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.
The world-renowned island of Santorini is a stunning holiday destination for all. Enjoy a bit of romance gazing at its famous sunset or stroll through its narrow streets adorned with bougainvilleas and whitewashed houses perched on its cliffs. The sights around the island will definitely blow your mind and the following activities encompass most of what holidays in Santorini are about.
‘Have love, will travel’ as the song goes and judging by the numbers of romantic couples leaving their jobs behind for a short getaway, this couldn’t be more true. The lovely sunsets of Santorini or the irresistible charm of Paris and Venice have long established those destinations as the go to places for lovers looking to celebrate and unwind. Instead of booking a romantic dinner at your local restaurant, booing for a small change of scenery could go a long way towards sparking the flame of your love and if you discover the following places you are about to make a gift that neither of you will forget for years to come.
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!
Once again windy Madeira was named as one of the best islands in the world! The island is an archipelago of Portuguese islands in the Atlantic Ocean. Funchal is the capital of Madeira settled in the 15th century. The greatest part of the island is an imposing botanical garden full of levadas, perfect for hiking trails. To explore its natural beauty you should surely visit the nearby villages, maintaining its charm. Gaze in wonder through mountain climbing to the summit of Pico Ruivo, you will feel like walking in heaven, as you revel in the eminent panoramic views of solidified lava…
The Nothern road winds down through an amazing landscape of wild forests and lush valleys where you can find the famed terraced vineyards in Levada do Norte. Last but not least, don’t forget to unwind over a wine tasting at Pereira D’Oliveira. Porto Santo morphs into a party island on summer time, not to mention, the natural lava pools at Porto Moniz!
Santorini, Cyclades, Greece
Endless deep blue…Soaking in the Aegean Sea
Looking for a mythical experience? The island of charm, ‘’immortalized’’ by famous poets, thanks to its coloured houses carved into cliffs and the most mesmerizing sunsets like an artist’s palette! A unique aura that overwhelms all senses with amazing views of the caldera creates wild landscape as you are strolling along Nea Kameni’s volcano. If you are a fearful adventurer, you can try scuba-diving into the thermal waters forming a volcanic spa at Palia Kameni or challenge yourself walking along the Oia’s path where an iridescent landscape await you on the dusk time.
If you are a history lover, take a visit at the ‘’Pompeian City of Aegean’’, the prehistoric Akrotiri and the museum of Prehistoric Thera at Fira. Of course, Santorini’s local specialties are among the most popular, as the greatest chefs blend traditional twist with modern gastronomy making Santorini one of the best culinary destinations! As, for the sunbathers there are unique beaches with a colors of red, black, white and red: Perissa, Perivolos, Kamari, Kokkini and Aspri Paralia (Red & White Beach).
Mauritius, Indian Ocean, Africa
Chillin’ with refreshing coconut drinks on the beach
One of the most favored tropical paradise in the world, Port Louis, the capital of Mauritius, is a bustling port with a modernized waterfront! Its beautiful well-known resorts, such as the Mont Choisy, Trou-aux-Biches and the Flic en Flac, perfect choice for scuba-divers or Rivière Noire for fishing. Mauritius’ crystal blue waters, endless sandy beaches and tropical climate, is an ideal go-to destination for honeymoons and jet setters too! Except for snorkeling and coconut refreshing cocktails there is much more to do on this island with its buzzing nightlife and rich culture. Moreover, there are some things surely not to miss: Mahebourg market – the island’s traditional bazzar, Mauritius is also home to world’s golf lovers, Chamarel Colored Earths & Waterfalls, Sporting enthusiasts: Have a daytrip at Ille aux Cerfs, Admire flora & fauna of Indian Ocean at Mauritius Aquarium or take a visit at Eureka delving into Mauritius’ colonial past.
Door of Heaven
Bali, the Indonesian paradise, feels like a earthly heaven with its incomparable beauty…. Bali is part of the Coral Triangle, known for its great diversity of marine species. Soak up the sun or dive along the amazing wreck of a WWII war ship! At artistic Ubud, you can see a cultural local dance or if you need some revival moments, invigorate mind & body in a yoga class. The eclectic Balinese tradition will get you hooked during your stay and it is mainly what sets this island apart from other tropical destinations. Most tourists visit also the island for its stunning ancient and nature wonders, active volcanoes and lush wild jungles!
