Barcelona & Southern Spain: Journey to La Sagrada Familia
Moderate – High
Join us on a pilgrimage to Southern Spain and experience Madrid, Toledo, Valencia, the Black Madonna of Montserrat, Barcelona, La Sagrada Familia and more.
Book With Confidence
All new travel bookings automatically come with our Book with Confidence Travel Plan*—free of charge. This plan gives pilgrims the ability to move their booking to another destination or simply a different available departure date in our vast travel portfolio, no questions asked. They just need to let us know 120 days* before departure and we’ll waive all penalties and get them booked on a new pilgrimage.
*The Book with Confidence Travel Plan allows for any new booking made with Holy Land Travel Center to be changed to a different destination or to another available departure date. Notice of change in travel plans must be given 120 days before departure; standard cancellation penalties will apply for full cancellation without rebooking or changes made within 120 days to departure. Applicable price and eligible promotions for the new tour will apply; if new trip is less expensive, a future travel credit will be issued for the difference in price. Cannot be applied to Passion Play Pilgrimages. No cash value. Credit is fully transferable. Offer reliant on space availability. Effective 10.7.2020. May be withdrawn at any time. Additional restrictions may apply; see Travel Terms & Conditions for details.
Welcome to Spain! Upon arrival in Madrid, we will be greeted by our tour guide and immediately begin our pilgrimage. Madrid, Spain’s capital since 1561 and its largest city. Pulsating with life, the city stands as a perfect testament to the Spanish zest for life, with its unquenchable appetite for art, architecture, dance, and epicurean pleasures. Our deluxe motor coach will take us to a historic church in old Madrid, where we will celebrate Mass. After Mass, we will enjoy our first meal together in Spain at a local restaurant before we continue to our orientational tour of the city, seeing sites such as the Puerto del Sol, the Plaza Major, the Cathedral of the Almudena. Following the tour, we will check into our hotel in Madrid.
Overnight Madrid (L, D)
Following breakfast, we will leave Madrid for the Imperial City of Toledo, where Saint John of the Cross was imprisoned by the Inquisition in a monastery just below the Muslim Alcazar and later nursed back to health by St. Teresa. Toledo, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is picturesquely perched on a rocky mound, isolated on three sides by a looping gorge of the Río Tajo. Known as the City of the Three Religions, it is a maze of cobblestone streets winding among churches, synagogues, mosques, houses and buildings preserved from its rich history. For many centuries the Christians, Moors and Jews lived here together in relative equality and peace. The city, surrounded by walls, hides great treasures such as its awesome Cathedral, the Santa María La Blanca Synagogue which also served as a Catholic church, the superb church of San Juan de los Reyes, and the church of Santo Tomé, with its famous el Greco masterpiece, where we will celebrate Mass. Following Mass, we will have some free time and be able to sample the famous local pastry created by the Catholic Sisters here, Marzipan. Return to Madrid for dinner and overnight.
Overnight Madrid (B, D)
Excursion to Avila / Alba De Tormes
After breakfast, we travel to the city of Avila, a UNESCO World Heritage site, surrounded by the best-preserved medieval walls in Europe. Here the atmosphere has changed very little since the days of St. Teresa, to whom the city is dedicated. St. Teresa, a great mystic, was the first woman to be named a Doctor of the Church. We will view the Cathedral and visit the Convent of St. Teresa, built on the site where she was born, and the Monastery of the Incarnation, where St. Teresa lived, wrote and had many mystical experiences. Here we will celebrate Mass and have time for reflection and to visit the comprehensive museum dedicated to her life. On a hill outside the city walls, we will visit the Cuatro Postes (four columns) monument where St. Teresa, at the age of seven was found by her father after attempting to run away with her brother to die as martyrs in the land of the Moors. After our tour and lunch, we will head for Alba de Tormes, where Saint Teresa died in 1582 and is buried. The museum of the Carmelite Convent of the Annunciation here contains her incorrupt heart and left arm. Some free time before we return to our hotel in Madrid.
Overnight Madrid (B, D)
Cordoba / Seville
This morning we travel south through the landscapes of Don Quixote La Mancha to Seville, the vibrant city of Andalusia. On the way, we stop at Cordoba and visit the Alcazar, the Roman Bridge, and the Medieval old Jewish quarter. Tour the magnificent 8th century Mosque of the Caliphs, famous for its 850 pillars of porphyry, marble and jasper. Continue to Seville for dinner and overnight.
