At Not In The Guidebooks, we are huge advocates for solo travel. And whilst travelling alone can be one of the most liberating, thrilling experiences of a lifetime as you discover destinations at your own pace and rhythm, solo travel doesn’t necessarily mean travelling alone.
A solo travel experience could be anything ranging from trekking a remote mountain range alone in Kyrgyzstan, to joining a bunch of adventurous, like minded travellers on a surfing holiday in Spain. All that matters is that you expand your horizons, meet new people and travel on your own time, doing the things you want to do and visiting the places you want to see.
With all this in mind, let’s take a look at some of our top destinations for solo travel in 2023, to give you some inspiration for your next unforgettable adventure.
Solo Travel in Europe
For many, the easiest continent to hope from country to country is also the easiest to set off on a solo travel expedition.
Whether you decide you’re going to interrail from city to city, settle on one country and explore the off the beaten track towns and villages that lie in rural heartlands, or join a group of other travellers to discover a new corner of the continent, wherever you look there are wonderful solo travel opportunities in Europe.
1. Granada, Spain
Situated at the foot of the might Sierra Nevada mountain range in the southern Spanish region of Andalucía, Granada is the perfect city for anyone on the hunt for a solo holiday in Spain that gets them to the very heart of authentic Spanish culture.
With an incredible history and beautiful architecture, it’s a treat to explore on your own as you wander the narrow alleyways and lanes, but there’s also a bohemian buzz to the city in its many bars and cafes that lend a real energy to the city.
Combine learning Spanish to truly integrate yourself into the culture of the city with hiking in the stunning mountains, flamenco workshops with professional dancers, or learning to cook truly authentic Spanish food, all with other travellers who share your passion for the new.
2. Lake Garda, Italy
There’s something undeniably alluring about Lake Garda in Italy, perched as it is in the spectacular setting of Alpine greenery with snow-capped mountains glistening in the distance. For those who want to be truly alone when they travel, the lake itself can offer an escape on kayaking trips, or you can head into the mountains for some breath-taking hikes.
And for those who want to experience a thrill and a buzz in a more cosmopolitan sense, there are jaw-droppingly beautiful towns situated all around this lakeside paradise serving up some of the best food and wine in the country at every turn.
To really immerse yourself in this culinary culture, meet other food-obsessed travellers on a cooking holiday in Lake Garda, where you can master authentic Italian cooking whilst enjoying this most beautiful of natural settings.
3. Lisbon, Portugal
Setting aside the fact that the Portuguese capital is one of the most compelling travel destinations on earth as it is, the life and vibrancy you’ll find on the cobbled streets and winding stairways of Lisbon makes it the perfect place to visit if you’re a solo traveller ready to mingle with the locals.
With so much to explore by day, with fresh seafood restaurants by the harbour and panoramic views over the city from any of the seven hills the city sprawls over, and then a maze of fado houses, wine bars and bustling dives to explore by night, Lisbon is ready-made for solo adventures.
Its proximity to the coast also makes it the ideal city from which to enjoy a surfing holiday in Portugal, where you can spend your days learning to master the waves, and your evenings enjoying Lisbon’s legendary nightlife with other, like minded travellers.