Category - Travel News

Hear breaking travel news stories from the travel and tourism industry at the moment they happen. Read our funny slant on travel news stories – PurpleTravel.co.uk

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Escaping to Egypt
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Summer 2012: Turkish delight
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Family holidays in Spain
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Chocolate holidays: Would you go?
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Purple Pick: Easter Celebrations Around the World
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Let us help you decide your cheap summer holiday
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Where should the Royal Couple take their Honeymoon?
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Top Destinations for Weddings
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World’s Sharkiest Beaches… Swim at Your Own Risk!
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Congratulations, Alison Campbell!

Escaping to Egypt

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Hurghada

Start out with an exhilarating, adventure filled and educational underwater tour, by hopping into a submarine and diving over 20 yards under the sea. It’s an unforgettable experience among the colourful, sub aquatic world.

If you prefer staying on dry land, a desert safari is an utterly thrilling ride. Your guide will take you into Bedouin territory, exploring the fascinating lifestyle and (for the romantic at heart) will bring you for a picnic under the stars after the most beautiful sunset.

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Summer 2012: Turkish delight

Fancy getting away from it all? We’re daydreaming about soaking up the sunshine on the deck of a wooden ship gently bobbing along in the Aegean? Maybe you prefer to lounge by the pool with a good book, before tearing up the dance floor every night? Or perhaps you’d like a quiet little beach break with the kids, where there is plenty of room for their bucket and spade. Whatever you’re looking for, we think Turkey is a top tip.

Turkey’s right on the crossroads where East meets West. It’s bordered by a whopping eight countries and three seas, so you can imagine the choice on offer.

For pure relaxation, first stop should definitely include a Turkish bath, speaking from experience; this is a pretty blissful thing to do. An attendant basically scrubs you from head to toe with a kind of cloth, a bit like an icing bag, followed by a serious massage! If you’re not a fan of massages stay away and head for the many spas or yoga retreats on offer.

If it’s partying you’re after, well, there is no better place than Gumbet.  There are a heap of open air clubs and some even have 24 hour bars so there’s no excuse! Stay up all night, make friends and watch the sunrise outside some of the best beach clubs in the world. Ps. if you check out Gumbet, definitely take advantage of a boat trip to the Greek island of Kos, it’s like two holidays in one!

If you fancy something a little different, a walking holiday in Cappadocia might be right up your street. This strange rock landscape looks a bit like the moon. There are even underground cities and caves to explore. It’ll make your eyes pop!

For foodies, try out the spicy kebabs and famous coffee in the beautiful surrounds of Bodrum or give the meze dishes a go. With a choice of up to 15 at a time, you will definitely find something you will like. Or how about sampling the sights and sounds and grabbing a bargain on a short break in Istanbul.

Mount Nemrut

Mount Nemrut (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For history buffs, start out with the ancient wonder of Ephesus. Its ancient Temple of Artemis dates back to 550 BC and was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Mount Nemrut offers you the chance to see head statues dedicated to the ancient Gods.

So we think there’s something there to suit almost anyone. If you’ve got any other suggestions for things to do in Turkey, we’d love to hear them. Stay tuned for another country focus coming soon.

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Family holidays in Spain

Family holidays are always tricky. You’ve got so many variables to think about. How to keep the kids happy and where to find good beaches that are safe and not too crowded. You want fun and relaxed places to eat and kids clubs are always handy. Good public transport links are a must and of course you don’t want to be spending an arm and a leg on your holiday.

Then, you might like some choices to keep mum and dad busy; perhaps Grandma and Grandpa are tagging along too? You want to enjoy your holiday as well!

We reckon Spain should be a top choice for a family holiday. With great prices, facilities and of course that elusive sunshine, why would you consider anywhere else?

