Who doesn’t love slip-sliding about and releasing your inner child? Is there a better place to do that than in a them park or water park? We don’t think so. Impress your kids this year with all the facts about these extremely cool water parks for 2014 and don’t forget to tell us if we’ve missed one of your favourite water parks in the comments below.
1. Tropical Islands Resort, Krausnick, Germany. The largest indoor water park in the world, Tropical Islands is in a former zeppelin hangar, complete with rainforest, palm trees, birdsong and artificial sun.
2. Siam Park, Tenerife. Perhaps one of the best known water parks in Europe, Siam Park, the Water Kingdom is home to a Tower of Power which is a 28 metre plunge, the zero gravity Dragon experience, the 200 metre mega slide the Kinnaree and the Sawasdee, a great choice for families: it’s a mini version of the grown up rides especially for kids.
Purple 10 hotel water slides. Looking to impress the kids, while relaxing in a luxury hotel? Look no further than this selection of hotel waterslides – the hotel part for you, the waterslide for the kids!
Being the first Hard Rock hotel in Bali, Kuta beach, this property has been decorated in a 50’ style. Note, that the hotel features the biggest swimming pool all over Bali, 22 suites and a wide selection of waterslides to keep youngsters busy!
Arm yourself with courage in case you wish to try a high-speed drive in the infamous “Poseidon’s Tower” waterslide, diving 9 floors down ending up in an underwater aquarium-tube with sharks and stingrays.
Taking the kids to Disney? Make sure your trip-of-a-lifetime goes as smoothly as possible with our top best Disney tips for getting around with little ones in some of the best theme parks in the world.
Don’t try to do everything: You want Disney to be the best experience for everyone and it won’t be if you’re suffering from exhaustion! Slow down and take in all the fun and don’t be afraid to head back to your hotel pool for a chill out.
Age check: Be sure to check out the age and height requirements before you go, you don’t want to get someone all excited about a ride they won’t be able to get on.
Fail to plan, plan to fail: Disney makes it easy to plan your trip, including a daily planner to guide you through the best selection of amusements and shows to suit you and your little ones.
Go at the right time: Remember that the height of summer means crowds, heat, mosquitoes, maybe even different opening hours, so keep this in mind when you’re booking those tickets!
Don’t forget your supplies: Some tasty snacks and especially a couple of bottles of water make those long queues a lot more bearable.
Book in advance: There’s a tonne of great eating options and even a free advance reservation system. Use it! Just remember, this won’t actually mean they’ll hold your table, but you’ll be seated and ready to eat quickly.
Label your child! This may sound a little strange, but it’s a big place and it’s easy for kids to wander off. If you’ve got a few running around, instead of growing an extra pair of eyes, using an ID bracelet with your name and contact details could save on nightmares.
Whistle while you work: Our top tip is of course; to remember you are there for a good time, not a long time! So, go and enjoy yourself, make the most of a wonderful holiday experience.
Here at Purple Travel we’re nothing if not helpful. Whether it’s finding you the best possible price for your holiday, tips on how to pack your bag, or what to wear on the beach this summer, we’re here to help.
Ladies – are you sick of that unsightly bikini tan? Have you got more lines on your body than Mother Teresa? Guys – does it look like you’ve still got your shorts on even when you’ve already taken them off? Is your behind akin to an Alaskan landscape?
Fret not. We’ve got you covered, or uncovered as the case may be.
Whether you just want to avoid unsightly marks, feel like getting down with your primal self or are a fully-fledged naturalist, the best nudist beaches can be a sandy haven for both your inner and outer self. With this list of our top naturalist beaches, you’ll be in the know as well as in the buff. And if you’re a little shyer, or perhaps travelling with your children – consider this a list of places to stay well away from…
Let’s begin our best nudist beaches with an old favourite:
Since the 1990s Spain’s Vera Playa has developed into an important naturism centre. It’s in the lovely region of Andalusia which mixes ancient cities with amazing beaches and deserts with ski resorts! So you should certainly be able to find a spot, to bare all. The infamous dunes of Maspalomas Beach in Gran Canaria provide plenty of coverage for stripping off and designated sections to get used to the new found freedom.
