Turn your retirement into an adventure
Exploring the world isn’t just an adventure for students in their gap year – it’s open to everyone, of any age. If you’re approaching retirement, or have already left the world of work, you may be thinking about indulging a passion for travel, good food and culture.
After years of juggling your holidays around work, you now have the time to completely immerse yourself in a new place, perhaps learning the language, making friends with the locals or simply enjoying a more relaxed way of life.
To help you make the most of your time abroad, whether you’re escaping for two months or half a year, Melissa Lyras, from mid to long-term rental specialist Spotahome, tells us about some of her favourite destinations for those who want more than just a week or two in the sun.
Discover the sights of Lisbon
A haven for foodies, Lison is a perfect blend of old and new, with bustling streets and relaxing green spaces, and plenty of cafés to sit and while away the hours. The city is a patchwork of historic landmarks and ruins, so you only have to turn a corner to experience of the local culture and vibrant history at your fingertips. Relax in the knowledge that you’re in one of the safest cities in Europe, as you stroll around taking in magnificent sights from the Jerónimos Monastery and Terreiro Do Paço, to the impressive Tower of Belém.
Explore the ruins of Rome
There’s surely nowhere better to explore the past than in Rome. Ancient ruins, beautiful fountains and famous religious buildings on every street make walking through the city feel like strolling through the world’s largest museum. Take a leisurely walk and admire the awe-inspiring Roman architecture, the Colosseum, and the Trevi Fountain. When you’re done, tuck into some of the authentic Roman cuisine that you know and love, like spaghetti alla carbonara – made how it’s supposed to be.
Admire the art in Florence
Birthplace of the Renaissance, Florence is home to stunning architecture and beautiful artwork, from great masterpieces like Piazzale Michelangelo to the Statue of David. With the same historic and cultural beauty as Rome, but with a slightly calmer atmosphere, Florence gives you plenty of time to sit back, relax, explore the countryside and numerous vineyards, and immerse yourself in the authentic Italian culture.
Winter in Krakow
Fancy spending winter abroad? Then Krakow in Poland is just the place for you. Take a stroll down the cobbled streets of the Old Town and marvel at the elegant buildings, stopping off for coffee and cake in one of the cafés. Try the Szarlotka – a type of apple cake – and the vibrant beetroot soup Borscht – comforting delights perfect for the Polish climate. Experience the perfect winter wonderland by taking a trip to the mountain resort of Zakopane, where you can ski or spend your evenings in the town’s cosy restaurants. You can also get a bird’s eye view of the Tatra mountains by taking a cable car ride.
Unwind in Riga
Latvia’s capital, Riga, is the perfect place for those who love to walk along the golden sands of a beach and let the day pass by, or explore woodlands and national parks. Filled with exotic creatures, gorgeous castle ruins and winding rivers, you can walk for hours in the peaceful air of nature. And if you want a taste of culture, festivals are a regular occurrence from the Bach festival between February and March, to the Early Music Festival celebrating traditional Latvian music between June and July; you’ll find plenty of local craft beers and traditional cuisine to satisfy your stomach.