ALEX INTERNATIONAL TOURS L.L.C.
LAKE HAVASU CITY, ARIZONA
Mystery of Faith Tour
Spain : Barcelona – Madrid – Toledo – Burgos – Santiago de Compostela
Portugal: OPorto Coimbra – Fatima – Lisbona
(September 10th – 22, 2020)
(13 days including round trip) Limited to 48 participants
1st day: Flight from Las Vegas (or another major airport) to Barcelona El Prat International Airport
2nd day: City of Barcelona (Historical Center).
La Rambla-Barrio Gotico-Porto Vell-Monument to Christopher Columbus-Plaza Calatunya
Arrival at Barcelona El Prat airport, welcome by Alex Collection Tour Operator, Load luggage on the bus and transfer to the hotel with a scenic tour of the city. Arrival at the hotel and check in.
Lunch at the hotel.
In the afternoon a guided excursion through the streets of the center of Barcelona, we will visit:The Gothic Quarter that together with the Barceloneta, the Born and the Raval, form the district of the old city. So called because it was born as a Roman village and still retains some remains of its glorious past. Given the continuous modernization, it is possible to find an ancient building right next to a building built in the 90s. It is this mix of old and new that brings people from all over the world to visit this neighborhood. We will visit: The Cathedral of Barcelona, dedicated to Santa Creu and Santa Eulalia: patron of the city which suffered martyrdom in Roman times. Works began in 1298, the structure presents various architectural styles. The main facade in neo-Gothic style was finished in 1900 and represents the classic religious theme with a rich presence of angels and saints in the middle of the two external towers; the central tower rises to 70 meters in the sky.
Plaza del Rey: the square is surrounded by 17th century gothic palaces, where you can admire the old royal palace with its beautiful façade and its tower, a real skyscraper for those times!
Walk to Porto Vell where the monument to Christopher Columbus is located. Plaza de Catalunya: the most famous square in Barcelona and the place where some of the main arteries of the city begin, such as Las Ramblas, Passeig de Gràcia, the Avenida del Portal de l’Àngel, the Carrer de Pelai or the university street and of Sant Pere.
La Rambla: one of the symbols of the city, connects Plaza de Catalunya with Port Vell (the ancient port). The origins of the word Rambla derive from the Arabic raml, which means sand, and in fact indicates a road made from a dry and covered stream. With the inauguration of the Boqueria market in 1836, this area has become the main center of Barcelona’s trade, thus facilitating the process of urbanization and modernization of its surroundings, which has made La Rambla a street for shopping, eating or drinking coffee. We will end this beautiful day with free time in Plaza Catalunya and La Rambla.
At the end of the visit, return to the hotel. Dinner in hotel or restaurant and overnight.
(Hotel in Barcelona)
3rd day: City of Barcelona (modern)
La Sagrada Familia – Paseo de Gracia – La Pedrera / Casa Mila – Casa Battlò
Breakfast at hotel. Load luggage on bus.
Day dedicated to the guided tour of modern Barcelona characterized by the architectures of Antonio Gaudí:
La Sagrada Familia: it is a work still unfinished today. The first stone was laid in 1882 by the will of the Spiritual Association of the devotees of San José who assigned the task of its construction to Francisco de Paula of Villar y Lozano. The bad relations between the Association and the architect soon brought the project into the hands of Antoni Gaudí.
Maestro Gaudí dedicated 42 years of his life to the Sagrada Familia. The entire work from its origins to today has been financed by private donations. It was in 1889 that Gaudí abandoned the initial project of neo-Gothic appeal to experiment with something new and never seen before: a large Latin cross church and very high towers impregnated with a strong symbolic charge of universal inspiration; although it is a Catholic temple there are plenty of naturalistic references, as you enter the church you will feel like you are in a bright forest. (Internal visit)
Continuing the tour with an interesting walk on the Paseo de Gracia where you can admire other wonderful works of the Master Gaudí.
Casa Batlò: this colorful modernist style building is one of Gaudí’s many masterpieces. The house is a very famous attraction and in 2005 it was declared a World Heritage Site. (external visit)
La Pedrera: The official name of this architectural work is Casa Milà, called La Pedrera because of its rocky appearance, which in Catalan means “quarry”. The Casa Milà was commissioned to Gaudí in 1906 by the industrialist Pere Milá i Camps, who had particularly appreciated the genius demonstrated by the Master in the construction of the Casa Batllò. With this construction, Gaudí broke all the known and accepted architectural rules until then, he managed to create something monumental, eccentric and absolutely futuristic, which became history as one of the most representative examples of his naturalistic period. (external visit)
Lunch on your own
In the early afternoon departure by coach to France. Technical stops along the way.
