Meet and greet with your English-speaking guide / driver in the hotel lobby, from where you will be taken for a 30-minute drive by luxurious private vehicle to, and guided tour of the World’s largest flower auction, Flora Holland.
The indoor Flora Holland compares in size to the city of Monaco. Experience the hustle and bustle of the auction floor, watch traders bidding against the clock and be amazed at the quantity of beautiful flowers traded.
See how this auction process works and notice a variety of millions of flowers. You can watch the entire auction from a walkway above ground-level. Did you know that on an average auction day they auction 30 million cut flowers in more than 30,000 varieties? You will be, as everybody else, very much surprised. www.floraholland.com
We continue with a short drive to a local grower, for an exclusive tour. This is a very special experience since normally you can’t visit these growers, which in most cases are family-owned companies. This could be an African Violets, Orchid, Rose, Tulip, Hydrangea, Gerbera Daisy or any other grower with blooming flowers.
The owner will be there to greet you in person and will guide you through his/her company. All your questions will be answered with great pleasure and skill. The colors cannot be described in words.
From here, there will be a 30-minute scenic drive to picturesque village Lisse, the heart of the bulb district.
Private Family Lunch
Here, you will be taken to a local private ‘modern’ home situated in an upscale residential area, where a fresh and tasty home-made lunch will be served. Only we have access to this beautiful home. Enjoy and talk with the owners and see how the Dutch live. If the weather permits, lunch will be served in the family garden. A very special experience!
Fully refreshed, you will be taken for a guided tour of the Keukenhof, located at a stone’s throw from the lunch location.
The Keukenhof gardens cover 70 acres on which roughly 8 million bulbs are planted every year. Every garden has a specific design and character. Climb the steps of the Groningen-type corn mill to see the view. See the exhibition of some 30 sculptures and other objects d’art throughout the park.
A huge indoor spring garden is staged in 7,000 sq. m of pavilions during the annual exhibition where over 500 different varieties are to be seen in 10 indoor flower shows under the name ‘Parade’. www.keukenhof.nl
From here, you will be taken back to your hotel in Amsterdam, where you will have the remainder of the day for your own leisure. The drive back will take you through the spectacular and colorful bulb fields and we will make stops (where possible and allowed) for pictures within the fields. You will arrive back around 5.15pm.
After breakfast, your English-speaking guide / driver is ready to take you for a 50-minute drive by luxurious private vehicle to the historic city Leiden for a guided tour of the Hortus Botanicus.
Founded in 1590, this is the oldest botanical garden in the Netherlands and one of the oldest in the world. Behind the academy building of the Leiden University you will discover a green oasis with a large collection of plants native to South-east and East Asia, Southern Europe and South Africa.
The Hortus is a haven within the city center, a historical monument and a meeting place full of character. There are more than ten thousand botanical species and dozens of bird species growing and living in the Hortus. For more than four centuries, and to this day, plants from all corners of the world are collected and cultivated in the garden and greenhouses for research, education and exhibition purposes.
The current Front Garden is the oldest part of the Hortus. It was founded in 1590 and houses the Clusius garden which is a reconstruction of the garden of 1594. Here you will also find the Winter Garden which has a large collection of Cycades and carnivorous plants. The Hortus also has a monumental Orangery from 1744 and extensive tropical greenhouses, many old trees, a beautiful Fern Garden, Rosarium, Japanese Garden, Herb Garden, Nut Field and System Garden. Many famous international scientists such as Clusius, Boerhaave, Linnaeus and Einstein were connected to the Hortus botanicus in Leiden. In the 19th century, the German physician Philipp Franz von Siebold (1796 -1866) brought hundreds of plant species with him from Japan to the Netherlands and 15 of these original introductions can still be found in the Hortus today. www.hortusleiden.nl
There is leisure time for lunch in the Hortus Grand Café or at one of the nearby local restaurants.
