From Berducedo to Grandas de Salime, Camino Primitivo, Stage no. 5




Affiliate Disclaimer: As an affiliate, we may earn a commission from qualifying purchases made through links on this website from Amazon and other third parties. This helps supporting our website, so we can continue creating amazing content for you :).

Basic Details

  • Starting point: A village of Berducedo, with less than 200 inhabitants, but 3 pilgrim hostels, shop, restaurant, bar, and simply everything a pilgrim needs after walking the hard stage over the remains of ancient pilgrim hospitals.
  • Ending point: Grandas de Salime, a small town of roughly 1,000 inhabitants, with 3 pilgrim albergues, and all services, such as a shop, pharmacy, multiple bars and restaurants.
  • Availability of alternative routes: No, there aren’t any alternative ways or trails to reach Grandas from Berducedo.
  • Distance: Official Camino route: 19.5 km (download GPS here)
  • Link to online map: Official camino route: here.
  • Elevation difference: +540m, –760m.
  • Difficulty score: 3/5.
  • Beauty score: 4/5.
  • Terrain/asphalt: 40%/60%. After nice couple of days, mostly on unpaved roads and trails, we are back to mainly asphalt walking :). Good news is that except of the last 6 km to Grandas there’s not much traffic on the roads you will walk on. But be careful on the last stretch along the A-14 provincial road. That one can get quite busy at certain times of the day. Since public transport is close to non-existent in this zone of Asturias, everyone drives a car here, and this is the main road in the zone–hence it can get quite busy.
  • Next stage: Camino Primitivo, Stage no. 6, Grandas de Salime – A Fonsagrada.
  • Previous stage:  Camino Primitivo, Stage no. 4, Borres – Berducedo.


Elevation profile for the route

– The profile is really mild, and for anyone in a good shape walking this stage in 4-5 hours is not an issue, especially considering that you’ll walk 60% of time on paved roads. The only part that’s slightly tricky is the descent to the water dam “Presa de Salime” (between km 6 and km 14 of the stage), since the gradient here exceeds 15% at times. While the terrain isn’t technical, it can be quite demanding on the knees, and definitely one of the hardest parts of this Camino for pilgrims who struggle more on descents that they do on climbs–which is my case too :).


