Category - Off the beaten track

Go off the beaten track with Purple Travel and have the most incredible holiday experience.

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Off the beaten track: Rainbow land
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Off the beaten track: Heaven’s Gate
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The world’s sexiest holidays
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Off the beaten track: Birdwatching in the Kruger National Park
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Off the beaten track: Cherry blossom lake – Sakura, Japan
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Off the beaten track: Socotra, a mystical place on Earth
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The most amazing staircase in Germany
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Off the beaten track: Funnel Wall, a music playing building
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Off the beaten track: Electric Elephant Croatia festival
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Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium

Off the beaten track: Rainbow land

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Image via @ S.K. LO

Imagine visiting a land of rainbow. Well now you can forget about imagining and just go for it. Mauritius is home to this weird and wonderful landscape filled with colour and wonder.

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Image via @ wikimedia commons

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Image via @ wikimedia commons

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Image via @ Anne-Marie bis 

Normally, Mauritius brings in mind exotic scenery and turquoise waters. But, in a small region near the village of Chamarel, a rainbow has found its home in the land. Visitors can can admire huge colourful dunes with seven different hues: red, brown, violet, green, blue, purple and yellow. Most viewers will be surprised to find that even if you try to mix it all together, you’ll realise that the colours are totally separated.

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Image via @ Szakács Feri 

Notably, the dunes don’t suffer from erosion, or from the torrential tropical rains of Mauritius and since the 60s it’s become one of the tourist hot spots on the island. However, you will only get to view the exquisite sands from a platform, as authorities have installed barriers to stop anyone getting too close.

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Image via @ Nitish Ramanjooloo 

Find out more about amazing places around the world, in our Off the Beaten Track series.

Off the beaten track: Heaven’s Gate

The Door to Heaven is a cave in the middle of Heaven’s Gate Mountain, which towers over the Zhangjiajie area in China. It is the biggest natural cave in China and was used as a place of worship by the ancient Chinese. The mystical gap in the rocks is a whopping 122m high and was formed when a rock between the two mountains collapsed.

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Image via @ Wikicommons

Image via @ Wikicommons

Image via @ Wikicommons

To actually see the gaping hole in the cliffs up close, visitors will have to make a gruelling trek up 999 steps. The number of the steps was chosen wisely, since for the Chinese number nine means ‘eternal’ or ‘perpetual’. The highlight of a visit is when the clouds shroud the mountain, offering a really mystical experience.

Alternatively, for visitors that won’t think of climbing all those stairs, there is a cable car (the longest in the world) running and a bus that follows a risky mountain journey with continuous bends.

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 Image via @ SeemingLee

For the full experience of Heaven’s Gate, check out this amazing video of a skydiver flying through the mountain cave:

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The world’s sexiest holidays

If you’re looking to let it all hang out, feel the passion and generally get up to as much mischief as possible, check out our sexiest holidays. As always, whatever we’ve missed leave it in the comments.

Sexiest Holidays from Purple Travel

Hedonism Resorts, Jamaica this place really lives up to its name. Au naturel accommodation (including mirrored ceilings), singles opting to share rooms, and nightly parties, this is where grownups go to lose every inhibition.

Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas Sin City was bound to appear on this list. The Moorea Beach Club is an over-21s ‘European Bathing Experience’ offering poolside massages, a waterside casino, and some of the best and most attentive staff in the city. Just remember, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.

Thermal Baths, Budapest Hungarians are known for a bit of a lack of inhibitions so why not join the party and strip off like the locals in one of the gorgeous thermal baths. Filled with saunas, whirlpools, plunge pools and men and women in various states of undress. Getting all hot and naked is as good a way as any to get a party started.

Amsterdam, The Netherlands Eh, there’s the Red Light District, that famous relaxed atmosphere and reputation for free-spiritedness all combining to make Amsterdam an excellent getaway particularly if you’ve only a few days to do it. Head for a burlesque club, or the famous sex museum to really spice things up.

Mardi Gras, New Orleans The infamous carnival is easily one of the biggest street parties in the world, there’s nothing quite like the seductive rhythm of Mardi Gras to spice up your holidays. There’s the odd flash of flesh in exchange for beads, but be warned, it’s not exactly legal, hundreds are arrested each year for public nudity.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil It’s got everything you need for a sexy holiday. It’s exotic, has the ultimate party reputation, the hottest guys and girls vying for space on the unbelievable beaches and a thumping club scene. Head for the Copacabana to soak up the atmosphere.

Paphos, Cyprus has good credentials when it comes to loving. It was the home of an actual love goddess in the form of Aprhodite, who tempted the mighty Adonis with lust. It may not have all worked out, but you can still recreate that summer romance on the perfect party island.

Temptation Resorts, Mexico A themed hotel designed with an adults-only atmosphere, Temptations has its focus on relaxation, with a casual attitude to all aspects of your holiday. Go topless, enjoy a themed night, party for 24 hours, or simply chill out in this all inclusive resort.

You should read… joining the mile high club

Image via @ Temptations Resorts, Mexico.

Off the beaten track: Birdwatching in the Kruger National Park

For a family break with an adventurous twist, why not grab your binoculars and go bird-watching Off the Beaten Track.

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For keen ornithologists, the vast Kruger Park in South Africa with over 500 bird species, some of which are native only to this area is the ideal place to be. The rich birding (shorthand term for birdwatching) especially in the very northern part of the Park, along with the numerous water points, rest camps and picnic sites create the perfect setting for get up close and personal with some of the most unique feathered friends on the planet.

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The best place to stand and watch all the weird and wonderful happenings of birding in the Park is in the bushveld camps, a woodland eco region which attract a huge amount of birds, as there is a dense concentration of trees and shrubs and they are usually next to rivers or dams.

