1 Luxury destinations… short haul locations By The Bower Team / In Retirement Planning Today’s retirees are a far cry from the traditional perception of years gone by, with people of retirement age living longer, healthier and more active lives than ever before. Thanks to modern medicine and longer resulting lifespans, those of us in or approaching retirement can embrace our golden years as a golden opportunity. Seeing the world, learning new things and achieving lifelong ambitions… now is our chance to do what we put on hold when we were busy raising families and climbing ladders! Celebrate the start of your retirement Travelling of course features heavily in most peoples’ retirement bucket lists; in particular, luxury once-in-a-lifetime trips. There’s a whole world of vacationing delights to sample, but for those who prefer their luxury a bit closer to home, we have compiled a list of world-class holidays that are just a mere stone’s throw – or perhaps a short haul flight – away… Glitz and glamour of Monaco For a luxury Monaco holiday make sure you include Larvotto with its beautiful beach and, of course, the stylish town of Monte-Carlo where luxury yachts litter the harbour. Car enthusiasts may wish to hire a car to explore the surrounding area and drive round sections of the world famous Monaco grand prix circuit. Cultural enthusiasts will relish the Old Town quarter. Sample the stunning scenic walks, parks and multiple botanical gardens, and if you find the time, frequent the nearby sophisticated coastal towns of Cannes, St. Tropez and Nice. Magnificent scenery of Montenegro Experience the VIP treatment with a luxury holiday that will leave you entirely revitalised. Aside from the plethora of 5-star hotels and award-winning restaurants, Montenegro boasts standout scenery stunning beaches along its magnificent coastline, lush pine-clad mountains, crystal clear glacial lakes, cascading waterfalls, and the Adriatic waters lapping against historic walled coastal towns. Spellbinding Switzerland Switzerland means aerial cableways over snowy landscapes, sapphire blue lakes, dense forests, mountain summits and healing thermal springs. Get adventurous with glacier hiking, experience the world-class ski slopes of Verbier, take some time out to sample Alpine golf or stroll through the architectural delights and cobbled streets of the chic cities and medieval towns. Travel in style on the Glacier Express visiting the glamorous Alpine resorts of Zermatt and St. Moritz. For a truly magical experience, try taking a helicopter flight from Zermatt to the top of the Matterhorn mountain. Rich culture of Morocco With its picturesque sandy beaches, vibrant culture and historic cities, the nation of Morocco has long been a popular destination for holidaymakers seeking more than a dash of discerning luxury. From the riads offering boutique hotels in the heart of the medina, to opulent beach front villas, you will be spoilt for choice with an array of luxury places to stay. The colourful sights and exotic smells that accompany souk shopping in Marrakech is an experience not be missed, and the modern city of Casablanca is sure to delight with its impressive buildings and excellent restaurants. Luxury skiing and spas in Andorra Nestled between Spain and France, Andorra arguably offers the very best ski slopes and spa resorts in the Pyrenees. Whether your passion is skiing, shopping, relaxing at the spa or enjoying delicious local cuisine and wines, here is a destination not to be overlooked. The capital city, Andorra la Vella, is a haven for discerning shoppers. Due to the VAT rate being among the lowest in Europe, expect top-quality items including the latest in fashion and jewellery at much lower prices. Andorra is home to Europe’s largest spa complex where the mineral-rich, warm water used is from a natural, thermal source. The mountain wineries offer tours that are also popular with those who frequent the resort. Mindboggling scenery of Iceland Only in the land of ice and fire can you take a short haul flight from the UK to sip champagne in a bubbling geothermal lagoon, surrounded by a stunning mix of snowy landscapes, erupting volcanoes and hot jets. Excite your senses with a range of activities and experiences, including whale watching, husky dog sledge safaris and of course, the dazzling spectacle of the Northern Lights. Take in the colourful buildings of Reykjavik, with its captivating art, museums, world class restaurants and luxury hotels. Fashion, Art and Opera in Milan In Milan you can really take the time to discover the very essence of Italian class. Lazily stroll through the city and take in the artistic riches, including Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper, an iconic mural on a refectory wall at the Basilica di Santa Maria delle Grazie. Survey timeless architectural treasures which survived the destruction of WWII and explore the striking Duomo Cathedral where you can see the Alps from the roof on a clear day. Fashionistas will adore Milan’s renowned fashion houses, and cultural enthusiasts will savour La Scala, a world-famous address for opera, ballet and choral concerts.