1
In pictures: Amazing Places to Eat
2
The Transformer suitcase that becomes a scooter
3
Purple 10: What to do in Amsterdam
4
Greece Holidays
5
Get ready for the beach with our bikini diet tips.
6
Purple Hearts: Lisbon Destination Guide
7
Off the beaten track: Electric Elephant Croatia festival
8
Purple Pick: Costa Blanca Beaches
9
Dublin Ireland, where the craic is mighty
10
Purple 10: Best viewing points around the world

In pictures: Amazing Places to Eat

Looking to really impress someone or maybe you’re in the middle of organising your honeymoon? Why not check out these amazing places to eat for a truly memorable holiday experience. Don’t forget to let us know which is your favourite!

Ngorogoro Crater Lunch

Crater Floor Lunch, Ngorogoro, Tanzania Image via @ andBeyond.com

Sunset View, Hydra, Greece Image via @ Sunset Restaurant

Sunset View Hydra

Skyline Bar, New Zealand image via @ Skyline Bar

Skyline Cafe New Zealand

This Dining Pod, at Soneva Kiri in Thailand Image via @ Soneva Kiri

Dining Pod

Lunch in the Eiffel Tower at the Jules Verne Restaurant

Jules Verne

Ithaa undersea Restaurant at the Conrad Hilton, Maldives

Image via @ Conrad Hilton

Ithaa

The Transformer suitcase that becomes a scooter

Meet the new electric scooter by Hungarian design company Antro Group, that fits up neatly into a suitcase, so you can forget about airport parking or weekender tickets and just get on your way.

Scooter 1

We’re told the scooter packs up in just two minutes, so it’s ideal for travellers on the go, and thanks to clever design features, there are no greasy stains as you pack it away. CEO of the Antro Group Tamas Slezak says it’s a simple, easy and eco-friendly way to get around the biggest cities in the world.

Scooter 4

The scooter known as the Moveo weighs around 25 kilos and its battery lasts for a whopping 22 miles! However users will really find the benefits in hopping in and out of busy city destinations and of course its swish golden colour. To top it off, bringing it around with you ensures you won’t lose it… unless of course you end up leaving it somewhere! The £2,000 model is set to be on sale from the end of the year.

Scooter 3

Images via @ Gizmag

Purple 10: What to do in Amsterdam

Purple 10: What to do in Amsterdam

Amsterdam
  Amsterdam image via @ Moyen_Brenn

  1. The reopening of the Rijksmuseum. After ten years of extensive renovations and improvements, Amsterdam’s flagship museum is set to open its doors again on April 13th.
  2. Van Gogh to Amsterdam. Arguably the city’s most praised artist, the Van Gogh Museum will reopen just days after the Rijksmuseum on May 2nd. It will celebrate 40 years with many major works by the artist on display.
  3. Canals can age very well. In Holland anyway, where Amsterdam will celebrate the 400th anniversary of the architecture and importance of the city’s (UNESCO World Heritage Listed) canals with parties and events.
  4. Music fans rejoice. Amsterdam is going all out to celebrate its musical heritage in 2013, with the famous Concertgebouw Concert Hall enjoying its 125th anniversary. There will be live performances, as well as special events by the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.
  5. Artis Royal Zoo. One of the most fun places in Amsterdam, the zoo is also a playground and park. It will mark over 175 years with a riot of colour, as thousands of new plants are set to bloom. A great choice if you’re bringing the kids with you.
  6. Royal watching. Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands announced earlier this year that she would abdicate in favour of her son, Crown-Prince Willem-Alexander. You can be sure that the city will throw some kind of celebration for the event on April 30th.
  7. The Felix Meritis. An historic house, where the wealthy citizens of the city would meet to talk about politics, the arts and science, it is still an iconic place to visit and reopens this year on April 18th to celebrate its 225th anniversary.
  8. Pride in Amsterdam. Another celebration on the canals, Amsterdam will celebrate its Pride Festival with street parties, club parties and the famous Canal Parade. Most events take place around August 2-4th.
  9. Frans Hals Museum. A selection of key masterpieces by the Dutch artist will be presented to mark the museum’s centenary year. Displayed side by side with amazing works by the likes of Rubens and Rembrandts, this is sure to be a feast for the eyes.
  10. Summer in Amsterdam. It’s not just for city breaks, Amsterdam breaks out in blissful sunshine every summer, with many locals heading outside to their favourite roof terrace for a drink, to cinema under the stars, enjoy a visit to a canal side Amsterdam cafe, or head for the urban beaches.

