Category - Our Holidays

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Making the most of your Cuba holiday
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A Night Less Ordinary: Marmara Antalya Revolving Hotel
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Amazing Days Out: Granada’s Alhambra Palace
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Purple Tips: 16 Holiday Facts About Spain
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Purple 10: Adult Only Hotels Tenerife & Canaries
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Purple Tips: Best Party Cities Europe 2014
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Hello Corfu! Beaches and Bars in Corfu
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Purple Pick: The Best Ruin Bars Budapest
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Best Sporty Getaways in Europe
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2014 Travel Bucket List – 14 Holidays to book now

Making the most of your Cuba holiday

A trip to Cuba offers a holiday like no other. The largest of the Caribbean islands, Cuba beckons to visitors with promises of sun, sea, sand and salsa. Throw in a rich history, unique culture and exotic scenery, and Cuba stands apart as a “must see” vacation destination — particularly for those who immerse themselves in the laid back and distinctly Cuban spirit that characterises this extraordinary place.

Doesn’t just looking at this view make you feel more relaxed?

Embrace History
Stepping into the capital city of Havana offers an intriguing contrast of the old and the new. Take in sites ranging from an abundance of 1950s-era American cars to colourful Spanish Colonial architecture which has gracefully withstood the test of time. Whether window shopping along the Calle Obispo or touring the breathtaking Castillo de la Punta, be ready for some serious photo ops. And don’t forget to stop by a cigar factory to see Cuba’s most famous export being rolled, and perhaps even buy a box while you’re there.

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A Night Less Ordinary: Marmara Antalya Revolving Hotel

For something really special, why not enjoy a night less ordinary. We scour the world to find the most amazing and unusual hotels all over the world. Whether you’re interested in a night with some giraffes, or you want to pretend to be James Bond for one night only, we’ve got you covered. This week, a revolving hotel room. Enjoy a night less ordinary at the Marmara Hotel, Antalya.

A night less ordinary Marmara Hotel Antalya via Purple Travel

The WOW factor: The Revolving Loft Room. It’s the extra special touch that we thought made the Marmara Antalya worth featuring in our series of great hotels. 24 rooms are built into the revolving roof of the hotel give you a view that changes by the hour. A full revolution soaking in every view takes seven hours, just don’t blame us if you never want to leave! Soak up the atmosphere as you gaze across the sparkling water of the Mediterranean and the breathtaking views of the Bey Mountain range.

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Amazing Days Out: Granada’s Alhambra Palace

Amazing Days Out: Granada’s Alhambra Palace

If you’re holidaying in Spain, particularly Andalusia or anywhere nearby, you’ll be wanting to check out the incredible Alhambra Palace. It is easily one of the most popular tourist attractions in Europe, certainly the most famous in Spain and the town of Granada offers a little shelter from the punishing summer heat of Seville or Cordoba, and is only a couple of hours from Malaga. The two parts of the complex, the Alhambra and Albaycin are seated on two opposite hills and showcase medieval Granada at its most magnificent.

Alhambra

Image via @ Cromeo

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Purple Tips: 16 Holiday Facts About Spain

Ever wondered where the word ‘Spain’ comes from? Or how about how many  miles of beaches there are in Spain? Let us help you out with our 16 excellent holiday facts about Spain.

#1 Let’s start with one of our favourite facts about Spain. It is the most popular holiday destination for Brits, (it was in 2013) with Majorca, Malaga, Tenerife and Costa del Sol holidays ranking highly. Purple Travel’s most popular Spain holidays included Ibiza, Alicante and Palma de Mallorca as well as city breaks in Barcelona.

Malaga from Purple Travel

#2. Some of the most famous names in the world hail from Spanish shores. Actors Javier Bardem (Gran Canaria),Penelope Cruz (Madrid) and Antonio Banderas (Malaga) and sports stars like tennis player Rafael Nadal (Majorca), Andres Iniesta (Castilla-La Mancha) and Fernando Torres (Madrid) are just a selection of the famous faces hailing from Spanish shores.

#3. The word for ‘Spain’ is said to come from ‘Hispania’, which roughly translates to Island of Rabbits. So if you see some bunnies, don’t be too surprised.

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Purple 10: Adult Only Hotels Tenerife & Canaries

If you’re planning a holiday this year and prefer to relax in a child-free environment then you’ll enjoy this Purple Travel guide to the best adult only hotels in Tenerife and throughout the Canary Islands. Designed and built with over 18s in mind, these adult on hotels Tenerife and throughout the Canaries focus on beautiful surroundings, choice of dining options, range of luxury facilities and excellent service and attention to detail. Enjoy the Purple 10 adult only hotels Tenerife & Canary Islands – and remember! For more information or to book any adult only hotels Tenerife, Fuerteventura, Lanzarote or Gran Canaria, talk to the expert team at Purple Travel on 0207 993 9228.

