El rocio appA NEW  phone app has added a 21st-century twist to Spain’s most historic pilgrimage.

The world-famous El Rocio romeria dates from the 13th century.

But this year, for the first time ever, those walking the hallowed route to Huelva from all corners of Andalucia (and way beyond) were given a helping hand from technology.

No longer bound by old maps and basic instinct, this year’s band of 6,000 pilgrims were able to plot their route to the shrine of the Virgen Del Rocio (Virgin of the Dew) in Donana Natural Park with the help of a GPS-supported phone app.

The app allows walkers to follow the mythical path and plot their rest stops without the worry of taking the wrong turning.

The El Rocio cult dates back eight centuries to a time when a hunter from the village of Villamanrique, in Donana, discovered a statue of the Virgin Mary in a tree trunk.

A chapel was built where the tree stood, and it became a place of pilgrimage.

The pilgrimage takes place over the weekend before Pentecost Monday – May 24 this year, May 15 in 2016, if you want to make a date in your diary.

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