Archive - July 2013

1
Purple 10 Worlds Best Party Towns
2
Off the beaten track: Deia Village of Artists
3
Purple 10 weirdest hotel services
4
Look At This: It’s A Bacon Beach!
5
Purple Tips: Top Bulgaria Holidays
6
Purple Pick: Customs of Crete
7
Twilight holidays, the weirdest thing ever?
8
Hidden Gems in Greece: Addictive Karpathos Island
9
Facepalm: World’s Worst Sunburn
10
Holidays: The Most Amazing Swimming Pools In The World

Purple 10 Worlds Best Party Towns

the best parties from Purple Travel

Images via @ DavidDennisPhotos @ Markiza @ Jirka Matousek @ k0a1a.net

Find out where to let loose, let your hair down and go wild in our Purple 10 World’s Best Party Towns. If we’re missing something, head for the comments and let us know what it is and why.

  1. Phuket, Thailand. Thanks to its ‘anything goes’ reputation, Phuket has become a must-stop destination on the backpacker trail. There are cabaret shows, go go bars, Thai boxing and plenty more. Just remember: what happens in Phuket stays in Phuket! Madness level: 8.9.
  2. Las Vegas, USA. Strippers, gambling and a getting totally wasted. No wonder The Hangover was filmed in Las Vegas. If you want to go to crazy partying, this is a city that will go crazy with you. Madness level: 8.
  3. Barcelona, Spain. Get off the famous avenue Las Ramblas and head for the late night parties in the north of the city that don’t start ’til 1am. Stick with the locals who’ll guide you the best clubs of your life. Madness level: 7.1.
  4. Berlin, Germany. Seriously, Berlin is mad. If you’re committed to partying like a maniac, then the hipster capital of the world has leather themed clubs, converted warehouses made for industrial nights out and everything in between. Madness level: 7.8.
  5. Dubai, United Arab Emirates. If you’ve recently won the lottery you might want to head for the gold plated chic of Dubai’s clubs and bars. The city is packed with champagne serving waiters, beautiful people and the most decadent of party experiences. Madness level: 5.9.
  6. Thessaloniki, Greece. Not the most famous, but one of the best on mainland Greece for nightlife, Thessaloniki’s a student city that offers great nightlife all year round, not just in the heady summer months. And, it’s no distance really from the UK. Madness level: 7.1.
  7. Miami, USA. Go to South Beach, relax in plush lounges or party in your bikini for hours on end. The clubs that line Miami’s art-deco streets are made for blinged out clubbing. Just beware: it can add up! Madness level: 8.6.
  8. Ibiza, Spain. It wouldn’t be much of a list of party cities if Ibiza wasn’t included. Despite the high price of drinks and clubs, party animals flock to the island and for party people, it’s a must visit at least once in your life. There are beach parties all day, and the best DJs in the world all night. Madness level: 6.9.
  9. Albufeira, Portugal. Thanks to its dedicated strip of bars and clubs, there are cheap drinks, all night dancing and loads of places to stay boozing all night, Albufeira’s a good, handy choice from the UK for epic partying. Also makes for a great stag or hen do. Madness level: 8.3.
  10. Prague, Czech Republic. Although not quite as cheap as it once was, the free flowing beer of Prague make it a consistently good choice. There are bars, pubs, locals, clubs, kiosks and restaurants, basically anything where you can buy beer they have it. Get detoxed now, so you’ll be ready. Madness level: 8.0.

You should read… Purple 10 budget stag and hen dos

To find out more about flights and hotels in the worlds best party towns, talk to the expert team at Purple Travel on 0207 993 9228.

Off the beaten track: Deia Village of Artists

deia 1

Images via @ Random_fotos

Set on the rocky west coast of Majorca, Deia Village is a peaceful little place which has attracted many artists and literary figures over the years. The big draw to the village apart from great weather was the village cafe and swimming at Cala Deia and the chance to collaborate with other artists.

deia-2

Image via @ gnosne

Poet and author Robert Graves led the pack, settling there after World War 1 and setting his historic novel Hercules My Shipmate there. Anais Nin visited in the 1920s, while various authors, activists, actors and artists made it their homes. The area hasn’t lost any of its charm in recent years, entrepreneur Richard Branson has a luxury escape there, while musicians like Mick Jagger, Mark Knopfler, Mike Oldfield and more recently Caroline Corr and Fionn Regan settled there for various time over the last 100 years.

deia 3

Images via @ Immanuel Bloch and m_iha

Get there via twisty ‘don’t look down’ mountain roads, but don’t expect the clubs and chip shops found in other parts of the Balearics, Deia is continuing its heyday lifestyle of relaxed strolls through olive and orange groves, a range of beaches, tasty little traditional restaurants or gardens and ruins that date back to the 15h century. Take your pick of cultural inspiration on a holiday in Deia.

