When it comes to travel, flying solo can be an incredibly liberating experience. With no travelling companions to cater to, you're free to craft the holiday you've always dreamt of whether you're after a slick city getaway, an adventurous escape or an idyllic island-hopping trip. Travelling on your own can also be incredibly daunting, however, especially since some countries have different rules and customs for women than those we are accustomed to. But fear not, for we are on hand to help. Read on for a round up of our favourite destinations for female solo travellers …
Consistently ranked one of the world's top safest countries, Iceland seems like an obvious choice for any budding female solo traveller. This Nordic island nation boasts exceptionally low crime rates, and communities of stereotypically progressive, English-speaking bearded hipsters - even the president doesn't feel the need to have a bodyguard. Safety aside, there are plenty of reasons to make a beeline for Iceland with its plethora of glaciers, fjords, waterfalls and geysers to be discovered. An absolute must is a visit to the infamous Blue Lagoon, a naturally-formed geothermal hot spring where you can enjoy soothing soaks in the warm mineral-rich waters, perhaps with a glass of fizz and a facemask if you're feeling extra indulgent. We can also arrange everything from snowmobiling tours on top of the Eyjafjallajökull glacier (which features some stunning views over Southern Iceland), horse-riding through the dramatic landscapes of Western Iceland's Snaefellsnes Peninsula and a trip to the Golden Circle where you can see the country's most visited active geyser, Stokker, which shoots boiling water in the air every half-an-hour.
If adventure is what you're after on your solo holiday, Namibia is the place. With its diverse sun-baked landscapes, including the oldest desert on Earth - the Namib - this South African country is a seriously hot destination that also happens to be decidedly cool. One of our favourite regions is the hauntingly beautiful Skeleton Coast, which appropriately features the sun-bleached skeletons of whales and the rusty remains of stranded ships. For the intrepid traveller, we can arrange for an unforgettable flying safari over the area to spot vast swathes of seal colonies heading towards the sea and gaze over never-ending miles of dune belts and salt pans. If you were wondering about game, Namibia has plenty of that too. Head to Etosha and Damaraland for wildlife-abundant forests where you can spot endangered species like the desert elephant and black rhino.
An ecotourist's dream, Costa Rica boasts a huge biodiversity. While trekking through the Corcovado National Park with a local guide, discover the country's wealth of wonderful wildlife - including over 100 species of mammals and amphibians as well as more than 400 bird species. For a truly magical wildlife experience, travel to Costa Rica between July and October to witness the flourishing of new life during the turtle nesting and hatching season in the protected wilderness area of Tortugeuero National Park. Combine this with a trip to the Sea Turtle Conservancy centre for a solo trip with a side of learning as you're taught about these how to protect these wonderful creatures. For the more adventurous female solo traveller we can also arrange white water rafting, canyoning and ziplining through the jungle. If all this isn't enough to entice you then how about the fact that Costa Rica has also previously been listed as 'The World's Happiest Country' (perhaps because it has no army, and has instead invested money into improving the day-to-day life of its citizens). We're sold.
Friendly people, culture-filled cities and wonderful windswept coastlines, Portugal is our top pick for a Big Short Break… solo-style. One of our favourite cities to get lost in (especially after a spot of port tasting), is the charming coastal city of Porto. While wandering the UNESCO-listed centre, visit port houses which offer expert-led tasting sessions, admire attractive azulejo-tiled architecture and duck into cute boutique shops - including the eclectic Livraria Lello Bookshop, which is rumoured to be the inspiration behind the Hogwarts Library in the Harry Potter films. Head south from Porto and you have lovely Lisbon, which we particularly enjoy getting to know through the medium of food. Discover the culinary delights of the city with a knowledgeable guide, who will show you everything from local food markets to the best places to taste Lisbon's infamous pasteis de nata (custard tarts); and we can attest to the fact they are truly delicious.
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Real-life dragons, mighty volcanoes, dense jungle and over 17,000 idyllic islands to explore - Indonesia is the perfect place to bring out your inner Dora the Explorer (or Lara Croft, depending on your vibe). Topping the island charts is Bali, which is full to brim with culture, ancient temples and traditions as well as a wealth of postcard-perfect beaches. On a solo trip to Bali, nothing beats a day-long trek to the beautiful Banyumala waterfall, where your guide can tell you all about the local coffee plantations, flora and fauna, before you go for a well-deserved dip in the majestic falls. Also well worth a visit is Komodo - the island synonymous with the three-metre-long Komodo dragon. Seeing these magnificent lizards in their natural environment is an incredible experience, and while you're there you can also discover the local ocean-dwelling beasts, namely mana rays and whale sharks while diving over colourful coral reefs.