Gazing out across Machu Picchu (Shutterstock)
List Words : Team Wanderlust | 02 September 2019

Over 40s travel: Epic adventures for those juggling life, work and family

Maybe you're consolidating your career, or the kids are getting older. Either way, you're still yearning for adventure. These trips will meet the demands of life - and your ever-expanding bucket list...

1. Indulge in a luxurious active holiday in Costa Rica

Your lodge beside the Pacuare River (Pacuare Lodge)

Your lodge beside the Pacuare River (Pacuare Lodge)

Short but utterly exhilarating, this holiday with Journey Latin America packs in all the activities Costa Rica is famous for. It pampers you too, with stays in some of the country’s most luxurious lodges and resorts.

For eight days, your feet will hardly touch the ground. You’ll raft the effervescent rapids of the Pacuare River, reaching one of the world's leading eco lodges, surrounded by tropical forest and your home for two nights.

You’ll continue downstream to a luxury lodge in the cloud forest rising from the slopes of the gently smoking Póas Volcano, before heading to a top-of-the-range resort, surrounded by forest and wildlife and dotted with thermal pools.

Combining a wide range of wellness options and outdoor activities, you’ll have the flexibility to choose the experience that takes your mood.

Trip: Luxury Adventures In Costa Rica

Who: Journey Latin America

Type: Tailor-made

When: Flexible departures throughout the year

How long: Eight days

How much: From £2,298 (exc. flights)

2. Take the family to the greatest wildlife spectacle on earth

Marine iguana walking on Tortuga Bay beach in Santa Cruz (Shutterstock)

Marine iguana walking on Tortuga Bay beach in Santa Cruz (Shutterstock)

If your little ones aren't so little anymore, take the opportunity to enjoy an adventure together that you'll all remember forever. Like this six-day family jaunt through the Galápagos Islands with Andean Trails. 

With its extraordinary wildlife, warm weather and golden beaches, the Galápagos is the perfect destination for families looking to combine fascinating activities with a relaxing holiday. 

You and your family can climb volcanoes and explore lava tunnels, swim and snorkel with sea lions, sharks and rays, take surf lessons, sea kayak, hire a bike, play volleyball or frisbee with the locals, or simply hang out on the beach.

If you want to indulge in some downtime and enjoy the weather, you can leave the kids to it, knowing they are in the hands of excellent local guides.

Trip: Galápagos Family Holiday

Who: Andean Trails

Type: Tailor-made

When: Flexible departures throughout the year

How long: Six days

How much: From £1,391 (exc. flights)

3. Discover your Gross National Happiness in Bhutan

Traditional dance in Bhutan (Shutterstock)

Traditional dance in Bhutan (Shutterstock)

Here’s one for the bucket list: a unique adventure through the remote corners of the hidden Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan with TravelLocal.

This trip through little-visited, real life Shangri-La will take you to the country’s most famous sights - like the iconic Tiger’s Nest temple and the capital, Paro. It'll also introduce you to the charms of the countryside.

You’ll spend time with yak herders to learn about their way of life, trek through the Himalaya to Thimphu, glimpsing breathtaking views of Mount Kanchenjunga and Mount Everest along the way, and hike the stunningly beautiful Thousand Lake trek.

This is an unique chance to experience real Bhutanese life outside of the cities.

Trip: A Thousand Lakes Trek

Who: TravelLocal

Type: Tailor-made

When: Mar to May & Sep to Nov

How long: 10 days

How much: From £2,330 (exc. flights)

4. Enjoy a wine tour in Portugal’s Douro Valley

A road through the Duoro Valley (Shutterstock)

A road through the Duoro Valley (Shutterstock)

Got five days to spare? Then this cheeky self-drive holiday through Portugal’s famous Douro Valley with Wexas is for you.

Combining the freedom of having your own wheels with indulgence of palatial accommodation each night, it's the perfect way to experience the joyful way of life in this part of the world.

You'll start in Porto, exploring the city and staying in an 18th century palace, before heading for the rolling hills of the Douro Valley along the N222 – recently voted the world’s most beautiful road.

Covering 17 miles and 93 bends, you’ll pass through the heart of the Douro region’s sweeping wineries and countryside estates, before arriving at your historic ‘quinta' accommodation. 

Trip: Porto & The Douro Valley: Wines & Vines Fly-Drive

Who: Wexas

Type: Tailor-made

When: Flexible departures throughout the year

How long: Five days

How much: From £465 (inc. flights)

5. Experience the magic of Rajasthan

Sunset over Gadi Sagar lake in Jaipur (Shutterstock)

Sunset over Gadi Sagar lake in Jaipur (Shutterstock)

OK, you might have to shuffle schedules and call in a favour or two to get a few extra days off for this trip, but it’s worth it... anything for a luxurious 12-day experiential holiday in India’s magical Rajasthan, with Evaneos.

