Tag - Ski Holidays

Purple Tips: 8 January holidays
Purple Tips: Family holidays
Alternative Christmas Holidays
Purple Hearts… Rauris Travel Guide
Purple Hearts… Andorra Travel Guide

Purple Tips: 8 January holidays

January holidays 2014 from Purple Travel

Gambia Average temps 24 degrees Gambia is a great value choice for January Holidays. Easy on the pocket and easy on the eye, there are tonnes of beach side hotels or villas to choose from and no time difference, so you can feel at home on holidays!

Cuba Average temps 21 degrees Within nine hours of the UK, the Caribbean offers warm waters, soft sandy beaches and an incredible range of hotels. It’s just a matter of where to choose! We love Cuba for its laidback atmosphere, perfect for a post-Christmas break. Choose an all inclusive resort like the Playa Costa Verde All Inclusive resort where your every whim is catered to.

Hurghada Average temps 22 degrees release your inner scuba diving with a mostly underwater holiday in the Red Sea. Float through a tropical landscape by day as you discover coral reefs and the beauty of nature. At night there are nightclubs, bars and a huge range of range of entertainment from the traditional to the modern in Hurghada’s bustling resort. Hurghada is a fantastic choice for January Holidays.

Dubai Average temps 20 degrees A shopping lovers dream, although post Christmas, it might not be the first thing that springs to mind. The hot, dry weather in Dubai in January is just the balm to chase away those winter blues. Jumeirah Beach is a purpose built holiday haven, with its own souks, malls, clubs and pools… actually we could go on, but isn’t it better to see for yourself?!

Swiss Alps Average temps -1 St Moritz is a ski Mecca in January. It is slap, bang in the middle of full winter season, with skiing and snowboarding, cross country and hiking on offer as well as electric après-ski. Book now for great ski deals in January with Purple Travel.

Cape Verde Average temps 24 A string of islands floating in the Atlantic, Cape Verde is a wonderful melting pot of cultures, from its Portuguese influences to its proximity to the African coast. It’s not exactly mainstream so offers an eclectic holiday for sports lovers, surfers and great food and is still cheap enough for a great January deal.

Canary Islands Average temps 22 degrees The Canaries are renowned as winter sunshine holiday destination. And at just four hours flight time from the UK, they offer a cheap, cheerful and close holiday. Family friendly in Lanzarote sunshine is just the ticket after a long winter. Book self-catering or all inclusive budget accommodation in Lanzarote now with Purple Travel.

Florida Average temps 23 degrees Holidays in Florida are a great choice for two reasons: 1. you can beat the queues at the Theme Parks and 2. You can do it minus any sunstroke. Disneyworld and Orlando are still busy but not at summer levels, while Sarasota and St Petersburg beaches are still warm enough for bathing. Of course, if it’s endless parties you’d prefer, you could do worse than a quick road trip to Miami.

For more on cheap January Holidays talk to Purple Travel on 02079939228.

Purple Tips: Family holidays

Grab a bucket and spade, the kids and head for these family holidays in the sunshine. Here are some top picks for family friendly getaways. From 32 Cute Little Girl in Pink Dances photos set (uncropped) k

Image via @ MikeBaird

Fun, fun, fun at Disneyland USA Surely a no brainer, Disneyland is the chance to treat your kids (and yourself) to an unforgettable adventure. The Radisson WorldGate Hotel in Kissimmee is just a mile from Walt Disney World Resort and Universal Studios. You can even watch the theme park’s fireworks show from your room and hit the shops for some much needed retail therapy. It’s really the cherry on top of any family holidays you might be after.

Hit the beach in the Balearics Majorca, Menorca and Ibiza, take your pick: The handy family run Hotel Almudaini in Palma de Mallorca, is just a few minutes’ walk from Passeig Maritimo and almost every amenity in town – the port, palace and market. For Menorca head for the family friendly resort of Cala’n Forcat, with its beaches, bouncy castles and aqua parks. Remember, Ibiza is not just for serious partying, there’s a softer, gentler side, with cosy villas away from the clubbing centres, but lively enough for mum and dad to enjoy too. Try Santa Eulalia, or Es Cana for great family holidays in the sunshine.

Ski adventure in Borovets Bulgaria is a fab choice for families with children, with a snow park especially for youngsters and wide runs in amongst green pine forests. There is a high standard of English speaking schools, and it’s a good choice for beginners, improvers or advanced skiers. Depending on where you stay there is free nursery or ski school as well as a great selection of cosy restaurants or day trips to the capital Sofia. The Hotel Rila has gorgeous views, mountain biking and hiking trips organised by qualified guides along with a great location right at the bottom of the ski runs.

