Upcoming Tours

 

Menorca & Mallorca: Art and Gardens | May 22 – June 1, 2017

Tour Registration is Full

Email nlindberg@berkeley.edu for Waitlist

 

Camp Sarch

Camp Sarch, a private agricultural estate

View over Valldemossa

View over Valldemossa

Join us for this special tour of Spain’s Balearic Islands and enjoy the unique opportunity to visit spectacular private gardens and art collections.

Our tour begins in Menorca, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve with fascinating pre-historic stone monuments and unique gardens, and continues to the nearby island of Mallorca. From the medieval quarter of Palma to charming villages and country estates around the island, we will see historical and contemporary gardens as well as art museums and artists’ studios. We will also visit a botanic garden devoted to plants of the Balearic Islands. Along the way, we will experience gracious hospitality and enduring culture of these enchanting Mediterranean islands.

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Past Tours

 

Cuba: A People-to-People Tour | January 20 – 29, 2017

Street in Old Havana

Street in Old Havana (Photo derived from CC La Havane / La Habana, by Guillaume Baviere)

View of the Escambray Mountains from the town of La Boca.

View of the Escambray Mountains from the town of La Boca

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On this unique and inspiring program, we will travel on a General License from the U.S. Treasury Department to take friends and members of the UC Botanical Garden on a People-to-People Exploration of Cuba.

Our tour of Cuba begins in Old Havana and continues to the Escambray Mountains, the colonial cities of Trinidad and Cienfuegos, and Zapata National Park. We will explore the island’s diverse landscapes and habitats, from the plains or llanos to mountain forests and coastal wetlands.

The Cuban natural world is reflected in its national symbols: Roystonea regia, the royal palm; the white mariposa, Cuba’s national flower; and the colorful national bird, the tocororo. More than 8,000 species of plants are native to Cuba, including many orchids, palms, and ferns. Cuba is also home to the world’s smallest bird, the bee hummingbird.

As we travel around this amazing island, the largest in the Caribbean, we will meet with Cuban naturalists, botanists, horticulturalists, and local experts. Throughout our journey, we will engage Cubans directly in discussions about their lives and work, culture, and traditions.

Tour Highlights:

  • Explore the UNESCO World Heritage sites of Old Havana and Trinidad.
  • Visit several botanic gardens and see their amazing plant collections.
  • Discover the mountain station at Topes de Collantes.
  • See the extraordinary plant life in the Sierra de Escambray.
  • Learn about Las Terrazas reforestation project.
  • See the orchid collections at Orquideario Soroa.
  • Visit Vivero Alamar, a project for sustainable agriculture.

We hope you will join us for this fascinating tour of Cuba.

Marrakech: Gardens, Art & Cuisine | May 12 – 21, 2016

Join the UC Botanical Garden in the exotic city of Marrakech and visit its fascinating medina, La Palmeraie, and Berber villages in the High Atlas Mountains.

Cacti in the famous 12-acre Majorelle Garden - Marrakech, Morocco.

Cacti in the famous 12-acre Majorelle Garden – Marrakech, Morocco.

Marrakech was conceived as a garden city with orchards, market gardens, and pleasure gardens. Our home for the week will be Gary Martin’s private estate located in the palm grove of Marrakech. Gary, an ethno-botanist and director of the Global Diversity Foundation, will be our host and guide for the tour.

We have invitations to visit private homes and gardens as well as some of Gary’s projects in the High Atlas Mountains. Along the way, we will experience the best of Moroccan hospitality and cuisine. Tour escort Katherine Greenberg, garden designer and author, has made many trips to Marrakech, and her father worked in Morocco for a number of years. This will be her fifth tour to Morocco.

In response to rave reviews from participants, this is the second year the UC Botanical Garden will be offering a tour to Marrakech.

Mint salesman in a Marrakech market.

Mint salesman in a Marrakech market.

Natural Pigments on display.

Natural Pigments on display.

Waterscapes in Spain: Art, Gardens and Landscapes of Castile | May 23 – June 1, 2016

Come with us to visit beautiful gardens and diverse landscapes in the regions of Old and New Castile.

Fountain at the Royal Palace of La Granja de San Ildefonso

From Madrid and La Granja, we will explore the historic cities of Aranjuez, Segovia, Pedraza de la Sierra, and Toledo. We have invitations to visit private homes and gardens as well as several outstanding private art collections and a rare collection of botanical illustrations at the Royal Botanic Garden in Madrid.

