Archive - August 2012

1
Wow – the perfect beach art?
2
Purple 10: Best Family Beaches in Crete
3
World’s weirdest beaches
4
Travelling to Greece in 2012
5
Purple Hearts: Heraklion Travel Guide
6
A Night Less Ordinary: Maison Moschino
7
National Geographic Photo Contest Winners Revealed
8
The Bikini Files Part 2: How to Survive a Bikini Wax Tips
9
Release the Ducks!
10
Purple 10: Ibiza superclubs

Wow – the perfect beach art?

We didn’t even know beach art was a *thing* and then we saw these wonderful pictures, by artist Andres Amador that simply blew our minds. We’re so going to try this on our next holiday (!)

“Francesca, will you marry me?” Is that the most romantic thing you’ve ever seen?

And here is a video of the man in action.

Purple 10: Best Family Beaches in Crete

Warm, shallow waters, baby soft sand and easy access comprise the ingredients of the perfect family friendly beach. Crete has some of the world’s most beautiful beaches on its shores, many of which are quiet, wave-sheltered, sandy and close to hotels and restaurants, making them ideal spots for the little ones.

While travelling with children can be stressful, being ‘in the know’ can make holiday life so much easier. Have a look through our ten best family friendly beaches in Crete, a must-have guide for a stress-free holiday:

Here’s our pick of the best family beaches in Crete…

Golden Beach (Chrissi Akti) is actually two beaches separated by a small hill. The beaches are named so for their soft, golden sand, which glows when the sun hits its surface. Situated in Chania, West Crete, the beaches boast clear, shallow waters that are perfect for children and one even has a small play area so they never get bored – giving you the chance to relax and soak up some Cretan sunshine. Golden Beach can get quite busy during July and August however, particularly at weekends, so make sure you arrive at the beach early to ensure you get a good spot and an umbrella.

Kalyves Beach Kalives (Kalyves) is a beautiful, picturesque village not far from Chania on the west side of Crete. The main beach of the village boasts wonderful clear waters, a central location that’s close to all the amenities you need and clean, golden sand that sweeps around the bay, backed by shady trees and excellent quality eateries. A great beach for families with young children.

Almyrida Beach Almirida (Almyrida) is a friendly fishing village that has become a lovely tourist resort. This small sandy beach has beautiful shallow water that’s perfect for kids. It is well-equipped with all the amenities a family would require for a day at the beach, including umbrellas, beds and nearby shops and restaurants. Again not too far from Chania, the beach benefits from being protected from the Meltema – the northern summer winds.

Rethymno Town Beach Endless Rethymno Town Beach stretches more than 20 kilometres along the sandy shore near Rethymnon, on the north coast of central Crete. The beach offers myriad amenities, including water sports facilities and plenty of great beach bars and tavernas, making it an excellent family friendly beach.

Agia Galini Beach Agia Galini is a popular and picturesque fishing village on the south coast of Crete (almost 60 kilometres south of Rethymnon). Its beach is luxuriously long, boasting crystal clear waters and powdery, white sand that’s perfect for the little ones to build sandcastles with. Everything for the tourist is available here with a wide range of water sports on offer and some tempting tavernas within reach.

Agia Pelagia Beach Agia Pelagia resort lies 16 kilometres west from Heraklion and its main beach is long, golden and sandy. The water there is almost always calm and clear, being well protected from the Meltemi (northern summer winds). In fact, the entire beach is well-organised and offers plenty of amenities – probably why it is renowned as one of the best beaches on the North Coast.

Stalis Beach Stalis (Stalida) is around 30 kilometres east from Heraklion Town, boasting a beach of soft sands and gem-like, turquoise waters. It is perfect for families with children as the beach is extremely clean and the waters shallow, however, the sea can become choppy on windier days.

Almyros Beach Situated in east Crete, just a few kilometres outside Agios Nikolaos, Almyros is a beautiful, long sandy stretch of well-protected beach.  Set within a cosmopolitan and picturesque town, there are heaps of family comforts in the surrounding area. The water is also very shallow and calm, making it well-suited to families with children.

