Ok, you’re a best man, or a brother-in-law to be or simply a friend who wants to give your mate a brilliant last hurrah to single life. That’s right, you’ve been charged with stag party duties! Feel free to go as wild as the groom, party as much as you like, and lose your passport on the way back home, but if you miss out on our dos and donts, you do it at your peril!
Oh – and if we’re missing any, let us know in comments.
Do keep an eye on the stag. He’s the reason you’re all here after all, and bear in mind the bride might not be too happy to hear he’s been handcuffed to a street lamp in Benidorm.
Don’t get absolutely plastered on the first morning. You’ve got a couple of days, no need to be hungover for the whole thing.
Do get organised. It helps to book in advance to get the best deals on flights, hotels, transfer and activities. That’s where our dedicated stag party experts can help out. Jack will sort it out in no time, and we promise he’s good! Give him a call on 01252418614.
Don’t forget to eat. Depending on your activities, paintballing, boozing, checking out some strippers, you’ll need some soakage and sustenance. Get a couple of good meals in, or talk to your hotel to book a decent restaurant.
Do organise some brilliant activities. How about driving a tank, or eating dinner off a stripper?
Don’t go too far. Getting arrested is not something to aspire too. Be aware of the rules and regulations in your chosen destination and don’t end up spending the night in jail.
Do actually ask the stag what he wants. You don’t necessarily have to let anyone else know about your heart to heart, but it’s his weekend too.
Find out more about the best in stag parties abroad from Purple Travel or call us now on 0125 241 8614.
Best man duties are important and maybe the biggest responsibility is for a stag do that of course has the grooms’ best interest at heart and is not simply just booze and birds. Ah, who are we kidding, stag do ideas are all about male bonding via the medium of drinking and partying. Just remember: what happens on tour stays on tour. Get a load of our slightly dodgy stag do ideas.
Happy Ending Red Light Tour in Amsterdam It’s a fact – you literally CANNOT go to Amsterdam without visiting the Red Light District, and, if you’re on your stag or hen holiday, it’s probably a crime if you don’t. The ‘Happy Ending’ walking tour is led by a clued-up guide, who’ll do their best to show you the city’s wild side over a two-hour tour. Your group will be taken to the city’s hottest bars, clubs, pubs and X-rated establishments, exploring Holland’s world famous windows along the way. The tour also includes a visit to a peep show, entry into a lap dance club and a free beer at one of Amsterdam’s most popular bars.
Food, booze and boobs all under one roof – what more could you ask for from a stag holiday? One strictly for the boys, this decadent affair kicks off to a roaring start with a fantastic meal followed by a saliva-inducing private strip show. Sure to inspire ‘bromance’, this excellent male bonding session does exactly what it says on the tin – plus unlimited sangria for 2 hours. Everything is arranged and pre-paid for, so all you have to do is turn up and get involved.
From £39.00 Per Person.
Tank Driving in Bratislava
If you’re looking for the manliest of manly activities that will be talked about for years to come – tank driving in Bratislava is definitely top of the list. And if you’re wondering where that actually is – it’s Slovakia. Slovakia in a tank. See what we mean? Here road rules needn’t be remembered and insurance claims are a thing of the past – all you need to think about is rolling over everything that comes in your way. It is a tank, after all. The tank driving session includes a ride in a BVP-1DTP (3 x 10-min circuits), a delicious BBQ and a round of beers for the guys.
From £69.00 Per Person.
Treasure Hunt in Barcelona
A far cry from the traditional treasure hunt, this alternative activity in Barcelona is the perfect mix of cheeky and cultural. What a fantastic way for your stag party to take in the city’s impressive sights, have a laugh and bond with each other and score some awesome treasure – of the gorgeous variety, of course. The hunt involves solving clues that lead to different landmarks, such as Gaudi’s majestic Sagrada Familia and completing challenges and drinking games along the way.
From £25.00 Per Person.
Paintballing in Prague
Prague paintballing features speed games and military-style missions at a former army training base with buildings, trenches and a lush forest. Perfect for a great stag, you’re certain to raise adrenaline levels up and ignite that competitive spirit –this means war! Lock ‘n load with cutting-edge guns, 200 balls each and protective gear all included – as well as return transfers and an English speaking guide.
From £40.00 Per Person.
Kidnap the groom. If you want to really make his last days of freedom memorable, get your budding hero kidnapped by some spy specialists. A simulated raid experience has a group of masked men pull up in a van and steal away the main man. The inspiration for these comes from De Niro and Pacino so you know you’re in healthy company. Warning: this one is probably not for wusses.
