Every year the fruit trees transform the Altes Land on the Elbe river into a colourful sea of blossoms. Because the individual varieties bloom one after the other, the blossom season lasts three to four weeks. From the end of April to the middle of May, over 18 million fruit trees race to be the first to blossom in front of Hamburg’s gates in northern Europe’s largest contiguous fruit-growing region. Many consider this season to be their favourite and most beautiful in Altes Land on the Elbe river.
From the pretty, striking half-timbered houses typical of the Altes Land with their grand gateways and lovely cottage gardens, to the idyllic cafés and farm shops – the Obstgarten Altes Land, as this holiday region of orchards is known, is so wonderfully inviting.
Around 500 apple growers live here across 1200 square kilometres. The weather is ideal as well. The nearby North Sea provides a maritime climate at the estuary of the Elbe river. The Altes Land on the Elbe river records 1500 hours of sunshine every year, which helps ensure a successful blossoming season and harvest.
The Altes Land on the Elbe river offers a host of attractions and events associated with the blossoming season. Visit the Altländer Blütenfest blossom festival in Jork on the first weekend in May, one of the biggest folk festivals in the Altes Land. Or enjoy a leisurely picnic at a fruit farm. You can get a picnic basket brimming with seasonal and regional delicacies from the farm shop or the farm café, and find your own picnic spot on the grass amongst the fruit trees.
First white, then red and delicious.
But there are other regions in Lower Saxony known for their spring colours as well. Cherry blossoms aren’t unique to Japan – they can be found in Osnabrücker Land too: sometimes as early as March, and no later than the middle April, the 3000 trees start to bloom and transform the expansive valley into a honey-scented spring landscape in lush green and shimmering white. The Rühler Schweiz in the Weser Uplands is another cherry blossom heartland, where they even crown a new queen every year.