13-Nights Marian Shrines Of Europe – Faith-Based Travel
Enjoy a wonderful trip to see the most famous pilgrimage towns of Spain, Portugal, and France. Start in Madrid with a welcome dinner at your hotel and guided sightseeing including a highlight visit to the Prado Museum. Continue to Ávila, where St. Theresa founded the Order of Carmelites, and enjoy a walking tour. Arrive in Fátima to visit Our Lady of Fátima Shrine; the Chapel of the Apparitions, where the Virgin Mary appeared to three children in 1917; and the Parish Church. You may wish to attend Mass and join the evening’s Rosary and candlelight procession. Next is the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, one of the top pilgrimage destinations during the Middle Ages along with Rome and Jerusalem. You may wish to attend Mass and join a unique experience: walk part of the famous Camino Pilgrim’s Way with an expert Local Guide. Continue to Burgos, the historic capital of Old Castile, where a guided visit to the cathedral is included. Travel along the Basque coast and arrive in Lourdes, one of the world’s most famous places of pilgrimage. Visit the grotto where the Virgin Mary appeared to St. Bernadette in 1858, the Our Lady of Lourdes Shrine, and St. Bernadette’s birthplace and family home. You may wish to bathe in the healing waters, experience the "Blessing of the Sick," attend Mass, or join the evening’s Rosary and candlelight procession. Re-enter Spain, and stop in Barcelona, where guided sightseeing includes a visit to the Sagrada Familia Basilica, Gaudi’s masterpiece. Via Montserrat, visit the Benedictine Abbey and the Basilica, and arrive in Saragossa, where guided sightseeing features the Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar, home to a miraculous image of the Virgin Mary. End in Madrid with a farewell dinner at your hotel. .
MADRID Guided sightseeing, visit the Prado Museum; welcome and farewell dinnersAVILA Visit the walled townFÁTIMA Orientation including visits to the Our Lady of Fátima Shrine, the Chapel of the Apparitions, Parish Church, Valinhos and attend MassSANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA Guided sightseeing; visit the cathedral; walk part of the famous Camino; attend MassBURGOS Guided sightseeing, visit the cathedralLOURDES Guided walking tour, visit the grotto, the Our Lady of Lourdes Shrine, and St. Bernadette’s birthplace and family home; attend MassBARCELONA Guided sightseeing, visit the Sagrada Familia BasilicaMONTSERRAT Visit of the Benedictine Monastery and the BasilicaSARAGOSSA Guided sightseeing, visit the Basilica of Our Lady of the PillarHeadsets throughout the tour
13 nights from $2669 per person
The capital of Spain since 1562, Madrid is located on the geographic center of the Iberian Peninsula. Because of its central location and high altitude, the climate of Madrid is characterized by warm dry summers and cool winters. Madrid is a city of great monuments. Among its highlights are the medieval center dating back to the Habsburg Empire and the Prado Museum. Madrid is not just a cultural destination. It is also a lively metropolis with many pubs, cafes, discotheques and nightclubs open late into the night.
Barcelona, the self-confident and progressive capital of Spain, is a tremendous place to be. Though it boasts outstanding Gothic and Art Nouveau buildings, and some great museums – most notably those dedicated to Picasso and Catalan art – it is above all a place where there's enjoyment simply in walking the streets, stopping in at bars and cafés, drinking in the atmosphere. A thriving port and the most prosperous commercial centre in Spain, it has a sophistication and cultural dynamism way ahead of the rest of the country. In part this reflects the city's proximity to France, whose influence is apparent in the elegant boulevards and imaginative cooking. But Barcelona has also evolved an individual and eclectic cultural identity, most perfectly and eccentrically expressed in the architecture of Antoni Gaudí. Scattered as Barcelona's main sights may be, the greatest concentration of interest is around the old town (La Ciutat Vella). These cramped streets above the harbor are easily manageable, and far more enjoyable, on foot. Start, as everyone else does, with the Ramblas.
Santiago de Compostela
Santiago de Compostela is now considered by UNESCO to be a World Heritage Site and attracts visitors from all over the world thanks to its fantastic monuments. The town is named after the Apostle Saint James ("Santiago"), who is buried here. In 2000 Santiago de Compostela was given the title of European Cultural Capital. Santiago is certainly one of Spain's most monumental towns, with a particular architectonical style all of its own. But it is as well a town plenty of life, with one of the most famous Universities and a large number of students who guarantee youthful ambience inbetween the historical walls. The region's cuisine is of great reputation, and it is said that nowhere has better seafood than Santiago.
In the heart of the Pyrenees, Lourdes receives more than 5 million visitors from all over the world every year. Spirituality, whether belonging to history or legends, is part of the present through the depth and beauty of the sight, the marks of the past, the serenity of the Sanctuaries. Lourdes was just a small market town in 1858, when Bernadette Soubirous met, along the River Gave, the “Lady” that made the town a Marian city. Bernadette saw many more of these apparitions. Many now come on religious pilgrimages. Today Lourdes has the second greatest number of hotels in France with 270 establishments. Its geographical position, at the foot of the mountains, makes it an ideal starting-point of excursions to the Pyrenees. The Fortified Castle rises at the middle of the city, leaning on the escarpment. Visit the Sanctuaries, Fortified Castle, Pyrenan Museum and more while visiting Lourdes.
Zaragoza (Saragossa) is an elegant city located on the banks of the beautiful Río Ebro in Aragon, Spain. Enjoy the local gastronomy with some of the best tapas bars in the province, superb shopping, and a lively night life. The city is famous for historic landmarks such as Basilica del Pilar, La Seo Cathedral, Aljaferia Palace and Mudejar Architecture of Aragon, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The city of Fatima in Portugal is most famous for the religious visions that reportedly appeared in the early 20th century. The marian shrine attracts a large number of pilgrims from around the world every year. If shopping is your weakness you will be delighted to find a variety of local crafts such as jewelry, statues, paintings, and clothes in stalls all around the hotels. There are also a number of restaurants specializing in portuguese cuisine, including the National dish called Bacalhau (salted cod stew).
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Burgos is a medieval town founded in 884, known as the “Land of Castles.” It has a charming Castilian ambiance, and is full of dominant gothic cathedrals including the Cathedral of Burgos. Enjoy exquisite cuisine, important monuments, historical remains, museums and picturesque landscapes, all making Burgos worth a visit.
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