Fully refreshed, we continue with a short one hour drive to the picturesque village Limmen, for a guided tour of the Historical Hortus Bulborom.
The Hortus Bulborum is the only museum garden in the world where you can find over 4,000 different tulip, hyacinth, daffodil and other bulbous cultivars, species and varieties in bloom. Nowhere on this globe you will find such a fine selection of old bulbs in one place. Every spring the Hortus transforms into a treasure trove full of dazzling colors, beautiful shapes and overwhelming fragrances at the foot of the picturesque, parish church in Limmen village, near the historic city of Alkmaar.
The collection boasts tulips dating from 1595, the famous ‘Duc van Tol Red and Yellow’; the oldest known cultivar and dozens of other cultivars which were prized possession as far back as the Golden Age. But also 17th century daffodils. The most antique daffodils are said to come from around 1601, like ‘Double Campernelle’ and ‘Albus Plenus Odoratus’.
Fundamental in this garden, however, is the preservation of heirloom bulbs. Many of them have no commercial value for modern mass production whatsoever. The aim is to maintain these cultivars and safeguard them for the future generations. The preservation work of the Hortus Bulborum goes hand in hand with the work of the professional growers to obtain better cultivars for today’s needs. The collection is a second to none pollen bank in the world to the bulb growing sector. www.hortus-bulborum.nl
From here, you will be taken back to your hotel in Amsterdam, where you will have the remainder of the day for your own leisure. You will arrive back around 5pm.
Floriade Expo 2022
After breakfast, your English-speaking guide / driver is ready to take you for a 45-minute drive by luxurious private vehicle to the Almere city.
Upon arrival, you will be taken for a guided tour of the Floriade, an international horticultural / agriculture expo, held once every ten years, in 2022 between April 14 and October 9.
With the theme ‘Growing Green Cities’, it will focus on the Green City of the Future. The Floriade site will be a living laboratory with inspirational exhibitions by countries, cities, and innovative businesses. But also with impressive attractions, lots of art and culture and with a unique collection of trees, shrubs, and flowers.
As a visitor, you can participate and contribute to four relevant sub-themes: green, food, energy and health. That’s why the Floriade site is divided up into the Green Island with three districts, each with their own theme: The Food District, the Energy District and the Health District.
The Green City Arboretum will function as the foundation for the 60-hectare Floriade site. This will be the green structure across the entire Floriade site. It is a one-of-a-kind library of trees and plants, planted in alphabetical order, based on their botanical name. The arboretum is an idea by architect and urban planner Winy Maas, who developed the masterplan for this Expo area.
Growers from across the Netherlands have sent in almost 2,000 trees. These will form a part of the first phase of planting. Later layers of planting will follow: bushes, plants and then the flower bulbs. When completed, these plants will immediately start contributing to a healthy and sustainable city, for example, by reducing heat or improving air quality. In addition, all kinds of plants have been gifted to the Floriade from abroad. When the Expo opens, visitors can walk through an area as big is 16 soccer fields – they will enter the world of an unforgettable mix of various colours, scents and experiences.
For 180 days, a festival will take place in and around the Floriade site: the Green Event. Be amazed by the international cultural shows, live entertainment, talk shows, culinary surprises, art and more. The area will be full of energy and action. Floriade Expo 2022 offers unprecedented experience of colours, scents, flavours and dynamics with lots of interaction unprecedented innovations. You’ll experience the Green City of the Future and learn about new ways to live, reside, eat and drink – all your senses will be engaged.
The theme is more important than ever. At this moment, the earth has 7 billion inhabitants. More than 50 per cent of these inhabitants live in cities. By 2050, this will be nearly 70 per cent. To remain safe, healthy, and attractive, cities have to find creative, green, and sustainable solutions, which will be exhibited at the Expo 2022. https://floriade.com/en
In between there is leisure time for lunch.
After this exciting day, you will be taken back to your hotel in Amsterdam, where you will have the remainder of the day for your own leisure. You will arrive back around 5pm.