We're hardwired to relax near water.
At least that's what Wallace J. Nichols writes in Blue Mind: The Surprising Science That Shows How Being Near, In, On, or Under Water Can Make You Happier, Healthier, More Connected, and Better at What You Do.
I believe him. I walk along Lake Ontario every morning when I'm at home. And when I travel I'm drawn to destinations that include lakes, rivers and oceans.
Sandy beaches and rugged cliffs leading to endless water are comforting. Relaxing. De-stressing. Water destinations are some of the best places to travel alone and find a happier you.
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Best Places to Travel Alone and Relax in Africa and Asia
So if water makes for a happier, more relaxed you, where should you go?
Whether your type of relaxing vacation involves lying on a beach in Cancun or hiking the cliffs of the Southwest Coastal Path in England, taking a river cruise in China or island hopping in Greece, you'll find inspiration in the recommendations below which I pulled for you from Solo Traveler's Destination section.
Many of these posts were submitted by readers. Thank you! These contributions make Solo Traveler more valuable for everyone. Enjoy perusing these places, and if you have a destination to share, please complete the form here.
- Cape Town, South Africa Two Solo Travel Society members-one from the United States, one from South Africa-share the stories of their solo trips to Cape Town.
- Eastern Cape, South Africa South Africa’s Eastern Cape province comes highly recommended by this Solo Travel Society member for the beaches, the mountains, the wildlife, the food, and more.
- Sal Island, Cape Verde Looking for sun, relaxation, and adventure after an illness, this Solo Travel Society found all that and more on Sal Island in Cape Verde.
- Solo Travel Destination: Gili Air, Indonesia Gili Air is the little tropical escape we are all looking for, says this Solo Travel Society member who enjoyed this destination on a budget.
- Ha Long Bay, Vietnam When in Vietnam, this Solo Travel Society member says that you cannot miss a trip to Ha Long Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
- Istanbul, Turkey Three solo travelers, from three different countries, experience Istanbul on their own separate trips and share their stories with us.
- El Nido This Solo Travel Society member recommends El Nido in Palawan, Philippines – and especially the island hopping tours – for solo travelers.
- Solo Travel Destination: Maldives Hospitable people, sandy beaches, scuba diving, and island hopping add up to a hearty recommendation for Maldives from this Solo Travel Society member.
- Ukulhas This Solo Travel Society member recommends visiting Ukulhas, a locally inhabited island, for a taste of “the real Maldives.”
- Setouchi Islands If you enjoy experiencing art in rural villages surrounded by beautiful scenery, this solo traveler says the Setouchi Islands are perfect destinations.
Water Destinations in Europe and the United Kingdom
There are so many destinations in Europe and the UK that would be relaxing places to travel alone. This is just a small selection based largely on posts that have been submitted by readers of Solo Traveler and members of the Solo Travel Society on Facebook.
Have you traveled solo to a water destination you loved? Consider submitting your story and photos via our easy online form.
- Hallstatt & Gosausee, Austria On a trip to Hallstatt and Gosausee in Austria, this Solo Travel Society member found “the real paradise on earth.”
- Faroe Islands, Denmark This Solo Travel Society member rented a car and explored six of the Faroe Islands over the course of a week, encountering beauty around every corner.
- The Wadden Sea, Germany The Wadden Sea in Wilhelmshaven, Germany is a natural UNESCO World Heritage Site. Explore it with me in photos.
- Solo Travel Destination: Aran Islands, Ireland A Solo Travel Society member finds the Aran Islands to be a peaceful, friendly, beautiful getaway from mainland Ireland.
- Lofoten Islands, Norway This Solo Travel Society member created an itinerary to visit as many fjords as possible before reaching the hauntingly beautiful Lofoten Islands in Norway.
- Solo Travel Destination: Malta A visit to Malta comes highly recommended by two different Solo Travel Society members, regardless of your level of travel experience.
- Gozo Island, Malta This Solo Travel Society member shares photos and a list of her top 5 must-see sights from a solo trip to Gozo Island, Malta.
- Lake Como This Solo Travel Society member spent five days working her way around Italy’s Lake Como, and enjoyed it from every vantage point.
- Stresa A Solo Travel Society member shares all of her favorite things to see and do, and where to eat and stay on a trip to Stresa, Italy.
- Cinque Terre National Park Charming villages, friendly people, and gorgeous hiking trails made the Cinque Terre a perfect destination for this first-time solo traveler.
- Amorgos For hiking, diving, and enjoying the beauty of Greece, this Solo Travel Society member recommends you visit the Island of Amorgos.
- Chania, Crete This Solo Travel Society member enjoyed the beaches, history, and sunsets of Chania on the Greek island of Crete so much that he has booked a return trip.
- Mykonos A Solo Travel Society member discovers the beauty and charm – and art and food – of Mykonos.
- Santorini Island This Solo Travel Society member found Santorini Island to be a perfect destination for a solo female traveler and is already planning to visit again.
- Solo Travel Destination: Mallorca, Spain Looking to let your hair down, take a dip in turquoise waters, enjoy a picturesque setting? This Solo Travel Society member says Mallorca is the place for you.
