Tag - Off the beaten track

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Off the beaten track: Greek gorges
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Off the beaten track: Waterfall restaurant
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Off the beaten track: Getting high (tea) in Amsterdam cafes

Off the beaten track: Greek gorges

The Gorge of Vikos

An absolutely spectacular sight, Vikos Gorge or Vikos Gap is located in the mountainous area of Epirus, in the Northwestern part of Greece. In fact, it is the second deepest Gorge in the world, after the Grand Canyon in the USA.

The steep walls of the Gorge rise to a height of 1,040 metres in several places, providing breath-taking views of this unique natural phenomenon. The Voidomatis River crosses the Vikos Gorge providing a beautiful natural backdrop. This part of Greece hasn`t changed in hundreds of years and is a really amazing place for wildlife and hiking.

The Gorge of Samaria

The Gorge of Samaria is the longest one in Europe, after the French gorge of Verdon. It is an area of stunning natural beauty. Rare flora and fauna have survived in this area and are protected. The mountains that have formed it are wild, high and steep. You will pass through forests of ancient cypress trees and pines and descend between vertical cliffs.

The path starts from Xyloskalo (near Omalos) in the White Mountains at an altitude of 1,230 meters and comes to an end at the village of Agia Roumeli at the Libyan sea. Walking through the gorge usually takes anything from 3 to 5 hours, without breaks.

 

Off the beaten track: Waterfall restaurant

Fancy something really different on a holiday? Head for the simply stunning Waterfall restaurant at the Villa Escudero in San Pablo City, Philippines. Lunch is served on bamboo tables, as the crystal clear water runs underfoot. After indulging in a delicious lunch of local favourites, you can work off the calories with a little bamboo rafting, hiking or dancing. For anyone who prefers a more sedate afternoon activity, the bird watching is second to none.

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Off the beaten track: Getting high (tea) in Amsterdam cafes

Off the beaten track: Getting high (tea) in Amsterdam cafes

Slowly, slowly the Dutch are beginning to appreciate a good ol’ cuppa. If you’re over the brownies, hate the smoke of the coffee shops and just want to enjoy a proper cup of tea, then let Purple Travel help you out.

True tea rooms are hard to find in this, ahem, coffee focused country. Too often do the Dutch serve up some questionable green concoction in place of your well-deserved PG Tips. While tea in Amsterdam is may seem like the boring option, we can safely say that the below venues are helping to polish tea’s image and finally set it free from its dull reputation.

GREENWOODS
What:
A traditional English tea room offering a selection of Grand cru loose leaf teas from De Eenhorn.
Don’t leave without: Ordering Eggs Benedict, just because you can – Greenwoods are responsible for Amsterdam’s first ever cooked English breakfast.
Best bit:
Greenwoods can provide picnic baskets for customers on request. Either take out on a hired boat for the day or impress a date in one of Amsterdam’s many parks. All freshly made on the day and with a choice to suit your tastes.
Price:
Pot for one is €4,95, pot for two is € 7.95.

TEA BAR
What:
A cute spot in Haarlemmerdijk serving up real deal teas, all arranged in transparent boxes where you can scoop the tea of preference in a little bag.
Don’t leave without: Trying at least three of their 60 flavours, which range from the standard Earl Grey to the spiced grandma’s apple-pie. This place puts England to shame.
Best Bit: The organic cookies to dip in.
Price: Reasonable – but depends on which tea you would like.

English: The Amstel Hotel in Amsterdam, the Ne...

The Amstel Hotel in Amsterdam (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

AMSTEL HOTEL
What: A royal setting to enjoy a proper high tea.
Don’t leave without: Getting a slice of cake too.
Best bit: The beautiful setting, the handmade shrimp croquettes and the excellent explanation provided about each of the teas.
Price: High tea will set you back a small fortune and even just a tea is pretty pricey at €7,50, but you do get a full pot..

HILTON HALF MOON LOUNGE
What: A large, traditional English-style living room that overlooks the Hilton Marina and garden.
Don’t leave without: Giving into the burgers – they’re something else, seriously.
Best bit: Proper tea with actual leaves and large sofas – a perfect place to relax, read or catch up on emails.
Price: It’s the Hilton, need I say more?

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