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Singles holidays in August

By Cathy Winston

August is peak holiday month, and that goes for solo travellers as well. Make the most of the sun and school holidays with a break at home or a short-haul trip to Europe, or get out onto the water for a thoroughly laid-back way to enjoy the summer.

From cycling to cruising, single parents to solo adventures, here are my recommendations for great singles holidays in August.

British Virgin IslandsTake to two wheelsBalmoral


Hot holidays for singles in August

August is peak season across Europe, and if you just want to “fly and flop”, you could book a week or two at the Mistral Hotel on Crete which is exclusively for singles and has a lovely house party atmosphere. Or check out Solos Holidays which has trips across the Greek Islands with no extra charges for solo travellers. Favourite destinations include Corfu and Kos.

If you want some alternatives to a bucket-and-spades beach holiday, you could head to the Alps which are gorgeous in summer with opportunities for hiking and biking, as well as the option to sit back and soak up the sun and fresh mountain air. Check out Inghams’ lakes and mountains programme which has hotels for singles with no single supplement in top resorts including Chamonix and Morzine in France, and Zermatt and Lake Lucerne in Switerland.

For something more relaxed, the gulet cruises from Friendship Travel are exclusively for solo travellers, so there’s no single supplements as you explore the coastline, along with the option to combine it with one of the company’s house party hotels in Fethiye and Olu Deniz.

If food and drink are as high on the list as seeing the countryside, I’d suggest a luxury hotel barge cruise. Meandering through the waterways and canals of France, including the famous Canal du Midi, this gourmet trip is popular with solo travellers thanks to the small groups and no single supplements on selected dates.

And for the full cruise experience, Fred. Olsen’s more formal style of travel is a perfect match for the stately grandeur of the Norwegian fjords and the Baltic states. It’s also a perfect itinerary if you’re looking to explore northern Europe in some of its best weather but avoid summer heat further south. With no single supplements on selected sailings, the cruise line also provides dinner hosts and companions for shore excursions for solo travellers, as well as itineraries along the coast of Portugal and to the Azores or to the Canary Islands this month.

Saga Travel has its own cruise ships for the over-50s with single cabins and no supplements. Both the contemporary-styled Saga Sapphire and the more traditional Saga Pearl II sail in and out of Dover and Southampton so there is no need to fly. All prices include tips, 24-hour room service and transfers between your home and the port (up to 250 miles) or free car parking.

Machu Picchu groupAlaskaGorilla trekkingOkavango Horse Safaris, Botswana

Guided tours for singles in August

Add some adventure to your August with a guided tour to one of the world’s most memorable destinations. Catch the end of the dry season in Peru, the best time to hike to Machu Picchu, and explore some of the other highlights of the country and neighbouring Bolivia at the same time. Around 40% of those on the Discovery Journeys from Journey Latin America are travelling alone, including the Condor which packs in the Amazon, Sacred Valley of the Incas and Lake Titicaca as well as Lima, La Paz and Cusco.

If you dream of a safari in Africa, you could meet endangered mountain gorillas in the wild on a fabulous trip to Rwanda which has unusually low single supplements. The 9-day group tour includes a day’s gorilla trekking in the Parc Nacional de Volcans, a guided walk to see chimps and colobus monkeys and a forest canopy walk in Nyungwe.

For a safari on a budget, check out these overland tours of Africa. Groups are made up of between 12 and 24 passengers, with 60% travelling alone.

Intrepid Travel runs small group adventures aimed at ages 25-45 years – although there’s no age limit. It gets a high proportion of singles on its trips and has a room share option. Popular tours include Vegas to San Francisco, a 6-night road trip that takes in Yosemite, Death Valley and the Sierra Nevada and includes three nights camping under the stars. You could hike through Zion National Park and Monument Valley on an 8-night Utah Parks Circuit or explore Alaska’s Inside Passage on a ferry.

