Normandy and Belgium

Normandy and Belgium

Aug. 24 - Sep. 5, 2015



Download Complete Itinerary
Aug. 24 Fly to Brussels.

Aug. 25 Arrive in Brussels and arrange to meet at the Hotel by 2:00 for a walking tour of the core of the city. We will visit the Van Buuren Museum and this evening will include a group “Welcome” dinner at a local restaurant.

Aug. 26 This morning, we visiting the Horta Museum at 9:00 AM for a private tour. After lunch on your own, we will visit a chocolate factory for a demonstration and a tasting. The remainder of the day will be at your leisure to visit museums, public gardens, or drink beer (after all you are in Belgium and have already had your chocolate!). There are some great museums in Brussels including the Museum of Musical Instruments which has a good café with excellent views. There is also the Atomium which is a “left over” from the World’s Fair.

Aug. 27 Today will find us touring outside of Brussels for the day with our first stop being at the privately owned Castle Hex. After our private, guided visit, we will continue on to Les Jardins d’Annevoie where we will enjoy a group lunch and the gardens. We will return to Brussels for our last night tonight. Breakfast and lunch included.

Aug. 28 Our third day finds us visiting Ghent as we travel toward Brugge where we will stay for the next two nights. We will have an introductory walking tour in Ghent, and then time to explore on your own before we travel on to Brugge where we will arrive in time for dinner. There are some fantastic museums in Ghent. Breakfast, dinner included.

Aug. 29 A morning canal ride in Brugge will get our day off to the perfect start. The remainder of the day will be for you to explore on your own before you re-join the group for a special dinner in the evening in one of the oldest establishments in the city. Breakfast, dinner included.

Aug. 30 As we leave Belgium today, we begin our exploration of Normandy with its charming architecture, wonderful gardens, and last but by no means least, great food. The food in Normandy in our opinion is equal to the food in Provence and Tuscany, and the cheeses are divine. We will base ourselves in Rouen for the next few days, and it is about a 3.5 hour drive from Brugge. We will stop on the way, but our first major stop will be Jardin Plume which is a garden that was developed in an orchard. We will have a guided tour of this garden which was established in 1997. Our next stop will be the Abbaye Saint-Georges de Boscherville where we will view the gardens which have been restored and visit the abbey which dates from the 17th century. Afterwards, we will have dinner in a nearby restaurant before we check into our hotel in Rouen. Breakfast, dinner included.

Aug. 31 An early start will take us to the Jardin Agapanthe as our first stop. As we continue our next stop will be Chateau de Bosmelet where we will visit both the chateau and the garden. Both of these gardens are special. Agapanthe was designed by Alexandre Thomas and the oldest part of the garden is about 20 years old with the newer section opened about a year ago. Chateau Bosmelet has a potager created by Baroness Laurence de Bosmelet where more than 800 varieties of fruits, vegetables, and plants are combined by color. We will have lunch in the chateau as we enjoy a guided tour directed by Laurence Bosmelet. One more stop will make it a day! We will visit the Shamrock Collection of Hydrangea. The bloom time is from June-Oct. This collection is said to be the best collection of Hydrangeas in the world. Out guide for the garden will be Robert Mallet the owner of the collection and one of the creators. This should be a treat for those who enjoy pretty flowers and those really serious gardeners! The scenery near the collection/garden is the beautiful Normandy coastline. Breakfast, lunch included.

Sept. 1 The bus will leave this morning for Château du Champ-de-Bataille, which is one of the most remarkable gardens we have ever seen. We have arranged for a tour of the chateau and free time in the garden. The last time we visited this garden, we did not realize how truly remarkable it was and did not give people enough time. We intend to remedy that on this trip! In the afternoon we will return to Rouen where you will enjoy some free time to explore the city. If anyone who has been to Bataille wishes not to return, they can spend the day in Rouen. Breakfast included.

Sept. 2 Today we leave Rouen to spend a day visiting WWII sites in Normandy. A guide will join us for this day as we visit one of the beaches, the American Cemetery, and the town of St. Mere Eglise. We will also include a stop at Bayeux. This is an emotional but very special day. We will spend the next two nights in Lisieux.

Sept. 3 Today will certainly be another full day as we visit the Chateau Brezy but also a cheese and cider manufacturer for a tasting. Fun and culture all in the same day!

Sept. 4 Today we will visit Chateau Bizy where we will enjoy lunch and then continue to Monet’s garden at Giverny. Monet’s garden is one that can be visited during every season and not get old, but we also have the American Museum to visit and some pleasant shopping in the area. We will continue on to Paris for our last night in France. We will stay at the Novetel Paris CDC Terminal for the night. Not many frills, but very convenient to the airport. Breakfast, lunch included.

Sept. 5 Fly home with wonderful memories. If you would like to extend you trip, a group hotel will be arranged for you to take advantage of.

***Cost: $4395.00 per person, ground package, based on double occupancy. A single supplement is available upon request. This trip includes ground travel by motor coach, all hotels, all breakfasts, additional meals as stated in the final itinerary, entrance into all sites we visit as a group, tips for tour guides.

***Airfare: Airfare is not included in the package price. This allows you, the traveler, the flexibility of using airline frequent flyer miles, credit card points/miles, etc. to purchase your plane tickets. Unfortunately, Garden Travelers has no way of honoring airline miles or credit card points/miles. We are happy to answer questions you may have regarding this and we will, of course, help in coordinating your flights so the group arrives at the appointed airport at the appropriate time.

TRAVEL INSURANCE: Garden Travelers does not offer travel insurance, but it may be obtained reasonably by individual travelers. We strongly suggest that you consider insuring your trip, as none of us knows when an unforeseen issue may arise. If you have questions about purchasing travel insurance, please do not hesitate to contact us, as we are happy to help. This tour will be conducted by Garden Travelers, LLC a company specializing in group travel to Europe, New Zealand, Australia, and the US. We will be happy to have you join us on a trip or arrange a trip for your group or family. For more information, please email troy@troybmarden.com or tbmgardens@gmail.com
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