DELHI: With the colourful lHoli festival spreading cheer and spring in full swing, its not that you need an excuse to visit these gorgeous destinations. Here is a list that Skyscanner has compiled for the most colourful cities around the world guaranteed to brighten up Holi this year.
Mauritius – Gold
Mauritius is synonymous with long, luxurious holidays on its beautiful powder white beaches with sparkling turquoise waters. If you manage to move yourself away from that comfy lounger under the golden sun, there are plenty of things to do in paradise island. Shop duty free in Port Louis, introduce yourself to giant Amazon lilies at its beautiful botanic gardens, visit Creole mansions for a trip back into the colonial history of Mauritius, walk through rolling tea plantations and dig into sumptuous street food which is a blend of all the cultures that make this colourful island. Also plan a trip to Chamarel – a village in the south, to explore the multi-hued geological phenomenon known as ‘The Coloured Earth.’ And if you still need a push to head to Mauritius, here’s the final nudge: Indians do not need a visa to visit Mauritius for up to 90 days. How is that for a ‘golden’ opportunity!
Dubai – Yellow
All reference to size is taken quite seriously in Dubai, where you will come across the largest, the tallest and the biggest of every possible structure. So once you are adequately wowed by all things huge, proceed to another Dubai specialty, the shiny malls. You can also enjoy some great views from the observation deck on the 148th floor of the Burj Khalifa, there is lots of fun and games at the Wild Wadi Water Park and some wildlife time at the Dubai Dolphinarium. And when you think you can head to the beach to rest your eyes from all the glitz, remember that the sun and sand in Dubai are a lovely shade of yellow too. While you need a visa to visit Dubai, getting one is fairly simple and takes only 3-4 working days
Toronto – Blue
With nearly 200 ethnicities and about 150 spoken languages making up multicultural Toronto, it is very easily a top contender for the most colourful city title. Essential Toronto is to be experienced under the blue sky of the summer months – locals harvest as much of the sunshine as is physically possible by invading every outdoor space – be it a bar, a pub or a restaurant; alfresco dining is how Toronto rolls. Join the sun soaking lot on pretty sidewalks as you head to top attractions. For starters, the CN Tower with high altitude thrills, a revolving restaurant as well as a light show at night! Also make time for a visit to the Casa Loma – a museum and another Toronto landmark; the mecca of ice hockey at the Hockey Hall of Fame; or just take a break from the city and head to the Toronto Islands, where the clear blue skies meet the sparkling sapphire of Lake Ontario.
Tokyo – Pink
Walk into Tokyo and then flow with it. That is the only way to experience this busy jigsaw of a city teeming with people. Choose to explore Tokyo in April, when the cherry blossom season is in full swing. Set aside the crazy side of Tokyo – with its gadgets, cute mascots, trendy fast fashion and everything ultra modern- and head to its serene gardens where the pink of the cherry blossom rules for about two weeks every year. The Zen gardens with their still ponds and tree lined paths redefine the colour pink for a Tokyo first timer. You will need to apply for a visa to experience this colourful springtime wonder, but it takes just 3 days to process one.
Bunol – Red
Visit Bunol in August for the La Tomatina festival – one of the largest street parties in the world and probably the only one that involves tomatoes! It is also what has made Bunol a tourist hot spot. If you get the time from taking the all-pervasive red tomato slush off yourself, go to the centre of the town to see the landmark castle-fortress Castillo de Bunol. You will need to apply for a Schengen visa if you are thinking of being a part of this messy red party.
Dublin – Green
Start getting to know Dublin with beers from the rooftop bar at the Guinness Storehouse. Proceed to Kilmainham Gaol for Ireland’s story. Then there is the Dublin Castle, St. Patrick’s Cathedral and Croke Park to be explored. But come March 17th, the city will turn into all shades of green for the annual St. Patrick’s day celebrations. Everything from the parade to the people and buildings are dressed up in green for many days of continuous partying.
Amsterdam – Orange
Do the art and history circuit of Amsterdam, along with of course, its beer trail. Visit the Rijksmuseum, the Anne Frank House and the Rembrandt House Museum for a taste of the city’s rich history. Go also to the Royal Palace of Amsterdam. Get the Heineken Experience by visiting the former brewery complete with a tasting. And when a soccer match is on- see the city turn into a bright shade of orange. The ‘Orange’ fan appears in large numbers and takes over all available space as a display of support. Orange coloured streamers give them company. You will need to apply for a Schengen visa to visit this beer and soccer heaven.
Paris – Red, Blue and White
Museums, churches, more churches and even more museums – Paris is a culture junkie’s dream. If you want a break from The Louvre, Notre Dame de Paris, The Basilica of the Sacred Heart, Montmartre and the Musee d’Orsay, there is always the Eiffel Tower and Disneyland Paris too. It is after all this that your romance with the city will begin – once you step into the backstreets for an exploration, or after you have sat on a bench on Champs Elysees – just to watch the world go by. That is when you will be completely wrapped up in the red, blue and white colours that make Paris. Apply for a Schengen visa to cross Paris off your bucket list.
Santorini – Blue and White
A Santorini holiday may be summed up as wine, views and sunsets. You can really take advantage of your location by hiking from Fira to Oia – to better the best views ever! Once you’ve been left speechless by enormity and magnificence of the it all, there are the beaches, the pretty countryside to explore, some outdoor cinema, lots of swimming in hot springs and volcano boat tours too. A quintessential Santorini experience is a quiet outdoor meal – look into the distance as the blue rooftops merge with the sparkling azure of the Aegean.
Musafir Namah Bureau