Greetings from Robbi and Jim

A warm welcome to all of the members of our Aroma Tours Newsletter in over 30 countries around the world.

Kind thanks to Tim Cohen ( Heart of Provence Tour 2015 ) for this photo of Robbi and I

Robbi and I are looking forward to the beginning of another wonderful season of Aroma Tours adventures this May in the beautiful Spanish spring with our Flavours of Spain Tour and Spanish Gourmet Pilgrimage and it always delights us to share in the excitement building up for our guests as we all begin the mental journey that leads up to our actual departure.

After 23 wonderful years, as we contemplate throttling back on the number of tours that we will be offering, Robbi and I feel truly blessed to once again be sharing our passion for the fabulous places and experiences that we love, with delightful people from around the world.

This year is all set to be our most successful tour season ever ( how wonderful ) with all of our tours now down to the last few places!

We look forward to welcoming the last few Aroma Travellers to our thong this year and hope that you will be able to join us.

  • There are a few places still available for Provence, Italy and Bali, and if you would like to "seize the day" and journey with us this year, we invite you to visit our information request page for more details or our booking request page to reserve your place.

Aroma Travellers Our Thanks

Without doubt, the main reason that we have grown and flourished over the years, is the on-going support we have received from our past Aroma Travellers and we are once again thrilled to see that they will be making up over 60% of our guests!

We would also like to give our heart-felt thanks to all of you who continue to support us with your kind words and referrals.

Robbi and I also greatly appreciate the wonderful words of thanks we have received over the years and have added a new compilation of Guest Comments to our site.

A Feast of Photos and Memories

We have well over one hundred thousand photos in our archives and it is always a delight for us to spend a little time reminiscing about the wonderful times we have shared with our Aroma Tours guests.

With that in mind we have gathered up a few photos of our recent adventures in Provence so that you can share pictorially in some of the lovely moments that we enjoyed with our Aroma Travellers during our journeys together.

ancient abbey and lavender field from out heart of provence tour stunning fields of population lavender Sushi and sushimi with freshest ingredients

We invite you to join us to explore some of these wonderful places, people and experiences with us and take your own "selfie" memories.

Mistral - The Man and the Wind

Frederick Mistral ( 1830 - 1914 ) was born in the tiny village of Maillane in the Bouches du Rhone region of southern France and after a lacklustre early education, he took it upon himself as a young man to champion the independence of Provence, and in particular to restore the first literary language of civilized Europe: the "Langue d'Oc" also known as Occitan or Provencal.

Mistral resolved: "to raise, revive in Provence the feeling of race ...; to move this rebirth by the restoration of the natural and historical language of the country ...; to restore the fashion to Provence by the breath and flame of divine poetry".

As a consequence of this great work over a lifetime, Mistral was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1904.

During his career he redefined the language in its purest form by creating a comprehensive Occitan-French dictionary and transcribing the songs of the medieval troubadours, who spoke the language in its original form.

Mistral's most important work is an epic twelve part poem Mireille ( Mireio in Provencal ), published in 1859, which tells the story of the thwarted love of Vincent and Mireille, two young Provencal people of different social means.

Mireille's parents wish her to marry a rich landowner, but her heart already belongs to Vincent who is but a lowly basket maker.

Sad and desperate, Mireille runs off to Saintes Maries de la Mer at the mouth of the Rhone river and a place of pilgrimage, to pray to the patrons of Provence to change her parents' minds but tragically, she falls victim to the heat, dying in Vincent's arms under the gaze of her parents.

Mireio was a literary triumph and as a result it was translated into fifteen European languages and in 1863, French composer Charles Gounod made it into the opera, Mireille.

Mistral wrote short stories and also had an aperitif named after him

Frederick Mistral became much beloved in Provence for giving literary credibility to the Provencale language and perhaps this resulted in his name being associated with the fierce, cold northerly winds that are typical of Provence or maybe it was just a coincidence, given that Mistral ( Mistrau in Provencale ) means masterly and when Le Mistral blows it certainly masters all before it.

Le Mistral is a cold, mostly dry, regional wind that can reach speeds of more than one hundred kilometres an hour which occurs each time there is an area of high pressure in the Bay of Biscay accompanied by an area of low pressure around the Gulf of Genoa.

It occurs mainly during winter and early spring, streaming in from the north or north west, accelerating as it passes through the southern Rhone valley between the Ardeche and the low Alps, before heading out into the Mediterranean to influence the weather in North Africa, Sicily, and across the region.

Le Mistral helps explain the unusually sunny climate ( more than 200 days of sunshine a year ) and clarity of the air in Provence. Other parts of France can have cloud and storms, but Provence is rarely affected for long. Le Mistral quickly clears the sky; in less than two hours, the weather can go from overcast to completely clear!

