The incredible food and wine of the South of France – What to look forward to this June

The incredible food and wine of the South of France – What to look forward to this June

THE INCREDIBLE FOOD AND WINE OF THE SOUTH OF FRANCE, WHAT TO LOOK FORWARD TO THIS JUNE

This June The Divine Destination Collection will be uncovering the 2,000 year-old legend of Mary Magdalene’s journey in the South of France – but an equally exciting part of the adventure will be exploring the world-renowned wine and cuisine of the region.

The food from the South of France is truly like no other thanks to a moderate climate of almost constant sunshine, hot, dry summers, and mild winters. As a result, fresh fruit and vegetables are available year-round, and the region’s close proximity to the Mediterranean Sea ensures there is always a bounty of amazing seafood to be had. (Click on the name of the various dishes for fabulous recipes to try)

While ratatouille, a hearty vegetable stew, is probably the region’s most famous dish, there are many other culinary treats awaiting you when visiting the South of France.

Cassoulet is a slow-cooked dish of duck, sausage, and beans, which takes time to prepare properly. It gets its name from the deep, round earthenware pot it is traditionally cooked in – called the cassole. It is especially popular in the town of Carcassonne, the first stop on The Divine Destination Collection trip.

Marseilles, another stop on the trip, is famous for bouillabaisse, a fish stew made from the amazing variety of fish that is caught locally, such as red rascasse, sea robin, and European conger. But what gives this dish its distinctive local flavour is the seasoning, a combination of Herbes de Provence, garlic, onions, and tomatoes.

WHAT EXACTLY IS HERBES DE PROVENCE?

This tasty bundle of herbs is used in many regional dishes. Although not always the same mixture, it is usually made up of basil, fennel, marjoram, parsley, rosemary, tarragon, and thyme. You’ll be able to buy a bundle when we visit one of the local markets in Marseilles, Aix-en-Provence, and Lourmarin, where a sprig of lavender is often included to add a touch of colour.

While visiting the markets you’ll also have the chance to pick up some navettes. These are boat-shaped cookies that commemorate Mary Magdalene’s voyage to France from the Holy Land. Traditionally orange-flavoured, some local bakeries also make the cookies in other flavours, such as chocolate and lavender.

DON’T FORGET THE WINE!

If you think rosés are often a bit too sweet, you’ll love the dry rosés of the region, and their beautiful pale, orangey-pink colour. The South of France is believed to be the largest producer of rosé wines in the world. The wines are made from a variety of local grapes, and are the perfect accompaniment to many regional dishes, especially bouillabaisse.

The South of France is also the home of Blanquette de Limoux, which historians believe is the world’s first sparkling wine. In fact, ancient records show that the Benedictine monks at the Abbey of Saint-Hilaire were making it in 1531, long before the first Champagne was produced.

OTHER GASTRONOMIC SURPRISES AWAIT YOU

In addition to sampling delicious specialties from the South of France – and lots of great wine – The Divine Destination Collection has many other one-of-a-kind gastronomic delights in store for you.

This includes stopping to feast on fresh Bouzigues oysters in Sète, a picturesque town on the Mediterranean coast. We’ll even visit an oyster farm to get a first-hand look at the unique technique for harvesting these delicious, slightly nutty-tasting shellfish.

Another highlight is a visit to one of the famous Châteaueuf du Pape vineyards for a wine tasting and light lunch. Located near the town of Avignon, the first Châteaueuf du Pape vineyards were actually planted by the popes who built a château there in the 14th century for their summer residence.

To contrast the splendor of the papal château, we’ll take a detour to a monastic retreat in Saint-Maximin-La-Sainte-Baume  for a traditional home-cooked meal, complete with wine made by the monks. Located near a naturally eroded grotto in Saint Baume where Mary Magdalene is said to have lived, it will provide a glimpse into the lives of the Dominican friars who continue to preserve this place of devotion.

MORE AMAZING DINING EXPERIENCES

A number of exclusive dining experiences, along with meals at award-winning restaurants, are also on the itinerary.

