Search Results For -algarve

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Book now – Half term holidays
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Purple Tips: Make April Holidays Amazing
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Purple Pick: Costa Blanca Beaches
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Purple Tips: Top 5 Albufeira hotels
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Purple Tips: Best Honeymoon Destinations
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Where to go in 2013: Groups
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Purple 10: Top European Party Cities
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New Years Detox Holidays
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Purple 10 Weird Things Found in Hotels
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Getting married in Portugal, a bride’s guide

Book now – Half term holidays

Extend your summer or get in early for half term. The kids are back to school and a new (school) year is starting. Why not have something to look forward to, like an autumn tan, a spring in your step and a good injection of vitamin D in some of our favourite half term holiday picks. We take a look at where is hot during half term and what makes a great choice for children of all ages. If you fancy water slide parks, history lessons or just plain, old sandcastles and paddling in the sea, find out where to go with our best value destinations for half term holidays.

Half term holidays from Purple Travel

Where to spend your half term holidays

1. The Canaries – With an abundance of beaches, scuba diving, family bike rides and fantastic weather, cheap half term holidays in the Canaries are an obvious choice. Why not spend long, lazy days working on a winter tan on a black sandy beach in Tenerife, hike up the side of a volcano in Gran Canaria, or take a glass bottomed boat tour in Playa del Ingles? There is something to suit every type of family in the Canaries. Stay at Barcelo Lanzarote in Costa Teguise which offers adult and children’s swimming pools, playgrounds, kids club, giant monopoly and water slides as well as a spa for mum and dad.
2. Algarve – The Southern area of Portugal is still warm in October and there is plenty for children of all ages to keep busy with. Albufeira is a good family friendly hub, with plenty of child friendly restaurants, a sandy golden beach and nearby water parks. Stay at the Monica Isabel Beach Club in Albufeira, where you’ll find a great welcome, great rooms and great value.
3. Crete – The southern Aegean is ideal in October. Prices have dropped, but temperatures are still high and Crete is a perennial choice for family friendly holidays. Stay at the Knossos Beach Bungalows and Suites, right on a sandy beach, with lots of loungers, umbrellas and children’s activities available.
4. Marrakech – is an exciting, exotic holiday choice all year, but especially good around October. It’s still warm and at only three hours flying time, it’s not too far to get somewhere very exotic. Children and adults can enjoy hiking in the Atlas Mountains, visiting the colourful souks or exploring the Kasbahs. Stay at the Aqua Fun Club – All Inclusive. This 5* accommodation has extensive spa facilities as well as water slides, adult and children only pools, a rafting river and children’s aqua tower.
5. Rome – If you want to get some learning in during the half term break, why not choose a city break in Rome. The weather should still be ok, in the early 20s and you and your children can enjoy seeing the Colosseum and some gladiators up close, head for the Time Elevator Roma (a high tech history lesson made with some very special effects) spark imaginations at the Explora children’s museum and munch on pasta and pizza. Stay at the RSH Spanish Steps Apartments, centrally located near the Trevi Fountain and with plenty of space for all the family after long days exploring the city.
6. Florida – has over 1,000 miles of sandy beaches, is the home of theme parks and has some of the best shopping in the world. Then of course there is Disney World to think of. Meet Mickey Mouse, see the fireworks and parades and generally have the time of your life and a half term holiday you’ll never forget. Stay at the Disney Area Superior Homes for a home away from home experience in Orlando and all the amenities you want within easy reach of the World Disney World Resort.

Tell us your choices for the best half term holidays and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

Kate Power is community manager for Purple Travel.

Purple Tips: Make April Holidays Amazing

We’ve put together our list of the best April holidays to help you find the ultimate city break, some slightly off-season sunshine or where the kids will have the most fun on a midterm break holiday, and remember, this year Easter Sunday falls on April 20th, so book early to avoid missing out. If you have any other April Holidays ideas we would love to hear about them in the comments below. Enjoy!

