A spy museum, all you’ve ever wanted to know about toilets and real life samples from Big Foot, we’ve got 10 really weird museums from around the world for your pleasure.
Want to become a spy? Actually, can we just ask, who doesn’t? Well, now you can, for a day anyway, at the International Spy Museumin Washington DC, USA. We’re talking gadgets, code breaking and generally being a bit James Bond as you learn about the history of secret agents and get to grips with a life of espionage.
Iceland’s Phallological Museum in Reykjavik, is as the name suggests all about biology and takes it very seriously too. It is home to a collection of more than 215 penis specimens from various mammals found in the wild all over the island including a walrus, a rogue polar bear, a whale. There are also four examples from humans, but we didn’t ask where they came from.
We always hear of the priceless art found in countless cities throughout the world, but what about the bad stuff? The Museum of Bad Art in Boston claims to be the only one of its kind in the world. Featuring art that’s ‘too bad to be ignored’ it features plenty of paintings of dodgy blue people, symbols that don’t mean much and some weird uses of nudity.
For all you’ve ever wanted to know about the humble toilet, you could do worse than the International Museum of Toilets in New Delhi. The curators tell us: ‘the toilet is a part of the history of human hygiene which is a critical chapter in the growth of civilisation.’
Athens is well known for its museums filled with thousands of years of artefacts that document the birthplace of science and democracy. We like the Tactual Museum, where you’re actively encouraged to touch everything. There are all kinds of replicas, statues and frescoes that you can get up close and personal with.
The Hair Museum of Avanos in Cappadocia, Turkey is a fairly simple idea, but definitely one of the most bizarre things you’ll see. In a room under an unassuming pottery shop, you’ll find caves covered with a collection of over 16,000 locks of hair from women from all over the world. It’s free to enter, and women can leave a lock of their own if they want.
For the latest information and conjecture on the likes of Big Foot, the Montauk Monster, or the Abominable Snowman, then the Cryptozoology Museum, in Portland, USA is a good place to start. It claims to have ‘actual samples’ of hair and unique pieces of evidence from mythical creatures from all over the world.
Your green fingers will start tingling when you hear about the British Lawnmower Museum. As you would expect, it’s dedicated to all things grass cutting and is home to specialised gardening machines, vintage lawnmowers and all manner of parts and conservation materials from all over the world. A truly British experience.
If you’ve got a weak stomach, it might be best to skip the Paris Sewer Museum. You’re guided through the tunnels and pummelled by historical and factual information about the famous underground areas that have featured in French literature including Les Miserables and Phantom Of The Opera.
Love chips? So do we and so do the Belgians apparently, if the Friet Museum is anything to go by. The ground floor offers a 10,000 year potted history of the humble spud and it’s development into the tasty chip we know and love today.
Balmy in the Balearics Ideal for cheap family holidays, Majorca, one of the most famous of the Balearic Islands has a whopping 42 Blue Flag beaches, with calm, crystal clear waters, fantastic weather and lots of water parks that’ll keep children of all ages busy. June holidays in Majorca are also a good choice because it’s little before the summer crowds arrive, but you can still expect about eight hours of sunshine and highs of 27 degrees.
Grecian Getaway Obviously, the Greek Islands are firm favourites for cheap holidays in June, but don’t knock the charming Halkidiki coastline. Made of three ‘fingers’ jutting out of the mainland in the north, these offer something a little different. The beaches are nothing short of spectacular and you’ll find really great value holidays, especially for last minute bookings.
City breakers June is a great time to take advantage of a quick city break somewhere in Europe.Barcelona has some great bars, a city beach and tonnes of hotels and apartments for a short break or a longer getaway. If you’re looking for a great summer festival, then Sonar at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Barcelona is the cutting edge choice. We like the idea of a boozy weekend in BCN so if you’re looking for the best bars in Barcelona, you should definitely include La Leo, on Calle Sant Charles 32, the tango themed Tinta Roja, Carrer de la Creu Molers 17 and the jazzy 23 Robadors in the Raval area.
