Pilgrimage Overview:

  • Pilgrimage Chaplain:

    Fr. Lito Abad

  • Departure Date:

    June 26, 2018

  • Countries:

    Portugal, Spain and Turkey

Pilgrimage Highlights

Porto is Portugal’s second largest city after Lisbon. The city is set on the northern bank of the Douro River. It is a historic and varied city, from the warren...

PORTO

Porto is Portugal’s second largest city after Lisbon. The city is set on the northern bank of the Douro River. It is a historic and varied city, from the warren of narrow streets that make up the ancient Ribeira district through the grand plazas of the Avenida dos Aliado.

Located along the Duoro river estuary in Northern Portugal, Porto is one of the oldest European centers, and its historical core was proclaimed a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1996.

Vigo, the Gateway to the Atlantic, is a great combination of ancient history, beautiful beaches and a modern cosmopolitan outlook. A truly amazing city, that offers a warm welcome along...

VIGO

Vigo, the Gateway to the Atlantic, is a great combination of ancient history, beautiful beaches and a modern cosmopolitan outlook. A truly amazing city, that offers a warm welcome along with beautiful surroundings. Which, together with its water reforms, amazing landscapes and friendly atmosphere will give even the seasoned traveller a truly unique experience to take home. Travelling in Vigo is just like exploring heaven with your own eyes. With its strategic location in Galicia, Vigo provides the ideal setting for relaxation, pampering and enjoying the picturesque views of Ria de Vigo.
Vigo is located just north of the border with Portugal and its nearest larger city is Portugal’s second largest city of  Porto.

The province of Pontevedra is one of the four which comprise the autonomous region of Galicia northwest of Spain. Its capital city, of the same name, is known for its...

PONTEVEDRA

The province of Pontevedra is one of the four which comprise the autonomous region of Galicia northwest of Spain. Its capital city, of the same name, is known for its natural scenery and rich cultural heritage. Its Old Town is home to many historic landmarks that will delight the history enthusiast. Just as pleasing is its strategic setting on a hilltop offering wonderful views of the Lerez River and the surrounding countryside.

Santiago de Compostela is the capital of the autonomous community of Galicia in northwestern Spain. The city has its origin in the shrine of St. James the Great, now the...

SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA

Santiago de Compostela is the capital of the autonomous community of Galicia in northwestern Spain.

The city has its origin in the shrine of St. James the Great, now the city’s cathedral, as the destination of the Way of St. James, a leading Catholic pilgrimage route originated in the 9th century. The city’s Old Town was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985.

The cathedral borders the main plaza of the old and the well preserved city. Legend has it that the remains of the apostle James were brought to Galicia for burial. In 813, according to medieval legend, the light of a bright star guided a shepherd who was watching his flock at night to the burial site in Santiago de Compostela. To honor St. James, the cathedral was built on the spot where his remains were said to have been found.

Lugo is a city in northwestern Spain in the autonomous community of Galicia. Lugo is the only city in the world to be surrounded by completely intact Roman walls, which...

LUGO

Lugo is a city in northwestern Spain in the autonomous community of Galicia.

Lugo is the only city in the world to be surrounded by completely intact Roman walls, which reach a height of 10 to 15 meters (33 to 49 feet) along a 2,117 meter (6,946 ft) circuit ringed with 71 towers. The walk along the top is continuous round the circuit, and features ten gates. The 3rd century walls are protected by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. The bridge over the Minho is essentially of Roman date, though many repairs over the centuries have effaced its Roman character. It is along the Camino Primitivo path of the Camino de Santiago.

Canga de Onis is a municipality in the eastern part of the province and autonomous community of Asturias in the northwest of Spain. The Roman Bridge is the symbol of...

CANGAS DE ONIS

Canga de Onis is a municipality in the eastern part of the province and autonomous community of Asturias in the northwest of Spain.

The Roman Bridge is the symbol of Cangas de Onis and probably one of the best known sites in Asturias. It’s beautiful in its simplicity and provides a beautiful foreground to the lovely countryside in which it resides. The Roman Bridge has been declared to be a Historic – Artistic site in 1931.