April Holidays from Purple Travel

Sunshine in springtime The Aegean coast of Turkey is usually pretty reliable for weather in April. Try Bodrum, or Kusadasi for days lazing in the gentle sunshine and sightseeing. Plus since it’s early in the season, it won’t be too crowded and there are plenty of cheap deals. Average temperatures: 17°

No rain in Spain The beautiful coastline of Costa de la Luz in Spain, is a top choice for a little early sunbathing, while the always reliable Canary Islands usually hit the early 20s and offer 10 hours of sunshine per day. If you want really hot in April head for Marrakech, one of the liveliest and most fun cities in Morocco, where temperatures usually hit around 26° in April.

Cities of Culture Umea in Sweden and Riga in Latvia are the chosen European capitals of culture for 2014. Umea in Sweden describes itself as a ‘window of Europe’, with a programme dedicated to co-creation, so expect a range of art, culture and music projects throughout the city.  While the Latvian capital will host events like a human chain symbolically transferring books from the old city library to the Palace of Light and the Latvian National Operas performances of the Ring Cycle.

Cherry Blossom ceiling The Japanese city of Tokyo will be in the middle of its cherry blossom season so get moving for unforgettable April holidays. The whole city is filled with blooms which are celebrated with hanami, or parties in the park, which honour the flowers. April temperatures in Tokyo can rise to about 20°.

A night less ordinary Book a night in the Lego Hotel in Legoland California. On April 5th the hotel will celebrate its first birthday so there’ll be plenty of brick themed fun! As well as that it’s the perfect time to head for a holiday in sunny California, USA and make the most of a night hotel that is a serious treat for your inner geek. Average temperatures are around 17°.

Nothing but Sunshine For 2014 April sunshine holidays, we like Mexico. Ok, so the Caribbean is always reliable, but you can’t go wrong with an average of 27° everyday. In the area of Riviera Maya, you can take your pick of resorts with white sandy beaches, all inclusive hotels and brilliant sunshine. Or visit somegreat local scenery like the famous cenotes or the mysterious Mayan stronghold of Chichen Itza. What more could you ask for?

Hit the festival circuit April is more or less the start of music festival season – but as Easter falls in April this year, there are many cultural and traditional festivals that are well worth consider for April holidays. In Greece in April the weather is already mild and sunny and as Easter is one of the biggest dates in the calendar it’s the perfect time to visit. Crete is reliable for temperatures around 20°. Or you could try to visit a village – where whole families will work to hand-roast a whole lamb or kid-goat over an open fire. On the island off Chios a fireworks fight happens between rival churches, while Patmos is filled with devotees.

Go beyond the usual Sri Lanka is topping many of the must-see places to go in 2014 probably thanks to British Airways’ launch of regular flights between Gatwick and Colombo. The island country is, well, exquisite. The perfect white beaches, the stunning natural scenery, the thrilling atmosphere. All the ingredients you need for an amazing April getaway. The average temperature in Sri Lanka in April is around 25°.

Get Glamping glamour and camping are probably not words you expect to go together but that’s all set to change thanks to the gentle roughing it experience in Portugal. We don’t mean old tents with leaky roofs, this Glamping lark is state of the art, lounging balconies, luxury tubs and breakfast in a four poster bed. The average temperatures for the Algarve in April is 17°.

Stag and Hen If the tough job of organising a stag do or hen party in April has fallen to you, never fear for Purple Travel is here! Our dedicated team has been finding out the best and busiest destinations at any time of year for you and your hens or stags to have as messy a night out as you want. We like Benidorm (well, any time of year!) and Albufeira in Portugal. Just remember, what happens on tour stays on tour.

Book your April holidays now with the experts at Purple Travel.

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.

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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.

Purple Tips: Top 5 Albufeira hotels

We’re all about the Algarve, specifically the lovely seaside town of Albufeira. It’s got the Old Town that’s perfect for long lazy strolls in the sunshine. Over the hill you’ll find The Strip, packed with neon bars and all night parties. It really offers the best of both worlds.

Cheap hotels in Albufeira from PurpleTravel.co.uk

So if you’re stuck for a place to stay, here’s our top 5 hotels in Albufeira.

Family friendly: The Paraiso de Albufeira Hotel Apartments have practically every facility you could think of, from one bedroom apartments to duplexes. The MGE restaurant and pool side snack bar are great for keeping little ones topped up, while the multi use court for basketball or football, mini golf course and video game room will keep even the moodiest teenager busy. That’s before you even get to the pool, nearby beach or the selection of water parks you’ll find around.

