Marian Midsize Shrines: three itineraries between Portugal and Slovakia

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Many travelers whose main motivation is religious tourism (Catholic) have visited the major shrines such as the Holy Land, the Vatican, Lourdes (France) and Fatima (Portugal). After having been in those places/shrines, numerous religious tourists want to visit other sanctuaries but not many programs offer that possibility. With that in mind, three researchers drove from Lisbon (Portugal) to Levoča (Slovakia) nearly always stopping along Marian midsize shrines. The data collected by participant observation allowed the researchers to design three different itineraries - they include the most important Marian midsize shrines and also towns/small cities along the way. On the one hand, this paper has a strong practical component in order to be used as a reflective tool by the travel agents/tour operators; on the other hand, academics can use the programs as training material for student exercises, demonstrating that an itinerary is not only a set of thematic resources but also used for time and travel management by visitors.