13 Day Belgium, Germany, Switzerland & France
*** DAILY MASSES INCLUDED ***
DAY 01 – USA / BELGIUM. Depart the U.S.A for Brussels Belgium. Dinner and breakfast will be served aloft.
DAY 02: BRUSSELS / BRUGES. Late afternoon arrival at Brussels airport and meet with our Tour Escort to transfer to Bruges, the capital and largest city of the province of West Flanders. Dinner and overnight.
DAY 03 - BRUGES / GHENT / BRUSSELS. After breakfast we have a city tour (with English-speaking local guide) to include the historic centre that was added to the Unesco’s World Heritage List. See our Lady's Church (outside only due to restoration) and explore the Market Square and the Town Hall Square. Depart to Ghent where we'll have a panoramic tour (with English-speaking local guide) including the Saint Bavo Cathedral with the Ghent Altarpiece, the belfry, the Gravensteen castle, and the splendid architecture along the old Graslei harbour. On to Brussels, the capital of Belgium and the capital of the European Union (EU). It is also the largest urban area in Belgium, comprising 19 municipalities, including the municipality of the City of Brussels. On arrival, we visit (with English-speaking local guide) the world renowned Grand Place, the main attraction in the city centre and the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Other landmarks in the centre include the St. Michael and Gudula Cathedral, the Royal Palace and the Palace of Justice. Dinner and overnight at our hotel.
DAY 04 - BRUSSELS / LEUVEN / TREMELO / BANNEAUX / AACHEN. After breakfast we depart to Leuven where we'll have a walk with our Tour Escort seeing the St. Peter's Church with its 50-metre-high tower, home to a carillon (a set of bells in a tower). The tower was included in UNESCO's list of Belfries of Belgium and France in 1999. On to Tremelo, famous for having been the hometown of Father Damien, SS.CC. who Pope Benedict XVI canonized on October 11, 2009, as Saint Damien of Molokai. On to Banneaux where occurs the apparition of the Virgin Mary to Mariette Beco, an adolescent girl living in this place. Here we'll visit the Shrine of of Our Lady of Banneux. Depart to Aachen to visit the famous Cathedral. Dinner and overnight in hotel.
DAY 05 - AACHEN / COLOGNE / TRIER / STRASBOURG. After breakfast we depart for Strasbourg with a stop in Cologne and Trier. Cologne has been the center of influence since the Roman times. Its importance as a center of pilgrimage grew after its acquisition in 1194 of the relics of the Three Magi, the wise men who brought gifts to the infant Jesus. For a time it was a pilgrimage destination second only to Rome. The relics still remain today in the Kolner Dom, the Gothic Cathedral worthy of the huge reliquary, worked in silver and gold in which the gifts were originally displayed. On to Trier Cathedral, a Roman Catholic church that dates back to Roman times and is home to the Holy Tunic, a garment with a recorded history back to the 12th century, in Catholic tradition said to be the robe Jesus was wearing when he died. It is exhibited only every few decades, at irregular intervals. Depart to Strasbourg for dinner and overnight.
DAY 06 - STRASBOURG / LUCERNE / INTERLAKEN / BERN. Breakfast. Depart to Bern with a stop in Lucerne and Interlaken. Walking tour with our English-Speaking Tour Escort of Lucerne, including Old Town, the landmark Chapel Bridge and Water Tower and the Hof Church before arriving at the Casagrande Gift Shop. Before arriving in Bern we'll visit (with Tour Escort) Interlaken which takes its name from its geographical position between the lakes: between Lake Thun and Lake Brienz, and alongside the Aare river that flows between the two lakes. On to Bern. Dinner and overnight.
DAY 07 - BERN / GENEVA / ARS SUR FORMANS / AVIGNON. Breakfast. Depart to Geneva, which is the center of the Calvinist Reformation that had a great influence on the canton, which essentially consists of the city and its hinterlands. On to Ars Sur Formans where we'll visit the Tombs of St John Vianney, patron saint of all priests. On to Avignon for dinner and overnight in hotel.
DAY 08 - AVIGNON / LOURDES. Breakfast. Visit (with English-speaking local guide) the grand Palace of the Popes (entrance included), where in the 14th century, it served as home to the Papacy during Rome’s tumultuous political conditions of the time. On to Lourdes. Arrival. In the evening, we can take part in the Candlelight Procession. Dinner and overnight in hotel.
DAY 09 – LOURDES / TOULOUSE. Breakfast. Day dedicated to the visit (with a guide of the Shrine) of the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes: the Basilica, the Crypt, the Apparation Grotto, the healing baths, the Esplanade, the family home of Bernadette Soubirous "the Boly Mill", where at the ground floor it is possible to see the room where Bernadette was born. Late this afternoon we drive to Toulouse for dinner and overnight in our hotel.
DAY 10 - TOULOUSE / ROCAMADOUR / PARAY LE MONIAL. After breakfast we depart to Rocamadour situated on top of a rocky plateau, with its beautiful architecture and amazing views of the Alzou Valley. Tradition says this is the home of St. Amadour, Zaccheus of the New Testament, the husband of St. Veronica who wiped the face of Jesus. Then we depart to Paray Le Monial, an important place for the spread of the Message of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Here we'll have time with our Tour Escort. Dinner and overnight in hotel.
DAY 11 - PARAY LE MONIAL / NEVERS / PARIS. After breakfast we drive to Nevers to visit the St. Gildard Convent where there is the incorrupted body of St. Bernadette. Continue to Paris where we will visit inside the Eiffel Tower. Then we enjoy a panoramic sightseeing tour of Paris viewing the Champs Elysees and L’Arc de Triomphe. Celebrate Mass at a local chapel. Dinner and overnight at our hotel.
DAY 12 – PARIS. Today we enjoy the “City of Lights” and begin with a visit to the splendid Sacre Coeur (AKA the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.) We next visit the incomparable Notre Dame Cathedral, followed by a visit to the breathtaking Sainte Chapelle. Some time at leisure before our Farewell Dinner at a local restaurant and overnight at our hotel.
DAY 13 - PARIS / DEPARTURE.
After breakfast we transfer to the Paris airport for our flight home.