Aghios Panteleimonas Silver Beach (Agios Panteleimonas) is located in Istron, Kalo Horio on Mirabella Bay. Also named Church Beach, it is easily accessible with soft sand and just a few pebbles and has a small, sweet church on the right-hand side of the beach. Shallow waters make it great for children, while its quiet, isolated atmosphere make the perfect spot for parents to relax. A favourite with the locals, this beach is very well-equipped.

Makrigialos Beach Makri, meaning long in Greek, and gialos, meaning shore, gives you an idea of the look of this beautiful beach, situated on the south coast of the Lassithi region. The white, sandy is well protected from winds and the clear and clean shallow waters are ideal for families with small children. All facilities for swimming and sunbathing are available on this well-organised strip of sand, including umbrellas, sun beds and water sports.

World’s weirdest beaches

Long stretches of white, sandy beach not quite your thing? Then how about visiting a green beach, or one made of glass? Here’s our rundown of the world’s weirdest beaches.

Glass beach, California

This Fort Bragg beach is famous after Mother Nature reclaimed it from dumping that happened until the 1960s. Decades of waves on the beach have worn down the glass that was left there, leaving a sparkling, multi-coloured beach that is a joy to look at.

Pink Sands Beach, Harbour Island, Bahamas

You have to *really* want to get to Papakolea Beach in Hawaii. Visitors have to spend three hours in the baking heat, hiking along the cliff edge. But for most people it is well worth it, for the sand is a rich olive colour, giving you a truly unique experience.

Playa de la Arena, Tenerife

The black volcanic sandy beaches you find on Tenerife are a total eye opener. Kids and grown ups will get a real kick out of it. The dramatic colour dotted with parasols and surrounded by bars and restaurants is a real contrast.

Boulders Beach, Cape Town

This long, sandy beach may look totally normal, until you realise it’s filled with penguins. Over 3,000 of the flightless birds call this beach home and it’s quite the novelty to hang out with them for the day. Just don’t get too close, they’re not afraid to use those beaks!

Cow Beach, Goa

Speaking of animals, a trip to Cow Beach is perfect if you want to get up, close and personal with some bovines. Heifers and bulls mingle happily with bikini clad tourists, and despite the issues you would think would pop up, it’s a hugely popular choice with travellers.

Hot Water Beach, New Zealand

Imagine building your own hot tub on the beach? Well it turns out in New Zealand you can. Thanks to mineral water that flows beneath the sand up to 150 degrees, visitors can simply dig themselves a hole and settle in to their own personal hot tub.

Zlatni Rat Beach, Brac Island, Croatia

Croatia’s ‘golden horn’, this gorgeous beach is just a narrow spit of sand that extends about quarter of a mile from the shore. It completely changes shape depending on the current or the winds and makes the list for being simply gorgeous.

Don’t forget you can book your holiday to any kind of beach you want with Purple Travel.

Travelling to Greece in 2012

Will the Euro crisis affect my travel plans?

Amid rife media attention regarding Greece‘s poor economic situation, many of our customers are wondering whether now is a good time to visit Greece, and how the crisis will affect their journey. Aside from worries about riots, strikes and a return to Drachma, one of the major concerns is whether hotels and restaurants will be able to survive the downturn in tourism. These fears can be collectively categorised under ‘instability’; people are hesitant to book their holidays in a country whose future appears somewhat unpredictable.

However, we would like to prove you otherwise. There has actually never been a better time to book your holiday to Greece – prices are low, but quality remains high, the Greeks are more warm and welcoming than ever before and conversion rates benefit the UK traveller. And furthermore, not only will you be delighted to discover that your all your worries were unfounded, but visitors to Greece can pat themselves on the back, knowing that they have contributed to saving the future of one of the world’s most beautiful countries.

