Make the memories of a lifetime by traveling the world. The experiences you can gain from travel are so much richer than any material goods. This is especially true as we age, which is why more and more globetrotters these days are over 50.
That’s why we checked travel websites like Tripadvisor and Expedia along with local tourism sites, to find the best bucket-list destinations for travelers over 50. These are the destinations that really rose above the rest, and offer great opportunities to curate the memories of a lifetime with their rich history and breathtaking scenery.
1. Kyoto, Japan
Why it’s great for older travelers: The former capital of Japan offers both serene nature and a lively modern city. You get the best of both history and today’s trends in this accessible city with excellent public transportation that makes it easy to navigate.
Sites of interest: Explore stunning temples such as Kinkakuji (Golden Pavilion) and Kiyomizudera. Or wander through the geisha district of Gion and visit the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove.
- Be prepared for a lot of walking and wear comfortable shoes.
- Kyoto can be hot and humid in the summer and cold in the winter. Be prepared with appropriate clothing and stay hydrated during hot weather.
- Learn about local customs and etiquette, such as removing shoes before entering homes or temples, and be mindful of appropriate dress codes.
2. Tuscany, Italy
Why it’s great for older travelers: With its rolling hills, picturesque vineyards, and historic towns, Tuscany offers the perfect blend of art, food, and culture. The exquisite cuisine and world-class wines attract foodies looking for a getaway where life moves at a slower pace. Older travelers to Tuscany also have the perk of special train passes and reductions on bus tickets.
Sites of interest: Visit the beautiful cities of Florence, Siena, and Pisa. Or tour the idyllic Chianti wine region. Get a dash of history at medieval towns like San Gimignano.
- Tuscany is a region best explored by car, but the roads can be narrow and winding, and Italian drivers can be aggressive. Consider hiring a driver or joining a tour group to avoid the stress of driving yourself.
- Be prepared for crowds at popular attractions and plan your visits accordingly to avoid long lines and wait times.
3. The Canadian Rockies, Canada
Why it’s great for older travelers: The Canadian Rockies offer a wide range of outdoor activities and stunning landscapes, making it a great destination for active older travelers. This is a huge region with many provincial and national parks making up a UNESCO World Heritage Site that you can explore at your leisure.
Sites of interest: Towns like Canmore, Banff and Jasper serve as hubs for adventure whether you want to hike, raft or just watch the wildlife.
- Many parts of the Canadian Rockies are at high elevations, which can cause altitude sickness in some people. If you have a history of heart or respiratory problems, consult with your doctor before visiting the area.
- The Canadian Rockies can experience extreme weather conditions, including snowstorms, heavy rain, and wildfires. Be prepared with appropriate clothing and check weather forecasts before embarking on outdoor activities.
- The Canadian Rockies are home to a variety of wildlife, including bears, elk, and moose. Follow all guidelines from park rangers and tour guides, and avoid approaching or feeding the animals.
4. Santorini, Greece
Why it’s great for older travelers: The iconic blue roofs and colorful seaside structures you associate with Greece sit in Santorini, a town that’s perfect for rest and relaxation. It doesn’t get much more peaceful than this, with tranquil spas and incredible views.
Sites of interest: In the morning, sip your coffee at the caldera, a large crater created by the volcano in the area. In the evening, see the lava rock houses of Oia while catching one of the most stunning sunsets in the world.
- Be prepared for a lot of walking and wear comfortable shoes. Santorini is known for its picturesque villages and stunning views, but many areas require navigating steps and stairs.
- Santorini has a limited public transportation system, and taxis can be expensive. Consider renting a car or ATV to explore the island independently.
5. New Zealand
Why it’s great for older travelers: Whether you want to hike, experience a new culture, or watch the whales, you can do it in New Zealand. The country has a ton to offer older travelers. Some even experience the country via road trip just to take in more of the sights at their own pace.
Sites of interest: Cruise the stunning Milford Sound, explore the geothermal wonders of Rotorua, and take the TranzAlpine train journey through the Southern Alps.
- New Zealand drives on the left-hand side of the road, and the roads can be narrow and winding in some areas. Be sure to follow all traffic laws and consider hiring a driver or joining a tour group to avoid the stress of driving yourself.
- New Zealand has a rich indigenous culture, and visitors can experience traditional Maori customs, such as a haka performance or a hangi feast. Be respectful of the culture and traditions and seek out opportunities to learn more about them.
