European Shrines – Faith-Based Travel (5310) - 2014 / 2015

12 Day Tour from Lisbon to Madrid

European Shrines – Faith-Based Travel
Santiago de Compostela is visited by over 100,000 pilgrims a year
Santiago de Compostela is visited by over 100,000 pilgrims a year
The Plaza de Toros in Madrid
Madrid at dusk
Lisbon, Portugal is the capital and largest city of Portugal
Lisbon, Portugal lies in the western Iberian Peninsula on the Atlantic Ocean and the Tagus River
Lisbon, Portugal is situated at the mouth of the Tagus River and is the westernmost capital of a mainland European country
Lisbon is one of the oldest cities in the world, predating other modern European capitals
Enjoy the beautiful architecture in Madrid
The gorgeous shores of Barcelona

Vacation Overview

Meet your Tour Director and fellow travelers in Lisbon, then enjoy guided sightseeing before continuing to Alcobaça to visit the Church of Santa Maria Monastery. Arrive in Fátima, site of one of the world’s most famous Catholic shrines. You may wish to join the rosary and candlelight procession. In the morning, attend Mass at the Sanctuary and visit the Our Lady of Fátima Shrine. Travel via Braga and ride the water funicular, built in 1882, to reach the Bom Jesus do Monte Sanctuary. Enter Spain and stop in Santiago de Compostela, world-famous for the key 9th-century pilgrimage route, the Way of St. James. Arrive in Burgos, the historic capital of Old Castile, and visit the magnificent cathedral, burial place of the Spanish national hero, El Cid. En route to Lourdes, France, attend Mass at the Sanctuary of Loyola. Stay two nights in Lourdes and during your guided walking tour, visit the Grotto, Our Lady of Lourdes Shrine, St. Bernadette’s birthplace, and her family home. On your way to Barcelona, stop in medieval Carcassonne and admire its ramparts, castle walls, and drawbridges. Spend two nights in Barcelona before concluding with two nights in Madrid; enjoy guided sightseeing in both cities.

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Headsets throughout the tour

Visits to Alcobaça, Fátima, Braga, Santiago de Compostela, Burgos, Carcassonne, Saragossa

Scenic Highlights:
The Pyrenees and Costa Dorada

Mass/Religious Service:
Fátima, Santiago de Compostela, St. Ignacio de Loyola, Lourdes, Madrid


Local Guides for city sightseeing in Lisbon, Lourdes, Barcelona, Madrid; services of a professional Tour Director while touring

Day 1Arrive in Lisbon, Portugal

Welcome to Portugal! Check into your hotel, and tonight, meet your Tour Director and fellow travelers.

Day 2Lisbon–Alcobaça–Fátima

Henry the Navigator made Lisbon the 15th-century “Mistress of the Seas.” On your guided sightseeing tour you’ll see the enormous monument to him, as well as the fortified 16th-century Belém Tower, the Moorish citadel, impressive Black Horse Square, and visit the Cathedral La Sé and Jerónimos Monastery, which dates back to the mid-1400s. Later, head north for a stop in Alcobaça to visit the 12th-century Church of Santa Maria Monastery, built for 999 Cistercian monks and one of the most important medieval monasteries in Portugal. In the late-afternoon, arrive in Fátima, site of one of the world’s most famous Catholic shrines. This evening, why not join the rosary and candlelight procession at the Our Lady of Fátima Basilica? (B,D)

Day 3Fátima

This morning, after Mass at the Sanctuary, time to visit the Our Lady of Fátima Shrine with the tombs of the visionaries, and the Chapel of the Apparitions, made famous by the Virgin Mary’s apparition to three shepherd children—Francisco, Jacinta, and Lucia—on May 13, 1917. This afternoon, time to explore on your own, or join a guided optional excursion. (B,D)

Day 4Fátima–Braga–Santiago De Compostela, Spain

Journey north this morning and stop in Braga, one of the oldest Christian cities in the world and nicknamed the “Portuguese Rome.” Visit the Bom Jesus do Monte (Good Jesus of the Mount) sanctuary and see the unique zigzag stairway that is dedicated to the five senses—sight, smell, hearing, touch, and taste—and the three theological virtues—faith, hope, and charity. Later, cross into Spain and head for Santiago de Compostela. Visit St. James' Cathedral and attend the rosary and Mass. Santiago de Compostela has been known throughout history for the key 9th-century pilgrimage route, the Way of St. James, to its cathedral, which houses the Apostle James’ remains beneath the high altar. (B)

