The continent of kings and explorers, Europe, is home to countless important cultural monuments. As those couldn’t be covered in one installment we have decided to present 5 more to see and get a taste of the best historic cultural displays which have survived during the passing of ages. From the wonderful Colosseum in Rome to the immensely imposing Schönbrunn Palace, all are wonderful and all of them unique. So go ahead, get informed and have one or more reasons to have your next holidays somewhere in Europe.
Amongst various offerings worldwide, beach holidays are all the rage. The feeling of soft sand getting in between your toes, the sun warming you up and the relaxing sound of waves splashing a few feet away, are amongst the most soothing offerings of nature. Pair that to beach bars serving you fresh cocktails by the seaside and the choice of activities and opting for a beach holiday over any other type of vacation becomes apparent! However not all people can afford the exotic goodness of the Caribbean and as such they have to remain within the confines of Europe. Worry not because if you decide to have your beach holidays in Europe you still have a huge variety of amazing places to choose from!
Europe has long been amongst the most culturally diverse continents, bustling with history and culture. As a result, each corner has its own cultural monument to show. From the imposing Neuschweinstein castle to the famous leaning tower of Pisa, the following sights bear a significant history and their appearance is definitely something to match!
We think you need something rare to find, well-preserved, charming, traditional but also with a modern twist while it maintains it’s old-European charm…. Something inviting, both for nature/mountain lovers and romantic souls too!
Purple Travel wanderers have been hopping up from town to town to bring you the most charming European villages taken out of a fairy tale, postcard-like gems; your imagination travels miles away, it’s like they’ve been taken out of a magnificent canvas or a historic-mystery story to put a spell on us, captivating our mind and soul long time after our journey! We present you some of the most worldly, post-card destinations hidden away somewhere in Europe, encircled with beguiling lush gardens and majestic waterfalls or standing as if they were ”royal kings” upon sylvan hillsides…. All worth adding them to your travel bucket list!
1. Cinque Terre, Italy
The 5 Lands of Nothern Italy
The picturesque fishing towns of Cinque Terre, frankly, will capture our soul! It’s a dramatic coastal scenery, amidst sheer cliffsides, where winding paths are surrounded by colorful Venetian buildings, the rugged shoreline is washed by crystal-clear blue while these imposing mountains are looming over magical vineyards… Some cobblestone foothpaths are the only way to get from one hamlet to the other. Rest assured, that these jaw-dropping views of the sunset where pieces of the shoreline are tumbling into the deep blue, will surely leave you spellbound!
2. Santorini, Greece
The romantic gem of Aegean
The treasured volcanic-gem of the Aegean is calling you and you should definitely answer immediately!
This island is a a geological gallery set amid the deep blue of the Aegean… You can’t resist to its’ mythical charm, high craggy cliffs and white-washed sugarcube houses spilling down to the azure blue of Aegean Sea… The most famous thing about Santorini, though, it’s these magical jaw-dropping, wine-colored sunsets! The island is one of the most popular wedding destinations, there is a reason the title ‘’Greek Romance’’ features every year on travel magazines around the world! Experience the ultimate romantic journey as you explore one of Santorini’s ‘’painting-lands’’: Imerovigli, Fira, Oia & Firostefani are usually called the ‘’Caldera’s eyebrow’’, it’s easy to figure out why, as all these marvellous hamlets offer the most dramatic, stunning views of the volcano!
However, it would be a crime not to share with you the 3rd main reason that you have to visit Santorini. The ultimate gastronomic oasis is here! A real haven of culinary delights along with its’ aromatic fine wines such as the popular sweet Vinsanto or dry Athyri and Assyrtiko; it’s the perfect romantic dinner for two, while you’re plunging into these eye-watering sea views!
Purple Secret Tip:
1. Head to Oia for the most out-of-this-world sunset of your lifetime!
2. Don’t forget to explore one of the smaller traditional villages and soak up their lovely atmosphere; whether you seek pure tranquility or cosmopolitan aura, Santorini can offer you both!
