Spring is approaching, and as any flower fan knows, some of the world’s most beautiful flowers will start to bloom any minute now. Almond trees, for instance, are already starting to bloom in Mallorca, and the annual first appearance of their dainty white petals are reason enough for people to head to the Balearics in early March.
There are, however, plenty of other blooms that are worth globe-trotting for. That’s why Holidu has compiled a list of some of the most beautiful locations to visit during “blossom season” – where both your eyes and your nose can take in the exquisite beauty and scents offered by the finest springtime flora – as well as recommendations on holiday rentals nearby. Check out some places worth visiting in the coming months:
Hydrangeas – Azores, Portugal
The Hydrangea macrophylla, known as “hydrangeas,” come from the Hydrangeaceae family and are characterized by a set of many flowers, which are gathered in inflorescences. They can be different colors: white, purple, red, pink or blue. Hydrangeas originated in China but have been in the West since the 18th century, thanks to the naturalist Philibert Commerson. Arguably the most evocative, moving landscape in which you can enjoy hydrangeas in bloom is within the Azores archipelago. In this natural volcanic paradise, travelers can see many in bloom, the most common color being blue. The hydrangeas begin to pop up in March, and the mild climate that characterizes the Azores allows them to grow lush with ease.
Lavender – Provence, France
Lavandula, also known as lavender, comes from the Lamiaceae family and has a spikey shape. It’s an experience of a lifetime – to see, and smell, the sprawling lavender fields in Provence; as long as it’s any time between June and September. In some places you can even pick some lavender (with permission, of course!) to turn into your own essential oils/homemade products for body and home care.
Cherry blossoms – Bonn and Düsseldorf, Germany
Cherry blossoms are of the Prunus serrulata, otherwise known as the typical Japanese cherry tree (aka “sakura”). These delicate flowers have a color that varies from pink to white, and the traditional Japanese custom of enjoying them – rather, contemplating the transient beauty of flowers, is known to the Japanese as “hanami.” If you think it’s too expensive to go to all the way to Japan to enjoy the cherry trees in bloom, here’s a nice solution in Europe: In Germany, many cities boast blooming cherry trees as early as May, especially Bonn and Düsseldorf. In Düsseldorf, you’ll actually find the largest community of Japanese in Europe. In the historic city of Bonn, there’s an entire May festival dedicated to cherry blossoms where you can celebrate hanami.
Orange blossoms – Valencia, Spain
The azahar, commonly known as the orange blossom, is the flower of citrus trees, including oranges and lemons. The intense scent of these white flowers makes them perfect for essential oils and body fragrances. These pristine flowers are also known as “bridal flowers,” a symbol of marriage and, therefore, often used in wedding bouquets. Flowering generally takes place between April and May.
Wild Orchids – Gargano, Italy
The Gargano promontory is known for its biodiversity among both its flora and fauna. It actually has the highest density of wild orchids in Europe. These exquisitely exotic wild orchids belong to approximately 60 different species and are all very different from one another: Some of them are endemic, which means they can only be found in Central or Southern Italy. Orchids bloom usually around March and April.
Tulips – Lisse, Holland
When you think of Holland, chances are that brilliantly-colored tulip fields are among one of the first things to come to mind. Indeed, throughout the country, there are various places to see these bulbous flowers popping up, starting from March to May. Among the best known are the blooms near the city of Lisse; there, you must visit the Keukenhof, known as the Garden of Europe – it’s a vast park (32 hectares), in which seven million bulbs bloom.
Apricot flowers – Wachau, Austria
Those who love apricots will be able to distinguish those from Wachau from all others: They are, in fact, much sweeter and much more juicy – so delectable, in fact, that since 1996 they have been legally protected by the European Union. The apricot flowers are very similar to those of the cherry tree and are white and pink; their flowering takes place in April and the best place to admire the blossoming apricot is Rossatz – Arnsdorf.
Moorlands blooming – Westjütland, Denmark
The characteristic landscape of the moors, present in many Nordic countries, is also characteristic of the Westjütland region of Denmark. In August and September, the lands are all abloom, creating a beautiful blue and violet floral carpet.
Edelweiss – Zermatt, Swiss Alps
The Edelweiss is a flower about 15 cm high, which grows wild in the Alps but is also present in other really high mountain ranges (the Himalayas or Apennines). Thanks to the fine hairs that characterize it, the flower can withstand very cold temperatures, and given its ornamental look is often used as a household decoration. This very particular flower blooms in July, in the middle of summer, and one of the best places to enjoy its peculiar beauty is the ski region of Zermatt, where travelers can find differently-themed trails throughout the mountains.
Rhododendrons – Cornwall, England
Rhododendrons can be found in many different countries, but are especially well-regarded in England, which also hosts many gardens specifically for rhododendron appreciation. In the southeast of England, in the county of Cornwall, you can visit the enchanting Trebah gardens (also locally known as “dream gardens”). Here you can observe hundreds of different species of rhododendron in bloom between the months of March and July.