One surprising gourmet twist is the “Hint of Italy” dinner at La Bourdasso, a family-run Italian restaurant near Carcassonne, where they make their own buffalo mozzarella and grow the wheat for their delicious homemade pasta.

A few days later, in Aix-en-Provence, we’ll be treated to “Dinner with the Stars” – Michelin stars, that is – where we’ll get the chance to indulge in a gourmet extravaganza at some of the top-rated restaurants in the world.

While in Aix-en-Provence, we’ll be staying at Hôtel Le Pigonnet, an enchanting 18th century mansion, and a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World. The stay will be made even more special with an exclusive “La Vie En Rose” evening in the hotel’s beautiful garden. Delightful, regional specialties and local rosés will be served al fresco while the songs of Edith Piaf fill the air.  

We’ll bid au revoir to Provence with a final, incredible French feast in the chapel of Domaine de Saint Bacchi, a gorgeous private villa built on the grounds of a Roman temple dedicated to Bacchus, the god of wine. The chapel dating back to the 9th century attracted pilgrims who believed the nearby water springs had miraculous healing powers.

IS YOUR MOUTH WATERING YET?

There are still a few spots left for the trip to Scared South of France, the Mystery of Mary Magdalene. Click here to learn more.

Unique travel experiences... where luxury, adventure and spirituality meet!

FOLLOW US:

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER:

Do you want to stay up to date on all our latest trips and events?
Subscribe to our newsletter HERE

Copyright 2012-2019 The Divine Destination Collection | Powered by Wynford TICO Reg. # 2024965

Happy New Year! Looking Forward to 2020 with Divine Destination Collection

Happy New Year! Looking Forward to 2020 with Divine Destination Collection

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

LOOKING FORWARD TO 2020 WITH DIVINE DESTINATION COLLECTION

Deb Niven and Allison Frame are planning another adventure-filled year for The Divine Destination Collection – and 2020 is starting off with a bang with a special promotion for the upcoming trip to the South of France on June 2nd to 9th.

If you are excited about uncovering the 2,000 year-old legend of Mary Magdalene while immersing yourself in the beauty of the French countryside – this is your chance to save on the price of this incredible adventure.

SPECIAL PROMOTION!

Put a $500 CDN per person deposit down between December 26th & January 15th to secure your spot AND we will take $500 per person off your final balance!*

Deposit will be reflected in cart upon booking

*To take advantage of this promotion, final payment must be made by either cheque or money order

You won’t want to miss this magical journey to the Sacred South of France, where you’ll travel from the ancient walled city of Carcassonne, to the lavender and sunflower filled fields of Aix-en-Provence. You’ll visit vineyards, charming French villages, and fascinating historical sites where Mary Magdalene, one of the most iconic and historic female figures of all time, is believed to have lived as a teacher and healer after travelling to France after the crucifixion of Christ.

Along the way, you’ll stay in elegant five-star hotels like the Hotel Le Pigonnet, and sample the finest regional cuisine – while experiencing the comfort and luxury that The Divine Destination Collection is famous for.

SPECIAL EVENT!

A special South of France event will be held in March to further whet your appetite for the adventure ahead, meet fellow travellers and enjoy a glass of wine or two. Drop off your final payment at the event (cheque or money order only) or pop it in the mail to us.

FRANCE IS NOT THE ONLY DESTINATION THAT AWAITS IN 2020

With the snow and cold of the winter season, our thoughts naturally turn to warmer climates where there is a lovely stretch of pure white beach just wanting for us to lay down our towels. Plans are under way to look at a four-day cruise in December 2020 to the British Virgin Islands or perhaps a magnificent tropical paradise like Turks & Caicos, St. Lucia, or Costa Rica.

Keep checking the Divine Destination Collection communications & website for updates to find out which exotic destination is confirmed. A trip to the Caribbean could be just what you need to warm up next December!

IS THERE A DESTINATION YOU ARE DREAMING OF IN 2020?

The Divine Destination Collection offers a variety of private group trips to locales such as Bali, South Africa, and Peru. Thanks to Deb and Allison’s extensive travel experience and their network of trusted colleagues around the world, each trip is carefully curated to include the finest accommodations, great food, and memorable experiences that you wouldn’t be able to find by travelling on your own. Best of all – they take care of all the arrangements!

