Meet and greet with your English-speaking guide / driver in the hotel lobby, from where you will be taken for a 40-minute drive by luxurious private vehicle to the picturesque village Lisse, the center of the bulb district. Upon arrival, you will be taken for a guided tour of the famous Keukenhof. On our way to the Keukenhof, we will drive through the spectacular and colorful bulb fields, and we will make stops (where possible and allowed) for pictures within the fields.
The Keukenhof gardens cover 79 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 76 ft2.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
Private Family Lunch
At a stone’s throw from the Keukenhof, 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, we continue with a 45-minute 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 have the remainder of the day for your own leisure. You will arrive back around 5pm.