Tropical getaway Dreams Tulum Resort and Spa, Riviera Maya, Mexico the ideal in all inclusive, the Dreams in Tulum has excellent rooms, some with ocean or garden views and a private terrace. The onsite Explorer’s Club offers a Mayan themed world of fun for children aged between three and 12. Daily activities include climbing walls, splash fountains and outdoor movie screenings. For more adventurous kids, there’s a camping adventure every week.

Cruise in Turkey A great choice for one parent families, you join a party atmosphere on a cruise past tiny fishing villages, practically deserted beaches and tonnes of kayaking, swimming or diving. In the evenings, parents can gather on deck and relax over a glass of local brew, while the kids are entertained with movies.

Family luxury Cyprus The Almyra Hotel in Paphos is the perfect laidback getaway that’s is both stylish and child friendly. Children of all ages are at the heart of this hotel, with excellent childcare available. This includes supervised clubs, indoor and outdoor play areas, interconnecting rooms and children’s menus and a Baby Go Lightly service, so you can order all sorts of baby necessities before you arrive, e.g. nappies, car seats etc. For older children and teenagers, there is a dedicated ‘urban graffiti’ designed area with video games and big screens.

Dude Ranch, in the USA A holiday with a difference, this is the chance to test your cowboy skills. Set on a huge ranch, you and your family will be surrounded by breathtaking scenery and glorious sunsets. The Elk Mountain Ranch is known as the “White Water Capital of Colorado” and there is plenty of opportunity to go rafting along with hayrides, biking and erm, square dancing.  A great choice for children, each day has a theme such as cowboy or Indian, there are dedicated camp counsellors and even a water slide park nearby, meaning every base is covered.

Classic sunshine Depending on who you talk to, there are a couple of thousand islands in Greece, so there is plenty to choose from.  To top it off, it’s one of the best places for a bargain break; there is a big push to get visitors in this year, so prices have dropped and there is room for haggling. Try the resort of Amoudara in Crete, with a three mile long stretch of sand and tonnes of tavernas to lunch in. For days out try the Labyrinth of Knossos or the AquaWorld Aquarium and stay at the Castro Hotel, just a couple of minutes from a private beach, with its own pool and plenty of restaurants nearby.

Alternative Christmas Holidays

Tired of stuffing turkeys and wearing novelty knitted jumpers on Christmas day? What if you could be lying under a palm tree or smoking a cigar in Havana instead? Make this Christmas unique with our list of the best alternative Christmas holiday ideas:


Laidback Christmas in Cuba

Head to the Caribbean island of Cuba for a Christmas in the sun. Here, you can sip rum cocktails on the beach, salsa dance your way into the early hours of the morning or even hire a 1950s Cadillac and spend your Christmas touring the main sites of Havana, Varadero and Jardines del Rey.

Foodie Christmas in Grenada

Spend a Caribbean in Grenada, enjoying the special food and drink that the island’s locals concentrate on at this time on year. Think black fruit cake (baked and soaked from October, with port wine and local Clarke’s Court white rum), ham, rice and green pigeon peas, macaroni pie, baked stuff turkey; and locally made sorrel, ginger beer and the Clarke’s Court white, dark, or red rum.

Christmas Underwater in Sharm El Sheikh

Spend Christmas underwater with a diving trip to Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt. Lying at the tip of the south Sinai Peninsula, the Ras Mohammed National Park offers some of the best diving in the world and is within easy reach of Sharm El Sheikh.

A Yoga Christmas in Goa

Instead of spending Christmas drinks and New Year incredibly hungover, why not instead opt for a rejuvenating yoga fortnight on Palolem Beach in Goa? The Bhakti Kutir retreat offers daily meditation and yoga classes as well as nutrition lectures, boat trips and visits to local markets. On Christmas Day, they hold a trip to a nearby fort, an evening barbecue and sunset yoga practice.

A Sunny Christmas in Grand Cayman

If you’re in search of sunny days and balmy nights around Christmas, head to the Cayman Islands. Forget wrapping up warm and spend Christmas in a bikini on one of the Islands’ famous beaches.

A Snowy Christmas in Val D’Isere

On the exact opposite end of the spectrum, Val D’Isere’s high altitude makes it a definite bet for a white Christmas in the snow. Why not stay in Le Fornet, a pretty little village on the edge of the resort. Close to a cable car, you have almost instant access to the slopes, while the resort centre is only a short (free) bus ride away.

