Leading the whole person to holy places
Altum l’alto Pilgrimages (ALP) integrates outdoor adventure, cultural immersion, and spiritual formation into its pilgrimages restoring the life-changing nature to modern pilgrimages, in the spirit of St. John Paul II and Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati.
That they may have life – human, intellectual, spiritual – and have it more abundantly (Jn 10:10)
” Duc in altum
Put out into the deep
Towards the heights
The Deep Heights
Our pilgrimages are multi-adventure trips and include a range of activities like hiking, biking, kayaking, rafting, and climbing primarily as a means of pilgrimage (e.g.- kayaking to churches on the Mediterranean coast, climbing the route up to Sacra San Michele, or biking to Rome) but also just for recreational purposes.
the natural world
The modern world can easily overwhelm the five senses with the digital and the artificial. So whether it’s seeing the beauty of Assisi, the smell of the lavender in Provence, feeling the warmth of the Mediterranean, hearing the cowbells in the alps, or tasting fresh pasta in Rome–our pilgrimages put you into contact with the real.
There is so much happening on our pilgrimages and we want pilgrims to experience every single moment, so we recommend phones be kept for emergency purposes only.
We integrate things like star-gazing, drawing, painting, singing and dancing into our pilgrimages so pilgrims can discover that “there lives the dearest freshness deep down things.” (Gerald Manley Hopkins)
We combine a discovery and a teaching approach to sites. We don’t hire external tour guides; instead, ALP staff and pilgrims take turns presenting sites from pre-provided information and their own experience.
We read short texts on a variety of topics- history, art, music, philosophy, theology, literature, poetry- from original sources that have some relevance to our experience which we may discuss over coffee in an Italian piazza, on an alpine trail, in a restaurant in Paris, or wherever else we find ourselves.
Whether it’s in St. Peter’s Basilica, at an altar on top of a mountain, or in a kayak out on the sea, we keep prayer at the center of our days. Mass, morning prayer, evening prayer, and the rosary are integrated throughout our pilgrimages.
lODGING IN RELIGIOUS HOUSES
We stay almost exclusively in religious houses: monasteries, convents, sanctuaries, and more. They are all clean, comfortable, and safe. Many have a fascinating history and we love to support the life of these places!
We incorporate spiritual readings written by the saints that we encounter on our pilgrimages. Reading their own writings while walking in their footsteps really makes everything come to life.
Pilgrimage Expedition Options
Our standard pilgrimage expeditions ranging in length from about two to three weeks giving pilgrims the chance to truly have a life-changing experience.
Half of each classic trip can be experienced independently ranging from about seven to ten days for those looking for the same experience but in less time.
Any combination of classic or section trips to suit your dates or desired length. If you would like to design a pilgrimage expedition for your group, send us a message.
Everything you need must be in a backpack. We sometimes utilize luggage transfers and bag drops to minimize the amount of time traveling with your backpack. Rolling suitcases are not suitable for these trips.
– Various Skill Levels
Basic fitness ability is required but we can accommodate different levels of physical activity.
Whether it’s leading a hike, presenting a historical site, or sharing a spiritual reflection, pilgrims have an active role in the expedition receiving training and guidance from staff.
Pilgrims coming together with the common goal of reaching a holy place makes for a unique group experience. Add the outdoor adventure and limited technology, and you may find some life-long friendships!
The rhythm of our trips is based on the life of Christ who was always going from town to town, praying in the mountains, and putting out into the deep.
Our preferred means of transport is by foot, kayak, bike, or something similar– but we also utilize trains, buses, private coaches, ferries, gondolas, taxis and occasionally an airplane to blend our pilgrimages into a smooth journey from start to finish.
“To go on pilgrimage is not simply to visit a place to admire its treasures of nature, art, or history. To go on pilgrimage really means to step out of ourselves in order to encounter God where he has revealed himself, where his grace has shone with particular splendor and produced rich fruits of conversion and holiness among those who believe.” – Pope Benedict XVI
Upcoming Pilgrimage Expeditions
- Classic: May 16-30, 2021 (15 days)
- Section 1: May 16-25, 2021 (10 days)
- Section 2: May 21-30, 2021 (10 days)
- Biking to Mont St. Michel and hiking in the bay
- The Chartres Pilgrimage (Paris to Chartres by foot)
- The grotto of Lourdes and the miraculous baths
- Praying with St. Therese in Lisieux and Alencon
- Classic: May 31-June 20, 2021 (21 days)
- Section 1: May 31-June 9, 2021 (10 days)
- Section 2: June 9- 20, 2021 (12 days)
- Hiking the Via Francigena in Tuscany
- Mass in the Catacombs outside Rome
- Kayaking to St. Peter’s in Portovenere
- The Uffizi Gallery in Florence
- Classic: June 20-July 4, 2021 (15 days)
- Section 1: June 20-27, 2021 (8 days)
- Section 2: June 27-July 4, 2021 (8 days)
- Hiking the Way of St. Francis of Assisi
- Kayaking in Venice
- The Vatican Museums
- Biking the Italian riviera to Santa Maria della Punta
- Classic: July 5- 25, 2021 (21 days)
- Section 1: July 5-15, 2021 (11 days)
- Section 2: July 15-25, 2021 (11 days)
- Kayaking to the 5th-century island Abbey of Lerins
- The Chateau of Versailles
- Biking through lavender fields in Provence
- Hiking the Path of the Kings to the cave of St. Mary Magdalene
- Section 1: July 13-25th (13 days)
- Section 2: July 25th-August 4th (11 days)
- Section 3: August 4-15th (12 days)
- Classic A: July 13-August 4th (23 days)
- Classic B: July 25-August 15th (22 days)
- Climbing the via ferrata or hiking to the Sacra San Michele
- The Hermitage of St. Catherine on Lago Maggiore
- Hiking in JPII’s and Frassati’s alps
- Rafting in the shadow of Mont Blanc