For more information about cheap holidays to Deia or any getaways to Majorca visit Purple Travel now and save.

Purple 10 weirdest hotel services

Hotels, in particular 5-stars, are made to satisfy every customer’s needs and tastes. But, it’s fair to say, some of them are taking that task a little too seriously. Here are the 10 weirdest hotel services we’ve heard of… This is of course open to change!

purple 10

Images via @ Silas Crews, Mikkoy, live and wtrmlln

1. Automatic Swimsuit Vendor

For the forgetful amongst us, the Standard Spa Miami Beach has its own beach vendor in case you’ve left your itsy-bitsy-teenie-weeny back home in Blighty.

2. Goldfish for hire

Probably a handy thing to have around if you’re feeling lonely, one Cheshire hotel offers guest their own pet fish for the duration of their stay. For £5 ‘Happy’ the goldfish can come and stay in your room.

3. Sex Toys

The Drake Hotel in Toronto, Canada is one of a growing number that offers a list of sensual toys. It has a ‘pleasure menu’ where you can take your pick of locally supplied playthings.

4. Social Media Butler

If you fancy switching off, but still want to share your envy-inducing instagram pics, tweets and status updates then the Lowes Madison Hotel in Washington has what you need with its social media butler.

5. Soundtrack concierge

If you’ve ever had an earworm, or a song that you just need to hear right now, or just need some in-room party music suggestions, why not take up the offer of a soundtrack concierge who’ll develop a playlist just for you?

6. Celeb for a day

The Geejam Hotel in Jamaica offers a recording studio where guests can sing to the top of their lungs and release their inner popstar. Working with the studio’s engineers you’ll find out about the process of recording your very own CD.

7.  Dog surfing lessons

California’s Loews Coronado Bay Resort & Spa offers doggie surfing lessons for man’s best friend. Instructors from the surfing academy bring little Rover or Rex to catch their first waves without wiping out.  

8. Vibe Manager 

If you’re not partying quite hard enough, then head for the Ritz-Cartlon on Palm Beach, Miami which offers a personalised party manager. Your evening escort is on hand to create playlists, offer a cigar or knock up a cocktail for your delectation.

9. Fairy service

Not content with regular concierge servics, the Barnsley Gardens Resort in Atlanta, Georigea, offers a special service of a fairy godmother, who offers to fulfill dreams and wishes. For customised evenings with your significant other, ‘Love Spells’ or over the top proposals the Fiary is on hand to help you.

10. Sleep concierge

A growing number of hotels are drawing customers in with the promise of a good night’s sleep. A sleep concierge assess sleeping habits, recommends pillows, offers a bedtime snack of can organise a relaxing massage to help you drift off.

Look At This: It’s A Bacon Beach!

A beach in the Bahamas dedicated solely to pigs sounds like something from a Pixar movie, doesn’t it? But behold! It’s real. This is Bacon Beach, or Big Major Cay if you want to be serious about it. These pictures slipped across our desk and made us squeal just like little piggies! How did we never hear about this before?

All images via @ helablog

Pig beach 2

pig beach 3 pig beach 4 pig beach 5 Pig beach

Purple Tips: Top Bulgaria Holidays

Bulgaria holidays boast a wonderful mix of holiday fun, from beautiful beaches, extensive history and sense of adventure, find a cheap holiday on the shores of the Black Sea this year from Purple Travel. Here’s our top pick of resorts for summer Bulgaria holidays.

Bulgaria Beaches image

Sozopol: With heavy Greek influence and right on the Black Sea, Sozopol is a traditional Bulgaria holiday option. The town is right on a beautiful lagoon and makes an especially great choice for families who want to wander the tiny cobbled streets, take in the unchanged fishing methods and enjoy clean, safe beaches.

nesebarImage via @ pansy_burke

Nessebar: Set on a peninsula right out in the Black Sea, Nessebar is a resort of two halves! There is the historic ancient part of town with its picturesque churches and old-world charm, and there is a newer part with beautiful beaches and plenty of hotels offering great value accommodation. There’s plenty on offer for watersports enthusiasts, while swimming, diving or fishing are some of the top day time activities. By night Nessebar comes to life with bars, clubs and pubs where you can party until dawn.

sunny beachImage via @ Star Tour

Sunny Beach: If you want a singles holiday, you’re going with a gang of mates or your part of a couple who loves a good laugh, then the cheap resort of Sunny Beach is the best option for a summer getaway. There’s a great value selection of 4 or 5 star hotels, tonnes of decent bars and clubs and lots of other stuff on offer too: from the beach, to the summer festivals and fashion shows.

golden sandsImage via @ avramdeluxe

Golden Sands: One of the biggest and best resorts in Europe, Golden Sands as its name suggests has it all. With plenty of beach space, loads of family activities and great bars, clubs and casinos, families, groups and couples will love it.