Tell us your reasons to visit Amsterdam in 2013, and we’ll add them here.

For more details on city or summer breaks to the Netherlands, call Purple Travel on 0207 993 9228.

Greece Holidays

Navagio-Beach-from-Purple-Travel

There’s never been a better time to go on holidays to the beautiful, historic and cultural delight that is Greece. Whether it’s a trip to the ancient acropolis in Athens, the sun drenched romance of Santorini or the epic water sports fun you can find in Paros, Greece should be your top choice for a summer holiday. And here’s why…

Beach: You’re looking for one of those utterly relaxing holidays, with long stretches of perfect sandy beaches, sparkling blue water that’s the perfect temperature and secluded coves to relax in? Then head for Zakynthos, or Zante as its known. Home to some of the best beaches in the whole country, even the locals will suggest it. Keep an eye out for the famous Shipwreck beach, which covers postcards sent all over the world.

Party: Paradise Beach in Mykonos is where the beautiful people mingle, where you’ll dance your sandals off and where you’ll watch the sun come up and go down as music fills the air. Grab your glad rags and make sure you spend a few days topping up that tan, before you hit the party capital of the island.

Relax: Paros and its little neighbor Antiparos are perfect for long lazy days in the sunshine. Grab a water taxi and head for one of the breathtaking sandy beaches, where you’ll find a little taverna, a couple of other lazy bones, loungers and the perfect spot under the hot Greek sunshine.

With the kids: Head for Crete. The largest Greek island is a perfect kid’s paradise. There are miles of beaches, loads of restaurants and eateries, bucket loads of water parks, excellent child friendly hotels and amazing facilities across the whole island.

Couples Greece holidays: Without a doubt, the best choice for couples looking for Greece holidays is Santorini. The romance is palpable in the air, from the moment you set foot on this splendid island. There are sugar cubed houses, secluded vineyards, sparkling blue waters and incredible views. Kamari and Perissa are beautiful Greece holiday resorts and ideal for couples.

Have you got any other suggestions for Greek beach getaways? If you want to go on Greece holidays this year, talk to Purple Travel now and save.

Get ready for the beach with our bikini diet tips.

Blog post picture

Ladies! Winter is nearly done (we hope!) for good and spring is tiptoing slowly, ensuring you’re lusting after golden beaches, aqua parks and holidays in the sunshine.  It’s also the time when tights are banished to the back of the wardrobe, miniskirts are taken out and oh yes, bikini time.

With the summer fast approaching and the images of powder white beaches , celebs looking amazing in tiny two pieces and the lure of sunshine, it’s a good time to think about getting in shape now. So, your friends at Purple Travel k decided to give you some tips on how to get ready for summer with our bikini diet tips.

What to eat

Vegetables – Chock full of nutrients, vegetables have always been supporters of our health and shape; therefore stock up and feel the weight drop off.

Leafy greens: For a meal without calories opt for a hearty salad which will certainly satisfy your hunger and won’t leave you with a bulging stomach.

Red Bell Peppers: this valuable food stimulates the digestive system and boosts your metabolism.

Peppermint: to feel as light as a feather have some peppermint leaves that reduce bloating and indigestion.

Fruits – Apart from their nutrient and vitamin value, mother nature’s best natural products not only benefits our body, but also helps our minds. Apples, oranges, berries,  make us feel happier, thanks to their healthy content and utter deliciousness! Prepare a simple fruit salad with pineapple, berries and apples and say goodbye to annoying cellulite.

