99 Pilgrimages (and El Camino Ain’t 1)

Tons of people have walked, or want to walk, El Camino de Santiago in Spain. I’ve walked part of it myself. But there are SO many other incredible pilgrim paths and ancient treks around the world, and even more being restored each year.

I’m on a hunt to learn about them all. I’m slowly compiling a list of 99 pilgrim paths and ancient treks around the world that aren’t El Camino de Santiago.

Have a suggestion for a walk? Comment here or shoot me an email.

1. Pilgrims’ Way (England, UK)

The Pilgrim’s Way is an ancient route that’s just over an hour away from central London. The full walk goes from Winchester, Surrey to the shrine of Thomas Becket at Canterbury, Kent – although it’s possible to pick up almost anywhere along the route. Possible origins dating back to the stone age.

  • Start: Winchester, Surrey, England
  • Finish: Canterbury, Kent, England
  • Distance: 119 miles
  • Time: 12 days
  • More info: MapRouteBackground.

 

Photo: Leanne Downs, Pine & Peak

2. St. Olavleden’s Path (Sweden & Norway)

St. Olaf’s path is a woodsy coast-to-coast trek across two Scandinavian countries that follows in the footsteps of Norwegian viking-turned-saint, Olav Haraldsson. Once a popular and important pilgrimage between the 11th to 16th centuries, this path was banned during the Reformation and only reopened in 2013!

  • Start: Selånger, Sweden
  • Finish: Trondheim, Norway
  • Distance: 350 Miles
  • Time: 4 weeks
  • More info: MapRouteBackground.
  • Who’s done it: Leanne Downs hiked St. Olaf’s in 2016 and documented it on her blog Pine & Peak.

 

3. The Kumano Kodo (Japan)

The Kumano Kodo is only one of two UNESCO World Heritage pilgrimage walks – the other being El Camino in Spain. The Kumano Kodo is a network of pilgrimage trails through the southern Kansai region, a few hours south of Kyoto and Osaka. The Kodo, meaning “old ways”, have been in use for over 1000 years, and the Kumano region is filled with rich history and deep spirituality, stunning landscapes, charming villages, and magical onsen (hot springs).

The Nakahechi route is the most popular trail:

  • Start: Tanabe, Japan
  • Finish: Nachi Taisha, Japan
  • Distance: 65 miles (105 km)
  • Time: 8 Days
  • More Info: MapsRouteBackground. Walking Info.
  • Who’s Done It: Craig Mod & Dan Rubin walked for eight days along the Kumano Kodo and produced a beautiful book and website about it; Andrew Eames walked the Nakahechi route and wrote about it for the FT.

Have a suggestion for a walk?

Comment below or shoot me an email.

Learn about a new pilgrimage each week.

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