Category - Travel Tips

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Film and TV: Incredible Game Of Thrones locations
Purple Tips: Gambia – The Ideal Holiday Destination for Families
Amazing Days Out: Granada’s Alhambra Palace
Purple Tips: 16 Holiday Facts About Spain
Purple Tips: Enjoy a Girl’s Holiday in Tenerife
Purple Tips: 2014 Ski Holidays
Purple Tips: 11 Amazing Festivals 2014
Purple 10: Hottest Bikinis 2014
Purple Pick: The Best Ruin Bars Budapest
2014 Travel Bucket List – 14 Holidays to book now for 2014

Film and TV: Incredible Game Of Thrones locations

Excited about Game of Thrones Season 4? Ahead of its premiere on Sky Atlantic on April 6th, we’ve got some pictures of the best filming locations for the new series. For anyone living under a rock, the TV show based on the hugely popular G.R.R. Martin books centres around the fight for power amongst seven feuding families who plan to win the right to the Iron Throne. Featuring the Starks of Winterfell, Lannisters of Casterly Rock, the Greyjoys of the Iron Islands nad House Targaryen it is a fantasy epic with locations that match its incredibly dramatic story lines. Game of Thrones is filmed mostly in Iceland, Ireland, Morocco, Croatia and Malta where rugged landscapes stand in for Winterfell and sun soaked streets play host to the Queen of the Dragons. Here are some of our favourite Game of Thrones locations.

The bulk of Game of Thrones filming season 1, 2 and 3 took place in Northern Ireland, where Castle Ward in Downpatrick became Winterfell and introduced viewers to the Starks, Lannisters and King Baratheon. McComb’s Coach Travel provides Game of Thrones day trips from Belfast where you can also visit the Kings Road and the Cave of Cushendun where the shadow baby was born to Melisandre. Ballintoy Harbour played host to Theon Greyjoy’s homecoming to the Iron Islands and near Bushmills is the avenue of trees known as The Dark Hedges, where Arya Stark escaped King’s Landing. There’s even a GoT exhibit in Belfast where you can take a seat on the Iron Throne.

Dark Hedges Ireland

Dothraki Camp Ireland Game of Thrones IrelandImages via @ causewaycoastandglens

The Azure Window, Malta was scene of the Dothraki Wedding in season one, this natural beauty spot didn’t just catch the eye of filmmakers but has drawn tourists for years. Mdina on the island was also used as the streets of King’s Landing and Essos in season one. Although Malta was a chosen location in season one of Game of Thrones, cast and crew started filming in Croatia from season two onwards, but you can still do a Game of Thrones walking tour of the city.

Azure Window


To go beyond the Wall, you’ll need to head for Iceland. Vatnajökull National Park in Iceland is one of the locations where you can go ‘north of the wall’ and Lake Myvatn surrounded by lava stacks will be familiar as the place where Jon Snow leads Ygritte into a cave for an intimate moment together. Scenes with the Night’s Watch and the wildlings were filmed in the park and there are many tours to take advantage of. Iceland also has the added advantage of its complete natural beauty, so make the most of it while you’re there!

Game of thrones Iceland


Once the set for the film Kingdom of Heaven, Ouarzazate in Morocco stands in for the city of Yunkai where Danaerys Targaeryan freed an army of slaves. In fact many of the Khaleesi’s scenes were filmed in the ‘Hollywood of Morocco’. The city is no stranger to famous faces as it was also the settings for Gladiator, Lawrence of Arabia and Troy and the Atlas Studios are known as the biggest in the world.

