Small group tours of European gardens for couples and solo travellers
An Antipodean travel company serving World Travellers since 1983
Small group tours of European gardens for couples and solo travellers.
From the Chelsea Flower Show to the tulips of The Netherlands, many European countries take pride in their horticulture. Visiting gardens, parks, and flower shows can make for a peaceful and fascinating trip, allowing you to discover a culture and its people through unusual means. Odyssey brings many expert guides on its collection of tours that focus on the European garden. This seeks to be a tour collection that captures the quintessential of Europe garden design each Northern hemisphere summer. This is a small group tour for the traveler interested in historic gardens. The small group guided tour are not just about the UNESCO World heritage site listed, but explore England’s historic gardens as well as the finest Italian gardens as well those gardens of France. Our European garden tours 2021 or 2022 and 2023 are now available to book.
The European garden tours 2021 are typically restricted to 12 people, a mix of couple and solo travelers in a small group tour with an itinerary and program leader (travel expert) suited to the mature/senior traveller who is a keen gardener or garden lover.
Gardens of The United Kingdom
For the mature and senior traveler Odyssey offers small group tours english gardens as an experience. The best gardens of England are often attached to equally wonderful country homes and castles. England’s historic gardens are often places that began as private gardens and are now managed by the National trust, such as Gertrude Jekyll’s beautiful garden at Sissinghurst located outside London in one of Kent’s picturesque villages. The Sissinghurst castle garden is one of most stunning gardens in England and is a must see for a garden lover on any english garden tour. The Alnwick secret Garden , for example, is adjacent to Alnwick Castle, an english stately home. It includes water features, an incredibly large wooden treehouse, and over 200 species of flowers. We visit there on the English Country Houses and Gardens Tour . What is also vital about this botanical garden is the collection from the plant kingdom of poisonous plants in the castle garden. On our Gardens of Ireland small group tour Odyssey visits another one of Europe Stately homes, Powerscourt with one of the finest gardens in Europe to walk around. This is one of Europe’s most splendid gardens. Powerscourt includes an Italian garden , a Japanese garden and Ireland’s highest waterfall at 121 metres!
A highlight of Odyssey’s small group tours english gardens and British Gardens is a visit to the The Chatsworth Royal Horticultural Show, the alternative to the Chelsea flower show. Because this is a new show, it aims to be revolutionary, and involves the work of sculptors and visual artists . Chatsworth not only has an amazing stately home but is a combination of formal garden and a Capability Brown landscape, regarded by many as a great garden , complete with more than one fountain, a water garden and a formal garden to enjoy. However, the scale is beyond the average domestic garden , so often our focus is on the plant mix and their approach to gardening to create such a great garden that is relatable to.
Gardens of France and Italy
Italy and France have a centuries-long history of cultivating the beautiful European garden and for garden lovers these tours to such remarkable gardens are a highlight of this escorted tour. Odyssey’s small group tour of Italian and French garden s journeys from garden visits to the Vatican’s garden s outside Rome to the Loire Valley in order to explore this history of garden design as part of its itinerary. Some of the best garden s in Italy a traveller’s guide are shared with members of this small group tour . This tour of Italy ‘s garden s focuses on Northern Italy rather than Southern I taly as we make our way through Tuscany to Florence and onto to France.The exquisite Vatican Gardens of Villa Lante, include a building constructed in 1558. This 16th century complex in the old town of Bagnaia, Viterbo was once used as the Pope’s hunting lodge and summer residence. The summer palace set up on the hills, is a feature of this Europe tour and is one of the finest garden s of Italy and France. Located near Florence , besides Villa borghese , the beautiful garden of Villa di Castello, once a Medici country residence, is an elegantly constructed garden with statuary and about 500 rare plant species. Also in Florence , you’ll find the magnificent Boboli garden , attached to the Pitti Palace, which were constructed between the 15th century and 19th century. They include the magnificent Neptune’s Fountain, an ampitheatre, and the Grotto Grande or Large Grotto, which includes key examples of mannerist sculpture.
During our visit to France on one of our escorted tours, the Chateau de Villandry in the Loire Valley provides an excellent example of a French chateau and its large accompanying formal gardens . The Chateau‘s website provides an excellent resource, showing you what to expect from the beautiful location. Odyssey’s tour finishes in Paris where we of course visit the Palace of Versailles. The tour also stops by the famous Roseraie de l’Hay, a gorgeous and historic rose garden a typical french garden , also in Paris we visit the formal gardens that make up the city park of Jardin de Luxembourg, and much more. Odyssey offers a garden tours France 2021 that includes Monet’s garden just outside Paris as well as a tour of Monet’s house.
For further inspiration for you to join one of our garden tours Europe 2022 you may want to check out these lists. They include many of the most beautiful parks and gardens in Europe:
Travel & Leisure: The Most Picturesque European Gardens
The Guardian: The Best Gardens You’ve Probably Never Heard Of
The Guardian: The Best Sculpture Parks in Europe
National Geographic: Top 10 Gardens
Our small group guided tour in the Netherlands provides us with a delicious taste of its delights. We view the main sights of old Amsterdam, a World Heritage Site, first on foot and then from the comfort of a cruise along its 17th century canals. Our exploration of Dutch gardens includes the Hortus Botanicus, an impressive university garden. Timed to enjoy what is perhaps the highlight of the program – a visit to Keukenhof’s bulb gardens. They contain more than 7 million tulips, daffodils and hyacinths which fill over 32 hectares.
Odyssey’s small group tour explores some of the classic gardens of Italy and France that reflect changing fashions and garden designs throughout the ages. This fully escorted tour features an Odyssey Program Leader and a handful of local guides who will examine, discuss, compare and contrast the cultural and temporal similarities and diversities between the gardens of Italy and France and the historical influences on their design.
This small group escorted educational tour combines visits to France, Belgium, Luxemborg, the Netherlands, and Germany. During the 26 days, we will discover a selection of the finest gardens and chateaux in Europe. Our destinations also include several UNESCO World Heritage Sites, for example the royal palaces built by the Prince-Bishop of Cologne in Brühl, Germany.