Category - Weird and Wonderful

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8 picture-postcard European villages taken out of a fairy tale
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A Night Less Ordinary: The ship-shape Jane Hotel
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#Travel Talk on Tuesday: Weird Tours and Activities
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Purple 10: Hottest Bikinis 2014
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Quite Possibly the Best Dinosaur Theme Park in the World
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The Hobbit The Desolation of Smaug or Dragons on a Plane
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Amazing Days Out: Pig Museum Stuttgart
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The top Halloween Holidays
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Purple 10 Haunted Hotels
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Purple 10 weirdest hotel services

8 picture-postcard European villages taken out of a fairy tale

We think you need something rare to find, well-preserved, charming, traditional but also with a modern twist while it maintains it’s old-European charm…. Something inviting, both for nature/mountain lovers and romantic souls too!

Purple Travel wanderers have been hopping up from town to town to bring you the most charming European villages taken out of a fairy tale, postcard-like gems; your imagination travels miles away, it’s like they’ve been taken out of a magnificent canvas or a historic-mystery story to put a spell on us, captivating our mind and soul long time after our journey! We present you some of the most worldly, post-card destinations hidden away somewhere in Europe, encircled with beguiling lush gardens and majestic waterfalls or standing as if they were ”royal kings” upon sylvan hillsides…. All worth adding them to your travel bucket list!

1. Cinque Terre, Italy
The 5 Lands of Nothern Italy

Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre

The picturesque fishing towns of Cinque Terre, frankly, will capture our soul! It’s a dramatic coastal scenery, amidst sheer cliffsides, where winding paths are surrounded by colorful Venetian buildings, the rugged shoreline is washed by crystal-clear blue while these imposing mountains are looming over magical vineyards… Some cobblestone foothpaths are the only way to get from one hamlet to the other. Rest assured, that these jaw-dropping views of the sunset where pieces of the shoreline are tumbling into the deep blue, will surely leave you spellbound!

2. Santorini, Greece
The romantic gem of Aegean

Santorini by night

Santorini by night

The treasured volcanic-gem of the Aegean is calling you and you should definitely answer immediately!
This island is a a geological gallery set amid the deep blue of the Aegean… You can’t resist to its’ mythical charm, high craggy cliffs and white-washed sugarcube houses spilling down to the azure blue of Aegean Sea… The most famous thing about Santorini, though, it’s these magical jaw-dropping, wine-colored sunsets! The island is one of the most popular wedding destinations, there is a reason the title ‘’Greek Romance’’ features every year on travel magazines around the world! Experience the ultimate romantic journey as you explore one of Santorini’s ‘’painting-lands’’: Imerovigli, Fira, Oia & Firostefani are usually called the ‘’Caldera’s eyebrow’’, it’s easy to figure out why, as all these marvellous hamlets offer the most dramatic, stunning views of the volcano!

However, it would be a crime not to share with you the 3rd main reason that you have to visit Santorini. The ultimate gastronomic oasis is here! A real haven of culinary delights along with its’ aromatic fine wines such as the popular sweet Vinsanto or dry Athyri and Assyrtiko; it’s the perfect romantic dinner for two, while you’re plunging into these eye-watering sea views!

Purple Secret Tip:
1. Head to Oia for the most out-of-this-world sunset of your lifetime!
2. Don’t forget to explore one of the smaller traditional villages and soak up their lovely atmosphere; whether you seek pure tranquility or cosmopolitan aura, Santorini can offer you both!

3. Sintra
The mysterious Portuguese beauty

Tower Palace Quinta Da Regaleira

Tower Palace Quinta Da Regaleira

Here, there is an array of wild forests soaked by small lakes and exotic grassy mountains embrace gleaming Medieval castles,  palaces and royal retreats… We present you Sintra, a well-preserved and Unesco’s World Heritage town of Portugal!

The whole place is dotted with enchanting mansions set on hillsides spilling down to the deep blue of the Atlantic ocean, it’s like a fairytale taken out of a romantic-historic story…. A jagged 18th-century-Portuguese castle built by Celts (or Moors) waiting for you to explore it’s majestic historical charm!
Filled with a romantic aura sheltering every corner, it’s the place to be with your sweetheart! Don’t leave Sintra without visiting the magnificent, beautifully mysterious‘’ Castelo dos Mouros’’, which was finished by King Ferninard II in 1830, it’s out-of-this-world!