Fish – Forget the fatty sausages or bland chicken and go for fish! Have a low-calorie salmon meal which will supply your body with good omega 3 saturated fats.

Greek Yoghurt – The best solution for your daily calcium intake, it has zero fat and can be easily eaten plain or mixed with some fruits, or added to sauces, or savoury dishes.

Raw nuts – Nutritious, quick snacks with healthy fats, fibre  plant sterols and many vitamins and minerals, raw nuts pack a powerful nutritional punch, all wrapped up in a tiny bite-sized package.

Exercise tips

For workaholics, the really busy ones or gym haters here are some exercise tips to help you either improve or keep in shape.

Tip 1: Give up email! If you want to share something with a colleague just walk to their office and have a chat. Every step counts – but you can always get a nice chat out of it too.

Tip 2: Improve your posture while sitting on your office chair, sit up straight and contract your tummy – this counts as an abs excercise even if you don’t feel it.

Tip 3: Avoid lifts. Try using the the stairs for some calorie burning, even if it’s just one or two floors worth. If you get public transport, get off the bus or tube one stop early and walk the extra few minutes home or to the office.

Tip 4: No need to drop yourself on the couch while watching your favourite series. Do some free weightlifting (even with two tins of beans!) or some gentle hip exercises to make your pastime a useful one.

Purple Hearts: Lisbon Destination Guide

Planning your next city break, but looking for something a little more unique? Lisbon is just a couple of hours away from the UK and is all about relaxing over a coffee, dancing all night, soaking up the vibrant atmosphere and eating delicious food and maybe, just maybe indulging in a few bargains. Here’s our Lisbon Destination Guide.

Lisbon

 Lisbon image via @ ChrisYunker

Lisbon’s built up on seven hills, so it’s good to get your bearings first. Head up to the Castelo de Sao Jorge, or Saint George Castle to take in the spectacular sights. The extraordinary views over the whole city and the river Tagus offers an impressive introduction to Portugal. If you fancy staying on the move, then the Lavra Funicular is a relaxed route to the beautiful Torel Gardens.  Over 120 years old, it’s a bit of a city treasure and is a wonderful and romantic afternoon jaunt.

If you’re taking the kids with you, don’t miss out on the Oceanario de Lisboa, the city’s aquarium or have a go at some experiments in the Pavilhao do Conchecimento, or science museum. There’s also Lisbon Zoo with over 2,000 animals as well as live shows.  We reckon you’ll find something to impress kids of all ages in the city.

Portugal has a long history of art and culture and Lisbon has no shortage of fantastic museums and galleries. Contemporary pieces can be seen in the Chiado museum and Modern Art Center. The city’s churches are packed with history and can easily be seen on foot. Sao Roque and Carmo Church are two choices. The Tile Museum and Decorative Arts Museum are popular picks – and more interesting than you might think. Remember, these are just a handful of the wonderful museums Lisbon is famous for.

The Bairro Alto neighbourhood is made for Saturday strolling in the sunshine. If you’ve arrived on a Friday and checked in, head for the great atmosphere and traditional architecture to get a feel for the city. Its winding streets, lead to open terraces where you can sip on a coffee and soak up the sunshine. As a former red light district though, despite renovation, it might not have good vibes for everyone. The lower neighbourhood of Baixa is lovely for strolling around too. The beating heart of the city, it is a haven for foodies who can choose their own fresh lobster straight from the tank, or walk hand in hand in glorious sunshine.

Bars like Visita Virtual on Rua D Pedro V reflect Lisbon’s laidback atmosphere while cocktail friendly Bairrazza Bairro Alto offers some of the best Caiprinhas in town (so we are told!) If you want something quite different for a night out, head for art and culture space Arte & Manha, a hip (dangerously so!) bar/gallery/venue and restaurant. There you’ll find everything from Fado, jazz, samba and Latin nights, offering a place to lounge until 4am most nights. If you’re after gigs in Lisbon, visit Ask Me Lisboa for the latest updates on listings.

