It’s started, you’ve started to feel the chill and you know you’ve got months of unpredictable weather ahead of you. Escape to the sun today with Purple Travel and see our pick of destinations to go to if you’re feeling the chill already and want a last-minute bargain for October!
Image via @H20 Alchemist
Fuerteventura – If you’re seeking somewhere a little bit quieter than the other Canary Islands then Furteventura could be for you. If you’re worried that there won’t be enough to keep yourself or the kids occupied then fear not, there are plenty of watersports such as surfing and windsurfing to try out and some golf courses to hone your skills at. The best places for windsurfing and surfing are around Corralejo and Jandia, with many expert schools and equipment hire. For golf, there is a 18 hole course at Costa Caleta, with a free bus service running from the centre of Caleta to the course. If you’re more of the beach type, average temperatures of around 25 degrees in October mean you’ll get plenty of sunshine and time to relax on the sandy beaches. Our top pick is the
Who doesn’t love slip-sliding about and releasing your inner child? Is there a better place to do that than in a them park or water park? We don’t think so. Impress your kids this year with all the facts about these extremely cool water parks for 2014 and don’t forget to tell us if we’ve missed one of your favourite water parks in the comments below.
1. Tropical Islands Resort, Krausnick, Germany. The largest indoor water park in the world, Tropical Islands is in a former zeppelin hangar, complete with rainforest, palm trees, birdsong and artificial sun.
2. Siam Park, Tenerife. Perhaps one of the best known water parks in Europe, Siam Park, the Water Kingdom is home to a Tower of Power which is a 28 metre plunge, the zero gravity Dragon experience, the 200 metre mega slide the Kinnaree and the Sawasdee, a great choice for families: it’s a mini version of the grown up rides especially for kids.
Ever wondered where the word ‘Spain’ comes from? Or how about how many miles of beaches there are in Spain? Let us help you out with our 16 excellent holiday facts about Spain.
#1 Let’s start with one of our favourite facts about Spain. It is the most popular holiday destination for Brits, (it was in 2013) with Majorca, Malaga, Tenerife and Costa del Sol holidays ranking highly. Purple Travel’s most popular Spain holidays included Ibiza, Alicante and Palma de Mallorca as well as city breaks in Barcelona.
#2. Some of the most famous names in the world hail from Spanish shores. Actors Javier Bardem (Gran Canaria),Penelope Cruz (Madrid) and Antonio Banderas (Malaga) and sports stars like tennis player Rafael Nadal (Majorca), Andres Iniesta (Castilla-La Mancha) and Fernando Torres (Madrid) are just a selection of the famous faces hailing from Spanish shores.
#3. The word for ‘Spain’ is said to come from ‘Hispania’, which roughly translates to Island of Rabbits. So if you see some bunnies, don’t be too surprised.
Where is hot in December? We’ve compiled our list of the best holidays in December so you can soak up the sun and start the new year with the best tan.
Jumeirah Beach, Dubai 26C Exotic, hot and amazing shopping. Dubai is the perfect December holiday choice. Bring the kids, go for high tea in the Burj Khalifa and try not to laugh too much at anyone who’s stuck at home.
Image via @ bryangeek
Funchal, Madeira 18C One of Europe’s best kept secrets, Madeira is a lush, green island with great beaches and friendly people. December holidays in Madeira are especially good thanks to its excellent New Years Eve Party.
Image via @ valtergouveia
Cancun, Mexico 28C Beaches, beaches, beaches and more beaches. Mexico and the entire Caribbean is truly beautiful anytime of year, but there’s nothing quite as nice as sunning yourself on a brilliant white beach and thinking of the snow back home. Book a cheap December holiday in Mexico now with Purple Travel.
Image via @ jhetzel
Red Sea Resort, Egypt 22C Take your pick of golden beaches, excellent hotels, diving amongst tropical reefs or history come to life on a December holiday to Sharm el Sheikh, Hurghada or Marsa Alam.
Image via @ dkeats
Costa Adeje, Tenerife 22C Reliable all yar round for great weather, Tenerife and its black beach , buckets of water sports and traditional fishing villages make the Canary Islands a permanent December holiday ideas favourite.
