Category - Purple Hearts

Purple Hearts is your personal online travel and tourism guide, with tips, advice, photos and need-to-know information about cities all over the world – from Purple Travel

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Cheap Holidays: Emerging Destinations for 2015
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Purple Hearts: Free things to do on Paris city breaks
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2014 Travel Bucket List – 14 Holidays to book now
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Purple Hearts: the best beaches in Gran Canaria
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Purple Hearts: the best beaches in Lanzarote
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Purple Hearts: Free things to do in New York City
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Purple Hearts: Corfu Holidays
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Purple Hearts: Valletta destination guide
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Purple Hearts Marseille France
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Purple Hearts… Paris for Lovers

Cheap Holidays: Emerging Destinations for 2015

Looking ahead for next year’s summer holiday? If you’re after something more authentic but still have a budget to stick to then Purple Travel have picked the best cheap holidays in emerging and undiscovered destinations that won’t hurt your bank balance.

Essaouira, Morocco

Cheap_holidays_Essaouira_Purpletravel.co.ukImage via @Fabio Gismondi

With many tourists flocking to visit the souks of Marrakech or the budget-friendly holiday destination of Agadir towards the north, there lies a little secret a bit more south of this and it’s called Essaouira and really comes at no extra cost either. We can tell you that it is truly one of the most beautiful Atlantic coastal towns that is renowned for being more laid-back than its more popular neighbours. The best time to visit is in Spring and Autumn, before and after Ramadan. Film lovers will be especially pleased to hear that Essaouira has been the setting of Orson Welles’ Othello and Ridley Scott’s Kingdom of Heaven. While outdoor enthusiasts will love the choice of low cost activities and water sports available. Due to a renewed interest in Morocco, chic boutiques and quirky riads have been popping up all over the place, making Essaouira the new cheap and chic place to stay. It is also close to Marrakech for those who want to combine a beach holiday and a city break. Those interested in world music will be pleased to hear that Essaouira plays host to two music festivals. The Essaouira Alizes Festival in April which showcases classic and contemporary Moroccan music and the Gnaoua & World Music Festival in June where local and international artists come together for dancing, music and culture.

Mahdia, Tunisia

cheap_holidays_mahdia_purpletravel.co.uk Image via @ Christopher Rose

Taking a cue from its North African neighbour, Tunisia has new offerings for tourists who want simple and charming experiences and friendly prices. Since Tunisia is more of a newcomer on the block than Morocco it is actually more affordable. Mahdia just south of the busy resort of Monastir, is a coastal city associated with the fishing silk weaving and olive industries. It is certainly one of Tunisia’s most picturesque cities and has many historic attractions such as the ruins of the ancient city of Punic, the Fatimid port, the first Fatimid mosque (dating back to the 10th century) and an Ottoman port (16th century). If you book a cheap holiday to Tunisia it means you have more cash to splash on activities such as diving and Mahdia surely is Tunisia’s top diving site and wreck diving in particular. Holidays in Mahdia are great for honeymooners and great for first-time visitors to Tunisia who will get a taste of this exotic country without being overwhelmed.

Yalikavak, Turkey

cheap_holidays_Yalkiavak_purpletravel.co.ukImage via @ Sue Kellerman

Yalikavak is a harbourside town with an ultra-modern marina yet has still managed to maintain a small and sleepy exterior – so far. I’ts located on the Bodrum peninsula not too far from the bigger resort of Bodrum itself. Visitors looking for cheap holidays to Turkey will be more than pleased by Yalikavak’s offerings. The small sandy beaches are perfect for spending days in the sun and so far many beaches remain uncrowded, perfect for families. For extra beauty, lay on the beach until sunset and see the sun drop behind the horizon. The market at Yalikavak draws people from all over the Bodrum peninsula, seeking out shopping bargains on retail items but also on fresh produce but to get a bargain be prepared to haggle.

