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For pilgrims to El Rocío, "Making the Journey" is more than just a turn of phrase. It is a way of experiencing the long trek to worship the Virgen del Rocío, a journey made step by step, on foot, in carts, on horseback, indeed on any type of vehicle.
Hailing from Seville, Huelva, Cádiz, and all over Spain and the rest of the world, the pilgrims and worshippers gather in their numbers to make the journey – an extraordinary, joyous celebration enlivened by dancing and singing, and no little devotion; an event full of passion and intensity.
Although all roads lead to El Rocío at Whitsuntide, there are several routes to choose from:
The Sanlúcar Route: crosses the Doñana Nature Reserve and runs from the mouth of the Guadalquivir River, at Bajo de Guía in Sanlúcar de Barrameda, all the way to the village El Rocío. This is a beautiful route for nature lovers to enjoy. An added highlight is watching the simpecados (banners), carts and horsemen and women across the estuary in the boats ferry.
Los Llanos Route: the oldest of all the routes, it starts in Almonte.
The Sevillano Route: runs through Gelo, Marlo, el Quema, Villamanrique de la Condesa, La Raya Real, Palacio and El Ajolí, at the entrance to the village. Landmarks that are imbued with tradition, evocations, memories, hopes and intensity.