Spring is a wonderful time of year when the whole world seems to be coming alive, and many holiday destinations are at their most beautiful. Whether you dream of Japan’s trailing pink cherry blossoms, the Netherlands’ vibrant carpets of tulips, or magical wildflower festivals, we have listed seven beautiful destinations around the world you must visit in the springtime.
1. Lisse, Netherlands
The Netherlands are famous for the breath-taking displays of tulips that wind a multi-coloured river through many of the country’s parks and gardens in the spring. Lisse is home to Keukenhof, the world’s largest flower garden, which is at its most glorious in the spring time. The garden is only open for a few weeks each year, when it holds a stunning showcase of seven million tulips, daffodils and hyacinths. Expect to see sweeping fields of jewel-coloured blooms as far as the eye can see in more shades than you knew existed.
2. Furano, Japan
Furano’s flower fields attract a large number of visitors throughout the summer, but visiting a little earlier often means you can beat the crowds just as the fields are beginning to bloom. Lavender has been cultivated in the area for many decades, and the fields of vibrant purple lavender sweeping up to meet the Tokachi mountain range is a sight you will never forget. As well as lavender, you will find fields filled with rape blossoms, poppies, lupines, lilies, sunflowers and salvias depending when you visit. The whole area really is unbelievably beautiful, so whatever you do, don’t leave your camera at home.
3. Arizona-Sonora Desert, USA
The Arizona-Sonora desert is beautifully lush and the vast carpets of colour that spring up between February and April are truly awe inspiring. Winter annuals such as poppies, lupines, and owl clover spread across the dessert, lighting up the landscape with their brilliant blooms. By May, prickly pears will adorn the cacti and the desert ironwood trees will have begun to grow a pretty coating of lavender flowers. If you hope to see the famous blanket of colour the winter annuals bring, you will need to be able to travel at short notice as they last just a few weeks. Beautiful vegetation is abundant in this desert all through the spring though, so it is still very much worth a visit even without the annuals.
4. Chiang Mai, Thailand
Chiang Mai welcomes in the spring with an annual flower festival that celebrates all the beautiful flowers that bloom in the area. Floral floats sculpted out of African marigolds, globe amaranth, ban chun, and chrysanthemums wind along the streets. Young Thai women wear floor-length gowns and file through the streets with baskets of orchids to the sound of school marching bands. It is the ultimate celebration of the youth and vitality of the new season. Stop off at the 24-hour Ton Lamyai flower market on your way home to pick up your own bundle of fresh-cut lilies.
5. Giverny, France
Giverny is home to Monet’s famous gardens and spring is the best time to see them in all their glory. The whole garden is adorned with the new season’s finery, from the awakening water lilies floating by that iconic green bridge to the weeping willows trailing their mournful leaves over the bright tulips. Divided into two parts, Monet’s garden is made up of Clos Normand, where flowers are arranged according to symmetry, colour and perspective, and the Japanese water garden you will recognise from many of his paintings.
6. Kyoto, Japan
One of the most famous spring events in the world is the flowering of the Japanese cherry blossom trees. For hundreds of years, the sea of trees covered in cotton candy buds of pink blossom have provoked poetry, art and celebration when they appear in the spring. In modern times, the cherry blossoms are just as revered and hanami – flower appreciation picnics under the blooms – are a very popular pastime. The blooms only last for a couple of weeks, starting in January in the south of the country and move upwards until spring, so it’s important to visit the right place at the right time. Kyoto, the ancient capital of Japan, gets them around March and provides the perfect picturesque background to appreciate the blossoms. Picnic in Maruyama Park on an abundant carpet of blossoms or take a late night stroll along Philosopher’s Path to have the beautiful, transient blooms all to yourself.
7. Mainau Island, Germany
Known as the flower island, Mainau is completely blanketed in flowers of every type and colour by the end of March. Featuring huge sweeping lawns, more than a hundred acres of winding paths and flowerbeds as far as the eye can see, spring is the perfect time to escape to the garden paradise. Spend your time climbing staircase waterfalls that appear to flow with radiant tulips, exploring the Italian Rose Garden that is home to over 500 varieties of the flower of love, and visiting the tropical greenhouse where 1,000 colourful butterflies cover the plants, flowers and visitors alike.
If you want to escape to one of these spring-time paradises, why not book one of Cruise1st UK’s amazing cruises for the ultimate spring holiday? Browse the full collection online, or call our sales team on 0808 274 6777.