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On this Travel with Faith journey, 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 pilgrimage.
Spend the morning exploring the spiritual side of Barcelona in the company of your Local Specialist. We Dive Into Culture for an opportunity to see the city’s most celebrated religious monument, La Sagrada Família, stepping through its intricately carved doors, into the creative genius of Gaudí's mind and his breath-taking gift to God. 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 follow in the footsteps of the faithful. 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 clapping and castanets at an evening Flamenco show. As you watch the twirling skirts and hear the trill of the guitar, you’ll feel the energy of this fiery UNESCO-listed tradition adored by the Spanish.
We journey north, across the Pyrenees and Cathar landscapes bound for the fortified city of Carcassonne. Here we’ll join a Local Specialist to explore this ancient town, which you’ll learn was once the stronghold of pious believers of the Cathar faith from the 12th century until they were persecuted and expelled by the Inquisition. Marvelling at the Cité, you’ll understand why it’s said to have inspired Walt Disney for his Castle of Sleeping Beauty, and you’ll know that the same double-ring of ramparts and 52 towers you see today are those pilgrims like yourself have seen for many centuries. Learning all about the city’s spiritual significance, you’ll get to relive all the highlights and share your spellbinding stories this evening as you relax over a traditional dinner featuring some of the hearty cuisine for which the region is particularly well known.
A leisurely start to our day sees us journey west to Lourdes, the global centre of the Marian pilgrimage and the holy place where St. Bernadette was said to have had visions of Mary in a cave. Embark on an orientation tour with your Travel Director to gain a real sense of the devotion that pilgrims over the centuries have felt for this place. As the sun sets, you’ll have an opportunity to share in this devotion first-hand as you Dive Into Culture for the mesmerising Torchlight Procession, which has moved through the city's streets since 1858. Join believers from all over the world in singing the Ave Maria of Lourdes – a spine-tingling experience that will touch you forever. Moved by this evening’s fellowship, you’ll want to sample some of the Pyrenees’ flavourful culinary specialities, perhaps the local trout and some of the local cheeses paired with the region’s celebrated Madiran or Jurançon vintages.
Start your sightseeing visit of Lourdes’ noteworthy religious sites this morning by worshipping the Lord at Sunday Mass with pilgrims from all over the world. You’ll trace the story of St. Bernadette of Lourdes, who witnessed the Marian apparitions of the Immaculate Conception and was canonised in 1933 eventually becoming the patron saint of bodily illness. A Local Specialist will accompany you on a visit to St. Bernadette's Grotto, the shrine and her birthplace, and you’ll learn how millions of pilgrims come to this holy place to pray and drink its miraculous water, following the same instruction of our Lady of Lourdes to ‘drink at the spring’. You’ll feel the spiritual importance of this sacred place as you explore the Domain and contemplate the miracles that have occurred since the Virgin Mary’s apparition here.
Our spiritual interlude with France at its end, we pass through the Basque Country and continue to Burgos, the historic capital of Castile founded as an outpost of the expanding Christian frontier. 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, dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Here you'll have time to spend a quiet moment of contemplation and prayer amidst the many extraordinary works of Renaissance artists and see the tomb of El Cid, the celebrated Castilian nobleman and a national hero. Enjoy dinner tonight at a local restaurant, discovering just what a delight Castilian cuisine is. Perhaps you’ll sample some regional favourites such as lechazo, succulent lamb, or nibble on tasty pinchos (tapas) with a glass of the local Ribera del Duero to complete the perfect meal.
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, as you travel west through the rolling countryside, as they have in devotion for centuries. On arrival, your Travel Director will provide a brief orientation of this famous pilgrimage site after which you'll have some time at leisure to explore on your own, strolling through Alameda Park and admiring views of the Santiago de Compostela Cathedral and the Old Town or getting lost in its historic centre in search of the perfect plaza. Perhaps you’d like to soak up the architecture and atmosphere of the city’s winding streets, sample the Pilgrim's menu at the San Franciscan convent-turned hotel and restaurant or simply relax in the tranquil greenery of Alameda Park, with its wonderful views of the cathedral and Old Town to really get a sense of what it must be like to live in this sacred city. This evening, you have an opportunity to give praise at the Pilgrim's Mass, which welcomes 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, the final resting place of St. James, the apostle of Jesus Christ. The Romanesque medieval cathedral in the heart of old Santiago also marks the end of the Camino de Santiago and you’ll feel the spiritual significance it still has for pilgrims many centuries after it was completed in the 13th century. This afternoon, explore Santiago de Compostela at your leisure, perhaps a more in-depth visit to the UNESCO-listed Old Town with its festive atmosphere and a chance to stop in at one of the cosy coffee shops for a slice of almond-filled heaven, the local Tarta de Santiago. You may also consider joining an Optional Experience to the coastal centre of Rías Baixas where you’ll discover the deep fjord-like estuaries of Galicia with our Local Specialist, stopping in O Grove Port and the village of Cambados, before enjoying a refreshing boat trip to sample mussels and Ribeiro wine fresh from the local farms, leaving some space for dinner later at your hotel.
Our trip through Spain at its end, we continue our spiritual 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 the history and religious significance of this holy place and you’ll watch how devotees pray for health, happiness and repentance. This evening, peace will fill your heart as you join worshippers from all over the world reciting the Rosary in the hushed and magnificent surrounds of the famous Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fátima.
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. You’ll have time to witness the power of faith in Fátima 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 and thank the Virgin Mary for her intervention in their battle with the Castilians. This beautiful Gothic-turned-Manueline honey-hued structure was home to Portugal’s first stained-glass workshop, and you’ll see the radiant beauty all around you as you explore further. See the statue of Nuno Álvares Pereira on his horse, learning how this military commander who was credited with winning this battle and keeping Portugal independent. You’ll leave with a deep understanding of the events leading up to its construction and know that through your visit, you help to support its preservation for years to come.
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 we Dive Into Culture and visit the exquisite 16th-century Hieronymite Monastery. The resident monks of the Order of Saint Jerome were tasked to give guidance to sailors and pray for the soul of King Manuel I and beyond its spiritual significance, you’ll be mesmerised by its beauty. After a day of sightseeing, we enjoy an exclusive Be My Guest experience and Connect With Locals at their family home in Lisbon's Terras Vedras for a Farewell Dinner featuring some of the delicious local delicacies for dessert, along with the chance to sample the local wine in the charming winery dating back to 1858. You’ll be so captivated by the whole experience, you’ll want to take special note of all the favourite local recipes to try them out back home with friends and family.
Say farewell to newfound friends after a memorable spiritual journey. Find out more about your free airport transfer at trafalgar.com/freetransfers.
Prices shown are per person based on two people sharing a twin room. To request a personalized travel quote, click "Request Quote" and a Travel Specialist will send your custom quote including airfare if requested.
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