And, walking has all kinds of great health benefits like reducing chronic diseases such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes, strengthening bones and muscles, and improving mood and balance.
And did you know that one of the most trending and in demand vacations now are actually "walking vacations"? This offers travelers a way to experience cultures and locations and landmarks up-close and personal, all while staying active and perhaps even losing weight during their vacation! (Imagine that concept!)
If you Google "walking vacations" you get almost 3 million results. Many of the walking vacations also include tastings for foodies and wine and beer lovers, and leave time for traditional sightseeing and cultural immersion.
One of the most popular walking vacations over the past few years is a series of ancient pilgrimage paths across Europe, mainly in Spain, called THE CAMINO DE SANTIAGO. They've been around for hundreds and hundreds of years, all eventually sort of joining up and leading to Santiago, Spain where the tomb of St. James is located. (This became a popular alternative pilgrimage in the medieval times because during the Crusades people no longer had safe route access to Jerusalem in the Holy Land, so then the Camino de Santiago became the thing to do.)
Each year now since then, thousands of travelers make the pilgrimage on one of the Camino paths for spiritual or religious reasons, and/or for simply a way to walk through beautiful countryside and experience the unique small villages and towns in Spain along the way. There are numerous roman roads and bridges, churches, cathedrals, quaint restaurants and wine cellars to captivate the traveler walking along the Camino.
Many of the Camino trails in their entirety are hundreds of miles long. While some pilgrims do choose to complete the entire Camino (sometimes taking as much as 40 days), most travelers will opt to experience a section of the trail for bragging rights as part of their 1 or 2 week walking vacation. Most of the Camino De Santiago is flat without too much strenuous elevation gain.
New friendships are always forged along the Camino de Santiago as travelers and pilgrims from all over the world come to walk this legendary and epic trail each year. Some walk in small groups (organized or self-guided tours), others choose to walk alone as a form of healing and/or for a deeper personal experience.
And now for my shameless plug! I'll be hosting a 9 - Day Walking and Tasting Adventure on the Camino De Santiago in Spain, June 27-July 6, 2017. We'll be on the most popular trail called the "French Way", which takes us through Spain's Basque Country and World Class Wine Region. All the info is on my HiketheHolyLand.com site here
* If you are interested in joining us in Spain for this hand-crafted tour, I've organized a presentation and Q&A evening at Vino Tapas and Wine Restaurant in Encino on Sunday, January 8th at 5p. Please RSVP to me at Jack@GetfitwithWitt.com or call 310.562.5629.
And as they happily say in Spain; "Hola Buen Camino" !