Rosicrucian Tour of France 2017

Monday, October 16, 2017

  

Mystical France October 16 to November 14, 2017

Join Grand Master Julie Scott, other Rosicrucians, and friends on this mystical journey through France, spending time in Paris, the Chateau d’Omonville (headquarters of the French Grand Lodge of AMORC), Chartres, Lyon, Arles, Carcassonne, Toulouse, Lourdes and Rocamadour.

Together, we will experience the mysteries of Paris and the south of France including those relating to the Black Madonna, Mary Magdalene, and the Cathars, and explore the influence of these streams on the Rosicrucian Tradition in France.


Rosicrucian Tour of France 2017
Monday, October 16, 2017 - Tuesday, November 14, 2017


Detailed Itinerary

Monday, October 16 – Paris

Arrive in Paris – La Ville Lumière (the City of Light) – on your own. Check into the beautiful Hotel Novotel Paris les Halles, centrally located at Les Halles. Our tour begins with an evening Seine River dinner cruise for our group. Overnight in Paris. (D)


Tuesday, October 17 – Paris

We will begin the day with a panoramic City Tour of Paris (by coach), driving past the major sites, including the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre Museum and Tuileries Garden, the Arc de Triomphe and Champs-Elysees, and the Musee d’Orsay, followed by a free afternoon to explore on your own. This evening we will visit the Rosicrucian Espace Saint-Martin – with the Rosicrucian Temple, bookshop, and Cultural Center in Paris. Overnight in Paris. (B, L, D)


Wednesday, October 18 – Paris

Today we will explore Paris together on foot, visiting a number of mystical and historic sites including Notre Dame Cathedral, the Church of San Sulpice (featured in The Da Vinci Code), Sainte-Chapelle Royal Chapel, and the Musee de Moyen Age (the Cluny Museum of the Middle Ages), with its mystical “Lady and the Unicorn” tapestries. Overnight in Paris. (B, L, D)


Thursday, October 19 – Paris – Omonville – Chartres

This morning we will depart Paris for the Chateau d’Omonville – the headquarters of the French Grand Lodge of AMORC.  This beautiful castle in the Normandy countryside will be the setting for our private reception and lunch, hosted by the Imperator and French Grand Master Serge Toussaint. There is plenty of time to enjoy this beautiful and inspiring setting. Mid-afternoon we will depart for Chartres where we will check into the Le Grand Monarque or the Mercure Chartres Centre. Overnight in Chartres. (B, L, D)


Friday, October 20 – Chartres - Lyon

This morning we will tour Chartres Cathedral. This extraordinary cathedral is one of the most important sacred sites in the world. Its sacred well was worshiped by the Druids and Romans long before Christians arrived in the area and built this cathedral to house the revered relic of the Virgin Mary – the shroud that she wore when she gave birth to Jesus. This afternoon we will travel to the historic city of Lyon, where we will check into the Fourvière Hôtel located in a district classified as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Overnight in Lyon. (B, L, D)

Saturday, October 21 – Lyon - Arles

In the morning, we will visit La Basilique Notre-Dame de Fourviere with its beautiful Black Madonna. We will enjoy a delicious lunch in Lyon, the culinary capital of the world before continuing on to the ancient Roman city of Arles, where we will check into the Hotel Jules Cesar. Overnight in Arles. (B, L, D)


Sunday, October 22 – Arles - Saints Maries de la Mer – the Camargue

Today we will visit the small Mediterranean fishing village – Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer (Saint Marys of the Sea), including a visit to the tiny church here with one of the most powerful representations of the Black Madonna in the world. We will also experience the Camargue, with its wild horses (the oldest living breed in the world). Overnight in Arles. (B, L, D)


Monday, October 23 – Arles

This morning we will visit the Archaeological Museum of Arles (with artifacts from pre-history to late antiquity) and St. Trophimus Church (from the twelfth century). This afternoon there will be free time to visit the Roman Cemetery and Amphitheatre on your own. Overnight in Arles. (B, L, D)


