Choosing a suitable destination for elderly holidaymakers is not dissimilar to selecting a holiday for any other age group: the key is to pick a region with a favourable climate, local history, fine dining options, comfortable accommodation and a range of leisure pursuits. The only difference, when it comes to planning a holiday for older travellers, is that a greater emphasis is placed on the finer things in life: an excursion that is less about rave, and more about relaxation!
Eschewing the chaos of busy resorts, most elderly travellers favour privacy and comfort. Booking a holiday online has never been easier. With that being said, some travellers may wish to smooth out the finer details before buying a last-minute flight on a budget airliner; arriving, unprepared, in a foreign airport can be overwhelming.
Renting a spacious apartment, villa or cottage, and arranging a hire car may be the best approach. HomeAway boasts an extensive array of stylish and functional holiday properties in some of the world’s most spectacular locations. Read on to learn more about our top five destinations for the mature traveller.
The allure of Italy - for visitors of all ages - is undeniable, but its relaxed pace of life assuredly suits the more experienced traveller. Simply put, the country is a haven of tranquility, interspersed with lively fairs and village festivals that help to add a dash of character. Whether you head for the idyllic cities of Florence or Venice, or the ancient stronghold of Rome, you can’t fail to be wowed by the scenery, the architecture and - of course - the world-class cuisine. There’s also no shortage of museums, historical sites, boat tours and theatre performances in this charming Mediterranean land.
Thailand may not be the first country you would associate with the mature traveller; after all, it is a favourite destination with younger crowds. However, it is also a country renowned for its hospitality - the Thai people are unerringly courteous - and it boasts plenty of lush, secluded beaches and remote hideaways where you can unwind, sample the local cuisine and even visit ruins and temples. City life, though busy, is made simpler by ease of travel, and there is a gamut of interesting street markets to browse. English is widely spoken, so you’ll rarely find yourself lost in translation - just remember to avoid the ‘party islands’ like Koh Phangan or Koh Samui during busy season.
France makes an ideal holiday destination for several reasons, not least of which its proximity to the British Isles: by plane, sea, train or car, you can be in Paris or Toulouse in just a few hours. In spite of its proximity to the UK, most regions in France attract low numbers of Britons, helping to preserve the air of foreign mystery that can sometimes be lacking in more Brit-friendly destinations. Why not enjoy a yacht trip along the French Riviera, or take a stroll along the quiet Parisian boulevards? The French countryside is stunning and many of its beaches are quieter than you will find in neighbouring Spain.
Teeming with history, a magnet for sunshine, and with more unspoiled beaches than you can count, Greece is a truly breathtaking country. Not only does the first-time visitor have over 200 inhabited islands to choose from - some leafy, others volcanic - but there are numerous spas and wellness centres off the beach where you can enjoy a massage while gazing into a clear, sun-dappled horizon. As well as being famous for its archaeological sites - head along to Athens for insights into this great city’s storied past - Greece is notable for its delicious food, mountain villages and relaxed pace of life.
Blighty may seem a little close to home, but the United Kingdom has plenty of natural attractions for older holidaymakers to explore. With 28 World Heritage sites from as far north as Orkney to as far south as Cornwall, you might not be able to count on sunshine, but you certainly won’t be at a loss for things to see and do. Head to Scotland to tackle some of the world’s greatest golf courses, and rent a cottage with lake or mountain views. If you relish the coast and the stirring scent of the sea air, the shingled beaches of Devon or Dorset are well worth a look, while Eastbourne is a tranquil haven famed for its enormous chalk-white cliffs. Choose a destination, choose your accommodation and then choose to enjoy your holiday at your own pace.