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Purple Tips: Best Honeymoon Destinations

Cyprus SunsetBuzzing nightlife Pick Cyprus. The birthplace of the Goddess of Love Aphrodite is pretty much bubbling with romance.  There are idyllic sandy beaches, trails where the goddess herself is said to have walked, charming wine-making villages and a relaxed atmosphere that’s made for hand in hand walks in the sunshine. By evening, Paphos is a lively town with a mix of traditional tavernas, lively bars and clubs where you can dance all night if you feel like it. The luxury 5* Elysium Cyprus has every aspect of your honeymoon covered, from stunning views, massages to its great location right on the beach. Cyprus sunset image via @ Mrs Logic

Monkey in GambiaWildlife just a few short hours from the UK, Gambia is the obvious choice for enjoying a lively first few days of honeymoon packages. You can top up your tan in tropical sunshine, relax in sumptuous facilities, explore safari and try to catch the big 5 or meet some of the friendliest people in the world at the Smiling Coast.  The 5* Kairaba Beach Hotel is a comfortable choice. Right on the famous Kololi beach and standing in beautiful flower filled gardens, it’s a real home away from home. The only way you’ll notice the difference is by catching sight of the vervet monkeys and wild birds that live in the trees. Monkeys in Gambia image via @ kevinzim

RomeOn a budget if you’re going for budget, why not take a long weekend in a beautiful European city. Purple Travel can get great deals on flights to several capitals but Rome has to be one of our favourites. The modern 4* Hotel American Palace is right in the heart of the action, with a nearby metro that will take you to sights like the Trevi Fountain or Colosseum. There’s even a beach about 30 minutes away by convenient public transport.  As beautiful as it is by day, it’s even more spectacular by night, as the cosy corners are lit by candlelit, vino is opened and couples take evening strolls under moonlight. Rome is a great choice for a budget conscious honeymoon this year. Image of Rome by @ Moyen_Brenn

CubaAbsolute luxury The Sandals Royal Hicaco 5* in Varadero, Cuba, is on 23 acres, in lush greenery and offers lots of choice for couples on their first days of married life. There are three types of suites to choose from and the properties are decorated in a cute 1920s style. Although home to some of the finest beaches on earth, the Caribbean Island is practically made for honeymooners looking to discover its rich culture and heritage. Nights should be spent learning tango, knocking back rum cocktails and learning how to roll your own cigars, in between sunbathing sessions in one of the best honeymoon destinations ever. Image of Cuba by @ darkroomillusions

Blue dome of SantoriniThe ultimate in romance Island hopping in Greece is obviously the top choice for island hopping. With a big boost on drawing visitors, it’s never been better value to head to head to the beautiful Greek islands. We think the Cyclades is a good idea, with Santorini offering azure sparkling waters, and dramatic evenings watching the sunset from the caldera. The Astro Palace 5* Hotel is an elegant and traditional accommodation, with a peaceful atmosphere, but just a few minutes from the island’s main city Fira. The nearby island of Naxos is an absolute gem and not that well known outside of Greece, so you can lay out on unspoilt, empty beaches before tottering to a nearby taverna for lunch. Finish up in Mykonos for a few days of the high life before jetting back home. The Mykonos Grand should be enough luxury for you and your new other half. Image of Santorini by @ Navin75

Algarve Beach

On the beach Portugal is a big hit with bride and grooms both as a wedding destination and has kick ass honeymoon packages. There are tonnes of flights and the Algarve and Faro in particular are easy to get to. Plus it’s got something for everyone, from golf course, (but c’mon guys!) romantic secluded villages, lively towns and spectacular hotels. The 4* Riu Palace Algarve is right on the beach, one of the most beautiful in the Algarve and has pools, Jacuzzi, hammam and spa on site to make you feel totally relaxed. The on site restaurants or local eateries are great for sampling the absolutely delicious Portuguese cuisine, while its access to picture perfect beaches is hard to beat. Image of Algarve Beach by @ Dan Taylor

Call Purple Travel now for the best honeymoon destinations this year on 0207 993 9228.