Montenegro

cheap_holidays_montenegro_purpletravel.co.ukImage via @Amira_a

Taking a spot all of its own is the country of Montenegro, this is perhaps definitely the most off the beaten track destination in our list. Budva, is the poster child of tourism here and there’s good reason why. Explore the atmospheric old town before parking yourself down on one of the 35 beaches. By night Budva transforms itself with numerous beachside bars so if you’re in for a night on the tiles then Budva is the place to be and really may not be suitable for families. Elsewhere along the Riviera and in other resorts Montenegro has remained quieter and more atmospheric. For example the Bay of Kotor is considered one of the most beautiful in Europe and Kotor itself is an ancient fortified town with UNESCO World Heritage status. Further down the coast from Budva is the Montenegrin south coast where you’ll find Ulcinj, a predominantly ethnically Albanian town with a splendid location, for exploring the south of the country.

The Undiscovered Algarve

cheap_holidays_olhao_purpletravel.co.ukImage via @Nicola Holtkamp

Tourists have been visiting the Algarve for years and years but away from the busy airport, golf resorts, and really cheap package deals lies something more authentic. Olhao, a small fishing village is a perfect example of the cultural mix that can be found in Southern Portugal thanks to the maritime hisotry and Moorish occupation. Olhao is known for its square-shaped whitewashed houses with Moorish features. In the late 18th century, the town was flourishing and so local people started to build new houses in a Moorish style. Another draw of Olhao is the chance to take a watertaxi to peaceful offshore beaches such as Armona, Farol and Culatra. Away from the coast lies Monchique, a forested market town known for its production of aguardiente, a potent brandy and the perfect base to explore the Algarve’s lesser known inland beauty.

 

Purple Hearts: Free things to do on Paris city breaks

Paris is one of Europe’s most visited cities, drawing in tourists from all over the world, particularly during the summer. Despite being notoriously expensive, there are actually a lot of ways you can save money on Paris city breaks

1. Go wandering for free

Since 2004 over 4 million people have taken advantage of Sandeman’s New Europe free walking tour. If you take this opportunity, you will pass along the banks of the Seine, walk around the Latin Quarter, remaining in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower and then some. Lasting for a generous 3 hours, these visits pass by heaps of the top Paris attractions, giving you a chance to see lots of the city at once, learn about the history of Paris and meet other enthusiastic travellers at the same time.

9236022949_404891512f_zImage via @bass_nroll

Tours meet at Place St. Michel by the fountain. Visit times: Daily at 11am & 1pm. Read More

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.

Purple Hearts: the best beaches in Gran Canaria

Maspalomas Possibly the most famous and one of the best beaches in Gran Canaria, the rippling dunes of Maspalomas are an absolute must-see. This area is well kept and has something for everyone. If you’re into surfing, fishing or sailing you can do it from here, there are walking and hiking routes across the dunes and lots of bird watching available. For the beach part it’s well divided to suit all tastes… including nudists! It’s very popular thanks to its extensive facilities and location. Stay at the 4* Tabaiba Princes Hotel right amongst the dunes. It has excellent facilities and offers a great holiday experience.

Maspalomas

Flickr/El coleccionista de instantes/Creative Commons

Taurito A smallish beach, Taurito has great snorkelling right passed the cliffs on either side of the beach and is know as one of the best beaches in Gran Canaria. Days on the sand here offer the best of both worlds; have a go at some water sports, dive into the sea or sunbathe on the sand-free lido. The sheltered resort offers safe waters for children and any less confident swimmers as well as a large swimming pool nearby which looks more like a lake and should definitely be discovered! Stay at the 4* Hotel Taurito Princess in the heart of Valle del Taurito, there are fantastic views, great entertainment and it’s right on the beach. Hard to ask for anything more than that.

taurito

Flickr/Vitamindave/Creative Commons

Read more: best beaches in Tenerife

Mogan After a few years as a rocky outcrop, Mogan has become one of the most popular beaches on the island thanks to a huge delivery of sand from the Sahara. Now the relaxed, sheltered beach, is edged by tasty fish restaurants, its warm waters are great for children, and it’s known as having more hours of sunshine than any other part of the island. Stay at the Cordial Mogan Playa. This 4* has a wonderful Spanish feel, built in a traditional architectural style, the rooms are comfortable, the grounds are filled with lush greenery and you can’t beat its location, a stone’s throw from the beach.