In Europe you could explore the fascinating destination of Romania on a four-night guided small group tour with Solo Travellers. Check out its full range of friendly group tours which include Krakow in Poland, Reykjavik in Iceland and Dubrovnik, Montenegro and Mostar.

For the over-50s, Saga Travel has a great range of escorted tours including a 17-night trip to South Africa which takes in Kruger National Park, the Garden Route and the dramatic Cape Coast. Other destinations include Cuba, China and Vietnam.

For a truly unique experience, you could travel as a sighted companion for Traveleyes, a company that runs holidays for blind people. In exchange for helping with guiding and describing the sights, you’ll get a hefty discount on the price of your trip. See the full range of holidays which includes hiking in the Lake District, touring Sri Lanka and Jordan, city breaks in Athens and Budapest, and a safari in Zimbabwe and Botswana.

Jonathan Markson Tennis holidaysChef DesaiCycling in ItalyDolphin

Activity holidays for singles

Skyros runs various personal development holidays at beautiful Atsitsa Bay in Greece, with each week featuring a range of courses including watercolour painting, windsurfing, yoga and music. At Skyros Island, it has a creative writing course and life coaching.

In the stunning hills of Andalucia, Cortijo Romero also runs personal development holidays, which are popular with singles. See the course schedule.

If you play tennis, you can attend an adult-only tennis camp at Oxford University, with top-notch coaching on grass and hard courts. You’ll stay in one of the University colleges with your meals provided.

If you enjoy cooking, take a course at the Lucknam Park Cookery School set in a grand country house hotel near Bath. Its Stay and Cook courses operate from Monday to Friday and include your own double room, full English breakfast and use of the spa.

If you love whales and dolphins, head to the Azores where you can see orca, fin and sperm whales on a whale and dolphin watching holiday. August is a great month for sighting and there’s a room share option for singles.

How about joining a walking holiday in the UK. Ramblers Worldwide Holidays says more than half its guests travel alone and it has no single supplement on a range of trips including the Lake District, the Cornish Coast and Guernsey. It also has its own B&B – Hassness Country House – which has a house party atmosphere on the shores of Buttermere.

We love Headwater for its independent activity holidays and it now has a range of cycling and walking holiday dedicated to single travellers. You could pedal through the villas and vineyards near Venice (where the single supplement is just £7 – £10 per night for your own double room, or explore ProvenceLake Constance, or Burgundy.

Sun in the seaWigwamsOur Alcudia hotelOkavango Horse Safaris, Botswana

Family holidays for single parents

There’s no more classic family holiday than a camping trip in the UK, but why not add a little luxury on a glamping break designed specially for single parents. Pitch up in Herefordshire for a tipi holiday from Single with Kids, where you can enjoy some time as a family or make new friends for your kids, as well as exploring ancient woodland, cooking pizza on site and making fantastic childhood memories without a single supplement.

For a seaside break, you could head to the beachfront Sands Hotel in Cornwall which has outstanding children’s facilities including indoor and outdoor swimming pools and four Ofsted-registered kids clubs. There’s a vast choice of activities including bodyboarding, surfing, kayaking and beach volleyball.

Another beach option is Menorca with a sheltered beach just minutes away, water sports and activities for children, plus  all-inclusive meals and no single supplements. Single With Kids has hotels in Mallorca with free kids’ clubs for ages 4-12: Alcudia is ideal if you’re travelling with teens, as the town is a short walk away, or try popular Porto Colom with its relaxed fishing village feel and sandy beaches.

St John's College, CambridgeCoast to Coast cyclingMountain bikingCounties

UK breaks for solo travellers

Even the UK’s erratic summer will usually promise some decent sunshine in August, so this is a great month to look closer to home as well. Try a cycling break to see some of the UK’s most beautiful countryside. Saddle Skedaddle offers road cycling holidays and has some fantastic mountain biking in the Lake District, as well as a longer trip through the dramatic landscape of Scotland, which are all popular with solo travellers.

Last updated: 15 December 2016

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