Spring is in the air and trees and flowers are starting to blossom everywhere. And, we have good news: if you love cherry blossoms, you don’t have to travel all the way to Japan to see them; you can enjoy the beautiful sight of blooming cherry trees in the Portuguese town of Fundão, in Castelo Branco. Let's find out about this beautiful plant and how you can see it in Portugal.
What are cherry blossoms?
To begin with, cherry trees, as the name suggests, are where we get the delicious red fruit, but there are many varieties of cherry tree plant. During Spring, these trees give birth to a delicate flower, that normally has a pink or purple colour.
What are the meanings behind cherry blossoms?
Cherry blossoms symbolise the beauty of new life and renewal in spring. However, their lifespan is very short (only around ten days); therefore, they also also represent the brief, fleeting nature of life.
What’s the best month to see cherry blossoms in Portugal?
Most years, cherry trees start to flower around the end of March and the beginning of April, but this depends on the weather and other conditions. Because of some unseasonably warm weather that we've had this year, the cherry blossom season in 2020 might start earlier. It’s not entirely clear yet, but it’s thought that the best time to see cherry blossoms in Portugal will be at the end of March 2020.
Where is the best place to see cherry blossoms in Portugal?
If you want to see the arrival of Spring in full bloom in 2020 you cannot miss the cherry blossoms in Fundão, Castelo Branco. Thousands of cherry trees with white flowers cover the entire Gardunha mountain and attract tourists who want to see one of the most beautiful natural events of the year.
Fundão is known as the Portuguese “cherry town”, with a production that reaches more than 20 million euros, attracts more than 130,000 tourists a year and explores every single business opportunity involved with this fruit.
To celebrate the arrival of cherry blossoms, the town organises picnics, hot-air balloon rides, bicycle tours, train tours and many other events that allow tourists to enjoy a day out amongst the blossoming cherry trees.
The tourist train ride starts at the Alcongosta cemetery and goes through the Alcongosta orchards for 45 minutes, offering panoramic views of the cherry trees. Also, if you are coming from Lisbon, you can enjoy the program organised by CP (Portugal's main train company) that takes you to Fundão and allows you to visit the cherry blossoms, the town, taste local products and brings you back to Lisbon.
Aside from the beautiful scenery and the wonderful activities you can take part in, the town has a lot more to offer. Make sure you visit the historical centre, monuments such as the Capela de Nossa Senhora da Conceição, that dates back to the 16th century, or the Capela da Nossa Senhora do Miradouro ou de Seixo, from the 14th, where, according to the legend, the Virgin Mary appeared.