Lebowski Fest, 11-12th July 2014, Louisville, Kentucky Dedicated to all things Dude, Lebowski Fest’s been running for a whopping 12 years and offers White Russians, unlimited bowling, costume contests and special guests. The Dude abides at Lebowski Fest and we couldn’t think of a better summer festival.
Full Moon Party, 13thJuly, 08th September 2014, Koh Phangan, Thailand If we could choose one word to describe the Full Moon Parties of Koh Phangan it would be: epic. Shirtless, shoeless tourists dance all night at the biggest beach party in the world, where you’ll find plastic buckets that hold a litre of vodka and Red Bull. Told you it was epic.
Excited about Game of Thrones Season 4? Ahead of its premiere on Sky Atlantic on April 6th, we’ve got some pictures of the best filming locations for the new series. For anyone living under a rock, the TV show based on the hugely popular G.R.R. Martin books centres around the fight for power amongst seven feuding families who plan to win the right to the Iron Throne. Featuring the Starks of Winterfell, Lannisters of Casterly Rock, the Greyjoys of the Iron Islands nad House Targaryen it is a fantasy epic with locations that match its incredibly dramatic story lines. Game of Thrones is filmed mostly in Iceland, Ireland, Morocco, Croatia and Malta where rugged landscapes stand in for Winterfell and sun soaked streets play host to the Queen of the Dragons. Here are some of our favourite Game of Thrones locations.
The bulk of Game of Thrones filming season 1, 2 and 3 took place in Northern Ireland, where Castle Ward in Downpatrick became Winterfell and introduced viewers to the Starks, Lannisters and King Baratheon. McComb’s Coach Travel provides Game of Thrones day trips from Belfast where you can also visit the Kings Road and the Cave of Cushendun where the shadow baby was born to Melisandre. Ballintoy Harbour played host to Theon Greyjoy’s homecoming to the Iron Islands and near Bushmills is the avenue of trees known as The Dark Hedges, where Arya Stark escaped King’s Landing. There’s even a GoT exhibit in Belfast where you can take a seat on the Iron Throne.
#1 Budapest The Hungarian capital is set to have a busy year amongst hipsters thanks to the release of Wes Anderson’s film The Grand Budapest Hotel (even though it was mostly filmed in Germany!) The city’s filled with architecture, baths, boutique hotels and laid-back cafes. It’s a must-do value city break. Makes a nice addition to our 2014 travel bucket list.
#2 The Greek Islands We especially love Ikaria, where your holiday can make you live longer and eternal favourite Crete, where you can visit the hippie village of Matala or go family friendly in Heraklion.
#6 Brazil Book cheap holidays to Brazil right now because cities like Rio and Sao Paolo are set to see a huge influx of visitors thanks to the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Instead of watching from your armchair, make 2014 the year you go there in person.
#8 Havana, Cuba It’s always been said, Cuba is a place to visit before it changes! Choose it for 2014 and get in there now before it’s too late and see the 50s cars, the old-time atmosphere and the eclectic accommodations on offer.
#9 Cork, Ireland Not only is the city of Cork a hive of activity, but the surrounding countryside has some of the most spectacular scenery Ireland has to offer. Go to Clonakilty for black pudding, Inchydoney for the beach and island hop to Sherkin.
#10 Gulet Cruise, Turkey Fed up with the idea of hitting the bars of Kusadasi or Bodrum? You could opt for a traditional wooden boat cruise instead on your holiday in Turkey. The boat takes you to tiny, hidden beaches, deserted bays and well away from the crowds.
#12 Balearic Islands With new routes from Heathrow and London City Airports in particular, the sun-drenched islands of Ibiza, Majorca and Menorca play host to perfect 2014 summer holidays. There are stylish hotels, boutique farmhouses-turned-villas and an incredible choice of things to do to suit any budget and of course, Ibiza is always a top 2014 party holiday destination.
#13 Mexico If you really fancy Mexico, but you’ve already been to Cancun, try Puerto Vallarta. Once a spring breakers paradise, the resort is now more famous for its boutique hotels, great beaches and variety of diving spots.
