For only a few weeks, a purple-blue flower carpet covers the Hallerbos, a forest near Brussels. The original name for these tiny flowers is Campanula Rotundifolia, but they are now known as “harebell” or “bluebell.” In Belgium, they used to be added to beer to make it taste bitter. The deep colour of the blossom gave the Hallerbos an alternative name: the Blue Forest.
The bluebells are not unique to Belgium as they grow in the majority of old European forests. The reason why the Hallerbos is worth the attention is the size of their reach. The forest expands over 500 ha (1235 ac), and, during the blooming season, the floral carpet stretches as far as you can see.
Even though the flowering season in the Blue Forest is generally from March to June, the best time to visit is during mid-April when the harebells are likely to be in bloom. They usually start blooming in the beginning of the month and start withering by the end of April. At this time, the young leaves of beech trees are light-green and semitransparent, making the light in the woods especially enchanting. The season depends on weather conditions.
The bluebells are not the only reason to take a walk in the woods: the giant Sequoia trees are also pretty impressive. You may also observe the rabbits and deer that inhabit the area or go hiking and mountain biking.
Whatever you do in the forest, you must follow marked paths as it is prohibited to wander on any unmarked trails. This prevents the damage of fragile flowers. There are special trails for hiking and biking that will lead you to the most picturesque parts of the forest.
The Hallerbos is only 20 km (12 mi) from Brussels. Located mostly in the municipality of Halle, it occupies the territory between the Zenne River and the Sonian Forest. It is quite easy to get to the Hallerbos by car and by public transport as there is a bus stop next to the entrance of the forest.
When is the peak time to see bluebells at Hallerbos in Belgium?
Hallerbos is a magical forest in Belgium, and the peak time to see the bluebells in bloom is in mid-April. Although the blooming season starts in March and ends in June, visiting the forest during mid-April is highly recommended as you will witness the entire forest turning purple-blue. The blooming period and flowering intensity depend on the weather conditions, so plan your trip accordingly. Show more
What is the location of Hallerbos?
Hallerbos forest is situated near the city of Brussels, covering the stretch of Halle municipality between the Zenne River and the Sonian Forest. It is 20 km (12 mi) away from Brussels and easily accessible by car or public transport. Visitors can find a bus stop near the entrance of the forest. Show more
What is the size of the blooming area at Hallerbos?
Hallerbos, also known as the Blue Forest, covers an area of 500 hectares (1235 acres). During the blooming season, usually from March to June, the forest floor transforms into a blue carpet with flowers as far as your eyes can see. The charming blue/purple flowers are the key attraction for tourists, but you can also explore the forest's Sequoia trees, diverse wildlife, and more. Show more
What makes bluebells have a blue/purple color?
Anthocyanin, a plant pigment that reflects blue and violet light, gives bluebells their blue/purple color, not only in Hallerbos but also in other areas. The pigment protects the plant from radiation from the sun. The flowers' colors and unique funnel shape help them to attract pollinators like butterflies and bees, ensuring their pollination and reproduction. Show more
Is one allowed to step off the designated paths while exploring Hallerbos?
While exploring Hallerbos, stepping off the marked paths is strictly prohibited. Doing so could damage the delicate bluebells. You can explore the scenic parts of the forest without harming its flowers while getting exercise and being environmentally responsible by following the designated biking and hiking trails. These trails allow you to experience the best of the forest while adhering to its rules. Show more