Cherry blossom trees along Heerstrasse in the town of Bonn, Germany, create a beautiful tunnel effect.

Cherry blossom trees along Heerstrasse in the town of Bonn, Germany, create a beautiful tunnel effect. (iStock)

Across large swaths of Europe, the fruit trees are blossoming and flowers are raising their pretty heads. Another sure sign of spring is the proliferation of festivals celebrating all this budding beauty. Here are just a few places to celebrate the re-greening of your region:

Almond Blossom Season in Rhineland-Palatinate: The German Wine Route is a 50-mile stretch of secondary road coursing through the forested hills, vineyards, wine villages and spa towns in the east of Rhineland-Palatinate. In early spring, certain stretches of it burst into a sea of tender white and pink, and as twilight sets, villages bathe their landmarks with pink spotlights. From March 1-April 7, the region welcomes visitors to celebrate its “Pink Weeks.” In addition to scenic drives and hiking through almond groves, the town of Gleiszellen-Gleishorbach hosts a village fete offering wine, folk culture and a farmer’s market April 6-7. Online:

The town of Gimmeldingen, just north of Neustadt, plans its almond blossom festival around peak blossom times and proper spring temperatures, meaning the date is announced only a few short days before it takes place. Online:

Almond Blossom Festival in Sicily: The Valley of the Temples in Agrigento is a sweeping archeological site filled with ancient Greek architecture. From March 9-17, the return of the spring and the blossoming of the almond trees is celebrated with a festival deeply rooted in local culture. Musicians, folk groups, performing artists, craftsmen, chefs and food producers of the region join forces to welcome visitors. The parade made up of traditional Sicilian carts accompanied by costumed folk performers and marching bands scheduled for March 17 is a festival highlight. Admission fees apply. Online:

A celebration of tulips in Keukenhof: Seeing the gardens of Keukenhof in Lisse, Netherlands in full bloom in spring inspires countless visitors to make an early-season, overseas trip. Last year, within the timespan of the park’s opening season of just eight short weeks, 1.4 million visitors came to admire the riotous colors and multitudes of shapes and sizes of not just tulips but crocuses, daffodils and hyacinths, along with countless other blooms displayed within the showground’s pavilions. Keukenhof will be open from 8 a.m.-7:30 p.m. daily from March 21– May 12. Adult admission costs 19.50 euros when tickets are bought online or 23 euros at the gate. Tickets for those ages 4-17 go for 9 euros, while those ages three and under enter free. As tickets can and do sell out, advance purchase is a sound idea. Online:

A highlight of tulip season is the annual Flower Parade scheduled for April 20 in 2024. The Bollenstreek is a display of flower-bedecked floats that slowly travels between Noordwijk to Haarlem. (Note that multiple road closures and traffic jams will make it impossible to reach Keukenhof any later than mid-morning on the day.) Following the parade, the floats remain on display in the town of Haarlem until 5 p.m. the following day. Online:

Cherry Blossom Festival in Berlin: Come early spring, visitors to Germany’s capital can get a feel for what that same season might look like in Tokyo. In 1990, on the heels of Germany’s unification, a Japanese TV station initiated a fundraising campaign to buy and plant cherry trees throughout the country. Of the some 9,000 trees procured, many wound up in Berlin, and they now grace parks and public spaces, particularly along the strip where the Berlin Wall once ran. The practice of hanami, or admiring cherry blossoms, comes to the fore at the Gardens of the World in the neighborhood of Marzahn. In and around the park’s Japanese-themed gardens, the annual Cherry Blossom Festival is set to unfold April 13-14. Singers, dancers, drummers and other performers show off their skills while chefs delight with their culinary finesse. Basking in the Asian ambiance is possible from noon-5 p.m. both days. Note entry fees to the park are charged. Online:

Berlin too far of a trek? Hundreds of blossoming cherry trees grace the streets of Germany’s former capital city of Bonn, particularly Heerstrasse und Breite Strasse, where the blossoms stretching over the street create a tunnel effect. Online:

The town of Schwetzingen, slightly west of Heidelberg, is home to a palace with extensive gardens, including an enclosed area filled with about 50 mature cherry trees— the perfect backdrop for friend and family photo shoots. Admission to the gardens costs 6 euros for adults and 3 euros for children before March 23; thereafter, the fees increase to 8 euros/4 euros respectively. The palace’s website features a “Bluehbarometer” that shows how far along the blossoms are during their peak season, which can occur as early as the first few weeks of March. Online:

Daffodil Festival in Austria: In late spring each year, the idyllic Alpine region of Ausseerland – Salzkammergut becomes all the more charming with the blossoming of countless thousands of wild narcissi. These tiny daffodils of yellow, white and green are feted from May 30-June 2 with a program made up of folk artists and craftsmen from the local area. Most of the program events of the Narzissenfest unfold in the Kurpark in the town of Bad Aussee. On Saturday, June 1, the public is invited to lend a hand in the creation of daffodil figures to be displayed the following day at the Grundlsee. Admission to Sunday’s event costs 17 euros adults and is free for children up to the age of 15. Online:

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