The days of popping into your local travel agents and booking your next holiday are well and truly over. Physically going into a high street shop? In PERSON?! Don’t be utterly ridiculous. These days if we’re not scouring Skyscanner for flights, we’re srolling through our Instagram feeds and simply booking tickets to the most eye-catching destination we can see. We’ve had a little look through our own feeds and chosen eight of the most dazzlingly colourful worldwide destinations that need to be bumped right to the top of your bucket list.
Now, before you say anything, there are LOTS of colourful corners of the world and yes, we are bound to have missed one or two of your favourites. Forgive us, sometimes there’s simply not enough space to accommodate all the world’s colour. Sigh.
Riomaggiore, La Spezia, Northern Italy
You’ve probably heard of the Cinque Terre, the five Italian fishing villages nestled in a small valley in the Liguria region that tourists often hike through one at a time. The first one they reach is Riomaggiore. And it’s absolutely breathtaking.
Oterleek, North Holland
Oterleek is a small, not particularly remarkable village in North Holland. Unremarkable except for ONE thing. Tulips. Tulips in vivid crimsons, reds and sunshine yellows. With a tiny population of around 420, you won’t have to battle any crowds to see the local sights.
Bo-Kaap, Cape Town, South Africa
Bo-Kaap (formerly known as the Malay Quarter) is part of Cape Town’s glorious garden route. With a rich and multicultural history, the district is rooted in Malaysian, African, Indian and Sri Lankan culture, largely a result of the descendants of the slaves who were brought over by Dutch imperialists in the 16th and 17th centuries. We HIGHLY recommend a walking tour.
Manarola, La Spezia, Northern Italy
OK. So this is cheating. Manarola is the second smallest of the famous Cinque Terre towns and just ten minutes’ drive away from the aforementioned Riomaggiore. If it feels like we’re repeating ourselves, then you’ve got a fair point but LOOK at those colours. Dreamy, no? While you’re in town, check out the Cinque Terre Gelateria & Creperia for the best damn galato you’ll ever taste.
Portmeirion, North Wales
There are few places in this world quite like Portmeirion. An adorable Italian town on the coast of North Wales, it was designed and built by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis between 1925 and 1975 after a friend bet him that he could not ‘bring Italy to Wales’. It’s an utterly charming nook with tea shops, bags of character and even an annual The Prisoner convention (a TV show from the sixties that was filmed here). They call it ‘PortmeiriCon’.
Notting Hill, West London, England
Ever since Hugh Grant ushered Julia Roberts through his famous blue front door in Notting Hill, the corner of London with the same name has been synonymous with London quirk and colour. Lancaster Road (pictured) is no exception.
City of lights, Paris isn’t often particularly associated with riotous colour. But at number 2 Rue de l’Abreuvoir in Montmartre sits La Maison Rose, the cutest restaurant you will ever clap eyes on. We’ve never seen a prettier pink.
Mexico City, Mexico (specifically, Frida’s House)
Behind the startling azure walls of this famous little blue house in Mexico City lies a fascinating legacy: a homage to the life of artist and icon Frida Kahlo. A passage of perfectly-preserved rooms (including her bedroom, her kitchen, her studio), a gallery of her work and even a little museum exhibiting some of her signature Tehuana skirts and bodice-braces. It’s really something. And that blue is incredible.
Banner image: Cinque Terre, Italy