Image via @ ahisgett
Montego Bay, Jamaica 26C The most indulgent resort on the island, Montego Bay is filled with upmarket, luxury hotels most of which are right on the beach. There are golf courses, water sports, day trips, buckets of sunshine and that special Jamaica rhythm. An especially good choice if you fancy breaking out and going wild like at no holds barred Hedonism resort.
Image via @ sercasey
Rauris, Austria 6c If you like your holidays more traditional, why not grab a great value ski holiday in Austria this December. With a great choice of slopes, schools to help out any beginners and excellent apres-ski Rauris is a top notch December holiday experience.
Image via @ Sabine
Anjuna, Goa 27C Once a playground for hippies in the 60s, Anjuna in Goa is now more likely to be populated with young couples who want a relaxed, romantic getaway on golden sands and with great food. December in Goa is usually warm, so although it’s a long trip, it’s worth it.
Image via @ Sandra Cohen-Rose and Colin Rose
Barcelona, Spain 10C Cheap and tasty tapas, cool bars and trips to the Nou Camp or racking up museum tickets at the Picasso Exhibition or the Sagrada Familia, Barcelona’s cheap flights and hotel make it a great December holiday idea. Just remember to wrap up well, it can get a bit chilly.
Barcelona via @ Aigle_dore
Banjul, Gambia 31C Get the sunshine, with no jetlag, Banjul is one of our winter holiday bestsellers. The tiny African country is packed with beaches made of soft sand, with perfect transparent water and plenty of cheap hotels.
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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.
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.
Kate Power is community manager for Purple Travel.
Looking to impress the kids and keep mum and dad happy? Then check out our Purple tips for six of the best family holidays in Spain. For great family holidays in Spain, you’ll need sunshine, child-friendly accommodation and restaurants and a tonne of things to see and do, not to mention a top notch beach. Here are some of our tips for family friendly fun in the sun for holidays in Spain in 2014.
1. Malaga on the Costa del Sol is one of our top choices. With Nerja Caves to explore, Aqualand Torremolinos or the botanic gardens and cable cars at Tivoli world, as well as great value accommodation and kid friendly restaurants by the bagful, it’s a good choice for a late summer break.
2. If you fancy all year sunshine Lanzarote and specifically Puerto Del Carmen is the place to go. The beaches are to die for and it makes a great base for exploring the island. Lanzarote has plenty of fun activities for kids of all ages including Costa Teguise Aqua Park, go karting in San Bartolome or the Rancho Texas Theme Park.
3. Lloret de Mar in the Costa Brava is a great place to mix city break with sun, sea and sand, in other words the ideal mix of things for kids and mum and dad. Close to Barcelona it’s ideal for a day out at the Museum of Ideas and Inventions, the CosmoCaixa, or simply a walk down the Ramblas, while the beaches are just a stone’s throw away.
4. Alcudia Beach in Majorca is perfect for a relaxed few days on the beach. You’ll find a relaxed pace of life here, so it’s good for a peaceful getaway. There’s lots of space for relaxing on the beach, enjoying long, leisurely meals in child-friendly restaurants and there are a lot of historical sites and the S’Albufera Natural Park.
5. Costa Adeje in Tenerife is a firm family favourite. For little ones there are water parks, clean and shallow beaches and for older ones there are surfing or diving lessons and organised day trips. The whole family will enjoy whale watching trips, while the selection of hotels suits every budget and every kind of holidaymaker.
6. Portinatx in Ibiza is not about partying all night. Away from the noise and clubs you’ll find a haven of facilities for you and your family. From quiet sandy coves, relaxed local restaurants and kids clubs at plenty of hotels offering entertainment and games programmes, it’s a good choice for kids up to 12 years old.
Are there any resorts we missed? We’ve love to get some readers tips on family holidays in Spain.
Along with superb beaches, the Canary Islands offer a number of natural swimming pools, with diving, sunbathing and discovering the native flora and fauna of the islands. Here are a couple of our picks for the best natural swimming pools in the Canary Islands.
