Gardens of the French Riviera and the International Rose Festival

6 days

From £2,195 £2,295

Activity Level:


With elegant gardens, dazzling azure skies and a stunning coastline which inspired a generation of artists, the French Riviera has retained its glamorous allure for over a century. We visit some of the finest gardens that were created here in this sun-kissed playground of the rich including those of Thomas Hanbury and the Rothschilds.

We visit Grasse, centre of the French perfume industry since the 16th century and home to an International Rose Festival. The pretty hill town lies about 15 kilometres inland from Cannes but 300 to 400 metres above sea level, making for a very hospitable climate. Its favourite son was Jean-Honoré Fragonard (1732-1806), whose decorative paintings suggest his own fascination with flowers. Visitors to the rose festival should expect a variety of fringe attractions, including, naturally, perfume displays. But roses are everything to the exhibitors, who take the competitive aspect very seriously.

In addition to these special events, we visit some of the finest gardens that were created here in the 19th century. Clos du Peyronnet in Menton is a private garden reflecting the passion of its owner who takes full advantage of the climate to nurture exotic plants, South African bulbs being a speciality. At St Jean Cap Ferrat we visit the exquisite gardens of the Fondation Ephrussi de Rothschild which contain many interesting plants and are surrounded by marvellous sea views.

Just over the border in Italy are the incomparable Hanbury Gardens (La Mortola), arguably the greatest of all the Riviera gardens, in the richness of their collection and the unforgettable power of their presence. We also visit the Jardin Exotique d’Èze, which offers the chance to discover exotic plants and the history and traditions of the village of Èze, along with the Villa Thuret at Cap d’Antibes, Serre de la Madone in Menton, the exotic gardens of Monte Carlo and the tranquil gardens of La Mouissone.

Although the activity level for this tour is rated as Moderate, please be aware that some of the gardens have some very steep sections which may not be accessible for the less mobile. These include the Jardin Exotique d’Èze, La Mortola and the Exotic Gardens of Monte Carlo.

Tour highlights:

  • The infectious enthusiasm of the owner of the Clos du Peyronnet
  • Cacti of every shape and size in Monte Carlo
  • The richness of the plant collection at the Hanbury Garden
  • Marvellous sea views and opulent surroundings in St Jean Cap Ferrat

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Deposit: £250 Single supplement: £495

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Meet your Experts

Jim Hart

Tour Manager

Jim Hart is a professional horticulturist with more than 45 years experience. He began his career in the public parks service in the north of England before working in commercial nurseries.

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The Gardens of Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild
Tour dates & prices

Included in your cost:

  • Accommodation
  • Meals - as per the itinerary
  • Comfortable coach travel throughout
  • All visits as outlined in the itinerary
  • Services of a professional tour manager
Tour Departure Tour ID Departure date Return Date Guided by Price Deposit Single supplement Offer Availability
11 May 2024 BFRR240511 11 May 2024 (Saturday) 16 May 2024 (Thursday) Jim Hart £2,295
(inc. flights)
£250 £495 £2,195
save £100
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