Next up is the Czech Republic; we hear there are over 50 recognized nudist beaches in the country, so you’ll have plenty of chances to get your kit off.
Leucate Plage in France, situated on the Mediterranean coast, just north of Perpignan is a superb bare beach of fine golden sand and warm waters. Three naturist resorts share the coastline, but the beach is open to all so there’s plenty of space for both first-time skinny-dippers and veteran nudists alike.
Greece: there are plenty of options in Greece, if you fancy whipping off your gear. Super Paradise Beach on the frankly, glorious island of Mykonos has nude friendly policy and in some parts “nudism is actually obligatory.” Another good one is on Skiathos, near Koukounaries on the south-west coast, where you’ll find Banana Beach – the collective name for three sandy coves, worshipped by naturalist bathers. And before you get any ideas, the name refers to the fact the beaches are yellow and curved…
Croatia’s Vrsar is home to Koversada, which is one of the largest nudist resorts in Europe! According to Wikipedia it can take up to 18,500 guests per day. Better bare (!) that in mind when booking…
Looking towards more tropical climates, daring to bare in the Caribbean has never been more inviting. Seven Mile Beach in Negril Jamaica, is a very nude friendly resort, although the beach itself is public property, so topless is ok, but if you’re losing your bottoms you’ll have to pay extra. The Hedonism resort, also in Negril is as the name suggest open to not only nudist sunbathers, but plenty more besides.
Heading down Mexico Way, you’ll find the Hidden Beach Resort, an ‘au naturel club’ which claims to be the only All Inclusive Nudist Resort in the Mexico Caribbean. A top choice for the best nudist beaches in the world… at least we think so.
The Sunshine State of Florida, welcomes nudity with open arms…well almost. Haulover Beach is an official tax supported public nude beach, with excellent facilities and you don’t need to worry about getting hassled in a state of undress.
One word of caution: While it’s true ‘topfree’ is popular in most resorts, it’s not for everyone. Be sure to check with the local authority to be sure!
We go around the world to find the most beautiful, weird and wonderful hotels. From converted silvermines to igloo style hotels, expect the unexpected. This week, Jules Undersea Lodge in Key Largo, Florida.
What’s the gimmick? First of all, to get into the lodge you have to dive 21 feet underwater. Once you get there, it will feel like you’ve discovered a secret underwater sports club! Divers can book overnight stays in either of two rooms, perfect for a romantic dip in the sea.
Why stay? Well, for the aspiring explorers, Jules Undersea Lodge would certainly be a walk in the footsteps of legendary explorers, such as Jacques-Yves Cousteau, Edwin Link, and Ian Koblick. Visit this underwater lodge to experience theperfect balance of relaxation and adventure, or to simply test your scuba skills.
The WOW Factor?The big plus of each room, is the 42 inch porthole looking out into the ocean. Better than any tv, you’ll be amazing by the mangrove lagoon, where Jules is found and there are tonnes of tropical fish and sea creatures to look at. The JUL for Two Package costs about £530 for an overnight stay, Pizza delivery dinner and breakfast inclusive.
With its luscious jungles, dazzling seas, and exotic mangroves, the string of islands that make up the Florida Keys is this year’s hottest destination. Attracted by its stunning coral reefs and the bountiful coloured fish that make them their home, thousands of tourists return to as the charming communities of Key West and Key Largo every year. Choosing which islands to get to while you’re there is difficult when you’re not in the know, so we’ve put together a travel guide to help you along the journey. Welcome to Florida Keys Holidays.
Bahia Honda Key | Tropical Bahia Honda Key centres mainly around its eponymous state park, known for its pristine beaches, wonderful snorkelling opportunities and perfect sunsets. Take a picnic with you to the beach and spend a relaxing day, dipping into the sea and enjoying the balmy breezes that caress its shores. This remote island is an excellent place to see shorebirds and other wildlife, with a nature centre dedicated to the island’s plants and animals.
