The Night of the Pilgrims

16 July 2019

From Guell to Lluc on Foot #

‘Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light'

- Helen Keller

Venturing through the night, trekking across the country lanes winding through the mountains and bringing thousands of people together, every year, at one of Mallorca’s most spectacular locations – that's the Night of the Pilgrims or, as the locals say, "la marxa d’es Güell a Lluc a peu".

Every year during the month of August, approximately 10,000 people endeavour to complete the 50km trek from Palma to Lluc monastery. During the hour of departure, the ordinary hum of car engines is replaced by the sound of thousands of walkers, beating a rhythm across the pavements with their boots. Trekking through the night, until the sun rises across the spectacular Tramuntana mountains, the pilgrimage is breathtakingly beautiful. This year, the streets will transform on August 3rd, and, on average, most walkers will take between eight and eleven hours (at a steady pace) to complete this journey.

The tradition started in 1974, when bar owner Tolo Guell came up with the idea of a walk from his place all the way up to the monastery after his six-year-old daughter had stayed unharmed in an accident with an exploding syphon at his cafeteria in Palma. In the beginning, it was a thing among friends, the flock of pilgrims counting no more than thirty people – as compared to around 10,000 participants today.


Marxa de guell a lluc a peu 2

Who Can Attend? #

The wonderful thing about this particular event is that it unites a wealth of people, young, old, local, tourist- everyone forms one huge alliance in their pledge to reach the summit at Lluc’s breathtaking monastery. However, it must be noted that this walk is not for the faint-hearted and should not be undertaken unless you are a regular hiker or gym bunny as stamina and skill when climbing are essential.

To register for the walk – which is free of charge – visit the organizers' website www.desguellallucapeu.es

The Route #

The nightly pilgrimage to the famous black virgin starts at 11 p.m. from Plaça des Güell in Palma.

The trail leads through Marratxí, Santa Maria del Camí, Consell, Binissalem, Lloseta, Biniamar, Selva, Caimari to Escorca, the home of the Lluc monastery. The local residents are kind enough to lay on a spread of fresh fruit, nuts, dark chocolate and, of course, coffee! These snacks are all free, and offered all day long, so no matter where you choose to take your rest, you can guarantee you’ll be catered for.

The nightly pilgrimage to the famous black virgin starts at 11 p.m. from Plaça des Güell in Palma. Note that participants start gathering 2 hours before departure.

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The Return Journey #

For those of you who manage to make it to the top, you’ll be thrilled to know that you are not expected to walk all the way back again! A fleet of buses are deployed to collect the weary walkers and return them to Palma. However, we do recommend you try to arrange your own transport where possible as it can take several hours for buses to come to and from the summit.

Occasionally, walkers are unable to make it to the very top (which is understandable, it is one long journey!) so buses are also in place across the route, to return you back to Palma when necessary.

Located within the grounds of the monastery, there is also the Refuge Son Amer, which offers 81 rooms and 39 apartments, available to book for the night (or longer) at a very reasonable price. For further details, please head to the website: https://caminsdepedra.conselldemallorca.cat/en/-/son-amer

Santuari de lluc monastery mallorca balearic

The Preparation #

As with any sporting event, preparation is key and a 50km is no exception the rule. Ensure that you fill up with a substantial breakfast before embarking on the trail (around two hours beforehand) as this should keep you going for a while. When feeling your first wave of hunger pangs, ensure your rucksack is filled with nuts, seeds, protein bars, boiled eggs and dried meats; and most importantly, a LOT of water! As mentioned there are several snack stops en route in the neighbouring towns, but it’s always better to be prepared!

In terms of physical preparation, some training of the calf muscles will benefit you and hopefully limit the aching the next morning. My advice would be to try some of the other fabulous hikes that Mallorca has to offer and use these as your training!

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Good Luck! #

Whether you’re a resident who wishes to embody the spirit of Mallorca and take part in this historic pilgrimage, a tourist who fancies doing something completely different on their holiday, or whether you complete this exquisite trail for religious or personal reasons - this really is one night that you’ll never forget.

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Sources #

www.desguellallucapeu.es

https://www.diariodemallorca.es/ocio/2014/03/28/tolo-guell-mallorca-hay-echarlos/921632.html

https://caminsdepedra.conselldemallorca.cat/en/-/son-amer

www.mallorca-spotlight.com

www.nourishtheguide.com

#Hike #Lluc #Monastery #Palma #Explorer #Wanderlust #Mallorca #History #50km #Pilgrimage #NightofthePilgrims

Carte marxa guelle a lluc a peu

16 July, 2019

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