Cangas has long since been a backwater for more than a thousand years now, but it was a charming introduction to Spain’s most stunning natural wonder, the Picos de Europas mountain range.

Comillas is a small township and municipality in the northern reaches of Spain, in the autonomous community of Cantabria. The Marquisate of Comillas, a fiefdom of Spanish nobility, holds ceremonial...

COMILLAS

Comillas is a small township and municipality in the northern reaches of Spain, in the autonomous community of Cantabria. The Marquisate of Comillas, a fiefdom of Spanish nobility, holds ceremonial office at the seat of power at a small castle which overlooks the town. The Comillas Pontifical University was housed here before it moved to Madrid, and the old university buildings are among the finest examples of architecture in the town. Besides this, there are many notable medieval and baroque buildings.

Comillas was the capital of Spain for a day, the 6th of August 1881, following an agreement between King Alfonso XII and the Minister’s Council to gather at a formal meeting in town.

Situated on the northern route of the Pilgrims’ Road to Santiago de Compostella, Santillana del Mar is a beautiful medieval town which was developed around the collegiate church of Santa...

SANTILLANA DEL MAR

Situated on the northern route of the Pilgrims’ Road to Santiago de Compostella, Santillana del Mar is a beautiful medieval town which was developed around the collegiate church of Santa Marian. Its various defence towers and Renaissance palaces make Santillana one of the most important historical areas of Cantabria

However, this Cantabrian town houses its greatest treasure on the outskirts: the Altamira caves, known as the “Sistine Chapel of the Paleolithic Age” and declared World Heritage.

The port city of Santander is the capital of the autonomous community and historical region of Cantabria situated on the north coast of Spain. It is located east of Gijon...

SANTANDER

The port city of Santander is the capital of the autonomous community and historical region of Cantabria situated on the north coast of Spain. It is located east of Gijon and west of Bilbao. Santander houses the headquarters of multinational bank, Banco Santander, and is the location of the founding of the namesake company.

Bilbao is a city in northern Spain, the largest city in the province of Biscay and in the Basque Country as a whole. Bilbao is the 10th largest city in...

BILBAO

Bilbao is a city in northern Spain, the largest city in the province of Biscay and in the Basque Country as a whole. Bilbao is the 10th largest city in Spain.

Bilbao was at one time the wealthiest city in Spain. Its  wealth at the beginning of the 20th century due to mining, steel and shipbuilding. Later the city began to move away from industry towards tourism and underwent a major urban renewal.

Bilbao is the new modern face of the Basque Country. The city has been able to successfully mix traditional Basque culture with a new vision for the future.  It is the most cosmopolitan of the cities in the region and is constantly evolving. Bilbao now boasts having the Guggenheim Museum,  a timeless Metro system and an airport from Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, etc.

Bilbao was recently proclaimed as the 2018 European City of the year by the Academy of Urbanism.

The Franciscan Sanctuary of Our Lady of Arantzazu is located in Onati, in the province of Guipuzcoa, Basque Country, Spain. The location enjoys the peaceful atmosphere of the Aizkorri mountain...

ARANTZAZU

The Franciscan Sanctuary of Our Lady of Arantzazu is located in Onati, in the province of Guipuzcoa, Basque Country, Spain.

The location enjoys the peaceful atmosphere of the Aizkorri mountain range. At this site, according to very old legend, the Virgin Mary appeared to a shepherd, Rodrigo de Balanzategui in 1468.

According to this legend, the figure of Mary was in a thorn bush, and Rodrigo cried out, “Arantzan zu?” (Thou, among the thorns?!). This gave rise to the place’s name. An explanation of the word origin is that it stems from a combination of arantza and zu, “place abounding in hawthorn.” Thus Mary is often referred to here as Our Lady of the Thorns.

St. Ignatius of Loyola spent the night in vigil at this shrine and made a vow of chastity.

The Sanctuary of Loyola or Shrine and Basilica of Loyola consists of a series of edifices built in Churrigueresque Baroque style around the birthplace of St. Ignatius of Loyola,  founder...

