23 best winter activities for solo female travelers
Winter is the coldest season of the year when temperatures drop, days get shorter and trees are bare. It is the last of the seasons, the most unpredictable with sudden changes in weather. It is the season where Christmas and New Year are celebrated. The cold that grips us and makes us put our hands in the pockets of our coats is a constant for several months of the year. And it’s definitely one of the best times of the year to indulge in a trip that will remain in your memories forever. In this article, I give you some tips on the 21 best winter activities for women travelers.
BEST WINTER ACTIVITIES IN EUROPE
#1 VISIT CHRISTMAS MARKET IN ZAGREB
Zagreb, Croatia, is one of the best and safest places to visit in Europe as a solo female traveler. This underrated capital city is bursting with exciting things to do. Trendy cafes, local designer shops, countless museums, and an eclectic mix of architectural styles make up the core of Croatia’s capital. With a population of nearly 1 million and a growing number of tourists each year, Zagreb remains one of the safest cities in Europe.
The capital is well connected by public transportation, and most locals speak English, making solo travel in Croatia a breeze. While winter is generally considered “low season” in the country, it is this time of the year when Zagreb truly shines. Starting at the end of November, a sea of twinkling lights blankets the city in preparation for the upcoming festive season. Tiny wooden huts line the sidewalks, each one teeming with Christmas goodies like handmade souvenirs and delicious holiday treats.
This is by far the best winter activity for solo female travelers to enjoy while visiting Zagreb. Unlike many other European Christmas markets, the Zagreb market is spread out across numerous locations in the city. Every area has a different vibe and offers something for everyone. The ice skating rink on Tomislav Square is popular among families; visitors of all ages gather on Trg Ban Jelacic for daily entertainment, while singles and groups of friends flock to have fun at Fuliranje.
In addition to the world-renowned Christmas market, Zagreb makes it super easy to meet expats and other travelers. When in the city, don’t pass up on the chance to grab a drink at Swanky Monkey Garden, a popular watering hole among locals and visitors alike.
Recommended by Olivia from Inspired by Croatia
#2 RELAX AT THE ZAKOPANE THERMAL BATH
For any female solo travelers looking to explore the road less traveled in Europe, consider heading to Zakopane, Poland. Located at the base of the magnificent Tatra Mountains near Poland’s Southern border, the small mountainous village is easily accessible from Krakow. And while the city is on the smaller side, it’s incredibly safe for visitors and easy to navigate around.
The quaint town is known for its amazing natural scenery, skiing opportunities during the wintertime, and impressive wooden chalets. But what makes Zakopane extra special is that it has one of the largest thermal baths in all of Poland—the Chochołowska Baths. Here, visitors can soak in the warm healing thermal waters and enjoy services such as Jacuzzi pools, massage therapy, and much more. Plus, guests have an opportunity to marvel at the incredible view of the mountainside as they soak in the warm waters.
And although there’s never a bad time to visit the thermal baths, they are especially popular during the winter season since they offer a welcome reprieve from the cold snowy elements outside. Thus, you will want to plan your visit in advance and try to go in the early afternoon to avoid massive crowds from people getting off work.
So, if you’re a female solo traveler and looking for the perfect activity to help recharge you for the rest of your trip, be sure to visit the thermal baths! You won’t regret it. Just remember to bring your own towel to avoid paying any unwanted added fees.
Recommended by Kristin of Global Travel Escapades
#3 RELAX AT THE THERME BUCHAREST
Bucharest is a great city to visit as a solo female traveller. In winter, the city gets very cold, and a great way to spend a frosty day is by going to Therme Bucharest. This is the largest spa complex in Europe, with plenty of indoor and outdoor heated pools, wellness, relaxation, as well as an entertainment centre. You can spend the entire day at Therme, as the site has a few themed restaurants as well, where you can try the national dish of Romania, the sarmale.
The wellness complex is located near the Otopeni airport, a mere half an hour away from the city centre. The interior of the complex has the largest exotic botanical garden in Romania, with palm trees, lush vegetation, as well as rare orchids.
