It’s nearly spring! The crocuses have woken up – splashing violets, whites and the occasional yellows here and there. In a few weeks, the west of the Netherlands will be in full bloom. It is not one of the ’50 Drives of a Lifetime’ per Nat Geo’s recommendation for nothing. One of the highlights in the flower route is the Keukenhof gardens in Lisse. The garden is awash with a sea of colors from the tulips, daffodils, hyacinths. This is probably the only place in the world that has the most number of tulip varieties on display.
While the west of the Netherlands’ tulip route (Haarlem-Lisse-Leiden-Naaldwijk) is pretty popular, in the north of Holland (in the Noordoostpolder in Flevoland), there is also a tulip festival around last week of April – 1st week of May which features a 100km or so tulip route! Less well known than the west Holland route but equally stunning nonetheless (and less crowded too).
One surprising stop along the route was the Orchideeen hoeve and one can guess that it has something to do with orchids (read: tropical!). Yup, so we didn’t only see the tulip fields but also tropical flowers – different varieties of orchids, gumamelas too!
Besides the tropical plants, the Orchideeen hoeve also houses butterflies, colorful birds, monkeys, koi and the kids’ favorite – snakes for petting! For us living in the north and maybe also for those who would like to visit the tulip farms (without the large crowds), Flevoland offers a good option.