11 days/10 nights Lisbon - Santarem - Fatima - Salamanca - Alba de Tormes - Avila - Segovia - Madrid
An uplifting pilgrimage tour spending eleven days visiting the important holy sites in Portugal, Spain and France.
Arrive in Lisbon. Transfer to hotel.
A sightseeing tour. The city is situated on the shores of the river Tagus that witnessed the departure of the caravels during the Age of Discovery. The tour includes places like Rossio ( the historical heart of the city ), Praça do Comercio, Torre de Belém and Mosteiro dos Jerónimos. Visit the church of St. Antony, built on the site where his father’s house was situated and where he was born. St. Antony is the most venerated saint in the catholic world. Possibility of celebrating Holy Mass.
Lisbon- Santarém (85 km/1h30 min)- Fátima (60km/1h)
Visit Óbidos, a small village with a well preserved medieval atmosphere. Visitors to the village can taste a local beverage called ginginha. The next stop is Santárem, capital of the Portuguese province of Ribatejo. Visit the church of the Holy Host miracle. Possibility of celebrating Mass. It was here where one of the most important miracles of the Eucharist occurred, equal in importance with the one of Lanciano in Italy. Proceed to Fátima- “the altar of the world”. Fátima became one of the most attended places in the catholic world when in 1917 the Virgin Mary appeared there and was seen by three young shepherds.
The day is fully dedicated to the visit of the sanctuary and places related to the apparitions and the life of the three shepherds. Visiting the little chapel of the apparitions, the exact place where the Blessed Mother appeared to Lúcia, Fransisco and Jacinta. Visit the basilica of the Rosary to see the tombs of the seers and also the brand new Church of the Holy Trinity which is the masterpiece of Tombazis. Its interior is full of works of art by different artists from all over the world. It gives to the new basilica a more universal aspect. The new temple can shelter 9000 sit people. In the afternoon, visit Aljustrel- the birth place of the seers. It is 1 mile away from the Cova da Iria. Visit Loca do Anjo ( apparition of the angel ) and the Hungarian Calvary ( way of the cross ). Free time for personal devotion.
Fátima- Salamanca (400km/4h)- Alba de Tormes (20km/30 min )- Ávila (100km/1h15 min)
Leave Portugal for Spain. The first stop is the magnificent city of Salamanca. It is a major university center with one of the oldest universities in Europe. From an artistic and architectural point of view the city is also wonderful. Head to Alba de Tormes, the first place on the trip that relates to St. Teresa de Ávila. St. Teresa was a reformer of the church and also founded numerous convents. She was given the title of Dr. of the Church. The following destination is Ávila. This town is surrounded by ancient walls dating back to the time of the Romans and still carries the charm of the medieval cities.
Ávila- Segóvia (90km/1h)- Madrid (95km/1h30 min)
Visit Avila in the morning. Proceed to Segóvia where the tomb of St. John of the Cross is located. What stands out in the city is the beautiful and well preserved roman aqueduct. The next stop is monumental Madrid. This city was built by order of Felipe II with the aim of being the center of a great empire. The lines, the monumentality of the buildings and the wide avenues prove that. Sightseeing tour of Madrid going through avenues such as Castellana Visita panorâmica da cidade, the Gran via, full of theaters, the monument of Cervantes, the Plaza Major and other places that make this capital one of the most elegant in Europe.
Madrid- Burgos (250km/2h30min)- Loyola (180km,2h)- Lourdes (265km/3h)
Departure to Burgos. This is the city of El Cid, the legendary Christian Knight and warrior in the mythic battles between Christians and Muslims in the Iberian Peninsula. This city has one of the most beautiful gothic cathedrals in the whole of Spain. Head to Azpetia, the place where the manner house of the family of St. Ignacio of Loyola is found. He brought a different concept to the religious organization he founded- the company of Jesus. Known as the Jesuits, they happen to be one of the most important missionary orders in South Africa and the Far East. Head to the French border in order to visit one of the most important Marian sanctuaries in the world- Lourdes.
The day is fully dedicated to the visit of Lourdes. This Marian sanctuary is attended by millions of pilgrims every year in search of cures and renewal of their faith. It all started with the apparition of the Virgin Mary, in the grotto of the rock of Massabiele, to a humble shepherd called Bernadette. In this apparition it is confirmed by divine means the dogma of the Immaculate Conception. Visiting the holy places related with the life of St. Bernardette such as “Le Moulin de Boully”, “Le Cachôt” (the old abandoned dungeon where the family was forced to live during hard times). Possibility of bathing in the pools of the sanctuary filled with water from the river Tarbes. Free time for personal devotion.
Lourdes- Montserrat (400km/5h) - Barcelona (65km/1h)
Departure from Lourdes to cross into Spanish territory. The first stop will be a sanctuary in the area of Barcelona situated on a chain of hills with the peculiar shape of a saw, from which its name Montserrat comes from. The Benedictine monastery here shelters a statue of the Black Virgin and is also a symbol of preservation of the Catalan culture. Free time for personal devotions. Continuation to Barcelona.
Visit of one of the most artistic cities in Spain and also in Europe. One of the great names of Barcelona is Gaudí. Here the visitor can admire works like La Sagrada Família- “The Holy family church”. Climbing up to Mont Juic where there is a wonderful overview of the city and its harbour. The Olympic games in 1992 gave a big push to the development of the city. The best example for this is the harbour, full of trendy restaurants and shops. Everyone here admires the activity of the Ramblas (avenues) and the strange but beautiful buildings in the center built by Gaudí.
Transfer to the airport.