Arrival at the town of Lourdes. Accommodation in the hotel. Dinner and overnight. Possibility to participate in the night procession to the Basilica della Rosario.
(Hotel in Lourdes)
4th day: Pilgrimage to Lourdes
Breakfast, lunch and dinner at the hotel.
Day dedicated to prayer and religious services.
The city of Lourdes, the second most visited destination in France, is the main Marian route in the world, but it is also an enchanting destination in the Occitania region.
In addition to the sacred places, some buildings in the city center are particularly revered, closely linked to the apparitions: the birthplace of Bernadette, the Maison de Natale, Le Moulin Lacadé, the former home of Bernadette’s father and the Bernadette Museum.
The stages and places to visit
he first place not to be missed during the pilgrimage to Lourdes is the cave of Massabielle, where in 1864 the statue representing the Madonna was placed, as Bernadette said she had seen her during the first apparition: «I saw a lady dressed in white. She wore a white dress, a white veil, a blue belt and a yellow rose on her feet.
On the rock above, from 1871, the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception was built: it is a large church built by the architect Hippolyte Durand in neo-Gothic style. Two more are the main basilicas of the sanctuary of Lourdes: The Basilica of the Rosary and the Basilica of Saint Pius X.
Inside the Basilica del Rosario which presents a Roman-Byzantine style and is suitable for celebrations of up to 4,000 people, there are 15 chapels dedicated to the Mysteries of the Rosary. The third and more recent basilica was consecrated in 1958 and was dedicated to Saint Pius X. It is an immense underground church, counted among the largest churches in the world as it can accommodate about 20,000 people at the same time.
Finally, in front of the cave there is a tent and a chapel of worship. Among the most intense moments of the pilgrimage there is the night procession: only the light of the candles accompanies the faithful up to the Basilica of the Rosary.
The Way of Water
It is one of the paths that the faithful can make during the pilgrimage to Lourdes. On the way there are 9 small sources, each of which stops to get wet, drink and meditate on the short Bible readings that are proposed. An extremely widespread phenomenon among those who bathe in the waters of Lourdes is to find themselves completely dry, despite the rapid immersion.
(Hotel in Lourdes)
5th day: San Sebastiàn – Burgos (Spain)
Breakfast at hotel. Baggage on the bus. Departure to the city of Burgos (Spain). Stop in the beautiful city of San Sebastiàn, considered the pearl of the Basque Country and the Cantabrian Sea, a true paradise for surfers and lovers of the sea and the sun.
Today, San Sebastián is considered one of the most lively and elegant cities in Spain, thanks to its architectural style, art nouveau, its quaint historical center, and its beautiful bay, La Concha, the true symbol of the city.
Time permitting for a walk on the elegant promenade that, thanks to its white railings in art nouveau style, and the refined palaces that dot the Paseo Maritimo, is a perfect and relaxing setting, directly overlooking the beach which can be accessed by descending the elegant steps.
Continuing the tour.
Lunch in a restaurant along the way.
In the afternoon arrival to the city of Burgos, ancient capital of the unified kingdom of Leòn and Castiglia in the long medieval period and center of excellent mercantile, has preserved the most beautiful signs of the greatness of that period.
Visit with our escort of the Cathedral of Burgos, declared World Heritage by UNESCO, is a container of Gothic masterpieces to be discovered. Many other civil buildings also show the sublime grandeur of an era that saw it as a protagonist.
Lunch in a local restaurant. Transfer to the hotel, accommodation in the rooms. Dinner and overnight.
(Hotel in Burgos)
6th day: Segovia – Madrid (Spain)
Breakfast at hotel. Load baggage on the bus. Departure for the city of Segovia, one of the most beautiful cities in all of Castile. The city is located on top of a rocky spur where the famous “Alcazar” dominates, externally characterized by a sloping roof, numerous turrets, battlements and a deep moat. You can admire the majestic Roman aqueduct, built entirely dry, up to 96 feet high for a total of almost 2949 feet in length, transported water from about 6 miles.
Along the characteristic Calle Colon passing through the bizarre granite-tipped house of Los Picos and the Church of San Martin, a temple full of arcades and capitals, we arrive at the magnificent Plaza Major, where the masterpiece of the Gothic cathedral stands out, with its spiers they rise in the sky, the dome and the majestic tower-bell tower.
Lunch on your own
After lunch continue to the city of Madrid.
Afternoon dedicated to the guided tour of the city, the cosmopolitan Spanish capital, located in the center of the country where more than 3 million people live, which encompasses art, history and culture.
