Venues for Your Choir:
- Barcelona – Concert
- Barcelona – Sung Mass
MON, DAY 1: DEPART THE USA
We depart the USA en route to Barcelona with complimentary meals and beverages served aloft.
TUE, DAY 2: ARRIVE BARCELONA
We arrive in Barcelona in the morning and are met by our representative of Catholic Travel Centre. We proceed to downtown Barcelona via private motor coach to celebrate the opening Mass of our pilgrimage at the Cathedral of Santa Eulalia.
Then we gather at a local restaurant for a late lunch. We check in at our centrally located hotel and the rest of the day is on our own. (L)
WED, DAY 3: BARCELONA: VISIT OF THE CITY & LEISURE TIME
Barcelona, the capitol of Catalunya, has always been a city of builders and planners. It is renowned for its beauty in both its religious and secular buildings. In fact, the first Cathedral built in Los Angeles was modeled after Santa Maria del Mar, one of the most beautiful churches in all of Spain. Here we celebrate Mass this morning.
Then we meet our local guide and enjoy a half-day’s tour of Barcelona, including a walking tour through the labyrinthine alleys of the Gothic Quarter with its IV Century Roman Wall. The Quarter is home to Juan Miro Museum, one of Barcelona’s most celebrated artists.
We view the broad avenues of this beautiful city admiring its marvelous architectural contrasts, dating back nearly 2,000 years. Driving by the Columbus Statue and on the well-known Ramblas Blvd. to Catalunya Square to the “Eixample,” we will admire the architectural styles of Catalan’s most famous architects: Batilló, Milà and Gaudí.
In the afternoon we gather for lunch at a local restaurant. After lunch and some time on our own, we visit the Basilica of the Holy Family (Sagrada Familia), undeniably Gaudí’s most notable work which remains unfinished. Dinner and the rest of the evening are at leisure. (B, L)
THU, DAY 4: BARCELONA: EXCURSION TO MONTSERRAT & CAVA VISIT
We make our way to Montserrat, the spiritual heart of the Catalonia region, a Benedictine monastery dramatically set in the Montserrat mountain range and home to the famous Black Madonna, Spain’s most fervent devotion to the Blessed Mother. Here we celebrate Mass and then listen to the Escolania, the famous Boys’ choir.
Back on our motor coach, we make our way to the hamlet, the area known as Sant Sadurni D’Noia, home to the famous Cava Winery Codorníu. The Codorníu family’s wine business goes back to the middle of the 16th century. Its most widely distributed product is Cava, the local variety of champagne. Here we’ll enjoy a tour and a tasting of the local ‘bubbly’ for those interested.
We return to Barcelona in time to prepare for our evening concert in the crypt at the Basilica of the Holy Family. Dinner tonight is on our own. For those of us who wish to dine as a group, our escort will have some suggestions. (B)
FRI, DAY 5: BARCELONA / ZARAGOZA
After breakfast we depart Barcelona for the beautiful city of Zaragoza, the capital of Aragon. Founded some 2000 years ago, the city is filled with stunning historic monuments, including the impressive and beautiful Basilica of the Virgin of the Pilar and the remains of the Roman fortifications of the 3rd century. We celebrate Mass at the Basilica of Santa Engracia. Dinner this evening is served at our hotel. (B, D)
SAT, DAY 6: ZARAGOZA: VISIT OF THE CITY / MADRID
This morning we visit the Basilica of the Virgin of the Pilar. Construction on the basilica started in the 12th century. It was built on the site where the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to St. James the apostle on his way to northwestern Spain.
Here we celebrate Mass and start our walking tour of historic Zaragoza. The city is over 2000 years old and Old-Iberians, Romans, Goths and Arabians have equally left marks of their heritage on the city.
After our visit and some time for lunch on our own, we board our motor coach and travel to Madrid. Located in the geographic center of the Iberian Peninsula, Madrid has been the capital of Spain since 1562, and is known for its art museums and round-the-clock activity. We enjoy a short orientation tour of the city before continuing on to our hotel. Dinner will be served at a local restaurant. (B, D)
SUN, DAY 7: MADRID: VISIT OF THE CITY & WINE TASTING
This morning we will perform and participate in the Sunday morning Mass at the Basilica de S. Francisco.
Then we meet our local guide for our city tour. First we visit the famous Prado Museum, featuring one of the world’s finest collections of European art, from the 12th century through the early 19th century. We will visit the Plaza Mayor, a grand arcade square in the center of Madrid. The Plaza has been the center of festivities, bull fights, royal coronations and executions since its creation. It is still used today for public celebrations. We will have some time for lunch on our own.
Later this afternoon, we visit the Bodegas Qubel to enjoy our wine tasting with some tapas included. The balance of the day is yours to explore this wonderful city. Dinner is on our own this evening, and your tour escort will have some suggestions on where to dine. (B)
MON, DAY 8: MADRID: EXCURSION TO AVILA
We begin our day in the walled city of Avila, a UNESCO World Heritage site, whose 11th century medieval walls are the best preserved in Spain.
Made famous by St. Teresa, one of the Doctors of the Church, we visit the Monastery of the Incarnation where St. Teresa spent many years of her life. Here we celebrate Mass. Then we visit the Monastery of St. Joseph, her first foundation. We’ll have some time at leisure to stroll the streets and walk on the walls of this historic city. Be sure to try the sweetmeats made by local nuns and sold in small shops throughout the city, especially “yemas” made with egg yolks and sugar. We’ll enjoy lunch at a local restaurant, then board our motor coach and return to Madrid for the balance of the day at leisure. Dinner is on our own this evening. (B, L)
TUE, DAY 9: MADRID: EXCURSION TO SEGOVIA & VALLE DE LOS CAIDOS
Today we make an excursion to Segovia. Segovia is a charmer, and most visitors remember it for the Roman aqueduct which bisects the town. After a visit to the dramatic cathedral here, we make our way across the river to visit the sepulchre of St. John of the Cross, another Doctor of the Church. We gather at a local restaurant to eat a famous “cochinillo” for lunch. En route back to Madrid we stop at the Valley of the Fallen, a striking memorial to those who died in the Spanish Civil War. A basilica is built into the mountainside here, housing tombs of soldiers from both sides of the conflict. Here we celebrate Mass. We return to Madrid and the rest of the evening and dinner is on our own. (B, L)
WED, DAY 10: MADRID: EXCURSION TO TOLEDO
Toledo is one of the most important centers of European medieval history. Roman author Titus Livius, described it as a “small fortified town,” and the “Swords of Toledo” gave to its steel-production world-wide fame.
We will visit the striking Cathedral, the home of El Greco. Here we celebrate the final Mass of our journey. We will visit St. Tome church with a famous El Greco painting, The Burial of the Count of Orgaz. We also see the Monastery of St. John of the Kings, and the Synagogue of Santa Maria La Blanca, once the primary synagogue that was later converted to a church by the Knights of Calatrava. Toledo is also the city where John of the Cross was imprisoned, and from which he escaped. We enjoy a late farewell lunch at a Parador, including a wine of the region. We return to Madrid and the balance of the day is at leisure. Dinner tonight is on our own. (B, L)
THU, DAY 11: RETURN TO THE USA
This morning after breakfast we transfer to the Madrid airport for our return flight to the USA. (B)
Customized Itineraries: The itinerary shown here is one example of how you might plan your Choir tour. Catholic Travel Centre specializes in customized tours, so we can willingly add days or sites.
Pricing: Our Catholic Travel Centre Choir specialists will custom quote your itinerary depending upon your dates of travel, group size, class of hotels, etc. Call us toll free at (800) 553-5233.