King Murphy’s Retreat Presents
SECRETS OF SOUTHERN FRANCE
This is a soul-nourishing odyssey through Southern France’s most sacred and scenic sites. Over a period of two weeks we will explore the hidden caves, caverns and churches in two different regions in France.
The first week we will be in the Languedoc region, based in a 12th Century Castle/Templar Stronghold in Douzens, between Carcassonne and Lézignan-Corbières. Scattered with quaint villages, local markets and extensive visible history going back before Roman times to the Celts, this is one of France’s most culturally and spiritually rewarding regions, from Rennes-le-Chateau, with the Bérenger Saunière and his connection to Mary Magdalene featured in The DaVinci Code to Rennes-les-Bains, where Mary Magdelene is said to have settled for awhile after fleeing the Middle East, after the crucifixion.
The second week of our trip will be spent in picturesque Cassis, a small Mediterranean seaside town outside of Marseille. With plenty of time for poolside relaxing, we’ll also take short trips into Marseille to explore the Basilique Notre Dame de la Garde, Aix en Provence for the lavender harvest and olive groves, or Saintes-Mairies-de-la-Mer in the Camargue, where the Rhône River meets the Mediterranean, and hiking to the cave outside the small village of St. Baume, where it is said Mary Magdalene, lived and died, and the Benedictine chapel dedicated to her.
Our groups are kept purposefully small and selective, ensuring an intimate, nurturing and nourishing environment for your inner journey. Expect to reconnect with the healing power of a small, like-minded community of individuals (typical group size is 8-12 travellers) as well as in-the-know locals through our network of contacts. As we journey through Southern France together there will be cocktail evenings, mealtimes and talks with local community leaders, nature guides, artisans, historians and healers. For example, the first day of our journey involves a ‘meet-and-greet’ with renowned author and sacred sites expert Richard DeWelles, of Grail Haven (http://www.grailhaven.com/) spiritual education retreats and pilgrimage centres. We’re privileged to have the guidance of Val Wineyard, a “speculative historian” who has written multiple books and blog entries on topics ranging from Mary Magdalene and the Celtic Ladies to Claudia Procula and the Visigoths(marymagdalenebooks.com). Our time with Val includes a visit to her private museum of sacred and historic artefacts.
From charming and rustic farmer’s markets to picnics in lavender fields to haute cuisine meals in five-star hotels overlooking the Mediterranean, every mealtime is an experience to remember. General groceries, continental breakfast food items, coffee, water and nightly catered dinner with wine are included in the price of the tour. A Sunday highlight is a visit to the farmer’s market in Esperaza, with vendors serving all sorts of international cuisine, as well as crystals, clothing, rattles, rainsticks and drums.
These trips are designed with spiritual transformation and personal development at their core. All accommodation is charming and characterful with no compromise on luxury, with heated pools, sumptuous public areas and decadent bedrooms. This ensures a luxurious, nurturing environment for rest, recuperation, recalibration and reflection.
While this is a group trip and we pride ourselves on fun, warm-hearted, socially uplifting adventures, we make every effort to secure sufficient tranquility solitude. Itineraries have been curated with periods of downtime, and we invoke the principle of ‘noble silence’ during mindful hikes, and offer mornings of quiet contemplation and reflection.