Category - Off the beaten track

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

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Get inspired: Fireworks festivals around the world
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No vacancy – Abandoned Hotels From Around The Globe
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Off The Beaten Track: What is Glamping
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Off the beaten track: Sicily Turkish Steps
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Off the beaten track: Worlds steepest cogwheel railway
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Off the beaten track: Lencois Maranhenses, a desert filled with lakes
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Off the beaten track: Setenil de las Bodegas – A town within the rocks
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Snowbombing 2014: The hottest ski holiday you’ll ever have
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Off the beaten track: Cano Cristales, the River of Five Colours
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Off the beaten track: Deia Village of Artists

Get inspired: Fireworks festivals around the world

We may be the only country to celebrate the fact that a king survived an attempt on his life by lighting bonfires and fireworks, and continue to celebrate this over 400 years later, but we aren’t the only ones to commemorate a historical event using fireworks. Guy Fawkes Night is fast approaching and while you’re probably prepping for a big bonfire and making sure you have plenty of sparklers to go round, let’s take a lot at some fireworks celebrations throughout the world which could provide you with inspiration for your next holiday.

Fourth of July Celebrations – U.S.A.

Fourth of July is a holiday that celebrates the founding of America, therefore it’s fitting that some of the best fireworks displays happen in the capital, Washington, D.C. There are also many, many superb displays in New York. Grab a free view of fireworks from Brooklyn Bridge Park, or book yourself on a cruise and see the firworks from the water. Let’s not forget the family firm favourite that is Disney World, Florida. Fourth of July celebrations there capture the true spirit of America, their fireworks celebration is not simply a fireworks display but is hailed as a “concert in the sky”.

Fireworks_Disney_Purpletravel.co.uk Image via @Tom Bricker Read More

No vacancy – Abandoned Hotels From Around The Globe

For many reasons some resorts and hotels become abandoned whether due to political or economical situations. Can you imagine what these places were like in their heyday? Occupied rooms, people splashing about in the pool or lazing on sun loungers, a queue forming in the bar or hotel lobby, chatty diners in the restaurants. Now, all the people are gone and all that’s left are the buildings in ruins.

1.Bokor Palace Hotel And Casino – Cambodia

Bokor Hill Station in Cambodia was a resort built by French colonists in the 1920s and the epitome of the splendour found there was the Bokor Palace Hotel and Casino. Around 1000 people died during the construction of the hotel, only for the Europeans to flee the area in the 1940s due to political instability. It was used intermittently up until the 1990s when it was abandoned for good. Bokor Hill Station is now a popular tourist attraction and even though not even 100 years old the hotel looks much older than this. Locals in the area won’t enter as it is rumoured to be haunted by the ghosts of those who lost their lives trying to build it.

1017091852_c44b13d0f4_oImage via Matthew Klein

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Off The Beaten Track: What is Glamping

Thanks to Patrick, an expert glamper who gave us the lowdown on what is glamping! Turns out it’s a cool mix of camping and glamour, no buddy boots here!

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Glamping … it’s a funny new word. It’s actually two words mixed together which I’ve always found quirky in itself, but what makes this one really stand out is the fact that it’s actually two concepts rolled into one as well. And those two concepts – I imagined – were entirely contradictory. I couldn’t be more wrong! And the word isn’t funny really; it’s the concept that just makes you want to smile all day long.

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Off the beaten track: Sicily Turkish Steps

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One of the most beautiful and unique beaches in the world is found, where else but on the warm shores of the Mediterranean Sea. The Sicily Turkish Steps are on the coast of the beautiful Italian Island and offer a one-off experience on a great holiday. The rocky cliff face is famous for its unusual colouring, the bright white, which derives from sedimentary rocks and sits between two beautiful, sandy beaches. Visitors and locals are impressed alike when standing at this gorgeous piece of Sicilian coast.

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Images via @ Wim Kristel, Sandy Kirchlechner,  

We are talking about the stunning Scala dei Turchi, the English translation of which is Turkish steps. This superb geological formation is one of the most popular places to visit in Sicily. The first thing you’ll see when reaching the area is high rocks of white colour in the shape of steps and crowds of people lying and soaking up the sun, while others are swimming in the turquoise waters underneath. The beach is mainly famous for its natural sun loungers made of limestone and overlooking the sea and Africa, as well as the stunning natural landscape of Sicily.

Off the beaten track: Worlds steepest cogwheel railway

Railway company Pilatus in Switzerland takes you from Alpnachstad lake in Luzern to the top of Pilatus mountain, which is 2.073m high on the worlds steepest cogwheel railway.

