Flower Power: Europe’s Most Colourful Spring Destinations

Thursday 21 December 2023
Flower Power: Europe’s Most Colourful Spring Destinations

The Netherlands’ famous tulip fields

The Netherlands is the largest producer of tulip bulbs worldwide, producing over 3 billion bulbs annually. Every spring, vast fields of these iconic blooms burst into brilliant colour in North and South Holland, stretching as far as the eye can see.

With over 7 million tulips, crocuses and hyacinths and daffodils planted by hand, Keukenhof in Lisse is the ultimate tulip season hotspot, open just 53 days a year. Prefer to skip it? Driving, walking or cycling routes take you past kilometers of tulip fields. Dutch springtime weather can be unpredictable: you might be too early for tulips and chance upon white, purple and pink narcissus instead (also gorgeous, with a distinctive perfume), so check the Flowermap to see what’s blooming at the time of your visit.

Note: please do not enter the fields on foot for that viral TikTok content or Instaperfect shot. The bulbs are delicate and an entire region of farmers depend on them for their livelihood! Instead, visit a self-picking garden like Floratuin in Julianadorp for your fill of tulips to bring home.

When to visit: late March to early May

Monet’s House in Giverny, France

Ever seen a painting spring to life? The inspiration for some of the world’s most enduring paintings blooms afresh each year in Impressionist master Claude Monet’s very own home in Giverny, France. Situated along the Seine River, this is the house he lived in from 1883 until his death in 1926, and a central subject of many of his famous paintings. Today, it houses the Claude Monet Foundation and is open to the public as a museum dedicated to Monet's life, artistic process, and masterpieces.

It is in the French- and Japanese-style gardens where Monet’s artistic spirit comes to life most vividly. The artist was captivated by the traditional gardens he saw on a trip to Japan and incorporated elements of this style into his own back yard. The garden is most renowned for its water lilies and the famous "Water Lily Pond" series he painted there. The pond features a bridge that was also frequently painted by Monet and is a popular photo spot for visitors to the house.

When to visit: April through October, busiest from May to June

Arctic-Alpine Botanical Garden in Tromsø, Norway

What is spring like in the Arctic? Find out at the Arctic-Alpine Botanical Garden in Tromsø, Norway, one of the world’s northernmost botanical gardens. Its unique location makes it the perfect showcase of a diverse collection of Arctic, Alpine and sub-Antarctic plants adapted to harsh climates and environments.

From Siberian poppies to Arctic forget-me-nots and more, let Nature’s remarkable adaptations dazzle you. Discover how these plants and flowers are able to thrive in such extreme conditions such as cold temperatures, biting winds, and limited sunlight.

Explore the garden’s 25 collections, including a traditional North Norwegian garden with nearly 700 plants from heritage gardens in the north of Norway. Best of all, the garden is for everyone to enjoy: no fences nor gates, and entrance is free of charge.

When to visit: early May to October (when it starts to snow, bring skis!)

Spain’s Ruta de Almendras en Flor

The Ruta de Almendras en Flor, or Almond Blossom Route, is a scenic drive in Andalucía, Spain. This roughly 100km route takes you through some of the region's most beautiful landscapes, featuring views of rolling hills and valleys dotted with almond trees in full bloom. It typically runs from mid-January to mid-February, when the trees are covered in delicate pink and white flowers and the breeze is scented with their heady fragrance.

The route passes through several picturesque villages, including Iznájar, Priego de Córdoba, and Mollina, among others. Whether you choose to follow a hiking route or drive, stop along the way to explore the local villages and soak up their traditional architecture, culture, and cuisine. Villages such as Santiago del Teide host traditional festivals and markets, with music, dancing, food and drink.

When to visit: mid-January to mid-February

Bluebell woods in the Lake District National Park, Cumbria, England

Beat the winter blues with a different kind of blue: the magic of the bluebell woods in the Lake District National Park in Cumbria, England. In spring, these woods are blanketed in a sea of vibrant blue as millions of bluebells burst into bloom. The sight of the bluebells under the dappled sunlight filtering through the trees is mesmerising, and visitors often describe it as a fairy tale-like setting.

Explore the woods by choosing from several different winding trails that vary in difficulty and length. This is a rich wildlife spot, so watch for the birds and fauna waking from their winter dreams. Keep in mind that the exact timing of the bluebells' blooming can vary from year to year depending on weather conditions, so it's always a good idea to check the local forecast before making your trip.

When to visit: late April or early May

The pop of colour you need this Spring