Cuba calling The Caribbean is always a good choice, thanks to its year round great weather and brilliant value. Cuba is a top choice in June, where you can combine a bit of cultural discovery in the capital Havana, with the chilled and idyllic beaches of Varadero. Perfect for a honeymoon or a couple’s getaway.
Trying out Turkey Antalya in Turkey is part city, part beach offering the best of both worlds. In June it won’t be hugely busy, but should still be warming up nicely so you can spend long, lazy days on the fabulous beaches, and nights out in the nearby clubs or eating out. There’s even the SunSplash Festival between 2-9 and featuring the likes of Gilles Petersen, Mad Professor and Jamie Lidell and a big emphasis on yoga, healthy living and foods. Find out more at their site here.
Clubbing in Cyprus Cyprus is excellent value for June holidays. If you want to party, the clubbing haven of Ayia Napa is a no-brainer. The nightlife is epic, there are countless bars, clubs and restaurants to suit every kind of music lover. We like the Castle Club, Club Ice and Club Sin. The beaches are made for long days of nursing a sore head, while if you’re feeling up to it, there is a top selection of water sports too like wind surfing, diving and surfing.
This lavish, 173-room resort makes its focal point an expansive terrace with an infinity-edged pool. The Six Senses Spa is another major attraction, offering traditional-style hammam, as well as an array of top-standard treatments. The rooms at Barbaros Bay follow the motto ‘living spaces are an expression of our souls’, each one designed to channel space, colour and form to enhance the beauty of the view from your floor-to-ceiling windows. On your walk-out balcony or terrace, you can drink a glass of champagne, while the turquoise blue Aegean embraces you peacefully. In the restaurant, garden-fresh ingredients are cooked with pure inspiration, from Barbaros Bay’s top chefs, whose innovation and mastery is clear in the gourmet breakfast cooked for you each morning. Understated elegance is key in this hotel, and you can’t fault them there. Certainly one of the top Purple Travel choices for hotels in Turkey.
Palace is surely the correct word here. The Delphin Palace Hotel, situated on Lara beach has its own 230 metre private sandy beach with clear blue waters. Its 390 rooms, including one special Pink Moon Honeymoon Suite, one King Suite and one Presidential Suite, each have a mini bar refilled daily, a direct telephone, satellite TV, balcony and parquet floor. Though the food is all-inclusive, choices are not limited choices and the highly-rated food ranges from sushi to barbecue and champagne breakfasts. In addition to the a la carte dining and main restaurant options, there is a 24-hour lobby bar and juice bar at no additional cost. Even the mini-bar can be accessed for free. You only have to read a few reviews to get a grasp of the level of this hotel – the only complaint you will find is that A couple of plans for sightseeing were ruined because there was almost no reason to leave the hotel. There are computer games, free Internet, tennis, water slides, a movie theatre, discos and more on site.
Ciragan Palace Kempinski Istanbul was once the residence of the last Ottoman Sultans. Now, restored to its former glory, the luxury hotel prides itself on a marriage of traditional Turkish hospitality with up-to-the-minute five-star standards. The architectural grandeur of the palace is enhanced with all the modern comforts a deluxe hotel should possess, dramatically situated on the shores of the Bosphorus. A peaceful resort ambience in the centre of the city, this 315 room ‘palace’ is also within close walking distance of the harbourside district of Ortakoy, a fascinating area full of seafood restaurants, specialty antique, ceramic, jewellery shops and a colourful street market at weekends. And if you can drag yourself out of the lavish surroundings of the hotel for long enough, there are some of Istanbul’s most famous open-air restaurants and nightclubs close by too.
Sumahan on the Water was once the industrial factory that distilled the high proof ingredient for “Raki” – the famous Ottoman drink. This restored nineteenth century construction is an uncommon example of what really is a solicitous transformation of an historical building, particularly for Istanbul. The hotel combines exceptional design with a respect for the sites’ historical context; Suma is the word for unadulterated spirit, whilst han was the word for inn in Ottoman times. Situated on the waterfront of the Bosphorus in Istanbul, the Sumahan has just 20 rooms. However, each accommodation is accredited with its own, individual design, sensitively done to showcase the architectural style of the building itself. Along with its own special character, each room has a spectacular view of the river Bosphorus, the divide between Asian and European Istanbul.
