France 2017

Plessis Sasniere Garden

Tour the Loire Valley with Jerry & Amy Fritz

Combining horticulture along with fine wine and cuisine, historical architecture & art.

 June 24 – July 2, 2017

Planned Itinerary
Jerry and Amy have worked carefully to ensure a unique experience including not only privately guided tours of the gardens and chateaux, but also fun and informative experiences, wine tasting and tours of charming towns. They have balanced the days with a wide-range of experiences designed to appeal to many people, not just strictly gardeners, including time in villages with the opportunity to shop and explore. Jerry and Amy are enthusiastic leaders whose goal is to make sure each participant has exactly what he or she needs to have a wonderful trip. Attention to every detail is very important and they only partner with the best local establishments for a truly authentic experience. This tour is the culmination of many hours spent researching and exploring the best destinations. They take care of all the details to ensure everyone enjoys once-in-a-lifetime level experiences on this journey.

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Day 1: Saturday/Sunday, June 24-25, 2017
Departure from the United States*
Meal: Dinner

* You are responsible for your own airfare. You must arrive at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport no later than 9:30 AM on June 25 to be included in the group transfer. If you arrive after this, you must make your own way to the hotel at your own cost and will miss the 1st day of gardens.

Arrival at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport where we will meet your English speaking guide. We will transfer in private luxury bus to begin our tour.

First stop outside of Paris will be  Vaux le Vicomte Gardens where the group will have a private tour led by a garden professional.Vaux le Vicomte GardensVaux le Vicomte Gardens

 The  estate forms a unique whole that spans nearly 500 hectares. It is testament to the bold vision of Nicolas Fouquet, Superintendent of Finances under young King Louis XIV. The most elegant and geometrically harmonious of all high Baroque gardens, Vaux was designed before Versailles by Andre le Nôtre and Louis II le Vau. The composition is perfectly proportioned and soothingly harmonious, with the gardens organized on a central axis. It was used as a model for Versailles.

We will then  transfer to our hotel in the Loire Valley. After check-in at the hotel we will enjoy dinner as a group in the hotel’s restaurant which serves regional specialties by Chef Pascal Bouvier (Jacket and tie required. No jeans or short sleeved shirts).

Accommodations: Amboise: “Le Choiseul” Hotel

Day 2: Monday, June 26, 2017
Meals: Breakfast, Wine tasting
 Wine and cheese tasting
After breakfast in our hotel, we begin the day by travelling to Château de Chenonceau.Chenonceau gold perennials

Château de Chenonceau

The property of the Crown and then a royal residence, Chenonceau Castle is an exceptional site not only because of its original design, the richness of its collections, its furniture and its decorations, but also because of its destiny, since it was loved, administrated and protected by women, who were all extraordinary and who, for the most part have marked history.

Perfect harmony between nature and architecture, it is by walking down its majestic driveway that you can really discover the magnificence of the Castle. The Catherine de Medici and Diane de Poitiers gardens make the unique elegance of the landscape stand out between the sky and the water.

From the Green Garden, designed by Bernard Palissy, to the Italian maze and the floral harmony of the garden, the beauty of Chenonceau imposes itself like a relationship that speaks to the heart, the harmony between the sky, water, gardens and architecture appeals to every visitor. Chenonceau takes you back in time to share its dreams and reveal its secrets.

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Château de Chaumont sur Loire

After Chenonceau, we make our way to The International Garden Festival. held on the ground of the Chateau de Chaumont sur Loire. Whatever the season, the château, once the home of Catherine de Medici, Diane de Poitiers and Princess de Broglie, beckons you indoors to admire its cozy and lavishly furnished interiors which have been hugely embellished over recent years.

The International Garden Festival: The diversity, creativity and quality of projects blending art, science, botany and poetry have helped earn the Festival a world-renowned reputation as an unmissable diary date for presenting the work of a whole new generation of landscapers, architects, designers, set designers and gardeners from all four corners of the globe: Japan, China, Europe and the Americas. The Festival has recently been named “Festival of the Year” by the North American Garden League.