For something completely different, you could always visit the sexiest toilet on earth! In Terrerio do Paco via the very lovely PortugalConfidential blog.

Lisbon 2Lisbon by @desdetasmania

Relax

The ultimate in city breaks, of course our Lisbon Destination Guide wouldn’t be complete without checking out some cool and trendy hotels. We like the 4* Turim Alameda, or the more budget friendly 2* Duas Nacoes Hotel. Both offer excellent service and great locations. For the ultimate in luxury you could always head for the 5* Epic Sana Lisboa in upscale neighbourhood Amoreiras. Epic by name, epic by nature! Finally the 3* America Diamonds, has a top notch top floor restaurant offering great views and a modern design at decent prices.

Eat

We love the laidback cool of Lisbon, whether you’re enjoying the best in delicious desserts or sipping on a freshly brewed coffee, it’s a city of wild contrasts not least in its food choices. Check out the Goan cuisine which is super hot and spicy at Restaurante Nau do Restelo, or grab some tapas in the gorgeous Adega Victor Horta. There’s always Largo Resutarant in Baixa offering a sophisticated experience or super trendy at Manifesto in Santos. For more on how to eat like a local in Lisbon, check our foodie guide here.

Coffee

If you’re a caffeine addict, you’d be best to learn the word bica, which means coffee in Lisbon (thanks to a slogan when coffee first arrived in the city). But this is not your ordinary coffee, smoother than its Italian brother; it’s roasted in a lighter way too and can be thoroughly enjoyed accompanied by a little sweet pastel de nata, a famous Portuguese pastry. Cafe Nicola and Cafe Martinho de Arcada, both downtown are both great choices while, you could soak up the great outdoors with a bica at Quiosque Galveias on Rua do Palacio.

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.

Purple Pick: Costa Blanca Beaches

With three times the number of EU Blue Flags (highly sought after ratings that show the beaches are clean and safe) than any of the other Costas, the Costa Blanca, or white coast as it translates to in English, boasts 170 miles of unforgettable sandy beach. Sit back, and enjoy our guide to the best Costa Blanca beaches.

A Sunbather's Guide_1 A Sunbather's Guide_2 - Copy

There are an enormous variety of coastal resorts to choose from – Javea, Calpe, Benidorm, Valencia and the capital, Alicante, to name but a few – and it’s important to notice that every year many of their beaches receive the prestigious European blue flag, setting the standard for the entire area. However, if you’re a real sunbathing expert, then now is the time to listen up. We’ve narrowed down the endless list of beautiful beaches to the best of the best.

El Carabassí (near santa Pola)
First is El Carabassí, a vast virgin beach of pale, golden sand, bordered by wetlands, salt pans and enormous dunes. Mostly attended by multi-generational Spanish families (equipped with a mind-boggling array of chairs, tables, loungers and windshields) the beach is thankfully quieter towards its southern end – an officially designated nudist zone. The beach slopes very gently, so the water is shallow for quite a way from the shore, deeming it extremely safe for children. However for those choosing to venture a little further out, rewards are waiting in abundance. Here you will find excellent conditions for windsurfing, snorkelling and swimming and some glorious reefs. A quick tip – the beach is lined with shacks serving locally-caught fish, paellas, snacks, ice-cream and ice-cold beers, but it’s preferable to make like the Spanish and take a picnic of wine and fresh fruits.

Poniente Beach (Benidorm)
Poniente Beach, just west of Levante, is a mammoth golden curl of excellent fine sand. Slightly less crowded than Levante, but with plenty of facilities close at hand, Poniente boasts a more relaxed and laid back feel – and a bit more space. Cafes, bars and shops make up the promenade and there’s a wide choice of hotel and apartment accommodation in the surrounding area if you’re looking to extend your stay.

Playa de El Saler (Valencia)
El Saler is a 30-minute bus trip from the centre of Valencia, but well worth the journey. It is a blue flag beach with amazing quality sand and the cleanest of water. Unfortunately this also makes it one of the busiest beaches during the summer months, but it is picturesque nonetheless.

