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RELIGIOUS GROUP TOURS

Our special interest religious tours take you to some of the world’s holiest places. Join us as we embark on a life-changing journey through Jordan, Israel and beyond. Take in the views of the Promised Land from the top of Biblical Mount Nebo, visit the village of Cana where Jesus performed his first miracle transforming water into wine and explore the ruins of an ancient Synagogue. You’ll have the chance to participate in a Private Mass aboard a traditional sailing vessel on Lake Galilee, float on the buoyant waters of the Dead Sea and visit the Stations of the Cross where Jesus was condemned to death.

Your tailored itinerary may also include a visit to Fatima, the most celebrated place of pilgrimage in Portugal, where you’ll have the opportunity to join an evening Rosary and Candlelight procession. Whether it’s paying homage to the Our Lady of Lourdes Shrine in France, visiting the Assisi Cathedral in Italy or embarking on a guided visit to the Vatican Museum and the Sistine Chapel, we’ll customise a group itinerary that will be remembered for a lifetime. Along the way you’ll be accompanied by an expert Travel Director who will take care of all the details required for a hassle-free journey and we’ll arrange everything from immersive Insight Experiences to accommodation to a luxury coach dedicated solely to your group.

Biblical Pilgrimage - Jordan, Israel, Portugal, France & Italy

Christian Highlights In France, Italy & Croatia

Follow in the Footsteps of Jesus

Holy Highlights Of France & Italy

Pilgrimage Through France & Italy

Pilgrim's Way

Sacred Sites of France & Italy

Sister Mary’s Pilgrimage of Hungary, Croatia, Italy & Greece

Biblical Pilgrimage - Jordan, Israel, Portugal, France & Italy

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Day 1: Welcome to Jordan

Welcome to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. You are met on arrival at Amman Airport and transferred to your hotel. This afternoon, visit Madaba and view the mosaic map of the Holy land in St George’s Church, dating from the 6th Century. Ascend biblical Mount Nebo for views of the Promised Land. Later visit Bethany Beyond the Jordan, one of the most recent archaeological and religious discoveries, believed to be the Baptismal site of Jesus. This evening enjoy a welcome dinner at your hotel. (L, D)

Day 2: Journey to Nazareth

Cross the border into Israel today and travel to Nazareth. Dine tonight at your hotel. (BB, L, D)

Day 3: Cana (Place of Miracles), Haifa & Tiberias

This morning, visit the Basilica of the Annunciation, Church of St Joseph and a traditional Jewish Synagogue. Later arrive at the village of Cana where Jesus performed his first miracle transforming water into wine. Continue to Haifa to visit the Carmelite Monastery and Saint Elijah’s Grotto. Travel to Tiberias and enjoy dinner tonight at a local restaurant. (BB, L, HD)

Day 4: Biblical Highlights - Mt Beatitiudes, Capernaum, Tabgha, Nof Ginosar and Mt Tabor

This morning, visit Mount of Beatitudes, where Jesus delivered the Sermon on the Mount. Continue to Capernaum. It was here that Jesus based His Galilean ministry and performed numerous miracles. See the ruins of an ancient Synagogue. Stop in Tabgha and visit the Benedictine Church of the Multiplication and Church of St Peters Primacy. Visit Nof Ginosar Kibbutz to see the preserved remains of a first century fishing boat representative of the days of Christ. Set off from the shore in a traditional sailing vessel to participate in a Private Mass floating in the centre of Lake Galilee. After Mass, continue back to the shore for a special “St Peter’s fish” lunch. Travel this afternoon to the foot of Mt Tabor before ascending by taxis up the narrow winding road leading to the majestic summit. After reflection in this breathtaking setting you will better understand Peter’s words, “Lord it is good for us to be here.” Dine tonight at your hotel. (BB, L, D)

Day 5: Jordan River to The Dead Sea

This morning visit Yardinet, a traditional baptismal site on the banks of the Jordan River, flowing from the Sea of Galilee. Travel through the Jordan Valley to Jericho. Ascend the cable car to the Mount of Temptation. Enjoy a traditional Palestinian meal. Pass by the site of Qumran, where the Dead Sea scrolls were discovered by a shepherd boy in 1947. Arrive at the Dead Sea where you have the opportunity to float in the healing waters. Continue to your hotel in Jerusalem, where you dine tonight. (BB, L, D)

Day 6: Holy Landmarks of Jerusalem & Bethlehem

After breakfast, we travel to Bethlehem. Visit the Church of the Nativity built over the stable where Jesus was born. Enter the church through the Door of Humility and descend into the Grotto of the Holy Manger. Visit Shepherd’s Field to commemorate the appearance of the angels to the shepherds on that first Christmas night. Visit Ein Karem, the birthplace of St John the Baptist and visit the Church in his honour. Continue to the Israel Museum to view the Second Temple scale model of Jerusalem, as it was during the time of Jesus and see the Dead Sea Scrolls on display. Return to Jerusalem to the Old City, to visit the Wailing Wall. Later, visit the village of Bethany to see the Tomb of Lazarus. Dine tonight at your hotel. (BB, L, D)

Day 7: Jerusalem Sightseeing

Today we drive up to the Mount of Olives to visit the Church of the Ascension and Church of Pater Noster commemorating the site where Jesus taught his disciples the Lord’s Prayer. Walk down the Palm Sunday Road and wander past the tombs of the Prophets Haggai, Malachi and Zechariah before arriving at the Dominus Flevit. Visit the Garden of Gethsemane, where you will enter the Church of All Nations. After lunch, visit the Church of St Anne. Here it is said that the Church was built over the birthplace of the Virgin Mary. Visit the Pool of Bethesda where Jesus healed the paralysed man. Commence the Stations of the Cross, beginning from the Antonia Fortress where Jesus was condemned to death. See the Lithistritis (pavement) in the Ecce Homo convent. Visit the Flagellation and Condemnation Chapels as you pray and follow in the Lord’s footsteps along the actual Via Dolorossa to the site of Calvary in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Walk the stairway climbing to the actual site where the Cross of Jesus once stood. The glass panels reveal the natural rock below which you may come to touch with your pilgrim hands. Also enter the Edicle containing the tomb where the Lord rose from the dead. Dinner tonight is at your hotel.  (BB, L, D)

Day 8: Mount Zion & Emmaus Excursion

After breakfast, visit the Israel Museum to view the Second temple scale model of Jerusalem, as it was during the time of Jesus; and see the Dead Sea Scrolls on display. Travel to Mount Zion to visit the Cenacle, King David’s Tomb and the Church of Dormition. Continue to the Church of St Peter in Gallicantu. After lunch, travel to Emmaus to see a Romanesque Crusader city build a-top three Roman cisterns. Dine tonight at your hotel.  (BB, L, D)

Day 9: Fly from Tel Aviv to Lisbon

Transfer to Tel Aviv Airport this morning for a flight to Lisbon. On arrival, enjoy a sightseeing discovery of the wonders of this city. See the Monument of the Discoveries and the more Ancient Belem Tower – a fortress originally set in the middle of the river, but now left high and dry on the riverbank. Visit Jeronimo’s church with its beautiful Manueline architecture before settling into your hotel for the night.

