Every year, more and more Catholic believers gather at the two greatest sanctuaries of Marian apparitions in Europe, Lourdes, and Fátima. Within the pleasant natural surrounding awaits the beautiful experience of visiting and living, discovering, and participating in the religious message.
Fatima - Explore Portugal’s capital, Lisbon and visit Belém with the Hieronymites Monastery
We will discover the different districts of Portugal’s capital, Lisbon, such as Alfama, El Chiado, and La Baixa, with their urban development after the 1755 earthquake. We will also visit Belém with the Hieronymites Monastery -pantheon to both the Royal family and Vasco da Gama- in the Manueline style from the early 16th century. With every step, Portuguese history comes alive in our minds and can be easily understood at the Monument of the Discoveries.
Fatima is one of the most important religious pilgrimage sites in the world. The appearance of the Virgin in 1917 transformed the small town of Fátima into the destination of the millions of believers who make the pilgrimage every year and gather on the great esplanade outside the great Neo-Baroque Basilica with its arcades and Chapel of Apparitions. In the afternoon, we will visit Valinhos and Aljustrel. Possibility of celebrating or attending Holy Mass and participating in the religious activities and evening procession.
Salamanca - Visit the oldest university in Portugal, Coimbra
Coimbra, the former capital city for more than one hundred years, boasts the oldest university in Portugal. We will visit the university’s library and Romanesque Cathedral before strolling down the narrow streets to the Carmelite convent where Sor Lucía, one of the Fátima shepherds, lived and died. After a brief stop in the border town of Ciudad Rodrigo, we will arrive in Salamanca, which is now and has always been, more than anything, a university city. Enjoy an evening stroll and enter Salamanca from the south, crossing the well-preserved Roman Bridge. The homogenous mix of students and visitors beckons us to stroll through its lively streets and indulge in the festive atmosphere. Notable monuments include the University, the Plaza Mayor, and the two cathedrals. Overnight in Salamanca.
Segovia - Visit Alba de Tormes where Santa Teresa died
This morning we will make a brief stop in the town of Alba de Tormes, where Santa Teresa died and is buried and where the Discalced Carmelites preserve her memory. Further on, we will arrive at Ávila, Saint Teresa’s birthplace, which welcomes us with its impressive walls and Cathedral, the Saint Vincent Basilica and noble homes, and the Carmelite Monastery of the Incarnation and the house where Santa Teresa was born. Possibility of celebrating or attending Holy Mass. Continue to Segovia for overnight.
Burgos - Visit Segovia and stop one of the winery on the way
We will enjoy the visit of Segovia strolling from its Roman aqueduct, passing by the Gothic Cathedral to the medieval citadel. On the way, we will discover noble houses and palaces, its Jewish Quarter, and countless Romanesque churches. Later we will head down to the Fuencisla Sanctuary and the Discalced Carmelites Convent -the burial site of the great mystic and poet Saint John of the Cross, reformer of the masculine branch of the order. In the afternoon, we will travel to Burgos, stopping briefly in Aranda de Duero, the capital of the Ribera del Duero wine region. Possibility of visiting a local winery with tasting. Overnight in Burgos.
Lourdes - Discover Burgos and stop on the Path of Saint James
In the morning, we will discover Burgos - one of the essential stops on the Path of Saint James - with its outstanding Gothic Cathedral, a World Heritage site. Possibility of celebrating or attending Holy Mass. We will travel to San Sebastian, where we can enjoy a walk along La Concha beach before heading towards France. Lunch in a traditional Sidrería. Overnight in Lourdes.
The Grotto of the apparitions is the heart of the Sanctuary. In the 19th century, the sanctuary was created in this lovely Pyrenees valley surrounding the Grotto, where the Virgin appeared to Bernadette in 1858. We will have an opportunity to visit the Neo-Gothic Basilica, the Rosario Church, the underground Basilica, the Via Crucis, and Saint Bernadette’s home. The day ends with a torch-led procession.
Possibility of celebrating or attending Holy Mass and participating in the religious activities and evening procession. Overnight in Lourdes.
Montserrat - Visit tiny country Andorra and arrive in picturesque Montserrat
In the morning, we will travel along the French Pyrenean valleys, crossing the mountain range by way of Andorra. This tiny country has turned into a small commercial enclave.
