Old town Kyoto
Old town Kyoto

Embrace the Spirit of Adventure and Head Overseas in 2020

If you're tempted to travel a little further afield for your vacation this year, you're in luck! We have a fantastic selection of overseas trips available, which can take you all the way to France or on an epic adventure to New Zealand. How about Japan, with its magnificent blossoming gardens? Or Singapore, with its futuristic Gardens by the Bay? If you want to explore in 2020, do it with Brightwater. 

Go the distance in 2020

Seasonal Gardens of Japan - 13 days from $6,370pp

Departing on 25th March and then again on 11th November, you have two chances to enjoy a Japanese jaunt with us this year. Starting in Kyoto, the former capital of Japan, we have three full days exploring both public and private gardens here. We have included a variety of different styles: landscape gardens, stroll gardens, pond-and-island, each with its own particular charm and beauty. Step back in time to old Japan at Omi Hachiman, watch the deer roam free at Nara Park, and stand before enormous Buddha statues at Todai-ji and Kamamura.  

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New Zealand - 16 days from $8,730pp

From bubbling mud pools and geysers, to majestic fjords and glaciers, and including huge tree ferns and penguin colonies – New Zealand is an incredible destination. In addition to viewing some of these natural wonders, we will be taking a close look at the flora of the country, both in its natural habitat and in a cross-section of some of the many wonderful private and public gardens with which New Zealand is blessed. The native flora evolved in isolation here, after the land split from the supercontinent of Gondwanaland some 60 million years ago, and of the country’s 2000 or so flowering plants about 75% are found only in New Zealand. Departing on 26th October 2020 and again in January 2021, New Zealand may be far away, but it's well within reach with us! 

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Singapore Garden Festival - 7 days from $2,915pp

If you're a plant and garden lover, and you fancy traveling further afield this year, treat yourself to a place on our Singapore Garden Festival vacation, led by former curator of RHS Wisley, Colin Crosbie. The event in question takes place every two years and is among the top flower and garden shows on the international calendar. It was the first event to bring together top international award-winning landscape and garden designers, florists and horticulturists from around the world, who are invited to the Festival to work alongside Singapore's own talented horticulturists. Elsewhere on this trip, you'll admire stunning views from the Marina Bay Sands observation platform, there will be a relaxing river cruise, you'll experience Gardens by the Bay, and you'll sit down to a memorable afternoon tea at Raffles. 

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Experience the delights of France

Gardens of the French Riviera - 6 days from $1,945pp

Why not journey to France for a holiday to remember? Our Gardens of the French Riviera tour offers the perfect opportunity to soak up the sun while wandering the grounds of some truly spectacular grounds. The February departure pays a visit to the spectacular Menton Lemon Festival, while the May tour includes the International Rose Festival. All tours, however, include visits to Jardin Exotique d’Èze, La Mortola and the Exotic Gardens of Monte Carlo. Finally, 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. 

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The Genius of Monet - 4 days from $1,285pp

Just as the gardens at Giverny inspired Monet, who spent half his life nurturing and enjoying them, so they continue to enthral countless visitors 90 years after his death. The lovingly restored gardens give a vivid impression of Monet's favourite subjects. The gardens are filled with poppies, lupins, delphiniums and peonies, and throughout the year the atmosphere is of abundant colour and luxuriant growth. Arched bridges, painted an acid apple green, are festooned with wisteria and the draped fronds of weeping willow frame the water lilies - Monet's paintings brought unnervingly to life. You will also visit the Château de Chantilly and the Orangerie Museum, and return travel across the channel from England is aboard the comfortable Eurostar train.  

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Arts and Gardens of the French Riviera - 6 days from $1,980pp

With its seas of cobalt and turquoise, its skies of azure and cerulean blue - and its gardens of every colour under the sun - it is little wonder that the French Riviera has been the inspiration for countless works of art and a magnet for artists. Set in the lengthening shadows of a sun-soaked September, this new tour combines a spellbinding collection of art and architecture with a few of our favourite gardens, and promises to be a treat for the senses and a tonic for the soul. Wander the exquisite gardens of the Fondation Ephrussi de Rothschild, marvel at Rubens' masterpieces in Grasse cathedral and tour museums dedicated to Chagall, Picasso and Matisse. Finally, a Brightwater exclusive, you will get to visit the private garden of Clos du Peyronnet.  

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How about an Italian escape?

Palladian Villas of the Veneto - 5 days from $1,855pp

Veneto is one of Italy’s wealthiest regions, reflected in the extravagance of the grand villas and their stunning gardens. Join us as we discover no fewer than six glorious villas on tour. The first on our list is one of the most recognizable buildings of the Renaissance the Palladian Masterpiece, Villa Rotonda. The UNESCO World Heritage Site was designed for elegant entertainment, and is definitely one for art lovers — lavishly decorated with stucco and frescoes. We are honoured to be shown round by the owner himself, Count Valmarana. Other villas include Villa Valmarana and Villa Barbarigo at Valsanzibio. Finally there is the delightful private garden of Le Paradis des Papillons, a French-owned Italian garden in the English style! What's more, our farewell dinner is a special affair, hosted by yet another member of the old Italian nobility, the Godi Malinverni family.

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Gardens and Villas of Sicily - 8 days from $2,695pp

Sicily has become one of Europe’s best-loved destinations in recent years and it is truly an island of the senses. As soon as you step on to its warm and fertile shores you’ll understand why. Experience its many highlights with us, and be sure to do this unique location justice. Drive up the slopes of Mount Etna, enjoy a tour of Villasmundo led by its head gardener and sit down to lunch at a Benedictine Monastery. You'll also explore the private garden of a Sicilian aristocrat, wander around a herb and spice garden known as Gli Aroma Sicily, and discover the Greco-Roman remain of Taormina. 

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Rome, Ninfa and Castel Gandolfo - 4 days from $1,720pp

Open by special arrangement, we are delighted to offer this rare opportunity to visit the ancient and beautiful gardens of Ninfa. Equally rare is the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of the popes as we visit the gardens of Castel Gandolfo, the traditional papal residence just outside Rome. There will be a short city tour of Rome itself, so that you can get your bearings. Sights here range from the iconic Colosseum to the Spanish Steps and Trevi Fountain. Elsewhere, tour the splendid gardens of Villa Lante and discover the Villa d'Este in Tivoli, whose 16th century gardens are renowned for their use of water. Departures are available in May, June and September. 

Click here to view the tour's full itinerary.