Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Land of Mystery, Myth and Magic

Unique group tour 7 - 14 June 2015

The mystery, magic and intrigue of the Languedoc range far beyond the Mystery of Rennes-le-Chateau, which is a minor affair, or the more important story of Mary Magdalene. This land has been at the cultural, commercial and spiritual crossroads of the known world for over twenty thousand years and is redolent with spiritual energy.
The Phoenicians, the Ancient Greeks, the Romans, the Visigoths, the Jews, the Moors, the Knights Templar, the Knights Hospitaller, the Troubadours and the Cathars have all played their part in moulding the spiritual heritage that is so apparent here. On this tour we will explore Neolithic sites that resonate with tangible, telluric energy; see cave paintings which are among the earliest archaeological spiritual artifacts known to man; visit castles, churches and towns associated with the Knights Templar; explore the rich local heritage (which, according to many historians, was so creative that it would have sparked the Renaissance in the 1300’s had it not been for the Crusade against the Cathars), visit castles that are imbued with the history of the Troubadours and, most important of all, just be in this wondrous landscape and absorb its peace and its sacred, transformative atmosphere.
The tour will be led by two authors who both live here and know this landscape well, Tim Wallace-Murphy and Jeanne D'Août ( They will share their insight to enhance your understanding and appreciation of this beautiful country where historic sites and sacred geometry are an integral part of a much larger holistic spiritual entity - the land itself.

Day 1
Transfer Toulouse airport and Carcassonne airport.
Arrival at hotel Maison Templière in Belvianes
Meet and greet with local Blanquette de Limoux and dinner.

Day 2
Today we are following the footprints of a real unsolved mystery, when we explore the enigma of Rennes-le-Chateau. This mystery was used by Dan Brown to write his best seller, the Da Vinci Code. We will see the famous church of La Madeleine and the museum of the famous priest who got rich practically overnight; Abbé Saunière.

After lunch we will visit the hermitage of St. Antoine de Galamus, which seems to be glued to the rock. This hermitage is known for its Magdalen cave, rock church and mysterious magical square of Sator Arepo Tenet Opera Rotas.

Breakfast, lunch & dinner included.

Day 3
In the morning we will drive to Vals, a magical place with a church built into the rock. Here we can see a very special fresco, featuring the Birth of the Seraphim.

Before lunch we will try to get into the church to see the Black Madonna of Montségur.
After lunch we will visit one of the high lights of this tour; the famous Cathar stronghold of Montségur, where in 1244, 200 Cathars were burned at the stake after a 10 month siege. The German author Otto Rahn was convinced that this was the castle where the Holy Grail was kept. We will explore the Grail myth and the Cathar history and offer the opportunity to climb the castle (accompanied visit).

Breakfast, lunch & dinner included.

Day 4
Today we explore the beautiful medieval town of Foix, which was founded in the middle of the 9th century. We will visit the almost undamaged castle that dominates the town. The castle, which was built on Roman remains, withstood the repeated attacks of Simon de Montfort IV between 1211 and 1217, during the Crusade against the Cathars. The 11th and last Count of Foix who lived there, was the famous Gaston Phoebus. Foix's old church, the St. Saint-Volusien, also has a very interesting relief...

After lunch we go on a boat ride through the stunning underground world of the river "de Labouiche" near Foix, an amazing adventure!

Breakfast, lunch & dinner included.

Day 5
Weather permitting we will drive to the Mediterranean for a visit to Collioure, a town which has gained its fame during the early years of the 20th century, when famous painters were attracted by its incredible light. We will visit the old medieval castle which dominates the town. This is where the Knights Templar had their headquarters in the late 12th century.

After visiting the castle, you are free to go on a boat ride, enjoy the boulevard, the beach, the many artisan shops, the gorgeous church and the famous ice cream before we drive back to Belvianes. Lunch is not included today.

Breakfast and dinner included.

Day 6
Visiting Occitania’s most treasured site, Carcassonne, is an absolute must for any visitor. This fortified medieval town with 52 towers is the biggest in Europe. Being 2000 years old it still has a few Roman remains. We will visit the town, the cathedral, and a beautiful view point before we have lunch at the oldest inn (13th century) where we will sample one of the most famous regional dishes.

After lunch we will drive to Alet-les-Bains. This town on the Aude river with its half-timbered houses and ruined cathedral is famous for one particular address. One of the houses on the town square is said to have belonged to Nostradamus. The cathedral ruins are unique in the world, as it is an eclectic mix of several building styles including a Diana temple, which has not been demolished but simply included in the building of the church.

Before we drive back to Belvianes we visit a tea room with a beautiful Angel Gallery. The Angel Gallery is a place of reflection created by the Irish artist Lorraine Coffey, to inspire uplift, bring comfort and hope to the many people who visit.

