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Prague to Dubrovnik

Shrines & Cathedrals of Central Europe. A 22-day pilgrimage through Czechia, Poland, Austria, Hungary, Slovenia and Croatia.

27 September – 18 October 2018. Delve behind the former ‘Iron Curtain' to find a rich culture infused with religious devotion and some confronting reminders of WWII. Explore some of the most stunning cities of the east, with plenty of natural beauty, cultural heritage, and travel opportunities waiting to be discovered. Its epic history, picturesque natural landscapes and fascinating cultures witness to being home to some of the most remarkable destinations in the world. Accompanied by Rev. Fr John McSweeney PP and Leesa Gillard.

Prague • Czestochowa • Auschwitz • Krakow • Zakopane • Budapest • Bratislava • Vienna • Ljubljana • Lake Bled • Rijeka • Plitvice Lakes • Dubrovnik.
Prague to Dubrovnik
MEAL CODE: B: Breakfast   L: Lunch   D: Dinner
Day 1: Thursday 27th September – Depart for Europe
Day 2: Friday 28th September – Arrive Prague

This afternoon we arrive into the golden city of Prague famous for its Gothic and Baroque architecture and ranked as one of the most beautifully preserved cities in Europe.

Prague overnight (D)

Day 3: Saturday 29th September – Prague

We commence our pilgrimage with a walking tour of Prague. Visit St Vitus Cathedral, the city’s most distinctive landmark which houses the crown jewels and the tomb of ‘Good King’ Wenceslas.

We celebrate Mass today at the Church of Our Lady Victorious where we come face to face with the Holy Infant of Prague. This wax figure has an impressive record of miracle cures and is one of the most revered images in the Catholic world.

Cross the historical Charles Bridge built in 1400 and continue to the Old Town area including Wenceslas Square, Celetna Lane, Old Town Square (with its random network of streets dating back to the 13th century), the Town Hall with the astronomical clock and Tyn Cathedral.

Prague overnight (B)

Day 4: Sunday 30th September – Prague

This morning we travel out to Svata Hora. Meaning Holy Mountain and towering high above an old mining town, this baroque complex of buildings consecrated to the Virgin Mary has long been considered the spiritual heart of Bohemia. We return to Prague early this afternoon where the remainder of the day is at leisure.

Prague overnight (B)

Day 5: Monday 1st October – To Czestochowa

This morning we depart Prague for Czestochowa where the fortress monastery of the Pauline Monks of Jasna Gora (meaning Bright Hill) is located.

Czestochowa is home to the cherished miraculous icon of Our Lady with the Child Jesus, an object of veneration for centuries (also known as the Black Madonna). Attracting more than five million pilgrims every year, Our Lady of Czestochowa is recognized as one of the most visited places of Christian pilgrimage in the world.

Upon arrival we will tour the Basilica, Treasury, Museum and Knights Hall. A highlight will be the opportunity to pray before the image of the Black Madonna in the ancient chapel. Following Mass, we proceed to our accommodation for check in.

Czestochowa overnight (BD)

Day 6: Tuesday 2nd October – Via Auschwitz to Krakow

Early this morning we journey south and enter on a deeply moving encounter of Auschwitz where we mourn the millions of people who were put to death in this, the biggest concentration camp of Hitler’s Nazism. Pope St John Paul II has termed this place the Golgotha of the modern world. We pray in the martyrdom bunker of St Maximilian Kolbe and view his cell while reflecting upon his selfless courage.

Continue to Wadowice, the birthplace of Karol Wojtyla (the now canonised Pope St John Paul II). The central point of the town is the market square with its Parish Church, and the famous Baptismal basin where Karol was baptized. Next to the church, we find the saint’s birthplace and the nearby Museum encompassing the former home of the Wojtyla family.

Following some free time for lunch visit the celebrated Marian site of Kalwaria Zebrzydowska, which remains the favourite boyhood shrine of Pope St John Paul II. In the late afternoon we journey on to Krakow.

