World Youth Day with the Carmelites

Hello and welcome! Guess what, we are going to World Youth Day, why not join us? Find out more below.

Are you trying to discern what God is calling you to do?
Do you want to draw closer to Jesus Christ?
Do you want to meet other Catholic young adults from across the globe?


We start in Avila...

Head to Fatima...

And join WYD in Lisbon.

Our Accommodation

Church and Birthplace of St Teresa of Avila

We are staying for 5 days in Iglesia y Casa de Natal de San Teresa! This beautiful church, museum and accommodation will be our hub as we explore, learn and reflect in Avila and the sites of two of the most famous Carmelite Saints. 

Fatima Hotels

We are staying for 2 nights and 3 days in Fatima before joining the rest of the Young Adult Catholic pilgrims in the world to Lisbon. Our Hotels are Hotel Rivero and Hotel Santo Armano.
(The image is of the main shrine!)

Lisbon Appartments

We are staying for 6 days in Lisbon for World Youth Day and are staying in several private apartments that we will have completely to ourselves. Please let us know if you would like to know more information about any of the places we are staying. 

Our Price: £850

Our Price is £850 per person (paid in installments). We will provide subsidiaries for those who are students or those unemployed so please ask. Our contact is below.

What's included in our price

  • Accommodation throughout your trip.
  • All food:
    • Breakfast from the 25th July to the 6th August 2023
    • Lunch from the 25th July to the 6th August 2023
    • Dinner from 24th July to the 6th August 2023
  • Travel throughout the whole trip including:
    • Travel in Avila
    • Travel from Avila to Fatima
    • Travel from the accommodation in Fatima to the Shrine
    • Travel from Fatima to Lisbon
    • Travel in and around Lisbon
    • Travel from Lisbon to the airport on the 6th of August
  • Pilgrimage kit for World Youth Day
  • Carmelite pilgrim kit*
  • Entrance to all activities and places to visit
  • Registration for World Youth Day
*follow us on social media to find out what we’ve included in our special pilgrim kits.

What's not included in our price

  • Flight from your home country to Madrid (MAD)
  • Flight to your home country from Lisbon (LIS)
  • Travel from Madrid airport (MAD) to Avila.
    • We have provided connection information below in our ‘FAQ on the Pilgrimage’.
  • Lunch on 24th July 2023
  • Travel Insurance
  • Any additional nights after World Youth Day. If you would like to extend your stay a few more days (and many do!), please let us know and we will try and help you find the perfect place to stay.

RSVP your place now

Book your place now

FAQ on the Pilgrimage

A pilgrimage is a journey a pilgrim makes to a sacred place for the purpose of venerating it or to ask for heavenly aid, and ultimately to come to know God better. Christian pilgrimages were first made to sites connected with the birth, life, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Shortly after, pilgrimages started being made to Rome and other sites associated with the Apostles, Saints and Christian martyrs, as well as places where there had been apparitions of the Virgin Mary. In the past, pilgrims would leave their homes, families, and comforts to walk for hundreds of miles with nothing but what they could carry on their backs. Just as the pilgrims from the early centuries, we modern pilgrims also leave our homes, families and comforts in order to journey to sacred places. (WorldYouthDay.com)

The course of life here on earth is one long pilgrimage. The physical pilgrimage we take to a sacred shrine is a symbol of the spiritual pilgrimage we are on throughout our lives. Each day we have the opportunity to encounter Christ through suffering, joys, interactions with others, and through every aspect of our human experience. By taking what we have learned from our pilgrimage and putting it into practice in our daily lives, we come to a better knowledge of God.

Yes – The Old Testament presents several physical journeys which also have a deeper spiritual meaning. For example:

  • The journey made by Abraham to the chosen land. His willingness to obey God makes him a model of faith and obedience.
  • The story of the Exodus from Egypt. The Israelites travel through the wilderness to the land of Canaan, experiencing both hardships and God’s care and guidance.

Both emphasise the theme of God journeying with his people and stress the importance of being willing to obey and trust God.

The city of Jerusalem developed into a centre of pilgrimage, a place where God could be encountered in a special way. Pilgrimage to Jerusalem (during the time of the Old Testament) on the three feasts of Passover, Weeks and Booths became a requirement for all male Israelites who would often have been joined by other family members. During periods of exile, pilgrimage to Jerusalem took on additional emotional and spiritual significance. (The University of York)

Yes we do, it’s from 22-35. World Youth Day is targeting 16-30 however welcomes other ages as well.

If you are outside these limits, please contact us directly and we can see if an exception can be made or, we can help direct you to a different pilgrimage that caters to a slightly different age range.

