HomeTravelInspiration22 Vibrant Sights Guaranteed to add a Splash of Colour to your Life Gabrielle Morley-Ham August 17, 2015 Inspiration, Travel 36 Comments Every now and then things can get a little grey. Especially if you live in England like we do… what is with the drizzle?! I’m starting to think someone is taking the michael. It’s August for goodness sake. So to cheer myself up, I wanted to remind myself (and you lovely lot) of how much joy and colour there is out there just waiting to be discovered, by making a list of the most colourful places in the world. Sometimes a little boost of colour is all it takes to re-inspire and remind yourself how stunning this world really is. So delve into this post, put on some clothes that don’t match, cover yourself in glitter and dance like no one’s watching. LET’S GET COLOURFUL. 1. Burano, Italy Burano is far too often overshadowed by the romantic reputation of its neighbour, Venice. The old fishing island is famed for its authentic lace and colourful buildings. Legend has it that the houses were painted different colours to help the fishermen find their homes through the thick fog when they returned from sea. Where? – Burano is just a 45 minute boat ride from Venice. What better addition to a romantic weekend in the floating Italian city? What’s more, the trip can be booked for the very worthwhile price of €20 a pop. Add it to your itinerary! (Source) 2. The Great Barrier Reef, Australia A whole new world of colour is waiting to be found beneath the water on the Great Barrier Reef. I’ve never dived (asthma geek and all) but James assures me it is the most serene, calming and mesmerising experience possible. Any worries are soon forgotten. As soon as you’re submerged, gliding alongside your fishy friends will feel like second nature. Where? – This natural wonder stretches 200km along Australia’s East coast and is guaranteed to blow your mind. Tours leave from many of the towns on the coast, so take your pick from Cairns, Port Douglas, Airlie Beach or Townsville. Fun fact – Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is made up of over 2,900 individual reefs and 900 different islands that cover a ridiculous 1,400 miles. It is home to 1,500 species of fish and 30 species of whale. That’s a whole lot of fins. (Source) 3. Telč, Czech Republic Telč is so beautiful, it’s officially a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The old town square is like something out of a fairytale. Take a stroll over one of the stunning narrow bridges and allow yourself to be transported back in time to the splendour of the Renaissance period. The multicoloured facades lined up, provide the perfect spot for an afternoon of coffee and people watching. Soak it in. When? – Telč is beautiful all year round, but if you can time your visit to fall late July/early August you’ll catch the local folk festival. An array of music, colour and folk, this festival sets Telč alight. Find out more here. (Source) 4. The Tulip Fields, Holland If you want tulips, Holland is the place to go. BOY do the Dutch know their way around those multicoloured bulbs. In mid-April every year, the fields come alive with flowers, transforming the landscape of Holland into a patchwork quilt of colour. It’s a sight to behold… don’t forget your camera! Where? – The best places to see the fields are Noordoostpolder, Kop van Noord-Holland and Bollenstreek. All of which are just 30 minutes from Amsterdam by car. When? – March to mid-May… but aim for mid-April for prime tulip viewing. (Source) 5. Holi Festival, India Holi festival is the celebration of good triumphing over bad. As Winter gives way to the brightness of Spring, thousands of people take to the streets armed with vibrant coloured powder. This goes EVERYWHERE. If you’re taking a camera and plan to get some good shots (a must!), make sure you cover it. Powder in your technical bits does not make for a happy lens. Where? – Celebrations take place all over India, but the best traditional Holi festivals are said to take place in Mathura and Vrindavan, four hours from Delhi. When? – In 2016, the Holi festival will fall on 23 March but the date changes every year. The Festival is determined by the date of the full moon day of Phagun (12th month in Hindu calendar) which usually falls somewhere between late-February and early-March. (Source) 6. Manarola, Cinque Terre, Italy It’s hard not to be sucked in by the beauty of the 5 coastal towns that make up Cinque Terre. Each one of them is unique and beautiful in its own right. And none of them would be out of place on a list of the most colourful places in the