European Gardens and Chelsea Flower Show Tour- CFE
Number of Days: 14
On this exclusive trip, we tour The Netherlands, France and England and visit unique and special places, not just those on the standard tourist route, and as the fun of touring includes meeting new people, our small tour groups are ideal. Our itinerary, proven by us over 28 years, combines the very best of the European spring shows and gardens - you are in for the treat of a lifetime.
The Keukenhof Tulip Gardens will astound you with 8 million bulbs planted over 32 hectares. See inspirational gardens and dazzling pavilions which feature superb flower displays along with new varieties and other attractions. There is simply colour galore!
2020 is the 107th Chelsea Flower Show and this famous event promises to be even bigger and better. But it’s not just Chelsea and the stunning Keukenhof tulip gardens that make this such a sought after tour, as we have also included Amsterdam, Paris, Monet’s beautiful garden at Giverny, Loire chateaux and Versailles Palace and gardens, plus the picturesque Cotswolds and the spectacular English gardens of Sudeley, Hidcote and Sissinghurst.
Unlike many other tours there are no hidden extras with FloraTours – if it’s in the itinerary we visit it - there's a big difference between itineraries that state “see” and our itinerary where you actually “visit” attractions, making our tours very competitively priced. Our tour itinerary has also been refined to eliminate many of the tiring aspects of travel - NO moving on every morning to a new hotel and we minimise long coach travelling, wherever possible.
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Tour commences in Amsterdam Saturday 09 May 2020.
Group members are recommended to meet the tour host in the foyer at the designated group hotel in Amsterdam at 6 pm on Friday 08 May.
Day 1 - Sat Keukenhof
We start the tour with a major highlight, spending the day absorbing the majestic beauty of one of the world's finest bulb fields, the Keukenhof Garden. Its 80 acres of winding paths, streams and placid ponds offer an exuberant feast for the eyes. There are tulips, daffodils, hyacinths and other flowering bulbs, flowering shrubs, ancient trees, indoor exhibitions and themed gardens. We then return to our hotel and base for the next three nights. Please be sure to wear your name badge. This evening we enjoy a Welcome Dinner where you will be able to meet and get to know your fellow travellers in our group. D
Day 2 – Sun Amsterdam
Today we learn of the history, traditions, architecture and driving forces behind Amsterdam on our orientation tour and cruise of this fascinating canal city.
Day 3 - Mon: Amsterdam
This morning we venture into the countryside to Hortus Botanicus, one of the first in the world. The preservation of botanic specimens and heirloom species is a major focus. We return to our hotel and the balance of the day is free. B
Day 4 - Tues: Amsterdam - Paris
After breakfast, we travel from Amsterdam south through Belgium into France. Upon arrival in Paris, there is a city orientation tour so we can get our bearings and highlights of the City of Lights and love. We then transfer and check in to our hotel, our base for four nights. B
Day 5 - Wed: Paris
Today we visit Monet’s Garden of Giverny, Monet's home for more than 40 years. There are two parts to Monet's garden: a flower garden called Clos Normand in front of the house and a Japanese inspired water garden. Both parts contrast and complement one another. Claude Monet did not like organized or constrained gardens. In the Clos Normand, he left them to grow rather freely. In the water garden see the famous wisteria covered Japanese bridge, weeping willows and memorable water lilies. This afternoon we visit Louis XIV's magnificent Versailles Palace with its sweeping gardens and water features. B
Day 6 - Thur: Chateaux and gardens
Today we visit two of France's grand gardens - Chateau Vaux-le-Vicomte and Fontainebleau. “The forerunner of Versailles”, the Chateau Vaux-le-Vicomte was laid out in 1661 and includes a parterre, immaculately clipped topiary yew, water features, reflective pools, and a grand canal with grottoes on one side and a cascade on the other. Once the noblest garden in all France, Fontainebleau was built for king, Francois I, to rival the great courts of Italy. B
Day 7 – Fri: Paris
Today is free for your own sightseeing. In your free time in Paris options abound, including the Louvre, strolling the Seine, or sitting at a street-side café on the cobbled streets of Le Marais district in central Paris enjoying a coffee and warm croissant with butter and jam, watching the Parisians going about their daily lives. B
Day 8 - Sat: Paris – London - Cotswolds
Today we transfer to Paris' Gare du Nord Railway Station to join the Eurostar train to London, then transfer by coach to our accommodation base for the next three nights in the Cotswolds. B
Day 9 - Sun: Cotswold Villages
This morning we board our coach for our excursion exploring the Cotswolds. Our sightseeing includes picturesque Cotswolds villages of honey-golden stone, Stow-on-the-Wold, Moreton-in-Marsh, Bourton on the Water and Burford. B
Day 10 - Fri: Cotswold Gardens
Two of the Cotswolds' best-known gardens are Sudeley Castle and the Hidcote Manor Gardens - we enjoy both these stunning gardens today. Whether you love the simple beauty of an English country garden, the Cotswold countryside, or places rich in history, Sudeley exhibits all in fabulous fashion. One of the most inventive and influential gardens of the 20th century is the National Trust's Hidcote Manor Garden. Its structure of 'outdoor rooms', linked by vistas and furnished with topiary, this reflects both the English garden style and the European connections of its 1930s creator Major Lawrence Johnston. B
Day 11 – Tues: Cotswolds – London
We depart the Cotswolds for Sissinghurst, one of the world's most celebrated gardens, the creation of Vita Sackville-West. It is located in an intimate setting in the grounds of an Elizabethan mansion, with romantic little compartments filled with its displays. Later we continue onto London for three night’s accommodation. B
Day 12 - Wed: London
A free day to do as you have a chat to your tour host for sightseeing options. Ask your tour host for suggestions or pre-purchase a London Hop On Hop Off pass. Then why not check out the London shows. B
Day 13 - Thur: London - Chelsea Flower Show
Today we enjoy a full day at the stunning Chelsea Flower Show, the world's most popular flower show. Includes a transfer to the show in the morning by coach and entry. Farewell dinner (included) tonight at a typical English pub. B, D
Day 14 - Fri: London
The tour concludes this morning after breakfast. If you are staying on in London you will need to check out of the hotel. There is a transfer to London Heathrow (LHR) International Airport for those who are booked on the group flight. B
Meals include as above: B = Continental breakfast, D= Dinner
- 4 star centrally located hotel accommodation,
- All breakfasts,
- Special welcome and farewell dinners,
- Tour host,
- Entrance fees to all gardens and events as per the final itinerary including entry to the best garden show on earth – The Chelsea Flower Show.
- 4 star centrally located hotel accommodation,
- from $8,795 per person