Even if you don't believe in fairies and magic anymore, there's probably still a little part of you that will always wish you were living in a fairy tale (Don't even try to deny it. Think of how cool it would be to have magic powers). As far as I know, though, magic isn't actually real, so the closest I'll ever get to experiencing a real-life fairy tale is to visit the most enchanting forest in the world-- Belgium's Hallerbos Forest.
Hallerbos was the former stomping grounds of some of the area's most well-respected saints and dukes back in the day, and was prized land because of its old-growth oak and rare beech trees. You won't see any massive trees here today, though, because the forest took a hit during World War I, when the Germans cut down most of the beeches and oaks and left the forest in ruins. Hallerbos, which was actually owned by the German Arenburg family before the war, was given to the country of Belgium as war reparations in 1929.
Between the 1930s and the 1950s, a huge effort was made to replant the trees and restore the forest to its former glory. But, the main attraction of the woodland is far and away its enchanting carpet of bluebell hyacinth flowers that covers the forest floor every spring. The best time to see the mesmerizing natural beauty of the flowers is between late April and early May-- only a few short weeks each year.
Wood sorrell and wild garlic are scattered throughout the bluebells, which actually survived the destruction of the forest during the war. Replanting and expanding the forest continues even to this day, although on a smaller scale than before. Now Hallerbos covers roughly 1,360 acres of tranquil, alluring woodland beauty.
Want to see some of America's prettiest wildflowers? Hike to Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, Mount Rainier National Park, or Antelope Canyon to stop and smell the flowers, or check out our Into the Wild Guide!