Author - PurpleTravelHelen

1
Purple Tips: What NOT to do in Italy
2
Foodie Corner: The Best Christmas Food
3
Off the beaten track: Sicily Turkish Steps
4
Purple 10: December festivals around the globe
5
Purple Tips: Ibiza Rocks 2014
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Off the beaten track: Worlds steepest cogwheel railway
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A night less ordinary: Marie Antoinette Suite Paris
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Purple Tips: Christmas around Europe
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A night less ordinary: Hotel de Glace in Quebec
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Off the beaten track: Lencois Maranhenses, a desert filled with lakes

Purple Tips: What NOT to do in Italy

The Italians love being helpful. Even if you are only asking for street directions, you’ll end up listening to all possible options, which one the locals would take and precisely why. In the end, one thing is for sure, you’ll be changing your initial destination as their suggestion will always be better than yours! Well, what can you do… passionate, strong-minded and original, Italians are like this! After all that’s why they’re so much fun. But be careful! There are certain things you’d better be conscious about when visiting Italy!

Here’s a list of DON’Ts that’ll guarantee you a great holiday in Italy this year.

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Image via @ scattomatto56

1. Don’t visit the Vatican City in a revealing outfit, as you’ll be shown the way out! Cover up shoulders and remember to be respectful.

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Foodie Corner: The Best Christmas Food

Christmas time around the world is celebrated according to local traditions and every family has their own little quirks. For many though, what makes it really special is the Christmas Food! When families take their seats for Christmas dinner, they feast their eyes on a variety of mouthwatering favourites. In our house it includes Spiced beef! Every house is different though, so we’ve taken a look at some Christmas food favourites from all over the world… Share yours in comments below!

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1. Germany – Roast goose with red cabbage. Simple, but carefully arranged (as always!) the Christmas table in Germany combines the meat with vegetables and of course potatoes, a Germans’ favourite!

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Off the beaten track: Sicily Turkish Steps

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One of the most beautiful and unique beaches in the world is found, where else but on the warm shores of the Mediterranean Sea. The Sicily Turkish Steps are on the coast of the beautiful Italian Island and offer a one-off experience on a great holiday. The rocky cliff face is famous for its unusual colouring, the bright white, which derives from sedimentary rocks and sits between two beautiful, sandy beaches. Visitors and locals are impressed alike when standing at this gorgeous piece of Sicilian coast.

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Images via @ Wim Kristel, Sandy Kirchlechner,  

We are talking about the stunning Scala dei Turchi, the English translation of which is Turkish steps. This superb geological formation is one of the most popular places to visit in Sicily. The first thing you’ll see when reaching the area is high rocks of white colour in the shape of steps and crowds of people lying and soaking up the sun, while others are swimming in the turquoise waters underneath. The beach is mainly famous for its natural sun loungers made of limestone and overlooking the sea and Africa, as well as the stunning natural landscape of Sicily.

Purple 10: December festivals around the globe

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Image via @ ReneS

1. National Finals Rodeo

Where: Thomas and Mack Center, Las Vegas, USA
When: First week of December
People might say that Las Vegas is a festival itself, as it’s a place where the lights never go out. However, if you opt for a December trip to Las Vegas, you’ ll have the chance  to personally experience the 10-day National Finals Rodeo, a.k.a. Rodeo Superbowl. The festival involves, the top 15 rodeo cowboys who compete each other, claiming prizes up to $5.5 million!

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Image via @ globeseeker

2. Quema del Diablo (Burning the Devil)

Where: Guatemala City and Antigua, Guatemala
When: December 7th
According to local tradition the Devil lurks in house corners, under every bed and in the garbage bins. Therefore, on 7th December of every year the locals clean their houses and streets, setting the garbage on fire at 6 o’clock in the evening. Usually, on top of the burning pile they also throw a figure of the Devil. Certainly an unusual addition to our list of December festivals.

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Image via @ Box of Badgers

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Purple Tips: Ibiza Rocks 2014

Irresistible HAIM or indie The 1975, what’s it gonna be? Well, why not both? Our favourite Ibiza Rocks has just announced its stunning line up for June 2014. So, get ready for the frenziest opening parties in the Rocks’ history!

The so-hip-it-hurts girl band HAIM from California is performing at Ibiza Rocks 2014 on 4th June and the crowd will get the chance to shake up with the sound of the band’s debut album “Days Are Gone”. These amazing girls are the winners of BBC Sound of 2013 and have already shared the scene with Florence & The Machine and Mumford & Sons. Anticipation is reaching fever pitch!

