Best destinations in Europe to see spring flowers
1. Italy - Wild Poppy Fields in Tuscany
When thinking of Tuscany, green valleys filled with sunflowers might be one of the first things that come to your mind. This is not the only thing that this beautiful area of Italy is famous for. From the end of April until the beginning of May the fields turn bright red when thousands of wild poppies pop up. The most spectacular place to see the beautiful display is on the hills of the Crete Senesi in the Val d’Orcia. In some areas you can even try dishes such as ravioli or frittata, which are prepared with the poppy leaves!
Where to stay:
The place is an enchanting land property made of stone from the XIX century, lying in a beautiful valley with a view to the vineyard and to the beautiful city of Montepulciano. Follonico is a relaxing and quiet place, where you can fully enjoy reading a nice book or walking around in the beautiful nature.
Wonderful collection of houses located in an equally charming hamlet in south Tuscany
Rolling hills, woodlands replete with deer, hares and olive groves make up the enchanting backdrop to the equally delightful hamlet of Lucignano d’Asso, which is located at the southernmost tip of Tuscany.
Welcome to one of Tatlers 101 top hotels - la Bandita. Ideally located between Florence and Rome, nearby the renaissance gem of Pienza, the medieval hot springs of Bagno Vignoni, and the wine capitals of Montalcino and Montepulciano, the hotel la Bandita will allow you to enjoy the beautiful region of Tuscany at its most!
2. Portugal - Wild flowers in The Alentejo
The Alentejo and the Algarve, in Southern Portugal are great places to appreciate the colors of spring. Alentejo is probably the most vibrant of Portugal’s landscapes, with its whitewashed villages, wide-open roads and colorful vistas. From January until the end of May, you can enjoy colorful displays from blue fountained anchusas to fields of scarlet poppies and the pure white moon daisies.
Where to stay:
Beautiful rural Bed & Breakfast and Villa with six rooms in Mourão, Alentejo. If you are travelling in a group, you have the possibility to rent the whole villa for exclusive use. The property is nestled in the margins of Alqueva Lake and offers splendid views of the surrounding nature and the lake.
A typically cute rural Alentejo house - made for relaxation. This late 18th century rural house was originally used as a granary and has been in the hands of the present owner’s family for six generations. The architecture is typical Alentejo – simple lines and whitewashed walls that help keep the visitor cool in the summer
You can’t get more secluded or away from it all than the Casa Ermida de Santa Catarina. Bathed by the waters of the Caia Reservoir and integrated within old oak trees and stunning natural beauty, Alentejo style.
3. The Netherlands – Keukenhof Tulip Gardens
The Netherlands is world famous for its tulips. During spring the country is filled with endless colorful fields. The best place to see tulips is the Keukenhof Tulip Gardens, located close to the town Lisse, about a half-our drive southwest of Amsterdam.
Keukenhof Tulip Gardens is the largest flower park in the world and every year, about 7 million bulbs are planted by hand. Besides a variety of 800 different tulips, the park is also famous for its cherry blossoms, azaleas, daffodils, and hydrangeas, as well as its indoor exhibitions featuring collections of lilies, orchids and other flowers. There are also flower shows, unique artworks and impressive events. The Keukenhof Tulip Gardens is normally open between end of March until the beginning of May.
Where to stay:
If the push comes to the shove, we’d say this is one of our top 3 favourite hotels in Amsterdam. It’s not the most luxurious or the most expensive, but what makes it so special is the exceptional mix of style, charm and ambience coupled with a fabulous location - overlooking either a canal or a secret garden (depending on which room you have)
This Roof Terrace Apartment welcomes its guests with a great combination of light, design and luxury right in the centre of Amsterdam. The apartment is 165 sqm meters, split on two levels, enough space for up to 10 guests who want to enjoy elegant spacious rooms, modern facilities and an excellent roof terrace.
The Dylan Amsterdam is a stunning design hotel situated along the trendy Keizergracht canal in the very heart of Amsterdam. This boutique hotel offers 40 rooms in total, spread between two historic canal-side buildings and there are 4 different room styles.
4. France – Wisteria in Provence
Photo from Alan Titchmarsh: A foolproof guide to growing wisteria.
Provence is a wonderful place to visit during spring. Almost every street and corner are covered in an abundant wall of purple wisteria. Wisteria is an invasive plant that also happens to be very beautiful. It covers a lot of the houses and cafes in this area, and it's easy to spot. Wisteria has a short season, so make sure to check the calendar if you want to see it. Depending on the temperature, wisteria will last for 3-4 weeks. This usually happens in early to mid-Spring.
