A warm welcome to all of the members of our Aroma Tours Newsletter in over 30 countries around the world.
Robbi and I are excited to be at the beginning of another wonderful year of Aroma Tours adventures and we feel truly blessed to once again be able to share our passion for the fabulous places and experiences that we love with delightful people from around the world.
After 24 wonderful years and as we begin to contemplate throttling back on the number of tours we will be offering, the start of each year's tour season is becoming even more poignant for us.
This year is all set to be another fabulous tour season with almost all of our tours now down to the last few places! As always it is our returning guests and their friends who are leading this fabulous response.
Robbi and I hope to have the pleasure of welcoming you to share a delightful and delicious journey with us in 2018 and enjoy the wonderful people, places, fabulous cuisine, culture and experiences that we love to share with our guests from around the world.
February is our busiest time of year for bookings and we invite you to "seize the day" and secure your place for one of our delightful Aroma Tours.
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 thrilled to see that they continue to make up over 65% 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.
Of all the regions that we visit, Provence has a special place in our hearts. It is where our Aroma Tours began over two decades ago and where we first fell in love with another land.
Returning to our second home in Provence is always a delight and it is our passion to share and explore the many wonders and hidden gems of this beautiful region during our Heart of Provence, Essential Provence and Aromas of Provence tours.
"To be in Provence is to be in a joyful dream full of beauty and delight." ~ Jean Moreau
Please join us in this beautiful land and it will be our great pleasure to share the wonderful places, people and experiences that we love with you.
Reservations for our 2018 season are continuing to go wonderfully well with two more tours sold out and all of our remaining journeys now down to the last few places.
The current booking status for our 2018 season at the time of this newsletter is:-
|List of Tours for 2018|
|Flavours of Spain||21 - 28 May 2018||SOLD OUT|
|Spanish Gourmet Pilgrimage||28 May - 4 June 2018||4 vacancies|
(ladies only special event)
|15 - 22 June 2018||1 vacancy|
|Heart of Provence||25 June - 2 July 2018||3 vacancies|
|Essential Provence||2 - 9 July 2018||5 vacancies|
|Aromas of Provence||13 - 20 July 2018||3 vacancies|
|Flavours of France (invite only)||23 - 30 July 2018||SOLD OUT|
|Aromas of Tuscany||4 - 11 September 2018||6 vacancies|
|Flavours of Italy||11 - 18 September 2018||5 vacancies|
|Bali Women's Retreat||8 - 15 September 2018||SOLD OUT|
|Bali 30th Anniversary Retreat (invite only)||17 - 24 September 2018||SOLD OUT|
years ago during our Essential Provence
we had the pleasure of witnessing the ancient ritual of Le Feu de St. Jean - The
Fire of St. John.
This colourful celebration dates back to pagan times and is always held on the eve of the summer solstice; representing the victory of light over darkness on the shortest night of the year. All manner of healing and benefits are associated with the fire, such as curing of disease, enhancing fertility and protection from adversity.
On a perfect balmy summer's eve as we strolled through a lovely small village, we were treated to the spectacle of a colourful procession of villagers dressed in traditional Provencale costume parading through the narrow streets to the sounds of flutes and drums.
At the center of the procession was a horse-drawn wagon laiden with fruits of the harvest and as it passed we were offered garlands of rosemary, lavender, corn, fruit, wheat, brush-wood and other offerings for "Le Feu".
The parade's destination was the village's central square where a large bon-fire awaited us. The main festivities began shortly afterwards, with the mayor, resplendent in his tri-coloured sash, addressing us at some length on the ripening of the season and the bountiful harvest soon to come.
He was flanked by dancers and musicians who enthusiastically performed for us and one of the most memorable songs we heard that night, told the story of two young lovers whose eyes met for the first time gazing across the Fire of St John. [ to this day it is one of my favourite songs ]
Once it was fully
dark, the festivities began in earnest as the bonfire was carefully lit and we all began to circle slowly
three times around
"Le Feu", whilst throwing flowers, herbs, and garlands into the
flames with the words - "May all my ill-luck depart and be burnt up with
We were all enchanted by these heart-felt traditions and took a moment to gave thanks, reflect on the year gone by and then bless the year to come, as we joined the whole village in celebration.
Join us for a wonderful gastronomic pilgrimage along the route of the famous Camino de Santiago in northern Spain, beginning with the foodie heaven of the Basque country which has one of the highest concentrations of Michelin starred restaurants in the world.
We then weave our way west through a succession of glorious vistas and cuisines until we reach the magnificent world heritage city of Santiago de Compostella in the seafood paradise of Galicia.
We will journey through spectacular countryside, staying in magnificent 5 star hotels, visit Templar castles, stunning cathedrals and venerable wine estates, enjoy guided walks through fascinating old quarters and picturesque seaside villages and experience a little walking on the pilgrims way of the Camino de Santiago de Compostela.
Click here for more photos of the Spanish Gourmet Pilgrimage
As is normally the case for this tour at this time of year we are now down to the last few places - time for some delicious Carpe Diem.
Our "ladies only" special event Treasures of Provence which was announced for the first time in our December newsletter is proving to be a huge hit and as a result there is now only 1 vacancy remaining.
Both Robbi and our dear friend Megan Larsen will be sharing many of the delightful elements that they love about Provence, especially for women travellers desiring to be cared for and nurtured by the beauty that the French aspire too so well…Simply a beautiful immersion into the essence of French style and charm.
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.
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.
Jim and Robbi