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Cheap Holidays: Emerging Destinations for 2015
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A night less ordinary: Sala Silvermine Underground suite
3
Purple 10: best places for a Christmas holiday 2014
4
Purple Hearts: Free things to do in Paris
5
Top 5 Christmas markets in Europe
6
Get inspired: Fireworks festivals around the world
7
No vacancy – Abandoned Hotels From Around The Globe
8
Purple 10: Infinity Pools in Europe
9
Sun in winter, surely not ?
10
Purple Tips: Tunisia – The ideal destination for winter sun

Cheap Holidays: Emerging Destinations for 2015

Looking ahead for next year’s summer holiday? If you’re after something more authentic but still have a budget to stick to then Purple Travel have picked the best cheap holidays in emerging and undiscovered destinations that won’t hurt your bank balance.

Essaouira, Morocco

Cheap_holidays_Essaouira_Purpletravel.co.ukImage via @Fabio Gismondi

With many tourists flocking to visit the souks of Marrakech or the budget-friendly holiday destination of Agadir towards the north, there lies a little secret a bit more south of this and it’s called Essaouira and really comes at no extra cost either. We can tell you that it is truly one of the most beautiful Atlantic coastal towns that is renowned for being more laid-back than its more popular neighbours. The best time to visit is in Spring and Autumn, before and after Ramadan. Film lovers will be especially pleased to hear that Essaouira has been the setting of Orson Welles’ Othello and Ridley Scott’s Kingdom of Heaven. While outdoor enthusiasts will love the choice of low cost activities and water sports available. Due to a renewed interest in Morocco, chic boutiques and quirky riads have been popping up all over the place, making Essaouira the new cheap and chic place to stay. It is also close to Marrakech for those who want to combine a beach holiday and a city break. Those interested in world music will be pleased to hear that Essaouira plays host to two music festivals. The Essaouira Alizes Festival in April which showcases classic and contemporary Moroccan music and the Gnaoua & World Music Festival in June where local and international artists come together for dancing, music and culture.

Mahdia, Tunisia

cheap_holidays_mahdia_purpletravel.co.uk Image via @ Christopher Rose

Taking a cue from its North African neighbour, Tunisia has new offerings for tourists who want simple and charming experiences and friendly prices. Since Tunisia is more of a newcomer on the block than Morocco it is actually more affordable. Mahdia just south of the busy resort of Monastir, is a coastal city associated with the fishing silk weaving and olive industries. It is certainly one of Tunisia’s most picturesque cities and has many historic attractions such as the ruins of the ancient city of Punic, the Fatimid port, the first Fatimid mosque (dating back to the 10th century) and an Ottoman port (16th century). If you book a cheap holiday to Tunisia it means you have more cash to splash on activities such as diving and Mahdia surely is Tunisia’s top diving site and wreck diving in particular. Holidays in Mahdia are great for honeymooners and great for first-time visitors to Tunisia who will get a taste of this exotic country without being overwhelmed.

Yalikavak, Turkey

cheap_holidays_Yalkiavak_purpletravel.co.ukImage via @ Sue Kellerman

Yalikavak is a harbourside town with an ultra-modern marina yet has still managed to maintain a small and sleepy exterior – so far. I’ts located on the Bodrum peninsula not too far from the bigger resort of Bodrum itself. Visitors looking for cheap holidays to Turkey will be more than pleased by Yalikavak’s offerings. The small sandy beaches are perfect for spending days in the sun and so far many beaches remain uncrowded, perfect for families. For extra beauty, lay on the beach until sunset and see the sun drop behind the horizon. The market at Yalikavak draws people from all over the Bodrum peninsula, seeking out shopping bargains on retail items but also on fresh produce but to get a bargain be prepared to haggle.

Montenegro

cheap_holidays_montenegro_purpletravel.co.ukImage via @Amira_a

Taking a spot all of its own is the country of Montenegro, this is perhaps definitely the most off the beaten track destination in our list. Budva, is the poster child of tourism here and there’s good reason why. Explore the atmospheric old town before parking yourself down on one of the 35 beaches. By night Budva transforms itself with numerous beachside bars so if you’re in for a night on the tiles then Budva is the place to be and really may not be suitable for families. Elsewhere along the Riviera and in other resorts Montenegro has remained quieter and more atmospheric. For example the Bay of Kotor is considered one of the most beautiful in Europe and Kotor itself is an ancient fortified town with UNESCO World Heritage status. Further down the coast from Budva is the Montenegrin south coast where you’ll find Ulcinj, a predominantly ethnically Albanian town with a splendid location, for exploring the south of the country.

The Undiscovered Algarve

cheap_holidays_olhao_purpletravel.co.ukImage via @Nicola Holtkamp

Tourists have been visiting the Algarve for years and years but away from the busy airport, golf resorts, and really cheap package deals lies something more authentic. Olhao, a small fishing village is a perfect example of the cultural mix that can be found in Southern Portugal thanks to the maritime hisotry and Moorish occupation. Olhao is known for its square-shaped whitewashed houses with Moorish features. In the late 18th century, the town was flourishing and so local people started to build new houses in a Moorish style. Another draw of Olhao is the chance to take a watertaxi to peaceful offshore beaches such as Armona, Farol and Culatra. Away from the coast lies Monchique, a forested market town known for its production of aguardiente, a potent brandy and the perfect base to explore the Algarve’s lesser known inland beauty.

