As we all grow older, our priorities and preferences change (ours certainly have!). We often begin to seek out experiences that offer relaxation, comfort, and a chance to indulge in the finer things in life. Europe has always been a popular destination for the more mature tourist, and plenty of destinations within the continent cater specifically to the over 50s. This article will explore the top 10 best over 50s holidays in Europe.
With its rich history, diverse cultures, and beautiful landscapes, Europe offers a unique experience that can be enjoyed at any age. Whether you’re interested in exploring ancient ruins, visiting world-renowned museums, or simply enjoying the local cuisine, Europe has something for everyone. Additionally, many European countries offer excellent healthcare and safety standards, making it a comfortable and secure destination for older travellers. So, if you’re looking for a new adventure, consider Europe as your next destination.
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Our Top 10 Best Places in Europe for Over 50s Holidays
Starting with one of the best European holiday destinations for the over 50s to holiday – Tuscany in Italy. This region in central Italy is known for its beautiful landscapes, rich history, and world-renowned cuisine. It is an ideal destination for those looking to relax and soak in the beauty of the Italian countryside. The region is home to stunning vineyards (and equally stunning wine!), picturesque villages, and historic cities such as Florence and Siena. The food and wine in Tuscany are exceptional, making it an excellent destination for foodies.
Tuscany: Quick Facts
Languages: Italian (English is widely spoken in tourist areas)
Main Airports: Galileo Galilei International Airport (Pisa) and Amerigo Vespucci Airport (also known as Peretola) in Florence.
Population: Approximately 3.8 million.
Crete is a Greek island in the Mediterranean – Another fantastic place for the over 50s to holiday. Crete is the largest of the Greek islands (3,260 square miles) and as such offers a diverse landscape, with stunning sunsets, picturesque villages, charming towns such as Chania and Rethymno (also known as Rethymnon), and beautiful beaches. It is an ideal destination for those seeking relaxation and a chance to soak up the sun. The island is also home to world-famous archaeological sites such as Knossos and Phaistos, perfect for culture lovers. The island is more accessible than some smaller Greek islands, with regular flights and is easy to explore.
Where to stay in Crete
Here are some accommodation options for a stay in Crete.
A couple of hotels worth considering are Domes Noruz Chania which is adults-only with easy access to the beach, or the serene bougainvillea-adorned Elounda Mare Relais & Châteaux Hotel with its fantastic views over the bay of Mirabello Bay.
Crete: Quick Facts
Languages: Greek (English and German are widely spoken in tourist areas)
Main Airports: Heraklion
Population: Approximately 670,000
The Provence is a region in southeastern France that is well known for its beautiful lavender fields, picturesque villages, and world-renowned cuisine. A wonderful destination for anyone looking to relax and soak in the beauty of the beautiful French countryside. The region has stunning vineyards, historic cities such as Avignon and Aix-en-Provence, and beautiful beaches. An ideal European destination for all the Francophiles out there.
Provence: Quick Facts
Languages: French (English is often spoken in tourist areas)
Main Airports: Marseille, Nimes, Nice, and Montpellier.
Population: Approximately 5 million.
Portugal’s capital city and is located on the country’s western coast, on the banks of the River Tagus. The town is famous for its stunning architecture, pastel-coloured houses and world-renowned cuisine. Lisbon has many museums, art galleries, and historical landmarks like the Belem Tower (or the Torre de Belem, a 16th-century fortified edifice) and the superb Jeronimos Monastery. Bear in mind that many parts of Lisbon are very hilly, which may be challenging if you have limited mobility or reduced fitness, and in that case take a Hop-on, Hop-off tour of the city, or use the public trams which traverse the city – they don’t call it the ‘City of Seven Hills’ for nothing.
Lisbon: Quick Facts
Languages: Portuguese (English is widely spoken in tourist areas).
Main Airports: Humberto Delgado Airport (Lisbon Airport).
Population: Approximately 2.87 million.
Barcelona is a city located on the northeastern coast of Spain. The town is famous for its stunning architecture, lively nightlife, and world-renowned cuisine. One of the reasons why Barcelona is a top destination for the over 50s is because of its very laid-back feel. It is a superb destination for those looking to soak up the culture and history of Spain. The city has many museums, art galleries, and historic landmarks like the Sagrada Familia and Park Guell. Barcelona is also enriched with Spanish culture and is proud of its Catalan traditions.
Barcelona: Quick Facts
Languages: Catalan and Spanish (English is widely spoken in tourist areas)
Main Airports: Barcelona Airport El Prat de Llobregat.
Population: Approximately 1.6 million.
Vienna is the beautiful capital city of Austria and is in the eastern part of the country. The city is famous for its stunning architecture, world-renowned music scene, and world-class museums. The city has many historic landmarks, such as the Schonbrunn Palace and the Vienna State Opera. You will find more information about this great city here.
Vienna: Quick Facts
Languages: German (English is also widely spoken in tourist areas)
Main Airports: Vienna International Airport.
Population: Approximately 1.9 million.