Tuesday, October 24 – Sainte-Baume – Arles

This morning we will visit the tiny cliff side village of Saint-Baume, where legend tells us Mary Magdalene spent the last thirty years of her life living in a cave. We will walk in silence through the forest to the cave. Overnight in Arles. (B, L, D)


Wednesday, October 25 – Arles -  Montpellier – Pézenas – Quillan 

Today we will visit “La Negre,” the Black Madonna of Montpellier, one of the most notable of the Black Madonnas of France. She is said to have been performing miracles since 878 and is believed to have saved Montpellier from drought and plague. Then we will visit Pézenas to experience the Notre Dame de Bethléem Black Madonna (from 1311), purchased by the Knights of St. John. We will then check into the Domaine de l’Espinet, where we will spend 12 nights in the heart of Cathar Country. Overnight in Quillan. (B, L, D)


Thursday, October 26 – Carcassonne - Quillan

Today we will explore La Cité, the Old City of Carcassonne (a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the finest examples of a fortified medieval city still in existence), including the Cathar Castle and the Basilica of St-Nazaire with its famous Siege Stone, said to depict the 1209 Siege of Carcassonne by the Crusaders. Overnight in Quillan. (B, L, D)


Friday, October 27 – Minerve – Aigne - Quillan

This morning we will visit Minerve, one of the most important Cathar sites, where we will see the village church and the Cathar Museum, if it is open. Then we will stop in Aigne, the tiny, 1,000-year-old “snail village,” built in a spiral. If possible, we will enter the village church where a tiny Black Madonna was found in the wall in the eighteenth century. Overnight in Quillan (B, L, D)


Saturday, October 28 – Cabrespine - Lastours – Saissac - Quillan

Today we will explore the Cabrespine Cave, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The “Giant Cave” is an immense crystal geode that is renowned for its rich formations. Then we will tour the Four Castles of Lastours, a center of Cathar activity during the thirteenth century, and the ruined Cathar Chateau de Saissac, which was already in existence in the tenth century. Overnight in Quillan. (B, L, D)


Sunday, October 29– Alet-les-Bains - Quillan

Today we will visit Saint Hilaire Abbey and cloister, a medieval Benedictine monastery in a small village. Then we will explore the abbey and church in Alet-les-Bains, founded in the year 813. Called “the Chosen Place” by the Romans, this Jewish settlement was built in the first century CE on the site of a much older sacred place, dedicated to the Mother Goddess. The town also sits atop the second largest underground fresh water lake in France. It has been suggested that this was the reason that Nostradamus came here in the sixteenth century looking for a cure for the plague. Overnight in Quillan. (B, L, D)


Monday, October 30 – Rennes–le-Château - Quillan

Today we will visit Rennes-le-Château, where, in the nineteenth century, a local priest found a treasure leading to fascinating theories about the site – from it being the burial place of Mary Magdalene to the treasure belonging to King Solomon himself – eventually leading to bestsellers like Holy Blood, Holy Grail and The Da Vinci Code. During our visit, we will follow some of the clues that paved the way for the Magdalen revival. Overnight in Quillan. (B, L, D)


Tuesday, October 31 – Vals – Mirepoix - Quillan

This morning we will visit the church at Vals, built atop a large rock and containing murals dating back to early Christianity, including a very early depiction of a cherub. Then we will visit the charming market square of Mirepoix, with its half-timbered houses. Overnight in Quillan. (B, L, D)


Wednesday, November 1 – Montségur - Quillan

Today we will spend a full day at Montségur, the most famous Cathar castle and the site where hundreds of devout Cathars chose to die rather than convert against their beliefs. Climbing to the castle, visiting the museum, and seeing the Black Madonna will surely touch our hearts. Overnight in Quillan. (B, L, D)


Thursday, November 2 – Limoux – Arques - Quillan

Today we will visit Notre Dame de Marceille Basilica with another beautiful representation of the Black Madonna, near Limoux and the Chateau d’Arques. 
Overnight in Quillan. (B, L, D)


Friday, November 3 – Foix - Quillan

This morning we will explore Foix Castle, one of the few castles in Occitania that was never destroyed. Foix was an important Cathar center, built on an ancient, prehistoric site.Then we will explore one of the prehistoric caves in the area. Overnight in Quillan. (B, L, D)


