19 May Portugal – Spain – France (11 Days / 10 Days)
LISBON – FATIMA – ALBA DE TORMES – SALAMANCA – BURGOS – LOYOLA – LOURDES – ZARAGOZA – MADRID – AVILA – SEGOVIA – MADRID
DAY 1 – LISBON ARRIVAL – FATIMA (PORTUGAL) (127 km): Arrival in Lisbon an meeting the tour guide. Lisbon Sightseeing and transfer to Fatima. Dinner and overnight.
DAY 2 – FATIMA: Fatima is the place where the Blessed Mother appeared in 1917 to three simple shepherd children and exhorted mankind to pray for world peace. After breakfast, we can begin our day celebrating Mass in the shrine and then visiting the little chapel of the apparitions and the Basilica, the site of Francisco and Iacinta’s graves; The Hamlet of Aljustrel where the children lived and Valinhos, the local where Our lady’s appearance after children the children’s return from the prision. There is an opportunity to walk the stations of the cross, pray for the sick and participate in the candelight procession. Dinner and overnight at Fatima hotel.
DAY 3 – FATIMA – ALBA DE TORMES (SPAIN) – SALAMANCA (410 km – 33 km): After breakfast, we depart for the quaint village of Alba de Tormes. Here we will visit the Carmelite Monastery, where Saint Teresa died in 1582 AD. and is buried. In the little museum of the carmelite Monastery we will be able to see the incorrupt heart and left arm of St. Teresa. We continue to Salamanca, the most graceful city in Spain and for four centuries it was the seat of one of the most prestigious universities in the world. We will have a chance to see many of the city’s sights including the grand Plaza Mayor, the hub of Salmantine life; the vast Baroque church of La Clerecia; the Casa de las Conchas (House of Shells), named after the rows of carved scallop shells, symbol of the pilgrimage to Santiago which decorate its facade; the University; the cathedrals; the Roman Bridge; San Marcos and San Martin churches and more. Dinner and overnight at the Salamanca hotel.
DAY 4 – SALAMANCA – BURGOS (244 km): After breakfast we depart for Burgos, the historic capital of Old Castile. Dinner and overnight in the Burgos Hotel.
DAY 5 – BURGOS – LOYOLA – LOURDES (FRANCE) (186 km – 238 km): After breakfast we depart burgos for Loyola, the birthplace of St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits. Here, we will see the 17th century Basilica dedicated to St.Ignatius. We will also visit his family home behind the sanctuary. We can have time to pray at the most venerated room where Ignatius at age 30, was brought following his serious wounding at the Battle of Pamplona. After Lunch we motor through the spectacular Pyrenees Mountains. Nestled in the mountains stands picturesque Lourdes, the birthplace of St. Bernadette to whom Our Lady appeared in 1858 near the Grotto of Massabielle. Dinner and overnight in the Lourdes hotel.
DAY 6 – LOURDES: During our stay we will have an opportunity to attend Mass at the Grotto and walk in the footsteps of St. Bernadette. We will see the
Boly Mill where St. Bernadette was born and the Cachot, an abandoned prison where Bernadette’s impoverished family lived. We join with pilgrims from around the world to pray for the sick, drink water from the miraculous spring and/ or submerge in the healing baths. Experience Christ’s love as you walk the life-sized Stations of the Cross overlooking the holy Grotto. Kneel in the chapel built on the very rock of the Grotto in obedience to the request of the Immaculate Conception. Tonight we will join in the Blessed Sacrament Procession and pray the rosary. Dinner and overnight in the hotel.
DAY 7 – LOURDES – ZARAGOZA (SPAIN) (421 km): Today we depart for Zaragoza where we visit the magnificent Basilica del Pilar, built in the place where our Lady appeared to St. James. Traditions says that in the early day of the Church, Saint James the Greater was spreading the Gospel in Spain, but making very little progress. He was dejected and questioning his mission. About 44 AD, the Virgin Mary, who was still living in Jerusalem at the time, bi-located and appeared to him in a vision to boost his morale. In it, she was atop a column or pillar, which was being carried by angels. That pillar is believed to be the same one venerated inside the Basilica. We will also visit the Cathedral of Zaragoza and make a tour of the city. Dinner and overnight at the Zaragoza hotel.
DAY 8 – ZARAGOZA – MADRID (317 km): Our destination is Madrid; upon arrival we enjoy a panoramic tour of the city giving us a glimpse of some of Madrid’s most outstanding attractions, like the Puerta del Sol, the magnificent fountains of Neptune and Cibeles, the stately Alcala Gate, the busy Gran Via, the Plaza de Espana and the Plaza de Oriente. We then check into our hotel for dinner and overnight.
DAY 9 – MADRID – AVILA – SEGOVIA – MADRID (108 km – 68 km – 90 km): After breakfast we leave for Avila, the birthplace of the mystic writer Santa Teresa. The atmosphere of Avila surrounded by 11th century walls has changed little since the days of Santa Teresa, the first woman to be named a Doctor of the Church and to whom the city is dedicated. During our tour of Avila we will see the Cathedral and San Vicente church. We visit the Incarnation Convent, where St. Teresa became a nun and which is now home to the most comprehensive museum dedicated to her life. We also visit La Santa Monastery, built on the site of the house were Teresa was born and San Jose Convent, the first monastery founded by the Saint. After walking in the footsteps of St. Teresa we depart for Segovia. Segovia was a very important military city during the time of the Romans. The city was chosen by some of the Castilla’s Kings as a summer residence and is preserved as a notable medieval center. We visit the Cathedral (the last gothic cathedral built in Spain) and the Alcazar, a spectacular castle. We return to Madrid for dinner and overnight.
DAY 10 – MADRID: Today is a free day to do some souvenir shopping, to visit the Madrid sights’ of your personal interest and to prepare for the farewell dinner. If Toledo and/or El Escorial are on your list of “must to see places”, we can arrange for an optional tour.
DAY 11 – MADRID DEPARTURE: After breakfast, transfer to airport for your flight back home.