Colourful Destinations for a Change of Scenery | Magazine PONANT

Our selection of places boasting a unique array of colours

Shaped over centuries by geological and climate evolutions, these landscapes remain engraved in the memories of lucky visitors forever. From Réunion to South Africa via Italy, here are six destinations worth discovering for their unique and varied colours.

1.
Lose yourself in Réunion

Réunion Island is a volcanic gem in the midst of the Indian Ocean with a seemingly limitless array of landscapes and colours. To see for this for yourself, simply stroll along Plage de l’Étang-Salé, the largest black-sand beach on the island created by the natural disintegration of volcanic rock. Further west, Plage de l’Ermitage provides a completely different spectacle: white sand, turquoise waters and lush vegetation. The Réunion landscape also features three exceptional natural cirquesMafate, Cilaos and Salazie – surrounding the Piton des Neiges. Of the three, Salazie is the greenest, most humid and most accessible. And with PONANT, you can admire this unique view from a helicopter! Finally, make the most of your time in Réunion to explore the red, ochre and black volcanic rocks of the Piton de la Fournaise. Top tip: head off while it is still dark with a head torch to watch the orangey-red sunrise. A timeless experience!

2.
Explore the Azores

Made up of nine unspoilt and often overlooked islands, the Azores archipelago is a dream holiday destination for nature lovers. São Miguel is the archipelago’s largest island and home to the Lagoa do Fogo (Lake of Fire), a volcanic crater maintained as a lake by rainfall. This natural lake is located in the magical Caldeira Velha nature reserve, which boasts every shade of green imaginable. Combining hot waterfalls (up to 100°C!) and abundant flora, a hike in this area is a truly unforgettable experience. If you love (dark and sky) blue, head to the small unspoilt island of Vila Franca do Campo, which is restricted to just 400 tourists per day. With its endemic vegetation, it is a paradise for divers and hikers alike. Finally, if you are really lucky, you will get the chance to spot some blue whales from Lajes do Pico.

3.
Follow the South African coast

It would be impossible not to mention the thousands of colours that decorate the coasts of this unique country at the crossroads of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. Against a backdrop of savannah yellows, Kruger National Park provides you with the opportunity to encounter three of the largest land mammals on earth: elephants, rhinos and hippos. All around you, multicoloured birds including the southern red-billed hornbill and the bustard live life to the full. For a completely different experience, visit UNESCO World Heritage Site Robben Island, a small, brown, rocky island where former president Nelson Mandela was imprisoned. As you head back to sea, you can also admire the blue-green cliffs of the Cape of Good Hope which overlook wide white sandy beaches. Infinitely beautiful…

4.
Discover the lesser known treasures of Venice

The “Queen of the Adriatic” immerses visitors in colour. During a ride on the Grand Canal, the green reflections off the water give you a taste of the journey to come. Take a close look at the Rialto Bridge and its white marble facade before heading to Burano, the lacemaking island, where you will discover houses in bright rainbow colours including blue, green, yellow, pink, orange and even mauve! Finally, make the most of the beautiful blue water of the beaches on Lido. Calm and serene, this island stretches for around a dozen kilometres between the Venetian Lagoon and the Adriatic Sea. A world away from the hustle and bustle of St Mark’s Square.

5.
Unveil the mysteries of Bolivia

Bolivia is probably one of the most understated countries in South America, but also one of the most colourful. The Laguna Colorada, which literally means “colourful lagoon” in Spanish, embodies its diversity of colour. At an altitude of over 4,000 metres, this 60 km2 salt lake provides an outstanding view, with colours that shift from bright red to brown to orange. The largest salt flat in the world – the Salar d’Uyuni – is also well worth a visit. Here, the vast immaculate white expanse blends into the blue of the sky to offer a panorama of unrivalled purity. Finally, Bolivia also boasts unique biodiversity. In the lush Madidi National Park, you can see pumas and Andean mountain cats. And don’t forget to visit Isla del Sol, where the Inca Empire truly began and where you can admire the deep blue of the surrounding Lake Titicaca for hours on end.

6.
Fall in love with Mauritius

It goes without saying that this island right in the middle of the Indian Ocean owes its reputation to the beauty of its beaches, lagoons and reefs. But Mauritius also enjoys lush greenery, epitomised by the Chamarel plain. Set off to discover the Seven Coloured Earths, where sand of seven distinct colours, varying from ochre to brown to red to purple, can be admired. It is absolutely fascinating! And you won’t be able to resist the immaculate white sand of Belle Mare beach in the south-east of the island. Boasting crystal-clear waters, the turquoise sea is surrounded by large beach pines and flame trees, two species that are found across the island. In November and December, you can’t miss the spectacular red flowers blossoming on the flame trees. Finally, hikers can climb Le Pouce mountain. Cloaked in greenery, it offers a breathtaking view of the sea and the horizon.

So all that’s left is to set sail and let yourself be guided to the world’s most beautiful coloured landscapes…


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