The Greatest European Western Shrines

14-Day Sample Itinerary

Western Europe and Catholicism

Spend two weeks on a Catholic tour of Portugal, Spain, France and Italy. The sites will astound you while enriching your understanding of Catholic heritage in the Western World.

Sample Itinerary:

Day 1: Transatlantic flight to Lisbon

Embark today on a transatlantic flight to Lisbon. Meals provided during the flight.

 

Day 2: Arrival into Lisbon – Santarem – Fatima

Upon arrival into Lisbon, meet your tour escort and board the motor-coach to enjoy a sightseeing tour of Lisbon and a stop at St. Anthony’s Church before heading out to Fatima, with a stop in Santarem. St. Anthony was born in Lisbon and this church is built on his birth site. Continue to Santarem and visit the Church of the Holy Miracle, which houses one of the most imposing Eucharistic Miracles in the world. Finally, arrive into Fatima and enjoy a welcome dinner with your travel companions. Join this evening’s rosary and candlelight procession at the Shrine. Overnight in Fatima. (WD)

 

Day 3: Fatima

Today, visit the Chapel of the Apparitions, the visionaries’ homes in Aljustrel, their tombs (in the Basilica), and the spring. Climb the route to Calvary along the Via Sacra to the Chapel of Calvary. Join this evening’s rosary and candlelight procession. Dinner and overnight in Fatima. (BB, D)

 

Day 4: Fatima – Salamanca

Depart Fatima this morning towards Salamanca, and enjoy a sightseeing tour of this elegant city. Visit the Old Cathedral and, next to it, the New Cathedral, one of the most beautiful in Spain, and render homage to the miraculous image of Our Lady of La Vega and the remains of St. John of Sahagun, known for his love of the Holy Eucharist and his extraordinary preaching, and of St. Thomas of Villanueva, a renowned preacher who also worked tirelessly to relieve the suffering of the poor. See the Plaza Mayor, considered one of the most grandiose and beautiful in Europe. Dinner and overnight in Salamanca. (BB, D)

 

Day 5: Salamanca – Alba de Tormes – Avila – Burgos

After an early breakfast, travel to Burgos. En route, stop at Alba de Tormes. Dominating the town is the Army Tower, the only remaining part of the Castle of the Dukes of Alba. St. Teresa of Avila is buried in the Carmelite convent which she founded in 1571. Then, another stop in Avila, where superbly-preserved 11th-century walls surround the medieval city. Its cathedral is one of the most magnificent in Spain. Inside the city walls is the Convento de Santa Teresa that was built on the site of the saint’s home. Outside the city walls is the Monasterio de la Encarnacion, where St. Teresa lived for more than 20 years and home to one of the most comprehensive museums dedicated to her. Continue to Burgos for dinner and overnight. (BB, D)

 

Day 6: Burgos – Loyola – Lourdes

After visiting Burgos’ stunning Cathedral, head towards Loyola, home of St. Ignatius, founder of the Jesuits. Visit the Basilica dedicated to the saint, behind which is the home of St. Ignatius. There, you can see the room where St. Ignatius, at age 30, was brought following his serious wounding at the Battle of Pamplona. Continue across the Pyrenees and arrive into Lourdes, in time for dinner and the evening candlelight procession. Overnight in Lourdes. (BB, D)

 

Day 7: Lourdes

Enjoy a free morning in Lourdes. You may wish to submerge in the healing baths where hundreds of miraculous cures have taken place, or obtain some holy water, or pray at the Grotto. In the afternoon, embark on a guided sightseeing tour, including the Grotto where the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to St. Bernadette in 1858, the Basilica of Our Lady of Lourdes, the birthplace of St. Bernadette, and her family home during the time of the apparitions. Join this evening’s memorable rosary and candlelight procession. Dinner and overnight in Lourdes. (BB, D)

 

