Best singles holidays for over-40s

singles holidays for over-40s

By Cathy Winston, Editor

If you’re in your forties, it can sometimes seem like singles holidays are busy catering to younger or older travellers, focused on round-the-world gap year students on one hand and pensioners on the other.

But a new generation of exciting solo trips means there’s now far more choice than before, especially with singles holidays shaking off their outdated lonely hearts image. Whether you want to indulge a hobby or learn something new, treat yourself with a beach break or have a life overhaul, there’s some fantastic options for solo travellers over 40.

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Special interest – Wellness – Group toursSomething different – Beach

Indulge your interests

With more expert-themed trips than ever, a holiday is the perfect time to explore your interests while also seeing the world. And a focus on something you love guarantees you’ll have plenty in common with your travelling companions, whatever the age range.

You could move a step closer to finishing that novel at Skyros’ creative writing holidays in Greece.

Or step back into the past, with plenty for culture and history lovers on archaeology breaks with Peter Sommer Travels, whose trips tend to attract 40-70-year-olds.

Prefer something active? Choose from walking lakes and mountains with Inghams, or winter sport on ski trips exclusively for singles with Friendship Travel as well as Inghams’ new solo chalet breaks.

Maybe you’re into horses? Head to the wide open spaces of the US or Canada for a ranch holiday. There are many great deals for single travellers and a range of options from resort ranches such as White Stallion Ranch in Arizona to small working ranches such as Silver Spur Ranch in Idaho, where you can take part in cattle drives and sleep in a swag under the stars.

Take Me To Africa specialises in small-group tours, including South Africa and Namibia. The typical age range is 30-60 and some trips have same-sex room share options.

Tucan Travel offers a range of overland tours, which appeal to a wide range of age, from 18-60, so you’re unlikely to be the oldest or youngest. This two-week East Africa Circuit, combines Kenya’s Masai Mara with Mountain Gorilla trekking in the Ugandan rainforest.

Or discover the unique wildlife of Madagascar with one of the small group tours in Madagascar from Rainbow Tours, not least the island’s famous lemurs.

Oasis Overland runs truck adventures around the world but says its fastest-growing region is Central Asia. You can visit the legendary Silk Road cities of Bukhara, Samarkand and Tashkent on this 20-day Bishkek to Ashgabat overland tour.

Wellness travel

If you’d rather indulge yourself than your interests, the wellness travel market ranges from spa and pampering breaks to life-changing courses as well as other healthy options.

Try an exotic location with the Absolute Sanctuary Detox retreat in Koh Samui, Thailand or all-inclusive spa and activities in St Lucia at The BodyHoliday, not to mention yoga holidays anywhere from Thailand to Morocco.

Even healthy holidays can have a touch of luxury, with weight loss holidays  in Spain and Italy from The Healthy Holiday Company, as well as detox retreats in Thailand and Ibiza.

When it’s mental and spiritual rejuvenation you’re after, the personal development courses at Cortijo Romero in Spain offers themes such as mindfulness and stress reduction.

Group tours

Always wanted to see more of the world? Escorted group tours are a great way to venture off the beaten track or simply to more exotic destinations, with a string of companies popular with 40-something travellers.

South East Asia is always a firm favourite, with trips to a range of countries including Vietnam and Burma. Specialists InsideAsia Tours have a range of different trips and always a good mix among the groups.

Wendy Wu Tours has a range of small-group tours to China exclusively for solo travellers. The typical age range is 45-65 and you’re guaranteed a room to yourself.

Regent Holidays has a great selection of holidays to Iceland that are popular with singles too. This five-day Land of the Northern Lights tour is one of its most popular, though seasoned walkers will be tempted by this trekking holiday in summer along the famed Laugavegur trail to the Thorsmork glacier valley.

I love these small-group Local Lives tours in remote regions of Scandinavia. As well as enjoying the pristine beauty of Arctic Sweden or Norway’s Senja Island, you’ll spend time with local people to learn about foraging, fishing, the Northern Lights and traditional Sami culture. Each tour has slots for solos with no single supplement.

For those who prefer a mix of ages, On The Go Tours is great value and sees 20-somethings up to 60-somethings on its trips (though most are in the 40 to 60 band). Most popular destinations include Egypt and Turkey, where highlights include the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, the Roman treasures of Ephesus, the WWI battlefields of Gallipoli and the unworldly rock formations of Cappadoccia.

InsideJapan Tours offers tailor-make trips, including self-guided adventures through Japan, while Barefoot Travel offers a tailor-made private tour of Sri Lanka if you’d prefer to skip the planning but keep some independence.

See the world differently

One of the big bonuses of solo travel is being able to choose a trip that suits you and you alone – there’s everything from housesitting to discounted cruises with special deals for solo travellers.

Remind yourself of the less visited areas on your own doorstep, for example, with a small ship cruise along Scotland’s west coast and islands with St Hilda Sea Adventures

If you want to challenge yourself physically in a pristine part of the world barely touched by modern life, head to the mountains of Kyrgyzstan and join a small group tour, exploring on foot or horse.

Or if the act of booking a holiday solo is a big leap, how about a trip surrounded by other single holidaymakers with Travel One, whose house-party style hotels are proof you can have a fantastic time travelling alone – the majority of guests are in their 40s, 50s and 60s.

Beach holidays

Lastly, relaxing on the beach is something that suits every age, whether you prefer a relaxed week sunbathing or a more active trip trying watersports. Solo travel specialists ensure that you can skip single supplements and choose whether you’d prefer privacy or meeting new people too.

Friendship Travel’s gulet cruises along the coast of Turkey are aimed at 35-65-year-olds, while the ClubSolos trips in Greece from Solos Holidays has breaks aimed at 30-50-year-olds so you’ll be guaranteed to know approximately what age your fellow travellers will be, as well as other options for all ages, and all exclusively for single travellers.

For sun, sand and sea, Mercury Holidays has a huge range of hotels for solos, from the Algarve to Sri Lanka including many hotels with no single supplement, while the Mistral Hotel in Crete is solely for solo travellers.

Or luxuriate in the beautiful Maldives at the idyllic Bandos Island Resort, which has special deals for solo travellers.

* Also see my pick of the best holidays for solo women and holidays for solo men.

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Last updated: 9 March 2020