Easter signifies two grand occasions. Beside the chocolate bunnies and week off work, the weather usually turns around and starts to bring a whiff of summer. However good weather is not always guaranteed on the shores of the Ol’ Blighty so our next best bet would be make good use of our leave, pack up and head to one of the following sunny beach destinations.
Amongst the most visited destinations in Europe, Tenerife is home to anything you might be asking of your Easter break. Spend a day or more relaxing by one of its golden sandy beaches while getting your tan on, or visit the highest mountain of Spain, Mt Teide and the immense natural park surrounding it. Bring a little culture to your holidays in Tenerife as well by venturing into town and witnessing the colourful celebrations and processions the locals organise to honour the holy week.
Wondering what’s the best place to eat during your holidays in Greece? We are more than excited to present you the highlights of the most stunning Greek gastronomy ceremony, ”Golden Chef’s Hat”, held in Athens on Monday April 20th in the Ballroom of the hotel “Grande Bretagne”. Foreign journalists and ministers, as well as Greek tourism professionals shared their excitement for culinary experiences celebrating the best restaurants in Greece. As gastronomy is amongst the most authentic cultural elements of Greece, the ”Golden Chef’s Hat” awards, for the first time in 22 years, brought not one but two restaurants to the top of the Greek culinary scene. Read More
If it is sun-soaked beers on the beach, boozing up on a city break, or shaking your booty all night long, you’ll find exactly what you’re looking for with our Purple Travel top 10 Clubbing holidays 2014.
1. Ibiza When it comes to clubbing holidays, Ibiza is like a wise, old friend. It has them down to perfection. Boozing, dancing, beach parties and Ibiza clubbing holidays offer instant gratification. Head to Space, Amnesia and Manumission by night. By day, go straight from the club to Bora Bora, where you can keep your party spirit going.
2. Ayia Napa, Cyprus Nissi Beach in Ayia Napa is easily the most famous party location on the island. With soft, white sand, all night parties, booze, bikinis and the biggest name DJs, it ticks every best clubbing holiday 2014 box.
3. Sharm el Sheikh A night out in the Red Sea Resort usually includes shisha smoking, trendy lounges, cocktails and dancing all night. Basically anything can happen during clubbing holidays in Egypt. Head for Little Buddha in Naama Bay, famous for its cocktails and coolness.
4. Kavos, Corfu This one hardly needs an introduction, we’ve all seen that TV show. Kavos is possibly the most famous, craziest and hedonistic party town in Greece… maybe in the entire world, we reckon it could certainly rival Vegas in terms of debauchery. There are hundreds of bars and clubs where you can go shake your glow sticks all night long.
5. Barcelona Barcelona’s a cheap and cheerful choice for clubbing holidays 2014. There are tonnes of flights that’ll have you over in BCN and ready to party in no time. And thanks to the all-night attitude of the Spanish, there’ll be plenty of time to pub crawl, party and soak up the atmosphere. Head for the Ravel area for cool bars, hip restaurants and Barcelona’s cool kids.
6. Laganas, Zante The town on the Greek Island is practically world renowned for the antics of visitors every year. The so-called Golden Mile has a choice of bars and clubs with the likes of fire breathing bartenders, bartop dancing and an ‘anything goes’ attitude. Amnesia and Medousa are hot ticket clubs for 2014.
7. Prague, Czech Republic The gorgeous city of Prague is ideal for couples looking for clubbing ideas combined with a little culture too (!) There is a very hot underground scene with whiskey bars, cocktail lounges and all night DJs. Of course no trip to Prague is complete without knocking back a couple of pints of local ale. That’s the cure for the morning after the night before.
8. Magaluf, Majorca For cheap clubbing holidays 2014, Magaluf is a complete no brainer. There are serious dance nights, cheesey 80s bars, and Europe’s biggest club, BCM. It is home to some of the best party venues in Europe and has become an epic hen and stag do destination. If you go, get your hands on a Magaluf Club Pass. It’s one ticket for five of the hottest clubs in town.
9. Malia, Crete Think 18-30 clubs, foam parties, dancing on tables, pure indulgence. Get some sleep now, because you certainly won’t get any on a clubbing holiday in Malia 2014.
10. Berlin, Germany 24 hour techno clubs, old buildings transformed into dance warehouses and quirky, weird and unusual nights out are what Berlin is famous for. No wonder you can head out at 4pm on a Thursday and not get home until Monday afternoon.
Fancy shaking your booty with the best clubbing holidays 2014? Then call our disco ball-lovin’ team on 02079939228 or visit our website.
We’re nothing if not helpful here at Purple Travel, so make the most of your Greek holiday with our favourite facts about Crete.
