French Riviera Gardens Tour

France

Code: CZGDT

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Activity types:

  • Flora
  • Outdoors
From £1,474.00 - 7 nights

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Prices are per person

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Holiday overview

New at HF Holidays

Menton, nicknamed the ‘Pearl of France’, is located on the Cote d’Azur just across from the Ligurian town of Ventimiglia. The diversity of its landscape in combination with its mild climate has made the French Riviera a garden lover’s delight. On this holiday, we’ll discover the gardens of Menton, including Val Rahmeh’s botanical garden and the Serre de la Madone gardens, landscaped by Lawrence Johnstone, creator of Hidcote Manor. Further along the coast we’ll visit the wonderful gardens of the Ephrussi Villa at Cap Ferrat and the Exotic Garden at Monaco, full of subtropical cacti. Across the Italian border, we’ll explore the famous Hanbury gardens at Ventimiglia.

 Price Includes

  • Visit the Serre de la Madone Garden originally created by Lawrence Johnston of Hidcote Gardens fame.
  • Explore the superb elevated gardens of Villa Ephrussi Rothschild. 
  • Travel to Italy to see the Gardenesque Style La Mortola Hanbury Garden.
  • Discover the large collection of succulents and cacti at the Jardine Exotica in Monaco.

Accommodation


Hotel Royal Westminster in Menton, France

The lovingly restored Hotel Royal Westminster enjoys a lovely position right on the seaside promenade of Menton near to the town centre. The magnificent building sits back from the seafront behind a neatly kept Mediterranean garden.

 

 

Your room

Hotel Royal Westminster has 92 comfortable en-suite bedrooms furnished in a simple style.

All bedrooms have
  • Air conditioning
  • Hairdryer
  • Telephone
  • Satellite television
  • Safe deposit box
  • WiFi
Hotel Royal Westminster bedroom

Facilities

Hotel Royal Westminster terrace

Hotel Royal Westminster has an elegant dining room which is light and airy, opening onto a terrace.

The hotel has a palm tree fringed garden fronting the Promenade du Soleil, and a lounge and piano bar where music is played most evenings. There is a shared entertainment programme with its sister hotel, Hotel Balmoral.

A laundry service is available as well as ironing room available to guests.

Internet access is available in the reception area.

Dining

Our holidays at the Hotel Royal Westminster are on a Half Board basis and include breakfast and evening meal.

Breakfast
The hotel offers an extensive selection of hot and cold options for breakfast from a self-select buffet.

Evening meal
The hotel offers a mixture of French and international dishes in its elegant dining room. Water and a good house wine which is served with your meal. It is important that guests with special dietary requirements, including vegetarians, let our reservations team know before they travel.
Drinks
Hotel Royal Westminster has a well-stocked bar serving beer, wine and spirits.

Lunch (payable locally)
Ingredients for your picnic lunch can be bought from local shops; your leaders will advise you of the options.
Hotel Royal Westminster dining room

Your evenings

The friendly atmosphere of our Guided Walking holidays continues into the evening.

Enjoy a glass of wine or local beer before hearing about the next day's walks. On most evenings you will be able to take advantage of the hotel's entertainment programme.

Your leader will also check for any local events going on nearby.

The hotel's location is ideal for a leisurely stroll into the old town, where you can watch the world go by and soak up the atmosphere with a relaxing drink at one of the pavement café bars. Or you may like to relax on the terrace or in the bar, with a drink and chat with your fellow guests.

Itinerary

During your Gardens tour, you'll have the opportunity to visit many fascinating places. The following is our provisional programme and your HF Holidays Tour Manager may adjust it at their discretion, taking into account factors such as weather, local opening times, or other events. This holiday includes active sightseeing and you should expect to spend lots of time on your feet.

Sometimes things happen beyond our control – the weather, traffic jams or changes at the places we visit. If we need to adjust your holiday programme, for whatever reason, your Tour Manager will help smooth the way.