A group trip is a great idea for a college reunion, milestone anniversary, or any other important celebration. It’s a wonderful way to get friends together who love to travel.  

There is also a special reward for you if you organize a private group trip of 10 or more people – you’ll receive a complimentary trip, airfare excluded!

If you would like to hold a cocktail party or other event to introduce a trip to your group, please let us know. We can supply you with brochures and a video presentation, and if it is feasible, Deb and Allison can also attend to give a customized presentation and answer questions.

BECOME AN INFLUENCER AND BE REWARDED WITH A GREAT DISCOUNT ON YOUR NEXT TRIP!

Since we offer a highly specialized, exclusive travel adventure, word of mouth is the best way to get the word out about what we offer. If you love travelling, why not become a Divine Destination Collection Influencer by letting your friends, family, and colleagues know about The Divine Destination Collection, and receive a reward for every person you refer to us who books a trip.

As an Influencer, we’ll keep you informed about all our latest adventures through our monthly newsletter. Share this information with others who you know will appreciate these one-of-a-kind trips and direct them to this special page to learn more about us.

Make sure they add your name as the referral, and if they decide to sign up for an upcoming adventure, you will receive 5% of the value of the per person trip cost (before airfare and HST taxes), paid in full to you personally upon completion of their trip. Your reward can be paid out in cash or banked for use on future Divine Destination Collection trips.

If you are travelling with us in June to the South of France, why not invite some special people to join you, and receive a reward!

WANT TO BE INVOLVED EVEN MORE?

The Divine-by-Design Travel Advisory Board is a group of like-minded travellers who help Allison and Deb decide where the next adventure is going to take place.

Deb and Allison present about eight options to the board, ensuring each selection fits in with The Divine Destination Collection signature style – five-star luxury along with once-in-a-lifetime spiritual elements. With the Travel Advisory Board’s help, an amazing destination is selected – and Allison and Deb start putting the itinerary together for an unforgettable trip.

Travel Advisory Board members receive many benefits for sharing their thoughts, such as first dibs on booking the trip before it is announced to the public, and a 10% discount for themselves and a travel companion. Why don’t you send in your application form now!

MAKE SURE YOU ADD A DIVINE DESTINATION COLLECTION TRIP TO YOUR PLANS FOR 2020

Our goal is to surpass your expectations for luxury and comfort, while giving you the opportunity to immerse yourself in the magic and wonder that comes from exploring the spirituality of different cultures, landscapes, and ways of life.

If you have any questions about the June 2020 trip to the Sacred South of France, or about booking a private group trip, or becoming an Influencer or a Divine-by-Design Travel Advisory Board Member, please email Allison at Allison@divinedestinationcollection.com.

Be sure to sign up for our newsletter or keep visiting our website to learn more about our upcoming adventure in December 2020 and beyond!

Unique travel experiences... where luxury, adventure and spirituality meet!

FOLLOW US:

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER:

Do you want to stay up to date on all our latest trips and events?
Subscribe to our newsletter HERE

Copyright 2012-2019 The Divine Destination Collection | Powered by Wynford TICO Reg. # 2024965

Giving Back to the Communities We Visit

Giving Back to the Communities We Visit

GIVING BACK TO THE COMMUNITIES WE VISIT

While The Divine Destination Collection co-founders Deb Niven and Allison Frame work hard to create flawless travel adventures that combine luxury and adventure with a touch of the spiritual – they also try to find effective ways to give back to the communities they visit, especially in economically challenged areas.

“We get so much out of visiting these amazing destinations that we are committed to leaving a positive impact everywhere The Divine Destination Collection travels,” says Allison.

That positive impact can take many forms. For example, when The Divine Destination Collection travelled to South Africa, the group brought along two huge hockey bags full of school supplies with their luggage.

The supplies were for Tongabezi Trust School in Zambia, which provides education to underprivileged children in the rural area of Simonga. The school receives no government funding and relies solely on private donations.

As part of their itinerary, the entire group visited the school and had the chance to meet the children and see first-hand what an impact their donation made.

