D1 Paris (20 km)
Welcome and transfer to Paris. Guided sightseeing tour including the Champs Elysées, the Arc de Triomphe, the Eiffel Tower, La Concorde – the capital’s largest square, the Paris Opera and the Latin Quarter. Take to the majestic River Seine to admire the city’s monuments from aboard one of the popular ‘bateau-mouche’. Dinner and overnight in Paris.
D2 Paris (20 km)
Guided tour of the Chapel of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal (mass may be attended), and the ‘Ile de la Cité’, home to the capital’s famous Notre-Dame Cathedral. Lunch at your leisure then free time to explore the historic and colourful Montmartre district and the imposing Basilica of the Sacred Heart. Dinner and overnight.
D3 Paris – Lisieux – Paris (420 km)
Depart for Lisieux to discover Saint Therese’s childhood home a little outside the main town, Les Buissonnets, which reveals secrets of her young existence prior to her entering the Carmelite Convent (she entered the order by her own request at the tender age of 15). Continue to the famous Basilica dedicated to Saint Therese, consecrated in 1954. Most of the interior of the church and the crypt are decorated with mosaics evoking the spiritual message of the Saint and her confidence in the infinite Love of God. Return to Paris for dinner and overnight.
D4 Paris – Lourdes (by train or plane)
After breakfast transfer either to the train station or airport for your onward journey to Lourdes, Catholicism’s third most important pilgrimage site after the Vatican and Guadalupe. Transfer to your hotel in Lourdes. After you have checked-in, dinner and overnight in Lourdes.
D5 Holy Shrines and Sanctuaries of Lourdes
Guided tour on foot of the Marian city of Lourdes, the Cave of the Apparitions – site of Bernadette’s visions of the Virgin Mary, and the various different churches. Lourdes is the third most important Catholic place of pilgrimage after the Vatican and Guadalupe in Mexico. Lunch at your leisure and afternoon free for you to explore. After dinner, take part in the Torchlight Marian Procession which sets off from the grotto. Overnight in Lourdes.
D6 Lourdes – Avignon (500 km)
Leave for Avignon. Lunch at your leisure. Guided walking tour in the historic centre of Avignon, onetime seat of the Papacy dominated by its imposing Papal Palace. A visit to the Angladon Museum, a former mansion house which now houses a collection of paintings by 19th and 20th century Masters including Van Gogh’s ‘Little Train’, is optional. Dinner and overnight in Avignon.
D7 Avignon – La Salette – Lyon (460 km)
Set off for La Salette, a unique sacred site some 1800 m above sea level. Visit the Basilica of Our Lady of La Salette, site of the Marian apparition. Lunch at your leisure before continuing to Lyon. Guided sightseeing tour of this ancient capital of Gaul including the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière dominating the hill and district of the same name. Dinner and overnight in Lyon.
D8 Lyon – Ars – Paray le Monial – Nevers (265 km)
Leave for Ars. Visit the Shrine of St. John Vianney, beloved parish-priest of Ars and patron saint of parish priests. Then continue to Paray le Monial, much-frequented place of pilgrimage after the visitations of the Sacred Heart to St Margaret Mary. Lunch at your leisure then a guided tour of the Basilica and cloister, continuing through Paray and visiting the Chapel of the Apparitions, Chapel of Claude la Colombière, the Renaissance style Town Hall and the Saint Nicholas Tower. Journey on to Nevers for dinner and overnight.
D9 Nevers – Chartres Cathedral – Paris (355 km)
In Nevers, visit the reliquary where the body of Bernadette Soubirous is preserved in the St Gildard Convent. The eldest daughter of a miller from Lourdes whose family fortunes declined with the arrival of steam power, Bernadette is best known for her 18 visions of the Blessed Virgin Mary in 1858. Leave for Chartres with lunch at your leisure en route. Guided tour of Chartres old city with its beautiful buildings, cobbled streets, restful riverside setting and religious monuments dominated by the magnificent Cathedral. Continue on to Paris for diner and overnight.
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Local coach for transfers and excursions as per itinerary
Accommodation sharing a twin/double room in 3/4* hotels as per itinerary
10 days Half-board
Guided Tours: Paris (2x3h), Lisieux (1h), Lourdes (1h30), Avignon (1h30), Lyon (2h), Paray le Monial (1h), Chartres (1h30)
Entrance Fees: Our Lady of La Salette, Espace Bernadette Soubirous (reliquary of Saint Bernadette), Chartres Cathedral
Seine River Cruise by bateau mouche (1h)