Advanced info about the stage

  • Trail marking: Excellent, yellow arrows, stone markers on problematic sections, arrows from stones pilgrims made for other pilgrims. Also orientation-wise today’s stage is really easy, since there are just a few side trails, and you see the dam (the central point of today’s walk) from a big part of your way. Once again you do not really need navigation here, unless you are terrible with orientation and get lost in places where nobody else gets lost :). If that’s the case, you can always download our GPS file for this stage.
  • Natural places worth seeing: The entire section between Berducedo and the water dam is very beautiful, as you can see in the gallery below. There are a few special viewpoints worth mentioning, however. Concretely:
    • Viewpoint “Mirador Boca de la Ballena”, right on the Camino, location on Google maps here. Stunning views both on the hydroelectric power plant of the dam of Salime, and on the surrounding nature–that’s best in spring or early summer.
    • Viewpoint “Mirador Embalse de Salime”, right on the Camino, location on Google maps here. Different views, breathtaking on a sunny day when sun reflects on the surface of the water reservoir. The viewpoint is separated from the road by a few stair and hence it is completely safe. Nice point to meditate a bit about the importance of water, and that we should do our best not to waste it ;).
  • Historical, architectural, and culinary places worth seeing:
    • The ethnographic Museum of Grandas de Salime, in the ending point of today’s stage, location on Google maps here. Closed on Mondays, from Tuesday to Saturday open daily from 11am to 2:30pm and then again after siesta from 4pm to 7:30pm. On Sundays open from 11am to 3pm. Entrance fee: 1.5 euro, on Tuesdays the entrance is free of charge for everyone. Highly recommended, an excellent collection of all sorts of items and rooms that show how people once lived in this rural part of Asturias (and some perhaps still do). Ideal for a past time activity in Grandas, once you have dropped your backpack in the albergue and refreshed yourself a bit.
    • Chapel “Capilla del Carmen”, an interesting chapel dating back to 18th century. It is on the Camino, actually once you are already exiting the town of Grandas de Salime, but it also makes for a nice short walk to stretch your legs in the afternoon. Location on Google maps here. Just for the record, there is no mass in this chapel, and it is open only on rare occasions. But it is worth seeing from outside as well…
  • Camping/bivouac options on this stage: Not as good as on the previous stage, but there are a few places close to the water reservoir that mostly locals visit, for swimming in water, fishing, relaxing. You will need to make a bit of detour, but you can be sure that if you camp there in the night absolutely nobody will bother you. The two places I recommend are:
    • “Beach no. 1” on the Presa de Salime, 1 km detour from the Camino, right on the bank of the water dam, location on Google maps here. Not touristic whatsoever.
    • “Beach no. 2” on the Presa de Salime, 4.5 km detour from the Camino, but can be shortened significantly walking through the bushes, reachable by car, location on Google maps here. Since it is reachable by car, the chances are decent that in the summer months you will coincide there for the night with someone with a camper–which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as they may give you a ride back to the camino the following morning…
  • Dog friendly score: 4/5. A nice stage for dogs overall, though drinking water is surprisingly sparse in the zone, even though you’re close to one of the biggest water reservoirs in Asturias :). But the terrain is nice for dogs for the majority of time, with the exception of the last kilometers to Grandas, where you follow the road. There is one great pilgrim hostel in Grandas which accepts pilgrims with dogs, called Albergue Porta de Grandas. You can see the location on Google maps here.
  • Special remarks: If you’re doing Camino Primitivo on bike (hopefully not electric one :)), I just want to assure you that on a mountain bike the entire stage is perfectly doable, and perhaps even more enjoyable than on foot. You will enjoy a great downhill, in some parts slightly technical, but nothing dangerous if your breaks work well, and then the “boring part” on the road you will just pedal a bit and will be done with it in 20 minutes.


Pictures from the stage

– A very nice trail form Berducedo, taking you once again above 1,000 meters of altitude above sea level. As you can see, even in late summer it is still green and vibrant with colors.

– A beautiful hamlet of A Mesa, 4 kilometers after Grandas de Salime, with a bar and a pilgrim albergue.

– The beginning of the descent do the water dam, with a nice trail, ideal for mountain bike lovers.

– The steep yet beautiful section of the descent to the water dam. As you can see, the way here is marked perfectly well with stone markers.

– Another look at the beautiful path towards the water dam. Since we already dropped some 500 vertical meters, the vegetation has changed completely.

– The water dam built on the river Navia, it serves primarily as a hydroelectric plant, but can be used also as a reservoir of drinking water, something that’s getting more sparse in Spain every year–and the situation in the rest of the world isn’t much better too. It is also a location for recreation, though it doesn’t really belong to some mainstream locations, and you don’t have to worry of meetings crowds of people here…

If you find any information on this page incorrect or outdated, or have a suggestion how to improve it for fellow pilgrims, please let us know. Thank you for helping the pilgrim community, and buen Camino 🙂

– Closer look at the water dam. One of the building you can see on the picture (the yellowish one on the left) is actually a hotel with a restaurant. Location on Google maps here. Many pilgrims stop by for a snack or even a meal. The views from the terrace are wonderful, and overall the place has a good reputation, and it is worth stopping by.


Few tips at the end

  • Pay special attention to traffic on the last 6 km towards Grandas de Salime. The road has many twists and turns, and the cars cannot see the pilgrims that well on some sections. Spanish drivers are generally very disciplined, and respect pilgrims a lot, but still it is better taking precautions, especially if you’re on this stretch in a foggy weather, or when darkness is already approaching. I also suggest you to always walk on the left side of the road.
  • If 19.5 km seems a bit too short for you, you can consider walking 5 kilometers extra to a place called Castro, with an interesting albergue Castro Youth Hostel, with the hosts speaking well English, offering communal dinner, and overall it is a place with a good vibe and one you will remember.


Next/Previous Stage

About the author

Featured Posts