Cosmos

Shrines of France & Lourdes – Faith-Based Travel (5330) - 2015 / 2014

12 Day Tour from Paris to Paris


Shrines of France & Lourdes – Faith-Based Travel
Avignon Palace of Popes
Avignon Palace of Popes
Palace of the Popes
Basilica of Sacre Coeur
TOUR FOR 8+ PEOPLE

Vacation Overview

Meet your Tour Director and fellow travelers in Paris. Enjoy guided sightseeing featuring all major sights and visits to the Basilica of Sacre Coeur on Montmartre, and to Notre Dame Cathedral, where the relics of the Passion of the Christ can be seen on the first Fridays of the month (departures April 2 & July 30 only). During an excursion to Lisieux, visit Les Buissonnets, family home of St. Therese, and the basilica. St. Therese was known as “The Little Flower” and for her charming autobiography The Story of a Soul. Also visit St. Peter’s Cathedral and the Carmelite Convent, where she lived as a nun. Back in Paris, special visits have been included to the Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal Shrine, where the Virgin Mary appeared to St. Catherine Laboure in 1830, and the St. Vincent de Paul Shrine. Travel south to Poitiers, and visit the baptistry of St. John, then arrive in Lourdes, one of the world’s most famous places of pilgrimage, where you will stay for three nights. Visit the Grotto where the Virgin Mary appeared to St. Bernadette in 1858, the Our Lady of Lourdes Shrine, and St. Bernadette’s birthplace and family home. Also attend the international Mass at the Basilica of St. Pius X. You may wish to bathe in the healing waters, attend the “Blessing of the Sick”, or join the evening’s rosary and candlelight procession. A full day at leisure allows the opportunity to join an optional excursion to the nearby Pyrenees. Via medieval Carcassonne, travel to Avignon to see the Palace of the Popes and to attend Mass in the Cathedral of Avignon. Stop in Paray-le-Monial, home to the Chapel of the Apparitions, and visit the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, before arriving in Nevers. Here, visit St. Gildard where St. Bernadette spent her life as a nun. On to Chartres, where you visit the magnificent cathedral, then return to Paris.

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Headsets throughout the tour

Sightseeing:
Visits to Lisieux, Poitiers, Carcassonne, Avignon, Paray-le-Monial, Nevers

Scenic Highlights:
Château Country, Dordogne, Burgundy

Mass/Religious Service:
Lisieux, Lourdes, Avignon

Guides:

Local Guides for city sightseeing in Paris, Lourdes and Chartres; services of a professional Tour Director while touring

NOTES:

  • April 2 Departure - Good Friday (April 3) and Easter Sunday (April 5) in Paris.
  • September 29 Departure - St. Therese of Lisieux Feast Day in Lisieux (October 1).


Day 1Arrive in Paris, France

Welcome to Paris! Check into your hotel. In the late afternoon, meet your Tour Director and traveling companions.

Day 2Paris

Sightseeing with a Local Guide features the Arc de Triomphe, Louvre, Champs-Elysées, and the Eiffel Tower (ticket not included). Visit the Basilica of Sacre Coeur on Montmartre Hill. Later, the architectural wonders of Notre Dame Cathedral, where the relics of the Passion of the Christ can be seen on the first Fridays of the month (Departures April 2 & July 30 only). (B)

Day 3Paris. Lisieux Excursion

Travel to Lisieux and visit the CARMELITE CONVENT, where St. Therese lived as a nun. Next, visit ST. PETER'S CATHEDRAL, where her family attended Mass, and also visit Les Buissonnets, the family home. St. Therese was also known as “The Little Flower” and for her charming autobiography The Story of a Soul. Later, attend Mass (French only) at the BASILICA before returning to Paris. (B)

Day 4Paris

A special visit has been included to Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal Shrine, where the Virgin Mary appeared to St. Catherine Laboure in 1830. Then, visit the St. Vincent de Paul Shrine, where you can see the reliquary of the saint who has inspired thousands of charities and volunteers. (B)

Day 5Paris–Poitiers

This morning, travel south to the cobblestone city of Poitiers, strategically perched atop a rocky outcrop and surrounded by two rivers. Settled by the Romans and then residence to early Christians, the city is a showcase of historical Romanesque architecture, and is home to the second-oldest university in the country as well as the oldest surviving church in France. Enjoy a visit to the 4th-century Baptistry of St. John with its ancient frescoes, baptismal fonts, and intricately carved sarcophagi dating from the 5th to the 7th centuries. Poitiers was also the site of two pivotal military battles, making its role in French history significant. It was here in 732 AD that the Franks halted and turned back Muslim expansion into Europe, while in 1356 during the Hundred Years' War, French forces suffered a major defeat at the hands of skilled English archers. (B)

Day 6Poitiers–Lourdes

Travel to Lourdes, one of the world’s most famous places of pilgrimage. Visit the grotto where the Virgin Mary appeared to St. Bernadette in 1858. Join this evening’s memorable rosary and candlelight procession, held every night. (B,D)

Day 7Lourdes

Start the day attending the international Mass at the Basilica of St. Pius X. Then, join a Local Guide for a walking tour including visits to Our Lady of Lourdes Shrine and St. Bernadette's birthplace and family home. You may wish to experience the powerful healing baths or attend the “Blessing of the Sick.” (B)

Day 8At Leisure in Lourdes

Full day at leisure to further explore Lourdes on your own or join an optional excursion to the nearby Pyrenees. (B,D)

Day 9Lourdes–Carcassonne–Avignon

First stop is Carcassonne, a medieval town and UNESCO World Heritage Site. Then, continue to Avignon. Enjoy a walk to the Palace of the Popes (entrance not included), residence of the papacy in the 14th century. (B,D)

Day 10Avignon–Paray-Le-Monial–Nevers

Following morning Mass in Avignon (French only), travel to Paray-le-Monial, home to the Chapel of the Apparitions and where Jesus revealed his Sacred Heart to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque. Also visit the Basilica of the Sacred Heart. Continue to Nevers. (B,D)

Day 11Nevers–Chartres–Paris

Visit St. Gildard in Nevers, where St. Bernadette spent her life as a nun. See the beautiful and miraculously incorrupt body of St. Bernadette. Continue to Chartres. Meet your Local Guide for a visit to the Cathedral—a masterpiece of gothic architecture, one of Europe’s most celebrated shrines, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Return to Paris for an overnight. (B)

Day 12Paris

Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)

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


PARIS Kyriad Bercy (ST)
POITIERS Ibis Centre (F)
LOURDES Sainte-Rose (ST) or Quality Alliance (ST)
AVIGNON Ibis Styles Avignon Sud (ST) or Mercure Cité des Papes (F)
NEVERS Kyriad Centre (ST)

Buffet breakfasts; 5 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.

EDO MAECKELBERGH

Years of Experience: 6 years

As you travel with me through France, you will soon realize why I moved here. It is an honor to show you this beautiful and diverse country-from cosmopolitan Paris and the most charming little villages to the historic beaches and through the mountains. And, of course, all along the way we'll enjoy France's amazing regional cuisine!

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As recommended by Budget Travel