Purple Hearts… Rauris Travel Guide

Rauris Travel Guide

They say that good things come in small packages and Rauris, with its teeny, tiny population of approximately 3,000 is surely a testament to that fact. A resort known best by its excellent hiking opportunities, typical of such sparsely populated areas, the territory of the municipality is, on the other hand, rather large. Rauris is in fact the biggest community of Salzburg in terms of land. It lies within the National Park Hoe Tauern, and includes most of the Raurisertal valley, an area that was once an important mining centre and the origin of highly valuable gold ore. Today, this bi-seasonal skiing holiday destination sells more than 420,000 over-night arrangements per year. In fact, it is a serious ski-lovers’ paradise; every year, the British army conduct their team training for Telemark skiing (the oldest and most difficult kind of skiing) and the Telemark World Cup races are held here. From the sad history of Ulli Maier to the wild horse and vulture filled forests, Purpel Travel fills you on this magical winter escape.

Skiing in Rauris

The slopes

The local skiing area, Rauriser Hochalmbahne, expands between altitudes of 950 and 2,200 metres. Its slopes only sum up to 25 kilometres, but Rauris makes a fine base for exploring other skiing areas in the wider region. There are 2 main gondola lifts, the second of which you have to ski to. There is a chair lift with a 4.5KM toboggan run at the top of it along with some drag lifts. The nursery slopes are ideal for beginners as they are not too steep or long, but they do get a little busy during peak months due to the local ski schools. There is a free Ski Bus which picks up at the far end of the village every 30 minutes.

The schools

There are two skiing schools in Rauris. One is the Karl Maier school, whose daughter, Ulrike Maier, was an Austrian ski-racer. At just 17-years-old, she gained her first points in the World Cup. She became world-champion in the Alpine Ski-World-Championships 1989 in Super-G. 1991, and later went on to win five World Cup races and cam second 9 times. On the 29th January 1994, Ulli Maier tragically died during a downhill race in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. The ski school is dedicated to her memory.
The second ski school is Skischule Rauris, which caters to adults, children, and those seeking private lessons.

You should read… Andorra travel guide

Nightlife in Rauris

Nightlife in Rauris is mostly in Shake’s Beer (there are only three or four bars), a small village pub where as everywhere else, smoking is permitted, so non-smokers beware. They play Austrian music on homemade instruments (drum barrels with pieces of wood attached) and the gluhwein and Jaegermeister flows! If you want a lively après-ski resort, this probably is not your bag, but if you want some good skiing, first-class food and a very friendly resort then pack your bags and make your way here.

Wildlife spotting in Rauris

The National Park Hohe Tauern is the largest nature reserve of the Alps and the second-largest national park of Europe at a whopping 1,800 square kilometres wide. It includes mountain ranges along the central Alps with Austria′s highest mountain, the Großglockner, glaciers, several major rivers (most importantly Salzach, Mur, Isel and Möll).
A hideaway for an extensive variety of alpine flora and fauna, the Park is home to vultures, wild horses, wolves and more. And the best bit? Entrance is free of charge.

Hotels in Rauris

There are several excellent hotels in Rauris. The Hotel St Hubertus is set a little way out of the village of Rauris, next to the gondola station, and so is ideal for anyone who wants quick access to the mountains. Its position also means it is very quiet at night. Then there’s the Hotel Rauriserhof, which, for several generations has been owned by the Riesslegger-Mayr family, who provide a comfortable holiday home, with excellent attention detail and fine hospitality. Last but not least is Hotel Grimming, a canine’s paradise. As a specialist on holidays with your dog, this hotel allows both you and your four-legged friend to have an unforgettable time.

What to eat in Rauris

After a hard day’s skiing on the slopes, in the cold Austrian Alps, you may find yourself with a craving for something sweet. Austria, and Salzburg in particular, is home to a diverse variety of fine desserts; the Salzburger Nockerl is a sweet soufflé much-loved throughout the region. They are typically made with egg yolk, sugar, flour, vanilla, milk, salt and vanilla, thrown into thin dough and baked on a low heat. They are said to represent the hillsides of Salzburg with the dusting of powdered sugar serving as the snow, which caps the mountains.

The most popular cuisine however is the knodel (dumplings), served with different toppings, sweet or savoury. These delicious mixtures of spherical and of variable composition are a traditional dish of Austrian cuisine, although widespread in parts of southeastern Europe such as Germany, the Czech Republic, Poland and Trentino Alto Adige. They make the ideal lunch or dinner in the colder months, with a  recipe rooted in very ancient origins. One of the earliest artistic representations of this dish is actually depicted in the frescoes that decorate the Romanesque chapel of Hocheppan. Our favourite is filled with custard and crushed sesame seeds, but we’re certain you’ll try several alternatives while in Rauris.

Book your cheap holiday to Rauris with PurpleTravel.co.uk by calling 02079939228.

Purple Hearts… Andorra Travel Guide

Andorra is intriguing. And I mean this for more reasons than one; not only are its snowy, white peaks sandwiched in a geopolitical anomaly between France and Spain, but its capital town, Andorra la Vella, has become such an enormous hub of consumerism that there are now more than 2000 shops in its vicinity – that’s more than one per every 40 inhabitants.

