Archive - June 2013

1
Off the beaten track: Avdimou Cove in Cyprus
2
Musical Holidays
3
Off the beaten track: Patara Beach, Turkish Riviera
4
Amazing Days Out | Pirate Route Jamaica
5
Purple 10 really weird museums
6
Top tips for Disney
7
8 Things You Should Never Do On Holiday (YIKES!)
8
Off the beaten track: Strada Napoleonica in Trieste, Italy
9
Super-stretchy Turkish Ice-Cream
10
Purple 10: Greek Party Islands

Off the beaten track: Avdimou Cove in Cyprus

This is a true off-the-beaten-track favourite. A small cove, Avdimou is still fairly unknown to the general public, it’ll take your breath away! The whole cove, located on Cyprus’ South Coast, is surrounded by vineyards that reach down to a long, soft stretch of golden sand.

Walking to the beach is a delight thanks to the aroma that fills the air, if you get a little peckish, you can always grab a couple of grapes from the plants that surround the area. Hopeless romantics will love Avdimou with its seafront walks, the sunset here is absolutely to die for.

Find out more about cheap holidays in Cyprus today and visiting Avdimou Cove from the experts at PurpleTravel.co.uk. Call 0207 993 9228 for more.

Cyprus Cove

Musical Holidays

Music-lovers, this one’s for you. Combining travel and music makes for one perfect holiday in our eyes; check out some of these incredible musical holidays, famous for their firm musical roots:

musical haunts

Images via @ Luiz Fernando Reis and Canucklibrarian

Nashville
Nicknamed ‘Music City USA’, Nashville is the epicentre of country and western. Visitors to the Deep South can attend a live recording of Grand Ole Opry (a country music and variety show) at Ryman Auditorium, one of Nashville’s most significant music venues, or head to the Hall of Fame, an educational museum, dedicated to country music’s extensive history.

New Orleans
New Orleans is the birthplace of jazz, which kind of makes it the birthplace of music itself. Visit in spring, around the end of April to early May, for the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, (aka the Jazz Fest), which is one of the biggest jazz festivals in the world and also features a variety of other music types that were influenced by jazz, including indigenous Louisiana music, such as Zydeco. However, you don’t need to visit in spring to enjoy great jazz in New Orleans – from street musicians and funeral bands to all of those huge bars off of Bourbon Street; music is a central part of life in The Big Easy.

Memphis
Feeling blue? Head to Memphis. Home to Elvis, the blues and Aretha franklin, Memphis and rock ‘n’ roll are synonymous. Beale Street is the most famous and most musical street in Memphis, and it is where you will find most of the live music venues. You should also stop by Sun Studio, the site where Elvis recorded his very first song (‘That’s Alright Mama’) in 1954.

Jamaica
Jamaica conjures up images of beaches, rum and of course, reggae. Bob Marley was born in Jamaica’s Nile Mile and fans can visit the Museum of Bob Marley in Kingston for a walk through the reggae king’s life. In the ‘40s, Errol Flynn, the Hollywood bad boy, declared Jamaica ‘more beautiful than any woman I have ever known’ and today it’s no different. Palm-fringed beaches, coconut cocktails, the uplifting sounds of reggae and crystal blue seas make Jamaica a paradise that’s not just for reggae-lovers.

London
Although punk primarily has its roots in the political and economic, London’s angry, rebellious, opinionated (and unemployed) late ‘70s youth surely deserve some of the title. London is not only where punk music began, but also where punk fashion emerged, and from one shop in particular – SEX – the Camden store owned by Malcolm McClaren and Vivienne Westwood. This in turn bred the Sex Pistols, pioneers of the punk movement. Their fans included an outrageous bunch of young punks known as the Bromley Contingent, who formed a large portion of the London Punk scene, including The Clash, The Slits, Siouxsie Sioux, Generation X and X-Ray Spex. And thus, punk was born. Today, you can still see the dregs of the movement, sitting on a bridge at Camden lock, spitting at any passer-by who so much as glances at them, let alone takes their picture.