Albena

Image via @ romfey

Albena: Right on a nature reserve, Albena is a little more luxurious than some of the other resorts in Bulgaria. There’s a beautiful selection of charming seafront hotels, top notch restaurants and plenty for kids who want to splash about in the water. The town itself is made for evening strolls, discovering little narrow streets or the amazing Botanic Gardens in neighbouring Balchik.

Purple Pick: Customs of Crete

Tradition is an integral part of life for the Cretans in particular – even their dialect is considered the oldest in Greece, frequently becoming a study for university research.  Most Greek dances and music first appeared in Crete, the island where it is said that the mother of the Gods, Rhea, taught them to the Curetes (Cretan tribe). The most famous Cretan dance was the pyrrhic, while the violi, the lyra and the laouto remain the characteristic musical instruments. Customs of Crete are a serious business and you better get to know a few before you travel. Here’s our handy cut-out-and-keep customs of Crete guide. Just go easy on the raki on a fab Crete holiday from Purple Travel.

crete from purpletravel Image via @ Idleformat

Here are some of our favourite Cretan traditions and customs:

Tsikoudia (Raki)

This alcoholic beverage is a real part of Cretan culture. And take it from us, after a few shots of this fragrant, grape-based pomace brandy, you won’t be standing upright. Tsikoudia is sometimes served cold from a bottle kept in a freezer. Tsikoudia is commonly offered as an after dinner digestif, and in most taverns in Crete it is offered complimentary after the meal. It’s flavored using lemon rind, rosemary or honey.

Mantinades

Mantinades (derived from the Venetian mantinada, meaning ‘morning song’) are Cretan rhyming couplets, typically used in music to accompany dance. They usually have either love or satire as their topics. The production of mantinades in today’s Crete continues at much the same pace as it did in the 15th century, especially in the villages. Cretans combine tradition with modern technological developments in the mantinades, often with a great deal of humour, as you can see from the following mantinada:

“In the sheepcote I set up a modem to use,
For to sell on the Net the milk from my ewes.”

You should read… Purple Hearts Heraklion, Crete

Nameday

Most Greeks take their names from a religious saint (Nikolaos, Ioannis, Dimitrios etc). They then celebrate their name on that saint’s given day of the year, much as you may do a birthday. On the “name day” of someone, his friends and family visit him without invitation and offer their wishes and presents. In Greece, name days are more important than birthdays.

The Cretan Dagger

The Cretan dagger’s symbolic value survived even until recently. Its great metaphysical value in protecting humans against the fiendish powers of the invisible world and “ill-fated moments” was deeply rooted in Cretan culture. One example of this was in marriage. When a man and woman were married, it was custom in Crete that the groom offer his new wife a small silver dagger – the argyrobounialaki (yeah, try and pronounce that one). This small dagger was then worn by the Cretan girl on her waist, tucked inside a silk sash; the dagger indicated to other men that the girl was married and that she belonged to one man. It also served as a reminder to the girl that she was devoted to her husband and that the price she would pay for any infidelity would be her own life. Sounds pretty misogynistic, right? Yes, however, in addition to its symbolic significance, the dagger also had practical value, because the young Cretan woman would be able to defend herself and her dignity when in danger.

Daggers, always black-hilted, (as black-hilted daggers were thought to be feared by demons) played a leading part in the practice of magic. Tiny black-hilted daggers were used in making talismans for young children and for protecting epileptics from the bad influence of the moon and the possessed from the pernicious influence of demons. When a child died, the mother would hang small black-hilted daggers around her other children’s necks as talismans, so that the Grim Reaper would not take them too.

The Evil Eye

Many Cretans, especially in villages, believe that someone can catch the ‘evil eye’, or “matiasma”, from someone else’s jealous compliment or envy. This person would feel bad physically and psychologically.To avoid the matiasma, a little blue marble glass with an eye painted on it must be worn. Blue is believed to be the colour that wards off the evil eye but it is also believed that people with blue eyes are givers of the matiasma.