This trip is designed for people looking to truly experience India, while still enjoying high comfort. It will take you beyond the well-worn tourist track in Delhi, Agra and Jaipur and reveal India’s true character in a sustainable way.

You’ll experience a unique ‘mindful’ tour of the Taj Mahal, visit an elephant rescue centre, and meet the female entrepreneurs who are revitalising their local communities. 

Peppered with breathtaking accommodation and time to relax, you’ll wander the beautiful cities of Rajasthan and discover the colour, music, dances and culture that makes this part of India so unforgettable. 

Trip: India: Magic And Realism Rajhastan - Luxury And Experential Holidays

Who: Evaneos

Type: Tailor-made

When: Flexible departures throughout the year

How long: 12 days

How much: From £1,890 (exc. flights)

6. Dive big in The Maldives

Diving with manta rays in The Maldives (Shutterstock)

Diving with manta rays in The Maldives (Shutterstock)

Maybe you got your PADI certificate in your backpacker days. Perhaps diving is a sport you’ve taken up since turning the big 4-0.

Whatever the circumstances, this is the once-in-a-lifetime underwater experience you’ve been waiting for – diving with whale sharks and manta rays in The Maldives with Dive Worldwide.

The South Ari Atoll is renowned for its big marine life, with whale sharks regular visitors to the protected area of Maamigili from October to March.

Based at the Sun Island Resort & Spa, you’ll enjoy at least 10 dives, encountering squadrons of eagle rays, big schools of large pelagic species, green turtles, grey reef sharks, grouper and manta rays.

Trip: Big In The Maldives

Who: Dive Worldwide

Type: Small group

When: Oct to Mar

How long: Nine days

How much: From £2,395 (inc. flights)

7. Trek Machu Picchu, exactly how you want to

Meeting the locals in Machu Picchu (Shutterstock)

Meeting the locals in Machu Picchu (Shutterstock)

This highly customisable adventure to Machu Picchu with Audley is perfect for a family trip or a luxury break.

It includes a private guided tour of Machu Picchu, the chance to explore the former Inca capital of Cusco, and is short enough for you to get back to reality - before your inbox gets completely out of control.

The trip is designed to get you straight into the heart of the local life, with a street food tour in Cusco, a visit to chaotic rural markets and a trek through timeless landscapes. Bike, hike and raft your way through the Sacred Valley for a life changing experience.

Trip: Discover Machu Picchu

Who: Audley

Type: Tailor-made

When: Flexible departures throughout the year

How long: Nine days

How much: From £4,945 (inc. flights)

8. Take a classic cycling tour through Tuscany

Your trail awaits (Shutterstock)

Your trail awaits (Shutterstock)

Let your inner Geraint Thomas hang out with your inner Jamie Oliver on this cycling and ‘sampling’ holiday with KE Adventure Travels.

It’s a journey that will see you cycling on country roads through one of most iconic landscapes in Europe. From Siena’s Piazza del Campo and the tower homes of San Gimignano, there’s an unforgettable view around every corner – and an equally unforgettable meal.

Delicious, locally-sourced Tuscan food and Chianti wine will fuel your exploration of this truly special Italian region.

Trip: Classic Cycling Tour Of Tuscany

Who: KE Adventure Travel

Type: Small group

When: Apr to Jun & Aug to Oct

How long: Eight days

How much: From £1,295 (exc. flights)

9. Cruise Western Lycia in a traditional gulet

Your gulet in Turkey (Shutterstock)

Your gulet in Turkey (Shutterstock)

Explore Turkey’s stunning Lycian coast aboard a traditional gulet, in a trip ideal for walkers and sailors alike. Expect fabulous swims, stunning archaeology and extraordinary fresh food and wine.

The Lycian Way follows 300 miles of ancient trails and mule roads, and is regarded as one of the best walks in the world. You’ll dip in and out, walking the best stretches and returning to your gulet each evening for a fabulous meal and a refreshing swim. Your skipper knows his history too, and will happily explain the ancient wonders you’ll encounter along the way.

From footpaths by the coast, to goat tracks high up in the hills, this is an archaeological tour and gulet cruise packed full of breath-taking panoramas.

Trip: Walking And Cruising Western Lycia

Who: Peter Sommer Travels

Type: Small group

When: May

How long: Eight days

How much: £2,465 (exc. flights)

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