EASTERN EUROPE AND MEDJUGORJE TOUR with a return flight from Vienna to Split

Overview

On this pilgrimage our steps lead us through six Eastern European countries with strong religious backgrounds.

We start in the Austrian capital – Vienna, where you can stroll around historical and catholic monuments in one of the most beautiful European cities. On our way to Budapest we visit Bratislava - the capital of Slovakia and make a stop at Pannonhalma – one of the most important Hungarian monasteries. From Budapest we return to Slovakia and visit Levoča, a little town with marvelous scenery and make a stop at the hill Mariánska hora, where the most important Slovak Marian pilgrimage site is situated. We then continue further North - to Poland, where during several days we visit not only pilgrimage sites, such as Lagiewniki or Jasna Gora, but have a look at one of the most important points of recent European history – the concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau. From Poland, we transfer to the neighboring Czech Republic. We stay in famous Prague, the city of a hundred spires. Here one of our most important goals is a visit to the Church of Our Lady Victorious, which houses the statue of the Infant Jesus of Prague. In Kutná Hora, there is a unique and unmissable ossuary, where human bones have been made into fascinating decorations. Finally, we continue to Vienna, from where we take a flight to the Croatian Split and a bus to Medjugorje. Here we spend three blessed days filled with rich spiritual program

 

Itinerary

Vienna, is one of the most famous cities in the world. Growing on the site of Celtic and Roman settlements, it experienced a boom in the Medieval and Baroque eras and became the capital of one of Europe’s greatest empires, Austria-Hungary.  As a city of arts, it played an essential role as a leading centre of European music. Names like Mozart, Beethoven, Strauss, Hayden are strongly connected to Vienna.

The first Holy Mass of the pilgrimage will be celebrated in the Votive Church before dinner.

We will taste the typical Vienna cuisine in a restaurant in the centre.

Optional:  concert of famous works by Strauss and Mozart; these concerts are very popular in Vienna, easy to listen to, good entertainment and a high quality show; many tour participants love to go to these concerts.....

Accommodation: 4* hotel in central Vienna               

 

 

After breakfast we start our Vienna sightseeing, visiting the historical centre including the royal palace, the Hofburg, the royal seat of the Habsburg family, will take us into the life of the Austro-Hungarian royal family: the imperial apartments, the charming Sisi museum, the silver collection, etc.

The highlight of our visit is St Stephen’s Cathedral (Stephansdom in German),  which is both one of the world’s most famous churches and also a key part of Austrian heritage. It was founded in 1147 and is the mother church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Vienna.  The historic centre is rich in architecture with Baroque palaces and beautiful gardens. We will admire the monumental Parliament building, the City Hall, the State Opera House and the Holy Trinity Column. Strolling along the narrow lanes of the city, we will enjoy the atmosphere of medieval Vienna. Transfer to Bratislava

Accommodation: 4* hotel in the centre of Bratislava            

After breakfast we will take a Bratislava city tour: the monumental St Martin’s Cathedral is the largest and finest, as well as one of the oldest Gothic churches in Slovakia.  It is also famouse for serving as the coronation church of the Kingdom of Hungary between 1563 and 1830, which makes it an important site in Hungarian history.  We will walk through the Michal’s gate to the Old-Town square with the Town Hall and continue to the Primatial Palace where a treaty with Napoleon was signed in 1805. The Opera House is one of the key landmarks of the centre. From the castle hill we can have a bird’s eye view of the city and the largest socialist housing estate in Slovakia.  Then we can walk down to the famous River Danube and enjoy some free time with a cup of coffee in one of the cosy coffee houses in the centre or on the riverbank.  Later in the afternoon we will celebrate our Holy Mass in the enchanting Blue church in city centre followed by dinner at the rotating restaurant of the TV tower in the Lesser Carpathians above Bratislava while enjoying nice views to Bratislava and its surroundings.

Accommodation: 4* hotel in the centre of Bratislava

After breakfast, we will embark on our journey from Bratislava to Budapest, the capital of Hungary.  Our first stop will be at Pannonhalma - an active Benedictine monastery (also a World Heritage Site) founded in 996. The monks of Pannonhalma converted the Hungarians to Christianity, they founded the first school in the country and in 1055 wrote the first document in Hungarian.  The most interesting sight include the basilica and its crypt, the monumental library with 360,000 volumes and the baroque refectory. For centuries the monastery has also been famous for the production of outstanding wines. We will have the chance to taste some of them during lunch in a restaurant of the abbey.

