When you’re trying to decide where to take your summer holidays, there are a number of factors that can quickly turn the idea of a last minute long weekend getaway in to a mammoth 13-hour flight across the Atlantic, in search of a destination that’s obscure enough for you to actually Geotag.
Your final decision could be based on finding somewhere with that elusive combination of hedonism and culture (yes, even Ibiza has a contemporary art museum) or you could be on the hunt for somewhere that’s sothat you’ll risk your entire data roaming allowance to get that ‘gram.
And now with Pantone’s bubble gum shade of ‘pale dogwood’ inspiring every designer from Balenciaga to Gucci and Céline, pastel is undeniably this year’s most coveted hue – so why not pay a visit to the world’s dreamiest, soft-hued destinations.
1. Santorini, Greece
It’s known as the “supermodel of the Greek islands” for a reason. With its whitewashed sugar cube houses, multi-coloured volcanic cliffs and red and white lava pebbled beaches, Santorini is undeniably the most insta-worthy of the Greek islands. The island — which was born out of a cataclysmic volcanic eruption — has long been the go-to spot for Greek royalty and the fashion crowd (Gianni Versace holed up at the iconic hotel for a month) and with its lilac sunrises, azure blue waters and endless sunsets it’s easy to see why. Be sure to pay a visit to the small fishing village of Oia in the far north of the island – and stay at the super kitsch . It’s like Santorini’s answer to the Beverly Hills Hotel - it’s got three sprawling terraces, a hot tub – and is visible from every point of the village.
2. Alicante, Spain
La Muralla Roja is easily one of the world’s most fantastical pastel buildings. Located in Calpe (a small town on the coastline of Alicante) La Muralla Roja — which translates as ‘the red wall’ in Spanish — is a mystical, geometric apartment block built by acclaimed architect Ricardo Bofill in 1972. With graphic, winding stairways washed in dusty shades of blue, purple, pink and red, it’s near impossible to take a bad photo of La Muralla Roja. Climb up to the rooftop for an unspoilt view of the sea and sky — if you go at the right time of day, you’ll see the blue walls melt into the ocean.
3. Cape Town, South Africa
Situated on the slopes of Signal Hill, directly above the city centre, is the historical neighbourhood of Bo-Kaap. It’s a 10-minute walk from the centre of Cape Town and is well worth the visit. With winding 18th century cobblestoned streets and vibrant one and two-storey houses, Bo-Kaap’s buildings have next to no space between them, creating a stacked Lego-effect of overlapping shades of mint green, duck-egg blue, lilac and baby pink.
4. Curaçao, Caribbean
With over 750 pastel-colored buildings, the Dutch-Caribbean island of Curaçao is unrivalled in the pastel game. The buildings, which date back to the 19th century, were apparently built because Governor-General Albert Kikkert suffered from severe migraines — which he attributed to the bright sun reflecting off of the white buildings — so he instructed all citizens to paint structures any color other than white - and the result is spectacular. Pay a visit to the historic, inner-city area of Willemstad or drive along the coast, stopping off at the former plantation houses along the island’s 35 beaches for the best soft-hued photo ops.
5. Mexico City, Mexico
No visit to Mexico City is complete without a trip to Pritzker prize-winning architect Luis Barragan’s modernist mecca Cuadra San Cristóbal. Located on the outskirts of the city in Los Clubes, the minimalist seven-acre palazzo (complete with stables, swimming pools and a fountain) is a masterpiece of geometry, light and design. With shades of pink juxtaposed with earth tones to create expanses of space and optical illusions, it’s no surprise that Cuadra San Cristóbal has served as the backdrop for numerous fashion shoots and movies, most recently catching the eye of Nicholas Ghesquière for Louis Vuitton’s Pre-Fall 16 campaign.