#14 Cape Verde The former Portuguese colony is a beaut. It’s got Latin spirit by the bucket load thanks to its close proximity to West Africa. Go to Boa Vista for stunning beaches and loggerhead turtles for an unforgettable addition to your 2014 travel bucket list.
Looking for some KICKASS NEW YEARS EVE PARTY CITIES? Us too. Why not make this one the year you finally do something cool for New Years Eve instead of just talking about it. Got more ideas? Let us know in comments below.
Amsterdam Dutch folks certainly know how to party. Amsterdam plays host to large-scale dance parties, quirky costume flings and family friendly gatherings. The organised fireworks display is best seen at Leidesplein or Dam Square, but get there early to grab a spot. Otherwise head for trance spectaculars, a touch of Vegas or a raunchy New Year celebration you won’t forget. Don’t forget to say Happy New Year: ‘Gelukkig Nieujwaar!’
Barcelona Head for Placa Catalunya in Barcelona to join the crowds of party goers who gather to ring in the New Year. The main traditions are to wear red undies, and eat 12 grapes. The grapes are consumed once per chime of the midnight bells, it’s harder than you might think! After that grape balancing act, the clubs fill up and the party continues well into New Years Day. Don’t forget to say Happy New Year: ‘Bon any!’
Prague Beautiful, especially in winter, Prague makes an ideal choice for a New Years Eve city break. Book a restaurant for a sumptuous dinner, before heading to the King Charles Bridge to watch the fireworks over the historic castle. Worth it for a few days away. Don’t forget to say Happy New Year: ‘Šťastný Nový Rok’
Paris For a chic New Years Eve Paris is a good choice. Stroll around the artistic Montmarte neighbourhood and drop by the Sacré Cœur to admire the view or join the ‘official’ part at the Eiffel Tower where crowds sip on champagne as the festivities get underway. Don’t forget to say Happy New Year: ‘Bonne année!’
Rio de Janeiro New Years Eve in Rio is like the party to end all parties. A huge fireworks display lights up Copacabana Beach, while Brazilian samba bands get the crowds going. It’s traditional to wear white on New Year’s Eve in Rio de Janeiro, just bring something old as you’re likely to get drenched in champagne. Don’t forget to say Happy New Year: ‘Feliz ano novo!’
Dublin You’ll have your pick of the parties in the Irish capital. A people’s procession of light with glowing lanterns winds its way through the streets and a huge countdown concert will take place in the city centre at College Green. Just make sure to pair your party with a legendary creamy pint of Guinness. Don’t forget to say Happy New Year: ‘Bhliain nua sásta’
Madeira Go for a package holiday to Madeira for an incredible New Years Eve holiday that includes the largest fireworks display in the world. Glittering over the streets of Funchal, fireworks are lit from 50 locations to offer a feast for the eyes. It’s warm too so you can get a tan before the big party night out. Don’t forget to say Happy New Year: ‘Feliz Ano Novo’
New York You’ll have to fight tooth and nail to get to Times Square, but watching the famous ball drop, sipping beer from plastic cups, and a jaw dropping fireworks display give the Big Apple the edge over Vegas for a New Years Eve to remember in the US. Don’t forget to say Happy New Year!
Goa Ringing in the New Year with sand between your toes, stars twinkling overhead and a warm breeze. New Years Eve has never sounded better. Don’t forget to say Happy New Year: ‘Bhagi novem voras’
Berlin the biggest New Years Eve parties in hipster heaven are at the Brandenburg Gate and Viktoriapark. Light shows, a live TV show, rowdy crowds, and fireworks at midnight. Hop on a cheap flight to Berlin now for a New Years Eve party you’ll never forget. Don’t forget to say Happy New Year: ‘Glückliches neues Jahr’.
Like a scare at bedtime? If things that go bump in the night and strange noises are things that you actually enjoy, then read on for our top 10 most haunted hotels. But, be warned, you’ll be staying here at your peril!
Image via @ Nomadic Lass
Karosta Prison Hotel, Latvia: This recreates that delightful experience of staying behind bars. Not only that, but it is said to be haunted by the ghosts of prisoners past whose footsteps echo the hallways at night.
Hotel Burchianti, Florence, Italy: This might be the most haunted on the list. It’s said that a ghost of a child skips down the corridors, while an apparition of a maid still carries out her cleaning duties in the early hours.
The Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai, India: The late chief engineer of the building is reported to roam the halls of the old wing of the hotel. W A Chambers apparently died of a broken heart, after he found out the palace wasn’t built to his original design.
Castle Leslie, County Monaghan, Ireland: A whole bunch of the Leslie family continue to haunt this 300 year old castle, including young Shane Leslie, who died in a war but returned to watch over the lake. The famous perhaps isn’t a person at all though; it’s a dog called Punch.
Langham Hotel, London, England: This may be a top quality 5 star hotel, but even that can’t stop ghostly carry on. Room 333 is the famous one, with a terrifying reputation. It’s said that zombie type ghosts approach guests with their arms outstretched. No, we don’t fancy that either.
The Stanley Hotel, Colorado, US: Seen The Shining? Did it give you the creeps? Yep, us too. Apparently, the Stanley was the inspiration behind the original Stephen King novel after he stayed there the night before it closed down for the season. The piano in the ballroom plays music, although there’s no one sitting there, while ghosts have appeared in various rooms at night.
Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, Banff, Canada: Lost your room key? Well it’s not so bad here as the vision of a former bellhop Sam Macauley roams the corridors, even going as far as carrying guests’ luggage for them.
Ostrich Inn, Colnbrook, England: This one might put you off hotels for life. The owners installed a secret trap door under the bed in what they said was the best room in the house. It was right above the kitchen. When guests fell asleep, the door would be opened and the bed tilted, so the guest would slide into a cauldron of boiling water. Many of these unfortunate guests still haunt the corridors today to warn current travellers.
Hotel Provincial, New Orleans, USA: The Provincial is haunted by a former soldier; the site was once a military hospital which burned down in 1874. Recordings made in the hotel revealed ghostly sounds, while one female guest said she was dragged from her bed kicking and screaming when she stayed there.
The Roosevelt Hotel, California, USA: If you like your ghosts high profile, there might not be a better choice than the Roosevelt, said to be haunted by the likes of Marilyn Monroe and Montgomery Clift.
If you’re a twihard, like us, then here are some holidays you might want to to think about. From the rolling hills of Ireland to the breathtaking landscapes
of Italy, we’ve got the top trips for Twilight holidays.
Olympic Coven, Forks, Washington, USA
Home to the Cullens, Edward, with added Bella, Carlisle and Esme and (of course!) the newest edition, Renesmee, Forks has become a haven for Twilight fans. Of course, starting off with a Twilight tour is a must. A trip to Seattle nearby is a great family friendly choice; you can even visit the famous Space Needle, while Forks’ national park shows off the setting that inspired Stephanie Meyer.
Volturi Coven, Tuscany, Italy
Romance is alive and well in Tuscany of course, even if you don’t see much niceness from the Volturi themselves. Volterra is the home of the vampire royalty who’ve lived there for over 3000 years, enforcing their strict code of conduct. It might be home to a fictional vampire elite, but don’t let that put you off. It’s one of the most popular places in Europe to get married (think summer evenings, eating outdoors, fireworks and olive groves,) while the show stopping scenery and long, lazy days surrounded by sunshine and pasta make for a totally laidback holiday.
Egyptian Coven, somewhere in Egypt
Egypt might reveal vampires pretty quickly – with all that sunshine, you couldn’t help but sparkle. For non-vamps, the historic homeland of one of Twilight’s oldest clans is an unbelievably beautiful experience. From snorkelling the clear waters of the Red Sea, to discovering the ancient historic sights of the King and Queens valleys.
Denali Coven, Alaska, USA
The Denalis are the Cullens’ closest friends and the only other known ‘vegetarian’ clan. Found in the wilds of Alaska, the Denalis must be making the most of the 67 days of night found in the northern American state. The untouched landscape and a trip to the (aptly named) Denali National Park, mean you can get close to nature and hike to your heart’s content.
Amazon Coven, Brazil
The ultimate in honeymoon destinations, Rio is where Edward and Bella kicked off their first holiday after their wedding and the stars Robert Pattinson and Kirsten Stewart were the star attraction when they filmed there. The secretive Amazon coven, stays out of the way of humans, but you probably don’t need to worry about that. There’s a whole country worth of sights, sounds and smells to soak up in this Latin American gem.
