We invite you to take some time out and visit a more spiritual Provence with activities relating to the senses, especially taste and smell. In our home town of Forcalquier, within the walls of a converted 13th century convent, is the UESS, the European University of Scents and Flavours.
This institution is dedicated to research and training for the study of aromatic and scented plants, vital for the development of the cosmetics and food industries, which are particularly active in our region. It organizes many specialized training courses and one of them is the Perfumers Workshop.
Created by the Master Perfumer from Grasse, Lucien Ferrero, this workshop enables beginners to gain and the skilled to improve their olfactory knowledge. Here we learn the basis of a perfume composition and create our own customized and unique perfume. At the end of the workshop we can take home our own flacon of self-made perfume.
Not least amongst the wonderful things about our "neighborhood" in Haute Provence are the gardens of the Prieuré de Salagon. This ancient Benedictine priory is located on a 2000-year-old Gallo-Roman site and includes a 12th-century Romanesque church famous for its classical music festivals.
The ethno-botanical gardens present some beautiful flowers and aromatic plants from a region famous for them, and the medieval garden shows you what was growing here "way back then".
On a tour of L'Occitane, we'll learn about the history of the company which our neighbour Olivier Baussan founded it in 1976. He started out making rosemary essential oil and selling it at local Provence markets. By 1981, he had opened his first store in Provence, and today, there are over 2,000 L'Occitane stores in 90 countries around the world.
As we go through the factory, we see production line rooms and learn how L'Occitane harvests and distills its organic ingredients from the area.
Under the gentle guidance of Nastassja Clarke we attempt to gain an inner elevation through the practice of yoga and meditation. It will prove to be a perfect option to rejuvenate your soul, mind and body.
We believe in siestas and a short nap can feel like a mini-vacation. Experts estimate that upwards of ninety percent of disease is stress-related. And perhaps nothing ages us faster, internally and externally, than high stress levels. Everyone deserves a little quality 'me time' and Holistic therapies are an ideal way to relax and unwind.
Expect an array of fragrant vegetarian dishes during the short cooking seminars with professional chefs, Gabriela from Walkabout and Virginie from Les Petites Tables, specialising in fresh local organic produce.
Our walks take us into the gentle hills of Provence with siestas in a field of wild thyme and through small hilltop towns.
Our Hotels and Cuisine
We stay in our own holiday apartments, which are in a charming, cobblestoned street in the old town of Forcalquier; ideally located to various restaurants which highlight the "Cuisine Provençale".
Walking Tour Combination
Departure dates have been arranged to allow the "A Rejuvenating Health Retreat in Provence" and "Peer Gynt's Trail" walk to be combined.
Every day was so magical - you got the balance right - wish everyone I know could experience this exceptional tour. Thank you from the bottom of my heart - great company, wonderful walks, superb consistent food.”