8 unforgettable trips for solo travellers this Christmas

Want to get away from festive madness, make new friends and embark on a big adventure this Christmas? These December trips, all suited to solo travellers, have been carefully selected for you...

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1. Experience authentic Vietnam

Pu Luong (Shutterstock)

Pu Luong (Shutterstock)

Cruise the emerald waters around Cat Ba Island, trek remote rice paddy fields, and immerse yourself in the history and culture of Hoi An. Intrepid’s Real Vietnam tour (for 18-29 year olds) takes you to all of Vietnam's top spots, but allows you to interact with the country's urban and rural communities.

You'll float on the Mekong Delta on a private boat, then dock at a waterside village to meet a local family – your friendly hosts for the night.

You'll feast on home-cooked Vietnamese food (bring your appetite!) and bed down in their home, ready to continue your adventure in Ho Chi Minh City the following day. 

Trip: Real Vietnam

Who: Intrepid

When? 28 December

How long? 15 days

How much? From £940 (exc. flights)

2. Climb to the roof of Africa

Climbing up Kilimanjaro (Shutterstock)

Climbing up Kilimanjaro (Shutterstock)

Over 70% of people who book with Much Better Adventures are solo travellers, so you'll be accompanied by plenty of like-minded travellers on this Kilimanjaro trek. 

Following the well-trodden Machame Route, this six-day trek up to the summit is the best path to help you acclimatise, followed by a speedy two-day descent.

Expect the landscape to change dramatically during your trek. Beginning in cloud-covered rainforest, you'll then climb into rocky terrain where unusual vegetation grows, such as the Giant Senecio trees. As you get higher, views of glaciers come into view. 

Of course, you can't visit the heart of Africa without experiencing a safari. To end the trip, you'll be taken to Tanzania's top wildlife spots in Lake Manyara National Park, Ngorongoro Crater and Tarangire National Park, where you can look out for lions, elephants, buffalo and many more of the continent's iconic critters.

Trip: Climb Mt. Kilimanjaro Via The Machame Route & Go On Safari

Who: Much Better Adventures

When? 19 December 

How long? 11 days

How much? From £3,281 (exc. flights)

3. Take a whistle-stop tour through Central America

Costa Rica rainforest walkway (Shutterstock)

Costa Rica rainforest walkway (Shutterstock)

From volcano hikes to catching a wave along the Pacific Coast, this action-packed 17-day trip (for 18-39 year olds) takes you on the road less travelled through Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Costa Rica.

Starting in Antigua, Guatemala, you'll venture down through each country: kayaking, exploring historic relics and interacting with the locals en route. 

Culture seekers will be in awe of the colonial towns, with colourful architecture, intriguing museums, and traditional cuisine (trying pupusas in El Salvador is a must). 

Costa Rica rounds off the trip, with options to zipline through the jungle canopy, visit the cloud forest reserve or tour a coffee plantation.

Trip: Volcano Trail: Waves and Local Ways

Who: G Adventures

When? December (various dates)

How long? 17 days

How much? From £1,049 (exc. flights)

4. Encounter pandas in China

Pandas in Chengdu, China (Shutterstock)

Pandas in Chengdu, China (Shutterstock)

Visit all of China's big hitters (Imperial Beijing, the Terracotta Warriors, Leshan Grand Buddha and more) on Wendy Wu's Christmas in China tour.

On Christmas Day, you'll be walking the Great Wall, admiring panoramic views from the 2,000-year-old UNESCO World Heritage Site.

You'll see the Summer Palace in the afternoon, before tucking into Peking Duck and other Chinese delicacies for Christmas dinner. 

On New Year's Eve, you'll visit the famous pandas of Chengdu, observing them play and feed in their natural habitat. You can also lend a hand by volunteering at the conservation centre for the afternoon.

When night falls, you'll feast on Sichuan cuisine, toasting midnight with a glass of green tea... or something a little stronger. 

