Archive - June 2012

1
Top Canaries Beaches: Lanzarote Beaches
2
Christmas in June
3
Football Crazy? Or maybe not.
4
Purple Tips: Hidden Shopping Gems Europe
5
Gatwick Airport’s story corner
6
Top Canaries Beaches: Best Tenerife Beaches

Top Canaries Beaches: Lanzarote Beaches

The second entry in our 4-part series on the best beaches of the Canary Islands focuses on the beautiful island of Lanzarote and its beaches.

Papagayo Beach from Purple Travel

Papagayo beach via @ SparksEmma

Papagayo

The Papagayo Beaches are easily some of the most beautiful natural Lanzarote beaches in the archipelago. Composed of a series of six beaches, of which Playa Mujeres is the largest and the busiest (about 90 meters long). The other coves in the area are Playa de las Coloradas, Playa de las Ahogaderas and Playa de la Cera, located west of Punta del Papagayo, and Playa Caleta de Congrio and Playa de Puerto Muelas, located on the east side.

The Papagayo beaches are very popular with surfers and snorkellers, as well as families with children. The beaches are also favoured by naturists, with some areas being reserved for them, in order not to disrupt the families sharing the area. Although these beaches are stunningly beautiful and relatively easy to reach, they do not provide very many facilities, so make sure you come prepared.

Puerto del Carmen

Puerto Del Carmen is Lanzarote’s largest holiday resort on the south coast of the island. The five mile (or so) promenade connects the resort’s three main beaches with a huge variety of restaurants, shops, and bars. The most famous are the yellow sand beaches of Playa Grande (also known as Playa Blanca like the southern tourist resort, just to confuse you) and Playa de los Pocillos, both are around half a mile long. Further along is Playa de Matagorda, a smaller beach with fewer attractions, as the noise from the nearby airport keeps the crowds away.

Puerto del Carmen’s beaches are man-made, and are therefore easily accessible and family-friendly. They offer a wide range of water sports, leisure facilities, and amenities needed for a fantastic and carefree day on the beach!

El Jablillo & Las Chucharas

Located in the resort of Costa Teguise, these beaches are extremely family-friendly. The El Jablillo beach is connected to the resort’s promenade and has white sand and plenty of facilities to keep you comfortable and entertained. The larger of the two beaches is the Las Chucharas beach, stretching 600 meters in length. Both beaches are easily accessible from the resort’s boardwalk and offer calm, clear waters and lots of facilities.

Playa Blanca & Dorada

The Playa Dorada Beach is located in the eastern resort of Playa Blanca. The Dorada Beach is an artificial beach stretching 300 meters with white sands and clear water. The beach is home to many facilities as well, with shops and restaurants available within walking distance. The Playa Blanca Beach is a narrow, but natural, beach with white sands and plenty of facilities for the entire family, and especially for those looking to dive these famous waters. Both beaches have a boardwalk and are great settings for a relaxing beach day.

Read more… Best beaches Fuerteventura

Christmas in June

It may seem a little early to start thinking about Christmas plans, but if, like us, you’d prefer to leave town for the holidays, then you’ll need to book now to get the best prices. If you’re staring at this post with a blank expression, you’re probably a first-timer, but for many of our customers, Christmas is just not complete without a passport, a suitcase and a warm, relaxing sunbed that’s as far away from home as Timbuktu.

A Christmas abroad brings with it a variety of factors – whether good, bad or just plain ugly. Local customs such as the 13 Santa Clauses of Iceland, a black St Nick in Holland and the masked musicians of the Caribbean can be a pleasant cultural awakening, while unexpected seasonal closings and minimal flight availability can be an irritating addition to the holiday – bear in mind, if that twenty-strong family of obese Americans are all competing for the last seats on a flight to sweet potato pie at Big Momma’s House, you’re probably going to lose out.

Yet the real challenge it seems, comes in deciding where exactly is the best place to celebrate this supposedly joyous, but often stressful time of year. Fares skyrocket, offending recession-strapped budgets and deciding between a white Christmas and a golden one can be a pretty tough call.

