A Sacred Journey through France

Divine Feminine Wisdom – a Sacred Journey through Mary Magdalene´s France

Join Spiritual Quest Journeys on a mystical adventure to France, inspired by Mary Magdalene. Absorb the energies of this richly historic and traditional European culture with its ancient Celtic roots; Encounter the Black Madonnas; Experience the Festival of St. Sarah and Immerse yourself in legends of the Holy Grail; Cathars, Templars and the Holy family.

11 days / US$ 4 300 per person sharing / 21 – 31 May 2013

All the locations on this Sacred Journey resonate to a very special frequency that vibrates strongly with the history of the Grail and the presence of Mary Magladene, including: Les Saintes Maries de la Mer – where Mary Magdalene was believed to have come ashore when she was brought to France by Joseph of Arimathea, where the festival of St Sarah (depicted as a black Madonna) is held on 24 May every year and around which this journey was created; Carcassone – stronghold of the Cathars; Montsegur – where the Cathars were besieged by the Inquisition and where people are known to experience spontaneous past life memories; Grotte de la St Baume – the cave where Mary Magdalene was reputed to have lived and worked; Mount Bugarach – an Essene community.

Highlights include:

Connect to The Divine Feminine as embodied by Mary Magdalene -The “Lost Bride” of Christianity ~ Follow the threads of the Grail Heresy through mystical southern France where legends tell that Mary Magdalene fled to save her life from the persecutors of Jesus ~ Tune into intuitive Goddess wisdom and learn how to bring this energy into everyday life ~ deepen your understanding of the Divine Feminine energy by learning about The Goddess through History & The Grail Heresy of Mary Magdalene ~ Meditate upon the presence of the Divine Feminine in the various energies of the sacred sites we visit ~ enjoy guided meditations for balancing the masculine and feminine within each one of us, as the Great Shift in consciousness moves us away from the imbalance of the patriarchal world and towards the alchemical transformation of the “inner marriage.” ~ deepen your meditation and prayer practice through the simplicity of the Divinely Feminine concept of heart-based focus to remove blocks to inner peace ~ Be present to the question of whether you have been drawn to this area of France by your own past-life resonance.

Journey Overview:

21st May         Arrive Nice International Airport – France

  • Group transfer to St Baume
  • Welcome dinner St. Baume hotel
  • Overnight in St Baume

22nd May        Grotte de la St Baume

  • Magdalene´s Sacred grotto
  • St Maximin Basilica
  • Evening at leisure
  • Overnight in Arles

23rd May         Morning walking tour around Arles

  • Afternoon departure for Saintes Maries de la Mer
  • Evening at leisure
  • Overnight in Arles

24th May         Saintes Maries de La Mer Bacilica Black Madonna visit

  • Sacred waters of the Mediterranean
  • Join the annual gypsy pilgrimage Saint Sarah procession
  • Evening at leisure
  • Overnight Arles

25th May         Join the annual gypsy pilgrimage procession of the Two Marys (Saints Mary Jacobe and Mary Salome)

  • Boat excursion along the Mediterranean
  • Evening at leisure
  • Overnight in Carcassonne

26th May         Tour to Minerve and Dove of Minerve

  • Evening at leisure
  •  Overnight in Carcassonne

27th May         Explore Carcassonne

  • Depart late afternoon for Rennes le Chateau
  • Evening at leisure
  • Overnight near Rennes le Chateau

28th May         Full day touring to Mirepoix and Montségur

  • Evening at leisure
  • Overnight near Rennes le Chateau

29th May         Full day touring to Rennes le Chateau, Magdala, Arques and Mount Bugarach.

