Who says that life slows down when you get older? If you’re nearing retirement or are already enjoying your work-free lifestyle, you may find you have more free time and cash to spend travelling. The world is your oyster, so why not get out there and enjoy it?
In Europe, you’ll find that there is something for everyone; rich in history, plenty of culture and plenty of hot and cold destinations to choose from. There are some real beauty spots and places of interest to visit, so which ones should make it to the top of your travel list?
This guide, provided by Acorn Stairlifts, gives insight on the must-visit destinations in Europe to give you some inspiration a head of your next vacation.
Scotland offers breath-taking scenery, so it’s a recommended country to visit. With many areas of natural beauty, it’s hard to choose just one area to visit, but thankfully given the small size of the country and the transport links on offer, you can explore much of this country in a single trip.
You can travel by train to navigate through the hilly terrains in Scotland, you will be able to see as much of the country as possible and gain a panoramic perspective on the stunning landscape. The West Highland Line is a train service that operates from Glasgow and travels to Oban, Fort William and Mallaig. The route is largely considered to be the most picturesque in the world — and with its rugged mountains, it’s easy to see why.
If you fancy exploring the Highland via boat, take a trip to Moray Firth which is located near the tip of Scotland. The water is home to around 130 bottlenose dolphins, and regular boat tours operate. You may be able to spot seals, whales and porpoises further out, while you’ll also enjoy dazzling views of the coastline.
After you’ve explored enough of the gorgeous scenery, pay a visit to the capital, Edinburgh. This vibrant and historic city has much to see and do, whether you spend your time visiting the zoo, exploring the old town, touring the underground vaults or enjoying a bite to eat in one of the city’s many cafes or restaurants. For even more culture, plan a visit in August — the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the largest arts festival in the world — is in town for much of the month.
If you’re looking to visit somewhere with a warm climate and stunning coastlines, then Portugal is another great destination to add to your travel list. The Algarve, in particular, is a popular choice, especially for those who enjoy outdoor pursuits.
There are many golf courses scattered across the Algarve, so if you’re interested in Golf than the Algarve is perfect place for you. The coastal courses are a perfect choice for panoramic views as you play and, as the country receives a staggering 300 days of sunshine a year, there’ll be little chance of rain spoiling play.
Of course, You may want to travel to somewhere to escape the cold and soak up some sun. The Algarve is ideal, with its many stretches of sandy beaches and plethora of luxurious hotels and apartments. It is renowned as a tourist destination but take full advantage of not being limited to travelling in the school holidays and visit in the quieter months such as October and June.
The Algarve is full of historical culture, so if you have an interest in learning it, you can lose yourself in one of the many churches that line the Algarve landscape. Unlike the stone churches and cathedrals present in many countries, some of those in Portugal are lined with spectacular tiles and azulejos that make them stand out from any religious building you’ve seen before. Or head down to the Old Town where you can relax in the Old Town Square (Praça da Vila) and admire the surrounding architecture.
Italy has a lot to offer such as the Amalfi Coast, which stretches 50 kilometer along the south of italy’s Sorrentine Peninsula. It’s famous for its quaint fishing villages and small beaches that many relax upon. If this is somewhere that you are considering travelling to, avoid holidaying between November and Easter as many hotels and restaurants are closed during this period and you will miss the exciting hustle and bustle of the destination. Instead, spring and autumn are perfect times to visit when temperatures are around 15-26°C and precipitation levels are between 3 and 4 inches.
If you want to treat yourself some luxurious relaxation, then head to the town of Positano. Here, streets are lined with colourful houses, impressive hotels and shops filled with beachwear and ceramics — you can get even your own pair of sandals made for you.
Consider staying in Sorrento which faces Mount Vesuvius – a volcano on in the Bay of Naples. Sightsee by boat around the coast of Sorrento either on a rented small vessel or as part of a group excursion. There’s plenty of photo opportunities such as the rugged coastline of Italy and the turquoise sea.
When exploring the Amalfi Coast, you’re never far from other splendid locations either, such as the ancient town of Pompeii. Here, you can visit the amphitheatre which dates back to 80BC and relax in the preserved baths.
A trip to France can’t be complete without visiting the world-famous Paris. When you think of Paris it’s likely that the Eiffel Tower will come into your mind. But there’s so much more to see and do if you only know where to go…
You’re find Monet’s Gardens, that’s located in Giverny, which is around a 45-minute train ride plus a 10-minute bus journey from the capital. The spectacular garden is split into two parts, both of which are equally impressive — one is called Clos Normand and is full off symmetries and complementing colours, and the other is a Japanese inspired water garden.
Paris is a remarkable place to stroll around however, there are other ways to get around to see what the city has to offer. The open top hop-on, hop-off bus tour takes you to the Louvre, Montmartre and Notre Dame — giving you time to get off where you please or take memorable photos from the comfort of your seat. Many of the buses provide you with headphones too for a private commentary of the attractions you’re passing.
If you enjoy boat trips than take a cruise down the river Siene. This is a great opportunity to put your feet up after a long day exploring. Admire the picturesque streets, bridges and cathedral as you’re taken on an adventure through the city.
Crete is the largest Island in Greece. Renowned for its rich history and long sandy beaches, it is a perfect destination for a balance between culture, adventure and relaxation.
If you’re a history lover, then there is the Heraklion Archaeological Museum which displays artefacts between Neolithic to Roman time, which is a life span of 5,500 years. This museum taps into the imagination with detailed descriptions of jewellery, pottery and other famous pieces from ancient sites.
If you want to be by the tea, visit the Venetian Harbour on the west side of the island, in the old town of Chania. Take a relaxing sunset stroll out to the trademark of the town — a lighthouse that sits near the harbour entrance.
Chania is perfect for food too. Locals produce their own meat, wine, cheeses and even catch their own seafood — it’s guaranteed that your dish will be as fresh as it can be. The local wine is tasty too — find the ideal one to complement your meal for a one-of-a-kind taste sensation.
As you may see, there are many beautiful destinations that suitable for older travellers with opportunities to put your feet up or if you fancy taken time out to learn about rich history of the area. What are you waiting for? The world is your oyster!