Walking holidays as a concept has been around for hundreds of years now, with pilgrims historically using them to explore the world as well as their inner selves. Such pilgrimage journeys have really picked up in popularity in the more recent years, however, with SantiagoWays helping travellers plan out the best routes for a smooth and easy start to a walking holiday – most popular choice being the Camino de Santiago route network in Spain. So, why are walking holidays getting so popular? Here are some of their key benefits to one’s wellbeing.
Physical health benefits
Walking is perhaps the most simple yet one of the most effective types of exercise. It has plenty of benefits to your physical health, including the ability to burn calories and keep you fit. It is also known to generally increase the endorphin levels in your body, boosting your mood and making you feel much healthier and happier all together. Choosing a Camino walk in Spain is also great for topping up on some vitamin D from the sun and getting a lot of fresh air. Let’s also not forget about the amazing sleep you will be getting after the long days of walking.
Most of us are living fast and stressful lives on a daily basis and often crave an opportunity to escape from the routines and recharge our batteries somewhere tranquil. Walking holidays achieve exactly this, allowing you to forget about your everyday worries, leave the technology behind and spend your days surrounded by beautiful nature. The only task you have for the duration of your holiday is to walk and take everything you see or do in – and that’s the beauty of it.
Sense of accomplishment
It is easy to get overwhelmed with our lives and feel like nothing ever gets finished, new problems are always arising and a sense of achievement is rarely felt. Therefore, it’s a good idea to set yourself a new challenge or goal from time to time and allow you to focus solely on it while enjoying the process too.
Completing a 7-10 days Camino de Santiago route is a brilliant way to feel positively challenged and incredibly accomplished after. The best thing about this route network is the availability of options for different levels of difficulty, meaning a possibility to level it up with a more challenging route later on. For example, you may start with the beginner-friendly Camino Frances route, while Camino del Norte could be your next goal.
Connecting with others
Some pilgrims decide to go on their walking holidays solo, while others go with their friends, family or a partner. Whichever is the best option for you, be sure that you will have lots of opportunities to form some great connections with similar others. With your loved ones, this is a great chance to have some meaningful conversations, spend lots of time together and form a new and deeper bond with each other.
You will also be meeting many like-minded strangers on your holiday, all varying in ages, backgrounds and unique life stories. Most importantly, pilgrimage allows travellers to reconnect with your own body, soul and mind.