 

A night less ordinary: Sala Silvermine Underground suite

Find out more about the most amazing hotels around the world with Purple Travel. We travel the world to find the most night less ordinary. Whether it’s sleeping in a fox hotel, or in a Marie Antoinette themed room, we want to give you a look at some of the weirdest but most wonderful hotels in the world. This week, go underground in the Sala Silvermine Underground suite in Sala, Sweden.

Capture

What’s the gimmick? Everyone is always raving about the swankiest and most glamorous rooms but how about sleeping amongst real silver for a night or two in the world’s deepest bedroom? It is also one of the best preserved mine settings with deep, dark winding galleries, caverns and magic lakes. It may be cold, damp and dark but it is also uniquely beautiful.

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Purple 10: best places for a Christmas holiday 2014

Any town or city can hang up a few lights in the city centre and call it a Christmas festival but there are places in the world that put the rest to shame. If you’re fed up of shoddy lights and a sad-looking tree take a look at these places that really know how to do Christmas.

Barcelona, Spain

If you’ve got enough holiday to extend your holidays until the 5th of January (Three King’s Day) then there’s no place than Barcelona to spend it with Melchior, Gaspar and Balthasar. On Januray 4th the three king’s touch down at the city’s port on their very own ship – Santa Eulalia and completely kitted up in velvet. Canons are fired, fireworks are let of and as the mayor of the city hands over the keys of the city to the kings, the magic of Magi officially starts. The kings are paraded through the streets in an extravagant procession of floats comprising of camels, elephants and giraffes.

Il·luminació nadalenca a Barcelona - Av. Portal de l'Àngel
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Purple Hearts: Free things to do in Paris

Paris is one of Europe’s most visited cities, drawing in tourists from all over the world, particularly during the summer. Despite being notoriously expensive, there are actually a lot of ways you can save money on a cheap city break to Paris.

1. Go wandering for free

Since 2004 over 4 million people have taken advantage of Sandeman’s New Europe free walking tour. If you take this opportunity, you will pass along the banks of the Seine, walk around the Latin Quarter, remaining in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower and then some. Lasting for a generous 3 hours, these visits pass by heaps of the top Paris attractions, giving you a chance to see lots of the city at once, learn about the history of Paris and meet other enthusiastic travellers at the same time.

9236022949_404891512f_zImage via @bass_nroll

Tours meet at Place St. Michel by the fountain. Visit times: Daily at 11am & 1pm. Read More

Top 5 Christmas markets in Europe

Christmas is coming and along with all the cosiness there is also the dreaded Christmas shop. Give something different this year and give yourself a present at the same time. Why not head off on your travels and stock up on traditional European goods from a foreign christmas market and soak up the incredible atmosphere.

Vienna, Austria

Vienna’s Christkindlmaerkt is one of the most famous, and long running in Europe and Vienna makes the perfect setting for this European Christmas Market. A lot of effort goes into the magical decorations and atmosphere and it attracts people from all over the world. Held in front of the town hall, visitors flock to Vienna to grab photos with the famous Christmas decorations, listen to the seasonal music, pick up traditional gifts and of course overindulge on sweet chestnuts. The city also offers the chance to see the glorious Schonbrunn and Imperial palaces and to stuff yourself silly with all the great cakes at the coffee houses.

Open: November 17th – December 24th

CaptureImage via: @tttaaaooo

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Get inspired: Fireworks festivals around the world

We may be the only country to celebrate the fact that a king survived an attempt on his life by lighting bonfires and fireworks, and continue to celebrate this over 400 years later, but we aren’t the only ones to commemorate a historical event using fireworks. Guy Fawkes Night is fast approaching and while you’re probably prepping for a big bonfire and making sure you have plenty of sparklers to go round, let’s take a lot at some fireworks celebrations throughout the world which could provide you with inspiration for your next holiday.

Fourth of July Celebrations – U.S.A.

Fourth of July is a holiday that celebrates the founding of America, therefore it’s fitting that some of the best fireworks displays happen in the capital, Washington, D.C. There are also many, many superb displays in New York. Grab a free view of fireworks from Brooklyn Bridge Park, or book yourself on a cruise and see the firworks from the water. Let’s not forget the family firm favourite that is Disney World, Florida. Fourth of July celebrations there capture the true spirit of America, their fireworks celebration is not simply a fireworks display but is hailed as a “concert in the sky”.

Fireworks_Disney_Purpletravel.co.uk Image via @Tom Bricker Read More

No vacancy – Abandoned Hotels From Around The Globe

For many reasons some resorts and hotels become abandoned whether due to political or economical situations. Can you imagine what these places were like in their heyday? Occupied rooms, people splashing about in the pool or lazing on sun loungers, a queue forming in the bar or hotel lobby, chatty diners in the restaurants. Now, all the people are gone and all that’s left are the buildings in ruins.

