FULLY BOOKED FOR 2020 – email courses@penny-price.com to be added to the cancellation waiting list or to register your interest for 2021!

Aromatic French Adventure 2020

June 14th – 20th

Drôme valley

£750.00 inc. VAT

This is a tour of a lifetime opportunity for all those who are interested or trained in aromatherapy. The sheer beauty of the area is spiritually uplifting and refreshing, while the sunny weather and sunny natures of the French people is welcoming, relaxing and charming.

Accommodation for six nights with full board (including wine of the area) will be provided at the Ancien Monastère de Sainte Croix, which is situated in the heart of the peaceful Drôme valley, approximately 7km west of the ancient market town of Die (pronounced D-ee). The cost does not include your journey – we suggest flying to Nimes, St Etienne, Lyon or Marseille and hiring a car. Travelling by train is cheap but making all the connections is not everyone’s cup of tea. We will put students in touch with each other for car sharing during the week. Husbands, partners and friends are welcome, even if they have no interest in aromatherapy…we can almost guarantee they will by the end of the trip!

The visit coincides with the harvesting and distillation of a selection of aromatic plants – and not only includes lectures on the history of the area, the plants grown there and their therapeutic uses, but the opportunity to witness first hand the distillation of the crops.

The group will be harvesting flowers at the beginning of the week and will see how they are macerated a few days later. It will be possible to see other medicinal plants which grow around the local river, including wild lavender, St John’s Wort, chicory, walnut, lime blossom and many more. Field study trips will include a visit to a distillation plant, walks around herb fields, cosmetic making workshop and a botanical walk complete with picnic, revealing magnificent vistas over the Drôme valley.

A shopping trip will be made to the local market town on market day, also a visit to one or more caves to taste (and buy, if you wish) Clairette de Die, the natural champagne (no added bubbles!) of the area.

We will host a party on the last night, so if you can act, sing or dance or recite, you are encouraged to volunteer your talents!

The incredible energy of the atmosphere is also a contributory factor to a very relaxing and spiritually uplifting week.

To download the full brochure click here



Arrival at the monastery, then dinner and a relaxing evening.


Morning: A visit to La Ferme de Truchard. We will meet our farmer, Sylvie, who will show us her small farm and walk us around the crops, explaining the therapeutic benefits of each. The group is then let loose to cut and pick plants for our maceration session later in the week. Lunch at the Monastery.

Afternoon: A visit to Sylvie’s house – distillation unit, drying barn, laboratory and shop. Sylvie will give a demonstration and an explanation of the distillation process. Clairette de Die is provided afterwards to end a perfect day!


Morning: A visit to a nut and olive oil producer in the historic town of Crest where you will be able to watch the old-fashioned mills in progress and taste many of the different oils produced. The little shop is full of local buys after the demonstration. The visit is followed by time in Crest at your leisure, where the historic Tour de Crest, built by Simon de Montfort in the middle ages, stands proud above the town; at 170 feet this imposing building is the tallest fortified keep in France. Lunch in Crest at your leisure.

Afternoon: Instruction on Maceration, followed by practical maceration of your own plant material in our popular workshop.


Morning: A visit to the wonderful and diverse Provençale market in Die, where there are quaint little shops and cafes for your delectation and delight. Lunch in Die at your leisure.

Afternoon: Travel to the village of Barsac for a tour of vineyards with a local farmer, and tasting of Clairette de Die, the region’s naturally sparkling wine. There will also be the opportunity to taste and purchase some local award-winning wines at the end of the tour.


Morning: Today we travel to Pensee Sauvage a farm cultivating aromatic and medicinal plants. The day will begin with a tour of the gardens followed by a walk to discover the wild plants in the surrounding area and a talk on their uses. Picnic lunch will be provided.

Afternoon: A chance to get hands on as you complete a Cosmetic Making Workshop at the farm. You will create your own balm to take away and enjoy!


Morning: A walk through the mountains on a field trip to discover myriads of wildflowers at the Vallon de Combeau. When you get to the top, look out at the stunning views of the Alps. Picnic lunch on the mountain.

 Afternoon: A visit to a small, local, lavender distillery, where the owner will talk us through the different types of lavender and the latest distillation processes. There is a shop for purchases of the lavender grown on site.

We return to the monastery for our final dinner and leaving party!


Morning: Breakfast and home time.


Six nights full board* accommodation at the ‘Ancien Monastère de Sainte Croix’, which is situated in the heart of the peaceful Drôme valley, approximately 7km west of the ancient market town of Die. Wine from the area is served with lunch and evening meals. The monastery is a welcome centre for groups – and because it is not a hotel, there are no rooms with en-suite bathrooms. However, there are several showers and toilets on both floors and although most bedrooms are twin (with wash basin), there are 5 single rooms available on a first come first served basis. The views from the bedrooms and bathrooms (and even one from the toilets) are stunning!

* During the tour, two lunches will be taken on location at your leisure and are not included.


The venue is in a small village called Ste. Croix in the Drome Valley. The venue is about 2 hours from the airports of Nimes, St Etienne and Lyons.

Once we have the full list of travellers, we will share names and addresses so that you can travel together by flying, or hire cars together to cut the cost of the trip. This means that those who are on their own do not have to travel on their own!

By Train

The TGV travels to Valence, which is about 45 minutes away from Die, the nearest town to Ste Croix and there is a connecting train from Valence to Die, where you can be met at the station by arrangement.

By Car

At whichever airport you are landing (Lyon (St Exupery), St, Etienne, Nimes or Marseilles), follow signs to Valence, which is on Autoroute (motorway) A7:

From the south, take exit 16 for Privas and Loriol and follow signs for Loriol and Crest.

From St Etienne, follow signs to Valence, when you will join the A7 to Vienne and Valence. (If feeling brave, you can take the smaller road to Annonnay, by-pass that and join the A7 to Valence.)

Leave the Autoroute at exit 15. After paying the toll, drive slowly and look carefully – following signs to Gap, Crest and Die (D111).

From Lyon (St Exupery), follow all Autoroute signs for

Valence: A432 (about 4 km), followed by the A43 (for about 8 km), then the A46, which leads onto the A7. Leave A7 at exit 15.

After paying the toll, drive slowly and look carefully – following signs to Gap, Crest and Die (D111).

After by-passing Crest, the road passes Saillans, Vercheny and

Pontaix. … A couple of kilometres after Pontaix, look on the left for some houses on a hillside. That is the village of Ste Croix, and there is a turning to it from the main road immediately after three sets of houses.

Follow this road up the hill, bearing left when you come to the corner (signposted St Julien en Quint). Go past a small winding road to the left – and take the next (straight) small road to the top; turn left – and the monastery is straight ahead.

Park your car in the big car park on the right just before the monastery gates.

The Monastery Contact Details:

Telephone: 04-75-21-22-06

Mobile : 06 85 80 05 22

Address: 26150 SAINTE CROIX


The tour – 14th-20th June 2020 can be booked via one of the following methods –

  • Completing and returning the application form contained within the brochure.
  • By calling us directly on 01455 251020
  • Or CLICK HERE to book online

Booking must be confirmed with a non-refundable deposit payment of £350.00 per person with the final balance of £400.00 due no later than 2nd March 2020.


If you are unable to attend the Aromatic French Adventure Tour 14th-20th June 2020 for any reason the following will apply:

Cancellations made prior to 2nd March 2020 will lose the deposit payment of £350.00. Cancellations on or after 2nd March 2020 are liable to the full tour fee – any outstanding amount will be invoiced for.v