1
Gatwick Airport’s story corner
2
Top Canaries Beaches: Best Tenerife Beaches
3
Jubilee getaways
4
Escaping to Egypt
5
Summer 2012: Turkish delight
6
Family holidays in Spain
7
What to wear on the beach in summer 2012
8
Chocolate holidays: Would you go?
9
Cool Cocktails
10
Purple Pick: Easter Celebrations Around the World

Gatwick Airport’s story corner

Anyone who’s travelled with little ones knows it can be a little stressful. We were very impressed when we saw the latest initiative by our friends at Gatwick Airport.

In a worlds first, the team at Gatwick has partnered with Soundcloud to offer a selection of audio books to entertain, intrigue and delight children (of any age!) It means young travellers going through the airport can listen to their favourite stories like Three Little Pigs, The Ugly Duckling and (my personal favourite) Sleeping Beauty. The plan is to launch more before the summer’s out.

We love it because; it’s a really lovely way of taking a few minutes to relax with your mini-me before hopping on your flight. As well as that we think traditional stories never go out of fashion and we love the way forward thinking Gatwick and Soundcloud are mixing old and new to make your journey better.

But how does it work?

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Top Canaries Beaches: Best Tenerife Beaches

Fancy a last minute get away, or planning your holiday for ages? Beaches, beaches and more beaches are the first things that cross our mind when we’re thinking of heading away. With that in mind here’s a handy guide to the beaches of one of our most popular holiday hot spots: the Canary Islands. This is the first in our four part guide, and we thought we’d start with the most visited island, Tenerife. Perfect in summer, but equally as good in winter thanks to its great weather, Tenerife has some of the best beaches ever, you literally won’t be able to tear yourself away. Find out more in the Purple Travel guide to the Best Tenerife Beaches.

Tenerife beaches from Purple Travel

Tenerife beaches via @ Chop1n

Playa De Las Teresitas

This gorgeous beach was redeveloped with sand taken from the Spanish Sahara! The golden sand and clear waters stretch for about a mile along the coast. Plenty of facilities are available here (parking, sun beds, showers, toilets, etc), while the large crowds dwindle in the winter months. This beach is near the village of San Andres, about north of Santa Cruz.

Playa de las Americas

Come on, don’t tell us you’ve never heard about Playa de las Americas? It’s the busiest resort in Tenerife is also home to some of the most fantastic organized beaches on the island.

There are actually plenty beaches in this area, all just steps away from one another. Thy’re all idyllic miles of golden sands and gem coloured waters.  The jewel in this group is the Playa De Las Vistas beach, which was re developed with sand from the sea bed and is one of the best beaches on the island. All the beaches in this area have sun beds for hire and water sports available, along with a huge selection of shops, bars, and restaurants nearby. If it’s R&R you’re after, you’ve been warned, you won’t be too far from the crowd here.

Los Cristianos

Nearby to Playa De Las Americas, Los Cristianos has its own beach that’s a bit smaller than the Playa De Las Vistas beach. It’s very organised with sun beds and water sports, with Los Cristianos town as the backdrop. If you want to shake it up a bit while you’re there, Playa De Las Americas is only a stone’s throw away.

El Bollollo

One of the more unspoilt beaches on the islands, near to Puerto De La Cruz, El Bollullo, also known as La Orotava is a sunbathers dream. The stunning black sand (yes, you read that right!) and turquoise waters are much less crowded than their southern counterparts.

The beach has a limited amount of amenities but has plenty of waves to make for some amazing water sports. A perfect rest from all the, er… resting is a stroll through the nearby Banana Plantation.

Playa De La Troya

Located on the south coast of Tenerife, in Costa Adeje, is the marvelous Playa De La Troya. Its central location, fantastic facilities and off-the-beaten-track feeling mean it’s a great alternative to the very busy Playa de las Americas beaches. Bring the whole family and a bucket and spade for maximum fun in the sun.

If you enjoyed our guide to the best Tenerife Beaches, you should read… Best beaches Fuerteventura

Jubilee getaways

An extra bank holidays in the year? Are there any sweeter words? We don’t think so. With that in mind, we’ve been figuring out how to make the most of our time off. We’ve done the maths and have figured out, that taking five days off, means we get ten days holidays. Please correct us if we’re wrong!

English: Praia da Rocha (Beach of the Rocks) i...