1.Bokor Palace Hotel And Casino – Cambodia

Bokor Hill Station in Cambodia was a resort built by French colonists in the 1920s and the epitome of the splendour found there was the Bokor Palace Hotel and Casino. Around 1000 people died during the construction of the hotel, only for the Europeans to flee the area in the 1940s due to political instability. It was used intermittently up until the 1990s when it was abandoned for good. Bokor Hill Station is now a popular tourist attraction and even though not even 100 years old the hotel looks much older than this. Locals in the area won’t enter as it is rumoured to be haunted by the ghosts of those who lost their lives trying to build it.

1017091852_c44b13d0f4_oImage via Matthew Klein

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Purple 10: Infinity Pools in Europe

1. Take a look at this stunning infinity edge pool at Hotel Caruso Ravello on the Amalfi Coast in Italy

Hotel Caruso Ravello, Amalfi Coast, Italy

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Sun in winter, surely not ?

It’s started, you’ve started to feel the chill and you know you’ve got months of unpredictable weather ahead of you. Escape to the sun today with Purple Travel and see our pick of destinations to go to if you’re feeling the chill already and want a last-minute bargain for October!

Gambia_Holidays_Purple_TravelImage via @H20 Alchemist

Fuerteventura – If you’re seeking somewhere a little bit quieter than the other Canary Islands then Furteventura could be for you. If you’re worried that there won’t be enough to keep yourself or the kids occupied then fear not, there are plenty of watersports such as surfing and windsurfing to try out and some golf courses to hone your skills at. The best places for windsurfing and surfing are around Corralejo and Jandia, with many expert schools and equipment hire. For golf, there is a 18 hole course at Costa Caleta, with a free bus service running from the centre of Caleta to the course. If you’re more of the beach type, average temperatures of around 25 degrees in October mean you’ll get plenty of sunshine and time to relax on the sandy beaches. Our top pick is the Hotel Costa Caleta a top choice for a family all-inclusive break, offering all the amenities you could want in a modern friendly complex.

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Purple Tips: Tunisia – The ideal destination for winter sun

Tunisia-holidays-Purple-TravelImage via @Dennis Jarvis

Tunisia is perfect for those who want to top up their tan during winter and enjoy a winter sun break with friends or family. There are so many reasons to visit exotic Tunisia from the souks, the history, the gorgeous coastline, Tunisia will spoil you with dramatic landscapes and endless opportunities for winter sun and all that at only 3 hours away from the UK.

See: 

History – For family days out, there is so much history to see, why not head to Carthage or the amphitheater at El Djem.

Local markets – There are many local markets in Tunisia also known as souks. You can try out your bargaining skills by haggling with local vendors and take back some great spices and other souvenirs.

Beaches – There are miles upon miles of breathtaking coastline in Tunisia

Try: 

Spa therapy – Tunisia is a little gem for spa treatments, so why not treat yourself on holiday and at the fraction of the cost that you would get it at home.

Desert Safari – How many times in your life can you say you’ve been on a desert safari…the landscapes in the desert are so surreal you might have to pinch yourself.

Golf – There are great golf courses, especially at Port El Kantoui with a PGA approved, 36 hole course.

Resort Guides:

Djerba – One of the most beautiful islands in the Mediterranean, Djerba offers the perfect mix of beautiful sandy beaches, crystal clear waters and a great atmosphere the minute you arrive.

Sousse – Does Sousse look a little familiar? It’s been used as a movie location for years. Think Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark. Discover for yourself the fine sandy beaches that back onto olive groves. Cool down from the warm sunshine with a dip in the crystal clear water or pick up a bargain in the vibrant souks. Don’t forget to haggle, it’s expected! 

Port el kantoui –  Perfect for a golfing getaway, Port El Kantaoui offers a PGA approved 36 hole course, that should keep you busy for a few days. When you’re not working on getting a hole in one, why not stroll along the dazzling harbour, admire the luxury yachts, or pick up a couple of bargains in the vibrant markets.

Hammamet – A popular destination for a cheap holiday, Hammamet sun holidays offer plenty for families, couples or solo travel. Relax on the beautiful beaches of Tunisia or try out a new sport in the shape of diving or water skiing. If that sounds like too much of a challenge, you could try some gentle celeb spotting; politicians, musicians and actors have been known to holiday in Hammamet.

Mahdia – When you arrive in Mahdia the first thing you’ll notice is the beautiful expanse of beach and you’ll know you’ve arrived on holiday! There’s been plenty of investment over the last few years, building a fantastic resort with lots of activities for all ages. Whether you’re looking to relax in luxury in the sunshine or you want to take the hassle out of a holiday with an all inclusive Mahdia has all kinds of boarding options. 

Tunisia is a great choice for an adventurous family or friends, what do you think? Have you ever been to Tunisia or have you been wanting to go?  Let us know in the comments below!

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