The Canary Islands is more than simply glorious beaches, great hotels and buckets of sunshine. The group of Islands just a stone’s throw from the coast of Africa offers some amazing natural surroundings too and one of our favourites is its VOLCANOES!
Each Island has its own “volcanic personality” with a hugely diverse population of flowers and plants, Dr Who-like scenery, stunning views of majestic mountains bathed in clouds and spa treatments made from the amazing naturally forming landscape. You can walk on lava fields, along cliff edges or discover strange life (possibly!) in the underground galleries. Volcano holidays offer something truly incredible for all ages.
Add that to great cheap hotels, wonderful beaches and basically, it’s got everything you need for an amazing holiday in 2013. Remember you can call us any time for a great cheap holiday in the Canary Islands – or anywhere else on 0207 993 9228 or visit our website: PurpleTravel.co.uk. But first, find out more about Volcano holidays in our guide:
There have been many eruptions among the islands since the 15th century, with the last one on La Palma in 1971. Today the islands are considered to be one of the most important volcanic sites; it is home to the third biggest volcano in the world, and Spain’s highest peak Mount Teide and the islands are regularly studied for their natural plant life and seismic activity.
So, if you’re taking the kids for a cheap family holiday to Tenerife, you want a cheap couples getaway in Gran Canaria or you simply want to enjoy a little more of this varied landscape, then here are a few of our top picks for groundbreaking volcano holidays!
Fuerteventura A windsurfer’s paradise, Fuerteventura is also the oldest in the archipelago. Visit the volcanic scenes at the Peninsula de Janida, Malpais de la Arena and Isla de Lobos. Apart from the rich flora and fauna you can find there, the long plains and volcanic mountains in the middle of the island will impress even the most hardened tourist. Plus, Fuerteventura has 152 beaches along its coastline, so you can catch the best of both worlds. Reason to go: This is the oldest of the islands, dating back a whopping 20 million years!
TenerifeOne of the busiest and most popular islands in the Canaries, Tenerife’s Teide Volcano is actually visible from most parts of the island. Today you can climb to the top, (the highest point in Spain) and it’s the third highest volcano in the world and is still registered as active. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the National Park is one of the most visited in the world. Reason to go: The unbelievably spectacular view, just be prepared for a climb!
Lanzarote The scene of some of the most recent volcanic activity (in the 70s) but don’t you dare let that put you off! The strange alien-like landscape is enough to take your breath away. The Timanfaya National Park is the centre of volcanic locations in the islands, and from the moment you arrive you’ll get a feel for how hot it is. Temperatures just a few metres towards the centre of the earth can hit 400°C! You can also check out La Geria or Los Hervideros for other lava exploring. Reason to go: For the Doctor Who style pics you can take when you get there.
Gran Canaria Visit the huge rolling craters on Gran Canaria to really get a taste of an historic land formed by hot lava straight from the earth’s core. Alongside its pure sandy beaches, lush greenery and buckets of sunshine, a day trip from Maspalomas or Playa del Ingles is made all the more impressive with the site of El Dodo de Dios (or God’s Finger) a rocky spire that juts out to the sea. Reason to go: The beach is the ultimate reward after a day’s exploring a Martian landscape!
For more information visit the excellent Canary Islands Tourism site here.
Some people think aquariums are a bit weird – we don’t! We think it’s pretty cool to get up close with Nemos or the odd Jaws in there. The Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium in Japan has huge windows where you can practically reach out and touch the sharks, rays and tonnes of other species of fish that thrive in its waters.
Break free of the shackles of “oh, I can’t go on holidays on my own” and embrace the best in sunshine getaways especially for girls and guys who want to experience travelling alone. Here are some of our top choices on where to go for a singles holiday in 2013.
Las Vegas is the ULTIMATE singles holiday destination, because it literally has something for everyone. Indulge in the endless neon nightlife, party all night with other like minded travellers, lose yourself (but not your money) at the slot machines, or get all James Bond at the card tables. Sounds heavenly to us!
If you fancy something more chilled out and off the beaten track, then go to Thailand. The peaceful vibes of its tropical jungle, scuba diving into the beautiful turquoise waters, parasailing or shop till you drop as prices couldn’t be lower. Thailand is a relaxed option for singles holidays this year.
