SPIRITUAL HIGHLIGHTS OF IBERIA, LOURDES & ITALY - 2018
This combination of the two faith-based holidays “Fatima, Lourdes & Shrines of Spain” and “Spiritual Highlights of Italy” is ideal to experience the most worshipped shrines of Europe. Take in the peacefulness of the Fatima sanctuary, the pilgrimage destination of Santiago de Compostela, and the atmosphere of Lourdes before flying to Rome to attend the Papal Audience, visit St. Francis’ hometown of Assisi, the places of St. Pio of Pietrelcina and much more. Mass will be celebrated at most shrines with many opportunities for reflection and prayer.
Visits to Santarem, Fatima, Braga, Santiago de Compostela, Burgos, Carcassonne, Monte Cassino, Pietrelcina, San Giovanni Rotondo, Monte Sant?Angelo, Lanciano, Loreto, Cascia.
- SCENIC HIGHLIGHTS
Local Guides for city sightseeing in Lisbon, Lourdes, Barcelona; services of a professional Tour Director while touring.
Touring by private, first-class, air-conditioned motorcoach.
Includes rooms with private bath or shower, hotel taxes, porterage, tips, and service charges.
Fatima, Santiago de Compostela, San Ignacio de Loyola, Lourdes, Rome, San Giovanni Rotondo, Lanciano, Assisi (subject to change)
Throughout your tour.
- INSIDE VISITS and special features are shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description, including admission charges where applicable.
Personalise your tour ahead of time with additional excursions. Visit our website for details and conditions.
Fatima, San Ignacio de Loyola.
Buffet breakfasts (B) daily
11 dinners (D), including a dinner at a local restaurant in Barcelona and in Rome.
Day1 ARRIVE IN LISBON, PORTUGAL.
Welcome to Portugal! Check into your hotel, and tonight, meet your Tour Director and fellow Travellers.
See all the highlights on your guided tour of Lisbon. Visit the CATHEDRAL LA SE', where St. Anthony was baptized, and JERONIMOS MONASTERY. Stop in Santarem to visit the CHURCH OF THE EUCHARISTIC HOLY MIRACLE. Arrive in Fatima, enjoy an orientation walk and visit the TOMB OF THE VISIONARIES and the CHAPEL OF THE APPARITIONS. This evening, join pilgrims from around the world for the Rosary and candlelight procession at the Our Lady of Fatima Basilica. (B,D)
Today, join an optional excursion to Tomar with a visit to the Monastery- Fortress of the Knights Templar. This afternoon, attend Mass at the Sanctuary of Our Lady with time to wander on your own. This evening, perhaps join the Rosary. (B,D)
Day4 FATIMA-BRAGA-SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA, SPAIN.
Stop in Braga to visit the BOM JESUS DO MONTE SANCTUARY. Continue into Spain and head for Santiago de Compostela. On arrival, an orientation walk introduces you to the old city centre. Then, attend the Pilgrims Mass in ST. JAMES' CATHEDRAL, which houses the Apostle James' remains beneath the high alter, followed by the famous Botafumeiro to close the celebration. (B,D)
Day5 SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA.
This morning, join an optional excursion to Cabo Finisterre, where pilgrims have traditionally completed their walk and burned their robes. Later, return to Santiago de Compostela, known throughout history for the key 9th-century pilgrimage route, the Camino de Santiago (or Way of St. James) with time to explore on your own. (B)
Day6 SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA- BURGOS.
Today, travel to Burgos, historic capital of Old Castile. Your visit takes you to the magnificent CATHEDRAL, a masterpiece of gothic architecture and burial place of Spain's national hero, El Cid. (B)
Day7 BURGOS-SAN IGNACIO DE LOYOLA-LOURDES, FRANCE.
NACIO DE LOYOLA-LOURDES, FRANCE. Travel through the Basque region toward Lourdes. En route, pause to reflect and 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 marble and jasper main altarpiece. Cross into France and overnight in Lourdes, home to another of the world's most famous places of pilgrimage. Join the nightly Rosary and candlelight procession for a memorable spiritual experience. (B,D)
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 and to attend Mass, if you like. (B,D)
Day9 LOURDES-CARCASSONNE- BARCELONA, SPAIN.