Several of Spain’s leading garden designers and artists will talk to us about their work and the importance of water in contemporary and historical Spanish gardens. Along the way we will enjoy Spanish regional cuisine in private homes and acclaimed restaurants.

Mervyn Samuel, our guide and lecturer, is a scholar of Spanish culture, art history, and natural history. Our tour escort, Katherine Greenberg, is a garden designer and author with a special interest in Spain and Morocco. She is a member of the UC Botanical Garden Advisory Board and a past president of Pacific Horticulture Society and the Mediterranean Garden Society. Katherine studied at the University of Madrid and has given talks in Madrid and Marrakech. She has led many tours to Spain and Morocco. Her father worked in Morocco for a number of years.

Palacio de Galiano from the Sky – Toledo, Spain

Royal Palace of Aranjuez, Spain

Royal Palace of Aranjuez, Spain

Cuba: A People-to-People Tour | January 8 – 18, 2016

Only a few spaces left!

Dear Friends of UCBG: We invite you to come with us to Cuba in 2016. On this unique and inspiring program, we will travel on a General License from the U.S. Treasury Department to take friends and members of the UC Botanical Garden on a People-to-People Exploration of Cuba.

Street in Old Havana

Street in Old Havana (Photo derived from CC La Havane / La Habana, by Guillaume Baviere)

Our tour of Cuba begins in Old Havana and continues to the Escambray Mountains, the colonial cities of Trinidad and Cienfuegos, and Zapata National Park. We will explore the island’s diverse landscapes and habitats, from the plains or llanos to mountain forests and coastal wetlands.

The Cuban natural world is reflected in its national symbols: Roystonea regia, the royal palm; the white mariposa, Cuba’s national flower; and the colorful national bird, the tocororo. More than 8,000 species of plants are native to Cuba, including many orchids, palms, and ferns. Cuba is also home to the world’s smallest bird, the bee hummingbird.

As we travel around this amazing island, the largest in the Caribbean, we will meet with Cuban naturalists, botanists, horticulturalists, and local experts. Throughout our journey, we will engage Cubans directly in discussions about their lives and work, culture, and traditions.

Tour Highlights:

— Explore the UNESCO World Heritage sites of Old Havana and Trinidad.
— Visit several botanic gardens and see their amazing plant collections.
— Discover the mountain station at Topes de Collantes.
— See the extraordinary plant life in the Sierra de Escambray.
— Learn about Las Terrazas reforestation project.
— See the orchid collections at Orquideario Soroa.
— Visit Vivero Alamar, a project for sustainable agriculture.
— Observe the plants and wildlife of Zapata National Park, Cuba’s largest wetland.

We hope you will join us for this fascinating tour of Cuba.

View of the Escambray Mountains from the town of La Boca.

View of the Escambray Mountains from the town of La Boca.

Marrakech: Gardens, Culture & Cuisine | March 11 – 20, 2015

The Garden’s inaugural Marrakech: Gardens, Culture & Cuisine was comprised of 14 individuals traveling under the capable guidance of tour escort Katherine Greenberg, garden designer and UCBG Advisory Board member.

Majorelle Garden Marrakech Morocco

Majorelle Garden – Marrakech, Morocco

The group traveled to the exotic city of Marrakech to explore its fascinating medina, the Palmeraie, and Berber villages in the High Atlas Mountains. Once the capital of southern Morocco, the Imperial City of Marrakech is an alluring oasis with a temperate climate and fascinating sights. The group had an opportunity to experience several private homes and gardens by special invitation, as well as historical palaces and monuments dating from the 12th century. A special treat was hearing our tour escort speak at an international seminar sponsored by the Majorelle Garden.

Gary, Martin, an ethno-botanist and director of the Global Diversity Foundation, was our host. The tour participants’ base for the week was Jnane Tamsna, the private estate created by Gary and Meryanne Martin in the Palmeraie. This property features elegant architecture, ‘ryads’ or interior patio gardens, and gracious hospitality in a tranquil setting. The cuisine is a fusion of Moroccan and modern European, using organic fruits and vegetables sourced from the estate’s orchard gardens. Jnane Tamsna is featured in Gardens of Marrakech, by Angelica Gray.

“Would go again in a minute!”

“One of my favorite trips ever!”

“The entire trip was amazing. One of the nicest things about this trip was the multifaceted scope of the entire experience.”