Tag - Africa holidays

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Most blissful islands worldwide
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Purple Hearts Gambia Holidays

Most blissful islands worldwide

Madeira, Portugal
Porto Santo bright lights by night

Porto Santo by night

Once again windy Madeira was named as one of the best islands in the world! The island is an archipelago of Portuguese islands in the Atlantic Ocean. Funchal is the capital of Madeira  settled in the 15th century. The greatest part of the island is an imposing botanical garden full of levadas, perfect for hiking trails. To explore its natural beauty you should surely visit the nearby villages, maintaining its charm. Gaze in wonder through mountain climbing to the summit of Pico Ruivo, you will feel like walking in heaven, as you revel in the eminent panoramic views of solidified lava…

Madeira's Nothern Wonders: Volcanically natural pools

Madeira’s Nothern Wonders: Volcanically natural pools

The Nothern road winds down through an amazing landscape of wild forests and lush valleys where you can find the famed terraced vineyards in Levada do Norte. Last but not least, don’t forget to unwind over a wine tasting at Pereira D’Oliveira. Porto Santo morphs into a party island on summer time, not to mention, the natural lava pools at Porto Moniz!

Santorini, Cyclades, Greece
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Endless deep blue…Soaking in the Aegean Sea

Looking for a mythical experience? The island of charm, ‘’immortalized’’ by famous poets, thanks to its coloured houses carved into cliffs and the most mesmerizing sunsets like an artist’s palette! A unique aura that overwhelms all senses with amazing views of the caldera creates wild landscape as you are strolling along Nea Kameni’s volcano. If you are a fearful adventurer, you can try scuba-diving into the thermal waters forming a volcanic spa at Palia Kameni or challenge yourself walking along the Oia’s path where an iridescent landscape await you on the dusk time.

If you are a history lover, take a visit at the ‘’Pompeian City of Aegean’’, the prehistoric Akrotiri and the museum of Prehistoric Thera at Fira. Of course, Santorini’s local specialties are among the most popular, as the greatest chefs blend traditional twist with modern gastronomy making Santorini one of the best culinary destinations! As, for the sunbathers there are unique beaches with a colors of red, black, white and red: Perissa, Perivolos, Kamari, Kokkini and Aspri Paralia (Red & White Beach).

Mauritius, Indian Ocean, Africa
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Chillin’ with refreshing coconut drinks on the beach

One of the most favored tropical paradise in the world, Port Louis, the capital of Mauritius, is a bustling port with a modernized waterfront! Its beautiful well-known resorts, such as the Mont Choisy, Trou-aux-Biches and the Flic en Flac, perfect choice for scuba-divers or Rivière Noire for fishing. Mauritius’ crystal blue waters, endless sandy beaches and tropical climate, is an ideal go-to destination for honeymoons and jet setters too! Except for snorkeling and coconut refreshing cocktails there is much more to do on this island with its buzzing nightlife and rich culture.  Moreover, there are some things surely not to miss: Mahebourg market – the island’s traditional bazzar, Mauritius is also home to world’s golf lovers, Chamarel Colored Earths & Waterfalls, Sporting enthusiasts: Have a daytrip at Ille aux Cerfs,  Admire flora & fauna of Indian Ocean at Mauritius Aquarium or take a visit at Eureka delving into Mauritius’ colonial past.

Bali, Indonesia
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Door of Heaven

Bali, the Indonesian paradise, feels like a earthly heaven with its incomparable beauty…. Bali is part of the Coral Triangle, known for its great diversity of marine species. Soak up the sun or dive along the amazing wreck of a WWII war ship! At artistic Ubud, you can see a cultural local dance or if you need some revival moments, invigorate mind & body in a yoga class. The eclectic Balinese tradition will get you hooked during your stay and it is mainly what sets this island apart from other tropical destinations. Most tourists visit also the island for its stunning ancient and nature wonders, active volcanoes and lush wild jungles!

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Wild nature comes alive…

Can’t miss – Facilities & Landmarks

  • What Not to Miss in Bali
  • Shopping at Seminyak & dining at Nasi Ayam Kedewatan restaurant
  • Explore Kuta – Amed & Lovina beaches
  • Dive off Pemuteran & Surfing at Medewi
  • Visit Puri Lukisan museum & Monkey Sanctuary
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Ancient temples leaves you speechless

 

 

 

 

  • Port Louis, the capital of Mauritius, is a bustling port with a modernized waterfront!  Buffer
  • Don't forget to unwind over a wine tasting at Pereira D’Oliveira!  Buffer
  • Lavish moments at Porto Moniz natural lava pools  Buffer
  • Looking for a mythical experience? Visit the Greek island of charm, Santorini!  Buffer
  • Gaze in wonder through mountain climbing to the summit of Pico Ruivo....  Buffer

Purple Hearts Gambia Holidays

Gambia

Image via @ Aleutia 

It may be easy to miss tiny Gambia on the enormous map of Africa – it’s completely enveloped by Senegal – yet surprisingly, Africa’s oddly-shaped, smallest country is also one of its most accessible. Gambia holidays are just six hours away from most major European destinations, there is no time difference (hurrah – no jet lag) and it is an affordable way to feel as though you’ve travelled somewhere incredibly far away and incredibly exotic.

