What do you want out of travel in your 40s? Mental, physical, or spiritual stimulation? Possibly nothing dramatically different to what you wanted in your 20s and 30s but perhaps you have a slightly bigger budget now.
To help you on your way, we’ve compiled a list of the best destinations for 40-something travellers.
Learn or perfect the skill of surfing along Portugal's 2,000km-long coastline
Custard tarts, seafood, sunshine; just some of what you can expect from a Portuguese holiday and with nearly 2,000km of coastline, there are endless uncrowded waves for surfing too. These waves vary from gentle swells for beginners to more challenging breaks for the enviably experienced, 40-something surfers. An opportunity to learn or perfect the skill of surfing, this is just the right level of active and adventurous.
Carcavelos Surf House is close to Lisbon, provides surf lessons, is a short walk from the beach, and has light and airy Portuguese rooms with parquet flooring and Moorish lamps.
A tree pose with a view in Hampi, India
Head to the birthplace of yoga for a restorative and revitalizing holiday. There is a colossal number of yoga retreats and ashrams to choose from in India. If you’re a seasoned yogi, choose the style of yoga or guru you’re after first and use that to decide on where you want to go. Otherwise, you can simply lead from where you’d like to spend your time; amidst prayer flags and birdsong in the Himalayas, or in a straw hut on a tropical beach sipping on a coconut.
Banyan Tree Yoga has in-house yoga lessons and a massage parlour just a short walk from Ashvem Beach in Goa. Or, Rishikesh Sadan A Yoga & Spritual Retreat also offers its own yoga classes in Himalayan surrounds next to a waterfall.
Walking the Great Wall of China is one for the bucket list
Though the scenery transforms with every season, walking the Great Wall of China is always an awesome experience, following the trail of crumbling ruins through misty ancient forest. It’s a definite one for the bucket list, so if you haven’t crossed it off before your 40s, now is the time to do it. The Wall is 13,000 miles-long and though much of that has deteriorated due to its incredible age (it dates back to the 7th Century BC), there’s still a decent chunk left to explore.
It’s easiest to stay in Beijing and take a taxi to the Great Wall from there. The most highly-rated property in the Chinese capital is the Rosewood, an irresistibly luxurious hotel in the centre of the city.
Cycle through Italy stopping at vineyards and local restaurants
One of the best ways to appreciate the Italian landscape is by bike. Whether you opt for the white-washed villages and rolling, fig tree-covered hills of Puglia, or the ocean views of the Italian Riviera, there’s a variety of landscapes and difficulty levels to guarantee a fulfilling and divine cycling holiday. There are plenty of tours available, or you can pedal under your own steam. And try to squeeze in a few visits to churches, galleries, and vineyards for wine tastings along the way.
Since you’ll probably want to start off in a big city and work out where to go from there, the Casa Roma Luxury Apartment in Rome comes highly-recommended, as does the Appartamento Signoria in Florence.
Initiate yourself in the joys of naked saunas
Naked saunas, Norway
If you’re not yet initiated in the joys of naked saunas, you’re missing out. And for particularly adventurous 40-year-olds, a trip to Norway to experience the real deal comes highly recommended. Letting go of inhibitions, sweating out all those toxins, and then diving into a glacial lake in the middle of a mountainous, Norwegian landscape is pure heaven.
Magic Mountain Lodge in Lyngen has a private sauna, fjord-view rooms, and skiing, glacier walking, and alpine trekking, depending on the season.