Visit town of Lisieux, the home of St Therese whom Pope Pius X called "the greatest saint of modern times" Visit Paris and all its wonderful sights like Notre Dame Cathedral and Sacre Coeur, see the sights as the Eiffel Tower, L'Arc de Triomphe, and drive through the Champs Elysees.
DAY 1: (USA/PARIS) Today we board our flights to Paris with meals and beverages served aloft.
DAY 2: PARIS: Upon our arrival to Paris, we are met by our Holy Land Travel Center Representative. We start our tour with a stunning example of Gothic architecture that took two centuries and armies of medieval workers to complete - The Notre Dame Cathedral. After Mass, we visit Sainte-Chapelle "Holy Chapel", and its stained-glass, that is considered the best of their type in the world. Later in the afternoon, we visit the Champs Elysees and the Eiffel Tower.
DAY 3: PARIS/VERSAILLES/CHARTRES: This morning we leave to Rue de Bac church for Mass, where the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to Saint Catherine Labouré and requested the creation of the medal which came to be known as the Miraculous Medal. Then we head to St Vincent de Paul church. The church was built in the 19th century, on the site of the ancient Saint-Lazare enclosure. The enclosure was occupied by Saint Vincent de Paul and the Congregation de la Mission from 1632 to 1793 - it was here that he had lived and worked. After lunch, we travel about 11 miles southwest of Paris to visit Versailles, best known as the site of the magnificent Palace of Versailles, built by King Louis XIV during the 1600's and was the royal residence for more than 100 years. We then continue to Chartres to visit the Notre-Dame de Chartres (the Cathedral of Our Lady of Chartres). This Cathedral is considered one of the finest examples in all France of the Gothic style of architecture.
DAY 4: PARIS/LOURDES: After breakfast we depart to Lourdes, birthplace of Bernadette. Once we arrive, we check in at our hotel. After dinner we all join the Candlelight Procession.
DAY 5: LOURDES: This day we start with mass at the Grotto of Massabielle, where our Lady appeared to Bernadette in 1858. Later we take our official group photo in front of the Basilica, followed by our guided tour of Lourdes: The sanctuary of the Basilica of St. Pius X, the world's largest underground church. The Basilica, The Baths, where thousands of miraculous cures have taken place is the most respected shrine and sanctuary in France. Also to be visited are sites associated with the life of Saint Bernadette, like the Boly Mill - where she was born; the Locale Mill - residence of her parents; the Cachot - formerly used as a jail where she lived at the time of the Apparitions; the Chapel - where she received her first Holy Communion; and the Parish Church - containing the baptismal font where she was baptized. In the afternoon our group will join the Blessed Sacrament Procession and Blessing of the sick, (if available on that day).
DAY 6: LOURDES/FATIMA: Today we take our flight from Lourdes to Fatima. Arrive Fatima, where Our Blessed Mother visited three shepherd children, Lucia Santos and her cousins Bl. Jacinta & Bl. Francisco Marto in 1917, with a message of great hope for the world, in time for the Rosary and Candlelight Procession.
DAY 7: FATIMA: This day is dedicated to religious activities with our Tour Escort. After dinner we attend the candlelight procession.
DAY 8: FATIMA/SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA: Today we drive to Santiago de Compostela
DAY 9: SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA: We begin with a visit to the Cathedral of St. James, one of the finest examples of architecture in all of Europe. As pilgrims, we have the opportunity to climb the stairs behind the high altar to visit the crypt where the relics of St. James are preserved, touch the central pillar (Portico de La Gloria), view the 'botafumeiro' and admire the wealth of medieval art inside the Cathedral, before visiting the cloister museum. Enjoy a stroll on own, though the beautiful streets of Santiago de Compostela, the city of the apostle, full of historical buildings and other attractions (before or after dinner). Dinner and overnight in Santiago de Compostela.
DAY 10: SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA/MADRID: Today we drive from Santiago de Compostela to Madrid
DAY 11: AVILA/SALAMANCA: After breakfast we depart to Avila. The city is notable for having a complete medieval city walls. Dedicated to San Salvador, the Ávila Cathedral is truly a cathedral-castle, with battlements and sentry walks incorporated into the structure. It's not just for looks, either - in the 12th century, Bishop Sancho protected the young Alfonso IX until he became king. Next, we make our way to the Plaza de Santa Teresa, the old part of the city. This square is a large shopping area, with many cafes and restaurants. This afternoon we head to Salamanca for the rest of our day. Salamanca is considered one of the most spectacular Renaissance cities in Europe. Through the centuries, the sandstone buildings have gained an exquisite golden glow that has given Salamanca the nickname La Ciudad Dorada, the golden city. We visit the old Romanesque cathedral. Next we head over to the Plaza Mayor – this is a large central square, bustling with cafés and restaurants, really the heart of the city. Time providing, we will also visit the 12th century Old Cathedral (Catedral Vieja) and the New Cathedral (Catedral Nueva), built during the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries - these two cathedrals are built next to one another.
DAY 12: MADRID: This morning, we have an all day excursion to Madrid, The capital of Spain. We will be introduced to some of the best-loved sites of this cosmopolitan Spanish capital, during a panoramic city tour. We visit historic places including the famed museum, the Prado, which is home to almost 7,000 works of art, and the 2,000-room Royal Palace, dating from the 1700s. The Royal Palace (El Escorial) is the official residence of the King of Spain in the city of Madrid, but it is only used for state ceremonies. We will have some free time in the city of Madrid before heading back to Avila.
DAY 13: RETURN USA: Today we bid Spain farewell and board our flights home, carrying with us memories and keepsakes that will last a lifetime.