Venues for Your Choir:
- Madrid – Sung Mass
- Fatima – Sung Mass
- Lisbon – Sung Mass
WED, DAY 1: DEPART USA
We depart en route to Madrid, with complementary meals and beverages served on our overseas flight.
THU, DAY 2: ARRIVE MADRID
We arrive this afternoon in Madrid and are met by our Catholic Travel Centre representative, who will accompany us throughout our tour. We transfer to our hotel for dinner and the evening. (D)
FRI, DAY 3: MADRID: CITY TOUR, PRADO & BUEN RETIRO PARK
Today we begin our tour at the heart of the city, at the Plaza Mayor, the Main Square of the city, and one of the most striking central squares of any city in Europe, and probably the world. Over the centuries this square has been a venue for tournaments, weddings, and bullfights! The ground floor of most buildings is full of cafes, restaurants, and shops which are all appealing to the tourists. You may see street vendors or local artists as well.
Our city tour continues to the modern Cathedral, which is actually quite modern as Spanish churches go. We visit as well another famous plaza, the Plaza del Sol, a bustling hub that marks the former location of the eastern wall of the city in the 15th century.
Our tour concludes at the Prado Museum, one of the world’s premier treasure troves of art, featuring masterpieces by Picasso, Goya, Vazquez, Gaudi, Rubens and Miro. It is rivaled only by the Louvre in Paris and the Hermitage in St. Petersburg. After our tour we gather for lunch at a local restaurant, then return to our hotel. The balance of the afternoon is at leisure. You may wish to take a stroll in Buen Retiro Park, the city’s grand, centrally located park. For those of us wishing to dine together this evening, our tour guide will assist us with restaurant selections. (B, L)
SAT, DAY 4: MADRID: AVILA EXCURSION
Today we make a full day’s excursion to the walled town of Avila, made famous by St. Teresa, another Doctor of the Church. Because of its charm and beauty, Avila has been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In Avila, we visit the
Monastery of the Incarnation where St. Teresa spent many years of her life, then to the Monastery of St. Joseph, her first foundation. We will gather at a local restaurant inside the walls of the Old City of Avila.
After our lunch we return to Madrid for the balance of the day at leisure. (B, L)
SUN, DAY 5: MADRID: TOLEDO EXCURSION & SUNG MASS
This morning we take some time on our own to rest and relax before we gather at a local restaurant for lunch. Then we embark to the city of Toledo, a magical town south of Madrid. In 1985 Toledo was proclaimed a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its extensive cultural and monumental heritage as one of the former capitals of the Spanish Empire. The Cathedral of Toledo is one of Europe’s greatest Gothic achievements, known for its stunning high altar. There are more than 20 chapels throughout the cathedral, many of which house renowned tombs. The cathedral is also home to two famous paintings by El Greco, the master painter who lived in Toledo. Our choir will sing the Sunday liturgy at the Church of Santo Tome. After some time on our own, we return to Madrid. (B, L)
MON, DAY 6: MADRID / GUADALUPE / CACERES
Today we leave Madrid for Guadalupe, traveling through some breathtakingly beautiful mountain scenery. We arrive at the Monastery of Guadalupe, housing some of Spain’s finest artistic treasures. Pilgrims have flocked here since the 14th century, when a shepherd uncovered a miraculous statue of the Virgin, said to have been carved by St. Luke. It was in the name of the Virgin of Guadalupe that the conquistadors set off to explore the New World.
After our visit to Guadalupe, we make our way west to Caceres, our final destination today. Caceres ranks as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has been nominated as the Cultural Capital of Europe for 2016. A walk through the Old City here takes you back to the 15th and 16th centuries. Dinner is served at our hotel in Caceres. (B, D)
TUE, DAY 7: CACERES TOUR / CONTINUE TO FATIMA
We will have some time for a brief walking tour of Caceres this morning, taking us back in time of the Roman and Moorish periods. Many of the noble families from Caceres funded and participated in the discovery and exploration of the Americas. Our tour takes us to some of the beautiful public squares and exquisite churches.
Our motor coach will then take us across western Spain and cross the border into Portugal. We make our way to the town of Fatima, taking some time to orient ourselves before settling down for the evening for dinner at our hotel. (B, D)
WED, DAY 8: FATIMA: SUNG MASS, VISIT OF SHRINE & AFTERNOON EXCURSION TO NAZARE
This morning we have some time at leisure, then we gather for our Choir to sing during the 11:00am public Mass at the Basilica of Our Lady of Fatima.
After some time for lunch on our own, we meet with a local guide and start our tour of Fatima. We visit the Tombs of the visionaries Francisco, Jacinto, and Lucia; the Aljustrel where the children lived; and the Valinhos, where Our Lady appeared after the children’s return from prison. We have the option of praying the Stations of the Cross, plus we have time for our own devotions.
For those who are interested, we have included this afternoon an excursion to the charming seaside village of Nazare, named after ‘Nazareth,’ the hometown of the Holy Family in the Holy Land. You’ll have time to visit the Chapel of Our Lady of Nazare, a local devotion to the Black Madonna. Plus you can stroll the quaint seaside promenade and do some shopping. Return to Fatima for dinner and the evening at our hotel. (B, D)
THU, DAY 9: FATIMA / SANTAREM / LISBON
We depart for Santarem, noted for its devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. Here we celebrate Mass at the Church of the Holy Miracle, formerly St. Stephen’s Church. This is one of Portugal’s most beloved pilgrimage sites. St. Francis Xavier, SJ, stopped here to pray before heading off for his missionary work in the Far East. Back on our motor coach, we continue on to Lisbon to check-in to our hotel. Tonight we gather at a local restaurant for our festive dinner. (B, D)
FRI, DAY 10: LISBON: VISIT OF THE CITY & SUNG MASS
We begin with a visit to ‘Santo Antonio Da Se,’ marking the site where in 1195 St. Anthony of Padua, the patron saint of Portugal, was born. Many of us know St. Anthony as the Patron Saint of Lost Articles! We continue to the Cathedral, housing the Saint’s baptismal font. Then we take some time on our own for lunch. The afternoon is at our leisure and we have time to pack and prepare for our journey home tomorrow. In the evening we transfer to the Monastery of San Jeronimo.
Our Choir will sing during the 7:00pm public Mass at the Basilica of Santa Maria de Belen this evening. Dinner will be served at our hotel tonight. (B,D)
SAT, DAY 11: RETURN USA
Early this morning we transfer to Lisbon airport for our return flight to the United States. (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.