Exploring the perfect holiday destinations ideas

Finally got the time to do all that travelling you’ve always dreamed of? We’ve got the top destinations for you to consider for your upcoming retirement holiday

For many, retiring is an opportunity to travel for longer and further than they felt able to while their career was in full swing. Of course, it often takes some careful planning in the years beforehand to decide what goals you want to tick off first. So where are your perfect holiday destinations?

It’s a great time to look around for ideas and decide which countries you want to see first. 

After more inspiration? See our top five holiday ideas for older travellers

Japan 

Busy Tokyo street in late evening light, with lit up shop signs.

A trip to Japan rarely disappoints. This country is in a completely different world, a blend of technological sophistication with ancient charm. Tokyo is extremely clean, orderly and full of quirky new experiences, like themed cafes. An Alice in Wonderland café, Shaun the Sheep café and Harry Potter café are all in the vicinity, to name a few. 

Other cities to include in your trip to Japan are Kyoto – the capital of the country before Tokyo – and Osaka. Here you’ll find many beautiful historic temples and castles, the most representative of which is Osaka Castle, a stunning building surrounded by a garden that boasts over 600 cherry trees and a tea house. 

New Zealand

Lake with a snowy mountain in the distance. New Zealand landscape.

New Zealand is a natural paradise that never ceases to amaze. Geysers, hot springs and volcanic landscape come together to offer you endless stunning panoramas. Why not also take a boat tour through the spectacular Waitomo glow worm caves?

New Zealand is such a remote destination that many people don’t feel they have time to cross it off the bucket list when they’re working full-time. Retirement could be the ideal opportunity.

Italy 

Stunning Lake Como view, with mountains overlooking clear water.

Although the most touristy cities are busy all year round, the lakes in northern Italy offer a quieter experience. It’s hard to find a destination that rivals the romance and escapism of the Italian lakes.

Just south of the Alps, there’s Lake Como, Lake Maggiore and Lake Garda, among others. The climate here is mild, so you’ll see plenty of olive trees and Mediterranean cypress trees. Sail on the lakes and sip wine to your heart’s content on an evening.

France 

Close up of grapes hanging off vines. The vineyard stretches out into the background of image.

If wine is your thing, you’ve got to take a trip to France. The region of Bordeaux forms the largest fine wine vineyard in the world, and there are five wine routes you can follow to get the most out of it. Elsewhere in France, you can also take the Burgundy wine route, Champagne wine route and Provence wine route.

France is also dotted with fairytale landscapes and castles to explore. To get the best of the climate and relax in the sunshine, don’t miss out on a stay in the French Riviera. 

Iceland

View across small Icelandic town with a terracotta roofed church style building sitting proudly at the front of the town.

Everyone should see the northern lights at least once, if they can. Though they don’t always appear on schedule, it’s worth visiting Iceland between September and April to try. It’s very easy to take tours out into the Icelandic countryside and see volcanoes, stunning waterfalls, geysers and glaciers. 

Base yourself in the most northerly capital city in the world, Reykjavik, and explore this perfectly contained city. It’s a highly walkable area of boutiques, heritage museums and seafood restaurants. Ascend Hallgrimskirkja for a panoramic view of the city and the Atlantic Ocean.

It’s never too late to see countries you’ve always wanted to see! Don’t be afraid to branch out and go somewhere completely new once you’ve retired.

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