Day 10: Place of Pilgrimage - Holy Fatima

Drive into the green hills north of Lisbon to visit Fatima, the most celebrated place of pilgrimage in Portugal. Visit Our lady of Fatima Shrine with the tombs of the visionaries, and the Chapel of the Apparitions, where the Virgin Mary appeared to three children in 1917. This evening attend Mass and join this evening’s Rosary and Candlelight procession at the Our Lady of Fatima Shrine. (BB, L, D)

Day 11: Connecting Flights between Lisbon, Paris & Toulouse (Lourdes)

This morning transfer back to Lisbon for your flight to Paris and then another flight onto Toulouse. Upon arrival, a transfer is provided to your hotel in Lourdes. (BB, D)

Day 12: Grotto of Lourdes

Your guided walking tour includes visits to the Grotto where the Virgin Mary appeared to St Bernadette in 1858, the Our Lady of Lourdes Shrine, the Birthplace of St Bernadette and her family home during the time of the apparitions. Join this evening’s memorable Rosary and candlelight procession. (BB, L, D)

Day 13: Flight to Venice

Transfer to Toulouse airport for your flight to Venice. On arrival, transfer to your hotel. Later, enjoy a cruise down the Grand Canal by private launch to visit St Mark’s square and see inside the impressive Basilica. Dine tonight at your hotel. (BB, D)

Day 14: Padua & Holy Assisi

Travel to Padua and visit the Basilica of St Anthony. See the tombs and relics of this miracle-working saint. Continue onto Assisi. (BB, L, D)

Day 15: Assisi, Cascia & San Giovanno Rotondo

Start the day with a guided excursion to the town of Assisi. Your journey includes visits to St Francis’ Basilica, St Clare Basilica and the Assisi Cathedral. Continue to the town of Cascia to explore the life of Saint Rita, known as the ‘Saint of the Impossible’. Then continue to San Giovanni Rotondo for the evening. (BB, D)

Day 16: San Giovanno Rotondo & Rome

A local guide will accompany you through the Padre Pio Shrine in San Giovanni Rotondo to Santa Maria delle Grazie Church, dedicated in 1676. Here pay homage to Padre Pio, a well-known Italian Saint. Continue to Rome for a 3-night stay. (BB, D)

Day 17: Highlights of Sacred Rome

This morning, visit St Peter’s Basilica, the Vatican Museum and the Sistine Chapel with a local expert. Visit St Paul’s Basilica, outside the walls, and the Rome Catacombs. The Catacombs were a place of refuge to celebrate the Eucharist during the time of persecutions. Continue to St John the Lateran to climb the Sancta Scala Steps and visit the Basilica Santa Croce in Gerusalemme (Church of the relics). Lastly, visit the impressive Santa Maria Maggiore Basilica. Dine together at your hotel tonight. (BB, L, D)

Day 18: Rome Sightseeing

Today visit the Colosseum and Roman Forum with a local guide. Continue onto the Spanish Steps and Trevi Fountain. The rest of the day is at your leisure. (BB, L, D)

Day 19: Farewell Italy

Today you are transferred to the airport for your onward flight. (BB)

Christian Highlights In France, Italy & Croatia

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Day 1: Welcome to Paris

Welcome to Paris! You will be met at the airport and transferred to your Insight Hotel prior to an orientation of this exciting city. This evening, meet for a Welcome Drink followed by dinner and a sparkling illumination outing in the ‘City of Light’. (D)

Day 2: Sacred Paris

This morning we will celebrate Mass in the nearby chapel of the Daughters of Charity in the Rue De Bac. This is the site where our lady appeared to Catherine Laboure in 1830, with the first Miraculous Medal being struck in 1832. Her incorrupt body lies under the altar of Our Lady in the chapel. We then continue to Sacre Cour dominating the artists’ quarter at Montmartre. The rest of the day is at your leisure to further explore the picturesque cobbled stone streets or perhaps take an excursion to the magnificent Versailles or the Louvre. (BB)

Day 3: Spiritual Highlights in Chartres & Nevers

This morning we visit St Therese Chapel, ‘Les Buissonets” where St Therese lived, the Basilica and the Carmelite Convent. We continue to Chartres, and visit the famous Cathedral. This is one of the best preserved medieval Christian monuments in the western world containing more than five thousand figures in its stained glass windows depicting bible scenes and lives of great saints. Then we go on to Nevers, nestled in the picturesque Loire Valley, we visit the small town of Paray Le Monial, where Saint Margaret Alacoque experienced visions of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. (BB, D)

Day 4: Pilgrimage City of Rocamadour

We have an early start, as we journey to Rocamadour. Built against the side of a cliff, this sacred city is a spectacular site offering breathtaking views of the valley below. Millions of pilgrims come here each year to pray at the statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary which has claimed many healings. We will also visit the Chapel of the Black Virgin. (BB)

Day 5: Lourdes in the Pyrenees

We travel today to Lourdes, set amidst the majestic Pyrenees. Lourdes was just a small market town on 11 February 1858, when Bernadette Soubirous met, along the Gave, the “Lady” that made the town a Marian city. Lourdes now receives 5 million visitors from all over the world every year. (BB)

Day 6: The Miraculous Grotto of Lourdes

This morning we visit the miraculous Grotto. The rest of the day is free for a visit and prayers for the sick at the Baths. Here you may choose to enter the Baths, or drink the Lourdes water at the taps.  Perhaps you’d like to join the emotive candlelight procession this evening for an unforgettable experience. (BB, D)

Day 7: Van Gogh’s Provence & Chic Nice

Today via the walled city of Carcassonne and Montpellier, we travel across the Camargue, famous for its wild bulls, horses and flamingos, into the landscapes of Van Gough’s beloved Provence to the fashionable Nice, otherwise known as ‘Queen of the Riviera’, one of the oldest cities on the Cote d’Azur. (BB, D)

Day 8: Leaning Tower of Pisa & Florence

Following the sparkling coast, past the famed Monte Carlo, we travel into Italy to Genoa, birthplace of Christopher Columbus, passing the marble quarries of Carrara before arriving at the beautiful city of Pisa where we visit the Field of Miracles. In the centre stands a world-famous sight, the Leaning Tower of Pisa. There is time for a unique photo, to admire the beautiful Baptistery and Cathedral. We then continue on to one of Europe’s most important cities in the heart of Tuscany, Florence. If time permits, we will enjoy an orientation excursion in Florence. (BB)

Day 9: Wonders of Florence

This morning we set off alongside a local guide on a sightseeing tour, which includes a visit to Academy Gallery, viewing Michelangelo’s original statue of David, and the Uffizi Gallery housing the world’s greatest collection of Renaissance paintings. We also enjoy a walking outing, taking in such highlights as the multi-coloured marble Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, Giotto’s bell tower, the Gates of Paradise and Piazza Signoria. We are treated to a demonstration of leatherwork around Santa Croce Basilica, where the craft was originally established. Then there is time to shop at Florence’s finest. (BB, D)

Day 10: Bologna, Padua & Venice

Spend this morning at leisure, before we bid farewell to the Tuscan city and cross the Appennine Mountains passing the city of Bologna - famous for its meats & salamis - and across the flood plains of River Po.  We have a stop in Padua where we visit Frescoes of the Church of the Hermits before we continue on a scenic drive along the famous Brenta Riviera.  Here we see the magnificent classical villas that were once the summer residences of the Venetian nobility.  Our route takes us on the canal through Stra, Dolo, Mira and Malcontenta to magical Venice. (BB)

Day 11: Canal Cruise through Magical Venice

For this morning’s sightseeing, a private launch takes us along the Guidecca canal past the church of Rendentore and Palladio’s monumental architecture to St Mark’s Square.  The palatial residences seem to float on the water, as gondola’s bob beneath the Bridge of Sighs – the city itself a poem.  We cruise by St George Island and later perhaps combine a lagoon cruise with a delicious seafood lunch? (BB, D)

