The “Original Way” is the oldest route to Santiago de Compostela, it is allegedly the path taken by the first reported pilgrim, the King Alfonso II of Asturias in the year 814 AD, when the tomb of the Apostle was first discovered in Compostela.
This path starts in the city of Oviedo, capital of Asturias, and it was the main route used by the pilgrims who travel to Santiago for more than a century. The Original Way remained the most used route for the pilgrimage to Santiago until the city of Leon was established as the capital of the Kingdom Astur in the year 914, and it became the connection of a safest route to Santiago de Compostela: the French Way.
The Original Way still remains as a popular alternative path, which avoids the crowds of pilgrims, it allows pilgrims to enjoy a more stimulating hike with significant vertical gradients and better landscapes. This way is recognized as one of the hardest to Santiago, but that also makes it one of the most satisfactory to accomplish. Its main difficulties are the toughness of its trail and the less circulation and services it has.
However, it can become an advantage for those pilgrims who seek a more “intimate” and solitary route. Other paths, such as the French Way or the Portuguese Way, are much more traveled during all the season.
In the Galician village of Melide, the Original Way merges with the French Way, from there both ways go together to Santiago de Compostela.
The Original Way has 199 miles (321 Km.) from Oviedo to Santiago de Compostela, and normally it can be walked in 15 stages. All the signposting is perfect during all the trail, and there are no more special complications beyond the roughness of the trail.
The usual stages on the Original Way are as follows:
Oviedo-Grado 16 miles (26 Km.)
Grado-Salas 13 miles (20,9 Km.)
Salas-Tineo 12 miles (19,1 Km.)
Tineo-Borres 9.5 miles (15,2 Km.)
Borres-Pola de Allande 9.5 miles (15,2 Km.)
Pola de Allande-La Mesa 13 miles (20,9 Km.)
La Mesa-Grandas 9.8 miles (15,7 Km.)
Grandas-Fonsagrada 16.7 miles (26,8 Km.)
Fonsagrada-Cádavo 17.4 miles (28 Km.)
Cádavo-Lugo 19.2 miles (31 Km.)
Lugo-San Roman 12.5 miles (20 Km.)
San Roman-Melide 16 miles (26 Km.)
Melide-Arzua 10 miles (16 Km.)
Arzua-Pedrouzo 11 miles (18 Km.)
Pedrouzo-Santiago de Compostela 12.5 miles (20 Km.)