Travel to see Spring Flowers

May 14, 2015 11 Comments »

spring flowers

Photo by Pete Heck

It’s the first thing I noticed as I drove from the Barcelona airport towards Costa Brava, a sea of red set against the green hillsides.  I was quite tired from the overnight flight, but as my blurry red-eye flight vision processed what I was seeing I realized that it was fields of red poppies reminding me it was spring in Spain! I adore spring in Spain – all of the flowers start popping our their heads and it brings back fond memories of walking the Camino de Santiago in spring a few years ago.

Spring seemed to get a late start everywhere – including Europe.  But now as I drove through the countryside it was clear that it was in full bloom.  I know that typically the Netherlands gets the big billing for spring flowers in Europe.  However, as usual, I like the lesser known places to travel – so Catalonia Spain was the perfect place for me to be to see Spring flowers without the massive crowds.  Plus, I was able to explore a new area to me – the Girona Pyrenees.

You can go to see flowers in a botanical garden, but I prefer to simply encounter them in nature. I spent the last week surrounded by flowers; hunting for them, eating them, photographing them, and even learning to appreciate them as art.  It started in the Pyrenees where hiking led me to new varieties of high altitude blooms that were just starting to break through the winter ground and show their colorful face.  Then I found myself down on my hands and knees hunting for wild orchids in Garrotxa.  The blooms also showed up on my plate in fresh salads in Ripoll, a sweet fresh taste promoting the idea of ‘eating in season’. Hearty orange blooms were spotted on the rugged coastal rocks of Cap de Creus adding color to the otherwise rocky coast.  And finally, in Girona blooms served as artists’ muses at the Girona Flower Festival.  The old medieval city had artistic displays of flowers in every little alley and church.  It was spectacular to wander around the cobblestone streets of old seeing such a modern contrast of flowers as art.

This is a perfect time of year to be in Spain’s Costa Brava and Pyrenees region.  The crowds are minimal, the temperature is just right, and the flowers are blooming!

spring flowers spain

High altitude flowers near Lake Malniu in Cerdanya

Spring Flowers Spain

Flowers frame the Cathedral in Beget

Spring flowers spain

Daisies in Garrotxa

Girona flower festival

A flower arrangement at Girona’s Flower Festival

orchids spain

Finding orchids in the wild in Garrotxa. You have to look carefully as they are tiny!

spring flowers spain

Red Poppies!

spring flowers spain

Purple blooms in the Vall de Nuria a high altitude valley in Ripoll.

edible flowers spain

Edible flowers from Can Jepet in the town of Setcases, Ripoll

Spring flowers

Flowers frame a home near Beget

spring flowers costa brava

Orange blooms on Cap de Creus in Costa Brava

Flowers as art

Flower art display in Girona’s Flower Festival

spring flowers spain

Purple blooms on Cap de Creus

photographing flowers

Flower paparazzi! As we hunted for wild orchids, we even had a national news crew following us around taking photos. This guy was taking photos of me taking photos of orchids!

spring flowers

Flowers on the bridge in the medieval town of Beget in Garrotxa

selfie spring flowers

My in my field of poppies. Photo by Pete Heck

Disclosure: I was a guest of Costa Brava tourism during my time in the area, however all opinions are my own.


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