Fun spring trips in Belgium
The spring is fully in bloom- see what I did there? So I'm writing this post about trips to do in Belgium for this time of the year. I'll first just sum them up, afterwards I'm explaining them more briefly!
- When it snows: Go to the snow, ofcourse! Who doesn't love snow, right? We usually don't have much snow in Belgium since we don't really have mountains but this year our weather has been crazy. We've had about 3 weeks of snow around december and then we've had some snow in february and april too.
The best place to go hiking in the snow is called the high fens. There are many hikes to do there, you can check them out on the website or on the area itself, they're all indicated pretty well.
https://www.ostbelgien.eu/ for more info!
This is the highest part of Belgium. Our highest mountain is 694 meters high, yay... Also a great tip, when you're tired of hiking, or cold, the castle of Reinhardstein is located there too. I've mentioned the castle in my post (linked) about my winter break- in lockdown... The castle is at Ovifat, which is 5 mins away from the High Fens.
We always park our car at "La Maison dur Parc Botrange". Here, you can always find enough empty parking places and you can just start your hike there. On the Signal de Botrange, it can be crowded sometimes so it's not easy to find a parking spot. Also, during lockdown, the toilet is open there and you can have takeaway drinks or snacks.
- With bad weather: visit a castle. There are a LOT of castles in Belgium open for visitors. Most of them close during wintertime and reopen in march or april. The castles I've visited so far ar all on my instagram with photos. My fave castles to visit inside as well, as a daytrip are the following: Chateau de Veves, Chateau de Freyr, Chateau de Reinhardstein Kasteel van Loppem, Kasteel van Laarne etc. You can also go to the "plantentuin" of Meise. It's a large orangery with plants from all over the world, inside a large park. There's also a castle to visit in that park.
- With the sun: go hiking or go shooting some flowers. Or how I prefer traveling: combine both!
My personal fave trips are: the tulipfields at Meerdonk/ Sint-Gillis-Waas, checking out cherry blossoms locally, go to a local forest with anemones, go to a forest with snowdrops, go to the famous Hallerbos with the blue hyacinths, go to the Floralia of Brussels etc. Things I'm still planning on doing are: Go to Haspengouw, the region with all the fruit plantations that are now in bloom and visiting the wild daffodils in East Belgium.
So let's start with Meerdonk and it's lovely tulip fields. In my last post I've share more info about the tulip fields with the exact location and a hike to do there. Read it here.
Then a lovely thing to do in Belgium is to wander through a local anemone forest. There's a lot of places to go spot these cute little flowers. I've found them at our local forest in Lint. You can also spot them at the Zoniënwoud. They bloom from march untill may so you still have time to check them out.
This picture was in Lint, at the forest at Hooglachenen. The location is here.
Other spring bloomers are "snowdrops". You can spot them also close to my home at the "uilenbos", Hove.
I've been there last year and it's quite magically. We've been there when the lockdown just started and we needed to celebrate our moms birthday... With literally nothing to do and the ban of traveling further than 10 km, we decided to discover local gems. To me, this was one of the few advantages of the whole pandemic.
These flowers are also white but they bloom earlier in the spring. In Belgium, usually around february or march. With all the snow from the past terrible spring, they're currently still blooming. I think that they'll be gone soon, so you need to be fast for these cuties!
Now about the famous Hallerbos. I've been there a couple of times before, it's a tradition here since 2016 when I discovered this place on instagram. Yes, insta is one of the main resources for me to find fun places to travel to.
Last year, due to the travel ban, we couldn't go there and it was a bummer to me. This year it's going to be hard eather since they've made a lot of restrictions to actuall be able to visit the place. Normally you can go there by car or by bus. There are a lot of parkinglots especially created for visiting this place. There are also normally people to guide you and to make sure no one is stepping on the flowers. You normally can also take a shuttle from Brussels to there. This year, none of these measures are actually open. You'll have to come by car by yourself and hope for the best.
The blue forest is actually also a forest to spot white anemones too. After they're gone, the hyacinths find their way up to the sun. They bloom from mid april usually up till mid may. This year, they are literally just starting to bloom right now so I'm thinking that you have about a month to visit this place.
For my sisters lockdown birthday 2.0 I wanted to do something fun as well. I've been wanting to go to the Floralia in Brussels since I discovered it last year, but it was canceled. Ofcourse, this year I just had to go visit it.
We went there on a super sunny spring day, in the middle of a saturday. Not the best plan for photos since it was super crowded though.
The location itself is quite magical. It's at the castle of "Groot Bijgaarden" near Brussels. They've planted abuot a million of spring flowers there at the castle's park. You can't visit the castle itself. You also can't visit this place when the Floralia event isn't happening, so you can only visit it in april.
The ticket was 14 euros, without time restrictions. I'm honest, it's not cheap.
You can easily spend an entire afternoon there. The park is not huge but when you want to take a lot of photos and maybe enjoy the sun afterwards, you'll need some time. You can have drinks there outside, there are tables to sit at and enjoy the sun.
If you don't like crowds, then come in the morning or later in the afternoon. It's open from april second untill may third, from 10 a.m. till 6 p.m.. You can park the car next to the castle, they've made enough space for that. Also important to know, you have to wear a mask. When taking photos or drinking/eating, you can take it off for a few minutes.
Now a couple of trips I'm still planning on doing is to go to the Haspengouw region with all its gorgeous blossoms and to go spot the wild narcisses in Eastern Belgium.
I think I want to go to Haspengouw and combining this with the castle of Alden Biesen. It's a massive castle with a garden with blossoms there.
I've seen a couple of forests with the wild narcisses at the southern part of Belgium too but they were rather small (at the road from Neufchateau to Chiny). Go big or go home right? You can spot them at the Eastern part of Belgium from march untill the end of april, so I need to be fast hehe!
What are your hidden gems in Belgium during spring?