 Le Mistral also blows away dust and haziness making the air crystal clear, so that it is possible to see distant mountains over 100 kilometres away. It was this clarity of air and light that attracted many French impressionist and post-impressionist artists to the South of France and that gives us that glorious azure that we enjoy during our time in Provence.

  • "Behind the Mistral is the beauty of Provence. Its fierceness blows away clouds and grime and doubt, leaving colours the depth of dreams and a freshness that can come only after the Mistral's scouring. Provence needs the Mistral or it ceases to be the Provence of my dreams. I need the Mistral to cut through those dreams to truth - beauty comes after the wind." ~ Kamiah A. Walker

Our Current Booking Status

Bookings for our 2017 season are continuing wonderfully well with Spain fully booked and all of our remaining tours now down to the last few places.

Robbi and I hope to have the pleasure of welcoming you and we invite you to get in touch with us shortly for further information or if you would like to secure your place.

The current booking status at the time of this newsletter is:-

2017 Tour Season
Flavours of Spain 22 - 29 May 2017 fully booked
Spanish Gourmet Pilgrimage 29 May - 5 June 2017 fully booked
Heart of Provence 12 - 19 June 2017 2 vacancies
Essential Provence 19 - 26 June 2017 2 vacancies
Aromas of Provence 30 June - 7 July 2017 2 vacancies
Provence Aromatherapy Retreat 7 - 14 July 2017 1 vacancy
Aromas of Tuscany 5 - 12 September 2017 2 vacancies
Flavours of Italy 12 - 19 September 2017 fully booked
Bali Women's Retreat 2 - 9 September 2017 3 vacancies
Bali Women's Retreat 11 - 18 September 2017 2 vacancies

Please note

  • Our up-to-the-minute booking status is available via our calendar page
  • If the tour you would like to attend becomes fully booked, please let us know if you would like us to add you to the waiting list for that tour in case a place becomes available due to a cancellation.

Tuscany and the Dolce Vita

We are greatly looking forward to sharing the beauty and bounty of autumn in Tuscany with our Aroma Travellers this September during our Aromas of Tuscany Tour.

As well as glorious countryside and nourishment for the eyes, life in Tuscany takes on a different pace with long lunches in beautiful hilltop villages, fabulous coffee, delicious wines, truffles, parmegiano cheese, porchini mushrooms, prosciutto, fresh pasta..... ( so many wonderful tastes ), laughter and the fine Italian art of "dolce fa niente" - sweet doing nothing!

Our journey is also about absorbing the richness and passion of Italian life and savouring its cultural heritage evident in the art, architecture, pageantry, festivals, fashion, design, craftsmanship and unique approach to living.

We are all destined to be transformed by the magic of this wonderful place - feeling more Italian moment by moment, speaking more enthusiastically, smiling broadly and even display a bit of emphatic hand waving!

Photos of Tuscany by Susan Troxell ( repeat )

With our Italian tours now almost full, I though it would be inspiring to revisit the beautiful collection of photos of Tuscany taken by our dear friend and 9th time repeat Aroma Traveller Susan Troxell from New York City USA.

Susan has joined us for both of our Italian tours and was a prolific shutterbug throughout. As a result of the more than 700 photos that she has kindly shared with us, I thought it fitting that we should chronicle our Aroma Tours Italy adventures through Susan's lens.

Susan's endless enthusiasm, sense of fun and kind heartedness have always been very welcome on tour and her stunning photos give you a sense of the lovely places and experiences we share during our Aromas of Tuscany Tour

WWe look forward to welcoming the last 2 lucky Aroma Travellers to this delightful adventure, exploring the delights of the "Dolce Vita".

Travelling Solo in a Group

As well as couples and friends travelling together, we are regularly joined by solo travellers - mostly women, who appreciate being able to journey with liked minded people from around the world, without the need to do all the planning and take on the daunting task of touring by themselves.

Joining one of our small group tours is easy and we have already made all of the arrangements on your behalf to ensure that you have a delightful, stress-free holiday with the focus on having fun.

Having a ready-made group of friends to travel with, and us to take wonderful care of you is the way to go!

We have carefully crafted off-the-beaten-path itineraries that are the perfect balance of structure, experiences, details and free time to enjoy in your own way.

There have been a significant number of guests over the years who and have joined us multiple times, some of whom have become dear friends.

  • Susan Troxell from NYC holds the record for the most tours attended by a solo traveller - she has journeyed with us 9 times!
  • Mona Smith, pictured at the beginning of this snippet, is a close second and has joined us 8 times.

Our Invitation

Robbi and I look forward to welcoming you to one of our delightful tours or retreats as we continue moving towards our retirement in the next few years.

Glorious lavender flowers in Provence France

  • For detailed information about any of our tours please visit our tour information page and if you would like to join us please visit our make a reservation page.
  • As always if you have any questions or if you would like us to assist you personally with advice about your travel arrangements or with any other details please contact us at

Warmest regards,

Jim and Robbi

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