11 Days/10 Nights. There’s no better way to experience Europe’s most treasured Catholic shrines than on this inspirational Journey through Spain, Portugal and France. Whether it’s standing in the very place where the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to the three shepherd children over 100 years ago in Fatima, immersing yourself in the Healing Baths in Lourdes, or reflecting in Gaudi’s magnificent Sagrada Familia, this vacation will inspire and leave you with memories of a lifetime.
Day 1 - Arrive In Lisbon, Portugal
Welcome to Lisbon! At 6 pm, meet your Tour Director and traveling companions for a welcome dinner at your hotel.
Day 2 - Lisbon – Santarém – Fátima
Your orientation of the capital of Portugal includes the Baixa quarter’s main squares, a drive along the grand Avenida da Liberdade up to Pombal Square, and a stop to take pictures of Belem Tower and the Monument of the Discoverers. Depart for Fátima, and while en-route visit the Church of the Holy Miracle in Santarém, site of a famous Eucharistic Miracle. In Fátima, one of the most famous Marian shrines in the world, visit Our Lady of Fátima Shrine with the tombs of the three visionaries: Lucia, Jacinta, and Fernando; and the Chapel of the Apparitions, where the Virgin Mary appeared to them in 1917. She gave them a message from God promising that the world would be at peace if all men and women obeyed her requests. She also entrusted to them three secrets that Lucia described in her memoirs in 1941. This evening, join the Rosary and candlelight procession at the Shrine and attend Mass, held every day.
Day 3 - Fátima. Excursion To Valinhos
Today, visit the Parish Church where the visionaries were baptized and then visit their homes in nearby Valinhos. Tonight, you can join the Rosary and candlelight procession sharing some moments of prayer with other faithful pilgrims from all over the world.
Day 4 - Fátima – Ávila, Spain
The majestic scenery of the Serra da Estrela mountain range forms the backdrop of your drive into Spain. Arrive in Ávila, where St. Teresa founded the Order of the Discalced Carmelites, going back to the basics of a contemplative order: a simple life of poverty devoted to prayer. Enjoy a guided walk through this walled town and visit the Cathedral, the Convent of St. Teresa, and the Monastery of the Incarnation.
Day 5 - Ávila – Burgos
Travel to Burgos, the historic capital of Old Castile. Sightseeing with a Local Guide includes a visit to the magnificent Cathedral, dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Its overwhelming beauty will inspire some time for appreciation and meditation.
Day 6 - Burgos – Loyola – Lourdes, France
Before crossing the French border, visit the Basilica at the Sanctuary of St. Ignatius de Loyola, founder of the Order of Jesus (Jesuits). Arrive in Lourdes, a powerful place of pilgrimage dedicated to the Holy Virgin, where you will stay for the next three nights with the possibility of joining the candlelight procession, held every evening.
Day 7 - Lourdes
This morning attend Mass. Your guided walking tour includes visits to the GROTTO, where the Virgin Mary appeared to St. Bernadette, the Our Lady of Lourdes Shrine, the Birthplace of St. Bernadette, and her family home during the time of the apparitions. In the evening of February 11, 1858, a young Roman Catholic girl, Bernadette Soubirous, went to fetch some firewood with her sister and another companion when a Lady who was indescribably beautiful appeared to her at the Massabielle grotto. Although the Lady did not tell Bernadette her name when asked at first, she told her to return to the grotto. On subsequent visits, the Lady revealed herself to be the “Immaculate Conception.”
Day 8 - Lourdes
A day at leisure. You have time to experience the powerful healing baths, the “Blessing of the Sick,” and attend one of the daily Masses. The whole town is permeated by a spiritual atmosphere that leads to prayer. You may also wish to marvel at the natural beauty of the Pyrenees on the optional excursion available.
Day 9 - Lourdes – Barcelona, Spain
Leave Lourdes today, re-enter Spain, and head for Barcelona—the capital of Spain’s Catalonia region—known for its art and architecture throughout the cosmopolitan city.
Day 10 - Barcelona
Sightseeing with a Local Guide features the Columbus Monument, Plaza de Catalunia, and Paseo de Gracia. Highlight is a visit to the Sagrada Familia Basilica, Gaudi’s masterpiece. Also, enjoy a panoramic view of the city and harbor from Montjuïc Hill. This evening, a farewell dinner awaits you at the hotel.
Day 11 - Barcelona
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.