Cathy Winston, editor of 101 Singles Holidays, picks some of the best Christmas escapes for solo travellers this year.

Sleigh bells ring… and for solo travellers, it’s the cue to book a Christmas holiday. With singles breaks over Christmas selling out earlier and earlier, the festive season is no longer all about family for many of us.

In fact, the number of solo travellers taking an organised break almost doubled last year and companies like singles specialists Friendship Travel are adding new options after a sell-out 2016.

Cathy Winston, editor of 101 Singles Holidays, picks some of the best ways to escape Santa (and your relatives) this year.

1. Christmas in India


Rather than ripping wrapping paper off presents on Christmas Day, how about watching the sun rise over the Taj Mahal – a memory that’s more memorable than any stocking filler. This Exotic India tour from Cox and Kings is exclusively for solo travellers.

2. Enjoy a Winter Wonderland


If you love snowy scenes, head up into the mountains for your own winter wonderland experience with Christmas in the Alps. Inghams has a holiday in Austria at the Sporthotel Igls from 23 December including a sleigh ride and tour of Innsbruck’s Advent markets.

3. Festive Egypt


If you fancy a sunnier Christmas and aren’t too fussed about tinsel, swap baubles for pyramids and the Valley of the Kings on the Festive King Tut small group tour from On The Go Tours, with nine days exploring Egypt departing 21 and 23 December.

4. Country House Christmas


Dunchurch Park Hotel in Warwickshire is the latest to be added by Friendship Travel to its choice of singles-only Christmas breaks. Set in 72 acres of grounds, the country house itself dates back to 1903. These festive short breaks have a house party atmosphere – choose from two or three night stays from Christmas Eve.

5. Cape Verde Christmas


Escape the mince pies, get a head start on any New Year’s resolutions to exercise more and discover the little-known Cape Verde islands on a two-week break from Ramblers Walking Holidays. Trek in volcanic mountains before relaxing by white sand beaches, exploring three different islands on a holiday starting on 21 December.
[CREDIT Alvarez-Riziky]

6. Visit Vietnam


Forget Santa and discover the magic of South East Asia on the Visions of Vietnam tour from singles specialists Solos Holidays. Departing 17 December, you’ll travel from the north to the south, with Christmas in Ho Chi Minh City – and you’ll be home in time for the New Year.

7. Choose Christmas Culture


Travelling over Christmas can have benefits apart from skipping overcooked sprouts – fewer visitors to cities across Europe visiting museums and galleries, many of which stay open for most of the festive period. Discover world-class art in Florence with Martin Randall Travel on a singles-friendly city break.

8. See Rock Churches


Whatever your religious persuasion, heading off the beaten track in Ethiopia is a once-in-a-lifetime experience including the country’s fascinating rock churches as well as medieval castles. Wild Frontiers has a Christmas Explorer tour of Ethiopia.

9. Animal Tracking in Africa


Swap reindeer for the chance to see gorillas in Rwanda as well as the Big Five in Kenya’s Masai Mara nature reserve on a safari holiday with Tucan Travel – the Rwanda to Masai Mara tour starts on Christmas Eve, and includes white water rafting and visits to pygmy villages.

10. Caribbean Christmas


Cruise the Caribbean and be festive on a string of tropical beaches with a cruise on Norwegian Epic, one of the most singles-friendly cruise ships thanks to its studio staterooms and singles lounge. Departing from Orlando on December 23 to sail the Western Caribbean including the Bahamas, Jamaica, Cayman Islands and Mexico.

November 2017