Arrival Day

Menton

This morning we visit Lawrence Johnston’s French garden – Serre de la Madone. Johnston is perhaps best known for the Hidcote Gardens in Gloucestershire, but this French ‘cousin’ is still wonderful. Later we return to the town of Menton to visit the Palais Carnoles. This garden has a large collection of citrus trees, a sculpture park and a small museum for us to enjoy. We’ll walk back to the hotel, stopping to view the municipal gardens en route.

Cap Ferrat

A short walk along the promenade brings us to the Val Rahmeh Botanical Gardens. Set on a series of terraces, the garden is filled with sub-tropical plants and several other collections from around the world. Later we travel to Cap Ferrat to visit the Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild - a superb garden set on an elevated site with extensive sea views.

Maria Serena & Italy

A short journey takes us to the Maria Serena garden in Menton. Set only a stone’s throw from the coast, this garden houses a marvellous collection of mature tropical and sub-tropical plants. Later, we’ll hop across the border into Italy to visit the La Mortola Hanbury gardens, created by an English family in the 19th century.

Free Day

On our 7-night holidays we allow one free day where there is no organised excursion. This is an ideal opportunity for you to relax, enjoy the hotel facilities or explore the area independently.

Nice

Today we travel west to visit the Jardin du Monastère de Cimiez in the bustling city of Nice. Set just above the city, these beautifully-terraced gardens provide respite for visitors and locals alike. You may also wish to join an optional visit to the nearby monastery museum. Later we visit Parc Phoenix, a modern park with a large collection of outdoor plants and one of the largest conservatories of any public garden.

Monaco

Our holiday ends with a visit to luxurious Monaco. Here, we’ll be exploring the Jardin Exotique with its large collection of succulents and cacti, set in spectacular surroundings above the town. At the bottom of the garden, you’ll find a dramatic limestone cave which is well worth a visit too. Later, we make our way into the town to wander in the perfectly-manicured Casino Gardens, as well as the exquisite Japanese Garden.

Departure Day

What to bring

Suitable, comfortable footwear for rough, wet or uneven terrain in gardens.

Local area

An introduction to the area

To the east of Monaco, the pastel-shaded, palm-lined seaside town of Menton is within walking distance of the Italian border. Bordered by lush gardens and lemon groves, Menton has a pretty pebbled beach and a charming old town. Overall, it’s a lot less touristy than other spots on the Côte d’Azur and is known as the most relaxed destination in the area, retaining something of the elegant British atmosphere left by visitors such as Queen Victoria, Winston Churchill and Noel Coward. It is also warmer, thanks to the surrounding hills, which trap the warm air from the Mediterranean within the town, Menton is said to have the highest temperatures on the coast; the  subtropical microclimate means 316 cloudless days a year.

Local highlights

Menton - It is not necessary to travel far on your free day as a relaxing time could be spent exploring the many gardens, museums and boutiques of Menton itself. Benefiting from the sub-tropical microclimate, Menton boasts many exquisite gardens and parks, some planted by English botanists in the early 19th century. The most spectacular is the Val Rahmeh Botanical Garden, a park of green, lush, near-jungle vegetation which features more than 700 species of weird and wonderful tropical plants. Also worth a visit is the Citrus Garden of the Palais Carnolès which surrounds the one time summer residence of the Princes of Monaco. There are also many museums in the town, including the Jean Cocteau Museum and the Pre-historic Musuem. Alternatively just enjoy the town’s colourful quay, shops, cafés and long seaside promenade.

Nice -  It might be a cliché to say Nice has something for everyone, but the Côte d’Azur’s cosmopolitan capital pretty much does. Apart from the sun worshippers, there are major museums for art aficionados, and archeological fans can visit the ruins of the ancient Roman city of Cemenelum. If you just feel like just sauntering about, the romantic old town offers secret passages, colourful flower markets and antique fairs. Nice can be reached on the train from Menton.

San Remo and the Italian Riviera - Basking on the Riviera dei Fiori, so named for the area’s flower-growing industry, San Remo is known as the ‘City of Flowers’. Hothouses surround the city, exporting carnations, roses, buttercups and other blooms across Europe and beyond.

