Now taking bookings for 2021
Saturday 15th May -Saturday 22nd May
Saturday 22nd May – Saturday 29th May
Saturday 11th September – Saturday 18th September
Saturday 18th September – Saturday 25th September
A tour for passionate gardeners to explore the secret gems of the Perigord region of South West France. Suitable for small groups or independent travellers, this escorted tour covers a selection of classically beautiful gardens as well as smaller private gardens owned by enthusiasts. Along the way, we visit local villages and their markets and learn more about the history and culture of this unique area.
We are able to offer luxury accommodation at our country house near Monpazier in the Dordogne which is one of the best preserved villages in France. There will be time to relax and enjoy the company of the other group members.
Tour price per person (based on 2 persons sharing) £845
Single person supplement: £150.00
Day 1 Saturday (Finalised programme of day 1 is dependent on flight arrival time)
Upon arrival at Bergerac airport you will be driven through the beautiful countryside crisscrossed with vines to Domaine des Faures, where, after settling into your room you will be served tea. Hopefully there will then be time to visit the nearby historic bastide town of Monpazier. In the evening you will be able to enjoy an informal aperitif and welcome dinner at Domaine des Faures with other members of the group and your hosts Ray and Jacinta.
Day 2 Sunday
After a traditional French breakfast we start at Issigeac market, a nearby bastide village. Here you are free to explore, enjoy the ambiance and possibly shop before we have lunch at a local restaurant. Then it’s off to the Jardin Marquessac, a ‘Site Classé’. The hanging gardens at Marqueyssac are so called because of the way they seem to hang from the rock. The result of 30 years work by a previous member of the family they are beautifully maintained with the sculpted boxwood becoming at one with the landscape. Back to home base through the Dordogne valley for the evening supper.
Day 3 Monday
Today we set off to Carlux to visit the private garden of Anne-Marie and Bernard Decottignies. They have the garden divided into 10 themed rooms with glorious scents, colour and shapes. The planting is such that there is always something to see at any time of year, a mix of classic French and English styles. Lunch is in the bastide town of Domme with time to wander and explore and enjoy the panoramic view of the Dordogne valley. En route back we visit Chateau Fenelon which has a long and interesting history. Back in the 14th century it was an English property and during the French Revolution, it was turned into a farm devoted to the breeding of silkworms. Back to base via the bastide village of Villefranche-du-Perigord. Light supper at Domaine des Faures.
Day 4 Tuesday
Latour-Marliac was started in the 19th century by a passionate gardener. He concentrated on the hybridisation of water lilies and was so successful he came to the attention of Claude Monet who bought some for his water garden and are now immortalised in the paintings. The nursery with its water beds and the garden are definite favourites. Lunch is in a renovated Templar castle before heading north to visit a rose garden which is a feast of scents and colour. Time allowing, we can visit the Chateau in Duras before driving back for an aperitif and light supper await at Domaine des Faures with the evening free to be as active or quiet as you wish.
Day 5 Wednesday
This morning we have a leisurely start and motor up the Vézère valley and visit the delightful village of St Léon-sur-Vézère where, weather permitting, we have lunch by the river. We then visit Chateau de Losse which includes a tour of the chateau as well as the gardens of which the family are so proud. The ambiance is truly lovely with much to savour and enjoy. On our return we have the option of visiting a specialist Bamboo garden before returning to Domaine des Faures via the picturesque village of Cadouin. Drinks and light supper.
Day 6 Thursday
The day starts with a visit to the market at our local village of Monpazier. We then drive west towards Bordeaux where we visit Les Jardins de Sardy which is privately owned. The present garden was created in the 50’s and, although small, has a canal with water features and has a strong Italian influence. The owner will welcome us and is happy to talk about the history of the garden and the planting. We then continue our journey west and visit the world famous wine village of St. Emilion where we have lunch. En route back we have the option of visiting Chateau Monbazillac near Bergerac before returning to base for drinks and a light supper.
Day 7 Friday
This is our last day for visiting and we go to the very famous Jardin d’Eyrignac. Here the topiary is described in superlatives, the Japanese inspired garden exquisite, the view awesome and the botanical walks delightful. You have time to really enjoy this venue before going to Sarlat where you are free to wander the ancient streets, find lunch and possibly do some shopping. We then travel back through the countryside to Domaine des Faures. This evening we enjoy a Gourmet Dinner at a local restaurant.
Day 8 Saturday
After breakfast, it’s time to say farewell. You will be driven to Bergerac airport or train station, and then you are on your way, with many wonderful memories of a week well spent in this corner of French horticultural heaven!
Tour Price excludes:
· Airfares/Train fares to Bergerac
· Travel Insurance
· All lunches + beverages not specified in the itinerary
· Activities undertaken at your own leisure including any unscheduled visits
· Personal items and souvenirs
Tour price includes:
· Transfer to and from Bergerac airport and all specified itinerary locations
· Luxury accommodation at Domaine des Faures
· All Specified meals:
1. 7 Continental Breakfast at Domaine des Faures
2. 5 Light suppers at Domaine des Faures
3. Welcome dinner at Domaine des Faures;
4. Lunch out on the Friday provided by ourselves
Friday evening free time in Monpazier
All menus have been pre-selected to showcase local cuisine/specialties of the chef
1. Coffee/ Tea at Domaine des Faures
2. Half bottle of wine per head at all evening meals
· Entry fees to all nominated gardens and venues
· Personal travel/health insurance before you leave home
· Sensible walking shoes and weatherproof clothing
· Hats and sunscreen
· Camera and notebook/pen
· Euros for miscellaneous expenses