Ouarzazate Morocco via Moroccoa National Tourist Office


Croatia’s city of Dubrovnik is now a major filming location for Game of Thrones and it appears much of season 4 was filmed there. Fort Lovrijenac, also known as St Lawrence Fortress is an imposing site built on top of a hill, doubling as the Red Keep of King’s Landing which had many scenes featuring the ruthless King Joffrey and his family. The sea underneath the fortress filled in for the Battle of Blackwater Bay proving what a versatile location it was. The nearby Minceta Tower in the city is where Khaleesi entered the eerie House of the Undying, but most of Dubrovnik will be familiar. A tiny Island just across the harbour called Lokrum, home to a salt lake and 1000 year old abandoned monastery stood in as the port city of Qarth, although the island is said to leave a curse on anyone who stays overnight there. Viator runs some great Game of Thrones walking tours in Dubrovnik.

Game of thrones Croatia via Dubrovnik tourist board

Purple Tips: Gambia – The Ideal Holiday Destination for Families

Gambia family holidays

Have you ever planned a family holiday trip by throwing a dart at a map of the world? That method might well be the only way many of us would ever hit upon The Gambia as our next family holiday spot. This tiny nation, one of the smallest in Africa, nevertheless offers some marvelous facilities for tourists along the stretch of beach that sits along the Atlantic. If you and your family enjoy the unusual and if they seek exoticism — here it is!

A Unique Culture

Of course the “real Gambia” includes far more than what you can see from your hotel window. Feeling the need for a bit of help from knowledgeable locals? Then you’re in luck, you can find freelance tour guides through the Gambia Official Tourist Guides Scheme. This organization connects tourists staying in area hotels with guides who can help them get more out of their stay. The guides are happy to show tourists the sights and explain the culture.

This might prove most welcome, since the culture presents a fascinating mix of Muslim and animist religions, a caste societal structure, and rituals that include elaborate greetings. At the same time, however, The Gambia is also quite cosmopolitan, with restaurants serving plenty of international cuisines and hotels equipped with massage facilities and other Western-style luxuries.

Unforgettable Activities

The abundance of wildlife is one of Gambia’s great treasures, and the many national parks provide extensive opportunities to view them in their native habitats. Your friends won’t believe the stories you’ll be able to tell them on your return — so don’t forget to put film in the camera!You may be surprised at the sheer wealth of activities available in The Gambia. You can take a West Coast Excursion tour of the markets, factories and National Museum in the city of Banjul; enjoy a peaceful day on the waters of the River Gambia or local creeks; experience the woodland wildlife with a stop at Tendaba Camp; visit the ancient town and prehistoric structures of Janjangbureh; or frolic with the monkeys and birds as you explore South Gambia on safari.

A Warm Welcome

Adventurous Westerners are discovering that epic vacation getaways needn’t involve proportionately epic plane flights — a point driven home by countries eager to embrace international tourists. For instance, Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba has emphasized the need to strengthen ties between the United Arab Emirates and the United States, and the Dubai-based Emirates airline plans to increase the number of flights between Dubai and the U.S. to grease the wheels of commerce, including tourist commerce. The official Gambia Tourist Authority website takes a similar tack in wooing the UK and Europe, pointing out that the six-hour journey allows for a jet-lag free holiday — which means your family can start enjoying the free time your holiday provides as soon as you step off the plane.

Gambia Flag

The Gambian flag is waving for the attention of Western

All in all, you and your loved ones have nothing to lose, and a world of glorious memories to gain, by setting your holiday compass for The Gambia. So pick up some extra tanning oil (no matter what time of year you’re going), book those reservations, and get ready for some serious African fun! tourists.

William Reynolds has worked as a freelance copywriter since 1997. William specializes in website content, ghost-blogging, print marketing content and audio/video scripts.

(Images courtesy of anankkml and Vlado /

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.


Image via @ Cromeo

For visiting: Numbers are strictly limited, especially in the summer, with only 300 entrants allowed every half hour. Opening hours are 8.30am-8pm from March to October and 8.30am-6pm from November to March. However it’s worth checking the official website to confirm before you travel and please note that tickets can be bought three months ahead of your visit. Organized tours will make it easier to get into and get around to the best parts of the Alhambra Palace in the time you have. Tickets cost from €13 per adult.