Read more: Holidays To Make You Live Longer

Twilight holidays, the weirdest thing ever?

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If you’re a twihard, like us, then here are some holidays you might want to to think about. From the rolling hills of Ireland to the breathtaking landscapes
of Italy, we’ve got the top trips for Twilight holidays.

Olympic Coven, Forks, Washington, USA

Home to the Cullens, Edward, with added Bella, Carlisle and Esme and (of course!) the newest edition, Renesmee, Forks has become a haven for Twilight fans. Of course, starting off with a Twilight tour is a must. A trip to Seattle nearby is a great family friendly choice; you can even visit the famous Space Needle, while Forks’ national park shows off the setting that inspired Stephanie Meyer.

Volturi Coven, Tuscany, Italy

Romance is alive and well in Tuscany of course, even if you don’t see much niceness from the Volturi themselves. Volterra is the home of the vampire royalty who’ve lived there for over 3000 years, enforcing their strict code of conduct. It might be home to a fictional vampire elite, but don’t let that put you off. It’s one of the most popular places in Europe to get married (think summer evenings, eating outdoors, fireworks and olive groves,) while the show stopping scenery and long, lazy days surrounded by sunshine and pasta make for a totally laidback holiday.

Egyptian Coven, somewhere in Egypt

Robert Pattinson

Egypt might reveal vampires pretty quickly – with all that sunshine, you couldn’t help but sparkle. For non-vamps, the historic homeland of one of Twilight’s oldest clans is an unbelievably beautiful experience. From snorkelling the clear waters of the Red Sea, to discovering the ancient historic sights of the King and Queens valleys.

Denali Coven, Alaska, USA

The Denalis are the Cullens’ closest friends and the only other known ‘vegetarian’ clan. Found in the wilds of Alaska, the Denalis must be making the most of the 67 days of night found in the northern American state. The untouched landscape and a trip to the (aptly named) Denali National Park, mean you can get close to nature and hike to your heart’s content.

Amazon Coven, Brazil

The ultimate in honeymoon destinations, Rio is where Edward and Bella kicked off their first holiday after their wedding and the stars Robert Pattinson and Kirsten Stewart were the star attraction when they filmed there. The secretive Amazon coven, stays out of the way of humans, but you probably don’t need to worry about that. There’s a whole country worth of sights, sounds and smells to soak up in this Latin American gem.

Dublin, Ireland

Ireland Ireland’s capital city Dublin is a great introduction to the home of the Irish Coven with the vampires Maggie and Siobhan. It’s got that legendary nightlife, which is always helpful for vampires who are used to not sleeping. Head to the coast, either West or South, for the hip towns of Galway or Cork and indulge in some of the finest ‘craic’ this side of the Atlantic.

Hidden Gems in Greece: Addictive Karpathos Island

Tucked away between Rhodes and Crete, Karpathos Island is another hidden paradise in Greece, home to spectacular beaches, perfect blue waters and a completely relaxed atmosphere. And yet, despite a recent rise in popularity, once you arrive it’ll  feel like you’re the first person to set foot on this hidden gem in Greece.

Start off with a visit to the award-winning beach of Apella, hidden among green mountains, it’s a tropical setting, in the middle of the Dodecanese.

Apella

Read More

Holidays: The Most Amazing Swimming Pools In The World

Holidays: Crocosaurus CoveImagine time spent in one of these amazing swimming pools, from scary experiences with crocs, luxurious infinity pools in Italy to natural lagoons in Iceland:

Cage of Death, Crocosaurus Cove, Australia
Holidays: Blue Lagoon Iceland

Blue Lagoon, Iceland via @ Daveness_98

 Devil’s Pool, Victoria Falls

Holidays: El Ganzo

El Ganzo, MexicoHolidays: Elounda, Crete
Elounda Gulf Villas Crete Holidays: Four Seasons Serengeti
Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti, TanzaniaHolidays: Hotel Caruso Italy
Hotel Caruso, Italy Holidays: Jade Mountain St Lucia

Jade Mountain, St LuciaHolidays: Mardan Palace Turkey

Mardan Palace, Antalya, Turkey
Marina Bay Sands
Marina Bay Sands, SingaporePerivolas

Perivolos, Santorini, Greece
San Alfonso del Mar

San Alfonso del Mar, Chile (The Biggest Swimming Pool in the World!)

The Joule Dallas

The Joule Hotel, Dallas, TexasUbud Hotel Hanging Garden Pool

Ubud Hanging Gardens, Bali

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