Transfer to Budapest

Accommodation: 4* hotel in the centre of Budapest

        

After breakfast, we will cross the border to Slovakia and continue through the beautiful mountain scenery to the north.  Holy Mass will be celebrated in an early gothic church in northern Slovakia including an organ recital (the antique organ is almost 300 years old and one of the oldest in Slovakia).  We will pass through the valley between the High and the Low Tatras, with magnificent views on both sides.  We will also make a short stop in the High Tatras for an easy stroll. 

Accommodation: 3* hotel in the centre of Levoca.  

 

After breakfast, we start our sightseeing in Levoca which is one of the best preserved medieval cities in Slovakia. The massive fortification walls still protect the historical centre. Within the walls there are many noteworthy things to see, including Renaissance and Baroque houses and the renaissance Town Hall, but, the highlight is the Gothic church with a wooden altar by Master Paul of Levoca, which is the highest in the world!  However, Levoca is an important point of the tour mainly due to the church on the hill above the city which was upgraded to a Basilica Minor by the Blessed Pope John Paul II.  We will celebrate the Holy Mass and then continue to visit the seat of the Spis bishop Spisska Kapitula – “the Slovak Vatican”.

We will have a traditional Slovak dinner in a shepard’s cottage with a folklore show accompanied by the melancholic sounds of the traditional Slovak long pipe called the fujara.

Accommodation: 3* hotel in the centre of Levoca.                            

After morning breakfast we proceed to Poland, Wieliczka, Krakow.

The salt mine at Wieliczka is one of the highlights of our tour. There are many salt mines in the world but this one is really special:  a unique world attraction but also a holy place for miners in the past. Underground we can find the fascinating works of miners who carved statues and whole chapels out of rock salt. We will take the Pilgrimage tour, which includes the celebration of Holy Mass in one of the chapels at the mine.  Lunch will also be served in the mine tavern. 
Accommodation: 4* hotel in the centre of Krakow    

 

We will start this day with a sightseeing tour of the most famous attractions in Krakow, an old city with a rich history.

We will drive to Wawel castle and the Wawel cathedral, which is so closely linked with Blessed Pope John Paul II.  Karol Wojtyla was ordained in the crypt of the cathedral and celebrated his first Mass here. The cathedral is more than 900 years old it is the Polish national sanctuary and was the traditional place of coronation of the Polish kings. From the cathedral we make a tour to another holy place in Krakow, the Sanctuary of Divine Mercy in Lagiewniki where Our Lord appeared to St Faustina Kowalska, a Polish nun in the order of Our Lady of Mercy. We will also celebrate Holy Mass in one of the chapels of this important pilgrimage site.  

Accommodation: 4* hotel in the centre of Krakow                

Early morning departure to Wadowice after breakfast.  Wadowice is the birthplace of Karol Wojtyla. Here he spent the first years of his life. We will visit the Family Home Museum and taste his favourite cake “kremowka papieska”.

After the glory and the beauty of the places we will make a tour to one of the most horrifying places in Europe – Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau. But even here we can find examples of holiness: the martyrdom of St Maximilin Kolbe, who was canonized by Blessed Pope John Paul II and declared a martyr of charity which can give us inspiration for our lives.

Accommodation: 3* hotel in Czestochowa    

We will visit one of the most important pilgrimage places in Poland and Europe – the monastery at Jasna Gora. The icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa has been associated with Poland for more than 600 years. Having been painted on a cedar table top from the house of the Holy Family by St Luke it travelled from Jerusalem via Constantinople and finally reached Czestochowa in the late 14th century. We will celebrate Holy Mass in the Basilica of the Holy Cross and Nativity of Mary, which houses the holy icon.  Lunch will also be served in the monastery restaurant.  In the afternoon we will leave Czestochowa and continue the journey to Brno.

Accommodation: 4* hotel in the centre of Brno

Brno is a historical city in South Moravia. The most visited sights of the city include Špilberg Castle (13th century) and the fortress on the Špilberg Hill and the 14th century Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul on Petrov Hill. These medieval buildings dominate the city skyline and are often depicted as its traditional symbols.