The entry ticket to Therme is level based, depending which zones you want to access. The highest-level ticket includes access to all zones and costs 160 Lei (around 32 euros) for the day. In the second and third zone children under 14 years old are not allowed, so book one of these if you want to enjoy relaxation and silence.
Besides the pools, saunas and whirlpools, the centre also offers beauty and wellness treatments such as massages, aqua gym, infrared beds, breathing therapy rooms, mineral pools, and many more. From time to time, there are live concerts, as well as different events taking place at Therme.
The wellness centre is fully digital. You receive a bracelet which you can load with money to spend during the day. This also acts as your key to your personal locker. Beware that you are required to wear slippers or flip flops around the pools, and, if you don’t bring any, you will have to buy a pair at the entrance.
Recommended by Joanna from The Romanian Cookbook
#4 DISCOVER GERMAN CHRISTMAS MARKET
Travelling to Europe in winter doesn’t seem like an attractive proposition because of the bitter cold but visiting a German Christmas Market should be on everyone’s travel bucket list. These markets are like little pockets of Christmas cheer wrapped in colorful decorations and warm mulled wine. And this is a perfect solo activity! It sparkles inside with lights and people and there’s never a dull moment. Most Christmas markets start in early December and end on the day of Christmas or right after. Some also charge a nominal entry fee but you can take away a mug with the market’s motif on it as a souvenir. In Berlin, the WeihnachtsZauber Gendarmenmarkt is a must do. Another popular option is the Christmas Market on Alexanderplatz which is one of the busiest in Berlin. Pick up a currywurst or bratwurst and watch a choir perform on stage or join a group of people dancing madly in the cold. Don’t forget to peruse the locally handmade goodies from stores which look like straight out of a fairy tale. A German Christmas Market is like a cozy festive hug in winter. A must do.
Recommended by Smita from Smita Bhattacharya
#5 EXPLORE THE WINTER BEACH OF NICE
Nice, in the South of France, is a wonderful destination for a solo trip.
Not only is this city full of historical charm and stunning views, but it is also a very safe place for solo female travelers. With plenty of attractions, activities, nightlife, and the Mediterranean Sea just a stone’s throw away, Nice is the perfect destination for an unforgettable vacation.
During winter, the city is quite tranquil and still, making it a great place to relax, explore, and take in the atmosphere. And if you are worried about the weather, fear not! Nice experiences mostly mild temperatures year-round and more than 300 days of sunshine each year. ith so, so you’ll never have to worry about being cold or even about rainy days.
Some of the best things to do to explore this gem on the French Riviera is seeing Vieux Nice, the city’s old town full of cobbled streets, colorful buildings, and a vibrant atmosphere. Also, stroll along the Promenade des Anglais for some breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea, hike to the top of Castle Hill, or take a day trip to Monaco to get a glimpse into the luxury lifestyle.
Trying the local food and wines is also a must (you are in France, after all!). From the delicious soccas and pissaladière to the pan bagnat and ratatouille, Nice has plenty of mouth-watering dishes to try. And if you enjoy art, don’t miss the impressive Musee Matisse, where you’ll find a large collection of Henri Matisse’s works.
Recommended by Camila from Explore the Riviera
#6 HUNTING THE NORTHEN LIGHTS IN LAPLAND
Hunting the Northern Lights in Ranua, Lapland. For many solo female travellers, Lapland in winter is an unforgettable experience. The breathtaking aurora borealis, or Northern Lights, are one of the most spectacular natural phenomena in the world and Ranua is the perfect place to see them.
Located around an hour south of Rovaniemi, Ranua offers some of the clearest and darkest skies, making it an ideal spot to catch a glimpse of this spectacular show. Visitors can plan for at least two or three nights in Ranua since the conditions need to be super dark and very clear for the best chances of seeing the lights.
There are various tour options for those wishing to take in the Northern Lights. Tours are perfect for those travelling on their own as it a great way to get to met fellow travellers but also a great way to venture out at night on your own. The best tours range from snowmobile, husky safari, or horse-drawn carriage rides to van tours.
