Archive - 2011

Where should the Royal Couple take their Honeymoon?
Turkey Top 5
Guide to the best value Caribbean holidays
Top Destinations for Weddings

Where should the Royal Couple take their Honeymoon?

Rumours have been flying about the Royal Honeymoon for months now and no one seems to have a definite answer on where the happy couple plans to go. Since it seems impossible that they have left it to the last moment to decide, we thought we would go through some of the rumours and rate them on their likelihood. We’re also asking you, our readers and customers to come up with places you think the Royal Couple should go and why. If you were the Royal Travel Advisor, where would you send the newlyweds on honeymoon? The top answers will be posted on a blog to come – and if you happen to be right, you could be looking at a fabulous mystery prize for your answer!

1. Corfu, Greece: Likelihood 7/10

Corfu is a gorgeous island with lush vegetation, warm climate, and stunning beaches and coves. Finding hotels that cater to ultimate luxury in Corfu is not very difficult either, as its adjoining island, Paxos, is home to some of the most expensive celebrity summer retreats in Europe. However, the weather in Corfu at the start of May could be unpredictable and, without the cooperation of the weather, the Royal Couple’s honeymoon bliss could freeze.

2. Jordan: Likelihood 5/10

There is certainly plenty to see and do in a country full of ancient historical sites, metropolitan luxuries, and pleasantly warm climate. However, the hostile political situation currently taking over the Middle East’s Arabic nations is a little bit unsettling. Although Jordan is perfectly safe for a colloquial visit, the Royal Couple need tread with greater caution.

3. Romania: Likelihood 6/10

Romania is a beautiful country that has seen little disruption from mass tourism. Large cities turn into lush countryside that is not too different from that found in England. However, our travel advisors here seem to be stuck to the impression that Romania is just not romantic enough for a honeymoon. I guess we will see…

4. Balmoral Estate, Scotland: Likelihood 9.5/10

Scotland is certainly a place of beauty and culture. However, this is not why the Royal Couple would choose this magnificent land. The truth is, they need privacy. The Queen’s Balmoral Estate stretches to a whopping 50,000 acres and is the perfect place away from prying eyes. They may even do as Princess Diana and Prince Charles and combine their stay at Balmoral with another, sunnier, location.

5. Cairns, Australia: Likelihood 7/10

Prince William is noted to have said on their recent trip to Australia that he and Kate would like to go back for their honeymoon to dive the Great Barrier Reef. Australia’s climate this time of year is very favourable, as is the comfort of being in a somewhat-familiar English-speaking environment with all the amenities of England. However, it seems Price William has only 2 weeks off from his Royal Air Force commitments – so a lengthy flight may be unfavourable at this time.

6. Mustique, Seychelles, British Virgin Islands: Likelihood 9/10

Now that seems more like it! Any secluded resort in the Caribbean or Indian Ocean definitely just screams honeymoon! Although they wouldn’t be the first honeymooners to make this revelation, being unique is not the ultimate goal. Any of these hot, exciting, tropical locales are able to provide a level of privacy, coupled with the sea and sun that is much needed when going on holiday. After all, there is little more important than being able to relax all day wearing nothing but a swimsuit.

For a topic with this much publicity, the location of the Royal Couple’s honeymoon can potentially have rippling effects for the tourism industry in their chosen destination. For countries struggling to compete, it can potentially be a very important decision!

Turkey Top 5

Turkey is easily one of the most popular summer holiday destinations for Purple Travelers.  Its combination of stunning beaches, quaint seaside resorts, ethnic cuisine, and rock-bottom prices, make Turkey the destination of choice for British holidaymakers. If you’re thinking of travelling to Turkey this summer, or have already planned to return, we’ve come up with some of the most spectacular things to do while you’re there.

Pamukkale thermal pools via purple travel

1.  Pamukkale Thermal Pools

If you do only one excursion during your stay in the Bodrum Peninsula, this is definitely it. This rare formation of thermal pools high in the mountainous region is said to heal asthma, rheumatism, and even skin and eye conditions. In case that’s not enough to convince you, the stunning views and the photos you’ll be able to bring back home should certainly do it. Pamukkale image via @ Esther Lee

Gulet cruise via purple travel

2.  Gulet Cruise

The best way to experience everything the Turkish coast has to offer is by taking a Gulet Cruise, also known as the Blue Cruise. Starting in the port of Bodrum and travelling as far as Antalya, these cruises will take you through stunning bays, busy ports, ancient cities, and secluded coves. A little research in advance is well worth it, as these cruises are different and may stop in different places of interest. Keep your eyes out for those stopping at Kaputas Cove and Patara Beach. Gulet Cruise Image via @ Turkey Vision.

Ephesus via purple travel

3.  Ruins of Ephesus

One of the most-visited archeological sites in Turkey, the ancient ruins are certainly a sight to see if you’re staying near Kusadasi. Ephesus was home to one of the original 7 Wonders of the Ancient World, the Temple of Artemis, and still is a significant point of culture, religion, and history. Image of Ephesus via @ Esther Lee.

Mamure Kalesi via Purple Travel

4.  Mamure Kalesi

This castle fortress located on the southernmost tip of Turkey, is a magnificent sight. Home to the Romans, Crusaders, and Ottomans throughout the centuries, it stands as though it was livable just last week. Although it’s about 5 hours from the nearest tourist resort of Alanya, it is the ideal getaway for a swim at sunset. Image of Mamure Kalesi via @ Dr. Colleen Morgan.

Ballooning in Cappadocia

5. Ballooning in Cappadocia

The area of Cappadocia is hugely popular with tourists, who visit it to examine its history, geological and historic landscape. But really, the way to see it is by hot air balloon and is available in Goreme. This will give you a true birds-eye view of the incredible landscape. Image via @ Moyan Brenn.

