Escape your luxurious everyday life. Delve into simplicity. Good-bye information overflow. Hello world of thoughts. This is not about flamboyant adventures, not about stunning landscapes (though admittedly, they often are), but all about the time you spend with yourself.
How you go and how far you travelis completely up to you. A well-known classic is the Way of St. James, of which there are several variations. If you prefer solitude, choose a route in less populated latitudes. If time is sparse – only go part of the way. If you prefer the bike – ride it. Pilgrimages are not about strict rules. All that counts is that you are doing it for yourself.
Choose from our ready-to-go Collections with handpicked Tours and lots of handy information, created by passionate people like you.
Everybody pilgrims differently. For your physical and mental preparation, it’s helpful to answer yourself a couple of questions.
No matter your reason, in order to be able to realize your plan, it’s helpful to know your true motivation for your pilgrimage. It will make decisions easier while you’re there, too (comfort of your accommodation, continuing during bad weather, etc.…).
For some routes, it is advisable to book accommodation beforehand. Some require a pilgrim pass. A quick check whether your health insurance covers the journey makes sense, too. You don’t necessarily have to book your way back, but it can make sense to research the different options before you leave home.
Some pilgrim routes lead through high mountains or are located high up north, so it only makes sense to walk them during some months of the year. Others can get very busy during the high season. Do your research before you take time off :)
This very much depends on your general fitness, the route and your own aspirations. How far do you want to walk every day? How well is the path developed? Even if you are quite fit, it doesn’t hurt to go hiking for a weekend during preparation to test your equipment and to feel the weight of your backpack (you will leave more stuff at home, promise).
This is totally up to your own preference and budget. Along some pilgrim routes there will be restaurants and grocery stores, whereas others require self support. Naturally, it’s okay to do a mix, too.
Wear In Those Boots
Your mom and the salespeople were right – make sure you can comfortably walk in your hiking boots for several hours before you hit the trails.
A Variety Of Socks
Your feet will change with the miles you hike. If you get pressure sores, thicker, thinner or simply different socks can make all the difference.
Take them with you. Just do it. If you start feeling a pressure sore, apply one immediately. Don't wait until the skin is coming off.
Kick off your socks and shoes and submerge your feet in cold water. You'll feel like you just entered paradise.
Cut Those Toe Nails
Keeping short nails prevents pressure sores and other pains. But be careful not to overdo it – an unfamiliar length of nail can cause inflammation, too.
Check Your Laces
Every now and then check whether your shoelaces are rubbing each other too thin. Before they fray (and you having to walk in untied shoes), adjust them so that a different part is being rubbed.