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Spain

Camino Primitivo

Self-Guided Mountain Bike Holiday

Grade

1
2
3
4
5

Duration

8 days

Prices from

£1,385 P.P.

E-MTB HIRE AVAILABLE

This holiday is great fun on a regular mountain bike or an e-mountain bike and you can choose to hire either when you book your holiday with us! If you’re an experienced rider, you can choose one of our quality e-mountain hire bikes and experience the buzz of a pedal-assisted ride. Select your e-MTB hire when you book a holiday with us.

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The Camino Primitivo is a wild, dramatic route that follows a little-known (but original!) pilgrims' trail to Santiago de Compostela in Galicia. This exciting new self-guided holiday is a chance for mountain bikers to take a wild ride through the remote mountains of Northern Spain.
Starting off from the proud capital of Asturias, beside its magnificent cathedral, this historic trail takes the adventurous rider through a beautiful region of forested valleys, open pasture, wild mountainsides and ancient hamlets and villages, born from a need to help pilgrims along their journey to Santiago.
The terrain is varied with sections of ancient drovers' trails, sinuous single track and back lanes on the journey towards Santiago de Compostela. Challenging climbs will be rewarded by thrilling descents with some great natural trails and technical riding.
You’ll travel through the lush rolling valleys of Asturias and over the challenging Sierras of the Cordillera Cantabrica before a fantastic finale along the famed Camino Frances and its flowing, ancient trails.
This journey enables true mountain bikers to experience the Camino de Santiago as a pilgrim by overnighting in the fabulous historic cities of Oviedo, Lugo and Santiago and experiencing the wealth of culture and cuisine along the ‘Way’.
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Holiday Highlights

  • Pre-trip cider pouring in the old town of Oviedo
  • The sinuous singletrack switchback descent to Las Grandas
  • Remote, wild routes across high mountains passes
  • Descending out of the rugged Cordillera to the fabulous Roman city of Lugo
  • Tasting Galician-style Octopus washed down with a crisp Albarino white
  • Hearing the eerie wail of bagpipes on arrival into the cathedral square in Santiago

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Itinerary

Day 1
Arrival: Oviedo
Non Riding Day

You will be met at Asturias airport (OVD) and transferred the short distance (Approx. 45 minutes) to the handsome, proud capital of Asturias; Oviedo. If you have time on your arrival we recommend heading out to spend some time discovering the city. The beautiful Cathedral of San Salvador is a must and a great place to get the first stamp in your pilgrim’s passport which will become your proof of completion of the pilgrimage.

This evening you will have the chance to the best ‘siderias’ (cider houses) in the city, tasting the elaborately poured drink and fabulous local Asturian cuisine.

Day 2
Oviedo to Sales
32 Miles / 52 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Ascent: 1,186 Metres Approx.

After breakfast you will meet the Skedaddle representative who will set you up with your bike and chat about your week ahead and answer any questions you have.

The exciting first steps of the route will take you out of the city on quiet lanes before taking in some heavenly riding on ancient paths and forest single track down to the river Nora. A mid-morning coffee in a pilgrims’ hostel will set you up for racy trails along the Nalon riverside, passing the rock pinnacle of Penaflor and entering the picturesque market town of Grado, an ideal place for a well-earned lunch of local delicacies.

Rested, your first cheeky climb of the afternoon takes you over the Alto de el Fresno before dropping in to a fun and furious 5 km of trail down to the Rio Narcea. Steady climbs and descents on ancient varied trails will lead to the historical town of Salas, beneath the Cordillera Cantabrica, where you will rest for the evening.

Day 3
Salas to Pola de Allande
30 Miles / 48 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Ascent: 1,354 Metres Approx.

Well-rested, it’s back on the bikes for an epic day in the Asturian mountains with a long steady climb into the Cordillera passing the small, isolated settlement of Espina, with amazing views over the forested valleys and heathered mountainsides.

Easy trails take you up the valley through the historic village of Tineo, once a Roman goldmining centre. A sharp climb over the Alto de Guardia on stone pathways gains a technical descent through pastures, forest and isolated villages.

Arriving at Samblismo throws up an important decision for all travellers on their way to Santiago with a choice of routes. Our route takes the mtb friendly trails through villages and forest before a great single track descent to the Pretty village of Pola de Allande deep in the Cantabrian mountains.

Humble rural accommodation is accompanied by local mountain fare, just the ticket after a rewarding day on the bike.

Day 4
Pola de Allande to Fonsagrada
40 Miles / 65 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Ascent: 2,000 Metres Approx.

The climb out of the valley is long and steady on decent trails, leading to the fabled Puerto del Palo mountain pass, the highest point on the journey. The views are almost as exhilarating as the technical descent on ancient paths, through tiny hamlets built of grey granite that have provided shelter for centuries.

After a short climb from the hamlet of Mesa you will arrive to fabulous views towards Galicia and far below to the Grandas reservoir. This never-ending descent takes you over 800m down into the deep Grandas valley, through lush forest and ancient ruins on great singletrack and switchbacks.

