Subject: Spiritual destinations
I'll try to give you some hints about spiritual destinations in the countries you mentioned. Starting from Portugal,I don't know what your faith is,but it's easy to name Fatima, the place where apparitions of the Holy Virgin took place and a place that is special in the heart of The Pope, but I want to tempt you on something very different,too. One of the moving experiences I had in Portugal was visiting prehistoric sites in Alentejo,around Evora and Castelo de Vide (both interesting cities in themselves).I couldn't but think about those ancient fathers of ours erecting menhirs and other architectures that bear an obvious spiritual tension towards the unknown.The natural setting is very interesting,too.I can give you more exact directions if you're interested. North of Portugal lies a wonderful part of Spain,Galicia,where you'll find Santiago de Compostela,the place that was destination to so many pilgrims throughout past centuries,people walking there from distant places like Italy or England on the Camino de Santiago.I think this issue was covered by recent postings,too. In southern France, you have Lourdes,another well known Marian place of gathering especially for ill people who flock there from every corner of catholic Europe. Not in the verysouthern part of France, but neither too far from your itinerary,lies the village of TaizŤ.This is home to an ecumenical community of monks that pray and sing with thousands and thousands of young people from many european countries.No specific confessional denomination is typical to the place,catholic or protestant or orthodox are all O.K.,and although I've never been there, I guess it could be a great place for those who are not really sure what their belief is,indeed.Accomodation is given for those who don't have a tent.They don't require a minimum stay,although Thursday to Sunday or,better, a whole week is the suggestion.Friends who went there (also families,not only young people) say it's a renovating experience,well worth the trip. (TaizŤ aficionados organize an annual meeting in an auropean city every end of the year, and we had one in Milan two years ago, I hosted three young polish students and it was a special time for all of us).

I second wholeheartedly Debbie's solicitation to visit Umbria which is definitely the most spiritual region of Italy.A less known option is the adjoining part of Tuscany,actually it's northeastern Tuscany,in the province of Arezzo, where you have two spiritual centers ,both of them in a breathtaking mountain forest scenery.La Verna is a monastery founded by St.Francis.Camaldoli is home to a congregation of monks,famous for they erboristic and natural products(also cosmetics) and it's split between a monastery and an hermitage. Of course one couldn't avoid Rome when it comes to religion,from the catacombs on it's been a center of Christianity. Traces of early christianity and are also scattered throughout Italy, I will only mention Aquileia in northeast Friuli region with its ancient churches,and of course Venice. In Greece, my first thought is for the Meteors.These are monasteries hanging on clifftops, in the center of greek mainland. Then, you have Patmos island that is linked with St.John. In Turkey, you have presently islam as the main religion, and also you can follow the paths of St.Paul who spread the Gospel truth at first right here. By now, I hope I have helped ,with just some examples,in raising your curiosity.I realize some of my suggestions try to match artistic interest with proper spiritual intensity,but I think this mix could be a good compromise.