Welcome to our Travel Theme page showcasing Travel with a Challenge‘s feature article collection of Mediterranean destinations, taking you from Italy and southern France, Slovenia, Croatia and Turkey to Spain, Greece and the Greek Islands. These stories provide exciting travel windows on cultures and countries, nature and wildlife holidays, and active adventure vacations suitable for the senior traveler. For more inspiring articles on other European destinations, also visit our European Travel Themes page.
Our Mediterranean Travel Theme page sponsor is Slovenia-based Goolets Ltd, where you will discover the natural beauty and deep cultural history of coastal Turkey, Croatia and Greece on a traditional gulet cruise. With over 500 gulets offering a wide variety of sizes and shapes and 50 routes to choose from, Goolets Ltd. will find you the perfect blue cruise vacation for the right price. Rent an entire gulet with family and friends or rent one cabin only. “We personally inspect each gulet and meet each captain and crew,” say the owners of this 10-year-old family business.
Feel free to explore our other Travel Theme Pages for vacations well suited to senior travelers, their families and friends. Please click on image buttons or titles below to enter each richly-illustrated feature story.
American watercolor artist, Jennifer Lawson, and her friend, Patricia Lennon, conquered 500 miles/805 kilometers of the Camino de Santiago with Jennifer vowing to paint every one of their 32 days on the road. The result is a charming, whimsical and colorful personal article based on their book that captures this iconic pilgrim experience with a unique set of eyeglasses.
Long-time contributor, Marianne Scott, explores Rome’s earliest history as archeological excavations deep below the surface reveal a storied past. Celebrating its 2770th birthday in 2017, the “Eternal City” remains as fascinating as ever from the underground labyrinth of its Colosseum to its hidden temples and early churches.
It is natural to get excited about making a journey on foot, by bicycle or even on horseback to one of the best known pilgrim destinations in the western world, Santiago de Compostela in northwest Spain. However, few of us are aware of just how many routes there are to choose from or the terrain to be tackled with each route. Lots to consider with this informative article!
It is rare that a government makes a good accommodation host. Spain is the exception. The country’s collection of paradors, or historic venues converted to one-of-a-kind properties dating back to medieval times, offer a thrilling opportunity to sleep with history. And, these paradores are found throughout the country!
Comprising 118 small islands, Venice rose to be one of the great powers of the Middle Ages. Today it exercises a different compelling power that is beyond description for all who visit. The city is in a fragile state that needs the world’s attention and a much lighter human footprint than it is presently experiencing.
Independent traveler, Jeann Linsley, takes us by ferry to the little-known Greek Island of Folegandros where she travels on local busses, talks to locals all over the island in her newly-acquired Greek, tastes the local cuisine and discovers the benefits of “Slow Travel”.
On a visit to several of Spain’s historic towns and cities, veteran travel writer, Marianne Scott, ponders the pros and cons of self catering holiday apartments as an alternative to hotel accommodation. Her experience is candid and insightful, giving readers food for thought about whether such an option could work for them.
Active outdoor journalist, Megan Kopp, explores Italy’s Mediterranean west coast with an independent walking tour between five historic villages of Cinque Terre National Park. Olive groves, vineyards and pine groves overlook the rugged Mediterranean shoreline, and small-scale accommodations are the only way to go.
Join retired social worker, Bea Faulkner, on her prize-winning archaeological adventure cruise of Turkey’s Lycian southwest coast. As a winner, she was invited to write about her trip for publication in Current Archaeology World magazine. Here Bea shares those same impressions with our readers.
A 60th birthday present of collected poems by Galicia’s most celebrated poetess leads Inka Piegsa-Quischotte to explore this most northwestern province of Spain while following some of the poetess’s greatest delights within her homeland. There’s much more to Galicia than the fabulous pilgrimage city of Santiago de Compostela!
Combine a trip to one of Greece’s most magical, diverse and deeply historic islands with a satisfying opportunity to teach conversational English to young people who will benefit from this gift you can provide not only to get into Greek universities but also to consider careers in tourism.
Fifty-plus and keen to immerse in Italys language and culture? Our New Zealand-based contributor, Venetia Sherson, journeyed to Taormina, Sicily for a two-month, senior-friendly language learning program that achieved all that and more in a picturesque, historic setting overlooked by the ever-active volcano, Mount Etna.