6. Provence, France
Why it’s great for older travelers: Provence’s beautiful countryside, charming villages, and vibrant markets make it a perfect destination for older travelers seeking an authentic French experience. Life moves at a more leisurely pace here, so take your time enjoying all the culinary wonders of this pastoral paradise.
Sites of interest: Visit an authentic Roman theater at Theatre Antique, or check out the largest Gothic palace ever built at Palais des Papes. The morning and Friday markets are great for a stroll.
- Provence is a large region, and public transportation can be limited in some areas. Consider renting a car or joining a tour group to explore the region independently.
7.Galápagos Islands, Ecuador
Why it’s great for older travelers: The Galápagos Islands offer a once-in-a-lifetime wildlife experience. The islands’ organized tours and comfortable accommodations cater to mature travelers, ensuring a comfortable and educational adventure full of unusual animal life in this “living museum.”
Sites of interest: Encounter the giant tortoises of Santa Cruz Island, snorkel with sea lions at San Cristóbal Island, and witness the incredible birdlife of Genovesa Island.
- Wear sunscreen, a hat, and protective clothing to prevent sunburns and other skin damage.
- Avoid littering, stick to designated paths, and do not disturb the wildlife or their habitats.
- Make sure to purchase comprehensive travel insurance that covers medical emergencies and trip cancellations. Medical facilities on the Galapagos Islands are limited, and a medical evacuation can be costly.
8. Dublin, Ireland
Why it’s great for older travelers: Dublin is an ideal destination for travelers over 50.The stunning city packs rich history into a compact city center designed for walkability. You can easily stroll at your own pace from one historic site to the next or use accessible public transportation.
Sites of interest: Discover the extensive literary contributions of the country at the Museum of Literature Ireland. The James Joyce Centre celebrates one of the most famous Dubliners of all time. And, of course, make sure to sample a Guinness during your stay, but steer clear of Temple Bar, which has been labeled a tourist trap by TripAdvisor users.
- Wear comfortable shoes: Dublin’s streets and sidewalks can be uneven.
- Bring appropriate clothing, including a waterproof jacket: Ireland’s weather can be unpredictable, with rain and wind common throughout the year.
- Make sure to exchange your money before you arrive or withdraw cash from an ATM: Ireland uses the Euro as its currency.
Why it’s great for older travelers: Bhutan is a country that prides itself on preserving its culture. You’ll notice a strong Buddhist influence in the remote Himalayan kingdom. The government is committed to sustainable tourism, so this isn’t the easiest place on our list to visit, but it is well worth the extra effort.
Sites of interest: Discover the cliffside Tiger’s Nest Monastery and explore the traditional architecture of the capital city Thimphu.
- Bhutan is committed to sustainable tourism, and visitors are required to book their trips through licensed tour operators. Be mindful of the impact of your visit on the environment and support local businesses and communities.
- Bhutan is a mountainous country, and some areas, such as the famous Tiger’s Nest Monastery, require climbing steep steps at high altitudes. Be sure to consult with your doctor before your trip and take the necessary precautions to avoid altitude sickness.
- Bhutan is a deeply religious country with a unique culture and traditions. Visitors should be respectful of the local customs and dress modestly, especially when visiting religious sites.
10. Edinburgh, Scotland
Why it’s great for older travelers: Edinburgh’s enchanting atmosphere and rich history make it an ideal destination for older travelers seeking a memorable experience. The city’s compact size and efficient public transport system make it easy to navigate and explore how you like.
Sites of interest: Visit the iconic Edinburgh Castle, stroll along the historic Royal Mile, and discover the beauty of the Royal Botanic Garden. You can even visit the 2,000-year-old Arthur’s Seat hill fort.
- Edinburgh is known for its changeable weather, so be prepared for rain, wind, and varying temperatures.
- Edinburgh is a compact city, and the best way to explore it is on foot. However, some streets and areas can be steep and uneven, so wear comfortable shoes and be prepared for a lot of walking.
Make the Memories of a Lifetime
History, culture, and natural beauty will stick with us much longer than material objects. Pick your dream destination and plan a trip that will leave you with lasting memories.
We are never too old to learn and grow. Many of these trips offer a history lesson as well as beautiful scenery and good food. Leave the hustle and bustle behind and take it all in at your own pace. You’ll end up with memories you treasure and experiences that enrich your life.
This article was produced and syndicated by MediaFeed.
- The best hole-in-the-wall bars in every state
- Skip the crowds this summer at these secret national parks
Like MediaFeed’s content? Be sure to follow us.