Where to go on a solo holiday, according to a long-time solo traveller

the best solo travel destinations
Best solo travel destinationsKathrin Ziegler - Getty Images

As the editor of 101 Singles Holidays, the UK's only independent singles holiday site, I'm a huge advocate of seeing the world on your own terms. Whether you want to ride on a steam train through the Scottish Highlands, climb a glacier in Iceland or go island hopping around Croatia, when you travel alone there are no compromises.

Solo travel is having a real renaissance right now. According to American Express’ latest Global Travel Trends report, 69 per cent of travellers are planning to go it alone this year, with women in the post-45 age bracket leading the charge. There are many reasons women choose to travel on their own: separation from a partner, a sabbatical from work, seeking empowerment and freedom, or simply wanting to do things their own way for a change.

So, if you’re looking for a yoga retreat in Spain, want to explore the Golden Triangle in India, or even snuffle for truffles in the forests of Slovenia, there are a million and one solo holiday ideas to garner inspiration from. Here are some of my favourites…


History in Edinburgh, thronging nightlife in Glasgow, heather-strewn glens in the Highlands – Scotland is a brilliant place to explore, period. Solo adventures to be had in Scotland could include a walking holiday in Glencoe, monster-spotting in Loch Ness or island hopping around the Hebrides.

See the best of the Highlands on a four-day Good Housekeeping tour this July, which includes a ride on the world-famous Jacobite steam train from Fort William to Mallaig. The train passes the stunning slopes of Ben Nevis, numerous dazzling lochs and the 21-arch Glenfinnan Viaduct (pictured), made famous by the Harry Potter film franchise.

Other highlights of this tour include a ride on the Falkirk Wheel boat lift and a cruise along the Firth of Clyde on the PS Waverley, the world's last ocean paddle steamer.


best solo travel destinations, scottish highlands
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Spain hits the top spot as one of the easiest places to travel solo. It has Mediterranean beach resorts, buzzing cities abundant with cool bars and restaurants (like Granada, pictured), and small towns and picturesque villages that are perfect for pottering.

Add in a straightforward and reliable transport network, a plethora of solo accommodation options and friendly residents, it's easy to see why Spain is a great choice for a solo sojourn.

The Healthy Holiday Company offers numerous wellness trips throughout Spain. One of the best for solo travellers is Shanti Som, a small, boutique retreat in Andalusia. With just 15 rooms it offers an intimate experience plus has a yoga pavilion and gorgeous little spa that offers different treatments and therapies.


the best solo travel destinations
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Italy is incredibly welcoming to the solo traveller. Have you read the book or seen the movie Eat, Pray, Love? Our hero Elizabeth Gilbert fell in love with the country’s great food, romantic language and utterly charming locals. Italy's also an easy country to get around in, thanks to its excellent transport network.

One of my favourite cities in Italy is Bologna (pictured). Known as La Grassa ('the fat one'), the northern city is a mecca for gastronomes. As well as feasting on hearty pasta dishes and locally-made wine, Good Housekeeping's six-day foodies tour (which begins and ends in Bologna) visits producers of Parma ham, balsamic vinegar and Parmesan, and includes an Italian cooking class in the neighbouring city of Modena.


best solo travel destinations
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Considered one of the safest countries in the world, Norway is the perfect destination for solo travellers, especially those looking to embrace friluftsliv, the Norwegian concept of enjoying the great outdoors.

Like other Nordic countries, Norway is incredibly well organised, efficient and easy to traverse. It also has a fantastic, solo-friendly dining scene with a focus on home-grown, seasonal produce.

Norway is one of the best places on earth to witness the Northern Lights, so join Good Housekeeping on this fantastic 12-day Norway cruise with no single supplement.

Departing November 2024, you'll sail on a Hurtigruten ship, stopping off at the UNESCO-listed port of Bergen, the Lofoten Islands and Tromsø. As you cross the Arctic Circle, the chances of spotting the aurora borealis are almost guaranteed.


best solo travel destinations
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Famously welcoming, Slovenia is the perfect destination when travelling alone.