We have carefully constructed a pilgrimage week ahead of World Youth Day to be able to learn, pray and explore places of significance for Catholics and Carmelites, on our journey to Lisbon.

We will be going with both Carmelite friars and religious sisters and have made every effort to keep costs as low as possible throughout the trip.

The Discalced Carmelites were founded in Avila by two doctors of the Church, St Teresa of Avila and St John of the Cross. We will be able to see many sites relating to these two holy saints and to reflect on their lives and teachings. See the itinerary for more information.

Fatima is a shrine dedicated to the Virgin Mary after a series of apparitions happened at this site with both Mary and Jesus appearing. In the most famous apparition, the ‘Miracle of the Sun’, Our Lady of Mount Carmel revealed herself to the three shepherd children. The Virgin Mary visited the children several times before this date and asked them to tell many to come on the 13th of October 1917. On this date, the Virgin Mary would preform a miracle “so that all may believe”. 

Estimates of the number of people present range from 30,000 to 100,000 and atheist and believer alike saw the Sun appear in various and miraculous ways including  it casting multicoloured lights across the landscape, the people, and the surrounding clouds. The Sun was then reported to have careened towards the Earth before zig-zagging back to it’s normal position. 

Yes – we are currently planning on connecting with all other Carmelite groups on the 4th of August.

The final arrangements are still being made for this.

  • VISA (if needed)
  • Passport/ travel documents.
  • Bible
  • Pilgrim Passport – we will provide this to you in Lisbon
  • Water bottle
  • Warm clothes – especially for the vigil
  • Sleeping bag (for the vigil)
  • Toiletries
  • Sunhat
  • Sun cream
  • Sun glasses
  • Phone Charger
  • Backpack
  • Hiking shoes
  • Emergency contact details of group leader

Remember we are doing lots of walking so pack light where you can.

You may want to bring

  • Some Euros (a Money belt may be a good place to store this & your passport)
  • Inflatable mattress for night Vigil
  • Umbrella
  • Items to trade with other pilgrims
  • Country flag?
  • Earplugs
  • Safety pins
  • Deck of cards, games
  • Medications (if have prescription, definitely bring this!)

Don’t bring

  • Please don’t bring anything you can’t afford to lose!
  • Heavy things
  • Electronic things for your hair if you can avoid it
  • Illegal items
  • Jewellery

When to book your flights! 
We meet on the 24th of July in Avila at the Church and Birthplace of St Teresa of Avila. We have no set meeting time however we will be having dinner together in the evening. You are welcome to arrive at any time but aim to arrive before 18:00 to join us for dinner.

Travel from Madrid to Avila:
Option 1. There is 1 direct bus every day at 15:00 from Terminal 1 (MAD) at 15:00 to Avila. Book on Omio and this is the easiest transport! Omio will only allow you to book 2 months in advance. If you land in another terminal, you can take the free shuttle bus to Terminal 1 and the journey will take a maximum of 20 minutes. See airport connections here. Direct bus cost: £9-10 and bus time: 1hr 50 m.

Option 2. Take the underground train into Madrid to main train station: Madrid Mendez Alvaro (40 mins from T4). The bus station is right next door.
2.a Take a ‘Car Share’ via BlaBlaCar. Cost: 6-10 EUR. Drivers normally post 2-3 days before departure. 
2.b Take a bus from Madrid bus station. Cost 9-11 EUR and 1hr 20 m  approximately. Check your journey on Omio and
buses are around every hour.

Option 3. Take the underground train into Madrid to Estación de Madrid-Chamartín-Clara Campoamor (15 mins from T4). Take a train from Chamartín to Avila and is 10 EUR. Check your journey on Renfe. Trains depart at 09:57; 14:22 & 21:53. Journey length 1hr 50m. 

Yes – in some of our locations and accommodation options, you may have your own room. In other properties, you will be sharing. In Lisbon, we will have multiple properties allocated as men and women houses. In these houses, some people may need to share a double bed top-and-tail. This is due to the vast number of young adults coming to Lisbon and as a result of trying to keep the price as affordable as possible.

If you are a UK or an Irish citizen, you do not need a VISA.

If you are unsure, please check here.

Please note, we need a copy of your VISA when you have received it to register you with World Youth Day.

Vegetarian will not be a problem. Please notify us as soon as possible.

For other dietary requirements, yes definitely in Lisbon for World Youth Day. We will need to contact our other food providers for the trip in order to verify whether they can provide for your needs. Wherever possible, we will always to cater for you.

FAQ on World Youth Day (WYD)

World Youth Day (WYD) is the gathering of Young People from all over the world with the Pope. It is also a pilgrimage, a celebration of youth, an expression of the universal Church and an intense moment of evangelisation for the youth world. It brings together millions of young people to celebrate their faith and sense of belonging to the Church.