4. Albarracín, Spain
The uncommon side of Spain

Albarracin

Albarracin

The scenic village of Albarracin lies in the Aragon region. It’s  encopassed by flagged hillsides and a rugged scenery along with half wood-covered houses with a dusky-red color. Stroll around rocky pathways, winding routes and let yourself to capture the essence of its ancient maze-like charm through magnificent castles and lovely chapels. Towering above this rugged spooky landscape lies a Mudejar-style cathedral based on Islamic art…

5. Portofino, Italy
Cosmopolitan and glamour tunes in Italian Riviera

Positano

Positano

Are you fancy seeing celebrities passing by your side while you’re taking a walk on the promenade? Then look no further to our favorite Italian marvel, Portofino! Stroll around the Liliputian gleaming harbor or head to the popular Punta del Capo, visit the castle and unwind while sipping your delicious espresso, all sound absolutely inviting right? Portofino make us imagine a famous writer weaving a novel of romance and mystery and there’s a reason you’ll capture this kind of mood… Picture-perfect lush gardens at the edge of steep cliffs and white-grey shades of luxury yachts mirrored at the cerulean waters of Ligurian Sea! What not to love in Portofino?

Purple Secret Tip: Escape the hustle and bustle of the city centre and dive into Lavagna, Paraggi or Camogli
* Portofino may be a bit pricey but you should definitely visit it once in your lifetime!

6. Lugano, southern Switzerland
‘’Atemberaubende Ausblicke’’ ( stunning vistas)

Lugano

Lugano

“Those who dwell among the beauties and mysteries of the Earth are never alone or weary of life.”
– Rachel Carson –

Natural-worshippers get ready! We present you the Swiss paradise where Italians meet-up on their weekend breaks… Except for its’ natural treasures, Lugano is the 3rd most important banking centre in the country!  A blessed place filled with blooming parks, mansions, boutiques and lovely bistros cuddling the maze of these cobblestone alleys that unscramble at the end of Ticino’s mountain-based lake…

7. Ronda, Spain
A two-faced tale in Spain

Ronda

Ronda

It’s one of the oldest town of Spain which has been declared as Property of Cultural Interest! Set in a dramatic location on El Tago canyon, surrounded by imposing towering sierras, Ronda will hypnotize you …The town is Malaga’s province and frankly, one of most charming! Welcome to Ronda! Its’ old town dates back to Islamic Era and the whole town is halved into two areas, the Arab-aged with its medieval beauty and the other area, with a modern twist, which poped up after the 16th century… Rocky bridges unite the two pieces of the town which is a great part of the famous ‘’Whitewashed Villages’’.

Purple Secret Tip: Ronda was once Ernest Heminway’s secret place to unwind; it was one of his favorite source of inspiration…

8. Hallstatt, Austria
The most pictured European village with 7000y of history

Hallstatt

Hallstatt

Nature-worshippers and landlubbers will surely fell in love with Hallstatt… We are sure that you’ve already seen thousands of travel posters featuring this fairy-tale austrian town! The whole town is a storybook spilling down to the Hallstätter See, between a crystal-clear lake and imposing mountains providing the ultimate dazzling backdrop – Now you know why thousands of wanderers are extremely passionate to take countless of photos here! – The collection of beautiful pastel-coloured houses dotted with blooming gardens, creating amazing shimmering reflections into the stained-glass waters of the lake, this fabled beauty would be enough to guarantee its’ fame around the world…

Purple Secret Tip: A stroll away from the centre, Mühlbach waterfall vie for your attention, you’ll be under its’s spell for a long long time!

 

 

 

A Night Less Ordinary: The ship-shape Jane Hotel

Our weekly series: A Night Less Ordinary is all about finding the most weird and wonderful hotels all over the world. From a James Bond hotel room, to sleeping underwater expect the unexpected. This week, we take a step back in time for a night on a cabin in the Jane Hotel New York.

What’s the gimmick? Lovingly renovated, the Jane Hotel’s rooms are themed around the cabins on a ship, complete with galley style bunk bed rooms,  brass fittings, warm colours and big mirrors, storage under over beds and buckets of bohemian history. A stay in the Jane Hotel, with its retro-uniformed staff and period design  is filled with character and one that makes the most of the NYC experience.

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#Travel Talk on Tuesday: Weird Tours and Activities

Want to know a little more about the weirdest tours ever? Every week, we take to twitter to get some cool info about cheap holidays, travel, things to do and gadgets as part of #TTOT. We submitted a question this week and couldn’t believe some of the replies! Burlesque shows, toilet tours and leaf peeping… Find out more in our Travel Talk on Tuesday Storify of weird tours and activities and add your own in comments below! In the meantime you can learn all about the Travel Talk on Twitter community here.