Once in the valley bottom you once again regain height through the pretty Grandas de Salime, Castro and Penafonte villages along farm tracks and tree lined meadows to reach the lofty Puerto del Acebo with a fabulous view as you sit with your back leg in Asturias and front leg in Galicia.

The afternoon ride gently descends through pine and deciduous woods along enchanting dry-stone wall lined trails, passing isolated chapels and hermitages. Historical Fonsagrada is our home for the evening and a first chance to taste the excellent Galician cuisine. Sitting at just under 1000m it’s the highest town in Galicia and a place, they say, wolves never dare come down to!

Day 5
Fonsagrada to Lugo
35 Miles / 57 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Ascent: 1,200 Metres Approx.

Today starts with beautiful paths climbing to reach the emblematic Alto de Montouto and the ruins of an ancient pilgrims hospital beside an impressive Celtic burial chamber. It’s a wonderful place to contemplate past times before a terrific descent down to Paradevilla for a mid-morning snack and coffee.

The trail snakes its way through numerous ancient settlements where time seems to have stood still. In Galicia much of the terrain is made up of smallholdings where it’s not uncommon to see people scything grass by hand or ploughing fields with oxen.

A bit of effort is needed to reach the Alto de Fontaneira, offering amazing vistas down to the rolling green valleys of Galicia, then the trail begins to descend on a multitude of tracks and paths for the last 20km to the fortified city of Lugo, our home for the night.

Lugo is a great place to overnight and wander its old lanes to the impressive cathedral and Plaza Mayor. The food is excellent too and it’s probably time to try the Galician dish of pulpo a la feira, octopus with spicy paprika to be washed down with a crisp Albarino white!

Day 6
Lugo to Sedor
34 Miles / 55 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Ascent: 1,060 Metres Approx.

Leaving Lugo you first descend to cross the snaking Rio Mino, which further west is the natural border between Portugal and Spain. After a few easy kilometres along a narrow lane your way intersects with a Roman road connecting Braga in Portugal with the trading route of the Via de la Plata coming from the Mediterranean. There are beautifully restored Roman temples and milarios that make interesting breaks in your journey.

Once over the open moorland of Hospital das Seisas you take a long steady descent passing Celtic Castros (settlements) and interesting horreos (grain stores) to arrive in the small bustling town of Melide. It’s here where you will join the Camino Frances, the most popular of the pilgrim routes to Santiago.

On the final kilometres of this penultimate day the trail continues through oak woods and eucalyptus plantations, following a well-restored medieval road. One last flowing descent takes you down to cross the Boente Valley, from here it’s a short pedal to our relaxing accommodation for the night, a great place to refuel for the final hop to the great city of Santiago.

Day 7
Sedor to Santiago de Compostela
28 Miles / 45 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Ascent: 860 Metres Approx.

Your final day’s cycling on the journey to Santiago is full of fun, with a party atmosphere filling the trail! It will be a memorable day, with just 45km to go! A steady climb brings you to the artisan’s town of Arzua where, according to legend, a local woman who denied a tired, hungry pilgrim a piece of bread had her head turned to stone! So please be in a sharing mood!

You will cycle deep into mysterious Galicia, rich with legends and stories of Brujeria (witchcraft) and mythology. The route is intricate, winding through tiny granite hamlets and farmsteads, giving the chance to savour the region’s beauty.

Many of the trails you ride on today are corredioras, ancient stone paths linking villages, which make fabulous mountain biking trails.

After riding through Lavacolla you take on the last climbs of the Camino and head up on paved roads and along to Monte del Gozo (Mount Joy), so called as the long-awaited sight of Santiago comes into view for the first time. From here it’s downhill all the way to a place declared a World Heritage Site in its entirety by UNESCO, Santiago de Compostela. Your sights should be firmly set on the Plaza de Obradoiro, Santiago’s impressive cathedral square, which houses its greatest treasures. It’s a special moment, signifying the end of a truly memorable ride!

Day 8
Departure: Santiago de Compostela
Non Riding Day
  • Meals: Breakfast

After a relaxing breakfast it’s time to pack those bags one last time before you are transferred to Santiago airport (Approx. 35 mins)!

Santiago de Compostela is a beautiful city to explore at your own pace and it is well recommended if you wish to stay for longer. The cathedral never fails to impress and delight, especially the impressive incense bearing Botafumerio as it swings from the rafters. Other sights of particular interest include Convento de San Paio de Antelares, which houses the Museo de Arte Sacro, the Praza de la Azabacheria and Museo do Pobo Galego. The Hospital Real (now a luxury hotel) is worth a visit, even if it’s for a quick drink in the bar. Or why not take a few moments to relax and reflect on the trip and watch the world drift by in a plaza – a fantastic place to end the trip, relax and unwind.

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The Cycling

Terrain

The route takes you on a vast array of ever-changing terrain from forest singletrack to rocky mountain trails, ancient drovers’ roads and 4×4 tracks, as well as asphalted back lanes.

