10 Most Colourful Places To Visit Around The World
Colour has an effect on us psychologically, they tend to leave a mark in our minds. This article covers the likes of psychedelic deserts of Ethiopia to China’s rainbow-hued mountains, the world is FULL of colourful wonders waiting to be explored.
Put any and all of these 10 most colourful places to visit around the world, on your travel list for the year of 2020:
Rich in culture, character, relaxation and rebellion, Cuba’s capital city of Havana is a riot of colour and surprises. Past and present mix seamlessly here with pastel-shaded colonial buildings, Brooklyn-cool bars and vintage cars lining the shadowy streets. Creaky front doors are left open, old men play chess on the sidewalk, jazz rocks from every corner. There’s glitz and glamour too with Old Havana, built around five spectacular plazas and boasting an array of museums, galleries and restaurants — and the best mojitos on earth. Tourism in Cuba has mushroomed in the last couple of years, so get here soon before it becomes unrecognisable.
Nestled in the imposing Rif Mountains, ‘The Blue Pearl’ of Chefchaouen is a striking contrast to its arid setting. A picture-postcard perfect collection of blue and white buildings, the city dates back to the 15th century when Jewish refugees fleeing the Spanish Inquisition settled in large numbers, bringing with them their tradition of painting things blue to mirror the sky and remind them of God.
They did a good job covering every inch of the city in this distinctive palette: houses, mosques, government buildings, public squares, lampposts — even the flowerpots. Colour aside, there’s also a buzzing culinary scene, medina streets lined with handmade wares and an ancient fortress to explore.
Cinque Terre, Italy
Clinging to steeply terraced cliffs on the Italian Riviera, the pretty fishing villages that make up Cinque Terre are pastel-painted perfection, dating back to the early medieval period. Swim in the pristine waters, wander through olive groves, while away the hours at a harbour-side cafe or hike the network of coastal trails.
Laguna Colorada, Bolivia
Surrounded by rolling mountains and craggy rocky shores, the ‘Red Lagoon’ may be less than three feet deep but it still packs a punch as one of the world’s most colourful places. High up in the Andes mountains, close to the Chile border, this shallow salt lake, dotted with tiny islands of sodium, is tinted blood red thanks to the algae thriving in its mineral-rich water.
Further colour splashes come from the large number of resident flamingos, including some of the rarest flamingo species in the world. You can combine a trip here with an excursion to the world-famous nearby Salar de Uyuni.
Caño Cristales River, Colombia
Found in the mountain range of Serranía de la Macarena, this crystal clear ‘river of five colours’ is considered one of the oldest rivers in the world. Surrounded by a savannah-meets-jungle landscape, a subaquatic red plant — Macarenia clavigera — grows in the riverbed, resulting in a mesmerising mixture of black rocks, green algae, blue water and yellow sand.
Despite its unnatural appearance, you can safely splash around in the river, which features waterfalls, pools, and caverns. Go anytime from July to November when the river is at its most colourful.
Hitsujiyama Park, Japan
Japan is known for its cherry blossoms so visiting during cherry blossom season is an absolute must. Visit Hitsujiyama Park for the picturesque shibazakura which translates as ‘lawn cherry blossoms’.
From late April to early May, head to Shibazakura Hill in Hitsujiyama Park. With over 400,000 trees of nine different varieties, it’s a perfect patchwork of pink, red, white and violet, set against the backdrop of the gargantuan Mount Buko. For serious viewing pleasure, catch the Chichibu Shibazakura Festival in the park, where the petals are arranged in an extravaganza of shapes and swirls.
Kampung Pelangi, Indonesia
Dubbed the ‘Rainbow Village’, this formerly unassuming spot in southern Indonesia has been given an extreme makeover by the local council. The result? A bonanza of fun and colour, from dazzling striped walls and polka-dot panels to psychedelic heart murals and 3D sharks.
Zhangye Danxia Landform Geological Park, China
One of Mother Nature’s greatest masterpieces, this rocky landscape of Zhangye Danxia Landform Geological Park in the Gansu province is known for its otherworldly colours that mimic a rainbow painted over the tops of rolling mountains.
This striped technicolour effect is down to the erosion of red sandstone coupled with extreme desert conditions over the course of 24 million years. This caused the rock to dramatically striate into extraordinary shapes, sizes and colours of magenta, maroon, and lemon-hued stone. Catch the rainbow at its best from June to September during dawn or dusk.
Valley Of Flowers National Park, India
Sitting high in the West Himalayas, the Valley of Flowers National Park is a place of outstanding natural beauty. As well as floral pastures, running streams and the beautiful backdrop of snow-capped mountains, there are endless meadows of orchids, poppies, primulas, calendulas, daisies and anemones alongside alpine forests of birch and rhododendron.
The area is also home to rare and endangered wildlife, including the Asiatic black bear, a snow leopard, brown bear and blue sheep. The park is even immortalised in Hindu mythology; legend goes that the monkey god, Hanuman, collected the mythical herb Sanjeevani buti from this park to save Lakshmana.
Dallol is not only the hottest inhabited place on the planet, it’s also one of the most striking thanks to its incredible colours. A vast volcanic crater in the heart of the Danokil desert, the endless landscape is a psychedelic-coloured mix of acidic hot springs, mountains of sulphur, salt canyons and miniature geysers.
Called ‘The Gateway to Hell’ by locals, bubbling bright cyan lava lakes and neon yellow acid pools lie alongside pink-coloured formations rising from bright green gas. Pack your most charming smile (the Afar tribesman appreciate friendly visitors) and lightest clothing then hitch a lift on a camel caravan or — easier option — rent a 4WD vehicle from the nearby town of Mekele.
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