One of the leading Catholic pilgrimage travel companies Regina Tours has announced five 2013 departure dates for its new tour, Catholic and Cultural Portugal. The tour offers travelers a seven night exploration of Portugal, including stays in Fatima, Lisbon and Oporto. Along the journey, travelers will visit the fishing center of Setúbal; the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Évora, notable for its Cathedral and Sacred Art Museum; and the historical city of Tomar, home of the 12th Century Castle and Convent of the Order of Christ. Throughout the week, tour-goers will visit Portugal’s most sacred sites and learn about the country’s spiritual life and Catholic history, while simultaneously discovering Portugal’s architectural, artistic, musical and culinary treasures.
During their two night stay in Fatima, pilgrimage-goers can join the Rosary Candlelight Procession in the evening and day trip to the hamlet of Aljustrel to see the homes of the three Fatima children. The tour continues with a visit to Valinhos, where the apparition of the Virgin Mary appeared in August of 1917, to the three Fatima children. A visit to the Parish Church, where the Fatima children were baptized is included.
The following day travelers will enjoy visits to Coimbra, where Mass will be held at the Carmelite Convent where sister Lucia once lived, and the Monastery of St. Clare, the resting place of the patron saint of Portugal, Queen Santa Isabel. The tour continues to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Oporto, where travelers can taste the city’s famous port wines and see the extraordinary wood carvings in the St. Francis Church. Stops along the journey back to Lisbon include the canal city of Aveiro; the town of Batalha, home of a 14th Century monastery; the charming fishing village of Nazaré; the city of Alcobaça’s 12th century monastery; and the beautiful walled town of Óbidos. During the final day in Lisbon, tour-goers will visit the historical area of Belém, home of Jeronimos Monastery and the birthplace of delectable Portuguese pastries, pastel de natas.
Catholic and Cultural Portugal is priced between $2,698 to $3,198 per person, depending on the season. Price includes round trip airfare from New York City area, five nights’ first class accommodations with breakfast and dinner daily.
Regina Tours, www.regina-tours.com