world. Fusing an array of pastel shades against a jagged coastline, this place would wangle it’s way on to any ‘most beautiful’ round up. Where? – The Cinque Terre region is on the West coast of Italy. There’s many different ways to get here, but a short 2 hour train ride from Florence seems like the best option! (Source) 7. Hosier Lane, Melbourne, Australia Melbourne is quirky, cool and hipster. I almost didn’t feel cool enough to be there. There is a new wall of vibrant colour waiting to slap your around the face after every turn. You could spend a whole weekend in Melbourne just wandering around taking in the street art. Top tip – Melbourne has some of the best hidden bars in the world. If you’ve got time, indulge yourself in a bar crawl/treasure hunt. Finding some of these places is an adventure in itself. (Source) 8. Lake Retba, Senegal This place is magical, you could even call it biblical – just look at that colour! The unique pink hue of the water is down to a combination of the high salt content of the lake and a high concentration of Dunaliella salina algae. (That’s as technical as I’m going to get – chemistry never was my thing.) Where? – Lake Retba can be found 20 miles North-East of Senegal’s capital, Dakar. When? – The colour is due to the algae particles absorbing light… therefore, it’s best to visit during the sunniest months! The lake will be particularly pink from November through to June and ever so slightly less so during the rainy season. (Source) 9. The Festival of Colour, Poland These Holi style festivals take place all over Europe. Okay so nothing could beat the authentic experience of Holi in India, but these colourful explosions of powder are definitely the perfect places to add a little colour to your world during a city break. Have a little gander at the website and take your pick. (Source) 10. Balat, Istanbul Balat is a bit of a hidden gem. Despite being named a UNESCO World Heritage Site for it’s beauty, it’s said that less than 1% of Istanbul’s tourists make the trip here. Balat has recently gained a reputation as the creative centre of Istanbul. With design shops and art galleries popping up amidst the sea of colourful buildings, it’s not hard to see why. Where? – Balat can be found in the Jewish quarter of the old city on the Western side of the famous Golden Horn. (Source) 11. Bo-Kaap, Cape Town Africa Bo-Kaap is one of the most colourful suburbs to be found in Cape Town. If the splashes of vibrant colour weren’t enough to tempt you, its fascinating history, friendly people and delicious cuisine may do the trick. The majority of the residents are of Malaysian and Indonesian descent, relatives of those who were imported as slaves by the Dutch back in the 16th/17th century. Top tip – Make sure you wrap your chops around a traditional local meal while in Bo-Kaap. Samosas, curry and rotis galore – you won’t regret it. (Source) 12. Chefchaouen, Morocco Perched high in the Rif Mountains, this Moroccan town is an absolute gem. Blue doors, blue walls, blue floors, blue tiles – Chefchaouen is all about the blue. Walking into this beautiful mountain city is like drifting off into a dream world. Get yourself lost down the many blue-washed narrow streets of the medina and soak in the atmosphere. Although a little more touristy than it once was, Chefchaouen is still the perfect place to relax compared to the hassle of the more central cities. Top tip – Don’t leave Chefchaouen without sitting on a rooftop and drinking copious amounts of mint tea. You can get this everywhere in Morocco, but there’s something special about looking down on this blue maze whilst sipping on the minty goodness. (Source) 13. Zhangye Danxia Landform Geological Park No this isn’t a hyper-imaginative oil painting – it’s a real life rock formation in China. Often referred to as ‘the rainbow mountains’ this explosion of colour is one of the world’s greatest natural wonders. The bands in the rock are so perfect it’s hard to believe they weren’t painted on. Where? – Danxia is approximately 30 minutes West of Zhangye. You can fly here directly from Xi’an or take a (significantly cheaper) train from Beijing if you’ve got around 25 hours to spare. When? – Sunshine brings these colours alive so it’s best to visit between June and September when the weather is good. A sunset visit is said to be especially magical due to the constant changes in colour. (Source) 14. Granada, Nicaragua Nicaragua is all kinds of colourful. If you’re into coffee and colour it’s hard not to fall in love with Granada. Grab your camera and spend a few hours walking around, taking in the vibrant colours of