Shrines of Spain Pilgrimage9 days
Your trip includes
- Round-trip airfare from your desired Airport
- All airport taxes & fuel surcharges
- Accommodations in Four Star Hotels (or similar) in double occupancy
- ~ 1 night: Hotel Ayre Caspe, Barcelona
- ~ 2 nights: Hotel Abat, Montserrat
- ~ 2 nights: Hotel Preciados, Madrid
- ~ 2 nights: San Francisco Hotel Monumento, Santiago de Compostela
- Transfers as per itinerary
- Breakfast and Dinner daily
- Wine and mineral water with dinners
- Transportation by air-conditioned motor coach
- Assistance of local guide throughout
- Sightseeing and admissions fees as per itinerary
- Catholic Priest, Mass daily & Spiritual activities
- Luggage handling (1 piece per person)
- Lunches, Tips to your guide & driver
Day 1, Depart for Barcelona
Make your way to your local airport, where you will board your overnight flight(s). Your meals will be served on board.
Day 2, Arrive Barcelona
Upon arrival in Barcelona, collect your luggage in the baggage claim area, and continue to the arrival hall where you will be greeted by your tour guide and/-or driver. Make your way to the vehicle for your transfer to your hotel. Upon arrival, check-in, and have free time to rest and refresh or explore. This evening, enjoy a welcoming dinner, followed by an overnight in Barcelona.
Day 3, Barcelona - Manresa - Montserrat
This morning, your day will begin with breakfast and a sightseeing tour of Barcelona! Enjoy the stunning panoramic views of the Port of Barcelona, Montjuic, Plaza de España, and Plaza de Catalunya. This port created some 2000 years ago in the coastal area to protect and provide access for ships to bring in goods. Currently, it is home to numerous walking areas, businesses, cultural and sporting events. Plaza de España is right outside the center of town, formerly known for its old bull-fighting ring. Presently, the Plaza is renowned for containing the Museum of Catalan art, situated on the side of Montjuic. Plaza de Catalunya is located in central Barcelona and is known for its fountains and statues. Your day of touring will continue with a guided walk through the Gothic Quarter containing remains from an ancient Roman village, including the Cathedral of Barcelona. We will continue to the Eixample quarter to visit Antoni Gaudi's stunning, unfinished Roman Catholic Basilica, La Sagrada Familia. In the afternoon, we will travel to Manresa to visit the Sanctuary of Saint Ignatius of Loyola and the Holy Cave where St. Ignatius lived. Continue to Montserrat, home to the miraculous Black Madonna. Arrive in time for dinner and overnight.
Day 4, Montserrat
After breakfast, we visit the Shrine of Our Lady of Montserrat, located on a rugged mountainside. According to Catholic tradition circa 50 A.D., St. Luke carved the statue of the Black Madonna and brought it to Spain. While in Spain, it kept hidden from the Moors and later was discovered by shepherds. In 880 A.D., shepherds and the Bishop of Manresa were drawn to a grotto by a bright light and heavenly music. Upon discovery of the Black Madonna statue, the Bishop of Manresa suggested to move it to Manresa. However, the statue was too heavy and could not be lifted. As a result, the Virgin remained in Montserrat and continued to be venerated there for centuries. As years progressed, several chapels were built upon the site. In the eleventh century, the abbot-bishop Oliba founded the Monastery on Montserrat next to one of these chapels. Dinner and overnight.