Day 12: Tuscany to Ancient Rome

As we drive through the peaceful landscapes of Tuscany, there is an informative tutorial about the Chianti wines that make this region so famous. Continue along the smooth autostrada back to Rome. Your Intermezzo reaches its crescendo at the Vatican Museums. Wonder at the collection of ancient and Renaissance art gathered by Popes over the ages, then enter the Sistine Chapel, where the Popes are elected. This is where your audio headset comes into its own, providing clear, expert commentary from your local guide. Gaze up now and truly appreciate the significance of Michelangelo’s famous painted ceiling. (BB, D)

Day 13: Highlights of Rome

This morning we set off on our in-depth sightseeing with a local guide, which takes us inside the Vatican Museums to see the Sistine Chapel.  We admire the famous ceiling painted by Michelangelo and then wonder at his emotive work ‘Pieta’ inside the magnificent St Peter’s Basilica.   We now cross the river to see the Colosseum, scene of many gladiatorial contests and we also look out over the Roman Forum. (BB)

Day 14: Overnight Ferry to Dubrovnik

Today is at your leisure, until we are taken to the port to board our overnight ferry to Dubrovnik in Croatia. (BB)

Day 15: Dubrovnik and Pilgrim’s Village of Medugorje

On arrival in Dubrovnik, we continue to Medugorje. Experience the beauty and peace of this simple village. During your stay in Medugorje, you will have the opportunity to share faith with thousands of pilgrims from all over the world. We will visit the Oasis of Peace, which has an incredible 24-hour Adoration Chapel, before settling into our hotel. (BB, D)

Day 16: Following in the Footsteps of Visionaries in Medugorje

Today we follow the same path up Apparition Hill where the young visionaries first encountered Our Lady. Touch and pray before the cross that commemorates the spot where Mary first appeared to the visionaries. Visit and pray at "Blue Cross", which is a place of great healings and graces at the base of Apparition Hill. There is an opportunity to join Croatian Mass tonight. (BB, D)

Day 17: Farewell Dubrovnik

This morning we are transferred to Dubrovnik Airport for our onward flight. (BB)

Follow in the Footsteps of Jesus

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Day 1: Welcome to Tel Aviv

You are met at the airport and transferred to your hotel in Tel Aviv. Later, join your Travel Director and expert host for a Welcome Reception, and an opportunity to get to know your travel companions over a pleasant evening of dinner and wine. (WD)

Day 2: Caesarea, Nazareth & Galilee

After breakfast, we drive north to Caesarea Maritima where you will visit the Roman Theater, Herod’s Palace, the Palace of the Roman Procurator, the Amphitheater and the Crusaders’ City and Harbor. Later journey to Nazareth and visit the Church of Annunciation and Mary’s Well in the Greek Orthodox Church. Enjoy a scenic drive on to Cana in the Galilee, site of the First Miracle. (BB, D)

Day 3: Sea of Galilee

After breakfast, embark on a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee – the site where Jesus walked on water. The cruise ends at Ginnosar, where we visit an ancient boat from the time of Jesus. Later we drive to the Mount of Beatitudes where we visit a heptagonal church built by the Italian architect Berluzzi, before venturing to Tabgha, where you will have the opportunity to visit the Church of the Loaves and the Fish, and the Church of Mensa Christi – this is where Jesus elected Peter as his representative on earth. In the afternoon, we enjoy a beautiful drive along the north shores of the Sea of Galilee until we reach Capernaum, the town where Jesus lived in the house of Peter while performing his miracles and healings. (BB, D)

Day 4: Mount Tabor, Megiddo, Jaffa & Jerusalem

After breakfast, we drive to Mount Tabor, the site of Transfiguration, to visit the Catholic Church. On the rooftop of the church, we enjoy beautiful views of the Lower Galilee and the Plain of Jezreel. Making our way through the town of Afula, we drive to Megiddo – also known as Armageddon. This is the place where the last battle of mankind is due to take place. Here we visit the museum and explore this ancient 5,000-year-old city where you can view the original Gates from the times of King Solomon, the old Canaanite temples and the water tunnel from the time of King Ahab. Travelling through Wadi Ara on the ancient road (Via Maris) which connects old Egypt to Mesopotamia, we reach Tel Aviv for a visit to ancient Yope (Jaffa), where once the house of Simon the Tanner stood and the place of the Miracle of the Resurrection of Tabita. After these visits, we enjoy a drive through the Hills of Judea to Jerusalem. (BB, D)

Day 5: Highlights of Jerusalem

The next day we ascend the Mount of Olives to visit the Chapel of the Ascension, the Church of the Pater Noster and enjoy a beautiful panoramic view of the Old City of Jerusalem including the Temple Mount. Walking down the Mount of Olives, we reach the Church of Dominus Flevit for a visit and proceed to the Garden of Gethsemane –the place where Jesus was arrested. Here we stop to see the old olive trees and visit the Basilica of the Agony. After further walking through the Lion’s Gate, we venture into the Old City to visit the Church of St. Anne and the Pool of Bethesda. From here we proceed through the Via Dolorosa, along the Stations of the Cross from the remains of the Antonia to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. After these visits, we enjoy a walk through the colorful bazaar, before returning to the hotel. (BB, D)

Day 6: New City of Jerusalem & Bethlehem

After breakfast, we drive to Mount Zion to visit the Room of the Last Supper and the Tomb of King David. Walking through the Jewish Quarter, we reach the Wailing Wall - the holiest place for the Jews - and the Dung Gate. Next, we drive through the New City of Jerusalem to Ein Kerem to visit the Church of St. John. Later we drive to Yad  Vashem– a Memorial to the victims of the Holocaust. From here, we proceed to Bethlehem to visit the Church of the Nativity and Shepherd’s Field.  (BB, D)

Day 7: The Dead Sea

Today via the walled city of Carcassonne and Montpellier, we travel across the Camargue, famous for its wild bulls, horses and flamingos, into the landscapes of Van Gough’s beloved Provence to the fashionable Nice, otherwise known as ‘Queen of the Riviera’, one of the oldest cities on the Cote d’Azur. (BB, D)

Day 8: Farewell Jerusalem

Our journey draws to a close after breakfast with transfers to the airport for your onward journey. (BB)

Holy Highlights Of France & Italy

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Day 1: Welcome to Paris

Welcome to Paris! You will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. This evening meet for a Welcome Drink followed by an evening at leisure.

Day 2: Highlights of Paris

Visit the splendid Notre Dame Cathedral in the oldest part of the city - Ille de la Cite – alongside a local guide. Next we visit the 17th century Place des Vogues with its 36 houses retaining their original appearance and steep slate roofs. Then there is time to relax and see Paris from a different perspective on our highlight cruise of the River Siene. Afterwards we drive along the Champs Elysees with its luxury shops and see the Arc de Triomphe, the fabulous Eiffel Tower and the Louvre. This afternoon is at leisure to explore. (BB)

Day 3: Sacred Paris

This morning we will celebrate Mass in the nearby chapel of the Daughters of Charity in the Rue De Bac. This is the site where our lady appeared to Catherine Laboure in 1830, with the first Miraculous Medal being struck in 1832. Her incorrupt body lies under the altar of Our Lady in the chapel. We then continue to Sacre Cour dominating the artists’ quarter at Montmartre. The rest of the day is at your leisure to further explore the picturesque cobbled stone streets or perhaps take an excursion to the magnificent Versailles or the Louvre. (BB)

Day 4: Historic Nevers & The St Gildard Monastery

After an early breakfast, we follow the auto-route through France's great agricultural lands, through the Forests of Fontainbleau - once the private hunting grounds of the Kings of France - and continue south to historic Nevers. Here, lying in a glass casket in the chapel, we see the life-like body of St Bernadette at the St Gildard Monastery. (BB)