What better way to celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee than toasting her health from some sunny climes! If you haven’t booked yet, don’t worry, there is still time, that’s why we’re here! Whisk the kids away for half term, or simply have a relaxing break with your other half in a few days of hot, hot sunshine.

First up, we think you should head for the sunshine of Cyprus. Spring has well and truly sprung and the crystal clear waters of the Aegean are just the thing for a little pick-me-up. The long, sandy beaches are a site for sore eyes, while the dose of vitamin D means you’ll come home totally relaxed and glowing.

If you fancy something a little more exotic, the gorgeous Turkish resort of Kusadasi will be right up your street. One of those legendary Turkish baths is a great place to start, while the nearby beaches, or pool bars are perfect for a cocktail at sunset.

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Escaping to Egypt

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Hurghada

Start out with an exhilarating, adventure filled and educational underwater tour, by hopping into a submarine and diving over 20 yards under the sea. It’s an unforgettable experience among the colourful, sub aquatic world.

If you prefer staying on dry land, a desert safari is an utterly thrilling ride. Your guide will take you into Bedouin territory, exploring the fascinating lifestyle and (for the romantic at heart) will bring you for a picnic under the stars after the most beautiful sunset.

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Summer 2012: Turkish delight

Fancy getting away from it all? We’re daydreaming about soaking up the sunshine on the deck of a wooden ship gently bobbing along in the Aegean? Maybe you prefer to lounge by the pool with a good book, before tearing up the dance floor every night? Or perhaps you’d like a quiet little beach break with the kids, where there is plenty of room for their bucket and spade. Whatever you’re looking for, we think Turkey is a top tip.

Turkey’s right on the crossroads where East meets West. It’s bordered by a whopping eight countries and three seas, so you can imagine the choice on offer.

For pure relaxation, first stop should definitely include a Turkish bath, speaking from experience; this is a pretty blissful thing to do. An attendant basically scrubs you from head to toe with a kind of cloth, a bit like an icing bag, followed by a serious massage! If you’re not a fan of massages stay away and head for the many spas or yoga retreats on offer.

If it’s partying you’re after, well, there is no better place than Gumbet.  There are a heap of open air clubs and some even have 24 hour bars so there’s no excuse! Stay up all night, make friends and watch the sunrise outside some of the best beach clubs in the world. Ps. if you check out Gumbet, definitely take advantage of a boat trip to the Greek island of Kos, it’s like two holidays in one!

If you fancy something a little different, a walking holiday in Cappadocia might be right up your street. This strange rock landscape looks a bit like the moon. There are even underground cities and caves to explore. It’ll make your eyes pop!

For foodies, try out the spicy kebabs and famous coffee in the beautiful surrounds of Bodrum or give the meze dishes a go. With a choice of up to 15 at a time, you will definitely find something you will like. Or how about sampling the sights and sounds and grabbing a bargain on a short break in Istanbul.

Mount Nemrut

Mount Nemrut (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For history buffs, start out with the ancient wonder of Ephesus. Its ancient Temple of Artemis dates back to 550 BC and was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Mount Nemrut offers you the chance to see head statues dedicated to the ancient Gods.

So we think there’s something there to suit almost anyone. If you’ve got any other suggestions for things to do in Turkey, we’d love to hear them. Stay tuned for another country focus coming soon.

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Family holidays in Spain

Family holidays are always tricky. You’ve got so many variables to think about. How to keep the kids happy and where to find good beaches that are safe and not too crowded. You want fun and relaxed places to eat and kids clubs are always handy. Good public transport links are a must and of course you don’t want to be spending an arm and a leg on your holiday.

Then, you might like some choices to keep mum and dad busy; perhaps Grandma and Grandpa are tagging along too? You want to enjoy your holiday as well!

We reckon Spain should be a top choice for a family holiday. With great prices, facilities and of course that elusive sunshine, why would you consider anywhere else?

Malaga on the Costa del Sol has plenty to entertain children of all ages! The Malaga Open top tour bus is a nice way to get your bearings. A trip to the city beach of Caleta is a must. Little ones will love playing in the surf and there are plenty of loungers, umbrellas and facilities to help you out. If you tire of the beach, the interactive science museum will keep you in the shade and entertain for hours. The buggy friendly promenades are a great option for an evening stroll and the range of tapas bars and restaurants mean there’s a choice for even the fussiest eaters.