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Image via @ Marcin Wichary, Sky Eckstrom

The train goes over 1600m uphill with a speed of only 4.6km. The world’s steepest cogwheel railway winds up through lush meadows carpeted with Alpine flowers, past sparkling mountain streams and fascinating rock faces.

So…would you dare travelling?

Off the beaten track: Lencois Maranhenses, a desert filled with lakes

The Lencois Maranhenses National Park is in northeastern Brazil. The thing that makes it special is that, although it’s 1500 square kilometres of desert, the white sands are broken up by small lakes.

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Lencois Maranhenses (The bedsheets of Maranhão) is considered to be absolutely unique among any other deserts on the planet, due to its high level of rainfall, which is 300 times higher than the rainfalls in Sahara desert. The strange thing is, that the rain water is stored between the huge dunes, keeping lakes of crystal clear waters that attract tourists from all over the world every year. It’s hard to get anymore off the beaten track than here!

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All images via @ Miradas.com.br  and Diogo R. Moraes

Off the beaten track: Setenil de las Bodegas – A town within the rocks

An absolutely unique town, Sentenil de las Bodegas is built on top of, within and underneath might rock structures, creating multi-level streets, and tiny winding alleyways. the 3,000 inhabitants of Setenil de las Bodegas in Cadiz, Spain seem to enjoy living in a gorge cut out of a mountain.

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Even if you think it’s a bit weird, there’s no arguing with history, the town has had residents for thousands of years, from when they first started to carve their homes out of the sides of the mountain. Most are built under the cliff or into the hillside, creating spacious homes that always stay at the right temperature.

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All images via @ Klinne

Snowbombing 2014: The hottest ski holiday you’ll ever have

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For anyone who loves snowboarding, skiing, and all things off piste, as well as knocking back the Schnapps, putting on ridiculous costumes and dancing on all night, then we want to let you in a little secret: it’s called Snowboming 2014 and it’s happening in Mayrhofen, Austria 7-12 April 2014.

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The huge snow sport/music hybrid has just announced its latest headliners who’ll be taking to the snowy stages. The 25 million record selling Prodigy will head the Forest Stage for an awesome adrenaline fuelled night. Joining the party is The Chemical Brothers (DJ set), Chase & Status are bringing their dubstep infused beats, Rudimental will hit the slopes and Groove Armada round out the line up that also includes Four Tet, Daphni and Anthony Naples.

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If you still can’t get your head around the idea, let us fill you in: Snowbombing is a festival that focuses on the random. All day the slopes are filled with skiers and boarders of all abilities improving their skills or relaxing at the spa of a 5* hotel.

Arctic Disco // Snowbombing 2012

After night falls, the best musicians and DJs fill unique stages across the mountains, including an igloo on top of the world and an enchanted forest! Snowbombing is heading into its 15th year, so you know it’s doing something right, especially when it gets reviews like: “The Greatest Show on Snow.”

For more info on tickets check out Snowbombing.com. All images courtesy of Snowbombing 2014.

Off the beaten track: Cano Cristales, the River of Five Colours

Cano Cristales is an impressive river in Serrania de la Macarena in Colombia. It is often called the “River of Five Colours”, “The Liquid Rainbow” or even “The most beautiful River in the World”, thanks to its amazing colours, such as yellow, green, blue, black and the cheerful red of the plant Macarenia clavigera, which is found on the riverbed and makes the river so unique and wonderful.

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Images via @ www.metrogreece.gr

Off the beaten track: Deia Village of Artists

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Images via @ Random_fotos

Set on the rocky west coast of Majorca, Deia Village is a peaceful little place which has attracted many artists and literary figures over the years. The big draw to the village apart from great weather was the village cafe and swimming at Cala Deia and the chance to collaborate with other artists.

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Image via @ gnosne

Poet and author Robert Graves led the pack, settling there after World War 1 and setting his historic novel Hercules My Shipmate there. Anais Nin visited in the 1920s, while various authors, activists, actors and artists made it their homes. The area hasn’t lost any of its charm in recent years, entrepreneur Richard Branson has a luxury escape there, while musicians like Mick Jagger, Mark Knopfler, Mike Oldfield and more recently Caroline Corr and Fionn Regan settled there for various time over the last 100 years.

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Images via @ Immanuel Bloch and m_iha

Get there via twisty ‘don’t look down’ mountain roads, but don’t expect the clubs and chip shops found in other parts of the Balearics, Deia is continuing its heyday lifestyle of relaxed strolls through olive and orange groves, a range of beaches, tasty little traditional restaurants or gardens and ruins that date back to the 15h century. Take your pick of cultural inspiration on a holiday in Deia.

For more information about cheap holidays to Deia or any getaways to Majorca visit Purple Travel now and save.

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