Vacations are a matter of where you go, who you go with and of course what you plan on doing. From families, to couples and singles, holiday goals might vary widely and since choosing a destination often is the beginning of a trip, we wondered which places are more relevant to the World Sleep Day. Does your preferred destination set you in the mood for long naps by the beach, or staying up all night partying? Should you go Ibiza or Santorini? In order to figure out, we compared some of our favourite destinations and rated them on our dedicated sleep-o-meter.
Straddling between breakfast and lunch time, brunch has become the hottest trend these days… our favorite leisure break! It’s story was framed in the late 1800s by English and its’ fame was escalated after 130 years in the U.S. However, the word itself was first appeared in Hunter’s Weekly content when Guy Beringer asked the public to have only light meals before going to church on Sunday afternoon. He said that brunch gives you a more jaunty temper and you are instantly like an upbeat ‘’looney kid’’. He even suggested the local restaurants and pubs serving beer with a nice plate of delicacies instead of the typical English tea or coffee. However, there was a short mention on the Punch magazine in 1876 saying that when you eat at times which are a bit closer to breakfast, this is brunch… Read More
We think you need something rare to find, well-preserved, charming, traditional but also with a modern twist while it maintains it’s old-European charm…. Something inviting, both for nature/mountain lovers and romantic souls too!
Purple Travel wanderers have been hopping up from town to town to bring you the most charming European villages taken out of a fairy tale, postcard-like gems; your imagination travels miles away, it’s like they’ve been taken out of a magnificent canvas or a historic-mystery story to put a spell on us, captivating our mind and soul long time after our journey! We present you some of the most worldly, post-card destinations hidden away somewhere in Europe, encircled with beguiling lush gardens and majestic waterfalls or standing as if they were ”royal kings” upon sylvan hillsides…. All worth adding them to your travel bucket list!
1. Cinque Terre, Italy The 5 Lands of Nothern Italy
The picturesque fishing towns of Cinque Terre, frankly, will capture our soul! It’s a dramatic coastal scenery, amidst sheer cliffsides, where winding paths are surrounded by colorful Venetian buildings, the rugged shoreline is washed by crystal-clear blue while these imposing mountains are looming over magical vineyards… Some cobblestone foothpaths are the only way to get from one hamlet to the other. Rest assured, that these jaw-dropping views of the sunset where pieces of the shoreline are tumbling into the deep blue, will surely leave you spellbound!
2. Santorini, Greece The romantic gem of Aegean
Santorini by night
The treasured volcanic-gem of the Aegean is calling you and you should definitely answer immediately!
This island is a a geological gallery set amid the deep blue of the Aegean… You can’t resist to its’ mythical charm, high craggy cliffs and white-washed sugarcube houses spilling down to the azure blue of Aegean Sea… The most famous thing about Santorini, though, it’s these magical jaw-dropping, wine-colored sunsets! The island is one of the most popular wedding destinations, there is a reason the title ‘’Greek Romance’’ features every year on travel magazines around the world! Experience the ultimate romantic journey as you explore one of Santorini’s ‘’painting-lands’’: Imerovigli, Fira, Oia & Firostefani are usually called the ‘’Caldera’s eyebrow’’, it’s easy to figure out why, as all these marvellous hamlets offer the most dramatic, stunning views of the volcano!
However, it would be a crime not to share with you the 3rd main reason that you have to visit Santorini. The ultimate gastronomic oasis is here! A real haven of culinary delights along with its’ aromatic fine wines such as the popular sweet Vinsanto or dry Athyri and Assyrtiko; it’s the perfect romantic dinner for two, while you’re plunging into these eye-watering sea views!
Purple Secret Tip:
1. Head to Oia for the most out-of-this-world sunset of your lifetime!
2. Don’t forget to explore one of the smaller traditional villages and soak up their lovely atmosphere; whether you seek pure tranquility or cosmopolitan aura, Santorini can offer you both!
3. Sintra The mysterious Portuguese beauty
Tower Palace Quinta Da Regaleira
Here, there is an array of wild forests soaked by small lakes and exotic grassy mountains embrace gleaming Medieval castles, palaces and royal retreats… We present you Sintra, a well-preserved and Unesco’s World Heritage town of Portugal!
The whole place is dotted with enchanting mansions set on hillsides spilling down to the deep blue of the Atlantic ocean, it’s like a fairytale taken out of a romantic-historic story…. A jagged 18th-century-Portuguese castle built by Celts (or Moors) waiting for you to explore it’s majestic historical charm!