Day 5, Montserrat - Zaragoza - Madrid
This morning, following breakfast, depart for Zaragoza. While in Zaragoza, you will have the opportunity to visit the magnificent Basilica del Pilar, built upon the site of where Our Lady appeared to St. James. In 44 A.D., St. James, the Greater was spreading the Gospel in Spain, making very little progress and questioning his mission. According to Catholic Tradition, the Virgin Mary, who was still living in Jerusalem, bi-located and appeared to St. James the Greater to boost his morale. While inside the Basilica, you will view the pillar carried by angels, and from atop Our Lady appeared. After the visit to the Basilica del Pilar, continue to La Seo Cathedral (Cathedral of Zaragoza) formally known as the church of San Vicente. The Visigoth period contains architectural elements of Gothic, Mudejar, Renaissance, and Baroque styles. In addition to the famous cathedral, Zaragoza is known for its folklore and local gastronomy. Both will be explored during the walking tour of the city. This evening, continue to Madrid, where you will eat your dinner and enjoy a restful overnight.
Day 6, Madrid & Toledo
After breakfast, we will enjoy a tour of Madrid which includes the Royal Palace and Plaza Mayor. A visit to Toledo will be next. Toledo, located on a rocky mound isolated on three sides right by a looping gorge of the Río Tajo. Every available inch of this outcrop has churches, synagogues, mosques, and houses heaped upon one another in a haphazard spiral, which the cobbled lanes infiltrate as best they can. Toledo is known as the city of the Three Religions or Cultures. For many centuries the Christians, the Moors, and the Jews lived together in relative equality and peace. The city surrounded by walls hides great treasured: its beautiful Church of Santo Tomé, the Tránsito Synagogue, Santa María la Blanca Synagogue, the Church of San Juan de Los Reyes, Puerta de Bisagras, Puerta del Cambrón, Puerta del Sol, etc. We return to Madrid for dinner and overnight.
Day 7, Madrid - Astorga - O' Cebreiro - Santiago de Compostela
Today, you will depart Madrid and head towards the city of Santiago de Compostela. While en-route, a stop be made in Astorga to visit the Bishop's Palace built by Antonio Gaudi, which holds the Museum of El Camino. Later this afternoon, enter Galicia by way of the city, Lugo. Your first stop will be to O’Cebreiro, the first village in the region of Lugo and nestled in the mountains at an altitude of 1,300 meters. In O' Cebreiro view the iconic palooza styles houses and the site of a Eucharistic Miracle which occurred in the year 1300. In the evening, proceed to Santiago de Compostela for your dinner and overnight.
Day 8, Santiago de Compostela
This morning, you will walk a few miles of El Camino, and immerse yourselves in the fragrant eucalyptus groves and experience the breathtaking scenery. Later this morning, join in celebrating the International Pilgrim Mass at the Cathedral of St. James. After Mass, there will be free time for lunch followed with a visit the Cathedral of Santiago. The cathedral was formed of Galician granite, one of the finest architectural examples in Europe as it encompasses Romanesque, Gothic, and Baroque styles. Additionally, it contains numerous and valuable pieces of art that truly captivate the eye. When entering, the tradition will lead, as you will hug the dazzling statue of St. James. Following this intimate embrace, you will descend into the crypt where the Patron Saint of Pilgrims relics is displayed. Following your visit, enjoy a sightseeing tour of the city. Some stops on your tour include the Obradoiro Square, Fonseca Palace, Gemirez Palace, Franco Street, and much more. Your evening will be free to spend at your leisure until a final dinner with your group. You will spend your last overnight in Santiago de Compostela.
Day 9, Return Home
Your last day in Spain will begin with breakfast at your hotel, followed by a transfer to the Santiago Airport for your return flight(s) home. You will say "hasta luego" (see you later) to your new friends made on this journey.
About your trip
About The Shrines of Spain:
A Pilgrimage through the Shrines of Spain encounters God in so many ways. Follow in the footsteps of Saint Ignatius even seeing the Holy Cave where he lives in Manresa. St. Ignatius of Loyola was a Spanish knight who became priest and founded the Society of Jesus and became its first Superior General. In Montserrat, deep within a rugged mountainside, discover the miraculous statue of the Black Madonna. In Zaragoza, visit the breathtaking Basilica del Pilar where Our Lady appeared to St. James, and learn of his efforts carrying Catholicism through this beautiful country.