Day 8: Lourdes – Zaragoza

Depart today towards Zaragoza. At arrival, visit the first Marian sanctuary of the world dedicated to the Virgin Mary, Our Lady of the Pillar. Before her Assumption, the Mother of God appeared to St. James the Great Apostle and gave him a small wooden statue of her and a column of jasper and instructed him to build a church in her honor. Nearby, visit Zaragoza’s cathedral, one of the most beautiful churches in Europe, it contains magnificent side altars and remains of St. Dominguito de Val, a young boy martyred in 1250 and of St. Peter Arbues, Dominican priest assassinated inside the cathedral in 1485. Dinner and overnight in Zaragoza. (BB, D)

 

Day 8: Zaragoza – Montserrat – Barcelona

Depart today towards Barcelona. Stop at the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Montserrat, main Marian shrine of Catalonia visited by many saints. The Black Virgin of Montserrat was carved by St. Luke around 50 AD and brought to Spain. Inside the sanctuary is the sword that St. Ignatius of Loyola offered to our Lady.  Continue to Barcelona for a panoramic view of the city. Dinner and overnight in Barcelona.(BB, D)

 

Day 9: Barcelona

This morning a walking tour of Barcelona center will highlight its magnificent cathedral that houses the remains of St. Eulalia, 3rd century martyr and patroness of Barcelona, the Cross of Lepanto carried by one of the ships, and the remains of the great Dominican St. Raymond of Peñaflor. Afterwards, visit Gaudi’s impressive Expiatory Temple of the Holy Family. The rest of the day is free for further visits, or for some souvenir shopping, with dinner on your own. (BB)

 

Day 10: Barcelona – Rome

Travel to Rome today by plane. Upon arrival into the Eternal City, make way to your hotel for check-in. Dinner and overnight in Rome. (BB, D)

 

Day 11: Rome

This morning attend the Papal Audience at the Vatican. As it is customary, the Pope will give his blessing at the end of the audience. Afterwards, visit the Vatican Museums exhibiting countless treasures, and the Sistine Chapel, the renowned masterpiece of Michelangelo. Then, visit the magnificent Basilica of St. Peter, site of his martyrdom, where you can see the famous “Pieta”, the tombs of the popes, and much more. The rest of the day is at leisure to explore on your own. Dinner and overnight in Rome (BB, D)

 

Day 12: Rome

Today’s guided visits will be to the major basilicas and shrines of Rome: St. Mary Major, where you will have Mass, was built on the site indicated by the Virgin Mary to Pope Liberius by a miraculous snowfall; St. John Lateran, the mother of all churches and the cathedral of the bishop of Rome, contains exceptional relics. Then, visit the Holy Staircase that Our Lord Jesus Christ ascended during His passion, originally in Pontius Pilate’s Palace; the Holy Cross of Jerusalem, home of the relics of Our Lord’s Passion; and St. Paul Outside the Walls, to render homage to the remains of the Apostle. Dinner and overnight in Rome. (BB, D)

 

Day 13: Rome

Experience the glory of Imperial Rome while visiting the Coliseum, famous as a place of spectacle and death, and where many martyrs died. See the Circus Maximus, built during the reign of Nero. This huge stadium was able to seat 250,000 spectators for chariot races and other spectacles. See the Roman Forum, an ancient meeting place, market place, religious and political center. View the Arch of Titus that commemorates Titus’ conquest of Judea. Visit the Mamertine Prison, where both St. Peter and St. Paul were imprisoned, and the catacombs, where the early Christians were buried. Then, take a walking guided tour of the Spanish Steps, the Fountain of Trevi, the Pantheon, and Piazza Navona. Tonight enjoy a farewell dinner to celebrate such a beautiful pilgrimage. (BB, FD)

 

Day 14: Rome – USA  

Transfer this morning to Rome Fiumicino airport for the return flight home. (BB)

 

 

* (BB) Buffet Breakfast * (D) Dinner * (WD) Welcome Dinner * (FD) Farewell Dinner

 

Enjoy the pilgrim tour of a lifetime and let Catholic Heritage Tours do the busy work of booking travel, lodging, and Holy Masses. We will work with you to create your own custom itinerary. Call today to see about forming a group – (800) 290-3876. 

Please contact us for a price quote for your group.

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