the Spanish colonial buildings and the happy people. Matthew over at Expert Vagabond has captured this perfectly with his hugely entertaining stories about the lives of the people and where they’re off to. Have a gander at his colourful post here. Where? – Granada can be found to the South of North America’s Nicaragua. (Source) 15. Neal’s Yard, Covent Garden, London Neal’s Yard is a hidden oasis of colour right amidst the chaos of London’s City Centre. Walk down two fairly ordinary looking side streets and the yard opens up in front of you. Rainbow buildings, quirky bookshops and local restaurants surround you. It’s the perfect spot to grab some lunch in the summer sunshine – pick your day wisely though, we don’t get a lot of that in England ;). Where? – Neal’s Yard is just a 3 minute walk from Covent Garden tube station, but despite being so close, it’s so easy to miss. When you next find yourself in London, set aside an afternoon to explore this sunshine square. (Source) 16. Colmar, France To me, this stunning place looks like it was taken right out of the pages of a storybook. It’s SO Beauty and the Beast. The town oozes medieval charm and the timber covered multi-coloured houses will have you oo’ing and ahh’ing all day long. Check out Where? – Colmar can be found in the Alsace region of Eastern France, close to the German border. It was the last village to be released after the war and the German influence is still very evident today. (Source) 17. Santorini, Greece This is one of the top bucket list destinations for a reason and is without doubt one of the most colourful places in the world. The deep blue of the azure sea, creates the perfect backdrop to Santorini’s spellbinding mosaic of mountain top colour. It’s paradise. I think I’d be happy to get lost in there for the next month or so – how about you? (Source) 18. Hitsujiyama Park, Japan It isn’t just cherry blossom that burst into colour across Japan. These shibazakura flowers are less well-known but no less beautiful. As single flowers, they may be a little ‘plain jane’, but when blankets of pink, white and purple hues cover the hillsides, they take on a life of their own. These flowers are planted by colour to create breathtakingly colourful patterns across the landscape. Where? – This field of flowers is just 90 minutes from the hustle and bustle of Tokyo by train. When? – The best time to see the shibazakura in full bloom is late April to early May. (Source) 19. Procida, Italy Procida is the smallest island hidden within the Bay of Naples. It’s much less touristy than it’s Italian neighbours, so is the perfect place to come and unwind. As you approach the coast, an array of pink, blue and yellow hues reflected in the blue water will greet you. If you’re picturing traditional Italy with fishermen going about their business, laundry hung above the pathways to dry and quaint local restaurants serving fresh fish – you’ve got it right. Where? – Procida is a Flegrean Island just off the coast of Naples in southern Italy. (Source) 20. The Northern Lights, Northern Hemisphere The Northern Lights (or the Aurora Borealis if we’re being technical), are one of the most magical natural phenomena that you can see. Whether you aim to catch sight of them in Alaska, Norway, Iceland or elsewhere in the Northern hemisphere, nature’s light show is sure to knock your woolly socks off. Where? – Iceland, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Northern Canada, Alaska or Greenland are all great places to see the lights (although some easier to get to than others) – the choice is yours pal. When? – The Northern skies can turn on their light show at any time between September and April, usually when the sky is beautifully clear and dark. Visit between December and February for more hours of darkness, or in the Autumn and Spring for better weather conditions. (Source) 21. The Lavender Fields of Provence “Lavender is the soul of Provence” – Jean Giono. From June to August every year, Provence is all about the lavender. From the fields to the museums and the food… the stuff is everywhere. Take a stroll or hire a bike and spend the afternoon getting lost in a sea of purple. What could be more relaxing than that? Best not operate any heavy machinery afterwards though, lavender is a snooze-aid after all! Where? – Stunning lavender fields can be found all over the Provence region of France. Mont Ventoux, northeast of Avignon and Gorde are great spots to see them. When? – The lavender is usually in full bloom between the last week of June and the beginning of August. Aim for early July for the real wow-factor! (Source) 