Filled with a romantic aura sheltering every corner, it’s the place to be with your sweetheart! Don’t leave Sintra without visiting the magnificent, beautifully mysterious‘’ Castelo dos Mouros’’, which was finished by King Ferninard II in 1830, it’s out-of-this-world!
4. Albarracín, Spain The uncommon side of Spain
The scenic village of Albarracin lies in the Aragon region. It’s encopassed by flagged hillsides and a rugged scenery along with half wood-covered houses with a dusky-red color. Stroll around rocky pathways, winding routes and let yourself to capture the essence of its ancient maze-like charm through magnificent castles and lovely chapels. Towering above this rugged spooky landscape lies a Mudejar-style cathedral based on Islamic art…
5. Portofino, Italy
Cosmopolitan and glamour tunes in Italian Riviera
Are you fancy seeing celebrities passing by your side while you’re taking a walk on the promenade? Then look no further to our favorite Italian marvel, Portofino! Stroll around the Liliputian gleaming harbor or head to the popular Punta del Capo, visit the castle and unwind while sipping your delicious espresso, all sound absolutely inviting right? Portofino make us imagine a famous writer weaving a novel of romance and mystery and there’s a reason you’ll capture this kind of mood… Picture-perfect lush gardens at the edge of steep cliffs and white-grey shades of luxury yachts mirrored at the cerulean waters of Ligurian Sea! What not to love in Portofino?
Purple Secret Tip: Escape the hustle and bustle of the city centre and dive into Lavagna, Paraggi or Camogli
* Portofino may be a bit pricey but you should definitely visit it once in your lifetime!
“Those who dwell among the beauties and mysteries of the Earth are never alone or weary of life.”
– Rachel Carson –
Natural-worshippers get ready! We present you the Swiss paradise where Italians meet-up on their weekend breaks… Except for its’ natural treasures, Lugano is the 3rd most important banking centre in the country! A blessed place filled with blooming parks, mansions, boutiques and lovely bistros cuddling the maze of these cobblestone alleys that unscramble at the end of Ticino’s mountain-based lake…
7. Ronda, Spain A two-faced tale in Spain
It’s one of the oldest town of Spain which has been declared as Property of Cultural Interest! Set in a dramatic location on El Tago canyon, surrounded by imposing towering sierras, Ronda will hypnotize you …The town is Malaga’s province and frankly, one of most charming! Welcome to Ronda! Its’ old town dates back to Islamic Era and the whole town is halved into two areas, the Arab-aged with its medieval beauty and the other area, with a modern twist, which poped up after the 16th century… Rocky bridges unite the two pieces of the town which is a great part of the famous ‘’Whitewashed Villages’’.
Purple Secret Tip: Ronda was once Ernest Heminway’s secret place to unwind; it was one of his favorite source of inspiration…
8. Hallstatt, Austria The most pictured European village with 7000y of history
Nature-worshippers and landlubbers will surely fell in love with Hallstatt… We are sure that you’ve already seen thousands of travel posters featuring this fairy-tale austrian town! The whole town is a storybook spilling down to the Hallstätter See, between a crystal-clear lake and imposing mountains providing the ultimate dazzling backdrop – Now you know why thousands of wanderers are extremely passionate to take countless of photos here! – The collection of beautiful pastel-coloured houses dotted with blooming gardens, creating amazing shimmering reflections into the stained-glass waters of the lake, this fabled beauty would be enough to guarantee its’ fame around the world…
Purple Secret Tip: A stroll away from the centre, Mühlbach waterfall vie for your attention, you’ll be under its’s spell for a long long time!
European sweet charm: Yummy desserts from Rome to Paris
Our Purple Foodie buff explores the world-class sweet treats in a flavorful journey from ancient Rome to classy Paris!
Savory cornerstones of Italian Bliss
There are many reasons why you’ve been captivated by this city: It’s snacking alleys, enchanting piazzas, glorious ancient history, unbeatable style, but, come one, between us, we know why you could fell in love with Rome! These luscious goodies are torturing and torturing sweetly your mind…Is there any excuse not to be captivated with a flavorful tiramisu, a crispy creamy cannoli, a cornetti along with a tasty cappuccino, a fluffy millefoglie cake or a delicious frozen treat as the Italian gelato? Of course not!
Our ”Purple Wanderers” have put together a list of dazzling treats…The ”Eternal City” is calling you and it’s time for you to answer!
