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Cosmos Shrines of France & Lourdes – Faith-Based Travel (5330)

12 days from Paris to Paris 
On this faith-based tour through France, you'll visit some of France's most important shrines, cathedrals, holy places, and historic sites. You'll overnight in Paris, the Limoges area, Lourdes, Avignon, and Nevers with time also in Lisieux, Orléans, Rocamadour, Carcassonne, Paray-le-Monial, and Chartres.

One of the many highlights of this France tour is time spent in medieval Rocamadour, one of Christianity's four holy places. Here, you'll see the Black Madonna, which has inspired pilgrims since the Middle Ages, and the Grandes Escaliers, 216 weathered steps that devout pilgrims climb on their knees in penance. Other highlights include your three overnights in Lourdes, one of the world's most visited pilgrimage places. Here, you'll visit the grotto where the Virgin Mary appeared to St. Bernadette in 1858, Our Lady of Lourdes Shrine, and St. Bernadette's birthplace. You'll also attend the international Mass and join the nightly Rosary and candlelight procession—a memorable experience indeed.

No France tour would be complete without time spent in Paris. You'll have five nights in Paris, where you’ll visit the Basilica of Sacre Coeur, consecrated in 1919 and today one of Paris' most iconic monuments, and Notre Dame Cathedral. From Paris, you'll take an excursion to Lisieux, where you'll visit the Carmelite Convent, where St. Therese lived as a nun. You'll visit her family home and St. Peter's Cathedral, where her family attended Mass.

Other tour highlights include time spent in Paray-le-Monial, where Jesus revealed his Sacred Heart; Chartres, where you'll visit one of Europe's most celebrated shrines; and Carcassonne, where you'll visit the medieval fortified citadel, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

All of this and much more are included on this faith-based, value-minded France tour. Accompanied by fellow believers and a Tour Director dedicated to bringing you these inspirational places, you're sure to enjoy this spiritual vacation.

Cosmos Highlights & Sightseeing

Headsets throughout the tour

Inside visits and special features:
Shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description including admission charges where applicable.

Sightseeing:
Visits to Lisieux, Orléans, Limoges, Rocamadour shrine, Carcassonne fortified citadel, Avignon, Paray-le-Monial, St. Gildard’s Monastery in Nevers

Cosmos Hotels

PARIS Novotel Porte d’Orléans (F) or Ibis La Villette (ST)
LIMOGES AREA Ibis Nord (ST)
LOURDES Quality Christina (ST) or Sainte Rose (ST)
AVIGNON Ibis Styles Avignon Sud (ST)
NEVERS Kyriad Centre (ST)

Itinerary (2017)