Malaga on the Costa del Sol has plenty to entertain children of all ages! The Malaga Open top tour bus is a nice way to get your bearings. A trip to the city beach of Caleta is a must. Little ones will love playing in the surf and there are plenty of loungers, umbrellas and facilities to help you out. If you tire of the beach, the interactive science museum will keep you in the shade and entertain for hours. The buggy friendly promenades are a great option for an evening stroll and the range of tapas bars and restaurants mean there’s a choice for even the fussiest eaters.

Lanzarote’s Puerto Del Carmen is amazing value for a fantastic summer break with the kids this year. There are plenty of options for all inclusive or self catering getaways that include kids clubs to keep them busy. The beach is a must, with nearly a mile of golden, soft sand, clean clear waters and a full range of facilities. Just a few miles away in Puerto Calero, kids will love Submarine Safaris. Designed especially for children to enjoy underwater exploration, it’s an incredible journey into Lanzarote’s clear, magical waters.

Costa Brava’s Lloret de Mar is perfect for a simple sunshine break of sandcastles, swimming and a bit of exploring. It’s got plenty of family friendly beaches so you could almost chose a different one every day. Lloret Turisme offers a miniclub, with organised beach games with a beach library for the grownups! The many children’s playgrounds offer a lovely break from the sand. There are even a couple of adventure parks including Gnomopark with bowling, mini karts, games and a gnome farm! If that’s not enough, it’s close to Barcelona if you feel like a little city adventure on your sunshine break. Discover the aquarium, or Park Guell which kids always enjoy.

Majorca has been a trusted family friendly resort for many years; it’s easy to see why so many people return again and again. We like Alcudia Beach or Cala Bona where you have great accommodation options with plenty of family friendly extras. The weather is almost perfect; the long sandy beaches are safe for little ones to get busy making sandcastles. Most hotels and apartments feature child friendly pools and kids clubs to keep them busy from morning ‘til bedtime.

Tenerife’s Costa Adeje is one of our top choices. It’s got a lively atmosphere, with lots of day trips on the menu. Check out the whale watching cruises or boat day trips. If you’ve got older children or teens, they will love trying out diving or surfing. A mini train runs through the resort to pick you up and drop you off when you need to, perfect if mum and dad are tired after a long day in the sun.

La Pineda on the Costa Dorada is really the best of both worlds. With an Aquapolis water park, Dolphinarium and the PortAventura theme park, as well as beautiful Salou just around the corner, there are more fun options than you can shake a stick at! Sun, sea and sand are the orders of the day, in this blessed out cheap holiday hotspot.

Chocolate holidays: Would you go?

Chocolate! We don’t know about you, but we like any way, melted, in bars, egg shaped, hot chocolate, there are chocolate perfumes, chocolate pasta (try it!) and even body creams and moisturisers. We reckon it’s fair to say chocolate is on a lot of people’s minds this weekend in particular with Easter eggs, but, it’s not just now!

This image was selected as a picture of the we...

Did you know there are chocolate holidays? Specific destinations all over the world dedicated to this delicious bean? We’ve done a little research and found some great holiday destinations for all you chocolate lovers, or for anyone looking to impress them.

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Purple Pick: Easter Celebrations Around the World

We’re used to Easter Eggs, big dinners and maybe a stroll nearby on our Easter holidays. Well, there are a few other traditions worth checking out. How about a fireworks fight between some local parishes in Greece, or a silent procession in Mexico? We’ve got just a quick post to give you a taster of Easter Celebrations Around the World.

Portugal: Different regions have their own Easter traditions in Portugal. In some areas you can see the ‘Ecce Homo Procession’ of barefoot men in tunics. While in the South shepherds crowd into town centres to have their flocks blessed before a procession of Alleluia with cowbells. It’s also a great choice for a foodie getaway with roast kid, meatballs and lamb stew on the menu and cakes everywhere!

Mexico: Combine some Easter sunshine, with the traditional spectacle of the Mexican ‘Semana Santa.’ Mexico’s Holy week runs from Palm Sunday to Easter Saturday and if you’re looking for an immersive, traditional Easter experience, we think it’s the place to go. Bells peel, churches are packed and the ‘Procesion de Silencio,’ a silent procession through the streets is well worth a look.