Big Pine Key | Big Pine Key is a refuge to rare and endangered animals. Its authentic back country atmosphere and National Key Deer Refuge, make it a beautiful place to holiday. Big Pine is also the jumping off point for numerous snorkelling and diving charters to Looe Key reef, the perfect remedy if you feel like taking an offshore adventure.
Conch Key | This stretch of Florida Keys is dominated by the fishing community, and home to both rustic fishing villages and boating elite. Conch Key itself is a tiny fishing village, but you can quickly hop across to Duck Key, if you’re looking for a more upscale community.
Duck Key | Small, secluded, yet central to Miami and Key West,
Duck Key is known for its beautiful sunsets. Also home to Hawks Cay, one of the region’s most popular marina resorts, Duck Key is the ideal destination for those looking for a relaxing getaway.
Grassy Key| Legend has it that this remote little key was not named after its abundant vegetation as the name would suggests, but after an early settler who went by the name of Grassy. However, this doesn’t take away from its greenery – the Key is fileld with shrubs and native trees.
Islamorada | Isla Morada is Spanish for Island Home, named so by the early settlers who immediately found this island to be cosy and homely. This well-known fishing village is the perfect place for snorkelling, sunbathing and swimming.
Key Largo | Key Largo is the first of the Upper Keys that can be reached by car, and at 30 miles long, it’s also the largest island in the chain.
Key West | Close to Miami, and just 90 miles from Havana, this end-of-the-line community is like nowhere else on earth. This is the land of eternal holiday, where no one has a care in the world and all you have to think about is what you want for lunch or which cocktail you’ll choose.
Little Torch Key | Little Torch Key and its neighbour islands, Ramrod Key and Summerland Key, are good jumping-off points for divers headed for Looe Key Reef. The islands also serve as a refuge for those who want to make.
Long Key | Long Key is the ideal destination for those looking to avoid the masses and enjoy some ecological history.
Marathon | Marathon is a busy town – or at least busy when compared to other communities in the Keys. However, the island also lacks a certain charm when compared to its counterparts…
A guided tour of Ernest Hemingway’s home is filled with amusing anecdotes of the writer’s life. Built in 1801, Hemmingway lived in the house between 1931 and 1942, writing about 70% of his life’s work, including classics like For Whom the Bell Tolls in its rooms. You can even see some of his belongings including some books, with photographs along the way to help you visualise his day-to-day life.
Audubon House and Tropical Gardens
See the works of ornithologist John James Audubon in this three-story house, which was built in the 1840s for Captain John Geiger. Today, it commemorates Audubon’s 1832 stop in Key West while he was travelling through Florida to study birds. The self-guided tour of the house and gardens and the art gallery of lithographs of the artist’s famed portraits, is one you’ll never forget.
Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park
Construction of Fort Zachary Taylor began in 1845, but was halted during the Civil War. Finally completed in 1866, the fort was also used in the Spanish-American War. Guests can either take a 30-minute guided walking tour of the redbrick fort, a National Historic Landmark, at 12pm and 2pm, or self-tour anytime between 8am and 5pm.
Not only does the US have more theme parks than there are cows in Wales (well not exactly…) but each and every one of them have a little piece that make them quite alike, particularly in regards to food, fun, and roller coasters. We’ve narrowed down a list based on which theme parks USA offer the most for your money and are the most popular of the year.
#1 Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio
Known as the best amusement park in the world, it’s no wonder Cedar Point makes it to the top of our list. With 75 rides, ten shows, a water park and seventeen roller coasters, Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio packs more thrills per square foot than anywhere else on the planet, let alone America.
No list of theme parks would be complete without a mention to the largest, most-attended recreational complex in the world. Home to some of the most iconic landmarks, characters and imagery on the planet, Walt Disney World is an American favourite.
#3 King’s Island in Mason, Ohio
As the largest amusement park in the Midwest, King’s Island is humongous, with 364 acres of park grounds boasting over 80 rides and attractions. The all-new Soak City water park alone offers more than 50 water activities, including 30 slides, tropical lagoons, rushing rivers and surfable waves.