Krakow overnight (BD)

Day 7: Wednesday 3rd October – Krakow

Here in Krakow we bask in the two-fold grace of Divine Mercy and Pope St John Paul II who served as the city’s Archbishop. Today we commence our walking tour at the Wawel Cathedral where in the crypt below Fr Karol was ordained in 1946 and celebrated his first Mass.

Continue to St Mary’s Church, University and Market Square to experience one of the most beautiful medieval city centres in Europe. Enter St. Florians Church where we will celebrate Mass, and where the young Karol developed a flourishing underground youth ministry at great risk. Remainder of the day at leisure.

Krakow overnight (B)

Day 8: Thursday 4th October – Krakow

Our morning draws us to the inspired Shrine of Divine Mercy where, between 1931 – 1938 Our Lord appeared to Sr Faustina Kowalska (a Polish Sister of Mercy) entrusting with her the mission of spreading His message of merciful love for humanity. At the shrine we witness the miraculous image of the Merciful Jesus before venerating the tomb of St Faustina.

The afternoon will feature an enthralling tour of the famous Wieliczka Salt Mines, the oldest operational mines in Europe and dating back to the 13th century.

Krakow overnight (B) 

Day 9: Friday 5th October – Via Zakopane to Budapest

This morning we depart for the resort village of Zakopane. On arrival we will celebrate Mass and take time for prayer in the Church of Our Lady of Fatima, built in thanksgiving of Pope St John Paul II’s narrow escape from assassination on 13 May 1981.

We then enjoy some free time in the picturesque village before we continue south crossing into Hungary and onto its capital, Budapest known as the ‘Paris of the East’. Situated on the opposite banks of the Danube, the former twin cities of Buda and Pest are linked by a series of graceful bridges.

Budapest overnight (BD)

Day 10: Saturday 6th October – Budapest

Our tour today in Budapest begins with a visit and Mass at the stunning Basilica of St Stephen which holds the mummified hand of St Stephen, the first King of Hungary. Continue on to view the decorative Parliament building, Heroes Square, the 118 foot high Corinthian column dedicated to the Roman Catholic Church, the 13th century Church of St Matthias and the Fisherman’s Bastion. Finish our tour with a panoramic view of the city from Gellert Hill.

Enjoy some free time this afternoon before embarking on an enchanting Dinner Cruise on the River Danube to see the city’s architecture gloriously illuminated.

Budapest overnight (BD)

Day 11: Sunday 7th October – Via Bratislava to Vienna

This morning we cross the border into the Slovak Republic and journey onto Bratislava where we meet our guide for a tour of this small but historical city including the Rococco-style Grassalkovich Palace, Primate’s Palace as well as the striking St Martin’s Cathedral.

Following some free time for lunch we travel west through the Austrian countryside onto Vienna. Once home to the powerful Hapsburg family, the city was the Imperial capital and thrived during this era as the centre of art, architecture and music.

Vienna overnight (BD)

Day 12: Monday 8th October – Vienna

This morning we meet our guide for a tour of this awe inspiring city where we will see St Stephen’s Cathedral, the Opera House, Old Town Hall as well as Schonbrunn Palace and much more. Remainder of the day at leisure.

Vienna overnight (B)

Day 13: Tuesday 9th October – Mariazell & Melk Abbey

We travel south of Vienna today to the Shrine of Our Lady of Mariazell. Dating back to 1157, here we pay homage to the wooden image of the Blessed Virgin Mary that the Benedictine monk named Magnus, placed on a branch when a large boulder split in two, clearing a path for him to pass.

We then proceed to Melk Abbey where this impressive baroque building was declared the “Best Historic Destination of the World”. Enter the magnificent marble hall, precious abbey library and the church with its unique frescoes! We return to Vienna late this afternoon.

Vienna overnight (BD)

Day 14: Wednesday 10th October – Vienna Free Day

Today is a free day for you to further explore Vienna or perhaps take this opportunity to catch the fast train to Salzburg and see the home of Mozart, walk through the Old Town – a UNESCO World Heritage listed site or take a stroll through the gardens of Mirabell Palace.

