Day 1: USA – Paris
Tour members will meet at the airport three hours prior to departure to organize group and check in. Dinner and breakfast will be served in flight.
Day 2: Paris-Lisieux (170 kms)
Morning arrival in Paris, welcome at the airport and transfer to the center for a 2 hours panoramic Paris sightseeing tour including the major highlights of the city as Notre Dame Cathedral, Eiffel Tower, Champs Elysées, Arch of Triumph and many others. We drive to Lisieux, capital of the Pays d’Auge in Normandy and home of Saint Therese of the Child Jesus. Welcome in Lisieux and transfer by private coach to the hotel for Dinner and overnight.
Day 3: Lisieux Honfleur Deauville Lisieux (80 kms, 1 h 30)
After breakfast we have a guided visit of the Basilica of Saint Therese built between 1929 and 1937, one of the largest churches built in the XX century seating two thousand persons. Then at 11am we attend the Mass celebrated in the main altar. After a short lunch break we visit the Carmel where Saint Therese lived and we see her reliquary brought here in 1923 from the town cemetery. We drive to St Peter’s Cathedral, were Saint Therese attended to the Mass daily with her family and have a last stop at Les Buissonnets, her family home where she spent seven years before she entered the Carmelite Convent. In the afternoon, we drive to picturesque Honfleur with its beautiful buildings overlooks the sea. Visit Notre Dame de Grace: patroness of all sailors since the 11th century. The Port of Honfleur was very favoured by artists. Deauville, a smart seaside resort with its marinas, casino, deluxe boutiques smart hotels and restaurants. Deauville regularly holds "Yearling Sales" when many magnificent thoroughbreds are sold. Time to walk along the famous Planches, a boardwalk along the sea, or for shopping. Dinner there, before driving back to Lisieux for overnight.
Day 4: Lisieux Bayeux, Arromanches, Mont Saint-Michel (250 kms, 3 h 30)
After breakfast we drive to Bayeux, visit the cathedral and the "Bayeux Tapestry", work of the 11th century that recounts the conquest of England by William the Conqueror. Continuation along the landing beaches, Arromanches and the ruins of its artificial port built in England in 1944 and shipped by boat, Omaha Beach where the Americans landed at dawn on June 6, 1944 and its cemetery and the Pointe du Hoc with its impressive bomb craters. We then drive through the Normandy to the Bay of Mont Saint-Michel. Dinner and overnight.
Day 5: Mont Saint-Michel Saint Malo (110 kms, 1h 45)
After breakfast departure for the Mont Saint-Michel, architectural marvel and pilgrimage destination devoted to the Archangel Michael for more than a millennium. Located on the Island of Mont-Tombe it is connected to shore by a two-mile causeway. Since 2001, the Monastic Fraternities of Jerusalem, a community of monks and nuns, have lived in the Abbey and ensure that the church is a source of perpetual prayer. Starting at the base of the Mont we follow the Grand Rue to reach the Grand staircase that climb up to the Abbey entrance. We first visit the Abbey and the Cloister from which we can admire a magnificent view over the bay. Short before noon we enter the Abbey Church to attend the Mass accompanied by beautiful live chanting monks and nuns. We drive to Saint Malo, and visit the city of corsairs, famous since the 16th century; we discover the history of its great men that are Surcouf and Duguay Trouin, but also Jacques Cartier and Chateaubriand ... From the ramparts, stunning view over the sea, the harbor, the beaches and the walled city. Dinner and overnight around the Mont Saint Michel.
Day 6: Mont Saint-Michel Pontmain, Alençon, Chartres (300 kms, 3 h 30)
We leave to Pontmain located 30 miles southeast of the Mont Saint-Michel. Here the Virgin Mary appeared to four small children in 1871 and signaled the end of the Franco-Prussian war. Though still relatively unknown, the small town welcomes yearly 300.000 pilgrims. We visit the Basilica, take some time for contemplation in the intimate Parish Church. Then we drive to Alençon, birthplace of Saint Therese. Thérèse Martin was born on January 2nd, 1873 at 50, rue Saint-Blaise in Alençon. This home, dedicated to her memory, is filled with artefacts and even the family furniture belonging to her parents. A guided tour enables you to appreciate where the young Therese used to play with her sisters, the room where she was born and where her mother passed away as well as the chapel and its cupola, built in 1925 after her canonization. We undertake a guided visit of the Cathedral. The Cathedral of Chartres marks a highpoint of French Gothic Architecture. For the Pilgrim, the Holy Veil of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Our Lady of the Pillat and the Black Madonna of the crypt are primary object of veneration. Other remarkable points of interest are the incredible sculptures, the stained glass windows and the Labyrinth that is part of the stone floor in the nave. At 11.45am we attend the Mass celebrated in the Crypt, the largest in France. Our next overnight is in Chartres, after the dinner, we attend the famous show “Chartres en Lumières”.
Day 7: Chartres –Paris (90 kms, 1 h 15)
After the breakfast, We leave for Paris. We drive to Paris, to Montmartre hill where we visit the Basilica of the Sacred Heart erected in 1875 and enjoy the view over Paris from the top of the great stairway which leads to the church. Free time for lunch in one of the numerous café around the Place du Tertre. Dinner and overnight at our hotel.
Day 8: Day off in Paris
Enjoy the “city of the light” with the Seine river, the museums, and historic buildings, and have time for shopping. In the evening we enjoy a river cruise on the Seine river or we attend a show in a Parisian Cabaret. Overnight at our hotel.
Day 9: Transfer to the airport, for our flight back to North America, the end of a memorable pilgrimage.