- Austria 805 pilgrim walks
- Belgium 23 pilgrim walks
- Croatia 12 pilgrim walks
- Czech Republic 117 pilgrim walks
- Estonia 14 pilgrim walks
- Finland 7 pilgrim walks
- France 635 pilgrim walks
- Germany 1,795 pilgrim walks
- Hungary 66 pilgrim walks
- Israel 4 pilgrim walks
- Italy 697 pilgrim walks
- Lithuania 5 pilgrim walks
- Luxembourg 17 pilgrim walks
- Portugal 37 pilgrim walks
- Romania 4 pilgrim walks
- Russia 7 pilgrim walks
- Slovenia 37 pilgrim walks
- Spain 487 pilgrim walks
- Sweden 268 pilgrim walks
- Switzerland 385 pilgrim walks
- Vatican 15 pilgrim walks
What is a pilgrim walk?
Pilgrimage has existed in almost every religious denomination – although many paths are not developed for tourism and almost exclusively used by clergymen and locals.
At the end of each route, a religious place awaits the pilgrims, for example a church, a temple or place of sacrifice.
Some pilgrims still travel for religious reasons today. The number of those, however, who choose to undertake these long contemplative journeys for recreation, self-discovery or simply for pleasure is growing year on year.
A pilgrim’s equipment
Nowadays, most pilgrims walk in practical outdoor clothing, so the equipment is roughly comparable to that used for long-distance hiking.
A pilgrim is often given a special identity card. This serves as proof of pilgrimage undertaking and is also an entrance ticket to inns and guesthouses. A special feature of pilgrims who walk the Way of St. James is the large, white shell, which is often attached to the backpack.
Where do pilgrims stay overnight?
As early as the middle ages, inns were established along the most frequented pilgrim routes, where pilgrims could stay overnight at low cost – sometimes even for free. Monasteries along the way usually also welcomed pilgrims.
With the advancing secularization, however, the accommodation of the faithful had to pass into public or private hands. Camping, unlike with long-distance hiking, is rather unusual.
Walking the Way of St. James
The Spanish Way of St. James leads in its classical version from the Pyrenees to Santiago de Compostela. It is almost 800 km long and usually divided into 32 daily stages.
In addition, there are numerous alternative and connecting routes, which make the Way of St. James a huge network of paths that stretches across the whole of Europe.