Like Joseph and his famous coat, we’re drawn to things that are outlandishly technicoloured. So now that the world’s totally caught up on the colour blocking craze, it’s only right that we bring you this incredible array of kaleidoscopic locations from the most outrageously dressed places on earth.

Zhangye Danxia Landform Geological Park

Gansu Province, China

Formed over 24 million years, the rainbow effect in this otherworldly park’s rock formations consist of layers upon layers of mineral deposits and red sandstone…if you want to get all scientific about it. Otherwise, consider it a magical plain possibly filled with mythical creatures.

Hitsujiyama Park

Chichibu, Japan

From mid-April to early May, the hillsides of Hitsujiyama Park are transformed into a candyfloss-coloured carpet thanks to the 400,000 pink moss flowers that open to bask in the spring sunshine. Photographers flock to the site to capture the bubblegum blossoms against craggy backdrop of Mt Buko, as well as sniff the sweet air that the park’s 1000 cherry trees produces.

Caño Cristales

Meta, Colombia

Dubbed a ‘Liquid Rainbow’ for a few weeks each year, this radiant river in Colombia is transformed into a shimmering riot of colour  by a combination of aquatic plants and a particularly excitable form of algae that lives on its bed. The waterfalls and deep pools attract swimmers from all over the world, keen to take a dip in the beautiful waters.

Holi Festival of Colours

Uttar Pradesh, India (and beyond)

Every March, the day after the full moon, India celebrates Holi – part Hindu religious festival, part surrealistic painter’s dream – marking that age old triumph of good over evil. One of the most popular elements of the festivities sees people lining the streets with bucket loads of multicoloured paint powders and water, before jubilantly throwing them over anything and everything. Though it may sound like a street cleaners idea of hell, it is quickly being adopted by artistic types across the world, with Holi-inspired events taking place from Sunderland to New Mexico.

Lake Retba

Cap Vert Peninsula, Senegal, Africa

Though this body of water (also known as ‘Lac Rose’) may look like someone spilled a lorry load of pepto-bismol into it, its pinkish hue is actually the result of a red-tinged algae, the kind of which is usually present in places where there is a high concentration of salt. The resourceful local villagers have built up an industry by harvesting this precious mineral from the lake,  but have to cover their skin in shea butter for protection from too much exfoliation. Salt levels here can be higher than those in the Dead Sea in the dry season, so its probably best avoided by those with high blood pressure.

The Tulip Route

Flevoland – Noordoostpolder, Holland

 Every spring, much of Holland’s farmland is turned into a rainbow patchwork of bold colours as the bulbs in the tulip farms begin to bloom. Visit in mid-April to see the fields at their very best. Beats a last minute £5 bunch from a petrol station forecourt any day.

North Bay Beach

Scarborough, North Yorkshire, UK

A psychedelic spectrum of beach huts line the promenade of this popular coastal town in north-east England. Rented out to holiday makers, the huts offer stunning ocean views and a place to shelter with your ice cream if the British weather proves characteristically unpredictable.

Five Flower Lake

Jiuzhaigou Valley National Park, Sichuan, China

The colours around this crystal clear lake change with the seasons, meaning its an absolute delight to behold no matter what time of year you choose to visit. Reds and oranges surround the shores in Autumn as the leaves fall from the trees and Spring sees almost every shade of green imaginable reflected on the shimmering surface of the water.

Ruby Falls

Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA

Artificial lighting adds the colour to this stunning underground waterfall, but it’s no less impressive because of this more ‘man-made’ element. The 145 foot drop is illuminated by an LED light show display, with the dancing droplets perfectly synchronising with the surroundings, showing off the natural wonder at its very best.

The Grand Prismatic Spring

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA

 The kaleidoscope of colours in America’s largest hot spring is caused by an unlikely source: bacteria. The pigment of the bacteria changes with the seasons – red and orange in the summer and green in winter – but the centre stays a brilliant blue all year round. Though the water’s pure, yet mineral rich contents may seem appealing to those who want to keep their body’s beautiful, the fact that the spring was once referred to as a ‘boiling lake’ may just sway bathers from dipping a toe (or anything else) in.

Wrocław

Lower Silesian, Poland 

 The streets of Wrocław, particularly those around the marvellous market square, are filled with vibrant, colourful buildings thanks to the many and varying influences on the town throughout the centuries. The mix of styles and shades come as a result of the diverse cultures, religions and architectural leanings of different settlers in the area, all of which make this amazing place a must-see on any Polish excursion.

North Conway

New Hampshire, USA

Every autumn, New Hampshire’s trees transform from a myriad of lush green to a dazzling mix of the brightest red, yellow and orange foliage. Extensive woodlands fill the landscape with colours as far as the eye can see.

Champagne Pool

Wai-O-Tapu, North Island, New Zealand

Formed a mere 900 years ago, this hot spring is a bubbling pool of mixed gases and minerals. The bubbles are caused by carbon dioxide, just like you’d find in champagne, though the surreal colours are caused by a chemical process involving the decay of arsenic. So, while it may sound tempting to have a sip, please be warned that the Champagne pool is a treat for the eyes only.

Águeda

Centro, Portugal

The annual Ágitagueda art festival in July sees hundreds of umbrellas hung above the sunny streets of Águeda. Left in place until September, the bright umbrellas bring welcome shade from the heat of the day and attract tourists from all over the world who come to photograph this fabulous art installation.

Cranberry Bogs

Cape Cod, Southern Massachusetts, USA

Sweeping seas of ruby red berries fill Massachusetts’ cranberry bogs during late autumn each year, studding the landscape with stunning crimson pools. The abundant crops inspire harvest festivals aplenty and countless new recipes are created by old timers and new, as visitors wade up to their waists in water to help pick the season’s new produce.

IMAGE CREDITS

Feature – Rainbow by Steve Snodgrass

Zhangye – Eric Pheterson / Hitsujiyama – Tanaka Juuyoh / Caño Cristales – Marion Carvajal / Holi – Steven Gerner

Lake Retba – Selden Vestrit / Flevoland – Roman Boad / North Bay – Pimlico Badger / Five Flower Lake – Christopher 

Ruby Falls – Matthew Macpherson / Grand Prismatic Spring – James St. John / Wrocław – Craig Wyzic / North Conway – Mike Baird

Champagne Pool – macronix / Águeda – Kieran Clarke / Cranberry Farm – MassTravel