10 Day Pilgrimage to France, Spain and Portugal
What to Expect
Today, embark on a journey that will be a life-changing experience. Enjoy the meal served onboard, then get some rest on the overnight flight.
Welcome to Portugal! Upon arrival in Lisbon, you will store your luggage the Hotel and grab a quick lunch (on your own) before beginning your guided sightseeing tour of Lisbon. Some of the sights you will see include the monument dedicated to Henry, the Navigator, the 16th-century Belem Tower, the Moorish Citadel, Black Horse Square and Jeronimos Monestery, which dates to the mid-1400’s and was built in thanksgiving to the Virgin Mary for Vasco de Gama’s successful voyage to India. Upon returning to the hotel, you will check into your room before enjoying a delicious evening meal. Afterward, you will have an opportunity to discuss your pilgrimage’s itinerary with your tour director.
After breakfast, your pilgrimage continues as you head to Cathedral Le Se where St. Anthony of Padua was baptized and who was born barely a tenth of a mile from its doors! Make sure to wear your sturdy walking shoes as the Cathedral is a twenty-minute walk uphill and twenty minutes downhill to return to your tour bus. Next, the tour heads north for a stop in Santarem to visit the Church of the Eucharistic Holy Miracle. After the stop in Santarem, you will travel to Fatima, where upon arrival, you will enjoy an orientation walk and visit the Tomb of the Visionaries and the Chapel of the Apparitions made famous by the Virgin Mary’s 1917 appearances to three shepherd children. You will attend mass at either the Basilica or in the Chapel of Apparitions. After dinner at your hotel, you will join pilgrims from around the world for the Rosary and candlelight procession at Our Lady of Fátima Basilica. Rest comfortably this evening at the Hotel.
After breakfast, travel north to Braga, one of the oldest Christian cities in the world and nicknamed the “Portuguese Rome.” Visit the Bom Jesus Do Monte Sanctuary, an important pilgrimage site where devout followers have walked the “Stations of the Cross” for contemplation and penance since 1811, and see the unique zigzag stairway dedicated to the five senses —sight, smell, hearing, touch, and taste— and the three theological virtues—faith, hope, and charity. Continue into Spain and travel to Santiago de Compostela, a pilgrimage destination since the Middle Ages. Upon arrival, enjoy an orientation walk which introduces you to the Old City Center. Afterward, attend the Pilgrims’ Mass at St. James Cathedral, which houses the Apostle James’ remains beneath the High altar. At the end of mass, you may experience the famous Botafumeiro, a ceremony during which eight robed men hoist the enormous thurible into the air and swing it back and forth, reaching heights of nearly 70 feet! Afterward, rest comfortably at the Hotel.
After breakfast, you will have time to explore Santiago de Compostela on your own and attend mass in one of the chapels of the Cathedral. The tour continues to Leon with an escorted stroll through the Old Quarter that provides an exterior view of Cathedral de Leon. Afterward, continue to Burgos for an evening meal and a stay at the Hotel.
After breakfast, the tour heads to the historic capital of Old Castile (Burgos) and its magnificent Cathedral, a masterpiece of Gothic architecture and the burial place of Spain’s national hero, El Cid. Enjoy your ride through the Basque region toward Lourdes, France. Along the way, stop at the 17th-century Sanctuary of Loyola, built in honor of San Ignacio de Loyola, founder of the Jesuits. You will attend Mass at Santa Casa in the Conversion Chapel in Loyola. Afterward, continue your journey as you cross into France where you will arrive at Lourdes, home of one of the world’s most famous places of pilgrimages. After checking into the Hotel, you will have time to explore on your own before your evening meal.
After breakfast, enjoy a guided walking tour of Lourdes that includes the grotto where the Virgin Mary appeared to St. Bernadette in 1858, Our Lady of Lourdes Shrine, Bernadette’s birthplace, and her family home. In the afternoon, explore Lourdes on your own and attend Mass either at the Basilica or the Grotto. Enjoy dinner and your stay at Hotel.
After breakfast, the tour heads for the France/Spain border where along the way, you will stop at Montserrat to visit the Shrine of Our Lady of Montserrat, which is located on a rugged mountainside. Here, you will attend Mass. Within the Shrine, you will see the Black Madonna, which according to tradition, was carved by St. Luke around 50 A.D. and brought to Spain. It was hidden from the Moors and was later rediscovered by shepherds in 880 A.D. Upon discovery of the statue of the Black Madonna in the grotto, the Bishop of Manresa suggested that it be moved to Manresa. However, the statue was too heavy and could not be lifted. As a result, the Virgin remained in Montserrat and continues to be venerated to this day. The tour continues into Catalonia’s lively and beautiful capital, Barcelona where you will enjoy dinner and an overnight stay at the Hotel.
After breakfast, enjoy a sightseeing tour of Barcelona with its stunning panoramic views of the Port of Barcelona, Montjuic Mountain with its Olympic stadium, Plaza de España with its old bull-fighting rings, and Plaza de Catalunya, which is laden with fountains and statues. The tour continues with a guided walk through the Gothic Quarter that contains remains from an ancient Roman village and Mass at the Cathedral of Barcelona. We will continue to the Eixample quarter to visit Antoni Gaudi’s stunning, unfinished Roman Catholic Basilica, La Sagrada Familia. Enjoy your evening meal and your stay at the Hotel.
The pilgrimage ends with breakfast and a trip to the airport to catch your flight home.
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