Amalfi Coast, Italy
The Amalfi Coast is a stretch of coastline located in the Campania region of Italy. The coast is famous for its stunning views, picturesque villages, and world-renowned cuisine. It is an ideal destination for those seeking relaxation and a chance to soak up the Italian sun. Accessible from Naples or Rome, the coast is also home to many historic landmarks, such as the town of Amalfi which is set in a dramatic natural setting below steep cliffs and, also, the ruins of Pompeii near the Bay of Naples. It’s worth noting that many of the tourist hubs in this area are less crowded in autumn, winter and spring, especially the ever-popular Sorrento.
Where to stay on the Amalfi Coast
Here are some accommodation options for a stay on the Amalfi Coast.
A couple of hotels worth considering are Maison Bon Bon with great views and a relaxed atmosphere, located in easily accessible Sorrento, or the amazing Hotel Luna Convento in the town of Amalfi itself is another excellent possibility.
Amalfi Coast: Quick Facts
Languages: Italian (English is widely spoken in tourist areas)
Main Airports: Naples International Airport and Salerno Costa d’Amalfi Airport.
Copenhagen is the capital city of Denmark and is located on the country’s eastern coast. The city is famous for its stunning architecture, world-renowned food scene, and world-class museums (seniors – defined as people who have turned 65) can often gain access to most of the Copenhagen museums and other attractions for a discounted price. The city has many historic landmarks, such as the Rosenborg Castle and the Nyhavn Harbour.
Where to stay in Copenhagen
Here are some accommodation options for a stay in Copenhagen.
A couple of hotels worth considering are the conveniently located, 25hours Hotel Indre By a gorgeous, quirky and cool boutique hotel in the heart of old town, or the award-winning Copenhagen Admiral Hotel is another excellent option.
Copenhagen: Quick Facts
Currency: Danish Krone (but Euros can sometimes be used for high ticket items).
Languages: Danish (English is also widely spoken in Denmark)
Main Airports: Copenhagen Airport.
Population: Approximately 1.3 million.
Dubrovnik is a city on the southern coast of Croatia. The city is famous for its stunning architecture, picturesque Old Town, beautiful beaches and, more recently, a filming location for ‘Game of Thrones’. It is an ideal destination for those seeking relaxation and a chance to soak up the Mediterranean sun. The city has many historic landmarks, such as the Dubrovnik City Walls and the Rector’s Palace.
Where to stay in Dubrovnik
Here are some accommodation options for a stay in Dubrovnik.
A couple of options worth considering are the conveniently located, Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik, which is on the doorstep of the Old Town and boasts an indoor pool and a wellness centre with saunas, a hammam, plus fitness and massage facilities.
The great beachside location of the Sun Gardens Dubrovnik is another fantastic choice.
Dubrovnik: Quick Facts
Languages: Croatian (English is widely spoken in tourist areas)
Main Airports: Dubrovnik Airport.
Population: Approximately 41,562.
Edinburgh is Scotland’s capital city and is on the eastern side of the country. The city is famous for its stunning architecture and world-renowned festivals (such as the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the world’s largest performance arts festival). The city simply overflows with historic landmarks such as Edinburgh Castle, The Royal Yacht Britannia (moored at nearby Leith) and the Royal Mile. Edinburgh is also perfect for those who love to shop as it is renowned for being one of the best places in the United Kingdom for shopaholics. A diverse city, fast-paced and lively, coupled with areas that are much more subtle and relaxed including the beautiful Royal Botanic Garden.
Where to stay in Edinburgh
Here are some accommodation options for a stay in Edinburgh.
A couple of options worth considering are the Stockbridge (nice area of Edinburgh) located, The Raeburn, about a mile away from the centre.
The fantastic Cheval The Edinburgh Grand in the centre is another great choice.
Edinburgh: Quick Facts
Currency: British Pound Stirling
Main Airports: Edinburgh Airport.
Population: Approximately 554,000
Things for more mature travellers to consider when visiting Europe
- Look for destinations with lots of accessible tours and things to do without too much effort.
- Ensure there are easily accessible taxis or public transport near your accommodation that can take you wherever you need to go.
- Look for easily accessible shops, pharmacies, hospitals or doctors in case of an emergency.
- If mobility/fitness is an issue, then consider areas/accommodation that has flat surfaces, without lots of steps to make accessibility as easy as possible
- Look for direct flights to minimise trip durations and travel fatigue.
- Consider relatively quiet towns without hoards of tourist crowds.
Europe has many destinations catering to the over 50s. From Tuscany’s stunning landscapes to Barcelona’s vibrant culture, there is something for everyone. So if, like us, you are over 50 and looking for a holiday destination that offers relaxation, comfort, and a chance to indulge in the finer things in life, then Europe is the perfect place to go.
Top Tips – Europe
Use Omio to compare buses versus trains, very useful.
For Hotels including self-catering apartments we use Booking.com, where you can filter by review score and many properties have a pay later/late cancellation policy should your plans suddenly change.
For travel insurance, we use and recommend using Staysure – specialists in over 50’s travel insurance, as we have always found them fair and easy to deal with.
Check our resources page for more budget tips and discounts from our days in transit!