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First solo holiday abroad at 45 - in October. Ideas needed!

95 replies

ShatnersWig · 07/09/2019 21:23

I've only been abroad twice before - Lake Garda (2012) for a week which I loved and Brussels (2013) for a long weekend which I also loved.

I hate flying but really, really need a holiday and have no one to go with. Don't want to do any sort of solo but on a group holiday. I've exhausted UK and Ireland over the years so I've just got to do it. But there are very few places I actually have any desire to go to.

I'd love to do New York (pricey) and New England in the Fall one day. I'd like to go to Norway and try to see the Northern Lights one day. And I'd like to go back and do more of Italy.

I've got 11 days off in mid- to late-October off so looking for a week in one place or 10 days if split over two places.

I don't like lying on beaches for long but adore the sea/coast while at the same time liking lots of buildings, architecture, museums etc to look at. I also have a slightly restrictive diet so lots of fish available is perfect.

Budget upto £1000 (which sounds reasonable but not obviously as it's just me it's not as much as it could be if I had a companion).

Please - I need your ideas!

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BooseysMom · 07/09/2019 21:34

Hi, i'm reading with interest as i'm 47 and have only been abroad a few times and feel that as I've esp..exhausted south-west UK i would love to try somewhere totally different .. i mean there are only so many cornish pasties and cream teas you can have before you scream NOOO MORE!!! Grin
I am in a different situation to you though as i have a DH and DS who's v.young and none of us have passports. Also we're financially constrained so any places i'm considering are at this time pipe dreams.

So I'm thinking how about Reikovych? Lots of sea and fish! Nice food! Rik Stein went so must be good.

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ShatnersWig · 07/09/2019 21:40

The more I think about it the more I want somewhere warm and sunny. Not super hot, but definitely warm. So Iceland may have to wait.

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exexpat · 07/09/2019 21:45

Lisbon? Interesting buildings, culture etc and definitely plenty of fish. You can fly there, obviously, but if you wanted to avoid that you could get the train either all the way there, or ferry to Santander and then train/drive down.

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Muddlingalongalone · 07/09/2019 21:49

I don't know whether you can do it for £1k but I would highly recommend Cape Town.
I went on my alone last Christmas & it was just a fab combination of Beach/City/Winelands/history.
I flew direct so although it's a long flight no jet lag.

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AdaColeman · 07/09/2019 21:49

Rome or Sicily?

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ShatnersWig · 07/09/2019 21:54

Muddling I dunno about the cost but that's definitely not short haul. For someone who hates flying, there's no way I could cope with the best part of 12 hours. There's no way I'd ever even do the flight to New York unless I had a companion.

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ConstanzaAndSalieri · 07/09/2019 21:59

What about Italy... I’m wondering if a trip between Bologna and then either up to Venice, or down to Florence or even Ravenna (smaller, coastal, less to see) would be good? Bologna railway station is a bit like Birmingham New Street in that “trains to everywhere” seem to leave there; it’s a huge student city so easy to merge in as an individual/eating by yourself would be fine.

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AdaColeman · 07/09/2019 22:03

Marseille by train, wonderful city, lots to see, amazing seafood.

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Allington · 07/09/2019 22:05

Nice and and Cote D'Azur? Lovely walking and city architecture, not so much museums. But Bouillabaisse and seafood. Could have a 2 or 3 stop trip. I stayed in Nice and used the train to travel along the coast and into the hills for walking.

Barcelona? City and coast, great architecture.

Venice is amazing, you can just wander round and lose yourself, have day trips to Murano and some of the inland towns. Mid to late October should still be good weather but without the crowds.

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Allington · 07/09/2019 22:06

Went to all of those as a single person and loved them all

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Welllllsy · 07/09/2019 22:12

Florence is beautiful, I was there a few weeks ago. I know of many people who've been to Croatia - Dubrovnik, Split etc. Lots of amazing coastlines and national parks that have waterfalls, pools and amazing scenery

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stucknoue · 07/09/2019 22:13

Consider a last minute cruise - highly recommend Passion for Cruises solo travellers forum (on Facebook) amazing solo deals. (No I don't work for them I'm just newly single). Cruise companies do offer solo travelers an opportunity to meet up though on my recent cruise plenty of solo diners too, you can be as social or not as you like. It's just a great way of seeing several cities, I don't do the tours. I just jump on a train or bus at the port if it's not walking distance (some people just stay on board!)

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Northernsoullover · 07/09/2019 22:14

Malaga? A beautiful city with a beach attached.

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Goatrider · 07/09/2019 22:15

I went to Lisbon on my own and loved it. Have also been on holiday to Cascais which isn't far on the train.

10 days might be a bit long though.

Personally I can only handle about 3 days on my own, or I start feeling lonely.

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Boyskeepswinging · 07/09/2019 22:17

Barcelona is super easy to get to on the train, too. Eurostar to Paris then a picturesque 6 hours direct to Barcelona Sants station. It's a lovely journey.

I absolutely love Barcelona, there's so much to see and I love the way it's so distinctively and proudly Catalan and not Spanish. I know it has a bad rep for pickpockets but neither myself nor anyone I know personally has been pickpocketed.

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Anotherdayanothernight · 07/09/2019 22:21

Palermo, beautiful city and a beach, Mondello, a bus ride away

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MrsFezziwig · 07/09/2019 22:21

I love Valencia and Malaga (frequent solo traveller). Both are cities on the coast, so the best of both worlds. It’s easier to fly there but most Spanish cities are reachable by train, just takes longer.

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RomaineCalm · 07/09/2019 22:40

Barcelona would be a great option. Loads to see and do, easy to get around by metro or HoHo bus and plenty of places to just sit and watch the world go by. Definitely see all of the 'Gaudi trail'. A week would probably be enough and would give you time to also visit Montserrat.

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ChilliMayo · 07/09/2019 22:48

DD and I flew to Rome then took the train to Florence and on to Venice, flew back from there. Those flights are manageable for a nervy flyer. We had a few days in each. Italian train system is great and we had reserved seats. It felt like a proper adventure.
We booked with Viva (they specialise in multi destination trips) who also took care of the train bookings. Used Expedia for several excursions/museums etc.

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Oopsinamechangedagain2020 · 07/09/2019 22:56

Barcelona, Palma or San Sebastián

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ShatnersWig · 08/09/2019 01:50

stuck I'd love to do a cruise but have never been able to find one where a single person doesn't pay between 50-100% more than if you were one half of a couple, which means you never find a cruise for under £1000.

I should probably have said that when I stayed at Lake Garda I did Venice at the same time. I do want to do more of Italy though, it's finding somewhere that's coastal and with plenty of interest for a single person to keep busy with. If I did Rome or Florence I'd need to combine them with somewhere else as they aren't coastal.

I've looked at Barcelona but it just doesn't grab me. Anyone got any advice on Crete or Corfu? Both look nice and the former would appear to have lots to look at in terms of ancient ruins etc.

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RomaineCalm · 08/09/2019 08:33

Have you looked at Northern Cyprus? Plenty of history and driving is very easy to get out and about. Kyrenia is beautiful.

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Mac47 · 08/09/2019 09:00

Crete would be great, so much to see all over the island and it is so beautiful. However, the time you are wanting to go would be end of season, so you may find it is not that warm and places are closing up for the winter.

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AdaColeman · 08/09/2019 10:03

I agree that by late October much of Crete, especially the restaurants, will have closed down for the winter.

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OrchidInTheSun · 08/09/2019 10:10

What about Granada and Seville as well as Malaga? You can get between them easily and cheaply by train and theres loads to see and do which would easily fill 10 days

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