 

The figures | Numbers are certainly dropping on the tourism scale. More than 2.3 million Brits visited Greece in 2011, but it’s estimated that this year will see some 250,000 fewer British visits. According to reports, only half the normal number of Germans are visiting this year, with many fearing a negative reaction from locals. This decline particularly affects Crete, an island that depends on tourism from the old eastern bloc.  The saddest figures, however, are perhaps those detailing the Greeks themselves.  In general, the Greeks holiday within their own country during summertime – travelling from mainland Greece to one of the islands. Yet this year, the biggest effect for locals is the disappearance of Greek tourists, who just cannot afford to travel in the present economy.

What are the prices like? | Prices in hotels and restaurants, which were relatively low in the first place, have come down even further across the board. There has been a noticeable devaluation throughout Greece, despite that they are still in the euro. This is due to a simple equation: as wages are cut, the local population is forced to spend less, so prices come down, so business owners earn less, so they spend less etc etc…

What about the strikes? | While Greece is so dependent on tourism, there have been less and less strikes – especially now that elections are over. In fact, there have been no strikes in Athens in the past four months to date, so chances that you will be caught up in one of them, are slim to none.

Should I take cash? | Many retail outlets, restaurants and cafes are already asking for cash rather than accepting cards, particularly in the smaller islands. Another reason why cash is necessary is that some ATMs might cease to operate while there is uncertainty about the currency. Dana Facaros, author of the Cadogan Guide to the Greek Islands, warned: “It is not a problem (yet) on the big islands such as Corfu, but I can imagine you might get caught out on a small island, especially one with only one or two ATMs. Greece isn’t having a bank run, more of a slow motion bank walk.”

Which holiday should I book? | For starters, let us tell you that Greece needs you right now. One in five of the working Greek population is employed in the tourism industry, and the income this industry brings in accounts for 17% of GDP. We have some great deals on package holidays to Greece right now, ensuring that these people keep their livelihood. There is an argument that northern Greece will benefit most, and the smaller islands that are currently struggling. Why not take a ferry to beautiful and lesser known islands such as Hydra, Skiathos, Aegina or Paros? Islands with airports such as Corfu, Crete or Mykonos will always have tourists, but the north and the smaller islands will suffer most this summer.

How can I travel there more ethically? | The answer is simple: eat out every night (food is cheap and delicious so you’ll have no problems there), make sure any produce you buy is grown in Greece, not imported, enjoy a few drinks in the local bars, explore the nearby shops and purchase local crafts for souvenirs. As aforementioned – aim to travel around while you’re away, so you spread your money around a little.

Purple Hearts: Heraklion Travel Guide

Purple Hearts Heraklion Travel Guide

It’s hard to pinpoint just one bit of this gorgeous island to focus on. It’s in a great location right in the middle of Africa, Europe and historically, Asia Minor. The weather is heavenly, with hot summers of at least 30 degrees, and waters of up to 27. And it’s even the place where Zeus is said to have grown up, so if it’s good enough for a God… Heraklion is good enough for us!

Hot

You may have heard a little something about the beaches in Crete, but they really have to be seen to be believed. Sun-kissed and sandy, the beaches of Crete and Heraklion in particular are quite simply a joy.

For sporty types: Kokkini Hani is a little sandy beach just over 15 miles from Heraklion is a wind-surfer’s dream, it’s known for its north-west winds.

Family Ties: Amoudara has a three mile-long organised beach, with long stretches of warm sand to whip up a sandcastle and crystal waters to take a refreshing dip when tired hands demand it.

Best for beach bars: Ayia Pelagia, the long sandy beach of Malia, is about a half hour drive from Hearklion, but is well worth it for the soft sandy beach and vibrant atmosphere.

Ideal for everything: Matala. In a small valley, you’ll find this beautiful long beach in a quiet bay. Made famous in the ’70s after it was ‘discovered’ by hippies, it’s long been a top choice with visitors. It’s got every activity and amenity you can think of – from umbrellas, water sports and beach volley courts to heaps of bars, restaurants and cafes.

