Sacred France with THEO: In the Footsteps of Jesus and Mary Magdalen

"You will feel the energy of Jesus and Mary Magdalen, and the connectivity to them. For those gathering are aware and connected to the Christ energy. It is a sacred experience, an expansion of the soul, and an awareness of the divine masters that you are." - THEO


Sept 6-14, 2018

The mysterious Black Madonnas. The protectors of the Holy Grail, the Knights Templar. The privileged – and doomed — Cathars. From Toulouse to Marseille, we will explore the history of Sacred France. We will see and experience the magic of this fascinating history through the timeless eyes of THEO. Join your hosts, Sheila & Marcus Gillette, on this once in a lifetime experience. Whether you have been to France a hundred times or this is your first trip, this is the one you can’t miss. Limited availability so make sure you book your spot early.

Itinerary

Day 1: Thursday September 6, 2018

Depart your home to arrive in Toulouse on the morning of Sept 6.th We can arrange an additional night for you if need be, as well as a transfer from Paris if you choose. Either way, meet our guide upon our arrival at the airport in Toulouse (TLS). We will have a group transfer to Carcassonne at 10:30AM, so it is important you be there in the early morning.

Once we arrive in Carcassonne, we will have a light lunch at the Restaurant Comte Roger to enjoy delightful, traditional food in a familial house.

Then we will have some time on our own to explore at our own pace the cobbled streets of this fascinating medieval Cité.

After touring in Carcassonne, we will have a group transfer to our hotel. Upon checking in, we will enjoy the charming rooms at the Château de Floure. The beautiful Château, mixing history with the comfort of modernity, offers relaxing moments at the spa and a wonderful garden à la française, inviting peace and rest.

This evening enjoy a gastronomic Welcome Dinner at the restaurant of the hotel, Le Poëte Disparu, named in honor of the first owner of the castle, who was a writer. Enjoy fine traditional cuisine made with fresh and local products, served in a beautiful historical room. Have a relaxing night’s sleep.

Day 2: Friday September 7, 2018

After our breakfast, meet in a private room at the hotel for our first THEO Session! Learn how THEO feels about what we will be experiencing here in southern medieval France: the history of the Templars, the Cathars, and the Magdalene.

Meet our driver for our 90-min drive to Foix. During the 11th century, Foix became a privileged refuge for the persecuted Cathars.

After a light lunch at the restaurant Le Phoebus, which offers a beautiful view of the castle, we will explore Montségur, the former Cathar capital. After the siege of Montségur and the surrender and murder of the Cathars there in 1244, the beautiful chateau was destroyed by the victors and then rebuilt. The hike up to the Chateau takes about 30 minutes, so wear your walking shoes.

Tonight’s dinner is at our leisure; we will have the opportunity to discover nearby local restaurants on our own or stay at our hotel.

Day 3: Saturday September 8, 2018

After breakfast, we will experience another beautiful awakening session with THEO. Then we drive to Rennes-le-Château (1h) to discover one of the biggest mysteries of the region, with the legend of an alleged buried treasure discovered by its 19th-century priest, Bérenger Saunière.

Enjoy our lunch in a lovely garden, Le Jardin de Marie. Afterwards, we visit the village and its church, dedicated to Saint Mary Magdalene. Note one of the added figures in the church, a devil holding up the holy water stoup, had its head stolen in 1996 - it has never been recovered.

In the afternoon, we will stop by the Bérenger Saunière Museum. In 1885, Rennes-le-Château saw the arrival of its new parish priest: Father Bérenger Saunière. Within the space of a few years, he changed the fortunes of the small village. His lavish restorations, and above all his own ambitious building projects, rapidly led to speculation as to the origins of the funds necessary for such large-scale works. The legend of a discovered treasure was born.

Upon our return to the hotel, the rest of your day will be at leisure.

Day 4: Sunday September 9, 2018

After breakfast, we will drive to Villelongue Abbey (45 mins) for an extra special THEO Session. The soul of Villelongue, once a place of prayers and contemplation, will be the perfect place to open our spirits and commune with THEO. The 12th century abbey is also of great historic and architectural interest.

