A Marian Pilgrimage to Italy, France, Spain and Portugal
17 Days / 16 Nights
Andorra, France, Italy, Monaco, Portugal, Spain
Rome Colosseum Vatican St Peters Pisa Leaning Tower Siena Italian Riviera Monaco Monte Carlo French Riviera Nice Avignon Barcelona Montserrat Sagrada Familia Pyrenees Andorra Lourdes Roncesvalles Camino de Santiago Rioja Vineyards Burgos Santiago de Compostella Fatima Lisbon Avila Madrid Shopping
Visit the main Marian pilgrimage sites in these four fabulous countries and take in the major tourist highlights en-route too!
Arrive in Italy and transfer to the South Eastern province of Puglia. Overnight Foggia/San Giovanni Rotondo area.
After breakfast its a short drive to visit the shrine of St Padre Pio at the convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie in San Giovanni Rotondo. Drive along the Adriatic coastal road with splendid views en-route to Lanciano, site of the first Eucharist Miracle in the 8th century. Visit the 13th century church of San Francesco where the relics of the miracle reside. Continue across the Appenine Mountains to reach Rome. Overnight Rome.
Spend today in the “Eternal City” of Rome. The morning is dedicated to visiting Vatican City, one of the world’s smallest countries, including St Peter’s Basilica and the Sistine Chapel with its amazing ceiling by Michelangelo. You may also be able to witness a Papal Audience depending on travel dates. In the afternoon enjoy a half-day guided sightseeing tour, taking in the Via del Corso with its legendary shops, the Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, Forum – heart of Ancient Rome itself – and of course the extraordinary Colosseum. Overnight Rome.
Leaving Rome head north into the picturesque hills of Umbria to visit Assisi, birthplace of St Francis and the Basilica which is his last resting place. Continue into Tuscany, famous for its idyllic scenery, vineyards and picturesque medieval hill top towns, and the city of Pisa to discover the treasures of the unrivalled Piazza dei Miracoli . As well as the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Baptistry, Monumental Cemetery and Cathedral are no less impressive. Overnight Pisa area.
Today’s drive takes us along the wonderful Ligurian Riviera the Mediterranean coastline leading us through Genova, hometown of Christopher Columbus and on towards the tiny principality of Monaco. A panoramic sightseeing tour of this famous, exclusive resort includes the Opera House, Prince’s Palace, Cathedral of the Annunciation, Monte Carlo Casino and Port as well as parts of the famous Formula 1 motor racing circuit. The day ends in the French city of Nice, where you’ll see the grand architecture of Massena Square and Place Garibaldi and the elegant sweeping Promenade des Anglais as you arrive. Overnight Nice.
Follow the Mediterranean coastline again today, passing the classy Riviera resorts of Antibes and Cannes en route to Avignon where you’ll see the palace which was home to seven Popes in the 14th century. Continue via Nimes, famous for its well preserved Roman Arena and on via the Costa Brava to Barcelona, the cosmopolitan capital of Spain’s Catalonia region, best known for its art, architecture and football team. Overnight Barcelona.
Your morning is dedicated to visiting the world famous monastery of Montserrat, dramatically perched high on a rocky outcrop with stunning views of the surrounding country. See the carving of the Black Madonna here before returning to Barcelona for a guided sightseeing tour this afternoon including the Gothic Quarter, the impressive Barcelona Cathedral, the famous Ramblas, Gaudi’s famous Sagrada Familia cathedral and the Park Guell, also designed by Gaudi and a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Appreciate the stunning scenery as your coach takes you across the majestic Pyrenees Mountains. Stop en route for lunch and shopping opportunities in the tiny country of Andorra before entering France once again. Overnight Lourdes.
Enjoy a half day guided tour of Lourdes including the Grotto, Basilicas and Sanctuaries. Immerse yourself in the bath’s healing waters and visit the House of St Bernadette. The rest of the day is set aside for your own private devotions and the chance to join the evening procession. Overnight Lourdes.
Today you’ll join the Camino de Santiago, the legendary pilgrim way to the shrine of St James in the far north west of Spain. Travel first to the monastery of Roncesvalles , crossing the Pyrenees back into Spain for the final time. From here on you will see the Camino signposted and hardy pilgrims walking or cycling as the route leads via Pamplona, the world famous Rioja vineyards and many historic medieval villages into the plain of Castille. Overnight Burgos.
After breakfast join pilgrims visiting the magnificent Burgos Cathedral a Gothic masterpiece, before continuing along the Camino to its tumultuous climax in Santiago de Compostella, a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the most important places in Catholicism, famed as the burial place of St James himself. Overnight Santiago de Compostella.
This morning see the famous sights of Santiago including the Cathedral of St James, the Monastery of San Martino Pinario, the Praza de Obradoiro the Pazo de Raxoi city hall and the Fuente de los Caballos. Turn south into Portugal travelling via Porto to the pilgrimage centre of Fatima. Overnight Fatima.
Today is dedicated to Lisbon, Portugal’s delightful capital city. Enjoy a guided sightseeing tour taking in all the highlights including the Belem Tower, Jeronimos Monastery, the Monument of the Discoveries, Praca do Commercio and the magnificent architecture of the city centre, its grand squares and the fine Basilica overlooking the River Tagus as well as Carmo – the Convent of our Lady of Mount Carmel – the church left in ruins by the 1755 earthquake. Overnight Fatima.
This morning enjoy a tour of Fatima, a place of world pilgrimage. Visit the Basilica where the tombstones of Lucia, Jacinta and Francisco are, as well as the Chapel of Apparitions, heart of the shrine. Follow the Stations of the Cross along the Via Sacra culminating in the Chapel of Calvary, which overlooks all of Fatima. Time is also set aside for private devotions. Overnight Fatima.
Return into Spain to reach Avila, birthplace of St Theresa. Marvel at the superbly preserved 11th century walls that still encircle the old town to this day and visit the Convent of St Theresa. Continue to the capital city of Spain, Madrid, passing the magnificent Palace of El Escorial on the way into the city. Overnight Madrid.
Enjoy an included half day city tour of Madrid. Visit the Royal Palace and see the Royal Quarters as well as the seat of the Spanish Monarchs. View the Parque El Retiro, Puerta del Sol, Cibeles Fountain and other popular tourist spots. Spend some time at the Cathedral and in the historic Plaza Mayor. You may also choose to visit the world famous Prado gallery with its superb collection of art or the Santiago Bernabeu stadium home of the renowned FC Real Madrid. Overnight Madrid.
This morning make the most of the fabulous shopping opportunities in Madrid before transfer to the airport for your homeward flight.
Have just arrived back from London. Everything was perfect with the group. The drivers were always on time and very kind, the dinners were all very satisfactory as well. Thank you very much for all your help this year and to be continued next year.