Prices depend on location.
For even more stag do ideas visit Purple Travel or call us on 0207 993 9228.
Buckle up! The experts at Purple Travel have put together this list of the best budget stag and hen do ideas. Call our dedicated stag and hen do team on 0207 993 9228 for more.
For the stag
1. Prague Home to a weird, wacky stag party with the best in cheap beers, beer bikes and beer baths. The Czech capital is one of the hottest stag destinations, it’s not only a beautiful city, but is a good laugh and great value too.
2. Benidorm The classic Stag do, Benidorm holds its own with lap dance clubs, some of the best superclubs you’ll visit in your life, and days of karting or boozing on the beach all at decent prices.
3. Amsterdam It’s hard to pick a more classic stag do choice than the Dutch city of Amsterdam for a stag party to remember (or forget.) The Red Light District is filled with beautiful women, the bars are great and there’s plenty of culture if that’s your bag too.
4. Barcelona A bit of footie at the Nou Camp, a few cervezas on the Ramblas por favor and the hottest Spanish senoritas, Barcelona ticks all the boxes for a great cheap stag party.
5. Budapest Cheap beer, all night parties, strippers or tank driving, Buda and Pest, the city of two halves has everything you could possibly want on a good value stag do.
Get the best cheap stag do from the expert team today at Purple Travel.
For the hen
1. Magaluf Oh come on! Magaluf or Shagaluf is the ultimate last hurrah to single life. 24 hour partying, knocking back cocktails, great cheap hotels, buckets of sunshine and lots of like minded people. A cheap hen party in Magaluf is our top choice for summer 2013.
2. Albufeira, a sunshine favourite, Albufeira, is a quick transfer from Faro airport and has a strip over a mile long of the most wicked clubs and bars with cheap drinks, dancing music and hot guys. In the daytime you could head for the famous beachfront to recover and get ready for more.
3. Ibiza C’mon, is there a more ultimate party destination than Ibiza? All night dancing in some of the best clubs in the world, we’re talking Pacha, Space or Amnesia. For the indie hen there’s a nice alternative in Ibiza Rocks. The beaches are the ultimate balm for the morning after the night before and there are great value hotels or apartments all over.
4. Amsterdam Away from the Red Light bits that keep all stag parties interested, Amsterdam is actually a great city. It’s only a short flight away, you can grab a bike to discover the city by day, head for a cafe in the early evening and kick off your night out with a pole dancing lesson, or cocktail making class.
5. Barcelona who wants a rainy spa weekend in the Lake district, when you could go all out in the bars, clubs and beaches of Catalonia’s favourite city. Stock up on tapas, soak up sangria by the jug and get up close and personal with all those sexy Spanish men.
Get the best cheap hen do from the expert team today at Purple Travel.
No money? No problems! The dedicated stag and hen party team at Purple Travel is waiting to organise the most amazing send off for you and your mates. We’re talking cheap and cheerful not diamonds and champagne. So if you’re about to excuse yourself from single life, or you know someone who is, check out our cheap summer stag and hen dos.
The best cheap summer stag dos
Ibiza (Average summer temps 22-27)
Sun, sea and birds. Could there be a more perfect sunshine stag holiday destination than the beaches of Ibiza? Not only is the weather great, but a cheap stag holiday in San Antonio means you probably won’t be sober for more than a minute. Hop on a booze cruise; get VIP treatment in some of the top clubs on the island, beat the house with a high rollers party, or head for the strip clubs to get an eyeful of those hot Spanish girls.
Albufeira (Average summer temps 18-25)
Albufeira is a really affordable stag holiday option. There are plenty of flights and loads of accommodation options, so all you need to do is think about exactly how you want to spend the best stag ever. We suggest starting off with a day of speed boating or hop on a pirate cruise, this’ll be good fun for you and the lads before the big night out. Hit the legendary bar street, where you’re likely to get free shots before finishing the night in a top strip club. It’s hard to argue with that.
Amsterdam (Average summer temps 18-20)
2013 is a big year for Amsterdam with all sorts of extra stuff happening throughout the city. By that we mean museums, the zoo and loads of concerts. Of course, for a stag, it’s a good cover for all the horse play you’re planning in the background. Our stag parties in Amsterdam are dedicated to all things debauchery. From seeing the city by beer bicycle, to Red Light Tours, it’s absolutely the best of both worlds.