This morning, head for the France/Spain border. En route, visit the FORTIFIED CITADEL of Carcassonne, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 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. (B)
Today's guided sightseeing includes a drive around Montjuic to see the Olympic Stadium and a great panoramic view of the port and city. Continue to the city centre to admire Gaudi's eccentric Houses Batllo and Mila, as well as his SAGRADA FAMILIA. (B)
Today is at leisure to explore as you like or maybe join the optional excursion to the pilgrimage site of Montserrat. Situated 4,055 feet (1236 metres) above sea level, this is the site of the Benedictine abbey that hosts the Black Virgin of Montserrat Sanctuary, patron saint of Catalonia. This evening, enjoy dinner at a local restaurant. (B,D)
Day12 BARCELONA-ROME, ITALY.
Transfer to the airport for your flight to Rome. (B,D)
This morning, attend the PAPAL AUDIENCE (subject to availability) for the chance to see the Pope and receive the Papal Blessing. Later, visit ST. PAUL OUTSIDE THE WALLS, burial place of St. Paul the Apostle and one of Rome's four major Papal basilicas, along with ST. JOHN LATERAN BASILICA, built by Constantine the Great in the 4th century. Next, visit the Papal sanctuary of the SCALA SANCTA (Holy Stairs), transported from Jerusalem to Rome around 326 AD by St. Helena, Emperor Constantine's mother. These 28 marble steps are traditionally ascended in a kneeling position with a prayer recital dedicated to Jesus Christ. Then, visit the impressive ST. MARY MAJOR BASILICA and attend Mass. (B)
The "Eternal City" is steeped in history, vibrantly alive and exciting, and absolutely unique! Included sightseeing with a Local Guide starts with St. Peter's Square and Basilica, followed by the iconic COLOSSEUM, the largest amphitheater ever built; and the ROMAN FORUM. An optional visit is available to the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel, world famous for Michelangelo's impressive fresco of The Last Judgment. (B)
Day15 ROME-MONTE CASSINO- PIETRELCINA-SAN GIOVANNI ROTONDO.
Head deeper south today, stopping first in Monte Cassino to see the monastery and visit the ABBEY perched high above the valley. The monastery was the motherhouse of the Benedictines, founded in 529 AD and destroyed four times over the centuries. Then, stop in quaint Pietrelcina, birthplace of the beloved St. Pio, before heading towards San Giovanni Rotondo on the eastern coast, the Saint's home from 1916 until his death in 1968. (B,D)
Day16 SAN GIOVANNI ROTONDO. EXCURSION TO MONTE SANT'ANGELO
Attend Mass this morning at SANTA MARIA DELLE GRAZIE (Old Church), then visit the FRIARY of Padre Pio, including his tomb, cell, confessional, and the PADRE PIO PILGRIMAGE CHURCH (New Church). Afterwards, take a short drive to the nearby SHRINE OF MONTE SANT'ANGELO, one of Christendom's most celebrated shrines and where St. Michael the Archangel appeared in 490, 492, and 1656. (B,D)
Day17 SAN GIOVANNI ROTONDO- LANCIANO-LORETO-ASSISI AREA.
Visit ST. FRANCIS' church in Lanciano, home of the Sanctuary of the Eucharistic Miracle, and attend morning Mass. Continue to the LORETO SANCTUARY, including the HOLY HOUSE, where, according to tradition, angels transported the home of the blessed Virgin Mary. Arrive at the hilltop village of Assisi, home of St. Francis and St. Clare. (B,D)
Attend early morning Mass at ST. FRANCIS BASILICA, famous for its 14th-century Giotto paintings depicting the life of St. Francis, then meet your Local Guide and visit the UPPER and LOWER BASILICAS of St. Francis and the BASILICA OF ST. CLARE, founder of the Order of Poor Clares. Next, visit the BASILICA of Santa Maria degli Angeli, situated at the foot of Assisi's hills and protecting the Porziuncola, where St. Francis is said to have founded the Order of Friars Minor in 1209, and the Cappella del Transito, where the Saint died in 1226. (B)
Day19 ASSISI AREA-CASCIA-ROME.
Travel to Cascia this morning, home of St. Rita, the "Patron Saint of Impossible Causes." Visit the SANCTUARY and see the Major Basilica, the chapel that houses the tomb of St. Rita. Also, see the Minor Basilica, home of the Eucharistic Miracle that is commemorated each year with the Feast of Corpus Christi. Return to Rome for a farewell dinner at a local restaurant. (B,D)
Your holiday ends with breakfast this morning. (B)