LOYOLA

The Sanctuary of Loyola or Shrine and Basilica of Loyola consists of a series of edifices built in Churrigueresque Baroque style around the birthplace of St. Ignatius of Loyola,  founder of the
Society of Jesus.

The sanctuary stands along the river Urola in the neighbourhood of Loyola (Loiola, a place-name meaning ‘foundry made in clad’, or possibly ‘hut made in clad’) in the municipality of Azpeitia, Basque Country, Spain.

Ignatius of Loyola, whose real name was Iñigo López de Loyola, was the son of the Lord of Loyola, Beltrán Ibáñez de Oñaz and Marina Sánchez de Licona, member of an important Biscayan family. He was born in 1491 in his family house in Loyola.

After he died, his birthplace became a place of veneration. In the seventeenth century the house where he was born was given to the Society of Jesus. The Order built there, near the birthplace of its founder, the Sanctuary of Loyola.

San Sebastian is a coastal city and a municipality located in the Basque Autonomous Community, Spain. It lies on the coast of the Bay of Biscay. San Sebastian’s picturesque shoreline...

SAN SEBASTIAN

San Sebastian is a coastal city and a municipality located in the Basque Autonomous Community, Spain. It lies on the coast of the Bay of Biscay.

San Sebastian’s picturesque shoreline makes it a popular beach resort. The seaside environment is enhanced by hilly surroundings that are easily accessible. San Sebastian is a city that boasts a range of natural beauty. Its fabulous architecture, plazas and parks dotted throughout the city adds to its well deserved label as the “pearl” of the North of Spain.

Istanbul is the largest city in Turkey. It is the country’s economic, cultural and historical heart. Located on both sides of the Bosphorus, the narrow strait between the Black Sea...

ISTANBUL

Istanbul is the largest city in Turkey.

It is the country’s economic, cultural and historical heart. Located on both sides of the Bosphorus, the narrow strait between the Black Sea and the Marmara Sea, Istanbul bridges Asia and Europe both physically and culturally.

Istanbul was called Byzantium in ancient times, the city’s name was changed to Constantinople when it was rebuilt by the first Christian Roman Emperor, Constantine. It was renamed once again in 1928, becoming Istanbul, a name which had already been in use for centuries.

Istanbul is primarily known for its Byzantine and Ottoman architecture, but its buildings reflect the various people and empires that have previously ruled the city.

Inclusions

  • Roundtrip economy airfare via Turkish Airlines
  • Roundtrip airport/departure transfers
  • 4* hotel accommodation on twin sharing basis
  • Land transportation by deluxe air-conditioned motor coach
  • Meals as specified in the itinerary (B-breakfast; D-dinner)
  • Tours with entrance fees as specified in the itinerary with an English-speaking local guide
  • Services of a Pilgrimage Chaplain and Filipino Tour Leader all throughout the tour
  • Porterage of one (1) piece of luggage at hotels only (Subject to availability)

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About Your Pilgrimage

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Spain, Portugal and Turkey are two countries rich in religious traditions, history and culture. Experience Portugal and Spain’s most revered Catholic shrines and explore the cosmopolitan melting pot of Istanbul. Join a Pilgrimage to Portugal and Spain with Istanbul with Fr. Lito Abad leaving on June 26, 2018.

Begin your pilgrimage in the fascinating city of Porto in Portugal. Set on the northern bank of the Douro River, Porto gives rise to dramatic undulated landscapes, magnificent bridges and spectacular vistas. Enjoy a leisurely walk on the Ribeira district, a UNESCO World Heritage site famed for its medieval streets and ancient houses. Enjoy a delightful cruise along the Douro River where you will cross six magnificent bridges.

Cross the border of Spain into Pontevedra, an elegant old town bedecked with historic and important churches.  Head for Santiago de Compostela, the capital of the Region of Galicia. Millions of people from all over the world come to this city every year, many of them reaching the end of the Way of Saint James pilgrimage route. Its historic center has been designated a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO. Celebrate the Pilgrims’ Mass at the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela and witness the ancient tradition of the Botafumeiro.