You Should Read… Purple Hearts: the best beaches in Lanzarote

mogan

Flickr/El coleccionista de instantes/Creative Commons

Puerto Rico could be called the ‘people’s favourite’ such is the popularity of the area. A specially built resort, you’ll find Puerto Rico slap, bang in the middle of two beaches with lots of nearby shops, bars and restaurants. The beach itself is made of soft, golden sand and the waters are ideal for paddling in; there aren’t many waves and the water is quite calm so it’s a nice choice for families. Yachting is probably the most popular water sport choice here but there are also surfing or banana boating options. Stay at the 3* Altamar Aparthotel which offers delightful sea views and pretty garden surroundings. It’s just 400 metres from the beach and has a golf course a stone’s throw away.

Puerto Rico

Flickr/Redeo/Creative Commons

Meloneras Right in front of a couple of the big Maspalomas hotels, Meloneras is in a great location, meaning you can get from bed to beach in no time. And of course in a place like that you’ll find top notch facilities. The beach is well organised with lots of loungers and the best bit? It’s usually not too busy! Stay at the H10 Playa Meloneras Palace. A top choice for families, (it’s also right next to an exclusive golf course) and has been recently revamped so you can be sure of an enjoyable holiday.

Meloneras

Flickr/El coleccionista de instantes/Creative Commons

Arguineguin From the ancient Guanche word for ‘quiet water’ Arguineguin is a slightly quieter alternative to the big resorts like Playa del Ingles. A good choice for couples, it’s small and almost private. The sand was replaced in recent years and there are plenty of delicious restaurants serving daily fresh fish so you can enjoy a romantic meal. Check the weather forecast for the waves as surfers usually descend in good conditions. Stay at the 3* Dorada Beach apartments, with gorgeous views, an outdoor pool, and direct access to the beach. There you’ll find great value for a great holiday!

ArguineguinFlickr/shnwsk/Creative Commons

Find out more about the great hotels on the best beaches in Gran Canaria from the expert team at Purple Travel, click for our site or call us directly on 0207 993 9228.

Purple Hearts: the best beaches in Lanzarote

Lanzarote beaches are the top choice for families who want to enjoy year round sunshine, exotic volcanic scenery and some of the best beaches in the Canaries. With average water temperatures of 19.5°C, you’d be crazy to miss out on the wonderful beaches of Lanzarote. Here are some of our choices for best beaches in Lanzarote… don’t forget to share yours!

Papagayo Actually more like a group of beaches clubbed together, Papagayo is a local favourite as well as being one of the best beaches in Lanzarote. It’s sheltered from the wind so you can sunbathe; build a couple of sandcastles, laze around, and maybe even hop on a banana boat for the afternoon. Just remember, a couple of beaches in this area have a clothes optional approach. Stay at the 4* Iberostar Papygayo right on the Playa de las Coloradas Beach, a top choice for families who want to spend days on the beach with great facilities nearby.

Papagayo

Papagayo via @ Teosaurio

Caleta de Famara You won’t have to fight too much for space on this laidback stretch of sand. A handy choice if you’ve got a car, there are just a handful of restaurants lining the beach, a young atmosphere and great views. A good choice for couples who want to escape the crowds. Stay at the 4* Be Live Grand Playa in Costa Teguise to take advantage of both areas.

