Category - Destination Guides

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Purple Tips: Tunisia – The ideal destination for winter sun
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Our pick: Best beaches in Europe
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A night less ordinary: Royal Tulip Rio de Janeiro
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Lesson Learned: Three days is not enough for Istanbul
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Purple 10: Most photographed places in the world
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The real story on the best destinations 2014
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A Night Less Ordinary: Marmara Antalya Revolving Hotel
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A Night Less Ordinary: The ship-shape Jane Hotel
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A Night Less Ordinary: Giraffe Manor
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Purple Tips: 11 Amazing Festivals 2014

Purple Tips: Tunisia – The ideal destination for winter sun

Tunisia-holidays-Purple-TravelImage via @Dennis Jarvis

Tunisia is perfect for those who want to top up their tan during winter and enjoy a winter sun break with friends or family. There are so many reasons to visit exotic Tunisia from the souks, the history, the gorgeous coastline, Tunisia will spoil you with dramatic landscapes and endless opportunities for winter sun and all that at only 3 hours away from the UK.

See: 

History – For family days out, there is so much history to see, why not head to Carthage or the amphitheater at El Djem.

Local markets – There are many local markets in Tunisia also known as souks. You can try out your bargaining skills by haggling with local vendors and take back some great spices and other souvenirs.

Beaches – There are miles upon miles of breathtaking coastline in Tunisia

Try: 

Spa therapy – Tunisia is a little gem for spa treatments, so why not treat yourself on holiday and at the fraction of the cost that you would get it at home.

Desert Safari – How many times in your life can you say you’ve been on a desert safari…the landscapes in the desert are so surreal you might have to pinch yourself.

Golf – There are great golf courses, especially at Port El Kantoui with a PGA approved, 36 hole course.

Resort Guides:

Djerba – One of the most beautiful islands in the Mediterranean, Djerba offers the perfect mix of beautiful sandy beaches, crystal clear waters and a great atmosphere the minute you arrive.

Sousse – Does Sousse look a little familiar? It’s been used as a movie location for years. Think Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark. Discover for yourself the fine sandy beaches that back onto olive groves. Cool down from the warm sunshine with a dip in the crystal clear water or pick up a bargain in the vibrant souks. Don’t forget to haggle, it’s expected! 

Port el kantoui –  Perfect for a golfing getaway, Port El Kantaoui offers a PGA approved 36 hole course, that should keep you busy for a few days. When you’re not working on getting a hole in one, why not stroll along the dazzling harbour, admire the luxury yachts, or pick up a couple of bargains in the vibrant markets.

Hammamet – A popular destination for a cheap holiday, Hammamet sun holidays offer plenty for families, couples or solo travel. Relax on the beautiful beaches of Tunisia or try out a new sport in the shape of diving or water skiing. If that sounds like too much of a challenge, you could try some gentle celeb spotting; politicians, musicians and actors have been known to holiday in Hammamet.

Mahdia – When you arrive in Mahdia the first thing you’ll notice is the beautiful expanse of beach and you’ll know you’ve arrived on holiday! There’s been plenty of investment over the last few years, building a fantastic resort with lots of activities for all ages. Whether you’re looking to relax in luxury in the sunshine or you want to take the hassle out of a holiday with an all inclusive Mahdia has all kinds of boarding options. 

Tunisia is a great choice for an adventurous family or friends, what do you think? Have you ever been to Tunisia or have you been wanting to go?  Let us know in the comments below!

Our pick: Best beaches in Europe

It’s almost impossible to choose the best beaches in Europe, so we asked around the office to find out what some of the favourites are. We’d love to hear your opinion of our top 10 best beaches in Europe.

1. Zlatni Rat, in Bol, Croatia. The photographer’s favourite, known as Zlatni Rat or the Golden Cape or Golden Horn is a white pebble beach that creates an incredible seaside experience stretching in an almost vertical line into the sea Changing with the tide, the clothing-optional beach is one of the country’s most famous.