Alhambra up close via Purple Travel

Images via @ Sharon Mollerus and Furlin

Overview: Like the Acropolis of Athens, the Alhambra has had a number of functions since it was first built in the 9th century. At one point it’s been fortress, palace, garden and one of the great European architectural wonders. Set high on the hills above the town of Granada, it represents a mix of cultures and history, a fascinating intertwining story is told in its walls. The imposing building is the result of many years of Moorish domination in Spain, with initial palace buildings built in the 11th century and added to later by Islamic rulers and Christian conquistadors.

You should read… Purple Hearts Malaga

Today it’s well established as a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site the Alhambra Palace is made of up of four separate zones: the Palace, the Alcazaba, or military zone, the Medina or city and the villa of Generalife, all of which are surrounded by well-kept gardens, parks and trees. Spring is the best time to visit when orange blossoms scent the air and you can enjoy unobstructed views of this fascinating historical site, without bumping into too many tourists. Inside the hallowed rooms of the Alhambra, you’ll find intricate thousand-year old mosaics and carvings created with unimaginable detail. A visit to Spain’s premier tourist attraction will likely leave you speechless.

Book cheap holidays to Spain for summer 2014 with Purple Travel and save money.

Alhambra 2Image via @ the very honest man

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 Tips: Enjoy a Girl’s Holiday in Tenerife

A guide to great girl’s holidays in Tenerife

Whether you are looking for a sunshine paradise for the ultimate hen party or simply a relaxing destination to get away to with friends, Tenerife will exceed all your expectations. Golden sands, turquoise blue waters, tax-free shopping, and a nightlife that rivals all others, Tenerife is a true island oasis.

Nestled in the centre of the Canary Islands, the Spanish island of Tenerife has much to offer its visitors. Known commonly as the “Island of Eternal Spring”, a trip to the island promises good weather year round. If you are considering heading abroad for your next girl’s holiday, consider the island of Tenerife, a utopia on Earth.

Girls -holiday-tenerife Purple Travel
A tan to be envied by all back home.

Hit the Beach
The beaches of Tenerife are in short, breathtaking. Once almost entirely a rugged and rocky coastline, the government of Tenerife imported the famous golden sands from the Sahara desert itself. The ladies will love working on their tans amidst the gold of the Nile, with warm waters waiting when they are ready for a swim.

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Purple Tips: 2014 Ski Holidays

A Purple Travel Guide to the best 2014 ski holidays

2014 Ski holidays from Purple Travel

Feeling a little inspired by all the action at the Winter Olympics Sochi 2014 and want to give snowboarding or skiing a go? How about simply settling in for an evening of apres-ski? What do you mean you’re not really bothered with skiing? Filled with warming gluhwein and cosy sweaters, or maybe it’s an alternative music festival you’re after? We’ve got the best late deals for 2014 ski holidays right now for whatever type of ski break you’re looking for.