Travelling through mountainous areas will demand a good level of fitness and solid bike-handling skills to get the most enjoyment out of the tour (even on the e-bike departures). We’d expect all riders on this tour to have mountain biking experience, and be confident taking on the technical terrain and challenging nature of a grade 4 holiday.

There is an option to use an e-MTB on this holiday. If you are interested in riding an e-MTB on this holiday please click here for more information.

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Mountain Biking Grade

1
2
3
4
5
Grade 3 - 4: Moderate/ Challenging

25-50 miles / 40-80 kms per day

Aspects of both our grade 3 and 4 holidays

For mountain bikers with some experience of singletrack and steeper terrain

May include rocky features and switchbacks

Our grading guidelines have been carefully created based on our many years of cycling experience, as well as customer feedback from our trips. Of course, if you're still struggling to figure out where you fit on the scale, do feel free to give us a quick call and we'll be more than happy to help!

For more information about our grading system click here.

Is this suitable for you?

Holidays that are graded as a 3-4, will have aspects of both our grade 3 and 4 holidays. If you have experience of off road riding on a variety of terrain, and would like a taste of more challenging terrain, a grade 3-4 trip could be for you. Terrain will include singletrack and steep sections (both up and down) which require more bike handling ability. Shorter technical and demanding features suchs as rocks, roots and tricky climbs will be encountered on occasion on most days. A day’s ride can see you on the trails for around 8 hours (with breaks) and covering between 25-50 miles depending on the terrain. If you’re generally fit and manage to ride frequently this could be the level for you.

For more information about the grading of this holiday in particular, please check out the terrain section which will give you some specifics of what to expect on this tour.

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Dates & Prices

Daily departures available. The season prices below are per person and are applicable for all start dates between and inclusive of the stated dates.

2024 02 Apr – 30 Sep

Season 1 – £1385 02 – 22 Apr and 03 – 31 May

Season 2 – £1535 23 Apr – 02 May and 01 Jun – 30 Sep

Secure Your Holiday With A Deposit

Book now with a £200 deposit and nothing more to pay until 60 days before departure. Choose a date to start your booking and see all prices, including bike hire and single room supplements.

Select a date to view prices and book
Start Date
End Date
Duration
Price p.p.
Start Date
Return Date
--/--/----
Duration
8 days
Price
£1,385.00

Whats Included Tick

A) Accommodation (shared twin / double en suite rooms) in hotels or shared hostels

B) Meals as per the itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)

C) Luggage transfers

D) Access to an App for holiday information and navigation.

E) Airport transfer on scheduled arrival day from Oviedo Airport (OVO).

F) Airport transfer on scheduled departure day to Santiago de Compostela airport (SCQ)

G) Financial Protection through ABTOT

What's not Included Cross

A) Bike rental (available if required)

B) Flights and charges for travelling with your bike (if applicable)

C) Meals not stated in the itinerary

D) Single room (available if required)

E) Travel insurance

F) Personal clothing and equipment

G) Personal expenditure (souvenirs, bar bills, hotel facilities etc)

H) Entrance fees to museums and other attractions en route

I) Airport transfers on days other than the scheduled arrival / departure days

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The Essentials

Travel Options

This tour starts in Oviedo and finishes in Santiago de Compostela.

Airport transfers are included in the cost of your holiday. We ask that you fly into Oviedo (OVD) at the start of the tour and back from Santiago (SCQ) at the end of the trip. For those wishing to arrive and depart from Santiago then an additional transfer on arrival can be arranged at a supplemented cost.

For those flying from the UK, Ryanair offer direct flights from/to London Stansted (STN) and Vueling have flights from/to London Gatwick (LGW). Other airlines, non-direct, and regional options may be available, please chat to our team.

Please check with Skedaddle before making any travel arrangements to ensure they fit in with the holiday schedule, and to avoid any additional charges

Accommodation

Accommodation (shared twin or double rooms) will usually be en suite in 2/3 star hotels or guesthouses. Family run, personable, charming, comfortable and homely are boxes we tick when looking for places to stay. A million miles away from chain style hotels and all with unique touches.

Bike Hire

If you would like to avoid bringing your own bike then there are a choice of rental bikes available on this holiday.

The hardtail mountain bikes are typically MMR Woki models, or an equivalent. Good quality mountain bikes featuring full suspension, disc brakes and good quality components.

We also have electric mountain bikes available to rent. The hardtail model is typically a MMR Kore and the full suspension model will typically be an MMR X-Bolt 140 with an all-carbon frame and Bosch motor. The bikes are very good quality electric mountain bikes with disc brakes and quality components.

If you choose to bring your own e-bike, please contact us so we can discuss the bike specification and ensure it is suitable for the tour.

Our bikes come equipped with a phone mount, two bottle cages and water bottle, a seat post bag containing: puncture repair kit, multitool, inner tube and pump, one lock (between 2 bikes).

We can include a helmet and all necessary spares for the trip. Please request helmets at the time of booking.

If you choose to rent a MTB bike from us you are welcome to bring your own saddle with you, and if you would like to use SPD/clipless pedals you will need to bring these with you.

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