If you’re looking to recharge those batteries, it can be tricky to get a moment or two to yourself in today’s world. With our mobile phones buzzing with updates, connectivity is a blessing, but also sometimes a burden when it feels hard to disconnect and centre in on yourself for a spell.
And while those same social media updates you’ll see often include friends and family off on their travels, a growing number of people are opting to take a solo break. With colder weather closing in without mercy, there’s every reason to consider doing likewise for yourself. The only question is, where to go?
We’ve compiled a list of top destinations you can slink away to for a quiet week of rejuvenating solitude, and best of all, many of them are cheaper than you think – and come with a little extra sunshine.
While anywhere in Italy is sure to appeal, a soft spot in the heart always bubbles up in visitors to Florence. The self-styled cradle of the Renaissance nurtured great minds like da Vinci and Machiavelli to the fore, although nowadays it’s just as famous for its gelato shops and magnificent architecture.
Florence is saturated with tourists come the summer, but the winter enjoys a more laid-back feel that gels well with its approachable size. It’s a small city, and one you can comfortably walk around taking in sights like Il Duomo and Ponte Veggio, cradled by stores that clutch the edges of its bridge. Losing yourself in this warren of narrow streets is a superb way to reinvigorate your senses and take some inspiration home.
The Canary Islands
With the richly varied landscapes, small towns by the shore, abundant sunshine and relaxed outlook, the Canaries make for a brilliantly slow-paced way to reconnect solo on holiday. Boat trips and hiking trails make mastering both sea and land an invigorating challenge, and good views for the snap happy are a given.
Of course, there’s also plenty of history to get stuck into here, especially when you consider that the islands are located in the mid-Atlantic. That means they played a big role in the discovery of the New World in centuries past, and the Casa de Colon, or House of Columbus, is said to be where the famous explorer hung his hat after his adventures at sea. Added bonus? It’s hot and sunny here all year round.
Budget friendly, a few hours’ flight from the UK and drenched in sunshine all year round… Morocco certainly ticks a lot of boxes. Its relative exoticness when compared to the likes of Spain and Portugal, just a short Mediterranean hop northwards, makes it a pretty invigorating solo adventure.
Outside its mystic architecture and enjoyable climate, Morocco boasts a spirit of entrepreneurship and craftsmanship seldom seen in many other winter sun destinations. Take your haggling skills to any number of the vibrant souks of Morocco and you’ll find the chance to flex your bargaining muscle, and potentially come home with some goodies.
You could pick any number of Caribbean destinations here, yet Jamaica’s fusion of cuisine, sport, rum and sunshine always seems to get us Brits in the mood. As a solo destination, it wins out thanks to a lack of a language barrier and a welcoming community.
Of course, vanishing to a beach like Ocho Rios for a week is a pretty superb way to get winter sun and seclusion in equal measure, and Kingston is a capital that everyone ought to see at least once in their lifetime. Touring rum and cocoa factories makes for some pretty desirable souvenirs to surprise those back home with, and if the music in Ocho Rios doesn’t get you moving, precious little in life will.
If you really need a solo escape, a jaunt to the other side of the world could well be the ticket. While Thailand’s shirking its rep as the quintessential backpacking destination to entice the more mainstream holidaying crowd, it’s still got plenty of authenticity thanks to its striking Buddhist temples and monuments – to say nothing of the landscapes.
Bathed in sunlight, it’s easy to get lost amid Thailand’s islands, the best of which promise you the seclusion you need for your solo holiday to shine. Snorkel, hike the rainforest or just wallow on the beach undisturbed – it’s all in your reach when you know which Thai islands to run to.
Solo holidays are a great way to refresh and reconnect, and even with the advent of winter, you don’t need to do so either feeling the chill or feeling the pinch of a big-budget holiday.