Famara

Famara via @ Lanzate

Read more: Best beaches Gran Canaria

La Graciosa Not strictly on Lanzarote, but seriously, you must visit this year; before everyone gets the same idea. Its soft golden sands can only be reached by a quick ferry from the north of the island. This is one to visit if you’re after a little peace and quiet, just remember, winds tend to be a bit stronger in the northern parts of the island, so it’s not so suitable for children. Stay at a charming self catering apartment in the town of Orzola.

Graciosa

Graciosa via @ Dario Garavini

Las Cucharas The main beach for the bustling and vibrant Costa Teguise area is a haven for water sports fanatics (known for its windsurfing) while kids have plenty of space for mucking about. Stay at the 3* El Trebol Apartments, a handy choice if you are looking for self catering holidays in Lanzarote this year.

cucharas

Cucharas via @ sun sea & sand

Playa del Reducto in Arrecife is a Blue Flag delight, in a fantastic location with excellent facilities. Why not stroll the length of the seafront, or simply hop straight into the surf and cool off from the hot Canarian sun? It’s got plenty of facilities, loungers and beach bars, so you won’t be left wanting. A little further west you’ll find the more secluded Playa del Cable beach. It’s two for the price of one in Arrecife. Stay at the Arrecife Grand Hotel & Spa, a 5* hotel with panoramic views, tasty restaurant and is the island’s tallest building.

El Reducto

Reducto via @ Lanzate

Playa Grande in Puerto del Carmen is well organised and packed with facilities like showers, life guards and loungers. There is a wealth of water sports on offer, while the Centro strip is ideal for youngsters who want to party hard after sunset. Stay at the cheap and cheerful Arena Dorada Apartments, only a few minutes from the beach, shopping and nightlife.

Puerto del Carmen

Puerto del Carmen via @ Terry Wha

Remember! You can find out more about cheap holidays in Lanzarote by visiting Purple Travelor calling us directly on 0207 993 9228.

Purple Hearts: Free things to do in New York City

There are a million and one things written about New York, but we wanted to focus on the budget side. Although NYC is the home of Carrie Bradshaw and her Manolos, it is possible to get a great city break or summer vacation on the cheap, as long as you’re a bit savvy about it. Read on and get the best in cheap and cheerful, budget and value on New York Holidays.

Times Square

Image via @ hom26

Free Things to do in New York City

Staten Island Ferry: One of the most popular free things in New York City, the ferry is renowned as a top tip. Escape the fare of the Statue of Liberty Ferry but keep the views on the commuter version. Find it at the east end of Battery Park in Lower Manhattan.

Take a walk in Central Park. It’s not just your average patch of grass is it? There are usually free events, statues to visit and sites like Strawberry Fields that are well worth an afternoon’s wandering.

The Trinity Church on Wall Street has regular lunchtime concerts to perk up any afternoon. Usually held on Thursdays around 1pm, it’s worth getting in early for string quartets, sopranos and more.

High line park

Look to the skies: High Line is a gorgeous park built on a former freight rail line. It’s a great place to go and get away from it all for an hour or two. You’ll find opening hours and access information here.

Kayak I love you. There is free kayaking from a couple of different places in Queens such as the Downtown Boathouse. See Manhattan from another angle, down in a kayak!

Sing along at a Broadway Show. Ok, don’t *actually* sing along, your fellow ticket holders might not actually like it, but a night at a show is practically obligatory in the Big Apple. Head for the ticket booth in Times Square for tickets up to 60% off. Cinderella, Matilda, Kinky Boots and Aladdin are just some of the upcoming shows in 2013.

Go to a baseball game. Not strictly free, but if you can wrangle some tickets, a trip to NYC isn’t complete without this all American experience, and where better than watching the New York Mets in Flushing or the Yankees in the Bronx. Just remember not to mix these two up, or feel the wrath of fans! Grab a hot dog, wrap up well and root, root, root for the home team like a true American.