Image via @ Yeray Banot
El Hierro, Pozo de las Calcosas: It’s a bit of a hike to get to these natural pools, but once you arrive the gorgeous scenery more than makes up for the trek to get there.
Image via @ Andreas Weibel
Lanzarote, Punta Mujeres: Formed by volcanic lava, these dramatic pools create the perfect atmosphere to sunbathe and relax completely.
Image via @ san borondon
Fuerteventura, Los Charcos, El Cotillo: A peaceful, sheltered spot, this one is great for a family day out.
Image via @ tenerife holidays
Tenerife, Bajamar: two natural pools absolutely perfect for swimming, one is completely dedicated to children too, so there’s lots of space for fun and games for all ages.
Image via @ El coleccionista de instantes
Gran Canaria, Las Salinas: This is made up of three naturally occurring pools, connected by channels so you can swim right through from one to the other. Las Salinas is also where to go for quality diving to discover the colourful natural habitat.
Find out more about amazing places around the world, in our Off The Beaten Track series.
Maspalomas Possibly the most famous and one of the best beaches in Gran Canaria, the rippling dunes of Maspalomas are an absolute must-see. This area is well kept and has something for everyone. If you’re into surfing, fishing or sailing you can do it from here, there are walking and hiking routes across the dunes and lots of bird watching available. For the beach part it’s well divided to suit all tastes… including nudists! It’s very popular thanks to its extensive facilities and location. Stay at the 4* Tabaiba Princes Hotel right amongst the dunes. It has excellent facilities and offers a great holiday experience.
Flickr/El coleccionista de instantes/Creative Commons
Taurito A smallish beach, Taurito has great snorkelling right passed the cliffs on either side of the beach and is know as one of the best beaches in Gran Canaria. Days on the sand here offer the best of both worlds; have a go at some water sports, dive into the sea or sunbathe on the sand-free lido. The sheltered resort offers safe waters for children and any less confident swimmers as well as a large swimming pool nearby which looks more like a lake and should definitely be discovered! Stay at the 4* Hotel Taurito Princess in the heart of Valle del Taurito, there are fantastic views, great entertainment and it’s right on the beach. Hard to ask for anything more than that.
Read more: best beaches in Tenerife
Mogan After a few years as a rocky outcrop, Mogan has become one of the most popular beaches on the island thanks to a huge delivery of sand from the Sahara. Now the relaxed, sheltered beach, is edged by tasty fish restaurants, its warm waters are great for children, and it’s known as having more hours of sunshine than any other part of the island. Stay at the Cordial Mogan Playa. This 4* has a wonderful Spanish feel, built in a traditional architectural style, the rooms are comfortable, the grounds are filled with lush greenery and you can’t beat its location, a stone’s throw from the beach.
You Should Read… Purple Hearts: the best beaches in Lanzarote
Flickr/El coleccionista de instantes/Creative Commons
Puerto Rico could be called the ‘people’s favourite’ such is the popularity of the area. A specially built resort, you’ll find Puerto Rico slap, bang in the middle of two beaches with lots of nearby shops, bars and restaurants. The beach itself is made of soft, golden sand and the waters are ideal for paddling in; there aren’t many waves and the water is quite calm so it’s a nice choice for families. Yachting is probably the most popular water sport choice here but there are also surfing or banana boating options. Stay at the 3* Altamar Aparthotel which offers delightful sea views and pretty garden surroundings. It’s just 400 metres from the beach and has a golf course a stone’s throw away.
Meloneras Right in front of a couple of the big Maspalomas hotels, Meloneras is in a great location, meaning you can get from bed to beach in no time. And of course in a place like that you’ll find top notch facilities. The beach is well organised with lots of loungers and the best bit? It’s usually not too busy! Stay at the H10 Playa Meloneras Palace. A top choice for families, (it’s also right next to an exclusive golf course) and has been recently revamped so you can be sure of an enjoyable holiday.
