07 – 12 June 2021
A particularly good selection of private gardens in Provence created by leading local landscape designers has been chosen for this tour. Those in the Luberon are influenced by the late Nicole de Vésian, who created her personal garden, La Louve, in Bonnieux. We visit an impressive Land Art garden near Eygalières at the foot of Les Alpilles designed by Alain David Idoux, a pupil of de Vésian. In addition, we discover gardens created by Dominique Lafourcade, an influential designer from St Rémy de Provence.
Cypress trees, country roads lined with majestic plane trees, olive trees and vines, all seen against a backdrop of craggy limestone hills or forested mountains, are just part of the superb Provençal landscape. The climate is challenging: Hot summers with the fierce Mistral blowing down the Rhône valley, a lack of water, and even cold winters. Yet the gardens are stunning.
Our base for the tour is a most gracious, beautifully restored hotel just behind the Palais des Papes in Avignon. Hotel La Mirande, originally built in the eighteenth century, is family-owned and managed. It is renowned for its gastronomic restaurant where the head chef and his team create dishes typical of the region featuring seasonal produce.
The climate in June is balmy and warm.
Layers are recommended from lightweight summer wear to a jacket in case of the Mistral. Good, comfortable shoes for the garden visits. Smart casual for the evening.
The Eurostar train from London St Pancras to Avignon TGV station is direct; on the return journey there is one change at Lille.
Meals included are shown as B (breakfast), L (lunch) and D (dinner). Often guests meet for drinks before dinner (optional).
Wifi is available in the hotel.
Terraced gardens with steps and undulating terrain.