Its nine main resorts (Bakau, Cape Point, Kololi, Fajara, Kotu, Brufut, Bijilo, Senegambia and capital, Banjul) offer some excellent activities for tourists, including stunning nature reserves, such as Kiang West National Park and River Gambia National Park (aka Baboon Island), informative excursions through the historical slave trade islands of St James Island or Jufureh and immense stretches of white sands across the entire coastline.

Accordingly then, this week, Purple Hearts… our guide to Gambia holidays. Enjoy!

Food:
Gambia has a wealth of restaurants that are rapidly gaining an international reputation for their high quality and expert chefs. From casual beach bars to formal gourmet dining, from Italian to Lebanese, you’ll easily find something to suit your taste. However for the adventurer within you, have a go at the local dishes. These are extraordinarily rich nutrition-wise, containing fresh, in-season vegetables provided by the local producers’ gardens. Try Pepeh Soup, a tasty, thick stew prepared with fish or beef or Domoda, a typical mandinka dish made from groundnuts, which form a wonderful piquant peanut paste (Domo means eating whilst Da means the stew pot). Nyombeh Nyebbeh, if you can pronounce it, is a very popular dish made with cassava, beans and fried red snapper.

Places to go:
Banjul
Banjul
is peaceful, exotic and rich in history. Located on St Mary’s island at the mouth of the Gambia Rive, the city is a former centre of the slave trade, exhibited particularly well in the exhibitions of the Gambian National Museum and the collection of paintings and statues in the African Heritage Museum. For a slice of some modern Gambian culture, tourists can take a trip to the famous Albert market, brimming with the beautiful colours and inviting aromas associated with African life.

Bijilo Forest Park
One of the several forest parks in Gambia, Bijilo Forest Park is primarily a nature reserve. Easily accessible from Kololi, just short of the coast near the Senegambia tourist area, this park is famed for its huge species of birdlife and of course, its mischievous monkeys.

Bakau
Bakau is a tiny, densely populated coastal town tucked away on a low cliff between Banjul and the Atlantic. Home to a vibrant, mixed community, the town offers a definitely down-to-earth atmosphere, despite its central beach doubling as a busy fishing centre. The best beach in the area then, is at nearby Cape Point, where the sand is the well-kept and the environment is relaxing. Fajara beach to the west, is, on the other hand, a favourite spot for impromptu beach football matches (but not so great for sunbathing). However, Bakau’s most famous attraction has to be the Katchikali crocodile pool. The pool is even sacred to the local Mandinka tribe, who believe that bathing in water from the pool will cure infertility. But if you’re interests are less cathartic, you’re can great some great snaps of the family of docile-looking Nile crocodiles lazily sunning themselves the pool.

Things to do:
Sail on the River Gambia
Gambia is named after this majestic river, which slices like a knife through the country, splitting it into two halves, fringed by mangrove swamps and jungle forest. Several species of birds, monkeys and other wildlife can be seen along the river, including dolphins (seen up river), crocodiles and hippos (spotted in the fresh water sections of the central River and Upper River Division). Reptiles to watch for are snakes (including pythons, cobras and mambas), and other reptiles such as lizards (including the large monitor lizard), geckos and tortoise. Grab your camera and jump on one of the boat trips, which run regularly year-round.

Go wildlife-spotting
Although the birds of Senegambia are one of the region’s main attractions, baboons and three types of monkeys (vervet, patas and red colobus) also inhabit the country, particularly present in the Abuko Nature Reserve. In fact, Gambia has six national parks and reserves, plus several forest parks, which have been set aside to protect representative samples of main habitat types and their associated fauna. In the forest areas you also may see oribi and duikers (small members of the antelope family), while drier grassland areas are occupied by cobs, roans, waterbucks, derby elands, warthogs and bush pigs. River Gambia National Park, aka Baboon Islands, is a 580 hectare park established mainly as a rehabilitation sanctuary for chimpanzees. Visitors are not permitted on the island.

Visit a Holy Forest
Makasutu Cultural Forest, now an all-in-one excursion comprising of a guided forest walk, a boat ride, bird watching, and cultural entertainment galore,  has an incredible history. Meaning ‘holy forest’ in Mandinka, legend has it that tribal wars took place in this forest centuries ago, during which a King was killed and his head, crown and throne all buried in the forest. The local community avoided the area, for another reason however; the legend has it that the forest was home to a more sinister resident: the devil himself.To read more about Makasutu, click here.

Roots excursion
Depart from Banjul on your cruise ship for the day, where you will enjoy a delicious lunch while visiting a series of historical sites. Beginning at Albreda, which used to be a French trading post during the slavery era, you’ll visit the freedom flag pole and a slave museum. From here you proceed onto Juffureh, hometown of Kunta Kinteh, the famous slave who was forced into slavery in the mid seventeen century and on whom Roots was based on. You then come to the main hightlight of the roots trip, the visit of the Kinteh clan. Experience a 2-mile sea cruise to Kunta Kinteh Island, which was used to keep slaves before they were shipped to Goree Island. The most characteristic thing is the dungeon remaining on the Island, one of an original fourteen once used to punish slaves who rebelled, by chaining their hands and legs and serving them only one meal a day in order to weaken them.

For more information or to book cheap Gambia holidays get in touch with the team at Purple Travel.

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