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Give thanks to God in a city that embraces religious tolerance; a city that celebrates the Glory of God in some of the world's most inspiring churches. You'll have free time to explore Barcelona before meeting your Travel Director and fellow travel companions for a Welcome Reception and orientation of the city to kickstart your journey.
Spend the morning exploring Barcelona in the company of your 'Local Specialist'. We 'Dive Into Culture' for an opportunity to see the fairy-tale façades of La Sagrada Família, stepping through its intricately carved doors and into the creative genius of Gaudí's mind. The soaring spires and exquisitely told stories reflected on its outside walls cannot prepare you for the beauty within. The rest of the day is yours to explore. You may consider joining an Optional Experience to Montserrat to see the shrine of the Black Madonna, affectionately known in Catalonia as 'La Moreneta', followed by an optional evening of twirling skirts, clapping and castanets at an evening Flamenco show.
We journey north, across the Pyrenees and Cathar landscapes bound for the fortified city of Carcassonne. Join a 'Local Specialist' to explore this ancient town. We'll view the Cité, said to have inspired Walt Disney for his Castle of Sleeping Beauty, and see the double-ring of ramparts and 52 towers. Dinner is at our hotel this evening.
A leisurely start to our day sees us journey west to Lourdes, the global centre of the Marian pilgrimage. Embark on an orientation tour with your Travel Director for a taste of what you can look forward to tomorrow. As the sun sets, join your fellow pilgrims as we 'Dive Into Culture' for the poignant Torchlight Procession, which has moved through the city's streets since 1858. Join believers all over the world in singing the Ave Maria of Lourdes - an unforgettable experience.
This morning, you'll have an opportunity to attend Sunday Mass. We then trace the story of Saint Bernadette of Lourdes, who witnessed the Marian apparitions of the Immaculate Conception. A 'Local Specialist' will accompany you on a visit to St. Bernadette's Grotto, the shrine and her birthplace.
Our spiritual interlude with France at its end, we pass through the Basque Country and continue to Burgos, the historic capital of Castile. Meet your 'Local Specialist' for a sightseeing tour of its medieval centre, with the highlight being a visit to the UNESCO-listed Cathedral of Saint Mary of Burgos. Here you'll have time to admire the Gothic and Renaissance treasures inside and see the tomb of El Cid, the celebrated Castilian nobleman and a national hero. Enjoy dinner tonight at a local restaurant.
Follow in the footsteps of Saint James, crossing the Spanish 'North' to Santiago de Compostela. Imagine the thousands of pilgrims who have embarked on this spiritual path for centuries as you journey west through the rolling countryside. On arrival, your Travel Director will provide a brief orientation of the city after which you'll have some time at leisure to explore on your own. This evening, you have an opportunity to attend Pilgrim's Mass during which you'll hear all the names of the pilgrims who have been received in the city in the last day.
Join a 'Local Specialist' this morning for a sightseeing tour which includes a visit to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. Reputed to be the final resting place of the apostle James, this Romanesque medieval cathedral marks the end of the Camino de Santiago. This afternoon, explore Santiago de Compostela at your leisure or consider joining an Optional Experience to the coastal centre of Rías Baixas. Enjoy dinner at our hotel this evening.
We leave Spain behind and journey south to Portugal, to the Catholic pilgrimage site of Fátima. Walk the path followed by millions of pilgrims to the shrine where three young shepherds famously saw the apparition of the Virgin Mary. Your orientation tour will give you an overview of this religious centre. This evening you'll join worshippers from all over the world at an evening Rosary.
We journey on the Fátima Tourist Train (tickets included) to the tiny village of Aljustrel, where the three shepherds once lived to see their humble home which stands to this day. Explore Fatima at your leisure or consider joining an Optional Experience to Nazaré and Batalha, with its impressive Monastery of Santa Maria da Vitória na Batalha built in the 15th century to pay homage to the Portuguese victory at the Battle of Aljubarrota.
A short journey this morning sees us arrive in Lisbon. You'll meet a 'Local Specialist' who will accompany us on a drive through the lush avenues of the Portuguese capital, past the black and white mosaic pavements, bound for Belém, a district on the River Tejo. You'll see the Monument to the Discoveries and the Belém Tower before embarking on a visit to the exquisite 15th-century Hieronymite Monastery. After a day of sightseeing, we 'Connect With Locals' joining a Portuguese family for an exclusive 'Be My Guest' farewell dinner.
Say farewell to newfound friends after a memorable spiritual journey. Transfers are available. Conditions apply.
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