Explore the legend of a female icon in the beautiful South of France
After a two-year postponement due to COVID, The Divine Destination Collection’s trip to The Sacred South of France…The Mystery of Mary Magdalene is on schedule for June 5 to 12, 2023!
“When we started planning this trip back in 2019 we never imagined that a pandemic was going to upend the world and disrupt all our travel plans,” says Allison Frame, co-founder of The Divine Destination Collection. “But we are thrilled to be able to finally visit France safely and take our travellers on an exciting new adventure.
“And best of all, even with the skyrocketing cost of post-pandemic travel, we were able to keep the cost very close to our 2020 pricing. Actually, the price for single occupancy is lower than 2020.”
The itinerary has also gone through some changes to offer an even more fascinating and fun journey into the 2,000 year-old legend of Mary Magdalene who is said to have arrived in France after the crucifixion and lived and worked there as teacher and healer.
But instead of focusing on Mary Magdalene as a religious figure, the trip will explore her legacy as an archetype of the divine feminine – an energy that combines creativity, justice, awareness, and other strong feminine traits – while being immersed in the culture, food, wine, and beauty of the French countryside!
The medieval city of Carcassonne
The journey starts in the ancient walled city of Carcassonne where home base for three days will be the 19th century Gothic style Hôtel de la Cité. Besides being a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it offers such delights as an outdoor pool, a great view of the famous Saint Nazaire Basilica, beautifully appointed rooms, and homemade pastries served at breakfast.
On the first night the hotel owner will share the interesting history of the hotel and city in a private welcome evening on the hotel terrace, complete with lots of great food and bubbly Blanquette wine.
The next day renowned historians and experts will help the group explore the area through the eyes and heart of Mary Magdalene. This includes a visit to Alet-les-Bain a charming town full of hidden clues to Mary’s existence, and Rennes-le-Château a tiny hilltop hamlet with a church dedicated to Mary Magdalene and believed to be the location of many historical mysteries, including one linked to Dan Brown’s book, The Da Vinci Code.
There will also be a special Enchanted Encounters day to choose your own adventure. You can take in the four Cathar Castles of Lastours, the Lovers Fountain and Isis Chair, or take a guided walking and shopping tour of Carcassonne.
You’ll also have plenty of opportunities to indulge in the amazing cuisine of the South of France, including a “hint of Italy” dinner at La Bourdasso, a famous family-run Italian restaurant in the nearby countryside.
On to the land of the Impressionists
The next stop is Aix-en-Provence, known for its glorious countryside full of vineyards and fields of lavender and sunflowers made famous in the paintings of Cézanne, Van Gogh, and Matisse.
After stopping for a feast of local oysters in the seaside port town of Sete it’s check-in time at he enchanting Hotel Le Pigonnet where Cézanne loved to wander the grounds and paint the Sainte-Victoire mountain looming nearby.
While at Le Pigonnet, the group will be treated to a special “La Vie en Rose” evening. Just imagine dining on regional specialties and local rosé wines under a fragrant rose arbour in the hotel’s beautiful garden while the songs of Edith Piaf fill the air.
The next day the journey into the divine feminine and Mary Magdalene continues with a visit to Saint-Maximin-La-Sainte-Baume, a beautiful town at the foot of the Sainte-Baume mountains where the tomb of Mary Magdalene was believed to be found in 1279. You’ll hike up to the grotto where they say Mary lived for 30 years, and then be transported back in time with lunch at a monastic retreat. After lunch the search for Mary continues with a visit to the Basilique Sainte-Marie-Madeleine, built in the 13th century and dedicated to Mary Magdalene.
There will also be lots of opportunities to wander through the ancient streets of Aix-en-Provence. Besides a beautiful market full of stalls from local farmers and vendors, the city has great restaurants, boutiques, and galleries.
You’ll also be treated to the very best of the area’s cuisine with Dinner with the Stars at a Michelin Star restaurant, and an Au Revoir gala at a local Provence winery.
And of course, in true Divine Destination Collection style – there will be lots of delightful surprises sprinkled in throughout the trip!
Book now and receive a special offer!
The Divine Destination Collection is pleased to offer an extra incentive to book right away.
If you book before Wednesday, November 30, you will save $100. If you pay by cheque you’ll save an additional $300. Plus you’ll receive a copy of The Expected One by Kathleen McGowan – a thriller about Mary Magdalene set in the same foothills of France that the group will be visiting.
You’ll also receive special invitations to Sacred South of France events, and exciting information about France in preparation for the trip.
Take a look at the full itinerary and click on the Book Now button to register!
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