- Santander: A Sweet, Surprising Destination While living in the country, a solo traveler takes advantage of a break between lockdowns to visit lovely Santander, Spain.
- Solo Walking: the South West Coast of England in Photos Solo walking is quiet, relaxing and sometimes exhilarating. It’s a pleasure to be alone with one’s thoughts and the surrounding beauty. Have a look.
- Northern Ireland’s Causeway Coastal Route The Causeway Coastal Route in Northern Ireland is… well it has to be seen. This is a wonderful trip for all solo travelers including solo travel newbies.
- Inverness Inverness, Scotland is the home of the Loch Ness monster. Or, perhaps not. However it is a great destination. Here’s info on how to solo travel Inverness.
- North Coast 500 Road Trip, Scotland This Solo Travel Society member recommends a road trip on the North Coast 500 to anyone who loves nature and remote places with a bit of a rough spirit.
- The Spectacular Isle of Skye Without a Car It is not only possible but also enjoyable to explore the spectacular landscapes of Scotland’s Isle of Skye without a car.
Relaxing Places to Travel Alone in the Americas
- Solo Travel Destination: Hopkins, Belize This Solo Travel Society member recommends soaking up the laid-back vibe of Hopkins, Belize. A perfect place to enjoy nature and the local culture.
- Solo Travel Destination: Bocas del Toro, Panama This Solo Travel Society member says Bocas del Toro is a destination that grows on you. She appreciated its quirks and had a fabulous time.
- Solo Travel Destination: Costa Rica This solo traveler recommends Costa Rica for the friendly people, beautiful beaches, stunning sunsets – and the crazy crocodile man!
- La Fortuna This Solo Travel Society member recommends a visit to La Fortuna waterfall as an inexpensive and amazing experience that is not to be missed in Costa Rica.
- Montezuma From the beaches to the friendly people to the range of activities, this Solo Travel Society member says Montezuma is a solo traveler’s dream destination.
- Puerto Viejo This Solo Travel Society member describes Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica as a place to chill, relax, and find yourself again-a place that will stay in your soul.
- Barbados Solo travelers can enjoy swimming with turtles, relaxing on the beach, surfing or fine dining on the friendly island of Barbados.
- Bermuda Bermuda is a visually stunning, safe and relaxing destination for solo travelers.
- Solo Travel Destination: Cuba Two solo travelers, one destination. Two different experiences, five years apart. These Solo Travel Society members both recommend Cuba as a great option.
- Negril, Jamaica For a relaxing time in Jamaica, with pink sunsets, reggae, and delicious jerk, this Solo Travel Society member suggests staying on the beach in Negril.
- Montego Bay, Jamaica Montego Bay, Jamaica is recommended by Solo Travel Society members in both the United States and Canada as a great destination with lots to see, do and eat.
- Adventures in Glamping: Georgian Bay, Ontario Intrepid solo camper Bettine goes glamping in Georgian Bay, Ontario, where she develops an addiction to kayaking, cooks caterpillars, and meets a mermaid.
- A Solo Summer Road Trip to Killarney A solo summer road trip to Killarney is a beautiful thing, from the scenic drive there and back to cruising on Georgian Bay to dining on fresh local food.
- A Magical Canadian Solo Kayaking Adventure On a solo kayaking trip, Grace learns how to paddle on a peaceful bay in the morning and tackles small rapids on the magical Madawaska in the afternoon.
- Florida Keys Do you really need a reason other than warm salt water and hot sun to visit the Florida Keys? This Solo Travel Society member gives you more.
- Jacksonville, Florida Enjoying the breakfast, the beaches, and the beer, this Solo Travel Society member recommends Jacksonville, Florida as a big city with small town charm.
- Key West, Florida I was caught off guard by how much I enjoyed Key West – every day is a perfect day in paradise.
- Kauai, Hawaii Going to a city for the first time can be a challenge. But going to a whole island? That’s definitely one. Here’s where to begin for your first time in Kauai.
- Seattle This Solo Travel Society member recommends Seattle as a great destination – and has wonderful tips for an interesting and tasty solo trip.
- Solo Travel Destination: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil As part of her goal to visit the New7Wonders of the World, this Solo Travel Society member traveled to Rio de Janeiro and shares great tips for a visit.
- Easter Island, Chile For beautiful scenery, fascinating culture and history, and great hiking, this Solo Travel Society member recommends a visit to Easter Island.
- Galapagos Islands The natural beauty of the Galapagos Islands, and especially the wildlife, wowed this Solo Travel Society member.
A Few Options in Oceania
- Solo Travel Destination: Australia For this Solo Travel Society member the 15-hour flight to Australia was more than worth it for the food and wine, national park, beaches and activities.
- Solo Travel Destination: Cairns, Australia For easy access to the Great Barrier Reef, the Atherton Tablelands, and the Daintree Rainforest, this Solo Travel Society member recommends Cairns.
- Solo Travel Destination: New Zealand Two Solo Travel Society members experience New Zealand in different ways and both recommend it as an ideal destination to visit.
If you would like to contribute a post about a relaxing place to travel alone, you can find our online submission form here or you can share your recommendations in the comments section below.