Lanzarote’s Puerto Del Carmen is amazing value for a fantastic summer break with the kids this year. There are plenty of options for all inclusive or self catering getaways that include kids clubs to keep them busy. The beach is a must, with nearly a mile of golden, soft sand, clean clear waters and a full range of facilities. Just a few miles away in Puerto Calero, kids will love Submarine Safaris. Designed especially for children to enjoy underwater exploration, it’s an incredible journey into Lanzarote’s clear, magical waters.

Costa Brava’s Lloret de Mar is perfect for a simple sunshine break of sandcastles, swimming and a bit of exploring. It’s got plenty of family friendly beaches so you could almost chose a different one every day. Lloret Turisme offers a miniclub, with organised beach games with a beach library for the grownups! The many children’s playgrounds offer a lovely break from the sand. There are even a couple of adventure parks including Gnomopark with bowling, mini karts, games and a gnome farm! If that’s not enough, it’s close to Barcelona if you feel like a little city adventure on your sunshine break. Discover the aquarium, or Park Guell which kids always enjoy.

Majorca has been a trusted family friendly resort for many years; it’s easy to see why so many people return again and again. We like Alcudia Beach or Cala Bona where you have great accommodation options with plenty of family friendly extras. The weather is almost perfect; the long sandy beaches are safe for little ones to get busy making sandcastles. Most hotels and apartments feature child friendly pools and kids clubs to keep them busy from morning ‘til bedtime.

Tenerife’s Costa Adeje is one of our top choices. It’s got a lively atmosphere, with lots of day trips on the menu. Check out the whale watching cruises or boat day trips. If you’ve got older children or teens, they will love trying out diving or surfing. A mini train runs through the resort to pick you up and drop you off when you need to, perfect if mum and dad are tired after a long day in the sun.

La Pineda on the Costa Dorada is really the best of both worlds. With an Aquapolis water park, Dolphinarium and the PortAventura theme park, as well as beautiful Salou just around the corner, there are more fun options than you can shake a stick at! Sun, sea and sand are the orders of the day, in this blessed out cheap holiday hotspot.

What to wear on the beach in summer 2012

We’ve been going mad for Pinterest lately. It’s a pretty cool site that allows you to create boards of your favourite things. While developing all our beautiful destination boards (check out Cuba and Morocco, our faves) we’ve been getting completely distracted with bikinis, shorts and shads and it got us thinking: what will we be wearing on the beach?

Now, full disclaimer here, we’re no experts but we’ve been doing a lot of reading about what to wear this summer and along with a few old reliables like the handy maxi dress, a cute cardi and some flip flops, we’ve come up with a few extras that will make you want to strut down the beach like the true fashionista you are!

Neon: A neon bikini will definitely get you noticed on the beach. Not for the faint hearted, eye wateringly bright pink, yellow or green are super hot for this summer. However, if you’re a bit scared of this new extra bright, bright, how about a neon manicure for a little pop of colour?

High waisted shorts: We weren’t really convinced by these until we saw some great pictures and realised what a good look it is!

Keep it sporty: Mixing up your workout wear with your beach wear for a change of style. It’s simple because you already have all the ingredients… and Marc Jacobs is doing it!

Crop on: It may not suit everyone to show off your middle in a tiny crop top, but we say if you’ve got it, flaunt it. Crop tops are huge and the best bit is, if you’re not quite brave enough to show everything, layering is another top trend!

Go for the clash: Mixing florals with leopard print or chunky bracelets with sequins for evenings mean you’ll be bang on trend this summer.

Gladiator sandals: An old reliable. We don’t think these bad boys will ever go out of fashion. Any of these would do us nicely!

What about the guys? We haven’t forgotten, we know everyone wants to look good on their hols, so dudes can take some inspiration from the 90s! If you were fashionable once, you can be again.

Now all we need is a cheap holiday deal to parade around in our new fashions!

Ps. our lovely holiday style board has lots more ideas!

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Chocolate holidays: Would you go?

Chocolate! We don’t know about you, but we like any way, melted, in bars, egg shaped, hot chocolate, there are chocolate perfumes, chocolate pasta (try it!) and even body creams and moisturisers. We reckon it’s fair to say chocolate is on a lot of people’s minds this weekend in particular with Easter eggs, but, it’s not just now!

