Machu Picchu in Peru is one of the best trips for solo travellers (Shutterstock)
List Words : Team Wanderlust | 17 April 2019

15 of the best group trips for solo travellers

Our Wanderlust experts have selected the cream of the upcoming 2019/2020 solo travel-friendly tours, that avoid you having to stump up the dreaded single supplement…

Firstly, what is the single supplement? 

Many tour ops add a single supplement (s/s) fee for solo travellers wanting a single room, but we’re now starting to see more operators waive this, so you don’t need to fork out extra…

Now, find out the top group trips for solo travellers in 2019/2020...

1. Uncover the conquerors and culture of Uzbekistan

Explore Uzbekistan with Silk Road Adventure (Pixarbay)

Explore Uzbekistan with Silk Road Adventure (Pixarbay)

Wander the ancient, dusty paths of Central Asia on Silk Road Adventures’ Classic Uzbekistan: Minarets and Madrassahs tour.

Follow in the footsteps of the great rulers who conquered the region, from Timur to Genghis Khan; haggle with street merchants in bustling bazaars; visit UNESCO-listed citadel Khiva; and take in the turquoise domes of Bukhara and Samarkand.

And it doesn’t matter if you’re travelling solo on this group tour – make lifelong friends by meeting local families and learning their way of life, as well as picking up the culinary skills to fix the provincial favourites they serve at their tables.

Who: Silk Road Adventures (0117 427 0129)
When: 18 Oct 2019
How long? 11 days
How much? From £2,695 (excl flights; no s/s on a private room)

2. Cross Peruvian jungles, mountains and deserts in a 4x4

Desert plains of Peru (Peru Safari)

Desert plains of Peru (Peru Safari)

Traverse nearly 3,000km of epic landscape to Machu Picchu on a 4WD expedition with Peru Safari.

Drive through tropical Amazon jungle, alpine terrain and dry desert plains (home to the Nazca Lines) accompanied by expert guides, then rest your head in comfortable jungle cabins and rustic Andean haciendas.

Two solo places are on offer on each departure and you can join the guide vehicle or drive your own.

Who: Peru Safari (01744 889819)
When: Selected dates from Mar–Dec 2019; Mar–Dec 2020
How long? 15 nights
How much? From £3,980pp (excl flights; no s/s on the two solo places)

3. Bump into big game in Zambia

Nkwali Camp overlooks the South Luangwa National Park (Nkwali)

Nkwali Camp overlooks the South Luangwa National Park (Nkwali)

You won’t feel alone on a bespoke Zambian safari with Audley Travel.

You’ll join fellow guests on walking safaris and game drives, seeking big cats in South Luangwa National Park, spotting playful elephants at their local watering holes and getting a glimpse of the reintroduced white rhino at Mosi-oa-Tunya NP.

In the evenings, dine communally by candlelight, swapping tales of the day’s encounters with new found friends.

Who: Audley Travel (01993 838505)
When: Selected dates from June–Oct 2019
How long? 11 nights
How much? From £6,150 (incl flights; no s/s on a private room)

4. Travel in time in Cambodia

One of the many faces of Angkor Wat (Tell Tale Travel)

One of the many faces of Angkor Wat (Tell Tale Travel)

Go back in time on a Small Group Adventure in Cambodia with Tell Tale Travel.

With a maximum of ten other solo travellers, marvel at the ruined Angkor temples of the Khmer empire, before returning to the wonderfully chaotic present.

You’ll taste street food, discover the old-world glamour of Phnom Penh, trek in the jungle and meditate with a monk, before ending your visit at the seaside village of Kep and Rabbit Island – the ultimate beach escape.

Who: Tell Tale Travel (020 7060 4571)
When: 10 Nov 2019
How long? 14 nights
How much? From £3,000 (incl flights; no s/s on a private room)

5. Tour ancient treasures in Turkey

Turkey's ancient sites (Shutterstock)

Turkey's ancient sites (Shutterstock)

Introduce yourself to Anatolia’s rich culture on Jules Verne’s solo-only Grand Tour of Turkey. Delve into Istanbul’s Old City and see how it overflows with palaces, mosques, churches and bazaars, influenced by the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman empires.