Pana Cotta: Holy Grail of Italian Creamy Puddings
Place: Ristorante alla Rampa
This amazing lightly sweetened cream can truly blown your mind away! In Rome, every Ristorante serves the ”Italian Holy Grail”, the creamy lady ”panna cotta”! Drizzled by everything from blueberries to fresh strawberries, raspberries or caramel sauce, it will be your perfect friend for a memorable experience after your dinner…
Tiramissu: Keep Calm and Espresso yourself
Place: Bar Pompi
Visit the famous ”Bar Pompi” and you’ll see why its the best in Rome! Some espresso layers with soaked ”lady fingers”- little sponge cakes looking like a cookie – and creamy mascarpone, you will be swooning with joy by its unique taste! Spoil yourself trying one of these amazing non-classic flavors of tiramissu such as strawberry, pistachio, banana and Nutella!
Cannoli: The crispy Sicilian
Place: Ciuri Ciuri
Piped with ricotta cheese, this combination of light sweetness and crispy feeling , its unbeatable! This one sounds to you a bit ”decadent”? If, yes, grab a bite from a smaller version, a lovely cannolini!
Cornetti: Wake-up calling from the ”Vienna-style” pastry
As walking in Barberini’s cafe, you’ll be charmed in a flash by this savory work of art. Buttery and so ”wacky”, the cornetti it’s the perfect buddy for your morning cappuccino!
Purple Tip: Frankly, you should try the cornetti con crema!
Millefoglie: The creamy Italian
Italian can do it too!
You’ve already taste this touthsome cream-layered dessert in reams of versions around the world, but, surely, Italy, has been gifted at making pastry miracles so delightful! The millefoglie here will bowl you over!
Gelato: The frosty Italian miracle
Italian Gelato rocks!
Place: Gelateria I Caruso
We have shared with you the sweet tooth treasures in Rome, honestly, if we don’t tell you about Gelateria I Caruso, this mini guide would be imperfect! You can’t leave from Rome without seeing live the master gelato maker…Grab some scoops and don’t forget to spice it up with the famed zabaglione (marsala-famous sweet wine made in Sicily).
Purple Tip: Definitely give a try to pistachio & fiordipanna flavor
Paris will always be a gastronomic destination full of surprises! There are so many sweet delicacies that you’ll not guess which one mesmerized you! Its truly hard to resist on those unbeatable pastries, delightful chocolate truffles, lovable macaroons, heavenly mini lemon pies or the splendid mouth-jolt eclairs! We have to remind you what Oscar Wilde wrote once about the world of desserts: “The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it” and we are utterly agreeable to it! So, sit back and get a load of our mouthwatering list, let’s explore the Parisian delights to die for!
Viennoiseries: Epicure Honoree on our breakfast
Mini Chocolate Croissant
Place: Le Moulin de la Vierge, Blanquet Claude
Who wouldn’t be fond of these amazing cute pastries, known as ‘‘viennoiseries” such as the chocolate croissant or the favored ”crème de la crème”, ideal to hang out with our morning espresso! Heading to Le Moulin de la Vierge or to Blanquet Claude, both, claim to be the finest paths to our Parisian goodies!
Purple Tip: Pierre Hermé or as the Parisian call it ”The Picasso of pastry” is the top-notch place to start tasting the sweet side of life!
Cannelés: Little flavorful thieves
Place: Baillardran & Eric Kayser
A sweet tooth in Bordeaux region is surely a must and we assure you that these little custardie cakes will be quite ”deleterious”, so tempting! Canneles are small with spongy custard centre and a caramelised crust, agreeing with everything from your breakfast to dinner, coffee to champagne!
Mille-feuille: Oldie Grand Napoleon
Place: La Pâtisserie des Rêves (“The Bakery of Dreams”)
The well-known creamy treasure has captivated our taste buds from the 17th century!Mille-feuille, also known as the ”Napoleon”, translates to a ”sea” of crispy layers, which have been folded many times. A gooey Puff pastry and a lovely creamy filling glazed with fondant/icing will dazzle your palate, leaving you absolutely speechless! It’s ideal to go with a summer brunch or a romantic elegant dinner!
Lemon tart/pie: A sunny gentle Princess
Place: L’heure Gourande Cafe & Au Thé Gourmand Tea-House
Don’t you dare to leave the ”City of Lights” without tasting a savoring slice of a lemon pie! With silky meringue or sweetened lemon curd is a Paleo twist in the classic version of the Parisian dessert.
