Travel to two of the world's most revered pilgrimage centers and experience the wonderful cultures and beauty of Portugal, France, and Spain. Stay a leisurely two nights in Fatima and spend time reflecting and exploring the famous Basilica and the tombs of Francisco and Jacinto. Travel to Aljustrel, where the children lived, and Valinhos, where Our Lady appeared after the children's return from prison. Visit the Batalha Monastery, an impressive Dominican convent. During a 2-night stay in Burgos, visit the magnificent Cathedral, a masterpiece of Spanish Gothic architecture and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Explore the impressive 12th-century Monastery of Santa María Real de las Huelgas, a former spiritual retreat for society ladies and royalty. Enjoy a walking tour of Lourdes and a 2-night stay there. Visit the moving Grotto where Our Lady appeared to Bernadette. End in vibrant Barcelona, and view Antonio Gaudi’s unfinished masterpiece "La Sagrada Familia," also a UNESCO World Heritage site.
- Itinerary Type : Standard
- Activity Level : 2
- Number of Days:10
- Number of Meals:16
- Hotels:Hotel de Fatima (Fatima), Hotel Almirante Bonifaz (Burgos), Hotel Alba (Lourdes), Evenia Rossello Hotel (Barcelona)
- Experiences:Worship in the most revered basilicas of Fatima and Lourdes.
Spend time at the magnificent Cathedral of Burgos.
- Must Sees:Visit Gaudi's masterpiece "La Sagrada Familia" and celebrate Mass.
Travel back in time in the amazing medieval city of Carcassonne.
View the site of the fifth apparition in Valinhos.
- Culinaries:Gather for a memorable farewell dinner in Barcelona.
Enjoy regional wine with every included dinner.
Itinerary (9 days)
Fatima, Portugal - Tour Begins
Your tour begins in Fatima, Portugal’s world-famous religious center.
Fatima - Aljustrel - Batalha - Fatima
You may celebrate Mass* before traveling to the original town of Fatima and the parish church where the children Francisco, Jacinta and Lucia were baptized. Continue on to Aljustrel, where the children lived, and view the site of the fifth apparition in Valinhos. Visit the Batalha Monastery, an impressive Dominican convent. Later, return to Fatima** to enjoy free time for personal worship and to explore the basilica and its grounds.
Fatima - Burgos, Spain
Attend a morning Mass* before travelling east to Burgos, known as the cradle of the Castile region. Situated on the Pilgrim’s Road, Burgos stands on the banks of the Rio Arlanzon with the slender, elegant spires of its famous cathedral rising into the sky. Mass* is available this evening.
Join a local expert on a leisurely paced walking tour of Burgos’ beautiful medieval town center. Spend time at the Cathedral of Burgos, a masterpiece of Spanish Gothic architecture and a UNESCO World Heritage site. The cathedral, the third largest church in Spain, offers such masterpieces as the filigree work in the spires of the towers; the starry dome; the choir; the sarcophagi and the golden staircase. Next, visit the 12th-century Monastery of Santa María Real de las Huelgas. Founded as a Royal Pantheon and a spiritual retreat for society ladies and royalty, the complex consists of the church, monastery and the enclosed premises of the Cistercian nuns. Mass* is available this evening.
Burgos - Lourdes, France
Today, travel northeast through the Pyrenees Mountains to Lourdes. This is where the Virgin Mary appeared in the Grotto of Massabielle to the poor shepherd girl, Bernadette, for a total of 18 times between February 11 and July 16, 1858. Since then, this little market town has been a world-renowned pilgrimage site. Tonight you may wish to partake in a candlelight procession.**
After morning Mass,* enjoy a walking tour of Lourdes, visiting the places associated with the life of St. Bernadette: the “Boly Mill" (site of the birthplace of St. Bernadette), the "Cachot," and the parish church housing the baptismal font of St. Bernadette. Later, enjoy some time at leisure to explore the town's rich historical and natural heritage. Become immersed in the atmosphere that reigned during the apparitions and revel in the spirit of brotherhood that is still present today.
Lourdes - Carcassonne - Barcelona, Spain
Celebrate Mass* before your journey through southern France's Pyrenees to historic Carcassonne. Feel as though you’ve traveled back in time as you explore this well-preserved medieval city on your own. Later, cross back into Spain and travel to Barcelona, one of Europe's most fascinating cities.
Celebrate Mass* at the crypt of La Sagrada Familia, followed by a visit to the elaborate, expansive basilica. Once completed, Gaudi's masterpiece will have 18 towers: 12 dedicated to the apostles, four to the evangelists, one to Jesus and another to Mary. Later, get to know more of the city’s treasures, including views of Antonio Gaudi’s Mila House (UNESCO), the Columbus Monument and Parc de Montjuic. Spend this afternoon at leisure exploring the city further or choose an optional excursion to the quaint mountain village of Montserrat. This evening, gather with your fellow travelers for a dinner celebrating the end of a memorable tour.
