Pilgrimage Opportunities

Pilgrimage Opportunities

For more than a decade the UUPCC Pilgrimage Service has helped to cement the bonds between North American UUs and their partners overseas.

Individual Pilgrimages

In recent years, we have expanded our portfolio of opportunities to meet the needs of individual UUs of all ages, even if your church is not partnered.  These offerings are for those who wish to meet the Unitarians and Unitarian Universalists in other countries. Experience our faith in action in different cultures. Every pilgrimage includes personal contact with local congregations. You will have the opportunity to worship in the local tradition. Local guides provide historic insights to each country's religious history. Each journey includes cultural highlights along with the personal connections. Pilgrimages include all ground transportation, airport pick-up and drop-off, hotels/guest houses, meals, admission fees, guides, and translators.

Group and Congregational Pilgrimages

If you are registering for your congregation's group pilgrimage, please go to the Group Pilgrimages page. Make sure to read the UUPCC trip cancellation policy before you register.

To organize a pilgrimage for a group from 5 - 40 in your church visit the Planning a Pilgrimage page.

Our current pilgrimages for individuals are listed below



2017 Transylvania Thanksgiving Pilgrimage (on a budget)
September 16, 2017 to September 28, 2017
NOTE: If you have mobility issues, some of our partner countries may be challenging to visit. Learn More.
Registration closes: 
May 27, 2017 - 1:00am
from $1,095/person

Two life-changing weeks in Transylvania for under $1,150! This is the same quality Unitarian pilgrimage that the UUPCC has been facilitating for two decades – but at 60% of the price. We replace hotels with dorms & guest-houses, substitute village meals for restaurants, eliminate the long van ride from Budapest, and take advantage of “shoulder-season” rates.

Beginning and ending in Kolozsvar/Cluj, this tour will visit the most significant of the Unitarian holy places including Torda, Meszko, Gyulaferhervar & Deva. You will also visit the frescoed Unitarian churches of Szekelyderz (a UNESCO World Heritage site) and Homorodkaracsonyfalva, the spectacular 13th century castle at Vadjahunyad, the Saxon capital of Transylvania, Sibiu, the medieval walled city of Sighisoara/Segesvar, and the Saxon fortress church at Biertan (Segesvar & Biertan are both UNESCO World Heritage sites). You will spend the special Transylvanian Thanksgiving weekend with your partner congregation, making new friends and revitalizing your partnership. If you do not have a partner in Transylvania the UUPCC will arrange for you to stay in one of the many beautiful Unitarian villages with other pilgrims.

In addition to the Transylvania Pilgrimage there are also on offer an optional 4 day/3 night pre-trip Budapest extension, and a 6 day/5 night post trip extension to Maramures & the Painted Monasteries of Bucovia.

For a flyer that you are welcome to print, post, and circulate, click here.

Fall 2017 Maramures & Painted Monasteries Extension
September 28, 2017 to October 2, 2017
NOTE: If you have mobility issues, some of our partner countries may be challenging to visit. Learn More.
Registration closes: 
May 27, 2017 - 2:00pm
from $850/person

This trip is an extension to supplement those travelers who will be participating in the September, 2017 Transylvania Thanksgiving Pilgrimage.

Hidden away in these remote regions along the Romania/Ukraine border are some of the most spectacular scenery and picturesque religious treasures to be found anywhere. You will experience the unique culture, architecture and scenery of Maramures + tour 4 of the most famous painted monasteries (Voronet, Humor, Moldovita & Suceavita – (all UNESCO worldheritage sites) with a knowledgeable guide. This 6-day/5-night tour begins and ends in Kolozsvar/Cluj.

Transylvania Mindful Walk
July 14, 2018 to July 27, 2018
NOTE: If you have mobility issues, some of our partner countries may be challenging to visit. Learn More.
Registration closes: 
April 10, 2018 - 11:00pm
from $1,095/person

A Mindful Pilgrimage on Foot
July 14 - 27, 2018 (14 days/13 nights)

Walk the beautiful rolling hills and pastoral river valleys of central Transylvania. This pilgrimage is a collaboration between the UUPCC and Starr King School for the Ministry (SKSM). Students at SKSM, Meadville Lombard Theological School and potentially other seminaries will have the option of getting credit for the pilgrimage.

The pilgrimage will be led by Prof. Megan Dowdell from SKSM and UUPCC Board member Rev. Andrew Weber (who is fluent in Hungarian) will lead the content portion of the pilgrimage. Our UUPCC Travel Coordinators John Dale and Csilla Kolcsar are coordinating the logistics.  

Not for the casual walker. Daily walking distances will range from 10 - 28 km (6-17 miles) in length, and will utilize secondary and tertiary roads of varying surfaces (dirt, gravel & paved) along with horse-cart paths and hiking trails. Walkers will be provided with detailed maps and reflective safety vests to wear on paved roads. 

Accommodations will be provided in Unitarian towns and villages utilizing congregational and municipal guest houses along with home stays where necessary. Homemade, nourishing meals will be provided by local Unitarian congregations. Luggage vans will carry extra gear from destination to destination, and sag wagons will pick up those walkers who wish to end their day early. Evening programs will include lectures, discussion groups, worship and meditation, along with music, and local folklore. 

The trip will begin and end in the Transylvanian city of Cluj (Kolozsvar). The eight-day walk will start in a village just outside of Targu - Mures (Marosvasarhely), and finish in the twin Unitarian villages of Belin/Alta-Mare (Bolon/Nagyajta) where hikers will spend the night before boarding buses the next day for Deva. Our walking will culminate in a climb to the mountain-top fortress above Deva where we will gather for an evening vesper service outside the prison cell where Francis David, the first Bishop of the Unitarian Church, was martyred. On the final day of the trip we will again board buses for the return to Cluj (Kolosvar) for our farewell dinner and folklore show.

If the pilgrimage is over-subscribed, students in seminary will have priority.


Stay tuned for more details and registration instructions!  To get on an email list of interested people, contact the UUPCC office at office@uupcc.org.