|Starts||Sun 19 Apr 2020|
|Finishes||Wed 6 May 2020|
|Air & Tour||$6,590 Twin Share|
|Single Room||$980 Supplement|
|Prepaid Tips||$10 per person per day|
|Deposit||$800 non-refundable deposit|
|* All costs are in AUD and are based on twin share rooming and are valid as at 1 December 2018 and must remain subject to possible change in the unlikely event of significant exchange rate variations, airfare increases and minimum group size (20) contingencies.|
Economy class airfare from Sydney (N.B. Airlines taxes are included on standard itinerary and subject to fluctuations).
ACCOMMODATION & MEALS
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 Father Michael Anghel
18 Days / 14 Nights: Bucharest (2) / Sibiu (2) / Brasov (2) / Gura Humorului (3) / Baia Mare (1) / Mariapocs (1) / Budapest (3)
Meal Code: (B) Breakfast (L) Lunch (D) Dinner
On arrival at Bucharest airport we will be met and board our coach. We catch our first glimpses of this interesting city with a panoramic tour. Admire the wide boulevards, the glorious Belle Epoque buildings, the Triumphal Arch, Roman Athenaeum, Revolution Square and University Square en route to our hotel for check-in. Our inaugural group Mass will be celebrated before dinner at the hotel.
We begin our day with Mass at the Catholic Cathedral of St Joseph. We then commence our full day tour of the Romanian capital. In the old centre visit the “Patriarchy” (spiritual centre of the Romanian Christian Orthodox Church) and the 18th century Stavropoleos Church, considered a masterpiece of Romanian architecture. Visit the Parliament Palace – the second largest building in the world after the Pentagon in Washington.
Continue to the Ceausescu Family Home where the Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu lived.
In the evening we dine out on typical Romanian cuisine at the hotel restaurant.
We depart Bucharest today and journey north towards Sibiu, passing through the beautiful scenery of the Olt River valley. Stop to visit the Cozia Monastery dating back to the 14th century and known as one of the oldest historic and artistic complexes in Romania.
En route back to Sibiu we stop in Sibiel Village for a ‘peasant dinner’ with traditional Transylvanian food and drinks.
Finally we arrive in Sibiu. We enjoy a guided visit of the Historic Old Centre, famous in the Middle Ages for its fortification system considered then to be the largest in Transylvania. Admire the Large Square with the city roofs of “eyes that follow you,” the Little Square with the Bridge of Lies and the impressive 14th century Gothic style Evangelical Church. Before checking in to our hotel we will celebrate Mass at the Catholic Cathedral dedicated to the Holy Trinity.
After breakfast this morning we travel by coach to Silvasul de Sus to visit the Prislop Monastery of nuns and the tomb of Fr Arsenie Boca, considered by many to be a saint. During our time here we will hear about the miracles performed through him.
We continue to Hunedoara. Here we will cross a suspension bridge to enter the Medieval Hunyadi Castle, considered to be the largest Gothic building in Eastern Europe. Admire the towers and courtyards, the Diet Hall (where Parliament met) and the Knights Hall.
Travel this morning we travel to Sighisoara, the birthplace of the famous Vlad the Impaler, known to all as ‘Count Dracula’. After Mass in the Catholic Church of St Joseph we commence our guided tour of this most beautiful and best preserved medieval citadel of Romania, dating back to the 13th century. Admire the many Towers, particularly the famous Clock Tower.
We re-board our coach and journey on Brasov, one of the most fascinating medieval towns in Romania. Admire the Schei Quarter with the Sfantul Nicolae Church, the first Romanian school (15th century), and the Black Church – the largest Gothic style church in Romania. Check in to our hotel before dinner.
We travel out this morning to Sinaia, known as the ‘Pearl of the Carpathians’. We commence our time here with a visit to Peles Castle, built in the late 19th century in the typical Bavarian neo-Gothic style. After Mass in the Sacred Heart Cathedral, we reboard our coach.
Optional: We journey north to Bran for an optional visit to the site known as ‘Dracula’s Castle’, one of the most picturesque in Romania, dating back to the 13th century and once the residence of the Royalty of the Kingdom of Romania.
We return to Brasov in time for dinner.
Our day of scenic wonder begins with the journey north to Sumuleu, where we make an important visit to the Franciscan Monastery housing the miraculous wooden statue of the Virgin Mary. We will celebrate our group Mass here and learn more about the pilgrimage that many Catholics from all over Central and Eastern Europe make every year in the lead up to Pentecost to pay homage to Our Lady.
We will be travelling along the breathtaking Bicaz Gorges, the most famous canyon of the country, and driving alongside the Red Lake.
We check-in to our hotel in Gura Humorului.
Gura Humorului overnight
After Mass this morning at the Catholic Church of the Holy Trinity we visit the Sucevita Monastery known for its important fresco “The Ladder of Virtues” and its massive fortified fence walls. Continue to the Moldovita Monastery, with its external frescoes.
We return to our hotel in time for dinner.
Gura Humorului overnight
After Mass this morning we travel east by coach to Suceava city, the first capital of Moldova. We enjoy a guided tour of its beautiful monuments: the Church of Saint George, a UNESCO heritage site, the beautiful Church Saint John the New – an architectural complex consisting of a chapel, the church and the old Citadel of the Prince, which offers a beautiful view over the valley of Suceava.
After some time for lunch we continue on to visit Voronet Monastery, the ‘Sistine Chapel of Eastern Europe’. Admire the external frescoes of the Humor Monastery, dedicated to the Dormition of the Virgin Mary.
Gura Humorului overnight
Travel today via the Maramures region – a galaxy of small villages most famous for the Greek-Catholic religion, traditions and hospitality of the people. Admire the with wooden buildings here where time stands still, and people live according to the rhythms of a bygone era.
Continuing on our way we visit the Bogdan Voda Church built on the site of an earlier church that had been destroyed by the Tartars. We celebrate Mass in the Catholic Church here. Admire the beautiful wooden Church in Barsana, which is typical of the area.
Finally we arrive at our hotel in Baia Mare.
Baia Mare overnight
Today we journey west by coach and farewell Romania as we cross the border in to Hungary. Continue on to the Shrine of Mariapocs where the Icon of Our Lady has miraculously shed tears and been the source of many other miracles and healings.
On arrival we will celebrate our group Mass at the shrine and enjoy a visit, including the opportunity to pray before the miraculous Icon of Our Lady.
We will check in to our hotel before dinner.
We embark on our travel day today, journeying west towards Budapest. En route we will visit the Shrine of Mariabesnyo. Celebrate Mass in the Basilica and take time to pray before the two powerful statues of Our Lady. We will also learn about the colourful history behind this place of worship.
In the afternoon we continue on to the amazingly beautiful city of Budapest.
Our tour today in Budapest begins with a visit and Mass at the Basilica of St Stephen which holds the mummified hand of St Stephen 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.
We begin our day travelling out of Budapest to the hilltop Cathedral of Esztergom serving as the spiritual centre of Hungarian Catholicism. After our group Mass here we enjoy a guided visit of the Cathedral and some time to explore the town.
Continuing back towards Budapest, we visit the Shrine of Our Lady of Remete. We follow in the steps of Pope St John Paul II who in 1991 joined the ranks of pilgrims who have come to kneel before the miraculous image of Our Lady.
This evening we embark on an enchanting dinner cruise on the River Danube as a fitting celebration of our pilgrimage.
Today we will be transferred to Budapest airport for our homebound or onward flight connections.
“This trip has intensified our spiritual connection with Mary and the time provided gave us opportunities for personal reflection.”