If choosing the snowmobile or husky safari you will be paired with another traveller or with a guide as these activities are done in pairs. For those looking for a truly unique experience, the Arctic Fox Igloos offer the chance to watch the lights from your own bed. Gulo Gulo Holiday Village is a great budget-friendly option with some incredible cabins and apartments on offer.
No matter how you choose to witness the lights, you’ll be sure to create memories that will last a lifetime. So, don your warmest clothes and head over to Ranua for an unforgettable Lapland experience!
Recommended by Fiona from Travelling Thirties
#7 EXPLORE LONDON IN WINTER
If you’re planning to visit London during the wintertime, you’ll want to take in the extravagant window displays and decorations near Piccadilly and New Bond Street. Not only are these areas right by London’s iconic West End (which are perfect for a solo theatre trip!), but these storefronts really add to the festive mood.
You can start your afternoon strolling down New Bond Street and hopping in and out of designer boutiques like Burberry and Louis Vuitton. There should be no pressure on you to buy anything, but shopping alone is safe, fun, and ideal if you’re into retail therapy!
Once you’ve reached the bottom of New Bond Street, you should be at Piccadilly. This famous street is home to everything from The Ritz Hotel (ideal for a cocktail!), Green Park, and the iconic department store Fortnum and Mason.
You should head into Fortnum and Mason to explore their word-renowned teas, buy bougie cured meats and smoked salmon, and pick up a few unique perfumes for folks back home. And hey, there’s nothing like escaping the cold with festive lights and glorious central heating!
The jewel in the crown at Fortnum and Mason is their Afternoon Tea which is held at the Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon. It’s on the pricey side, but the Edwardian-style décor, warm scones, and selection of freshly baked cakes allows you to enjoy central London like an old-fashioned Brit. Bring along a book or a podcast for the most relaxing two hours of your entire trip.
Oh, and don’t be afraid to ask for seconds. You might feel slightly embarrassed, but it’s totally allowed and helps you get more bang for your buck!
Recommended by Grace from Pixie Dust and Passport
#8 HIKING IN GRAN CANARIA
Playa de Maspalomas on Gran Canaria Island is a great place for a solo female traveler. The island offers sunny and warm weather year-round. You can enjoy the winter sun, relax on a beach, and even go for a quick swim. The area is safe and well-maintained. There are tourist police and guards on duty. You can walk alone at any time of the day without any worries. Winter months are quiet on the island. There are tourists but it is not overcrowded. As a result, accommodation prices are lower and it’s easier to find a place to stay for one person.
The Maspalomas area has spectacular sandy beaches, clear water, a variety of restaurants and cafes, and many outdoor activities. There are plenty of things to do in the area. Most of the activities can be done with a tour which is great for a solo traveler. Maspalomas Beach is known for its impressive sand dunes that look like a small desert by the sea. You can do a camel safari in the dunes. Enjoying the sunrise or the sunset from the beach is a not-to-miss thing here. A long promenade that starts at Maspalomas Lighthouse and goes along the dried river bed is a perfect place for running or walking. For those who enjoy hiking, there is a 3-day trail called the Camino de Gran Canaria. The route starts at Maspalomas Beach and finishes in Tunte. This spectacular trail across the island offers some of the best scenery in Gran Canaria. It’s well-marked and safe to walk for a solo female traveler. Water activities in Maspalomas include surfing, dolphin watching, and boat cruising.
Recommended by Alya from Stingy Nomads
#9 HIKING IN MALTA
If you want an active solo trip escaping the cold, an exceptional option is to head to Malta and go hiking. Not only is it a safe country to travel to as a solo female traveler, but the hiking there is mind-blowing. The island is surrounded by jaw-dropping cliffs offering sweeping views and the hiking trails are mainly flat and safe to follow. A good app to follow the trails with is Maps.Me, especially considering there are many areas that are private property that you must walk around. But there are also incredible inland hikes in Malta that offer excitement to your adventures like the Roman Road where you can uncover different megalithic archaeological finds and Roman remains like an ancient Roman bath and beehives. The Victoria Lines cross the island from west to east on an easy-to-follow trail where you can see great remains of the wall that once separated the north from the east. Malta makes it easy to hike from city to city too and a cool place to start or end a hike is the Popeye village. This fun little village was built as the film set for Popeye the Movie and is still intact today with performances throughout the tiny streets that are lined with colorful, crooked houses. The bus network in Malta works well so it is easy to travel across the island to reach the trails as well as reach the ferry to go to the islands of Gozo and Comino for additional hiking opportunities.