Discover Pamukkale’s white travertine terraces and mineral-rich waters, along with Cappadocia’s cave cities. Afterwards, continue to capital Ankara and on to Gordion to view King Midas’ tomb – a golden opportunity!

Who: Jules Verne (020 3130 6944)
When: 2 Nov 2019
How long? 14 nights
How much? From £1,895 (incl flights; no s/s on a private room)

6. Homestay with hill tribes in Vietnam

Stay with a hill tribe in Vietnam (KE Adventure Travel)

Stay with a hill tribe in Vietnam (KE Adventure Travel)

Blaze a trail across lesser-known Vietnam on KE Adventure Travel’s group tour, Secret Trails of the Tribal Heartland. Soak up the cultures of northern tribes such as the Lolo by dining on their homemade cuisine and sleeping communally in homestays.

Admire soaring mountain views before heading into buzzing Hanoi and on to cruise the vivid emerald waters and striking limestone islands of Halong Bay.

Who: KE Adventure Travel (01768 615807)
When: Selected dates, 24 Aug, 21 Sept & 10 Nov 2019
How long: 14 days
How much? From £2,125 (incl flights; no s/s on shared same-sex rooms; private rooms in Hanoi/Cat Ba Island cost an extra £100)

7. Try a far-east rail ride and board a bullet train to the heart of Japan

Meet snow monkeys in Japan (Inside Japan Tours/Steve Parker)

Meet snow monkeys in Japan (Inside Japan Tours/Steve Parker)

See the wonders of Honshu on Inside Japan’s solo-only Japan Unmasked tour. Starting from Tokyo, ride the rails on the high-tech bullet train, flying past the Japanese Alps and through Kyoto, before circling back to the capital. 

As well as absorbing the culture with stays at traditional ryokan guest houses (where you may be asked to share), you’ll also enjoy an encounter with the famous snow monkeys of Yudanaka and explore Kanazawa’s old samurai and geisha districts.

Who: Inside Japan (0117 244 3380)
When: 19 Aug & 25 Nov 2019
How long? 13 nights
How much? From £2,595 (excl flights; no s/s on a private room)

8. Try authentic crafts and cookery in India

Pink Palace in Jaipur (Unsplash Landscape/Annie Spratt)

Pink Palace in Jaipur (Unsplash Landscape/Annie Spratt)

Have a real Indian Experience with Wendy Wu Tours and fellow solo travellers. After delving into the delights of Delhi, take a rickshaw ride around Agra – the majesty of the Taj Mahal is unmissable.

In Jaipur, try your hand at carpet weaving and block printing, before spending time with an Indian family, who’ll teach you how to master the art of curry. Along the way you’ll also visit Rajasthan’s Ranthambore NP, where tigers roam the former royal hunting ground.

Who: Wendy Wu (0808 163 9738)
When: 7 Nov 2019; 23 Jan 2020
How long? 10 days
How much? From £2,690 (incl flights; no s/s on private room)

9. Join a ladies-only safari in Africa

Spot wildlife on an African safari

Spot wildlife on an African safari

Escape crowded group tours and head to Africa on the friendly Ladies-Only Safari to Kenya and Tanzania from Tracks Safaris. As one of just six women, you’ll enjoy your own room and a window seat on game drives.

In Nairobi, you’ll meet orphan elephants and rhinos at a sanctuary, before journeying to the Masai Mara and Serengeti national parks to spy leopards and lions, as well as herds of wildebeest undertaking the Great Migration.

Who: Tracks Safaris (01386 830264)
When: 17 Sept 2019
How long? 13 days
How much? £5,695 (excl flights; no s/s on private rooms)

10. Join an early morning walk to Machu Picchu, on an ancient civilisation adventure 

Arrive at Machu Picchu early morning to avoid crowds (Shutterstock)

Arrive at Machu Picchu early morning to avoid crowds (Shutterstock)

Clamber amongst the ruins of an ancient civilisation on the Inca Trail Expedition with Exodus Travel. Join in with the group and discover crumbling citadels, hike the Inca trail and wonder at the extraordinary landscape.

Listen to your expert guide explain the ins and outs of the land, pass through mountains and cloud forests, and arrive at Machu Picchu in the early morning, before anyone else, and walk among the ruins like you're the only person in the world.