Wild nature comes alive…
Can’t miss – Facilities & Landmarks
What Not to Miss in Bali
Shopping at Seminyak & dining at Nasi Ayam Kedewatan restaurant
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
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.
Do you check Facebook before you even get dressed in the morning? Dn’t worry, you can tell us. Do you need to kick your Twitter habit? Or simply relax from Reddit? Are you naked without your smartphone? You need a digital detox!
We’re guessing the thought of going offline for a few days is a little scary, but hear us out. With attention spans dropping and internet addiction on the rise, a tech free holiday is meant to inspire, re-energize and improve your mood. If nothing else, it will at least make you feel popular when you return to a bunch of emails and status updates.
Unplug your computer and head for a little tech free treat, with our top 7 digital detox holidays.
Off the grid weekends in the USA
These Digital Detox guys are spearheading the trend, they think of everything. No watches, computers, phones; devices of any kind are checked from the arrival. This retreat is about recharging your batteries, but not the online kind. Digital Detox offers yoga, meditation, writing workshops (using a pen and paper!) a completely tranquil environment along with healthy simply food. It makes an ideal place to unwind and get inspired.
Distance to wi-fi: it’s not that far, but it’s under lock and key until the retreat ends.
Elephant watching in Kenya
You’re in the middle of the desert, silently watching out for an elephant, a once in a lifetime opportunity, when suddenly a phone interrupts everything and scares Nelly and everything in a 3 mile radius away. If there was a place on earth where phones should be banned, it must be at the Elephant Watch Safari Camp. You don’t want to be *that* person, do you?
Distance to wi-fi: at least a couple of miles. Don’t bother lugging that laptop.
Digital Detox in the Caribbean
The paradise like islands of St Vincent and the Grenadines in the Caribbean are serious about the digital detox, asking guests to completely surrender all their tech gadgets on arrival. Hotels around the islands have no TVs, while you’ll be frowned on if you whip out your phone on the beach. It even provides pre-holiday advice on how to survive without technology.
Nearest wi-fi: you will find some access, but your neighbours won’t be impressed.
Enjoy the high life in Morocco
High up in the exquisite Atlas Mountains of Morocco, along with simply stunning scenery, you’ll find a haven of computer free activities at the Kasbah Bab Ourika like expert yoga classes, morning hikes through wild lavender fields, and clear mountain air that makes up for being offline. Don’t worry, it’ll all be waiting for you when you get back.
Distance from wi-fi: How often have you gotten good wi-fi signal up the side of a mountain?
Family tech free in Jamaica
Try Jakes Hotel, it has it all, or rather we should say it hasn’t it all. All of the cottages are without wi-fi, TVs or telephones. This place is about getting completely relaxed at the perfect beaches nearby, finding the ideal masseuse at the spa, or simply taking some time to enjoy life at the ‘chicest shacks in the Caribbean.’
Distance to wifi: Ok, if you really need it, you might find signal in the hotel lobby.
Get beached in Phi Phi
If you’ve seen that movie The Beach, you’ll remember the picture perfect cove, where a bunch of travellers decided to live in idyllic surroundings. Completely removed from society, it was the perfect balm for escaping the rat race (until things turned a little sour, but the less said about that the better!) The beaches in Phi Phi may not be as deserted as they once were, but they are definitely about as tech free as you’ll find in Thailand.
Distance to wi-fi: You’ll be lucky to find patchy reception in some of the bars, but this isn’t one of the big all-encompassing resorts, so you might even forget you once owned a phone!
Surf the Aegean not the web
The cruising season in the Greek Islands lasts from May to October. It’s a place to switch off – because you don’t have any choice. Helping out on a boat is hard work, even if it’s simply sunbathing on deck, (that’s helping isn’t it?) Typically, you’ll travel around the likes of Rhodes, Mykonos, and Santorini. Wi-fi is at a minimum on board, so why not go to the whole hog and leave your phone back in Britain.
Distance from wi-fi: Of course when you land on the islands you’ll find plenty of places to plug in, but a tech free holiday is just what you make it, so switch off and check your mail when you get home.