Seniors Search For “Classy Rental Villas”

Well, today senior friends, we are off to find some classy villas to rent in Italy. We really don’t care where… just so it’s in Tuscany. And we want to find some really nice ones at a good price. Of course in and around Chianti will be an added amenity as well.

Google came up with an off the wall number of villas for rent in Tuscany. A well-known one, called The Best in Italy, is a good site to start with. They favor one villa for only $14,000 a week called Casa Querceto in Chianti between Florence and Siena. The house is for sale at ONLY $1.25 million. Many just pass up on the Casa. So let’s look  for more villas in and around Chianti.

Choosing the right accommodation to suit your individual needs can be time-consuming but rewarding. Salogi Tuscany Villas offers a selection of exclusive villas and farmhouses, all with a private swimming pool.

Renttuscany by Emma Villas is an Italian Incoming Tour Operator specializing in the weekly rental of exclusive holiday Villas and Country Houses with private pools. Parker Villas, located in Toscana would like to rent you a villa as well. And Villas in the World has several that you may like.

Wow. I had no idea that there were so many villas for rent in Tuscany.  Seems like half the territory up there has a villa for rent. TripAdvisor at the helm with their listing for Tuscany Villas (9,173) that range upwards from just $66 per night to Sant’Andrea for, get this, $2,802 per night. And, ahem, additional fees may apply!

Selva di Monte has to be pretty nice too at only $2,337 per night. Sure hope you find a nice one where you will be content.  I think you will just love Tuscany . VacaVilla has a villa listings for you to consider. Tuscany Now has a listing of 120 luxury Tuscany villas for you to scan through.

Seniors Enjoy Chianti’s Wines and Villas

If you like the wine you can treat your palate well here. The Chianti villa rentals immerse their guests in traditions and ways of life hundreds of years old, with converted farmhouses providing the accommodation and rolling vineyards the spectacular backdrop.

You’ll keep busy in Chianti as it is the most famous wine-producing region of Italy, a treasure box of small towns and quiet, lush tracts of land full of vineyards. That fine Chianti will help with your contentedness. Here are some tips you may find helpful before you do some serious wine tasting in Chianti.  jeb




Seniors Enjoy The Rainbow Island

I recently was watching a travel show hosted by Steve Steves, my travel hero.  He was visiting Venice and took a side trip to Burano and Murano.  A senior trip to Venice must be complemented with a visit to Burano.

The island of Burano has a current population of about 2,800 inhabitants and consists of four individual islands, which are separated by narrow canals. Burano is most famous for lace-making and for its brightly-colored fishermen’s houses. The island is a photographer’s paradise. So seniors, when you go to Venice, be aware that right next door is Burano, a “Must See.”. It’s a perfect day trip away from Venice.

Burano is known for its small, brightly painted houses that are popular with artists. The colors of the houses follow a specific system originating from the golden age of its development. If a resident wishes to paint their home, they must send a request to the government, who will respond by making notice of the certain colors permitted for that lot. How about that?

TripAdvisor’s Best of Burano  lists a few attractions senior visitors will not want to miss that include seafood places to eat like Ai Pescatori. This restaurant opened 200 years ago in a building that was antique even then. Al Gatto Nero is another top-notch choice.

Senior Visitors Discover Burano’s Lace

The Burano women have developed a fine, delicate form of lace known as “punto in aria” (points in the air) which transformed the island into one of the most prosperous lacemaking centers in Europe. Plan to visit the Burano Lacemaking Museum (Museo del Merletto di Burano). The Merletto Museum is recent, though it traces its roots back to the lace-making school, which lasted a century.

Senior visitors are intrigued by the many colors of houses that are reflected into the green waters of channels, by the Oblique Bell Tower, by the tranquility and the calmness with which the elderly ladies embroider by their tombolo, while they are laughing and chatting in squares. It seems to be in paradise. Children who dart freely with their bicycles, balconies with multicolored flowers, fishermen who put up fresh fish from their traditional boats.

Just 40 minutes by ferry from Venice, Burano’s colorful houses offer senior visitors a respite from the faded gray of most Venetian Pallazzi. The houses, it is said, were painted these brilliant colors out of the fishermen’s’ desire to see their own houses from far out at sea (or to find them when they’d had a bit too much to drink).

