It’s almost impossible to choose the best beaches in Europe, so we asked around the office to find out what some of the favourites are. We’d love to hear your opinion of our top 10 best beaches in Europe.
1. Zlatni Rat, in Bol, Croatia. The photographer’s favourite, known as Zlatni Rat or the Golden Cape or Golden Horn is a white pebble beach that creates an incredible seaside experience stretching in an almost vertical line into the sea Changing with the tide, the clothing-optional beach is one of the country’s most famous.
Image via @ Wikicommons
It turns out March in Istanbul is the perfect time to visit. Actually, scratch that, I would say anytime is the perfect time to go. No wonder it’s been named the best destination to visit in 2014. Living in Athens, it was an easy trip for me and my friend across the Aegean for three days of exploring in the vast (trust me, it’s huge) sprawling Turkish City.
Ok, i’ll throw my hands up and say it was kind of a surprise to realise just how huge the city is. It’s spread across both sides of the Bosphorus. Since we had such a short time, we fancied seeing the obvious ones, this was a taster really, but here’s our highlights:
It’s official, Trip Advisor the world renowned travel site has awarded a host of awards for best destinations 2014. The annual Traveller’s Choice Awards includes the vast city of Istanbul in Turkey which tops the poll, with Rome, London and Beijing following close behind. Each city or place earned its review through the reviews and opinions of visitors the site. “If you’re looking for trip inspiration, look no further than the Travelers’ Choice Destinations,” said Barbara Messing, chief marketing officer for TripAdvisor. “Our global travelers are the tastemakers for uncovering the best places to visit around the world.” The awards in its 6th year picks out 500 of the absolute best places to visit in the world.
But what are these places really like? I’ve asked some of the Purple Travel family to share their thoughts on the top destinations 2014. Some they loved and some… well, you’ll see for yourself. We’d love to hear what you think, good or bad about the official list!
1. Istanbul, Turkey Fantastic city full of sights and culture. The people are so friendly and eager to help. This place has it all. – Gary
I think the best of the best way to taste the Turkish food, and experience the Turkish mentality, is to eat this giant hot dog with fish and cabbage at the Bosphorus coast on the Asian part of Istanbul. There are cooks on floating boats, preparing the grilled fish, that are then placed on these huge bagel and stuffed that with cabbage, fried potatoes and mustard. You cannot imagine! Also don’t miss the old guy outside the Blue Mosque who sells bagels and gives you for free La vache qui rit portion! – Soso
2. Rome, Italy What can someone say about Rome, about the Italians, their food and their language? I think my best moments in Rome were when we were walking around from the Piazza di Spagna, to the Colosseum, and the Fontana di Trevi. Suggested hotels-the newly built Caravel hotel (just two stops by bus from Piazza di Spagna) with nice big rooms and a lovely receptionist and Hotel Trevi, with its traditional style in the very centre of the city!!! loved them both, love Rome! – Soso
3. London, England Massive dump, ok for day trips but get out before it chews you up. – Gary
For something really special, why not enjoy a night less ordinary. We scour the world to find the most amazing and unusual hotels all over the world. Whether you’re interested in a night with some giraffes, or you want to pretend to be James Bond for one night only, we’ve got you covered. This week, a revolving hotel room. Enjoy a night less ordinary at the Marmara Hotel, Antalya.
The WOW factor: The Revolving Loft Room. It’s the extra special touch that we thought made the Marmara Antalya worth featuring in our series of great hotels. 24 rooms are built into the revolving roof of the hotel give you a view that changes by the hour. A full revolution soaking in every view takes seven hours, just don’t blame us if you never want to leave! Soak up the atmosphere as you gaze across the sparkling water of the Mediterranean and the breathtaking views of the Bey Mountain range.
Give your holiday a boost this year by combining it with an amazing festival. Whether you want to knock back pints of Guinness on St Patrick’s Day or fancy giving the air guitar world championship a go, you won’t miss out with our guide to some amazing festivals 2014.