Detroit
Everyone loves Motown, it’s hard not to. And in that same breath, it’s hard not to love Detroit. Home to both the highly successful music label and the music that it produced, Detroit exported a large majority of the gospel-inspired R&B singers and groups that populated the radio waves in the 1960s, cutting their records on the Motown label. The Temptations, The Four Tops, The Supremes, Smoky Robinson and the Miracles, and Stevie Wonder forever link Detroit to this very popular musical style. Check out the Motown Museum if you’re ever in town.

Off the beaten track: Patara Beach, Turkish Riviera

A beach that offers 11 miles of sand, an ancient Lycian city nearby and  the promise of nesting sea turtles, makes Patara Beach in Turkey an amazing one to visit.

Patara Beach

Head along the miles and miles of golden sand to find your own secluded little slice of paradise. The beach regularly features in those ‘best beaches in the world’ lists and offers and excellent chance to get away from it all. It backs onto endless dunes with the impressive Taurus Mountains in the distance, and actually, the area is packed with stunning natural beauty.

The most amazing part of a visit to this beach though has to be its pristine condition. There are strict conservation laws in place to protect the loggerhead turtles (carerra-caretta) that come to nest and lay their eggs there.

Find out about more amazing places in the world from our Off the beaten track series.

Amazing Days Out | Pirate Route Jamaica

Jamaica was once the perfect base for pirates. 300 years before it became known for all inclusive, perfect white sandy beaches and crystal clear waters, it was the top choice for a pirate hideaway. The scurvy dogs travelled throughout the Caribbean plundering the new world’s treasure ships and stowing their bounty away. Enjoy our guide to the Pirate Route Jamaica.

pirate flag Image via @ Nicolas Raymond 

If you aarrrre (sorry!) a fan of International Talk Like A Pirate Day, you might be familiar with Jamaica’s history of plundering and scavenging. For everyone else that’s loved Pirates of the Caribbean, wants to hoist the holly roger or simply have a holiday with a little extra spice, we’ve got the ultimate road trip for wannabe marauders.

Port Royal As you enter Port Royal you’re greeted with an old sign that says: ‘Where the Buccaneers Drank their Beer.’ That’s the kind of place we want to visit. Port Royal has a trusty Pirate legacy; it was invaded by the undead forces of the infamous Jolly Roger and used as a base by Henry Morgan a Welshman who became known as one of the most successful and ruthless pirates around. It’s also said to have been frequented by the famous swashbuckler Jack Sparrow and Jamaica has made claims as the birthplace of Blackbeard, (but so has Bristol in the UK and Carolina in the US.)

jamaica

Image via @ rickpilot_2000

Kingston Head back towards Kingston on your road trip and take a trip to Bob Marley’s former home. Not pirate related, but a must see when you’re in the Jamaica. Further along, about 18 miles on the highway, you’ll find the old capital Spanish Town.  The English pirate, Calico Jack who operated throughout the Caribbean in the ‘golden age of piracy’ was hanged here after his capture in Negril Bay, alongside his two female crew, Mary Read and Anne Bonny. These ladies made the crew by disguising themselves as men. This worked until Read started to develop feelings for Jack himself.

Negril Bay Follow the road around and you’ll find the scene of a great pirate raid. This is where Calico Jack was enjoying a rum fuelled party when Captain Barnet was dispatched to capture him. No doubt his senses were a little dulled and he was caught. Calico Jack was executed and his body was displayed in an iron frame as a warning to other pirates.

kingston

Image via @ Thomas Huxley

Montego Bay The second city of Jamaica is a good place to get the kids involved in a little pirate fun. From there you can hop on a replica galleon, where you’ll be treated to hearty dinner to set you up for an enemy raid. Pirates armed with swords and pistols will jump on deck and a fiery battle will take place!