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Purple Tips: Best Party Cities Europe 2014

Check out our Purple Travel guide to some of the best parties cities Europe has to offer in 2014. Don’t agree? Let us know in the comments below.

Berlin, Germany. It can be hard to choose from the best party cities Europe 2014, but Berlin is an easy one. A sprawling city where weekends usually start on Thursday evenings and last well into Monday morning, there’s a great selection of cheap hotels and cool bars. House music is easily the most popular and clubs like WaterGate on Falckensteinerstrase 49, Cookies on Friedrichstrase 158 and Weekend on Alexanderstrasse 5 are almost clubbing institutions in Berlin.

Ios Island in Greece. Not technically a city, but Ios easily tops the list of the best places to party in Europe. A longtime backpackers favourite, trust me, it’s worth the ferry trek for hot summer all night parties. Start out in the clean lines of Far Out Beach Bar, before knocking back €1 shots in Orange Bar (the Malteser ones are epic!) Slammers Bar Ios, lives up to its name – you put on a helmet and get whacked in the head with a hammer after a shot, and Sweet Irish Dream only kicks off at 3am. Phew!

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Hello Corfu! Beaches and Bars in Corfu

Corfu people are happy and easy to get along with. They are also full of artistic activities such as music, theatre, painting etc. Corfiots love beach life so here are some picks of Corfu beaches and their bars.

Glyfada’s incredible beach is easily the most popular on the island. It’s well organized with plenty of loungers, umbrellas and showers. A great choice for families, the water is shallow and crystal clear, while the lifeguards on duty offer some peace of mind for parents with young children. The Aloha Beach Bar is full of life and is home to great parties in the evening. The relaxed atmosphere is perfect for young people who are starting their night with a cocktail.

Close by is the resort of Aghios Gordios, another well organized stretch of sand for people who want to try out some water sports or take some pictures. The long, sandy beach has plenty of loungers and parasols and the AloBar is worth the visit alone! Gorgeous view and really laidback, enjoying a cocktail here at sunset is the moment you know you’re on holidays.

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Purple Pick: The Best Ruin Bars Budapest

A beer for under £2, a balmy evening and crumbling, atmospheric surroundings. Is this the perfect place ever for a bar? Welcome to the “Ruin Bars” of Budapest. Formerly a semi-legal set up, nowadays the Drinking District is one of the top must-dos on your next city break to Budapest.

Legend has it these bars first came into existence in the early 2000s, when a group of young guys were on the hunt for cheap places to drink and these homemade bars were first brought into existence. This is more or less how it works: derelict buildings are transformed with mismatched chairs. Gardens provide sunny terraces in the summer, with odd bits and pieces doubling up as furniture – one bar has a car instead of a table. Donated art gatecrashes the walls and a healthy dose of cigarette smoke and ten foot tall graffiti stains the walls; this is the real deal.

There’s a real community spirit around the Ruin Bars and the patrons range from retirees stopping by for a coffee, to university students on the hunt for a great bar. Here’s our pick of the best ruin bars Budapest. If you’ve got any more suggestions, we’d love to hear them in comments!

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Best Sporty Getaways in Europe

So January is here, and the whole world appears to be rising from their Christmas slumber and hitting the gym to beat the winter blues – and the consequential weight-gain from too many mince pies! (Apparently we gain on average 5 pounds over the Christmas period – whoops.)

This is the perfect time of year to grab a travel bargain, but also to look at not only your typical European sun holiday but to think outside the box a little. How about incorporating some of your New Year fitness regime into your holiday? Sporty getaways create the ultimate feel good factor, not only do you get some relaxing time off work but you spend time in the great outdoors exercising your mind and body. Doesn’t that sound better than that familiar feeling of needing a holiday to recover from the holiday after a week of excess?!

It’s difficult to discuss sporty getaways in Europe without talking about skiing. European skiing destinations, dominated by the mighty Alps, are some of the most prestigious and challenging in the world – and there are packages to suit all skill levels and budgets. Some of the more famous names are Interlaken and St Moritz in Switzerland and St Anton in Austria, however there are some interesting alternatives – for example Finnish Lapland for something truly unusual! Try Trip Advisor for great starter ideas to get your ski bunny imagination to run wild! After a hard day hitting the slopes you can always put your feet up with a nice hot chocolate.

Skiing

Image via @ Stuart Madeley

If you would prefer to enjoy your active holiday in a warmer climate, how about trying the winning combination of surf and yoga, offered on the stunning Portuguese coastline by Surf Algarve. This retreat offers 5-7 day yoga and surf programmes, immersed in the clean ocean air to revitalise your body and soul. At Portugal’s first specialised surf and yoga retreat, there are rarely more than 10 guests at any one time, ensuring a personalised and intimate stay. All-inclusive packages vary in price between off-peak and on-peak times, so check the website to see what might be best for you.