Not just for nature lovers, Ireland’s countryside is made for a total time out. Away from the bustling capital Dublin, the Emerald Isle is a place where you can get your thoughts in order, before getting started on some new adventure. The backdrop of mountains and lush greenery is the ideal atmosphere to relax and dedicate time to yourself.
Vietnam might be for the more adventurous amongst us, but its friendly people and amazing scenery will leave you in no doubt that you’ve made the right choice. Head off on a tour to discover the sites and gorgeous local cuisine and spend your time hanging out with other solo travellers who want to discover the world.
Make new friends and see some of the most historic sites in the world with a Nile Cruise in Egypt. A local host and your new friends will create the most of the amazing atmosphere, friendly people and thousands of years of history.
Get the best deal for cheap holidays all around the world from PurpleTravel.co.uk. Call today for our latest prices 0207 993 9228.
Pigeon Island, St Lucia, Caribbean St Lucia is tiny, it’s just over 20 km wide and 44 km long, but once you land there, it makes its presence felt. From the friendly locals, great hotels and couldn’t-ask-for-better weather, it is the jewel in the Caribbean crown, topped only by its beaches. Try the southern side of Pigeon Island where you’ll find the peaceful and utterly beautiful golden sand that is made for relaxing on.
Playa del Duque, Costa Adeje, Tenerife Ideal for families thanks to a breakwater that provides calm seas, your kids will love it. Formerly a black sandy beach, it was ‘renovated’ in the nineties when white sand was added. It’s a long golden stretch now, filled with palm trees and loungers and perfect for soaking up the sunshine and topping up your tan.
Halkidiki, Greece Once a secret of German holiday makers, Halkidiki in the north of Greece is a hidden gem filled with gorgeous beaches to choose from. The Sani Resort is topped by the beautiful Asterias Suites, where you can step straight onto the beach into calm, crystal clear Aegean waters, or relax for hours on the soft white sand. (It even features, ‘Babewatch Ladies’ to look after children during high season.)
Gunluklu, Turkey A local favourite, this is best visited during the week, as the world and their mother turn up to BBQ and watch the sunset at the weekends. Tucked away on the Fethiye to Gocek road, and backed by pine trees the beautiful stretch of sand is the ideal get-away-from-it-all escape.
Caladesi Beach, Florida, USA this is so off the beaten track, you can’t even get there except by boat. The quiet, powder soft white beaches, crystal clear waters are perfect for long lazy days in the sunshine. There is plenty of nature on offer nearby too, with trails, bird watching or kayaking through the mangroves. If honeymoons are on your mind, consider the beach at Caladesi.
Golden Horn, Croatia Probably the most famous of all the sandy beaches in Croatia, the Golden Horn or (Zlatni Rat to the locals) is a real stand out winner. Found on the south side of the glorious island of Brac, it juts out in a tiny circle of sand with absolutely pristine blue waters to dip your toes in.
Seven Mile Beach, Negril, Jamaica This one goes on, yep, you guessed it for a whopping seven miles. The golden sand and crystal clear Caribbean waters are perfect for washing away any stress in your life, while the range of activities on offer are second to none. Just one to watch out for, there are nudist sections, where visitors will bare all, but these are clearly marked.
It’s never a bad time to think ahead, that’s why we’ve put together our list of great holiday destinations that’ll be perfect from April next year. For couples, or honeymooners, families or small groups, here’s where you should be booking now for the best value. Enjoy our choice of the best cheap Easter holidays and save money with Purple Travel.
Malta in April should see some absolutely fantastic weather, but it won’t be so hot that you can’t actually enjoy the stunning surrounds of this island. Valetta, the capital is a tremendously beautiful city, home to lovely architecture and fantastic restaurants. While just up the coast you’ll find picturesque St Paul’s Bay, a great choice for watching the world go by.
Top tip: Gozo Island nearby is a place where it seems time is standing still. The perfect get-away-from-it-all daytrip.
The most southerly of the Greek islands, Crete offers amazing food all year round, a fantastic choice of accommodation and some of the best weather at that time of year. On top of that, Easter in Greece is a great tradition so it’s ideal for families who want a slight twist on a traditional holiday.
Top tip: Orthodox Easter is on May 5 and is a time when families and friends get together and share food, drinks and laughter. The smaller villages will be beautiful to visit on Easter Sunday.
