CaminoWays.com, the Camino specialists, recently surveyed over a thousand walkers of the ancient pilgrimage trail to learn more about why they undertook the journey. The popularity of the route has exploded in recent years, with 277,913 certificates of completion handed out in 2016 alone. Historically pilgrims would have made the long walk to Santiago de Compostella for religious reasons. The remains of St James are said to be buried within the Catherdral in the beautiful Spanish city.
Our research showed that just 28% of walkers today do the Camino for religious or spiritual reasons. The Camino is undoubtedly a unique experience and is known as a haven for self reflection. In fact 17.8% of Camino walkers hit the trail to get away from their daily life and connect with nature. We are surrounded and often bombarded by technology in our lives. The Camino offers an escape, an opportunity to disconnect and detox from digital habits. Some of the natural sites and landscapes along the way are truly breathtaking.
The most popular reason for walking the Camino was people looking for a new challenge, with 28.2% of walkers wanting to test themselves physically and mentally along the way. The Camino is suitable for almost anyone and is as rewarding as it is challenging.10.8% of people walk the Camino specifically for health and exercise. With constant media reports around the growing obesity issue in Europe and the US, a walking holiday is a great way to kick start a healthy lifestyle. It can be seen as a welcome alternative to the classic sun holiday, where the focus is often on eating and drinking as much as you can, and moving as little as possible!
The diverse experiences along the route convinced 4.6% of those surveyed to complete the Camino to learn more about culture. The pilgrimage is also a social experience and some people walk it for that reason. The best route to meet new people is The French Way which is the most popular Camino Route.
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