A Pilgrim’s Guide to Northern Spain


A Pilgrim’s Guide to Northern Spain is due for release in Europe in January 2018. This is a major project by any standards, and is also the first complete book by Publisher Andrew Houseley. The book covers in some detail many of the Caminos – pilgrimage routes in Spain to Santiago de Compostela, including the Camino Frances, Camino del Norte, Camino Primitivo, Camino Finisterre, and Camino Ingles. There is also information about the ‘inland route’ which passes through Vitoria-Gasteiz, the Camino Ignaciano – St Ignatius’ Way – and the short but mountainous Camino de Santo Toribio. But this is as much a book about the pilgrim shrines as it is a guide to the Caminos de Santiago:- Loyola and Javier, which venerate two founders of the Jesuit order – Arantzazu perched on a mountain gorge in the Basque Country – the peaceful mountain village of Garabandal, the scene of such dire warnings for humanity – the image of Christ in Agony at Limpias, which at one time attracted more visitors than Lourdes – the shrine of Covadonga in the Picos de Europa, where divine intervention shaped the beginning of the long reconquest of Spain – and several more sanctuaries, monasteries, cathedrals, basilicas, churches and chapels besides. The cities that can be visited, either separately, as part of an independent tour, or as part of a pilgrimage, are described in detail. These include Santander, Bilbao, San Sebastian, Pamplona, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Burgos, León, Astorga, Santiago de Compostela, A Coruña, Ferrol, Gijon, and Oviedo. This is a part of Europe rich in art and architecture, and history, set amid beautiful natural scenery and exciting, elegant cities. All around are monuments bearing spiritual witness, and to walk the Camino today is to walk in the steps of millions of pilgrims over a millennium and more. The revival of these ancient pilgrimage paths is witness to a search for spiritual renewal, whether for reasons of making sense of a personal event in one’s life, or freeing ourselves from the trappings of our modern globalised world.  It has embraced those with a firm belief system and those with little or none. As with all the books in the Pilgrim’s Guide series, this latest will be illustrated in  colour, with several photographs, maps and plans. It will serve as an invaluable aid in planning a trip, whether you are walking, driving, cruising, or part of an organised group. It will also serve as an attractive souvenir or gift, to stimulate the reader with many lasting memories. Travel views, advice Andrew Houseley, from Pilgrim Books, posts occasionally in the TripAdvisor forums as andrewpilgrimbooks having offered travel advice on Lourdes and northern Spain. He has run Pilgrim Book Services Ltd (Pilgrim Books) since 1996 and is well travelled. His career outside publishing was initially in the retail wine and spirits trade, before changing to human resources, where clients and employers included public authorities and global corporates. Andrew is a graduate of Lancaster University, where he read History and Politics. He has homes in England and Bulgaria.

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