Read more: Best beaches in the Algarve

Cala Pope Tango (Javea)
A wonderfully unique cove, this rustic beach is comprised of both sand and small pebbles, which are great for exploring. Although fairly unspoilt, you can still enjoy a spot of diving and the cove has safety flags and buoys to advise on swimming conditions. There are also ample facilities nearby, including some great restaurants and a bar for when all that swimming works up an appetite.

Cala Grandella (Javea)
No list of beaches in the Costa Blanca would be complete without some mention of the horseshoe-shaped, Blue Flag awarded cove of Grandella. Small at just 160m, but full of character, the beautiful cove consists of shingle, pebbles and rocks, complemented by clear waters that are perfect for swimming. The beach has ample facilities to enrich your day: a lifeguard is present at all times with safety flags to indicating swimming conditions; canoeing is available; sunbeds and parasols are up for hire; diving and snorkelling are also popular; shower and toilet facilities are present and a great bar and restaurant overlook the bay. Expect calm, sapphire water, flanked by a dense forest of emerald Aleppo pine trees. Perfection.

Les Rotes (Denia)
Just south of the centre of Denia, Les Rotes is five little bays, each set against the backdrop of the Montgó nature reserve. Marineta Cassiana at the beginning is a sandy beach, whilst the following beaches of El Trampoli, Punta Negra, Arenetes and La Cala are a string of rocky coves with clear turquoise waters. The main sandy beach near the harbour attracts mostly families with small children, but if you’re looking to avoid the tourist heave and hive, or don’t like getting sand in your sandwiches, then the rocky coves are a stunning alternative, La Cala, a nudist beach, offers fabulous conditions for snorkelling and scuba diving with plenty of fish and plant life to discover.

Dublin Ireland, where the craic is mighty

Looking for craic? Find it in Dublin Ireland with our best city guide. Here’s our expert guide from a genuine Irish girl! If you’ve got any issues with this list, take it up with Kate.

Dublin

Image via @ batintherain

  1. Molly Malone the statue of Dublin’s most famous daughter takes pride of place in the city, at the end of Grafton Street, near Trinity College. Known (by some – my ma) as the ‘tart with the cart’ Molly is a well visited tourist favourite in the city.
  2. The food Grab some traditional favourites like stew, boxty or coddle in one of many restaurants of the city’s Temple Bar area. If it’s more modern cuisine you’re after, Dublin’s become something of an oasis, practically bursting at the seams with great eateries. Try Bite or Crackbird. For high end, Chapter One on Parnell Square is where to go and for cakes, you couldn’t ask for better than the Avoca cafe on Wicklow street or Cake Cafe hidden away at the back of Lower Camden Street.
  3. The hop-on, hop-off bus A handy way to see the city and pick up some interesting facts about Dublin Ireland from dedicated guides. I learned that the lion from the MGM movies came all the way from Dublin Zoo!
  4. Phoenix Park is not only where the President of Ireland lives, but the rambling green space is gorgeous for a brisk stroll, a lazy day at a playground, a wander around the zoo or a summer time gig.
  5. The lovely girls (and boys) Well, I did have to include a Fr Ted comment somewhere. It’s well known the people of Ireland are a friendly bunch, so get out and about and get chatting. At the very least, yo’ll get a story out of it or you could be lucky enough to make some friends for life!
  6. The writer’s streak Powered by the mighty pen, Dublin’s history is synonymous with writers like George Bernard Shaw, Oscar Wilde, Bram Stoker, James Joyce and Jonathan Swift. Pretty much every year you go, you’ll find a landmark (Samuel Beckett Bridge, Oscar Wilde Statue, the George Bernard Shaw pub) dedicated to the great art of writing, while the Writers Museum is a one stop shop for all your literary questions.
  7. The arts and culture life the National Gallery of Ireland, the National Museum of Ireland at Collins Barracks, the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) the Book of Kells at Trinity College and Georgian Dublin on Merrion Square. Plenty of these are free and ideal for calming the head after a long evening before.
  8. Scientific Ireland One of Dublin’s relative newcomers, the Science Gallery has been quietly packing them in. An absolute gem, it’s not just for kids as scientists will blow your mind with facts and demonstrations about diverse subjects like growing your own clothes and free coding classes. A little bit of everything!
  9. The pubs Kehoe’s for a pint, the Long Hall for a quiet evening, the Stag’s Head for great atmosphere, Grogan’s for a drink with the locals, the Cobblestone for music, if you can’t make it to Croker, Baggot Street for the sport, Whelan’s for free live music, One Fade Street (or the no name) pub to hang with the hipsters, in the summer try the Pav in Trinity and in winter head for the cosy Library Bar on Exchequer street. And…well, I could go on, but I have to stop somewhere!
  10. The craic This is not a drug. Craic is a really multi-usage word that describes everything from a good atmosphere, having fun or the latest news. Basically, as long as you’re havin’ the craic, you’re having a good time.

