* France – Provence: the legend of Mary Magdalene with DMC
Period : Throughout the year
Reference : 10P018
Prix : 298€ Ask for a quote
Let the history of the Provencal Saints unfold as you trace the steps of Mary Magdalene and the first Christians in Provence, on a turnkey travl of discovery from the Camargue to the Sainte Baume. Our DMC team is here for you.
D1 Arrival in the Camargue (50 km)
To escape persecution in the Holy Land, Mary Magdalene and her companions fled by rudimentary craft, landing safely and miraculously on the shores of the Camargue, in southern Provence, around 45 AD. Her brother Lazarus, her sister Martha, Sara, and Maximimus began to spread the Gospel and converted the whole of Provence. So began the tradition of the Provencal Saints.
Begin your journey of discovery in the village of Saintes Maries de la Mer, renamed in honour of the three Saint Mary’s first landfall. After lunch of the group visit the little village and its fortified church, then take a boat trip on the Petit Rhone, one of Antiquity’s most important transport routes. Continue to Arles for dinner and overnight of the group.
D2 Roman Arles and ancient Gods of Marseilles (100 km)
Whilst Martha travelled up to Tarascon and Maximim to Aix and St Maximim, Lazarus and Mary Magdalene headed to the busy port, and Roman stronghold, of Marseilles.”
Remarkable Roman treasures abound in the old town of Arles, such as the amphitheatre, and crypto porticos, or underground galleries, beneath the old Roman Forum, as well as the necropolis and the Archaeological Museum. After your visit continue to Marseilles, a city who has venerated her female protectors since ancient times. The oldest quarter is the Panier district sloping down to the port where Mary Magdalene preached. Visit the crypt of the imposing Abbey of Saint Victor housing a primitive statue of Lazarus and the enigmatic statue of the Black Madonna. Then climb to the hilltop Notre Dame de la Garde Basilica dominating the city, crowned by a gleaming golden statue of the Virgin Mary. Dinner and overnight of the group in the region of Marseilles.
D3 A life of retreat at the Sainte Baume (100 km)
Having performed a number of miracles, Mary Magdalene withdrew to live the remainder of her life in penitence in a cave in the Sainte Baume Mountains. Sensing death approach, she rejoined Maximim who buried her in her final resting place, where today you can see her tomb.
Take a tour with your guide of Saint-Maximin and the vast Basilica built here to house the holy relics of Mary Magdalene. Learn about the various representations of the Saint in religious art. Lunch in Plan d’Aups, at the Dominican Abbey chiselled into the rock face then from here climb on foot to Mary Magdalene’s grotto (45 minutes). Dinner of the group and overnight.
D4 Christian Symbols of Aix en Provence (50 km)
The Bishopric of Aix boasts a splendid Cathedral, whose baptistery dates from the 6th century. Seat of the Archbishop, learn more about the church and its symbols from your knowledgeable guide, a specialist in the field. Free time to enjoy Aix ( a visit to a “calisson” sweet manufacturer and tasting is an option). Lunch of the group.
Coach tour Provence
Full Board in 2/3* hotels in the Arles and Marseilles regions
Special knowledge Guide for the programmed excursions
Entrance Fees : Saint Victor Abbey Crypt, « Liberty Ticket » tourist pass in Arles
Boat Trip on the petit Rhone river (1h30)
Coach tour Provence
Single Room (3 nts) : 90 €
Per meal : 1/4 wine 3,30 € – coffee : 1,70 €