The Hallerbos (Dutch) or Bois de Hal (French) is a forest in Belgium, located mostly in Flemish Brabant. While Hallerbos is a place that is open and can be accessed at any time of the year, it is essentially a popular and touristy destination in Spring, as a magical transformation occurs: the place is covered by an impressive purple carpet of blooming bluebells with no end in sight.
The flowers (Hyacinthoides) are shaped like tiny purple bells and cover more than 250 ha (2.5 km²), which is why Hallerbos was given its nickname, the “Blue Forest”.
The blooming typically occurs around mid-April and lasts for about two weeks, depending on Mother Nature’s mood that year. The weather must be clement, not too warm or humid, and the soil fertile and clayey. That is why Hallerbos is the only place in the world where such carpets of bluebells can be seen, as both the composition of the soil and the weather provide the perfect conditions for the flowers to spread their way across the forest.
Meet our dog, Largo, the most affectionate Bernese Mountain Dog, who (literally) jumps at every opportunity to go for a walk in the woods.
The Blue Forest is a crowd favorite for nature lovers and photographers alike, and of course, everyone just happens to have the same awesome idea to go there at this time of the year… If possible, try to go during the week! But if the weekend is your only option (as was the case for me), head over very early in the morning. I know it sucks to have to get up early and rush on a Sunday morning, but by the time we were done and left Hallerbos at around 11 am, HERDS of people were arriving (including buses full of tourists). As phenomenal as the place is, it wouldn’t be as magical if you had to deal with hordes of families and photographers.
If you’re into photography, the early morning and early evening provide the best light of the day to take the prettiest shots. It was so lovely to see the golden rays of the morning sun piercing through the leaves of the trees.
Please also remember to always stay on the trails/paths to avoid stepping on new flower bulbs.
To access Hallerbos, follow the directions to “Vlasmarktdreef” and park nearby. You will then have to walk for around 15-20 minutes to get into the woods. Cross the bridge over the highway to get into the most beautiful part of the Blue Forest. You can find a detailed map here – we walked around the trail marked in blue this time. Don’t hesitate to ask volunteers for your way around, they are very friendly and helpful!
Although you could definitely spend the entire day there (they have picnic tables), taking a 3-4 hour walk is sufficient to immerse yourself and stop plenty of times along the way (and take tons of pictures)!
Vlasmarktdreef 4, 1500 Halle