11 Nights/12 Days. Begins in Lisbon ends in Barcelona. Meet your Tour Director and fellow travelers in Lisbon. Enjoy guided sightseeing of the “Mistress of the Seas,” and continue to Santarém to visit the Church of the Eucharistic Holy Miracle. Arrive in Fátima, site of one of the world’s most famous Catholic shrines. You may wish to join the Rosary and candlelight procession. In the morning, attend Mass at the Sanctuary and visit the Our Lady of Fátima Shrine. Continue via Braga, the “Portuguese Rome,” and a visit to the Bom Jesus do Monte Sanctuary, enter Spain and stop in Santiago de Compostela, world famous for the key 9th-century pilgrimage route, the Way of St. James. Arrive in Burgos, the historic capital of Old Castile, and visit the magnificent cathedral, burial place of the Spanish national hero, El Cid. En route to Lourdes, France, attend Mass at the 17th-century Sanctuary of Loyola. Stay two nights in Lourdes and during your guided walking tour, visit the grotto where the Virgin Mary appeared to St. Bernadette in 1858, the Our Lady of Lourdes Shrine, St. Bernadette’s birthplace, and her family home. On your way to Barcelona, stop in medieval fortified Carcassonne, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, to admire its ramparts, castle walls, and drawbridges. A 3-night stay in Barcelona features guided sightseeing that includes Gaudi’s masterpiece, the Sagrada Familia.
Day 1 - Arrive Lisbon, Portugal
Welcome to Portugal! Check into your hotel, and tonight, meet your Tour Director and fellow travelers.
Day 2 - Lisbon-Santarem-Fatima
Henry the Navigator made Lisbon the 15th-century “Mistress of the Seas.” On your guided sightseeing tour you’ll see the enormous monument dedicated to him, as well as the fortified 16th-century Belém Tower, the Moorish citadel, impressive Black Horse Square, and the CATHEDRAL La Sé and Jeronimos MONASTERY, which dates back to the mid-1400s. Later, head north for a stop in Santarém to visit the CHURCH OF THE EUCHARISTIC HOLY MIRACLE. In the late-afternoon, arrive in FATIMA, site of one of the world’s most famous Catholic shrines. This evening, why not join the rosary and candlelight procession at the Our Lady of Fátima Basilica?
Day 3 - Fatima
This morning, after Mass at the Sanctuary, time to visit OUR LADY OF FÀTIMA SHRINE with the tombs of the visionaries, and the Chapel of the Apparitions, made famous by the Virgin Mary’s appearance to three shepherd children—Francisco, Jacinta, and Lucia—on May 13, 1917. This afternoon, time to explore on your own, or join a guided optional excursion.
Day 4 - Fatima-Braga-Santiago de Compostela, Spain
Journey north this morning and stop in Braga, one of the oldest Christian cities in the world and nicknamed the “Portuguese Rome.” Visit the BORN JESUS DO MONTE (Good Jesus of the Mount) SANCTUARY and see the unique zigzag stairway that is dedicated to the five senses—sight, smell, hearing, touch, and taste—and the three theological virtues—faith, hope, and charity. Later, cross into Spain and head for Santiago de Compostela. Later attend the rosary and Mass.
Day 5 - Santiago de Compostela
This morning visit ST. JAMES CATHEDRAL. Santiago de Compostela has been known throughout history for the key 9th-century pilgrimage route, the Way of St. James, to its cathedral, which houses the Apostle James’ remains beneath the high altar. Later, explore on your own or walk a portion of the Camino de Santiago.
Day 6 - Santiago de Compostela - Burgos
Today, travel to Burgos, the historic capital of Old Castile. Your visit takes you to the magnificent CATHEDRAL, a masterpiece of gothic architecture and the burial place of Spanish national hero El Cid.
Day 7 - Burgos - San Igancio de Loyola - Lourdes, France
Travel through the Basque region toward Lourdes. En route, attend Mass at the 17th-century SANCTUARY OF LOYOLA, built in honor of San Ignacio de Loyola, founder of the Jesuit religious order. See its spectacular dome and main altarpiece, built in marble and jasper. Cross the border into France, and overnight in Lourdes, home to another of the world’s most famous places of pilgrimage.
Day 8 - Lourdes
Today’s guided walking tour 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. The afternoon is at leisure to further explore this little market town that became a pilgrimage place of world renown during the 19th century. Attend Mass.
Day 9 - Lourdes, Carcassone - Barcelona, Spain
Leave France this morning and head for the French-Spanish border. En route, visit fortified Carcassonne, founded by the Visigoths in the 5th century and the most medieval-looking city in France. See the ramparts, castle walls, and drawbridges that are still well preserved from the Middle Ages. Overnight in Catalonia’s lively and beautiful capital, Barcelona.
Day 10 - Barcelona
Guided sightseeing includes a drive around Montjuïc to see the Olympic Stadium and a great panoramic view of the port and city. Continue to the city center to Plaza Catalunya and Paseo de Gracia to admire the fascinating eccentricity of Gaudi’s architectural masterpieces in Houses Battló and Mila and the SAGRADA FAMILIA (entrance fees included).
Day 11 - Barcelona
Day at leisure. Maybe join the optional excursion to Montserrat and its countryside, situated 4,055 feet above sea level in a mountain range composed of strikingly pink conglomerate, a form of sedimentary rock, and site of the Benedictine abbey that hosts the Virgin of Montserrat Sanctuary, patron saint of Catalonia. This evening, enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.
Day 12 - Barcelona
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.