Best short-haul holidays for singles
Whether you’re a seasoned single traveller looking for another getaway or new to solo travel and spreading your wings beyond the UK, you’ll find plenty of options within four hours flying time from the UK.
From city breaks to active adventures, winter sun and ski, I’ve selected the best short-haul holidays for singles.
Choose your destination
City breaks can be a great choice for solo travellers, with plenty of attractions for different interests and accommodation for all budgets. If you’re looking to meet other people travelling alone, walking tours can be a great place to start, along with a growing variety of experiences run by locals, from mini tours to dining options. See my guide to the best city breaks for singles.
If you’d rather find a beach to flop on, check out a company offering no single supplements on their hotels. Mercury Holidays has winter sun deals in Malta and Cyprus as well as a string of hotels in Portugal’s Algarve, while Classic Collection Holidays has hotels in Madeira and Tenerife which are ideal for almost guaranteed sun. Check out my page on beach holidays for singles.
When to go
Most solo travellers benefit from the flexibility to travel outside peak seasons. During shoulder season (May/June and September/October in Europe), you’ll often find operators waiving single supplements outside of school holidays.
Hotel Lipa in Croatia has no single supplement during April and May, as well as some dates in September and October, for example.
While the weather is usually improving, you won’t find the kind of crowds that hit the top tourist centres at peak times, and you’ll miss the scorching temperatures of July and August.
The same goes for winter sports: ski prices will drop outside the big Christmas and half-term peaks. Travel early or late and Scandinavia is a good bet for the first snow, as well as a better chance of good skiing in April, not to mention a string of solos-only breaks during the quieter periods in the Alps. Inghams has some great ski holidays for solos, while Friendship Travel also runs solos-only skiing and snowboarding holidays
Europe’s mountains are just as enticing in summer with a very different type of holiday from the snowy winter’s busier months. Inghams also has lakes and mountains holidays exploring the scenery outside ski season.
If you’re planning an active holiday, skipping the summer heat is usually a good plan – some of Portugal’s best surf comes in autumn and spring, for example, while late spring and early summer is one of the best times to hike Morocco’s peaks. See my guide to the best active holidays for singles.
Or hop on a bike for a self-guided cycling holiday from Headwater across France, Spain or Italy, when you’ll be thankful for some gentle sun as you pedal up rolling hills and freewheel through vineyards.
What type of accommodation?
While solo travellers were once hit with both single supplements and the most cramped little rooms in the whole hotel, the options these days are much improved.
Some hotels, such as the Mistral Hotel in Crete, focus solely on single guests, or how about checking in to a house party-style hotel? Travel One has some great escapes in Spain while Solos Holidays has a range of trips to the Greek Islands. For Turkey, try Friendship Travel.
Don’t dismiss hostels either. With more stylish options in various European cities, you could find rooftop bars, art installations and female-only floors. See the options at Hostelbookers.
What type of trip?
There are as many types of singles holiday as there are single travellers: would you prefer a group tour for solos only or to travel completely independently? Then there are cruises, specialist interest trips, spa and wellness breaks and sporting holidays to try.
Pursuing one of your interests makes a great basis for a solo holiday: you’ll have something in common with your fellow travellers as well as indulging your own passion. Try one of the creative writing holidays in Greece at the Skryos Centre or delight a love of classic music with Kirker Holidays.
Animal lovers needn’t head on safari to have a fantastic wildlife watching holiday either: Naturetrek has wolf-spotting in Sweden with no single supplement, for example. Or brush up your serve on the Algarve with Jonathan Markson Tennis along with golf weeks in Corfu from Solos Holidays or retreats from destination yoga in Morocco, the Costa del Sol and Ibiza.
There’s plenty of variety on boats, too. Cruise the Mediterranean on a small gulet on a specialist archaeology and ancient history tour with Peter Sommer Travels, or join a gulet cruises around the smaller Greek islands. You could indulge your gourmet side on the canals of Europe with European Waterways or check out the solo-friendly cruises from Norwegian Cruise Lines and Saga Travel.
Last updated: 31 January 2017