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

Setting the itinerary for adventure!

Setting the itinerary for adventure!

SETTING THE ITINERARY FOR ADVENTURE!

From the highlands of Scotland, to the beaches of Bali and the game reserves of South Africa, The Divine Destination Collection manages to create the perfect blend of luxury and adventure – along with a unique touch of the spiritual – with every trip.

SO HOW DO THEY DO IT?

The secret sauce turns out to be a whole lot of experience, blended with a generous sprinkling of trusted colleagues around the world, and topped off by a big helping of curiosity and imagination.

“It all starts off with a decision from our Travel Advisory Board on where our next adventure is going to take place,” says Allison Frame, co-founder of The Divine Destination Collection with friend and business partner Deb Niven.

“Creating the Divine-by-Design Travel Advisory Board was one of those Aha! moments,” says Allison. “We thought – why not include the traveller before the travelling actually takes place!”

Deb and Allison present about eight options to the Travel Advisory Board, which is made up of like-minded travellers, ensuring each selection fits in with their signature style – five-star luxury along with a once-in-a-lifetime spiritual dimension.

“Spirituality and hotels are our two anchors,” says Allison. “We do a lot of research on destinations that have a sacred or spiritual pull. Then we make sure the accommodations are outstanding.”

PUTTING THE DIVINE INTO THE DETAILS

With the Travel Advisory Board’s help, an amazing destination is selected – and Deb and Allison start putting the itinerary together for an unforgettable trip.

Since both women have been involved in the corporate meetings & incentive travel business for years, they have a lot of experience to draw on – as well as a large Rolodex (do we still use that word?) full of valuable contacts from around the world!

It always helps to have someone on the ground with local knowledge of how to get around, what to see, and where the best restaurants and hotels are.

That’s why Allison & Deb bring a local Destination Management Company or DMC onboard. They help find unique accommodations and experiences that are impossible to find without a local connection.

“Yes – there are actually DMCs in almost every country around the world! And the great thing is, once they find out how different we are, they are really inspired to dig even further to find more unique & spiritual elements in and around their destination.

“We tell them what we are looking for, but we also ask them for ideas. That’s because we always want to add in a few surprises to delight our guests on every trip,” says Allison.

THE REALITY CHECK

Of course, when something looks great in a photo or on paper, it may not always turn out to be as good in real life. So, Allison and Deb actually take a trip ahead of time to test out all the luxury accommodations, fabulous restaurants, and incredible adventures they are considering for the itinerary.

“It’s a tough job, but someone’s got to do it,” laughs Allison.

And this reconnaissance mission (aka site inspection) always pays off. For example, for their trip to South Africa, Allison were intrigued by the idea of enjoying a gourmet meal while travelling through the countryside and game reserve on a beautiful antique train from the 1920s.

But when she showed up for the train it was late, and then, instead of a delightful meal accompanied by spectacular scenery, the train stopped on the track and dinner was served onboard a stationary train beside a busy road.

Not exactly the elegant, historical adventure they were hoping for!

To make sure all the food, amenities, and service add up to a truly luxurious and outstanding experience, Deb and Allison stay a night at each hotel – and visit the list of exceptional venues they have lined up for the trip.

“We want to try out all the new and up and coming restaurants & venues – the places that are really generating a buzz,” says Allison. “That’s another reason a good DMC comes in handy – they can often use a connection when it’s hard to get in.”

One of the highlights of the trip to Ireland a few years ago was the opportunity to dine with a local family, and the group is going to feature this experience again when they go to Scotland.

“We use our contacts to meet really interesting, fun people to host a meal. It ends up being a night full of great local food and wonderful conversation – a real window into how people live – and an experience you couldn’t get by travelling on your own.”

Local contacts also help the group navigate through the sometimes confusing travel and customs procedures in different parts of the world.

“In Zambia, as soon as our plane touched down, our DMC was there to collect everyone’s passports and quickly move us through customs & immigration. As a matter of fact, we were at the hotel relaxing and having drinks on the lawn when our fellow passengers on the plane finally arrived,” laughs Allison.