In Catalonia's heart, we will enter Spain and arrive at Montserrat, a peculiar geological formation declared a natural park, picturesque from any angle. Here we will find the Marian Sanctuary of Montserrat with “La Moreneta.” Possibility of celebrating or attending Holy Mass as well as renewing wedding vows.
Travel to Barcelona and enjoy a panoramic tour visiting the grand avenues of the Eixample district with its modernist buildings -notably the homes on the Paseo de Gracia such as Lleó Morera, Amatller, Batlló, and Milá- and the Sagrada Familia, the masterpiece of architect Gaudí.
We stop at the Park Güell, which is undoubtedly one of the most famous sights in Barcelona. The split ceramics-decorated winding bank above the Roman temples-inspired market hall is world-famous. Gaudí has created a fabulous forest with this park. We arrive at the top of Montjuich with its magnificent views of the city and the coast. We will explore the vast historic district on foot and visit Santa María del Mar, the Gothic quarter, the Cathedral, and Las Ramblas, the emblematic pedestrian walkway. Stop at the Güell Park. Possibility of organizing a tapas lunch in Barcelona. Return to Montserrat for overnight.
This morning, we leave Catalonia and enter Aragón, discovering its capital Zaragoza. The city has important monuments, including the Aljafería (the ancient palace of the Arab emir), its Gothic Cathedral, the Seo of San Salvador, and the Basilica del Pilar, the site of the Virgin’s appearance to apostle Santiago. Possibility of celebrating or attending Holy Mass. Continue to Madrid for overnight.
The first glimpse of Madrid provided by a scenic tour will allow us to appreciate the dimension and beauty of this city and its vital points, such as Paseo de la Castellana, Gran Vía, Alcalá Street, and Plaza de España. Nearby, we find one of the best examples of the Bourbon urban layout: the Paseo del Prado with its fountains, gardens, and museums. We also visit its Cathedral La Almudena and the historical center with the Main Square and the Puerta del Sol. The Mile of Art, Prado Museum, the Reina Sofia Museum, and the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum are fascinating.
A farewell dinner or attending a flamenco show! Overnight in Madrid.
All transfers on arrival and departure of each locality, assisted by expert personnel.
All the excursions indicated in the program with English-speaking guides.
Celebrating or attending Holy Mass and participating in the religious activities and evening procession as indicated in the program.
All entrance fees to the sites are mentioned.
Transportation in comfortable tourist vehicles.
12 Breakfast, 11 Lunch, 12 Dinner
Sightseeing Highlights Included
Visit Lisbon, Portugal’s capital, Alfama, El Chiado, La Baixa and Belém.
Explore the small town of Fátima, Valinhos and Aljustrel.
Head to Coimbra, the former capital city, the university’s library, and Romanesque Cathedral.
In Salamanca, notable monuments include the University, the Plaza Mayor, and the two cathedrals.
A brief stop in the town of Alba de Tormes, where Santa Teresa died and is buried.
Visit Ávila, Saint Teresa’s birthplace, impressive walls and the Cathedral, the Saint Vincent Basilica and noble homes, the Carmelite Monastery, and the house where Santa Teresa was born.
Explore the medieval city, Segovia, with the Roman aqueduct, passing by the Gothic Cathedral.
Discover Burgos with its outstanding Gothic Cathedral, a World Heritage site.
Visit Lourdes, the Neo-Gothic Basilica, the Rosario Church, the underground Basilica, the Via Crucis, and Saint Bernadette’s home.
Visit the Marian Sanctuary of Montserrat with “La Moreneta.”
Explore Barcelona, notably the homes on the Paseo de Gracias and the Sagrada Familia, the masterpiece of architect Gaudi, the Güell Park, Santa María del Mar, the Gothic quarter, the Cathedral and Las Ramblas,
In Zaragoza, visit The Basilica del Pilar site of the Virgin’s appearance to apostle Santiago.
Visit in Madrid, Spain’s Capital, Paseo de la Castellana, Gran Vía, Alcalá Street and Plaza de España, Cathedral, La Almudena and the Puerta del Sol.