Consider one of these tours from Venice. This blog was tough to compose as it kept coming up those multiple beautiful little houses that dot the island everywhere and all I wanted to do was to look at them. So, after Venice plan on a side trip to Burano.  I think that you will love it and your camera will too. It’s a “Little Piece of Italian Magic.” jeb


Seniors Find Mandeville Upscale In Jamaica

Mandeville, the capital and largest town in the parish of Manchester in the county of Middlesex, Jamaica, in 2005 had an estimated population of 50,000. Mandeville has been around for quite some time… laid out in 1816, and named after Viscount Mandeville. I recently read that it was one of the more upscale cities in Jamaica, comprised of many intellectuals and returning residents from America and England. Senior travelers will sometimes find it called the “English Town”. Mandeville is one of Jamaica’s hidden treasures and is the only major town not sitting on the coastline of Jamaica.  Google shoots it from above with several choices for views.

Yahoo Says “YAHOO” For Mandeville

You’ll find plenty to do in town and the finest hotel in Mandeville might be just right for your stay. Check out the 15 traveler photos that include a marvelous dish for you to try. I just had to find a YouTube on the Hotel complete with some great steel drum music as background. I think you will find the 60 rooms very accommodating. The Mandeville Hotel is one of the first in the Caribbean which started operation in 1875.

Mandeville, Jamaica also was the first to have a golf course in the Caribbean in 1868. The city enjoys a celebrated reputation for its cleanliness, low crime rate, and a sense of order. Senior visitors will enjoy those stats. In fact these are some of the main reasons that Mandeville is the preferred destination for many a returning resident. Lonely Planet says, “Come and see Mandeville”.

Just about everything you will need to know prior to your visit is here. Once a sleepy country town, Mandeville has a bit of bustle nowadays. The town came awake some 40 years ago when the potential of the red earth of the surrounding countryside was wedded to the world’s demand for bauxite and its end product, aluminum. The nearby alumina plant at Nain is the second largest in the world.

Seniors Delight in a Perfect Climate

The weather is pretty nice year round but you had better get out that calculator to figure out the centigrade degree scale. Mandeville is most noted for its perfect climate ranging from 65-80 degrees, which is different from the rest of the island.  And food.  Try Little Ochie or the Bloomfield Great House and Bar or if you enjoy chinese, Lew’s International Chinese Restaurant.

One of the main attractions of Mandeville is the town itself; visitors often acclaim the beauty of the town, its pinnacled position and the cool health-giving climate which is like none other. Toss in your golf clubs and look for the Golf View Hotel that has one of the oldest and most renowned courses on the entire island. The Photo Gallery is neat too. The Kariba Kariba and the Mandeview Flats are  not too shabby either. I’ll leave you today with some interesting sites to take in and around Mandeville. jeb



Filed under : Adventure Travel, Caribbean


Seniors Discover Temples and Ancient Ruins in Bagan

Bagan is located in Myanmar, formerly known as Burma. Today senior visitors are flocking to the area to take in the many wonders including several World Heritage Sites. Bagan hosts over 10,000 Buddhist temples, pagodas and monasteries. Scenes of the remains of over 2200 temples and pagodas still survive to the present day as these photos show. Mapcarta will take you right into the heart of Bagan and the surrounding territory.

Can you imagine yourself riding your bike through the territory described above? Riding a bike is often the best way to get away from the many tourists and see up close the remotest temples and ruins. What makes these temples look so romantic is the process of graceful aging. Lonely Planet has a neat bike trip planned for senior bikers to see the beauty of this untouched country.

Bagan is an area in the Central region of Myanmar. There is so much history to be experienced first-hand and Wikitravel can help first-time senior visitors locate the Angkor ruins.

Can you imagine yourself in a hot air balloon flying over some of these ancient temples at a leisurely pace and filling up your camera with one-of-a-kind photos? You have plenty of time to make arrangements to be there for the inaugural Bagan Temple Marathon that takes place in November 2013. Combine a truly fantastic running experience with an unforgettable holiday. If you have ever been in a marathon, this race is just for you.

