Blooming Marvellous: Your Guide for Flowers in Europe

Chase away those last vestiges of cold, dark winter with a springtime adventure! To help put a spring in your step, we’ve put together our favourite spots for watching the spring colours bloom...

Provence, France: Lavender

Lavender, Provence The unmistakeable hue floods Provence every year in late June. The fields are laced with ribbons of purple leaving a sweet, soporific scent in the air. Markets are filled with small bundles for sale, and beauty products fragranced with lavender fill the shelves.

Best time for lavender: June

Take me there: Highlights of Provence

Castile, Spain: Wildflowers

Spring Flowers in Spain Encircling the ancient monasteries in a multi-coloured halo, the wildflowers of this region are innumerable. Small, pretty blooms carpet the meadows with a floral rainbow of vivid reds, pristine whites and sunshine yellows. The river is lined with almond and cherry trees.

Best time for spring flowers: May

Take me there: Secret Trails of Medieval Spain

Trins, Austria: Alpine Blooms

Trins The Austrian Tyrol is idyllic in many ways: charming villages with onion-domed churches, verdant meadows, and the beauty of the mountains. But it’s the flowers which take centre stage: brilliant yellow crepis, colloquially known as hawksbeard, dark blue trumpets of gentians, pretty alpine asters, bright pink alpenrose and of course, edelweiss.

Best time for flowers: June and July

Take me there: Walking in the Austrian Tyrol

Mallorca, Spain: Orchids

Mallorca North-western Mallorca is one of the world’s best kept secrets. This is the islands wild side, and is a sun-drenched haven for plants and botanists alike. However, the crown must go to the many orchids. No fewer than 60 different species grow wild here, including two native kinds, all dotted along the trails.

Best time for orchids: year round

Take me there: Walking in Mallorca or Mallorca Self-Guided Coast to Coast Ride

Sicily, Italy: Wildflowers

Sicily Sicilian wildflowers thrive in rich, fertile volcanic soil fed by the ash and lava from the volatile tantrums of Mt. Etna and other volcanoes. The warm Mediterranean climate encourages flowers almost all year round, but never is the scene finer than in April and May, when the isle is awash with a ribald rush of colour, including orchids.

Best time for spring flowers: April and May

Take me there: All Sicily trips

Loire Valley, France: Gardens Galore

loire Take your time: this leisurely self-guided escape allows you to take it all in at a pace which suits you. It’s up to you how long you dedicate to the manicured grounds of Chateau Chaumont, annual host of the International Garden Festival, or how often you stop passing tiny pretty villages en route.

Best time for flowers: throughout summer

Take me there: Loire Valley

Tuscany, Italy: Poppies and Sunflowers

Tuscany A sea of beaming yellow stretches towards the sun as you approach beautiful Castiglione. Tuscany is rightly famous for its red waves of poppies bobbing their heads in the breeze, but equally beautiful are the fields of sunflowers that dot the landscape.

Best time for flowers: throughout summer

Take me there: Walking in Tuscany or Tuscany & the Cinque Terre

Picos de Europa, Spain: Hay Meadows and Orchids

Seek out endless alpine views amongst breathtaking hay meadows and natural rock gardens in Spain's Picos de Europa. Orchids also abound: find yourself awash in a swirl of paintbox colours.

Best time for flowers: April to October

Take me there: Walking the Picos de Europa or Picos Mixed Activity Week

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