The Istanbul EDITION is an exclusive hotel, which boasts a fifteen-story tower with 78 guest rooms and an outstanding, full-floor penthouse. Its multiple venues include a three-story spa by ESPA, the Cipriani restaurant, the Lobby Bar, a drawing room and even a screening room and in-built nightclub. Constructed in the form of a intricate jewel-box, each room includes an entrance vestibule, bedroom area, work station and seating area with wall-to-wall windows overlooking the city. The guest rooms feature Bang & Olufsen state-of-the-art oversized flat screen LCD televisions with integrated stereo; custom imported linens; complimentary high-speed wireless internet; fully stocked mini-bars and 24-hour room service. At Istanbul EDITION, you will find serious luxury.
Arnavutköy (meaning Albanian village) has to be one of the most beautiful suburbs in Bosphoros. Its shore is lined with pretty, wooden art-nouveau style houses and a row of excellent eateries gaze onto the waterfront. Tucked shortly behind these is the bijou Villa Denise, a hotel that charms its guests with luxurious, colourful, Topkapi Palace-inspired fabrics. Small kitchens and microwave ovens inside the rooms mean you can still make yourself at home and feel comfortable, even amid the grandeur. Although you probably won’t be cooking much once you discover the unexpected Spanish restaurant on the ground floor, an amazing, hidden treasure, well away from the tourist rush.
A supreme escape in a pin-drop peaceful countryside location, the Letoonia Golf Hotel overlooks the Acisu River and the glistening Belek Sea. Boasting top-notch facilities that extend the hotel’s own private golfing range, guests will find it hard to leave the fabulous pool complex that’s set inside the hotel’s lush lawns and swishing palm trees. That’s fine though, as there are five impressive pools to choose from, including the tropical lagoon-style pool along the hotel’s front, the rectangular pool that’s perfect for swimming laps and if you want to escape the heat, there’s even a peaceful indoor pool. The service is unbeatable; guests can even take free lessons from golf pros on the hotel’s own driving range or putting green. Or if golf’s not your thing, try your hand at watersports, tennis, and basketball or drop in at the fitness centre where you can work out, take a yoga lesson or join in an aerobics class. After burning all those calories, you can then lavish in one of the three atmospheric restaurants, serving seafood, Turkish and Asian dishes.
You won’t find bigger luxury than here, literally. Kusadasi Aqua Resort Hotel is set in seriously extensive grounds, equipped with numerous swimming pools, slides, loungers, parasols and pool bars to enjoy. As if this wasn’t enough, there is also a full programme of day and evening entertainment, including beach activities and a large theatre to enjoy shows in; there is a games room with snooker, bowling, playstation, kids club, toy room, indoor and outdoor playgrounds; and there are numerous sports facilities including tennis courts, table tennis, mini football, basketball, beach volleyball and a pony club. A pony club! This place is huge. For when you need to chill out from the constant bombardment of entertainment, there is a spa offering Turkish baths, massages, various other treatments and a gymnasium.
Guests can enjoy a bite to eat in one of the two main restaurants or one of the five a la carte restaurants serving Turkish, Exotic Asian tastes, Italian specialties, steaks and fresh seafood. Think Disneyland in Turkey.
A mini Amsterdam in Turkey, the Orange County Resort Hotel mimics the unique Dutch architecture of the sixteenth century. Set on the coasts of Kemer, between the magnificent natural view of the Taurus Mountains and the Mediterranean, Orange County takes its theme from the fishing village of Volendam located near Amsterdam. Inside charming Volendam houses designed for families with children, are 513 luxury rooms, including some specially decorated Van Gogh rooms. The grounds also boast a pool area of 5000 m2,a magnificent private beach and wharf, exceptional international cuisines, nightly entertainment and daily activities, including poolside aerobics.