Ocho Rios A perfect place to finish your pirate road trip. Apart from a simply stunning drive, Ocho Rios is where you’ll find the legendary pirate Henry Morgan’s hideaway. It is said Morgan directed his attacks from behind thick walls. It’s also where the location of British playwright Noel Coward’s estate Firefly. It’s said the room where Coward wrote his compositions – “the room with a view” overlooks a gun slit, “pirate cabin” that hid Morgan from view. Today, Coward’s grave side stands near a secret tunnel that Morgan used to escape to sea.

Purple 10 really weird museums

A spy museum, all you’ve ever wanted to know about toilets and real life samples from Big Foot, we’ve got 10 really weird museums from around the world for your pleasure.

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  1. Want to become a spy? Actually, can we just ask, who doesn’t? Well, now you can, for a day anyway, at the International Spy Museum in Washington DC, USA. We’re talking gadgets, code breaking and generally being a bit James Bond as you learn about the history of secret agents and get to grips with a life of espionage.
  2. Iceland’s Phallological Museum in Reykjavik, is as the name suggests all about biology and takes it very seriously too. It is home to a collection of more than 215 penis specimens from various mammals found in the wild all over the island including a walrus, a rogue polar bear, a whale. There are also four examples from humans, but we didn’t ask where they came from.
  3. We always hear of the priceless art found in countless cities throughout the world, but what about the bad stuff? The Museum of Bad Art in Boston claims to be the only one of its kind in the world. Featuring art that’s ‘too bad to be ignored’ it features plenty of paintings of dodgy blue people, symbols that don’t mean much and some weird uses of nudity.
  4. For all you’ve ever wanted to know about the humble toilet, you could do worse than the International Museum of Toilets in New Delhi. The curators tell us: ‘the toilet is a part of the history of human hygiene which is a critical chapter in the growth of civilisation.’
  5. Athens is well known for its museums filled with thousands of years of artefacts that document the birthplace of science and democracy. We like the Tactual Museum, where you’re actively encouraged to touch everything. There are all kinds of replicas, statues and frescoes that you can get up close and personal with.
  6. The Hair Museum of Avanos in Cappadocia, Turkey is a fairly simple idea, but definitely one of the most bizarre things you’ll see. In a room under an unassuming pottery shop, you’ll find caves covered with a collection of over 16,000 locks of hair from women from all over the world. It’s free to enter, and women can leave a lock of their own if they want.
  7. For the latest information and conjecture on the likes of Big Foot, the Montauk Monster, or the Abominable Snowman, then the Cryptozoology Museum, in Portland, USA is a good place to start. It claims to have ‘actual samples’ of hair and unique pieces of evidence from mythical creatures from all over the world.
  8. Your green fingers will start tingling when you hear about the British Lawnmower Museum. As you would expect, it’s dedicated to all things grass cutting and is home to specialised gardening machines, vintage lawnmowers and all manner of parts and conservation materials from all over the world. A truly British experience.
  9. If you’ve got a weak stomach, it might be best to skip the Paris Sewer Museum. You’re guided through the tunnels and pummelled by historical and factual information about the famous underground areas that have featured in French literature including Les Miserables and Phantom Of The Opera.
  10. Love chips? So do we and so do the Belgians apparently, if the Friet Museum is anything to go by. The ground floor offers a 10,000 year potted history of the humble spud and it’s development into the tasty chip we know and love today.

You should read… Amazing Days Out: Pig Museum Stuttgart

Top tips for Disney

Taking the kids to Disney? Make sure your trip-of-a-lifetime goes as smoothly as possible with our top best Disney tips for getting around with little ones in some of the best theme parks in the world.

