You don’t have to live in a Barbie world to love all things pink – the real world is filled with plenty of incredible, rose-tinted travel experiences that prove pink really does go with everything. From idyllic beaches of finest pink sand to unbelievable pink palaces that look like Barbie’s dream wedding cake, these are our favourite pink-inspired travel experiences from around the world:
Harbour Island in the Bahamas offers everything you could hope for in a tropical destination, including New England-style holiday cottages in pretty pastel shades and brilliant blue water that’s ideal for snorkelling and scuba diving. The island’s most famous attraction is its approximately five-kilometre stretch of beautiful beaches, where the pristine sand is rendered a delicate shade of pink by countless tiny fragments of crushed seashells. Harbour Island measures just over five kilometres from end to end and less than a kilometre across at its widest point, so it’s easy to explore by hiring a golf cart, scooter or bicycle from Dunmore Town. Find a secluded spot to laze on the beach, then browse the local galleries and treat yourself to a lobster sandwich while playing spot-the-celebrities at a harbourside restaurant.
Lake Hillier, located on Middle Island in Western Australia, is an awe-inspiring natural wonder: a vivid combination of bubblegum-pink water set against a backdrop of lush greenery and azure skies. The lake’s brilliant colour, which is believed to be due to a unique combination of microorganisms and high salt levels, makes it an irresistible lure for nature enthusiasts and photographers, who come from all over the world to marvel at its mysterious beauty. One of the best ways to fully appreciate this incredible natural phenomenon is from the air – a scenic flight from Esperance offers incredible views of Lake Hillier and the region’s other pink lakes, as well as other local highlights such as Cape Le Grand National Park and Frenchmen Peak.
Together with Delhi and Agra, Jaipur forms India’s famous Golden Triangle: an iconic tourist route which incorporates some of northern India’s most spectacular highlights. Jaipur first earned the moniker of ‘the Pink City’ in 1876 when its Maharajah, Ram Singh, ordered that buildings must be painted the traditional colour of hospitality to honour the visiting Prince of Wales, eldest son of Queen Victoria. Many buildings within the Old City have retained their distinctive colour scheme to this day, including the City Palace and the Hawa Mahal palace. Just outside Jaipur, the hilltop location of the spectacular Amber Palace is one of the best places to watch the setting sun as it bathes the city in an even rosier glow.
A visit to the Netherlands’ famous flower region, Bollenstreek, is a must if you’ve always dreamed of tiptoeing through vast tulip fields of a variety of colours, including every possible shade of pink. Each year between mid-March and mid-May, the Amsterdam Tulip Festival heralds the arrival of spring with a series of flower-related events including parades, exhibitions and markets. As well as visiting a working tulip farm and exploring the Amsterdam Tulip Museum, a trip to the Keukenhof Gardens is an essential tulip season experience: more than seven million bulbs are planted by hand each autumn to ensure a spectacular display of around 800 varieties of tulips the following spring. A guided cycling tour is a magical way to experience the colour and beauty of the region’s flower fields, which were enjoyed by an estimated 1.4 million visitors during this year’s festival. Alternatively, take a thrilling helicopter tour over the tulip fields for a unique bird’s eye perspective and a chance to avoid the crowds.
Craigievar Castle is straight out of a storybook: a sixteenth-century Scottish tower house set amidst the rolling green fields and woodlands of Aberdeenshire. Although the castle’s distinctive, candy-pink walls are currently undergoing restoration, the work is expected to be completed by early 2024. In the meantime, you can still enjoy a rural stay in one of the holiday cottages located within the castle grounds, sharing the estate’s walking trails with resident wildlife such as roe deer and pine martens. In addition to Craigievar, Aberdeenshire is dotted with at least 300 more castles, ruins and stately homes including royal favourite, Balmoral Castle, and many of them are open to visitors with a fondness for Scottish history. If you’re visiting the region between May and September, be sure to attend a local Highland Games for a fun taste of traditional Highland culture, music and hospitality.
Thousands upon thousands of flamingos flock to the nutrient-rich waters of Lake Nakuru year-round, creating an incredible pink spectacle that has helped Lake Nakuru National Park to become one of Kenya’s major tourism drawcards. Along with these vast, pink-feathered colonies of wading birds, the national park is a sanctuary for a wide variety of African animals, including hippos, waterbuck, rhinos, giraffes and big cats. You can choose from a variety of accommodation options within and just outside the park’s boundaries that suit a range of budgets, and experience up-close wildlife encounters including game drives and guided walking safaris.
Kyoto’s many beautiful parks, gardens and shrines make this fascinating city one of the most picturesque in Japan, especially if you are lucky enough to visit between mid-March and mid-April when the cherry blossoms (sakura) are at their most spectacular. Locals and visitors alike flock to the parks each evening to enjoy the spectacle of thousands of cherry trees adorned with candy-floss puffs of pink blooms, sharing picnics and soaking up the festive atmosphere. Often referred to as the cultural capital of Japan, Kyoto’s collection of ancient shrines and temples, graceful geisha and sublime gardens ensure that the city’s allure remains, long after the last cherry blossoms have faded away for another year.
Elsewhere during spring in Japan, Takinoue Park on the northernmost island of Hokkaido transforms into a mesmerizing pink wonderland that draws visitors from around the world to witness its stunning beauty. Millions of delicate pink moss flowers come into bloom at once, blanketing the landscape in a soft, velvety carpet that transforms rolling hills and meandering pathways into a dreamlike setting. The pink moss, known as Shibazakura in Japanese, forms intricate patterns and waves of colour ranging from pale blush to vibrant fuchsia, and strolling through the park feels you’re like stepping into a surrealist masterpiece. The exact timing does vary depending on the weather conditions each year, but generally the best time to visit Takinoue Park is between late May and early June.
For these and more memorable pink-inspired travel experiences, talk to your personal travel manager.