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

Allison has already completed the site inspection for next spring’s South of France adventure.

An important part of the trip was speaking to experts in the legend and lore of Mary Magdalene, who is believed to have come to France after the crucifixion of Christ.

“I learned about places she was said to have been, preached, and where she has said to have healed many,” says Allison. “It was like the Da Vinci Code. It was fascinating!

“We also learned a lot about the excellent food and wine in the South of France. I never really cared for Rosés before – but now I’m a convert!”

Stay tuned for the exciting itinerary to be revealed in September. This is a trip you won’t want to miss!

TIPS FROM ALLISON FOR CREATING YOUR OWN ITINERARY

Do your research

– Whether you are looking for the high-end travel of Condé Nast Traveller magazine, or the rough and ready adventures in the Lonely Planet guides, learn as much as you can about your travel destination.

“That also includes checking out travel blogs, reading reviews on Trip Advisor, and talking to anyone you know who has been there.”

But most important, have an open mind

– “Say yes to it all!. That way you will always be surprised and pleased.”

“And if you are up for a great adventure, but just don’t have the time to plan – think about booking a private group trip with us. “We’ll reveal the magic of the destination in a way you never thought possible,” promises Allison.

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

Home From The Camino

Home From The Camino

HOME FROM THE CAMINO

Last year we spoke to three travellers who were journeying to the Camino de Santiago de Compostela with The Divine Destination Collection to ask how they were preparing for the trip, and what their expectations were. As promised, we have caught up with them after the May 2019 trip to find out what they experienced.

A SPIRITUAL PORTAL

Jenny Grajpel has always been attracted to exploring the spiritual side of life, so it was the spiritual aspect of the Camino that had really called to her – and it didn’t disappoint.

“I was aware that the Camino was a spiritual portal, or area of high energy concentration – so I knew what to expect and I was open to connecting to it,” says Jenny. “I experienced beautiful insights, transformation, and clarity.”

Jenny also loved the group experience. “I didn’t have to think about things. Everything was taken care of from the moment I was picked up – meals, hotel, transportation. And the standards were very high. I loved being pampered with such outstanding food and wine.

“I remember backpacking in my 20s and spending so much time looking for a place to stay and figuring out where to eat. So I fully understand and appreciate the effort put into all the arrangements.”

The highlight of the trip for Jenny was travelling by horse on the last day of the Camino. “It was wonderful to connect with the horse and see things from a different perspective. After we dismounted, we had a superb lunch in a meadow with wine, rice, seafood and Serrano ham – then we walked the last leg of the journey into Santiago.”

WALKING WITH OTHERS

Kathy Zurla had an idea of what the Camino was going to be like from books and films, “but until you physically experience the Camino, it is completely different,” she says.

“The beautiful Galician countryside, architecture, historical pilgrim stories, and all the different weather elements. It was continually magical.”

A big part of the magic came from the diverse group of people she travelled with on the adventure, says Kathy. “Many had insights into the spiritual side of the journey, pointing out how to allow your heart to stay open to the adventures and signs that can occur along the path.

“I don’t normally have these opportunities in my everyday life, so it allowed for new personal learning and self awareness experiences.”

Although Kathy trained for the trip by walking five to seven miles a day, she says the 100-kilometre trail wasn’t incredibly strenuous. “It’s very doable, even without training.”

A yoga instructor was also on hand to lead the group through stretches first thing in the morning and at the end of the day’s walking to help avoid sore muscles.

Kathy says the trip was extra special for her because she was joined by some lifelong friends from school in Tokyo. “We were like kids again. We relived those Tokyo days and what that meant to us going through life now. Our friendships were made even stronger after walking and experiencing the Camino together. The trip also allowed for making new friends as the group all got along so well together.

“I’m happy that I didn’t go into this trip with a lot of expectations. I allowed myself to experience each day as it happened. The Divine Destination Collection also added the luxury element, which was an extra layer of wonderfulness! This trip truly exceeded any hope I may have had – it was fabulous!”

