The World’s Greatest Flower Show – Holland in the Spring
Holland is a superb holiday destination, and famous for many things. Kinderdjik, a village in the south of the country, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site thanks to its abundance of historic windmills. Amsterdam is world-renowned for its canals, diverse museums and art galleries bursting at the seams with masterpieces by the likes of van Gogh, Rembrandt, Vermeer and Frans Hals. The Hague, capital of the Netherlands, boasts many remarkable and historic buildings including Binnenhof and Ridderzaal; a complex built in the fourteenth century that has ever since served as Holland’s parliament.
Although Holland is wonderful at any time of the year (the Christmas markets are something special) for many visitors spring is the season of choice as it presents the opportunity to admire perhaps Holland’s best known and most-spectacular attraction: the flower fields.
Tulips, another item for which Holland is famous, were introduced to the country from Turkey in the sixteenth century. Instantly prized for their colour and beauty, demand for tulip bulbs became immense. By the mid-seventeenth century tulip bulbs had become so valuable and sought after that they were adopted almost as an informal currency. This resulted in an economic phenomenon known as ‘tulipmania’. Holland’s love affair with the tulip, coupled with favourable growing conditions saw the emergence of the country’s flower industry.
Today, Holland is the leading flower producer and exporter in Europe, and each spring from the end of March to mid-May vast fields of tulips, daffodils, gladioli, hyacinths, lilies crocuses and other flowers bloom, creating bright rainbow-coloured landscapes of unforgettable beauty. A forty-kilometre circuit beginning and ending at the town of Haarlem and known as the Bloemen Route (‘flower route’) passes through a number of rural towns and villages surrounded by flower fields, but perhaps the most famous destination of all are the Keukenhof Gardens. Here, more than seven million tulips, daffodils and hyacinths fill almost eighty acres of gardens with colour and scent; whilst pavilions feature thirty alternating flower and plant shows.
Timing is everything when it comes to admiring Holland’s flower fields at their best, and perhaps the easiest and safest way to guarantee an unforgettable experience is to take an escorted tour. Rail holiday specialists Treyn provide several itineraries which take in the captivating flower fields and Keukenhof Gardens whilst also visiting to some of Holland’s most enchanting towns and cities such as Delft and Antwerp.
Dutch flower field tours:
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