Ireland Ireland’s capital city Dublin is a great introduction to the home of the Irish Coven with the vampires Maggie and Siobhan. It’s got that legendary nightlife, which is always helpful for vampires who are used to not sleeping. Head to the coast, either West or South, for the hip towns of Galway or Cork and indulge in some of the finest ‘craic’ this side of the Atlantic.
Molly Malone the statue of Dublin’s most famous daughter takes pride of place in the city, at the end of Grafton Street, near Trinity College. Known (by some – my ma) as the ‘tart with the cart’ Molly is a well visited tourist favourite in the city.
The food Grab some traditional favourites like stew, boxty or coddle in one of many restaurants of the city’s Temple Bar area. If it’s more modern cuisine you’re after, Dublin’s become something of an oasis, practically bursting at the seams with great eateries. Try Bite or Crackbird. For high end, Chapter One on Parnell Square is where to go and for cakes, you couldn’t ask for better than the Avoca cafe on Wicklow street or Cake Cafe hidden away at the back of Lower Camden Street.
The hop-on, hop-off bus A handy way to see the city and pick up some interesting facts about Dublin Ireland from dedicated guides. I learned that the lion from the MGM movies came all the way from Dublin Zoo!
Phoenix Park is not only where the President of Ireland lives, but the rambling green space is gorgeous for a brisk stroll, a lazy day at a playground, a wander around the zoo or a summer time gig.
The lovely girls (and boys) Well, I did have to include a Fr Ted comment somewhere.It’s well known the people of Ireland are a friendly bunch, so get out and about and get chatting. At the very least, yo’ll get a story out of it or you could be lucky enough to make some friends for life!
The writer’s streak Powered by the mighty pen, Dublin’s history is synonymous with writers like George Bernard Shaw, Oscar Wilde, Bram Stoker, James Joyce and Jonathan Swift. Pretty much every year you go, you’ll find a landmark (Samuel Beckett Bridge, Oscar Wilde Statue, the George Bernard Shaw pub) dedicated to the great art of writing, while the Writers Museum is a one stop shop for all your literary questions.
The arts and culture life the National Gallery of Ireland, the National Museum of Ireland at Collins Barracks, the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) the Book of Kells at Trinity College and Georgian Dublin on Merrion Square. Plenty of these are free and ideal for calming the head after a long evening before.
Scientific Ireland One of Dublin’s relative newcomers, the Science Gallery has been quietly packing them in. An absolute gem, it’s not just for kids as scientists will blow your mind with facts and demonstrations about diverse subjects like growing your own clothes and free coding classes. A little bit of everything!
The pubs Kehoe’s for a pint, the Long Hall for a quiet evening, the Stag’s Head for great atmosphere, Grogan’s for a drink with the locals, the Cobblestone for music, if you can’t make it to Croker, Baggot Street for the sport, Whelan’s for free live music, One Fade Street (or the no name) pub to hang with the hipsters, in the summer try the Pav in Trinity and in winter head for the cosy Library Bar on Exchequer street. And…well, I could go on, but I have to stop somewhere!
The craic This is not a drug. Craic is a really multi-usage word that describes everything from a good atmosphere, having fun or the latest news. Basically, as long as you’re havin’ the craic, you’re having a good time.
Ps. There are loads of things I would have included but couldn’t like Dublin Castle, Kilmainham Gaol, a walk on the boardwalk, Christ Church Cathedral, the National Concert Hall, the Hugh Lane and many more…
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.
It’s only a few weeks away, if you’re not heading to Ireland to celebrate the national day on 17th March, then at least you can pretend you’re a bit Irish with our Purple 10 things to do on St Patricks Day 2014.
Eat something Irish. We’re not suggesting you turn Zombie on us, we mean get a taste of some yummy Irish cuisine. If you can’t get your hands on a Guinness (where are you? On the moon?) Then you can always break out a recipe book and throw together some coddle, boxty or champ.
Go green. Hat, scarf, wig, anything really, just make sure you’re wearing something green on 17 March.