Featuring three incredible parks (for one admission), more than 40 rides, 17 slides, nine tube chutes, uphill water coasters, three lazy rivers and more than three miles of tube rides, Schlitterbahn is a huge, thrill-seekers paradise. Home to the longest water park ride in the world, The Falls, Schilitterbahn is one of Texas’ main attractions.
#5 Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California
For hundreds of thousands of theme park fans, Disneyland could never be anything but #1, but even in fifth position there’s no question that Disneyland Park and the larger resort, with 20 million annual visitors combined, is simply one of the best.
#6 Busch Gardens Williamsburg in Williamsburg, Virginia
Well-maintained with a unique design, this African themed adventure park offers something for everybody. This year, Busch Gardens Williamsburg has built an electromagnetic multiple-launch roller coaster on the former site of the Big Bad Wolf called Verbolten, which opened in May.
Arguably even more exciting to than Disneyland or Six Flags Universal Studios in Orlando is a must-visit for all age groups.
#8 Knoebels Amusement Resort in Elysburg, Pennsylvania
Knoebels offers free admission and parking, with more than 50 rides available either a la carte or through an all-day pass. Enjoy the Grand Carousel, two world-class roller coasters and The Phoenix, voted the second best wooden coaster in the world.
#9 Six Flags Great America in Gurnee, Illinois
Six Flags is a dependable brand for thrill-lovers. Chicagoland’s own Six Flags Great America features eight themed areas, each highlighting a different aspect of Americana.
#10 Legoland in Carlsbad, California
This theme park takes you right back into childhood, amusing both the children and the adults. It’s known for its sculptures made of Legos, from rides to cars, from the New York skyline to Mount Rushmore.
Whether it’s a sun soaked beach, and American road trip, or Middle Earth, films have the power to inspire, so why not let them. We’ve put together our top 10 favourite film inspired holidays, so you can live like a movie star, even if it is just for a while. Let us know in comments below if we’re missing any important film inspired holidays!
Hollywood! Does it really need any explanation? Tinseltown is the motion picture capital of the world, and you can barely take a breath before seeing a famous film studio, a Kardashian or a Lohan, or a Star on the Walk of Fame.
New York, New York The city so good they named it twice. NYC was the famous setting (and fifth character) in the Sex and the City series. Carrie was always talking of it like a loved up teenager. There are tonnes of themed tours to choose from where you’ll be taken on a whirlwind visit to some of the show’s most famous settings. There are stops for Cosmos, a visit to the famous Magnolia bakery, Aidan and Steve’s bar Scout and as many designer shops as you can think of.
Tunisia For any Star Wars fans, Tunisia will already be familiar territory. It’s where George Lucas chose to locate Luke Skywalker’s home planet Tattooine. You can visit lots of parts of the set which is still intact, while Luke’s home has been lovingly restored by dedicated fans. Tozeur and the salt lake of Chott el-Jerid are chock-a-block with familiar scenes, while the Jedi battle between Qui-Gon and Darth Maul in Episode I was filmed nearby. The less said about that though, the better!
New Zealand if you’ve ever fancied seeing a real version of Middle Earth then New Zealand is the place to go. The Lord of the Rings trilogy was brought to movie life here by star director Peter Jackson. The countryside is filled with lush, rolling green hills, epic waterfalls, snow capped mountains and stunning sunsets. You’d have to be an orc to want to miss out on that!
Bali The story of a woman finding herself after divorce resonated with fans all over the world in Eat Pray Love and it’s Bali setting could be the reason why. Julia Roberts playing Liz Gilbert’s epic journey finishes in the exotic and glorious surrounds of Bali really struck a chord with audiences.. Part meditation, part healing, part sun holiday, Bali is a serious escape from the norm. It also helps that the star gets it on with Javier Bardem’s gorgeous Filipe.
Forks, Washington State One for the twi-hards. Forks is where Bella and Edward first met and fell in love. If that means nothing to you, then a Twilight themed holiday won’t be for you. But the town is certainly making the most of its new found fame with DIY guides and unofficial tours. Check out a 1956 chevy, painted red and referred to as Bella’s truck.