Day 5: Place Of Healing - Lourdes

Continuing the theme of St Bernadette, we drive to the foothills of the Pyrenees and Lourdes. This little market town, situated where the mountains meet the plains, became a pilgrimage place of world-renown in the 19C when the Virgin Mary is said to have appeared in a series of visions to the young Bernadette. The Virgin created a stream with healing powers which now attracts pilgrims from all over the world, with a special place reserved for the lame and the sick. Tonight the candlelight procession is a moving experience. (BB)

Day 6: Experience Sacred Lourdes

Today we visit the Grotto of the Miracles, site of the visions, where we can light a candle in prayer. We also visit the underground basilica, one of the world's largest sanctuaries, and the Upper Basilica dedicated to the Immaculate Conception.  We see the fountains, where water may be collected, and the pools which are used for the immersion of the sick. For the energetic, there is the opportunity to walk the Stations of the Cross which overlooks the basilicas. This afternoon perhaps join an optional excursion to the famous Betharram Caves to see the incredible stalagmite and stalactite formations. (BB)

Day 7: Lourdes at your Leisure

Today is at your leisure to experience the town. In the heart of the Pyrenees, Lourdes was just a small market town on 11 February 1858, when Bernadette Soubirous met, along the Gave, the “Lady” that made the town a Marian city. Lourdes now receives 5 million visitors from all over the world every year. (BB)

Day 8: Flight to Rome

After breakfast, we transfer to the airport for a flight to Rome (flight not included).On arrival in Rome, we are transferred to our hotel. (BB)

Day 9: Highlights of Ancient Rome

This morning we set off on our in-depth sightseeing tour alongside a local guide. We start at the Vatican Museums, the treasure house of the Catholic faith with vast collections of ancient and Renaissance art, continuing to the Sistine Chapel, where we admire the famous ceiling painted by Michelangelo and wonder at his emotive ‘Pieta’ inside the magnificent St Peter’s Basilica.  We also see Bernini’s ‘Popes Altar’ above the spot where St Peter is reputed to have been crucified. We now cross the river to ancient classical Rome and visit the world’s largest Roman arena, the Colosseum, the scene of many gladiatorial contests. We also look out over the Roman Forum, the centre of ancient public life. (BB)

Day 10: Sacred Rome

Today we visit the Catacombs where ancient Christians worshipped in secret and escaped to avoid persecution – it was also used as an underground burial place. Next we visit the Basilica of St Paul without the Walls - built on the site of St Paul’s Tomb – and see the interior, celebrated for its great works of art. (BB)

Day 11: Rome at your Leisure

Spend the day exploring Rome at your own pace. You may choose to wander through the vast parklands of the Villa Borghese - the villa now houses a beautiful art collection – and don't miss the fine view over Rome from the terrace of the Pincio Garden. Perhaps you’d like to spend some time in the boutiques of the Via del Corso, the Via Nazionale or the elegant designer stores in the neighbourhood of the Spanish Steps. (BB)

Day 12: Padua – Home of St Anthony

Leaving Rome this morning, we travel through the Umbrian hills and continue north to Padua, home of St Anthony - the well-known patron saint of lost articles. Originally from Lisbon, he came to Italy where he became famous for his gift of preaching where crowds flocked to hear him. (BB)

Day 13: Venice Magic in a Day

Today we head to magical Venice, known as the ‘romantic city’ and Europe’s most unique destination. Venice is built on 117 small islands and has some 150 canals and 400 bridges, which create a vast network of fascinating narrow alleyways. With its impressive ancient buildings rising out over the water, the city of Venice is an unforgettable experience. Our orientation journey shows us the Grand Canal, St Mark’s Square, Palace of the Doges and the Bridge of Sighs. We then return to our hotel in Padua. (BB)

Day 14: Basilica of St Anthony & Holy Town of Assisi

This morning we visit the Basilica of St Anthony, a world centre for pilgrims, we also see the Tomb of St Anthony. Our journey then continues through the Appennines to Assisi where we see the Church of St Mary of the Angels and enjoy a guided visit to St Francis’ Basilica, where St Frances lived for most of his life. (BB)

Day 15: Sacred Highlights of Assisi

This morning we awake to the atmospheric sounds of chapel bells, cobblestone footsteps and a tangible spirit of St Francis preserved within the walls of this holy town. After breakfast our first stop will be St Damien’s Church (San Damiano), built on the site where St Francis heard the voice of Christ speaking through the crucifix, “Go and repair my church which you can see is falling down.” We then visit The Hermitage, an oasis of peace and tranquility in the woods where St Francis often withdrew to spend many hours in prayer. The rest of the day is at leisure to wander through the ancient streets or spend further reflective time at the Hermitage. (BB)

Day 16: Gubbio & Ancient Loreto

This morning we travel into a medieval world for a charming stop at Gubbio, where St Francis tamed the ravenous fox that was destroying the village livestock. Here we view the immense 14th century Palazzo dei Consoli, the basilica and tomb of the incorrupt St Ubaldo, and San Francesco church with its 17 frescos of the Virgin Mary. We arrive in Loreto - in ancient tradition the sanctuary of Loreto preserves the Nazarene House of the Virgin Mary. The rest of the afternoon is at leisure. (BB)

Day 17: Lanciano & San Giovanni Ratondo

We visit Lanciano, scene of the Eucharistic miracle in the 8th century, and continue our journey to the small village of San Giovanni Rotondo. This is where the recently-beautified Franciscan stigmatist, Padre Pio, spent a lifetime of prayer & penance. His list of supernatural gifts included, reading of souls, prophecy & miraculous healing. Our tour includes the Tomb Room, Confessional of Padre Pio & the Crucifix from which he received his stigmata. (BB)

Day 18: Pilgrimage Sites - San Giovanni Ratondo & Monte Sant’ Angelo

This morning, we travel to the small town of Monte Sant’ Angelo to visit the shrine of Archangels St Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael. This is the place where the Archangel Micheal is said to have made four separate appearances, mostly at the end of the fifth century. It is one of the earliest Christian sanctuary sites in Europe and visited by thousands of pilgrims every year. (BB)

Day 19: Farewell Rome

This morning, we travel back to Rome where we are transferred to the airport to meet your onwards flight. (BB)

Pilgrimage Through France & Italy

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Day 1: Welcome to Paris

Welcome to Paris! You will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel prior to an orientation tour of romantic Paris. This evening meet for a Welcome Drink followed by dinner and a sparkling illumination visit to the ‘City of Light’. (D)

Day 2: Highlights of Paris

Visit the splendid Notre Dame Cathedral in the oldest part of the city - Ille de la Cite – alongside a local guide. Next we visit the 17th century Place des Vogues with its 36 houses retaining their original appearance and steep slate roofs. Then there is time to relax and see Paris from a different perspective on our highlight cruise of the River Siene. Afterwards we drive along the Champs Elysees with its luxury shops and see the Arc de Triomphe, the fabulous Eiffel Tower and the Louvre. This afternoon is at leisure to explore. (BB)

Day 3: Sacred Paris

This morning we will celebrate Mass in the nearby chapel of the Daughters of Charity in the Rue De Bac.  This is the site where our lady appeared to Catherine Laboure in 1830, with the first Miraculous Medal being struck in 1832.  Her incorrupt body lies under the altar of Our Lady in the chapel.  We then continue to Sacre Cour dominating the artists’ quarter at Montmartre.  The rest of the day is at your leisure to further explore the picturesque cobbled stone streets or perhaps take an excursion to the magnificent Versailles or the Louvre. (BB, D)

