Central Europe

17-Day Sample Itinerary

Catholic Tours through Poland, Prague, Vienna, and More

Take a stunning pilgrimage through Central Europe with Catholic Heritage Tours and see wide collections of treasures both religious and secular, including the treasury of the Hapsburgs, the Zebrzydowski Chapel and the shrine of the Great Mother of Austria, Our Lady of Mariazell. Read the full sample itinerary below.


Sample Itinerary:


Day 1: Fly from the U.S. to Vienna, Austria

Embark on your flight to Europe, destination Vienna. Meals will be served on board.


Day 2: Vienna – Mariazell – Vienna

Upon arrival at the airport, your tour escort will be at the gate to welcome you and take you to your motor coach. Travel the short distance to Hauptplatz to render homage to the Great Mother of Austria, Our Lady of Mariazell. Surrounded by mountains and meadows, this shrine, the most famous in all of Central Europe, houses the famous statue of the Madonna. Return to Vienna for a welcome dinner to meet your fellow travelers and plan on the days ahead. (WD)


Day 3: Vienna

Tour the beautiful city of Vienna, with planned visits to the Cathedral of Saint Stephen, with its magnificent altars and the miraculous image of the Hungarian Weeping Madonna of Mariapocs as well as the Imperial and Ecclesiastical Treasury that displays a stunning collection of the secular and religious treasures of the Hapsburgs. The treasury is rightly called the cradle of the imperial collections. With the rest of the day at leisure, you may want to visit Schonbrunn, the baroque summer palace of the Habsburg dynasty, or visit the Imperial Burial Vault. Enjoy one of the many excellent restaurants in Vienna and perhaps a piece of the city’s famous chocolate cake at Sacher’s. (BB)


Day 4: Vienna: Excursion along the Danube

After breakfast, board the bus for a tour of the Wachau region of the Danube Valley, where you will visit Krems, a delightful, well-preserved medieval village. Nearby, in the shrine of Our Lady of Maria Taferl, is displayed the miraculous image of Our Lady of Sorrows. It is also there that thirty celestial processions took place along with miraculous healings between 1658 and 1661.Then, travel to Melk to visit its stunning Abbey, recognized as one of the finest Baroque buildings in the world. There, countless medieval treasures can be found in its library and splendid works of art in its church. Return to Vienna for dinner and overnight. (BB, D)


Day 5: Vienna – Gyor – Esztergom – Szentendre – Budapest

This morning, leave Vienna to head to Budapest. Along the way, three stops are planned. The first is the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Gyor, the miraculous Irish Madonna of Hungary that shed tears of blood for the sufferings of the Irish people. Then, Esztergom, on the shores of the Danube, which is the spiritual center of Catholicism in Hungary. The stately cathedral, built by King St. Stephen, is one of the largest in the world, and is magnificently decorated inside. The treasury contains numerous religious artifacts of great value and beauty, as well as many Saints’ relics. The tomb of Cardinal Mindszenty, tortured for his defense of the Catholic Church during the Leninist persecutions, lies in the crypt of the cathedral. Before reaching Budapest, travel through the spectacular Danube Bend to reach the medieval town of Szentendre. There, wander through this picturesque layout of small squares and meandering lanes. Dinner and overnight in Budapest. (BB, D)


Day 6: Budapest

Today, explore the magnificence of this historical city, starting with a guided visit to the Basilica of St. Stephen, dedicated to this saint who was an example of humility and zeal, which boasts countless religious, architectural and artistic treasures, among which is the mummified hand of St. Stephen, king. Continue with the Chain Bridge, the symbol of Budapest because it links, with stately beauty and historical significance, the two sides of the city. The bridge leads to Buda Castle Hill, where a guided tour will take you through the Fisherman Bastion, which offers a magnificent view of the city, and the Church of Saint Matthias. This splendid church, with its Museum of Ecclesiastical Art, houses a miraculous baroque Madonna, and incalculable riches. The rest of the day is at leisure, with independent dinner. (BB)


Day 7: Budapest – Kalwaria Zebrzydowska – Krakow

After breakfast, drive into Slovakia and through the Tatra Mountains, with superb scenery to admire on the way to Poland. Shortly before arriving to Krakow, visit Kalwaria Zebrzydowska, called the Polish Jerusalem, one of Poland’s most beautiful and oldest places of pilgrimage. It consists of 40 chapels built in the 17th C., set on the surrounding hills. Among the most prominent sites is the Zebrzydowski Chapel with the miraculous painting of Our Lady of Kalwaria with the Child Jesus. Continue into Krakow for dinner and overnight at the hotel. (BB, LB, D)


Day 8: Krakow

Enjoy the day in Krakow with a sightseeing tour of the city which was the seat of Polish kings for centuries. Visit Wawel Hill, on which is built an architectural complex built over many centuries. Then, the Royal Cathedral of the Castle: Once the site of coronations and royal burials, it is regarded as a spiritual shrine of Poland. Inside, kneel before the relics of Saint Stanislaus, first polish-born saint, and Saint Hedwig, queen of Poland in the 14th C. Visit also the Cathedral Treasury, with countless riches, and the Royal tombs. Walk through the Old Town, visiting the splendid arcaded courtyard of the Jagiellonian University, the Cloth Hall and the 14th C. Saint Mary’s Basilica, with its stunningly beautiful and richly decorated interior, featuring the largest wooden altar in the world. The rest of the day is at leisure, with enough time to visit other sites, such as the Church of Saint Anne, with its baroque shrine and reliquary of Saint John of Cantius, Polish priest, philosopher, physicist and professor. Dinner is independent tonight, with overnight in Krakow. (BB)


