Gardens of the French Riviera and the International Rose Festival11th May 2024
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.
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 Villa Thuret at Cap d’Antibes, Serre de la Madone in Menton, the gardens of Monte Carlo and the tranquil gardens of La Mouissone.
We also 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.
departures:Select Your Departure Date
What to Expect
- The exotic planting of the Clos du Peyronnet
- Parks and gardens in Monte Carlo
- The richness of the plant collection at the Hanbury Garden
- Marvellous sea views and opulent surroundings in St Jean Cap Ferrat
** Please note that all timings are approximate and subject to change. Final timings and pick-up points will be confirmed with your joining instructions approximately 10 days prior to departure. **
Day by Day Itinerary
We fly from London to Nice, where on arrival we will enjoy a lunch in a local restaurant before travelling to the historic garden of Serre de la Madone, created by American Lawrence Johnston, who travelled the world over a 30-year period seeking plants to acclimatise here among the ancient olives. Johnston was also responsible for the quintessentially English garden at Hidcote Manor and the contrast with Serre de la Madone could not be greater. This is a place of luxuriant and exotic beauty, a tropical forest planted on the shores of the Mediterranean. Please note entry to the garden involves an uphill walk with a number of steps.
Following our visit, we continue to our comfortable accommodation in Nice. A welcome dinner in a local restaurant is included this evening.
Meals includedLunch, Dinner