10 of the best trips to book to catch the most stunning spring flowers in bloom
Want to see the cherry trees blossom in Japan, the jacaranda bloom in Johannesburg, or any other beautiful flowers at their springtime peak? If you’re searching for the best places to visit to catch flowers that bloom in spring, our guided tours will get you to the right places at the right time. From seeing wildflowers on our U.S. National Parks tours to admiring poppies bloom on our trips to Provence, here are ten of our top recommendations for where to see spring flowers.
Tiptoe through the tulips in Amsterdam
Lined with colorful houseboats, Amsterdam’s labyrinthine canals add a vibrant touch as they crisscross the charming city. But the vivid colors pale compared to the peaceful, perfumed flowerbeds of Keukenhof Garden. More than seven million beautiful flowers burst into bloom each spring over Keukenhof’s 70 acres, creating a riot of color.
You’ll stroll by yellow daffodils, crocuses, narcissi, hyacinths, and over 1,000 varieties of The Netherlands’ most famous export: tulips. This is a sight you can take in year after year, as the themed flowerbed design is changed annually.
“Spring is the prime season for visiting Keukenhof,” says staffer Lynne, who traveled there on our tour of Amsterdam & the Keukenhof Gardens. “You see so many flowers in bloom, forming colorful rows. It’s truly a stunning sight!”
Catch cherry blossoms at their peak in Japan
Japan’s ancient history and cutting-edge culture make any trip to this vibrant country one of the best travel experiences. But if you time it right and tour during cherry blossom season, you’ll enjoy Japan in a new light. Expressionistic pink blossoms paint the country with breathtaking beauty. Cherry blossoms might just be one of the world’s most beautiful flowers.
From Kyoto’s Botanical Garden to the streets and lush parks of Tokyo, the aromatic scent and pastel hues of cherry blossoms in full bloom will delight your senses. Every splash of pink is picture-perfect, so expect every photo you take to be Instagram-worthy.
“We hit the jackpot with this tour,” said traveler Bob about our Cherry Blossoms in Japan: Tokyo to Kyoto tour . “The tour leader Junko Ito was outstanding, the cherry blossoms were at their peak, and Mount Fuji was clear of clouds.”
Marvel at Sicily’s carpet of flowers during its famous Infiorata di Noto
Beyond its delicious food, rich history, and marvelous Mediterranean views, Sicily in springtime will spoil you with milder weather, smaller crowds, and colorful fields of wildflowers. While the splendor of those natural fields, divided by hand-built stone walls, is remarkable, you won’t want to miss one particular spectacle: Infiorata di Noto.
As part of the city of Noto’s Baroque Spring Festival, colorful carpets of the most beautiful flowers in the world blanket entire streets. Artists create elaborate designs using a kaleidoscope of specially grown flower petals. If you want to catch the flower festival, join our Sicily: A Cultural Journey tour the third weekend in May. On the Monday following the festival, the city’s children are allowed to run through the petal-filled streets, bringing the celebration to an end.
Soak in the beauty of blooming bougainvillea in Mykonos
You may have seen colorful photos of brilliant blue doors framed by whitewashed homes and accented with pretty pink flowers—all against the backdrop of the shimmering Aegean Sea. From charming villages to sparkling beaches to lively, waterfront tavernas, traveling on our A Week in Greece: Athens, Mykonos & Santorini tour is a visual delight. Saying this place is “picturesque” barely does it justice.
The bougainvillea could be the most beautiful flower in the world. When you see its bright, pink blooms pop against the stark, white buildings, you’ll know exactly why.
Go poppy peeping in Provence
Bright red poppies. You may have been dazzled by them in the brilliant paintings by Claude Monet and Vincent van Gogh. But nothing compares to standing before seemingly endless fields of vivid flowers as the Provence sun lights them perfectly. The eye-popping brilliance of Provence’s wild poppies reaches its peak in April and May as the fields turn into a sea of red. You can take it all in on our French Riviera & Provence Adventure tour.