If you’re looking for one of the most unforgettable hotels in Turkey, meet the Kremlin Palace. Built on a sandy beach, the hotel boasts some magnificent architecture, modelled on the original Kremlin Palace in Moscow, which was intended to emphasize the greatness of the Russian autocracy. The entrance, named the ‘Gate of Resurrection’, is a near copy of its original which is situated at the entrance of Kremlin Square in Moscow. Likewise, the main building which comprises a stylish lobby, main restaurant, reception and conference centre, is almost a perfect copy of the ‘Museum of History’. All rooms are situated in 4-6 storey building blocks equipped with 10 elevators, a la carte restaurants, a spa and a fitness centre, pools, beach and unique convention saloons. You’re certain to feel like royalty in the ‘wow factor’ hotel.
For more on hotels in Turkey, call Purple Travel now on 0207 993 9228.
Heating up in Spain It is starting to heat up in Spain, how about the Costa de la Luz? It’s a slightly quieter alternative to the hustle and bustle of the Costa del Sol. With temperatures usually rising to the mid 20s towards the end of the month, the city of Cadiz is a charming holiday experience and claims to be one of the oldest cities in Western Europe. There’s lots of archaeological and historical sites to discover, while the beaches nearby are perfect if you prefer chilling out.
Go diving in Egypt The coast of the Red Sea is fast becoming one of the best places for underwater fun, with diving, surfing, windsurfing or kiteboarding all on offer. Add that to sunshine, great beaches and the best in all inclusive hotels and holidays in Sharm el Sheikh in Egypt during May are worth watching out for.
Godfather Holidays Sicily An Island drenched in culture and history, Sicily is packed with delicious food, scorching sunshine, azure blue skies and of course Godfather legacy. In May Sicily is at the perfect temperature, it’s not *too* hot, with temperatures around the mid 20s. Head for Savoca, a hillside village, a winding drive from Taormina where you’ll find Bar Vitelli, where Michael spoke with Apollonia’s father about their proposed marriage. Next, stop at Sant Agostino, the scene of Vito’s escape from the Don Ciccio’s men and finish in Palermo, and the Teatro Massimo which featured in the Godfather Part III. If you love movies, you’ll love it.
Cape Verde Calling If you haven’t heard about this smattering of islands just off the coast of Senegal then get ready, because you will soon. Travellers have started to visit just for the weather (all around sunshine) but often end up returning for the rhythms, the food, the friendly locals, perfect beaches, the excellent hotels, stunning scenery or sublime natural amenities. Take your pick! Sal and Boa Vista are the bigger of the islands and well represented with hotels, bars, restaurants and resorts. Needless to say Cape Verde is in our top tips for 2013.
Get Crete without the crowds A smart idea is to book early for Greece so you can avoid the worst of the crowds. Crete is our top choice. Most resorts should have fully reopened by the end of the month, but it won’t be too busy so you can enjoy near empty beaches, chilled out coffee shops and an unfussy holiday in warm sunshine.
City break in Istanbul So, you may have heard Istanbul is one hot ticket. Having been crowned Best European Destination for 2013, the glittering mosques, and simmering melting pot of culture, cheap hotels and great nightlife make Istanbul a great choice for a cheap city break.
Go a little further If Europe isn’t quite hot enough for you, then there are always a couple of long haul options, such as Mexico or the Dominican Republic. There are some great deals for package holidays so you don’t even have to lift a finger once you arrive. The beaches stretch for miles, the waters are warm and crystal clear and 4 and 5* hotels right on the sand mean you can get from bed to beach in no time.
Find out more about the best cheap holidays in May from the expert team at Purple Travel or call us directly on 0207 993 9228.
You may have heard that Turkey’s second second city, Istanbul, has been voted this year’s best European destinationin a public vote. But if you’re left wondering what all the fuss is about, take a walk through this ancient city with this week’s infographic.
