This year an estimated , will go the distance. But many do more than that. The entire route from the Pyrenees to the town of Santiago is kilometres. Mats Nilsson, a researcher at Karlstad University in Sweden, wondered why so many make this walk. Are they doing it for religious reasons? Are they trying to find themselves? Or is it just an alternative type of tourism, a break from beaches and disco bars?
That said, Nilsson thinks the Route to Santiago is perceived as spiritually meaningful by those who hike it even though it is not interspersed with holy sites along the way, as pilgrim routes so often are. When Mats Nilsson interviewed people along the pilgrim route he discovered that many of them were at some crux in their lives.
Perhaps they had graduated from college, or their children had moved away from home or they had recently retired. The researcher found that for many the most important feature of the trek was the opportunity to spend time in silence with their own thoughts and reflections. And many of these pensive pedestrians arrive at the same answer:. When they come home they want to appreciate friendships and have a less stressful lifestyle.
Other researchers have studied the pilgrimages, including two with local knowledge, both at the University of Santiago de Compostela. Santos concluded that the road itself is more important than the destination.
Santos wrote that there is little difference between the pilgrim and the tourist. He thinks that religious groups are the prime spielers of this as an act of religious devotion. But most of these pilgrims who come by foot to Santiago de Compostela are simply tourists, concludes the local researcher.
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In many cases, in a break from a hectic daily life, they wish to move slowly through landscapes and have the opportunity to take them in thoroughly. Get a fresh breath. Many also want to learn more about culture and history. There are a limited number of Single rooms available. Single Rooms are limited. Single supplement will go up when the limit 6 is reached. We will try to pair people who request a roommate but cannot guarantee a roommate. Deposit is refundable for 30 days.
The deposit also locks in the price.
Due to the unpredictability of the British Pound exchange rate, the price of the tour may rise before the tour date. Tour balance is due 60 days before the tour start. Thin Places Mystical Tours does not sell Travel Insurance or represent any travel insurance vendor, though we can make recommendations based on what other guests have used. This was a place that once sheltered the child Mary Queen of Scots. Guests will walk in the old forest among the year-old Spanish Chestnuts and feel the energy of this sacred island and forest.
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Then head back to the hotel on the lake and enjoy your welcome dinner. Guest will visit the Kilmartin Valley, a two-mile stretch in a valley that contains the largest concentration of ancient monuments in Scotland. Columba likely traveled to converse with an early king. Hear that story, place your foot on the inauguration stone and look out over the Kilmartin Glen — dotted with megaliths.
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Then take a walk through the glen where there are over prehistoric monuments located within a 6-mile radius. This is one of the most important concentrations of Neolithic and Bronze age monuments in all of Scotland. Visit standing stones, tombs and stone circles. Enjoy a group lunch at the museum. On the way back to Oban, stop and look at the Kinstraw Standing Stone believed to once have been used to view the setting sun during over the Isle of Jura during the Winter Solstice.
Finding answers on a pilgrims’ trail
Group lunch and Overnight in Oban. After lunch in Oban guests will take a drive out to Glencoe in the Scottish Highlands and enjoy the stunning views. It was the betrayal more than the murders of MacDonalds in their sleep that has kept this story alive for over three-hundred years. Take a short hike at the foot of the mountains, visit the village and the memorial.
Learn about the Isle of Discussion and see where the remote burial site of the McDonalds and other Glencoe clans. Overnight at the Perle Hotel in Oban.
Guests will board a ferry to cross over onto the Island of Mull — the second-largest island of the Inner Hebrides. Then guests board another small ferry and land on the Isle of Iona — a place many believe is suspended in time — sacred — existing in two worlds at once. This is where St. Columba founded his monastery in the sixth century and began converting the feisty Picts. Guests will participate in a short walking tour of the island and have a little free time to walk the beach before settling in at their hotel adjacent to Iona Abbey.
One of the greatest features of spending a night on a remote island is a night walk under a massive starry sky. Overnight at St. Columba Hotel. Spend the day on Iona for private mediation or mingling with the Islanders.
Guests can attend a service at Iona Abbey, walk a labyrinth, explore the beach, shop for books, crafts or art, or walk through the ruins of the old nunnery with a Sheelagh na gig. The 60 million-year-old island is named for Fionn mac Cumehaill aka Finn MacCool, the mythological Irish giant who is said to have built a causeway between Ireland and Scotland in order to have easy access for his warriors.
After returning from Staffa, guests can walk the beach and search form some of the green stones that Iona is known for. Then enjoy a group dinner. Perhaps take another night walk under the stars and listen to the sea breaking against the rocks.
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Dinner and Overnight at St. Finally, guests will stop and see Kelpies — a magnificent metal sculpture of two mythological horse heads representing. This is the largest equine sculpture in the world. From there, guests will head to Edinburgh and check into their hotel on the Royal Mile. Overnight in Edinburgh. Since the hotel is on the Royal Mile guests will have easy walking access to Edinburgh Castle, Holyrood Palace and Abbey and all sites in between.
Group Dinner in Edinburgh and Overnight in Edinburgh.
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