5 Spring destinations in Europe for Flower Lovers

Isabel Putinja


Springtime in Europe is irresistible as parks and gardens bloom with the season's first flowers and are filled with eye-catching palettes of colours. If you're looking for a flower-filled getaway, here are some of the best destinations in Europe for flower lovers looking to experience the magic of Spring in all its blooming glory.

Keukenhof, Lisse, Netherlands

Covering an area of 32 hectares, Keukenhof is one of the world's largest flower gardens and probably Europe's best-known destination for fans of all things floral. The garden is located in the small town of Lisse, just south-west of Amsterdam. Seven million bulbs are planted here each year, blooming just in time to create a spectacular Technicolor carpet of colours for the two-month flower festival held here each Spring.

This being Holland, it's not surprising that most of the flowers are tulips, but there are also plenty of crocuses, daffodils and hyacinths. This Spring, the flower festival will be on for seven weeks: from 21 March to 10 May 2020. Book your ticket in advance online so you don't have to wait in the long entrance queues.

Keukenhof is an easy day trip from Amsterdam and convenient to get to via the Keukenhof Express. This bus service departs from Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam RAI Station, Haarlem, Hoofddorp and Leiden.


Claude Monet's Gardens, Giverny, France

Giverny was the home of Claude Monet and his famous gardens which provided the floral inspiration for many of his impressionist masterpieces. Operated by the Foundation Claude Monet, his beautifully-restored house is now a museum with its interiors preserved with period furniture and details such as the magnificent blue Rouen tiles in the kitchen. 

Visitors can also explore the romantic gardens full of climbing rose bushes, apple and cherry trees, weeping willows, bamboo groves, and colourful flowerbeds of nasturtiums, dahlias, irises, poppies and wisteria. A highlight is the Japanese bridge and the water garden of lily ponds depicted in his famous water lily series.

Located in Normandy, Giverny is 46 miles (75 km) north-west of Paris on the railway line from Saint-Lazare train station to Le Havre. A convenient bus shuttle runs from Vernon-Giverny station directly to the gardens.

Claude Monet's Gardens

Mainau Island, Lake Constance, Germany

Known as the flower island, Mainau Island is located on Lake Constance which borders Germany, Switzerland, and Austria. This paradise for flower lovers is a 45-hectare island of parks and gardens planted with over 1200 different types of roses, 250 varieties of dahlias, 200 rhododendron and azalea varieties, as well as exotic plants such as cacti, agaves, palm trees and bougainvillaea.

If that's enough flower power, its arboretum houses 500 species of deciduous and coniferous trees. The Italian Rose Garden is a highlight not only for its flowering buds but also its many fountains, pergolas, sculptures and fountains.

Mainau can be easily reached from the city of Konstanz by bus number 4 or by boat. A pedestrian bridge links the bridge to a car park on the mainland.

Mainau Island, Lake Constance, Germany

Kew Gardens, London, UK

The Royal Botanic Gardens (known as Kew Gardens) have been recognised as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO because of the exceptional plant diversity on display here. Located in Richmond in south-west London, the gardens first opened in 1759 and today, with over 50,000 different species of plants spread over 121 hectares, they are home to one of the world's biggest and most diverse collections of plants and flowers.

Spring is perhaps the best time of year to visit. This is when the season's first blossoms start to appear: you'll see the magnificent magnolia trees in bloom, and lawns splattered with bluebells, white and purple crocuses, delicate snowdrops and bold daffodils. Another springtime highlight is the two parallel rows of cherry trees decked up in exquisite pink blossoms.

The gardens are easy to reach via London Underground with the nearest station at Kew Gardens on the District Line (Richmond branch) and London Overground.

Kew Gardens, London

Rose Valley, Bulgaria

Spring is when Bulgaria's famous Rose Valley puts on a floral spectacle and the air is fragrant with the perfume of rose blossoms. It's in this region of central Bulgaria that rose oil is produced, making the country the world's largest producer.

Since 1903, the town of Kazanlak has been the setting for an annual rose festival during the harvest season that generally begins at the end of May and continues until the end of June. Visitors can join in the harvest, check out a rose oil distillery and sample local jams and liqueurs made of the flower. Don't miss a look around the Museum of Roses to learn about the history of rose production in the region and the extraction process used to produce rose water and rose oil.

Kazanlak is accessible by train or bus from the cities of Sofia and Plovdiv.

Rose Valley, Bulgaria

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