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The South Island of New Zealand is a dreamy solo-travel destination, especially if you’re into sports and nature. Jet skiing, hiking, horse riding, skiing, kayaking and more are all on offer, and there’s bungee jumping and skydiving for the thrill seekers out there. All these activities can be experienced either on your own or with a guided tour. Either way, you’ll meet new people and take in a landscape unmatched anywhere on earth.
The Greek islands in summer are bursting with life whether you choose the party vibes of Mykonos or the quieter sands of Antiparos. Especially busy between mid-June and the end of August, travel during this peak season if you want to mingle with bigger crowds, and head out in May or September if you prefer the same weather with less people. Prepare to eat lots of fresh seafood, bathe in the crystal waters and party as much or as little as fits your lifestyle.
Australia’s East Coast is a great spot for travelling on one’s own. You can check out the Great Barrier Reef and Daintree Rainforest and there is a popular backpacking route between Melbourne and Cairns that is perfect both for meeting fellow adventurers and having some time alone. Another must around here is joining a sailing trip to the stunning Whitsunday Islands.
Channel Cheryl Strayed (whose solo journey was the real-life inspiration for the movie Wild (2014)) and take the ultimate trip hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. Starting at the very edge of Southern California and winding up to the US-Canada border in Washington State, it winds through California, Oregon and Washington over 2,659 miles (4,279 kilometres). Depending on how long you have and how much energy you want to expend, you don’t have to do the whole trail! In fact, you can easily join at any point. Meditate in nature as you hike tough but beautiful terrain, and connect with others doing the same across three of the US’s most scenic states.
Goa in Southern India is a beautiful part of the country to explore on one’s own. Rent a hut on the beach as your base and spend your days on the sand, strolling through Old Goa, checking out museums, or even heading to a local spa for a day of pampering. The market on Arpora Hill takes place on Saturday evenings and is well worth a visit both for the shopping and party scene. You’ll meet new people, eat some incredible food and enjoy a good dose of beach and culture.
Take life at a slow pace in the picturesque seaside villages of Cinque Terre in Italy. Enjoy plates of spaghetti and endless amounts of gelato, as well as some of the most beautiful hikes in the country. It is a great place to go alone and really be able to think without any hustle and bustle to distract you. That said, many tourists come here so it’s also an ideal area to make new friends.
As a change from Bali, check out neighbouring Lombok. One of the best places in the world to learn how to surf, snorkel and dive, the water is beautiful and teeming with life. Further inland from Lombok lie waterfalls, volcanoes and hot springs to explore and just a short boat ride away are the three Gili Islands, which are another diver’s paradise. Gili Trawangan is the place to be for those who like to party, whereas Gili Meno and Gili Air offer more relaxed vibes.
A fantastic European city to explore solo, Stockholm is walkable, friendly, scenic and cultural. You can spend time checking out the city and also take a day to visit one of the islands on the archipelago. The foodie scene is also quite vibrant here so don’t miss out on that during your stay.
Stay in the old quarter so you’re in the centre of everything and spend your days walking around the city, which allows you to skip out on the infamous Hanoi traffic. Don’t miss the historic buildings, museums and, of course, food markets. You can even take a day trip to the magical UNESCO world heritage site of Halong Bay, where you’ll spend your day floating on the water, eating seafood and taking in the glorious nature that surrounds you.
Vienna is another wondrous European city to explore on your own. The architecture is among the most breathtaking on the continent, the museums are superb and the famous Wiener Schnitzel is probably the best in the world. Spend your days strolling through the historic centre of town and stop into any and all of the art galleries that look interesting (there are many). Try and catch an opera or ballet while you’re there too, and if the weather is nice, a boat tour on or picnic along the Danube is definitely in order.
Whether you want to drink all the local wine, go on a Game of Thrones tour, sleep all day and party all night or take part in some of beach and sightseeing activities, Dubrovnik is a wonderful choice for a solo holiday. Providing an ideal balance of culture and leisure, the city itself is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
A town in Southern Portugal’s Algarve region, Lagos is the place to go if you want to spend your time by the sea. Take a kayaking tour to meet new people, discover the Ponta de Piedade Grotto via various sightseeing cruises and lounge on the sand with a book.
For the artsy solo traveller, Vancouver is not to be missed. Its performing and visual art scene is a highlight of the bustling city and the surrounding nature is stunning also. Enjoy great meals and city vibes as well as the incredible Canadian landscape within easy driving distance.