Keywords: Lent pilgrimages, regional planning, land management, religious tourism, Sao Miguel, Azores, religious belief, religion
Religious tourism and the Lent pilgrimages in Sao Miguel, Azores
The island of San Miguel in the Azores is renowned in terms of religious belief. The best known of these is the Feast of Senhor Santo Cristo dos Milagres (Ecce Homo) which culminates with a procession on the Sunday before the Ascension. Although internationally less known, the Lenten pilgrimages are an example of spirituality of men of all ages and social status. These men get together in groups of pilgrims and walk around the island for eight days. Along the way they recite the rosary, chant prayers and stop in churches and chapels. The focus of this paper is on the pilgrim's itinerary. Aspects at the level of regional planning and land management will be emphasised with recommendations on: more security for the groups of pilgrims; the enjoyment of new tracks among the local population; increase the tourists' possibilities to interact with the natural and built heritage.