The results are in! If you’re looking for a European City Break, then why not go to the official, Best European Destination 2013: Istanbul. The fabulous city has taken spot in a public vote, with just 439 votes ahead of its nearest rival, the Portuguese capital Lisbon.
The famous city is right on the dividing line between two continents and has an amazing mix of culture, cuisine and good times. Filled with clubs and restaurants, there are live gigs, cafes and street art to impress younger people, and a variety of museums and galleries culture vultures will love, it truly is a city that offers something for everyone.
2013 is set to be a landmark year for the city too, with the Istanbul Biennial, pop concerts, special exhibitions and Orhan Pamuk’s recently opened museum of Innocence. It’s also the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Turkish Republic by Ataturk, with huge celebrations on the cards. With so much happening and a bit of a reputation as a city that doesn’t sleep, it’s not surprising Istanbul took the top spot with 12.4% of the vote.
Here are some of the nice comments people shared about Istanbul:
Hatice aus Berlin: Istanbul is the best city of the world and sooo nice i love turkey <3
Otfire: I S T A N B U L – the ONE and ONLY! :))
Mark: If new york was in europe, guess we call it istanbul.
Nikos: Vote for Istanbul, it is the best city in the world!
Mikey: İstanbul is the most beautiful city of the WORLD 😉
Busra: I think Istanbul is the nicest city of Europe because there are many things with History which are very important and there is a big nice blue sea which creature a good atmosphere at nigt but normal days too. You can see different cultures and many other persons of the world. There are many modern buildings too which is interesting too. Everybody have to visit Istanbul it is only perfect !!!
Adam: Istanbul is an unique city and not only in the europe but also in the world. It is the oldest city of the old world. Other cities in the list are new and more or less same cities compare to istanbul.
Susan Gurz: After travelling most of the world, ISTANBUL is my favorite
Now that’s a view… Sticking out in a horseshoe shape over the huge sheer drop this might just make your stomach flip out through your mouth. Add a transparent floor to the mix and this one is only for the serious height lovers.
2. Istanbul skyline from the Bosphorus strait – Istanbul, Turkey
You might just recognise this Bay if you are a James Bond fan. This bay of stunning beauty set between the island of Phuket and the Thai mainland is dotted with hundreds of tall limestone formations that rise hundreds of feet from the sea.
5. Stegastein Lookout – Norway
An intense view any way you look at it, the House on the Rock offers solitary panoramic views where you can really get close to nature.
6. The Golden Gate Bridge from the Marin Headlands – San Francisco, USA
One of the most romantic cities in the world and one of the most romantic views. Don’t miss the thrilling panorama of Florence and the Arno valley offered from the unique viewpoint of Piazzale Michelangelo.
Get the best deal for cheap holidays in the most amazing places right now from Purple Travel. Call today on 0207 993 9228 for more.
A wise man once said “when we are unable to find tranquility within ourselves, it is useless to seek it elsewhere.” Well, he probably never had a good rub down or a facial, since none our handpicked, amazing hotels existed at the time. Sneak a peek and feel that quiet and relaxing holiday that awaits for you just a short flight from the UK in our post about the best spa destinations 2014.
#1 The Vine Hotel, 5* Funchal, Madeira Described by its owners as “a hotel with soul, just like good wine,” it does not come as a surprise that this stylish, sophisticated hotel relies heavily on the affluent heritage of the local wine industry. Specialising in Vinotherapy – a rejuvenating massage using grape oils and only natural ingredients – it helps carry your skin to spirits high. Not forgetting that wine is also meant to be enjoyed the old-fashioned way, one can enjoy a glass (or two) of local Chardonnay atop the beautiful Panoramic Bar overlooking the city.
