El Rocio pilgrimage Festivity of International Tourist Interest
In this article, you’ll find all the essential information about the 2024 El Rocio pilgrimage:
- A few words about El Rocio
- The 2024 Romeria del Rocio dates
- Where is El Rocio in Andalusia?
- Book accommodation
- Activities around El Rocio
- Some useful links (car hire, taxi, flight…)
- Great ferias of Andalusia
A few words about El Rocio
El Rocio is a small village in the province of Huelva, famous today for welcoming pilgrims every year to celebrate Nuestra Sra del Rocio.
The village has remained in its historic configuration for several centuries, with streets made of earth and sand, making it easy for pilgrims, horses and oxen to get around.
Dates of the Romeria del Rocio
Here are the dates of the romeria: from 17 to 20 May 2024.
A few words about the Romeria del Rocio
This Romeria is the biggest pilgrimage in Spain, and indeed in Europe. It is one of the pilgrimages you should see once in your life.
Every year, almost a million pilgrims, belonging to one of the 127 hermandades – brotherhoods – arrive at El Rocio from almost all over Spain, to give thanks to Nuestra Señora d’El Rocío (Our Lady of El Rocío).
Below, pilgrims near the finish line, 20-30 km from El Rocio, passing through the village of La Palma del Condado.
Once they have arrived, the pilgrims return to their respective brotherhoods (hermandades).
Above, the brotherhoods of Isla Mayor and Lebrija.
The hermitage of Nuestra Sra del Rocio
All pilgrims, known here as rocieros, enter this hermitage to give thanks to the Virgin.
On Whit Monday, the last day of the romeria, the incredible procession of Nuestra Señora de El Rocio takes place. She also goes by the nicknames Blanca Paloma, La Pastora (The Shepherdess) and La Reina de las Marismas (The Queen of the Marshes).
Right next to the hermitage is a black statue where everyone lights a candle. The statue’s hands, which have lost their colour, reveal the incredible fervour.
An entire area, with an incredible smell of wax, is dedicated to candles.
Note: the photos were taken 2 days before the start of the romeria del rocio 2023 to be able to show these elements. During the romeria, it is of course packed to the rafters with an incredible atmosphere and fervour…
Below, a video taken during the romeria del rocio, for a little immersion:
Here’s a link (in Spanish) to find out more about the history, legends, the apparition of the Virgin Mary and the origins of this pilgrimage.
Where is El Rocio in Andalusia?
El Rocio is located just outside the Doñana Park, on the Huelva side of the province:
Book accommodation in El Rocio and the surrounding area
If you want to book accommodation during the romeria, it’s best to do so well in advance.
Book activities around El Rocio
Some useful links for coming to and staying in El Rocio for a few days
Here’s a link to Avis car hire at Seville airport.
From Seville airport, book a taxi to El Rocio . It is possible to book a taxi from the main stations and airports.
Book a plane ticket, find the best flight prices from 500 airlines.
In keeping with the extravagance of this pilgrimage, here are two incredible sites to see in the vicinity of El Rocio
- Discover the Rio Tinto – red river – on a beautiful little hike
Along the banks of the Rio Tinto lies the small town of Niebla, which offers travellers a few treasures off the beaten track:
You can also visit El Rocio and the Doñana Park on a 2.5 hour horseback ride.
The great ferias of Andalusia :
Feria de Malaga in August
Feria de Seville 2024 in April
Cadiz carnival in February
Jerez Horse Fair in May
Feria Primavera in Antequera, in June
Ronda Romantica Fair, in May
Discover more of Andalusia’s beautiful sites in the Andalusia blog pages.
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