The intense cultural and artistic activity and the lively night life make it unique.
We will visit the GranVia, the Paseo della Castellana, the calle de Alcalà, the Plaza Mayor, a harmonious square with arcades, built at the beginning of the seventeenth century, the center of Habsburg Madrid, Calle Mayor, the Church of Francisco the Great and exterior of the Royal Palace.
Dinner and hotel accommodations.
(Hotel in Madrid)
7th day: San Lorenzo de El Escorial – Santiago di Compostela
Breakfast at hotel. Baggage on the bus. Departure for San Lorenzo de El Escorial. Located in the heart of the Guadarrama Sierra, just 50 kilometers from Madrid. San Lorenzo de El Escorial is one of the most important tourist and cultural interests in the region. Its main attraction is the San Lorenzo de El Escorial Monastery and Royal Site, which was declared to be a UNESCO Heritage Site in 1984. Affected by the death of his father, Carlos V, in 1558 and in order to consolidate the House of Austria in Spain, it was Felipe II who ordered the construction of the Monastery, to ensure the eternal memory of his family, create a family Pantheon and offset the destruction of a church devoted to San Lorenzo during the battle of San Quintín, in France.
On 23rd of April 1563, the first stone was laid under the orders of Juan Bautista de Toledo. On his death in 1567, Juan de Herrera was responsible for the work, marking his own architectural stamp in the “herreriano” style, characterised by the importance of the lines rather than the abuse of decorative elements that distract attention from the building.
At the end of the visit we will continue to Santiago de Compostela, a beautiful city regardless of its religious significance, one of the most popular destinations of Christian pilgrimages from around the world
Lunch at a restaurant along the way.
Arrival at the hotel, check in. Dinner and overnight.
(Hotel in Santiago di Compostela)
8th day: “Santiago di Compostela”
The Camino de Santiago de Compostela is one of the most important routes of pilgrimage in history, so much so that the city is considered the third holy city for Christianity after Jerusalem and Rome. It became so important in the Middle Ages, with a major splendor between the sec. XI ° -XIII °, that the term pilgrim became synonymous with the traveler who went to Santiago.It is a route traveled continuously since the first third of the ninth century, which dates back to the declamation of the discovery of the tomb of St. James the Greater, one of the most intimate of the apostles of Jesus, later (so the tradition tells) at the appearance of a star on a field near a hill called Libredòn, which indicated to a pious hermit of the time, the place where they were lying, forgotten for centuries, the relics of the saint.
From all this derives the name of the city that was born there: Santiago (Iberian contracture of St. James) de Compostela (of the campus stellae) in memory of that star, as the comet led the Magi to Bethlehem, I point to Pelayo (the hermit ) the place of the tomb.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner service at the hotel.
Day dedicated to the guided tour of the city declared World heritage by the great cultural, architectonic and religious relevance. Participation in Holy Mass.
Walk through the ancient streets of the center, the Plaza de las Praterias and the Plaza del Obradoiro, one of the most evocative in the world, surrounded by the college of San Geronimo, the Hostal “Parador” de los Reyes Catolicos and with the famous Cathedral that guards the tomb of the apostle James, from the Middle Ages place of continuous religious pilgrimages of devotees coming from all over the world.
Time permitting for personal activities before returning to the hotel for dinner and overnight.
(Hotel in Santiago di Compostela)
9th day: Oporto – Coimbra – Fatima
Breakfast at hotel. Baggage on the bus. Departure for the city of Oporto. In the morning guided tour of the City of Oporto. The attractions are many: the historic Ribeira district, the Igreja dos Clérigos, the Igreja de Sao Francisco, the Baixa of Oporto, the Avenida dos Aliados, the Praça da Liberdade, the São Bento Station, whose vestibule is decorated with precious azulejos.
Lunch on your own
Continue to the city of Coimbra, one of the richest Portuguese cities of history and tradition.The testimonies of the Roman Empire and the charm of the period of the Moorish domination gave rise to rich architectural contrasts.
Coimbra is also a city of letters, where its university, one of the European first product, became the cradle of the Portuguese language.
We will visit: the cathedral, the Mosteiro de Santa Cruz, the Royal Palace, the Carmelite monastery (where Sister Lucy lived for several years).
At the end of the visit, continue to the town of Fatima. Arrival at the hotel, check in, dinner and overnight.
(Hotel in Fatima)
10th day: Fatima: land of apparitions and miracles – Valinhos
Fatima is a small Portuguese town located 74.5 miles from Lisbon, immersed in a wild and desolate land, but with great mystic charm. Merit of the famous apparitions of Fatima that have transformed this place into one of the best known in the world.