SUPPORTING THE LOCAL ECONOMY

“We also learned a valuable lesson,” says Allison. “It almost cost more to transport the supplies from Canada than the total value of the supplies. We realized it made more sense to buy the items at the local destination. That way we could spend all our money on the donation, instead of delivery costs, and also support the local economy.”

So when The Divine Destination Collection visited the city of Cusco on their way to see Machu Picchu in Peru, they bought a variety of local items, such as pajamas and shoes, to donate to the San Judas Chico Girls Orphanage, a home for girls aged 4 to 16.

“The girls sang for us when we arrived,” says Allison. “It was very emotional. The girls were so appreciative.”

After Cusco, the group went on a four-night cruise down the Amazon River, where they brought along dental kits full of toothpaste and toothbrushes, as well as soccer balls and dolls, to give to a local rural Amazon community.

“Everything has to be transported by barge, so it’s hard for people living in the area to get supplies,” says Allison.

A LITTLE HELP FROM OUR DMC

In Bali, supporting a local orphanage was again part of the itinerary, where our travellers donated 42 school bags filled with supplies, as well as a printer, cases of paper, and cleaning supplies.

“Our local DMC [Destination Management Company] told us about the orphanage and we were able to find out exactly what they needed.”

In fact, Allison and Deb often look to the DMC they are working with to find impactful ways to make a contribution to charities in each country. These donations are included in the price of the trip, so each guest knows they are making a difference.

But sometimes a donation occurs by happenstance.

Before leaving for Mexico, one of Allison’s contacts in Toronto mentioned that they had some kid’s soccer uniforms they wanted to give away. “So I took jerseys, shorts, and socks with me on our trip to Mexico and gave them to students in a rural Mayan community.”

HELPING PROTECT THE ENVIRONMENT

Besides striving to make a positive impact on the lives of the people in the countries they visit, The Divine Destination Collection also tries to incorporate sustainability practices into their travel and activities.

“The recent flooding in Venice is just one of the latest devastating effects of climate change,” says Allison. “As concerned global citizens, we want to try to protect the environment and lessen our impact as much as we can.”

For their trip along the El Camino in Spain, no plastic water bottles were allowed. Everyone was given their own Divine Destination Collection water bottle and could fill it up from glass containers set up at all the refreshment and lunch stops along the trail.

“We were committed to leaving no plastic footprint,” says Allison.

For the upcoming June 2020 trip to the South of France, all the hotels and vehicles were selected with the environment in mind. “We wanted to stay in hotels that have sustainability programs in place, and travel in greener vehicles whenever possible. The local DMC we are working with in France is really into sustainability. That’s one of the reasons we chose them,” says Allison.

“Our goal is to leave each destination a little bit better than we found it to show our appreciation for allowing us to visit.”

Unique travel experiences... where luxury, adventure and spirituality meet!

FOLLOW US:

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER:

Do you want to stay up to date on all our latest trips and events?
Subscribe to our newsletter HERE

Copyright 2012-2019 The Divine Destination Collection | Powered by Wynford TICO Reg. # 2024965

Memories of A Highland Adventure

Memories of A Highland Adventure

MEMORIES OF A HIGHLAND ADVENTURE

To Sue Sparkes, the best thing about any Divine Destination Collection trip is – you don’t have to think!

“They take you everywhere. They think for you. They plan for you. There is no detail that they have missed!” she laughs.

Sue has travelled with Divine Destination Collection to South Africa in the past and joined co-founders Allison Frame and Deb Niven on the group’s recent journey to Scotland – Mists, Mystics and the Whisky Trail.

“Everything was a surprise. All you had to do was be at a certain place at a certain time. And no matter where we went, the food and drink was outstanding. Everything is planned to the greatest detail. The transfers were even first class!”

Although Sue says it’s hard to pick one highlight, she says she loved the mystical Clava Cairns. When they arrived, there were picnic tables waiting for them, complete with buckets full of wine, bubbly, hot soup, and gourmet boxed lunches. To make the event even more magical, a flautist played as they enjoyed the scenery and explored the Cairns.

