From England to Italy, beat the crowds by heading to these lesser known beauty spots this spring.
Spring sees Europe burst into colour, with sunshine brightening gloomy cities and fragrant flowers bringing frost-bitten fields to life.
Keukenhof Gardens in the Netherlands is well known for its annual spring Tulip Festival while France’s Provence is famed for turning purple with lavender come summer.
But popular destinations like these are often overrun with tourists seeking the perfect Instagram snap.
So why not head to some of Europe’s lesser-known spots for spring blooms? From natural wildflower displays to manicured gardens, here are some of the best places to see flowers in Europe without the crowds.
Sink into a sea of tulips at this fairytale English castle
Until early May, Arundel Castle in West Sussex, England will be surrounded by a sea of red and yellow tulips.
The annual display is set against the battlements of the 11th-century castle and features 100,000 tulips of 120 types.
The late-blooming ‘Kings Blood’ tulips are set to bloom in time for the upcoming Coronation of King Charles III - ideal if you are looking for something different to do over the long bank holiday weekend.
Witness a rainbow of wildflowers bloom in Italy’s Umbria
The central Italian region of Umbria is often overlooked by tourists making a beeline for Tuscany, but it is home to one of Europe’s most spectacular spring wildflower displays.
In the heart of the Sibillini Mountains, the village of Castelluccio bursts into colour between mid-May and mid-July.
The rainbow spectacle, known as the Fiorita or Flowering of Castelluccio di Norcia, sees the plains studded with yellow rape, red poppies and blue cornflowers. Daffodils, violets, buttercups and more add to the vibrant display.
Sip Spanish cider among apple blossoms in Asturias
Visit Asturias, Spain in late April and early May to sample traditional cider while surrounded by blooming apple trees.
Northern Spain’s ‘Cider District’ revolves mainly around the towns of Nava and Villaviciosa, where you can stroll through orchards as you snap pictures of the delicate pink and white flowers.
Explore a flower island in Lake Constance, Germany
Mainau Island is a botanic garden in Lake Constance, southwest Germany. Open year-round, the gardens are home to a baroque butterfly house and have blooms for every season.
Visit in spring when an annual orchid exhibition joins the hundreds of tulips, rhododendrons, fragrant roses and colourful dahlias in flower across the gardens.
Catch crocuses come to life in Poland’s Tatra Mountains
An easy day trip from Krakow, Zakopane offers a stunning escape into nature. Set amid the Tatra Mountains, the town’s hiking paths are lined with purple crocuses in spring, backed by snow-capped peaks.
Weather dictates when the flowers bloom, which can be any time between March and April. Keep an eye on the forecast if you are planning to visit to get the best of this natural beauty.
Chase late blooming lupines in Iceland
Iceland might not be the first place you’d think of if you are looking for flowers. But the country’s lupine fields bloom in June and July, giving you a little more time to welcome in the warmer months.
The purple displays can be found across the country, but head to Skogafoss waterfall or the village of Vik for some of the most picturesque views.