There’s more to solo travel than a yearning to see the world.

Whether you’re looking to make new friends, indulge a passion or give yourself a mind-and-body makeover, there’s a trip that’s right for you. Cathy Winston, editor, 101 Singles Holidays shares some of her top picks.

Holidays to make new friends

There’s nothing like spending time with a group of people, all with a similar love of travel, to inspire new friendships – and for many single travellers, that’s a highlight of setting off alone.

Escorted group tours are a great option. With small groups, it’s easy to get to know everyone and you’ll bond over activities and experiences. There’s also a growing range that cater exclusively to solo travellers, as well as something for almost every destination and level of adventure.

Explore and On The Go Tours cover dozens of countries between them, including themed tours, wildlife spotting and festivals. Cox & Kings has top-notch solos-only group tours that are popular with over-50s.

For more adventure off the beaten track, how about overland tours across Africa and South America from Tucan Travel or less-visited destinations such as Ethiopia and Kyrgyzstan with YellowWood Adventures.

If you love the group atmosphere but don’t fancy a tour, several singles specialists run house party style holidays in the Med. Travel One aims its trips at ‘sociable singles’ and has some great value escapes, while Solos Holidays has its Club Solos hotels, exclusively for the company’s use, with a welcome party to help you get to know your fellow guests.

Friendship Travel lives up to its name with a host on hand to keep everything running smoothly and holidays that include small gulet cruises off the coast of Turkey so you can get chatting while chilling out on deck. For a rather larger ship with a warm welcome for single cruisers, Norwegian Cruise Lines was one of the first to offer dedicated solo staterooms and a singles lounge to make it even easier to meet people on board.

Share a passion

Whether you love to be active or to soak up the culture, there are some great holidays that let you indulge your own interests as you travel – some are solely for single travellers, but you’re guaranteed to be with like-minded guests either way.

For a holiday that gets you outdoors, how about guided group walking and hiking breaks with Ramblers Walking Holidays or riding on an American ranch with the Inspiring Travel Company?

For a gentler active escape, pack your clubs for a golf break with Solos Holiday, or brush up your ski skills - and avoid the dreaded single supplements - with Inghams.

If it’s art, architecture and literature that tempts you, Martin Randall Travel offers cultural tours and weekend symposia galore in the UK and Europe, with some no single supplement.

Music lovers can discover opera and music festivals with Kirker Holidays which also arranges its own events, and combines tours around music and art in some of Europe’s great cities. You’re not limited to classical music either: the UK solos-only breaks from Solitair Holidays include a 1970s tribute weekend.

And if you’d rather be the one creating the literature than following in the footsteps of another author, Skyros offers creative writing and other courses in Greece.

A mind and body overhaul

Sometimes the most tempting thing about a holiday is the chance to switch off, or return feeling new and improved. Whether it’s your mind or body that needs the overhaul, there’s plenty of choice for solo travellers.

The Healthy Holiday Company offers holistic retreats in Morocco and France among other destinations, where the emphasis is on delicious but healthy food, yoga and fitness rather than gruelling detoxes, while in:spa retreats also has expert advice and luxury settings as part of its wellness breaks.

In St Lucia, The Body Holiday lives up to its name with all-inclusive spa treatments as well as various activities, from water sports to fitness classes, tennis, yoga and as much swimming as you fancy in the clear waters of the Caribbean.

Some of the Sri Lanka beach breaks from Mercury Holidays include hotels with an Ayurvedic spa and golden beaches to relax on, without a single supplement.

And at Cortijo Romero in Spain, the weekly courses feature options themed around ‘wellbeing for mind and body’, as well as ‘transformation and change’ and ‘relax and rejuvenate’, all with the chance to enjoy guided walks in the mountains.

April 2019