Who: Exodus Travels (020 3553 9822)
When: Year round
How long? Eleven days
How much? From £1,949 (incl flights; single supplement available on request at £220)

 

11.See what peaks your interest in Morocco

The Roman ruins of Volubilis (Dreamstime)

The Roman ruins of Volubilis (Dreamstime)

Access the very best of Morocco on Abercrombie & Kent’s The Delights of Morocco Escorted Tour. Explore the hidden side to the grand cities of Fes, Meknes and Marrakesh with an expert guide tailoring the expedition to match your own interests.

Maybe that’s examining the Roman ruins of Volubilis or wandering through the maze of street alleys in Fes, but if not, you have the option to design your last day in the country to match your own interests.

Fashionistas may prefer to delve into the history of a style icon at the newly launched Yves St Laurent Museum, but a stroll through Marrakesh’s paradisiacal gardens may just be the right way to end to your visit. Pure bliss.

Who: Abercrombie & Kent (01242 547 892)
When: September-October 2019; March-May 2020
How long? 10 days
How much? From £2,995 (flights excluded; no s/s for the first four solo places booked)

12. Help protect rhinos on a wildlife conservation trip

White rhino in Kruger National Park (Shutterstock)

White rhino in Kruger National Park (Shutterstock)

Get up close and personal with rhinos on this Rhino Conservation Project tour from Steppes.

While trekking through the immense Kruger National Park or exploring Moholoholo Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre, you can catch sight of the endangered white rhino and observe how efforts to preserve the species and restore rare wildlife are coming to fruition – and now you can have a hand in it, too.

Not only do you accompany the chief vet and rangers from Timbavati Nature Reserve, they'll show you how to dart, notch and microchip a rhino. A unique insight into the future of South Africa’s at-risk species.

Who: Steppes Travel (01285 601 050)
When: July 2019
How long? 7 days
How much? From £2,295 (flights excluded; no s/s for the first two solo travellers booking onto the tour)

13. See the best view of Sicily 

Admiring the view of Mount Etna (Shutterstock)

Admiring the view of Mount Etna (Shutterstock)

Go to Sicily and have a Mediterranean adventure Walking Under Mount Etna with Ramblers Walking Holidays. Take in the rich history of the island with your group, with strolls through the tranquil Italian countryside and coast.

Visit the ‘Castle of the Lion’ in the ancient mountain village of Castiglione and follow up with a relaxing amble through its Old Town, packed full of sophisticated architecture, tree-lined squares and beautiful bell towers.

Then, get what you came for: walk across the sun-soaked slopes of Mount Etna for panoramic views of the mainland.

Who: Ramblers Walking Holidays (01707 331133)
When: Selected dates April and September 2019  
How long? 7 days
How much? £990 (including flights; no s/s)

14. Admire the stunning landscapes and natural wonders of Zimbabwe 

The mighty Victoria Falls (Dreamstime)

The mighty Victoria Falls (Dreamstime)

Join African Star Tours and explore the great natural wonders of Zimbabwe on the Over 55’s Solo Tour. Begin your trip at Victoria Falls, admire Hwange National Park’s natural environment and trek amongst the rhinos at Matobo National Park.

On your last day, lose yourself among the ancient stone structures of the Great Zimbabwe Ruins and stand in awe at this well-preserved corner of the world.

Who: African Star Tours (020 8050 1739)
When: October 2019, December 2019, May 2020
How long? 10 days
How much? From £4,295 (including flights)

 

15. Gaze upon Croatia's coastline from the water

Sailing the islands off Croatia (Dreamstime)

Sailing the islands off Croatia (Dreamstime)

Embrace the waterways on Sailing Italy to Croatia with G Adventures. Start your journey from Venice and build friendships with your fellow crew members along the way.

Hop off the boat to visit ancient basilicas in Grado, relax on the sunny, serene islands of the Kvarner Gulf, and explore secluded coves and snorkel on remote beaches.

Along the way, dine on fresh seafood from the Adriatic Sea and of course, make a stop to taste the local wine in Pula, Croatia. With less people in the know, it’s a fine alternative to a traditional road trip and a novel way of exploring Eastern Europe’s coast.

Who: G Adventures (0344 272 2060)
When: July 2019
How long? 10 days
How much? From £1,169 (flights excluded; no single supplement on shared same-sex rooms)

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