The diversity of its landscapes and the mild climate make the Maritime Alps an ideal place for the art of landscape gardening. The English introduced many exotic plants in the 19th century, creating veritable mosaics of plants and gardens of the world side by side. In the 1920s, this taste for eclecticism was enhanced by Mediterranean vegetation when olive and cypress trees came back into fashion. A visit to this green paradise is like meeting the master gardeners, landscapers and botanists who left their signature and a lasting impression on the gardens.
The visit begins in Menton, city of gardens, and continues to the verdant setting of Vence, a few kilometres up the coast.
THE HIGLIGHTS OF THE TOUR
- The Exotic Garden in Monte Carlo
- Hanbury Garden
- Lunch at Villa Rothschild in Beaulieu
- Villa Noailles and Villa Fort de France in Grasse
THE TOUR in detail
step by step
DAY 1 : Exotic Paradise
Nice - Monte Carlo - Menton
Arrival in Nice, you will be welcomed by your guide and a tour bus.
The first stop, only a couple of minutes from the airport, is Phoenix Park. About twenty gardens on specific themes can be visited on this 7-hectare site. The greenhouse, one of the world’s largest, recreates seven tropical and subtropical climates. Drive through Nice with a stop at the flower market in Cours Saleya. Followed by a spectacular drive on the corniche to Monte Carlo: visit to the Exotic Garden where more than 6,000 varieties of cacti and semi-desert flora are situated in a stunning site overlooking the Principality. Late afternoon, arrival in Menton, settle into a three-star hotel for dinner and accommodation.
DAY 2 : Menton and the Hanbury
Plants of the world
Menton, last city before the Italian border, offers its mild winters, charming old town and an ideal coastline for walks along the sea. In the 14th century, English botany lovers created magnificent gardens introducing rare plants to enhance their properties. Menton, the city of gardens, has preserved a remarkable heritage from this period, and today has rehabilitated many of these exceptional gardens and opened them to the public. We will visit the Garden Val Rahmeh, an annex of the National Museum of Natural History, whose collection offers a round-the-world botany tour.
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