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 @ EliteFashionSwimwear.com

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.

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Quite Possibly the Best Dinosaur Theme Park in the World

If visiting a real Jurassic Park is high on your bucket list, then listen up? Ok we wouldn’t exactly call Palmersaurus a real Jurassic Park, but it’s the next best thing.

Palmersaurus logo

Image via @ PalmercoolumResort

Newly opened, the Australian dinosaur theme park is home to 160 life size robot prehistoric delights, ranging from 22 metres long, to 10 metres tall. There are velociraptors, T-rexs and lots of other ancient carnivores come to life.

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The dino theme park is the work of a billionaire mining boss, who’s recently been elected an MP. Clive Palmer is also responsible for an exact replica of the Titanic, aimed at tourists from China. The park rubs shoulders with a luxury golf resort and spa next door, so it really is a culture clash!

Image via @ PalmercoolumResort

Scary or not? Take a look for yourself.

The Hobbit The Desolation of Smaug or Dragons on a Plane

Air New Zealand, the official airline of Middle-earth is celebrating the release of the new Hobbit film early, with a scary Smaug themed livery for its planes. A Boeing 777-300 has been specially touched up to show the dragon Smaug all the way down each side to celebrate the release of The Hobbit The Desolation of Smaug.

The plane’s new livery is all part of a theme for Air New Zealand who pull out all the stops when it comes to Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. Last year there was a similar effort when various characters from The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey featured on the side of an aircraft. However, this year the mighty dragon Smaug voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch takes the starring role. Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Christopher Luxon says it’s been a privilege to collaborate with the film team and Director Peter Jackson; “we worked with the digital effects company behind The Hobbit Trilogy, Weta Digital, and they designed the graphic for us especially for this purpose.”

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Images via @ AirNzHobbitMedia

Amazing Days Out: Pig Museum Stuttgart

You’d be forgiven for thinking we’ve gone a bit piggy, what with our bacon beach post, but it seems we’re not alone. Read on for this amazing day out: The Pig Museum Stuttgart. Fun for a couples city break adventure, or just something a bit different (really different, if you ask us!)

Pig-museum-stuttgart-3

Pig Museum via @ Wikicommons

The Pig Museum is a surreal collection of over 50,000 exhibits from all over the world to introduce you to the piggiest experience of your life. The SchweineMuseum on Schlachtofstraße 2A, 70188 Stuttgart offers visitors 25 themed rooms to explore featuring all things porcine. There are (stuffed) pigs to cuddle, representation of pigs in the arts as well as the science of pigs, from their anatomy, how little piglets are made as well as the history of the creatures. The kitsch art and culture is sure to win over grown ups, while kids can enjoy the stuffed animals and myths and legends surrounding pigs.

Pic museum 2 from Purple Travel

Pig museum germanyImages via @ Wikicommons @ dhaun & @ Stuttgart Tourism

Meanwhile, if all this porky talk is making your mouth water (vegetarians look away now!) then you won’t bat an eyelid at the museum’s setting; in a former slaughterhouse. After exploring the piggery, a huge beer garden awaits, with tasty treats like knuckle of pork, grilled suckling pig and many more pork delicacies.

There’s more information on pricing and how to get to the Pig Museum Germany on their website here.

To make your visit extra special, you’ll be pleased to hear there’s a theme song to bring you through the museum, altogether now:

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The top Halloween Holidays

You may think that when it comes to Halloween, you’ve done the lot – egging the neighbours’ windows, DIY costumes, waking up drunk in a field somewhere, eating yourself sick on sweets – the list goes on. But for the supreme Halloween experience, you need to travel. We’ve compiled this list of the spookiest destinations available to make sure this Halloween is the most memorable of all. Enjoy these halloween holidays from Purple Travel… if you dare!!

salem

Image via @ Bob Woitunski

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Purple 10 Haunted Hotels

Like a scare at bedtime? If things that go bump in the night and strange noises are things that you actually enjoy, then read on for our top 10 most haunted hotels. But, be warned, you’ll be staying here at your peril!

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Image via @ Nomadic Lass

Karosta Prison Hotel, Latvia: This recreates that delightful experience of staying behind bars. Not only that, but it is said to be haunted by the ghosts of prisoners past whose footsteps echo the hallways at night.

Hotel Burchianti, Florence, Italy: This might be the most haunted on the list. It’s said that a ghost of a child skips down the corridors, while an apparition of a maid still carries out her cleaning duties in the early hours.

The Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai, India: The late chief engineer of the building is reported to roam the halls of the old wing of the hotel. W A Chambers apparently died of a broken heart, after he found out the palace wasn’t built to his original design.

Castle Leslie, County Monaghan, Ireland: A whole bunch of the Leslie family continue to haunt this 300 year old castle, including young Shane Leslie, who died in a war but returned to watch over the lake. The famous perhaps isn’t a person at all though; it’s a dog called Punch.

Langham Hotel, London, England: This may be a top quality 5 star hotel, but even that can’t stop ghostly carry on. Room 333 is the famous one, with a terrifying reputation. It’s said that zombie type ghosts approach guests with their arms outstretched. No, we don’t fancy that either.

The Stanley Hotel, Colorado, US: Seen The Shining? Did it give you the creeps? Yep, us too. Apparently, the Stanley was the inspiration behind the original Stephen King novel after he stayed there the night before it closed down for the season. The piano in the ballroom plays music, although there’s no one sitting there, while ghosts have appeared in various rooms at night.

Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, Banff, Canada: Lost your room key? Well it’s not so bad here as the vision of a former bellhop Sam Macauley roams the corridors, even going as far as carrying guests’ luggage for them.

Ostrich Inn, Colnbrook, England: This one might put you off hotels for life. The owners installed a secret trap door under the bed in what they said was the best room in the house. It was right above the kitchen. When guests fell asleep, the door would be opened and the bed tilted, so the guest would slide into a cauldron of boiling water. Many of these unfortunate guests still haunt the corridors today to warn current travellers.

Hotel Provincial, New Orleans, USA: The Provincial is haunted by a former soldier; the site was once a military hospital which burned down in 1874. Recordings made in the hotel revealed ghostly sounds, while one female guest said she was dragged from her bed kicking and screaming when she stayed there.

The Roosevelt Hotel, California, USA: If you like your ghosts high profile, there might not be a better choice than the Roosevelt, said to be haunted by the likes of Marilyn Monroe and Montgomery Clift.

Purple 10 weirdest hotel services

Hotels, in particular 5-stars, are made to satisfy every customer’s needs and tastes. But, it’s fair to say, some of them are taking that task a little too seriously. Here are the 10 weirdest hotel services we’ve heard of… This is of course open to change!

purple 10

Images via @ Silas Crews, Mikkoy, live and wtrmlln

1. Automatic Swimsuit Vendor

For the forgetful amongst us, the Standard Spa Miami Beach has its own beach vendor in case you’ve left your itsy-bitsy-teenie-weeny back home in Blighty.

2. Goldfish for hire

Probably a handy thing to have around if you’re feeling lonely, one Cheshire hotel offers guest their own pet fish for the duration of their stay. For £5 ‘Happy’ the goldfish can come and stay in your room.

3. Sex Toys

The Drake Hotel in Toronto, Canada is one of a growing number that offers a list of sensual toys. It has a ‘pleasure menu’ where you can take your pick of locally supplied playthings.

4. Social Media Butler

If you fancy switching off, but still want to share your envy-inducing instagram pics, tweets and status updates then the Lowes Madison Hotel in Washington has what you need with its social media butler.

5. Soundtrack concierge

If you’ve ever had an earworm, or a song that you just need to hear right now, or just need some in-room party music suggestions, why not take up the offer of a soundtrack concierge who’ll develop a playlist just for you?

6. Celeb for a day

The Geejam Hotel in Jamaica offers a recording studio where guests can sing to the top of their lungs and release their inner popstar. Working with the studio’s engineers you’ll find out about the process of recording your very own CD.

7.  Dog surfing lessons

California’s Loews Coronado Bay Resort & Spa offers doggie surfing lessons for man’s best friend. Instructors from the surfing academy bring little Rover or Rex to catch their first waves without wiping out.  

8. Vibe Manager 

If you’re not partying quite hard enough, then head for the Ritz-Cartlon on Palm Beach, Miami which offers a personalised party manager. Your evening escort is on hand to create playlists, offer a cigar or knock up a cocktail for your delectation.

9. Fairy service

Not content with regular concierge servics, the Barnsley Gardens Resort in Atlanta, Georigea, offers a special service of a fairy godmother, who offers to fulfill dreams and wishes. For customised evenings with your significant other, ‘Love Spells’ or over the top proposals the Fiary is on hand to help you.

10. Sleep concierge

A growing number of hotels are drawing customers in with the promise of a good night’s sleep. A sleep concierge assess sleeping habits, recommends pillows, offers a bedtime snack of can organise a relaxing massage to help you drift off.

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