Discover the ‘Garden of Europe’ with its 80 acres of flowers, including 800 varieties of tulips, on a barge holiday to the Netherlands.

One of the highlights of taking a gentle barge holiday through the canals and waterways of the Netherlands is the opportunity to see the beautiful flowers which are grown here for sale around the world.

Since the ‘tulip mania’ of the 17th century when the whole of Europe went crazy for these bright, colourful spring flowers, Holland has been the home of Europe’s flower market.

The slow, laidback pace of a barge holiday through the country’s impressive countryside provides the perfect way to see the beautiful blooms which make up the Dutch flower industry.

One of the most spectacular places to visit in order to see the full range of tulips and other flowers grown and traded in the Netherlands is Keukenhof Gardens in the town of Lisse, to the southwest of Amsterdam.

With more than 80 acres of gardens boasting over seven million flowers, including 800 varieties of tulips and a range of crocuses, narcissus and hyacinths, Keukenhof is the world’s largest flower garden park.

The History of Keukenhof

Originally a hunting ground for the nobility of Castle Keukenhof dating back to the 15th century, the park was converted into a flower garden in 1949 as a place to showcase the different varieties of flowers on offer from Dutch and international flower merchants.

The idea was to provide a space in which flower and bulb merchants could show off their wares by displaying them growing in a natural environment, rather than just at a market or auction.

Today, however, Keukenhof is more than a display garden for traders and flower merchants. It is one of the Netherlands’ most popular tourist attractions with more than one million visitors a year.

When to Visit

Those taking a barge holiday in the spring will see the Keukenhof Gardens at its most impressive as this is the time when many of the different varieties of flowers come into bloom. The best months to visit, in order to witness the most dramatic displays of colourful flowers, are March, April and May.

Exploring the Gardens of Keukenhof

With so many blooms to discover, it is well worth planning to spend a full day at Keukenhof, in order to take in all that the impressive gardens have to offer. The park is divided into different sections, such as the English Country Garden with its bursting beds in full bloom, dissected by pretty winding paths, and a fascinating Historic Garden featuring old, traditional blooms grown from historic bulbs.

Travelling by barge through the beautiful flatlands of the Netherlands is a serene way to take in the country’s horticultural history, particularly its reliance on the tulip industry. Not only is it interesting to see scale of the industry in the country, it also makes a backdrop of beautiful patchwork of colour for your peaceful barge holiday.


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1. Get familiar with the shipping facts of an online retailer. Their shipping policy should be outlined in a separate section to describe the average time you should get your items, geographic restrictions, shipping choices, possible shipping insurance, and what their handling and shipping fees are. Use all of this information to decide if these costs and options fit well to suit your needs, your budget, and your area prior to placing an order.

2. When getting things shipped to your home which you bought online, know your consumer rights regarding time tables and condition of items. You have a directly to receive items according to the terms stated once you ordered them and reasonable expectations of goods being undamaged. Consult with the BBB for exact specifics and obtain what's visiting you fairly!

3. When shopping online, most places only accept debit or credit cards. Remember this when you are deciding on a site to purchase from. In the event you don't feel comfortable providing the company with your bank card information, try to look for another site. Try to find a website that offers a safe and secure page when you're adding your charge card information.

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5. Sign up for the website's newsletter if they have one. Many times stores will give you a price reduction or some form of deal whenever you sign up for their newsletter. Determine whether there is a deal associated with registering for the newsletter at any store you need to shop at.