EVEN SCOTLAND’S FAMOUS SOGGY WEATHER BROUGHT SURPRISES

Another highlight for Sue was when a walk on the moors was cancelled because of extremely soggy weather. In its place, one of the TDDC guides took them on what they thought was an impromptu walk around the three golf courses at Gleneagles, filling them in on the history of the famous property. But when they came up over a hill, there were two pipers playing.

“It was so beautiful. Everyone was in tears,” says Sue.

The pipers led them to a gazebo where they sat around a fire pit and sipped hot toddies. The guests were also all given matching purple tartan scarves as a memento of their time in Scotland.

The last evening aboard the Royal Yacht Britannia was a huge standout. “We had it all to ourselves,” says Sue. After a champagne reception, the group had the chance to wander throughout the yacht and get a peek into royal life. “We had a magnificent meal and were entertained by adorable young Scottish dancers.”

“It seems like every time I turned around, there was something new.”

Leanne Hunter also enjoyed her experience aboard the Britannia. “I knew that going aboard the Britannia would be incredible, but I wasn’t expecting the food to be so amazing! It was the best dinner of the trip.”

But what really stood out for Leanne was her first glimpse of Inverlochy Castle, in the Highlands outside Fort William, where they stayed the first two nights. “It was the first of many jaw dropping experiences, walking into this beautiful, historic castle.”

A COUNTRY MADE FOR HISTORY LOVERS

A history buff, Leanne loved learning about Scotland’s fascinating past.

“I didn’t expect such a rich, cultural experience. The TDDC guides were great. They gave such a vivid account of what happened in Scotland’s history, and made it all the more fascinating by telling the history in story form, and often to music.” 

The visit to the Culloden Battlefield, the site of the final Jacobite Rising, was also a highlight for Leanne. “Even though it was incredibly sombre, it was wonderful to see how it’s been beautifully honoured.” 

Leanne also loved the surprise of seeing the pipers at Gleneagles. “The hotel was beautiful and the hike through the famous golf course was magical, especially when the bagpipers appeared in the distance, piping us into a cozy outdoor area with a fire and a ‘wee dram.’”

FAMILIES AND FRIENDS

In Edinburgh, Leanne loved the architecture and the rich history in such a bustling, vibrant city. “I could have stayed there for another week!” she says.

While in Edinburgh the group had the chance to dine with a local family to get a taste of Scottish culture. It was a great meal and the family was very warm and welcoming, says Leanne, but what made it extra special was when the daughter stood up and sang Caledonia, a beautiful Scottish folk ballad.

“It was unrehearsed and spontaneous. We were all teary-eyed. It was wonderful.”

Leanne says one other surprise was how much she enjoyed the whisky tasting. “I’m not a whisky drinker, but I did learn to appreciate it,” she laughs.

And finally, an unexpected part of the trip was how easily the group formed friendships. “We were all strangers at the beginning, but sharing the same wonderful experiences together creates a common bond. That may be the most spiritual part of this adventure for me.”

FOR THE ADVENTUROUS SPIRIT

John Kafieh finds the Divine Destination Collection trips to be more like an “adventure” rather than a vacation.

“They are more of a learning experience than just a sightseeing tour,” he says. “And the learning has as much to do about the discovery of things about ourselves, as with the destination itself.”

Like Sue and Leanne, John says he finds it difficult to pick just one highlight of the trip to Scotland. He enjoyed staying at the Inverlochy Castle and riding on the Jacobite Steam Train. He also couldn’t get enough of the breathtaking scenery in the Highlands and in Edinburgh.

“I would say the trip exceeded my expectations largely because of the scenery throughout the trip, and the combination of different modes of transportation used to get us around. Add to that the quality of the TDDC guides and the information that they provided us all along the way.

“Although we have some personal time to do as we please, we are generally moving from one experience to another. And I enjoy that. The only challenge is that we are doing so much in such a relatively short time I need to refer to our itinerary to remember all the things we have done!”

John has travelled with Divine Destination Collection to South Africa and Muskoka in the past, and enjoyed traveling with his daughter Vanessa on this trip.

“That was the real highlight for me.”