Speak with Jack from Purple Travel to find out the best stag do to suit you and your budget. Call 0125 241 8614 today!
The best cheap summer hen dos
San Antonio (Average summer temps 22-27)
Ibiza’s party capital San Antonio is one of our top choices for you and your girls to get pampered before getting stuck into as many cocktails as you can. On top of that, blazing sunshine is ready to give you a golden glow ahead of your big day, and nothing soothes a hangover like a long lie down on the sand and a dip in the sea. Go for broke and treat yourself and your hens to a speedboat party, or you could always go for the old fashioned banana boat option. Then it’s off for the ultimate club crawl, just remember: what happens in San Antonio stays in San Antonio.
Magaluf (Average summer temps 21-25)
Come on, everyone knows its other name: Shagaluf! Enjoy your last few nights of freedom with the hottest party ever. There are so many nightlife options you could practically call it the pub and club capital of Spain. Get some lap dancing lessons or spend your days downing cocktails at the beach. By night the place is buzzing. Grab yourself a guided bar crawl and VIP entry to the best clubs in town.
Barcelona (Average summer temps 23-28)
Combine city break with city beach and you have all the elements for a brilliant cheap hen do just a few hours from the UK. By day you can soak up the sunshine on Barcelona beach, or if some of your girls want to explore there are amazing landmarks such as the Sagrada Familia or Tibidabo. Then by night you can all regroup go for dinner, have a vajazzle party (yes, it’s a thing) and head for a guided pub crawl of the best bars in town.
Speak with Vicky from PurpleTravel.co.uk to find out the best hen do to suit you and your budget. Call 0125 241 8614 today!
Looking for exotic destinations to visit with family isn’t as easy as it initially seems. On one hand, the Majestic beaches, ruins and cenotes of Cancun, on the other the tropical, Caribbean goodness and stunning looks of the Dominican Republic. Say that you would like to visit both but realistically you only have the funds to do one. Which one do you choose? Choosing the ideal family holiday destination is not easy and the volume of information about both is simply too much to digest. Ideally we would advise you to follow your gut but in order to give it more of a reason to choose one destination over the other, here are the reasons and most possibly the answer to this mind boggling question. Family holidays in Cancun or Family holidays in the Dominican Republic?
Say that the day is fast approaching. Say that soon you will be called Wife and Husband. Say that your almost single life needs to end with a bang. Well wonder no further and book a holiday to Benidorm! One of the main Mediterranean party destinations, Benidorm has wonderful beaches, luxury hotels and fun by the ton for those who can, will and should get the party on! Try the following daytime and night time activities and make your holidays to Benidorm something to remember when you daydream while shopping for groceries as well as give your mates something they’ll cherish too! Read More
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!
Now a local legend, the tiny, but beautiful village of Bugarach, lies in the foothills of the Pyrenees, among other-worldly landscapes and soaring eagles. Once, it was only the locals who knew about this hidden village, but today, this ‘chosen’ destination has become one of the most famous in France, named by CNN as “the doomsday destination.”
Allegedly, there is only one place on earth that will be saved from Apocalypse (or two if you count Sirince), and that is the quiet village of Bugarach. It’s no surprise then that this miniscule retreat, with just two narrow streets, 176 residents, and virtually no agriculture, has seen a mammoth increase in one-way flights in the weeks preceding 21 December (the Mayan end of the world prediction).
Mayor Jean-Pierre Delord (a farmer in his mid-60s), noticed the apocalyptic forecast on the Internet a couple of years back and suggested at a council meeting, that the village take special security measures with which to handle an influx of visitors in December 2012. A member of the meeting then told the local press, who told the national press, who then went global, and it wasn’t long before huge news agencies and TV crews had set up camp on the village cobbles, asking confused locals about their thoughts on the looming Armageddon.
“The village has always attracted people with esoteric beliefs, they were here before and they will come afterwards, but this is something quite different,” Delord said in a recent interview with The Guardian. Speaking of the nearby town of Rennes-Le-Chateau, described as “the vortex of Da Vinci Code madness”, Delord’s comments are not wrong. This corner of France is renowned for its riddles of hidden treasure and even a believed cover-up of Jesus and Mary Magdalene’s married life in France. What’s more, Jules Verne wrote about Bugarach and the existence of an underground civilisation and Nostradamus is said to have spent some of his childhood nearby.
