Some people find it hard to be on their own. Then there’s you – a person who loves an empty horizon and time away with yourself. We don’t blame you either. Solo travel ideas are an excellent pick-me-up between work, family and friends. Even going for broke on a weekend trip can revitalise your sense of purpose and wellbeing.
Where to start? We suggest Europe. It has some of the wildest single-person getaways in the world, no more than a few hours’ flight away. Browse several of the best destinations for solo travel in our list here. Then ask yourself where you want to be, with no-one to hold you back.
Catch the Aurora Borealis without striking out for the North Pole. Iceland is much easier journey for a quick, winter-time wonder. We recommend Grótta – a bird-watching spot on the Seltjarnarnes peninsula that’s free of society or anything cluttering the sky. It’s isn’t just for December either; guided Northern Lights trip run until the end of March. Stop off at a geyser or hot spring to warm yourself up in the day.
This is a city break with a difference. Helsinki is perched on the Gulf of Finland, so hiking and kayaking are a near-constant presence on its shores, tributaries and rock faces. Flip back to civilisation with a trip to some of the country’s famous cafes, or tour its Art Nouveau influence in galleries and street corners. The winking lights of the harbour will close out a beautiful meal by the sea.
The Via Dinarica, Balkans
For years, solo adventurers have been plucking up the courage – and their thermos – to take the 36.4km route across Prenj Mountain on the Bosnian/Herzegovina border. It’s part of the Via Dinarica trail, which runs for almost 2,000 metres. A weekend is only god enough to conquer the Prenj, but we reckon you can do it. Some of the starkest, most impressive hillsides in the world are here.
Cinque Terre, Italy
Five villages on the northwest coast of Italy. White harbour boats gliding over the sea. Hundreds of Roman torches lighting the outcrops up at night, when the Madonna Bianca Festival rolls around… A two or three-day trek lets you take Cinque Terre at your own pace, with all the serenity it inspires. Experienced walkers can climb to the highest point of Riomaggiore for a knockout view of the town and the bay.
St. David’s Peninsula, Wales
The best destinations for solo travel wouldn’t be complete without a jaunt to Wales, where stunning rock formations and wild, open fields can give you the camping experience of a lifetime. IGO host a weekend stay in St. David’s, bringing you and fellow adventurers together under stars and canvas. Learn how to make a fire. Discover hidden caves where the tide carries you. Plant trees and hone your sustainability skills after a morning swim and a fried breakfast.
It’s one of the world’s top winemaking spots. So why not book a progression through St. Emilion and the Medoc region, tasting the fruit of centuries-old labour as you go? Winery stop-offs are everywhere for full or half-day visits. You can wander the famed Bordeaux countryside when the drinks have settled; quite beats a stroll in the late French sun, before you retire to a cottage or townhouse apartment.
It’s inspired more misty paintings than we can count, not to mention a monster myth or two… Scotland remains full of heart-stopping pastures and tall, ancient woods hiding their own secrets. A solo weekend away might take you to Ben Nevis – the highest mountain in the UK – by way of traditional inns and dirt roads. Scale it, then canoe on the famed waters of Loch Ness until the sun drops, and you retire to a quiet pint of beer. With An IGO guide for company and local illumination, it’s an accessible three days from Inverness Airport.
Baltic Coast, Estonia
Into bird watching? An arctic swan or scoter posing for an unforgettable photo? Estonia could be the country you’ve never held in much regard for avian hobbies, but it’s home to over 200 species of nesting birds, as well as 30 spring migrants that have helped make 10% of the nation a protected nature reserve. You can hit any of the five parks that keep this wildlife vibrant and healthy.
Solo travel ideas wouldn’t be complete without the clifftops of Zakynthos – a Greek island on the Ionian Sea. There you’ll find the camping grounds of Tartaruga eight miles from the town border. Dozens of weekenders pitch up for the scenery and loggerhead turtles that swim up to a floating platform you can sit on for a while. Or else, go scuba diving and find them yourself – there’s enough local advice to set you off somewhere special.
The Alps, Slovenia
Wave goodbye to regular life with mist pouring down from gorgeous mountains on either side of a Slovenian river. We’ve arranged a three-day hike, feast and kayak across land and water in this secluded part of The Alps. It’s one of the most fantastically unique ranges in the world, with stone churches littering the banks of the Bohinj. Enquire about our trips to Slovenia in 2021.
Sure, it’s only a couple of days. But the effect can last for much longer – solo adventures are a great habit to get into because they prepare you for anything else that may be challenging or unexpected. Build your confidence, take home a better grasp of stewardship for our planet, and set your mind whirring as to who you might meet on the trail… Speak to IGO Adventures for inspiration and upcoming weekend visits like nothing you’ve seen before.