Barcelona - Tour Ends
Return home eager to share vivid memories of a spectacularly beautiful land with an old, rich and diverse cultural heritage.
Whatever your beliefs, you can’t help but be impressed by the vast reserves of faith that every year lead as many as 6 million people to the glade where, on May 13, 1917, the Virgin Mary is said to have first appeared to three awestruck peasant children. Where sheep once grazed there are now two huge churches on opposite ends of a vast 1km-long esplanade. For Catholic pilgrims, Fátima has a magnetic appeal like few places on earth, and a trip here will provide any visitor with new insights into Portugal’s religious facet.
Close to the town of Fatima lies the tiny hamlet of Aljustrel, the home of the three child seers and their families. It was in the home of Jacinta and Francisco Marto that Our Lady appeared four times—three times to Jacinta and once to her and Francisco. It was in the home of Sister Lucia dos Santos, the last living seer of Fatima and the last child in a family of seven, that the first interrogations of the shepherd children took place.
The fourth time Our Lady appeared was at the pasturage at Valinhos on the 19th of August, 1917. Coming to the children shortly after they had been abducted and unjustly imprisoned in the nearby town of Ourem, the Blessed Virgin told the seers that they must continue going to the Cova da Iria on the 13th of each month.
An extravagant masterpiece of Gothic architecture, Batalha Monastery, the Dominican convent in Portugal’s Leiria district, literally means the Monastery of the Battle. A designated UNESCO World Heritage Center, Batalha was built to commemorate the victory of the Portuguese over the Castilians at the battle of Aljubarrota in 1385. It remained was the Portuguese monarchy's main building project for the next two centuries.
Cathedral of Burgos
The extraordinary Gothic cathedral of Burgos is one of Spain's glittering jewels of religious architecture and looms large over the city and skyline. This Unesco World Heritage–listed cathedral is a masterpiece. A former modest Romanesque church, work began on a grander scale in 1221. Remarkably, within 40 years most of the French Gothic structure had been completed.
Monastery of Santa María Real de las Huelgas
This monastery was once among the most prominent monasteries in Spain. Founded in 1187 by Eleanor of Aquitaine, daughter of Henry II of England and wife of Alfonso VIII of Castilla, it's still home to 35 Cistercian nuns. This veritable royal pantheon contains the tombs of numerous kings and queens, as well as a spectacular gilded Renaissance altar.
This sprawling town, 43km southeast of Pau, has been one of the world’s most important pilgrimage sites since 1858 when 14-year-old Bernadette Soubirous was visited 18 times in a rocky grotto by the Virgin Mary. The visions were subsequently confirmed by the Vatican, and Bernadette was beatified in 1933. Now known as the Sanctuaires Notre Dame de Lourdes, the grotto is considered one of the holiest sites in Christendom. Over six million people arrive in Lourdes every year, hoping to be doused in the miraculous waters.
Grotto of Massabielle
The spiritual centre of Lourdes is the subterranean grotto where Bernadette Soubirous experienced her visions in 1858. From the Porte St-Joseph , a broad boulevard sweeps towards the gilded spires of the Basilique du Rosaire and the Basilique Supérieure. Underneath is the fabled Grotte de Massabielle , where people queue for hours to enter and take a blessed dip in the cave’s icy-cold baths, while other pilgrims content themselves by lighting candles of remembrance outside.
Perched on a rocky hilltop and bristling with zigzag battlements, stout walls and spiky turrets, from afar the fortified city of Carcassonne looks like something out of a children’s storybook. It’s most people’s perfect idea of a medieval castle, and it’s undoubtedly an impressive sight–not to mention one of the Languedoc’s biggest tourist draws.
Barcelona is an enchanting seaside city with boundless culture, fabled architecture and a world-class drinking and dining scene. Barcelona's architectural treasures span 2,000-plus years. Towering temple columns, ancient city walls and subterranean stone corridors provide a window into Roman-era Barcino. Fast forward a thousand years to the Middle Ages by taking a stroll through the shadowy lanes of the Gothic quarter, past tranquil plazas and soaring 14th-century cathedrals. In other parts of town bloom the sculptural masterpieces of Modernisme, a mix of ingenious and whimsical creations by Gaudí and his Catalan architectural contemporaries for which this city is so well known. Barcelona has also long-inspired artists, including the likes of Salvador Dalí, Pablo Picasso and Joan Miró, whose works are in bold display in the city's myriad museums.
La Sagrada Familia
La Sagrada Familia, the Holy Family, is a church of the people, built by the people, with the money of the people. While it is not the cathedral of Barcelona, it is widely known due to its unique architecture and phenomenal design initiated by architect Antoni Gaudí. Work on the exploratory church began in 1882 and continue to this day, but with modern technology and the rising number of visitors and donations, the church’s completion date has rapidly become closer. The facades of the church are breathtaking in their intricate and artistic details all of which were inspired by Gaudí. The church is divided into parts including the apse, chapels, cloister, crossing and transepts, crypt, glory façade, the nativity façade, the passion façade, the main nave and the sacristies.