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CAN’T TOUCH THIS: 8 places to get your cactus fix

There’s no denying, we’ve seen a huuuge spike in cactus trends recently. They, and their cute succulent counterparts, are popping up everywhere, from Europe’s concrete jungles to Sri Lanka’s lofty tea plantations… and on every desk here at STA Travel’s HQ.

Why? Because they look awesome. And make any landscape, shop front, café or garden look instantly wacky and fun.   

So look sharp! Here are our favourite spots around the world to go coo coo for cacti.

Jardin Majorelle, Marrakech

Just when Marrakech couldn’t possibly get any more photogenic… a French painter named Jacques Majorelle designed this tiny botanical garden just outside the historical centre of the city. And then, iconic fashion designer Yves Saint-Laurent went and bought it. Cactus cred.

Make sure you take a few hours away from your camel, couscous and carpet packed schedule to take in this cobalt blue, cactus-clad oasis.

 

May 21, 2018 at 3:32am PDT

Columbia Road Flower Market, London

London’s favourite flower market, this cute cobbled street in East London is transformed each Sunday with bunting, buskers, cool hipsters (and even cooler dogs), and traders screaming “one bunch two paaaahnd, three for a fiver!”. Plus several thousand shoppers on the search for sunflowers, succulents and their weekly flower fix.

Head there early to beat the crowds, or late in day to get the best deals (aloe, five cacti for a tenner!). Columbia Road is only five minutes from the colourful street art and street food of Brick Lane, meaning you’ve the perfect day of ‘gramming and grazing sorted.

And yes, those are mini pineapples you can see below.

 

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Jardin de Cactus, Lanzarote

There’s so much more to Lanzarote than package holidays and sunburnt Brits. This cute Canary Island has bohemian artist communities, kite surfing spots, some pretty crazy volcanic landscapes (Timanfaya, we’re looking at you) and, yes, succulents aplenty. Check out the Jardin de Cactus in the village of Guatiza, on Lanzarote’s east coast.

 

May 10, 2018 at 10:19am PDT

Ella Flower Garden, Sri Lanka

Charming tea plantations, even more charming locals, awesome hikes and some of the most picturesque train journeys in. The. World. Sri Lanka’s beautiful hill country is the stuff nature lover’s dreams are made of.

For the ultimate slice of peace and quiet, and all the tea you can drink, head to the Ella Flower Garden Resort, which directly faces Ella Rock. Here, suspended over a leafy green valley you can enjoy a looong lunch and SO. Many. Cacti!

 

Sep 12, 2015 at 10:33pm PDT

Sonoran Desert, Arizona (and Baja California), USA

Epic canyons, burning heat and some pretty mind-bending rock formations… yep, we’re guessing you want to read something that you haven’t read a million time before about the south west’s deserts and national parks.

Did you know, the tallest cactus in the world lives here? The saguaro cactus is said to have grown to over three times the height of a giraffe. That’s the size of a three-storey building. And this means that the prickly dude below could be over five hundred years old!

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Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

You might recognise Salar de Uyuni as the world’s largest salt flat, a coveted tick on every wanderluster’s bucket list due to its surreal white landscapes, crazy perspectives and flamingo-filled coloured lakes.

But plonked in the middle are two rocky islands, Isla Incahuasi and Isla del Pescado, both home to thousands of cute cacti, admiring the endless white expanse on all sides. Any tour of the salt flats will include either of these islands. It’ll feel like you’ve left Earth altogether and are having your own Interstellar moment. With cactuses.

This looks so unreal! Cactus and snow – but actually the white is salt! – Isla Incahuasi🏝

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Cactus Country, Murray Valley, Victoria, Australia

Plant obsessed millennials, step aside. Jim Halls is one cactus-crazed guy. He’s been growing his dream (literally) since the early eighties in Australia’s rural Murray Valley. It now houses over 4,000 different species of our spiky friends. Who knew there were that many in the world?

Since Oz is pretty huge, pretty arid, and throws out some pretty strong desert vibes, we’re not surprised that Cactus Country is Australia’s largest cacti collection.

Swing by on your epic Aussie roadie; $15 will give you full access to all of Cactus Country’s colour coded walking trails (yes, it’s so big there are eight walking trails) so you can get a lifetime’s worth of/43758 photos of everyone’s favourite plants. Koalas are overrated anyway.

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Kaktus København, Copenhagen

Anything you can do, the Scandis can do hipper.

Don’t believe us? Head to Copenhagen’s achingly cool N ø rrebro neighbourhood and check out the (Instagram) famous Kaktus store, where you can marvel at all manner of prickly products in gorgeous pots.

Can’t make it to Copenhagen? Maybe you can get to Hackney in London. Mere minutes’ walk from Columbia Road Flower Market are two stores that can give this minimalist masterpiece a run for its money: Prick in Dalston and Conservatory Archives on Hackney Road are both ethereal wonderlands full of the sharp stuff.

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Happy ‘gramming. Just learn from our mistakes and don’t, whatever you do, Google ‘cactus porn’.

Have we missed any must-see succulent spots? Let us know your favourites on blog@statravel.com or tag your own snaps on Instagram with #StartTheAdventure for a chance for us to feature you!