Breakfast, lunch & dinner included.

Day 7
This morning we will drive towards the beautiful ancient abbey of St. Michael de Cuxa near Prades. In the 11th century, Abbot Oliba erected the two bell towers which dominate the 10th century abbey dedicated to Archangel Michael. The basilica’s long nave and extensive transept are reminiscent of the great churches in Rome.

After a short visit to the abbey we will drive on to the picturesque 11th century town of Villefranche de Conflent, where we will have lunch and time to explore the old village, the ramparts and the fort of Liberia. Villefranche is one of the most beautiful villages in France and like Collioure, it has been fortified by the architect Vauban.

Breakfast, lunch & dinner included.

Day 8
After breakfast transfer to Toulouse airport or Carcassonne airport.

The excursions mentioned in the itinerary may be changed around if this would be more practical (e.g. weather).

Minimum number of participants: 15 people.


Transport from and to Toulouse or Carcassonne airport as mentioned in the itinerary (transfers on other dates or times are not included);
The hotel accommodation;
All breakfasts, lunches and dinners included, except lunch on your afternoon off in Collioure. This includes 1 glass of wine and/or other beverage consumed with lunch and dinner;
All entrance fees as mentioned in the itinerary;
Transportation by luxury bus with all the facilities and professional driver;
A professional tour manager will look after all logistical needs, while Tim Wallace-Murphy and Anneke Koremans will provide you with answers to your questions about history, mysticism and more.

Airfares, travel insurance (strongly recommended), personal expenses, drinks not mentioned in the itinerary and any transfers on dates or times different from the mentioned group transfer.

1950 Euros per person based on 2 people sharing
2250 Euros per person in single occupancy room

Your deposit secures your place on the tour and is non-refundable unless your seat is either transferred by yourself or we can resell it. If the tour is cancelled because there are not enough participants, the money you paid us will be refunded.

Standard Payment Schedule based on 2 people sharing:
€ 585 Euros deposit due on booking to hold space
€ 1365 Euros final installment due on April 10th 2015

Standard Payment Schedule based on single occupancy:
€ 675 Euros deposit due on booking to hold space
€ 1575 Euros final installment due on April 10th 2015

There are a limited number of rooms and configurations available. If you are willing to share a double or triple room, please let us know and we will do our best to match you up with roommates with advanced introductions.

Payments can be made through Paypal, or by bank transfer.
In all cases, please contact us for further details to begin the booking process. Visa and MasterCard accepted (a 3,4% surcharge for credit and debit cards will be added to Paypal users – we have no control over this, it’s a Paypal thing). For a bank transfer to a French bank add € 18,00. If your transfer from a European bank, there is no surcharge.

To register for the tour, please write to us at or Please provide us with the number of guests and your preferences for accommodation and medical diets. Please also inform us of the method in which you want to pay your deposit.

Once we have confirmed your accommodation, we will ask you to provide us with the name, address, (preferably cell-) telephone numbers, emergency contact (name, address and telephone number), and any special dietary and health needs you and any member of your party may have.

We act only in the capacity as an agent for the passengers in all matters connected with lodging accommodations, sight-seeing tours and land transportation in France and shall not be responsible or liable for any injury, loss, theft, accident, health impairment, delay, irregularity or incident resulting from strikes, weather, fuel outages, government regulations or Acts of God. Nor shall they be responsible for any act or omission of any individual or organization providing the transportation, services or accommodations in connection with this journey, nor any delay or expense incurred due to disruption or revision of schedules, not for any cause beyond its control.

We retain the right to withdraw a tour or decline to accept any person as a member of the tour or make changes in the published itinerary whenever in sole judgment of conditions warrant or if they deem it necessary for the comfort, convenience or safety of the passengers.

We are not responsible for any physical, emotional reaction or trauma or ailment, during the tour or occurring after the tour.

The weather in June in France can be lovely and warm. However, France’s weather can change from day to day, especially in the areas we visit. So prepare for warm weather, but know it can be a bit colder sometimes with occasional rain. Layers are your friend!

We are not responsible for any injuries, accidents, damages or theft, which may occur during the tours, the full period of your stay in France, or before arrival causing delay or cancellation. We therefore urge you make sure you have a good solid travel insurance including cancellation to cover any unforeseen circumstances.

If you suffer from food allergies or have any other dietary requirements – including vegetarian, vegan or gluten-free requirements, please tell us at the time of booking. We will eat in established hotels or restaurants, who are therefore equipped to deal with your needs, but let us know in advance, so we can make sure there will be no problems.

We hope to see you in June!