#1 It’s said to be the birthplace of the supreme god Zeus. Legend has it; Zeus’ mother Rhea hid the newborn baby in a cave so he wouldn’t be killed by his father Cronus.
#2 It can be walked in 50 days. Well, if you follow the route of Belgian hiker Ivan Van Driesche. He decided to walk around the island as a fundraiser for stray animals and he did it in exactly 50 days.
#3 Crete has thousands of miles of beaches, making it an unparalleled choice for sun worshippers. There are lots of options for surfing or sunbathing, naturist beaches or scuba diving.
#4 A study in 1980 by Ancel Keys revealed that Crete is the healthiest country in the world and philosopher Hippocrates said the air of Crete has healing properties; this is a legend that continues today.
#5 It was Crete where Icarus, who flew too close to the sun, was from. Kept in prison by King Minos, he escaped with wings made from feathers and wax, but, unfortunately for him, he flew too close to the burning rays of the sun, his wings melted and he drowned in the sea.
#6 Many people in Crete own guns, but don’t worry it’s mostly for celebration reasons, especially at weddings.
#7 Crete is one of the oldest settlements in Europe, with remnants found that date back to 7 million BC.
The kids are back to school, full season is nearly over, now is the time to get some of the best possible deals for cheap September holidays. Enjoy our Purple Travel guide to cheap September holidays and save money on your next break.
1. Paphos, Cyprus: Average temperature in September 31 0C. Cyprus in September is still hot enough to enjoy dreamy days on the beach or swim a lap around the infamous Aphrodite’s Rock.
2. Antalya, Turkey Average temperature in September 32 0C. The ‘gateway to the Turkish Riviera’ offers a wonderful clutch of beaches along the coast and loads of bars, clubs and restaurants as well as the famous Efes beer. Image via @ Burntime
3. Tunis, Tunisia Average temperature in September 32 0C. Enjoy a taste of North Africa, with the souks, medinas, salt lakes and beaches that make Tunis holidays in September unforgettable. Image via @ WomEOS
4. Valletta, Malta Average temperature in September 28 0C. The island’s capital is tiny – only 1km – but there’s plenty to see and do. Stroll down baroque-influenced streets, and wander narrow cobble-lined lanes or hop on the Sliema Ferry and work on your tan on the rocks. Remember, Valletta itself isn’t filled with sandy beaches, but makes a good base for discovering more. Image via @ Britrob
Tradition is an integral part of life for the Cretans in particular – even their dialect is considered the oldest in Greece, frequently becoming a study for university research. Most Greek dances and music first appeared in Crete, the island where it is said that the mother of the Gods, Rhea, taught them to the Curetes (Cretan tribe). The most famous Cretan dance was the pyrrhic,while the violi, the lyra and the laouto remain the characteristic musical instruments. Customs of Crete are a serious business and you better get to know a few before you travel. Here’s our handy cut-out-and-keep customs of Crete guide. Just go easy on the raki on a fab Crete holiday from Purple Travel.
Here are some of our favourite Cretan traditions and customs:
This alcoholic beverage is a real part of Cretan culture. And take it from us, after a few shots of this fragrant, grape-based pomace brandy, you won’t be standing upright. Tsikoudia is sometimes served cold from a bottle kept in a freezer. Tsikoudia is commonly offered as an after dinner digestif, and in most taverns in Crete it is offered complimentary after the meal. It’s flavored using lemon rind, rosemary or honey.
Mantinades (derived from the Venetian mantinada, meaning ‘morning song’) are Cretan rhyming couplets, typically used in music to accompany dance. They usually have either love or satire as their topics. The production of mantinades in today’s Crete continues at much the same pace as it did in the 15th century, especially in the villages. Cretans combine tradition with modern technological developments in the mantinades, often with a great deal of humour, as you can see from the following mantinada:
“In the sheepcote I set up a modem to use, For to sell on the Net the milk from my ewes.”
Most Greeks take their names from a religious saint (Nikolaos, Ioannis, Dimitrios etc). They then celebrate their name on that saint’s given day of the year, much as you may do a birthday. On the “name day” of someone, his friends and family visit him without invitation and offer their wishes and presents. In Greece, name days are more important than birthdays.
The Cretan Dagger
The Cretan dagger’s symbolic value survived even until recently. Its great metaphysical value in protecting humans against the fiendish powers of the invisible world and “ill-fated moments” was deeply rooted in Cretan culture. One example of this was in marriage. When a man and woman were married, it was custom in Crete that the groom offer his new wife a small silver dagger – the argyrobounialaki (yeah, try and pronounce that one). This small dagger was then worn by the Cretan girl on her waist, tucked inside a silk sash; the dagger indicated to other men that the girl was married and that she belonged to one man. It also served as a reminder to the girl that she was devoted to her husband and that the price she would pay for any infidelity would be her own life. Sounds pretty misogynistic, right? Yes, however, in addition to its symbolic significance, the dagger also had practical value, because the young Cretan woman would be able to defend herself and her dignity when in danger.
Daggers, always black-hilted, (as black-hilted daggers were thought to be feared by demons) played a leading part in the practice of magic. Tiny black-hilted daggers were used in making talismans for young children and for protecting epileptics from the bad influence of the moon and the possessed from the pernicious influence of demons. When a child died, the mother would hang small black-hilted daggers around her other children’s necks as talismans, so that the Grim Reaper would not take them too.
The Evil Eye
Many Cretans, especially in villages, believe that someone can catch the ‘evil eye’, or “matiasma”, from someone else’s jealous compliment or envy. This person would feel bad physically and psychologically.To avoid the matiasma, a little blue marble glass with an eye painted on it must be worn. Blue is believed to be the colour that wards off the evil eye but it is also believed that people with blue eyes are givers of the matiasma.
Tucked away between Rhodes and Crete, Karpathos Island is another hidden paradise in Greece, home to spectacular beaches, perfect blue waters and a completely relaxed atmosphere. And yet, despite a recent rise in popularity, once you arrive it’ll feel like you’re the first person to set foot on this hidden gem in Greece.
Start off with a visit to the award-winning beach of Apella, hidden among green mountains, it’s a tropical setting, in the middle of the Dodecanese.
Holidays in Greece are often about the sunsets over the caldera of Santorini, although it doesn’t really get a look in, we’re rooting for the underdog and think that sunrise is just as good a time to be out in the world as sunset, in fact it’s even more magical. And there is no better place to escape the crowds, soak up the dusky glow of the sun as it faces the day and take an early morning dip than in one of the beautiful Greek islands. Discover the majesty of sunrise in Greece this year.
For years now, Greece has been considered as one of the the hottest party locations in Europe and it’s easy to see why. Every summer the Greek islands are practically shaking from the wild crowds of party animals. So we’ve compiled our top 10 Greek Party Islands. Practice some moves, ’cause you’ll need ’em around these beach bars and clubs.
Maybe the most infamous of all the Greek Islands, although we’re open to correction on that, NOT. Mykonos guarantees endless fun, all night parties and brilliant club nights. Head for Super Paradise: nude friendly, fresh cocktails, a gorgeous beach and music all night. Couldn’t really ask for more could you?
Attracting young crowds from all over Europe, the island of Ios is home to excellent bars, cheap drinks and all night parties. It’s also got really good and really cheap accommodation, so is a good choice for a party holiday. Head for Kandi or Far Out on the beach as well as Orange Bar and Baru for shots and beers.
Perfect for sun worshipping party peeps, Kavos is the all nighter capital of Corfu. You’ll get to know the staff in every bar, the reps who pull you out for shots, and maybe Tinchy Stryder and Professor Green who are both scheduled to play this summer. Basically you’ll probably have the time of your life.
Faliraki is legendary in terms of partying. Drenched in sunshine, Rhodes is filled with wild dancing, brilliant cocktails, cheap drinks and loads of fun. Head for the unmissable King Arthur’s Bar, where all the kings and queens assemble to kick off their night with a royal round of shots!
Thousands of party animals enjoy Malia clubbing holidays every year. Literally. Even the Inbetweeners got a look in! It’s got an excellent setup, great beach and lots of accommodation just a few minutes walk from the strip. There are epic bars and clubs there, we like buzzing nights out at Banana or Malibu, or the silent disco at Candy Club.
Load up on shots in Kardamena for an explosive start to your night out. Kos is a sleepy, beachy place by day, but comes to life with a bang after dark. We’re talking fishbowls and Jager Bombs on the cheap in every bar on the Strip. Head for the oldest club in Kos, Heaven before you leave – it’s been packing them in for 25 years.
A more laidback island than Mykonos, Paros is more chilled if you’re into lazy evenings by the beach, downing cocktails or beers. After a long day sunning yourself, head for Punda Beach Club in the southeast of the island for late night action.
Laganas has long been considered the hardcore clubbing capital of the Greek Islands, so if it’s not broke, why fix it? The (in)famous Zeros Club is famous for its hot bar staff, crazy bar games, dance routines and fire breathers. If you’re a serious party animal, definitely consider it.
Kefalonia isn’t that most well known for partying, but there are some brilliant clubs if you know where to look. Stavento in Argostoli is synonymous with fun. Loads of tunes, all day boozing and dancing and special one off guests, it’s a good choice if you want to go wild and chill out a bit too.
Go to Skiathos in August, when the clubs will be full of half dressed visitors from all over the world who want to bump ‘n grind all night. Feeling it already? Add some of the best beaches in all of Greece and that’s pretty much the recipe for a perfect holiday.