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Purple Tips: 7 foods to try on holiday in Spain
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Purple tips: Portugal’s best beaches
3
Which Caribbean island should I visit?
4
Off The Beaten Track: What is Glamping
5
10 unmissable summer festivals with a twist
6
Our pick: Best beaches in Europe
7
A night less ordinary: Royal Tulip Rio de Janeiro
8
Going to TBEX Athens? Here’s a (sort of) local guide
9
Lesson Learned: Three days is not enough for Istanbul
10
Purple 10: Most photographed places in the world

Purple Tips: 7 foods to try on holiday in Spain

Here is one for the foodies amongst you today.  Navigating a menu on holiday can be a nightmare sometimes, even when they are translated you don’t really know what something actually is. Purple Travel gives you the lowdown on the top 7 delicious Spanish foods to try on holiday so you don’t miss out! Have you tried any of the dishes mentioned below? Let us know your top tips for eating out in Spain.

Tapas

The number one must-try food is tapas, less a food actually and more of an experience – you can’t go to Spain and not try tapas. The great thing is that you can eat it anytime and anywhere and because there is a little bit of everything on the plate there will be something for everyone to enjoy. Another awesome thing about Tapas is that in most bars in Madrid and Barcelona, you will get tapas for free – whether it be mini sandwiches, almonds, squid (really you can get anything). In other places such as the Basque Country and Andalusia you will have to pay but I’m sure it will be worth every penny.

tapas

Image via @Jessica Spengler

Paella

Paella is a rice-based dish consisting of a great mixture of rice, vegetables, meats, seafood and spices. There will be many varieties on offer but the three main types you will find are: Paella Valenciana (rice, vegetables, chicken, duck, rabbit, snails, beans and spices) Paella Mixta (usually made from rice, chicken, seafood, vegetables, and spices) and Seafood Paella (rice, seafood and spices). Doesn’t that sound appetizing, and why not wash it off with a nice sangria.

paella

Image via @Mike McCune

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Purple tips: Portugal’s best beaches

With so many beaches in Portugal to choose from it’s hard to know where to start looking when you are searching for the perfect beach destination. Green coast? Silver coast? Fear not, Purple Travel is on hand to help you narrow down your choice for a stunning beach holiday. Here are our top 5  beach choices in Portugal.

1. Praia da Falesia

The name “Falesia” means “cliff”, referring to the splendid orange-red cliffs that form a magnificent background to this long stretch of sand. At over 6km long, Praia da Falesia is one of the longest beaches in the Algarve, situated between the popular resorts of Vilamoura and Albufeira. For those adventurous enough, Praia da Falesia offers many opportunities to participate in watersports such as windsurfing and for those seeking a relaxing evening, the coastline has many bars and restaurants to soak up the local flavour.

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2. Praia da Ancora

Praia da Ancora is located on Portugal’s “green coast” in the northern, Minho region, so called because of its wild beaches which are popular with surfers and windsurfers. The beaches along this coast are some of the most beautiful in Portugal, in particular  that of Praia de Ancora, which offers calm water for those wanted to bathe and relax. It is particularly popular among swimmers due to the fact that it is protected from Atlantic winds by the surrounding hills to the north and south.

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Which Caribbean island should I visit?

The beauty of the Caribbean islands – on top of simply beautiful surroundings and brilliant weather – is its diversity. There are at least 28 island countries in the Caribbean spread across more than 7,000 islands. But, how do you figure out which one is the perfect one for you? Why do home birds go to St Kitts and resort-hunters head for Dominican Republic? We’ve got the lowdown on the Caribbean Islands so it’s easy to answer the question: Which Caribbean Island should I visit?

caribbean_island_holidays_purple_travel

Cuba’s exotic rhythms and history give a sense of adventure to sun holidays in the Caribbean. Easily one of the most exciting islands, it is also the least changed or commercialised. Beaches are palm-lined, with white sand and sparkling water. Locals are friendly and are happy to help, rum flows freely and the island pulses to an internal rhythm like nowhere else. Great for: anyone who wants holidays with a sense of adventure.

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Off The Beaten Track: What is Glamping

Thanks to Patrick, an expert glamper who gave us the lowdown on what is glamping! Turns out it’s a cool mix of camping and glamour, no buddy boots here!

Glamping 1

Glamping … it’s a funny new word. It’s actually two words mixed together which I’ve always found quirky in itself, but what makes this one really stand out is the fact that it’s actually two concepts rolled into one as well. And those two concepts – I imagined – were entirely contradictory. I couldn’t be more wrong! And the word isn’t funny really; it’s the concept that just makes you want to smile all day long.

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10 unmissable summer festivals with a twist

Lebowski Fest, 11-12th July 2014, Louisville, Kentucky Dedicated to all things Dude, Lebowski Fest’s been running for a whopping 12 years and offers White Russians, unlimited bowling, costume contests and special guests. The Dude abides at Lebowski Fest and we couldn’t think of a better summer festival.
Jerry Duvall

 Image via @ Lebowski Fest

Full Moon Party, 13th July, 08th September 2014, Koh Phangan, Thailand If we could choose one word to describe the Full Moon Parties of Koh Phangan it would be: epic. Shirtless, shoeless tourists dance all night at the biggest beach party in the world, where you’ll find plastic buckets that hold a litre of vodka and Red Bull. Told you it was epic.

Full moon party

Full Moon Party via @ Wikicommons

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Our pick: Best beaches in Europe

It’s almost impossible to choose the best beaches in Europe, so we asked around the office to find out what some of the favourites are. We’d love to hear your opinion of our top 10 best beaches in Europe.