The mysterious Portuguese beauty
Here, there is an array of wild forests soaked by small lakes and exotic grassy mountains embrace gleaming Medieval castles, palaces and royal retreats… We present you Sintra, a well-preserved and Unesco’s World Heritage town of Portugal!
The whole place is dotted with enchanting mansions set on hillsides spilling down to the deep blue of the Atlantic ocean, it’s like a fairytale taken out of a romantic-historic story…. A jagged 18th-century-Portuguese castle built by Celts (or Moors) waiting for you to explore it’s majestic historical charm!
Filled with a romantic aura sheltering every corner, it’s the place to be with your sweetheart! Don’t leave Sintra without visiting the magnificent, beautifully mysterious‘’ Castelo dos Mouros’’, which was finished by King Ferninard II in 1830, it’s out-of-this-world!
4. Albarracín, Spain
The uncommon side of Spain
The scenic village of Albarracin lies in the Aragon region. It’s encopassed by flagged hillsides and a rugged scenery along with half wood-covered houses with a dusky-red color. Stroll around rocky pathways, winding routes and let yourself to capture the essence of its ancient maze-like charm through magnificent castles and lovely chapels. Towering above this rugged spooky landscape lies a Mudejar-style cathedral based on Islamic art…
5. Portofino, Italy
Cosmopolitan and glamour tunes in Italian Riviera
Are you fancy seeing celebrities passing by your side while you’re taking a walk on the promenade? Then look no further to our favorite Italian marvel, Portofino! Stroll around the Liliputian gleaming harbor or head to the popular Punta del Capo, visit the castle and unwind while sipping your delicious espresso, all sound absolutely inviting right? Portofino make us imagine a famous writer weaving a novel of romance and mystery and there’s a reason you’ll capture this kind of mood… Picture-perfect lush gardens at the edge of steep cliffs and white-grey shades of luxury yachts mirrored at the cerulean waters of Ligurian Sea! What not to love in Portofino?
Purple Secret Tip: Escape the hustle and bustle of the city centre and dive into Lavagna, Paraggi or Camogli
* Portofino may be a bit pricey but you should definitely visit it once in your lifetime!
6. Lugano, southern Switzerland
‘’Atemberaubende Ausblicke’’ ( stunning vistas)
“Those who dwell among the beauties and mysteries of the Earth are never alone or weary of life.”
– Rachel Carson –
Natural-worshippers get ready! We present you the Swiss paradise where Italians meet-up on their weekend breaks… Except for its’ natural treasures, Lugano is the 3rd most important banking centre in the country! A blessed place filled with blooming parks, mansions, boutiques and lovely bistros cuddling the maze of these cobblestone alleys that unscramble at the end of Ticino’s mountain-based lake…
7. Ronda, Spain
A two-faced tale in Spain
It’s one of the oldest town of Spain which has been declared as Property of Cultural Interest! Set in a dramatic location on El Tago canyon, surrounded by imposing towering sierras, Ronda will hypnotize you …The town is Malaga’s province and frankly, one of most charming! Welcome to Ronda! Its’ old town dates back to Islamic Era and the whole town is halved into two areas, the Arab-aged with its medieval beauty and the other area, with a modern twist, which poped up after the 16th century… Rocky bridges unite the two pieces of the town which is a great part of the famous ‘’Whitewashed Villages’’.
Purple Secret Tip: Ronda was once Ernest Heminway’s secret place to unwind; it was one of his favorite source of inspiration…
8. Hallstatt, Austria
The most pictured European village with 7000y of history
Nature-worshippers and landlubbers will surely fell in love with Hallstatt… We are sure that you’ve already seen thousands of travel posters featuring this fairy-tale austrian town! The whole town is a storybook spilling down to the Hallstätter See, between a crystal-clear lake and imposing mountains providing the ultimate dazzling backdrop – Now you know why thousands of wanderers are extremely passionate to take countless of photos here! – The collection of beautiful pastel-coloured houses dotted with blooming gardens, creating amazing shimmering reflections into the stained-glass waters of the lake, this fabled beauty would be enough to guarantee its’ fame around the world…
Purple Secret Tip: A stroll away from the centre, Mühlbach waterfall vie for your attention, you’ll be under its’s spell for a long long time!