Rather than worrying your little, paper-hat clad head, why not just book a trip to one of these five destinations that we think are perfect for the Christmas season? Read More

Football Crazy? Or maybe not.

Mykonos

Are you football mad? Will you be addicted to every game in Euro 2012, from the initial qualifier to the tense finals? Well, I have a confession to make. Although I will be supporting our team with gusto, thrilled at each goal and disappointed with each miss, I do have a tendency to daydream a little bit. At least I’m being honest about it, right? One of my favourite daydreaming topics is picturing myself on a picture perfect beach, or strolling up the cobbled streets of some historic town, possibly with a cocktail at the ready.

So with that in mind, I thought I’d offer some of the place I’ll be daydreaming about from Friday.. (in between huge cheers, of course!) Read More

Purple Tips: Hidden Shopping Gems Europe

Purple Tips: Hidden Shopping Gems Europe

It takes a special kind of tourist, one with a keen eye, a patient disposition and a thorough approach to research (not to mention an iPhone…), to visit a city and discover the gems that even its locals have no idea about. Anyone can stumble out of the tube at Knightsbridge and find themselves in Harrods and even my grandmother wouldn’t be too hard-pressed to locate one of the better boutiques on the Champs Elysees, but the real challenge, the one that may ultimately reward months of MI6-style investigations with a pair of one-off Chanel sandals, requires a far keener tourist.

Before you read on, be warned. This blog post is not for the faint-hearted, the sun-seeker or the “let’s just have a MacDonalds”-er, this is for the shopper – the real shopper. While the list may be subject to add-ons or removals and is far from a comprehensive European shopping guide, I believe it contains some of the best-kept secrets of my own European travel experiences. Consider it a work in progress and feel free to reveal your own hidden treasure coves. Enjoy…

Copenhagen
As Scandinavia is fast becoming the centre of cool, it is no surprise that first on the list is the Acne Archive store in Copenhagen.  Archive is an Acne outlet store, selling a collection of classics by the offbeat Swedish foursome, as well as some recycled pieces from catwalks and samples. With 50% off all year round and new stock coming every week, it’s actually cheaper for Acne-lovers to fly over to Denmark for their new season wardrobes than it is to purchase the collections full price in their own country.

Athens
Following the philosophy, ‘one woman’s trash is another woman’s treasure’, Bohbo, a contemporary second-hand store in Athens, is an Aladdin’s cave of pristine Chanel, rare Marc Jacobs and well-selected vintage pieces. New items arrive daily, mostly donated from the wealthy, well-heeled women of the nearby Kolonaki neighbourhood, so the choice is continually diverse and fresh, with something on offer for everybody. Expect to find a wide range of unusual pieces alongside fashion classics such as Balenciaga motorcycle handbags and unworn Louboutins. On a recent excavation, I picked up a pair of cork-heeled Chanel Mary-Janes for just €120.

London
A renowned spot for stylists seeking retro designer looks, Bang Bang Clothing Exchange offers a dream mix of impeccably kept ‘I want you’ labels, excellent quality vintage and rare pieces from local designers. A little like New York’s Buffalo Exchange, Bang Bang also allows you to take your own unwanted clothing (as long as it reaches the standard of their stock) and exchange it for others within their store. However, unlike Buffalo, Bang Bang is extremely selective in its stock, meaning only the most pristine and fabulous clothing will be accepted.

Berlin
With so many interesting and unique stores flooding through Berlin at present, it’s impossible to choose just one. However, Darklands, situated in the arty area around Heidestrasse, north of Berlin’s main station, has really thrown itself to the forefront. Currently offering an impressive selection of avant-garde menswear, the shop is nomadic, moving every 15 months or so to a new location in a new area in order to shake off those shoppers whose noses are perpetually stuck into the air (buyers, stylists, anyone who works at Net-a-Porter – this means you). For this reason, the interior of their third instalment (Darklands 3.0) is the antithesis of a high-fashion world; expect life-sized dolls hanging from the ceiling, unsurprisingly dark clobber embellishing the walls, including coveted designer brands such as Damir Doma and Christian Poell and exposed lighting fixtures, all housed within what used to be non-descript, rough warehouse.