Get in on the act. TV and film play a big part in the cultural identity of New York, so why not be a part of it at a studio taping. Shows like the Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, the Late Show with David Letterman and Saturday Night Live always have a studio to fill up, but these will definitely need to be booked in advance.

Free tour in a brewery Do we need to say more than that? The Brooklyn Brewery offers free tours at weekends between 1 and 4pm.

Walking is free! Big Apple Greeters are locals who offer free tours of their neighbourhoods, these friendly folks will show you the ins and outs of the city, in a way you might never discover otherwise. Other free tours include a 90 minute runaround of the Grand Central Terminal led by an architectural historian, someone who certainly knows their stuff! At Times Square, there’s an Expose Free Walking Tour every Friday from 12.

What to see for free (or cheap) in New York City

Check out Chelsea The galleries of Chelsea are famous (infamous?) and are mostly free. If you time you’re visit right you might even make it for the cheese and wine openings each Thursday. It’s where the beautiful people hang out, so you’ll fit right in.

Museums to savour There are so many museums with free entry in the city, we can’t name them all, but these are some favourites: (you can find more on free and sometimes free museums in NYC hereThe Museum of Fashion Institute of Technology, Socrates Sculpture Park, Tuesday only: Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Fridays between 4 and 8pm Moma, the Museum of Modern Art and for kids after 3pm, pay what you will at New York Aquarium or free Fridays between 2 and 5pm at the New York Hall of Science.

BUrgerImage via @ hom26

Eat… a lot for free (or cheap) in New York City

New York is hardly short of places to eat, but it’s the cheap street food and burger joints that really impress us. New York Street Food will help you find the best in food trucks from hot dogs to ramen to cupcakes and ice cream on the go.

For the best in burgers, well it’s hard to decide but mini burgers at Pop Burger, 58-60 9th Avenue or pop to an outdoor seat at Shake Shack on the corner of Madison Square Park, near Madison Avenue and East 23rd Street, for a tasty treat. The Burger Joint in the fancy Meridien Hotel is a bit pricier, but the queues around the corner really say it all.

For totally free deliciousness, head for Brooklyn where some smart marketing folks came up with free food for every beer purchased. The farmers markets that dot the city are a good choice too for healthy and tasty snacks and decent prices. You can find out where to catch one here.

Where to stay for free (or cheap) in New York City

Stay on budget, stay for cheap Although there are plenty of options for cheap hotels and hostels in the city, you do have to be careful that it’s not some dodgy place that’ll have you awake all night worrying.

A couple of good options include the Harlem Flophouse, an atmospheric choice, with shared bathrooms and themed rooms at 242 West 123rd Street, the 3* Milford NYC in Times Square. It’s in a great location close to everything and with nice touches like iPod docking in each room. Trendy and central, the 3*Yotel, also in Times Square is modern and funky, with flat screen TVs in every room and a moving bed. The 2* Gershwin Hotel is cheap and cheerful in midtown, in the Flatiron district and within 10 minutes walk of the Empire State. Simple rooms make it a good value choice. On the other end of the scale, you’ll get extreme luxury at the historic Waldorf Astoria, but it’ll cost you!

If we missed any top tips on cheap or free things to do in New York City, let us know in the comments below!

Purple Hearts: Corfu Holidays

The queen of the Ionian Sea, Corfu is one of the greenest of the Greek islands, thanks to intermittent rains from September through May. Its landscape is comprised of thousands of olive trees making for a much more rural appearance that many other touristic spots in the country. Its combination of beautiful beaches and warm waters, with a fascinating history (not to mention great food), make it one of our top selling destinations.

Corfu

Corfu is best visited from Easter until October, though many resort hotels only work from May to September. We recommend mid-May to June, when discounted room rates, better taverna service and moderate weather make for an all-round superior trip. July and August are warmer, but also more crowded and expensive.