  • Evening at leisure
  • Overnight near Rennes le Chateau

30th May         Full day in Rennes Les Bains

  • Ceremony at the Place of the eternal Priestess
  • Lunch at La Place des Deux Rennes
  • Attunement at the Seat of Isis
  • Closing meditation
  • Evening at leisure
  • Overnight near Rennes le Chateau

31st May         Drop off to Toulouse Airport or optional extra visit to Lourdes

  • Connect with outbound flights

Optional extra visit to Lourdes

An optional extra 2 days /1 night visit to Lourdes is possible and will return to Toulouse the following day at 5 pm. The cost is US$ 600 per person including transportation, accommodation, and a evening visit to Lourdes when the healing procession is taking place. Lourdes is a magical place that touches all those who visit in profound ways.

Journey leaders:

In addition to being a life coach, intuitive counselor, author and past life regression hypnotherapist, Winnie Durdant-Hollamby has been lecturing on the subject of the Divine Feminine for over 6 years as she believes it to be intrinsic to the Great Shift in consciousness that is now beginning to take place. She regularly presents Goddess workshops and gives lectures on this subject, often with a particular focus on Mary Magdalene and the Grail Heresy.

Winnie will be joined by Peta Panos, founder of Spiritual Quest Journeys. Peta’s personal quest has been to live joyously from the heart and has helped many people onto their spiritual paths. As a Reiki Master, spiritual mentor, clairsentient and conscious world traveler with a light fun loving approach, Peta effortlessly empowers and assists people to step into their Goddess energy, to open their hearts to conscious soul living and manifest the life of their dreams.

An experienced tourist guide will also be joining the group for the duration of the tour.


Detailed Itinerary:

Day 1 – Tues 21st May

We begin this sacred journey as we depart Nice Airport at 3.00 pm for St. Baume where we will enjoy a welcome dinner at our hotel.

Overnight St Baume hotel on a dinner, bed and breakfast basis.

Day 2 – Wed 22nd May

This morning we will experience the Grotte de la St Baume, a steep 30 minute ascent to the cave where the Magdalene is said to have passed the last years of her life and written her memoirs. We will walk through an ancient magical forest where the trees are over a thousand years old and take the path of the Kings, where the kings once walked on their knees to reach Magdalene’s sacred grotto. This mountain was sacred to Isis and has been considered holy ground for thousands of years. The natural water that accumulates here is believed to have curative powers and we will stop along the way to partake under the shade of magnificent trees.

Next we visit St. Maximin Basilica to view the crypt and relics of Mary Magdalene.

Evening at leisure. Overnight Arles hotel on a bed and breakfast basis.

Day 3 – Thurs 23rd May

After breakfast, we will explore Arles, containing wonderful monuments and remains of the highly developed Roman Empire. These were contemporaneous with the Grail family’s arrival in this region, approximately 2004 years ago. We visit St. Trophimus Church, known as the church of the Magdalene and the site of a major Templar stronghold. St Trophime is also an important pilgrimage church that serves as a starting point for the Via Tolosa, stretching between Arles and Toulouse and, finally, extending to Santiago de Compostela along the Route of St. James. This route remains one of the greatest pilgrimage routes and for over 1000 years individuals have traversed more than 500 miles to reach the Santiago de Compostela in Spain, with its shrine and relics of the apostle James.

Afternoon visit to Saintes Maries de la Mer.

Evening at leisure. Overnight Arles hotel on a bed and breakfast basis.

Day 4 – Fri 24th May

Today, we experience the Bacilica associated with the arrival of the Grail Family from Palestine and to meet the most beautiful and powerful ‘Black Madonna’, revered by the Gypsies of Europe as St. Sarah. The Bacilica also contains a well and a very special vortex. People have beautiful experiences here as they open their hearts to the energies of this sacred place.

Legend has it that Mary Magdalene was accompanied by a small group, which, included Mary Jacobi, Mary Salome and Sarah, thought to be the daughter of Magdalene and Jesus.

We will explore the 6th century church and the Saint Sarah statue in the crypt, before we experience the sacred waters of the Mediterranean and the beach. After two thousand years of prayers and healings experienced in this sacred place, especially during the Gypsy Festival each year to honour the arrival of Magdalene and Sarah, it is easy to lovingly accept a way of living and being from our hearts. Having a personal communication with Saint Sarah, in the crypt, can bring endless wisdom, compassion and insight into ones life, if we choose to listen.