Where to go in 2013: Groups

Get a gang together whether it is your mates, extended family or a work thing, PurpleTravel.co.uk has the rundown of the best places to holiday as a group.Hanging on the beach

Cheap clubbing breaks We’ve covered party cities fairly extensively here at PurpleTravel.co.uk so you can be sure we’re into clubbing all night long (and a bit of the next day!) We reckon hitting up clubber’s paradise Ayia Napa, with brilliant hotels and buckets of sunshine is a good choice. The Greek favourite Faliraki is a good one, it’s got the hottest beach clubs and practically no closing time. For a bit of a change, Sunny Beach in Bulgaria, has cheap flights, awesome bars and great choice of hotels.

You or a friend has announced their leaving singledom behind forever. What’s the next step? A whopper party somewhere great with a gang of your mates, that’s what! Stag and Hen parties are becoming more than just shagaluf Magaluf, with spa packages, limo hire and VIP nightclubbing, along with the staples of strippers and red light tours. So head for an all nighter Hen in Benidorm or a red light adventure stag in Amsterdam.

Golfing holidays Whether you’ve got a handicap of 55 or you’re a total pro, a golf holiday is the perfect way to soak up the sunshine and practice your swing. It doesn’t matter what level you play at, there are resorts all over the world where you can head for the greens. Portugal’s Algarve is practically made for golf. Fly to Faro and within a few minutes you could be out on the course. We like the Balaia Golf Village in Albufeira, or Quinta do Vale Resort, designed by golf legend Seve Ballesteros.

Festivals are better enjoyed with friends, so why not head for the sunshine and rock out in style. Mallorca and Ibiza Rocks have already announced headliner Jake Bugg and we’re practically drooling at the thought of who else will be announced over the next few weeks. Last year Kasabian, Bloc Party New Order and Tinie Tempah rocked the stage. A bit closer to home, Barcelona’s premier festival Primavera has just announced its lineup; Hot Chip, Kurt Vile & the Violators, My Bloody Valentine and loads more are heading for Catalonia 22-26 May.

Whether you’re a beginner, or more experienced diver, there’s always lots to learn. Try a hotel that includes introductory lessons in the pool, and bring some friends so you can look silly all together.  Some of the best diving holidays are found in the famous Red Sea Resorts in Egypt. Sharm el Sheikh is a no brainer here, with PADI approved instructors and schools, and famous diving sites like Ras Mohammed, Straits of Tiran, Thistlegorm or Dahab.

Really, there’s only one place to splash the cash with your girls and that’s NYC. The Big Apple around November (Thanksgiving weekend) has the best deals you’ll find anywhere.  Black Friday is not for the meek though. Get your shopping clobber on and stock up in Bloomingdale’s, Sak’s 5th Avenue or Macy’s or head for the huge Victoria’s Secret and Forever 21 stores.

A classic choice for the whole family is Disney World. Visit the Magic Kingdom Park in the heart of Florida and fulfill childhood dreams of hanging out with Mickey and Minnie. Any little princesses in the family will love meeting Cinderella, while future movie directors can yell ‘lights, camera, action!’ at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Champions World in Kissimmee or Hampton Inn Pointe on International Drive are ideal choices to stay close to the action. Discover great group rates for hotels in Florida from PurpleTravel.co.uk.

