There are quite a few seasonal things I was eager to explore during my travels like the lantern festival in Thailand (read here what happens if you travel to the wrong festival) or the tulip fields in the Netherlands. Luckily, it’s just a more or less short drive from my hometown to Holland so there was no reason not to go and see the tulip fields as well as Amsterdam.
As it was this lucky time of my life my boyfriend was the owner of a Volkswagen T5 bus (his name was Ernst and he’s dead now – I should definitely tell you that story!) we – of course – decided to go by car despite the cheap train tickets to Amsterdam as travelling by car means more freedom, easier access to the tulip fields and having your accommodation with you – more advantages than disadvantages to us.
Blooming period usually starts at the beginning of April, however this is no guarantee, sometimes blossom hasn’t even started mid April – no one can predict nature! Because I wanted to avoid this great disappointment I kept an eye on some tulip radars you can easily find on google.
Okay, now you know when to go but we still haven’t talked about the where to go. Generally, theare are three options: the area north of Amsterdam, the one in the south or the Keukenhof. The latter is a huge and artificial park with lots of tulips. I haven’t been there because I wanted to see the “real” tulip blossom; real fields that were planted for picking and for selling – not for just amusing tourists (well, I know, the fields do that, too, but you know what I mean). And also visiting the fields is free of charge whereas Keukenhof will cost you some Euros you could spend on some delicious cheese or poffertjes later on. And even if you’re not lucky enough to visit Holland by car – you still have the option to rent a bike (remember, we’re in Holland!!)
I decided for the southern tulip fields, the Bollenstreck. My starting point was Leiden where the tulip route is already signed. Well, it took some time till we really got it and found our way along the Bollenstreck but when we did so it was totally worth it!! One field was followed by the next one!
After a quick beach stop at Katwijk aan Zee (one of the great advantages of the southern fields is its proximity to the sea) we drove along many beautiful fields. Our route was as followed: Katwijk – Nordwijk – Nordwijkerhout – Lisse – Hillegom. Almost every tulip field has some space near the street for a quick photo stop – all I could wish for! You can also enter many fields but please – be careful with the flowers!
So was it like I expected it to be? HELL YES! I saw SO many beautiful fields and thousands of colourful tulips. Seeing so many tulips at one spot was truly breathtaking and exactly as I imagined.