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Images via @ Wallyspam and Brendan Meier

  1. Don’t try to do everything: You want Disney to be the best experience for everyone and it won’t be if you’re suffering from exhaustion! Slow down and take in all the fun and don’t be afraid to head back to your hotel pool for a chill out.
  2. Age check: Be sure to check out the age and height requirements before you go, you don’t want to get someone all excited about a ride they won’t be able to get on.
  3. Fail to plan, plan to fail: Disney makes it easy to plan your trip, including a daily planner to guide you through the best selection of amusements and shows to suit you and your little ones.
  4. Go at the right time: Remember that the height of summer means crowds, heat, mosquitoes, maybe even different opening hours, so keep this in mind when you’re booking those tickets!
  5. Don’t forget your supplies: Some tasty snacks and especially a couple of bottles of water make those long queues a lot more bearable.
  6. Book in advance: There’s a tonne of great eating options and even a free advance reservation system. Use it! Just remember, this won’t actually mean they’ll hold your table, but you’ll be seated and ready to eat quickly.
  7. Label your child! This may sound a little strange, but it’s a big place and it’s easy for kids to wander off. If you’ve got a few running around, instead of growing an extra pair of eyes, using an ID bracelet with your name and contact details could save on nightmares.
  8. Whistle while you work: Our top tip is of course; to remember you are there for a good time, not a long time! So, go and enjoy yourself, make the most of a wonderful holiday experience.

8 Things You Should Never Do On Holiday (YIKES!)

Brilliant summer holidays are rolling around again and there are plenty of to-do lists… what to bring to the beach, where to go. But, we wanted a quick reminder of what NOT to DO on your next summer holiday. If we’ve missed any glaringly obvious ones, let us know in the comments below.

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1. Don’t fall asleep in the sun wearing your sunglasses to avoid ridiculous tan lines on your face. A little add on to this, don’t get sunstroke on your very first day either!

2. Don’t forget your bug spray, unless you’d like to get a polka-dress look this summer from mozzie bites.

3. Don’t miss out on some local food. Part of the fun of holidays is to let loose and try new things, so don’t forget to try some Spanish paella, Greek moussaka or American hot dogs.

4. Don’t booze ’til you drop. We’re not ruling it out altogether, but you don’t want to come home with a killer hangover.

5. Don’t forget your swimwear! You don’t want to have to splash out on some dodgy bikini from a random tourist shop on arrival.

6.  Don’t carry stuff you do not need. One of the oldest pieces of travel advice: pack light!

7. Don’t pick up any dodgy tropical diseases. That stray dog might look cute, but you should probably resist giving him a rub, unless, you actually want to come home with rabies.

8. Don’t drink the tap water. Depending on where you are heading on holidays, tap water can lead to dodgy tummies and in some cases, pretty serious illnesses. Keep a couple of bottles in your bag, it’s usually a pretty cheap option too.

Off the beaten track: Strada Napoleonica in Trieste, Italy

One of Italy’s best hidden secrets is the Strada Napoleonica (Napoleon’s street) in Trieste. Named, obviously enough because it was built by Napoleon’s troops. The road is over 5km long and is beloved by locals for walks particularly in Spring and Autumn. It’s worth it for the views alone, as the path winds up a mountainside offering breathtaking views of Prosecco and Opicina. If you’re feeling a little lazy, there’s always a tram and in summer, you couldn’t really ask for a better beach than Barcola, right underneath the strada. 

barcolanaImage via @ wikipedia

640px-Prosecco-Napoleonica_003Image via @wikipedia

view 3Image via @ Andrea Wehrenfennig

Super-stretchy Turkish Ice-Cream

Ice-cream is the ultimate summer treat, perfect for young and old and anyone with a sweet tooth (and not so sweet.) Impossible to improve I hear you say -well, not quite. We’re here to introduce you to the mysterious ice-cream of Turkey, the dondurma which is ice cold, squidgy, elasticy and stretchy. Sold on nearly every street corner in the resorts throughout Turkey, it’s a magic trick for kids and a feast for the eyes for mum and dad, as the ice cream is on steel poles and doesn’t seem to melt.

dondurmas

Image via @ The Black Azar

Traditionally made with milk, sugar, and masticha, it’s the salep flour that makes it thicken and is behind the mind-boggling stretchiness of the ice cold treat.This great streetside treat is not only delicious, but it doesn’t melt very fast giving the vendors the chance to tease their customers.

turkish ice-cream 1

Image via @ FlickSoul

turkish icecream 2

Image via @ Zlatko Unger

While indulging in a great summer holiday in Turkey in resorts like Marmaris, Gumbet, Icmeler and many more, you will certainly come across street vendors wielding the long metal pole and carving shapes of super stretchy, super fun ice-cream.

