At a later time in your life, is it really time to slow down? If you’re going into retirement or are already enjoying a work-free life, you may find that you have plenty cash to spend and all the time in world. So why not go travelling and see what is out there?
The European continent has something to suit everyone with its full of history, culture and hot and cold climates, depending on where you go. There are some fantastic locations, and places of interest to visit, but which place will make your travel list?
Crete in Greece
Crete is known as the largest island in Greece. It’s also recognized for its rich history, culture and long sandy beaches, it is a perfect destination for a balance between culture, adventure and relaxation. If you enjoy history, then stop by the Heraklion Archaeological Museum. This museum taps into the imagination with detailed descriptions of jewellery, pottery and other famous pieces from ancient sites. It has displays of artefacts between Neolithic and Romain times (a time span of 5,500 years).
Crete is great for a romantic getaway 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.
Paris in France
No doubt that the iconic Eiffel Tower springs to mind, when you think of Paris. However, there’s so much more to see and do if you know where to look.
You can visit Monet’s Gardens which is situated in Giverny, hop on a 45-minute train ride and then a 10-minute bus ride 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.
If it’s boat trips that you’d prefer to explore the gorgeous city by, then take one of the popular cruises down the River Seine. 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.
Amalfi Coast in Italy
Along the South of Italy’s Sorrentine Peninsula, the Amalfi Coast is 50-kilometers long. 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˚ to 26°C and precipitation levels are between 3 to 4 inches.
If you want to treat yourself to luxury relaxation, head to the two of Postiano. Here, streets are lined with colourful houses, impressive hotels and shops filled with beachwear and ceramics – you can even get your own pair of sandals made for you.
Sorrento which faces Mount Vesuvius – a volcano in the Bay of Naples – is a stunning place to go for scenes of silhouette. 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.
You’re never far from other splendid locations and culture whilst in the Amalfi Coast, such as the ancient town of Pompeii. Here, you can visit the amphitheatre which dates back to 80BC and relax in the preserved baths.
The Algarve in Portugal
Portugal gains warm temperatures all year-round, and has stunning coastlines, well worth adding to your travel wish list. The Algarve, in particular, is a popular choice, especially for those who enjoy outdoor pursuits.
Golfers of all skill levels can tee-off at one of the region’s many golf courses. Coastal courses are a perfect choice for panoramic views as you play and, as the country receives a staggering 300 day of sunshine a year, there’ll be little chance of rain spoiling play.
Perhaps, you just want to escape the cold temperatures 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.
Discover the historical culture of a destination by losing 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.
The Highlands in Scotland
For a much cooler retreat, enjoy a break-taking scenery the Scotland has to offer. 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.
A great way to navigate Scotland’s hilly terrain, is via rail. The train allows you to see most of the country, whilst gaining a panoramic perspective of the gorgeous landscape in one trip. 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.
You may prefer to explore the Highlands via boat, include a trip to Moray Firth in your Itinerary. Located near the tip of Scotland, the water is home to around 130 bottlenose dolphins, and regular boat tours are in operation. 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 finished exploring the stunning scenery, stop by 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 cafés 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.