Where to spend a solo summer in Europe

Embarking upon a solo vacation can be a transformative experience, presenting a myriad of personal benefits and opportunities. From meeting like-minded explorers to embracing new cultures, solo travelers possess the freedom to shape their own schedule and dive into the heart of each locale. There is something especially alluring about a summer spent in Europe; from historical cities to sun-drenched beaches; or a bustling bar and café culture which spills over onto cobbled streets.

We highlight three of our favorite summer destinations below. Between vineyard tours and world-renowned museums, to walkable cities with warm hospitality; each makes for a relaxed and accessible experience for solo travelers.

The South of France

For foodies and wine tourists

From rolling countryside to the glittering allure of the French Riviera, the South of France beckons with the promise of a solo summer adventure. For those wishing to uncover more of France beyond the bright lights of Paris, the sparkling beaches of the Cote d’Azur await. Close proximity between cities such as Nice, Saint Tropez, and Cannes lends itself to a glamorous and cinematic road trip along the azure waters of the Mediterranean. 

For a slower-paced getaway, Provence offers an idyllic haven less than three hours’ drive from the French Riviera. Villages like Gordes, celebrated as one of the most beautiful in France, invite visitors to immerse themselves in a serene discovery of local culture and cuisine. Renowned for its rosé wine, solo travelers can choose from a vast array of wine tastings and vineyard tours. A short journey from Gordes, Aureto Vignoble hosts numerous events and activities between April and September, from guided tours to an open-air cinema. The team welcomes both groups and individuals, allowing solo travelers to explore the estate with like-minded wine enthusiasts. Also nearby lies the Abbaye Notre-Dame de Sénanque, founded in 1148, which during the balmy months of summer is home to sweeping fields of fragrant lavender, carpeting the monastery’s surroundings. Travelers can discover a range of cultural events taking place in and around Gordes, including the annual Wine and Olive Oil Fair.


For lovers of literature and renaissance architecture

Do as the locals do during the sultry summer months, and explore beyond Italy’s famous cities. Cradled along the shores of Lake Maggiore lies the elegant town of Stresa, located within a one-hour train journey of Milan. Stay at the Grand Hotel des Iles Borromées & SPA where opulence meets historical charm. A venue that once captivated the esteemed American writer Ernest Hemingway, the hotel features a suite dedicated to one of its most prominent guests, complete with stretching views over the lake. The town of Stresa is entirely walkable for solo travelers wishing to minimize their use of public transportation, whilst the nearby train station and ferry port offer a frequent service.  

If a cityscape beckons, consider Vincenza. This Renaissance gem, nestled between Venice and Verona, holds compact charm and warm hospitality, ideal for the solo traveler exploring on foot. As the home of the 16th-century architect Andrea Palladio, Vincenza possesses an array of grand Piazzas. Palladio was renowned for his interpretation of classical Roman and Greek Renaissance style, known as ‘Palladianism’. In fact, he inspired a number of buildings which exist in America today, including the White House. To truly explore his influence, be sure to visit Piazza dei Signori and the Basilica Palladiana.


For ancient history enthusiasts

Greece encompasses a journey to the very roots of modern civilization and Western society. For solo travelers, the warm hospitality of locals also aids a sense of belonging and rapport. 

The ancient capital of Athens is a natural starting point for first-time visitors wishing to delve into the country’s rich and monumental history. Described as the ‘guardian of Athens’, the Acropolis is considered to be one of the world’s most significant museums and archaeological sites. A short subway ride away in the historical center of Athens, the National Archaeological Museum holds an extraordinary trove of Greek Antiquity artifacts.

Venturing north to Thessaloniki, the second largest city in Greece, travelers will be met by vibrant waterfronts and seafood dishes paired with Macedonian wines, amongst the ancient sites and ruins that characterize the region. From a thriving street food scene to the tranquil wildlife haven of Axios Delta National Park, Thessaloniki is a city of multifaceted charm. As a port city, it serves as a gateway to the North Aegean Islands, where by ferry visitors can embrace every aspect of the Greek summer.

Summer makes for the ideal moment to set forth on a personal exploration of Europe’s kaleidoscope of cultural offerings. The rise in popularity of solo travel has made the experience for traveling alone all the more accommodating, with a wealth of information, advice, and organized tours available.

Image Credits: Solo traveler on the French Riviera by Krotnakro © Shutterstock; Abbaye Notre-Dame de Sénanque by Boris Stroujko © Shutterstock; Borromean Islands by Stefano Gandini © Shutterstock; Thessaloniki cityscape by Andrei Bortnikau © Shutterstock.

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