World Aroma Tours in France is a fascinating pilgrimage through the Lavender draped hills of Provence where one can explore the deep history, view the landscapes that inspired Van Gogh and Cézanne, live the rich contrast of tastes and aromatic delights and go deep into the marvelous world of medicinal plants.
Amongst blue lavender fields and slender cypresses, about 1 hour by car east of Avignon on the high plateau of Vaucluse lies Aurel, a picturesque little village, typical of southern France. Sunny landscapes delight the eye with lovely slopes where gorse, almond and cherry trees blossom in spring. For centuries, the crystal clear sky has enchanted artists from all over the world, and astronomers claim its stars sparkle more clearly than anywhere else in Europe. We are in the High Provence in the Pays de Sault, not far from Mont Ventoux, the majestic king mountain of this area. Looking south, the blue silhouette of the Luberon appears in the distance. At night, if the Mistral does not blow and the crickets keep silent, you hear the silence of the horizon. In the evening, Aurel, with its barely 150 souls and its dreamy narrow lanes around the medieval castle, bathed in the golden light of the setting sun, is absorbed in memories of a primordial harmony between man and nature. No wonder UNESCO has declared this area, colored by so much "soul" and archetypical beauty, a natural monument of mankind.
The visitor is rewarded wih discoveries in all directions. No road is the same, whether north over Mont Ventoux into the rocky landscape of Southern Drome, east to the Alps of High Provence with its Gorges du Verdon, the Grand Canyon of Southern Europe, or west towards Avignon, Orange, or Vaison-la-Romaine, ancient Roman cities, or Aix-en-Provence, once capital of the kings of Provence. Even the Mediterranean with its scenic silhoutte of cliffs and rocks of the Calanques is not more than 2 hours of comfortable driving from Aurel. Or maybe you prefer to bathe in the wild water freshness of the Toulourenc only 10 minutes fro Aurel? Or to ski during the colder season, only 20 minutes away, on the 6000ft. snowdecked slopes of Mont Ventoux? Let's not forget the famous culinary pleasures of southern France in the numerous wonderful restaurants which invite you in for a memorable meal. There are not many places in Europe where the feeling of sweetness and grandeur coexist so intimately.
Orto de Prouvenco means "large garden of Provence" in Provencal, one of the old Romance languages of southern Europe. Our project originated in 1992 with a profound desireto create a meeting place in High Provence for all those who share our love of nature and its healing powers and who wish to discover more of themselves, far away from the noise of the world.
The Pays de Sault offered just those aspects which we had hoped to find:
Healthy altitude of 800m (2400 feet), pleasant during the hot season, and excellent climatic conditions with an average of over 250 sunny days per year.
Exceptional beauty of landscape and vastness of view.
Silence and seclusion of the area yet easily accessible from the Rhone valley with itsrapid connections with all of Europe.
But above all: the most intimate contact possible with medicinal plants.
This we found in the Pays de Sault, one of the densest areas of medicinal plants in Europe, which extends in a radius of about 70 km around Mont Ventoux. Since time immemorial, this area has maintained its own flora, so fascinating for botanists from al over the world.
Set in a lovingly restored manor, The ORTO Center (Oshadhi Research and Training Organization), is surrounded by aromatic and medicinal plants such as lavender, sage and broom. The ORTO center is a short distance from the village of Aurel, complete with a tranquil landscaped garden of about 150 acres. Two traditional Provence style buildings, with a natural well, inner court, fire place, graceful linden trees, a beautiful swimming pool and 25 charmingly furnished guest rooms (with bathroom and shower) offer enough space for a wide variety of seminars and conferences.
The tours allow you to experience a deep sense of relaxation and settle into an atmosphere of profound wellbeing, while taking time during the day to envelope yourself in the magical cities and villages, food, culture and secrets of Provence…Our exquisite “cuisine à la provençale”, which also specializes in a wide variety of vegetarian dishes, contributes to the welfare of mind and body of our guests.
Introductions to the local medicinal plants, seminars on phyto-aromatherapy and naturopathy with international experts as well as excursions and workshops are an integral part of our program.
World Aroma Tours in France are an enchanted voyage of a lifetime to restore your mind and body, study the ancient arts of medicinal plants and discover deep insights that will change your life forever…