1. Zlatni Rat, in Bol, Croatia. The photographer’s favourite, known as Zlatni Rat or the Golden Cape or Golden Horn is a white pebble beach that creates an incredible seaside experience stretching in an almost vertical line into the sea Changing with the tide, the clothing-optional beach is one of the country’s most famous.

Zlatni Rat from Purple Travel

Image via @ Wikicommons

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A night less ordinary: Royal Tulip Rio de Janeiro

We love to take a look at some of the best, weirdest and most wonderful hotels in the world. A night less ordinary is all about hotels with an extra special something, like a revolving roof, a night with giraffes or a panda themed hotel. This week, we take a look at the Royal Tulip Rio de Janeiro home to the England World Cup Squad at least on a temporary basis!

The basics: As you read this, the England squad is already ensconced in the Royal Tulip Hotel on the Sao Conrado Beach in Rio de Janeiro in preparation for the 2014 World Cup kicking off on June 12th. The hotel can host up to 3,000 guests in a variety of rooms. There are 418 apartments boasting private balconies, with sea or mountain views. The outdoor pool will probably be more use than the bar, as will the two tennis courts, gym and sauna.

Royal Tulip Rio de Janeiro from Purple Travel 2

The WOW factor: Superstars like Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and Wayne Rooney are already enjoying the luxurious rooms at the hotel which finished a multimillion pound revamp just in time for the arrival of the England squad for the World Cup. Its reported the FA has asked for a dedicated games room with three TVs so the team can watch its potential opponents in all the group games. The hotel’s manager George Durante, told the Mirror that the 64 rooms that are home to the team for the next few weeks have brand new furniture, beds, floors, balconies and air -conditioning. Sounds like the team has everything they need to win the Brazil World Cup 2014! Royal Tulip Rio de Janeiro from Purple Travel 4Royal Tulip Rio de Janeiro from Purple Travel 5

Details: Royal Tulip Rio de Janeiro Av Aquarela do Brasil – 75, 22610010, Rio de Janeiro. See Royal Tulip Rio de Janeiro reviews on TripAdvisor here. Rooms from 150.27 per day. Royal Tulip Rio de Janeiro from Purple Travel 6

Going to TBEX Athens? Here’s a (sort of) local guide

I was so happy to hear that TBEX, the travel blog exchange will be held in Athens, Greece in 2014. There’s a simple reason for this. Although I’m not from here, it’s been my home for the past three and a bit years. In that time I’ve come to feel very proud of Athens: it’s lively and vibrant, friendly and fun, parties go on all night, food is incredible and so cheap and is nothing like what you see on tv… it’s much more than that. Everyone knows about the sites like Anafiotika, The Acropolis, and Plaka. All incredible sites that I never get tired of… but I wanted to share some practical local knowledge – when you first arrive somewhere, where should you eat, drink or dance? This list is a bit nightlife heavy and I could have kept writing all day – but seriously, who would be still going on page 55? If you’ve got any other questions about local stuff to do or see during TBEX Athens, please feel free to get in touch, I’ll do my best to help out.

11390570636_1d382b8a4a_zImage via @ flickr

Sunset Views

Head for the Acropolis, but instead of turning right up to the Parthenon, turn left and watch out for a metal staircase that leads you up to the open rocks opposite. A free and lovely place to soak up a glorious sunset behind the ancient temple. Known to locals or me certainly) as the slippery rocks, it’s best to wear good shoes up there. There are also lots of bars with great views in Athens, I’ve been to many of them. If you’re in Monastiraki avoid A for Athens. The overpriced drinks and rude staff don’t help you appreciate the view too much. Instead, head for the roof of the AthenStyle hostel for decent value drinks and a panoramic terrace or the cool surrounds of a 6th floor roof bar called Sole e Luna in a hotel in Neos Kosmos, where you can find a sunset to rival the Monastiraki bars and enjoy an expertly made Mojito.

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Lesson Learned: Three days is not enough for Istanbul

It turns out March in Istanbul is the perfect time to visit. Actually, scratch that, I would say anytime is the perfect time to go. No wonder it’s been named the best destination to visit in 2014. Living in Athens, it was an easy trip for me and my friend across the Aegean for three days of exploring in the vast (trust me, it’s huge) sprawling Turkish City.

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Ok, i’ll throw my hands up and say it was kind of a surprise to realise just how huge the city is. It’s spread across both sides of the Bosphorus. Since we had such a short time, we fancied seeing the obvious ones, this was a taster really, but here’s our highlights:

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Purple 10: Most photographed places in the world

Next time you’re away on holidays and decide to whip out your camera to snap some pics of the area’s most famous attractions like the Eiffel Tower in Paris, Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia, or the Empire State Building in New York, remember you’re not alone. Sightsmap is a heatmap that charts the most photographed tourist attractions around the world. The images are collated by how ‘hot’ they are, based on the number of people sharing them via Google’s Panoramio. Here’s the top 10 of the world’s most photographed places in the world, with a few that might surprise you. Which one is your favourite?

1. Guggenheim Museum, New York

The Guggenheim Museum

Guggenheim Museum via @ Chris Eason

2. The Spanish Steps, Rome

Pictures taken in May 2010 @ Rome, IT.   Near Spanish Steps (or on it)Spanish Steps via @ Raul

3. Park Guell, Barcelona

Park Guell Barcelona from Purple Travel
4. Moulin Rouge, Paris

Moulin RougeMoulin Rouge via @ Xavi

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