Cathedrals of Southern Spain

Travelling from Toledo to Seville, Led  by Fr. Michael Lang, Cong. Orat., 22nd April - 28th April
This year’s London Oratory Pilgrimage will lead to the great cathedral cities of southern Spain, beginning with Toledo, the ancient Visigoth capital and Primatial See of the Church in Spain. Toledo’s unique cultural and artistic legacy includes some of El Greco’s best-known works, which were commissioned for churches in the city. Jaén’s magnificent cathedral keeps a medieval copy of the Roman Veronica, the miraculous cloth with the imprint of Christ’s face. The great cathedrals of Cordoba, Granada and Seville recall the unique history of Spain and the vitality of its Catholic faith.


DAY ONE: London - Madrid - Toledo
Scheduled British Airways flight from London Heathrow to Madrid. Transfer by coach to Toledo (1.5 hours) where we check into our hotel the 4 star Alfonso VI, for dinner and overnight stay.


DAY TWO: Toledo - Jaen
It was to Toledo that St John of the Cross was taken and imprisoned on the orders of the Carmelite Provincial in December 1577, for having supported the election of Teresa as Prioress of Avila. He was held in a dark, windowless cell in the basement of the Carmelite Convent for eight months, before escaping after receiving a vision of Our Lady in a dream. Toledo was the capital of Visigoth Spain, has both Jewish and Moorish heritage, and remained a cultural centre even when the capital was moved to Madrid. We visit the magnificent cathedral, whose interior is matched by very few gothic churches in Spain. We hope to celebrate Mass here. We also visit the Church of Santo Tome where we can view El Greco’s burial of the Count of Orgaz. Depart Toledo by coach and drive to Jaen (about 3 hours) making a lunch stop on the way. Check into our hotel in Jaen for Dinner and overnight stay.


DAY THREE: Jaen - Granada 
We spend the morning in the cathedral town of Jaen. The cathedral itself was designed by Andres de Vandelvira in 1525. Behind the High Altar is the Chapel of the Santo Rostro (Holy Face), a relic said to be one of the veils with which Veronica wiped Christ’s face. We hope to celebrate Mass here. Afterwards there will be time to visit Santa Capilla de San Andres and the Capilla de la Immacula (Chapel of the Immaculate Conception), which is a short walk from the Cathedral. We will have time for lunch at choice in Jaen before making the drive to Granada (1.5 hours) where we check into our hotel, The Corona, for dinner and a two-night stay.


DAY FOUR: Granada
We hope to celebrate an early Mass at the cathedral, the facade of which is more impressive than the interior. Afterwards, we drive to the magnificent Alhambra Palace for a guided visit. The rest of the day is at leisure, with dinner in our hotel.


DAY FIVE: Granada - Cordoba
After breakfast, we leave Granada and drive North to Cordoba. Cordoba was capital of Moorish Spain and in its time the largest city in Europe. In the afternoon we will have a guided walking tour to include the fascinating old quarter. Here we will visit La Mezquita, a Moslem shrine built on the site of the Visigothic cathedral, which became a Christian house of worship in the Reconquista. Mass will be celebrated here. Afterwards we check into our hotel for dinner and an overnight stay.


DAY SIX: Cordoba - Seville 
An early start to drive to Seville, where we check into our hotel for an overnight stay. Seville, the capital of Andalucia, is known as Spain’s eternal city. Conquered by the Moors in 712 A.D. It became a great example of Islamic culture and civilisation before being retaken by Christian forces in 1258. The influence of the former civilisation on Christian and secular Seville can still be seen here, as in Cordoba and Granada. This morning we join our guide for a walking tour of the part of the city that includes the magnificent cathedral, the biggest Gothic cathedral in the world. We also visit the Basilica of La Macarena, which contains the statue of the same name, a carving of the Virgin Mary, behind the high altar. People of Seville say the statue must have been made by angels because of its outstanding beauty. Dinner will be in our hotel tonight.


DAY SEVEN: Seville - London
Today will be at leisure with lunch at choice, before we transfer to Seville Airport for our return British Airways flight to Gatwick.


This itinerary is subject to change without prior notification
This tour involves a substantial amount of long distance walking, some of which will be over irregular surfaces such as cobblestones and badly-maintained walking areas. If everyday walking is something you find difficult, this tour may be unsuitable for you.


Travel Insurance: £33

Single Room Supplement: £156

Price Includes:
Return scheduled flights on British Airways: Heathrow - Madridm Seville - Gatwick. U.K. and Spain airport departure taxes. 23kg luggage allowance per person.  6-nights accommodation in shared ensuite twin-bedded rooms as follows: 22nd-23rd April Hotel Alfonso VI (or similar), Toledo, 23rd-24th April Hotel Condestable Iranzo (or similar),Jaen, 24th-26th April Hotel Corona de Granada (or similar), Granada, 26th-27th April Hotel Eurostars Conquistador (or similar), Cordoba, 27th-28th April Hotel Don Paco (or similar), Seville.. Meal plan: 6 breakfasts and 6 dinners. All touring and transfers by air-conditioned coach as per the itinerary. Pax Travel Spanish speaking tour manager to accompany the group throughout the pilgrimage. Entrance fees as per the itinerary. Daily Mass in English/Latin at different shrines and churches. ATOL and ABTA financial protection.
Price Extras:
Travel insurance at £33. Single room supplement of £114 for the 6 nights (limited availability). Lunches and drinks. Fuel surcharges if passed on by the airline. Gratuities for hotel staff, guides and coach driver. U.K. transfers.
Terms of Payment:
To reserve your place on the tour you will need to complete a booking form and return it to Pax Travel Ltd with a deposit of £200 (plus the insurance premium if the cover we offer is required) per person. The tour price is guaranteed until 15th September 2016. Any bookings received after this date may be subject to a surcharge.