To find out about taking a group trip to Scotland, check out the Divine Destination Collection website or contact us at info@divinedestinationcollection.com if you have any questions.

Unique travel experiences... where luxury, adventure and spirituality meet!

FOLLOW US:

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER:

Do you want to stay up to date on all our latest trips and events?
Subscribe to our newsletter HERE

Copyright 2012-2019 The Divine Destination Collection | Powered by Wynford TICO Reg. # 2024965

Next stop – The sacred South of France and the mystery of Mary Magdalene

Next stop – The sacred South of France and the mystery of Mary Magdalene

NEXT STOP – THE SACRED SOUTH OF FRANCE AND THE MYSTERY OF MARY MAGDALENE!

Interested in walking in the footsteps of one of the most iconic and historic female figures of all time – while basking in the incredible beauty of the South of France?

Next June, The Divine Destination Collection will be travelling to Carcassonne and Aix-en-Provence to uncover the 2,000 year-old legend of Mary Magdalene– who was believed to have been forced out of the Holy Land with other devout followers of Christ after his crucifixion, and arrived by boat to the South of France where she spent the rest of her life as a teacher and healer.

THE DIVINE FEMININE

The story is made even more fascinating by rumours that Jesus may have actually survived the crucifixion and secretly married Mary, and by tales of hidden symbols and codes concerning Mary found in churches in the ancient towns of the region. Mary is also regarded as an archetype of the Divine Feminine – possessing an energy that combines creativity, justice, awareness, and other strong feminine traits.

You’ll get the chance to decide what is fact and what is fiction as you travel the French countryside, visiting vineyards and sampling the excellent cuisine – all in the comfort and luxury that The Divine Destination Collection is famous for.

ANCIENT FRANCE

Your adventure starts off in the medieval walled city of Carcassonne whose beautiful hilltop castle is France’s second-most coveted tourist site after La tour Eiffel. You’ll spend three nights in this UNESCO World Heritage site at the celebrated Hotel de la Cité, a 19th century neo-gothic style five-star hotel built on the site of a former bishop’s palace. This will be your base as our expert guides take you on a journey into the lore of Mary Magdalene, with visits to Alet-les-Bain, a charming town full of hidden clues to her existence; Rennes-le-Château, a tiny hilltop town 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; and Rennes-les-Bains, where Mary is thought to have baptised and healed her followers in the pools of the Lovers Fountain.

While in Carcassonne, you’ll indulge in the amazing cuisine of the South of France, including a few surprising gourmet twists, such as a “hint of Italy” dinner at La Bourdasso, a famous family-run Italian restaurant in the countryside where they make their own buffalo mozzarella and grow the wheat for their delicious home-made pasta.

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, you’ll check in to the enchanting Hotel Le Pigonnet where Cézanne loved to wander the grounds and paint the neighbouring Sainte-Victoire mountain.

While at Le Pigonnet, you’ll enjoy a special “La Vie En Rose” evening in the garden. Just imagine dining on regional specialties and drinking a local rosé under a fragrant rose arbour while the songs of Edith Piaf fill the air.

The journey into the legend of 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 resumes with a visit to the Basilique Sainte-Marie-Madeleine, built in the 13th century and dedicated to Mary Magdalene. In the crypt below you’ll find a shrine, containing what they claim is Mary Magdalene’s skull.

That evening you’ll get the chance to wander through the ancient streets of Aix-en-Provence and dine at one of its elegant restaurants. Full of boutiques, galleries and numerous fountains – the streets remain full of life long after midnight.

CHOOSE YOUR ADVENTURE

The next day you’ll have the delightful decision of choosing between spending the day in Marseille, France’s second largest city, and the 2013 European Capital of Culture – or in Avignon, full of medieval streets, and once the seat of the popes – or in Lourmarin, known as one of the most beautiful villages in France, and home of Nobel Literature Prize winner Albert Camus, who is buried in the local cemetery.

If you choose Marseille, you’ll go on a walking tour, with lots of opportunities to load up on the area’s famous lavender, olive oil, and Herbs de Provence, as well as drop by the many chic boutiques, before visiting the St. Victor Abbey where Mary Magdalene is believed to have preached, and have lunch overlooking the harbour.