OVERWHELMED BY HISTORY

The physical challenge of walking 100 kilometres is what led Victoria Worley to the Camino – but she ended up finding it less taxing than she expected, even when carrying a 10-pound backpack. “It was peaceful walking each day,” she says. “You had the whole day to get to your destination. There was no rushing.”

Leaving the world behind and focusing on herself is what Victoria found she enjoyed the most. “You wake up, eat breakfast, and walk. You don’t worry about anything but your own happiness, and how you chose to live your day.

“I never used my phone except to take photos. I never checked my email. It was like being a child again.”

Victoria admits the first day was a bit overwhelming because of the unknown journey ahead, but connecting with the group made all the difference. “I walked with a different person each day. They were all ages and from all walks of life. Whether they knew it or not, everyone had so much to offer me.

“All you had to do was walk and be with yourself, or listen to someone. It makes you so self-aware. I felt I could be who I really am.”

Victoria felt overwhelmed again at the end, when the group made the final walk to the Cathedral in Santiago de Compostela.

“Three hundred years ago someone was walking this route. People have been walking this for so long. I was overcome with emotion at the significance of getting to this spot.

“It was a great 10 days. I’d go again in a heartbeat.”

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

Deb’s travel tips – interesting lessons learned from a lifetime of travel adventures

Deb’s travel tips – interesting lessons learned from a lifetime of travel adventures

DEB’S TRAVEL TIPS – INTERESTING LESSONS LEARNED FROM A LIFETIME OF TRAVEL ADVENTURES

Deb Niven, who co-founded the Divine Destination Collection with Allison Frame, has gathered a lot of handy tips from planning high-end executive travel programs for some of the biggest companies in North America, as well as from her own private journeys.

Like the people who have been drawn to the Divine Destination Collection trips to exciting and exotic locales like Bali, Peru, and South Africa, Deb craves luxury as well as a touch of the spiritual in all her adventures. She also likes to be comfortable and prepared for her trips.

PACKING YOUR BAG

“I’m a roller!” laughs Deb. “If you roll your clothes you can make the most of the space in your suitcase.” Deb says she only uses packing cubes when she is moving from place to place, as this keeps her suitcase organized – otherwise packing cubes take up too much space.

Four things Deb always packs:

  1. Essential oils, such as lavender to put in the bath or on her pillow to help her relax.
  2. A first aid kit that includes natural remedies such as arnica to relieve muscle and joint pain.
  3. A folded rain poncho to slip in her bag – “Cuz you just never know!”
  4. A pair of comfortable walking shoes that can take Deb from touring the sights during the day, to going out for dinner at night. “That means leave the sneakers at home.”

MAKING THE BEST OF A LONG FLIGHT

There is nothing worse than sitting near a crying baby on a long flight overseas. While Deb says she sympathizes with the parents, she blocks out the hollering with noise cancelling headphones and loads up her iPad or phone with podcasts she’s been meaning to listen to, or the latest blockbuster movie.

Although a lot of people seem to think it’s okay to get on the plane wearing their baggiest sweatpants and oldest concert t-shirt, Deb says you can stay comfortable by choosing an outfit with no buckles or zippers, and wearing slip on shoes to make going through security a breeze.

If possible, try to get up and move around once in a while, or do some in-seat stretches for circulation. While there is no definitive research on how much you should move around while on a plane – standing up or stretching once an hour is a good idea. “You can also throw a pair of support socks in your carry-on bag to stop your ankles and feet from swelling, and make sure you drink lots of water so you don’t get dehydrated,” she says. 

BEAT THAT JET LAG

Some people are able to fall asleep the minute the plane takes off, but others find it hard to sleep on a plane. That’s why Deb always tries to get a good night’s sleep the night before she leaves on a trip.

“If you arrive at your destination in the early morning, get out into the sunshine and take a brisk walk to acclimatize,” says Deb. “I find it’s important to stay up until a reasonable hour the first evening to get adjusted to the new time zone. If I need to take a nap, I make sure it is for no more than an hour or so.”