  • Val Thorens in France is easily one of the most popular ski resorts right now, but did you know it’s the tallest in Europe? Fly from various UK airports and soak up the high altitude and guaranteed snow of this 2,300 m high resort. The resort has over 200 separate runs and 43 mountain restaurants. Val Thorens is a great choice for 2014 ski holidays.
  • For families, Pas de la Casa in Andorra has a whole range of child-friendly hotels and chalets including kid’s clubs and discounts for under eights. There’s a big emphasis on childcare, nanny services and schools to get the kids skiing early.
  • The Bulgarian Mountain ski resorts are ideal for beginners. Go all inclusive in Bansko or Pamporovo and save money as you test your mettle on the snowy slopes set amidst pine forests. There are excellent English speaking schools and a real focus on family in Bulgaria ski resorts.
  • It’s all about Apres-ski in the amusingly named Ischgl, Austria. Ok, not only about that, it offers excellent skiing too, but you can be sure you’ll have a fantastic time in Ischgl which has an unrivalled range of bars right in the centre of town. This is the kind of apres-ski where you commit to beer and drink into the wee hours. It’s a sweaty, people-packed mess of apple schnapps-flavoured fun.
  • Enjoy the high life in the Swiss Alps in a picture perfect resort like Grindelwald. A good choice for intermediate level skiers there are 213 km of piste with plenty of runs and good off-piste. The longest run is a decent 15k. Click here for our latest Purple Travel ski holidays to Grindelwald, Switzerland.
  • Easter is very late this year, Sunday April 20th, so 2014 ski holidays are something of a gamble with the weather. However, for guaranteed snowy conditions go to Dubai. Yes, you read that right. The sprawling city has the world’s first indoor black run and a snowball gallery and 22,500 square metres of dedicated ski resort inside one the Mall of the Emirates, one of the biggest in the world.
  • We love cheap and cheerful in Slovenia in Bled or Kranjska, where the Julian Alps boast wild runs, the black pistes of the Podkoren Mountains, kids clubs and gentle nursery slopes. There’s decent nightlife too in Papa Joes or the some of the restaurants and very good value for money on coffee, beers and menus.
  • For luxury ski holidays, book a gorgeous chalet in Val d’Isere in France, one of the most prestigious resorts in Europe. These chalets offer indoor private pools, personal butlers, designer surroundings and stunning views, as well as all the ski services and amenities you could ask on your 2014 ski holidays.
  • Morzine in France is a snowboarders paradise, with dedicated schools and a full on reputation as a winter favourite. It makes a good last minute choice, as it’s too low for glacier practice in the summer, so book now for the best 2014 ski holidays.
  • Mix up some time on the slopes with some very cool sounds at Snowbombing. Mayrhofen, Austria hosts the Snowbombing festival 2014 from April 7-12th with the likes of the Prodigy, Carlo Cox, Four Tet, Chase and Status and DJ sets from the Chemical Brothers and Groove Armada.

For cheap ski holidays right now, visit Purple Travel online or call us now on 0207 993 9228.

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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Purple 10: Hottest Bikinis 2014

If you’re a shrinking violet, maybe best to steer clear of these amazing very cool swimming clothes (I’ve already been called on out on these not being bikinis – but I can’t do the word ‘swimwear’. So, hottest bikinis 2014  or other title suggestions in the comments please!

1. You’ll definitely stand out with this Cool Bralette bikini via @

Cool bralette bikini
2. Prim and proper in this gorgeous Michael Kors swimsuit for SS 2014 via @ Elle on PinterestMichael Kors

3. This will cause some serious tan lines… but who cares! It’s certain to get you noticed on the beach.

Crazy tan lines bikinoi

4. Nothing says “Look at Me” like a swimsuit made of galloping horses. You can get yours from We Are Handsome.

Horse swimsuit

5. Watch out for tan lines in this Bodacious Electra One-Piece from NeimanMarcus.

tan lines

6. We love, love, love, this neon cutout from ASOS.

Neon cutout via ASOS

7. Go Sci fi with a blue neon bikini via Triya Spring 2014

Neon bikini

8. Enjoy some fringe benefits with this little number, the Night Blvd. Stripe Halter with Fringe in Navy/Royal Blue via Revolve Clothing.

Fringe benefits

9. This might be the geekiest swimwear of all time, but we love it! The Force Swimsuit via Black Milk.


10. This might be the craziest bikini we’ve ever seen – ‘would you like fries with that?’ The Multi Hot Dog Bandeau Bikini from Topshop.

Burger and Fries bikini

Enjoyed our Purple 10 Hottest Bikinis 2014? Get more good stuff in our Purple 10 series or pop over to our Pinterest page where we’ll continue to pin some of our favourite bikinis for 2014.

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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2014 Travel Bucket List – 14 Holidays to book now for 2014

#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 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 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 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 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.


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.


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.


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 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 for more on cheap holidays 2014 from the UK or call our travel team on 02079929228 now.

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