If a destination that resonates with the echo of civilisations long past sounds like your idea of holiday heaven, there are a number of thrilling locations around the globe that are sure to tick your boxes. From the haunting beauty of Cambodia’s Angkor Wat to the bloodthirsty history that soaks the sites of Rome, we’ve collated the best holidays for the over 50 explorer looking to indulge their inner historian and discover the secrets of the past.
One of the most famous archaeological sites on the planet, the awe-inspiring ancient city of Machu Picchu is often considered the historical highlight of any traveller’s trip to South America. Once the epicentre of the mighty Incan Empire, the ruins of this ancient city now attract up to 2500 visitors daily during peak season. With buildings that play on astronomical alignments and panoramic views, set against the breath-taking backdrop of the Andes, the site is shrouded in mystique and wonder. Over 50s with a reasonable level of fitness should have no real problems trekking the renowned Inca Trail, which leads through the city – a guide is a must to discover the mysteries of this ancient culture.
Speaking of mighty empires, the visual wonders of the Eternal City offer history buffs plenty of opportunity to get lost in the world of Ancient Rome. However, as well as the forbidding grandeur of the Colosseum and the majestic beauty of sights like the Pantheon, the endless examples of stunning Baroque and Renaissance architecture hidden within the backstreets of the city will keep even the most dedicated history connoisseur busy for days on end.
The iconic landmark of beautiful Cambodia, Angkor Wat was constructed by King Suryavarman II back in the 12th century and has captured the hearts of history buffs all over the world as well as being a great source of national pride. In fact, the lotus-bud towers of this magnificent temple can even be found on the national flag. Plan a stay in the refreshing Cambodian town of Siem Reap with its unique colonial architecture that could easily trick you into believing you’ve wound up somewhere in Europe as opposed to halfway around the world in Asia. Bear in mind that the Angkor complex is vast – set aside a full day to explore at the very least and hire a moto-taxi from the town to drive you around the key sites within.
The alluring archaeological site of Petra, Jordan’s ‘lost city’, boasts the sort of atmospheric setting that Hollywood directors go mad for. In fact, several scenes from Indian Jones and the Last Crusade were filmed here. Hidden in the arid stretches of Jordan’s southwestern desert, the city is accessed through a narrow canyon named Al Siq, its pink sandstone interior revealing dramatic rock-cut temples and tombs cut into the cliff. Petra was once an extensive trading city that saw exotic fare such as incense, silks and spices pass through its centre. Now it has earned itself a spot on the UNESCO World Heritage list, due to its enchanting beauty and cultural significance.
Greece has long been a popular summer holiday hotspot for travellers of all ages that enjoy getting stuck into the history books. As well as countless islands, azure seas and delicious cuisine, Greece is also home to Athens, a city that could double as an open-air museum, filled to bursting with fascinating historical tidbits to satisfy anyone’s hunger for history. Although there is much to see in and around Athens, it is the Acropolis that garners the most attention, thanks to its inspirational collection of Ancient Greek monuments including the Pantheon and the Marvel at Propylaea.
Heading off on a history holiday? Make sure you purchase the right travel insurance to cover you for your journey and any activities you might participate in on arrival. Medical Travel Compared can help you trawl through the policies on offer, making it easier than ever for you to narrow down your choice to the right plan for your trip. Thus freeing up your mind to absorb all the history and culture that’s coming your way.