Greece: Easter Sunday is a big occasion in Greece. Most major cities are quiet as people return to their villages for the celebration. A lamb is roasted on an open fire in the centre of the town and families gather to talk, eat and dance. The islands are a really special place with some very unusual traditions taking place including an Easter rocket war in Chios which sees rival parishes try to hit each other’s church bell towers with fireworks, as mass services continue:

Corfu is also a great choice to soak up some sunshine and delight in some unusual traditions. Corfiotes celebrate Easter Sunday by throwing clay pots off their balconies.  It is said to symbolise ‘out with the old and in with the new.’

Don’t forget we’ve got deals all over the world for this Easter, so whether you want to get a look at the locals or steer clear of the traditions; call one of our expert travel advisors on 0800 408 9367 now for some information on our best deals.

Let us help you decide your cheap summer holiday

Thinking of a cheap Summer Holiday but struggling to make a choice? Let us give you 5 tips to help you make your decision!

Français : Plage d'El Golfo Lanzarote îles Can...
  1. Family friendly: are you looking to get away with the kids? Want some downtime to read a book by the pool, while the little ones are being well cared for and more importantly well entertained? Choose an all inclusive trip to Lanzarote. It’s got the sunshine you’re looking for, the great beaches just a stones through away, full on kids club activities and a bit of banana boating for mum and dad if you’re feeling up to it!
  2. Adventure sports: so you want a bit of sunshine, but want to combine it with something a bit different like getting up close and personal with a wild animal on safari, or you’d prefer some water skiing or mountain climbing? We want to let you in on a little secret, try out a holiday with a difference in Gambia. It’s got everything the adventurous spirit wants!
  3. Foodie paradise: interested in locally sourced truffle ice cream? (Hmmm) Or maybe you’d prefer some wild boar pasta? How about some homemade wine? We are drooling just thinking about it. If that sounds good to you, check out the Istria Riviera in Croatia. There are some great all inclusive offers to set up your gastronomic adventure in the sun!
  4. Adults only: That’s not some kind of code for naughty holidays. More and more companies have realised some people just want time on their own in a quieter resort, or tailored just for them. Adult only are packages designed especially for adults with great food, brilliant service, the quality beaches and resorts that you expect and of course what holiday would be complete without a bit of sunshine.  Try Turkey for a special break and see how much it will suit you!
    English: Lalaria Beach. Español: Skiathos, Lal...
  5. Beach break: Are you looking for that perfect beach, to spend a few days just completely chilling out? Maybe you’ll be able to drag yourself away for a cocktail in the evening, but this is all about topping up your tan and letting the sun melt away your cares. So head to Skiathos in the Sporades islands of Greece. With picture perfect white send slipping into beautiful crystal clear waters, it is the perfect place to unwind.

What do you think of our list? We’d love to hear your ideas too, simply leave a comment and we’ll post them on our facebook page.

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Where should the Royal Couple take their Honeymoon?

Rumours have been flying about the Royal Honeymoon for months now and no one seems to have a definite answer on where the happy couple plans to go. Since it seems impossible that they have left it to the last moment to decide, we thought we would go through some of the rumours and rate them on their likelihood. We’re also asking you, our readers and customers to come up with places you think the Royal Couple should go and why. If you were the Royal Travel Advisor, where would you send the newlyweds on honeymoon? The top answers will be posted on a blog to come – and if you happen to be right, you could be looking at a fabulous mystery prize for your answer!

1. Corfu, Greece: Likelihood 7/10

Corfu is a gorgeous island with lush vegetation, warm climate, and stunning beaches and coves. Finding hotels that cater to ultimate luxury in Corfu is not very difficult either, as its adjoining island, Paxos, is home to some of the most expensive celebrity summer retreats in Europe. However, the weather in Corfu at the start of May could be unpredictable and, without the cooperation of the weather, the Royal Couple’s honeymoon bliss could freeze.