Overnight Seville (B, D)
Listen to our guide’s account of the city’s role in Roman times, it’s conquest by the Moors by 712 AD, and it’s contribution to the discovery of the New World. Admire Maria Luisa Park. Drive to the Plaza de Espana, the Gold tower on the Guadalquivir River, and the fine baroque building, now a university, but used to be the Tobacco factory of the Carmen Fame. Visit the Cathedral with Columbus Tomb – the world’s largest gothic edifice. Finally, stroll through the narrow lanes of the charming Santa Cruz quarter. Balance of the day is at Leisure. For a truly Andalusian experience, we all attend a Flamenco show before we return to our hotel.
Overnight Seville (B, D)
Ronda / Granada
This morning we leave Seville and head to Granada. On the way, we stop at the Picturesque, historic Ronda. Perched on a platform on the Sierra de Ronda and cut into two by a deep Ravine. After Lunch we continue to Granada for dinner and overnight.
Overnight Granada (B, D)
Granada has the usual quotient of ancient and medieval sites typical for a southern European city. However, only Granada has the Alhambra which is considered to be one of the 10 Cultural Wonders of the World. Consisting of the most famous water gardens in antiquity, Middle Eastern fortifications and sumptuous palaces, it was the home of many of the Arab Sultans who ruled Andalusia. For centuries it received the optimum in interior decoration and architecture. We later visit the caves of Sacromonte and attend a typical show of gipsy flamenco.
Overnight Granada (B, D)
Purullena / Alicante
This morning we leave Granada and head towards Spain’s Mediterranean coast, traveling through beautiful mountain scenery. On route, see the famous cave houses at Purullena before traveling to the picturesque seaside resort of Alicante. Take time out this afternoon to amble down its mosaic-patterned, palm-dotted promenade, perhaps stopping for drinks or to browse for souvenirs at its shops.
Overnight Alicante (B, D)
Alicante / Valencia / Barcelona
This morning, continue to Valencia, the birthplace of paella, and known for its commercial fruit and vegetable gardens. Stop along the way at the City of Arts and Sciences, a stunning cultural and science park of innovative buildings by architect Santiago Calatrava. Admire the incredible complex before continuing into downtown Valencia. See the historic Central Market and the UNESCO World Heritage Site – La Lonja (Silk Exchange), and enjoy a walking tour of the center, admiring such landmarks as the cathedral, bullring, and medieval Serrano and Quart Towers, part of the old defensive walls. After free time for lunch at the Cathedral Square – perhaps savoring Valencian paella – relax as we drive along the coast to Barcelona, capital of Spain’s Catalonia province, and renowned for its fanciful architecture by Antoni Gaudi.
Overnight Barcelona (B, D)
Excursion to Manresa & Montserrat
Today we make our way to the spiritual heart of the Catalonia region. We visit Manresa a place of profound conversion for Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits). Here, in a cave on the banks of the Cardoner River, Ignatius received a vision that provided him with deep insights into the spiritual life and altered the course of his own life. From the initial insights he received here, Ignatius went on to pen the Spiritual Exercises.” We enjoy an audiovisual presentation and tour of the museum at Manresa then celebrate Eucharist in the nearby cave. We enjoy lunch together at a local restaurant. Afterwards we continue to Montserrat, home to the Benedictine monastery dramatically set in the Montserrat mountain range. Pilgrims from around the world flock to this monastery to view its magnificent architecture in such a striking setting. This shrine has attracted pilgrims for over 700 years, much as it did Ignatius of Loyola in March of 1522. We pause here to visit the Black Madonna of Montserrat, probably Spain’s most fervent devotion to the Blessed Mother.
Overnight Barcelona (B, L)
La Sagrada Familia
This morning we head to the most famous Holy family church, La Sagrada Familia. La Sagrada Familia is an unfinished Catholic basilica in Barcelona designed by the celebrated Art Nouveau architect Antoni Gaudi. We enjoy a full guided tour of the Basilica before we celebrate Mass. We then head to La Boqueria Market at Las Ramblas for some free time and lunch. Tonight, we enjoy a farewell dinner at a local venue.
Overnight Barcelona (B, D)
WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED
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