Day 4: Amiens & Lisieux

After breakfast, we travel north to where the Anzacs fought on the Western Front and visit a War Memorial. We continue to the charming town of Amiens, one of the richest cultural cities in France, where we see the crying Angel, symbol for the Anzacs and beautiful Ste-Cecile – it’s 13th century Gothic at its best. We then continue onto Lisieux, with its closely-packed hedgerows, thatched cottages and old manors for a two-night stay. (BB, D)

Day 5: Sacred Sites of Lisieux

This morning we visit St Therese Chapel, ‘Les Buissonets” where St Therese lived, the Basilica and the Carmelite Convent where we celebrate Mass. The rest of the day is to spend here at leisure. (BB, D)

Day 6: Chartres, Nevers & Clermont-ferrand

After breakfast, we travel to Chartres, and visit the famous Cathedral. This is one of the best preserved medieval Christian monuments in the western world containing more than five thousand figures in its stained glass windows depicting bible scenes and lives of great saints. Then via Nevers, nestled in the picturesque Loire Valley, we visit the small town of Paray Le Monial where Saint Margaret Alacoque experienced visions of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Continuing on, we reach Clermont-Ferrand for our overnight stay. (BB, D)

Day 7: Pilgrimage City of Rocamadour & Lourdes

We have an early start, as we journey to Rocamadour.  Built against the side of a cliff, this sacred city is a spectacular site offering breathtaking views of the valley below. Millions of pilgrims come here each year to pray at the statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary which has claimed many healings. We will also visit the Chapel of the Black Virgin, before continuing on to Lourdes, which is set amidst the majestic Pyrenees. It was this small town in which Our Lady first appeared to Bernadette in 1858. (BB, D)

Day 8: Grotto of Lourdes

This morning we visit the miraculous Grotto.  The rest of the day is free for a visit and prayers for the sick at the Baths. Here you may choose to enter the Baths, or drink the Lourdes water at the taps. Perhaps you’d like to join the emotive candlelight procession this evening for an unforgettable experience. (BB, D)

Day 9: Lourdes at your Leisure

Today is at your leisure to experience the town. In the heart of the Pyrenees, Lourdes was just a small market town on 11 February 1858, when Bernadette Soubirous met, along the Gave, the “Lady” that made the town a Marian city. Lourdes now receives 5 million visitors from all over the world every year. (BB, D)

Day 10: Van Gogh’s Provence & Chic Nice

Today via the walled city of Carcassonne and Montpellier, we travel across the Camargue, famous for its wild bulls, horses and flamingos, into the landscapes of Van Gough’s beloved Provence to the fashionable Nice, otherwise known as ‘Queen of the Riviera’, one of the oldest cities on the Cote d’Azur. (BB, D)

Day 11: Leaning Tower of Pisa & Florence

Following the sparkling coast, past the famed Monte Carlo, we travel into Italy to Genoa, birthplace of Christopher Columbus, passing the marble quarries of Carrara before arriving at the beautiful city of Pisa where we visit the Field of Miracles. In the centre stands a world-famous sight, the Leaning Tower of Pisa. There is time for a unique photo, to admire the beautiful Baptistery and Cathedral. We then continue on to one of Europe’s most important cities in the heart of Tuscany, Florence. If time permits, we will enjoy an orientation visit to Florence. (BB)

Day 12: Wonders of Florence

This morning we set off alongside a local guide on a sightseeing excursion, which includes a visit to Academy Gallery, viewing Michelangelo’s original statue of David, and the Uffizi Gallery housing the world’s greatest collection of Renaissance paintings. We also enjoy a walking tour, taking in such highlights as the multi-coloured marble Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, Giotto’s belltower, the Gates of Paradise and Piazza Signoria. We are treated to a demonstration of leatherwork around Santa Croce Basilica, where the craft was originally established. Then there is time to shop at Florence’s finest. (BB, D)

Day 13: Bologna, Padua and Venice

Spend this morning at leisure, before we bid farewell to the Tuscan city and cross the Appennine Mountains passing the city of Bologna - famous for its meats & salamis - and across the flood plains of River Po. We have a stop in Padua where we visit Frescoes of the Church of the Hermits before we continue on a scenic drive along the famous Brenta Riviera. Here we see the magnificent classical villas that were once the summer residences of the Venetian nobility. Our route takes us on the canal through Stra, Dolo, Mira and Malcontenta to magical Venice. (BB)

Day 14: Canal Cruise through Magical Venice

For this morning’s sightseeing, a private launch takes us along the Guidecca canal past the church of Rendentore and Palladio’s monumental architecture to St Mark’s Square. The palatial residences seem to float on the water, as gondola’s bob beneath the Bridge of Sighs – the city itself a poem. We cruise by St George Island and later perhaps combine a lagoon cruise with a delicious seafood lunch? (BB, D)

Day 15: Holy Town of Assisi

We drive along the shores of the Venetian lagoon to see the mosaics in the Church of St Apollinaris in Classe. We continue through the Appennines to Assisi where we see the Church of St Mary of the Angels and enjoy a guided visit to St Francis’ Basilica, where St Frances lived for most of his life. (BB)

Day 16: Sacred Highlights of Assisi

This morning we awake to the atmospheric sounds of chapel bells, cobblestone footsteps and a tangible spirit of St Francis preserved within the walls of this holy town. After breakfast our first stop will be St Damien’s Church (San Damiano), built on the site where St Francis heard the voice of Christ speaking through the crucifix, “Go and repair my church which you can see is falling down.” We then visit The Hermitage, an oasis of peace and tranquility in the woods where St Francis often withdrew to spend many hours in prayer. The rest of the day is at leisure to wander through the ancient streets or spend further reflective time at the Hermitage. (BB)

Day 17: Pilgrimage Site - San Giovanni Ratondo

After breakfast, our journey takes us to the small village of San Giovanni Rotondo. This is where the recently-beautified Franciscan stigmatist, Padre Pio, spent a lifetime of prayer & penance. His list of supernatural gifts included, reading of souls, prophecy & miraculous healing. Our journey includes the Tomb Room, Confessional of Padre Pio & the Crucifix from which he received his stigmata. We have an excursion to the small town of Monte Sant’ Angelo to visit the shrine of Archangels St Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael. This is the place where the Archangel Micheal is said to have made four separate appearances mostly at the end of the fifth century, making sanctuary here on of the earliest Christian sites in Europe, and visited by thousands of pilgrims every year. (BB)

Day 18: Seaside Splendor in Sorrento

Departing San Giovanni this morning, we travel to Sorrento where we enjoy a spectacular cliff-top drive to our destination. Now is your time to relax and enjoy this stunning town. You’ll also have the opportunity to visit the beautiful Island of Capri. (BB)

Day 19: Pompeii, Naples & Rome

This morning we drive to Pompeii, where a local guide shows us the fascinating excavations of this Roman City eerily preserved for future generations by the eruptions of Mount Vesuvius in AD79. Later we have a brief panoramic visit to Naples before returning to Rome. En route we visit the abbey of Monte Cassino. (BB, D)

Day 20: Highlights of Ancient Rome

This morning we set off on our in-depth sightseeing tour alongside a local guide. We start at the Vatican Museums, the treasure house of the Catholic faith with vast collections of ancient and Renaissance art, continuing to the Sistine Chapel, where we admire the famous ceiling painted by Michelangelo and wonder at his emotive ‘Pieta’ inside the magnificent St Peter’s Basilica. We also see Bernini’s ‘Popes Altar’ above the spot where St Peter is reputed to have been crucified. We now cross the river to ancient classical Rome and visit the world’s largest Roman arena, the Colosseum, the scene of many gladitorial contests. We also look out over the Roman Forum, the centre of ancient public life. (BB)

