Spring is on its way (albeit incredibly tentatively), so to get you in the mood, we’ve plucked some of the most beautiful blooms seen around the world. From sweet damask petals, grown in Morocco’s Valley of the Roses, to flower trailed trishaws in Malaysia, we hope that they inspire you – and maybe even blossom into a luxury holiday…
From cosmopolitan capitals to the weird and wonderful lunar landscapes of the Atacama; skiing the snow filled descents of the Andes and sipping on some of the world’s finest wine, Chile certainly isn’t a destination where you ever need an extra reason to visit. But for those of you always on the search for a totally unique experience, head across to this South American gem from September until mid-November to witness the utterly unique ‘flowering of the desert’. Occurring only every four to five years this wonder of nature turns hundreds of kilometres of normally dry, arid and rocky Atacama Desert into a vast sea of fantastic and vibrant colour. Over 200 species of flowers appear after years of patient waiting to produce a coloured carpet and a rather unique view for visitors.
Between June to December an abundance of wild flowers are strewn along the coastline of South Africa’s Western Cape, making it a fantastic time for walkers. This is also the time to visit the Whale Coast where you’ll enjoy some of the best whale watching in the world.
You can buy great scoops-full of exquisitely scented rosebuds in Marrakech’s pulsating souks, sink into beautiful pools in the hammams which are filled with petals and rose oils, and take a break from the city in the walled oasis hotels of La Palmeraie. A place where few people visit though is the Valley of the Roses near Ouarzazate where you can see locals harvesting the petals, and raking whole rooms that are full of drying petals.
A holiday to Malaysia is always wonderfully colourful and exotic, but we particularly love the UNESCO heritage town of Georgetown in Penang where you’ll see flower-bedecked trishaws trundling down the winding streets past dragon covered temples and amazing hawker street food stalls.
The Italian Lakes just ooze romance and glamour, and whilst on a luxury holiday or honeymoon, and as you’re cruising the lakes in a vintage vaporetto, you’ll see beautifully manicured gardens of the 18th century palazzos, including Villa Balbianello, Palazzo Borromeo, and Villa Carlotta. Better still, stay at the legendary Villa D’Este and have it right on your doorstep.
The giant Rafflesia flower may not be beautifully fragranced (it’s also known as the ‘Corpse Flower’ thanks to its distinctive rotting scent…) however, it’s one of the largest flowering plants in the world, and is just one of the extraordinary natural specimens that make Malaysian Borneo an absolute magnet for wildlife lovers and naturalists.