Where to stay:
If you want to stay in a cottage, take in the jaw dropping beauty of the Luberon valley and the atmosphere of Provence, then the Bastide Le Mourre could be the place for you. Le Mourre started off as a 17th century country estate, complete with windmill, granary, hayloft and even pigeon house.
In need of a break from the nosy neighbours? Then don´t hesitate to rent this rare treasure, hidden in a private valley of Provence and enjoy the tranquillity and the fact of not having neighbours at all. Villa des Oliviers is an exclusive apartment, merging nicely into a hillside above Sanary sur Mer.
There’s history to the Château des Alpilles, lots of it, as it actually goes back to medieval times. But for our purposes it starts off in 1825 when Pierre-Paul Blain had an imposing manor house cum castle constructed next to an old farmhouse.
5. Belgium - The bluebell forest in Hallerbos
The Hallerbos forest, also known as the “Blue Forest”, gets its name from the large number of bluebells that bloom here each year. Hallerbos, which is situated just south of the Belgian capital of Brussels, is a popular tourist destination during spring. For a lot of Belgians, it is a tradition to go for a walk through the forest as soon as the bluebells start to bloom. The flowers only bloom for a few weeks, normally between mid to late April. Therefore, we would recommend going there for sunrise as it can become very crowded during the afternoon. Make sure you do not go off the pathways, as bluebells are very tender flower species and once stepped on, they will never grow back.
Where to stay:
9 Hotel Central, a charming urban hotel in the very centre of Brussels. Its detailed decoration, boasting a perfect balance between avant-garde style and coziness, grants this hotel an authentic spirit hard to find. It holds 47 fully equipped rooms perfect for either short or long stays.
Made in Louise' is a small Boutique Hotel in the heart of Brussels. It combines warm atmosphere and a friendly welcoming culture with elegant style and sophisticated design.
6. Portugal – Hydrangeas in the Azores
The Azores are well known for the abundance of hydrangeas. Because of the volcanic island’s unique ecology, highly acidic soil allows hydrangeas to grow highly pigmented leaves. We promise you that you have never seen hydrangeas this blue!
For a magnificent display of the flowers, head to the island Faial, also known as “the blue island”, due to its endless hedges of vibrant blue hydrangeas. Or head to Terceira, known as the Lilac island. Except blue hydrangeas, you will also find the namesake bloom and other purple wildflowers. The best time to see the hydrangeas bloom is between June and July. For other displays of beautiful flowers, we recommend Pico island, which is one of two UNESCO World Heritage-listed islands in the Azores. During summer, the volcanic landscape is covered in blue.
The Azores also have many gardens and parks. We recommend the Terra Nostra Park in Sao Miguel.
Where to stay:
If you have ever thought of trying out a bit of “glamping”, a portmanteau of glamour and camping that combines the adventure of camping with the luxuries afforded by a hotel accommodation, then this place is perfect for you.
The island’s first proper design accommodation – the Furnas Lake Villas - 10 postmodern rectangular constructed villas made of local cedar wood built on stilts over a man-made pond, or some may say moat. All surrounded by a vast array of flora and vegetation.
This stunning, newly constructed luxury villa has 4 en-suite bedrooms, a private pool and Jacuzzi and is a perfect place for a romantic getaway, a family vacation or a relaxing retreat
This superb estate dates back to 1739 and has been in the hands of the present owner’s family since 1872. São Carlos is situated in a noble suburb of the beautiful UNESCO world heritage city of Angra do Heroismo. The setting is quite idyllic and charming with a magnificent 8000 sqm garden with a big swimming pool surrounded by lush vegetation.
7. Germany – Cherry blossoms in Hamburg
Photo credit: Westend61 / Kerstin Bittner
German cities are famous for their history, but let’s not forget the country’s natural attractions. Every spring, Japanese cherry blossoms burst into color and one of the best places to see them is in Hamburg. The city’s Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival (Japanisches Kirschblütenfest) takes place each May and June in Hamburg. The Japanese community donated around 5000 cherry trees in the 1960’s to Hamburg, which have been planted along the banks of the Alster, Alsterkrugchaussee, the Altona balcony and the Kennedy Bridge.
Where to stay:
Located in the vibrant city of Hamburg, the 25 Hours Altes Hafenamt has 49 guestrooms which are spacious and stylish, in what was once the former Port Authority building. Each room has a king size bed, bathroom, air conditioning, tea station and high-speed WI-FI.
Dip into the exciting urban jungle of Hamburg and get yourself a well-designed apartment for your exciting city getaway! “August - the boardinghouse” offers beautifully decorated apartments in the middle of Hamburg’s vibrant city life. The flats are fully equipped with everything you could wish for and make you feel at home as soon as you walk through the door.