Zlatni Rat from Purple Travel

Image via @ Wikicommons

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A night less ordinary: Royal Tulip Rio de Janeiro

We love to take a look at some of the best, weirdest and most wonderful hotels in the world. A night less ordinary is all about hotels with an extra special something, like a revolving roof, a night with giraffes or a panda themed hotel. This week, we take a look at the Royal Tulip Rio de Janeiro home to the England World Cup Squad at least on a temporary basis!

The basics: As you read this, the England squad is already ensconced in the Royal Tulip Hotel on the Sao Conrado Beach in Rio de Janeiro in preparation for the 2014 World Cup kicking off on June 12th. The hotel can host up to 3,000 guests in a variety of rooms. There are 418 apartments boasting private balconies, with sea or mountain views. The outdoor pool will probably be more use than the bar, as will the two tennis courts, gym and sauna.

Royal Tulip Rio de Janeiro from Purple Travel 2

The WOW factor: Superstars like Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and Wayne Rooney are already enjoying the luxurious rooms at the hotel which finished a multimillion pound revamp just in time for the arrival of the England squad for the World Cup. Its reported the FA has asked for a dedicated games room with three TVs so the team can watch its potential opponents in all the group games. The hotel’s manager George Durante, told the Mirror that the 64 rooms that are home to the team for the next few weeks have brand new furniture, beds, floors, balconies and air -conditioning. Sounds like the team has everything they need to win the Brazil World Cup 2014! Royal Tulip Rio de Janeiro from Purple Travel 4Royal Tulip Rio de Janeiro from Purple Travel 5

Details: Royal Tulip Rio de Janeiro Av Aquarela do Brasil – 75, 22610010, Rio de Janeiro. See Royal Tulip Rio de Janeiro reviews on TripAdvisor here. Rooms from 150.27 per day. Royal Tulip Rio de Janeiro from Purple Travel 6

Lesson Learned: Three days is not enough for Istanbul

It turns out March in Istanbul is the perfect time to visit. Actually, scratch that, I would say anytime is the perfect time to go. No wonder it’s been named the best destination to visit in 2014. Living in Athens, it was an easy trip for me and my friend across the Aegean for three days of exploring in the vast (trust me, it’s huge) sprawling Turkish City.

2014-03-21 16.32.00

Ok, i’ll throw my hands up and say it was kind of a surprise to realise just how huge the city is. It’s spread across both sides of the Bosphorus. Since we had such a short time, we fancied seeing the obvious ones, this was a taster really, but here’s our highlights:

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Purple 10: Most photographed places in the world

Next time you’re away on holidays and decide to whip out your camera to snap some pics of the area’s most famous attractions like the Eiffel Tower in Paris, Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia, or the Empire State Building in New York, remember you’re not alone. Sightsmap is a heatmap that charts the most photographed tourist attractions around the world. The images are collated by how ‘hot’ they are, based on the number of people sharing them via Google’s Panoramio. Here’s the top 10 of the world’s most photographed places in the world, with a few that might surprise you. Which one is your favourite?

1. Guggenheim Museum, New York

The Guggenheim Museum

Guggenheim Museum via @ Chris Eason

2. The Spanish Steps, Rome

Pictures taken in May 2010 @ Rome, IT.   Near Spanish Steps (or on it)Spanish Steps via @ Raul

3. Park Guell, Barcelona

Park Guell Barcelona from Purple Travel
4. Moulin Rouge, Paris

Moulin RougeMoulin Rouge via @ Xavi

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The real story on the best destinations 2014

It’s official, Trip Advisor the world renowned travel site has awarded a host of awards for best destinations 2014. The annual Traveller’s Choice Awards includes the vast city of Istanbul in Turkey which tops the poll, with Rome, London and Beijing following close behind. Each city or place earned its review through the reviews and opinions of visitors the site. “If you’re looking for trip inspiration, look no further than the Travelers’ Choice Destinations,” said Barbara Messing, chief marketing officer for TripAdvisor. “Our global travelers are the tastemakers for uncovering the best places to visit around the world.” The awards in its 6th year picks out 500 of the absolute best places to visit in the world.