Do

Acqua Plus Water Park: A whopper of a water park at 50 acres, it’s situated just round the corner from Crete Golf Club. It’s surrounded by lush gardens and the slides are hidden between towering palm trees. It’s home to dozens of slides, pools and games, which is more than enough to keep little ones on their toes for a day (or even two!).

Watersports: If you’re not content with the water park, you’ll be able to find plenty more water activities during your time in Heraklion. Thanks to gorgeous, crystal clear waters, snorkelling is a must, while jet-skiing, banana boating, pedaloes, canoeing and windsurfing are growing steadily more popular.

Historical Museum of Crete: A great place to take the kids to learn about the evolution of this wonderful city. On top of that you’ll find paintings by the famous artist El Greco and contemporaries.

Hiking: You know that bit in the middle of your holiday when you’re thinking, ah, really I need to do some exercise, we’ve got just the ticket – a network of hiking trails crosses the region across the mountains. The E4 trailer goes across Mount Psiloritis in the west to Mount Dikti in the east. You’ll find lovely villages, with traditional oil or wine pressing, springs to enjoy fresh water and stunning views.

Festivals and religious celebrations: Crete is filled with celebrations throughout the year. Usually centreing on food and culture, there’s always something going on. One of the most vibrant is the Heraklion Summer Festival, held by the local council to celebrate the rich culture.

Cretan Ethnology Museum: Discover the historic folk life of the island at this cosy museum, home to metalworks, furniture and pottery that demonstrate a culture that dates back thousands of years.

Music

Greece is famous for its music and Crete is no different. Of course you’ve got the busy, super clubs but there are lots of traditional treats in store if you go looking for them.

Get into the folk spirit in Big Fish or Zatheri two well-known clubs in the centre of Heraklion. There you’ll find the best in Cretan music. Grab yourself a tiny glass of the local Raki (it’s strong stuff!) and let your mind drift along to the sounds of the live lyra.

Of course, if you like your nights out a little more action packed, the big clubs in Heraklion like Amnesia, Banana, Status, and Zig Zag offer everything from pumping sound systems, laser light shows and epic parties, to make sure you get the clubbing experience you’re looking for.

Read more: Purple 10 clubs in Ibiza

See

Heraklion is the largest region of Crete and it has got the most people, but that doesn’t mean it’s bustling with busy bodies constantly. A quick trip outside the city limits and you’ll find yourself surrounded by olive groves and vineyards, charming little villages and ancient history brought to life.

The vast site of Knosses is unmissable. Once the royal family’s home, it was also the admin centre of the region. It’s got a Throne Room, a West Wing, even a Double Axes Room, how Game of Thrones!

Practically next door you’ll find Arhanes, an ancient palace complex which was home to the Turks and was a huge ancient Minoan settlement.

Ta Leonataria: The beloved landmark of ‘The Lions’ is right in the middle of town. It was once the centre of the colony during Venetian times, now the stately marble fountain is one of the city’s favourite spots.

Loggia: In the centre of Heraklion you’ll find the Loggia, one of the best monuments to showcase Crete in Venetian times. It was a place built for noblemen to gather and talk about the important economical and social issues of the time. Now it’s Heraklion Town Hall, but still worth a look to see it in all its architectural wonder.

You should read Purple Hearts… Prague

Eat

Everything. Eat it all. Crete is known, even in Greece, as a foodie’s heaven. A perfect time to go is in July when the Wine Festival of Daphnes kicks off. You’ll find lots of interesting foods on offer, from snails cooked with groats (a kind of grain), rabbit with herbs, and lots and lots of pastries, with savoury cheese fillings or dripping in honey. We’re drooling just at the thought.

Loukoulos: is seen as one of the best restaurants in the city, with delicious pastas and meats on offer, while it prides itself on stealing visitors hearts!

Kounies: A taverna offering great views to the sea and delicious meat and fish, it’s hard to beat Kounies for a top notch dinner out.