Day 21: Sacred Rome

Today we visit the Catacombs where ancient Christians worshipped in secret and escaped to avoid persecution – it was also used as an underground burial place. Next we visit the Basilica of St Paul without the Walls - built on the site of St Paul’s Tomb – and see the interior, celebrated for its great works of art. We enjoy a Highlight Dinner at Tivoli Gardens this evening. (BB, D)

Day 22: Rome at your Leisure

Spend the day exploring Rome at your own pace. You may choose to wander through the vast parklands of the Villa Borghese - the villa now houses a beautiful art collection – and don't miss the fine view over Rome from the terrace of the Pincio Garden. Perhaps you’d like to spend some time in the boutiques of the Via del Corso, the Via Nazionale or the elegant designer stores in the neighbourhood of the Spanish Steps. (BB)

Day 23: Farewell Rome

This morning our memorable tour ends with a transfer to the airport for your onward journey. (BB)

Pilgrim's Way

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Day 1: Welcome to Lisbon

On arrival at the Lisbon airport, meet your Travel Director and transfer to your hotel. Settle in and spend the remainder of your day at leisure. (D)

Day 2: Explore Lisbon

After breakfast, visit the cobbled streets of the ‘Alfama’ quarter alongside a local guide and see Sao Jorge Castle. We then visit the Monument to the Discoveries, the Belem Tower and Jeronimo’s Monastery with its superbly ornate cloister. Spend the rest of the day at leisure. (BB)

Day 3: Santarem & Holy Fatima

Today we visit the birth site of Saint Anthony, a religious scholar and friend of Saint Francis. Later we transfer to the town of Santarem, one of the oldest cities in the world, for a walk through its narrow streets to the Church of St Stephen, containing the oldest recorded Eucharistic miracle. You’ll also have the chance to see the 750-year-old Holy Miracle of Santarem, a relic of the Bleeding Host. In the early afternoon we drive to nearby Fatima, the place where the Blessed Mother appeared in 1917 to the three shepherd children and encouraged mankind to pray for world peace. After settling into your hotel, you’re invited to participate in a candlelight procession. (BB, D)

Day 4: Full Day in Fatima

Enjoy a full day devoted to the city of Fatima, where the Virgin Mary appeared to the three novices belonging to the diocese of Leira.  Start your day with mass at the Little Chapel of Apparitions. We make our way to the famous Basilica, which has been visited by millions of Pilgrims since 1928. We’ll also see Francesco and Jacinta’s graves, the Hamlet of Aljustrel, where the children lived, and Valinhos, the site of Our Lady’s Appearance after the children returned from prison. Follow the Stations of the Cross along the Via Sacra (The Sacred Way), ending at the Chapel of Calvary, which overlooks all of Fatima. You will have the opportunity to join the candlelight procession to pray the rosary. (BB, D)

Day 5: Churches of Oporto Onto Santiago De Compostela

After breakfast, we travel north to Oporto, where you’ll join an orientation visit to the ornate church of Saint Francis with its golden baroque interior, the fortress-like cathedral, the tower of the Clerigos church and the magnificent Town Hall. We then cross the Spanish border for a two-night stay in Santiago De Compostela. (BB, D)

Day 6: Wonders of Santiago De Compostela

According to legend, the tomb containing the remains of the Apostle St James was discovered here in 813, making Santiago De Campostella the third most important city for religious pilgrimage after Jerusalem and Rome. With your local guide, we visit St James Cathedral, one of the finest examples of architecture in all of Europe. Climb the stairs behind the high altar, visit the crypt where the relics of St James are preserved, touch the central pillar and view the ‘botafumeiro” before visiting the cloister museum. You can also attend midday mass (subject to confirmation). This afternoon we wander the streets and get acquainted with the city’s many historical buildings. (BB)

Day 7: Tour to Garababdal

Today’s journey takes us to the small village of Garababdal, set high in the breathtaking Cantabrian Hills. This is the site of the widely reported apparitions of Our Lady of Mt Carmel to four young village girls between 1961 – 1965. We embark on a guided tour, before walking up to ‘the Pines’ where it is believed Our Lady will leave a visible sign. The peace of this hamlet heightens the sound of daily life, while chapel bells and farm animals echo through the simple streets. Take time out for personal retreat and reflection, before being transferred back to our hotel. (BB, D)

Day 8: Burgos & Historic Avila

Today we travel south to Burgos, famous for its beautiful cathedral, which dates back to 1221 and is one of the universal jewels of Gothic architecture. From there, we continue to the historic town of Avila where the atmosphere has changed little since the days of St Theresa to whom this city is dedicated. It is said that she entered the Carmelite convent and experienced many mystical experiences. (BB, D)

Day 9: Avila to Bustling Madrid

We begin our journey and mass at the Convent of Saint Theresa, built over the saint’s birthplace and located just inside the south gate of the old town. We then visit Avila’s Cathedral and the Monastery of Incarnation where St Theresa’s cell can be seen with other relics. We make our way to the small village of Alba De Tormes where she died and where her body lies incorrupt.  This evening we arrive in Spain’s bustling capital city of Madrid. (BB, D)

Day 10: Madrid Sightseeing & Toledo

Our day starts with a guided sightseeing tour to the Gran Via and Paseo de la Castellana. We see the Cervantes Monument on the Plaza de Espana, the Puerto del Sol and the Cibeles Fountain. In the afternoon we have an excursion to Toledo, former capital of Spain, where we visit the 13th century cathedral and one of Europe’s oldest synagogues. We also see the El Greco masterpiece in the chapel of Santo Tome. Our day ends back in Madrid. (BB)

Day 11: Into Catalunya & Barcelona

An early start takes us through the Castille where the legendary Don Quixote ‘tilted at windmills’. We reach the Ebro River at Zaragosa, where the Virgin Mary appeared to St James the Apostle. We then enter Catalunya, a land that retains its own distinctive language and traditions, and stay the night in the vibrant Mediterranean port of Barcelona. (BB, D)

Day 12: Explore Barcelona

Today a local guide takes us to the Gothic Quarter where amongst the narrow streets we visit the ancient Cathedral. In complete contrast, we visit the Eixample District to see some of Gaudi’s extraordinary architecture, including the unfinished Sagrada Familia Cathedral. This afternoon stroll along the leafy Ramblas with its market stalls and buskers or perhaps take an excursion to the ancient Monastery of Monserrat, dedicated to the Black Madonna. (BB)

Day 13: Experience Fashionable Nice

We travel across the Camargue into the landscapes of Van Gogh’s beloved Provence. Fashionable Nice on the French Riviera is one of the liveliest cities in France, with a host of attractions. Take a stroll in the shady gardens, relax on the beach or browse the exclusive boutiques. (BB)

Day 14: Montecatini, Leaning Tower of Pisa & Tuscany

We trace the Riviera through the Principality of Monaco, which has been ruled by the Grimaldi family since the 13th century. We visit the Royal Palace, the yacht-filled harbour and the Cathedral, housing the late Prince Rainier and Princess Grace, before travelling on to the Leaning Tower of Pisa in the Field of Miracles. Our journey then takes us to Tuscany where we overnight. (BB, D)

Day 15: Rome Sightseeing

This morning we travel to the peaceful hilltop town of Assisi where we visit the Basilica of St Francis. We stroll down the Via San Francesco to St Clare’s Church and see the Cathedral with its baptismal font where St Francis was christened. We then travel south to the ‘Eternal City’ of Rome where you bid your Driver and Travel Director farewell at your hotel.  (BB)

