Spanish Pilgrimage – A Guide for The Aspiring Pilgrim

Spanish Pilgrimage – Introduction

So, you feel called to make a pilgrimage in Spain and you want to know what are the options? Well, you’re in luck! Here we detail all of the options to make a Spanish pilgrimage. You’ll be surprised to find there’s far more than just the Camino de Santiago!

Spain is loved for its great climate, friendly people and beautiful countryside. Its cities are steeped in rich history and tradition, right down to the smallest villages. There’s a huge diversity in culture, backgrounds and architecture across the country too. This wonderful tapestry of tradition, history and culture makes it an inspiring and transforming place to go on a pilgrimage.

Long Pilgrimages

The Camino de Santiago (The Way of Saint James)

You’ve come to the right place if you want to know more about the most famous Spanish pilgrimage, the Camino de Santiago de Compostela. There’s many different routes you can do to get to Santiago de Compostela. To learn more you can read about who Santiago was and why people walk to his supposed resting place, how much it costs to do the Camino yourself, and inspiration on making your first steps.

Salamanca Region

Alba de Tormes and St. Teresa of Avila

Spanish Pilgrimage - Alba de Tormes

Source: Wikimedia under CC BY-SA 3.0 licence

St. Teresa of Avila is a well loved Catholic Saint. As a Carmelite nun, she wrote several outstanding theological works, such as ‘The Interior Castle’ (Also known as the mansions). Along with her book, ‘The Way of Perfection’ she provides a practical blueprints for those who are searching  to really understand prayer as mystical union with God.

In October, 1582, St. Teresa of Avila died on the way from Burgos to Alba de Tormes. On the same day that she died, it is said that her room in the convent in Avila was filled with a pleasant fragrance. It’s also said that when they exhumed her body in the 1800’s that same smell was present.

Whilst the town itself is small, its well worth a visit for Catholics who are great fans of St. Teresa of Avila. It’s not too far from Salamanca, so can be done in a day trip.

Salamanca

Also known as ‘The Golden City’, the city is packed full of beautiful historic architecture and religious icons. The local university is the oldest in Spain, and as it was founded in 1218 its the 5th oldest in the Western world too! Of interest is a 500 foot Roman bridge, and a 12th Century Cathedral frescoed by Nicolas Florentino.

Avila

The birthplace of St. Teresa of Avila who we mentioned in Alba de Tormes above. The city of Avila retains its medieval city walls, dating back to the 11th Century. Here you can see the church where St. Teresa had many of her miraculous visions. For a Catholic pilgrim, a must see is the 17th Century convent of Saint Teresa. The convent was established after Saint Teresa was canonized. Built over her birth-house, it contains her relics, and also the relics of St. John of the Cross.

A short video on the life of the Saint: