Plan an incredible summer holiday around a festival and get more bang for your buck. Read our Purple tips about the best music festivals 2014 and don’t miss out. If you’ve got any more suggestions for the best music festivals 2014, hit us up in the comments below.
Altitude Comedy Festival – Austria When: 31 Marcy – 4 April 2014 Where: Mayrhofen, Austria What is it: In the same awesome venue as the Snowbombing festival, this is all about comedy. Lots of beginner slopes as well as black runs and great apres-ski, this is two holidays in one! Who: Pub Landlord Al Murray, John Murray, Tommy Tiernan, Andrew Maxwell and Craig Campbell. Price: Depending on your arrival date from £188.
Snowbombing – Austria When: 7-12 April 2014 Where: Up in the snowy mountains of Mayrhofen, Austria What is it: A mix of partying and piste, where winter sports meets hedonistic highs. Who: The Prodigy, Chemical Brothers DJ set, Four Tet, Tom Odell, Foxes. Price: From £219 including accommodation.
Best Music Festivals 2014 – May
Primavera Sound – Barcelona When: 29-31 May 2014 Where: Parc Del Forum, Barcelona, Spain. What is it: A huge lineup of some of the best acts in the world today will play in the sunshine at Primavera’s outdoor stages showcasing Barcelona as a great music-lead city. Who: The National, Arcade Fire, Pixies, Nine Inch Nails, QOTSA, Haim, Metronomy, Foals and Chrvches. Price: €175
Ibiza Rocks and Mallorca Rocks – Balearic Islands When: All summer long! Starting on June 4 2014. Where: Ibiza/Majorca What is it: A full on summer festival experience without the mud. Who: Haim, The 1975, John Newman, Bastille, Bombay Bicycle Club, Ed Sheeran and Tinie Tampah. Price: From £75
Pinkpop – Netherlands When: 7 – 9 June 2014 Where: Landgraaf, Netherlands What is it: The 45th year of Pinkpop, this is one of the oldest in the world and draws huge names from all over the world. Who: Arcade Fire, Metallica, Editors, Mastodon and Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters. Price: Tickets for Pinkpop will be released on 15th March 2014
Purple 10: Europe’s cheapest cities… as tracked by the European Backpacker Index
It’s official, the list of Europes cheapest cities has just been announced. These 10 cities definitely won’t break the bank, and a combo of cheap flights, transport, hotels and things to see and do, mean the likes of Bucharest, Krakow and Zagreb should feature for your next city break.
Bulgaria holidays boast a wonderful mix of holiday fun, from beautiful beaches, extensive history and sense of adventure, find a cheap holiday on the shores of the Black Sea this year from Purple Travel. Here’s our top pick of resorts for summer Bulgaria holidays.
Sozopol: With heavy Greek influence and right on the Black Sea, Sozopol is a traditional Bulgaria holiday option. The town is right on a beautiful lagoon and makes an especially great choice for families who want to wander the tiny cobbled streets, take in the unchanged fishing methods and enjoy clean, safe beaches.
Nessebar: Set on a peninsula right out in the Black Sea, Nessebar is a resort of two halves! There is the historic ancient part of town with its picturesque churches and old-world charm, and there is a newer part with beautiful beaches and plenty of hotels offering great value accommodation. There’s plenty on offer for watersports enthusiasts, while swimming, diving or fishing are some of the top day time activities. By night Nessebar comes to life with bars, clubs and pubs where you can party until dawn.
Sunny Beach: If you want a singles holiday, you’re going with a gang of mates or your part of a couple who loves a good laugh, then the cheap resort of Sunny Beach is the best option for a summer getaway. There’s a great value selection of 4 or 5 star hotels, tonnes of decent bars and clubs and lots of other stuff on offer too: from the beach, to the summer festivals and fashion shows.
Golden Sands: One of the biggest and best resorts in Europe, Golden Sands as its name suggests has it all. With plenty of beach space, loads of family activities and great bars, clubs and casinos, families, groups and couples will love it.
Albena: Right on a nature reserve, Albena is a little more luxurious than some of the other resorts in Bulgaria. There’s a beautiful selection of charming seafront hotels, top notch restaurants and plenty for kids who want to splash about in the water. The town itself is made for evening strolls, discovering little narrow streets or the amazing Botanic Gardens in neighbouring Balchik.
If you’ve made a resolution to spend a little less money this year then listen up. Here are the 21 cheapest places to holiday, according to blogger and all round travel whiz kid, Tim Leffel.
After travelling around the world with his wife three times, on a tiny budget, he’s put together some advice on where to have a holiday with more bang for your buck. His new book is set to be released in a few weeks, but here is a sneak preview of where you should be thinking of holiday this year. Let us know if you think there’s any place missing!
Bulgaria’s biggest city, Sofia, is the perfect location for one of these ‘do it in a weekend’ getaways. While many choose Prague, Amsterdam or Warsaw, Sofia is a fairly underestimated city break, despite being one of Europe’s most compact and walkable locations. Those travelling to Bulgaria tend to opt for its many beautiful ski resorts or picturesque coastal towns, unknowingly missing out on the charm and cosmopolitan vibe of this rich and dynamic city.
Holidays Sofia Bulgaria
Situated at the foot of the Vitosha mountain, Sofia is made up of streets lined with domed churches, Ottoman mosques and Red Army monuments. These are married with extravagant shopping malls, luxury hotels and some of Europe’s coolest bars, creating a distinctly east-meets-west vibe throughout the city. Rapid development has led to an increase in trendy international boutiques and an innovative restaurant scene, that rivals some of Europe’s biggest cities. Affluence is apparent on every corner, from the flashy cars whizzing around the city to the well-heeled women carrying Vuitton bags – a far cry from the Bulgaria you may have envisaged. Yet, despite being a modern, urbanized city, Sofia is also surprisingly green, with huge, winding parks holding the buildings in embrace.
Things to do in Sofia
Although no grand metropolis when compared to places such as Rome, Paris or London, Sofia is nevertheless an attractive and cultured city with many museums, art galleries and theatres to keep you entertained…
Take a free walking tour of Sofia: Twice a day, local tourism volunteer NGO sets off from in front of the Palace of Justice to give tourists a free tour of this beautiful city. Welcoming, English-speaking volunteers will lead you on a two-hour walk through the city’s main sites, and fill you in on all the interesting background details. From students to backpackers to businessmen, this tour is an excellent introduction to Sofia and a great way of making friends if travelling alone.
Picnic in a park: Borisova Gradina is Sofia’s finest patch of greenery and home to the Vasil Levski Stadium, CSKA Stadium and Maria Luisa Pool, as well as a gigantic communist monument built in 1956, known as the Mound of Brotherhood. Why not pack up some strawberries and fresh bread and have a unique walk in the park, where you can admire the countless statues and flowerbeds.
Soak up some culture: If you’re looking for some historic insight, the National Museum of National History is the place to go. The musty halls of this old-fashioned museum present a didactic collection of animal, plant and mineral specimens, whilst the ground floor focuses on rocks, crystals and minerals. The stuffed animal collection in the upper floors even includes a brown bear dangling a Nazi hunting medal from its claw. Equally impressive is the Royal Palace museum, which was originally built as the headquarters of the Ottoman police force. The Palace was also the place where Bulgaria’s national hero, Vasil Levski, was tried and tortured before his public execution in 1873. After the Liberation, the building was remodelled in Viennese style and in 1887, it became the official residence of Bulgaria’s royal family until the communist takeover. Today, the Royal Palace houses the National Art Gallery and the Ethnographical Museum, which contains a collection of regional costumes and crafts, as well as varying temporary exhibitions on topics ranging from traditional festivals or carpet-making. Even the rooms of the Museum are a sight in themselves, showcasing marble fireplaces and ornate plasterwork and don’t forget to pause at the old dining room to view a lobster, fish and dead duck on the ceiling.
Get your architectural fix: There’s no better place to do this than at the outstanding domed Sveta Nedelya Cathedral, one of the Sofia’s major landmarks. Built in the mid 1800s (on top of the foundations of several older churches) the cathedral’s interior is is a montage of Byzantine-style murals. A glass case holds the body of Sveti Kral Stefan Milotin, a medieval king of Serbia, wrapped in a velvet robe, whose bones are said to have miraculous healing powers.
Restaurants in Sofia: Dream House: A vegetarian restaurant with a colourful menu, serving up dishes such as grilled tofu, algae soup and vegetable stir-fry. Itsa best to visit on a Sunday, when there’s an all-you-can-eat buffet with beer and wine available.
Egur-Egur: Armenian cuisine, featuring kebabs, steaks, stews and other meaty offerings for a much-needed bit of stodge after a night drinking in the Sofian bars.
BeSo: Here you’ll find an open sushi bar of excellent quality. Pair this with a “see and be seen” atmosphere, netted off VIP booths and an impeccably designed interior and you have more than enough reason to visit.
For beginners or the most seasoned of ski pros, we choose our top ski holidays Europe. Disagree? Let us know in the comments below.
Les Deux Alpes and La Grave Ski Resort, France
A great choice for experienced (and beginner) skiers, these are two practically tailor made just for you. Les Deux Alpes lies alongside the main pistes – so you are never far from one of the many lifts – which extend on both sides of the valley and finish in the village. Beyond these, high altitude skiing and magnificent scenery can be enjoyed from the top of the glacier. With the Grande Galaxie pass also offering a day’s skiing in neighbouring resorts.
Winter in the UK is cold, grey and wet. Definitely a good excuse to stay in the office. If you have the luxury to be able to leave, though, these are definitely the best and most popular places to hibernate and escape the winter blues..
An all-time British favorite, Spain offers amazing value for long-term getaways in an environment that caters distinctively to the British. It’s like home away from home – with better weather and cheaper food. Mainland Spain and the Balearics, such as Majorca and Ibiza, have much milder temperatures in the off-season months than the UK and you can even end up spending less than you would if you stayed home! The best part about it is that you’re no further than a 3-hour flight from the British cold – in case you ever want to go back, that is.
Take advantage of the almighty Pound compared to the US Dollar and spend a month or more in the USA’s favorite laid-back state. Florida has something for everyone, whether you’re retired, have a family, or want to party all night…and they speak English! Prices on flights out of the UK are quite moderate (you are crossing the ocean) and once you get there, accommodation is very cheap! You can have a villa or apartment to yourself for peanuts. If you feel adventurous, internal flights are cheap as well – go to New York, Las Vegas, or Los Angeles just for the weekend.
Australians go backpacking through Europe. Europeans go backpacking through Australia. It’s just the thing to do…and they speak English! The Pound will go far in Australia also, although the flights can be quite pricey. If you haven’t been to visit your second-cousins half way around the world, you definitely should. Australia is blessed with warm climate, beautiful beaches, and very friendly people. Australians celebrate their Christmas and New Year on the beach, since the seasons are opposite from the UK. No wonder it’s such a great place for you to hibernate the winter away.
4. Thailand. Indonesia (Bali). India.
Exotic, hot, and CHEAP. Sorry, they don’t speak much English. Spend a month or more immersing yourself in an amazing cultural experience surrounded by breathtaking natural surroundings. Better yet, choose one a year or, even better, one a month! These are developing countries that have a lot to offer. Pleasant and luxurious hospitality is available at prices you would have to see to believe. Jump on the “eat-pray-love” trend and go on a Yoga retreat. So many options, so little time…
Yes, Spain fits in here also, but we reserved this space for all the other wonderful destinations you can take advantage of in the winter months that are just around the corner. Europe has many popular, and cheap, places to get away on a long-term holiday. Among the favorites are Portugal, Malta, Greece, Cyprus, Bulgaria and Croatia. Each of these countries has a distinct character and personality to offer – along with an unforgettable experience.