Yoga

Image via @  GO INTERACTIVE WELLNESS

Now for horse lovers among you – have you considered a horse riding holiday in Europe? The perfect way to get some fresh air, great exercise and see some stunning countryside (which you can’t necessarily see by car.) Try In The Saddle for some tips on specialised riding holidays to suit you.

Aspiring jockeys among you – you would like to stay closer to home! – may be interested in the thrill of the race at the renowned www.kempton.co.uk racecourse, located between Sunbury and Hampton Court on the A308, South-West London, Kempton is easily reached by either road or rail from London Waterloo. Racing spectacles are held year-round with a variety of packages to suit all tastes and budgets. This could be a fun day or night out to compliment a horse-lovers holiday, and vouchers for the park make a terrific gift.

So get those endorphins moving with a sporty getaway in Europe this new year – it doesn’t have to mean attending a footie match in Spain!

2014 Travel Bucket List – 14 Holidays to book now

#1 Budapest The Hungarian capital is set to have a busy year amongst hipsters thanks to the release of Wes Anderson’s film The Grand Budapest Hotel (even though it was mostly filmed in Germany!) The city’s filled with architecture, baths, boutique hotels and laid-back cafes. It’s a must-do value city break. Makes a nice addition to our 2014 travel bucket list. 

Budapest

Budapest via @ Cost3l

#2 The Greek Islands We especially love Ikaria, where your holiday can make you live longer and eternal favourite Crete, where you can visit the hippie village of Matala or go family friendly in Heraklion.

Crete

Crete via @ El Mostrito

#3 Reykjavik See the Northern Lights, go to the Blue Lagoon or trek across glaciers and volcanoes. Iceland holidays will leave your jaw on the floor and your soul refreshed.

Northern Lights 1

Northern Lights via @ GuideGunnar – Arctic Norway

#4 New York The Big Apple is always a good choice and is a big seller for cheap holidays from the UK. Plan a summer of NYC shopping, cocktails and rooftop pools for an unforgettable US adventure.

New York

New York via @ Ed Yourdon

#5 Corsica The gorgeous island off the South of France is home to striking mountain ranges, clear waters and untouched beaches as well as the world’s largest chestnut forest, Castagniccia.  

Corsica

Corsica via @ Massalim

#6 Brazil Book cheap holidays to Brazil right now because cities like Rio and Sao Paolo are set to see a huge influx of visitors thanks to the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Instead of watching from your armchair, make 2014 the year you go there in person.

Brazil

Brazil via @ Lautsu

#7 Bordeaux, France A wine lovers paradise, Bordeaux is closeby, with decent hotels and a lovely atmosphere and a modern edge. Bordeaux is a good choice for a foodie adventure in 2014.

Bordeaux

Image via @ Grand Parc – Bordeaux, France

#8 Havana, Cuba It’s always been said, Cuba is a place to visit before it changes! Choose it for 2014 and get in there now before it’s too late and see the 50s cars, the old-time atmosphere and the eclectic accommodations on offer.

Cuba

Image via @ Flippinyank

#9 Cork, Ireland Not only is the city of Cork a hive of activity, but the surrounding countryside has some of the most spectacular scenery Ireland has to offer. Go to Clonakilty for black pudding, Inchydoney for the beach and island hop to Sherkin.

Cork

Image via @ zopdeep

#10 Gulet Cruise, Turkey Fed up with the idea of hitting the bars of Kusadasi or Bodrum? You could opt for a traditional wooden boat cruise instead on your holiday in Turkey. The boat takes you to tiny, hidden beaches, deserted bays and well away from the crowds.

Gulet Cruise

Image via @ TurkeyVision

#11 Sri Lanka Go on an elephant trek, climb 8000ft of mountains, or sunbathe on incredible white sandy beaches. Sri Lanka holidays will pack a punch in 2014.

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka via @ HAS PhotoDesigns

#12 Balearic Islands With new routes from Heathrow and London City Airports in particular, the sun-drenched islands of Ibiza, Majorca and Menorca play host to perfect 2014 summer holidays. There are stylish hotels, boutique farmhouses-turned-villas and an incredible choice of things to do to suit any budget and of course, Ibiza is always a top 2014 party holiday destination.

Ibiza

Ibiza via @ victoriapeckham

#13 Mexico If you really fancy Mexico, but you’ve already been to Cancun, try Puerto Vallarta. Once a spring breakers paradise, the resort is now more famous for its boutique hotels, great beaches and variety of diving spots.

Puerto vallarta

Puerta Vallarta via @ stab at sleep

#14  Cape Verde The former Portuguese colony is a beaut. It’s got Latin spirit by the bucket load thanks to its close proximity to West Africa. Go to Boa Vista for stunning beaches and loggerhead turtles for an unforgettable addition to your 2014 travel bucket list.

Cape Verde

Cape Verde via @ Wikicommons

Visit www.purpletravel.co.uk for more on cheap holidays 2014 from the UK or call our travel team on 02079929228 now.

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