The Bugarach mountain, with its 1,320m peak is said to have inspired the mountain in Steven Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Known as the “upside down mountain” or “the magic mountain”, its lower layers of rock are mysteriously younger than those at the top, making it a complete geological mystery. Home to a staggering amount of caves, from which strange sounds and odd light effects have emerged, it’s more than just Verne that has questioned the mountain’s underground activity, often called a “UFO underground car park”. UFO hunters are often led here, searching for pieces of spaceship to prove the theories correct.
We found this recent sighting on YouTube particularly interesting:
With its traditional fishing villages, exclusive five-star resorts and lush vegetation, Christ Church Barbados blends the exotic with the familiar. Known as the Little England of the Caribbean, Barbados is an island that prides itself on its British customs and yet can’t help but embody the authentic spirit of the Caribbean.
When to go to Barbados
Barbados has a tropical climate, meaning it’s hot and sunny all year-round. The best time to go however, is between December and May when there’s less humidity and rainfall.
Beaches in Christ Church Barbados
The beaches around Christ Church are the chief reason why this area of Barbados sees such soaring numbers of tourists. Snorkelling, surfing and windsurfing opportunities are infinite, particularly at Dover Beach due to its favourable conditions for body boarding. Rockley Beach, with its tropical palm trees, comfortable sun loungers and good choice of local shops is another favourite. Enterprise Beach, frequently referred to as Miami, is a sandy spot that’s very much favoured with the locals due to its sheltered setting, crystal clear waters and calm waves. Windsurfers should head to Silver Sands, widely considered to be the best place to windsurf spot on Barbados. Tropical Bottom Bay is lined with mature coconut palms and boasts outstanding views of the shore. Unfortunately, swimming is not recommended here as the waves can be strong. Close to Christ Church is Crane Beach, a remarkably beautiful spot, which deservedly ranks amongst the world’s most acclaimed beaches. Crane, which takes its name from the large crane that was once located here to load and unload ships, plays home to an historic cliff-top hotel that dates back to 1867 – an excellent photo opportunity. The New York Times says, “A wave can travel nearly three thousand miles in the open ocean, undisturbed by sandbars, reefs or land, before it breaks here — on an unlikely little island shaped like a teardrop, off the radar of all but the most devoted surfers.”
What to see on the island
Apart from the beaches and water sports of Barbados Resorts like Christ Church, there are some excellent tourist attractions, especially those concentrated around the lively Saint Lawrence Gap area. Here’s our pick of the best:
OISTINS FISH MARKET
Oistins Fish Market is a must-see attraction in Christ Church. Watch fisherman hauling in their daily catch and barter for some of the freshest, most delicious fish you will ever eat. Visit on a Friday or Saturday night to take part in the community fish fry, where you will enjoy the live Caribbean music, friendly atmosphere and a feast of grilled barracuda, dolphin fish, flying fish, marlin, snapper and tuna – to name but a few.
ST JOHN’S CHURCH
St John’s Church, on Hackleton’s Cliff, is not only one of the loveliest churches on Barbados, but it is also the burial place of Ferdinando Paleologus, last member of a family descended from ancient Greek royalty, who was a warden of the church and died in 1665.
GARRISON SAVANNAH HORSE RACING
A day at the races feels entirely different when sipping coconut water, tasting authentic Bajan cuisine, and basking in the Caribbean sun. “I hate horse-racing myself, but the atmosphere is great,” notes one Virtualtourist reviewer, “there are stalls selling Bajan food, parades, all sorts of activities, crafts stalls, etc. and the Bajans make a fun day of it.”
Located a little further away from the coast are some excellent attractions: the botanic gardens; a couple of nature reserves, including the wetlands of the Graeme Hall Swamp, which have attracted more than 160 species of bird, including some beautiful pink flamingos. In the middle of the island is Welchman Hall Gully, a kilometre-long walking trail through a sheltered and shaded ravine which hosts 200 flowering plants.
Holders Season is how the smart kids gets their cultural fix; held at Holders, a plantation house owned by Johnny and Wendy Kidd (parents of Jodie), this art and music festival is a glam event that presents the best of the island.
BAJAN ROOTS AND RHYTHM
This EXCELLENT dinner theatre takes place in the heart of the lively St. Lawrence Gap area of Christ Church. Staged at the Plantation Garden Theatre, this production showcases the culture and traditions of Barbados. Performers at ‘Bajan Roots and Rhythm’ don spectacular costumes, and a buffet and drinks are included in the price of admission.
Where to eat in Christ Church Barbados
St Lawrence Gap, Christ Church, Barbados (00 1 246 435 6564; www.piscesbarbados.com). A beautiful restaurant overlooking the sea. Good blackened fish and friendly service.