Vienna overnight (B)

Day 15: Thursday 11th October – To Ljubljana

Early this morning we depart Austria crossing into Slovenia and on to beautiful Ljubljana. Upon arrival we meet our guide for a tour where we see the famous Dragon Bridge and the Triple Bridge that connects Preseren Square with the Old Town before entering the 18th century St Nicholas’ Cathedral where we plan to celebrate our group Mass. We also see the Franciscan Church of the Annunciation. We then continue to our hotel for check in.

Ljubljana overnight (BD)

Day 16: Friday 12th October – Lake Bled Day Trip

Today we travel through rural Slovenia towards the Julian Alps. Upon arrival we take a short boat ride to Bled Island (weather permitting) where we visit the Church of the Assumption.

Returning to the mainland, we visit the medieval Bled Castle perched on a cliff high above the lake, offering splendid views of the surrounding Alpine peaks and lake below. We return to Ljubljana in time for dinner.

Ljubljana overnight (BD)

Day 17: Saturday 13th October – Via Rijeka to Plitvice Lakes

This morning we come to Rijeka and the shrine of Our Lady of Trsat, built to commemorate the transfer of the Holy House of Nazareth from Jerusalem. Tradition asserts that the Holy House was kept here between 1292 and 1294 en route to Loreto. After Mass we will take the opportunity to pray before the miraculous painting of Our Lady, donated to the shrine in 1367 by Pope Urban V. See adjacent to the shrine the 13th century Trsat Castle.

Continue on inland today towards the beautiful Plitvice Lakes for what can only be described as paradise!

Plitvice Lakes overnight (BD)

Day 18: Sunday 14th October – To Dubrovnik

The Plitvice Lakes National Park has been granted the UNESCO World Heritage status. The breathtaking scenery of this natural wonderland lies in its sixteen lakes interconnected by a series of waterfalls and in deep woodland populated by deer, bears, wolves, boars and rare bird species. The lakes are yellow and ochre in autumn, green and fresh in spring. A series of wooden footbridges will allow us this morning to walk across the lakes before boarding a boat cruise for a close up view of the waterfalls.

We then settle in for a breathtaking drive to the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Dubrovnik called the “Pearl of the Adriatic”.

Dubrovnik overnight (BD)

Day 19: Monday 15th October – Dubrovnik

This morning we enjoy a walking tour of “Old Dubrovnik” starting with Mass and a visit to the Church of St. Blaise; the Rectors Palace, Bell Tower Clock, Orlando’s Column and the Sponza Palace. We also view the Dominican Monastery and Franciscan Monastery with its pharmacy, one of the oldest in the world.

Dubrovnik overnight (B)

Day 20: Tuesday 16th October – Free Day

Today is a free day to further explore Dubrovnik or perhaps take the opportunity to visit Split, Mostar or even Montenegro This evening we enjoy a special farewell dinner.

Dubrovnik overnight (BD)

Day 21: Wednesday 17th October – Depart for Australia

This morning we are transferred to Dubrovnik airport for our homebound flight connections. (B)

Day 22: Thursday 18th October – Arrive Australia

Need to talk? Call 1800 819 156

"I am so grateful for all Harvest did to make my journey so special. The local guides and drivers were amazing and their faith and knowledge led me on a real journey of the heart." – Jennett Mullane
Air and Land Package Indicative Cost Single Supplement
Pilgrimage Code: 8PV46 AUD $8290 AUD $1950
Airfares: Economy class flying Emirates (N.B. Airlines taxes are included on standard itinerary and subject to fluctuations). Accommodation & Meals: Based on 4 star accommodation throughout with breakfast daily and 12 dinners. Miscellaneous inclusions: • Deluxe Air- Conditioned Motor coach with driver • Local tour escort/guide • Sightseeing and entrance fees throughout itinerary • Prepaid Tipping. Not Included: Passport and Visa Costs (if applicable) • Other meals not stated • Items of a personal nature including phone calls, laundry, beverages, etc. • Travel insurance (Harvest will recommend a special group policy rate).

NB: Costs have been based on prices as at November 2017 and must remain subject to possible change in the unlikely event of significant exchange rate variations, airfare increases and minimum group size (35) contingencies.
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