8 of the most charmingly colourful corners of the globe

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.

Photo credited to Loic Lagarde Photography / Instagram: @loic80l

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.

Photo credited to Loic Lagarde Photography / Instagram: @loic80l

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.

Photo credited to @Anthony_Ardouin

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. 

Photo credited to Loic Lagarde Photography / Instagram: @loic80l

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’.

Photo credit to @nigelpmartin

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.

Photo credited to A On The Road / Instagram: @a_ontheroad

Paris, France

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.

Photo credited to A On The Road / Instagram: @a_ontheroad

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.

Photo credit: @kathrynlucybellamy

Banner image: Cinque Terre, Italy

Kathryn Bellamy


Farmer’s daughter turned Londoner, writer and interiors lover Kathryn lives in Battersea with her boyfriend and chilli plants. When she’s not writing or re-decorating, she’s working on a series of children's books. At the weekends she regularly swaps London for Devon or Herefordshire.

The Chromologist 2019 | Farrow & Ball

The Chromologist