22. Copenhagen, Denmark Copenhagen is a city all about freedom, happiness and love. Even the buildings are blooming happy. A first port of call for any visit to Copenhagen would be to stroll down the colourful and iconic Nyhavn. With buskers, cafes, bars and restaurants all the way along, it’s the perfect place to immerse yourself in the local culture. Where? – Copenhagen is right slap bang in the middle of Denmark. Nyhavn is almost impossible to miss, but there are plenty of other colourful streets to be found in the city. This post takes you through them all absolutely perfectly. (Source) So there we have it, 22 beautiful bursts of colour to remind us of how vibrant and lovely this world of ours is. Have I missed any off? Where’s the most colourful place in the world you’ve been? TweetShare on TumblrPrintEmail Abbi from Life in a rucksack ✈ Great post guys! I really loved Hozier Lane in Melbourne, and I love Melbourne in general. I missed out on Balat in Istanbul though, that looks beautiful. I’ve celebrated the Holi festival in London, but I’d love to get to the one in India one day. I’ll be heading to Copenhagen, next week – so look out for some colourful photos from me. http://www.theglobewanderers.com TheGlobeWanderers Thanks Abbi! I loved Melbourne also, so fantastically quirky. Think I may have to pull together a post about the ultimate quirky Melbourne bar crawl – it really was great. Did you do one? All those tiny places hidden down graffiti covered alleyways. LOVE. Holi festival in India is one of the top things I’m desperate to do, the atmosphere must just be brilliant. Excited to see your photos from Copenhagen – I’ll stay tuned :). Gabby http://www.theglobewanderers.com TheGlobeWanderers Hi Lisa, thanks so much for stopping by! They’re just so colourful aren’t they :). Our wonderful world could brighten up any miserable day I reckon. Happy Tuesday! 😉 Gabby Karla Ramos Just 5 out of 22. I still need to see a lot. Been wanting to do the Northern lights hopefully I get to do it 🙂 http://www.theglobewanderers.com TheGlobeWanderers Ooo you’re doing well! A lot of colour in your life! 🙂 The Northern Lights is so high up on my ‘to-see’ list… fingers crossed we’ll both make it before long! Thanks for the comment. http://chocolatour.net/ Doreen Pendgracs Such a lovely post! I, too, remember a place by its colonies. Thx for sharing all the great pics. http://www.theglobewanderers.com TheGlobeWanderers Thanks Doreen – so pleased you enjoyed it :). Thanks for stopping by! Gabby Chris Nash Great list, which indeed ticks all the boxes in the colour bracket! A few others that immediately spring to mind if you want a few more to check out are: Plitvice Lakes in Croatia, Valparaiso in Chile, Cartagena in Colombia or the Quebrada de Humahuaca in Argentina 😉 http://www.theglobewanderers.com TheGlobeWanderers Thanks Chris! Ah yes, Plitvice Lakes is somewhere I’d absolutely love to visit – so beautiful. Those other suggestions are wonderfully colourful also, thanks for stopping by and adding to the inspiration :). Gabby Kelly Oh my! This is amazing! I love to travel and this is a wonderful list. Thank you for sharing it today. I enjoyed every bit of it! http://www.theglobewanderers.com TheGlobeWanderers Aw thanks Kelly – I’m so pleased you enjoyed it. It was a particularly dreary day when I started writing it… thought I’d try and brighten it up! 🙂 Thanks for the lovely comment. Gabby Kimberly Erin The Holi fest In India is on my life long bucketlist, it looks just so amazing! I also saw the northern lights this year as well, and that was a dream come true, so beautiful, I felt beyond lucky. I actually really enjoyed this read thanks so much 🙂 http://www.theglobewanderers.com TheGlobeWanderers I haven’t made it to the Northern Lights yet… so desperate to see them! Was it as incredible as you hoped?? Did you get any photos? Really pleased you enjoyed the post Kimberley. Thanks so much for stopping by! Gabby Natalie Tanner OH, my goodness this has to be one of my favorite posts of ALL time! The colors are amazing. What a fun topic! http://www.theglobewanderers.com TheGlobeWanderers Wow Natalie that’s such an amazing compliment thank you so much :). Really pleased you enjoyed it. Just hoped it would brighten up some days! Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving such a lovely comment. You’ve added a splash of colour to my evening :). Gabby http://www.becauseimcheap.com Jenn @ BecauseImCheap.com Great post! I loved it. Thanks for scratching my itchy feet 😉 Can’t wait to go traveling again. http://www.theglobewanderers.com TheGlobeWanderers You’re so welcome Jenn. Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment. Hope you get off on your travels again soon! 🙂 Gabby http://momwithfive.com momwithfiveblog Oh, you made my day! It was raining all day in Hungary but these photos made me happy. Thanks for sharing. Our planet is full of wonderful places. http://www.theglobewanderers.com TheGlobeWanderers Oh I’m so pleased, that is the effect I hoped it would have! It was so miserable here in England when I wrote it, I needed to remind myself of the beauty and colour that’s out there. So pleased you enjoyed it :). Thanks for the lovely comment. Gabby http://thenuevalatina.com/ Anali Martinez I LOVED this! I really want to kickoff my traveling this coming year and finally go overseas. I want to travel as much as I can before I start a family. The most colorful place I have been too was Guanajuato, Mexico. It was so beautiful. Circasia, Quindio, Colombia was also very colorful and I had a great time there. So much travel inspo here! Thanks for sharing! http://www.theglobewanderers.com TheGlobeWanderers Thank you Anali!! This is absolutely the same way we feel. We’re so excited to start a family but there’s SO much of the world we want to see before we do so. There’s too many beautiful places out there, I don’t want to miss out! Oooo those are very good additions to the list. So stunning!! Thanks so much for taking the time to comment :). Gabby Chelsea amazing post! I loved seeing Hozier lane- just breath taking! http://www.theglobewanderers.com TheGlobeWanderers Thanks Chelsea! It’s great isn’t it… so much incredible artwork. Pleased you enjoyed the post! 🙂 Gabby http://pintsizepilot.com Tara Wilson Cannon I had never heard of Danxia. How absolutely stunning ! It is going to have to go on my travel list ! 🙂 http://www.theglobewanderers.com TheGlobeWanderers It’s incredible isn’t it! The power of nature is such a wonderful thing. Hope you make it there before too long, we hope to do so too :). Thanks so much for the lovely comment. Gabby Justine Jobelle M. Kimoden sigh. all of these will be added to my bucket list! Sharing your post! http://www.theglobewanderers.com TheGlobeWanderers Thanks so much Justine :). Sorry if I’ve increased your bucket list. (I lied… not sorry at all 😉 – Happy travels! Gabby http://www.compassandfork.com elizabeth Good post, some great places. Some of my most colourful- Valparaiso (Chile), Flores, Guatemala, and Istanbul in April for the Tulips festival (Yes, it rivals Holland). http://www.theglobewanderers.com TheGlobeWanderers Hi Elizabeth, really pleased you liked the post. Thanks for the suggestions! Such beautiful places!! Definitely more than worthy of a place on the list :). Thank you for adding to the inspiration :). Happy travels! Gabby http://www.theglobewanderers.com TheGlobeWanderers Thank you so so much Nika! Really pleased you enjoyed the post :). We’d be SO honoured if you’d like to feature us on your Facebook page.. thank you so much. We’ll look out for it! Shamefully enough, we haven’t been to too many of them yet. It was kind of like a bucket list post really. We’ve done the great barrier reef, Hosier lane, Chefchaouen, Greece, Neal’s Yard so far… we’ll see the rest before too long! It’s my mission :). How about you? Thank you again for the lovely message and for offering to share the post. Excited to see it live. Happy weekend! Gabby http://www.theglobewanderers.com TheGlobeWanderers Thanks Janna 🙂 http://www.psimonmyway.com Trisha Velarmino Holi Festival pics never get old! Gabrielle, with all honesty, this is a very well crafted, very well thought of post! Totally original. Xx http://www.theglobewanderers.com TheGlobeWanderers Thanks so much Trisha! I’ve been a fan of your blog for a while now, so that’s a huge compliment coming from you :). Really pleased you enjoyed it. Thanks for stopping by! Gabby DeafWanderlust You had me at color! I love anything colorful in general, including arts 🙂 I haven’t visited any of these places yet! I also haven’t seen anything vibrant sight yet but hoping will see that one day 🙂 http://www.theglobewanderers.com TheGlobeWanderers Ahh I totally agree with you. A splash of colour can work wonders :). Really pleased I could add to your ‘to-visit’ list! Thanks so much for stopping by! Happy travels! 🙂 Gabby http://www.thecommonwanderer.com The Common Wanderer I don’t think you could make it to the end of this and not be in a brilliant mood! such a happy, colourful post. Also very happy to see Hosier Lane mentioned (our hometown!); the laneways around there just ooze cool and creativity. Definitely adding some more spots to our bucketlist after this!