To get the most out of Corfu holidays, read on for our travel guide, including recommendations from the experts at Nelios.com (Greece’s leading e-tourism agency) and from our own Sales Team who specialise in holidays to Greece and its islands.

Beaches in Corfu

Kerasia – the quiet one

Kerasia Beach is a calm cove, with a long, sweeping beach, which lies between Kouloura and Agios Stephanos. The beach may not have many amenities, with just one tavern amongst a handful of villas, but its peacefulness and relaxed atmosphere are beyond compare. Its privacy also makes it a celebrity favourite; the Rothchild’s have a house there and Prince Charles and Lord Sainsbury are regulars.

Sidari – the traditional one

Sidari, two little villages connected by a beautiful stretch of sand, is an excellent choice for those who enjoy swimming and a piece of traditional life on the island. And if you’re travelling as a couple, one of Sidari’s most famous landmarks are the unique cliff formations known as canal d’ amour (French for the channel of love). Legend has it that if a couple swim together in its water, they will be forever in love.

I recommend Sidari for swimming or diving (it’s an amazing place!) and Corfu Town for a night stroll… Paxi island is also great for a day cruise.

Maria Tsekoura, Content Writer at Nelios.com

Glyfada – the pretty one

Glyfada Beach is by far the most beautiful on Corfu. Surrounded by a fine selection of tavernas and bars, you can easily spend all day here. The beach is made up on soft sands, making it a great choice for those with young children too.

Things to Do in Corfu

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Rent a Car

As much of the tourist development on Corfu holidays is isolated to the coastal patches, travelling inland is much like travelling to a completely different island, or perhaps even in a different era altogether. Secondary roads in Corfu appear not to have changed at all since British times. Renting a car is a must if you wish to see more of the rural landscapes and perhaps even take a picnic with you to make a day of it.

I recommend renting a car, pick a nice sunny day and your other half and go to one of the tallest mountains in Corfu and enjoy the breathtaking view. I know I did.

Georgios H. Kafataridis, Support Department at Nelios.com

Take a Walking Tour of Corfu Town

Corfu was the island that offered shelter to Homer’s Odysseus and allowed Poseidon to indulge his love for Amphitrite in Greek mythology. Today the island inspires the same creativity and love, with its cultural diversity and stunning scenery.  The best way to see the most interesting parts of Corfu Town is to take a walking tour.

Corfu town is a welcome mix of old and new, having been owned in the past by both France and Britain, there are distinct influences of its historic past in the architecture, atmosphere and local produce. It feels more like a French or Italian town rather than a Greek one, particularly in the square of the Esplanade, known as the Spianada. This square was first planned by the French, but is also encircled with beautiful Italian style buildings and even an old Venetian fortress known as the Old Fort, which features a small museum of Corfu’s history and an art gallery of traditional paintings. On a walking tour, you’ll pass a 19th century park and esplanade that is one of the largest plazas in all of Europe, Liston Street, the home of all that famed Venetian Architecture and the spectacular neoclassical Palace of St George and St Michael.

Visit Pelekas

Pelekas is a lovely village that with a great deal to offer tourists. Sandy beaches, tavernas, olive groves, nightlife and more make it well-worth a visit, whether you wish to stay in the resort or spend a day here. You’ll find some of the island’s finest traditional food and drink, enjoyed aside wonderful views from its hilltop location.

The scenic and infamous village of Pelekas, in southwestern Corfu is situated on top of a hill offering panoramic views all over the island. The village is nestled amidst lush greenery and here you can totally relax admiring the sun setting over the deep blue waters of the Ionian Sea. For exceptional views and unique pictures visit the Kaiser’s Observatory to experience the ultimate sunset, as the German Emperor William II used to do, or Hotel Levant’s café for a refreshing drink as well.

