What’s the best way for seniors to experience a destination? Head outdoors to get in touch with native wildlife, unique ecosystems, and local culture. Hiking, cycling, kayaking, and more—take your favorite pastimes on the road with you to these vacation spots around the world. 4 International Destinations for Active Seniors
This sprawling Scandinavian nation has twin advantages for active travelers: jaw-dropping scenery in every direction (think dramatic fjords, coastal fishing villages, and snowy arctic landscapes) and excellent infrastructure, including a number of “national scenic routes” that make Norway easy to navigate. Rent a car and take a summer road trip from Bergen along the gorgeous Hardangerfjord to three national parks. Hike in Hardangervidda, mountain bike in Hallingskarvet, and tour organic farms outside of Jotunheimenafter exploring its peaks, valleys, and waterfalls. Winter visitors can head north to Tromsø, the base for arctic activities like dog-sledding, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing. Then, spend the night in a luxury ice hotel—and don’t forget to ask for a Northern Lights wake up call, offered by many lodges in the region.
Trekking in the Himalaya may sound daunting, but you don’t have to climb Mount Everest to have a satisfying Nepal adventure. In fact, there are plenty of beginner-friendly routes that offer just as many stellar views and cultural experiences as their more challenging counterparts. Traditional teahouse accommodations along the trails are actually quite comfortable, and in some areas, glamping and luxury lodges are available. One option is the Balthali Village Trek, which entails three days of low-altitude hiking along the edge of the Kathmandu Valley. And with four days, you can complete the Ghandruk Trek, one of the shortest routes in the lower Annapurna. Visit Gurung villages along the way, and take in staggering vistas of some of the world’s tallest peaks. For travelers not interested in trekking, Nepal also has jungle safaris, yoga retreats, and even helicopter tours with views of Everest.
Want to spend your vacation observing wildlife and bird-watching to your heart’s content? More than 25 percent of the land within Costa Rica’s borders is protected, meaning unmatched biodiversity and national parks galore. Take a nature walk through the forest canopy on the famous suspension bridges of Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. Keep an eye out for some of the 400 species of native birds, including toucans, scarlet macaws, and the brightly-plumed resplendent quetzal.
You can also experience the rainforests and Pacific beaches of tiny Manuel Antonio National Park. Wake early for a guided wildlife tour through the jungle (cross your fingers for a sloth sighting!) before an afternoon of snorkeling, kayaking through mangrove forests, or whitewater rafting on the Savegre River.
With thousands of islands to explore, the options are truly endless in this land of sunshine, sea, and ancient mythology. Try a tour that combines mainland Greece with multiple isles—you can choose from a variety of activities, and cruising between stops across the glittering Mediterranean is part of the fun. Hikers can head to the Samaria Gorge in the White Mountains of Crete, a full-day excursion that’s downhill the whole way. You’ll wind your way down the beautiful (and sometimes steep) canyon, eventually ending at a quaint village hugging the shores of the Libyan Sea. Other active options in Greece include walking tours of ancient sites in Athens and Delphi, scenic rafting trips down the Zagori region’s mellow Voidomatis River, and sea kayaking around the less-visited southern coast of Santorini.
Jennifer Kotlewski is a writer for kimkim.com, an online travel booking resource. She’s visited over 29 different countries and loves curating travel advice about her favorite destinations.
4 International Destinations for Active Seniors 4 International Destinations for Active Seniors 4 International Destinations for Active Seniors 4 International Destinations for Active Seniors 4 International Destinations for Active Seniors 4 International Destinations for Active Seniors
As a Senior.com Director of Marketing, Kimberly Johnson is passionate about providing Seniors with the resources and products to live well. Kimberly is a seasoned caregiver to her family and breast cancer survivor. Her father battled ALS, Lou Gehrig’s disease, for 13 months before passing. Today Kimberly lives in Southern California near her 102 year old grandmother, widowed mother, a mentally disabled sister and second sister who is also a breast cancer survivor. She is happily married to her husband of 22 years and they have 3 children.View All Articles