With Christmas and New Year come and gone, January is the month when many people’s thoughts turn to travel and the year ahead. Whether we’re planning a traditional holiday in the sunshine or dreaming of a more off the beaten track adventure, this is the time when our wanderlust levels peak at an annual high. When daylight hours are short and the nights are long, planning your next great escape is the perfect way to beat the winter blues. However, for those of us who enjoy travelling solo, all those nasty single supplements can be very disheartening. So where should you look for inspiration to find the best singles’ holidays to take this year?
New singles’ holiday for 2020
With the help of 101 holidays, I’ve selected my favourite NEW holidays for 2020 that are perfect for solo travellers. 101 Holidays’ independent singles holidays guide is written by expert award-winning travel journalists. You can filter the holidays they feature by month, theme, price and more. They’re my go-to website when I’m seeking travel inspiration.
Bulgaria’s history and nature
When it comes to both history and nature, Bulgaria excels and this new eight-day tour from Regent Holidays offers the perfect balance of the two. Roam Sofia’s historical centre and visit Plovdiv, the 2019 European Capital of Culture. Tour Veliko Tarnovo, the country’s medieval capital and journey deep into the mountains to the UNESCO-listed Rila Monastery. Visit the ruins of Asen Fortress, dramatically perched on the edge of a cliff and explore the “Devil’s Throat” cave and see the largest underground waterfall in the Balkans. Best of all, there’s no single supplement!
Japan’s Tōkaidō trail
Regular readers will know about the fabulous time I had discovering Japan and the Nakasendo Way a couple of years ago. It’s one of the two ancient walking routes that linked Tokyo and Kyoto from the Edo period. I walked part of the inland route, and I long to go back to follow the second trail, the Tōkaidō, a spectacular coastal path, with Inside Japan.
As well as visiting two magnificent cities this tour takes you to little known gems along the way, including a stay at a rural hot spring town. You’ll get to ride on both the Bullet Train and the steam train that runs along with the impressive Oigawa river. It’s an exciting mix of on and off the beaten track adventures. And again, there is no single supplement!
Jordan’s natural and manmade wonders
Singles specialist Friendship Travel has introduced a small group escorted tour to the Kingdom of Jordan among their new holidays for 2020. It’s a region that’s been on my wishlist for many years. Highlights on the 11-day tour include the ancient city of Petra, the Wadi Rum desert, a night in a Bedouin camp, floating in the Dead Sea, a day trip to Israel, relaxing beside the Gulf of Aqaba. Every guest enjoys – with no supplement to pay – their own room in four- and five-star hotels, with one night under canvas in the desert.
Austria’s hiking and hot springs
In 2019, I was lucky enough to visit Austria twice, once on a walking tour and once for a spa break. This trip from Ramblers Holidays combines the two for what I think is a perfect mix of physical challenges and pampering rolled into one.
Walk through alpine meadows and pine forests. Hike trails taking in the vistas as you climb mountain peaks. Indulge in spa treatments, soak up the thermal waters and wild swim in lakes.
Check out the full range of holidays available from Ramblers with no single supplement here.
Turkey’s feel-good factor
The Healthy Holiday Company has teamed up with the Hillside Beach Club located in a beautiful secluded bay on Turkey’s south coast near Fethiye, to bring you their ‘feel good’ holidays and their prices are based on single occupancy and include full board and a fabulous range of activities including yoga sessions, nutrition workshops, aromatherapy and boat excursions. This is the kind of holiday that I think everyone would benefit from taking once in a while to rejuvenate the body, mind and soul. Call 020 8968 0501 for more information.
Ethiopia’s history and culture
Explore one of Africa’s most beautiful nations with Just You on their new 13-day Ethiopian tour. Travel to historic cities and stunning natural landmarks while enjoying unique cultural excursions to some of the friendliest communities on the continent. Prices are based on single occupancy and include full board and all excursions.
Highlights include an Addis Ababa city tour, a cruise across Lake Tana, the Blue Nile Falls and the hidden Lake Tana monasteries. You’ll also have the chance to enjoy traditional music and food in the heart of the Simien mountains, and explore Lalibela’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Ethiopia has been recommended to me by several travel journalists who all raved about its UNESCO sites, food and people. I’d jump at the chance to discover it for myself.
Italy’s lakes, villas and gardens
Martin Randall Travel has introduced a new departure exclusively for solo travellers, for their week-long tour Gardens & Villas of the Italian Lakes, departing at the end of April. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve visited Italy, but to date, the Lakes have alluded me.
Horticultural historian, Steven Desmond leads this tour around Lakes Como and Maggiore home to some of Europe’s most exquisite Renaissance and Napoleonic gardens and villas including the dramatic and somewhat surreal Isola Bella pictured below.
Tajikistan’s overland adventure
Solo travel specialists Oasis Overland have introduced Tajikistan to their collection for 2020 with a new itinerary exploring this exciting region. Accommodation is mainly camping with some nights in simple hotels. While couples and friends do join their small group tours, the majority of their guests are solo travellers, and there are no single supplements.
Highlights on this 18-day journey include staying in traditional Kyrgyz yurts at Lake Sung Kul, visiting the ancient Silk Road market at Osh, the oldest city in Kyrgyzstan, and driving the iconic Pamir Highway through remote Eastern Tajikistan. This sounds like a fabulous adventure!
Greece’s history and nature
Solos Holidays are featuring a new walking holiday to the northwest corner of Greece this year, showcasing a land of rushing rivers and streams, magnificent bridges and the beautiful stone villages of Zagoria. This 8-day tour includes six guided walks including a hike along the world’s deepest ravine, Vikos Gorge in the Vikos/Aoos National Park. Greece was one of the first places I ever travelled to, and I’ve been back many times. However, I’ve yet to make to the north of the country, and Zagoria, in particular, sounds enchanting.
Still not find the right holiday for you? Check out 101 Holidays for more singles holidays inspiration. Where will 2020 take you?
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Tajikstan sounds like an interesting destination to consider. It wasn’t on my radar.
I’d agree with you there. It’s a place I know very little about, so it’s all the more intriguing!
Some of these look like great ways for solo female travellers to explore places they may be nervous about visiting on their own. I was particularly interested in the Northern Greece holiday, having visited the Peloponnese (Western and Southwestern Greece) recently. Parts of rural Greece are breathtakingly beautiful and fascinating but also somewhat hard to visit. I could not possibly drive those hairraising mountain roads on my own and I’ve been thinking about shedding my independence to take on one or two group travel experiences in places where language, culture or transportation are difficult for a woman on her own.
I have to agree with you there regarding mountain roads. I’ve been on a few group trips, not knowing anyone else in the group before I go, and I’ve always had a great time. There are pros and cons to most styles of travel but if you pick the right trip you’re likely to find like-minded travellers.
Some great ideas – Tajikistan would be really interesting and I have always wanted to go to Japan.
Tajikistan doesn’t like fascinating and previously off my radar if I’m honest. If only I could do them all. It would probably need to roll into 2021 though.