Chateau Gaudrelle winery

Chateau Gaudrelle

We will end our day at the beautiful Chateau Gaudrelle. Here we will enjoy a wine and cheese tasting in the Vouvray Cellar.

Château Gaudrelle: Founded in 1931 by the grandfather of current owner, Alexandre Monmousseau, the domaine acquired its notoriety thanks to the richness of its terroir and the attention they have paid to creating their wines. Rich with limestone and silica, the soil produces a rich, dry flavor full of fruit rendered by the Chenin Blanc grape. They produce a wonderful sparkling Chenin Blanc which is refreshing and full of fruit flavors of peach, apricot, and lemon.

Accommodations: Amboise: “Le Choiseul” Hotel

Day 3: Tuesday, June 27, 2017
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

 Lunch inside the park

Plessis Sasniere Garden2

Plessis Sasnière Garden

This morning after breakfast in the hotel, we will travel to Plessis Sasnière Garden. In 1960 Rosamée Henrion, a botany enthusiast, inherited the house, abandoned since 1914, and restored it into a family home for her four young boys. Between 1975 and 1995 Rosamée collected and planted in her fantastic garden, a wide variety of plant species. The brush around the banks of the stream was cleared away to highlight the waterfalls and, in 1996, the result of her efforts – a magnificent park – was opened to the public. In 2004, in acknowledgement of the work that had been carried out, the French Ministry of Culture and Communications awarded the garden its coveted ‘Jardin Remarquable/Outstanding Garden’ label. While here we will enjoy an included lunch inside the park.

Chateau de Valmer

Château de Valmer

From there a short drive will take us to our second stop of the day, Château de Valmer: The park and gardens of Valmer Castle unfold into a striking site nestled on the edge of a hillside overlooking the Brenne Valley, tributary of the Loire River. The architecture, terraces and bowers are reminiscent of 16th and 17th century gardens. Laid out along two major axes, the gardens follow the natural gradients of the hillside. Their designer has cleverly taken advantage of the slope of a spur between the two valleys.

Accommodations: Amboise: “Le Choiseul” Hotel

Day 4: Wednesday, June 28, 2017
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
 Dinner at Le Menestrel Restaurant in Saumur


Villandry Gardens

We will begin this day with a visit to Villandry Gardens: The last of the great Renaissance castles built on the banks of the Loire, Villandry owes its renown, beyond the shadow of a doubt, to the unrivaled combination of a perfect harmony between architecture and nature. The garden, the only one of its kind in Europe, is composed of three levels: a first level centered around an extensive lake, a flower garden also planted with box and yew trees, and an ornamental kitchen garden where a wide range of plant varieties produce, in the sunny season, astonishing mosaics of color.

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Château d’Azay-le-Rideau

Next we will drive to Château d’Azay-le-Rideau  where we will enjoy a guided tour. The Château was built on an island in the Indre River during the reign of Francis I. A subtle blend of French tradition and innovative Italian decor, it is an icon of the new art of building in the Loire Valley in the 16th century. This exceptional site, which gives so much charm to the Château, has rich flora and fauna of which the various owners have taken advantage. The park was planted with what were then exotic species. Precious and foreign origin shrubs (North America, South America, China, Asia) formed a range of choices, for which the owners did not hesitate to spend major sums of money on in fashionable nurseries.

Chateau du Rivau Roses

Château du Rivau

From there we will continue on to Château du Rivau for another guided tour. A unique blend of Medieval and Renaissance architecture, the Château  is a beautifully restored French castle set in the heart of Touraine. Although one of the lesser-known Loire valley castles, this French château seems to come straight out of a fairy tale, thanks to its imposing keep, protective drawbridge and glorious gardens. It is also one of the first ornamental castles to be built. Its fireplaces, wide windows and frescos endow it with the harmonious style of a 16th century French château. You’re lucky, in June the roses are in full glorious bloom! The collection contains more than 450 varieties and 1500 cultivars.