Evening at leisure. Overnight Arles hotel on a bed and breakfast basis.

Day 5 – Sat 25th May

We join in the unequalled atmosphere of the annual gypsy pilgrimage. Processions celebrate the arrival of the “Saint Marys of the Sea” as well as the gypsy patroness, Saint Sarah who landed here seeking refuge following the Crucifixion. It is a festival of International colour, celebrating the spirit of great women who were spiritual pioneers and healers.

Free time to explore the unequalled and wild beauty of the Camargue Region, on your own, or with others in the group. Perhaps take a boat excursion along the Mediterranean to see the wild horses and bulls in their natural environment and experience the path of the Saints, as they would have arriving on the shores of Southern France.

Evening at leisure. Overnight Carcassonne hotel on a bed and breakfast basis.

Day 6  – Sun 26th May

Today we drive to the small, unchanged town of Minerve, place of Cathar burning where 150 ‘Parfaits’ were burned as heretics on the feast day of Mary Magdelaine in 1210. We will then experience the Dove of Minerve. The Dove is a work of art created in 1982 by Jean-Luc Séverac, a Minerve artist, to commemorate the 140 Cathar Parfaits who were burned at the stake in 1210. The stele is placed in front of the door to Eglise Saint Etienne in a small square off the rue des Remparts.

In describing his concept, artist Jean-Luc Séverac wrote, “The Cathars raised themselves above the material world…..so I made the dove, not out of stone, but out of light – the absence of matter is the only way to represent the Cathars.”

Evening at leisure. Overnight Carcassonne hotel on a bed and breakfast basis.

Day 7 – Mon 27th May

Spend the day exploring Carcassonne, and the Old City of Carcassonne, a unique example of a fortified medieval city and one known for its Cathar beliefs and history. In ancient times (ca. 600BCE), Carcassonne was a major Celtic site and a commercial place of exchange for the Celts, Druids and Phoenicians.

Evening at leisure. Overnight hotel near Rennes le Chateau on a bed and breakfast basis.

Day 8 – Tues 28th May

Today we have an early start for our day stopping on the way in Mirepoix then on to Montségur, Cathar seminary and citadel of their last resistance. In May 1244, in order to appease the pope, the King of France instigated a ten-month blockade of Montségur. A fifteen-day truce was negotiated in March 1244, at the end of which the Cathars had to choose to either, renounce their faith, or perish at the stake – 220 Cathars chose death on the pyre.

In the afternoon we visit the Angel Art Sanctuary in Alet-les-Bain.

Evening at leisure. Overnight hotel near Rennes le Chateau on a bed and breakfast basis.

Day 9 – Wed 29th May

It is a short journey to Rennes le Chateau, ancient Celtic capital dating back to Neolithic times and former Visigoth capital of the region. Visit the Abbé Sauniere’s Villa Bethania. We will tour the church and environs of Magdala, and absorb the atmosphere of this ancient historical place. In the afternoon we visit Arques and Mount Bugarach, site of an ancient Essene community.

Evening at leisure. Overnight hotel near Rennes le Chateau on a bed and breakfast basis.

Day 10 – Thurs 30th May

Today we experience a day in Rennes Les Bains to experience the special healing thermal waters. Our journey will begin in a place of the eternal Priestess, the one who facilitates and honors the sacredness of nature, and of all life, and who has been guardian and initiator through this sacred doorway into the Temple. This is a place of surrender, where we will ceremonially receive an invitation to drop the veils and to trust our Divine knowing within.

