ALMOND BLOSSOMS IN MAJORCA, BALEARIC ISLANDS, SPAIN
Time of Year: Late January to Early February
Why it's Special: Four million almond trees in blossom transform the landscape into a delicate sea of white and pink blooms, creating a stunning contrast to Majorca's Mediterranean scenery. It symbolizes the start of the agricultural season and represents hope for a bountiful harvest.
Importance: Almond blossoms are significant in Majorca's culture and economy, as the island is known for its almond production.
Best Destination: The Almond Blossom Route in Majorca is one of the most extensive in the world, allowing visitors to explore charming villages and picturesque orchards.
CALIFORNIA SUPERBLOOM, USA
Time of Year: Early March to Late June
Why it's Special: California experiences a phenomenon known as the "superbloom" after a wet winter, where vast areas burst into colourful wildflower displays every few years. Fields of poppies, lupines, desert sunflowers and lilies, and other wildflowers paint the landscape in vivid colours, creating a stunning natural spectacle that was visible from space in 2023.
Importance: The superbloom is a testament to the resilience of California's native flora and attracts visitors from around the world.
Best Destination: Some of the best places to witness the California superbloom include Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, Carrizo Plain National Monument, and Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve.
CHERRY BLOSSOMS, JAPAN
Time of Year: Late March to Early April (Varies by region)
Why they're Special: Cherry blossoms (sakura) symbolize the fleeting beauty of life and are deeply ingrained in Japanese culture and aesthetics. The delicate pink and white blossoms create an ethereal atmosphere, especially in iconic locations like Kyoto and Tokyo.
Importance: Hanami (cherry blossom viewing) is a cherished Japanese tradition, bringing people together for picnics under the blooming trees.
Best Destination: Japan's country-wide cherry blossom season is a magical time, and the country's meticulous preparation for this event makes it the ultimate destination to witness sakura in full splendour. The Cherry Blossom Forecast, published every February, predicts city-by-city blooms.
JOSHUA TREE WILDFLOWER BLOOM, CALIFORNIA, USA
Time of Year: Early April to Mid-May
Why it's Special: Despite the harsh desert conditions, Joshua Tree National Park in California experiences occasional wildflower blooms, adding a burst of colour to the arid landscape. When a bloom occurs, desert marigolds, desert primroses, strawberry hedgehog cactus and other wildflowers blanket the sandy terrain, creating a unique juxtaposition of colour against the park's iconic Joshua trees and rugged rock formations.
Importance: These blooms are a testament to the adaptability of desert flora and provide important nectar sources for pollinators.
Best Destination: Joshua Tree National Park typically experiences wildflower blooms during the spring months, with timing dependent on rainfall. While not as predictable as some other blooms, catching a wildflower display in the desert is a special and unexpected treat for nature enthusiasts.
TULIPS AT KEUKENHOF GARDENS, HOLLAND
Time of Year: Mid-March to Mid-May
Why they're Special: Tulips are synonymous with Dutch culture and are known for their vibrant colours and varieties. Keukenhof Gardens feature millions of tulips in intricate designs and patterns, creating a mesmerizing display.
Importance: The Netherlands is one of the world's largest tulip producers, and these blooms are a symbol of the nation.
Best Destination: Keukenhof is often referred to as the "Garden of Europe" and offers an unparalleled tulip experience with its stunning landscapes and themed gardens.
CHERRY BLOSSOMS, WASHINGTON D.C., USA
Time of Year: Late March to Early April
Why they're Special: Cherry blossoms in Washington, D.C., represent the enduring friendship between the United States and Japan and offer a cultural and natural spectacle that symbolizes renewal and diplomacy.
Importance: The National Cherry Blossom Festival celebrates the gift of cherry trees from Japan and the arrival of spring.
Best Destination: The iconic Tidal Basin is transformed into a sea of pink and white blossoms, providing a picturesque backdrop to the city's landmarks.
WATER LILIES IN CLAUDE MONET'S GARDEN, GIVERNY, FRANCE
Time of Year: Late April to Early October
Why they're Special: Water lilies were a favourite subject of Impressionist artist Claude Monet, who captured their beauty in his iconic paintings. The serene ponds filled with water lilies and the iconic Japanese bridge make this garden a true masterpiece.
Importance: Monet's garden in Giverny is a living work of art and a testament to his passion for nature and painting.
Best Destination: A short day trip from Paris, Giverny offers a chance to step into the world of Monet, experiencing the very scenes that inspired some of his most celebrated works.
ORANGE BLOSSOMS IN SEVILLE, SPAIN
Time of Year: Late May to Early June
Why they're Special: Seville's orange blossoms are an essential part of the city's identity, filling the air with a sweet, fragrant scent during spring. During the Corpus Christi Festival, the streets are adorned with intricate carpets of petals, creating a visually stunning spectacle.
Importance: These blossoms produce Seville's renowned bitter oranges, a key ingredient in marmalades and liqueurs.
Best Destination: Seville's combination of rich history, culture, and the enchanting aroma of orange blossoms during the festival which occurs after Easter makes it a unique experience.
POPPIES IN FLANDERS FIELDS, BELGIUM
Time of Year: Late Spring (May - June)
Why they're Special: Red poppies have become a symbol of remembrance for those who lost their lives in World War I. The sight of vibrant red poppies against green fields and historic war sites is both poignant and beautiful.
Importance: Flanders Fields in Belgium was the site of intense battles during the war, and poppies now bloom as a symbol of hope and remembrance.
Best Destination: While poppies bloom across France and Belgium, Flanders Fields offers a unique opportunity to pay tribute to history while admiring the beauty of the poppy fields.
ROSES IN GRASSE, FRANCE
Time of Year: Late April to early May
Why they’re Special: Roses are the essence of the perfume industry, and Grasse is considered the perfume capital of the world. The International Perfume Museum Garden in Grasse showcases a variety of roses, and the scent in the air is intoxicating.
Importance: Grasse has a rich history of rose cultivation for couture brands like Chanel and Dior, and is known for producing some of the finest rose-scented perfumes.
Best Destination: Grasse provides a sensory journey through the world of roses, where visitors can explore the connection between fragrance and nature. For three weeks, starting in late April, you can experience the rose harvest with women collecting petals in their skirts.
SUNFLOWERS IN TUSCANY, ITALY
Time of Year: Late June to Early July
Why they're Special: Sunflowers are known for their bright and cheerful appearance, symbolizing warmth and happiness. The vibrant yellow petals against the Tuscan countryside make for a visually striking landscape.
Importance: Sunflower fields contribute to Italy's agricultural and culinary traditions, as sunflower oil is a key ingredient in Italian cuisine.
Best Destination: Tuscany's Sunflower Fields offer a quintessentially Italian experience, combining natural beauty with culinary delights.
LAVENDER IN PROVENCE, FRANCE
Time of Year: Late June to Early August
Why it's Special: Lavender Fields in Provence are renowned for their intense fragrance and vivid purple hues.
Importance: Lavender has been cultivated in Provence for centuries and is a symbol of the region's natural beauty and agricultural tradition. Lavender is a staple in Provencal culture, used in perfumes, cosmetics, and cuisine. Rolling fields of lavender create a stunning and calming landscape that is both visually and aromatically captivating.
Best Destination: Provence's lavender fields are world-famous, and the region's picturesque villages, markets and warm Mediterranean climate add to the charm of the experience. The towns of Valensole, Sault, and Plateau de Valensole are known for their breathtaking lavender fields. Visitors can also explore local markets, distilleries, and museums to learn more about the cultivation and uses of lavender.