DAY 1 – DUBLIN LOURDES
Check-in at Dublin Airport and check in for your direct flight to Lourdes. A Joe Walsh Tours representative will meet us on arrival. We will transfer by private coach to our hotel for three nights’ accommodation with dinner, breakfast and lunch each day. The origins of the pilgrimages to Lourdes began when Bernadette Soubirous reported the first of eighteen visions of Our Lady on 11 February 1858. Since then, Lourdes went from being a small village in the Pyrenees to becoming the largest Catholic pilgrimage destination in Europe. The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes, where the sacred grotto and the two Basilicas are located, embraces twenty-two places of worship and numerous facilities for the pilgrims and the sick, as well as the spring that began to flow from the spot dug by Bernadette on Our Lady’s instructions.
DAY 2-3 – LOURDES
A full religious programme will be organised for your time in Lourdes. We will have the opportunity to take part in the Blessing of the Sick, the Blessed Sacrament and the Torchlight Processions. We will also enjoy fully guided tour visiting places associated with St. Bernadette, including the Boly Mills, Le Cachot, the Hospice, the Parish Church and the Cemetery and a guided walking tour of the Grotto Domain visiting the Grotto, the Baths and the Basilicas.
DAY 4 – LOYOLA – BURGOS
After breakfast we depart Lourdes for Loyola. Visit the Basilica of St. Ignatius, the founder of the Society of Jesus, and his home. Continue to Burgos, a city in northern Spain and the historic capital of Castile. Burgos was once the capital of the Crown of Castile. It has many historic landmarks, of particular importance including the Cathedral of Burgos (declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1984), the Las Huelgas Reales Monastery and Miraflores Charterhouse and a large number of churches, palaces and other buildings from the medieval age. The city is surrounded by the Fuentes Blancas and the Paseo de la Isla parks. Dinner at hotel and overnight.
DAYS 5-6 – BURGOS – AVILA
We will enjoy a walking tour of Burgos after breakfast. Our journey will then continue to Avila. Situated on the bank of the Adaja River in a tributary of the Duero, Avila is the highest capital in Spain. It is also one of the oldest and most beautiful cities in the country. Sometimes called the Town of Stones and Saints, it claims to have one of the highest numbers of Romanesque and Gothic churches. It boasts an impressive medieval wall built in Romanesque style and some parts are accessible for locals and tourist to walk along. Avila was declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 1985. Check into your hotel for dinner and overnight.
DAY 7 – AVILA
After breakfast we will take a guided walking tour of Ávila with a visit to the Museum dedicated to St. Teresa of Ávila and the Convent of the Incarnation. We will celebrate mass and the rest of the afternoon will be free to explore Avila. The Old Town is surrounded by imposing city walls comprising of 8 monumental gates, 88 watchtowers and more than 2500 turrets, and is one of the best-preserved medieval bastions in all of Spain. Dinner will be served in the hotel.
DAYS 7-9 – FATIMA
After breakfast in the hotel we will drive to Fatima. Located north of Lisbon, Fatima is site of the events of 1917 in which three shepherd children, Lúcia Santos and her cousins, Jacinta Marto and Francisco Marto, witnessed apparitions of the Virgin Mary on 13 May 1917 and on the thirteenth day of the five following months.
The sanctuary built to commemorate these events is dominated by the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary, a magnificent church that overlooks a large open plaza where millions of pilgrims gather throughout the year. Check into your hotel for three nights’ accommodation with dinner, breakfast and lunch each day. In Fatima visit the Chapel of the Apparitions, Cova da Iria, Valinhos, the homes of the visionaries, the old Parish Church, the Rosary Basilica, wherein lie the remains of Francisco and Jacinta, and the Chapel of Perpetual Adoration.
DAY 10 – RETURN
Free time in Fatima until departure for Lisbon Airport for our direct flight to Dublin. * Please note itinerary and flight times may be subject to change.