San Remo (locally spelt Sanremo) flourished in the 19th century as a resort for Europe’s high society, particularly from Russia. Tsarina Maria Alexandrovna (mother of the last tsar, Nicholas II) once held court here, and the remarkable onion-dome church remains as a reminder of its halcyon days. The ancient heart of San Remo, La Pigna (meaning ‘Pine Cone’), is a tight cluster of streets just north of Corso Matteotti, San Remo’s main strip. San Remo can be reached on the train from Menton.

Shops & facilities:

There are good mini-markets near the hotel on the main street which stock a selection of food for picnic lunches. The pedestrian area of the old town with its souvenir, art, pottery and jewellery shops is a short walk from the hotel. There are plenty of banks with exchange facilities along Rue Partouneaux. Barclays Bank (39 av Félix Faure) has an automatic exchange machine outside. Crédit Lyonnais (av Boyer) is two doors down from the tourist office and has a 24-hour currency machine outside.

Travel

We recognise that everyone’s travel arrangements are unique, so all our holidays to Europe can be booked ‘with flight’ or ‘without flight’, giving you more flexibility and choice.

 

Travel by plane

Bus

‘With flight’ holidays – the hassle-free option

Book your holiday ‘with flight’ and choose between Gatwick and Manchester flights to Nice airport. For flight times and prices please see the Dates & Prices tab.

If you choose this option we automatically include return transfers between the airport and the hotel. The coach transfer takes approx 1 hour to the Hotel Westminster.

 

 

Bus

Driving to us

‘Without flight’ holidays – the flexible travel option

Alternatively, tailor your journey to suit you by booking your holiday ‘without flight’ allowing you the freedom to book your own flights from your local airport.

If you choose this option, transfers are not included in the price. However, below are some suggestions to help you reach your destination:

  • We can book you a seat on the HF Holidays’ transfer coach from Nice airport. This is timed to meet the HF Holidays’ flights* (provisional flight times can be found on the dates and prices tab or you can call us on 020 8732 1220 for more information). Cost per single journey is £25.00.
  • Why not let us book you a private taxi transfer at a cost of £75.00 per single taxi journey?
  • This resort is easily accessible via public transport.

Transfers must be pre-booked.  Please call 020 8732 1220 for more details

* Please note that HF Holidays is not responsible for your onward travel if you fail to meet the transfer coach

Dates & Prices

Date Description Nights Brochure price Buy today for Book
2 May 2020 CZGDT - Menton Garden Tour - Without Flights 7 £1,519.00 £1,474.00 Save £45 per person Book Now
2 May 2020 CZGDT - Menton Garden Tour
(Travel included - Departs from: London Heathrow)

Flight - Outbound

BRITISH AIRWAYS

  • Depart: 2 May 2020, 8:25 a.m.
  • Arrive: 2 May 2020, 11:35 a.m.
  • Depart from: London Heathrow
  • Arrive at: Nice Cote D`azur

Flight - Return

BRITISH AIRWAYS

  • Depart: 9 May 2020, 11:35 a.m.
  • Arrive: 9 May 2020, 12:50 p.m.
  • Depart from: Nice Cote D`azur
  • Arrive at: London Heathrow
7 £1,749.00 £1,704.00 Save £45 per person Book Now
9 May 2020 CZGDT - Menton Garden Tour - Without Flights 7 £1,519.00 £1,519.00 Book Now
9 May 2020 CZGDT - Menton Garden Tour
(Travel included - Departs from: London Heathrow)

Flight - Outbound

BRITISH AIRWAYS

  • Depart: 9 May 2020, 8:25 a.m.
  • Arrive: 9 May 2020, 11:35 a.m.
  • Depart from: London Heathrow
  • Arrive at: Nice Cote D`azur

Flight - Return

BRITISH AIRWAYS

  • Depart: 16 May 2020, 11:35 a.m.
  • Arrive: 16 May 2020, 12:50 p.m.
  • Depart from: Nice Cote D`azur
  • Arrive at: London Heathrow
7 £1,749.00 £1,749.00 Book Now

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