As spring gives way to summer, there’s no better way to savour the seasons than spending time outdoors and enjoying nature’s blooms.
Whether you fancy being immersed in a sea of colour in the famous Dutch tulip fields, learn about plant species in beautiful botanical gardens, or attend an obscure Italian flower festival, the travel website Booking.com recommends the following destinations when it comes to admiring beautiful blossoms.
Lisse, the Netherlands
More than seven million tulips and other flora fill the beautifully sculpted flowerbeds at the world-famous Keukenhof Gardens in Lisse. Winding around the trees, immaculate, lime green lawns, and water, these resplendent flowers will stop you in your tracks. Bearby you’ll find the Dutch tulip fields, row upon row of vivid colours stretching as far as the eye can see.
Where to Stay: Bed & Breakfast De Vier Seizoenen in Lisse is located only 1.5 km away from Keukenhof. Other top flower-endorsed destinations within the Netherlands include Noordwijk, Hoofddorp, Aalsmeer and Amsterdam.
Though the lavender fields in Furano may not be too different from those in Provence, it’s the setting that makes them special. Mount Tokachi forms an impressive backdrop and the atmosphere when they’re blooming in July is wonderfully celebratory. Visit a local farm to enjoy a seemingly endless expanse of lavender, as well as poppies, lilies, and sunflowers, and taste some of the freshly made lavender ice cream.
Where to Stay: Furano La Terre Hotel offers rooms in the heart of the lavender fields with mountain views. It also features Japanese-style rooms with tatami flooring and traditional futon beds. It’s only a 30-minute drive from the Biei area, another top flower-endorsed destination in Japan.
Boquete and its exuberant tropical surroundings are worth visiting year-round but the town’s annual flower festival, running from January 11 to 21, is the best time for fans of flora. On the banks of the Boquete River, expert gardeners put on an incredible display of thousands of assorted flowers. A highlight is the showcase by the local orchid society; a colourful collection of one of the world’s most treasured exotic plants.
Where to Stay: Boquete Garden Inn offers a unique experience in a peaceful and natural setting. Nestled within beautiful gardens, the property offers a limited number of cabanas, so privacy is a priority. A complementary, three-course sit-down breakfast is included, which guests can enjoy alongside beautiful wild birds.
The ancient Italian town of Spello is a garden in itself. Flower pots and vines cover almost all of the buildings’ rose-coloured stone walls and weathered wood shutters and doors.
Where to Stay: La Corte del Conte offers comfortable, modern rooms in the centre of Spello. It also features a beautiful garden, where guests can relax while enjoying a meal or glass of wine.
Giverny was home to Claude Monet for much of his life and his former home and garden, instantly recognisable from his water lily series, are now open to the public. It’s not hard to see how it inspired some of his most lauded work, since the garden feels like a surreal art installation. Almost every inch of ground is covered with a dizzying array of flora – nasturtiums, tulips, irises, peonies – separated by water-lily ponds, the wisteria-clad bridge, and huge weeping willows. This year it’s open until November 1.
Where to Stay: Relais du Silence Le Jardin des Plumes is a charming hotel located only 500 metres from Monet’s house and gardens. It features art-deco furniture, a garden and terrace as well as continental and English breakfast each morning.
Named from the words Holland America Brazil, Holambra is a former Dutch colony in the state of Sao Paulo. Staying true to its Dutch heritage, today Halambra is best known as the largest producer of flowers and ornamental plants in Latin American and hosts the largest spring event in South American, the Expoflora, which is considered one of the greatest showcases of the national floriculture novelties.
Where to Stay: Located in Holambra city centre, just 800 metres from the Expoflora trade show, Top Centrum Hotel offers guests spacious rooms, including some apartments with a kitchenette, complimentary breakfast and Wi-Fi.
The city of thousands of flowers, Dalat is home to various flower parks, farms and festivals, each decorating the city with colourful blooms and rich green landscaping. Spend your days exploring this former French colony and wandering the grounds, taking in fragrant lilies, chrysanthemums and diverse orchids that this city is famous for.
Where to Stay: Experience world-class service at Ana Mandara Villas Dalat Resort & Spa, a 5-star resort that features seven original French colonial villas nestled on the slopes of Dalat city’s rural highlands. The resort also offers guests extensive spa facilities and a variety of dining options.