BE READY FOR ADVENTURE WHEN YOU LAND!

Make sure you are ready to start exploring as soon as you arrive by doing your research ahead of time so you have a good idea of what’s available to do and see. Download map apps to find your way around, and speak to the hotel concierge to learn about more interesting places to visit.

“It sounds corny, but I’m a big proponent of the ‘Hop on Hop off’ bus tours,” says Deb. “It’s a great way to get the lay of the land and find out if you want to return to certain spots later in your trip.”

ADVICE FOR BEING PRESENT – THAT MEANS NOT THINKING ABOUT LIFE BACK HOME!

Don’t let what’s going on at work or home get in the way of enjoying yourself.

Make sure you set your watch and any devices to the time at your destination. This prevents you from thinking about home or the office. Then turn data roaming off on your phone so you have to make an effort to retrieve emails by connecting to WiFi. It’s also a good idea to set a time and date that you will connect with home to cut down on interruptions to your trip.

“But most important, truly immerse yourself in the destination,” says Deb. “Explore, connect with locals, try food you have never had before, and practice a few phrases of the local language in shops and restaurants. Take advantage of every opportunity and say YES to adventure!

READY FOR YOUR NEXT TRIP?

Check out the Divine Destination Collection’s upcoming trip to Scotland in October. Called Mists, Mystics and the Whisky Trail, you’ll travel from Glasgow to Edinburgh with stops at a variety of magical places in between. Take a look at the full Scottish itinerary and click on the Book Now button to register!

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

Hold on to your kilt! We’re travelling to Scotland this October!

Hold on to your kilt! We’re travelling to Scotland this October!

HOLD ON TO YOUR KILT! WE’RE TRAVELLING TO SCOTLAND THIS OCTOBER!

We have announced the exciting itinerary for a truly once-in-a-lifetime trip to Scotland this October from the 2nd to 10th.

As always, the trip will be full of luxurious accommodation, outstanding cuisine, incredible adventures, and unique spiritual experiences.

Called Mists, Mystics and the Whisky Trail, we’ll travel from Glasgow to Edinburgh with stops at a variety of magical places in between.

Our Scottish adventure starts the moment we touch down in Glasgow. We’ll get a first-hand look at the rugged beauty of the Scottish Highlands on the way to Loch Lomond, Great Britain’s biggest lake, which is situated by the majestic Ben Lomond, one of Scotland’s most famous Munros, or mountains.

WHERE LUXURY MEETS THE GREAT OUTDOORS

Then it’s on to Fort William where we’ll be staying for two nights at the Inverlochy Castle (a Relais & Châteaux Hotel), a beautiful 19th century castle nestled in the foothills of the mighty Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in the British Isles. The scenery is so beautiful that in 1837 Queen Victoria spent a week there sketching, painting and writing in her diary, “I never saw a lovelier or more romantic spot.”

The next day will be spent indulging in your choice of classic Scottish pursuits – from clay shooting and archery to sheep dog herding – or jumping on a gondola to check out the view from atop Ben Nevis. You can also opt for a nature walk by the Highland Glen and Loch Leven, or a bike ride along the Caledonian Canal. You’ll discover why Fort William is known as the outdoor capital of the UK, as there is no shortage of waterfalls, trails and forests to explore.

The next morning we’ll venture further into the Highlands and on to the Inner Hebrides towards the Isle of Skye – a journey that will take us into the mystical side of Scotland.

We’ll travel first class in the iconic Jacobite Steam Train, enjoying tea and scones as we pass by such famous sites as the Glenfinnan Viaduct, – nicknamed the “Harry Potter Bridge” after the Hogwarts Express travelled over it in several movies – on your way to Mallaig to board the ferry to Skye.

ONWARDS TO SKYE

Situated off the west coast of Scotland, Skye is known as The Misty Isle, home to dinosaur fossils, abundant wildlife, and Clan castles, as well as “thin places” – where it is said the earthly veil is pulled back to reveal where heaven meets our world.

