Useful Advices

Here are some useful tips if you decide to make the journey to the village of El Rocío in Almonte.

If you're driving to the village to watch “el salto de la reja” (literally “the leap over the railings”) – assuming you will be able get into the church, of course – or the procession of the Virgin through the village, be prepared for some long traffic jams. Be patient. Lots of other people have the same plans as you.

If making your way by foot and without the support of motorised transport: Try to join up with one of the brotherhoods if making the journey on your own.Take a rucksack with you and pack sufficient water, a little food and not much else. Even the slightest weight will seem a burden on some sections of the route.

Take light clothing and a jacket for the evenings and mornings. Footwear should be as comfortable as possible and fit snugly around your ankles to stop sand getting in.

If you do go on foot, either alone or with a small group of companions, we recommend you take the bus to Villamanrique de la Condesa, and start from there. The route up to this point (from Seville), runs mostly along the road and is quite taxing for beginners and for those with no motorised support. That is not to say that the section after Villamanrique is easy.

It is customary to wait for help from the many friendly people in the brotherhoods. But like everything in this life, whether you'll get a helping hand or not all depends on who you come across.

Take a small handkerchief with you to cover your nose and mouth when reaching the Raya Real. The huge firebreak there becomes a dustbowl when vehicles pass through.

Respect the environment – don't leave litter lying around. There is nothing worse than having to make your way through the rubbish others leave behind them.

Singing and revelry are key features of the Pilgrimage. Eat, drink and be merry. The party can go on till the wee small hours of the morning. Bear in mind, though, that you will have to get up early in the morning, and the journey can go on forever if you've got a hangover.

You'll feel faint at times, particularly if you've walked all the way from Seville to Villamanrique. Have a rest, enjoy a drink before you leave the village, and just think about the rewards that await you.

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