Image via @ t.ohashi 

Purple 10: Greek Party Islands

For years now, Greece has been considered as one of the the hottest party locations in Europe and it’s easy to see why. Every summer the Greek islands are practically shaking from the wild crowds of party animals. So we’ve compiled our top 10 Greek Party Islands. Practice some moves, ’cause you’ll need ’em around these beach bars and clubs.

Keep Calm and Party On

Images via @ ddp4566 , Paul Stanyer, Greenman of Kildwick, chriskateifides

1. Mykonos

Maybe the most infamous of all the Greek Islands, although we’re open to correction on that, NOT. Mykonos guarantees endless fun, all night parties and brilliant club nights. Head for Super Paradise: nude friendly, fresh cocktails, a gorgeous beach and music all night. Couldn’t really ask for more could you?

2. Ios

Attracting young crowds from all over Europe, the island of Ios is home to excellent bars, cheap drinks and all night parties. It’s also got really good and really cheap accommodation, so is a good choice for a party holiday. Head for Kandi or Far Out on the beach as well as Orange Bar and Baru for shots and beers.

3. Corfu

Perfect for sun worshipping party peeps, Kavos is the all nighter capital of Corfu. You’ll get to know the staff in every bar, the reps who pull you out for shots, and maybe Tinchy Stryder and Professor Green who are both scheduled to play this summer. Basically you’ll probably have the time of your life.

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4. Rhodes

Faliraki is legendary in terms of partying. Drenched in sunshine, Rhodes is filled with wild dancing, brilliant cocktails, cheap drinks and loads of fun. Head for the unmissable King Arthur’s Bar, where all the kings and queens assemble to kick off their night with a royal round of shots!

5. Crete

Thousands of party animals enjoy Malia clubbing holidays every year. Literally. Even the Inbetweeners got a look in! It’s got an excellent setup, great beach and lots of accommodation just a few minutes walk from the strip. There are epic bars and clubs there, we like buzzing nights out at Banana or Malibu, or the silent disco at Candy Club.

You Should Read… 10 Of The Most Unbelievable Bikinis and Swimsuits

6. Kos

Load up on shots in Kardamena for an explosive start to your night out. Kos is a sleepy, beachy place by day, but comes to life with a bang after dark. We’re talking fishbowls and Jager Bombs on the cheap in every bar on the Strip. Head for the oldest club in Kos, Heaven before you leave – it’s been packing them in for 25 years.

7. Paros

A more laidback island than Mykonos, Paros is more chilled if you’re into lazy evenings by the beach, downing cocktails or beers. After a long day sunning yourself, head for Punda Beach Club in the southeast of the island for late night action.

8. Zante

Laganas has long been considered the hardcore clubbing capital of the Greek Islands, so if it’s not broke, why fix it? The (in)famous Zeros Club is famous for its hot bar staff, crazy bar games, dance routines and fire breathers. If you’re a serious party animal, definitely consider it.

9. Kefalonia

Kefalonia isn’t that most well known for partying, but there are some brilliant clubs if you know where to look. Stavento in Argostoli is synonymous with fun. Loads of tunes, all day boozing and dancing and special one off guests, it’s a good choice if you want to go wild and chill out a bit too.

10. Skiathos

Go to Skiathos in August, when the clubs will be full of half dressed visitors from all over the world who want to bump ‘n grind all night. Feeling it already? Add some of the best beaches in all of Greece and that’s pretty much the recipe for a perfect holiday.

You Should Read… OMG! World’s Best Beaches

Book an amazing clubbing holiday in the Greek Islands with the experts at  Purple Travel or call us on 0207 993 9228.

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