Les Mensestrels

 Le Menestrel

The perfect ending to this busy day will be dinner at Le Menestrel Restaurant in Saumur.

Accommodations: Saumur: Le Londres Hotel

Day 5: Thursday, June 29, 2017
Meals: Breakfast, Wine tasting
  Wine tasting

Oriental Gardens at Maulevrier

Oriental Gardens of Maulevrier

Today we will enjoy an excursion to the unique Oriental Gardens of Maulevrier. This beautiful park is the largest Japanese garden in France. Winner of the second prize for the best park in France competition 2006. The park is one of France’s ‘Jardins Remarquable’. Originally designed by Alexander Marcel, a leading French architect at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century. Marcel married the daughter of the owners of the chateau at Maulevrier and as he and many of the fashionable crowd of the time were inspired by all things oriental he designed a Japanese garden for his new family. Marcel had designed three pavilions for the 1900 Universal Exhibition at Paris and he bought some parts of these works for his gardens at Maulevrier.

In 1980 the park was restored using photographs and memories of people who had seen the park. Originally called the Park of Chateau Colbert it was renamed as the Parc Oriental de Maulevrier in 1985. The park covers 29 hectares and is very beautiful. The park has a greenhouse which is used to exhibit a collection of bonsai trees.

Chemins de la Rose.

After this we will travel to Doué-la-Fontaine, the rose-growing capital of France,  where we will visit Chemins de la Rose. It is managed by Floriane and Guillaume Dittière, the third generation of a family of rose producers, who are replanting, re-pruning and rediscovering the 1,500 varieties and 10,000 roses, some very rare, with gardeners on hand to give advice. Ancient roses, Angevin roses, English roses and so on are grouped loosely together, but the highlight are climbing roses, often trained up trees, so that you suddenly spot colorful flowers emerging high up trunks. In 2016 the collection was enriched with many varieties by the rose breeder, Dominique Massad. Massive old roses have been renewed. Just for fun, visit the Garden of the Horoscope and discover the tree associated with your day of birth.

Returning to Saumur, we will visit Cave Ackerman.

Cave Ackerman Winery

Situated in Saumur on the banks of the River Thouet, a tributary of the Loire, Ackerman’s cellars and warehouse combine the charm and landscapes of the Loire with the prestige of a major wine producer. A permanent exhibition recounts the history of the company since 1811. The visit continues with a tour of our magnificent cellars. The cellars have been dug deep into the tuffeau limestone rock and run in spectacular long galleries, providing the very best conditions for ageing the company’s top cuvées. A constant temperature and perfect darkness are guaranteed by depths that in some places reach more than 120 meters. Here we will enjoy a wine tasting at Ackerman Winery before returning to our hotel.

Accommodations: Saumur: Le Londres Hotel

Day 6: Friday, June 30, 2017
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
 Lunch at Domaine de la Courbe

Jardin du Petit Bordeaux

Gardens du Petit Bordeaux

Our day starts off today with a visit to Gardens du Petit Bordeaux. This intimate garden, 1.5 hectares, today brings together an incredible collection of 3800 species and varieties of trees, shrubs, old roses , perennials and grasses. In a decoration all in relief where the association of imaginary shapes and volumes found the balance over time, increasing the mass in a show of colorful scenes that follow one another as the seasons where the shadow games and light accompany the fairways in the open lawn, typical of English gardens.

From Petit Bordeaux we will take a short drive to Domaine de la Courbe where we will enjoy lunch as a group. Then our guided tour of Château du Lude begins.

