The 7 Best Places for Women to Travel Solo
Published on: August 2nd, 2018
Last modified: June 13th, 2023
From Africa to Europe, Australasia and Latin America, there is no corner of the globe off-limits to solo female travel. Relax in an Icelandic spa, track gorillas in Rwanda, eat your way through India or find the big five on safari in Kenya: these and many more experiences await.
All you need to do is decide where you want to go. Perhaps this is your first solo trip and you’re wondering where the best place to travel alone for the first time is? Sweden or Iceland can work well for first time solo trips as they are easy to get to and have cities that are simple to navigate. They're both considered welcoming, friendly countries, with Sweden in particular celebrating gender equality.
In need of more inspiration? We’ve asked our expert travel designers to put together a list of the 7 best places for solo female travel across the globe, and what to do when you’re there.
Why travel solo with Jacada?
At Jacada we create bespoke tours, planned by our travel designers to suit you perfectly. Once you’re travelling our knowledgeable, friendly and professional guides are on hand to support you. We specialise in seamless travel, taking care of the details and offering expert advice, so that you can plan with peace of mind.
1. Iceland: Best for Relaxation
When you need a trip that guarantees full, unadulterated relaxation, Iceland ticks all the boxes. Head to the Retreat at the Blue Lagoon for rest and rejuvenation at its subterranean spa and hot springs. Elsewhere on this intoxicating island, stay at Torfhús Retreat for a sustainable approach to luxury and wellness, coupled with adventure activities such as horse riding, rafting and glacier tours.
At Deplar Farm luxurious lodges and impressive spa facilities sit in the reimagined turf-topped buildings of a former working sheep farm. An off-the-grid ethos in a remote location means an opportunity to truly get away from it all. For the solo traveller, the best time to visit Iceland is between May and October for long days filled with sunshine and plenty of exciting excursions to take part in. For those looking to fulfil their bucket-list then the winter months between October and March are best for the alluring Northern Lights.
Scandinavia, with a reputation as the cool part of Europe (quite literally), is an uncomplicated and friendly place to travel. Sweden ranks first on the EU Gender Equality Index, making it an ideal destination for solo female travellers. Two capitals, Sweden’s Stockholm and Denmark’s Copenhagen are known for their accessible centres, allowing solo travellers a chance to explore freely. Food is a highlight and there are plenty of gastro-focussed walking tours to join. Take a cruise along Copenhagen’s canal followed by a visit to the freetown of Christiania.
3. New Zealand: Best for Views and Nature
New Zealand might just be the place that has it all: small, friendly cities; outstanding natural beauty; wholesome, organic food; an abundance of culture; active adventures; and countless wellness and relaxation opportunities.
Hulbert House, a Victorian villa with easy access to Queenstown is the ideal place to explore the city from and, thanks to its intimate feel it’s a great spot for solo female travel. Explore nature at its finest with a stay at The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs in the north island’s Matauri Bay where you can enjoy golf with sweeping views across the Pacific Ocean at the world-class course. There’s also the opportunity to settle into a spa day with views of the verdant green glen.
4. India: Best for Cuisine and Culture
It’s hard to convey just how broad and diverse India is, each state comparable in culture and cuisine to that of an entire country – making it a truly inspiring destination to visit. Two of the best places for solo trips for women here are rural Rajasthan and the peaceful backwaters of Kerala, for their laidback atmosphere and stunning hotels.
There’s a distinct difference in the regional cuisine in each location too: try the spicy lal maas – a typical Rajasthani meat-based dish – at Jawai, and health-focussed seafood dishes at Carnoustie. While travelling in India we recommend dressing for comfort in modest, loose-fitting clothing.
5. Chile: Best for Wild Adventures
The sheer size of Chile, stretching 4000 miles (6000 kilometres) along South America’s western coast – where land meets the Pacific Ocean – makes it a country of beautiful contrasts. Teal lakes, lush forest and soaring granite peaks meet in Torres del Paine, flamingos soar across lagoons set close to stretching sands in Atacama Desert and snow-capped volcanoes look down on glacial lakes and fertile farmland in The Lake District.
Chile is a great country for solo trips for women thanks to the guided, small-group activities led by luxury lodges dotted throughout the country. At Tierra Patagonia in Torres del Paine National Park you can hike, horse ride and kayak among the spectacular scenery. In the vasts deserts of the Atacama stay at Nayaro Alto Atacama and soak in the natural hot springs, indulge at the spa and experience jaw-dropping stargazing at the hotels own Ckepi (eye in the Kunza language) complete with professional telescope. At the Lake District’s Hotel Vira Vira you can hike a volcano, try mountain biking, fly-fishing, white-water rafting or even artisanal cheese making.
6. Rwanda: Best for Gorilla Trekking
Coming face-to-face with majestic gorillas in Rwanda is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, one that is surprisingly accessible as a solo traveller. Start in the country’s capital, Kigali, with a visit to the Nyamirambo Women’s Centre for an insight into the culture and history of the community (with profits going towards community initiatives).
Adventures in Rwanda don’t stop here; Akagera National Park offers a classic big five safari experience. We highly recommend a stay at Wilderness Magashi Camp, a luxury safari camp overlooking Lake Rwanyakazinga with daily game drives and boat safaris. To complete your primate experience, travel south for a chance to see chimpanzees in Rwanda’s flourishing Nyungwe National Park. Stay at the One&Only Nyungwe House for contemporary comfort surrounded by ancient forests.
7. Kenya: Best for the Ultimate African Safari
Kenya is well known as one of the best African safari destinations, with many chances to see the big five. In the vast Maasai Mara National Park iconic species are abundant and, during July and August there’s the chance to witness dramatic river crossings of the Great Wildebeest Migration. Little Governors’ Camp will get you close to the action, however if you plan to visit during the high season (June to September) you will need to book accommodation well in advance.
Kenya is also home to many exclusive private reserves and conservancies where you can experience alternative safari experiences such as night time game drives, horseback riding, walking safaris, cultural experiences and the chance to learn about and take part in conservation projects. We love the family-friendly Lewa house in the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy and the spectacular Angama Mara in Mara Conservancies for epic wildlife experiences away from the crowds.