2. Jordan: Likelihood 5/10

There is certainly plenty to see and do in a country full of ancient historical sites, metropolitan luxuries, and pleasantly warm climate. However, the hostile political situation currently taking over the Middle East’s Arabic nations is a little bit unsettling. Although Jordan is perfectly safe for a colloquial visit, the Royal Couple need tread with greater caution.

3. Romania: Likelihood 6/10

Romania is a beautiful country that has seen little disruption from mass tourism. Large cities turn into lush countryside that is not too different from that found in England. However, our travel advisors here seem to be stuck to the impression that Romania is just not romantic enough for a honeymoon. I guess we will see…

4. Balmoral Estate, Scotland: Likelihood 9.5/10

Scotland is certainly a place of beauty and culture. However, this is not why the Royal Couple would choose this magnificent land. The truth is, they need privacy. The Queen’s Balmoral Estate stretches to a whopping 50,000 acres and is the perfect place away from prying eyes. They may even do as Princess Diana and Prince Charles and combine their stay at Balmoral with another, sunnier, location.

5. Cairns, Australia: Likelihood 7/10

Prince William is noted to have said on their recent trip to Australia that he and Kate would like to go back for their honeymoon to dive the Great Barrier Reef. Australia’s climate this time of year is very favourable, as is the comfort of being in a somewhat-familiar English-speaking environment with all the amenities of England. However, it seems Price William has only 2 weeks off from his Royal Air Force commitments – so a lengthy flight may be unfavourable at this time.

6. Mustique, Seychelles, British Virgin Islands: Likelihood 9/10

Now that seems more like it! Any secluded resort in the Caribbean or Indian Ocean definitely just screams honeymoon! Although they wouldn’t be the first honeymooners to make this revelation, being unique is not the ultimate goal. Any of these hot, exciting, tropical locales are able to provide a level of privacy, coupled with the sea and sun that is much needed when going on holiday. After all, there is little more important than being able to relax all day wearing nothing but a swimsuit.

For a topic with this much publicity, the location of the Royal Couple’s honeymoon can potentially have rippling effects for the tourism industry in their chosen destination. For countries struggling to compete, it can potentially be a very important decision!

Top Destinations for Weddings

With the Royal Wedding around the corner, we got to thinking about how we “regular people” can tie the knot in an unforgettable way. Of course, the common thing to do is get married in England. However, for those who are more adventurous (and perhaps a bit less picky about the little details), destination weddings are definitely the answer. Of course, choosing the right destinations for weddings is half the battle, so we decided to narrow the list for you. We chose the best and most romantic wedding destinations from across the globe and give them to you here, in a neat and tidy package.

Mexico

Mexico is the most popular wedding destination for many reasons. The stunning beaches are surrounded by turquoise sea and the weather is hot and sunny. What separates Mexico from the rest is the vast choice of accommodation. The coastline is home to hundreds of excellent quality, all inclusive hotels, all vying for a piece of the wedding pie (or cake!). Mexico is also available at a fraction of the cost of some other popular wedding destinations, making it the ideal choice without a huge burden on the wallet.

Jamaica

This lush island is home to all kinds of natural beauty. Stunning beaches turn into lush mountains and mountains to waterfalls. Jamaica is home to more all-inclusive hotels than anywhere else in the Caribbean, which makes it the ideal choice for wedding parties and honeymoons. All that’s left is to walk down the aisle to the beat of reggae.

Dominican Republic

The south side of the Dominican Republic, known as Punta Cana, is a wonderful destination for a romantic wedding. Unlike its Northern counterpart (Puerto Plata), Punta Cana captures the serenity and beauty of the Caribbean Sea. Turquoise waters and endless stretches of white sand beaches lined with plenty of luxury all-inclusive hotels makes for the perfect wedding destination. Bring your snorkeling gear!

