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
From here, there will be a 30-minute scenic drive to picturesque village Lisse, the heart of the bulb district. The drive will take you through the spectacular and colorful bulb fields and we will make stops (where possible and allowed) for pictures within the fields.
Upon arrival, you will be taken to ‘Royal’ Patisserie Chocolatery Vermeer for a private workshop chocolate praline making. Patisserie Vermeer is well-known in the bulb-growing region and far beyond.
When entering the patisserie, the delicious pastries, chocolates, wedding cakes, desserts and savory specialties immediately draw your attention. Owner Robin Peereboom himself is a Dutch Pastry Champion and he even came second at the World Pastry Championship.
During the workshop you will learn all about the origins of chocolate, the different types of chocolate and how chocolates are made at Patisserie Chocolatery Vermeer. At the end of the workshop you can take all the delicious chocolates that you have made, to be enjoyed at a later time.
Private Family Lunch
A short drive will take you 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 the tour with a 45-minute drive to the picturesque village Limmen, for a guided tour of the Historical Hortus Bulborum.
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 4.45pm.