Cathy Winston, editor of 101 Singles Holidays, tells us where to head to in Europe if you're planning on travelling solo.
And that goes for solo travellers too. Cathy Winston, editor of 101 Singles Holidays selects ten of the best solo holidays in Europe to try this year.
1. To avoid overtourismOvertourism has been a growing problem for some of the world’s most popular spots - Amsterdam, Barcelona and Venice all putting measures in place to help manage tourist numbers or even dissuade them entirely.
So it’s a good incentive to look beyond the big names for some of the continent’s other less well-known highlights. Swap Barcelona for Valencia for example, also mixing Spanish culture, city and sea. Kirker Holidays tailor-makes city breaks in Valencia or check out their group tour to Tuscany, with no single supplement, trading Florence for Lucca and the Lucchese Hills
If you prefer dramatic landscapes, look beyond the land of fire and ice and venture beyond increasingly crowded Iceland on a tour of Greenland instead – Regent Holidays has a week-long escape, In The Footsteps of Vikings.
2. Travel without flyingWith flygskam – or flight shame – entering the dictionary, the best way to cut your carbon footprint is looking closer to home and some no-fly destinations.
Switch planes for trains and boats with a cruise through Northern France, exclusively for solo travellers from Just You. Their Cruising the Seine from Cote Fleurie to Paris holiday starts with a Eurostar journey before discovering French history, picturesque Normandy towns and the chance to taste Calvados on the way.
3. Solo skiingThere’s still plenty of time to hit the slopes before the ski season finishes for the year. Friendship Travel’s ski breaks are exclusively for solo travellers, and run through to the end of March.
Join a group for a house-party style holiday at Chalet Pregentil in Alpe d’Huez, France including six half-day lessons or the opportunity for more advanced skiers to go off-piste. And not far from St Anton in Austria, St Christoph has a good snow record through to late March, with access to the Arlberg ski region’s 340 runs.
4. Hit the beachYou’re never short of tempting European beach destinations for a sunny getaway, whether that’s winter sun in the Canary Islands or a chance to recharge in the Mediterranean without breaking the bank.
With so much choice, it pays to check out the solo travel specialists who don’t charge a single supplement. Mercury Holidays has a great range of supplement-free European beach hotels, including the Aloe Hotel in Paphos, all-inclusive four-star hotels in Malta and hotel apartments in Tenerife, all with prices starting under £350.
Or choose a hotel that’s for single guests only. The Mistral Hotel in Crete has no single supplements and runs themed weeks for guests interested in photography, walking or Greek food.
5. City cultureIf you prefer culture and history to chilling out by the sea, add a new city to your travel wish list for 2020.
Cox & Kings solos-only tours feature a couple of European destinations, including a chance to explore Bucharest in Romania along with Romanian palaces and Transylvania. Or see two fascinating cities in one trip on the Majestic Russia tour ,visiting St Petersburg and Moscow.
6. Get activeThere are few better ways to appreciate the fabulous scenery of Europe than by walking or cycling through it – also handy if your 2020 goals include getting fit or cutting your carbon footprint.
Saddle Skedaddle has some great guided and semi-guided cycling tours which are ideal for solo travellers, whether you prefer to cycle with a group or have someone to handle the practicalities of luggage and routes. There are plenty of UK trips or try the Danube cycle path supported holiday through Germany and Austria for a leisurely journey on two wheels.
For a hiking holiday with added indulgence, check out the Italian walks from Hedonistic Hiking. There’s a brand new eight-night trip for 2020, starting in Rome and walking along the Etruscan Trails to discover Unesco World Heritage sites and try local wines.
7. Go off the beaten trackIf you’re put off the thought of a holiday in Europe because it simply doesn’t seem quite as exotic and undiscovered as elsewhere in the world, there are still plenty of corners off the beaten tourist track.
Albania is far less explored than most European nations, but with historic towns, gorgeous coastline and spectacular mountains to discover, along with Mediterranean sun. Solos Holidays has two Albania trips exclusively for single travellers, including the seven-day Albania Uncovered tour and a longer Grand Tour of Albania which also visits the capital Tirana.
8. Fulfil your 2020 resolutionsIt’s easy to start the New Year full of good intentions – and abandon them before February rolls around. But booking a trip can be the perfect way to ensure you stick to your goals, not to mention having some travel to look forward to.
The Healthy Holiday Company has a string of top notch retreats popular with solo travellers, from solo-friendly hotels to group retreats. Try a fitness retreat in Southern France or Tuscany or yoga retreats in Spain and Italy.
If you’re looking to change your life, attitude and relationships rather than your body, Cortijo Romero in Andalusia has a variety of different courses covering personal development and is popular with singles.
9. Cruise in to 2020A cruise is a great way to explore Europe whether you want to explore the dramatic scenery of the fjords, hop between cities or find some winter sun.
Fred Olsen cruises are popular with singles and you can find discounts on single cabins and twin cabins for sole occupancy. Line up some sun as the UK starts to freeze in November with a cruise to Madeira, Portugal and Spain from Southampton. Book with Iglucruise.
10. Travel with a groupGroup tours are always a popular option with solo travellers, and as well as having no compulsory single supplement if you’re happy to share, On The Go Tours has no single supplement at all on some departures.
Turkey is one of its most popular destinations for solo travellers, and you can avoid any extra costs on the seven-day Aegean Explorer tour, starting in Istanbul, on the far eastern edge of Europe. Or for a longer itinerary, the 10-day Turkey Unplugged itinerary also visits Cappadocia along with Istanbul and the Aegean coast.