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Christmas holidays for singles

By Cathy Winston

With so much emphasis on spending time with family, Christmas can be tricky when you’re single. But if you’d prefer to avoid crackers and sprouts with your relatives, there are plenty of great options for solo travellers.

Along with special festive singles breaks throughout December and New Year for those who’d rather celebrate as part of a group, you can avoid the dilemma of how to stay at home without offending someone by flying off to a snowy wonderland or bask in some winter sun without a single jingle bell to disturb your break.

Festive atmosphereBlow away the cobwebsUK weekends by age groupLearn ballroom dancing

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Christmas themed breaksSnow and skiEscorted toursNature toursWinter sun

Christmas breaks for singles

Celebrate in style on one of the special Christmas breaks from Friendship Travel. Ideal if you’re looking to meet new people but just as good for some relaxed me time, their Christmas breaks include options such as a spa, black tie ball and organised activities in Newbury, where 85% of the hotel is booked out for singles. Or double rooms have single supplements even over the festive period in the chic four-star ABode hotels in Manchester or Wroxhall Abbey.

There’s also a string of festive breaks exclusively for singles from Solos Holidays. As well as a grand Black Tie masked ball, you can choose dinner dances across the UK with no single supplements or join a trip to a Christmas Market to treat yourself to a few presents.

Would you like to celebrate in the sunshine with a group of like-minded people? The singles specialist, Travel One, runs a house party over Christmas and New Year at the four-star Hotel Geria in Lanzarote. Its guests are typically in their 40s, 50s and 60s.

Santa's reindeer sleighHusky sleddingFun in the snow

Snow and ski holidays

Head to the land of fire and ice for a magical winter break. This 5-day Northern Lights adventure or eight-day Iceland Circle group tour from Regent Holidays includes some of Iceland’s best-known sights, from the Golden Circle highlights to the Blue Lagoon, as well as geysers and geothermal pools as you try to spot the Aurora Borealis. Solo travellers make up around half the group and there are several December departures travelling during the festive period, although none over Christmas Day itself.

The ski season is well underway across Europe. There’s no single supplements on ski holidays for solos with Inghams at resorts throughout Austria, including Alpbach, Filzmoos,Hinterglemm, Kitzbuhel, Lech and Zurs, as well as top Alpine destinations such as Meribel in France, Cervinia in Italy and Zermatt in Switzerland. Or if you’d rather join a group trip, Friendship Travel runs Learn to Ski weeks in Les Deux Alpes as well as skiing and snowboarding holidays in France, Italy and Austria.

Inle Lake, VietnamSingles holidays to VietnamBocas del Toro, PanamaTrinidad, Cuba

Escorted tours for singles

If you’d prefer some guaranteed company for your December holiday, a small group tour is perfect with plenty of departures over Christmas.

Escape the tinsel entirely in South East Asia with a tour of Burma or Vietnam from Insider Journeys, with around a third of the group travelling solo. From Hanoi and Hoi An to Halong Bay, the two-week Essential Vietnam is the perfect introduction to this beautiful and fascinating country, while Cambodia Revealed is a great way to discover its neighbour, mixing Angkor Wat at dawn with the country’s less visited south.

Festive King Tut is a nine-day group tour of Egypt over the Christmas and New Year period that is always very popular with  solo travellers. It’s great value and sunshine is pretty much guaranteed.

Thailand is hot at Christmas too and also excellent value. On The Go has some great tours in Thailand including many without a compulsory single supplement. Sri Lanka is another great destination over Christmas if you want to combine sightseeing and beach downtime. Try their 12-day Buddha and Beach tour.

December is also a great month to discover Central and Latin America especially if you’ve got plenty of time to spare, with Journey Latin America’s three-week Discovery tours. The unbeatable Alcion tour travels through six countries including Guatemala, Panama, El Salvador and Nicaragua, while Condor is a more in-depth journey around Peru, including the Amazon and Machu Picchu, as well as some time in Bolivia. Around 40% of the group is normally travelling solo.

And the sun will be shining in Cuba too, where you could explore historic Havana before spending a lazy week on the beach on this singles-only trip with Friendship Travel.

Or head south to Australia where you could join one of these escorted tours which offer room sharing for single travellers. You could go snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef or watch a dramatic sunset at Uluru and visit the Royal Flying Doctor Service on a 10-night Outback Adventure.

If you’d prefer short-haul to long-haul, Spain is still likely to be sunnier than the UK and with some spectacular scenery to enjoy on a walking holiday from Ramblers Worldwide Holidays – two of their group trips travel over Christmas 2017, to the villages or mountains of Andalucia.

Gorilla trekkingTiger in India (photo by Lesley Boast)Buhoma LodgeBrown Argus on Gentian (photo by David Morris)

Nature tours

Not all wildlife is busy hibernating in the depths of winter – nature lovers can find some great Christmas trips if they look further afield. Choose your country carefully, and you can skip the ‘small rains’ as the shorter winter rainy season is known – for one of the most remarkable ways to spend Christmas Day, it’s hard to beat a close-up encounter with wild mountain gorillas.

The two-week East Africa Circuit from Tucan Travel combines with trekking in Uganda with a classic safari in Kenya, while the Rwanda to Masai Mara tour includes more time discovering Rwanda, meeting pygmy villages and sailing along the Nile. Both tours go over Christmas Day 2017.

Rainbow Tours treks in Uganda include a 10-day small group safari where you’ll spend part of the trip in the rainforest of Bwindi encountering primates in the wild, including a departure just before Christmas.

the-sands kalutaraWhite sand beachBeach at TamassaGolfing next to the Hotel Aguamarina

Winter sun for solo travellers

Swap freezing temperatures and chestnuts roasting on an open fire for scorching sun in the Caribbean or Indian Ocean. Mercury Holidays has no single supplement at hotels in MauritiusSri Lanka and Bali among others.

If you want to guarantee an escape from families, Friendship Travel has adults-only four and five-star resorts in Jamaica, Barbados and Cuba and along with Cape VerdeLanzarote and Fuerteventura, all without any single supplement. And there’s more adults-only all-inclusive fun at Breathless Punta Cana resort in the Dominican Republic where the eleven restaurants, free classes and an online guest chatroom make it easy to meet fellow guests.

Or treat yourself to a pampering break in St Lucia. As well as daily spa treatments and activities including yoga, The BodyHoliday all-inclusive resort has double rooms with king-sized beds and no single supplement. And at The Palms in Sri Lanka’s Beruwala, there’s an excellent Ayurvedic centre for treatments including massages.

Exclusively for the over-50s, the long-stay rates from Saga Holidays will tempt you to get away for longer and there’s no single supplement in selected hotels. Discover the award-winning Bel Jou on St Lucia, with all 64 rooms exclusive to Saga, and 12 rooms specifically for singles. Also consider Hotel Breezes Jibacoa on Cuba’s less developed north coast, the Tamassa luxury resort in Mauritius and Kamala Beach on the Thai island of Phuket.

Can’t decide which Caribbean island to pick? Take a cruise on Norwegian Epic which winters in the Caribbean out of Orlando, with single ‘studio’ staterooms and a singles lounge, as well as the chance to eat and drink your way around the ship, thanks to the informal freestyle dining option. The nine-night cruise of the Western Caribbean departing on 22 December calls at the Bahamas, Jamaica and Grand Cayman, among others.

Last updated: 13 June 2017

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