A journey across the spectacular shans and vast flowery grasslands of western China, from Yunnan to Sichuan. A dazzling floral mix of slipper orchids, primulas, lilies and blue poppies is alongside colourful Tibetan monasteries and fluttering prayer flags. From flowery Cangshan north to the fabulous floral wealth of north-west Yunnan and the botanical hotspots of Xiling Xue and Balang Shans.
Europe meets Asia in a remarkable corner of the globe and where both flowers and civilisations have intermingled for thousands of years. Here are wonderful plants, cultural sights and diverse landscapes. From flamboyant irises, orchids and alpine bulbs to flower-rich steppes, amidst ever-changing landscapes peppered with fabulous architectural sights.
Taroudant is a centre for delightful gardens and exclusive riads that has attracted world famous artists such as Claudio Bravo. Our base Dar al Housson has many exotic plants and is a haven of tranquility, perfectly suited to painting and enjoying the rich cuisine and warm weather. And Marrakesh is only a few hours drive away a delight to explore. Led by Isik Guner, our award-winning botanical artist.
South Africa's Cape flora is considered one of the wonders of the botanical world, with a dazzling array of flowers. Yet no tours focus on the remarkable late season flora, with giant red or pink brunsvigias, unique blue orchids, King Proteas, fiery heaths and blood lilies. Add to this architectural Quiver Trees on the edge of the Karoo, warm weather and beautiful landscapes, a tonic from the northern winter.
As the heat of summer wanes the first rains bring forth the Mediterraneans autumn jewels, a rich array of colourful bulbs that reinvigorates the landscape. This tour incorporates the best of both the Greek island of Rhodes and the rugged Taurus mountains of neighbouring Turkey, offering flora, different cultures and fine historical sights.
A botanical exploration of the magnificent Tien Shan or Celestial Mountains. Beginning with giant foxtail lilies in Uzbekistan, and continuing with ice-blue trollius fringing the last snows, flower-rich tall meadows, idyllic lakes surrounded by pencil spruce and dramatic multi-coloured geology of southern Kazakhstan.
Ruggedly beautiful Corsica is swathed in flowery macchie with orchids and lavender and a coastline bathed in azure waters. Amid dramatic granite mountains are towering pines, stunning goblets of Crocus corsicus, remarkable bronze age sites, fine food and drink.
From the Forbidden City to magnificent Suzhou the epicentre of Chinese Gardens. Plus a five-day extension to see the gentians and Tibetan culture at Shangri-La. A two week tour with garden history expert Dr Toby Musgrave
A fabulous treasure trove of gardens, exquisite architecture and magnificent scenery embody this diverse tour of Iran, along with a delicious cuisine, fine hospitality and warm weather.
Led by expert garden historian and author Dr Toby Musgrave.
A fabulous treasure trove of gardens, exquisite architecture and
magnificent scenery embody this diverse tour of Iran. An exciting
low-cost opportunity to join us in Iran as we plan our new garden tour.
Led by expert garden historian and author Dr Toby Musgrave.
A tour of the magnificent gardens of Kyoto, a celebration of refined garden art. Many are deservedly designated as UNESCO world heritage sites and Nature's warm autumnal hues will compliment these serene human masterpieces.
Alpine turf bursts with colour at the start of summer, a swirl of violets, pinks, campanulas and stately lilies. And what better way to enjoy them than to walk in the mountains during the day, and spend comfortable nights in delightful hotels afterwards?
Greece in autumn is a delight. The crowds of summer have departed, but there is still warmth, wonderful light and a suite a lovely autumn flowers emerges after the first rains. Crocuses, sternbergia and cyclamen all make perfect choices to paint as do the labyrinthine streets of Byzantine Monemvasia in the Peleponese, the Greek deep south. Led by Isik Guner our award-winning botanical artist.
Midsummer in the verdant Kackar Mountains is a time of peaceful walks and rich colours, when some of the regions loveliest flowers appear in high pastures. As the warm hues of the season gather and we can expect a charming and vibrant scene.
A suite of early summer flowers illuminates the uplands of northern Greece with four beautiful lily species among them. These include the rare and lovely Lilium rhodopaeum. This tour will explore the Pindos and Southern Rhodope mountains finding many other delightful flowers besides lilies.
Azure seas bathe the rugged, indented coastline of Olimpos-Bey Daglari National Park, a rich assortment of scented pine forests, rocky headlands and historical sites, overlooked by the imposing, cedar-clad 2235m Tahtali Dag. Plant-life is diverse and enchanting with many endemic species only found here and a multitude of pleasant walks to explore the area.
Of all of the cities along the Silk Road none resonates quite like
Samarkand, arguably the very nexus of the route. The magnificent blue-tiled monuments of Timur gleam and impress. Nearby
lies floral splendour with a swirl of corydalis, crocus and gorgeous
irises, whilst to the west the monuments of Bukhara. And in the Tien Shan to the north a different selection of flowers awaits.
As the snows of winter recede the magnificent landscapes of Kyrgyzstan awaken with a kaleidoscope of giant fritillaries, stately pink eremurus, oceans of stunningly patterned poppies, tulips, corydalis and irresistible juno irises. The undiscovered gem of Central Asia.
Amidst the fabled and spectacular Rwenzori is some fascinating flora.
Forests of bizarre giant groundsels are interspersed with the towering
spires of giant Lobelia wollastonii, giant heather forests are draped in
lichens and the paths lined with silvery Helichrysum formosissimum. The only way to come close to these extraordinary plants is to trek into the heart of
these ‘Mountains of the Moon’.
Ultra-diverse northern shrublands and heaths contain one of the richest arrays of Mediterranean-climate flora in the world, with colourful bristly-stamened shrubs, dense cone-shaped banksias, orange-flowered toxic peas, scrambling carnivorous sundews and the beautiful Wreath Flower. Added to this are unique orchids, the Stirling Range, Wave Rock, excellent wineries and giant Tingle Trees.
For those that want something a little different in their busy lives our Turkish Long Weekends are designed to provide a rich experience of the culture, beautiful landscapes and botanical treasures in a short space of time. In spring the Mediterranean is bursting into life and walking among orchids and anemones to ancient sites is a delight.
With the same emphasis as our spring tours our autumn long weekend sees rich colours fill the cedar forests as cyclamen and colchicums appear among Roman ruins and pinewoods. And the waters of the Mediterranean are still pleasantly warm for swimming.
Across the Anatolian heartland in search of beautiful spring flowers, fine landscapes and cultural treasure. It traces parts of the old Silk Road, from the fabled cave-churches of Cappadocia to the limestone Taurus, and wilds of the Palandokens.
A treat for lovers of wildflowers in the Greek mountains of Epirus, where narcissus, orchids, fritillaries and harebells thrive among some of the most dramatic scenery in Europe. The mountain villages, or Zagorohoria, are built exclusively of stone and their setting in the mountains is so magical that they have become holiday destinations for Greeks and foreigners alike.