Then we will have lunch at a café in La Place des Deux Rennes, (Place of the Two Queens) before we continue on our magical path to experience the 5000 year old stone seat, mysteriously carved into what many call the Seat of Isis, next to her sacred spring. Each person will have time for quiet reflection and attunement as the three powerful ley lines pass through the Seat here. Finally, on our return path, we will pass where the fresh and salt waters come together in an alchemical merging – symbolic of the primordial waters of creation. This is an appropriate place for us to complete the powerful experiences of the day, by honoring our places of origin and understanding the steps whereby two merge into one.

Evening at leisure. Overnight hotel near Rennes le Chateau on a bed and breakfast basis.

Day 11 – Fri 31st May

Morning departure to Toulouse airport for your homeward journey. An optional extra 2 days /1 night visit to Lourdes is possible and will return to Toulouse the following day at 5 pm. The cost is US$ 600 per person including transportation, accommodation, and a evening visit to Lourdes when the healing procession is taking place. Lourdes is a magical place that touches all those who visit in profound ways.


Included in the tour price:

  • Return airport transfer for the group on day 1 and 11.
  • 10 nights hotel accommodation on a bed and breakfast basis.
  • All accommodation is on a twin/double share basis. A single room supplement is available for US$ 750 per person (subject to availability)
  • Full time Journey leaders, tourist guide and driver
  • All ground transportation in coach for the duration of the tour
  • All entrance fees for stated tour sites
  • Dinner on night 1
  • Tipping & Gratuities for driver, hotel and restaurant staff for breakfast and dinner on night 1
  • Guided meditations, ceremonies and process work

Not included in the tour price:

  • All flights (Domestic & International) and airport taxes
  • Lunches
  • Dinners not specified under inclusions
  • Boat excursion at Saintes de la Mer (E10 per person)
  • Alcoholic and non alcoholic beverages (including water, teas and coffees)
  • Items of a personal nature (such as but not limited to telephone calls, valet service, laundry, postage, etc.) and incidental expenditure
  • Personal documentation and visas
  • All transport costs outside of and not included in this itinerary
  • All insurance, including Personal liability, Medical and/or baggage insurance, etc.
  • All items not specified, mentioned or covered as part of this itinerary

Optional extra excursion to Lourdes:

US$ 600 per person for 2 days/1 night (including transport, 1 nights accommodation and visit to Lourdes Grotto at 9 pm for the healing procession)

Terms and Conditions:

A full list of Spiritual Quest Journeys general terms and conditions is available on the Terms and Conditions page of www.spiritualquestjourneys.com Additional specific terms and conditions relating to this tour, are as follows:

  • This tour involves lots of walking and climbing up stairs so a medium fitness level is required
  • To secure your space, a deposit of US$ 1 500 is due at time of reservation. The full tour cost is due by the 28th Feb 2013. For bookings made after the 28th Feb 2013, full payment will be required at the time of booking.
  • Please note that we do require minimum numbers for this tour to operate. Should the minimum number of participants not be reached, we will re-cost the journey based on the number of confirmed participants. If the confirmed participants choose not to accept the new costing, the journey will be cancelled or postponed and a full refund of the payment received (less bank charges) will be given.
  • The tour has been costed in US Dollars as all expenses are in same. This protects our clients from currency fluctuations and hedged conversion rates.
  • Payment may be made by direct bank transfer or by credit card via PayPal. Credit card payments via PayPal will be subject to a 5% admin surcharge to cover fees.
  • Cancellations after payment of the deposit or balance must be in writing and are subject to the following penalties:
  • Individuals are responsible for their own personal medical, travel, baggage and flight insurance. Personal items, such as jackets, cameras, purses or daypacks are the sole responsibility of the owner.  We strongly recommend tour participants take out personal travel insurance and Spiritual Quest Journeys has a link on the website that can facilitate travel insurance if required
  • The full deposit is forfeited for cancellations received from the time of booking and up to the 1st Jan 2013. Cancellations received between the 1st Jan and 28th Feb 2013 will be subject to a cancellation fee of 75% of the tour price. No refund will be given for cancellations after the 28th Feb 2013. Cancellations fees may not be set off against any other tour we offer