The world is filled with bright, vibrant and eye-catching destinations that can make any trip a colorful experience, both literally and figuratively. With that in mind, Lonely Planet is proud to celebrate them in a brand new book called Travel by Color, the first and only travel guide by color palette, which features 400 stunning photographs of amazing destinations and events across all different shades. From the deep reds of Tambopata National Reserve’s scarlet macaws to the verdant greens of the Peak District’s Rolling Hills, the book charts rich and diverse places to make any traveller feel alive. Here’s a selection that will allow you to travel through every color of the rainbow.
An iconic symbol of Russia built by order of Ivan the Terrible, St Basil's Cathedral stands proudly at the southern end of Moscow's imposing Red Square. Constructed from 1555 to 1561, the building's idiosyncratic colorful domes sit atop amber-red towers. It's a rich, colorful display, and elsewhere, the square truly lives up to its name, with the dominating color of red showing up in the fortress-like structure of Lenin's Mausoleum, Kazan Cathedral, the State Historical Museum and The Tsar's Tower. Red Square is often closed for celebrations and rehearsals, something to note if planning a visit there.
Orange: New England, USA
The destination for autumn leaf-peepers, New England's fall foliage is a vibrant display of nature at its most breath-taking. Scarlet and sugar maples, birch, beech, dogwood and oak all contribute to the parade of captivating colors, and for outdoor enthusiasts, it’s the perfect place to visit. Top spots include Smugglers Notch in Vermont, and Crawford Notch in New Hampshire, protected forest areas where glaciers came through during the last ice age, providing spectacular viewing.
Yellow: Lisbon, Portugal
Lisbon’s yellow funiculars are a pleasurable and practical way to explore different areas of the picturesque city, and they sure beat walking up all those steps. Connecting Restauradores Square downtown with Rua San Pedro de Alcántara in Bairro Alto, the Glória Funicular (or Elevador da Glória) is the most popular of the city’s three funiculars, and offers astounding views of the surrounding area. As well as what they offer, the vehicles’ distinct, vintage look with their bright yellow exteriors have become iconic.
Green: Kamakura, Japan
Much more than a day trip from Tokyo, Kamakura is a laid-back, seaside town that offers tranquillity and peace of mind. Hokokuji Temple boasts a lush forest of 2000 moso bamboo that lie just behind the temple’s main hall, which houses an impressive Buddha beyond the Zen temple gate. Kyoto’s Arashiyama grove is equally enchanting, as is the Sagano Scenic Railway route to it – also known as the Sagano Romantic Train.
Blue: Blue Lagoon, Iceland
Iceland’s Blue Lagoon is a geothermal spa with warming water that is supplied by the nearby Svartsengi power station. While popular with tourists, it is an essential stop when visiting the country, and soaking in the hot nurturing water contrasted with the crisp, fresh air in winter is a truly calming experience. With a combination of 70% sea water and 30% fresh water, the Blue Lagoon is a perfect 38°C and includes natural mineral salts, rich blue-green algae and silica mud. You may even be lucky enough to catch a light show in the sky while there.
Indigo: The Sahara
Along with camels and water, clothing is an essential detail for the Tuareg people when crossing the Sahara, and over time indigo blue has emerged as a popular choice for tagelmust turbans and veils. Protecting wearers from wind, sun and sands, the headwear is exclusive to Tuareg males on reaching maturity. There are many ways for visitors to immerse themselves in experiences across the Sahara, with each one proving to be a rewarding and unique experience in its own right.
Violet: Provence, France
It’s no wonder photographers flock to Provence and the Côte d'Azur every summer to capture the stunning fragrant fields of purple and violet lavender that the area has become famous for. One of the best places is along the D8 road in the direction of Plateau de Valensole, where you can see lavender fields and sunflowers right next to each other. The flowers are also found in numerous places in Drôme, such as Saou et Montbrun-les-Bains as well as in front of the famous Abbey of Sénanque. As well as that there’s ancient olive groves, clifftop roads and even snow-capped mountains.
One of the world's most vibrant and powerful displays of color, the hindu festival of Holi is a celebration of spring and love beautifully expressed with tonnes of color each year throughout India, Nepal and, increasingly, parts of Southeast Asia too. If you want to take part, be prepared to be covered head to toe with colored paint, be it in powder or liquid form – the latter usually delivered via water guns and balloons.