Leave for the mountains of Covadonga for a guided visit of the beautiful Sanctuary of Covadonga and the Basilica, where Our Lady of Covadonga is enshrined.  Afterwards, head for Picos de Europas, where you’ll ride the cable car to enjoy spectacular views of the Picos de Europas National Park, Spain’s oldest national park. Continue your pilgrimage with a visit to Comillas. Comillas is a very interesting coastal town with cobbled streets, open squares, historic buildings and a selection of Modernista buildings,  including the incredible El Capricho designed by Anton Gaudi.

Next stop is Santillana del Mar, a beautiful medieval town in Cantabria, Spain. Not to be missed is a visit to the Altamira caves, home to some of the oldest cave art known to man and declared a UNESCO World Heritage site.   Head off to the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Arantzazu where St. Ignatius of Loyola spent a night in vigil and made his vow of chastity. Ignatius referred to this night vigil at this sanctuary as a time of great grace for strengthening his resolve to follow Christ.  End your stay in Spain in the stunning and chic city of Bilbao, one of the treasures of the Basque Country.

Wind down your pilgrimage in the beautiful city of Istanbul in Turkey, labelled as the cradle of civilization. Walk along its historic streets and feast your eyes on the architectural masterpieces of the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires.

More than pages in a book or words in a prayer, a pilgrimage allows you to experience your faith in a profound way.  Join a Pilgrimage to Portugal and Spain with Istanbul with Fr. Lito Abad leaving on June 26, 2018. Be prepared to encounter God and be filled with His abundant grace and blessings.

Things We Love

  • Awesome picturesque views of Picos de Europa while onboard a cable car.
  • Winner of the 2018 European City of the Year by the Academy of Urbanism, Bilbao is well known for its staggering architecture, a  venerable dining scene and stunning landscapes.
  • The Sanctuary of Arantzazu is well known as one of the most avant-garde religious buildings in the world.
  • Bond with fellow pilgrims who may later on become lifelong friends.
  • You may opt to visit the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao and marvel at the modern and contemporary art displayed.

Things To Do

  • RIDE.

    Enjoy a leisurely cruise between two continents – Asia and Europe – as you take a Bosphorus Cruise in Istanbul.

  • HUG.

    Hug the giant statue of St. James when you reach the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, in line with the tradition of thousands of pilgrims before.

  • SPEAK.

    Brush up on Spanish lessons learned while in school for easier communication with the locals while in Spain.

  • DELIGHT.

    Delight in the picturesque countryside scenery of Spain and Portugal throughout the pilgrimage.

  • BOTAFUMEIRO.

    Take part in the centuries-old Botafumeiro ritual (censar swing) during the pilgrim’s mass at the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela.

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Why Join Us?

Spiritually focused journeys
Friendly and bonded groups
Insightful pilgrimage chaplains
Senior citizen friendly

Testimonials

Dear Pilgrim Center:

My husband Aldo & I would like to praise & commend our Pilgrim Chaplain Fr. Dante Venus & our Tour Leader Bro. Monty for the very successful & memorable pilgrimage to Italy & the Holy Land we were very fortunate to join on March 26-April 8, 2018.

It was very hectic to be sure, but still they managed our time very well that we were able to visit more places than was promised in the itinerary, and we are very appreciative of that. Likewise, the solemnity of the whole pilgrimage experience was still observed despite many of us in the group, myself included, often forgetting that we were pilgrims & not tourists 😉😉, taking photos, selfies, etc. instead of, or before focusing on what the local guide was explaining or on the scripture readings. I cannot fault us pilgrims on this because for many of us seniors, and I speak for my husband & I, that trip might be our first & last time to visit those places, so we made sure they were properly documented. Nonetheless, it was a truly spiritually uplifting & life-changing experience for us. We continue to thank our Lord for making that experience of a lifetime possible. Indeed, nothing is impossible for God!

