10-Nights Marian Shrines Of Europe – Faith-Based Travel
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, visiting Avila, St. Theresa’s home town, admiring the impressive Burgos Cathedral, immersing yourself in the Healing Baths in Lourdes, or reflecting in Gaudi’s magnificent Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, this vacation will inspire and leave you with memories of a lifetime.
LISBON Welcome dinner; orientationSANTARÉM Visit the Church of the Holy MiracleFÁTIMA Orientation, visits to the Our Lady of Fátima Shrine, the Chapel of the Apparitions, the Parish Church, Valinhos, and attend [M] MassÁVILA Guided walking tour, visit the Convent of St. Teresa, and the Monastery of the IncarnationBURGOS Guided sightseeing, visit the cathedralLOYOLA Visit the Sanctuary of St. Ignatius Home and attend [M] Mass in the BasilicaLOURDES Attend [M] Mass; guided walking tour, visit the grotto, the Our Lady of Lourdes Shrine, and St. Bernadette’s birthplace and family home; attend the candlelight processionBARCELONA Guided sightseeing, visit the Sagrada Familia Basilica; farewell dinner
10 nights from $2459 per person
Barcelona, the self-confident and progressive capital of Spain, is a tremendous place to be. Though it boasts outstanding Gothic and Art Nouveau buildings, and some great museums – most notably those dedicated to Picasso and Catalan art – it is above all a place where there's enjoyment simply in walking the streets, stopping in at bars and cafés, drinking in the atmosphere. A thriving port and the most prosperous commercial centre in Spain, it has a sophistication and cultural dynamism way ahead of the rest of the country. In part this reflects the city's proximity to France, whose influence is apparent in the elegant boulevards and imaginative cooking. But Barcelona has also evolved an individual and eclectic cultural identity, most perfectly and eccentrically expressed in the architecture of Antoni Gaudí. Scattered as Barcelona's main sights may be, the greatest concentration of interest is around the old town (La Ciutat Vella). These cramped streets above the harbor are easily manageable, and far more enjoyable, on foot. Start, as everyone else does, with the Ramblas.
Portugal’s capital is an 18th-century city - elegant, open to the sea and carefully planned. Most places of interest are within easy walking distance. Rossio Square, the heart of Lisbon since medieval times, is an ideal place to start exploring. Many rebuilt houses with original façades provide stores and restaurants with modern interiors. High above Baixa is Bairro Alto - with its teeming nightlife. There are many monuments and museums, such as San Jeronimos Monastery, Royal Coach Museum and Gulbenkian Museum. Two well-known landmarks are the Monument to the Discoveries and the Tower of Belem. A statue of Christ looms above Europe’s longest suspension bridge. Madragoa, Bica and Bairro Alto, Lisbon’s older sections, offer a variety of sights: the Church of Sao Roque, with its beautiful tiles; St. George Castle, which offers a splendid view from its location above the Alfama quarter; the botanical gardens, featuring an unusual, cold greenhouse; and the cathedral, stunning with its Moorish design. Renowned Gulbenkian Museum is the cultural center of Portugal.
In the heart of the Pyrenees, Lourdes receives more than 5 million visitors from all over the world every year. Spirituality, whether belonging to history or legends, is part of the present through the depth and beauty of the sight, the marks of the past, the serenity of the Sanctuaries. Lourdes was just a small market town in 1858, when Bernadette Soubirous met, along the River Gave, the “Lady” that made the town a Marian city. Bernadette saw many more of these apparitions. Many now come on religious pilgrimages. Today Lourdes has the second greatest number of hotels in France with 270 establishments. Its geographical position, at the foot of the mountains, makes it an ideal starting-point of excursions to the Pyrenees. The Fortified Castle rises at the middle of the city, leaning on the escarpment. Visit the Sanctuaries, Fortified Castle, Pyrenan Museum and more while visiting Lourdes.
The city of Fatima in Portugal is most famous for the religious visions that reportedly appeared in the early 20th century. The marian shrine attracts a large number of pilgrims from around the world every year. If shopping is your weakness you will be delighted to find a variety of local crafts such as jewelry, statues, paintings, and clothes in stalls all around the hotels. There are also a number of restaurants specializing in portuguese cuisine, including the National dish called Bacalhau (salted cod stew).
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Burgos is a medieval town founded in 884, known as the “Land of Castles.” It has a charming Castilian ambiance, and is full of dominant gothic cathedrals including the Cathedral of Burgos. Enjoy exquisite cuisine, important monuments, historical remains, museums and picturesque landscapes, all making Burgos worth a visit.
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** This departure has been designated a guaranteed departure by the operator, meaning that the minimum number of guests has been met, although still subject to weather and other conditions.
Charges not included in the land vacation price: airfare to and from the start of your vacation; airline baggage fees including checked and/or excess baggage fees; Federal inspection fees for the Federal U.S. Customs and Immigrations; agricultural tax; other per person taxes imposed by government entities; applicable cruise taxes, fees, fares and port charges; passports; visas and vaccinations; transfers; tips to your Tour or Cruise Director, Local Host, driver, Local Guides, and/or ships' crew; gratuities on ferries, trains, and cruise ships; laundry; telephone; minibar; alcohol, beverages, and food outside of the contracted menu as presented at a hotel or restaurant (these extra items will be billed to you before leaving the hotel, ship, or restaurant); additional excursions and activities not listed as 'included' in the itinerary; porterage at airports or train stations; Travel Protection premiums; and all other items of a personal nature.
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