Purple 10: Top European Party Cities

  1. Budapest – Who knew there was a thing called ‘Sparties’, well the Hungarians for one. Head for the Cinetrip Sparty, where the historic thermal baths is packed with half naked revelers, top DJs and you dance in the pool. Last year they had a Star Wars theme party. Sounds good… and weird.  YouTube Preview Image
  2. Prague – The beer is cheap, the nights are long and the DJs are top class. It’s a more laidback city to party, perfect for stag and hen groups who want a more adventurous last weekend of freedom. A pub crawl is a great way to see the city and sample a traditional brew from over 100 types.Czech Beer
  3. Barcelona – Get off the Ramblas ASAP and head for areas like the Barri Gotic or El Born. Not only will you steer clear of the pickpockets, but you’ll go headlong into partying with the locals.Barcelona Hipster Party
  4. Ibiza – No ‘best places to party’ list would be complete without Ibiza. Not so much a holiday as a life experience, you’ll find more than enough hard party in the home hedonism with foam parties, strippers, cheap drinks and beach bars. If you’re not a night person, stay away, the pre-party only kicks off around 11 and goes ‘til dawn.Tinie Tempah in Ibiza
  5. Ios – OK, not a city but an island, a Greek one to be precise, Ios has long been a secret party spot for anyone looking for a summer of late nights, high spirits and new friends. The booze is cheap, the beautiful people are half dressed and the place is gorgeous.Ios Island
  6. Lagos (Portugal) – So close to home and so filled with great bars and clubs. Lagos is in the Algarve, so you’re practically guaranteed great weather on top of the best in clubbing, booze cruises and themed parties (togas are our favourite.) Head for Portugal, but try to take it easy, a hangover is way worse in the sunshine.Party Bar
  7. Stockholm – It may be cold up north, but the nightlife in Sweden’s capital heats things up pretty quickly. Clubs and bars usually kick off their weekend on a Wednesday, and tend to stay open ‘til the early hours. Oh and of course, it being Sweden it’s filled with drop dead gorgeous partyers, just waiting to become your friend.IMG_6087
  8. Amsterdam – It’s probably safe to say Amsterdam is the holy grail of partying in Europe. Not only is it packed with clubs and bars and of course the infamous coffee shops, but the Red Light District is known to pack in visitors at all hours of the day and night. What might be taboo at home is very much expected here.Amsterdam at night
  9. Dublin – It used to be a bit more expensive but now the Irish capital is hooking up party animals with cheap deals and pubs on practically every corner. Find some of the famous craic in Temple Bar, a favourite with stag and hen parties, the indie Wexford street area, or the award winning Wright Venue a bit further outside town in the suburb of Swords.Temple Bar at night
  10. Berlin – Get a nap in, you’ll need it. Parties in Berlin usually kick off around 1am and keep going until the sun comes up, and well after. The German capital plays host to a totally international crowd, with electro, indie, alternative, and dance clubs amongst the best in the world. Head for a bar called Doctor Pong (we really just love it for the name) to kick off your epic night with a bit of sporting activity before Cookies or Watergate.DJ in Berlin

For more on cheap holidays to the best European cities to party in, visit our website at Purple Travel or call us now on 02079939228.

New Years Detox Holidays

After a month spent knocking back mince pies and downing one too many glasses of mulled wine, January is an international period of detox. For some, this necessitates a strict diet of raw food and juices, while others just need a week away to recover mind, body and soul. Here, PurpleTravel.co.uk searches for the top ten New Year detox holidays. Attention please…

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Castel Monastero, Tuscany

Castel Monastero is a stylish retreat overlooking Chianti vineyards, placed within an 11th-century settlement. Its therapeutic wellness programme was designed by Dr Mosaraf Ali, the director of the Integrated Medical Centre in London. This programme focuses on weight loss, detox and rejuvenation – perfect for beating the Christmas bulge.

Expect daily yoga, toxin-eliminating Marma massage, cellulite-busting Trattamento Lipolitico mud wraps, a personalised dietary programme by Gordon Ramsay (delicious), and profuse amounts of fasting tea (gross). Come here if you’re looking to go home with more energy, lower stress levels and ease of sleep.

Viva Mayr, Austria

Based on Franz Mayr’s research on the idea that many ailments are actually caused by poor digestion, Viva Mayr, the Centre for Modern Mayr Medicine, in southern Austria prides itself on excellence in allergy and food intolerances. Run by Harold Stossier, the centre’s programmes combine traditional and modern naturopathic therapies, each with a different focus, whether it be on allergies, stress or anti-ageing. Its beautiful lakeside setting, indoor pool and beauty parlour make for an even more luxurious stay. However, don’t be fooled, this is not a holiday; everything is geared towards achieving optimum health, cleansing the digestive system and re-education of eating habits.

longevity

Longevity Wellness Resort, Algarve

Portugal’s first anti-ageing medical spa lies within a nature reserve by the quiet spa town of Caldas de Monchique. Recently built, the modern concrete and glass structure is eco-friendly, with grass roofs and solar panels. In partnership with La Clinique de Paris, specialists in ageing management, the Resort spa offers a variety of holistic personalised wellness programmes, lasting from three days to one month. For New Year, why not try Dr Chauchard’s 15-day Fast Slimming and Detox programme, which includes full medical consultation, a diet plan and related treatments? You will stay in one of the apartment-like suites, with its own kitchenette with Smeg and Bosch appliances and living and dining areas.

