May 18-28, 2024
Guided by Kris Kimball
Depart from home to Marseille, France.
Arrival in Marseille and travel to Aix en Provence. This is an arrival and jet lag day with time for relaxation or exploration. Aix en Provence is a beautiful city with a history dating back to 123 BC. In medieval times it was the capitol of Provence, the region rich in Mary Magdalene traditions.
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Welcome dinner, and overnight in Aix en Provence.
Drive to Saint Baume (Holy Balm), Grotto de Sainte Mary Magdalene, where Mary lived for 30 years. From there we will drive to Basilique Saint Maximin-la-Sainte-Baume where Mary Magdalene was said to have been buried.
After lunch we will drive to Les-Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, the traditional site of where Mary Magdalene and others from Jerusalem landed off the coast of ancient Gaul.
Overnight in Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer.
*Note that in order to reach the grotto the group will need to walk 45 min each way*
Visit Eglise Notre Dame de la Mer, and see the Black Madonna. Visit Mary’s proposed landing site along the sea coast from Israel to France. Travel to Belziers and visit St. Nazaire Cathedral. Drive on to the sacred city of Minerve, and visit the rural site of Notre Dame du Crois in an outlying gorge and river basin in the medieval town of Caunes Minervois. This ancient sacred valley encloses a medieval chapel, beneath which is found a cave and a black Madonna.
St. Nazaire Cathedral: this remarkable gothic cathedral is celebrated for its stunning architecture and historical importance. Built between the 13th and 14th centuries, the cathedral is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site known as the Historic fortified city of Carcassonne.
Minerve: this village is situated on a rocky outcrop and is known for its narrow streets, medieval architecture, and ancient bridge. Minvere is often associated with traditions of Mary Magdalene due to its connection with the Cathars. The Cathars were a Christian sect that existed in the region during the Middle Ages. The Cathars were known for their unorthodox beliefs and held Mary Magdalene in high regard.
Notre Dame del la Mer: this name is a reference to the title of “Our Lady of the Sea” in French. It’s often associated with coastal towns and regions. The name reflects a strong historical and cultural connection between seafaring communities and their devotion to the Virgin Mary, seeking her protection for sailors and fishermen.
Caunes Minervois: this charming village is known for the beautiful Abbey of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, which dates back to the 8th century. The village is surrounded by vineyards, and it’s renowned for its red marble quarries, which have been used in the construction of notable buildings, including the Versailles Palace and the Paris Opera.
Travel on to Carcassonne for dinner and overnight.
Carcassonne is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its excellent preservation as a walled medieval city. We will begin our day exploring Carcassonne on a walking tour including a visit to Basilica Saint Nazare. You will have a free afternoon to explore and shop in the medieval city.
Overnight in Carcassonne.
Drive to Rennes Le Chateau, caves of Mary Magdalene, Berenger Seuniere Museum and Magdalene Tower. This hilltop village is known internationally; it receives tens of thousands of visitors every year, drawn by the traditions surrounding a buried treasure discovered by its 19th-century priest, Berenger Seuniere.
Rennes Le Chateau: the mysteries surrounding this village include claims of hidden treasure, secret societies, and connections to the Holy Grail, Mary Magdalene, and the Knights Templar. Rennes-le-Chateau remains a subject of fascination for enthusiasts of mysteries and theories. The village and its surroundings, including the church of Saint Mary Magdalene, have attracted visitors interested in exploring these mysteries
Overnight in Carcassonne.
Today we will drive to Limoux to visit Basilica Notre Dame de Marceille. This basilica was built around a Black Madonna pilgrimage site. Visit Church of St. Salvayre (Holy Saviour) and then on to Alet-les-Bains; a walking tour with a local guide of the village. Exploring the Cathar traditions in this medieval village as well as the site of where Nostradamus lived. Michel de Nostredame was an apothecary, doctor and astrologer.
Limoux: like many other places in the Languedoc region of France, Limoux has been associated with Mary Magdalene traditions due to the connection of the Cathar religious movement. The Cathar’s beliefs and the traditions associated with Mary Magdalene are part of the cultural and historical tapestry of the region.