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A week after, June 11th – same place, Mancunian group The 1975 will make music bunnies go bananas, playing their addictive indie pop hits Chocolate, The City and Sex out loud! Stay tuned to the Purple Travel blog for more Festival 2014 lineups soon. Don’t put it off, book you summer 2014 holiday to Ibiza with Purple Travel for the best deal!

Off the beaten track: Worlds steepest cogwheel railway

Railway company Pilatus in Switzerland takes you from Alpnachstad lake in Luzern to the top of Pilatus mountain, which is 2.073m high on the worlds steepest cogwheel railway.

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Image via @ Marcin Wichary, Sky Eckstrom

The train goes over 1600m uphill with a speed of only 4.6km. The world’s steepest cogwheel railway winds up through lush meadows carpeted with Alpine flowers, past sparkling mountain streams and fascinating rock faces.

So…would you dare travelling?

A night less ordinary: Marie Antoinette Suite Paris

Find out more about the most amazing hotels around the world with Purple Travel. We take a look at a night less ordinary, whether it’s sleeping in a fox hotel, or in a silver mine, we want to give you a look at some of the weirdest but most wonderful hotels in the world. This week, a delight for that special lady in your life, let her eat cake at the Marie Antoinette Suite Paris in the Hotel 7 in Paris.

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What’s the gimmick? Have a little taste of the Palace of Versailles at this incredible Marie Antoinette Suite Paris. Created with the indulgence of aristocracy at the French Court it has every luxury you can imagine and creates the perfect atmosphere for an unforgettable weekend away in the City of Lights.

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Why stay?  Featuring a clawfoot hot tub, canopy bed and a voluptuous lounge, it’s made for fun and games and a feeling of utter decadence.

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All images via @ www.sevenhotelparis.com

The WOW factor! Really, a themed hotel in the heart of Paris, built for heavenly levels of extravagance make for a perfect dirty weekend. If you feel like spoiling someone special check out the Marie Antoinette Suite Paris at the Hotel 7.

Prices start from 367€ per night.

You should read… A night less ordinary: Hamster Hotel

Purple Tips: Christmas around Europe

GREECE

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Image via @ www.glikiazoi.gr

Decoration – The Christmas Tree is the most well known festive decoration. People use colourful lights, homemade decorations, a bit of tinsel and on top of the tree a big shiny star, symbolising the Star of Bethlehem that revealed the birth of Jesus. But, as always, the Greeks have their own particular traditions! Mainly, in the Greek Islands, the locals decorate a wooden model ship to show their love and appreciation to all the seafarers on duty during these special days.

Christmas delicacies – Apart from the sweet savoury pastries, such as melomakarona (honey cookies with walnuts) and kourabiedes (shortbread-type biscuit usually made with ground almonds – recipe), there’s another special treat made only on the first day of the year. It’s a cake or bread called Vasilopita, and on New Year’s Day families cut the pastry for a blessed and luck year. This is usually done at midnight on New Year’s Eve. A coin is hidden in the bread by slipping it into the dough before baking.

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A night less ordinary: Hotel de Glace in Quebec

Find out more about the most amazing hotels around the world with PurpleTravel. Whether you want to sleep in a princess suite, a submarine or a hamster hotel, Purple Travel will give you a night less ordinary. This week, alternative art lovers will be amazed by the Hotel de Glace in Quebec, Canada where you can sleep in an ice sculpture.

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What’s the gimmick? Made up totally of ice, the Hotel de Glace in Quebec, Canada is rebuilt every year by its skillful sculptors.  Some people call it a work of art – some people just go to feel really cool. Either way you can’t deny how impressive the Hotel de Glace is.

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Why stay?  The Hotel de Glace is only open for a few months each year, so get in there while you can. It opens on January 5th – March 23rd 2014 and the highlight will be its frozen facade and Nordic Escape-themed decoration. The well stocked Ice Bar should have enough reserves to keep you warm.

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All images via @ Xdachez.com

The WOW factor! Visitors will have the chance to go behind the scenes and discover the secrets of the hotel’s construction. Tours take place every weekend upon reservation, just be sure to reserve a spot in advance.

Prices start from £250 per person

Off the beaten track: Lencois Maranhenses, a desert filled with lakes

The Lencois Maranhenses National Park is in northeastern Brazil. The thing that makes it special is that, although it’s 1500 square kilometres of desert, the white sands are broken up by small lakes.

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Lencois Maranhenses (The bedsheets of Maranhão) is considered to be absolutely unique among any other deserts on the planet, due to its high level of rainfall, which is 300 times higher than the rainfalls in Sahara desert. The strange thing is, that the rain water is stored between the huge dunes, keeping lakes of crystal clear waters that attract tourists from all over the world every year. It’s hard to get anymore off the beaten track than here!

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All images via @ Miradas.com.br  and Diogo R. Moraes

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