Walk or cycle these 5 pilgrimages

Posted by Imogen Searra on 10 April 2019

There are many significant pilgrimages that have stood the test of time. These ancient pathways have been a way for people immerse themselves in history and culture as they traverse incredible countries. Here are eight pilgrimages around the world to embark on for your next travel adventure.

1. Cape Camino, Cape Town

Based on the El Camino de Santiago, this trek takes pilgrims on a footpath journey around Cape Town. Totaling 160km, the Cape Camino starts in Constantia, crosses the Cape Peninsula and ends at Rhodes Memorial, forming a figure eight-shaped path. There are three ‘Ways’ to experience the Cape Camino: The First Way (seven days), The Hoerikwaggo Way (five days) and The Community Way (three days). For more information about this pilgrimage, click here.


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2. Via Francigena, Italy

This pathway was the medieval route connecting Canterbury to Rome and the harbours of Apulia. Pilgrims can start the journey in Canterbury, where the trek will take 90 days on foot and 30 days by bike. Starting in France, or in the Italian village of Viterbo where the last 113km can be traversed over seven days, are also options. Travellers who choose this option will journey through the Lazio countryside to Rome. For more information on this pilgrimage, click here.


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Walking through pilgrim’s Via Francigena. From Sigeric’s diary day xv – Seocine (Siena –> Monteriggioni) 🚶

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3. El Camino de Santiago, Spain

This journey is particularly special as it is the only pilgrimage route in Europe recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Starting in St Jean Pied de Port in France, the journey stretches 800km until ending in Santiago, Spain at the tomb of St. James. This pilgrimage takes approximately 35 days. Travelers can start and finish the Camino at any time as there are no strict rules around this. There are various routes and start and finish points to choose from. For more on this pilgrimage, click here.


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4. Kumano Kodo, Japan

Winding through the Kii Mountains, this pilgrimage is Japan’s best-kept secret. The picturesque views, inviting hot springs and historical shrines are some of the highlights along the seven trails. This pilgrimage is popular among locals and people have been walking it for 1,000 years. UNESCO has recognised the route as a World Heritage site. There are traditional trails that lead to three Buddhist shrines that can be completed in just over a week of walking. To find out more about this pilgrimage, click here.

5. St. Olav Ways, Norway

The site of King Olav’s tomb at Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim has long been a pilgrimage destination. The journey takes pilgrims from Oslo to Trondheim and has seven different routes to choose from. The most popular route is the Gudbrandsdalen Path, which is also the longest, measuring 643 km. For more information on on this particular pilgrimage, click here.


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Image source: Unsplash

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