Bollenstreek Route

Bollenstreek Route, a drive in the densest concentration of flowers

Bollenstreek Route is a very scenic drive with a length of 25 miles (40 kilometers) in the Netherlands. Starting in Haarlem, the capital of the province of North Holland, this route, also known as the Bloemen Route (Flower Route) runs south to Leiden, a city in the Dutch province of South Holland.

The drive follows asphalted roads and goes south past a remarkably dense concentration of flower fields, featuring tulips, hyacinths, narcissi and daffodils. This road trip is one of National Geographic’s Drives of a Lifetime. In addition to the vibrant beds of flowers along the countryside, you'll see a whole industry come to life with flower vendors setting up booths to sell flowers, to the wholesale auction houses, the public gardens that creatively display the flowers, and the museums and private gardens that come alive during the season.  Along the route you will see many charming villages that prospered from the bulb industry, along with the two major cities along the route, Haarlem and Leiden, both rich in history and scenic canals. The drive begins its blossoms in late January with the emergence of the crocus and reaches its peak and is most scenic with the blooming of the hyacinths and tulips in late April and May. This scenic drive takes in the dense concentration of spring flowering bulbs that come to bloom with vibrant ribbons of primary color flower beds that seem to endlessly appear along the level Dutch horizon.

The drive is definitely worth it. Don’t forget your camera! This drive takes in the densest concentration of flower fields, with alternating strips of flowers shooting in thick ribbons of primary colors to the flat Dutch horizon. It should be done around mid-April for the best flower-viewing opportunities, and is calmest on weekdays, when there is less traffic; it is also a very popular bicycling route.


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