This image was selected as a picture of the we...

Did you know there are chocolate holidays? Specific destinations all over the world dedicated to this delicious bean? We’ve done a little research and found some great holiday destinations for all you chocolate lovers, or for anyone looking to impress them.

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Cool Cocktails


One thing that is top of our list every summer is a tropical cocktail on our holidays. We decided to put our heads together to figure out some of the best places to go for cocktails in the sun this year. It’s a tough thing to get that perfect mix of a nicely mixed drink, the right atmosphere, brilliant weather and of course a chatty barman helps!

So, here’s ours, don’t forget to share yours…

Everyone’s heard of sangria right? Well what better place to enjoy a glass of this gorgeous chilled red wine (we know, it sounds a bit odd!) than in the glorious setting of Spain’s Puerto Banus. By adding some red wine, the freshest choice fruit, a little sugar and brandy you have the perfect recipe for a great evening cocktail. It’s the best tipple to get your night started.

After a hard day’s work soaking up the sunshine on the beach, we think a margarita is one of the best ways to unwind in the fantastic resort of Cancun in Mexico. A drop of tequila, triple sec and some lemon or lime juice will quench your thirst and cool you down and the glorious surroundings will make it ten times better.

The Maldives is the place to go to enjoy a simply breathtaking sunset with a mai tai in hand. Marvel as the stars begin to glisten in the sky and relax with the gentle lapping of the waves around you. Even after a few cool cocktails you will not forget your holiday to this amazing archipelago.

There is only one cocktail we could possibly recommend in NYC. You need to find a manhattan in Manhattan. It’s a legendary cocktail for a legendary city. After seeing the Empire State, taking in a show and maybe meeting the locals, there’s no better nightcap in The Big Apple.

Santorini is one of the most romantic of the Greek islands and is home to one of the most legendary sunsets in the world. A caiprinha is our choice, even if it’s not as authentic as ouzo, it has a certain summery charm to it. Grab your other half and head for the highest point you can find in between the blue domed houses and settle in for a serious show.

In Cuba it has to be a mojito and it has to be after a walk along the Malecón in Cuba’s historic capital of Havana. Surround yourself with the unbelievable atmosphere, listen to some Latin tunes and discover your Cuban spirit in this amazing city.

Those are our top choices for a cocktail holiday this summer. As always we want to know what you think. Send your suggestions our way so maybe we can try them out too!

Purple Pick: Easter Celebrations Around the World

We’re used to Easter Eggs, big dinners and maybe a stroll nearby on our Easter holidays. Well, there are a few other traditions worth checking out. How about a fireworks fight between some local parishes in Greece, or a silent procession in Mexico? We’ve got just a quick post to give you a taster of Easter Celebrations Around the World.

Portugal: Different regions have their own Easter traditions in Portugal. In some areas you can see the ‘Ecce Homo Procession’ of barefoot men in tunics. While in the South shepherds crowd into town centres to have their flocks blessed before a procession of Alleluia with cowbells. It’s also a great choice for a foodie getaway with roast kid, meatballs and lamb stew on the menu and cakes everywhere!

Mexico: Combine some Easter sunshine, with the traditional spectacle of the Mexican ‘Semana Santa.’ Mexico’s Holy week runs from Palm Sunday to Easter Saturday and if you’re looking for an immersive, traditional Easter experience, we think it’s the place to go. Bells peel, churches are packed and the ‘Procesion de Silencio,’ a silent procession through the streets is well worth a look.

Greece: Easter Sunday is a big occasion in Greece. Most major cities are quiet as people return to their villages for the celebration. A lamb is roasted on an open fire in the centre of the town and families gather to talk, eat and dance. The islands are a really special place with some very unusual traditions taking place including an Easter rocket war in Chios which sees rival parishes try to hit each other’s church bell towers with fireworks, as mass services continue:

Corfu is also a great choice to soak up some sunshine and delight in some unusual traditions. Corfiotes celebrate Easter Sunday by throwing clay pots off their balconies.  It is said to symbolise ‘out with the old and in with the new.’

Don’t forget we’ve got deals all over the world for this Easter, so whether you want to get a look at the locals or steer clear of the traditions; call one of our expert travel advisors on 0800 408 9367 now for some information on our best deals.

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