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Beyond Amsterdam: Flower Auctions, Canal Cruises and Manor Homes

November 13, 2017

On a visit to Amsterdam in Spring, consider a few days away from the city.  Make a visit to FLora Holland, the world's largest flower auction, check out a spectacular annual garden showcase or take a cruise on the River Vecht  to see the manor homes of Holland.    

 

Flora Holland - The World's Largest Flower Auction

With more than 35 million cut flowers and more than 15,000 varieties, Flora Holland is worth a visit. Located about 35 minutes outside of Amsterdam, the enormous auction building has the largest footprint of any building in the world!  More than 20 million flowers are traded daily.  You can witness the logistics via some elevated walkways on a guided tour of the facility. 

 

 Photo courtesy of Netherlands Tourism

Keukenhof - Magnificent Gardens 

While Flora Holland is more about the business of flowers, the beauty of flowers can be seen in Keukenhof.  Each year the gardens of Keukenhof are a showcase for the 7 million spring-flowering bulbs. 500 flower growers present an enormous variety of cut flowers and pot plants at the over 20 flower shows over an eight week period.  The annual event dates back to 1949 when a group of 20 leading flower bulb growers though of using the estate to exhibit their catalog.  Keukenhof is now a world-famous attraction.  

 

Keukenhof 2018 will take place from March 22 - May 13.  

 

Vecht River - Grand Manor Homes 

Another idea for seeing a bit beyond the city of Amsterdam is a cruise along the Vecht River.  In the 17th and 18th centuries, many country estates were built on the banks of the Vecht by rich merchants and administrators from Amsterdam. The scenic tour starts in Loenen aan de Vecht, where you will board a historical private saloon boat for a 2.5-hour cruise on the Vecht River. 

 

Slot Zuylen Castle

The cruise will end in Oud Zuylen where you can visit Slot Zuylen Castle. Slot Zuylen Castle is situated in the tiny village of Oud-Zuilen near Utrecht. While retaining many of its medieval castle-like features, Slot Zuylen was converted into a country mansion in the 18th century. Its most famous resident was Belle van Zuylen (Isabelle de Charrière), writer of fame and feminist avant la lettre. A visit gives you a sense for what life was like for a family in the 18th century in The Netherlands.  The past is recalled to life through guided tours, garden walks, concerts and special events.

 

Utrecht - Picturesque City 

You can make a day out of a visit to Utrecht.  Utrecht is "the beating heart of the Netherlands." A medieval city centre small enough to explore on foot. Large enough to enjoy world class festivals, modern architecture, trendy shops and interesting museums.

 

Contact us to help curate a trip to Amsterdam in Spring that includes some of the lesser-known destinations.  Private tours or self-guided adventures are available. 

 

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