Watch a parade. If you can’t make it to Dublin and the huge parade there, maybe there’s one happening in a bit city near you. There’s information here about parades throughout USA, Canada, the Caribbean and the Middle East.
Learn about Ireland and its patron saint. There’s more to Ireland than simply shamrocks and Guinness, find out a little about the history of the country and the story of St Patrick. There’s a good podcast to start off with here.
Whack a snake. We’re kidding; we just wanted to let you know that part of St Patrick’s celebrations include delighting in a complete lack of snakes in the Emerald Isle. The saint is said to have chased them into the sea and they’ve stayed away ever since.
Have a flutter, the luck of the Irish. What better way to put that into practice than having a go at the bookies.
Listen to some trad. Traditional irish music is a joy to listen to and even better to watch. The fiddle, whistle, pipes or concertina and plenty more are likely to be playing in harmony in pubs the world over to celebrate Ireland’s national day.
Head to the pub and have a pint. If nothing else impresses, maybe a traditional pint of the black stuff will have you feeling green (in a good way!)
Learn a jig, a reel or a polka. This isn’t some kind of scary incantation; it’s actually a type of traditional Irish dancing as made famous by Riverdance and Michael Flatley.
Have the craic. This isn’t a totally unique Irish concept, but the word is. Craic means having as much fun as you can!
Budapest – Who knew there was a thing called ‘Sparties’, well the Hungarians for one. Head for the Cinetrip Sparty, where the historic thermal baths is packed with half naked revelers, top DJs and you dance in the pool. Last year they had a Star Wars theme party. Sounds good… and weird.
Prague – The beer is cheap, the nights are long and the DJs are top class. It’s a more laidback city to party, perfect for stag and hen groups who want a more adventurous last weekend of freedom. A pub crawl is a great way to see the city and sample a traditional brew from over 100 types.
Barcelona – Get off the Ramblas ASAP and head for areas like the Barri Gotic or El Born. Not only will you steer clear of the pickpockets, but you’ll go headlong into partying with the locals.
Ibiza – No ‘best places to party’ list would be complete without Ibiza. Not so much a holiday as a life experience, you’ll find more than enough hard party in the home hedonism with foam parties, strippers, cheap drinks and beach bars. If you’re not a night person, stay away, the pre-party only kicks off around 11 and goes ‘til dawn.
Ios – OK, not a city but an island, a Greek one to be precise, Ios has long been a secret party spot for anyone looking for a summer of late nights, high spirits and new friends. The booze is cheap, the beautiful people are half dressed and the place is gorgeous.
Lagos (Portugal) – So close to home and so filled with great bars and clubs. Lagos is in the Algarve, so you’re practically guaranteed great weather on top of the best in clubbing, booze cruises and themed parties (togas are our favourite.) Head for Portugal, but try to take it easy, a hangover is way worse in the sunshine.
Stockholm – It may be cold up north, but the nightlife in Sweden’s capital heats things up pretty quickly. Clubs and bars usually kick off their weekend on a Wednesday, and tend to stay open ‘til the early hours. Oh and of course, it being Sweden it’s filled with drop dead gorgeous partyers, just waiting to become your friend.
Amsterdam – It’s probably safe to say Amsterdam is the holy grail of partying in Europe. Not only is it packed with clubs and bars and of course the infamous coffee shops, but the Red Light District is known to pack in visitors at all hours of the day and night. What might be taboo at home is very much expected here.
Dublin – It used to be a bit more expensive but now the Irish capital is hooking up party animals with cheap deals and pubs on practically every corner. Find some of the famous craic in Temple Bar, a favourite with stag and hen parties, the indie Wexford street area, or the award winning Wright Venue a bit further outside town in the suburb of Swords.
Berlin – Get a nap in, you’ll need it. Parties in Berlin usually kick off around 1am and keep going until the sun comes up, and well after. The German capital plays host to a totally international crowd, with electro, indie, alternative, and dance clubs amongst the best in the world. Head for a bar called Doctor Pong (we really just love it for the name) to kick off your epic night with a bit of sporting activity before Cookies or Watergate.
For more on cheap holidays to the best European cities to party in, visit our website at Purple Travel or call us now on 02079939228.