Fusion Fitness, Hotel Aguas de Ibiza, Ibiza

The Fusion Fitness holiday at Aguas de Ibiza offers seven personalised one-on-one activities and treatments, focusing on cardio, strength, sport, mind and body and renewal. Whip your body into the best shape to start the New Year with in the beautiful surroundings of Ibiza.

Palace

Hotel Palace Merano, Italy

Henri Chenot’s detox programmes are like catnip for yoga bunnies. His method is called Biontology, which combines Chinese medicine with Western technology. His regular clients visit to lose weight, boost their energy levels and rejuvenate their bodies, but those at the Hotel Palace Merano  also benefit from being in the foothills of the Dolomites in northern Italy. Enjoy calorie-controlled, salt-free recipes, trips to the spa and medical centre and picturesque views.

Yeotown Radiant Health Retreat, Devon

Located within 50 acres of organic farmland in north Devon, the incredibly stylish Yeotown Radiant Health Retreat is home to a convoy of fitness, nutrition and yoga experts. Here, you have the option of reconnecting with nature in the beautiful English countryside, while enjoying the range of outdoor activities on offer. For New Year, you should try their signature programme, an intensive four to seven-day detox called the Yeotox, which involves a combination of private consultations and specialised massages, plus daily activities to boot.

the retreat

The Golden Rock Retreat, Bali

A journey towards radiant health, the Golden Rock Retreat on the eastern tip of Bali is a private resort in the most tranquil of settings. Beachfront bedrooms and tailor-made programmes will help you get away from it all. Nutrition, fasting, yoga, meditation and qigong are all included, with the aim of deep-cleansing the system and re-energising the body. Whether you opt for the four-day Elemental Cleanse, with bowel flushes, massage, reflexology and other components or the 20-day Golden Rock Retreats, you’ll leave the Retreat feeling like a new person.

Forte Village, Sardinia

The Spa Thaermae del Forte at Forte Village houses six seawater pools at varying temperatures to heal by thelassotherapy. Resident doctor, Mosaraf Ali provides clients with advice on exercise, relaxation, yoga and massage to get you back on form after the Christmas season. His impressive list of patients include Prince Charles, the Sultan of Oman, Richard Branson and Michael Douglas.

penninghame house

Penninghame House, Scotland

On the exterior, Penninghame House is a quaint family home, but further inside you will discover a modern macrobiotic health retreat. Located on a remote 19th-century estate (an hour and a half’s drive from Glasgow in Dumfries and Galloway ), the House offers various courses, including cookery lessons and dine evenings, where their chefs will demonstrate a range of dishes, with ingredients chosen for their effects on the body, mind and energy levels.

The January health week (16-22) is perfect for your New Year’s resolutions, having a specific detox focus, which will help you clear your body of toxins, fat and acidic imbalance. You will also take home the skills needed to maintain a healthy balance in the future through lectures and home remedy sessions.

SHA Wellness Clinic, Albir, Spain

Alfredo Bataller Parietti’s used macrobiotic principles to tackle and recover from a disease he had suffered since childhood. With his SHA Wellness Clinic, he fuses ancient Oriental disciplines with Western techniques to create personalised macrobiotic diet programmes that include organic, locally sourced Mediterranean and Japanese fusion cuisine. The atmosphere is further enhanced by the resort’s fresh, contemporary design and its setting within the natural beauty of the Sierra Helada National Park. The seven-night, full-board Detox Holiday (already on our Christmas lists),  includes a medical check-up at the beginning and end, clinical analysis, consultation with a personal coach, massage, colonic hydrotherapy, acupuncture, daily yoga, t’ai chi, cooking demonstrations and a personalised post-treatment health plan plus two months of follow-up coaching.

Need a detox holiday? Let us help you find the right one. Learn about the latest deals from Purple Travel.

