
Dinner is not served until 8pm at the earliest earliest - so take advantage of the Spanish merienda of coffee, tea and pastries or early evening cerveza, copas de vino and tapas, once you have arrived at your daily destination.
Hydration is essential - carry at between 1.5 and 3l of drinking water, depending on season, temperatures and distance to cover. Plus a sugary and salty snack kept in your pocket or day pack will give you that little extra burst of energy to keep you going.
Typical Camino Lodgings 1-3*
Hand-picked establishments are well known to our team and we have developed strong personal connections over the past 12 years. We prefer to work with comfortable, small, family run establishments on or close to the Camino. This can include a variety of traditional farmhouses, historic home and 1-3* equivalent inns and hotels. All rooms have en-suite facilities.
If your budget allows, we can suggest some superb accommodation upgrades, as we often work with the top-end establishments on the Camino. Sometimes this can mean a short transfer off the Camino but we can include your transfers both ways. Santiago de Compostela has a full spectrum of upgrades and luxurious establishments.
Types of Board / Meal Options
Our itineraries are mainly offered on Bed and Breakfast basis. We encourgae you to get out and about to try local dishes in the vicinity. Sampling the widest range of Spanish dishes and soaking up the local atmosphere is all part of the Camino experience. You'll be rubbing shoulders with international walkers and the local people in the bars and diners along the Way. If you prefer to have dinner prebooked, then in-house set menus are often available too. We can also arrange for you to half board accommodation along the way if you prefer to have everything booked and paid in advance.
Baggage Transfers between Accommodation
We quote all our journeys with bag transfers as standard. We heartily recommend that you book your main piece of luggage to be transferred between accommodations. It helps your enjoyment of the Way and keeps unnecessary stress off your back and joints.
We work with dedicated professional companies who do this essential work day in, day out. The system works very well, with bags picked up between 8 and 8:30 am and delivered to the next hotel between 2 and 4 pm.
This daily service is organised so that all you have to worry about is carrying a day sack with your essential items.
If you do wish to carry your own bag that is fine with us. And you can always call us and request to add on the service if you change your mind.
Fly into Santiago de Compostela airport. You can also arrive by bus or train from Madrid and other points in Spain. Private transfers available to and from Lugo or take a direct bus from Santiago airport.
Listed below are some reviews from other customers who have already undertaken this tour with Walk the Camino.
- Review by AliceA very enjoyable holiday. The accommodation was generally at a really high standard. The information provided was really clear and the luggage transfer worked perfectly. The upfront communication was good and the pack of information sent by post was very helpful. Very good places were particularly Hosteria Calixtino and Hotel San Miguel. Baggage transfers went well and the baggage arrived on time. The information pack contained all the most important detail. The one piece of information that I would have appreciated was that the wait at the Pilgrim’s office in Santiago was very long (over 2 hours) and it would have been helpful to be pre-warned on this and also, I wasn’t sure if you had to get the final stamp and certificate on the day of arrival or if you could go back the following day(s). For example, in hindsight, I think it was possible to go back early the following morning. This wasn’t a big issue but I think would be helpful for future customers. Generally, it was all very good. there’s the potential addition to the information pack as mentioned above. Casa Teodora was slightly more noisy than the other stopping places but didn’t bother me hugely. Thanks for all the organisation and work - I had a great trip!
- Review by Yvette & MaryWe really enjoyed the holiday, it was fairly quiet for the first few days but after Melide there were quite a few pilgrims walking and cycling. The scenery was beautiful and the villages and farms picturesque especially when we were walking on tracks and not on small roads. Lots of time for quiet contemplation.
The organization was great, Luggage always arrived usually before we did, except on two when days we arrived quite early but we didn’t have long to wait. The accommodation was good, with Casa Camino being the best, it really was luxurious and the food was great. The location of Hotel Capitol in Santiago was excellent and the hotel was very comfortable and obliging- they even made us a picnic breakfast as we had to leave for the airport early. The rest of the hotels were ok. The hostel Candido was probably more basic than we were expecting but very friendly and we met a lot of people there so it was a good experience.
The information pack was good, just one of the maps to our accommodation was confusing.
WTC RESPONSE - thanks for pointing this out - we have already fixed the error for the next people.
Its the first time I’ve done a holiday like this and I really enjoyed it. I was worried before we went that the distances would be challenging but the walking was easy and it was fine.