The world in bloom

According to a Chinese proverb, ‘life begins the day you start a garden.’ What better way to get inspiration for your own, than by visiting some of the world’s most beautiful examples.

Mirabell Palace Gardens, Salzburg

Fountains, statues, balustrades and elegant courtyards epitomise the baroque grandeur of the gardens at Mirabell Palace. Made famous as the location for the Von Trapp children singing ‘Doh- Ray-Me’ in The Sound of Music, you can wander between the perfectly manicured flower beds and enjoy the tranquil peace of this beautiful place, tucked away from the hustle and bustle of equally beautiful Salzburg.

Isola Bella, Lake Maggiore

Isola Bella, on Italy’s picture-perfect Lake Maggiore, is a labour of love. Its founder, Vitaliano Vi Borromea, built this summer palace for his wife in the 17th century, and it is said to look like a galleon, floating on the waters of the lake. Here, you’ll find ornate statues nestled among rare plants and botanical treasures. Fashioned in a baroque style, it encompasses the exuberant charm of the Teatro Massimo, an imposing shellshaped water theatre, as well as the gently inspiring Garden of Love. And all this is set against the stunning backdrop of the Swiss Alps – what more could any romantic ask?

The Floating Garden, Osaka

For your first foray into the gardens of the world, why not look down from far above? The Floating Garden in Osaka, Japan, isn’t actually a garden at all – at least, not in the traditional sense. Instead, this crisp ring of steel and glass at the top of one of Osaka’s high-rises gives the impression it is ‘floating’ in the sky, offering views of the beautifully landscaped garden at ground level below, not to mention an unrivalled panorama of the city.

Keukenhof Gardens, Netherlands

Hop on the Eurostar and arrive in Amsterdam ready to explore its famous canals and cobbled streets. Stay at the heart of the Dutch flower-growing district in the nearby medieval town of Haarlem and discover the historic gardens of Keukenhof — featuring an amazing 32 hectares of flowers, with 800 varieties of the famous Dutch tulip, as well as outstanding water displays, floral works of art and themed gardens.

Terra Nostra Park, Azores

The Portuguese archipelago of the Azores is home to a spectacularly rich landscape and each island has its own natural delights. Säo Miguel is home to the breathtaking Sete Cidades — twin lakes carved into a volcanic crater. Explore Terra Nostra Park, a splendid botanical garden with thousands of species of plants, plus warm mineral springs for a dip! You can whale and dolphin-watch off the small island of Faial, or cruise to Pico, which features a stunning lava-rock landscape.

Let us take you there

  1. Magnificent Maggiore & Lake Como

    Discover the allure and mesmerising natural beauty of Lake Maggiore and be wowed by the captivating charm of Lake Como.

    • Return flights
    • 7 nights half-board in a 3-star hotel
    • 14 meals: 7 breakfasts, 7 dinners and welcome drink

    8 days from
    was £1,349
  2. Japan - Land of the Rising Sun

    From Tokyo to Kyoto, Osaka and beyond, discover the unforgettable highlights of Japan including an incredible high-speed ride on the Bullet Train.

    • Return flights
    • 14 meals: 10 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 3 dinners
    • 10 nights in 3 & 4-star hotels, 2 nights in flight

    13 days from
    was £5,399