What places does Santiago visit during his journey in Paulo Coelho's The Alchemist?

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booboosmoosh | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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In Paulo Coelho's The Alchemist, Santiago visits several places.

We know that Santiago (the boy) has become a shepherd in order to travel, and that he lives in Spain. We learn, also, that he has visited Andalusia in his travels. Andalusia is a large region found on the southern tip of Spain, and its capital is Seville. There are several "autonomous communities" in Spain, and Andalusia is one. Of these communities, Andalusia is the most populated, and it is a particularly large region. So as Santiago travels, there is a great deal of territory he can cover, traveling with his sheep.

A specific town to which Santiago travels is found on the southernmost coast of the Andalusia region (on the tip of Spain) and is called Tarifa. Located in the Cádiz province, Santiago mentions taking his sheep to this location to find grazing lands. The welfare of his animals is at the center of all that he does—for Santiago is a responsible and caring shepherd, and their health and safety, after all, guarantees his ability to survive as well. It is also here that Santiago travels to visit the gypsy to see if she can decipher the meaning of his recurring dream.

The boy travels through the desert to an unnamed oasis. However, it is not too much farther beyond that Santiago finds the Pyramids of Egypt, the place that has been shown in his recurring dream. At the end of the novel, Santiago reaches the Pyramids, and then receives information from one of the thieves that robs him that lets him know he must return home, to the same church ruins where the story began.

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