Yearning to start travelling again and cross some dream destinations off your bucket list? You’re not alone. That’s what prompted CAA Travel to assemble a list of must-see places to visit. The veritable rainbow of travel destinations below will have you dreaming in technicolour – quite literally!
Australia: Rev up the red while exploring a destination that rocks.
Explore a sacred place thought to have formed more than 550 million years ago. Located in Central Australia, Uluru – better known as Ayers Rock – and the 36 towering domes of Kata Tjuta are a part of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, now a part of the UNESCO World Heritage List. This is where you can follow the tracks of ancient ancestors on a camel’s back, marvel at the brilliant reds of the desert landscape, wander among awe-inspiring rock formations and breathtaking crevices, turn a corner and discover an ancient rock art painting. This world down under is truly above and beyond what you might imagine.
Holland: Tiptoe through the orange (or any other colour!) tulips.While Holland may conjure up images of windmills and wooden shoes, there’s so much more to the Netherlands: every spring this region is transformed into the world’s most spectacular tulip show. You can rent a bike and cycle along Holland’s longest “tulip route” in Noordoostpolder, where over 100 km gives way to nearly 2,500 acres of postcard-worthy tulip fields. Prefer swimming? Explore the stunning flower fields along the coast of The Hague where you’ll also find the beach, smart hotels, museums and tony shopping. If you’re a cheese lover, Alkmaar is not to be missed for its impressive tulip show, upscale shopping, dining, museums and yes, cheese.
Thailand: Get mellow in the yellow sunflower fields.From floating lanterns to turtle releases to hot air balloon and butterfly watching festivals, there is no shortage of enchanting reasons to put Thailand on your bucket list. Another reason to visit: the rolling hills of vibrant sunflowers that bloom chest-high in Nakhon Ratchasima between November and January. While the sunflowers are harvested for sunflower oil, the flowers in these fields make for stunning photo ops and an unforgettable adventure. Best of all, getting there can be half the fun. Journey there by train from Bangkok and marvel at the paddy fields and picturesque villages in the Thai countryside along the way.
Ireland: Be seen exploring the green scene.Ireland’s top tourist attraction awaits, in brilliant shades of green. Dating back over 350,000 million years, the breathtaking wild limestone Cliffs of Moher stretch more than 8 km, towering 213 metres above the majestic waters of the Atlantic. Hike the coastal walk on your own or join a ranger-led tour; discover brilliant wildflowers, nearly 20 species of seabirds, perhaps even a stray sheep or two. It’s not hard to see why these dramatic cliffs were used as a backdrop for movies including Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Princess Bride and Into the West. Make the emerald isle the backdrop for your own personal travelogue!
St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands: Dream in hues of blue at Trunk Bay.Little wonder this beach is one of the most photographed in St. John! If the pristine white sand doesn’t make you swoon, then the warm, crystal-clear aquamarine water will. Deemed the smallest of the U.S. Virgin Islands, St John is a snorkeller's paradise – it’s even perfect for beginners. Rent flippers, snorkel and mask and follow the 205 metre-long self-guided Underwater Trail teeming with coral reefs and colourful sea life. And if you think the turquoise water is spectacular, wait until you witness a sunset in this tropical paradise!
Provence: Power up the purple.While there are lavender fields outside of France – one worthy of mention is just an hour away from Toronto in fact – there is nothing quite like visiting the lavender fields of Provence. To witness carpets of fragrant dusky purple flowers that stretch on seemingly forever, head north of Aix-en-Provence and Marseille or head east of Avignon between mid- June and early July. While you’re there, stay in a castle, explore quaint little towns, attend one of the region’s many lavender festivals, sample the offerings of one of the area’s many vineyards and feast on incomparable French cuisine. Magnifique!
Lunenburg, Nova Scotia: Discover a rainbow of colours.
Old town Lunenburg is a veritable feast for the eyes, thanks to the vibrantly coloured 18th and 19th century buildings lining its famed waterfront. There are so many reasons to visit this mesmerizing UNESCO World Heritage site: the bustling town is home to fabulous restaurants serving local fresh fare, charming craft breweries, boutiques featuring the creations of local artists, not-to-be-missed museums, and quaint one-of-a-kind boutiques. Explore the town by foot led by an 8th generation Lunenburger, or by water on a boat tour. Whatever you do, don’t forget your camera!
Maui: Bring on the black (sand, that is).Ready for a beach of a completely different kind? Say “aloha“ to Waianapanapa Beach on the island of Maui! Located just off the Hana Highway – which is an unforgettable, must-do adventure all its own – Waianapanapa Beach is famous for its brilliant black sand made from lava that once flowed from Haleakela. This private cove is nestled in the Waianapanapa State Park, home to more than 400,000 enchanting metres of natural stone arches, sea stacks, ancient hidden lava caves, small fresh and saltwater pools, mesmerizing blowholes and breathtaking vistas. This beach even comes with its own legend: they say that a Hawaiian princess fled here to escape her cruel king along with her servant. Once discovered, the king had them both killed. Every spring since, the waters seemed to flow red for the bloodshed. (In actual fact, the colour is caused by tiny red shrimp feeding in the shallows). But how many other beaches do you know that come with such a mysterious legend?
While we’ve highlighted many of the world’s most colourful places, there remain so many more to explore: the crayon coloured homes on the tiny island of Burano, the white-washed buildings hugging the cliff face in Santorini, the mint green waters surrounding Bora Bora, the list goes on. Ready to explore? Speak to a CAA Travel Consultant to help you plan and book your trip.