Chateau du Lude Gardens

Château du Lude Gardens

Château du Lude’s garden is classified as a Remarquable Garden by the French Ministry of Culture. Since the 17th century, the old stronghold surrounded by its wide moat gave way to an elegant terrace edged by a stone balustrade of over 200 meters long, while a ‘suspended’ garden was created in the 18th century on the foundations of the fortress. The Spur Garden designed in 1997 by Count Augustin d’Ursel, spreads out in front of the Louis XVI façade. The yew hedges map out the architecture of the fortress and enclose a maze of box and a rose garden. There one finds a collection of Chinese, tea and hybrid tea roses such as ‘Mutabilis’, ‘Sanguinea’, ‘Old Blush’, Le Vesuve’ and ‘Irene Watts’.

Accommodations: Saumur: Le Londres Hotel

Day 7: Saturday, July 1, 2017
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
 Farewell Group dinner

Giverney Perennials

Giverny Gardens

Our last full day begins with a private tour of Giverny Gardens led by an Impressionist expert. There are actually two parts to Monet’s garden: a flower garden called Clos Normand in front of the house and a Japanese inspired water garden on the other side of the road. These two parts of Monet’s garden contrast and complement one another.

We will enjoy a farewell dinner this evening and then have the evening to pack and prepare for our departure the next day.

Accommodations: Rueil-Malmaison: Le Relais de la Malmaison Hotel

Day 8: Sunday, July 2, 2017 Departure
Meals: Breakfast

You will transfer from le Relais de la Malmaison to the Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris for your flight home.

All hotels are boutique type with classic furnishings and set within walking distance of cafes, shops and restaurants. If you prefer a higher room category at any/all of the hotels than what is provided in the tour cost, please contact Travel Haus and we will get the pricing supplement and availability for your preferred room category on an individual basis.

1-Le Cloissol Hotel France

Le Choiseul Hotel

On the banks of the river Loire, this stately 18th-century hotel is alongside the medieval castle of Château Royal d’Amboise, where Leonardo da Vinci is buried. It’s a 15-minute walk from da Vinci’s former residence, Château du Clos Lucé. Ornate rooms are individually decorated in period style, featuring elegant furnishings and intricate prints. All have free WiFi, flat-screen TVs and minibars. Some add terraces, fireplaces and/or beamed ceilings, while suites include living rooms.

Le Londres Hotel

Le Londres Hotel

Inspired by its glorious past in the days of the Grand Hotel de Londres, it has restored rooms with the desire to respect the history of the place by a choice of quality materials (wood, wrought iron) while injecting a high dose of modernity to ensure the continuity of this beautiful story begun 175 years ago.

Relais De La Malmaison

Le Relais de la Malmaison Hotel

This place of tranquility and well-being enjoys an ideal location only a short distance from Paris. Nestled in a 2-hectare park, with an ambience that is both chic and relaxed, Le Relais de La Malmaison invites you to enjoy its intimate and warm accommodations and range of quality services.

Trip Details are Below Please Read Carefully

Email Amy Fritz at with any questions.

$4,985.00 per person/ $1,200 single supplement

Contact Travel Haus to reserve your airfare and registration forms:
Ask for Groups or email

Detail Flyer Sheet 



Airfare is not  included in the price of the trip. This allows travelers to use a variety of means, including airline and credit card points, to purchase their airfare. You are responsible for your own airfare. Your flight must depart Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport no earlier than 5:00 PM on July 2 to be included in the group transfer. If your flights depart before this, you must make your own way to the airport at your own cost.

Jerry & Amy will be flying on United #57/United #55 if you wish to fly with them.

Flight #57: Departs Newark June 24, 6:20PM, Arrives Paris Charles de Gaulle June 25, 7:45AM Return Flight #55:Departs Paris Charles de Gaulle July 2, 1:10PM, Arrives Newark 3:45PM

Travel Haus will be happy to assist any travelers in booking airfare and will suggest flights for all travelers to ensure that the group arrives at Paris Charles de Gaulle in a timely manner and we stay on our first day’s schedule. In many cases, Travel Haus may be able to find better airfare than what the published price is showing.

Travel Haus is not responsible to honor information or prices incorrectly listed due to typing or printing errors.

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