Thank you very much to Fr. Dante, Bro. Monty & to each of us pilgrims in the group for the prayers, love, care & concern shown to each other. Let us continue to pray for and with each other. It is my hope that we meet each other again soon, to strengthen our bonds of friendships.

Most sincerely,

Leclec Cabusora

Ms. Leclec Cabusora

I am honored to be included in this pilgrimage. The Pilgrims' Center has very good itineraries worth remembering. No hours wasted. They took very good care of us in spite of our big number of 47 people. The daily mass and homilies of Fr. Manny Cruz held in different shrines and churches were very inspirational and transforming. Accommodations were nice most especially the one on top of the Mountain with an awesome view built in 1909. It's like travelling back in time. I definitely would want to do it again with Pilgrim Center.

Peter Joseph Mapua

The Pilgrims' Center always gives you the best. They let you feel like an Executive in terms of personal service & attention especially during pilgrimage. Their choices of pilgrimages and pilgrim chaplains are outstanding. You go back home very fulfilled and immersed...

Marlene Silvestre

Frequently Asked Questions

Simply press the I'm Interested button in any pilgrimage page and complete the form to receive the complete details including price, itinerary and inclusions in your email. You can also contact us at [email protected] or 5238581.
Yes! We can arrange private and customized pilgrimages for groups of 10 or more. Please contact us on [email protected] or 5238581 so we can begin arranging your private pilgrimage. We can provide free trips to organizers of groups of 20 or more.
Yes! We have many pilgrims joining from outside the Philippines. We can provide you the cost for only the land arrangement portion of the pilgrimage and advise you on which flights to take from your country. Please contact us and advise your place of origin and we will provide you with the rate without airfare.

Visa Requirements

  • Passport with six (6) months validity from date of departure
  • Visa Application Forms
  • Two (2) pcs. passport-size pictures
  • Original and Photocopy of Latest Income Tax Return
  • Original Bank Certificate (both Pesos and/or U.S.Dollars) for each embassy
  • Original and Photocopy of Business Registration (if in business)
  • Original Employment Certificate (if employed
  • Photocopy of International Credit Cards (if available)
  • Travel Insurance with minimum coverarage of Php2.5 Million (valid for 30 days)
  • Affidavit of Support and Consent (signed and notarized by sponsor if financially incapable)
  • If married, copy of Authenticated Marriage Contract
  • Copy of hotel voucher (to be supplied by ERI)
  • Personal appearance by the applicant ” Processing Time: 15 – 30 days
  • VISA FEE: Php 7,000.00 (Subject to change without prior notice).

Booking Conditions

1) A US$ 500.00 non-refundable deposit is required upon reservation together with a photocopy of a passport (valid for 6 months fromdate of departure) and Pilgrim’s Profile with a passport-size photo plus the visa fee and travel insurance payment.

2) Full payment in U.S. dollars is required before ticketing but in no case shall it be later than 30 days before departure date.

3) The following cancellation charges will apply:
> 45 days before departure date – US$ 500.00 (non-refundable deposit)
> 30 days before departure date – 50% of the Tour Cost
> 20 days prior to departure date – Full tour cost will be forfeited

Terms and Conditions

TOUR COST DOES NOT INCLUDE: Visa fees and documentation expenses, insurance, hospitalization and other medical expenses, tours and transportation during free periods, porterage of extra pieces of luggage in excess of maximum allocation (20 kgs.), drinks and beverages taken during meals, items of personal nature such as laundry, telephone, fax, room service, and other expenses not mentioned in the itinerary terms and conditions.

EXECUTIVE RESOURCES, INC. has arranged for the various tour services to be performed under the responsibility of various contractors. Executive Resources, Inc., its employees or its sub-agents therefore only act as agents for the contractors providing the various services described in the tour and accept no responsibility or liability in connection with losses or accidental expenses due to delays of schedule, overbooking, defaults or “force majeure”. All tours and arrangements are subject to the general conditions specified by each contractor. Tour itineraries and prices are subject to change without prior notice. When making a tour booking, the passenger acknowledges and accepts the foregoing conditions.

Any questions or concerns?