Flickr/El coleccionista de instantes/Creative Commons
Arguineguin From the ancient Guanche word for ‘quiet water’ Arguineguin is a slightly quieter alternative to the big resorts like Playa del Ingles. A good choice for couples, it’s small and almost private. The sand was replaced in recent years and there are plenty of delicious restaurants serving daily fresh fish so you can enjoy a romantic meal. Check the weather forecast for the waves as surfers usually descend in good conditions. Stay at the 3* Dorada Beach apartments, with gorgeous views, an outdoor pool, and direct access to the beach. There you’ll find great value for a great holiday!
Find out more about the great hotels on the best beaches in Gran Canaria from the expert team at Purple Travel, click for our site or call us directly on 0207 993 9228.
The Canary Islands is more than simply glorious beaches, great hotels and buckets of sunshine. The group of Islands just a stone’s throw from the coast of Africa offers some amazing natural surroundings too and one of our favourites is its VOLCANOES!
Each Island has its own “volcanic personality” with a hugely diverse population of flowers and plants, Dr Who-like scenery, stunning views of majestic mountains bathed in clouds and spa treatments made from the amazing naturally forming landscape. You can walk on lava fields, along cliff edges or discover strange life (possibly!) in the underground galleries. Volcano holidays offer something truly incredible for all ages.
Add that to great cheap hotels, wonderful beaches and basically, it’s got everything you need for an amazing holiday in 2013. Remember you can call us any time for a great cheap holiday in the Canary Islands – or anywhere else on 0207 993 9228 or visit our website: PurpleTravel.co.uk. But first, find out more about Volcano holidays in our guide:
Image via @ Freakyman
There have been many eruptions among the islands since the 15th century, with the last one on La Palma in 1971. Today the islands are considered to be one of the most important volcanic sites; it is home to the third biggest volcano in the world, and Spain’s highest peak Mount Teide and the islands are regularly studied for their natural plant life and seismic activity.
So, if you’re taking the kids for a cheap family holiday to Tenerife, you want a cheap couples getaway in Gran Canaria or you simply want to enjoy a little more of this varied landscape, then here are a few of our top picks for groundbreaking volcano holidays!
You Should Read: Off the Beaten Track… Waterfall Restaurant
Fuerteventura A windsurfer’s paradise, Fuerteventura is also the oldest in the archipelago. Visit the volcanic scenes at the Peninsula de Janida, Malpais de la Arena and Isla de Lobos. Apart from the rich flora and fauna you can find there, the long plains and volcanic mountains in the middle of the island will impress even the most hardened tourist. Plus, Fuerteventura has 152 beaches along its coastline, so you can catch the best of both worlds. Reason to go: This is the oldest of the islands, dating back a whopping 20 million years!
Tenerife One of the busiest and most popular islands in the Canaries, Tenerife’s Teide Volcano is actually visible from most parts of the island. Today you can climb to the top, (the highest point in Spain) and it’s the third highest volcano in the world and is still registered as active. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the National Park is one of the most visited in the world. Reason to go: The unbelievably spectacular view, just be prepared for a climb!
You Should Read… The Best Costa Blanca Beaches
Lanzarote The scene of some of the most recent volcanic activity (in the 70s) but don’t you dare let that put you off! The strange alien-like landscape is enough to take your breath away. The Timanfaya National Park is the centre of volcanic locations in the islands, and from the moment you arrive you’ll get a feel for how hot it is. Temperatures just a few metres towards the centre of the earth can hit 400°C! You can also check out La Geria or Los Hervideros for other lava exploring. Reason to go: For the Doctor Who style pics you can take when you get there.
Gran Canaria Visit the huge rolling craters on Gran Canaria to really get a taste of an historic land formed by hot lava straight from the earth’s core. Alongside its pure sandy beaches, lush greenery and buckets of sunshine, a day trip from Maspalomas or Playa del Ingles is made all the more impressive with the site of El Dodo de Dios (or God’s Finger) a rocky spire that juts out to the sea. Reason to go: The beach is the ultimate reward after a day’s exploring a Martian landscape!
For more information visit the excellent Canary Islands Tourism site here.