Whether you’re planning a faith-based tour for a group of 2 or 20, Collette offers experiences unlike any other. Their carefully crafted itineraries ensure that you see the most important sites and take in the most remarkable experiences in countries across Europe. See a variety of options below and learn more about all that awaits:
On the Trail of Martin Luther
Follow in the footsteps of Martin Luther as Germany this year marks the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. Begin your tour in the medieval riverside town of Mainz, Germany. Here you’ll feel yourself transported back to the time of Martin Luther and have the opportunity to view a local masterpiece – the 42-line Gutenberg Bible at the Gutenberg Museum. Onward to Worms, a town full of places significant to the life and work of Martin Luther, including Trinity Church and the site where the Imperial Assembly passed judgment on Luther after his refusal to recant. Make your way with the group to Erfurt and tour the monastery where Luther lived and studied from 1505 to 1512 and enjoy time for independent exploration. In Eisenach you’ll visit Wartburg Castle, where Luther translated the bible, and appreciate the historical significance of Eisleben, the site of Luther’s birth and death. Of course, no tour in Germany would be complete without a taste of the local cuisine, and in Dresden you will have the chance to dine in a local cellar restaurant with your fellow travelers. The city itself is also perfect for exploring at a leisurely pace.
In Leipzig visit St. Thomas Church, where Martin Luther preached, and in Wittenberg visit the university where Luther was a theology professor, the church in which he preached, was married and where his children were baptized, and the church where he nailed his 95 Theses to the door. You will have the opportunity to speak over coffee with a Germany family and learn about their everyday lives. The journey concludes in Berlin with a tour of the city’s most iconic and significant sites, including what remains of the Berlin Wall. “On the Trail of Martin Luther” is sure to leave you with a strengthened sense of faith and a unique insight into this powerful country.
St. Patrick’s Ireland
This tour is a perfect blend of Irish culture and pilgrimages to the country’s most significant religious sites, taking you from the east coast to the west, and then back again. Start your journey in the bustling capital city of Dublin, where you can attend a morning Mass, a visit to the world-famous St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and an up-close look at the Book of Kells, one of the country’s religious masterpieces. To truly appreciate all that makes Irish history special, you can’t miss out on the trip to the country’s oldest pub or a special whiskey tasting at a historic distillery. One of the more moving stops along the tour will offer your group the chance to worship at the Marian Shrine of Knock, which welcomes 1.5 million visitors each year.
While on the country’s western coast, you’ll marvel at the summit of Croagh Patrick, where St. Patrick fasted for 45 days. Visits to Kylemore Abbey and its accompanying garden along with leisurely evening strolls through the town of Westport will leave you with plenty of time for self-reflection and to appreciate the significance of these centuries-old surroundings. A final stop in Belfast provides time to attend Mass at St. Peter’s Cathedral and a take a day trip to “St. Patrick’s Country,” visiting Down Cathedral (St. Patrick’s burial place) and touring St. Patrick’s first church in Ireland at Saul.
Shrines of Italy
When planning a religious tour, Italy is often the first place that comes to mind, with a history that has shaped religion throughout the world and across centuries. The tour starts with a night in Rome. Then it’s north to Assisi, where, at the Church of St. Clare, you are offered the chance to kneel before the crucifix from which Jesus spoke to St. Francis, asking him to rebuild his church. Also pay a visit to St. Mary of the Angels Basilica, where St. Francis spent most of his life. You can choose an optional excursion to Florence or continue getting to know Assisi. At the Marian Shrine of Loreto, you will surely feel the significance of history at the site where more than 50 popes have made a pilgrimage. In Mont Sant’ Angelo, visit the Grotto of St. Michael the Archangel. You’ll also visit other churches, abbeys and shrines in the small towns of central Italy. Finish your journey in Rome with a city tour, visits to the Vatican Museum and St. Peter’s Basilica, and possibly a papal audience. There will be a final Mass at the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls and a chance to explore the catacombs where early Christians hid. You’ll leave with a new understanding of Italy’s role in religious history and share unforgettable experiences with your fellow travelers.
Pilgrimage to Fatima and Lourdes with Barcelona
The beauty and warm climate of Portugal makes it an ideal travel destination year-round, and this tour starts in the country’s world-famous religious center: Fatima. Celebrate a memorable Mass in this iconic town and explore the surrounding religious landmarks such as the site of the fifth apparition in Valinhos and Shrine of the Most Holy Miracle in Santarem. You’ll travel the Pilgrim Road (with a stop in Burgos, Spain) through the mighty Pyrenees Mountains, emerging from the mountains into the town of Lourdes, France – one of the most important pilgrimage sites in the world. It was here where the Virgin Mary appeared a total of 18 times in 1858 to the poor shepherd girl Bernadette. In Lourdes you’ll experience the places that were significant in the life of St. Bernadette while taking in the breathtaking natural beauty. A visit to historic Carcassone is on many travelers’ must-see lists as they travel to see the fortress and wander the streets of the medieval city. Back in Spain, the tour concludes with time in Barcelona to tour and celebrate a morning Mass in the crypt of famous La Sagrada Familia, the uncompleted masterpiece of Antonio Gaudi. Afternoon free time or an optional excursion to the mountain village of Montserrat is followed by a farewell dinner with fellow travelers.
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