#2 Corallium Spa Costa Meloneras, 4* Gran Canaria, Spain Inspired by the natural volcanic conditions of the island, the Corallium Spa blends old and new by utilising the latest technologies in hydrotherapy, music therapy and aromatherapy among other techniques. Set on a modern spacious site of over 3500m, it offers tailored treatments from all over the world including Shiatsu, or Indian Head Massage, body treatments from the Dead Sea and of course its infamous “Womb Room”, a unique, copper-red area that is said to simulate the absolute peace an unborn baby feels in its mother’s belly. #3 Eden Andalou Aquapark & Spa, 5* Marrakech, Morocco Deep in the heart of Morocco, Marrakech is a city lost in time with its mosques, markets and palaces. To really feel that off-the-beaten track atmosphere, we suggest heading for one of Eden’s two traditional hammams before taking a relaxing swim at its sensory heated pool boasting a unique zen-like feeling.. The hotel also offers a vast Balneotherapy (massage through moving water) area where a team of professionals will ensure that though your body will eventually leave these mysterious lands, your mind will linger around just a little bit longer. #4 One & Only, 5* Reethi Rah, The Maldives Overlooking the Indian Ocean, this majestic getaway is a secluded heaven surrounded by coral atolls, white sands and lagoons. The Maldives, an enchanting string of 1,200 islands, is the epitome of an exotic, relaxed destination. With swirling vitality pools, crystal steam rooms, saunas and ice fountains, the very aptly named One & Only Reethi Rah is the very definition of a tropical paradise. #5 Anassa Hotel, 5* Latchi, Cyprus Anassa literally translates to “queen” from ancient Greek, but in modern Greek it stands for “breath,” which is also highly appropriate given that this wonderful, luxurious hotel, with its classical minimal architecture in earthy blue and white tones, will take your breath away. A luxurious choice for honeymoon or couples getaway, it is a roman-style spa that will take you back to the ancient times and its eclectic selection of Mediterranean delicacies will make you feel like an emperor. #6 Taj Exotica, 5* Goa, India Far from the maddening crowds of the popular resorts in the northern strip, the Taj Exotica lies on the southwest coast of Goa overlooking the Arabian Sea. Built amongst lush beautiful gardens, the hotel complex offers a unique collection of villas, Mediterranean-style facilities and family friendly activities. Its gorgeous spa facilities, designed around the traditional Indian temple styles, offer a vast range of therapies and treatments to take your body and soul to a magical, faraway place. #7 Abama Golf & Spa Resort, 5* Tenerife, Spain An imposing presence on a 160 hectare private estate,, the Abama Resort prides itself as being built on a privileged location that enjoys more hours of sunshine than any other place in Spain. Featuring volcanic landscapes, a wide range of rare plant life and breathtaking views, this is the perfect destination for those who like to walk (or golf, if its name was not subtle enough) among a beautiful natural scenery. Its world reknowned facilities offer tailor-made treatments and packages to suit your individual needs, whether it is to relax, feel pretty or get rid of those excess pounds. #8 Porto Zante Villas & Spa, 5* Zante, Greece Zante is mostly known as a party destination for youngsters, but far away from the bustling boozefest of Laganas lies the award winning Porto Zante. It’s a true haven for those who’d rather combine the crystal clear waters with the privacy and space of a truly mesmerising hotel. Mixing exotic spices and local herbs, the spa offers an extensive variety of innovative treatments and special massage techniques. Afterhours visitors can enjoy the beautiful sunset at the relaxed beachfront restaurant facing the never ending Ionian sea. #9 Vogue Hotel Avant Garde, 5* Antalya, Turkey Situated in the busy seaside resort of Kemer on the Gulf of Antalya, the Vogue is a modern, luxury hotel with 347 rooms, suites, villas and penthouses. Its spa has, rather fittingly, an Ottoman themed aura and includes a large variety of turkish baths, steamrooms, jacuzzis, aromatic showers and massage rooms. The Turks did it first, so who are we to argue? To complete the eastern experience, one can sample varieties of local drinks and herbal teas at the dedicated spa Vito-Bar. #10 Premier Le Reve Hotel & Spa, 5* Hurghada, Egypt Close to the shores of the Red Sea, an area blessed with eternal summer, one can find the highly acclaimed Premier Le Reve. With extensive landscaped grounds that offer a beautiful vista and exceptional service, this hotel is among the most popular luxury destinations in Egypt. It offers an astonishing sky pool with a spectacular glass dome (that keeps the water warm using natural sunlight) and vast hammam and relaxation areas that would make even Tutankhamun jealous.
