Jardin du Luxumbourg, Giverny, Versailles plus several hidden garden gems most visitors miss!
4 days/4 nights
Links with our popular Chelsea Flower Show and Gardens of Belgium and Southern Holland tours
The landscape of Paris is instantly recognizable, historic and iconic sites abound, old and modern sitting side by side throughout the city. Amid the dense urban sprawl, Paris boasts over 400 parks and gardens. On this short tour, we will sample some of the best of the green spaces that delight the locals.
Nearby the city centre are amazing countryside settings, Versailles Palace and the haunts of artists, Monet’s Giverny and Van Gogh’s Auvers-sur-Oise. Discover these world famous places plus a few local gems most visitors miss. Experience a glimpse of Paris’ landscapes, its daily life, its artistic heritage.
Why not ‘Link It?’
14 – 22 May, Chelsea Flower Show, Gardens of Kent & Cotswolds
23 – 26 May, Gardens of Belgium and Southern Holland SOLD OUT
27 – 30 May, Paris Gardens including ‘Jardin Jardins aux Tuileries’ Flower Show
Tour ‘Link’ Special: Book all three May garden tours for complimentary ‘link’ night accommodation in Brussels. Stay additional nights in your choice of London or Paris for a small supplemental fee. Ask us for full details!
Why not extend your stay in Paris? Jardins Jardin aka the Tuileries Flower Show, Paris’ answer to the Chelsea Flower Show will take place 05 – 09 June, 2014. Just a decade old, this wonderful flower exhibition is a feast for the senses!
This tour begins and ends in Paris. SGT recommends enhancing your touring adventure by spending some independent pre/post-tour time exploring more of this wonderful capital city. Paris is well connected via the Eurostar train with London and via TGV rail services with Brussels. We are happy to assist you with incoming journey if you wish. Please ask us for details.
Day 1 Tuesday
We start our exploration from our Paris meeting point approximately 11am to accommodate guests arriving this morning, either from an international flight or via train from London or Brussels from our short Gardens of Belgium and Southern Holland tour. Paris has so much to see and do! Our day will feature a panoramic orientation tour past many of the city’s icons, our focus on the parks and gardens. During our 4 days, see a variety of the city’s green spaces, famous of course but also one or two hidden gems away from the tourist throng. With over 400 gardens, we are certainly spoilt for choice!
Garden highlights are sure to include: Jardin du Luxumbourg, established on behalf of Italian monarch Marie de Medicis in the mid-17th century and perhaps the most popular Parisian garden with locals. The dramatic Renaissance style layout with quintessential statues is sure to be a treat. Another famed space is the formal Jardin du Tuileries, the city’s oldest garden forms the ‘triumphant line’ from the Louvre to the start of the Champs-Elysées.
This evening, we will enjoy a welcome dinner together at Café le Select, in the heart of the artistic Left Bank neighborhood of Montparnasse.
Overnight: Paris, Hotel de l’Avenir or similar http://www.hoteldelavenir.com/
Subject to availability, our hotel for these few days is located on the Left Bank just steps away from the beautiful Jardin du Luxembourg.
Day 2 Wednesday
A day of artists and inspirational landscapes! Our main port of call today is Monet’s home in Giverny. Claude Monet and his family settled here in 1883 and he created a garden full of “perspectives, symmetries and colours.” The garden is set into two main sections, a flower filled walled garden bordered by orchards and trees and a water park, made famous by his series of water lilies paintings.
Also today, some time in the quaint village of Auvers-sur-Oise, a favorite place for painters in the 1800s most associated with Vincent Van Gogh. He lived his last 100 days here and captured local sites in approximately 70 paintings. Located within the Parc Naturel Régional du Vexin Français, this place is protected, layouts not permitted to be altered or expanded, so remains much as it did when Van Gogh painted it. Another opportunity to experience art leaping from the canvas!
This evening is free for guests to explore Paris as they wish, perhaps an evening river cruise or dinner in the Tour Eiffel? As you wish!
Overnight: Paris as above
Day 3 Thursday
The Palace of Versailles, Louis XIV’s greatest example of regal indulgence, was the seat of French Royal Court for 100 years until its demise in the French Revolution. Visit this UNESCO World Heritage site, experiencing the overwhelming opulence of the park and gardens. The Gardens of Versailles cover some 800 hectares of land, much of which is landscaped in the classic French Garden style featuring meticulous manicured lawns, parterres of flowers and the famously unique fountains.
Albert Kahn Museum and Gardens is another place of interest today. In the early 1900 the millionaire French banker and philanthropist Albert Kahn lived here. The museum houses his world famous photo collection. The garden called “scenes” includes an English garden, a Japanese garden with a traditional house and tea-room, a rose garden and a conifer wood.
This evening is free for guests to explore and dine independently.
Overnight: Paris as above
Day 4 Friday
Begin today with a ‘garden on canvas.’ Housed in what was part of the Tulieries palace, originally built to shelter the orange trees of the Tuileries Gardens, is Musée de l’Orangerie and Claude Monet’s Water Lilies canvases. Inspired by and painted at his gardens in Giverny, the Nymphéas have been displayed in this fine little museum since 1927. Orangerie also features a great collection of Impressionist and post-Impressionist painting by Cezanne, Renoir, Matisse, Modigliani, Picasso, Utrillo and Marie Laurencin.
Later, if the weather suits, perhaps enjoy an independent picnic lunch in the truly local Parc Montsouris, a place Parisians usually keep to themselves. Cinema buffs may find it a bit familiar as it is a popular place for film crews, most recognizable in Agnes Varda’s classic “Cleo from 5 to 7.”
The remainder of our day will be spent in the wonderful Jardin des Plantes, the main botanical gardens of France. Founded in 1626, here is a beautiful expanse of medicinal herbs, 3 hectare of decorative plants, a rose garden, several hothouses specializing in warm climate species and The Labyrinth, a garden maze first designed in 1739. Also on site are several natural heritage museums, a botanical school and a zoo, created when the Royal Menagerie was re-located here from Versailles in 1792. Part of the important work done in this 28 hectare center is a prolific seed exchange to maintain biotic diversity.
Overnight: Paris as above
Your tour package concludes after breakfast this morning. You are welcomed to extend your stay in The City of Light, please discuss tour add-on options with us!
Why not extend your stay in Paris? Jardins Jardin aka the Tuileries Flower Show, Paris’ answer to the Chelsea Flower Show will take place 05 – 09 June, 2014. Just a decade old, this wonderful flower exhibition is a feast for the senses! Jardins Jardin aux Tuileries is a modern garden show and exhibition, Paris’ answer to the Chelsea Flower Show. This national event is dedicated to the art of living in the garden and outdoor design. London’s Daily Telegraph reported the 2012 show as, “quite unlike any other show…extraordinary range of innovative and intriguing design…a compelling trip for anyone who wants to inject something cutting edge into their garden.” http://www.jardinsjardin.com/presentation-divers/jardins-jardin-in-english
Please Note: All attraction opening times are correct at time of printing this website. While we do our utmost to include all properties, we reserve the right to change an attraction should it become impossible to visit due to change in opening times, days.
Oft imitated, never duplicated! This itinerary is an original SGT itinerary, property of Special Group Tours and to be used only with express permission/in conjunction with SGT.