In Avignon, you’ll visit the Palais des Pape, where the popes used to live, and then indulge in a private wine tasting and picnic at the celebrated Châteauneuf du Pape wine estates.

In Lourmarin, you can wander through the town’s quaint, winding streets, and browse through the weekly market full of delights from the local farms, olive groves, and orchards, finishing up with lunch and wine tasting at one of the area’s vineyards.

The day finishes off with everyone coming together for a culinary extravaganza at a Michelin Star restaurant.

A TRULY MAGICAL LIGHT

The final day is spent exploring Aix-en-Provence, which is always bathed in a magical light, whether it is from the brilliant sunny blue sky of the afternoon, or the golden glow at dusk. Pick the perfect terrace for lunch and stay a little longer with a glass or two of wine. You can spend the afternoon shopping or return to the hotel for a dip in the pool or a game of petanque – the local version of lawn bowling.

You’ll then bid au revoir to Provence with a final, incredible French feast at a private estate, complete with vintage wines and special entertainment.

Want to know more about this fascinating journey into the legend of Mary Magdalene, as well as some other once-in-a-lifetime adventures waiting for you in the South of France? We are finalizing all the last minute details to this amazing itinerary and will be officially launching the trip within the coming weeks. Here’s a teaser or click here if you would like us to contact you directly when we go live with all the details!

Unique travel experiences... where luxury, adventure and spirituality meet!

FOLLOW US:

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER:

Do you want to stay up to date on all our latest trips and events?
Subscribe to our newsletter HERE

Copyright 2012-2019 The Divine Destination Collection | Powered by Wynford TICO Reg. # 2024965

Travelling solo

Travelling solo

TRAVELLING SOLO

TAKING ON AN ADVENTURE WITH NEW COMPANIONS

Have you ever wanted to go on a group trip – but were hesitant about travelling with a group of people you didn’t know?

Take Anna Tsirakidis for example. Anna and her husband had always planned to travel the world, but when her husband passed away Anna found she was reluctant to travel alone.

“I had lots of question marks in my head – especially about the ‘unknown’ waiting at the other end. But I took a deep breath, sucked it up, and decided to just do it.”

So last September Anna travelled solo for the first time, and emboldened by the experience, she decided to join The Divine Destination Collection trip to El Camino in Spain this past May.

“It was exactly the kind of trip I wanted,” says Anna. “I wanted all the bells and whistles.”

At first Anna was worried that the other people might form cliques and she would feel out of place. But after attending the initial trip presentation, her fears were allayed. “It gave me a picture of who would be going and I felt very comfortable.”

The group also did a pre-trip walk to prepare for El Camino, which made Anna feel even more at ease. “As we walked I got to talk with more people. It was a wonderful group to talk to and listen to.”

The trip ended up exceeding Anna’s expectations – especially the extra details The Divine Destination Collection puts into the trip, like garden parties, surprise dinner nights, and invitations waiting at each new hotel. “It all flowed so beautifully, and these little incidentals made it so memorable.”

In fact, Anna ended up enjoying the trip so much she will be travelling solo again next year when The Divine Destination Collection heads to the South of France. “I think travelling alone makes you more open to new possibilities. It expands your horizons.”

Her Camino adventure also made her appreciate the care The Divine Destination Collection takes in planning their trips, especially for solo travellers. “You have everything you need – even if you didn’t know you needed it. I felt confident knowing there was someone at the other end taking care of all the arrangements.”

ONCE IS OFTEN NOT ENOUGH FOR SOLO TRAVELLERS

Nancy Cronyn is another repeat Divine Destination Collection solo traveller. She has actually gone on five different trips, with two by herself – Muskoka and El Camino.

“I’ve travelled a lot by myself,” says Nancy. “I like meeting people. If you just travel with family you don’t tend to mix.”

Like Anna, Nancy took advantage of the chance to meet her fellow travellers at the pre-trip gatherings The Divine Destination Collection organized.

She admits it’s natural to feel a bit nervous about meeting a new group of people and wondering what they will think, but Nancy always remembers the advice her mother gave her when she was scared about going to a new school – everyone else is actually thinking the same thing.