Eleni Dimou, Content Writer at Purple Travel

Food and Drink in Corfu

At Purple Travel, we think Corfu holidays are all about the food and drink, and we’re certain you’ll feel the same after a trip there. Long gone are the soggy chips and cold moussakas of the old days, modern Corfiot food is fresh and exciting and produced mainly using locally-grown ingredients. From traditional tavernas to fine dining seafront restaurants, you’re certain to find ample choices of eateries on the island.

I recommend you to go on Fridays evenings at Lemon Garden Restaurant in Acharavi for the “Greek Night” with live music and dancers and drink minimum a “Lemon Pie” cocktail.

Luca Mitrea, Sales Advisor at Purple Travel

A drink in the famous Cavalieri Hotel is a must-do. This stunning 17th century hotel has long been a meeting point for writers, actors and poets, statesmen, businessmen and leisure travellers  Having once belonged to the family of Count Flamburiari, it reopened as a hotel in the mid ‘60s, becoming one of the first luxury hotels in Corfu.

If you go to Corfu, you must try pastitsada and sofrito at Bellissimo Restaurant. If you don’t you can’t say you’ve been there!

John Ropas, Senior Developer at Nelios.com

Book your cheap holiday to Corfu today by calling Purple Travel on 0207 993 9228.

Purple Hearts: Valletta destination guide

Finally climbing its way out of a reputation for being old fashioned, Malta is picking up the pace as a place to party, soak up the sunshine and eat great food. Of course, its relaxed atmosphere is a huge part of its charm, but, where blue rinsers once gathered, now you’re more likely to bump into ravers and all without the inflated prices of other Mediterranean destinations.

Early spring is the best time to hit the capital Valletta. The weather is one of the best bits, found tucked away between Sicily and Libya, right now it’s the perfect time to soak up the sun while shaking off the crowds. It gets very hot in summer, so it’s ideal for an early-in-the-year-break to get that golden glow. Valletta might be the smallest capital city of Europe, but it’s location on the sea, and atmosphere make it the beating heart of Malta. Find out more in our expert Valletta destination guide and make your holiday to Malta one to remember.

Valletta MaltaImage via @ Victoria Peckham

What to do in Valletta

Valletta is a charming capital city that is seriously beautiful to boot. Head for the main street the Triq ir-Republika for a coffee, and a great view, with water left and right.

Read More

Purple Hearts Marseille France

When speaking of France’s grimy, gritty and gastronomic city, you probably first think of Paris, and with good reason too. However, the second oldest and largest French metropolis, and this year’s European Capital of Culture, is as rough around the edges and soft on the inside as Paris itself. Welcome to Marseille, the loud, littered and lively contrast to France’s more Provençal towns.

Marseille

Founded by Greek traders some 2,600 years ago, Marseille France has rarely seen a moment of quiet since. Landscapes comprise of terracotta roofs and buildings the colour of sun-drenched wheat, reflected in the creamy white-blue sea, while treasured-filled alleyways, souk-like markets and chock-a-block streets create a decidedly worldly cadence. Neighbouring North Africa, the blend of cultures becomes most apparent in the crowded street markets. Here you’ll find everything from fresh catches of fish to ethnic fabrics and textiles.

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Purple Hearts… Paris for Lovers

The city of lovers, the city of light, the city home of the Mona Lisa. Here’s the Purple Travel guide to Paris for Lovers: the ultimate guide on where to stay, what to see and how best to enjoy the French capital. Paris is a city filled with sights and sounds of hundreds of years dedicated to the arts and music, haute cuisine and haute couture and you’d be hard pressed in living there for many years to see it all.

Copyright by Moyan Brenn

For the big stuff, the Louvre, The Eiffel Tower, the Catacombs, Notre Dame and the Pantheon (among many others) we suggest the Paris Museum Pass. A pre paid ticket that gets you into over 70 museums across the city. It’s also worth remembering, most museums are closed on either Monday or Tuesday, so check before you go.

With so many sights it can get a little overwhelming, if you want to stay a little more off the beaten track, then here is our top five ‘other’ things to do in Paris.

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