Majorca is great value anytime, so there’s no reason not to go. From partying with your mates, to family friendly getaways, the island has something to suit all tastes, and budgets. Majorca has a whopping coastline of over 550km, and plenty of that is beach. Spring is well and truly springing in Majorca so you’ll find little rain. A well oiled tourist infrastructure means it’s well able to cater for the 8 million tourists who visit each year. From the capital Palma, to the party city of Magaluf, or the tiny villages that dot the coastline, there really is some sunshine for everyone.
Top tip: A little off the beaten track you’ll find the Cuevas del Drach in Porto Christy, a cave system featuring one of the world’s biggest underground lakes.
Paris in the springtime. Someone should write a song about that, oh, someone already did, because they realised how simply beautiful it is. The French capital is made for long strolls hand in hand with your other half, trips up the famous Eiffel Tower, or seeing whether the Mona Lisa is really worth all the talk at the world famous Louvre Museum. Enjoy the City of Love, in the words of Ernest Hemingway who called it a ‘celebration of life.’
Top tip: Slow down! Whether you have a weekend or a week, Paris works on a different time than home. Boulangeries are made for lazy snacks on croissants and you’ll find them everywhere, while Parisians might not stop to admire the beautiful architecture of their city, you’d be mad not to.
So, you want to spend Easter 2013 being a rock star right? Who doesn’t?! Head for the glitz and glamour of Barbados. The homeland of singer Rihanna, this is where the beautiful people spend their holidays. Relax on a yacht in the Bay of Holetown, or hit the clubs on First Street. If it’s relaxation you’d prefer the Aqua Restaurant and Lounge is a big favourite amongst the local glam pack.
An archipelago of nearly 1,200 islands, the Maldives is absolutely idyllic. The Indian Ocean is beautiful in April, with excellent weather and a romantic atmosphere makes it perfect for couples or honeymooners, looking for their own water villa. Explore the reefs by day, and sip a cocktail watching the most beautiful sunset of your life by night. The Maldives is made for romance.
Top tip: A seaplane tour is a beautiful (and cosy) way of discovering the islands. It’s a little expensive and weather dependent, but well worth it for the views.
Cape Verde these little islands of Africa’s western coast have a great mix of beaches and culture, sunshine and activities. It’s got plenty for children with watersports and beautiful beaches, while mum and dad will love the atmosphere and selection of restaurants. On top of that it’s easy to get to, (and actually not that far away, really) and won’t break the bank for an early sunshine session.
Top tip: Visit Pico de Fogo where you’ll find an active volcano! The landscape is really beautiful and perfect for exploring with the kids on horseback.
For more on cheap Easter holidays this year, visit Purple Travel and save money on flights, hotels and transfers.
The city of lovers, the city of light, the city home of the Mona Lisa. Here’s the Purple Travel guide to Paris for Lovers: the ultimate guide on where to stay, what to see and how best to enjoy the French capital. Paris is a city filled with sights and sounds of hundreds of years dedicated to the arts and music, haute cuisine and haute couture and you’d be hard pressed in living there for many years to see it all.
Copyright by Moyan Brenn
For the big stuff, the Louvre, The Eiffel Tower, the Catacombs, Notre Dame and the Pantheon (among many others) we suggest the Paris Museum Pass. A pre paid ticket that gets you into over 70 museums across the city. It’s also worth remembering, most museums are closed on either Monday or Tuesday, so check before you go.
With so many sights it can get a little overwhelming, if you want to stay a little more off the beaten track, then here is our top five ‘other’ things to do in Paris.
An extra bank holidays in the year? Are there any sweeter words? We don’t think so. With that in mind, we’ve been figuring out how to make the most of our time off. We’ve done the maths and have figured out, that taking five days off, means we get ten days holidays. Please correct us if we’re wrong!
What better way to celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee than toasting her health from some sunny climes! If you haven’t booked yet, don’t worry, there is still time, that’s why we’re here! Whisk the kids away for half term, or simply have a relaxing break with your other half in a few days of hot, hot sunshine.
First up, we think you should head for the sunshine of Cyprus. Spring has well and truly sprung and the crystal clear waters of the Aegean are just the thing for a little pick-me-up. The long, sandy beaches are a site for sore eyes, while the dose of vitamin D means you’ll come home totally relaxed and glowing.