Day 1Arrive in Paris, France.
 Welcome to Paris! Check into your hotel, and in the late afternoon, meet your Tour Director and traveling companions. (D)
Day 2Paris.
 Sightseeing with a Local Guide features the city’s main sights: the Arc de Triomphe, Louvre, Champs-Elysées, and the Eiffel Tower (ticket not included). Visit the BASILICA OF SACRE COEUR on Montmartre Hill, where silent prayers of adoration for the Church, the world, and for peace have been offered without interruption since 1885. This is also where St. Therese started her pilgrimage to Rome in 1887. Complete your city tour by visiting awe-inspiring NOTRE DAME CATHEDRAL, where Joan of Arc was beatified in 1909. (B)
Day 3Paris. Lisieux Excursion.
 Travel to Lisieux and visit the CARMELITE CONVENT, where St. Therese, the “Little Flower,” lived as a nun. Therese has been a highly influential model of sanctity because of the simplicity and practicality of her approach to spiritual life. Next, visit ST. PETER’S CATHEDRAL, where St. Therese’s family attended Mass, and also visit LES BUISSONNETS, her family home. Later, attend Mass (French only), if you like, before returning to Paris. (B)
Day 4Paris.
 A special visit has been included to OUR LADY OF THE MIRACULOUS MEDAL SHRINE, where the Virgin Mary appeared to St. Catherine Laboure in 1830. Then, visit the ST. VINCENT DE PAUL SHRINE, where you can meditate and view the reliquary of the saint who has inspired thousands of charities and volunteers. (B)
Day 5Paris–Orleans–Limoges Area.
 Leave the “City of Light” this morning and head towards Orléans. Situated on the Loire River, this was once the capital of France and renowned for its associations with Joan of Arc. See her statue with your Tour Director as you walk around this historic town in the footsteps of the “Maid of Orleans.” Later, head for Limoges, famous for its 19th-century porcelain, medieval and Renaissance enamels, and its oak barrels used for Cognac production. (B,D)
Day 6Limoges Area–Rocamadour–Lourdes.
 This morning, stop in medieval Rocamadour, known for its inspirational cliffside setting and for being one of Christianity’s four holy places, along with Jerusalem, Rome, and Santiago de Compostela. On the agenda is a visit to the Rocamadour SANCTUARY, including the GRANDES ESCALIERS, 216 weathered steps leading to the top of the rocky plateau on which the CHAPELLE DE NOTRE DAME, with its venerated Black Madonna statue, is located. Even today, devout pilgrims make the climb on their knees in penance. Immediately adjacent is the ST. SAUVEUR BASILICA. Later, travel to Lourdes, one of the world’s most visited places of pilgrimage, and visit the GROTTO where the Virgin Mary appeared to St. Bernadette in 1858 to bring her message to the world that God loves each of us as we are. For a memorable experience, join the nightly Rosary and candlelight procession. (B,D)
Day 7Lourdes.
 Start the day in prayerful contemplation at the international [M] Mass. Then, a Local Guide will bring Bernardette’s story to life during a walking tour that visits OUR LADY OF LOURDES SHRINE and ST. BERNADETTE’S BIRTHPLACE and FAMILY HOME. You may wish to experience the powerful healing baths or attend the Blessing of the Sick. (B)
Day 8Lourdes.
 Today is at leisure to further immerse yourself in the mystical atmosphere of Lourdes or to join an optional excursion to the nearby Pyrenees. (B,D)
Day 9Lourdes–Carcassonne–Avignon.
 On the way to Avignon, stop first at the medieval FORTIFIED CITADEL of Carcassonne, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Then, continue to Avignon, and enjoy a walk to the Palace of the Popes (entrance not included), 14th-century residence of the papacy. (B,D)
Day 10Avignon–Paray-Le-Monial–Nevers.
 Following morning [M] Mass in Avignon (French only), travel to Paray-le-Monial, home to the CHAPEL OF THE APPARITIONS, where Jesus revealed his Sacred Heart to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque. Spend a few moments in prayer at the BASILICA OF THE SACRED HEART, then continue to Nevers. (B)
Day 11Nevers–Chartres–Paris.
 Visit ST. GILDARD MONASTERY in Nevers, where St. Bernadette spent her life as a nun. Spend time in prayer at the chapel where her miraculously incorrupt body has its final resting place. Continue to Chartres and meet your Local Guide for a visit of the CATHEDRAL—a masterpiece of gothic architecture, one of Europe’s most celebrated shrines, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its venerable history and exquisitely preserved architecture lend it an atmosphere of awe and holiness. Return to Paris for a final overnight. (B)
Day 12Paris.
 Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)

Included Cosmos Meals

Buffet breakfasts daily; 5 dinners

Cosmos Pricing Details

Prices based on double room occupancy.

Single room supplement; guaranteed shares available:
$550

No triple room reduction

Cosmos Notes

NOTES:
Departure April 10 – Good Friday in Limoges (April 14), Easter and Feast Day of St. Bernadette in Lourdes (April 16)
Departure April 10 – starts on Monday in Paris instead of Friday
Departure September 29 – St. Therese of Lisieux Feast Day in Lisieux (October 01)

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