Because poppies grow haphazardly, half the fun is hunting for the fullest fields. When you discover your favorite spot, you can make like Monet and do a plein air painting. Or make do like most visitors, and bring home snapshots to impress your friends. Can’t tour Provence until summer? You’ll miss the poppies, but you’ll get to feast your eyes on the region’s famous yellow sunflowers and lavish fields of lavender.
Celebrate the first sign of spring in London—bright yellow daffodils!
After a long, gray winter, London’s parks and gardens come to life with flowers that bloom in spring. The lush gardens are a tranquil oasis for those searching for spring flowers in a city bursting with historical landmarks, cultural icons, and world-class museums. On our London, Paris & Rome tour, you’ll have plenty of free time to wander the city’s public gardens and Royal Parks in search of golden daffodils.
One of our favorite spots to find these beautiful flowers is in Kensington Gardens’ 265 acres. You’ll see them blooming wild in the fields surrounding Kensington Palace or purposefully arranged in spots like the Sunken Garden—which Princess Diana was particularly fond of, and where you can view her statue commissioned by Princes William and Harry.
Be wowed by wildflowers in U.S. national parks
Some of the most beautiful flowers in the world are close to home. Nature’s beauty, from dramatic landscapes to habitats where the deer and the buffalo roam, is always on display in the U.S. national parks. But America’s parks are at their most majestic during the spring wildflower season.
From alpine meadows carpeted with showy yellow glacier lilies in Glacier National Park, to the wildflower trails in Grand Teton National Park, thousands of flower species bring bright pops of color to valley floors, vast prairies, and mountain peaks. Though thousands of wildflower species are in the parks, their spring bloom is often fleeting. You’ll want to book our National Parks: Canadian Rockies, Glacier & Yellowstone tour at the spring peak to catch this show.
Lose yourself in New Zealand’s lupin fields
Seasons get turned around when you travel to the Southern Hemisphere. You’ll need to be there between November and February if you want to catch the celebrated colors of New Zealand’s lupin fields. Known for its stunning range of natural landscapes, this island nation’s untamed settings thrill with snowcapped mountains, rainforests, and dramatic coastlines. “The beauty of New Zealand takes your breath away,” said traveler Marianne about her experience on our New Zealand: Untamed Landscapes tour.
Amidst all this natural beauty, the annual bloom of lupins is a spectacular show of color. Swaths of purple, pink, blue, and yellow lupins blanket open fields and lakesides in Mackenzie Country on the South Island. Look for the best views of these spring flowers around Lake Tekapo and the Ahuriri River. Easily spotted while traveling by vehicle on our New Zealand tours, the bright fields of color make for spectacular photographs.
Stroll under a sea of purple jacaranda plumage in Johannesburg
Another Southern Hemisphere destination, Johannesburg in South Africa experiences spring from September to November. That timing coincides with great weather (warm and dry), fewer visitors, and the welcome bloom of its beloved jacaranda trees. With thousands of trees displaying their purple plumage, the city becomes magical.
A canopy of trumpet-like blossoms in shades of purple and a blanket of petals below your feet transform Johannesburg into a wonderland of color. For an eagle’s eye view of the spring bloom, make your way to Observatory Ridge. The stunning panorama is sure to be the high point of our South Africa: Cultural Cities & Wildlife Safaris tour.
Get up close to Cape Town’s larger-than-life king protea flower
Most travelers are drawn to our South Africa: Cape Town to Kruger National Park tour by safaris, the legacy of Nelson Mandela, and the Cape of Good Hope. But in this land of incredible natural landscapes and dramatic seascapes, there is a flower prized around the world: the king protea. This is the national flower of South Africa, which has a flowery head up to a foot in diameter, flourishes along the coast, and blooms from June through October.
Named after the Greek god Proteus, who could change into many shapes, the resilient king protea can flourish in harsh environments. Its deep roots allow it to regrow even after devastating wildfires. The opportunity to experience this oversized beauty in its natural environs makes any of our tours of South Africa extra special for flower enthusiasts.