Benidorm, Spain If you like the sun, sea and shenanigans of the tv show Benidorm, then you’ll love heading to the place itself to indulge in a little of the same. It’s the quintessential Brits abroad type of place, where holidaymakers can unwind on the lovely beaches and in the lively bars of the popular Spanish city.
Florida Could Orlando be the ULTIMATE kids movie destination? We, of course mean kids of all ages. From the Magic Kingdom to the newly opened Wizarding World of Harry Potter and everything in between, you’ll never be sort of things to do. And while, they might not be actual shooting locations, it’s a great choice for re-enacting your favourite Hogwarts moments.
St Vincent/the Grenadines These Caribbean islands are about as idyllic as you’ll get, with perfect white sandy powder soft beaches, sparkling turquoise waters and the odd palm tree to shade under. Perfect for pirates to find hidden treasure and Jack Sparrow to get deserted with Keira Knightley. Pirates of the Caribbean was filmed here and, what with all that gorgeous tropical scenery and sunshine, we can only imagine what a tough shoot it must have been!
Skopelos, Greece get your Abba tunes out, slip into some shorts and sandals and head for Skopelos. The gorgeous Greek island was the luscious backdrop to fun Meryl Streep led Mamma Mia. We can just imagine lazily strolling down cobbled streets, past whitewashed houses humming Voulez Vous to ourselves…
Bonus point! Las Vegas to go relive the movie The Hangover, but remember… what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas!
If you’re interested in a beach holiday, but you want a little something on the side then why not go for a city beach break. We reckon it’s a great way to combine some sunshine with a bit of sight seeing, the bar and food choices of a city, with the loungers and sunshine of the coast. Here are our top choices for city beaches – if you’ve got others we’d love to hear them…
Barceloneta Beach, Barcelona: We think Barceloneta is a definite winner. Just at the end of the Ramblas, it’s got a buzzing atmosphere, loads of foodie jaunts and you can even get yourself a massage if you’re feeling really lazy.
Ipanema, Rio: the sexiest beach in the world or what? A place for some serious beautiful people watching, locals flock here every weekend, so it can be crowded, but with miles and miles of white sand and under the Two Brother’s mountains it offers a great mix of stunning scenery and epic views.
Dubrovnik, Croatia: The city is right on the sea, so it’s perfect for a little sun soaking. A word of warning though, most are pebble beaches, but don’t let it put you off. You can relax in the beach bars, grab a kayak and go explore or just totally unwind under a beach umbrella on your own stretch of paradise.
Miami Beach,Florida: Quite possibly the most famous city beach in the world, Miami is where the bold and the beautiful, the old and young come to top up their tans, sip on a cocktail or just soak up the atmosphere. The beach has even got its own workout equipment right there – just in case you feel the need to soup
Copenhagen, Denmark: The Danish city might not be your first choice for a beach break, but it’s got a lot going for it. Choose from not one, but two beaches nearby that you can easily get to by just hopping on the local train. The water’s crystal clear, the white sand is a sight for sore eyes, and the sea temperatures are a refreshing 20 degrees or so. Definitely worth a try.
Venice, Italy: There’s more to Venice than stunning views, gondola rides on the canal and the glorious history that makes this city famous. It’s also home to one of Italy’s best kept secret beaches, Venice Lido. Just minutes from St. Mark’s Square, it’s an island that’ll give you the chance to rub shoulders with the rich and famous under the gorgeous Italian sunshine.
Venice Beach, California: Another Venice, but this one is a little different! Famous the world over thanks to Pamela Anderson and that red swimsuit, there are actually over 20 beaches to choose from in Los Angeles. Venice is filled with fortune tellers, artists and was home to some of the early beach poets. Now you might be lucky to rub shoulders with some Hollywood elite applying their suncream.
Jumeirah Beach, Dubai: Dubai is a city of true contrast, from the stunning, eye-wateringly tall Burj Al Arab 7 Star hotel, to the exquisite sandy beaches, it’s got something for everyone. Jumeirah is about 25 minutes from the city centre, it’s usually pretty quiet and is ideal for children as it’s shallow and quite safe. The water is crystal clear and the sandy beach is just perfect. What more could you ask for?
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.