It is said that from May 13, 1917 until October 13 of the same year, Our Lady appeared (on time once a month) to three children, leaving them a series of messages, so-called Secrets of Fatima.I The protagonists of this story are three shepherd children, beatified in 2000: it is ten year old Lucia dos Santos and her seven and nine year old cousins Giacinta Marto and Francesco Marto . Fatima is one of the most visited places in the world. More than 2 million pilgrims come to this town every year, driven by faith and the desire to breathe the mystical air that is found in this place.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner at the hotel.
During the day: visit of the Basilica, participation in religious celebrations, the Via Crucis, visit to the birth house of the three Pastorelli in Valinhos and to the place where the Angel appeared. At the Sanctuary visit of the “Fatima Luce e Pace” exhibition, it collects thousands of precious objects and ex voto including the Madonna’s crown with the bullet that hit Pope John Paul II in the attack of May 13, 1981 in St. Peter’s Square.
Overnight at Hotel.
(Hotel in Fatima)
11th day: Bathala – Sintra – Lisbon
Breakfast at hotel. Baggage on the bus. Departure for the city of Bathala for the visit of the Gothic Dominican Monastery of Santa Maria della Vittoria, one of the largest monumental complexes in Europe.
Lunch at a restaurant
Continuation to the city of Sintra, guided tour of this colorful town recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. From the top of Monte da Lua two wonderful castles guard the town, they are the Palacio da Pena, surrounded by a huge park with magnificent gardens, fountains and colorful flowers that alternate with lakes with swans, and the Castelo dos Mouros.
Transfer to the hotel, check in. Dinner and overnight.
(Hotel in Lisbon)
12th day: City of Lisbon
Breakfast at hotel. Day dedicated to the guided tour of the city of Lisbon. The rich history of the city is handed down by the colors of the sea, presented in the azulejos, the colorful majolica characteristics of Arab tradition. The city is divided into three major districts (Bairros), the lower district (Cidade Baixa), the upper district (Bairro Alto) and the Alfama district (the old quarter and still the heart of the city). We will visit the Belem district where the famous Padrao do Descombrimentos is located, the ship-shaped monument that celebrates the great discoveries of marine explorations. Also, in Belem is the homonymous tower, which has the characteristic of rising on an islet near the shore.
Continuing with the visit of the National Coach Museum, the museum collects a renowned collection unique in the world, both for its beauty and its artistic variety as for the impressive number of different vehicles. The museum was inaugurated in 1905 by Queen Amalia (French princess and wife of King Carlos I). It occupied the old armory of the Royal Palace of Belém in Lisbon, the Picadeiro Real dating back to 1726. The museum was later called the “Museu dos Coches Reaes” (Royal Coach Museums). In 1911, the year of the fall of the monarchy in Portugal, the museum was renamed as “Museu nacional dos coches”.
Lunch on your own
In the afternoon, visit to the Mosteiro dos Jeronimos, another pearl of Belém and one of the best architectural examples of the “Manueline style”, the characteristic style of the works of Portugal’s rebirth. At the end of the tour free time available for personal activities before returning to the hotel for dinner and overnight.
(Hotel in Lisbon)
13th day: Return flight to the USA
Breakfast at hotel. Loading baggage on coach and transfer to the airport for the return flight to the USA.
September 10 – 22,2020
(13 days including round trip)
The price includes:
- US Air Flight USA – Barcelona / Lisbon USA
- GT coach service for the duration of the trip
- Check-in, ZTL and bus parking for all cities of art and religious to visit
- Central 3/4-star hotels
- Drinks included with meals (1/4 wine + ½ mineral water per meal)
- Excursions and guided tours in English as scheduled
- Audio guides for better listening to the guide
- Accompanying expert from Alex Collection for the duration of the tour in Europe
- Tourist tax in hotels.
- The entrances to the sites to visit
Barcelona: La Sagrada Familia, Parc Güell
Burgos: Cattedrale di Burgos
San Lorenzo de El Escorial : Monastero de El Escorial
Santiago de Compostela: Cattedrale de Santiago
Coimbra: Università de Coimbra
Bathala: Monastero domenicano di Santa Maria della Vittoria
Sintra: Palacio da Pena
Lisbona : Museo Nazionale de las Carrozzas – Mosteiro dos Jeronimos
- Medical insurance, baggage, accident and repatriation
- Gift for all participants
The fee does not include:
- Personal extras
- Lunches stated as “on your own”
- Single room supplement $490
- Travel cancellation insurance (price on request)
- Anything not expressly indicated under “the price includes”