Who doesn’t love a beautiful rainbow photo backdrop? Start planning your next technicolour travel adventure with this guide to a few of our favourite colourful communities in the Arctic, Atlantic Canada, and northern Europe.
On Iceland’s far-eastern coast, at the tip of its namesake fjord, Seyðisfjörður is a picturesque town of about 700 people. It’s known for a flourishing arts scene, the nearby Tvísöngur sound sculpture, outdoor nature activities, and—most eye-catching of all—a cobbled rainbow road, leading to the aptly-named Blue Church. The regnbogastræti
(“rainbow street”) was first painted in 2016 as part of a Pride celebration and has since become a prismatic town fixture.
The capital of France’s last colonial outpost in North America, Saint-Pierre is a charming European presence just offshore from Newfoundland. From the hilltops, you can find sweeping views of the vivid cityscape, while strolling along the waterfront will bring you closer to dazzling fishing boats and pastel sheds. The multicoloured homes, shops, and public landmarks are sure to brighten your day as well as your photo albums.
Historically, Greenland’s vibrant facades were colour-coded, with each different shade representing a structure’s use—churches, homes, shops, businesses, and more. Today, the communities that dot the shores of this one-time colony of Denmark still maintain their rainbow origins, but many go beyond the traditional primary colours and now veer into purples, corals, and teals. Sisimiut is not the only community where you can find this trend; look for bold building colours in Nuuk, Ilulissat, and elsewhere.
A former Viking trading centre and today’s capital of the Faroe Islands, Tórshavn literally means “Thor’s Harbour.” The historic Tinganges—home to the Faroese parliament—features bold red buildings roofed with grassy turf. The rest of the waterfront stretch of the city’s old town is no less showy, with stunning, bright storefronts and a motley array of watercrafts.
The capital of the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, and sometimes referred to as the oldest city in North America, St. John’s is a cultural hotspot. Colourfully famous in particular for what are affectionately called “jellybean” houses, many of this city’s wooden buildings are painted with a bold brush. Get out on deck while sailing through the Narrows, past the Battery neighbourhood, and into the port of St. John’s for kaleidoscopic city views.