Vromiko: This isn’t the name of a particular restaurant, but the delicious street food you can pick up anywhere and everywhere.  Getting acquainted with souvlaki, the famous Greek kebabs is a must. For next to nothing you’ll get a belly fill of delicious chicken or pork, wrapped in pita to keep you going.

Ippokambos: A favourite with locals, this place is famous for its seafood. Imagine the freshest fish you can think of, cooked simply but perfectly. This place is usually busy, so it’s a good idea to book ahead.

Find cheap holidays to Heraklion now from Purple Travel

A Night Less Ordinary: Maison Moschino

In this weekly series, we scour the world in search of the most weird and wonderful hotels. From cave hotels to converted prisons, capsule pods to underwater guestrooms, you can expect only the unexpected.

What’s the gimmick? Maison Moschino is the converted terminus building of a neoclassical railway station opened in central Milan in 1840. Its exterior façade, the original Viale Monte Grappa 12, retains the station’s original grandeur. But inside, the bustling commuters and handkerchief-waving lovers have vanished and a new world has been created. Adding 65 contemporary hotel rooms and suites across four floors, the building has been completely reinterpreted in a quirky, yet elegant style that extends the Moschino brand. Inspired by a visionary and contemporary fairy tale theme, the rooms are sensuous visions of surreal diversity. Akin to falling down a rabbit hole or opening a wardrobe into another world, entering the Maison Moschino is an unforgettable experience.

You should read : Top weird ways to travel on holiday

Why stay? If you’ve ever wanted to live inside a fairytale then this is the hotel for you.  Maison Moschino offers an alternative to the mundanities of real life, creating a world built by imagination and surrealism. From the lamp in the shape of one of Moschino’s dresses, to ivy covered wallpaper and bedspreads made from red petals, Moschino has applied its fashion flair to the hotel industry, and pioneered a new era in hospitality. While mass-tourism destinations promote only quantity and mediocrity, Maison Moschino has built a space where fairy tales, come to three-dimensional life.

The Wow Factor: Alice’s Room, Life Is a Bed of Roses, Little Red Riding Hood, The Forest and Gold are just some of the names of Maison Moschino’s impressive rooms. Arranged in 16 different designs, one room sees rose petals dripping down from the lights to cover the bed, while in another, guests sleep upon an enormous ballgown that flows down from the bed board. In The Forest room, even the bed posts are made from mystical looking trees, echoing the enchanted forests of fairytales. The hotel also features an ART SPA with beauty and wellness treatments from PEVONIA and a gym with equipment by Technogym.

You should read : A Night Less Ordinary : Dog Park Park Inn

The Maison Moschino is located in a vibrant district in central Milan close to Corso Como and Corso Garibaldi. The hotel is within easy reach of Milan’s most famous landmarks including the Santa Maria Delle Grazie, the Pinacoteca di Brera and Pinacoteca Ambrosina art galleries and the Royal Palace. The hotel is a five minute walk by foot to the Garibaldi train station and underground. Prices start at £141 per room a night.

National Geographic Photo Contest Winners Revealed

The highly-anticipated winners of the 2012 National Geographic Photo Contest have just been announced, featuring eleven incredible images  from the more than 12,000 entries, from 6,615 photographers in 152 countries around the globe.The prizes on offer ranged from a Galapagos photography expedition to $200 gift certificates at B&H photography. See the winning eleven images below:

Cedric Houin

This image was shot in the Kyrgyz lands of the Wakhan Corridor. The intimacy of this everyday life moment, shot inside of a family yurt, is in total contrast with the harsh environment these nomadic tribes live inCedric Houin won top place for his image entitled ‘Butterfly’. The photograph was taken in the Kyrgyz lands of the Wakhan Corridor in Afghanistan and features a woman and child sitting inside a yurt. The photograph depicts the intimacy of this everyday life moment, contrasted against the harsh environment these nomadic tribes live in. Another contrast is between tradition and modernity; on the right there is a television and a sound console. These tribes live weeks away from any village by foot, yet in spite of being located at an altitude of 4,300 metres,  in one of the most remote areas of Afghanistan, they are equipped with solar panels, satellite dishes and mobile phones – ancestral ways of living, with new-age influences.