Balloons over Bagan floats over thousand year old pagodas and the Ayeyarwaddy River and what an awesome array of scenery. And then there’s the Golden Rock, one of the most sacred places in Myanmar (Burma). Once you are on site you will want to explore others.

Hotels? Thirty of them to be precise. If you are like my wife and me, a nice B&B would suit our stay just fine.  Twenty-five suggestions of things for senior travelers to do.

A private tour guides you on a grand journey through Yangon, Kyaikhtiyo, Bago, Bagan, Mandalay, Kalaw, Inle Lake & Ngapali Beach. The tour features jungle tribes, boy monks, an elephant safari, leg-rowing fishermen, champagne air balloon, blessings, tranquil beaches, sacred pagodas and much more.  It includes 5-star hotels and delectable cuisine.

Seniors Experience Traditional and Ancient Architecture

Check out this collection of regional architecture. ‘This is Burma’, wrote Rudyard Kipling. ‘It is quite unlike any place you know about.’

Lonely Planet can fill in a lot of FAQs for first-time visitors. There are just so many temples in and around  Bagan. Note the monk in this National Geographic photo who walks along a dusty road in Bagan, the ancient capital of Myanmar.

I love every one of these photos of Bagan. YouTube highlights some of those fascinating temples.  So talk with your travel agent, pack your suitcase and bring along your best camera.  I think that you too will enjoy everything about Bagan.  jeb




Seniors Roam Through Thimphu, Punakha and Gangtey

So where are we my dear?  These senior citizens are certainly off the beaten track but on a journey that we will not forget…that’s certain. We are over in the “Dragon Kingdom.”  Did that help at all? No? It’s the Kingdom of Bhutan.

We have to land at Delhi,India but after that, it’s an uphill adventure. So we now fly over the Himalayas to the green valleys of Bhutan. We’ll set down in Paro and then catch a bus to Thimphu that will take us about an hour and a half.  Now we are ready to experience an adventure beginning with a short walking tour to Memorial Chorren, a well known religious landmark.

In Thimphu, seniors tour the National Library that has one of the finest collections of Buddhist manuscripts in the world.  The Painting School will enthrall us. The Folk Heritage Museum  that celebrates the regions rural life catches our eye.  And yet another draw is the local Textile Museum and then on to Tashichhoe Dzong, an historic fortress and monastery.  So after a good nights rest and some local cuisine, we trace off to Punakha via the Duchula Pass, that’s way up there high in the sky (10,000 feet).

Seniors Discover Odysseys Unlimited

Punakha sits at the confluence of the “Mother” river and the “Father” river in the valley.  More monasteries to visit today.  Close by we visit Chime Lhakhang, a local temple. It dates to 1499 and was built by the “Divine Madman.”

So now it’s time to head off to Gangtey (also known as Phobjikha) a bowl-shaped alley where a lot of black-necked cranes congregate.  You kill a crane here and your sentence is lifetime in prison. So senior friends, we will leave the cranes alone.   While we are in the area we will visit the oldest school of Himalayan Buddhism.  So we’ve made the triangle and head back to Paro (I’ll fly you in on DrukAir BA146).

Now  we’ll rest up a bit in historic Paro teeming with sacred sites before heading back home. After reading this, you might be interested in traveling to a distant and devout land, where Buddhism and culture abide; where Gross National Happiness measures the wealth of a nation.

Odysseys Unlimited takes us high in the Himalayas to encounter the peaceful king­dom that has long drawn mystics and seekers – and that rewards modern-day senior visitors with a taste of tradition undisturbed.  Odysseys Unlimited specialize in small-group travel.

If you would prefer to explore more programs on Asia and the Far East, read on. If you are ever close to Newton,MA, stop in and visit personally with the travel folks there. Read what others have experienced with Odysseys Unlimited and their tours elsewhere. Have fun making those plans to visit Bhutan.  jeb




Seniors Find Bogotá Full Of Surprises


Bogotá, with a population of 8.8 million, is the largest city in Colombia and one of the biggest in Latin America. It fact, it figures among the 30 largest cities of the world. Senior travelers discover it to be a city of contrasts. Wikitravel will fill in visitors with facts that keep folks coming back again and again. Columbia’s Official Tourism Portal provides first-time senior visitors with information on what to do, practical information, and a helpful Travel Guide.

