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Cathy Winston
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Cathy Winston

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    Singles holidays in September

    By Cathy Winston, Editor of 101 Singles Holidays

    There’s something about September’s back-to-school feeling that makes booking a holiday very tempting. With the sun still shining across Europe, prices dropping for “shoulder season”, and even the prospect of an Indian summer in the UK, there’s plenty of choice when it comes to solo travel.

    Best of all, you’ll avoid the summer crowds this month and have something to look forward to when everyone else’s holidays are behind them. Here are the best trips for singles in September – whether you’re looking for adventure, culture, a cruise or just a relaxing break in the sun.

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    MediterraneanLong haul sunActive – WildlifeAdventureCruiseCity and cultureLong haul tours

    Mediterranean sun

    Sometimes all you want from a holiday is the chance to relax on a sun lounger, punctuated by the occasional dip in the pool or sea. Fortunately, September is a great month for a beach break whether short-haul or long-haul.

    It’s a perfect time for a singles holiday in Greece, with warm sea and air temperatures and lots of sunshine. Solos Holidays has a choice of hotels across the Greek Islands with breaks for singles. The company also runs its own ClubSolos hotels that cater exclusively to small friendly groups of singles, such as Villa Maistrali in Santorini and Aronda House in Corfu.

    On Crete, the Mistral Hotel is exclusively for solo guests as well, with a range of local excursions and activities if you’d like something to do between relaxing by the pool and on the nearby beach.

    Friendship Travel has a singles-only holiday in Sicily which includes several excursions – Mount Etna, Palermo, a boat trip and a trip to Cefalu – plus your own double room at the stylish four-star Domina Home Zagarella.

    If making new friends appeals, the singles-only house party hotels from Friendship Travel are another great solution. The emphasis is firmly on relaxing as you get to know the other guests, although hosts will also arrange day trips along with exploring Fethiye and Olu Deniz.

    Travel One also has some great houseparty-style breaks, including Calpe on Spain’s Costa Blanca and Lanzarote for a mix of sun, sea and volcanoes. See more singles trips to Spain.

    Or soak up the sun in Portugal with one of these Algarve hotels with no single supplement. The Auramar Beach also has an indoor pool if you run into any cloud, while the Baia Grande Hotel has a table for solo travellers, if you’re looking for company.

    In Italy, you could escape to the lakes and mountain, staying at one of the pretty hotels on Lake Como or Lake Trasimeno. Or join one of these escorted tours for solo travellers – options include Tuscany and Sicily and the Amalfi Coast.

    Long haul beaches

    You’ll find great deals in the Caribbean. Tropical Sky has no single supplements on selected dates at Breathless Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. There’s a party atmosphere and a resort app with guest chatroom if you’re looking to meet new people, along with watersports and a spa, plus communal tables in four of the 11 restaurants.

    In St Lucia, The BodyHoliday is a wonderful luxury resort that combines spa treatments, sunshine, sporting activities and plenty of “me time” – and September sees its annual Solos month with extra savings and activities for single travellers. The hotel has a whole wing of single rooms with king-sized beds and en-suite marble bathrooms. Find out more.

    You could experience the fabulous beaches of the Maldives at the four-star Bandos Island Resort with special offers for solo travellers during the islands’ low season if you book with Barefoot Traveller. The resort also has a dive school.

    It’s a great month for a sunshine break to Bali especially for keen divers who get some of the best conditions in September. See these hotels with no single supplement.

    Active, spa, courses

    If you prefer to return from your holiday with more than a tan, try a personal development course in a converted Spanish farmhouse. From yoga and Pilates to sketching and mindfulness, a stay at Cortijo Romero includes the chance to discover unspoiled mountain villages and some time to reflect on life.

    In Italy, Hedonistic Hiking combines gourmet food, fine wine, good company and walks in stunning countryside. The walks are graded 1-5.

    Skyros runs personal development holidays in the Greek Islands. Select from a range of courses including painting, trapeze, yoga and comedy improvisation. Take a creative writing course or book a trip to transform your life.

    You can revitalise body and mind on an in:spa retreat with a focus on yoga, hiking, nutrition and wellness in Marrakech, the South of France and Spain.

    How about discovering South America from the saddle of your bike? The cycling breaks from Saddle Skedaddle include an adventure in Peru visiting Machu Picchu.

    Make the most of autumn in the UK. Ramblers Walking Holidays has no single supplement on many destinations including the Cornish Coast and the island of Guernsey. The company’s own B&B – Hassness Country House in the Lake District – has a house party atmosphere and a supplement of only £5 per night.

    Camel trekkingElephants at PinnawelaTanzania, Singita Faru FaruGorilla trekking

    Wildlife tours and safaris

    September is a great month for an Africa safari. Head to Rwanda to go trekking with mountain gorillas. Check out Rainbow Tours which has modest single supplements on these trips.

    And as the great migration reaches the Maasai Mara and Serengeti this month, it’s an unbeatable time to witness this wonder of the natural world. Around 60% travel solo on Tucan Travel’s group safaris; try the Mara and Serengeti trip to take in these two safari hotspots along with the Ngorongoro Crater.

    It’s one of the best months to see humpback whales off the coast of Madagascar where these small group tours are popular with solo travellers. This unique island is packed with wildlife encounters, cultural experiences and superb beaches. Most popular trip is this two-week Wildlife Discovery Tour.

    Saddle up in America or Canada on a ranch holiday – the weather’s warm in Arizona, where the White Stallion Ranch is popular with solo travellers and caters to all levels of riding experience.

