After a life spent taking on the daily grind, paying off mortgages, bringing up kids and keeping the grandchildren in line, retired couples have earned a well-deserved break! With Europe quite literally at their doorstep, hordes of retired Brits have some incredible destinations to choose from. And while Rome, Paris and Barcelona will always be long time favourites, the continent is also home to some mesmerising up and coming holiday destinations that will have retirees enamoured with their charm, intrigue and character. Want a little inspiration? Read on for a glimpse at three of our favourite unique destinations that are guaranteed to have you head over heels.
Founded in the 7th century, Taranto in Puglia was one of the wealthiest, luxurious and most significant colonies of Southern Italy’s Magna Graecia region. Today, it’s a hugely important naval base with a historic medieval heart that echoes the city’s illustrious past. For visitors, Taranto is brimming with intrigue. Discover local delicacies at one of the city’s many food festivals, uncover ancient relics at the Museo Nazionale Archeologico, marvel at the towering 11th century cathedral and sip on a strong Italian espresso at one of the many cafes lining the pedestrianised streets of the old city. There are plenty of romantic hotels and stunning holiday villas in Puglia, with Taranto boasting some of the most luxurious. Taranto is a real slice of Italy and perfect for couples who want to enjoy exquisite food and wine.
Quickly emerging as one of Europe’s most exciting holiday destinations, Budapest is an absolute gem. Foodies will be sold when they find out it boasts one of the most sophisticated cooking styles on the continent. The Art Nouveau architecture is stunning, the cultural scene is captivating and the city’s rustic bars are the best places to sample the country’s excellent wines. For retirees looking to really unwind, a soak at one of the city’s many hot spring baths is a must-have Budapest experience.
Searching for a cosmopolitan vibe underpinned by timeless old world charm? Croatia’s seaside city of Zadar offers a mix of natural beauty, royal Habsburg-style and contemporary city chic. Not to mention some truly unique attractions. Be hypnotised by local architect Nikola Bašić’s amazing Sea Organ, then dance across the 300 glass plates that make up the shimmering Sun Salutation interactive artwork.
Have we convinced you to think outside the box and consider some alternative destinations for your next European getaway? Whether you head to Taranto, Budapest, Zadar or any other less-hyped location, just remember that an open mind and an open heart will make your experience all the richer.
Chiara Tenuzzo is Director of Aria Luxury Apulia.
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