European Gardens and Chelsea Flower Show Tour - CFE
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 29 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!
The Chelsea Flower Show is the most famous garden event worldwide and the coming show 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, Kiftsgate 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.
Tour commences in Amsterdam on the morning of Saturday 11 May 2024.
Group members should arrive into Amsterdam no later than the midday on Friday 10 May. Please meet your tour host in the foyer level lounge of the group hotel in Amsterdam at 6pm on Friday 10 May. Please be sure to wear your name badge.
Day 1 - Sat: Keukenhof Tulips
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, Hortus Botanicus
This morning we venture into the countryside to Hortus Botanicus, one of the first national botanical gardens 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 3 - Mon: 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. There is also some free time to explore at your own pace. Options include the Van Gogh Museum, Rijksmuseum, Anne Frank’s House, the canal side flower markets and Delft Pottery shops. B
Day 4 - Tues: Amsterdam - Paris
After breakfast we travel from Amsterdam south through Belgium into France. Upon arrival into Paris there is a brief city orientation tour enroute yo our hotel so we can get our bearings and highlights of the City of Lights and love. We then transfer and check in to our hotel. B
Day 5 - Wed: Monets Garden, Versailles
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: French 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. Onc 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. Accommodation Queens Hotel, Cheltenham or similar. 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 Kitsgate Court 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. Kiftsgate Court Gardens are situated above the village of Mickleton. The gardens, famed for its roses, are the creation of three generations of women gardeners. Perched on the edge of the Cotswolds with wonderful views to the west, the gardens at Kiftsgate reflect gardening through the 20th century and is the creation of three women gardeners. B
Day 11 – Tues: Sissinghurst
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 or hotel front desk 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 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. Morning transfer available to London Heathrow (LHR) International Airport (Express from Green Park) for those on recommended flight today or continue your holiday in the UK to… B
1. Mapledurham for the optional “Wind in the Willows” Thames River cruise.
2. Devon for the “Cornwall and Devon Gardens Tour” option.
Main tour includes… Accommodation in twin share, ensuite hotels, services of Tour Host, touring, entrances to attractions, guides and meals as per final itinerary: B = Continental breakfast, L = Light lunch, D= Dinner Optional post tour options are subject to minimum numbers.
Meals include as above: B = Continental breakfast, D= Dinner
Included within this package
- 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.
- Available dates: Commences 11 May 2024
- Price $9,795 per person share twin. Single supplement: plus $2,995