Macaroon: Colorful Liliputian Goodies
Place: Pierre Herme
We’ve been hooked by these babyish round delicacies, a rainbow-gaudy dessert, which is emblematic for the French pastry art.
Pierre Herme is famed for its delicious picture-perfect macaroons known for their unusual flavors! What not to love: rose, macha marron -reminding us mont blanc flavor-, chocolat, mogador -which is passionfruit milk choc-, cafe & montebello -which combines raspberry with pistachio ganache-, just irresistible!
Eclair: Mr McDreamy’s Charm
Place: Traditional bakeries such as La Pâtisserie de l’Eglise, Le Moulin de la Vierge, La Pâtisserie des Rêves & L’Éclair de Génie
We came across with the latest pastry ”Queen” in Paris and that’s the ”wordéclair” (meaning lightning). Why they’ve translated it like that? Because this yummy French delicacy can be eaten in a ”flash of light”! The most revolutionary place to taste the French bonbon is at L’Éclair de Génie! Adam, the owner, features sweet masterpieces of art, a visual standout like never before! They transformed this classic dessert into a modern canvas with a high-end quality! Clingy high-gloss finishes with pop-art colors adorned with well-known digital images from famous paintings like ”Mona Lisa”, ”The Creation of Adam” or ”The Vitruvian Man”. The flavors ara enlivened with offbeat ingredients like fresh strawberries, salted caramel, popcorn
and much more!
+Must Visit in Paris:
Angelina, where Coco Chanel ate once, try this scandal amazing Mont Blanc
Ladurée, taste all these incredible desserts appeared on ‘’Marie Antoinette’’
It’s almost impossible to choose the best beaches in Europe, so we asked around the office to find out what some of the favourites are. We’d love to hear your opinion of our top 10 best beaches in Europe.
1. Zlatni Rat, in Bol, Croatia. The photographer’s favourite, known as Zlatni Rat or the Golden Cape or Golden Horn is a white pebble beach that creates an incredible seaside experience stretching in an almost vertical line into the sea Changing with the tide, the clothing-optional beach is one of the country’s most famous.
It’s official, Trip Advisor the world renowned travel site has awarded a host of awards for best destinations 2014. The annual Traveller’s Choice Awards includes the vast city of Istanbul in Turkey which tops the poll, with Rome, London and Beijing following close behind. Each city or place earned its review through the reviews and opinions of visitors the site. “If you’re looking for trip inspiration, look no further than the Travelers’ Choice Destinations,” said Barbara Messing, chief marketing officer for TripAdvisor. “Our global travelers are the tastemakers for uncovering the best places to visit around the world.” The awards in its 6th year picks out 500 of the absolute best places to visit in the world.
But what are these places really like? I’ve asked some of the Purple Travel family to share their thoughts on the top destinations 2014. Some they loved and some… well, you’ll see for yourself. We’d love to hear what you think, good or bad about the official list!
1. Istanbul, TurkeyFantastic city full of sights and culture. The people are so friendly and eager to help. This place has it all. – Gary I think the best of the best way to taste the Turkish food, and experience the Turkish mentality, is to eat this giant hot dog with fish and cabbage at the Bosphorus coast on the Asian part of Istanbul. There are cooks on floating boats, preparing the grilled fish, that are then placed on these huge bagel and stuffed that with cabbage, fried potatoes and mustard. You cannot imagine! Also don’t miss the old guy outside the Blue Mosque who sells bagels and gives you for free La vache qui rit portion! – Soso
2. Rome, ItalyWhat can someone say about Rome, about the Italians, their food and their language? I think my best moments in Rome were when we were walking around from the Piazza di Spagna, to the Colosseum, and the Fontana di Trevi. Suggested hotels-the newly built Caravel hotel (just two stops by bus from Piazza di Spagna) with nice big rooms and a lovely receptionist and Hotel Trevi, with its traditional style in the very centre of the city!!! loved them both, love Rome! – Soso
3. London, EnglandMassive dump, ok for day trips but get out before it chews you up. – Gary
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.
Give your holiday a boost this year by combining it with an amazing festival. Whether you want to knock back pints of Guinness on St Patrick’s Day or fancy giving the air guitar world championship a go, you won’t miss out with our guide to some amazing festivals 2014.
Venice Carnival In the days leading up to Ash Wednesday the Venice Carnival is in full swing. Carnevale di Venezia is an elegant throwback to 18th century opulence. The bright and beautiful of the Italian city’s social scene arrive cloaked and masked for energetic, but pricey parties. Ideal for a luxurious weekend away. Venice Carnival happens between February 14th and March 4th 2014.
Venice Carnival via @ Heatherbroster
St Patrick’s Day There is no better place to celebrate St Patrick’s Day than the Irish capital city of Dublin. It’s not limited to drinking pints, (although you can if you want!) the city pulls out all the stops for a wonderful festival with live music, dancing, parades and free events all over the place. It’s a top choice for a very quick city break, Dublin is just a hop, skip and a jump from the UK. St Patrick’s Say is celebrated on March 17th 2014.
Treat him or her to a fantastic Valentine’s holiday with Purple Travel. We’ve got 10 of Europe’s most romantic cities for all types of couples. If It’s history that you’re mad about, incredible hotel rooms that you won’t leave for days on end or a sunshine getaway where you can relax hand in hand on a secluded beach, you’ll love our list of Europe’s most romantic cities. We threw the question out on Google + and Facebook and got some great responses. As always, anything we’ve missed, let us know in comment and already decided where you want to go on your next city break? Call Purple Travel on 02079939228 for low cost flights and hotels Europe’s Most Romantic Cities…
#1 Dazzlingly beautiful Italy’s Liguria Coast is filled with cost tucked-away romantic guesthouses and hotels. Sometimes known as the Bay of fairy tales the ancient ruins and old castles provide a stunning backdrop to sunset dinners on a terrace and balmy evenings walking hand in hand. Choose from ocean view hotels with high ceilings and don’t forget to visit the cocktail bars.
#2 Paris is perfect for traditional romantics. An obvious choice but that’s because it’s so good! We’re talking freshly baked croissants for breakfast in bread, the views from the top of the Eiffel Tower and long meals accompanied by the best red wine. Paris is filled with amazing hotels so you can treat him or her to a Valentine’s they’ll never forget.
#3 Just a couple of hours away, Rome is a hot choice for history and art lovers for couples who want to discover the Sistine Chapel or the Coliseum together. Stay in the The wide streets and incredible selection of restaurants make this one of Europe’s most romantic cities.
#4 It might not be the first city that pops into your head, but Copenhagen in Denmark makes a gorgeous romantic weekend away. The city renowned for its links to fairy tale writer Hans Chrsitan Andersen is a jusst 90 minutes from the UK. Stop for hot chocolates and a heart shaped cake in one of the city’s famous cafes after a visit to the Winter Garden, the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek. In the evening cinema is one of the most popular things to do in Copenhagen and it’s easy to see why. Cinemas like the Empire and Falkoner have specially made seats just for two. Copenhagen image via @ Visit Denmark
#5 One of the most popular cities in Europe right now the Portuguese capital has it all. Lively Lisbon is all cobblestone streets, cosy cafes and bars and incredible hotels. All of those overlooked by an ancient castle. It’s hard to top Lisbon for most romantic cities. Lisbon image via @ Luca Sartoni
#6 The magical kingdoms in Game of Thrones might be familiar when you set foot in Dubrovnik. The hazy sun soaked pottery tiled roofs and shiny flagstoned streets are not only beautiful, but world-famous now too thanks to the filming of the George RR Martin books. The city’s old walls doubles as Kings Landing and the view from the top shows off Blackwater Bay. Dubrovnik is top of the romance charts as far as we are concerned. Dubrovnik via @ Branimal!
#7 Venice. A long established romantic hot spot, Barbara Hopley on our Google + page shared her thoughts about her favourite romantic city in Europe: “Venice definitely, a nice dinner then a Gondola ride – perfect! Highly recommend, I love Venice.”
#8 A stunningly well-preserved city, Prague is made for walking around hand in hand with the one you love. A sea of spires and statues awaits you by day, while at night, the famous Prague nightlife is sure to impress any party-loving couple. Sunset dinner in Prague via @ MadebyMark
#9 Holidays in Marrakech are made up of a couple of essentials: discovering the sights and sounds of the Medina, testing out your shisha smoking skills, eating incredible local food and maybe a bit of sunbathing thrown in. Marrakech couples city breaks are all about adventure and who better to share that with than your other half.
#10 Santorini has all the elements for the perfect couple’s holiday. Those incredible sunsets, the winding white washed streets where it feels like it’s just the two of you alone in the world. Book a room with a sea view and your own private swimming pool, just don’t blame us if you never want to leave.
Have something special in mind for Valentine’s Day? Call the expert travel team at Purple Travel on 02079939228 and surprise the one you love this year.