Vo Anh Kiet

H'Mong minority children were playing with their balloons on the foggy day in Moc Chau - Ha Giang province Viet Nam in January 2012 Vo Anh Kiet‘s image of H’Mong minority children playing with balloons in the Moc Chau – Ha Giang province of Viet Nam, was taken in January 2012. Alexandra Avakian, one of the judges of the competition, remarked, “This picture is like a dream, and it’s timeless not only because it’s black and white and there’s no sense of modernity, but also because it depicts an activity that children everywhere on the planet do with balloons. The fog and soft background make it feel like a memory.”

Andrea Guarner

During the Easter holy celebration called iMisterii in Trapani, the devotees carry the scenes of Christ's passion on their shoulders all night long, only when the day comes do they take a breakAndrea Guarner‘s image was taken during the Easter holy celebration called iMisterii in Trapani. Religious devotees carry the scenes of Christ’s passion on their shoulders all night long, only taking a break when the morning arrives.  Avakian commented, “The light on the icon of Jesus is as critical to the success of this picture as the varied expressions on the men¿s faces after an exhausting night carrying statues depicting the Passion of Christ. Recognizing when and how to balance different kinds of light in the same photo is something that can make the difference between a muddy and uninteresting picture and one that¿s good, aesthetic, and full of content.”

Ken Thorne

Near the city of Morondava, on the West coast of Madagascar, lies an ancient forest of Baobab trees. Unique to Madagascar, the endemic species is sacred to the Malagasy peopleKen Thorne captured this image near the city of Morondava, on the west coast of Madagascar. It shows an ancient forest of Baobab trees that are unique to Madagascar; the endemic species being sacred to the Malagasy people. Some of the trees here are over a 1,000 years old.

SauKhiang Cha

The Last Supper Of Da Vinci? No, they are just some old men of Chefchaouen with djellaba, sitting and talking each otherSauKhiang Chau‘s photograph shows some old men in Chefchaouen with djellaba, sitting and talking each other.

Camila Massu

Photographer Camila Massu said: 'My sister in the south of Chile. We are sitting at home next to the fireplace in our southern lake house when it suddenly began to pour uncontrollably. Had to rush into the lake to take this snapshot!'Photographer Camila Massu commented on her image,”My sister in the south of Chile. We are sitting at home next to the fireplace in our southern lake house when it suddenly began to pour uncontrollably. Had to rush into the lake to take this snapshot!”

Ken Bower

Ken Bower: The village of G Sadalur and the island of Mykines in the background. Until a tunnel was built in 2004, the 16 residents living there had to take a strenuous hike over the steep 400 meter mountainPhotographer, Ken Bower, took this image in the village of G Sadalur. You can just make out the island of Mykines in the background. Until a tunnel was built in 2004, the 16 residents of the island had to  hike over the steep 400 metre mountain. Bower said, “It was a rare sunny day in the Faroe Islands and I had to wait until the clouds rolled in to provide some softer light. I decided to go with a long exposure (1 minute 10 seconds) to illustrate the force of the wind and a serene sea among the isolated islands.”

Fred An

Fred An: 'This is the great Japanese maple tree in the Portland Japanese Gardens. I tried to bring a different perspective of this frequently photographed tree'Fred An, said of this image, “This is the great Japanese maple tree in the Portland Japanese Gardens. I tried to bring a different perspective of this frequently photographed tree.”

Peter DeMarco

Peter DeMarco: More than 2,000 Buddhist temples and pagados fill the plains of Bagan. Farmers now raise their livestock within the centuries old complex.The best way to see Bagan, apart from a ride on a hot air balloon, is by bicyclePeter DeMarco said of this image, “More than 2,000 Buddhist temples and pagados fill the plains of Bagan. Farmers now raise their livestock within the centuries old complex.The best way to see Bagan, apart from a ride on a hot air balloon, is by bicycle. It’s easy to get off the beaten path and live out your wildest Indiana Jones fantasy.”