Venice Carnival In the days leading up to Ash Wednesday the Venice Carnival is in full swing. Carnevale di Venezia is an elegant throwback to 18th century opulence. The bright and beautiful of the Italian city’s social scene arrive cloaked and masked for energetic, but pricey parties. Ideal for a luxurious weekend away. Venice Carnival happens between February 14th and March 4th 2014.
Venice Carnival via @ Heatherbroster
St Patrick’s Day There is no better place to celebrate St Patrick’s Day than the Irish capital city of Dublin. It’s not limited to drinking pints, (although you can if you want!) the city pulls out all the stops for a wonderful festival with live music, dancing, parades and free events all over the place. It’s a top choice for a very quick city break, Dublin is just a hop, skip and a jump from the UK. St Patrick’s Say is celebrated on March 17th 2014.
Image via @ ReneS
1. National Finals Rodeo
Where: Thomas and Mack Center, Las Vegas, USA
When: First week of December
People might say that Las Vegas is a festival itself, as it’s a place where the lights never go out. However, if you opt for a December trip to Las Vegas, you’ ll have the chance to personally experience the 10-day National Finals Rodeo, a.k.a. Rodeo Superbowl. The festival involves, the top 15 rodeo cowboys who compete each other, claiming prizes up to $5.5 million!
Image via @ globeseeker
2. Quema del Diablo (Burning the Devil)
Where: Guatemala City and Antigua, Guatemala
When: December 7th
According to local tradition the Devil lurks in house corners, under every bed and in the garbage bins. Therefore, on 7th December of every year the locals clean their houses and streets, setting the garbage on fire at 6 o’clock in the evening. Usually, on top of the burning pile they also throw a figure of the Devil. Certainly an unusual addition to our list of December festivals.
Image via @ Box of Badgers
Purple 10 hotel water slides. Looking to impress the kids, while relaxing in a luxury hotel? Look no further than this selection of hotel waterslides – the hotel part for you, the waterslide for the kids!
Image via @ bali.hardrockhotels.net
1. Hard Rock Bali, Kuta, Bali
Being the first Hard Rock hotel in Bali, Kuta beach, this property has been decorated in a 50’ style. Note, that the hotel features the biggest swimming pool all over Bali, 22 suites and a wide selection of waterslides to keep youngsters busy!
Image via @ luxurylaunches.com
2. Atlantis, The Palm- Dubai, UAE
Arm yourself with courage in case you wish to try a high-speed drive in the infamous “Poseidon’s Tower” waterslide, diving 9 floors down ending up in an underwater aquarium-tube with sharks and stingrays.
Image via @ www.marriott.com
The kids are back to school, full season is nearly over, now is the time to get some of the best possible deals for cheap September holidays. Enjoy our Purple Travel guide to cheap September holidays and save money on your next break.
1. Paphos, Cyprus: Average temperature in September 31 0C. Cyprus in September is still hot enough to enjoy dreamy days on the beach or swim a lap around the infamous Aphrodite’s Rock.
2. Antalya, Turkey Average temperature in September 32 0C. The ‘gateway to the Turkish Riviera’ offers a wonderful clutch of beaches along the coast and loads of bars, clubs and restaurants as well as the famous Efes beer. Image via @ Burntime
3. Tunis, Tunisia Average temperature in September 32 0C. Enjoy a taste of North Africa, with the souks, medinas, salt lakes and beaches that make Tunis holidays in September unforgettable. Image via @ WomEOS
4. Valletta, Malta Average temperature in September 28 0C. The island’s capital is tiny – only 1km – but there’s plenty to see and do. Stroll down baroque-influenced streets, and wander narrow cobble-lined lanes or hop on the Sliema Ferry and work on your tan on the rocks. Remember, Valletta itself isn’t filled with sandy beaches, but makes a good base for discovering more. Image via @ Britrob
Jade Mountain, St Lucia
Perivolos, Santorini, Greece
San Alfonso del Mar, Chile (The Biggest Swimming Pool in the World!)