Ps. There are loads of things I would have included but couldn’t like Dublin Castle, Kilmainham Gaol, a walk on the boardwalk, Christ Church Cathedral, the National Concert Hall, the Hugh Lane and many more…

Book a great cheap city break to Dublin Ireland today with PurpleTravel.co.uk.

Purple 10: Best viewing points around the world

1. The Grand Canyon Skywalk – Arizona, USA

Grand Canyon Skywalk

Grand Canyon Skywalk via @ Andrewcparnell

Now that’s a view… Sticking out in a horseshoe shape over the huge sheer drop this might just make your stomach flip out through your mouth. Add a transparent floor to the mix and this one is only for the serious height lovers.

2. Istanbul skyline from the Bosphorus strait – Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul

View of Istanbul via @ Igor Vita

The ideal chance to watch over the cultural melting pot of Istanbul. Soak up the views of the incredible mosques, whose graceful domes and towering minarets create a fairytale setting.

3. Machu Picchu – Peru

macchu pichu

Machu Picchu via @ Macield

This imposing Incan city is surrounded by steep valleys, giving visitors the impression that they are standing above the clouds.

4. Phang Nga Bay – Thailand

Thailand

Image via @ Jeffgunn

You might just recognise this Bay if you are a James Bond fan. This bay of stunning beauty set between the island of Phuket and the Thai mainland is dotted with hundreds of tall limestone formations that rise hundreds of feet from the sea.

5. Stegastein Lookout – Norway

House on the rock

An intense view any way you look at it, the House on the Rock offers solitary panoramic views where you can really get close to nature.

6. The Golden Gate Bridge from the Marin Headlands – San Francisco, USA

Golden Gate Bridge, Marin Headlands

Marin Headlands image via @ Ed Bierman

Marin Headlands unfolds a breathtaking view of the Bay, the bridge, the city and the blue Pacific spread out far below.

7. Paseo Garganta del Diablo – Iguazu Falls, Argentina

Iguazu

Image of Iguazu Falls via @ quimpg

An incredible view of the Iguazu Falls, the lush greenery and tumbling rapids will leave an indelible image on your mind.

8. Capilano Suspension Bridge Park – Vancouver, British Columbia

Capilano

Image via @ Capilano

Walk over the lush greenery of the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park and experience nature’s splendour.

9. Top of Tyrol Platform – Mount Isidor, Austria

top of tyrol

Image via @ travelphant

Let your eyes feast on the whitewashed snow-covered Mount Isidor from this amazing platform in Austrian Tyrol.

10. Piazzale Michelangelo – Florence, Italy

Panoramic view florence

Image via @ wikipedia

One of the most romantic cities in the world and one of the most romantic views. Don’t miss the thrilling panorama of Florence and the Arno valley offered from the unique viewpoint of Piazzale Michelangelo.

Get the best deal for cheap holidays in the most amazing places right now from Purple Travel. Call today on 0207 993 9228 for more.

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