NY Times Says “Check It Out”

Bogota, declared by the prestigious New York Times as one of the 31 destinations to visit this year, is an inspiring city with millions of amazing stories that surprise visitors every day. TripAdvisor notes 82 attractions that are highly recommended starting off with the Botero Museum that is ranked #1 and following up with the Gold Museum (Museo del Oro).  If you like gold, as most of us do, you’ll enjoy this museum.

I love About.com as it is full of super suggestions and facts that will fill in any itinerary. My “new travel friend” Viator, notes 20 things not to be missed. As you know by now I enjoy sightseeing tours maybe with an optional lunch like this one and perhaps even a cable car ride.  Many seniors prefer a private tour that makes for a more memorable experience.

Seniors Enjoy Modern With Historical

Bogotá is modern and full of history with fine colonial architectural marvels. A great place to start discovering Bogotá is Plaza de Bolívar and in the middle of the square is a bronze statue of Simón Bolívar. Here’s a video called “Bogotá the best video of the city.” Zipaquira Salt Catholic Cathedral is considered the first wonder of Colombia.

 La Candelaria is where the city was born. Barrio La Candelaria is Bogotá’s oldest district and its location dates back to the city’s foundation. It’s a lively neighborhood with many small shops. I would enjoy sampling five typical dishes. How about you? Just ask the locals where they like to eat, then walk off your empanadas and aji.

Senior travelers will find useful information from our State Department with everything from a country description to travel warnings. Fodors lists their Top Attractions and Sights not to be missed. Our friends at Lonely Planet call Bogotá a “city on the move.”  They find many more Things to Do in the city.

Some seniors might enjoy a bike tour, check this one out. Various other tours are available. Upon your arrival head for  downtown Bogotá. Here you’ll see why.  Seniors enjoy a visit to  Monserrate, that hosts thousands of pilgrims. The ascend is done through the teleferico which give visitors a splendid view of Bogotá.

Don’t plan on just one day in Bogota, plan on three.  Here are two ready-made itineraries from Trip Advisor and the NY Times. Disfrute de Bogotá. jeb


2013 Is The Year For a Visit To Slovenia

Travelers have recently discovered Slovenia and it’s now a hotspot for tourism and for good reason. Senior visitors find that Slovenia is a country of many natural and cultural treasures and with a population of just under 2 million, characterised by Alpine, Mediterranean, Pannonian, and Dinaric-Kar topography, it is a jewel that is awaiting a visit.

Slovenia declared independence from Yugoslavia in 1989 and is officially known as the Republic of Slovenia.  The capital of Slovenia is also its largest city, Ljubljana. Slovenia, located on the Adriatic Sea is about half the size of Switzerland. Let’s take a closer look at where it’s located.

Bordered by Austria, Italy, Hungary, Croatia and the Adriatic sea, Slovenia contains a diverse countryside with mountains, vineyards, lakes and it’s own stretch of Adriatic coastline. It is affectionately known as the “Country on the Sunny Side of the Alps.” Senior travelers will find the majestic Alps, Adriatic Sea, craggy caves and impenetrable forests forming unforgettable natural landscapes.

Slovenia’s Guide Delights Senior Citizens

Slovenia’s guide is full of delights and will help you become acquainted with all aspects of the country.  I could spend the rest of this blog on this site alone, but let’s see what else we can discover about Slovenia. Here’s a map showing the capital Ljubljana and Trieste on the sea.

For those looking for nature there are numerous natural parks, and Triglav National Park encompasses Slovenia’s most beautiful mountains, the Julian Alps.  Although Ljubljana is the capital of Slovenia, it is small and pretty, easy to get around, and full of surprises. The Ljubljanica River flows through the center of town, past Baroque buildings and under the ramparts of the ancient castle on the hill. YouTube has an overview of the city that provides senior visitors with some great scenery.