The rest of the day, rest, relax, and recapitulate all the wonders of the trip so far.

Day 5: Monday September 10, 2018

After breakfast, meet our guide to discover Saint Hilaire Abbey (35mins). This ancient and fortified Benedictine abbey was founded at the end of the eighth century and dedicated to Saint Saturnin. At the end of this first morning visit and on the way for our next adventure, stop in Limoux at the restaurant Tantine & Tonton for a gourmet break.

Our daily tour continue with a transfer (35 mins) to visit of one of the most impressive Cathar sites, the Arques castle. About 15 min of walking brings us to this beautiful old Cathar fortress.

Late this afternoon, return to the hotel for our next THEO Session

For dinner, discover the French gastronomy in local restaurants on our own or stay at the hotel.

Day 6: Tuesday September 11, 2018

After breakfast, we will transfer to the Larzac region (2h15 driving) to discover the La Couvertoirade, this well-preserved fortified town was owned by the Knights Templar. The Templars built the fortress there during the 12th and 13th centuries; its two upper floors have since been removed.

We will then drive to Sainte-Eulalie-de-Cernon for our afternoon visit. Before touring in the village where the Templar order settled in 1153, enjoy a delightful lunch at the Auberge La Cardabelle.

Last, we visit La Cavalerie. During the 1970s, it became the focal point of peasant resistance to the proposed extension of the Larzac military training base, just to the north.

We will transfer to our unique hotel in Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer (2h30 driving), Mas de la Fouque, and appreciate our dinner in the hotel’s restaurant. The Chef Grégory Van de Wege is a young passionate chef, in love with wide-open spaces and nature, and the meal will be fresh and delicious

Day 7: Wednesday September 12, 2018

Sleep in, breakfast at leisure, and lunch, too! Taste some seafood at one of the various restaurants in town.

This afternoon, we can explore the town of Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer together or on our own. Legend says that Mary Jacobé, Mary Salomé and Mary Magdalene landed at this place accompanied by Lazarus, Martha and Maximin.

Whereas the disciples left to evangelize far off, the Saints, the mothers of the apostles lived on this shore which bear their name. Since the 12th Century, pilgrimages have taken place in the Saintes. Roms (Slovak gypsies), Manouches, Tziganes (Hungarian gypsies) and other gypsies come from all over Europe and even from other continents to worship their Saint, Black Sara. The Church of the Saintes Maries de la Mer was built from the 9th to the 12th century, as a fortress and a refuge. Here we will see that Black Madonna and decide for ourselves: was she a servant to Mary, or perhaps her daughter with Jesus?

Late this afternoon, experience our final wonderful THEO Session, then have dinner on your own in the hotel or at one of the many restaurants in Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer.

Day 8: Thursday September 13, 2018

Meet our driver for an early transfer to Saint-Maximin-la-Sainte-Baume (2 hours). Enjoy our morning visit of The Marie-Madeleine Basilica. This site is the most important religious building of Gothic style built in Provence.

Mid-day, we will all enjoy a picnic lunch, then choose if you like to walk to Marie-Madeleine Cave (45 minutes walking).

Discover this natural cave dug by erosion which has become one of the most ancient pilgrimage places in the Christian world. Mary Magdalene supposedly lived here thirty years, and a large shrine is devoted to her in the cave.

Late in the day, we will transfer to Aix-en-Provence (35 mins driving) to appreciate our last evening in the beautiful hotel Les Lodges Saintes Victoire.

This evening, we enjoy our farewell dinner at the gastronomic restaurant of the hotel, Le St Estève, where Chef Mathias Dandine will help us to discover the wonders of the Provençal cuisine.

The Hotel, set in a natural environment with a stunning view if the Sainte Victoire Mountain, will offer us a relaxing night before our departure the next day.

Day 9: Friday September 14, 2018

Bon voyage! After our breakfast, we will transfer to Marseille Airport for our flight home. This means we fly in and out of different airports. Transformational Tours & Retreats can help you book your flight if you would like. Just call us toll-free (888) 600-7541