Bollenstreek, Bloemen Route, or “Flower Route”, is the highest concentration of tulip fields. The route runs for about 40 km south of Haarlem to Leiden, with the town of Lisse in the middle. All around are small patches of flower fields, bursting with colors. Many fields are quite difficult to get to – guarded by fences and water canals and surrounded by houses and buildings.

At your starting point, Haarlem is a historic center seamed with canals and punctuated by the landmarks that hometown artists painted. Haarlem was founded in the 13th century and was mainly known as a beer producer until the year 1593 when the first tulip was planted in Dutch soil. Haarlem is home to the world-famous Keukenhof Gardens. From its humble origins as a small garden of a 15th-century countess, the Keukenhof Gardens occupy 70 acres of wooded parkland and attract more than 700,000 visitors annually.

The next stop is Leiden, a university town on the banks of the Old Rhine River. In addition to being the birthplace of Rembrandt, Leiden is home to the Netherlands’ most august institution. Leiden’s Botanical Gardens is also a great place to learn about both the science and industry of flower growing.

Next on the Flower Route is The Hague, ‘Royal City by the Sea’. Located in South Holland, The Hague is the seat of the Dutch government and home of the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court. There are many museums – from the Louwman Automuseum, which houses classic cars, to the Museum voor Communicatie, the national postal museum. The Mauritshuis houses many works by Dutch masters who were, not surprisingly, exceptionally good at painting flowers.

The journey concludes in Naaldwijk, renowned the world over for its sprawling flower fields and greenhouses. You can take a tour of one of the Naaldwijk flower auction houses and even participate in an auction. Money may not grow on trees but it grows out of the ground in Naaldwijk.

The flower season begins in January and extends throughout the spring, peaking in April and May, which makes the Flower Route the quintessential spring drive. Traffic is considerably lighter on weekdays and the route is popular with cyclists.

According to the Internet/ hertz