Floriade happens just once every ten years, and 2012 is finally the year it’s back. While Amsterdam is one of the most popular destinations in The Netherlands, there is a lot more to this Dutch country than the capital city.
In the southeast region in the province of Limburg near the German border you’ll find Venlo, the home of the World Horticultural Expo, Floriade. The theme of this year’s event is “Be part of the theatre in nature; get closer to the quality of life,” and it includes five themed areas on a massive site featuring Environment, Green Engine, Relax & Heal, Education & Innovation, and World Show Stage.
Floriade is taking place now through October 7, 2012 and some of the highlights include the Harvest Show – the big finale at the end of each day. It’s a breathtaking spectacle of acrobatics and world music performed by international artists. Performers will even be holding workshops for children in the park.
Every summer weekend brings a spectacular light show as well as live music, films shown at the open-air cinema and star performances in the Floriade Theatre.
CNN calls Floriade one of the world’s top destinations in 2012, and Anne Banas the executive editor of SmartTravel.com remarked, “This is a once in a decade flower show so it’s even more spectacular than Keukenhof, and Keukenhof is already amazing.”
Where to stay
Combine your trip to Floriade with a stay at Centerparcs for an ideal vacation. Centerparcs has several different locations all within a half hour’s drive of Floriade. They’re currently offering a special package that includes the “Floriade Passepartout,” that gives guests unlimited access to Floriade during the entire stay for the price of just one day’s ticket.
Choose from a stay at Het Heijderbos hotel apartments or the comfort cottages at Het Meerdal. Cottages are located in a scenic wooded setting and the luxury cottages even include a sauna. If you have little ones, Het Meerdal also includes a fun indoor play paradise where the kids can climb, scramble and race around to their heart’s delight; it also gives parents a break in the evening with the kids happy and worn out for the night.
What else to do
If you find yourself with extra time, you won’t have any difficulties in discovering something else to do.
Maashopper Boat: This is a fun trip between Baarlo and Blitterswijck, just outside Venlo.
Toverland Theme Park: A park with thrill rides that include both indoor and outdoor roller coasters including Troy, one of Europe’s tallest and fastest wooden roller coasters.
Leukermeer Holiday Park: This park offers a wide range of water sport activities from a ride on a banana boat to wakeboarding, waterskiing lessons and more. It also includes a sandy beach, fitness club, sauna, and even a disco.
Wine & Golf at Kapèlkeshof: For a fun adult oriented activity consider a game of golf at their 18-hole course that’s set on the edge of a vineyard. After a round guests can relax and enjoy lunch or dinner accompanied by a glass of wine from Kapèlkeshof’s own vineyard.
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