Lucia Griggi

Lucia Griggi: Taken at Cloud Break at an outer reef in Fiji, a surfer duck dives his board to clear the rolling waves of the raw oceanLucia Griggi took this image at Cloud Break at an outer reef in Fiji. The photograph shows a surfer duck dive his board to clear the rolling waves. Griggi was a Merit Winner for this stunning image.

Michelle Schantz

Michelle Schantz: A lonely cabin is illuminated under the Northern Lights in Finmmark, NorwayMichelle Schantz‘s image of a lonely cabin is illuminated under the Northern Lights in Finmmark, Norway.

The Bikini Files Part 2: How to Survive a Bikini Wax Tips

Hollywood. French. Brazilian. Waxing and travel are linked in more ways than one; there’s nothing worse than throwing on a bikini, only to discover that it looks like they found bin Laden hiding inside your panties. Hey, we’re all for women’s rights here at Purple Travel, but ladies – come on – that’s just gross.

Bikini wax help

On the other hand, preparing for your first bikini wax, especially if its a Brazilian, can be incredibly nerve-wracking. But don’t worry, generations of women have gone before you and lived to tell the tale. And, unless your lower half is of Attack of the 50-foot Woman proportions, it shouldn’t take more than an hour to complete. If you have any more bikini wax tips we’d love to hear them in the comments below!

The first step is to which wax you would like to choose. The cost, length, and pain of the procedure depend on that decision, so be sure you know what you’re in for. Your options are:

Traditional Only those hairs that grow outside of your bikini line will be removed. Perfect for first-timers and wimps.

Full bikini wax Hair is removed up to two inches inside the bikini line.

French Removes all hair off the in the front (except a small strip) and continues to right before the back. It doesn’t take hair off from the back like a Brazilian (see below).

Brazilian It’s painful, uncomfortable and many women won’t go more than four weeks without it. The Brazilian leaves no crevice unexplored, leaving only a thin strip of hair pointing towards your bellybutton.

Hollywood Same as above, only with no ‘landing strip’.

FAQS

What is the exact process? First, you’ll remove all clothes below your waist. Depending on which wax you choose (see above) you may have to don one of those hideous paper thongs, but bear with us, the worst is yet to come. You will then lie down and your waxer will investigate the area – if your pubic hair is too long (i.e. more than about 5mm), your waxer may first trim it with scissors. She will then use a stick or spatula to apply hot wax to your pubic hair in patches, and then use a clean cloth to peel the wax and hair off your skin. Repeat until smooth as the day you were born.

How bad is the pain? We’re not going to lie; waxing is a pretty aggressive technique and tensing up makes it worse. Bear in mind though that the pain and the experience are only temporary. It will all be over soon.

Can I take pain killers beforehand? You could take a standard dose of OTC pain reliever before your appointment to dull the pain, but nothing will totally get rid of it.

How do I get rid of ingrown hairs? Some women may experience ingrown hairs as their hair grows back in. You can reduce this risk by gently exfoliating and moisturizing the skin – stay tuned for next week’s Bikini Files for more on this.

Will I get an allergic reaction? Most women will not have an allergic reaction. You may experience some chicken leg appearance afterwards, but it’s nothing a cooling moisturiser shouldn’t solve.  However, if itching, dryness, or redness last more than a day or so and cannot be eased by moisturizing, you may need to consult a dermatologist.

TIPS FOR BIKINI WAX SURVIVAL

1)       Take some medication

2)       Wear lose clothing so you don’t irritate the area afterwards

3)       Ask for numbing gel afterwards

4)       Close your eyes so you can avoid seeing the hairs coming off

5)       Make fists and think about something else

6)       Stay calm

You don’t have to avoid bikini waxes, but you should exercise caution. You don’t want to wax more than once a month, assuming that your hair has re-grown enough, about one-quarter inch, for waxing to work effectively.