Day 9: Krakow – Czestochowa – Wroclaw

After breakfast, travel north to Wroclaw with a stop in Czestochowa and Trzebnica. In Czestochowa visit one of the most famous shrines in the world, the Monastery of Jasna Gora, where a miraculous icon painted by Saint Luke is venerated, the Black Madonna, Our Lady of Czestochowa. Trzebnica is home to an Abbey founded by Saint Hedwig, who is buried in the church. She is one of the most cherished heroines of Poland, a princess become nun, loved by the people for her great kindness, humble example, and generosity. Dinner and overnight in Wroclaw. (BB, D)


Day 10: Wroclaw – Prague

Begin the day with a sightseeing tour of Wroclaw, a beautiful city which bears the stamp of several cultures. There, visit the Old Town, Ostrw Tumski and Piasek Island, with the enormous Gothic Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist. Afterward, depart Wroclaw toward Prague. Before reaching the Czech capital, stop to tour the medieval city of Kutna Hora, with its unique Gothic Church of Saint Barbara and the Cathedral of the Virgin Mary.  Arrive in Prague in the evening for dinner and overnight. (BB, LB, D)


Day 11: Prague

Enjoy a full day in Prague, with a sightseeing tour of this beautiful city, and planned visits to: Church of Our Lady Victorious, to honor the Christ Child represented in the miraculous statue of the Holy Infant of Prague. Continue your visits with the Santa Casa, an exact copy of the Holy House in Loreto, Italy, and the Church of the Nativity, with marvelous frescoes. Pass through the gates of the Hardcany Castle, to visit the Cathedral of St. Vitus which houses a magnificent chapel to St. Wenceslas, the first Czech saint. Walk the streets of the palace complex to see many other beautiful sites. The rest of the day is at leisure. You may want to continue exploring Prague Castle’s complex, or walk the Royal Route passing through Charles Bridge, Prague’s most celebrated structure, on the way to the winding alleys of Old Town. Dinner is on your own, with overnight in Prague. (BB)


Day 12: Prague – Cesky Krumlov – Wilhering Abbey Church – Salzburg

Leave the Czech republic to head to Salzburg,Austria, with two stops on the way:

Firstly in Cesky Krumlov, a picturesque town situated on the banks of the Moldau river, and a major crossroads in Europe. More than three hundred historic buildings attest to this, and a walk through the old streets will give an idea of life as it was. Close to Linz, visit Wilhering Abbey Church, considered to be one of the most outstanding examples of the Rococo style in Europe. Dinner and overnight in Salzburg. (BB, D)


Day 13: Salzburg

A day in Salzburgand its outskirts will take you to the Shrine of Our Lady of Maria Plain, where Mozart composed the Coronation Mass in celebration of the miraculous picture of the Madonna and the Christ Child, housed in this church. Nearby are venerated the relics of St. Dennis and St. Christina. A stunning view of the city completes this visit. Back in Salzburg, a sightseeing tour will show you the most beautiful sites of the city, with visits to the Miraculous Child Jesus at the Loreto Church. The wonder-working ivory statue from the seventeenth century is enshrined above a side altar. Finally, the Saint Peter’s Abbey, the oldest in Austria, whose Church, library and cemetery offer the visitor beauty and awe. The rest of the day is at leisure for sightseeing or shopping. Dinner is independent, with overnight in Salzburg. (BB)


Day 14: Salzburg – Memmingen

From Salzburg to Memmingen, in Germany, the road takes you through sites worth visiting, among them the Wies Church, one of the most extravagant Rococo buildings in the world, houses the cherished miraculous wooden statue of the “Scourged Savior”. Nearby, King Ludwig’s sumptuous castle at Neuschwanstein, with its fairy-tale grotto, beautiful gardens and fountains. Finally, the magnificent Ottobeuren Abbey, founded in the 8th C., a jewel of baroque architecture. Relics of Saint Boniface, apostle of Germany, are housed in the church, as is a miraculous image of Our Lady. Continue to Memmingen, a delightful Bavarian town, for dinner and overnight. (BB, D)


Day 15: Memmingen – Sankt Gallen – Einsiedeln – Sachseln

A route with stunning scenery will take you to Sankt Gallen, one of the most important Benedictine monasteries for over ten centuries, which houses a world-famous abbey library. It was founded in honor of St. Gall, a humble hermit and student of St. Columba, who died nearby. Continue the journey, stopping once more in Einsiedeln, to visit the shrine of Our Lady of Einsiedeln whose miraculous image was brought by a holy and kind Benedictine, Saint Meinrad, who also established his hermitage here. Finally, a last stop ion Sachseln, the geographical center of Switzerland. Here, pay homage to the country’s patron saint, St. Nicholas, or, as he is commonly called, Bruder Klaus. His saintly life exemplifies that of a husband and father, as well as that of a hermit. His remains are kept in the church at Sachseln. Afterward, spend the rest of the day on your own, visiting this charming town. (BB)


Day 16: Sachseln – Fribourg – Geneva

This last day before departure, enjoy beautiful views of mountains and lakes on your way to Geneva. Stop in Fribourg, an important center of monastic culture throughout history. Guided visit of the gothic cathedral, then of the Church of Saint Michael, to pray to St. Peter Canisius, defender of the Faith against Protestantism, noted catechist, theologian and preacher, and zealous Jesuit, whose relics are kept here. Upon arrival in Geneva, enjoy some free time before a farewell dinner to celebrate your wonderful trip. (BB, FD)


Day 17: Return to the US

After breakfast, transfer to the airport in Geneva for your return flight to the U.S. (BB)


(BB) Buffet Breakfast * (L) Lunch * (D) Dinner * (WD) Welcome Dinner * (FD) Farewell Dinner * (LB) Boxed Lunch




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