provence & the French Riviera

Experience the beauty and rich spiritual heritage of Provence and the French Riviera!  Tradition has it that Christianity arrived very early on in this area.  The spiritual treasures combined with the stunning beauty make for a wonderful itinerary as we travel on the sea, up to a chapel in a cliff, and down a pleasant river– with plenty of good food and other wonderful experiences along the way!

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Kayaking to the island abbey of Lerins on the Mediterranean Sea
  • Hiking to the Cave of St. Mary Magdalene
  • The Palace of the Popes in Avignon

ITINERARY

The French Riviera (Days 1-3)

Meet in Cannes and have orientation and a welcome dinner  I Kayak on the crystal clear waters of Mediterranean along the red cliffs of the Esterels  I Kayak a second day to the island Abbey of Lerins, one of the first monasteries in Europe and pray with monks there I Explore the island of Sainte Marguerite

    The Cave of St. Mary Magdalene (Days 3-5)

    Hike the Path of the Kings in the footsteps of kings, queens, saints, and popes who have all made pilgrimage to the Holy Cave I Learn the history of St. Mary Magdalene’s arrival in France and visit her relics in the beautiful cathedral in Saint-Maximin-la-Sainte-Baume I Marvel at the views of the Mediterranean in the distance from the hermitage of St. Pilon

      Aix-en-Provence & Avignon (Days 5-6)

      Transfer to beautiful town of Aix-en-Provence and explore its cozy streets I Visit the Palace of the Popes in Avignon where the popes lived in the 14th century, the largest gothic building of the Middle Ages I Walk around Avignon and see the famous bridge, the Pont Saint-Benezet 

        St. Guilhem-le-desert & Herault Gorge (Days 6-8)

        Head to perhaps the most beautiful town on the Arles Way (Via Tolosana) Camino to Santiago: St. Guilhem-le-desert I Spend a secluded day kayaking on clear water surrounded by cliffs down a river in the gorges de l’Herault I Hike the Cirque de l’Infernet

          LODGING

          Religious Houses & Hotels

           We stay mainly in the guest accommodations of religious houses (monasteries, convents, sanctuaries, etc.).  The culture and history of these places really adds to the character of our pilgrimage.  The rooms are clean, comfortable, and nice, but not “luxurious'”. Normally 1 or 2 roommates of the same gender.  If you are interested in a single-room supplement, please contact us- we cannot guarantee its availability.  Air conditioner is generally not available.

          EATING

           We eat mainly at restaurants. Menus may be limited to fixed options or set menus. Some meals may be picnics.  Breakfasts provided are in the local style (typically not as hearty as American style). We can accommodate most food allergies.

          BACKPACKS

          All of your belongings must fit in a backpack worn on your back.  We indicate in the Activity Levels section if hiking will be done with a backpack or a daypack.  No rolling suitcases or other types of luggage are allowed on this trip.  We will provide a detailed packing list.

          PRAYING

          Prayer is at the heart of our pilgrimages.  Daily mass, the liturgy of the hours, the rosary, and other prayer opportunities are available throughout the pilgrimage for you to join as you like.  We hope to have a chaplain on every trip, but we cannot guarantee this.

          PROVENCE & THE FRENCH RIVIERA

          (8 Days, 7 Nights)

          $2,360

          INCLUDES

          • 7 nights lodging
          • All breakfasts
          • All dinners (with a drink)
          • Ground & water transportation except to and from the pilgrimage
          • Outdoor activities (guides, rental equipment, tips)
          • Entrance fee into the Palace of the Popes
          • Pilgrimage materials (reading packet, prayer booklet, maps, group gear)
          • Masses and other spiritual activities
          • All tips and service charges to drivers, restaurants, etc.

          DOES NOT INCLUDE

          • Flights
          • All lunches
          • Transportation to and from the pilgrimage
          • Single room supplement if available ($650)
          • Fee if paying by credit card
          • Anything else not listed

          DATES 

           

          june 7-14, 2023

          Sign-up Deadline: March 25, 2023 I Max Capacity: 20 

          OPTIONAL ADD-ONS

          ROME & ASSISI

          Italy

          The Vatican, the tomb of St. Rita, the Way of St. Francis of Assisi, Spoleto, and more!

          LOURDES & ROCAMADOUR

          France

          To two of the greatest Marian shrines in France: Lourdes & Rocamadour

          ACTIVITY LEVELS

          Day 2: Kayaking

          Level 1: 4 miles, 2 hours. Sea. Optional

          Level 4: 11 miles, 4-5 hours. Sea. Optional

          Day 3: Kayaking

          Level 2: 6 miles, 3 hours. Sea. Optional

          Level 3: 8 miles, 4 hours. Sea. Optional

          Day 4: Hiking

          Level 2: 2.5 miles, 900ft elevation gain. Daypack. Optional. Additional options for more hiking.

          Day 5: Hiking

          Level 2: 2.5 miles, 900ft elevation gain. Daypack. Optional

          Day 6: Hiking

          Level 3: 5.7 miles, 1876ft elevation gain. Daypack. Optional

          Day 7: Kayaking

          Level 1: 2.5 miles, 1-2 hours. River (mainly flat water with potential for some small waves). Optional

          Level 2: 7.5 miles, 4-6 hours. River (alternating between flat water and easy rapids). Optional

          Click here to learn more about how we determine our activity levels. “Optional” means it is easy for you to skip the activity.  Skipping or modifying other routes may be possible but not in an easy manner. All activities are weather dependent.  Distances are subject to change.

          more Details

          Arrival

          Our meeting point will be at the train station in Cannes.  We suggest flying into the Nice or the Marseilles airports and taking a train to Cannes. The official pilgrimage start time is 5:00p.m.- please arrive before then. If you arrive early, you will have more time to explore Cannes . Please wait for a confirmation to buy a plane ticket.

          Departure

          This pilgrimage will end in Montpellier at 9am on the last day of the pilgrimage.  You can take a train from there to Marseilles, Nice, or wherever you flew into. You are free to leave beforehand if needed.  ALP staff is happy to help you with your travel plans after the pilgrimage– whatever they may be!

          Transportation

          We will be using a variety of transportation on this pilgrimage, both public and private.  We will be using some trains, private taxis and shuttles, and may occasionally hop on a bus or a ferry.   

          Insurance

          Each pilgrim should have health insurance. We highly recommend purchasing traveler’s insurance as well.

          Eligibility

          Must be comfortable with the activities and activity levels listed. Must be able to carry all of your belongings in a backpack and have a sense of adventure.  Must be able to swim in order to kayak. 

           

          THE LEADERS

          CHRISTOHER BAKERFounder and Director of ALP

          There will be one or two other leaders, one of whom hopefully will be a priest, on the pilgrimage who are yet to be determined.  

           

           

          SIGNING UP

          Step 1: Sign up

           Fill out our short online form

          Step 2: Registration

          We will send you the registration packet to complete and send back to us

          Step 3: Payment & Confirmation

          Please wait to buy your plane ticket until you recieve a confirmation

          Contact Us

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