Day 16: Rome at your Leisure

Enjoy a full day at leisure to explore Rome. (BB)

Day 17: Rome at your Leisure

Enjoy a full day at leisure to explore Rome. (BB)

Day 18: Farewell Rome

Your tour comes to an end after breakfast with a transfer to the airport. (BB)

Sacred Sites of France & Italy

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Day 1: Welcome to Paris

Welcome to Paris! Upon arrival you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. Enjoy an orientation of vibrant Paris along the way. This evening meet for a Welcome Drink followed by a sparkling illumination tour in the ‘City of Light’. (D)

Day 2: Highlights of Paris

Visit the splendid Notre Dame Cathedral in the oldest part of the city - Ille de la Cite – alongside a local guide. Next we visit the 17th century Place des Vogues with its 36 houses retaining their original appearance and steep slate roofs. Then there is time to relax and see Paris from a different perspective on our highlight cruise of the River Siene. Afterwards we drive along the Champs Elysees with its luxury shops and see the Arc de Triomphe, the fabulous Eiffel Tower and the Louvre. This afternoon is at leisure to explore. (BB)

Day 3: Amiens & Lisieux

After breakfast, we travel north to where the Anzacs fought on the Western Front and visit a War Memorial. We continue to the charming town of Amiens, one of the richest cultural cities in France, where we see the crying Angel, symbol for the Anzacs and beautiful Ste-Cecile – it’s 13th century Gothic at its best. We then continue onto Lisieux, with its closely-packed hedgerows, thatched cottages and old manors. (BB)

Day 4: Sacred Sites between Lisieux & Nevers

This morning we visit St Therese Chapel, ‘Les Buissonets” where St Therese lived, the Basilica and the Carmelite Convent. We continue to Chartres and visit the famous Cathedral. This is one of the best preserved medieval Christian monuments in the western world containing more than five thousand figures in its stained glass windows depicting bible scenes and lives of great saints. Then on to Nevers, nestled in the picturesque Loire Valley, we visit the small town of Paray Le Monial where Saint Margaret Alacoque experienced visions of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. (BB)

Day 5: Nevers to the Pilgrimage City of Rocamadour

We have an early start, as we journey to Rocamadour. Built against the side of a cliff, this sacred city is a spectacular site offering breathtaking views of the valley below. Millions of pilgrims come here each year to pray at the statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary which has claimed many healings. We will also visit the Chapel of the Black Virgin. (BB)

Day 6: Lourdes & The Pyrenees

Today we travel to Lourdes, set admist the majestic Pyrenees. Lourdes was just a small market town on 11 February 1858, when Bernadette Soubirous met, along the Gave, the “Lady” that made the town a Marian city. Lourdes now receives 5 million visitors from all over the world every year. (BB)

Day 7: Grotto of Lourdes

This morning we visit the miraculous Grotto. The rest of the day is free for a visit and prayers for the sick at the Baths. Here you may choose to enter the Baths, or drink the Lourdes water at the taps. Perhaps you’d like to join the emotive candlelight procession this evening for an unforgettable experience. (BB)

Day 8: Van Gogh’s Provence & Chic Nice

Today via the walled city of Carcassonne and Montpellier, we travel across the Camargue, famous for its wild bulls, horses and flamingos, into the landscapes of Van Gough’s beloved Provence to the fashionable Nice, otherwise known as ‘Queen of the Riviera’, one of the oldest cities on the Cote d’Azur. (BB)

Day 9: Leaning Tower of Pisa & Florence

Following the sparkling coast, past the famed Monte Carlo, we travel into Italy to Genoa, birthplace of Christopher Columbus, passing the marble quarries of Carrara before arriving at the beautiful city of Pisa where we visit the Field of Miracles. In the centre stands a world-famous sight, the Leaning Tower of Pisa. There is time for a unique photo, to admire the beautiful Baptistery and Cathedral. We then continue on to one of Europe’s most important cities in the heart of Tuscany, Florence. If time permits, we will enjoy an orientation Florence. (BB)

Day 10: Wonders of Florence

This morning we set off alongside a local guide on a sightseeing tour, which includes a visit to Academy Gallery, viewing Michelangelo’s original statue of David, and the Uffizi Gallery housing the world’s greatest collection of Renaissance paintings. We also enjoy a walking excursion, taking in such highlights as the multi-coloured marble Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, Giotto’s belltower, the Gates of Paradise and Piazza Signoria. We are treated to a demonstration of leatherwork around Santa Croce Basilica, where the craft was originally established. Then there is time to shop at Florence’s finest. (BB)

Day 11: Chianti Region & Assisi

We travel through the vineyards of the Chianti region en route to Assisi. Here we see the Church of St Mary of the Angels and enjoy a guided visit to St Francis’ Basilica, where St Frances lived for most of his life. (BB)

Day 12: Holy Town of Assisi

This morning we awake to the atmospheric sounds of chapel bells, cobblestone footsteps and a tangible spirit of St Francis preserved within the walls of this holy town. After breakfast our first stop will be St Damien’s Church (San Damiano), built on the site where St Francis heard the voice of Christ speaking through the crucifix, “Go and repair my church which you can see is falling down.” We then visit The Hermitage, an oasis of peace and tranquility in the woods where St Francis often withdrew to spend many hours in prayer. The rest of the day is at leisure to wander through the ancient streets or spend further reflective time at the Hermitage. (BB)

Day 13: Tiber Valley towards Ancient Rome

Today we continue along the Tiber valley to the ‘Eternal City’ of Rome. The remainder of the day is at your leisure to relax or explore this ancient city full of historical sights. Spend some time wandering through the vast parklands of the Villa Borghese or perhaps visit the well preserved Pantheon, or soak up the atmosphere in the Piazza Navona. (BB)

Day 14: Highlights of Rome

This morning we set off on our in-depth sightseeing tour alongside a local guide. We start at the Vatican Museums, the treasure house of the Catholic faith with vast collections of ancient and Renaissance art, continuing to the Sistine Chapel, where we admire the famous ceiling painted by Michelangelo and wonder at his emotive ‘Pieta’ inside the magnificent St Peter’s Basilica. We also see Bernini’s ‘Popes Altar’ above the spot where St Peter is reputed to have been crucified. We now cross the river to ancient classical Rome and visit the world’s largest Roman arena, the Colosseum, the scene of many gladiatorial contests. We also look out over the Roman Forum, the centre of ancient public life. (BB)

Day 15: Sacred Rome

Today we visit the Catacombs where ancient Christians worshipped in secret and escaped to avoid persecution – it was also used as an underground burial place. Next we visit the Basilica of St Paul without the Walls - built on the site of St Paul’s Tomb – and see the interior, celebrated for its great works of art. (BB)

Day 16: Farewell Rome

After breakfast, our memorable tour ends with a transfer to the airport for your onward journey. (BB)

Sister Mary’s Pilgrimage of Hungary, Croatia, Italy & Greece

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Day 1: Welcome to Budapest

We are met by our Travel Director and Driver in Vienna. Today we follow the Danube Valley to vibrant Budapest. On arrival, we view the spectacular bridges across the Danube from Gellert Hill. Later, we visit Matthias Church and admire the views of the ornate Parliament from the Fisherman's Bastion. Then we visit Heroes' Square in Pest. (D)