For any visitor to Slovenia, Lake Bled is a “must see” destination. Rated among National Geographic’s most beautiful places in the world, Slovenia is a natural paradise. From its beaches on the Adriatic to the jagged peaks of the Julian Alps, you can see it all with your Eurail Slovenia Pass.

Green and Natural

Slovenia overflows with unspoiled nature and Green Tourism, not to mention the abundance of thermal springs that brings folks in from all over Europe. TripAdvisor has advice for first-timers in the form of a blog from past visitors. HubPages offers the best places to see in Slovenia.  Fodors is always a helpful resource and they find that Slovenia rates very high.

Here’s a Travel Guide that will fill in those FAQs. For senior gourmets there are some excellent restaurants to enjoy. NY Times has some nice photos for you to look through. I’ve found some walking trails in Slovenia for you senior walkers.

I’ll depart with what is called The Ultimate Slovenia travel guide and resource page. So pack your bag, talk to your travel agent and plan on a super vacation in Slovenia.  It promises to be a good one. jeb


Seniors Look At Beer Gardens

Senior Citizens may have already discovered some great Beer Gardens in the US but I’d like to share some of the best renown in the world.  There is more to rating a beer garden than by its beer.  There may be a retractable roof, huge German steins, fluffy pretzels, shady picnic tables, comfy patios, flaky pastries and more amenities that would be difficult to count.

The best beer gardens are selected by those who frequent such places and rate the many tap/draught beers by their flavor and high quality.  More and more gardens feature micro-brews that are gaining favor all over the country.  I’ll be that seniors will find some of those places right where you live.

Seniors, Let’s Go Exploring

I had a little help finding some classy beer gardens by Travel & Leisure, Huffington Post (with photos), About.com on the best in Munich and the Travel Channel with more great photos. My daughter and I even passed by a few in London.

So where might we find the real stand-outs right here at home? Let’s go exploring together. Here’s a nice little exploration site by Food & Wine that takes beer lovers to our finest gardens. I’ve discovered that there are always several that pop up on most every “best beer garden” site.  So go to GOOGLE and input: America’s Best Beer Gardens and seniors will find the same gardens listed over and over. That should tell us something.

To Highlight Just a Few…

Biergarten is in Frisco and Sheffield’s is in “The Windy City.” In NYC senior citizens will find La Birreria up on a rooftop. In The Big Apple you will also discover the oldest beer garden in NYC called Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden. In Austin the Easy Tiger ranks #1 and in Atlanta it’s “Der Biergarten”. In “Bean Town” Sweet Cheeks Q (what a weird name huh?) is #1 and where seniors will pick up a heady smell of smoked meat to go along with your ale.

Want class? Head for the “Friendly City – Philly” and Drury Beer Garden in hip Midtown Village. It’s one classy place as the URL shows. Lowry Beer Garden in Mile High Denver boasts a new 8,000 square-foot space. Time to conclude, so we’ll finish our journey in search of the best in San Diego at Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens. Wow, I can see how and why it’s on this listing.

A few more for you to consider as you traverse the globe in search of the best. So fire up the Old Beer Stein, take it off the shelf and bring it along to any one of these fine establishments, seniors.  If you enjoy good beer in a quality environment, you won’t be disappointed.  jeb


Hella…It’s Awesome

Hella, Iceland has become a hotspot for tourists, senior tourists included.  Calling Iceland “unique” is a misnomer and an understatement. There is nothing else on the globe that resembles Iceland and more specifically Hella.

Many visitors come all the way to Iceland just for the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights). When you arrive in Hella via Reykjavik check out this luxurious hotel just waiting for you, called Hotel Rangé. I’ve also located a neat little B&B guesthouse called Nonni where senior visitors can watch the northern lights off the back terrace.

So Where is Hella?

This map will take you right to the front door. Hella is in an area called South Iceland about 100 km east from Reykjavik. Let’s rent a car in Reykjavik, drive on over to Hella and we’ll see some of the local terrain on the way.

The tourism industry is a vital part of the economy, with Landmannalaugar and Hekla Volcano in it’s “backyard”. Don’t know much about Iceland? Here are some helpful facts on the island. Senior visitors marvel over the numerous hot water spas, waterfalls, geysers and glaciers. Over 11% of the country is covered by glaciers, including Vatnajökull, the largest in Europe.