Saturday, November 4 – Rennes-les-Bains - Quillan

Today we will experience sacred Mount Bugarach, the site of an ancient Essene community and the inspiration for Jules Verne’s Journey to the Center of the Earth, on our way to the charming village of Rennes-les-Baines. Nearby, we will have a special ceremony at the Throne of Isis, an ancient stone seat in the forest, and at the heart shaped Fountain of Lovers. Overnight in Quillan. (B, L, D)


Sunday, November 5 – Gorge de Galamus - Quillan

Today we will walk through the stunning Gorge de Galamus and its Hermitage. A place of worship to the Mother Goddess in prehistoric times, it became a refuge for the early Christians in the second and third centuries. Later it would become a Hermitage. It was also a hiding place for the Cathars in the thirteenth century. Overnight in Quillan. (B, L, D)


Monday, November 6 – Quillan to Lourdes

This afternoon we will travel from Quillan to Lourdes, in the heart of the Pyrenees, and check into the Grand Hotel Gallia & Londres in the historic section of Lourdes, located close to the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes. Overnight in Lourdes.  (B, L, D)


Tuesday, November 7 – Lourdes

Enjoy a full day in Lourdes on your own, to relax and experience the power of its healing energy. Visit the grotto and sanctuaries, the baths of healing waters, the beautiful Basilica, and participate in the evening candlelight procession, if you like. You can also visit the nearby hilltop Chateau Fort for a great view of the area or enjoy a walk along the rushing Gave de Pau river. This is a day for renewal and introspection. Overnight in Lourdes. (B, L, D)


Wednesday, November 8 – Lourdes - Toulouse

This morning we will travel to Toulouse, driving by the Toulouse cemetery with its interesting Egyptian architecture. H. Spencer Lewis modeled the obelisk at Rosicrucian Park after the obelisks at this cemetery. Then we will visit the Hall of the Illustrious – where H. Spencer Lewis was guided to the final step of his initiation and Old Tolosa for a view of the site of H. Spencer Lewis’s Initiation. We will then meet with local members of the French Grand Lodge at the Toulouse Rosicrucian Lodge. Check into the Grand Hotel de l’Opera or the Crown Plaza Toulouse, located on the main square in Toulouse. Overnight in Toulouse.  (B, L, D)


Thursday, November 9 – Toulouse

This morning we will visit Notre Dame de la Daurade, with its outstanding Black Madonna and the eleventh century Basilica of Saint-Sernin, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the largest Romanesque building in Europe. In the evening, we will meet in the seventeenth century mansion, the Hôtel d'Assézat, the meeting place of the modern members of the Academy of the Jeux Floraux (founded in Toulouse in 1323), for a special Rosicrucian attunement period. Overnight in Toulouse. (B, L, D)


Friday, November 10 – Toulouse – Albi – Cordes-sur-Ciel

Today we will visit Albi, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the medieval city for which the Albigensian Crusade (also called the Cathar Crusade) is named. We will visit St. Cecile Cathedral, the medieval Pont Viex (Old Bridge), built around 1040, and St. Salvi Cloisters, if it is open. Then we will have a leisurely stroll through nearby Cordes-sur-Ciel, founded in 1222 by the Count of Toulouse and famous for its Gothic residences built between 1280 and 1350. Overnight in Toulouse. (B, L, D)


Saturday, November 11 – Toulouse – Rocamadour 

This afternoon we will drive from Toulouse to the cliff side village of Rocamadour –famous for its healing powers and an important stop on the pilgrimage path to Santiago de Compostela in Spain.  Check into our hotels – L’hotel les Esclagies or the Hotel du Chateau. Overnight in Rocamadour (B, L, D)


Sunday, November 12– Rocamadour

This morning we will visit the Shrine of Our Lady of Rocamadour, with its beautiful Black Madonna; and the Grote Prehistorique des Merveilles (Prehistoric Cave of Wonders) with 20,000-year-old cave paintings, if open. The afternoon is free to enjoy this medieval village or hike through one of the nearby nature preserves, including a forest where more than one hundred monkeys (Barbary macaques) live in relative freedom. (B, L, D)


Monday, November 13 – Rocamadour – Limoges -Paris

Today we will travel from Rocamadour to Limoges for lunch and then on to Paris where we will check into the Hotel Novotel Paris les Halles for our last night in Paris as a group. (B, L, D)


Tuesday, November 14 – Paris – Home

Reflecting on the experience of a lifetime, this morning we will say “Adieu” to friends, old and new. (B)


Included:

All Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner – beginning with dinner on Monday, October 16 and ending with breakfast on Tuesday, November 14.