Greece

If you’re looking for a gorgeous destination wedding that certainly won’t hurt the wallet, look no further than the Greek Islands. Stunning beaches and beautiful scenery can be enjoyed only a short flight away, with an abundance of All Inclusive options to keep everyone in your party entertained. You may even find enough of your budget left over to take a second honeymoon!

Hawaii

Although the flight is very long no matter where in the world you are, the beauty of Hawaii is very well worth it. Besides being one of the most stunning, serene, and romantic destinations on the planet, it offers all the modern conveniences you could ever imagine. Slightly more strenuous on the wallet than the other places listed, a destination wedding in Hawaii promises to be one of the most memorable experiences of your entire life – certainly not to be confused with an every-day holiday. You will have a great excuse to go back to celebrate those many special anniversaries.

World’s Sharkiest Beaches… Swim at Your Own Risk!

With the tragic passing of 4 tourists in Sharm El Shiekh, the Egyptian Red Sea Riviera, we are left wondering where else we may be in danger of encountering a Jaws-like shark attack. Although we have been told that it is quite rare for a shark to attack a person, we have recently had a rude awakening. Egypt is not included on this list, as the Shark attacks there are actually much less frequent than in other areas around the world – some that have even more beach traffic than Egypt. Just have a look at the world’s sharkiest beaches. Just don’t say we didn’t warn you.

Sharkiest beachesImage via @ Marco Verch

South Africa

Some consider this beautiful country, on the southern tip of this great continent, the Shark Capital of the world. Most notably, Gansbaai (or “Shark Alley”) has become a shark tourist attraction for those wanting to visit the greatest collection of Great White Sharks on the planet. Certainly not the place for a casual swim! Kosi Bay is another shark-infested destination, with the incredibly aggressive Zambezi sharks swimming well inland… in fresh water! Just a short distance from Kosi Bay, you will find Umhlanga Rocks, an incredibly picturesque beach resort. Umhlanga Rocks is home to a deadly combination of Great Whites and Zambezi (or Bull Sharks) but you can feel a little bit safer swimming here because the beach is protected by fish netting in the water. Swim at your own risk.

United States

The New Smyrna Beach, in Florida, is known as the Shark Attack Capital of the world. That’s right – with hundreds of holidaymakers and surfers making frequent visits to these shark-infested waters, you can be sure that the attacks will be very frequent! Although the sharks in this area are much less aggressive, they can still attack humans by accident – which happens quite often. Can you blame them? A surfer floating in the water can seem like a very appealing mid-day meal. Along the opposite coast, Bolinas is a small beach town in Northern California, home to a very large population of Great Whites. Because of the surfer culture in these cold waters, food for the sharks is plentiful. Stay far away.

Australia

Gorgeous climate, incredible coral reef, and an ecosystem of natural wonders, Australia is home to one of the largest populations of Sharks on the planet. Bondi Beach, easily the most popular beach on Australia’s coast, is also the most vulnerable to shark attacks. Although plenty of netting is in place to protect bathers from the threat, it is certainly not 100% safe.

Other Shark Destinations

Some other notable Shark infested areas to watch out for include Recife in Brazil, Lake Nicaragua in Nicaragua, and Reunion Island off the coast of Madagascar. Always keep in mind that your risk of getting into a car accident is much higher than being attacked by a shark, although swimming in any of these waters will certainly put you some danger. Always consult the professionals on duty in the area and make sure to travel with health insurance if you insist on taking your chances. Swim safe!

Congratulations, Alison Campbell!

Congratulations to Alison Campbell! She is the winner of our fantastic holiday giveaway to Corfu!

Alison won a holiday for two to the beautiful island of Corfu in July 2011 for a week. She will be staying at the Seafront Apartments in Kavos, the same hotel Grant & Cynthia stayed in during our Video Invasion of Corfu.

The hotel is owned by Kostas and Spiros, who are responsible for those crazy jetski adventures! Located right on the beach in Kavos, you just can’t go wrong.

Watch out for our next competition or prize draw to win your very own holiday for two!

Have fun Alison!

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