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All images via @ wikicommons

Visitors to Kruger Park birders can expect to see birds like the  saddle-billed storks, kori bustards, martial eagles, lappet-faced vultures, pel’s fishing-owls, ground hornbills and many more.

Find out more about amazing places around the world, in our Off the Beaten Track series.

Off the beaten track: Cherry blossom lake – Sakura, Japan

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 Sakura via @ SteFou!

If you love things romantic, filled with flowers or simply think the sight of hundreds of blooming cherry blossom trees is something you’d like to see, then head for Lake Sakura in Japan. Its name translates as ‘cherry blossom lake’ after its stunning surroundings.

In Ubuyagasaki, Japan, a small paradise in bright pink appears every spring, and offers  a breathtaking opportunity to thousands of visitors who come to soak up the unique sight.

Dozens of cherry trees start to blossom turning the whole area into pink. What’s more, bright pink is blended with the blue lake waters making visitors think they are looking at a famous painter’s creation.

Colours harmoniously success each other, depending on the season, reaching their beauty peak in mid-April when visitors can witness a stunning sight.

Find out about more amazing places in the world from our Off the beaten track series…

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Sakura via @ Forgo23

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Sakura via @ jmurawski

Off the beaten track: Socotra, a mystical place on Earth

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Socotra tree via @ Wikicommons

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Image via @ Places to see in your lifetime

For those of you thinking that alien places only exist in Spielberg’s imagination, the island of Socotra stands as solid evidence of a true outer space land right here on Earth.

Actually, Socotra is an archipelago of four islands close to the Horn of Africa. Thanks to its  geographically isolated location and purely tropical climate, it is no wonder that the fauna and flora of this hidden gem are unique in the world.

Socotra’s unearthly images will certainly amaze even the most experienced globetrotter. Once you get there giant mushroom-shaped Dragon’s blood trees, trees that look like an elephant’s foot, and cucumbers, as well as more unusual species of birds, mammals and fish. It’s all so unusual you’ll have to pinch yourself to make sure you’re not dreaming.

Find out about more amazing places in the world by our Off the beaten track series.

Cowrie Shell

Image via @ Gerry and Bonni

Cucumber Tree

Image via @ Gerry and Bonni

Desert Rose

Image via @ Gerry and Bonni

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Socotra beach via @ Wikicommons

The most amazing staircase in Germany

It turns out the most amazing staircase in Germany, is one that doesn’t actually lead anywhere. This mind-bending spiral staircase in Munich by artist Olafur Ellison is well worth a visit.

Amazing staircase 1 Amazing staircase 2 Amazing staircase 4Via @ bitrebels

 

Off the beaten track: Funnel Wall, a music playing building

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image by attila acs

Located in Dresden, Germany and more specifically in the area of Neustadt Kunsthofpassage, also known as the student neighbourhood, this building is unique in the world!

The Funnel Wall is an architectural creation by three artists, Christoph Roßner, Annette Paul and Andre Tempel, who converted the exterior wall of the building into a band playing slow or fast track according to the weather.

To be precise, the entire surface is covered with funnels and gutters in the shape of musical instruments and when the rain begins to fall, this colourful drain system “captures” the water and turns the wall into a melodic music band envied by every conductor!

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image by Lichtdesigner

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image by UglyGuckling

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image by Rainer Fritz

Find out more about amazing places around the world, in our Off the Beaten Track series.

Off the beaten track: Electric Elephant Croatia festival

For dedicated clubbers, the Electric Elephant Croatia festival taking place from 11th-15th July sounds like a paradise. As the festival is organised in the idyllic area of Garden Tisno, Croatia, music buffs can soak up the sounds from the beautiful beaches and crystal clear waters of the Adriatic Sea.

TGF - Argonaughty arms in the air - credit www heathershuker co uk (3)

Electric Elephant 2012 - Disco ball credit www heathershuker co uk

For five days and five nights like-minded souls from across Europe and beyond unite for the best in summer sunshine and summer tunes. Electric Elephant also offers lots of other events, such as the legendary Argonaughty; sailing out across the glittering deep blue sea by day or simply enjoying nightly after parties at the amazing new outdoor club, Barbarellas.

Crazy P at TGF 2012 - main stage - credit www heathershuker co uk (2)

Sunset - credit www heathershuker co uk (2)

All images by www.heathershuker.co.uk

There are big names playing the festival in 2013, including genre-blending and extended set maestro Mr. Scruff, Kompakt’s Michael Mayer and Tobias Thomas, DJ Prosumer, DJ Nature, Pete Herbert, Andrew Weatherall & Sean Johnston, Optimo, Ivan Smagghe, Ewan Pearson.

If you’re planning on heading over for the festival, visit Purple Travel first for the best in flights and accommodation for any Croatia Festival. Weekend tickets cost £110.00. For more details head on over to ElectricElephant.co.uk.

Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium

Some people think aquariums are a bit weird – we don’t! We think it’s pretty cool to get up close with Nemos or the odd Jaws in there. The Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium in Japan has huge windows where you can practically reach out and touch the sharks, rays and tonnes of other species of fish that thrive in its waters.

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image via @ temaki

Your visit starts from a beach and continues down into the deep sea world, as if you’re going diving yourself.

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image via @ tab2_dawa 

The aquarium’s exhibits are shown in many different ways and your experience will go far beyond simply viewing exhibits in tanks.

The Main Tank

image via @ SteFou!

When you arrive you’ll get the chance to see multiple whale sharks and one of the largest rays, as the aquarium’s experts are the first to breed multiple manta rays in captivity.

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image via @ Hyougushi

Find out more about amazing places around the world, in our Off the Beaten Track series.

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