What you look for in your summer holidays in your 20s and your 60s tends to be drastically different. For retirees, the emphasis probably isn’t on partying when it comes to choosing cheap holidays but you don’t have to head off somewhere long haul to experience new sights, incredible excursions and the opportunity to really relax somewhere peaceful with stunning surroundings. Many existing European destinations offer all of these attractions, all you need to do is look at the less obvious resorts and you can have everything you want from a holiday – all just a short flight away!
Cyprus is a great place to head for a break because every corner of the island has something to see and do. If sitting on the beach in the sun isn’t enough, there are sights like the Tomb of the Kings, castles, monasteries and mosques, plenty of ancient ruins and even an amphitheatre. There are also amazing locations to take a day trip to like the Cyprus Wine Museum or the Larnaca Salt Lake to see the flamingos and innumerable other species of bird. Add to this great food, weather and amazing hospitality and you have just the place for a trip away.
Portugal and particularly the Algarve is a great choice for retirees who want to head somewhere relaxed with plenty to do. As well as the wonderful weather and delicious local fare, it’s famed for its golf and has over 35 courses – many with spectacular views across the stunning local scenery. If you aren’t any good with a putter, there are also cruises out to explore the caves, wonder around the rock formations like the Ponta da Piedade and maybe even spot a dolphin! On dry land there’s the red sandstone castle of Silves, a truly fascinating old town surrounded by orange groves, the Serra de Monchique mountain range and if food is your thing, there’s a famed fish market in Olhão.
There are opportunities for a great break all over Italy but head north for a more authentic experience that isn’t packed with tourists. Malcesine is set on the banks of Lake Garda and if wandering around this breathtaking area isn’t enough for you, you can take a cable car up Monte Baldo to see it all from above or head to Scaligero Castle which seems to emerge out the lake itself. Take a day trip to Verona and see the setting of Shakespeare’s most famous play Romeo and Juliet, including the infamous balcony or to Limone sul Garda and wander along the harbour. Or if you must head south go to Sorrento for a town oozing class that’s nearer to Pompeii, a must-see for anyone interested in the history of Italy!
Forget Magaluf, Majorca is a great place to head for the more seasoned traveller as there’s plenty on offer whether you’re a foodie or like to sightsee. Head to the Bodega Crestatx, a 100-year old traditional Majorcan wine cellar to have a sip of the heavenly local wine or head to the Roman Ruins of Pollentia in Alcudia to get a feel for what life was like in times gone by. If you like beaches then head to the Cala d’Or while the captivating capital of Palma offers everything from a Cathedral to a fascinating medieval quarter.