Trip: Christmas in China

Who: Wendy Wu

When? 23 December

How long? 11 days

How much? From £3,390 (inc. flights)

5. Immerse yourself in Morocco

Koutoubia Mosque, Marrakech (Shutterstock)

Koutoubia Mosque, Marrakech (Shutterstock)

From the chaos and colour of Morocco's most energetic cities, to the quiet splendour of its highest mountains, Highlights of Morocco is a fast-paced introduction to this fascinating country – where Christmas isn't celebrated at all. If you're looking to get away from festive madness, this is the trip for you.

You'll begin in Tangier, exploring the medina before hopping on a public bus to the Rif, Morocco's northernmost mountain range.

You'll stay in a beautiful walled town with marvellous valley views, before starting your rail journey south to Fes and Marrakech.

Enjoy spice souks, street food and mosques. After travelling by public transport, you'll be fully immersed in local life. Djemaa El Fna is the trip's grand finale, with its intoxicating circus of snake-charmers, acrobats and musicians.

Trip: Highlights of Morocco

Who: Exodus

When? 10 December

How long? 15 days

How much? From £849 (exc. flights)

6. Embark on a first-time journey to Antarctica

Myeik Archipelago (Shutterstock)

Myeik Archipelago (Shutterstock)

If you're desperate to visit the seventh continent, Quark Expedition's Antarctic Explorer trip is a great introduction, giving you the best bits in eleven days

You'll set off from Argentina's port town of Ushuaia before crossing the infamous Drake's Passage. Plenty of presentations on photography, wildlife, glaciology and history will keep you informed and entertained en route.  

Once the vessel has arrived in the Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands, expedition leaders will take small groups out on zodiac excursions (small rigid inflatable boats) to get up close and personal with penguins and hike the breathtaking snow-covered landscape.

There's also opportunities to spot Weddell, fur, crabeater and leopard seals, as well as humpbacks, minkes, and even orcas. 

Trip: Antarctic Explorer

Who: Quark Expeditions

When? December (various dates)

How long? 11 days (From Ushuaia)

How much? From £6,825 (exc. flights)

7. Get a taste of Cuba

Havana, Cuba (Shutterstock)

Havana, Cuba (Shutterstock)

Start in the city of Havana for a big dose of revolutionary history, faded colonial splendour and HUGE hand-rolled cigars.

Soak up as much Cuban culture as you can, then it's time to head to UNESCO-listed Viñales Valley in west Cuba, where you'll be dazzled by rolling tobacco plantations and limestone karsts.

On the way to the architecturally rich town of Cienfuegos, you'll stop off at a small seafood restaurant in the Bay of Pigs to tuck into fresh catches.

Finally, the well-preserved colonial town of Trinidad not only has a charming old square and cobbled streets, but also a lively cultural scene. You'll get hands-on in cocktail making and get groovy in a salsa dancing class.

Trip: A Taste of Cuba

Who: Exodus

When? 16 December 

How long? Eight days

How much? From £1,445 (exc. flights)

8. Trek the peaks and plains of Patagonia

Torres del Paine National Park (Shutterstock)

Torres del Paine National Park (Shutterstock)

Kick off this 20-day trip with a walking tour of the cosmopolitan Chilean capital, including a cable car ride, museum stop, and plenty of time to wander.

Over the first couple of days, you'll visit Chile's lake district, a region ideal for bike rides through forested countryside, and an option to go river rafting. 

But this is only the beginning of the action. Next, you'll head to Chile and Argentina's most awe-inspiring national parks, including Torres del Paine National Park, Los Glaciares National Park, and Tierra del Fuego National Park, where you'll be mostly exploring on foot. 

The journey comes to a conclusion in Buenos Aires, where there's options to see a Tango show and explore its culturally rich neighbourhoods, such as La Boca. 

Trip: Nandu: Peaks and Plains of Patagonia

Who: Journey Latin America

When? 10 December

How long? 20 days

How much? From £4,900 (exc. flights)

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