The most colorful places on earth show us how breathtaking the world really is. From pink sand beaches in Greece to the colorful houses of Cinque Terre in Italy, these destinations are sure to add excitement to any and every vacation. You may be more attentive to color when we visit somewhere new. Here, some of the most beautiful colorful places in the world, all guaranteed to brighten up a dreary winter day.
Antelope Canyon, Arizona
Due to flash flooding and erosion, walking through Antelope Canyon can only be described as breathtaking. Depending on the season you choose to visit, you might see anything from shades of blue and purple to hues of red and gold as you walk between the sandstone walls. One of the best slot canyons in the USA, it can only be reached on a guided tour.
Northern Lights, Manitoba
When charged particles from the sun collide with atoms in the earth’s atmosphere, countless bursts of light occur, creating the aurora borealis. In layman’s terms? Colorful lights dance across the sky, creating nature’s best show. This phenomenon can be seen in high-latitude regions nearest the Arctic and Antarctica, in an array of colors from soft yellow to vibrant green to deep purple. Alaska, Greenland, Finland, Norway, and Canada are some of the best colorful places to catch the aurora.
Annual Umbrella Installation, Agueda, Portugal
Providing shade from the summer heat and brightening the day for everyone who passes by, the Annual Umbrella Installation has become something everyone looks forward to. There’s even an annual festival where visitors can enjoy concerts and art exhibits under the colorful umbrellas as they seemingly float in mid-air.
Old San Juan, Puerto Rico
The colorful city of Old San Juan is an Instagram darling, thanks to a harmonious blend of cobblestone streets, Spanish colonial architecture dating back to the 1500s, and vivid, Caribbean-inspired paint jobs. Despite Hurricane Maria’s destruction of much of the island in September 2017, this historic district was one of the first regions to bounce back. Now, less than two years later, you’d be hard-pressed to find evidence of the hurricane, and Old San Juan remains Puerto Rico’s most popular destination.
While not easy to get to, this 15th-century fortress town in the Rif Mountains, about two hours south of Tangier, remains a popular draw for tourists. All of the buildings in and out of its medina are painted a dreamy sky blue—and sometimes, even the streets and the steps of the winding old town are as blue as the walls around them. Why blue? When Jewish refugees from Spain moved here in the 1930s, they brought with them their custom of coloring things blue to reflect the divine.
Caño Cristales, Colombia
Boasting different tones of red, yellow, green, blue, and black, the dramatic colors in this river have led to it being nicknamed “Liquid Rainbow” and the “River of Five Colors.” The colors are produced during the reproductive process of the aquatic plants in the river, a species of the river weed family Podostemaceae. To make sure you see the river at its best, plan your visit between the end of July and the beginning of December.
Las Salinas de Torrevieja, Spain
The world is full of otherworldly bodies of water, from the green lakes of New Zealand to the technicolor hot springs of Yellowstone National Park. But the saltwater lake in Torrevieja Spain is easily one of the most delightful colorful places with a mixture of bacteria and algae giving the water a bubble-gum pink hue. And the lake isn’t just for admiring from a distance—in fact, the water’s high concentration of salt makes it a perfect place to float (you can even use the underlying mud as a makeshift spa treatment).
Jaipur may be nicknamed the “Pink City” for its painted buildings, but we’d place this is strictly terracotta territory on the color wheel. The city’s maharaja, Sawai Ram Singh II, ordered the buildings be painted an orangey-pink color in 1876 for a royal visit from Prince Albert and Queen Victoria; many buildings in the city’s old town remain painted this color today.
Lavender Fields, Provence, France
Put Provence on your calendar for July so you can enjoy the sight and smell of lavender blooming all around you. Make sure you ask around about the lavender festivals, as there are many great ones in the area with food, music, art, and locally-produced lavender. The seemingly endless stretches of lavender make Provence one of the prettiest, best-smelling, and colorful places in France.
Winter Palace, St. Petersburg, Russia
Historically speaking, St. Petersburg is a colorful city—it was the country’s capital for more than 200 years, after all—and even its buildings follow suit. Until the October Revolution of 1917, the highly ornamented, uber-Baroque Winter Palace, with its multi-story colonnade and aqueous teal facade served as an official residence of the imperial family.
Located about an hour east of Mérida, Izamal is known for its sunny, mustard yellow buildings. Nearly every building along the town’s cobblestone streets is a varying shade of yellow, from homes to the central market. There are also plenty of Mayan ruins, including the climbable Kinich Kakmó Pyramid, smack in the middle of town. This charming yellow town remains a place of significance and pilgrimage.
explore all seven continents to discover the most colorful places in the world, whether natural or man-made. Get lost in the sheer, unbridled beauty that still exists on this planet.