Most of the main sights are situated in its historical centre. In the city centre you can find the Church of the Holy Cross and Capuchin Monastery, Old Town Hall (the original early 13th century building has been incorporated into today´s structure), St Joseph's Church, the Menín Gate (built around 1600), the Church of St John and a Minorite Monastery (founded in 1230), the Church of St Thomas, a former Dominican Monastery, the 17th century Dominican Church of St Michael. The finest late Gothic building, the Church of the Assumption of the Virgin has the oldest painting on wood in the Czech Republic, the so-called Black Madonna, which dates from the late 13th century. In Brno, you can find second largest Ossuary in Europe, the largest Jewish cemetery in Moravia, and many functionalist buildings like Villa Tugendhat.

In the late afternoon we will transfer to Prague.

Accommodation: 4* hotel in the centre of Prague     

 

 

The golden city of Prague belongs amongst the jewels of Central Europe. Famous for its Gothic and Baroque architecture, historical sights but also the holy places: Church of Our Lady Victorious housing the famous statue of the Infant Jesus of Prague, Loreta - baroque complex of buildings constructed in the 17th century as a tribute to the holy house of Loreto in Italy. The sightseeing will aslo include the castle area including the famous Golden Street and St Vitus' Cathedral.  While walking across the oldest of Prague’s bridges, the Charles bridge (14th century) you can buy typical souvenirs or just watch the Vltava River flow by. We will continue to the Old Town square with famous 14th century Tyn cathedral and the Prague Astronomical Clock.  Today's Holy Mass will be celebrated at the Church of Our Lady of Victory.

In the evening we will taste the typical Czech dinner in one of the beer restaurants in the centre (Czech beer is very famous and it is an important part of Czech culture).  

Accommodation: 4* hotel in the centre of Prague                                       

 

After breakfast we proceed to Kutna Hora (Czech republic) and transfer to Bratislava.  We will visit one of the most famous UNESCO sights, Kutna Hora, where there are several amazing churches built in a rich variety of Gothic and Baroque styles. You will also be amazed by a fascinating charnel house where the skeletons of almost 40,000 people are kept.  Holy Mass will be celebrated in one of the churches.

Transfer to Bratislava.

Accommodation: 4* hotel in the centre of Bratislava

 

After breakfast, we will prepare to depart for Vienna airport to be on time for our Croatia Airlines flight to Zagreb and then we will take our connecting flight to Split. At the Split airport a bus will wait for us to take us to Medjugorje.

Medjugorje – the holy story started more than 30 years ago: In 1981 Our Lady appeared and spoke to 6 village children. Since then messages come to these children on a daily basis. Miracles and conversions offer real testimonies to the spiritual power of this place. The small village in Bosnia has become a true pilgrimage goal for millions of people all over the world. They come to receive grace from our Lady, the Queen of Peace.

We will arrive to Medjugorje by bus from Split airport in the late afternoon to be able to participate in the evening program at St James' Church including the rosary, Holy Mass, adoration and Blessings of the Sick.                             

After breakfast, arrangement will be made to meet the visionaries (if present in Medjugorje), visit to the community Cenakolo (people who were formerly addicted to drugs), Podbrdo – place of apparition, meeting Patrick and Nancy Latta. Patrick Latta's conversion is one of the most famous stories of Medjugorje. Once a successful businessman from Canada, he received a message from Our Lady and together with his wife left everything behind and moved to Medjugorje in 1993. If time permits, we can also climb Mount Krizevak (Cross Mountain), where the villagers built a 30-foot high cross in 1933; we will visit and pray at the Blue Cross, a place of healing and grace at the base of Apparition Hill.                                                              

 

After breakfast we prepare for morning departure to Split and flight back to Vienna

Dates & Prices

Dates Price Availability
On Request 1970 € p/p. (for groups of min. 25 pax.,other groups on request)
On Request The price includes: accommodation in dbl room with full board in 3*/ 4* hotels, incl. special dinners, all inland bus transfers, return flight to Split and bus transfers Split/Medjugorje, English speaking tour manager, local guides as required, sightseein

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