Horseshoe Bend, Arizona, USA (Dreamstime)
List 18 April

Going it alone: 13 of the best solo trips around the world

Ride through the Wild West, trace ancient trails in Japan, or snorkel with whale sharks in the Maldives – these off-beat adventures are perfect for solo travellers...

Solo travel is on the rise. More and more of us are seeking out the world’s hidden corners on our own. It’s a trend that many tour operators are cottoning on to, and increasing numbers of companies are removing obstacles – such as the much hated single supplement (s/s) – so lone adventurers aren’t left worse off. Here are some of our favourite trips for solo travellers…

1. Ramble a history-rich river in Germany

Eltz castle (Dreamstime)

Eltz castle (Dreamstime)

Trace a romantic river on Ramblers Walking Holidays’ Walking the Moselle Trail. Pass half-timbered houses, ancient forests, fairytale Eltz castle, and the Roman-founded city of Trier. Toast the stroll (and the fact there’s no s/s) with plenty of local riesling. Prost!

Who: Ramblers Walking Holidays 

When: 25 June and 9 July 2018

How long: 7 nights

How much: From £1,075 (incl flights)

2. Gasp at Ecuador's Galápagos Islands

A lizard on a Galápagos isle (Dreamstime)

A lizard on a Galápagos isle (Dreamstime)

Join solo specialists Just You on a Natural Wonders of Ecuador & the Galápagos trip. See giant tortoises on Santa Cruz, learn about their conservation on San Cristóbal, hike up Sierra Negra volcano on Isabela and spot a wealth of unique wildlife everywhere. Sandwich your island expedition with stays in Quito.

Who: Just You 

When: 18 March, 18 November and 16 December 2019

How long: 15 days

How much: From £6,699 (incl flights)

3. Saddle up in the USA's Wild West

Horseriding in the USA (Dreamstime)

Horseriding in the USA (Dreamstime)

Grab your Stetson and live like a cowboy on Solos Holidays’ USA Ranch Adventure. Trot through Arizona’s desert grasslands and learn to pen cattle, then dismount to hike in the dramatic Baboquivari Mountains and spy some of the 300 bird species in the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge. Yee-haw!

Who: Solos Holidays 

When: 5 November 2018

How long: 7 nights

How much: From £2,835 (incl flights)

4. See the other side of Portugal's Algarve

Olhão main square (Friendship Travel)

Olhão main square (Friendship Travel)

Help Friendship Travel mark 20 years as a single-traveller specialist on its Olhão trip. Stroll elegant old towns and wander the wetlands of Ria Formosa.

Who: Friendship Travel 

When: Selected dates May, June, September and October

How long: 7 nights

How much: From £1,135 (incl flights)

5. See wildlife and ancient wonders in Ethiopia

Rock-cut church in Lalibela, Ethiopia (Steppes Travel)

Rock-cut church in Lalibela, Ethiopia (Steppes Travel)

Steppes Travel’s Ethiopia group tour – Wolves, Primates and Rock-Cut Churches – is a safe bet for tentative solos, mixing Lalibela with wildlife in the Bale and Simien mountains.

Who: Steppes Travel 

When: 5 October 2018

How long: 12 days

How much: From £4,595 (excl flights; limited free s/s spaces – £595 thereafter)

6. Get a glimpse of Japan

Yasaka shrine (World Expeditions)

Yasaka shrine (World Expeditions)

World Expeditions’ Backroads of Japan walking trip includes hikes around Fuji, and along off-beat and ancient trails.

Who: World Expeditions 

When: Selected dates June, September and November 2018; March, May and June 2019

How long: 15 days

How much: From £2,990 (excl flights; s/s for own room £210)

7. Go beyond Luang Prabang in Laos

Laos community (Selective Asia)

Laos community (Selective Asia)

Selective Asia’s unique Laos’ Secret Ho Chi Minh Trail trip is led by Wanderlust Guide Awards winner Mark Steadman and offers a distinctive insight into the wartime route.

Who: Selective Asia 

When: 24 November 2018

How long: 14 days

How much: From £2,250 (excl flights)

SPECIAL OFFER: The £350 s/s is waived for Wanderlust readers booking this tour.

8. Nip back to Soviet era Belarus

Nesvizh Castle (Dreamstime)

Nesvizh Castle (Dreamstime)

Regent Holidays’ Belarus Short Break Group Tour visits capital Minsk, medieval Mir, Niesvizh Castle and the Stalin Line. Private room guaranteed.

Who: Regent Holidays

When: 5 September 2018

How long: 5 days

How much: From £875 (incl flights)

9. Pay less for paradise in the Maldives

Snorkel with whale sharks in the Maldives (Dreamstime)

Snorkel with whale sharks in the Maldives (Dreamstime)

The s/s is ditched on Encounters Travel’s Maldives on a Shoestring tour. Snorkel over reefs, visit uninhabited atolls, dine with local families and more – for less!

Who: Encounters Travel

When: Selected dates May–December 2018

How long: 8 days

How much: From £799 (excl flights)

10. Enjoy a woman-only adventure in Iran

Persepolis ruins (Dreamstime)

Persepolis ruins (Dreamstime)

Exodus Travels' women-only Journey to Persia tour explores the ruins of Persepolis, the mausoleums and monumental gardens of Shiraz, and the intricately tiled bazaars of Isfahan. Expect to be utterly charmed by Iranian hospitality throughout.

Who: Exodus Travels

When: Selected dates May, September-December 2018; March 2019

How long: 16 days

How much: From £2,899 (incl flights; optional £740 s/s for own room)

11. Feast on Italy's history

Temple of Hera (Dreamstime)

Temple of Hera (Dreamstime)

Combine two Italian staples on Andante Travels’ Western Sicily – Food & Archaeology trip. Pair foodie workshops with ancient sites – pore over the island’s La Vucciria food market, tour Palermo’s museums and 12th-century cathedral, spy the Temple of Hera at the ancient Greek colony of Selinunte and soak up the vineyards of Marsala.

Who: Andante Travels 

When: 30 September 2018

How long: 8 days

How much: From £2,295 (incl flights; optional £175 s/s for own room)

12. See Turkey, Georgia, Armenia, Iran and the 'Stans

Hot air balloons soar over Cappadocia (Dreamstime)

Hot air balloons soar over Cappadocia (Dreamstime)

Trace the ancient Silk Road on Oasis Overland’s Istanbul to Bishkek tour. Spy the honeycomb hills of Cappadocia in Turkey, camp in the Caucasus in Georgia, and wander the bazaars of Tabriz in Iran. Move on through the 'Stans, peering into the Darvaza gas crater in Turkmenistan and strolling the tree-lined boulevards of Kyrgyz capital Bishkek. And that’s just scratching the surface of this epic trip...

Who: Oasis Overland

When: 25 May 2018; 17 April 2019

How long: 62 days

How much: From £4,057 (excl flights)

13. Take on a classic Himalayan trek in Bhutan

The Laya Trek (KE Adventure)

The Laya Trek (KE Adventure)

Tread The Laya Trek with KE Adventure. Hike through farmland, alpine pastures, ancient forests and lofty mountain passes, while pitching your tent beneath the dazzling peaks of Chomolhari and Jitchu Drake. You'll stop at dzongs (monasteries) and scattered villages en route, mingling with the locals of Laya, and finish your journey soothing your limbs in the hot springs at Gasa.

Who: KE Adventure 

When: Selected dates October 2018; April and October 2019

How long: 19 days

How much: From £4,275 (incl flights; optional £235 s/s for own room/tent)