If you fancy something a little more exotic, the gorgeous Turkish resort of Kusadasi will be right up your street. One of those legendary Turkish baths is a great place to start, while the nearby beaches, or pool bars are perfect for a cocktail at sunset.
Ever wondered where the word ‘Spain’ comes from? Or how about how many miles of beaches there are in Spain? Let us help you out with our 16 excellent holiday facts about Spain.
#1 Let’s start with one of our favourite facts about Spain. It is the most popular holiday destination for Brits, (it was in 2013) with Majorca, Malaga, Tenerife and Costa del Sol holidays ranking highly. Purple Travel’s most popular Spain holidays included Ibiza, Alicante and Palma de Mallorca as well as city breaks in Barcelona.
#2. Some of the most famous names in the world hail from Spanish shores. Actors Javier Bardem (Gran Canaria),Penelope Cruz (Madrid) and Antonio Banderas (Malaga) and sports stars like tennis player Rafael Nadal (Majorca), Andres Iniesta (Castilla-La Mancha) and Fernando Torres (Madrid) are just a selection of the famous faces hailing from Spanish shores.
#3. The word for ‘Spain’ is said to come from ‘Hispania’, which roughly translates to Island of Rabbits. So if you see some bunnies, don’t be too surprised.
This one’s for all the guys and girls who want something a little bit more off-the-beaten track than your average beach. Hen parties and stag parties these days tend to be over the top but some grooms and brides just want to have a relaxing getaway to keep calm and carry on ahead of their big day. If you think sunbathing in California or Hawaii is too obvious or if you, can’t stand tourists, why not take the road less travelled? There are plenty of secret and unexpected beaches around the world, hidden gems reserved strictly for locals or connoisseurs.
Blijburg aan Zee, the beach in Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Amsterdam is the proud owner of 165 canals, but, did you know it also has an achingly hip beach set on an artificial island in the middle of the city lake? Blijburg aan Zee is the place to be during the summer, with DJs playing day and night, regular art events and lots of beach activities like campfires and sandcastle building competitions making it the real deal. Perfect for a lively hen or stag do that’s pretty close to home.
This funky destination is located in Queens, New York and it’s the only official surfing destination in the Big Apple. It’s a great find if you’re looking for that bohemian beach destination in New York, making it a great addition to the city’s assets. It’s the newest hipster destination, but don’t let that put you off, it has great food and plenty of atmosphere. This is for the cosmopolitan hens who want the best of city break with a bit of beach thrown in.
Spain is a pretty obvious choice for travellers. But, there’s a reason tourists queue to visit Barcelona, Madrid and the Balearic Islands. If you’re in love with the Spanish way of life, but feel tired just thinking of tourists crowding your every move, try Cadaqués. This Catalonian town was an artist resort and inspired brilliant minds, especially surrealist painter Salvador Dali. You can even visit his house or learn more about him at a really good museum dedicated to his genius in Port Lligat, a neighbouring town. Perfect for a stag or hen with an artistic streak.
Tourists in Southern Asia have been known to ignore this beautiful island and choose more popular destinations like Phuket or Koh Samui. Phu Quoc is the largest island in the Gulf of Thailand and it boasts pristine beaches, fascinating reefs and hard–to-forget authentic Vietnamese cuisine. Get it while it’s still fresh and untouched by popular tour guide books. This is a long-haul stag or hen destination that you’ll never forget.
Capo Sant’Andrea, the island within an island in Elba
The Mediterranean island is where Napoleon famously was famously exiled. Fishing villages, ancient castles and green hills are just a few sightseeing gems for you and your friends in Capo Sant’Andrea. If you’re looking for serious beaches and serious partying, then this little island has exactly what you need.
No matter if you’re looking for a city escape or a secret beach on a dream island for your hen or stag party, there are more choices than you’d think. New York, Amsterdam Copenhagen, and Barcelona are just a few cities where local beaches are a perfect destination for an all-boys/all-girls vacation, while splendid islands and fishing towns in Vietnam, Spain, Estonia or Tasmania will give you the perfect holiday without transporting you to Touristville.
Amber Kingsley is a travel writer and has contributed to several travel sites and blogs. She loves spending time at the beach with her puppy Charlie and is always looking for the hidden gems of a city on her travels. She would loves finding out about more secret spots through her readers!