Top 6 Locations to Stop and Smell the Flowers
Take heart. Even if you are bracing for one more nor’easter, spring is upon us. Not only is warmer weather on the horizon, but our world is about to get a lot more colorful! Soon, flowers will start to blossom all over the globe, bringing vibrant hues and perfumed breezes for you to enjoy. You can celebrate this spectacle in person or vicariously by scrolling down to see six of our favorite places to watch flowers bloom.
The valleys of Ronda, Spain
You might not find a better view in Spain than those along the Guadiaro River in Ronda. In season, the whole valley is blanketed with gorgeous wildflowers. Enjoy a cinematic walk that leads you through oak forest, past villages that peek through the branches, and with views of the Benaoján Sierras soaring in the distance. Along the way, you’ll walk past farmsteads with well-tended orchards and fields of produce, before the valley narrows to an impressive red rock canyon where a dense forest is alive with birds.
Alpine Flowers of the Swiss Alps
In early to mid-summer the meadows of the Swiss Alps are ablaze with flowers. Primrose, heather, Bellflower, and buttercup are just a few of the blooms that flourish on these towering slopes. On your Swiss Alps adventure, you’ll join a local expert for a nature walk on a trail from Iffigen Alp down through the lush green upper valley along the Simme River. You’ll get an immersive firsthand lesson in the local agriculture, flora, and fauna. Amidst thick patches of forest and seasonal flowers, you’ll feel like a true mountain villager, ambling below spectacular peaks as cowbells echo from the hillsides.
Lavender in Provence
From May to August, purple ribbons of lavender drape the hills and valleys of Provence, France. And oh, what a sight it is. As you explore Provence, make sure to visit Senanque Abbey (one of only three Cistercian monasteries in the region still occupied by monks). This Provencal landmark is in an isolated valley surrounded by fields upon fields of lavender–pictures don’t even do it justice, but they sure come close.
Cherry Blossoms in Kyoto
It’s said that 20% or more of Japan’s most important national treasures are in Kyoto and they are now recognized as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. From March to May the explosion of cherry blossoms wraps the historic city in a different kind of national treasure as visitors from all over the world flock to Kyoto to witness this beautiful transition from spring to summer.
Bougainvillea in Amalfi
Situated on the ‘ankle’ of the Italian boot, Amalfi has the perfect climate for flowers to thrive, and thrive they do! In mid-spring, bright bougainvillea climb around walls and staircases, and line village streets–making these flowers iconic to this coastal town. These purple blooms decorate gleaming villas that cling to cliffs with no visible foothold. You might find yourself asking how…why? But when you swing open the shutters in your cliffside hotel room, the jaw-dropping view is all the answer you need.
Flower Festival in Chiang Mai
Time your visit for February to enjoy the Chiang Mai Flower Festival that celebrates the beautiful blooms that are in season. This is Thailand’s greatest flower show, where floats are decked out with vivid flowers unique to northern Thailand. The plethora of color that this festival brings to Chiang Mai fittingly gives the city its nickname, “Rose of the North”.