Date: 18 May 2024

Five Walking Pilgrimages That Will Nourish The Soul

Wellness Trend Alert Pilgrimages

 

From the centuries-old trails of the United Kingdom, Spain and Japan, to the newly developed or restored trekking routes being introduced across Sri Lanka, Bhutan, India and North America, a sudden buzz around pilgrimages has captured the public imagination.

Walking pilgrimages are having a moment and we predict that it’s a wellness trend that’s here to stay!  Travel agents and resort destinations and now specialising this millennia-old practice with  so many on offer around the world – multi-day hiking journeys to nourish the body and mind with a spiritual twist!

So grab yourself some good quality walking boots and get training so you can feel fit and ready to take on one of these walking pilgrimages. Some are not for the faint-hearted but we can promise that you will leave the experience with precious memories. We share five of our favourites below.

 

Camino De Santiago

CAMINO DE SANTIAGO (WAY OF ST.JAMES)

This ancient pilgrimage route in Spain attracts thousands of walkers from around the world each year. The most popular route, the Camino Francés, stretches from the French Pyrenees to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, where the remains of St. James are said to be buried.

BEST TIME TO VISIT:
The most popular time to walk the Camino de Santiago is during the spring and summer months, from April to October, when weather conditions are favorable and accommodation options are plentiful.

TYPICAL DURATION:
The Camino Francs, the most popular route, typically takes about 30 to 35 days to complete, covering approximately 800 kilometers (about 497 miles).

EXPLORE

 

The Inca Trail To Machu Picchu

INCA TRAIL TO MACHU PICCHU

The Inca Trail is a renowned trekking route in Peru that leads to the iconic Machu Picchu, a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. The trail offers breathtaking views of the Andes Mountains and passes through ancient Inca ruins, culminating in a spectacular sunrise over Machu Picchu.

BEST TIME TO VISIT:
The dry season (May to October) is the best time to trek the Inca Trail, with clear skies and less chance of rain. Permits for the Inca Trail often sell out months in advance, so it’s advisable to book well in advance.

TYPICAL DURATION:
The classic Inca Trail trek takes about 4 days to walk, covering approximately 43 kilometers (about 27 miles).

EXPLORE 

 

Kumano Kodo

KUMANO KODO

Located in Japan, the Kumano Kodo is a network of ancient pilgrimage trails that lead to the sacred sites of the Kumano Sanzan shrines. The trails wind through lush forests, mountain passes, and traditional villages, offering pilgrims and hikers a spiritual journey immersed in nature and Japanese culture.

BEST TIME TO VISIT:
The best time to hike the Kumano Kodo is during the spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) when temperatures are mild and rainfall is lower.

TYPICAL DURATION:
The duration of hikes along the Kumano Kodo varies depending on the chosen route. Popular sections can be completed in a few days, while longer routes may take a week or more to walk.

EXPLORE

 

The West Highland Way

THE WEST HIGHLAND WAY

Scotland’s premier long-distance walking trail, the West Highland Way spans 96 miles from Milngavie, near Glasgow, to Fort William in the Scottish Highlands. The trail traverses varied landscapes, including lochs, forests, and mountains, with highlights such as Loch Lomond, Rannoch Moor, and the Devil’s Staircase.

BEST TIME TO VISIT:
The best time to walk the West Highland Way is from late spring to early autumn (May to September), when days are longer, and weather conditions are more favorable.

TYPICAL DURATION:
The West Highland Way typically takes about 7 to 9 days to complete, covering approximately 154 kilometers (about 96 miles).

EXPLORE

 

The Lycian Way

THE LYCIAN WAY

Turkey’s first long-distance hiking trail, the Lycian Way, stretches approximately 540 kilometers along the rugged coastline of Lycia, from Ölüdeniz to Antalya. The trail passes through ancient ruins, secluded beaches, and picturesque villages, offering hikers stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea and insight into Turkey’s rich history and culture.

BEST TIME TO VISIT:
The best time to hike the Lycian Way is during the spring (April to June) and autumn (September to November), avoiding the peak summer heat.

TYPICAL DURATION:
The Lycian Way typically takes about 3 to 4 weeks to complete, covering approximately 540 kilometers (about 336 miles).

EXPLORE

Discover more travel destinations and inspiration HERE

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