Overlooking the sweeping view of pretty Miami Beach, Café Luna offers alfresco dining on top of the Mediterranean-style Little Arches Hotel. This is spectacular at lunchtime and magical in the moonlight, serving up contemporary favourites from around the world, including fresh Scottish salmon grilled to perfection, oven-roasted New Zealand rack of lamb, fresh seafood bouillabaisse, and local chicken breast with mango chutney. Sushi is a specialty on Thursday and Friday nights; on Saturday night, a champagne and lobster option enhances the regular menu.
The Benidorm Debacle: Alcoholic’s paradise or family-friendly haven?
Once a beautiful, quiet Spanish town, you may say that Benidorm’s perfection was also its downfall. The minute we Brits stepped our flip-flop clad feet onto its sandy, white shore, the old town was transformed into a major resort. Less quaint Spanish town and more heaving Manhattan madness, its loveable fishing village facets soon became no more than relics, replaced by a skyline of unsightly tower blocks. And as for the natives? Kicked out by a bunch of cheap booze-seeking British lager louts, Nuts mag in hand and sandal/sock combo in tow.
Yet before you click away in horror, this embarrassing black cloud does have a silver lining. Over the past few years, authorities have made it their mission to shake off this ill reputation and restore Benidorm to its former glory. Now attracting all kinds of visitors, from families with young children to graduates looking for a wild time, this bustling resort aims to cater to everyone. And this it does well – the key to its success understandably lying within the phrase: ‘low-budget holiday’. And while you may not exactly find cultural refinement in Benidorm, you will most definitely find a good time.
According to James Reid of The Benidorm Guide, “Benidorm is perfect for both families and those looking for a boozy holiday. For families, the beach is fantastic, there is plenty of entertainment and some great excursions (Terra Mitica and Aqualandia to name a few)- not to mention the neighbouring towns of Altea, Alicante, Javea, Calpe etc. On the other side of the coin, Benidorm is truly a great place to let your hair down – plenty of pubs, cheap beer and a diverse scene to dance the night away.”
In fact, for those of you who fear the rough and ready Benidorm of ten years ago, rest assured that millions of families return time and time again, knowing that they will find inexpensive accommodation that is clean, comfortable and well-equipped for their individual needs. Of course parts of Benidorm have remained noisy – be warned of Avenida de Mallorca, where drink is cheap and bars are open all night – but with these expert tips, you can avoid the more boisterous areas and keep your sanity intact.
1) Choose Poniente beach over Levante
If you want to lose your kids to a stag party or you particularly enjoy a background music of 50-year-old men chanting ‘ooh ah ye’ at the tops of their voices, then Levante is the place. However, if you weren’t planning on either of these, we recommend Poniente: a much quieter, bigger and far less stressful stretch of sand. Poniente is also cleaned every night meaning by the time you and your family arrive, it’s completely free of all those cigarette butts and beer bottles that the night revelers tend to leave behind.
2) Do not stay too close to the Square
This is stag and hen central. It’s not uncommon to find a few yobbish Brits conversing with each other across the street through megaphones picked up at one of the Chinese shops. AVOID.
3) Avoid all-inclusive resorts
Unless you want some tanked-up twerp stuttering something along the lines of ‘cheer up you’re on holiday’ to your two-year-old daughter, with a breath so alcoholic it could get an elephant wasted – we’d say choose a family-friendly hotel such as Flamingo Oasis, Benidorm Plaza or Belroy. The solely all-inclusive hotels understandably attract an entirely different audience.
4) Do not do your food shopping at Lidl
On the one hand it’s the cheapest place to shop in Benidorm, but on the other, and this may seem a little harsh, the store is racked with rage-inducing pensioners, who seem to think a trip to Lidl is some kind of afternoon out. And they’ll run down anyone who stands in the way of the till with a trolley full of wet ones and denture cleaner.
5) Be careful where you eat
It could be your last. Avoid Top Road and head for the Old town. The Winnie the Pooh-themed café, Honey Pot, offers a full selection of food all day long as well as a Tigger menu for kids. There is also The Cellar, a ‘kid’s pub’, near Levante beach, which offers great entertainment, including clowns every night from 8-10pm and a parrot show on Sundays and Tuesdays at 11pm. The nearby White Horse family pub is another good one, allowing parents to have a drink while children play games in the back.
Benidorm Sunset (Photo credit: Berts @idar)
To read our latest blog guide to Benidorm, just click here.