Church of St. Salvayre: this historic church is known for its Romanesque and Gothic architectural elements. Dedicated to Saint Salvayre, the chapel features a beautiful interior with stained glass windows, sculptures, and other religious art.
Nostradamus: his real name is Michel de Nostredame, born in the 16th century. Nostradamus was a French astrologer, physician, and reputed seer. He is best known for his book “Les Propheties,” a collection of 942 poetic quatrains, which some people believe contain predictions about future events.
Overnight in Carcassonne.
Drive to Toulouse for a flight to Paris. Tour and see the main sights of Pairs, including the Eiffel Tower, Arc du Triomphe, Champs-Elysees, and Sacre Coeur.
Eiffel Tower: the tower was constructed for the 1889 Exposition Universelle (World’s Fair), which marked the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution. The Eiffel Tower stands at a heigh of (1,083 feet) and was the tallest man-made structure in the world at the time of its completion.
Arc du Triomphe: this impressive monument was commissioned by Napoleon Bonaparte after his victory at Austerlitz in 1805, with the aim of honoring the French army. It is a symbol of French military victories and national pride. Under the arch there is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. This stands as a place of remembrance for the unidentified French soldiers who lost their lives in World War I.
Champs-Elysses: one of the most famous avenues in the world and is located in the heart of Paris. It stretches for 1.2 miles and is known for its tree-lined boulevard, luxury shops, theatres and cafes. This avenue is lined with iconic landmarks such as the Arc du Triomphe at its westerns end and the Place de la Concorde at is eastern end.
Sacre Coeur: this white-domed basilica sits atop a hill, offering panoramic views of Paris. This basilica was built as a symbol of national penance after the Franco-Prussian War and the Paris Commune. It’s dedicated to the “Sacred Heart of Jesus” and is a significant place of worship and pilgrimage.
Overnight in Paris.
Explore the Mary Magdalene sites in Paris; Eglise de la Madeleine, Eglise Sainte Sulpice, view Cathedral Notre Dame and Cluny Museum. Explore these sites while looking for clues to her traditions and mysteries of her hidden in art in architecture.
Eglise de la Madeleine: this neoclassical church is renowned for its impressive architectural design and rich history. La Madeleine was initially conceived as a church dedicated to St. Mary Magdalene, but it was later repurposed as a temple to glorify the French Army during the French Revolution. Today, La Madeleine functions as a Catholic church and is a prominent landmark in Paris.
Eglise Sainte Sulpice: this is one of the largest and most important churches in the city of Paris. Famous for its association with various historical events, notable clergy, and literary works. It’s also known for the prominent role it played in “The Da Vinci Code.”
Overnight in Paris.
Drive to Chartres Cathedral; spend the day exploring this sacred pilgrimage site. Built in the 13th century, Chartres is one of the most authentic and complete works of religious architecture, complete with its own beautiful labyrinth. This cathedral holds special connections to the Knights Templar. Including legends surrounding hidden treasures, secret knowledge, and symbolism.
Once back in Paris our journey ends with a Farewell Dinner to share stories, experiences, and say our goodbyes.
Overnight in Paris.
Transfer to Charles de Gaulle International Airport for our flights back home.
Payment Terms: $300 pp deposit is required at the time of booking. Final payment due 90 days before departure.
**this tour is based on a minimum of 20 passengers and a maximum of 45 passengers.
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*Rate of Exchange and City Taxes
Legacy Tours are priced to ensure our clients get the most economical price for the tour. In doing so we base our tour price on the value of the US dollar to the Euro when final payment is made. The published price and rate of exchange for the dollar when published is the marker. If the dollar has decreased when the final payment is due, the cost for the tour may be more than the published price. However if the dollar increases in value when your final payment is due, then you will pay less than the price that is published for the tour.
A number of European cities are likely to increase or impose a new tourism tax in the near future. These taxes may be added without warning. These extra taxes may end up being added to the final cost of the tour or it’s possible you will be asked to pay locally on the spot. Barcelona just recently added a city tax that was between 1-3 EU per night. This is just to let you know of this possibility. In any advent you will want to bring some extra Euros to have on hand in case that happens on our tour.