From thousands of purple lavender plants in fields in Provence, France, to a spectrum of vivid colours in Burano, Italy, the world is a kaleidoscope of vibrant hues and shades. Prepare to fall in love with ten of the most colourful places on this beautiful planet.
You are not hallucinating... these amazing places exist. The world is full of colour, both natural and man-made. Vivid, surreal and just downright gorgeous, let these places take your breath away. From a play of light and shade in Arizona's Antelope Canyon to the UNESCO World Heritage Site at Five Flower Lake in China, our round up of the most colourful places are a real treat for the eyes. Sit back and let wanderlust take hold.
1. A Play of Light and Shade in Antelope Canyon, Arizona
Beautiful and otherworldly, Antelope Canyon is a spectacular slot canyon in the Navajo Reservation. Over time, the relentless forces of wind and water have carved the sandstone into sensuous waves with varying colours, shapes and textures. Open for visitors by tour only, the slim canyon is over a quarter of a mile long and its walls can reach up to 120 feet high. For avid photographers, the best light in the canyon is mid-morning between April and September but other months attract fewer visitors so we'd recommend visiting off-peak for a more intimate experience.
2. Salsa Rhythms in Havana, Cuba
Faded paint washed buildings, guitars heard over salsa drum rhythms, waves crashing against the sea walls and vintage cars going about their business all evoke the spirit of Cuba's capital, Havana. With every corner Instagram-worthy, the whole city is surrounded by colour, from the houses to the street signs. Reopening to tourism in the 1990s despite its 50 years of withering neglect, the stunning destination has become a popular holiday destination once again. Fly to Havana from November to April for the best weather and even better atmosphere.
3. Blooming Tulip Fields, The Netherlands
The western area of the Netherlands is the place to be in spring. Neatly planted in countless rows, tulips bloom turning the vast lowlands into a blanket of spectacular colours. The flowers reach their full potential in April and May when Holland offers their most exquisite spring tour. For those who want to enjoy the views and smell the roses (well, tulips), book a tour so you don't miss a single blossom.
4. Morning Glory Pool, Wyoming, USA
Sister to the Grand Prismatic Springs which we couldn't believe exists, the Morning Glory Pool was given the title in 1883 by the wife of an assistant park superintendent because of its amazing blue centre, reminiscent of the Morning Glory flower. The delicate blue colour is formed by themophylic bacteria which thrive in the pool's searing heat. Over time rubbish has built up due to tourists throwing coins and other objects, causing other bacteria to begin working its way in at the edges, subsequently creating a red and yellow ring around the pure blue centre.
5. Five Flower Lake, Jiuzhaigou Valley, China
Far, far away from the big cities in the east, is one of the prettiest lakes we have ever seen. Situated in the Sichuan province, the nature reserve Jiuzhaigou translates to Nine Villages Valley after the nine Tibetan villages dotted in and around the surrounding Minshan mountain range. Five Flower Lake is the main attracton in the area with its algae covered trunks lining the bottom of the crystal clear water that has high levels of calcium carbonate to thank for its translucency. Named a UNESCO World Heritage Site back in 1992, it's clear why this lake - with its serene blue hue of the water in contrast with the flowers and trees lining its edges - should be preserved for generations to come.
6. Island Vibes in Isla Mujeres, Mexico
Visitors flock to Isla Mujeres for the warm, turquoise waters alone but that's not all you'll discover when you head to this beautiful island off the coast of the Quintana Roo in Mexico. With so many cute colourful houses, Caribbean parties and beautiful beaches, the islanders welcome visitors with just as much warmth and colour. Only 7 km in length, it's a peaceful place to switch off and really unwind so make sure you stay on Isla Mujeres to soak up all the good island vibes. Plus, don't forget to bring your camera as there's colour at every turn.
7. Find Nemo at Great Barrier Reef, Australia
Stretching 2300 km and covering roughly the same area as Italy, the vast underground world of the Great Barrier Reef is a totally breathtaking array of colour. With over 3000 individual reef systems, coral cays and picturesque tropical islands with sun soaked, golden beaches, it's a national and international treasure. Tour the reef made of hundreds of mangroves, sponge gardens, sea grass and over 1500 species of fish including Nemo (Clownfish) who all call Australia's beautiful marine park home.
8. Technicolour Houses in Burano, Italy
Situated in the northern Venetian lagoon, the island of Burano is famous for both its lace making craftsmanship and its brightly coloured terraced houses that crowd its little streets. The colour of the houses is strictly controlled and homeowners have to apply to the local government before buying their favourite hue from the colour chart. Cheerful, bustling yet a little touristy, we recommend hopping on a tour from Venice to see it for yourself.
9. Breathe Deeply at Lavender Fields, France
From June to August, the fields of Provence come alive with purple blooms and the most calming fragrance infusing the air. The famed lavender fields bloom in the summer and they are a feast for the eyes and the nostrils. The highest concentrations of lavender are located on the high plateau around Sault, Apt and Gordes where you'll see the purple flowers carpeting the sloping hills as far as your eyes can see. The landscape is only interrupted by historic villages that you'll also love to explore. Take a tour to really get the full picture of this stunning, perfumed area of France.
10. The Blue City, Chefchaouen, Morocco
Remote and closed off to the rest of the world for centuries, the artsy Blue City of Morocco is well, blue. Originating from the holy significance of blue tekhelet dye, the fresh aqua paint is also said to ward off mosquitoes. Even if it doesn't actually get rid of the little pests, you've got plenty of killer photo ops with amazing azure backdrops. Make a pit stop here on a holiday to Morocco and escape the mad bazaars and chaotic souks amid the red tiled roofs, soothing blue buildings and narrow lanes in the old medina. There's the added bonus of koftas and kif on tap.
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