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10 Apr

The Flower Route: the Netherlands’ most colourful drive byConrad

The Flower Route: the Netherlands’ most colourful drive banner

Though it’s just 40 kilometres from Haarlem to Naaldwijk, the Flower Route – or the Bloemen Route as it is called in the Netherlands – is arguably one of the most colourful drives in all of Europe. The road is straight and the ground is flat, but the flower fields are alive with colour. You’ll see dahlias, daffodils, irises, gladioli, hyacinths, lilies, narcissi, and of course, tulips – the queen of the lowlands. The flowers are cultivated by colour and type so the fields resemble bold, vibrant ribbons of every imaginable hue.

 

Begin in the city of Haarlem, the northernmost point on the route and the capital of the province of North Holland. 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. Now Haarlem is the epicenter of the horticultural industry and the principle place from which flower bulbs are exported to gardens around the world. Like Amsterdam, located just 19 kilometres to the east, Haarlem is riddled with quaint canals and beautiful scenery captured in the canvases of Dutch masters.

 

From Haarlem, proceed south on highway N208 to Lisse, 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. With 14 kilometres of walking paths that wind around ponds, greenhouse pavilions and a windmills, you can take in the beauty that arises from seven million bulbs that create a dizzying array of color from late March to mid-May. The season culminates each May with a flower parade called the Bollenstreek that runs through Lisse’s streets.

 

Take N208 to the larger highway A44 to reach 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. Founded in 1575, Leiden University was where René Descartes received his education. Leiden’s Botanical Gardens are also a great place to learn about both the science and industry of flower growing.

 

The next on the Flower Route is The Hague, ‘Royal City by the Sea’. Located in South Holland, The Hague is the seat of Dutch government and home of the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court. You’ll also find 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.

 

Your 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. If you’d like to take some flowers home with you, there are plenty of flower sellers at roadside stalls. You can also visit auction houses, public gardens and private museums in the picturesque villages that are supported by this billion-dollar industry. Though the drive is short there is plenty to see and do when you stop to smell the flowers.

 

 

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For your chance to win a free rental day voucher, enter either via Facebook or Twitter. 

 

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Comment on our Facebook post with an answer to the following question: What is the emblematic colour of Netherlands?
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Retweet for a chance to win a free rental day voucher.

The competition start on the 22nd of April until the 13th of May 2015, and will be announced on social media. Full terms and conditions can be found below.

          

              

 

Terms and conditions


- The competition is available in the following markets: UK, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Spain and Italy and there will be one winner of a free voucher for a rental day in eachmarket
- Free voucher includes the Rental Rate, CDW, TP and Unlimited Mileage for a day’s rental. Your rental charges will be adjusted at the rental station on presentation of this voucher
- Prize draw takes place on the 13th May 2015 and Hertz will make all reasonable attempts to contact the winner.  If the winner does not confirm prize acceptance after three (3) days, or if there is insufficient information supplied to contact the winner, the prize will be forfeited
- The promoter's decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into
- Voucher applies to Compact car groups and above on Hertz’ Daily and Weekly Inclusive’ non prepaid retail rates for rentals of 2 days or more. Reservations must be made at least 24 hours in advance
- Voucher can be used at participating locations in Europe, the USA and Canada and may not apply to domestic rentals in certain countries
- Voucher may not be combined with a CDP number and the relevant PC number must be quoted at booking ( EU rentals: 129710, US rentals: 130572)
- Voucher must be surrendered prior to or at end of rental, Hertz will adjust charges and apply the Free Day if this voucher is redeemed as required
- All rentals are subject to Hertz’ standard terms and conditions
- The promotion runs from the 22nd of April until the 13th of May 2015
- The prize draw is open to persons over the age of 21
- No cash alternative is offered and the prize cannot be sold
- To be eligible for the draw, online customers must enter using the #HertzDrives
- By entering the competition, permission is granted for Hertz Europe to use images uploaded on social media platforms for  promotional purposes only
- The promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook and Twitter.
- Hertz reserves the right to suspend, cancel or amend the promotion and/or revise these terms and conditions at any time without giving prior notice and by continuing to take part in this promotion subsequent to any such revision of these terms and conditions entrants shall be deemed to have been agreed to any such new or amended terms

-PC code can not be used on one way rentals
- Promoter: Hertz Europe Limited, based at Hertz House, 11 Vine Street, Uxbridge, Middlesex, UB8 1QE, United Kingdom. This promotion is subject to English Law and is subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English Courts

 

 

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