Gardens of the French Riviera and the Menton Lemon Festival 2019

6 Days

From £1475pp

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  • Exclusive to our February departure, experience a day at the Menton Lemon Festival, where the citrus fruit is king
  • Be transported to the capes of South Africa and the deserts of the American Southwest — all without leaving the Riviera — with visits to a series of exquisite, internationally styled gardens
  • Explore the gardens of the rich and famous — including the notoriously wealthy Rothschild clan
  • Revel in the wonderful landscapes that keep the French Riviera firmly at the top of the discerning tourist's 'must visit' list: olive groves, winding cliff roads, and endless lavender fields

Menton's zesty Lemon Festival brings a vibrant burst of colour to our tour of the French Riviera. Exotic gardens, cacti collections, and azure seas complete our sparkling itinerary.

With elegant gardens, dazzling azure skies and a stunning coastline, it isn’t surprising that a generation of artists was inspired by the French Riviera. Over a century on, it still has that same glamorous allure that was captured on canvas. Join us as we explore some of the finest gardens created for the rich and famous, notably the Rothschilds.

Find yourself in South Africa, realised in Southern France at Clos du Peyronnet in Menton. We have an exclusive tour with the owner, whose passion for exotic plants is reflected in the colour and variety of this fascinating garden. At St Jean Cap Ferrat we visit the exquisite gardens of the Fondation Ephrussi de Rothschild, while a short hop over the border to Italy finds us at the incomparable Hanbury Gardens – arguably the greatest of all the Riviera gardens. We also visit the gardens of Villa Thuret at Cap d’Antibes, Serre de la Madone in Menton, the exotic cactus gardens of Monte Carlo and the tranquil private gardens of La Mouissone.

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Day 1

Upon meeting in London, we embark on our flight into Nice, where our tour kicks off. Our first visit is to the historic garden of Serre de la Madone, created by American Lawrence Johnston, who travelled the world over a thirty-year period seeking plants to acclimatise here among the ancient olives.

After lunch in a local restaurant, we continue to our home for the next five nights, the 4* Hotel le Grimaldi. Here, we are greeted with a welcome drink before our first dinner as a group, in a local restaurant.

Day 2

Our first full day begins with a visit to the Fondation Ephrussi de Rothschild at St-Jean-Cap-Ferrat. After lunch in a local restaurant, we continue to Jardin Exotique d’Èze.

Lunch is included in a local restaurant.

Day 3

Our day begins with a visit to Clos du Peyronnet, the private garden of William Waterfield. Our access to Mr Waterfield's garden, not to mention a personal guided tour by the man himself, is a Brightwater exclusive, and a real highlight of our tour. After lunch, we not only move from the private sphere to the public, but from France to Italy, as we cross the border for the gardens of La Mortola, so known as the Hanbury Gardens.

Lunch & dinner are included at local restaurants today.

Day 4

When life gives you lemons... enjoy it to its fullest! Today sees us spend a full day at the Lemon Festival in Menton, with its enormous displays and jaw-dropping floats made with tonnes of brightly-hued citrus fruits. Our entry to the festival includes a grandstand seat for a perfect view of the afternoon parade.

Day 5

This morning, we drive to Cap d'Antibes for a visit to the Villa Thuret, where 3,000 plant species are grown over four acres of exotic jungle. Afterwards, we continue to the village of St Paul de Vence, which has served as a haven for writers and artists for years. We enjoy a leisurely lunch here, before arriving at our final destination of the day, just to the east of Grasse: the garden of La Mouissone.

Lunch & dinner are included at local restaurants today.

Day 6

We jump into our final day with aplomb at the Exotic Gardens of Monte Carlo. This fascinating garden specialises almost exclusively in succulent plants, making it a prickly paradise for cactus lovers. After our final lunch (not included), we transfer tohte airport for our flights home.

What's Included

  • Five nights' accommodation at the 4* Hotel Grimaldi on a bed and breakfast basis
  • Three dinners; four lunches
  • Return flights London to Nice
  • Coach travel in and around Nice
  • Visits to Serre de la Madone, Fondation Ephrussi de Rothschild, Jardin Exotique d'Èze, Clos dy Peyronnet, La Mortola, the Menton Lemon Festival, Villa Thuret, St Paul de Vence, La Mouissone, and the Exotic Gardens of Monte Carlo
  • Entry to the Menton Lemon Festival, including grandstand seat for afternoon parade
  • Services of a Brightwater Holidays Tour Manager
  • Porterage

Supplements per person

  • Single room supplement: £280
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21/02/2019 from £1475pp

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