Best destination collage Square 640But what are these places really like? I’ve asked some of the Purple Travel family to share their thoughts on the top destinations 2014. Some they loved and some… well, you’ll see for yourself. We’d love to hear what you think, good or bad about the official list!

1. Istanbul, Turkey Fantastic city full of sights and culture. The people are so friendly and eager to help. This place has it all. – Gary
I think the best of the best way to taste the Turkish food, and experience the Turkish mentality, is to eat this giant hot dog with fish and cabbage at the Bosphorus coast on the Asian part of Istanbul. There are cooks on floating boats, preparing the grilled fish, that are then placed on these huge bagel and stuffed that with cabbage, fried potatoes and mustard. You cannot imagine! Also don’t miss the old guy outside the Blue Mosque who sells bagels and gives you for free La vache qui rit portion! – Soso
2. Rome, Italy What can someone say about Rome, about the Italians, their food and their language? I think my best moments in Rome were when we were walking around from the Piazza di Spagna, to the Colosseum, and the Fontana di Trevi. Suggested hotels-the newly built Caravel hotel (just two stops by bus from Piazza di Spagna) with nice big rooms and a lovely receptionist and Hotel Trevi, with its traditional style in the very centre of the city!!! loved them both, love Rome! – Soso
3. London, England Massive dump, ok for day trips but get out before it chews you up. – Gary

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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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A Night Less Ordinary: The ship-shape Jane Hotel

Our weekly series: A Night Less Ordinary is all about finding the most weird and wonderful hotels all over the world. From a James Bond hotel room, to sleeping underwater expect the unexpected. This week, we take a step back in time for a night on a cabin in the Jane Hotel New York.

What’s the gimmick? Lovingly renovated, the Jane Hotel’s rooms are themed around the cabins on a ship, complete with galley style bunk bed rooms,  brass fittings, warm colours and big mirrors, storage under over beds and buckets of bohemian history. A stay in the Jane Hotel, with its retro-uniformed staff and period design  is filled with character and one that makes the most of the NYC experience.

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A Night Less Ordinary: Giraffe Manor

Our weekly series: A Night Less Ordinary is all about finding the most weird and wonderful hotels all over the world. From a James Bond hotel room, to sleeping underwater expect the unexpected. This week, we have a night less ordinary at the Giraffe Manor in Kenya.

The WOW factor? The Giraffe Manor which is part of the Tamimi Group lets you get as close to a giraffe as you’re ever likely to get in your life. The Manor is a luxury hotel with its own herd of Rothschild Giraffe who wander around the property, nudging at your breakfast and generally being super cool new friends. The nature trail around the hotel goes through forests and dry lands and as well as giraffes it’s a natural habitat for warthogs, hyenas, different species of birds and every so often a leopard, so you’ll get up close and personal with all kinds of animals.

Giraffe Manor

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Purple Tips: 11 Amazing Festivals 2014

Give your holiday a boost this year by combining it with an amazing festival. Whether you want to knock back pints of Guinness on St Patrick’s Day or fancy giving the air guitar world championship a go, you won’t miss out with our guide to some amazing festivals 2014.

Venice Carnival In the days leading up to Ash Wednesday the Venice Carnival is in full swing. Carnevale di Venezia is an elegant throwback to 18th century opulence. The bright and beautiful of the Italian city’s social scene arrive cloaked and masked for energetic, but pricey parties. Ideal for a luxurious weekend away. Venice Carnival happens between February 14th and March 4th 2014.

Venice Carnival via Purple Travel

Venice Carnival via @ Heatherbroster

St Patrick’s Day There is no better place to celebrate St Patrick’s Day than the Irish capital city of Dublin. It’s not limited to drinking pints, (although you can if you want!) the city pulls out all the stops for a wonderful festival with live music, dancing, parades and free events all over the place. It’s a top choice for a very quick city break, Dublin is just a hop, skip and a jump from the UK. St Patrick’s Say is celebrated on March 17th 2014.

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