Along with that comes the best skiing in the Pyrenees, loaded with resorts that have invested over €50 million in the last five years, adding in mountain cafés and restaurants, chairlifts and gondolas, car parks and even snow-making machines. More than solely a winter destination, when the snow melts, Andorra offers plenty to see and do. Enjoy our Andorra travel guide!

When to go to Andorra

Andorra is an all-year round destination, with skiing in winter and hiking, nature trails and canyoning the rest of the year. It has a typical mountain climate; warm in summer with temperatures dropping in the evening and sunny, but cool winter days.

In summer, visit the town of Canillo, one of the highest in Andorra. Here, travellers can go ice-skating at Palau de Gel, potter around pretty mountain villages, go fishing in the Valira d’Orient river, wallow in its thermal waters or hike along Andorra’s many well-marked trails.

For skiers visiting in the winter months, Andorra offers vertical drops of up to 1000m and runs of several kilometres over open slopes and groomed pistes. Beginners and experts are both well catered for and lift costs are low when compared with the Alps.

The best skiing resorts in Andorra

Grandvalira is located in the north-east of Andorra, in the parishes of Encamp and Canillo. It is the largest skiable area in Southern Europe, with 205 km of slopes. Why not stay in the Grandvalira Igloo Hotel, a 2,300m high igloo that offers with a Snowcat trip, welcome cocktail, dinner, tea, water, a night-time outing (snowshoes), jacuzzi, downhill ski run or by chairlift and breakfast.

Vallnord is located in in the parishes of La Massana and Ordino and is home to three main skiing sectors: Pal, Arinsal and Arcalís. There are ample things to do throughout the week and over the weekend; think mushing, skimobiles, sleighs, skibikes, speedriding, panoramic flights, heliskiing, under-ice diving, outings and night-time fondues.

Soldeu El Tarter
Soldeu El Tarter is a lively and friendly village. The ski resort has become very popular with British skiers due to its relaxed ambiance and great après-ski activities.

Naturlandia is located in the forest of La Rabassa in the parish of Sant Julià de Lòria. This snow park offers sensational winter activities for all the family, along with exceptional panoramic views, a children’s park, an ice rink and a village of Nordic dogs. There’s also the Tobotronc (see below).

Things to do in Andorra

Aside from skiing, Andorra offers some incredible activity options. Take these for example:

Walking Tours
There are plenty of summer activities to be had in Ordino and its surroundings, particularly if you enjoy hiking and nature trails. Walks can range from easy strolls to demanding day hikes in the higher, more remote reaches of the principality.

Tobotronc at Naturlandia
One of the main attractions at Naturlandia is the Tobotronc, the world’s longest Alpine coaster, spanning 5.3 km. The Tobotronc offers a journey through the beautiful alpine forest, seated in a comfortable two-seater sleigh you control at all times.

Mushing (not to be confused with moshing) is the ideal activity for all the family. Enjoy being carried by these dog-sledges or learn how to drive them yourself. This activity helps you discover how huskies behave, the commands to give so that they obey you and, at the same time, to enjoy gliding through the spectacular Pal landscape on the sleighs.


Located in the heart of the fertile valleys of Andorra, Andorra la Vella is a well known shopping destination because of the great prices (no taxes). You can find pretty much anything you like here, with guests often buying items such as cigarettes and perfumes in bulk. However, reducing the city to a simple shopping trip would be a mistake as it is rich in unspoiled nature and remarkable historic sites. While it’s worth it to travel to Andorra for extended shopping experiences, it is also nice to randomly wander its narrow streets and discover the historical heritage they contain.

Andorra accommodation

Cheap options for accommodation in Andorra are tricky to find and relatively low on charm. To add insult to injury, prices get even steeper during the July and August months, and then again between December and March. One solution is to camp; Andorra offers plenty of well-located sites, while walkers can stay for free at one of Andorra’s many mountain refuges (refugis). However, if you do have a little bit of extra cash to spend on your holiday, Andorra has some outstanding hotels. Aside from the incredible Grandvalira Igloo Hotel, our favourite is the Magic Pas Hotel in Pas de las Casa, which sits directly on top of the slopes.

Andorra food & drink

Food in Andorra is mainly of Catalan origin, with a heavy emphasis on meat and cheese. Dishes such as Carn a la brasa (beef, lamb or pork grilled over an open fire) and truita (fresh river trout) are firm favourites in the region, while typical Andorran dishes are trinxat, a cabbage, potato and bacon cake and escudella, a chicken, sausage and meatball stew. Vegetarians should stock up on the pa amb tomàquet (bread with olive oil, garlic and tomato) as veggie dishes are somewhat hard to find in Andorra.

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