Day 2: Budapest & Szentendre

We celebrate mass this morning before driving past the remains of the Roman settlement of Aquincum to the picturesque riverside village of Szentendre, with its brightly-coloured houses and quaint churches. There's time to browse the shops and cobbled streets before we return to Budapest. Tonight, we enjoy a special highlight evening of Hungarian music and dinner. (BB, HD)

Day 3: Spa City of Budapest

The thermal baths of Budapest are among the best in the world. The region's mineral springs have been cherished for centuries and what you see in the city today is nothing less than the footprints of history. This morning we visit one of Europe’s greatest spa complexes – The Szechenyi Bath, extraordinary for its medicinal water and the large area it occupies, is also known for its decorative sculptures and glass mosaics made by Hungary’s leading artists. The rest of the day is at leisure. (BB)

Day 4: Croatian Capital - Zagreb

This morning we depart Hungary and travel to Zagreb. On our guided visit to the Croatian capital, we see Roosevelt Square, the attractive facades of Ban Josip Jelacic Square and the nearby Cathedral. Now we go onto the medieval Upper Town, including the Presidential Palace, Stone Gate, St Marks Church and Pope's Tower. (BB, D)

Day 5: Karlovac & Plitvice National Park

Leaving Zagreb, we stop at the fortress town of Karlovac on the River Kupa, before continuing to one of Europe's natural wonders - Plitvice National Park. We explore this scenic wonderland of 16 inter-connecting lakes, flanked by thundering waterfalls and primeval forest. We visit Korana Canyon to see the 230-feet high falls and Tomicevo Pogledalo for panoramic views over the park. (BB, D)

Day 6: Historic Trogir & Split

After breakfast, we head down to the coast to visit Trogir, founded by the Greeks in 400BC. We admire the Romanesque cathedral and Renaissance Cipiko Palace, before continuing to the historic port of Split. We explore the ancient buildings and labyrinth of streets, built within the walls of the Roman Emperor Diocletian's Palace. Then time to relax along the palm-lined waterfront promenade! (BB)

Day 7: Mostar & Pilgrim’s Village of Medugorje

Today we travel to Mostar, the unofficial capital of Herzegovina, centered around its famous stone arch "Stari Most”, the bridge binding two banks of the emerald Neretva River. After an orientation of this city of poetry, of stone and narrow winding streets, we continue to Medugorje. Experience the beauty and peace of this simple village. During your stay in Medugorje, you will have the opportunity to share faith with thousands of pilgrims from all over the world. We will visit the Oasis of Peace, which has an incredible 24-hour Adoration Chapel, before settling into our hotel. (BB, D)

Day 8: Following in the Footsteps of Visionaries in Medugorje

Today we follow the same path up Apparition Hill where the young visionaries first encountered Our Lady. Touch and pray before the cross that commemorates the spot where Mary first appeared to the visionaries. Visit and pray at "Blue Cross", which is a place of great healings and graces at the base of Apparition Hill. There is an opportunity to join Croatian Mass tonight. (BB, D)

Day 9: Dalmatian Coast to Dubrovnik

Today there may be an opportunity to visit Father Jozo's parish to attend his highly inspirational talk and receive his powerful healing blessing. This afternoon, we travel to Dubrovnik, on the sparkling Dalmatian Coast. (BB)

Day 10: Highlights of Dubrovnik

Our guided sightseeing tour to the old town this morning explores the stone-paved streets inside the 16th century bastions. We see Onofrio's fountain and the Rector's Palace, the city walls, as well as the Franciscan and Dominican monasteries. This afternoon is at leisure. (BB)

Day 11: Overnight Ferry to Bari, Italy

Today is at leisure, until we are taken to the port to board our overnight ferry to Bari, Italy. (BB)

Day 12: Padre Pio’s San Giovanni Rotondo

This morning we disembark and travel to the peaceful village of San Giovanni Rotondo. This is where the Franciscan stigmatist, Padre Pio spent a lifetime. His list of supernatural gifts was overwhelming. On arrival, our visit includes the Tomb of Saint Padre Pio and the Confessional of Padre Pio at the Crucifix from which he received his stigmata. (BB, D)

Day 13: Shrines of Monte St Angelo

This morning we depart for the small town of Monte St Angelo and visit the shrine of the Archangels St Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, and celebrate Mass. We then return to San Giovanni Rotondo for an afternoon at leisure. (BB)

Day 14: Alberobello, Lecce & Overnight Ferry to Brindisi

This morning we travel to the small town of Alberobello with its strange Trulli buildings spread over the hillside. After lunch in Alberobello, we visit the town of Lecce. Here is revealed a wealth of baroque and rococo buildings, all decorated with great fantasy, we also see the Basilica of the Holy Cross and explore the Piazza del Duomo before boarding our overnight ferry at Brindisi this evening. (BB)

Day 15: Sacred Way in Delphi

Disembarking our ferry at the port of Patras, we cross over to the mainland and continue to the ancient site of Delphi, clinging to the side of Mount Parnassus at 2000 feet. We follow the Sacred Way past the splendid Parian marble Treasury of the Athenians and Polygonal Wall to the Temple of Apollo where the Oracle once spoke her enigmatic words. We also visit the Museum housing important relics and works of art excavated here. (BB, D)

Day 16: Ancient Corinth & Athens

This morning we travel onto nearby ancient Corinth, where St Paul spent two years teaching the people the word of God and converted many. We visit the ancient ruins and see the place where St Paul preached the Gospel from the Rostrum, the Peirene fountain and the 6th century BC Temple of Apollo. We soon arrive in the thriving capital of Athens where we overnight. (BB)

Day 17: Cruise to Mykonos

Today we board our cruise ship and sail for the lovely island of Mykonos with its dazzling sugar cube houses and whitewashed windmills. Enjoy a Greek Evening and Dinner with entertainment, whilst cruising. (BB, L, D)

Day 18: Cruise to Kusadasi & Patmos

This morning we dock at the Turkish port of Kusadasi where we can visit the bazaar, or perhaps take an excursion to visit the ancient ruins of Ephesus (shore excursions are bookable on board). We then sail to the island of Patmos, where St. John wrote the book of Revelations in the celebrated Grotto of the Apocalypse. (BB, L, D)

Day 19: Cruise to Rhodes

We enjoy a full day on Rhodes, once a fortified headquarters of the crusaders and home to the Colossus of Rhodes. There is time to explore the Old City or stroll along the beautiful beaches – the choice is yours! (BB, L, D)

Day 20: Cruise to Crete & Santorini

We sail to Heraklion on the island of Crete, the site of the ruins of King Minos' Palace of Knossos. Later we anchor beneath the white cuboid houses that cling to the sheer cliffs of the stunning island of Santorini. (BB, L, D)

Day 21: Highlights of Christian Athens

This morning we disembark our cruise and are taken on a sightseeing tour in Athens, which offers us glory and abundance. Our sightseeing visit to Christian Athens includes the Acropolis, Parthenon and the Plaka (old town). The rest of the day is at leisure to explore on your own. Tonight we have a highlight farewell dinner at a local restaurant, which recreates the ancient Greek symposium, with all its romance and picturesque interest. Dine in a torch-lit atmosphere, on the most extraordinary of dishes. (BB, HD)

Day 22: Farewell Athens

This morning we are transferred to the airport to meet our ongoing flight. (BB)

Meal Guide: BB = Buffet Breakfast, CB = Continental Breakfast, HD = Highlight Dinner, D = Hotel Dinner, HL = Highlight Lunch, WR = Welcome Reception, CD = Celebration Dinner with Wine, WD = Welcome Dinner, FD = Farewell Dinner, PL = Packed Lunch

ALL THE SIGHTS AND THE INSIGHTS, UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL, IN COMFORT AND IN STYLE