The White House combines great comfort with the solid sophistication of a typical Hamburg residence. Located on the elegant Rothenbaumchaussee near the city centre, this former mansion was extensively restored in 2009 and it really does show.
8. Greece - Santorini and its pink bougainvillea
Santorini is known as one of the most picturesque places in the world. With its crystal-clear water and cliff-side villas it attracts tourist from all over the world, especially during the summer months. In spring season, however, this place is much calmer, and the temperature much more pleasant. Another reason to visit this beautiful place during spring is the bougainvillea, the bright fuscia plant that seems to be everywhere on the white-washed buildings. The flowers start to bloom in late April and continues throughout the summer.
Where to stay:
"A dreamy hotel in a dreamy location" – that’s how the Mill House Studio and Suites brings it optimally to the point. Here, the most breathtaking sunsets can be admired, which vitalize the senses and calm the mind. Firostefani, the Greek village near Fira, impresses with its romantic charm and its white houses that characterize the image of the place. One of these adorable houses is the Mill House. Carved into the rock and built-in traditional Cycladic style, it ensures you a unique feel-good holiday.
Being located in the old quarters of town is always an advantage for any special accommodation worth its salt. And so is the case with the Aria Lito, which is bang in the middle of the historic part of Fira.
Unsurprisingly, its architecture matches the grandeur of the old town, and so does its history, one which has welcomed many distinguished guests over time.
Cori Rigas welcomes you in the cliffs of Fira. This romantic accommodation is exuding charm and Greek beauty. For 250 years it served as a captain’s house, but now it has been restored in fully detailed work with volcanic materials, marble and wood from the surroundings. So you can say that it fits perfectly into this area.
9. England – Wild spring flowers in Cornwall
Cornwall boasts loads of stunning flower displays during spring. The warmer climate sees plants start blooming in March, and throughout April and May. The coastal walk between Kynance Cove and Lizard Point is the ultimate walk to explore wild spring flowers. If you do the whole walk you can see the stunning erica vagans which only grow in the area, or Cornish heath. Hottentot fig also start to bloom in spring, and let’s not forget the elaborately named bloody crane’s-bill, spotted cat’s-ear, green-winged orchid, hairy greenweed, and thyme broomrape that are the stars of this area.
Where to stay:
The Lifeboat Inn is a traditional harbourside pub, perfect for both summer and winter escapes. Located directly in front of the harbour, it's in the ideal location to enjoy watching the maritime activities of St Ives whilst enjoying a locally brewed beer, cocktails, glass of fine wine, classic pub meal, or a barista coffee. It's also in the perfect location to explore the local beaches and attractions.
An idyllic hotel situated in the St. Mawes port. The Idle Rocks has been included in a list of the best coastal European hotel by the Sunday Times Travel magazine. The Iddle Rocks was founded in 1913 by the baker of the little town of St. Mawes, and although it has grown to the luxurious hotel it is today it never lost that familiar charm and coziness on the way.
Discover this beautiful property located in the heart of the bustling St. Ives, nestled between magnificent golden beaches and a vibrant restaurant and art gallery scene. Have a look around and feel the magic of the true surf spirit and wonderful sky colours of the St. Ives Bay.
10. Spain - Almond blossoms in Andalusia
Photo credit: I like Alpujarras
Visiting Andalusia is always a pleasure at any time of year, but during spring temperatures are ideal for enjoying nature and flower blossoms. Andalusia is home to a very rich variety of wildflowers in widely diverse habitats, some species growing nowhere else. During the spring months, fields of Malaga are covered with a white mantle due to the almond trees that blossom. The pink and white flowers of the almond trees mingle with the green of the fields. This natural phenomenon is something you will not easily forget. The best place to see the almond blossoms is around the Guadalhorce Valley, between the villages of Almogía and Cártama.
Where to stay:
Casa la Concha Boutique Hotel located at the Golden Mile in Marbella offers it all. This charming secret spot has been renovated by Marie Helene Burot with lots of love. Especially the warm interior design invites you to relax while feeling her passion for painting and travelling at every corner.
Spain has always been good at design and Halcyon Days definitely match with that statement. The apartments are situated in the touristic heart of Málaga, only 300 m from the famous cathedral and Calle Larios, one of the city’s main thoroughfares, paved with marble tiles and well-known as a true shopping paradise.
Previously an old water mill, Molino del Santo was acquired by an English couple and transformed into a rural hotel in the small town of Benaoján, in the magnificent Natural Park of Grazalema, close to Ronda. It is a quiet and comfortable place, with whitewashed walls, hand-made carpets and handcrafted wood chair
Blog post by Emma Baldwin