Day 5Santiago De Compostela–Burgos

Today, travel to Burgos, the historic capital of Old Castile. Your visit, upon arrival, takes you to the magnificent cathedral, a masterpiece of gothic architecture and the burial place of Spanish national hero El Cid. (B,D)

Day 6Burgos–San Ignacio De Loyola–Lourdes, France

Travel through the Basque region toward Lourdes. En route, attend Mass at the 17th-century Sanctuary of Loyola, built in honor of San Ignacio de Loyola, founder of the Jesuit religious order. See its spectacular dome and main altarpiece, built in marble and jasper. Cross the border into France, and overnight in Lourdes, home to another of the world’s most famous places of pilgrimage. (B,D)

Day 7Lourdes

Today’s guided walking tour includes the grotto where the Virgin Mary appeared to St. Bernadette in 1858, Our Lady of Lourdes Shrine, Bernadette’s birthplace, and her family home. The afternoon is at leisure to further explore this little market town that became a pilgrimage place of world renown during the 19th century. Attend Mass. (B,D)

Day 8Lourdes–Carcassonne–Barcelona, Spain

Leave France this morning and head for the French-Spanish border. En route, visit fortified Carcassonne, founded by the Visigoths in the 5th century and the most medieval-looking city in France. See the ramparts, castle walls, and drawbridges that are still well preserved from the Middle Ages. Overnight in Catalonia’s lively and beautiful capital, Barcelona. (B)

Day 9Barcelona

Guided sightseeing includes a drive around Montjuïc to see the Olympic Stadium and a great panoramic view of the port and city. Continue to the city center to Plaza Catalunya and Paseo de Gracia to admire the fascinating eccentricity of Gaudi’s architectural masterpieces in Houses Battló and Mila and the Sagrada Familia (entrance fees not included). Join the optional excursion to Montserrat, situated 4,055 feet above sea level in a mountain range composed of strikingly pink conglomerate, a form of sedimentary rock, and site of the Benedictine abbey that hosts the Virgin of Montserrat Sanctuary, patron saint of Catalonia. (B)

Day 10Barcelona–Saragossa–Madrid

Enjoy vistas of the Spanish countryside as you drive to Saragossa, situated on the banks of the River Ebro. Stop for a visit to the Basilica of Our Lady of Pilar. Later, continue to Madrid, the capital of Spain. (B)

Day 11Madrid

Situated 2,180 feet above sea level, the Spanish rightly say that Madrid is the nearest thing to Heaven. Guided sightseeing today includes a full panoramic drive by way of the Avenida Mayor, Puerta del Sol (Gate of the Sun), Parliament Square, and a picture stop outside the Royal Palace. Afternoon at leisure. Maybe join the optional excursion to Avila to visit St. Theresa's Convent. (B,D)

Day 12Madrid

Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)

Scheduled transatlantic flights and airport transfers in Lisbon and Madrid if Cosmos issues the air tickets. Touring by private first-class air-conditioned motorcoach.

FÁTIMA Cinquantenario (F)
BURGOS Corona de Castilla (F)
LOURDES Quality Alliance (ST)
BARCELONA Porta Fira (F)
MADRID Praga (F)

Buffet breakfasts; 6 dinners

With Cosmos, there’s no better way to get to know your destination than through the eyes of your Tour Director. Averaging over a decade... we’d like you to meet a Tour Director, who is representative of the type of expert that will be with you on your vacation.


Years of Experience: 12 years

I was born in Portugal, home to the greatest explorers in history. Now it's my turn to help people navigate this colorful corner of the globe. Iberia is a region where history, culture, and modernity blend together, creating an incredible destination. Nothing makes me happier than guests telling me they would like the vacation to start all over again so they could experience everything just one more time.

UNESCO World Heritage Sites

The following UNESCO World Heritage Sites can be seen or visited on the European Shrines – Faith-Based Travel:

  • Monastery of Acobaça
  • Works of Antoni Gaudi in Barcelona
  • Old town of Avila with its Extra muros Churches
  • Santiago de Compostela (Old Town)
  • Pyrenées
  • Belem tower in Lisbon

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