Purple 10 Weird Things Found in Hotels

Ever come back from holiday only to discover that you’ve left behind your favourite book, mobile phone or even your credit card at the hotel?? What about your prosthetic leg? Did you leave that too? You may be shocked, but that is one of these 10 weird things found in hotels Check the list to find out more..

1. Marriage License
What a way to start a marriage! The important new document was found by the cleaning staff in the Hyatt Regency Columbus. The certificate was quickly returned to the newlyweds. No word as to whether the pair has since left their wedding rings behind.

2. License Plate
In one of the rooms in Hyatt Regency Newport Hotel & Spa, in Goat Island, the maid came across a Connecticut license plate, which surprisingly, none of the guests ever attempted to reclaim.

3. False Teeth
The famous golf resort Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North, Scottsdale has discovered a set of false teeth, while cleaning a guest-room bathroom. Luckily, the hotel was able to overnight the dentures back to their embarrassed owner.

4.  A Wig
The next most common items left behind after false teeth are wigs. Not necessarily strange, though it does make you wonder how someone can forget something so crucial behind, especially if they checked in the mirror before leaving.

5. Prosthetic Legs
Socks and shoes are one thing to leave behind but an entire leg is a whole different story. Such was the case for one hotel staff member at the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Quebec, who found the prosthetic limb after checking underneath one of the hotel beds.

6. A Shark
If you thought finding a tiger in your bathroom, a la Hangover was crazy, try finding a shark in your bathtub. That’s the surprise hotel cleaners at The Tivoli Marina Vilamoura in the Algarve faced when they found a weakened shark in one of the room’s bathtubs — swimming in tap water when it was in desperate need of salt water.

7. 6K in Cold Hard Cash
Leaving a tip for house cleaning is a customary practice. Leaving a zippered bag filled with $6,000 in cash? Not so much. Still, the exorbitant find by Jeanne Mydil, a house keeper at the Miami International Airport Hotel, wasn’t enough to tempt the mother of three. Mydil returned the money to her employers who then returned it to a missionary group.

8. A Bird
The Gran Hotel Bahia del Duque hotel in Tenerife once found a caged cockatoo in a room. The owners subsequently asked for it to be flown back to them in a private jet. Which makes you wonder: if they cared that much for it, why forget it in the first place?

9. Expensive car keys
Leaving car keys behind seems to be another common occurrence – but when you drive a Ferrari, it’s inexcusable. At the Hesperia Tower hotel in Barcelona a guest left behind the keys to their Ferrari Testarossa. Upon finding them the staff ran to the parking lot to check if the car was still there – it wasn’t  It’s anyone’s guess how the guest got away without his car keys.

10. A baby
Forgetting your pet might be forgivable even if it happens to be a horse, but your own toddling flesh and blood? A forgotten baby earns the number one weirdest thing to forget in a hotel room title. In this instance it was a couple with way too much luggage who had to leave in separate taxis – a classic case of “But I thought you had the kid!?!”

Getting married in Portugal, a bride’s guide

Weddings abroad are becoming more and more popular. You can top up your tan before the big day, you’re surrounded by family and friends in a beautiful destination and it will usually cost you a fraction of a big wedding in the UK. Las Vegas, Sri Lanka, France and Spain are all popular choices. But, getting married in Portugal is something special!

We spoke with one bride, Deirdre who married hubby Barry in Albufeira, Portugal last year. From handling the heat in a wedding gown, to waterparks in the days before the ceremony, she gave Purple Travel the lowdown about getting married in Portugal.

Purple Travel: Why did you decide to go abroad to get married?

Deirdre: We decided to get hitched abroad for a couple of reasons mainly; we had been to a lot of weddings. Although each wedding was special they all followed the same format and tended to blend into each other a bit. Barry also works in a wedding band so he has seen so many weddings we decided we wanted to do something a little different and personalise our experience.

We both wanted somewhere where all our friends could really enjoy themselves and somewhere we could all hang out for a week instead of just a day. A place where young and old could enjoy themselves and make a holiday out of it. The weather was another big factor; we were hoping to find a place where the weather would be nice. Also we were on a budget so a wedding abroad seemed like a fantastic option.

Purple Travel: What was it about Albufeira that made you choose it? Did you have to make a few trips before you decided?