    Adventure tours

    Ethiopia offers a very different type of African experience, from 13th-century rock-hewn churches to mountainous national parks. These small groups tours led by local experts will stretch your legs and get you under the skin of this beautiful country.

    Or look further north to the ancient glories of Egypt. There are trips with no single supplement for your own room from On The Go Tours this month, including the Egypt Unplugged tour, with a few days on the Red Sea at Hurghada, or the Pharaohs Adventure which visits the Pyramids and the Valley of the Kings.

    How about joining an Overland Adventure travelling by truck in a group of up to 24 people with two crew. One of the most exciting regions to explore is the Silk Road and Central Asia. Oasis Overland has a huge choice of itineraries. For example, you could visit the ancient cities of Bukhara, Samarkand and Tashkent on the 24-day Iran Caravan.

    If you’d rather have an adventure without joining a group, look to the Indian Ocean and the island of Sri Lanka where Barefoot Traveller arranges private tours specifically for solo travellers. Discover the ancient ruins of Sigiriya and Polonnaruwa, see elephants and monkeys in the wild, and visit the city of Kandy with its famous temple.

    In China, On The Go Tours has some fantastic itineraries that are popular with solo travellers of all ages between 20s and 60s. My favourite itineraries include the nine-day Great Wall & Warriors and this eight-day Backroads Adventure between Beijing and Shanghai.

    Or discover the Treasures of Peru, a dedicated nine-day tour for solo travellers from Cox & Kings that includes the Sacred Valley of the Incas, lunch at a family home on Lake Titicaca and an overnight stay at Machu Picchu.

    American Sky has a selection of coach tours in America – one of its most popular trips is Autumn Colours, a grand tour of New England. See its full range of solo holidays in the USA.

    There are plenty of memorable options closer to home. Iceland is increasingly popular with single travellers and this Grand Tour group trip which runs in early September will take you to many of its most spectacular sights. Also in September, this six-day Volcanoes and Glaciers group tour is packed with natural wonders. You can even catch the first glimpses of the Northern Lights on one of these Autumn Auroras tours.

    Sailing in the Greek IslandsBalmoralRoyal VikingTake to two wheels

    Cruise holidays for singles in September

    September is a great month for a singles cruise. Norwegian Epic has cabins exclusively for solo travellers, no single supplements and an informal cruising ethos, including flexible dining.

    For a slightly more conventional cruise, Fred. Olsen is popular with older single passengers. Expect dinner hosts and companions for shore excursions on request and a range of departures from the UK, including Scandinavia and northern Europe with no single supplements on selected dates. See the latest deals.

    If you’re over 50, check out the single cabins on Saga Travel’s own cruise ships which have no single supplements. Both the Saga Sapphire and the new Spirit of Discovery offer sailings out of Southampton and Dover. For river cruises across Europe, I recommend Just You which offers single occupancy of a double or twin cabin and a guarantee of no single supplements.

    If gourmet food and drink top your wish list, hop on board a luxury hotel barge for a cruise through one of Europe’s waterways. Enjoy the grape harvest as you pass through Burgundy and Gascony, with no single supplement on selected dates and a house party atmosphere it’s perfect for singles.

    Or discover the beautiful coastline and islands of western Scotland with St Hilda Sea Adventures. The small ships include single and supplement-free cabins on Seahorse II and there are cruises themed around Scottish castles and lochs this month.

    St John's College, CambridgeSt Petersburg channelWine tours FranceTemple of Athena

    City and culture holidays

    Take a themed tour through England to discover the country’s history, art, literature and beautiful buildings, led by an expert guide. You can visit some of the country’s great cathedrals, head off the beaten track in London to uncover architectural treasures or explore the Lake District.

    You’ll find wonderful weather in Portugal where you could join one of Explore’s small group tours. How about this 11-night food and wine walking holiday with vineyard tastings and off-the-beaten-track gastronomy.

    These tours in Turkey are packed with highlights. For example, a two-week Turkey Discovered trip includes swimming in the Blue Lagoon, hiking in the Saklikent Gorge, plus mud baths and whirling dervishes.

    To dig deeper into the past, I’d suggest an archaeological holiday in Italy, Croatia, Greece or Turkey. Expert guides will bring the fabulous ruins of Ephesus to life on an escorted tour with the chance to cruise the coast or walk amongst some of the stunning Turkish coastline.

    For something different, how about a 1970s tribute weekend exclusively for singles over 50 with Solitair Holidays.

    Long haul tours

    For two cities with an unbeatable artistic and architectural heritage, it’s hard to beat Russia especially with tours exclusively for solo travellers from Cox & Kings. Staying in four-star hotels, without any single supplements, it’s the perfect way to see the Hermitage and Summer Palace in St Petersburg, along with St Basil’s Cathedral and the Kremlin in Moscow.

    Solo Travellers, which specialises in group tours predominantly for solo travellers, has its own Highlights of Russia tour too, visiting the two great cities.

    Saga Travel has several tours exclusively for solo travellers, as well as some escorted tours without solo supplements. For a true once-in-a-lifetime experience, the 19-night Australian Adventure takes in Perth, Melbourne and Sydney as well as Uluru and the Great Barrier Reef.

    Autumn is also a lovely time to visit Japan, after the muggy heat of summer. InsideJapan Tours has no single supplement on selected trips, and recommends a 13-night Japan Unmasked group tour that includes buzzing cities, quiet mountain villages, gardens, temples, hot springs and a trip on the Bullet Train.

    Last updated: 15 July 2019

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