If you’re still nervous, you may want to start slow, with minimal hair removal, and work your way up to your full hair removal goal.

Click here for PART ONE: THE ULTIMATE BIKINI DIET PLAN

Click here for PART THREE: HOW TO GET RID OF RAZOR BURN

Click here for PART FOUR: HOW TO BEAT CELLULITE

Click here for PART FIVE: FIND THE PERFECT BIKINI FOR YOUR SHAPE

Release the Ducks!

There’s nothing we like better than a bit of randomness on our holidays and we think it’s safe to say, it probably doesn’t get any weirder than the Fiesta of the Ducks.

In beautiful Can Picafort, on Majorca’s Northern Coast, you’ll find one of the oldest festivals where every year, fishing boats release hundreds of rubber duckies into the sea, for locals to find and catch. The first one back to shore is the winner. The festival which happens around August 15th is a huge draw, with over 3,000 people going to watch and take part every year.

The strange thing (if a festival of rubber ducks isn’t strange enough!) is that it’s actually illegal. The local council has banned the fiesta, but according to reports, the town hall just goes ahead with it anyway and pays the fine afterwards. Even weirder is that it used to happen with real, life ducks. We’re not really sure that the ducks were too happy getting caught and brought to shore, now the family friendly event uses rubber ducks to make sure no animals are harmed.

Purple 10: Ibiza superclubs

So you’re heading on your holidays to Ibiza for some of the best nights of your life on the sunny party island of Ibiza, you know you’ll go clubbing, but can’t figure out which one is for you. Our advice is try all of them. The home of the superclub, there is no better place for bangin’ tunes, foam parties, cocktails and big name DJs. Get the inside track with our Top 10 Ibiza Superclubs:

The TOP 10 Ibiza superclubs:

  1. Privilege: Bosses at Privilege lay claim to the biggest dance floor in the world title and superstar Tiesto is its headline act. It’s been host to some of the most famous parties the island has ever seen, including the now legendary Manumission nights.
  2. Space: slap, bang in Playa d’en Bossa, Space gets revellers from all over the world and it’s opening party is seen as the start of Ibiza clubbing season. It also draws big name acts, this year alone The Chemical Brothers and Simian Mobile Disco headlined.
  3. Es Paradise: Ten bars, three rooms, massive sound and the dancefloor doubles up as a swimming pool. Yes please!
  4. Eden: is in the heart of San Antonio and is relatively new in terms of Ibiza clubs. Open since 2000, it’s got big name nights and puts up a good fight against its major rival El Paradis.
  5. Zoo Project Ibiza: Into partying on a boat? Well you’re not the only one. Throughout the island you’ll find party cruises on offer. Zoo is one, along with Ibiza Rocks the Boat, Pukka up and Driftwood.
  6. Pacha: The dancefloor is always crowded, house music is blaring and some epic DJs are playing. Pacha is one of Ibiza’s absolutely unmissable clubs and draws top names like David Guetta and Pete Tong.
  7. Amnesia: Home to the infamous Cream parties, Amnesia recruits the big guns with residents Paul Van Dyk and Deadmau5. It’s even won the Best Global Club award 3 times.
  8. Club Martina: Although it’s a baby in terms of history, parties at Club Martina are starting to slip into legend. It opened with a bang in 2009, with a Wednesday night called Five with the likes of Dave Clarke and DJ Hell announced shortly after.
  9. Ushuaia Beach Hotel: This is a hotel that actually has its own club nights built in. It transforms after dark into a top venue with some of the best DJs in the world. It even offers its own “Anything Can Happen” suite!
  10. Ibiza Rocks: (and Mallorca Rocks) is one of the best live venues on the island and throughout the summer season is home to big name gigs every week. Already in the season Ibiza Rocks has seen Kaiser Chiefs, Professor Green, Tinie Temper and Kasabian raising the roof.

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