Of course, there are many other sights to see in Turkey that we didn’t go into more detail about and are sure to be a memorable experience on your trip. Definitely go to one of the many Turkish markets in your resort, or the Turkish Nargile (Water Pipe) Bars.  There are many archeological sites and castles scattered throughout the coastal region worth visiting. If you’re still deciding on where to go in Turkey, do some research on what you want to see before you book and stay in the area with the most places of interest to you. A good place to start is Trip Advisor’s Thing to Do in Turkey  page.  Have you been to see these, or any other sites, yourself? If so, please post your feedback and your suggestions for our readers!

For more on things to do in Turkey and the best value flights, hotels and transfers, get in touch with our expert team at Purple Travel here.

Guide to the best value Caribbean holidays

Summer is still months away and it seems the list of short-haul destinations for winter sun are getting slim. If you still want to get away on a moderate budget, the Caribbean is the best alternative. We’ve narrowed down the most worth-while places to enjoy the best value Caribbean holidays. Light on the wallet but heavy on fun!best value Caribbean holidays from Purple Travel

Dominican Republic – Punta Cana

The fantastic climate, coupled with excellent standard all-inclusive resorts, long sandy beaches, and moderate prices makes the Dominican Republic the destination of choice for a Caribbean holiday. The resort of Punta Cana is on the South-East side of the Island and is home to Bavaro – a stunning stretch of white sand beach leading into turquoise waters. If you’re looking at Dominican as an option, paying a slight premium to stay on this stunning shore as opposed to Puerto Plata is well worth it.

 Cuba – Varadero

This beautiful island is not only the birthplace of the refreshing Mojito – it is the place to be if you’re looking to experience an incredible culture coupled with stunning beaches. Because of the vast size of the island, it is difficult to get to Havana’s gorgeous architecture if you’re staying anywhere other than Varadero. If you don’t want to compromise between a beach getaway of a lifetime and an unforgettable cultural experience, then Varadero is definitely the place for you. The abundance of reasonably-priced all inclusive resorts in this area are sure to delight you.

Jamaica – Negril

Jamaica is the place for lush landscapes, long sandy beaches, and fantastic nightlife. If you want it all, Jamaica is the definite must-see. Negril is the most popular tourist resort in the area. Located on the West Coast, here you will find all the famous Jamaican all-inclusive hotels lined along the 7-mile sandy beach. The abundance of shops, restaurants and bars in Negril are sure to keep every day as action-packed or as lazy as you want.

Mexico – Cancun

Cancun is a favourite destination for the entire family. Couples will love the luxurious all-inclusive hotels in the area, fantastic Mexican cuisine, and the stunning stretches of sandy beach. For the party animals, Cancun has a reputation for some of the liveliest nightlife in the Caribbean, which makes it a favourite spot for North Americans during their school holidays. Your little ones will be entertained by all the organized activities on the beach and the wide array of facilities for children at the hotels. Excursions are also widely available – a favourite being the Mayan Ruins of Chichen Itza, which are well worth the trip.

These destinations rank top for budget and value, but many other Caribbean islands are worth seeing if you can afford the premium price. St. Lucia and Barbados are top choices, as well as St. Maarten, Aruba, the US Virgin Islands, British Virgin Islands, Bahamas and Turks & Caicos just to name a few. For more information on the best value Caribbean holidays visit our website or give us a ring on 0207 993 9228.

Top Destinations for Weddings

With the Royal Wedding around the corner, we got to thinking about how we “regular people” can tie the knot in an unforgettable way. Of course, the common thing to do is get married in England. However, for those who are more adventurous (and perhaps a bit less picky about the little details), destination weddings are definitely the answer. Of course, choosing the right destinations for weddings is half the battle, so we decided to narrow the list for you. We chose the best and most romantic wedding destinations from across the globe and give them to you here, in a neat and tidy package.


Mexico is the most popular wedding destination for many reasons. The stunning beaches are surrounded by turquoise sea and the weather is hot and sunny. What separates Mexico from the rest is the vast choice of accommodation. The coastline is home to hundreds of excellent quality, all inclusive hotels, all vying for a piece of the wedding pie (or cake!). Mexico is also available at a fraction of the cost of some other popular wedding destinations, making it the ideal choice without a huge burden on the wallet.


This lush island is home to all kinds of natural beauty. Stunning beaches turn into lush mountains and mountains to waterfalls. Jamaica is home to more all-inclusive hotels than anywhere else in the Caribbean, which makes it the ideal choice for wedding parties and honeymoons. All that’s left is to walk down the aisle to the beat of reggae.

Dominican Republic

The south side of the Dominican Republic, known as Punta Cana, is a wonderful destination for a romantic wedding. Unlike its Northern counterpart (Puerto Plata), Punta Cana captures the serenity and beauty of the Caribbean Sea. Turquoise waters and endless stretches of white sand beaches lined with plenty of luxury all-inclusive hotels makes for the perfect wedding destination. Bring your snorkeling gear!


If you’re looking for a gorgeous destination wedding that certainly won’t hurt the wallet, look no further than the Greek Islands. Stunning beaches and beautiful scenery can be enjoyed only a short flight away, with an abundance of All Inclusive options to keep everyone in your party entertained. You may even find enough of your budget left over to take a second honeymoon!


Although the flight is very long no matter where in the world you are, the beauty of Hawaii is very well worth it. Besides being one of the most stunning, serene, and romantic destinations on the planet, it offers all the modern conveniences you could ever imagine. Slightly more strenuous on the wallet than the other places listed, a destination wedding in Hawaii promises to be one of the most memorable experiences of your entire life – certainly not to be confused with an every-day holiday. You will have a great excuse to go back to celebrate those many special anniversaries.

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