Milan
Stepping into Milan’s Cavalli e Nastri is like walking into some wealthy, old lady’s very well-organized designer closet. The petite shop, situated close to Moschino and Armani houses some of the most pristine vintage finery you’ll ever be so lucky to lay eyes upon. Pieces can date back to the late 1800s, but equally may include a 1950s organza prom dress or a pristine beaded flapper, hanging neatly beside a quality ’70s Pucci print. There is row upon row of glass drawers containing colourful stone brooches, earrings, and costume jewellery and a serious handbag collection (think Hermès, Dior, Chanel) in the rear room.

Gatwick Airport’s story corner

Anyone who’s travelled with little ones knows it can be a little stressful. We were very impressed when we saw the latest initiative by our friends at Gatwick Airport.

In a worlds first, the team at Gatwick has partnered with Soundcloud to offer a selection of audio books to entertain, intrigue and delight children (of any age!) It means young travellers going through the airport can listen to their favourite stories like Three Little Pigs, The Ugly Duckling and (my personal favourite) Sleeping Beauty. The plan is to launch more before the summer’s out.

We love it because; it’s a really lovely way of taking a few minutes to relax with your mini-me before hopping on your flight. As well as that we think traditional stories never go out of fashion and we love the way forward thinking Gatwick and Soundcloud are mixing old and new to make your journey better.

But how does it work?

Read More

Top Canaries Beaches: Best Tenerife Beaches

Fancy a last minute get away, or planning your holiday for ages? Beaches, beaches and more beaches are the first things that cross our mind when we’re thinking of heading away. With that in mind here’s a handy guide to the beaches of one of our most popular holiday hot spots: the Canary Islands. This is the first in our four part guide, and we thought we’d start with the most visited island, Tenerife. Perfect in summer, but equally as good in winter thanks to its great weather, Tenerife has some of the best beaches ever, you literally won’t be able to tear yourself away. Find out more in the Purple Travel guide to the Best Tenerife Beaches.

Tenerife beaches from Purple Travel

Tenerife beaches via @ Chop1n

Playa De Las Teresitas

This gorgeous beach was redeveloped with sand taken from the Spanish Sahara! The golden sand and clear waters stretch for about a mile along the coast. Plenty of facilities are available here (parking, sun beds, showers, toilets, etc), while the large crowds dwindle in the winter months. This beach is near the village of San Andres, about north of Santa Cruz.

Playa de las Americas

Come on, don’t tell us you’ve never heard about Playa de las Americas? It’s the busiest resort in Tenerife is also home to some of the most fantastic organized beaches on the island.

There are actually plenty beaches in this area, all just steps away from one another. Thy’re all idyllic miles of golden sands and gem coloured waters.  The jewel in this group is the Playa De Las Vistas beach, which was re developed with sand from the sea bed and is one of the best beaches on the island. All the beaches in this area have sun beds for hire and water sports available, along with a huge selection of shops, bars, and restaurants nearby. If it’s R&R you’re after, you’ve been warned, you won’t be too far from the crowd here.

Los Cristianos

Nearby to Playa De Las Americas, Los Cristianos has its own beach that’s a bit smaller than the Playa De Las Vistas beach. It’s very organised with sun beds and water sports, with Los Cristianos town as the backdrop. If you want to shake it up a bit while you’re there, Playa De Las Americas is only a stone’s throw away.

El Bollollo

One of the more unspoilt beaches on the islands, near to Puerto De La Cruz, El Bollullo, also known as La Orotava is a sunbathers dream. The stunning black sand (yes, you read that right!) and turquoise waters are much less crowded than their southern counterparts.

The beach has a limited amount of amenities but has plenty of waves to make for some amazing water sports. A perfect rest from all the, er… resting is a stroll through the nearby Banana Plantation.

Playa De La Troya

Located on the south coast of Tenerife, in Costa Adeje, is the marvelous Playa De La Troya. Its central location, fantastic facilities and off-the-beaten-track feeling mean it’s a great alternative to the very busy Playa de las Americas beaches. Bring the whole family and a bucket and spade for maximum fun in the sun.

If you enjoyed our guide to the best Tenerife Beaches, you should read… Best beaches Fuerteventura

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