Since its first edition in Rome in 1986, World Youth Day has proven to be a laboratory of faith, a place of birth for vocations to marriage and consecrated life, and an instrument for the evangelisation and transformation of the Church. 

It aims to provide all participants with a universal Church experience, fostering a personal encounter with Jesus Christ. It is a new stimulus to the faith, hope and charity of the entire host country community. With young people as its protagonists, World Youth Day also seeks to promote peace, unity and fraternity among peoples and nations around the world.

Find out more here.

“Mary arose and went with haste” (Luke 1:39) is the bible quote chosen by Pope Francis as the motto of the World Youth Day that will be held for the first time in the capital city of Lisbon, Portugal. The biblical phrase (a quote from the Gospel of St. Luke) opens the account of the Visitation (Mary’s visit to her cousin Elizabeth), a biblical episode following the Annunciation (the angel’s announcement to Mary that she would be the mother of the Son of God, and the theme of the last WYD, in Panama). 

Mary of Nazareth is the great figure of the Christian journey. She teaches us to say yes to God. She was the protagonist of the last edition of WYD and will be so once again in Lisbon.

In the biblical episode of the Visitation, the action of standing up presents Mary as both a woman of charity and a missionary woman. Leaving in haste represents the attitude depicted in Pope Francis’ indications for WYD Lisbon 2023: «may young people’s evangelization be active and missionary, for this is how they will recognize and witness the presence of the living Christ».

Find out more here

The Patrons are:

  • St John Paul II
  • St John Bosco
  • St Vincent
  • St Anthony
  • St Bartholomew of the Martyrs
  • St John de Brito
  • Blessed Joana of Portugal
  • Blessed Joao Fernandes
  • Blessed Maria Clara of the Child Jesus
  • Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati
  • Blessed Marcel Callo
  • Blessed Chiara Badano
  • Blessed Carlo Acutis

There are a set of cultural, religious, and sporting events, carried out by WYD pilgrims made up by young people over the world. These have been planned far in advance and are organised ahead of World Youth Day and approved by the organisers.

Events include areas of Music, Cinema, Exhibitions, Theatre, Dance, Conferences and Religious Events (prayers, testimonies, adoration, meetings conducted by Movements, Associations & Congregations).

When? From the 1st to the 6th of August, throughout the day, excluding the times dedicated to Official Catechesis and Central Events. 

Where? Throughout the city of Lisbon, on stages and outdoor spaces, but also in indoor spaces (auditoriums, cinemas, theatres, museums, exhibitions spaces, churches).

Who? Young people from all over the world present their projects and, if selected, will be part of the official program of the Youth Festival.

The program is not yet available but all the events will be free.

A space where young pilgrims can encounter various movements, associations, communities, religious orders, etc.

This will take place from Wednesday to Friday (2-4th August) from 9am to 8pm. This will be at the City of Joy.

Yes! A space has been made where pilgrims can make an encounter with the Merciful Christ through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. You can have the sacrament of reconciliation in any language.

This will take place from Wednesday to Friday (2-4th August) from 10am to 6pm. This will be at the City of Joy.

Opening Mass

Presided by the Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon, Manuel Clemente.

Welcome Ceremony

This is the first moment of encounter between the young people and the Pope.

Way of the Cross

A prayerful & immersive experience where we follow in the footsteps of Jesus.


One of the events with the Pope in which we have Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and we pray together.

Missioning Mass

A celebration presided by the Holy Father to end WYD Lisbon 2023. Before the end of the Mass, the Pope will announce the city that will host the next edition of World Youth Day.

Find out more here.

Our Lady of the Visitation, 

you who arose and went with haste towards the mountain to meet Elizabeth, 

lead us also to meet all those who await us 

to deliver them the living Gospel: 

Jesus Christ, your Son and our Lord!

We will go in a hurry, with no distraction or delay, 

but with readiness and joy. 

We will go peacefully, because those who take Christ take peace, 

and welldoing is the best wellbeing. 

Our Lady of the Visitation, 

with your inspiration, this World Youth Day 

will be the mutual celebration of the Christ we take, as You once did. 

Make it a time of testimony and sharing, 

fraternization, and giving thanks, 

each of us looking for the others who always wait. 

With you, we will continue on this path of gathering, 

so that our world will gather as well, 

in fraternity, justice and peace. 

Help us, 

Our Lady of the Visitation, 

to bring Christ to everyone, obeying the Father, in the love of the Spirit!

Any Questions? Just contact us

Please feel free to get in contact by email or over the phone, WhatsApp etc. 

Email: kate.preston@carmelite.org.uk & encounter@carmelite.org.uk

Phone: 07933 765367