Bordering Hungary, Italy, Austria and Croatia, this small but mighty country is relatively straightforward to explore, thanks to its efficient transport system. The fact that there's also plenty to see and do – and that most people speak English – means it should be on any solo adventurer’s must-visit list.

This six-day guided Slovenia adventure, departing in October 2024, is a great introduction to Central and Southeastern Europe. The trip begins and ends in Ljubljana, Slovenia's cobblestoned capital, and includes tours of Triglav National Park, Lake Bled (pictured) and the UNESCO-listed Skocjan caves.

You’ll also enjoy wine tasting in the Vipava Valley and an afternoon learning about the art of truffle hunting.


best solo travel destinations
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For the original Shirley Valentine experience, look no further than Greece and its beautiful islands. Greece is ideal for solo travellers, whether you want to hoover up the ancient history in Athens or hop around the islands, relaxing on beaches and dining Shirley-style in traditional tavernas.

With an abundance of sprawling beach resorts, white-washed fishing harbours and rugged mountain villages to pick from on the islands, the hardest part is choosing which one to visit.

If you're looking to explore your creative side, check out learning holidays company Skyros. Staying in a rustic eco-lodge, this week-long holiday on Skyros (pictured), in the southern Sporades, includes creative writing sessions, stand-up comedy workshops and relaxing yoga classes.


best solo travel destinations
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As our closest continental neighbours, France is a good place to start when venturing abroad solo. It's easy to get around, dining alone is welcomed and the French are very accustomed to tourists.

Follow in the footsteps of Claude Monet on this four-day Good Housekeeping holiday taking in Paris and Giverny. Great for single travellers with a passion for art, the base for the trip (departing in July 2024) is the four-star Château de Montvillargenne in the heart of the Chantilly forest.

Excursions include a visit to Château de Chantilly and the market town of Senlis plus a guided tour of Monet's gardens in Giverny (pictured) led by gardening expert and writer Paula McWaters.


best solo travel destinations
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Considered to be one of the most captivating landscapes on the planet, Iceland is a must for any adventurer, including those going it alone.

With incredibly welcoming locals, Iceland is known as the Land of Fire and Ice, and offers visitors the chance to bathe in hot springs, climb sheer glaciers or come face-to-face with feisty volcanoes. To see this vast landscape in style, it's well worth joining a group tour (ideal for solo travellers) or hiring a car.

Soak in the famous Blue Lagoon (pictured), see the Skógafoss waterfall and hike up the Sólheimajökull glacier on an exhilarating five-day tour of Iceland. Hosted by Regent Holidays, this is a great option for solo travellers aiming to tick off a range of Iceland activities.


best solo travel destinations
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India was one of the first countries I ever travelled around alone (talk about throwing myself in at the deep end!) and while it was challenging in parts, it was also rewarding and transformative.

Whether you're looking to hike the Himalayas, 'find yourself' through yoga and meditation on a retreat or marvel at the Taj Mahal, India's unique culture and vibrancy is bucket list-worthy.

One of the easiest ways to explore India on your own is on an escorted tour. Solos Holidays itineraries are made specifically for the single traveller, and their Splendour's of Rajasthan tour explores the Golden Triangle of Jodhpur, Jaipur and Agra. Highlights include seeing the Taj Mahal at sunrise (pictured) and visiting the Amber Fort in the Aravalli Hills.


best solo travel destinations
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Gorgeous white beaches, rugged national parks and perhaps the prettiest medieval walled city in the world (hello, Dubrovnik), Croatia is one of my favourite places in Europe to explore by myself.

Croatia is an easy country to get around, whether you want to go island hopping by ferry, catch a coach along the Adriatic Coast or hire a car to explore the country’s rugged interior.

If you want to see Croatia with a some like-minded folk, consider booking an escorted tour with Just You, a solo holidays specialist. Their Croatia and the Markarska Riviera trip focuses on the Dalmatian Coast and is bookended by stays in Zadar and Dubrovnik. It also includes a brilliant boat trip to Hvar and Brac (pictured), and a visit to Krka National Park.


More travel ideas:

- The best cruises for 2024

- Venice's hidden gems

- The 2025 holidays worth booking in advance

- The best mother-daughter holiday ideas

- Amazing holidays with celebrity guests

best solo travel destinations
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