Back in 2021, one of our first proper road trips in over a year was just an hour away from home. For a few days, we chased the beautiful apple blossoms in Haspengouw. Every spring, the landscapes look like something out of a fairytale. Rolling hills of fluffy white trees make for a magnificent sight.

Haspengouw is most famous for its fruit production. In fact, the region’s capital, Sint-Truiden is called “The City of Fruit”. 75% of Belgian fruit originates from this rather tiny area! The pear trees start blooming a few weeks before the apple trees. To be sure to visit at a perfect time, you can follow the blossom indicator on the official website.

woman in a hat relaxing in an apple orchard in haspengouw

A few years ago, I wrote a blog post featuring flower spots around Belgium. I was aware of the apple blossoms in Haspengouw back then but hadn’t visited them yet. So you can imagine my joy when we planned this trip. Especially as it had been our first road trip in quite a while.

woman walking through  apple blossoms in haspengouw at sunrise

This year, you can walk through the orchards at twilight. Magical twilight walks is an event happening this April that includes guided strolls, tasting local produce, and even musical entertainment!

Where to see apple blossoms in Haspengouw

There are many bike and hiking routes available for download on the official website. Or you can improvise and just start from a few different towns. The tiny village of Groot-Gelmen is a great place to start from. Whichever direction you take, you’re liable to end up in front of blossoming trees.

The best way to see a lot of apple blossoms will include lots of walking so prepare yourself for an active weekend. Speaking of which, I would recommend at least spending the night. There are so many different orchards to walk through that one day won’t seem enough. A popular way of seeing apple blossoms is by cycling alongside the trees. The endless bike routes through Flanders also pass right next to the orchards. Next time I visit, I’m renting a bike in order to see even more blossoming trees!

woman sitting among apple blossoms in haspengouw

There are 8 hiking routes you can choose from, all officially marked. In fact, one of the roads you can take is a genuine old Roman road! On top of that, there are 6 different bike routes you can take. These downloadable maps feature the best photo spots, terraces, cafés, and even places where you can enjoy regional products. You’ll find all of this on Sint Truiden’s official website!

To be honest, simply getting around by car we spotted so many orchards. The village of Zepperen is another good starting location, considering it’s surrounded by orchards. But you could also go into it without much preparation and still be delighted by the landscapes. For the best chance of spotting the blossoms, you should visit during mid-April. On the whole, there is a 10-day window of blossoms from beginning to end so there is no need to fret.

Nearby one of the orchards, we saw the Floating Chapel, Zwevende Kapel. A chapel seemingly suspended in mid-air, it’s a unique viewpoint. In short, it’s a hidden gem in the village of Helshoven that you could easily miss if you weren’t aware of it! Aside from that, you’ll also find a handful of castles scattered around the area. All in all, an interesting region with lots of unique and beautiful spots!

Reading Between the Lines

On our last morning, we decided to visit the most famous artwork in the region. Reading Between the Lines is a unique project by two Belgian architects that’s basically a giant optical illusion. The 100 layers of steel plates create the illusion of a see-through church. Naturally, sunrise and sunset are the best times for visiting this place. The moment the sun breaks out behind the church is unparalleled. The most fascinating part about this artwork is that its shape changes depending on the angle. It either appears massive or like a mirage dissolving into the landscape.

I feel like the Haspengouw region is one of the best hidden gems in Belgium. If you find yourself in Belgium during spring, consider a day trip to Sint-Truiden. One thing is for sure, it will be an unforgettable day. Looking back on these, it feels surreal that I witnessed such magical landscapes. A genuine floral paradise, it’s something everyone should experience!

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