With only a few months of cycling practice, Arizona photographer Lorraine DarConte takes to the hills and picturesque valleys of Umbria, an independent ride except for her “virtual guide”, Giovanni. While staying in Umbria’s medieval towns and villages, she encounters friendly Italians and prices to suit her budget all along the way.
Between Croatia’s historic cities of Split and Dubrovnik lie the major islands of Korcula, Hvar, Vis and Brac, coveted and occupied by many masters from Greek and Roman times through the 20th century. A traditional wood and polished brass motorsailer with plenty of cabin comfort and super-fresh Dalmatian cuisine is home for an exploration of these “Jewels of the Adriatic”.
Guests on a Dalmatian sailing cruise are treated to an authentic insider glimpse of culture and history on Croatia’s little known Island of Vis, where the guide proudly points to gravestones marking his family’s roots there for more than 500 years and hosts these international visitors at his family vineyard and winery.
Stepping away from the glamour and glitz long associated with the Côte d’Azur, join guidebook author, Florence Chatzigianis, for a very personal exploration of the mountain footpaths, local islands, medieval villages, and dramatic shorelines that encourage active vacationers to experience a magical Mediterranean region from the mountains to the sea.
What do you do after walking Spain’s Camino de Santiago? Husband and wife adventurers, Neville Tencer and Julie Burk, decided to walk the 1,000 kilometer Via Francigena medieval pilgrimage route through Italy from the Swiss border to Rome. Share this couple’s culinary and cultural pilgrimage.
Whether you are Alexander the Great, a medieval merchant hoping to make a fortune, or a modern day traveler curious to discover the cultural and historical highlights of this city straddling Europe and Asia, Peter Sommer explains why Istanbul has captivated him and millions of other visitors over thousands of years.
Grab your trekking pole and hiking boots to come along on a challenging small-group exploration of Slovenia and Croatia’s most spectacular national parks and UNESCO World Heritage Sites, all creating a stimulating adventure for senior travelers who are making their way in increasing numbers to the Western Balkans.
A rugged, mountainous landscape and 4,000 years as an eastern Mediterranean cultural crossroads have shaped Crete’s unique personality, as revealed by Greek American culinary expert and island resident, Nikki Rose. Join her for a village visit and a few surprises.
Celebrating 430 years of history in 2010, visit or stay at the original breeding and training estate for the dazzling white horses with dancing feet. Once the exclusive preserve of kings and nobles, it now welcomes vacationers for shows, tours, horseback riding and longer stays and its budget and upscale hotels on site.
What better way to appreciate Italy’s most popular vacation region? Join Margie Goldsmith as she ranges over the picturesque countryside, steps back in time while visiting numerous medieval villages, and savors delicious cuisine specialties from Tuscany’s vineyards and kitchens.
Join journalist, playwright and novelist, Barney Jeffries, as he encounters the spectacular geological formations of Meteora in Central Greece and pinnacle-perched medieval monasteries that now welcome vacationers and pilgrims.
Follow northwestern Spain’s Camino de Santiago in the footsteps of millions of pilgrims over more than 1,000 years. Some articles spotlight a nine-day walking tour that takes readers from León to the ultimate destination: Santiago de Compostela. Check out our inspiring and entertaining article (right button) on the rhythms of walking the Camino independently ALL THE WAY from the Spanish/French border to Santiago de Compostela. Each additional article on this popular active vacation theme is hotlinked separately with the image buttons below:
Enjoy Greek Island-hopping with travel writer, Alison Gardner, as she peels back the layers of thousands of years of eastern Mediterranean occupation and explores the distinctive culture, history and cuisine of Rhodes, Crete, Santorini and more. Additional articles on the theme are hotlinked separately:
Travel journalist, Alison Gardner, shares vivid memories of an ElderTreks cultural tour through western and central Turkey. Additional mini-articles with a Turkish theme are hotlinked separately below. Click on each image to access articles on: Ballooning in Cappadocia, Carpet buying, and Turkey’s first Olive Oil Museum.
Check out our other theme pages, clustering richly-illustrated feature articles by travel theme or regional destination:
Travel Adventures in Africa
Bird and Nature
Sleeping with History Accommodations
Multi-Generational Family Travel
South Pacific destinations
Cruise and Train Travel
Asia and India destinations
Wellness and Spiritual vacations.