Call the experts now on 0207 993 9228 to find out more about spa holidays this year.
Fun, fun, fun at Disneyland USA Surely a no brainer, Disneyland is the chance to treat your kids (and yourself) to an unforgettable adventure. The Radisson WorldGate Hotel in Kissimmee is just a mile from Walt Disney World Resort and Universal Studios. You can even watch the theme park’s fireworks show from your room and hit the shops for some much needed retail therapy. It’s really the cherry on top of any family holidays you might be after.
Hit the beach in the BalearicsMajorca, Menorca and Ibiza, take your pick: The handy family run Hotel Almudaini in Palma de Mallorca, is just a few minutes’ walk from Passeig Maritimo and almost every amenity in town – the port, palace and market. For Menorca head for the family friendly resort of Cala’n Forcat, with its beaches, bouncy castles and aqua parks. Remember, Ibiza is not just for serious partying, there’s a softer, gentler side, with cosy villas away from the clubbing centres, but lively enough for mum and dad to enjoy too. Try Santa Eulalia, or Es Cana for great family holidays in the sunshine.
Ski adventure in Borovets Bulgaria is a fab choice for families with children, with a snow park especially for youngsters and wide runs in amongst green pine forests. There is a high standard of English speaking schools, and it’s a good choice for beginners, improvers or advanced skiers. Depending on where you stay there is free nursery or ski school as well as a great selection of cosy restaurants or day trips to the capital Sofia. The Hotel Rila has gorgeous views, mountain biking and hiking trips organised by qualified guides along with a great location right at the bottom of the ski runs.
Tropical getaway Dreams Tulum Resort and Spa, Riviera Maya, Mexico the ideal in all inclusive, the Dreams in Tulum has excellent rooms, some with ocean or garden views and a private terrace. The onsite Explorer’s Club offers a Mayan themed world of fun for children aged between three and 12. Daily activities include climbing walls, splash fountains and outdoor movie screenings. For more adventurous kids, there’s a camping adventure every week.
Cruise in Turkey A great choice for one parent families, you join a party atmosphere on a cruise past tiny fishing villages, practically deserted beaches and tonnes of kayaking, swimming or diving. In the evenings, parents can gather on deck and relax over a glass of local brew, while the kids are entertained with movies.
Family luxury Cyprus The Almyra Hotel in Paphos is the perfect laidback getaway that’s is both stylish and child friendly. Children of all ages are at the heart of this hotel, with excellent childcare available. This includes supervised clubs, indoor and outdoor play areas, interconnecting rooms and children’s menus and a Baby Go Lightly service, so you can order all sorts of baby necessities before you arrive, e.g. nappies, car seats etc. For older children and teenagers, there is a dedicated ‘urban graffiti’ designed area with video games and big screens.
Dude Ranch, in the USA A holiday with a difference, this is the chance to test your cowboy skills. Set on a huge ranch, you and your family will be surrounded by breathtaking scenery and glorious sunsets. The Elk Mountain Ranch is known as the “White Water Capital of Colorado” and there is plenty of opportunity to go rafting along with hayrides, biking and erm, square dancing. A great choice for children, each day has a theme such as cowboy or Indian, there are dedicated camp counsellors and even a water slide park nearby, meaning every base is covered.
Classic sunshine Depending on who you talk to, there are a couple of thousand islands in Greece, so there is plenty to choose from. To top it off, it’s one of the best places for a bargain break; there is a big push to get visitors in this year, so prices have dropped and there is room for haggling. Try the resort of Amoudara in Crete, with a three mile long stretch of sand and tonnes of tavernas to lunch in. For days out try the Labyrinth of Knossos or the AquaWorld Aquarium and stay at the Castro Hotel, just a couple of minutes from a private beach, with its own pool and plenty of restaurants nearby.