Spring is arguably the most beautiful season in Europe. From the blooming cherry blossoms to the stunning purple lavender fields of Provence, these flower-filled locations will surely make your Instagram account the envy of all others.
The temperatures get milder as the alpine snows melt to reveal lush green pastures, shifting the weather from blustery to balmy, which is perfect for the flowers in Europe.
But where should you go, and how do you go about planning the perfect floral spring break in Europe?
This post is part of our Discover Europe Series
Visiting Europe in spring certainly has its perks, including:
- Crowds are generally lower in spring than in summer, so rental cars are easier to book, airfares are cheaper, and hotels are more likely to have vacancies.
- The temperatures are ‘just right’, offering the right sort of weather for taking strolls and outdoor exploration.
- Everything comes into bloom.
Tips For Planning A Spring Break in Europe
When Europe and its marvelous spring unfurl, you’ll want to bear in mind these travel planning tips:
- Do try and plan your European floral trip well in advance. Although Spring is much less crowded in Europe than summer, when the popular flower fields are in full bloom, accommodation in the nearby towns and villages is sure to book up early.
- Research your destination well; some locations may require pre-purchased tickets with a time slot for entry, particularly if you’re visiting at the weekend.
- If you suffer from the signs and symptoms of hay fever, you may prefer to time your trip for early spring as, typically, pollen levels are higher at the end of spring and early summer. Packing some antihistamines is a wise idea.
- Speaking of packing, do pack for unexpected weather changes. Whilst we dream of perfect blue skies above fields awash with colour, European springs can also be synonymously soggy underfoot – and above! You will want raincoats and umbrellas, along with a good pair of boots, but a sunhat and sunscreen may also be necessary.
- Check your Visa requirements! Remember, the UK is no longer part of the EU, and we await news of the final implementation date of ETIAS, the European Visa waiver program (presently touted for Spring 2025, the ever-moving deadline!)
So, on to the fun stuff! If you are looking for eye-catching palettes of colour, then Europe in the springtime is irresistible as parks and gardens bloom with the season’s first flowers. To experience the magic of spring in all its blooming glory, here are the best destinations where to see spring flowers:
1. Keukenhof Gardens, Lisse, Netherlands
The Keukenhof Gardens, also hailed as the most beautiful spring garden in the world, is the best place to see the iconic Dutch flowers at their finest. With more than 800 different varieties, the tulip mania explodes across 32 acres of patterned gardens.
The vibrant and bold colours come to be viewed for just a couple of months every year, offering magnificent blooms. The spring bulbs are planted each year for the Amsterdam Tulip Festival, which takes place eight weeks a year in the spring.
Though the tulips are the showstoppers, you will also see a wide array of flowers, including irises, roses, daffodils, and lilies. You can either decide to bike or drive through the fields.
The best time to visit the Keukenhof Gardens is from March 24 to May 15.
To see the rolling fields of Tuscany come to life in a sea of red as thousands of wild poppies take over the land, you should include it in your itinerary. The red poppies popping up everywhere leave a magnificent effect.
Though it is an endless expanse of poppies you see as you drive through, it is interspersed with other wildflowers.
The poppies usually bloom in late April after the rainfall and last well into May.
3. Daffodils in Farndale, England
Up in the North York Moors lies the Daffodil Dale, a valley full of golden yellow daffodils. The daffodils are a sea of happy bright yellow spilling out of their charming towns and villages.
A dedicated walk is 3.5 miles long and has longer and shorter versions for you to get a hearty dose of the spring. The dedicated walks will take you through the countryside with pretty spring flowers.
The walks are easy and not steep, but at times can be a little muddy, making for a beautiful spring day out.
The best time to visit and experience the scenery is from March to April.
When you drive or cruise through Provence, the one prominent, eye-catching piece of scenery is the abundant wall of purple wisteria. The walls are unending, giving the town a picture-perfect angle.
Wisteria is an invasive plant that chokes but is also exceedingly lovely to look at. It grows on walls and covers most of the houses and cafes in this region. It also flourishes freely in places where wine is produced, such as the Beaujolais region.
Wisteria has a short blooming season as it depends on the temperatures. It can only last 3-4 weeks, depending on the temperatures. This is usually in the early to mid-spring.
If you have experienced wanderlust when seeing the pictures of the beautiful lavender fields of Provence, then you should explore this fragrant area of south-eastern France. The lavender fields are synonymous with the South of France and Provence.
The epitome of this region is the appeal of the violet blankets and the scent of lavender in the warm evening air. A great place to start your trip is in the village of Sault, the capital of lavender. Take the winding, hilly roads that open into pretty lavender plateaus. These roads are quieter and will offer you a taste of the natural landscape.
The best time to explore this fragrant area of France is in late June, as most lavender fields are in full bloom and before the tourists descend in the summer months. Early July is also a great time before the fields get harvested from mid-July.
6. Cherry Blossoms in Paris, France
Springtime in Paris is magical, thanks to the cherry blossom viewing. The city has many cherry trees that dress it in a blanket of blossoms. There exist places in the town where you can enjoy the pink blossoms as the trees line the streets.
You can walk along the streets as you take in the full view of the blossoms or take a 20-to-30-minute ride. You can even bring a picnic and settle under one of the fluffy pink blossoms for a perfect day out.
If you hope to see the blooms, early March to early April is generally a good rule of thumb.
Undeniably, the Greek islands are some of the most picturesque places in the world. And not just the brilliant blues of summer; in Spring, the bright fuchsia flowers of the bougainvillea plant seem to bleed over all the white-washed buildings.
The flowering bushes make Santorini a great place to take your vacation. The best part about the bougainvillea plant is that it has a long season and starts to bloom in late April and May.
8. Kew Gardens, UK
And if you are out to see the largest seasonal displays of flowers in Britain, then the over 300 acres of the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew should be on your bucket list. This site will offer more than just gardens, as it is a collection of the most stunning botanical art on the planet.
May is the perfect time to visit as the gardens spring to life with the blooming of bluebells, tulips, cherry blossoms and magnolias, to name just a few.
More European Travel Inspiration
- Train travel is one of the most efficient and enviro-friendly ways to explore Europe, and amazingly affordable. We share all our top tips and suggested itineraries for taking Eurail around Europe with kids.
- Discover Europe’s oldest towns for history-loving families.
- Fill in your February half-term break in Europe this year with one of these short trip ideas.
- These are perfect places to take the family skiing in Europe (many still open well into Spring!)
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