A Pilgrimage in the Footsteps of St Teresa of Avila
Travelling to Toledo, Segovia and Avila, 1st - 8th October 2018
DAY ONE: Gatwick - Madrid - Toledo
Scheduled flight by Iberia Express departing from Gatwick at 10:50am to Madrid. On arrival we drive south to Toledo (about 80 miles) where we check into our hotel for dinner and a two-night stay.
DAY TWO: Toledo
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. Earlier, during centuries of Castilian rule, Toledo became a city of learning and culture, before the horrors of the Inquisition put an end to this, with many men and women put to death and much of the Jewish and Moorish population expelled. The capital of Spain moved to Madrid. Visits are recommended, to the Cathedral, whose interior is matched by very few Gothic churches in Spain. Also recommended (but entrance fees not included) are: the house and museum of El Greco where the painter lived for 33 years; the Church of Santo Tome to view El Greco’s Burial of the Count of Orgaz. Sunday Mass will be celebrated during the day.
DAY THREE: Toledo - Avila
After Mass, we transfer by coach to or hotel in Avila, which is situated within the walls of the medieval city. Dinner on each evening of our five-night stay in Avila will be in the hotel or in a local restaurant.
DAY FOUR: Avila
Avila was the birthplace of St Teresa, whose legacy is everywhere in the beautiful town, which is also renowned as the home of contemporary mysticism. We will be able to see the town as St Teresa would have known it, including the Convent de la Santa, built over the site of her birthplace, and the Convent of St Joseph, the first one founded by St Teresa. This convent of Discalced Carmelites was dedicated to St Joseph because Teresa had a great devotion to him. Mass will be celebrated during the morning. Afternoon at leisure.
DAY FIVE: Avila - Alba de Tormes
After breakfast we visit the Convent of the Incarnation just north of Avila (outside the walls) where Teresa lived for 27 years, and where she was prioress when St John of the Cross was Confessor, between 1572 - 1576. Also, we visit the Catholic University of Avila, near to the convent (subject to confirmation). Lunch at choice in Avila. In the afternoon we drive to the village of Alba de Tormes (50 miles from Avila), where the body and other relics of St Teresa are kept. Teresa founded the convent of the Annunciation here in 1571, and returned to it to die. Mass will be celebrated here before returning to Avila.
DAY SIX: Segovia
This morning, we drive to Segovia (about 45 miles), one of the most beautiful and evocative towns in Spain. It was here in 1588 that St John of the Cross was made Prior of the Discalced Carmelites. We visit the 17th century convent where the body of St John is buried (minus several limbs which were taken as relics to other parts of Spain). Mass will be celebrated here. We can also walk on our own under the walls of the Alcazar to visit the Church of the True Cross (Vera Cruz), a parish church since 1312. The afternoon will be at leisure. Return to our hotel in Avila.
DAY SEVEN: Fontiveros and Medina del Campo
After breakfast we drive to Fontiveros (about 30 miles), the birthplace of St John of the Cross(1542 - 1591). He lived here for the first six years of his life. A chapel has been built over the site of his home, where Mass will be celebrated, and there is a convent of Carmelite Sisters next to it. Afterwards, continue north to the small town of Medina del Campo, which was famous for its trade fairs in the middle ages and where the Catholic Queen Isabel died in 1504. Worth visiting (but entrance fees not included) are the Collegiate Church of San Antolin which is of cathedral size and contains the chapel of Virgen del Popolo, and the Castle of La Mota, where Cesare Borgia was kept prisoner for two years. Return to Avila in the late afternoon.
DAY EIGHT: Avila - Madrid - Gatwick
After we celebrate our last Mass of the pilgrimage there will be some time at leisure in Avila before transferring to Madrid Airport for the return flight, arriving at Gatwick at 7:35pm.
This tour involves a substantial amount of 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.
This itinerary is a guide and subject to change.
Travel Insurance: £33
Single room supplement: £133
01/10/18 - 08/10/18
Return scheduled flights with Iberia Express: Gatwick - Madrid. 1 piece of checked in luggage per person. U.K. and Spain airport departure taxes. 7-nights accommodation in shared twin bedded rooms with private facilities as follows: 1st - 3rd Oct. Hotel Alfonso VI, 4 star (or similar), Toledo. 3rd - 8th Oct. Hotel Las Moradas, 3 star (or similar), Avila. 7 breakfasts and 7 dinners. All touring and transfers in Spain by air-conditioned coach, as per the itinerary. Services of Pax Travel Spanish-speaking Tour Manager while in Spain. Entrance fees as per the itinerary. Daily private Masses. ATOL and ABTA financial protection.
Travel insurance currently at £33 per person.· Single room supplement at £133 for 7 nights accommodation (limited availability). Meals apart from those in the itinerary. Drinks. Catering during the flights. Fuel surcharges if passed on by the airline. U.K. transfers. Gratuities to guides, drivers and hotel staff (we recommend 20 Euros from each person).
Terms of Payment:
Deposit of £200 (plus the insurance premium if the cover we offer is required) per person on booking with a completed booking form. Balance payable is due no later than 1st August 2018.
The above price is guaranteed for the first 30 bookings. Any subsequent bookings received by Pax Travel Ltd maybe subject to a flight surcharge. If this arises, we would advise you before processing your booking.