Needs and wants change as you get older but travel is necessary, a necessity that enriches the soul and clears the mind. Want’s change at 50 plus, staying out all night is not as important as luxury bedding and fantastic spa facilities. One of the things that don’t change is the importance of getting away, and having a chance to connect with your friends.
Of course, this is an outrageous generalisation, but most fabulous fifty-plus women we know prefer quality over quantity every time. So gather the crew and consider the possibilities that lay ahead. If you can’t go right now, you can plan and enjoy the research. We are starting with a Northern Iceland adventure.
Northern Iceland – Reykjavik
Statistics say that Iceland is one of the safest countries to visit and female travellers can expect the utmost respect and consideration. It is a destination that stag and hens rarely choose, so for that reason alone, Northern Iceland is number one on our list.
The Retreat at the Blue Lagoon – offers relaxation and rejuvenation in the mineral-rich warm water surrounding the retreat. Exclusivity and luxury are the bye words at this resort. All suites have the floor to ceiling feature windows with views over the lava fields and Blue Lagoon waters. The perfect place to enjoy your newfound freedom.
You can’t possibly go to Iceland without seeing the northern lights, aurora borealis or visiting Reykjavik, the city where the sun never sets, at least in summer anyway.
Italy – Rome
If you’ve never seen the film ‘Eat Pray Love’, then you haven’t lived because this film is all about living and is the main reason for choosing Italy, specifically Rome. Imagine the scene, Julia Roberts, newly divorced, decides to travel to find some perspective on her life.
Our favourite line from the film weighs up the freedom felt that only comes with age and experience. Ladies of any age, take note Julia Roberts knows her lines.
Julia asks, ‘in all the years that you have undressed in front of a man, has he ever asked you to go? Has he ever walked out? Nope! It’s because he really doesn’t care! The man’s in a room with a naked girl, right?’
‘I’m just through with the guilt. So this is what we’re going to do, we’re going to finish this pizza, and tomorrow we are going to go on a little date and buy ourselves some bigger jeans.’
Elizabeth Gilbert wrote those lines and, in doing so, made Rome a sort after destination for travelling with girlfriends – enjoy everything Italy has to offer, fantastic food, delicious wine and a sense of timeless style in ‘bigger’ jeans.
Spain – Barcelona
Barcelona has everything your girl posse could ever need, culture, history and a Catalan attitude that celebrates life and love. Home to Picasso, Salvador Dali and Antoni Gaudí, Barcelona is a city that covers all bases.
Situated on the coast, Barcelona has it all. You can explore cultural sights in the morning and surf in the afternoon. The beach is a vast expanse of soft yellow sand, there’s even a nudist beach if you’re happy to go ‘toda natural’.
Highly recommend is a visit to the W Hotel on the beach. The hotel looks like a surfboard and is visible from the plane window as you descend into Barcelona-El Prat Airport. The hotel is covered in mirrored panels, so is a window cleaner’s nightmare but a girl gang’s super chic location.
Importantly, it’s helpful to know that Barcelona is safe. In recent years, negative publicity has given this beautiful city a bad reputation. We can report that Barcelona has no more pickpockets than any other European city. Be prepared to look after your possessions, do that, and the city will look after you.
France – Nice
Nice is nice; it’s not just nice; it’s Nice la Belle! Everything you would imagine the French Riviera would be with an extra dash of style on top. Think Catherine Deneuve or Brigitte Bardot, Nice was also the home of Brad Pitt and Angelina Joli in their Mr and Mrs Smith days.
So what makes Nice the destination du jour? It’s the savoir-faire and the joie de vivre that only the south of France can offer.
The blue sky and soft light have appealed to painters and artists from around the world. Home to Chagall, Matisse, Arman and Niki de Saint Phalle. Ladies looking for an artistic break can find their work all over the city. A pre-lunch visit to the Musée Matisse and Musée des Beaux-Arts will set you up perfectly for a Kir Royal in one of the many glorious bars along the Promenade des Anglais.
It’s not possible to visit France without going shopping. Nice is full of beautiful individual boutiques and high-end fashion brands such as Louis Vuitton, Hermès, Chanel, Cartier, Armani, Façonnable, Ventilo, Lepage, Kenzo, Longchamp, Max Mara and Sonia Rykiel, to name a few. If ‘shop till you drop’ is the mantra of your gang, you can’t go far wrong.
Nice, Barcelona, Rome, and Reykjavik are just a few destinations available to the discerning female traveller and her best girl gang to enjoy. Long live female-only vacations!