Deirdre: I had been on many family holidays to Albufeira so the place for me was very special and held a lot of very special memories for me. Albufeira is also a fantastic place for people to enjoy themselves on holiday. The weather is usually good, the people are very friendly, there are gorgeous beaches, the food is amazing and atmosphere is second to none. It’s a fantastic place for families as it is very child friendly and there is lots to do on the beaches, waterparks etc.

It is also a fabulous place for single people or couples as the nightlife is hopping. It seemed to have something for everyone and when we looked at it, it seemed like an ideal place for our friends and family to enjoy themselves at our wedding.

Purple Travel: Did hubby take any convincing about the idea?

Deirdre: I am very enthusiastic about Albufeira but brought Barry on a trip to Albufeira to show him what I meant. We had an amazing time and have never come home from a holiday so relaxed and unwound! We were sure at that stage it was what we wanted. While we were there we hooked up with Algarve Wedding Planners, two amazing girls Paula and Karina, who showed us many of the hotels and options for getting married in Portugal. It was fantastic after a few showings we found our perfect location.

Purple Travel: It sounds very romantic, where was the wedding itself?

Deirdre: The wedding itself was in the main church in the old town Albufeira followed by a reception in the Grande Real Santa Eulalia. The place was fabulous we had a rooftop cocktail reception overlooking the sea, we were then led to an outdoor balcony where tables were decorated fabulously, the food was to die for, atmosphere was fantastic and we had a beach down a few steps to take some nice photos.

Later on that evening we had a place called Le Club to have the night part of the wedding. Barry and his friends are musicians so it was great, they played music and that was followed by lots of dancing with an amazing playlist and D.J. The staff were fantastic, we danced until at least six, the bar stayed open and we were never told to leave. That’s the great thing about a foreign wedding; the regular opening hours and curfews don’t apply. That was another big plus for us.

 Purple Travel: How did you handle the heat on the day? In a wedding dress, we can only imagine it got a little toasty!?

Deirdre: Wearing a wedding dress in the heat is everything you would expect it to be, very hot and a little uncomfortable. I wasn’t one of those brides who didn’t want to get out of their dress. I couldn’t wait to get out of it! It was probably a bit too heavy so bear it in mind if you decide to get married abroad.

Purple Travel: Did you have local help, e.g. a wedding planner, hotel manager something like that?

Deirdre: As I said, we had a wedding planner, Algarve Wedding Planners. We really could not have done it without their help. They were fantastic! I looked online, wrote to them, told them the type of budget we had and asked what we could get for it. They wrote back with loads of options. We arranged to meet up with them when we were on holiday. After that we met them at home. They come over for a wedding fair every year and they bring lot of people to help with your wedding in Portugal. You name it, they can tell you about it, hotel managers, musicians, florists, makeup artists hairdressers etc. all with portfolios of their work. In one day we had booked hair, makeup, flowers, reception location, menu, music. It was super!

Purple Travel: Was there a lot of paperwork involved, e.g. did you need to sort out licences etc at home first?

Deirdre: There was lots of paperwork involved but there is lots of paperwork for any wedding. You needed to get all the same letters of freedom etc you need for home. I also remember that you needed a solicitor over in Portugal to translate documents but that was all set up by the wedding planners. They knew exactly what we needed to do so it was a relief having them for that part.

Purple Travel: So, would you recommend getting married abroad?

Deirdre: I absolutely would recommend a wedding abroad. We had such a memorably, magical day. I’m not great on organisation but having wedding planners there to make sure everything runs smoothly was fantastic. We had a great time but not only with the day but the whole lead up. Meeting up with friends and family on beaches, in pubs, for dinner, at water parks was so much fun. It can at times be stressful, it’s very hectic and there are so many people to meet and hang out with it can be exhausting but very, very exciting. The excitement of meeting your best friends, on a holiday before your big day is just unforgettable.

The day was perfect, the experience amazing, we would do it again in a heartbeat!

A huge thank you once again to Deirdre for her bride’s guide to getting married in Portugal. If you’re thinking of a wedding abroad, firstly, congratulations and why give Purple Travel a call to find out more on 0207 993 9228.

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