The Best Places in Europe to See Spring Flowers
If you’ve recently been scraping ice off your car windscreen you might find this hard to believe, but before too long, winter will be a dim and distant memory. Nothing helps to permanently banish those winter blues like seeing spring flowers blooming. Here are our favourite places to do so…
Spring in Holland can start as early as March and once it’s in full flow, it’s an extravagant bloom of scarlet, gold, magenta and more. There are plenty of places to see the country’s famous tulips: drive or cycle through the countryside and you’ll come across charming Dutch windmills surrounded by stripes of colour. Alternatively, just a short day trip from Amsterdam is Keukenhof Park – home to over seven million flower bulbs.
Wild flowers, Crete
From coast to mountaintop, Crete turns into a riot of colour during the spring months. The island is home to over 1700 species of plant and wild flower, with pretty pink anemones, deep-purple irises and yellow-centred chamomile taking centre stage from April onwards. Fragrant herbs, such as sage and thyme, also fill the air – and your plate – with their delicious scents.
There are plenty of places around the UK to catch bluebells as they spring to life between April and May. However, it’s well worth visiting the island of Skomer off the coast of Pembrokeshire in southwest Wales, where the flowers seem to explode across the valleys and cascade down the cliffs towards the crashing waves below. Not only that, but the island is famous for its puffin population, which settles to breed during the bluebell season. And you’ll be pleasantly surprised just how close you can get to them.
In late April, the poppies of Tuscany begin to bloom, coating the rolling countryside in a blanket of bright red. One of our favourite spots to see entire fields of these cardinal-coloured flowers is around the picture-perfect hilltop town Val d’Orcia, a UNESCO World Heritage Site south of Siena. And spring is also the ideal time to tuck into the region’s food, with asparagus and peaches both in season.
Bonus non-Europe entry: cherry blossom, Washington, US
During a 2-week window in spring, Washington, DC, is transformed into a world of cotton-candy, which falls to the ground like snow. The blossom season is difficult to predict as it hugely depends on winter conditions, although the last week of March and the first week of April are typically good times to aim for. Our top spots for seeing the flowers are Tidal Basin in West Potomac Park, where you’ll also get views of the Jefferson Memorial, or the grounds of the Washington Monument.