Dutch tulips are famed the world over, but even if you’re not coming to the Netherlands during the legendary bulb season in April, when fields of dazzling blooms in glorious technicolour stretch into the horizon as far as the eye can see, you can enjoy the Dutch talent for horticulture in other months of the year too.
The climate is a big advantage of course: mild winters, very little snow, and a good combination of plenty of sunlight and rain for twelve months of the year, provide the ideal conditions for many a green or flowering plant. It’s no surprise then to learn that every ten years something very special takes place in the Dutch horticultural calendar. From April to October this green-fingered nation plays host to the World Fair of horticultural shows, the Floriade Expo, the largest public event in the country and a showcase for a myriad of exceptional produce from all over the globe.
This truly magnificent exhibition, described as ‘the greenest day out’ offers an absolute feast for the senses, with next year’s theme being ‘Growing Green Cities’, focusing on the increasing need for our urban spaces to work in harmony with the natural world. Enjoy forty inspirational presentations at this illustrious show, absorbing the scent and colour of a whole spectrum of stunning flowers, fruit and vegetables – from the instantly recognisable to the deliciously exotic.
With the contents of a spectacular greenhouse complex to savour, pavilions with sustainable innovations to ponder, plus a vibrant arts and culture programme, there’s something for everyone – no matter how keen a gardener you are – or aren’t! You can even take a scenic cable car ride over the park to enjoy the wonderful view from above.
If this exceptional horticultural spectacle appeals, you can experience the Floriade Expo in 2022 on our brand new European river cruise to Amsterdam, Cologne and the Best of Holland & Flanders. From Amsterdam’s network of 16th-century canals and Antwerp’s charming cosmopolitan streets and squares, wander the picture-perfect cobbles of medieval Bruges and gaze in awe at magnificent Gothic structures in Cologne; from Rotterdam’s temporary urban landscapes to the iconic windmills of a bygone age, our cruise embraces the rich and diverse cultural heritage of these northern European neighbours. You’ll have the choice to spend either a full day or just the morning at the world-class Floriade, with plenty of opportunity to gather ideas for your own plot back home perhaps.