Inghams Lakes and Mountain holidays celebrate the wild flora to be found in and around our Inghams Lakes & Mountains destinations.
You may be surprised at the sheer range on offer. From edelweiss (of course) and orchids to hairy alpine roses (yes, really) and 500-year-old forests, there is a rich variety of flora out there creating many gorgeous backdrops for anything from a gentle stroll to an energetic hike. Let the species tickle your fancy!
Edelweiss (Leontopodium alpinum) grow between 1,700 and 2,700 metres on south-facing grassy slopes, so they are more likely to be found around our higher resorts in Austria such as St. Anton, Lech, Ischgl and Obergurgl.
Top tip: Anni, our Austrian Product Manager says, “An easy place to find edelweiss is above the car park at the Grossglockner.”
Gentians and alpenrose bloom in June and July, again on south-facing slopes. They can be found whilst out walking around most Austrian resorts, often in large quantities. Blue gentians and pink alpenrose are the most common, and do try a tipple of the local schnapps made from gentians.
This panoramic hiking path runs for nearly eight kilometres through one of the oldest and largest pine forests in the Alps, with lovely displays of alpine flowers along the way.
Snaking along the bottom of the Neunerspitze and Viggar mountains, it is a relatively flat trail with a change in altitude of just 200 metres, so it's suited to energetic hikers and relaxed strollers alike.
Depending on your speed, allow between two and a half and three and a half hours to complete the trail. Cable car ascents and descents are available, as are buses back to your starting point.
Over two thousand metres of altitude and a variety of rock and soils give rise to a huge range of flora near our resorts of Selva and Merano in the Italian Dolomites.
The most impressive sight is the hairy alpine rose, a dwarf rhododendron which colonises whole mountain slopes of limestone and dolomite debris. Other mountain flora include a variety of primulae, the snow-white leopard’s bane, the radiant auricula, edelweiss, the orange-red Rhaetian alpine poppy and the dark-blue rampion.
Meadow flowers are abundant where less fertiliser is used, and there are various compositae, campanulae, papilionaceae and buttercups, as well as many grasses and forage and fodder plants.
Dwarf pines and juniper bushes are common too, and lower down the slopes there are woods of tall spruce and larch, plus alder, sycamore and birch growing along the course of the River Gardena.
See more information about Selva and Merano
Near our resorts of Malcesine, Garda and Bardolino, Monte Baldo in Italy is well known for its botanical richness, with a Mediterranean environment changing gradually to an alpine tundra as the elevation increases.
Interspersed with large meadows and pastures, there are various mixed forests of conifers and deciduous trees including beech, chestnut, dwarf juniper, fir, flowering ash, hornbeam, larch, mountain maple, oak, rowan, spruce, wild cherry and many more.
The herbaceous layer is rich in many species including many orchids, lemon grass and cyclamenin and in springtime there are beautiful blooms of peony and rhododendron. And at higher levels, some important endemic species have survived - such as the buttercup of Kerner, the white sedge and the anemone of Monte Baldo.
No wonder Monte Baldo is known as “the Garden of Europe”.
See more holiday information about Malcesine, Garda and Bardolino
Those who like to explore won't be disappointed in Chamonix in France where there are beautiful Alpine pastures knee-deep in flowers including alpenroses, anrica, scabius, campanula and gentians.
Orchids are common in the meadows of Chamonix. The more common bright pink spotted leaf variety is frequently seen on walks, whilst the rare lady’s slipper orchids are present too in secret places - you'll have to ask our reps for tips, but they generally like wet, grassy areas such as the side of a stream.
And depending on the time of year, wild strawberries and blueberries can be picked and enjoyed during valley walks.
Inghams guests staying in Chamonix and nearby Les Houches qualify for a free Resort Card which gives free bus and train travel in the Chamonix valley - allowing access, for instance, to the Aiguille Nature Reserve.
See more holiday information about Chamonix and Les Houches
The Croatian island of Mljet is known as "the Green Island" because of its rich flora. It is home to one of the country's eight national parks and boasts rich pine, brackish lakes, endemic Dalmatian plants such as Dubrovačka Zečina, and much more. Our Hotel Odisej is located inside Mljet National Park, and the park entrance fee is included in your holiday price.
In neighbouring Montenegro you'll find virgin forest at Biogradska Gora National Park, with over 80 types of shrubs and trees (some over 500 years of age), and more than 200 different species of plant, many endemic. Kolasin is the place to stay to explore this wonderful inland park.
See more holiday information about Mljet and Kolasin
If you book by the end of September 2012 for a 2013 holiday, we'll also give you a free walking map for selected resorts