In 1522 Ignatius of Loyola made a pilgrimage from his home in Spain’s Basque Country to Montserrat and Manresa. This new guide from Bradt provides all the information needed to follow in his footsteps in a neat, easy-to-carry portable format, including an essential mix of practicalities, such as when to go, where to stay along the route, national parks and public transport, and a detailed breakdown of the route’s 27 stages. Start and finish points, level of difficulty, duration, distance, ascent and descent, and route descriptions are all included, as well as elevation charts, maps and what to see along the way. This is a unique secular walking guide to a religious-themed walk which takes intrepid hikers from the imposing tower-house and sanctuary of Loyola in the Basque Country, up through the stunning Basque mountains and down to the beautiful town of Laguardia with its myriad wine caves. Through the vineyards of Álava and world-famous La Rioja, the trail visits lively Logroño and follows the River Ebro eastwards, through the lesser-visited cities of Zaragoza and Lleida.
Navarre and Aragón autonomous communities are covered, then on to powerful, independent-minded Catalonia, allowing walkers to connect with a region of Spain less-visited than the sparkling costas or the huge conurbations of Madrid or Barcelona. For its grandstand finish, the route returns to Montserrat and then Manresa, where Ignatius lived for months in the spartan surroundings of a cave to write his seminal work, the Spiritual Exercises. Having had their pilgrim passports stamped along the way, walkers are rewarded with a certificate to demonstrate their resilience in completing the route.