How to See the Best Blooms in Europe This Spring
By now, most of us have had it with winter’s greyness and chill. We’re all delighted when the first days of warmer weather arrive and when a bit of color returns to the landscape. Even so, many of us also think of the spring as an ideal time to travel and see how the season progresses in other parts of the world.
If your next escape is to Europe, a springtime visit makes for a lot of pleasant experiences. The markets are going to start returning or offering the first of the spring harvests. The landscapes will be waking up or even fully awake and showing off some of their finery. But, where can you go if you are determined to see an area at its flowery best? Europe is a good choice for its many excellent gardens and parks, its diverse landscape with an immense array of blossoms, trees, and flowering plants, and the excellent weather of the spring and early summer months.
So, where can you go to find the most eye-catching blooms and flowering displays? That depends on what you hope to see, and for many, there are a few areas in which famous displays are a must-see attraction.
The Lavender in France
As a prime example, the finely shaped rows of lavender that blossom in southern France each year are a must-see sight (and something to smell, too). They are the reason behind many spring and summer visits, and the area known as Provence is the real heart of the French lavender zone. As one expert said, the best “me to explore this fragrant area of France is in June before the tourists descend in the summer months. The village of Sault is the capital of lavender and so this popular spot is a great place to start. Take the top roads from Sault, as these winding hilly roads opening onto pretty lavender plateaus are quieter and will give you a taste of the real landscape.”
Even better would be to book a luxury villa in the region, and just hop on a bicycle or book a driver to provide you with a tour of the many gardens, orchards, and other flowering sights coming into their prime during that season.
Cherries in Germany
While a lot of travelers would say that Japan is home to some of the most stunning Cherry Blossom displays, or Washington D.C., the German city of Bonn is also quite a stunning spot when its cherry trees burst into bloom in the spring. Again, that same expert explained how to see this amazing sight, noting that the “city gets dressed in a blanket of blossoms each April. Bonn’s Nordstadt neighborhood is the area of the city where the trees lining the street are covered in the pinkest blossoms. Head to Heerstrasse – actually known as the Cherry Blossom Avenue – for the best spot in Bonn for more blossoms than you’ll be able to photograph.”
Poppies in Tuscany
The Val d’Orcia area of Italy is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and part of Tuscany. This entire region is home to a landscape that seems to have fallen right out of a painting. During April and May, it is when a veritable sea of poppies emerge and convert an already picturesque landscape into something even more unimaginable. With tall cyprus trees rising up against the terra cotta hues of the houses and the golden-green grasses of the rolling hills, it is quite scenic. However, add bold red fields of fiery poppies to this mix, and you have a photographer’s or tourist’s heaven.
Go ahead and book a Tuscan villa for yourself and then spend days casually biking the area or driving from one scenic spot to another. Sample the delights of the season’s first produce and enjoy a Tuscan spring like no other.
The southwestern area of France, known as the Dordogne region, is one that is dominated by rolling landscapes and open fields. The warm and sunny weather make it the ideal spot for an immense number of sunflowers to be grown. During the month of June, it is possible to see entire hillsides and valleys full of these golden, eye-catching blooms. You may even find them all of the way to the Mediterranean region, including the Cote D’Azur and Marseille areas.
While many people abandon the Alps after the snows have gone and the ski season ends, the region is quite heavenly in the spring, summer, and fall, too. This is when you can cycle, hike, walk, and swim in gorgeous scenery and settings. There are still a lot of great restaurants and activities to enjoy, and if you are in the area from July and onward, you can also catch a glimpse of the famous Edelweiss blooms. Growing only in high altitudes and in seemingly inhospitable zones, it is a rare flower that is “covered by dense hair, which helps collect thousands of tiny air bubbles, and it’s because of these air bubbles that Edelweiss appears to glow sometimes in the sunshine. This symbol of the Alps is a protected flower, so no picking them!”
You can find them rather easily in the Zermatt area close to Italy.
The island of Crete is a wildly popular one and spring is deemed one of the best times to visit. Why? The wildflowers. There are more than 1,700 species on this island and with the cooler spring weather, it is the perfect time to trek all over Crete and smell, photograph, and see the amazing diversity of blooms. There are wild herbs and any number of flowers and plants that stretch from the coastal areas to the mountains and rolling meadowlands.
There are also the bluebells of England, the almond blossoms of the entire Andalusia region of Spain, and so much more. As you make your travel plans for the upcoming spring and early summer season, consider any of the spots above. They promise lots of blossoms and blooms, as well as fragrant memories to last for many seasons afterward.