“You can’t be afraid,” says Nancy. “You have to go for it. Be yourself. Enjoy yourself!”

There are also lots of opportunities to get to know your travelling companions at the many group activities planned for each trip. Although you can choose whether to participate or not, Nancy loved taking part in each group adventure.

While on Divine’s Muskoka Experience, Nancy did everything from foraging for mushrooms and taking a boat ride with a local wildlife expert, to carving Hallowe’en pumpkins. In Spain she loved the horse ride on the last day and the Queimada Ceremony, and the chance to enjoy a fantastic Galician meal at the O Muiño de Pena, a charming 19th century mill.

But since she likes to meditate, Nancy also enjoys being by herself, and found she liked walking alone when the group travelled along the Camino trail.

“It was a nice surprise,” she says. “Being alone was very pleasant, a perfect way to do the journey – hearing the wind and listening to the birds.”

THE LUXURY OF HAVING SOMEONE ELSE TAKE CARE OF ALL THE ARRANGEMENTS

Even for people who usually travel on their own, the chance to travel with a group can be a nice change.

Maura Lendon also went on the El Camino trip, as well as The Divine Destination Collection trip to Mexico a few years ago.

Although she is a well-seasoned solo traveller, Maura finds it good to be part of a bigger group with like-minded travellers from time to time.

“Travelling by yourself can be tiring, so it’s nice to have someone organize things, and to have a group of people to have dinner with,” says Maura. “You also get to take part in activities and experiences that you couldn’t access by yourself that brings an authentic aspect to your trip.”

For example, the Camino group was treated to a private performance by local singers in a beautiful Spanish Church in Santiago and a Youth Choir at the final night’s dinner. A historian joined them on their journey to point out significant sites along the Camino trail. The food was also “mind-blowingly good,” says Maura.

There was also lots of freedom, adds Maura. You didn’t have to take part in the group activities if you didn’t want to, and you could choose to walk alone or walk with different people at different times.

Maura’s advice to other solo travellers considering a group adventure – “Be open to the experience!”

FINDING THE TRIP THAT’S RIGHT FOR YOU

El Camino had been on Kathleen Fanstone’s wish list for a long time. “I’m pretty sporty. Lying on a beach just isn’t me. I like a trip where you need to push yourself.”

While the Camino wasn’t a tough journey, Kathleen enjoyed walking for five or six hours a day. “It made my heart sing,” she says.

An avid traveller, Kathleen takes at least three or four trips a year, usually on her own, but sometimes meeting up with friends for part of the trip.

“My philosophy is – I like doing what I like. Some mornings I want to sleep in, other times I’m ready to get up and go. It’s my day, my way.”

When Kathleen heard about The Divine Destination Collection trip to El Camino she knew that this was what she wanted to do. “It was the right place and the right time.” She also liked the combination of a spiritual journey wrapped in luxury.

“You are so very well looked after if you are travelling alone. The Divine Destination Collection co-founders, Allison and Deb have a knack for knowing what you need before you do. They are always looking out for everyone’s best interests.”

Like Maura, Kathleen likes the fact that you have lots of choices. “Whatever you want to do, they support you.”

She also enjoyed the surprises that were planned along the way – like private concerts, learning opportunities, and unique locations. “Just when you are wondering when you will be stopping for lunch – the place is revealed and you have an absolutely incredible meal.

“Each day was even better than the one before. I’d do it again in a heartbeat”.

Interested in joining The Divine Destination Collection trip this October to Scotland: Mists, Mystics and the Whisky Trail? We only have 2 rooms remaining. Or next year’s Sacred South of France and the Mystery of Mary Magdalene? The exciting itinerary will be revealed soon! You can also read more testimonials from The Divine Destination Collection travellers on the website.

Unique travel experiences... where luxury, adventure and spirituality meet!

FOLLOW US:

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER:

Do you want to stay up to date on all our latest trips and events?
Subscribe to our newsletter HERE

Copyright 2012-2019 The Divine Destination Collection | Powered by Wynford TICO Reg. # 2024965

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.

You have Successfully Subscribed!