Reaffirm and celebrate your faith as you visit some of the world’s most treasured Marian shrines, pilgrimage sites and spiritual places. Hear about the shepherd children in Fatima and the apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary which happened over 100 years ago. Learn about St. James’ Way, the remarkable journey taken by pilgrims from all over the world into Santiago de Compostela. In Loyola, find out about the Jesuit mission St. Ignacio founded in 1540. In Lourdes, you’ll have an opportunity to join Mass, the nightly Rosary and candlelight procession as well as time to experience the Healing Baths. Spend the night by the Montserrat Sanctuary, a unique location for contemplation and worship. Lastly, a magical ending in Barcelona with time to celebrate life, reflect and rejoice. Accompanied by fellow believers and designed to offer the experience of a lifetime, this is a vacation that will stay with you forever.
LISBON City sightseeing tour including La Sé Cathedral and Jeronimo’s MonasteryFÁTIMA Visit the Sanctuary and join the Rosary and the candlelight procession BRAGA Visit Bom Jesus do Monte Sanctuary SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA Learn about St. James’ Way BURGOS Visit the Cathedral LOYOLA Learn about St. Ignacio de Loyola LOURDES Visit the Sanctuary of our Lady of LourdesCARCASSONNE Visit the Medieval citadelMONTSERRAT Stay by the SanctuaryBARCELONA Guided city tour and Sagrada Familia[M] MASS SERVICES: Fátima; Santiago de Compostela; Lourdes; Montserrat (all in local language and venues subject to change)
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.
Santiago de Compostela
Santiago de Compostela is now considered by UNESCO to be a World Heritage Site and attracts visitors from all over the world thanks to its fantastic monuments. The town is named after the Apostle Saint James ("Santiago"), who is buried here. In 2000 Santiago de Compostela was given the title of European Cultural Capital. Santiago is certainly one of Spain's most monumental towns, with a particular architectonical style all of its own. But it is as well a town plenty of life, with one of the most famous Universities and a large number of students who guarantee youthful ambience inbetween the historical walls. The region's cuisine is of great reputation, and it is said that nowhere has better seafood than Santiago.
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).
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.
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Adventures by Alex
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