South Iceland Awaits Senior Visitors

This is the official tourism video made by South Iceland Marketing Office and shows the highlights of South Iceland nature and attractions. Steaming with pristine geothermal pools in snowy landscapes under azure blue skies, Iceland is arguably the only country on earth that qualifies as one giant spa.

Check out one of the most renown spas called the Blue Lagoon. I think that you also will want to experience Gullfoss (English: Golden Falls), one of the most popular tourist attractions in Iceland. Gullfoss looked like a mini Iguazu Falls to me however it is formed by melting glaciers not runoff from Brazil.

If you will be a first-timer to Iceland and specifically Hella, then check out this nordic adventure and most specifically how to get there. The entire area is full of natural sites that senior travelers will find fascinating… gigantic waterfalls, melting glaciers and high mountains.  Iceland is teaming with waterfalls, mountains, lakes and much more.

If you enjoy hiking there are numerous trails complete with hiking huts for adventurous seniors. The Official Guide to South Iceland provides valuable information on sites, museums, ice climbing and rafting down rivers. Iceland Highlights provides a nice overview of the country…wind and all.

With some very nordic names, seniors will find lots of things to see and do in Hella. TripAdvisor has help for crossing the border with good advice and some tips. Geysisstofa (Geyser Museum) is a major draw in Hella. The Hekla Center houses a contemporary, multimedia exhibition on Mount Hekla, its history, and its influence on human life in Iceland from the time of the settlement until now.

Get a “Taste of Iceland” right here in just 8 minutes and enjoy your journey. jeb




Seniors Dive Into EcoTours

Ecotourism is in.  Seniors are searching out great tours that focus on visiting fragile, pristine, and relatively undisturbed natural areas. They are popping up more and more all over the world and for good reason.  They seem to be everywhere.

Here’s one that just crossed my desk, a series by GoAheadTours and they all look great. They have a whole new series that I think  seniors will find of interest if you are at all interested in nature and ecology.  I remember well an ecology course I took, as part of my biology major in college. It is a fascinating area.

Here’s the scoop on their offerings: “Get a closer look at vibrant communities while supporting conservation programs and local economies. Our itineraries highlight businesses and organizations that give back to local people and support wildlife—so while you explore natural landscapes and share in cultural experiences, you’ll also bring awareness and travel dollars to meaningful initiatives.”

Senior citizens will be able to get a look at vibrant communities while supporting conservation programs and local economies.  Your tour will include: round-trip airfares, hotels and eco-lodges, expert tour directors, select meals and private transportation. Seniors will be able to engage in activities that benefit surrounding communities and fund wildlife conservation efforts. How about learning handicrafts and cultural traditions from the locals?  You will travel on immersive adventures designed to make a positive impact on your adventure abroad.

EcoTours Call For Seniors

Here are your choices that will take senior citizens all over the globe.  Consider Australia and Tasmania and the Wild Forests in that area. Your eco-friendly Aussie adventure will take you to the cities of the mainland and lead you through the rich wilds of Tasmania. The tours all run from 9 to 14 days in length.

On to Africa and Botswana and Zimbabwe called the Untouched Africa. Costa Rica is high on my “bucket list” and here’s why. The Galapagos Islands and Ecuador are great areas to study nature. Guatemala is cool. I’ve been there.  I invite you to take in Belize and Guatemala and the tropical wildlife that is in abundance.

And we could not leave out Kenya and a Wildlife Safari with GoAhead. There senior travelers will search out the Big Five on game drives through the wild savannah and discover the many ways Kenyan communities are coming together to protect their heritage and wildlife.

Let’s include Peru, the Amazon Jungle and culture surrounding Lake Titicaca.  Those will highlight Peru at its best. Lastly your EcoTour will include Tanzania full of wildlife and herds of animals roam as they did before humankind. The mighty Masai endure as they have for centuries.

Are you ready for an adventure in any of these tours?  Then contact GoAhead, make your reservation and enjoy one of their amazing EcoTours.  jeb



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