It's Blue Monday, that day in mid-January that apparently — in the northern hemisphere — is characterized as the "most depressing day of the year". And since the concept of Blue Monday isn't rooted in any science — the equation originally used to determine that the third Monday in January is the saddest of the year has been debunked — we'd like to use today as an opportunity to focus on some literal blues: bright, cerulean hues around the world that shine bright, beautiful, and anything but depressing. Here are our Top 5 favourite blue travel destinations:
1. The Maldives
When you think of naturally occurring blues, your mind may automatically wander towards pristine, crystal beaches under sparkling skies. You'll get all this in the Maldives, the tropical islands just off the south western coast of India — especially if you explore them by boat.
Already been to the Maldives? Take a trip to Belize, a South American paradise of incredible beaches, breathtaking scenery — and incredible snacks.
3. Banff, Canada
It's not just warm-weather getaways that offer the best in baby blues. Banff Provincial Park, in the Canadian province of Alberta, boasts some truly sparkling freshwater lakes — like the famous Peyto Lake and Lake Louise, which are so blue (and, at times, turquoise) they almost don't seem real.
4. Chefchaouen, Morocco
In Chefchaouen, the blue hues are manmade rather than naturally occurring: this Moroccan city is famous for its blue buildings. Though it's not definitively known why so many of Chefchaouen's buildings are painted blue — some say the colour repels mosquitos; others suggest the buildings were painted the hue when individuals of Jewish descent took refuge in Morocco during the Second World War — one thing is certain: the city is absolutely stunning.
5. Blue Lagoon
Another cool-weather retreat, Iceland's Blue Lagoon is a must-visit when travelling to the chilly island country. The water is heated using geothermal energy, and the minerals it contains reputedly do wonders for the skin. And even if they don't, a long soak in the warm, blue water is terrifically relaxing.