While on Skye we’ll stay at the delightfully shabby chic Skeabost Isle of Skye Hotel, which was originally built in 1871 as a fishing lodge. The wonderfully named River Snizort runs through the grounds of this charming 18-bedroom hotel, and you can find two small chapels associated with St Columba, the first Christian missionary to Scotland, on an island in the river.

The first night we’ll gather in the hotel’s own chapel, which is now a private dining room, for a fireside dinner complete with music by the local talent.

The next day Skye is yours to explore. You can hike down to the fairy pools, filled with water in an other-worldly shade of blue-green that is believed to have healing powers, or visit the many local artists and artisans who live and work on the island.

No matter what adventure you decide to embark on, we’ll end up at the Talisker Distillery, Skye’s oldest working distillery, for a private whisky tasting of its alluring, full-bodied single malt. Then it’s off to the award-winning Three Chimney’s Restaurant for lunch.

In true Divine Destination Collection fashion – there might be a surprise or two waiting for you during your stay on Skye.

OUTLANDER FANS REJOICE

The following day we’ll travel back to the mainland for our next stop on the itinerary, the famous five-star Gleneagles Hotel (a member of the Leading Hotels of the World), a magnificent countryside estate in the heart of Scotland that was described as a “Riviera in the Highlands” when it opened its doors in 1924. It also has the only restaurant in Scotland to hold two Michelin stars.

But before we get to Gleneagles there is a real treat in store for Outlander fans. We’ll stop at the Culloden Battlefield, the site of the 1746 battle of Culloden that brought an end to Bonnie Prince Charlie’s Jacobite rebellion and was featured prominently in Outlander. We’ll then move on to the mystical site of Clava Cairns, a prehistoric cemetery full of passage graves and cairns – mounds of rough stones built as memorials and landmarks. These hallowed grounds were the inspiration for Craigh na Dun, the ancient stone circle where Claire travels from 1945 to 1743.

Once at Gleneagles you’ll get the chance to try your hand at falconry, or play a round on one of the hotel’s championship golf courses – one of which, the PGA Centenary Course, hosted the 2014 Ryder Cup.

In the evening you’ll go back in time to the roaring 20s as we transform the hotel’s American Bar into an exciting underground speakeasy…you’ll need a special knock to enter and enjoy the thrill of partying during prohibition.

THE ROYAL TREATMENT IN EDINBURGH

The last two nights are spent in Edinburgh, at the city’s most prestigious address – No. 1 Princes Street. This is the incomparable Balmoral – A Roco Forte Hotel, known as the grand dame of Edinburgh.

Only in Edinburgh can you feel part of history as you walk along the cobbled alleyways of the Old Town with Edinburgh Castle looming overhead, then venture into the Georgian splendour of the New Town for a shopping trip full of all the most luxurious and posh brands. To get a real sense of what it is like to live in this enchanting city, we’ll get the unique opportunity to dine with a local family and experience some delicious home-cooked Scottish cuisine, a dram of two of the finest local whisky, and some great conversation.

A special treat awaits on the last day in Edinburgh – a private visit to the stunningly beautiful Rosslyn Chapel, the setting for the final scene in Dan Brown’s The DaVinci Code. Then it’s on to experience Edinburgh Castle and raise a pint or two at a local pub before an exclusive farewell evening aboard the Royal Yacht Britannia.

You’ll feel like you are in an episode of The Crown as you sip champagne in the State Drawing Room before strolling through the ship – it’s all ours this evening – to see where Charles and Diana honeymooned, and then enjoying an elegant dinner fit for a king or queen, complete with Scottish dancers. You are truly in the Footsteps of the Royals!

ARE YOU READY TO GIVE INTO THE CALL OF BAGPIPES, ROYAL HISTORY, AND SOME OF THE MOST HAUNTING LANDSCAPES ON EARTH?

Take a look at the full Scottish itinerary and click on the Book Now button to register!

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!