Tours in 2018

My obsession with plants has led me to travel extensively in many parts of the world looking at both gardens and plants in their natural habitat. These plant hunting and garden visit tours have included such places as India, New Guinea, Fiji, New Caledonia, Peru, Chile, Argentina, Bolivia, France, England, Ireland, Crete, Namibia, South Africa, Madagascar, New Zealand and Pacific North West USA.

In 2018 I will be leading a tour to the South of France. Please see details below.


 Landscapes, Art & Gardens of the Côte d’Azur,
Provence & the Cévennes
6 – 26 May 2018

Join Stephen Ryan, with the assistance of Craig Lidgerwood, on this cultural garden tour. It is a feast of splendid gardens, great monuments and natural landscapes of Southern France. It offers the opportunity to visit a wealth of private gardens closed to most travellers.

Tour Highlights

Cos du PeyronnetTravel in May to view spring’s colourful wildflowers and enjoy chestnut groves and picturesque stone villages in the UNESCO-listed Cévennes National Park.
Delight in the finest gardens of the Côte d’Azur, including Serre de la Madone and the Jardin Exotique Val Rahmeh. By private invitation, visit the Clos du Peyronnet.
Near Grasse visit five private gardens, by special appointment: La Casella, designed by the late Claus Scheinert in partnership with the late Tom Parr; the gardens of the Villa Fort France originally planted by Lady Fortescue in the 1930s; Joanna Millar’s private gardens at Domaine du Prieuré; Le Vallon du Brec; and Le Mas des Pivoines.
In Provence explore a host of private gardens: Jardins d’Albertas, Pavillon de Galon, Clos de Villeneuve, the hilltop gardens of La Carméjane and Le Clos Pascal by Nicole de Vésian, Le Petit Fontanille, and Nicole Arboireau’s intimate Jardin la Pomme d’Ambre.
gorgesdutarn-france-1680x720La-Carméjane, MénerbesIn the Cévennes, visit the private garden: Jardin des Sambucs, awarded ‘2013 Favourite Garden of the Year’ by the Association of French Garden Journalists.
Meet tree sculptor Marc Nucera, who will show us his atelier and experimental garden south of Avignon, and one of France’s most famous private gardens, Mas Benoît, laid out by sculptor, garden designer and land artist Alain-David Idoux.
Theo Garden, the Provençal garden of Pierre Bergé, Saint RémyMeet landscape designer Dominique Lafourcade; view her new creation near Saint-Rémy-de-Provence.
View the designs by Michel Semini in Mas Theo, the private courtyard gardens of fashion magnate Pierre Bergé, lifelong companion of Yves Saint Laurent, in Saint-Rémy.
See the paintings, sculpture and furniture of the Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild, a mansion set in extensive gardens; and the nearby Villa Grecque Kérylos, a luxurious re-creation of an ancient Grecian dwelling.
Interior of Villa Santo Sospir, Saint-Jean-Cap-FerratEnjoy a range of museums devoted to modernists like Matisse and Picasso, visit Cézanne’s studio, the chapels painted by Matisse and Cocteau and the Maeght Foundation containing an exceptional collection of 20th-century works.
Papal Palace, AvignonExplore Provence’s Roman heritage at the Pont du Gard, at the huge medieval Papal Palace, Avignon, and in Arles, whose museum features a 31-metre-long Roman boat discovered beneath the Rhône in 2011.
Cruise through the precipitous Gorges du Tarn, a limestone canyon carved by the Tarn River and dotted with medieval castles.
Visit the antique market of L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue and the colourful food stalls of Uzès.
Château de Brantes, SorguesCombine culinary delights with an evening of classical music under France’s oldest magnolia tree at the Château de Brantes.
Savour haute cuisine at Mauro Colagreco’s Restaurant Mirazur, perched above the Mediterranean, and at La Petite Maison de Cucuron with Michelin-star chef Eric Sapet in the Luberon Ranges.
Stay in carefully chosen hotels including the Hotel Napoléon, with gardens by Eric Ossart and Arnaud Maurières; and a lovely family hotel, Hotel des Gorges du Tarn, in the mountainous village of Florac.

Overnight Menton (8 nights) • Aix-en-Provence (3 nights) • Avignon (6 nights) • Florac (3 nights)

PDF itinerary & reservation application:
Landscapes, Art & Gardens of the Côte d’Azur, Provence & the Cévennes National Park

For more information on these tours including a day by day itinerary, map, image gallery, hotels and physical endurance rating please visit: Landscapes, Art & Gardens of the Côte d’Azur, Provence & the Cévennes National Park


Please contact Australians Studying Abroad by telephone on (0)3 9822 6899 or by email at for bookings and more information.



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