It’s hard to choose, but we’ve picked our top 10 best summer festivals. Any we’ve missed, add in the comments below.
1. Coachella April 12-14/April 19-21, Califronia, USA. Tickets around $349 for a three day pass. Where the beautiful people of rock, pop and movies go to see and be seen. Run over two weekends, this years lineup is UK heavy, with the Stone Roses, the XX, New Order and Johnny Marr joining the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Modest Mouse and Sigur Ros amongst others. The festival in the dessert is all about sunshine and surprises: last year Tupac Shakur appeared in hologram form to perform with Dr Dre.
2. Primavera Sound Music Festival 22-26 May, Barcelona, Spain. Tickets €145 for a festival pass. This is one for serious musos. My Bloody Valentine are riding the coattails of their surprise album release with a string of dates and will headline Primavera along with Blur, Nick Cave, Tinariwen and Wu-Tang Clan.
3. Electric Daisy Carnival New York 17-19 May NYC, USA. Tickets $159. No lineup announced yet, no official updates on the website either, but we’re pretty sure the annual electro dance fest is one to watch. 2012 saw Armin van Buuren, Afrojack, Avicii and Steve Angello headline.
4. Roskilde Music Festival 29 June-7 July, Denmark. Tickets DKR 1810.00. One of the biggest and best festivals in Europe, Roskilde actually does it all for charity. All profits go to a different chosen charity every year. So, not only will you have a good time watching Slipknot or, eh, Rihanna but you can enjoy the fact it’s for a good cause too.
5. Electric Elephant 11-15 July, Tisno, Croatia. Tickets TBA. Set in a natural amphitheatre, on a white sandy beach, surrounded by warm, crystal clear waters, Electric Elephant is about as far away from mudbath Glastonbury as you would imagine. We don’t know much about the lineup apart from Mr Scruff, but we do know, there’ll be boat parties, sunshine and handy apartments on site.
6. Positivus Festival 19-21 July, Salcgrava Latvia. Tickets LVL 39.00. A pretty good option for a cheap festival circuit experience, this has an eclectic mix of acts and a great atmosphere among its 20,000 + revellers. Sigur Ros are already confirmed to headline with more TBC in the next few weeks.
7. Sziget Festival 5-12 August, Obuda Island, Hungary. Tickets €229. A good option for non muddy camping, usually the weather is perfect for 7 days of nonstop partying, 60 venues, 200 acts daily, and lots of non music acts like a circus. Hadouken! Boys Noize, Azealia Banks, Blur and Triggerfinger have already been announced for Hungary’s finest festival.
8. Pinkpop Festival 14-16 June, Ladgraaf, the Netherlands. Tickets €165. Going into its 41st year, the Dutch have gotten this festival down to a fine art. The festival has sold out 20 times in its four decade history, so better get booking soon. An average of 60,000 head to the site each year and this year looks like it’s no different with Green Day, the Script and Ben Howard already announced.
9. Iceland Airwaves Music Festival 30 October-3 November, Reykjavik, Iceland. Tickets KR 18.500. Any festival in Iceland is going to be a bit different; they did give us Bjork after all! Already on the bill are Gold Panda, Goat, Fatima Al Qadiri and church organ magician Anna Von Hasswolff are set to play at the festival, where, by 4am, “You’ve been to five cool clubs, seen ten great bands, made fifteen new friends and fallen in love twenty times. You’re tired. You’re wired. You’re ready to find a bed. You’re ready to find the after-party. You can’t believe you’re here. You’re already making plans to come back next year. And guess what? It’s still Day One.”
10. Super Bock Super Rock 18-20 July, Sesimbra, Portugal. Tickets €48-80. Arctic Monkeys, QOTSA, and the Killers are headlining the huge rock fest that started in 1994; it’s since become one of the most kick-ass gigs in the country, drawing huge crowds and big names.
For the best prices on flights and accommodation for all kinds of festivals, call one of our travel experts now on 0207 993 9228.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.