Hotels (29 nights):

Paris: Hotel Novotel Paris les Halles – 4 nights (3 nights at the beginning and 1 night at the end of the tour)

Chartres: Le Grand Monarque or the Mercure Chartres Centre – 1 night

Lyon: Fourvière Hôtel – 1 night

Arles: Hotel Jules Cesar - 4 nights

Quillan: Domaine de l’Espinet - 12 nights

Lourdes: Grand Hotel Gallia & Londres– 2 nights

Toulouse: Grand Hotel de l’Opera or the Crown Plaza Toulouse – 3 nights

Rocamadour: L’hotel les Esclagies or the Hotel Du Chateau – 2 nights

Entrance fees for all visits mentioned in the itinerary

Motorcoach transportation

English speaking guide
 
Not included:

Airfare to France

Visa if needed

Travel Insurance

Personal items and expenses

Ground Transfers – Since people will be arriving at different times and dates, you will make your own arrangements for meeting us at the hotel. 

Please note: This itinerary is subject to change and any changes made will be to enhance your experience!

 

Contact Information

Payment Instructions

  • Cost

    Paris to Paris (30 days - October 16 to November 14) - $9,750 per person Double Occupancy 
    (Single supplement is $2,000)
    Register by April 30 and save $500!


    Paris to Arles (10 days - October 16 to October 25) - $4,500 per person Double Occupancy
    (Single supplement is $800)
    Register by April 30 and save $250!


    South of France (17 days - October 21 to November 6) - $6,750 per person Double Occupancy
    (Single supplement is $1,200)
    Register by April 30 and save $250!


    Cathar Country (13 days - October 25 to November 6) - $5,250 per person Double Occupancy 
    (Single supplement is $1,000)
    Register by April 30 and save $250! 


    Cathar Country to Paris (21 Days - October 25 to November 14) - $7,750 per person Double Occupancy 
    (Single supplement is $1,500)
    Register by April 30 and save $250!


    Deposit

    The non-refundable deposit to hold your space is $2,000. 

    (Since we are asking some of our hotels to hold space just for us, they are requesting from us a larger deposit than usual, so unfortunately we need to ask for a larger deposit from you too.) 

    The final payment is due on August 15. 

    Since we will be paying for the tour in full at that time, no refunds will be possible after August 15. 

    For this reason, we are requiring everyone to get travel insurance as soon as you register. 

    The final price includes:

    All Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner – beginning with dinner on Monday, October 16 and ending with breakfast on Tuesday, November 14.

    Hotels (29 nights):

    Paris: Hotel Novotel Paris les Halles – 4 nights (3 nights at the beginning and 1 night at the end of the tour)

    Chartres: Le Grand Monarque or the Mercure Chartres Centre – 1 night

    Lyon: Fourvière Hôtel – 1 night

    Arles: Hotel Jules Cesar - 4 nights

    Quillan: Domaine de l’Espinet - 12 nights

    Lourdes: Grand Hotel Gallia & Londres – 2 nights

    Toulouse: Grand Hotel de l’Opera or the Crown Plaza Toulouse – 3 nights

    Rocamadour: L’hotel les Esclagies or the Hotel Du Chateau – 2 nights

    Entrance fees for all visits mentioned in the itinerary

    Motorcoach transportation

    English speaking guide
     
    Not included:

    Airfare to France

    Visas if needed

    Travel Insurance

    Personal items and expenses

    Ground Transfers – Since people will be arriving at different times and dates, you will make your own arrangements for meeting us at the hotel. 

































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