Recommended by Linn from Brainy Backpackers
#10 ALGARVE ROAD TRIP
If you want to escape the cold in winter, head to the southern coast of Portugal and go on a road trip. It is safe for solo female travelers to travel in Portugal and the activities and enchanting towns in Algarve are epic. No matter what your interests are, the Algarve has something to do and see. Chase the Moorish castles that still stand, Silves and Loulé especially are charming places with excellent castle remains. Hike along the golden cliffs, discover spectacular cliff formations like Ponta da Piedade and Algar Seco, or go surfing the Atlantic winter waves. Bird enthusiasts will love to uncover the different bird species in Ria Formosa Natural Park and those who prefer the water, will enjoy a boat trip to discover the barrier islands of the natural park. One of the highlights of the Algarve is Benagil Cave, an enormous sea cave that you can reach by boat, kayak, or paddleboard. There is a short distance between every impressive attraction in the Algarve, but it can be hard to reach them by public transport, so driving gives you the freedom to discover the most hidden corners of this epic corner of Europe at your own pace. In winter, there are fewer crowds but still enough people to meet new travel buddies if that is what you want. In particular, Albufeira and Lagos have a variety of hostels that are perfect for solo travelers that also want to go out at night.
Recommended by Linn from Amused by Algarve
BEST WINTER ACTIVITIES IN AMERICA
#11 NEW YEAR EVE IN NEW YORK CITY
If you’re looking for iconic events for your bucket list, one of the best winter activities for solo women travelers has to be New Year’s Eve in New York City!
From the ball drop in Times Square to the jaw-dropping views from the Brooklyn Bridge, NYC at New Year’s offers endless spaces and places to celebrate the end of one year and bring in a new one.
Rooftop bar parties are plentiful if you’re looking for a fun night of celebrations. Or maybe you’re setting some serious resolutions for yourself? Then start it off right and run a 4-mile race at midnight in Central Park!
Of course, New York is an ideal city for solo travel beyond just NYE. There is so much to do and you’ll certainly never feel alone in this bustling city.
If you can time your trip to spend a little extra time in the city before NYE, you’ll still catch some of the fabulous Christmas decorations. Head to Rockefeller Center, Bryant Park, and Brookfield Place Winter Garden for delightful displays and winter fun.
If you’re into some retail therapy, NYC tops every fashionista’s list. Head to Saks Fifth Avenue, Macy’s, and Bloomingdale’s for classic NYC vibes.
There is obviously no shortage of amazing eateries in NYC, but be sure to grab a bite at Serendipity 3, made famous by the movie of the same name…you never know what might happen!
In the city that never sleeps, a solo traveler can take full advantage with endless entertainment, education, and wintertime fun.
Recommended by Amanda, Hey! East Coast USA
#12 WHALE WATCHING IN BAJA CALIFORNIA
If you want to escape the cold for the next winter vacation and you are up for a sea adventure look no further than Baja California Sur, where every winter many whale species populate the coasts for breeding and feeding.
Baja California Sur is an amazing destination for the solo female traveler, very safe and perfect for a solo adventure.
There are many spots along the coast for whale watching, from Cabo San Lucas where you can often see humpback whales doing their show, or Alfonso Lopez Mateos and Magdalena Bay where to see the friendly grey whales.
These cute whales even come close to the boat sometimes with their newly born and love to get petted and their head scratched. You could even kiss them.
In Loreto you can see the blue whales, the biggest animal on earth. They are majestic.
The tours are done in the utmost respect of the whale’s natural behavior without disturbing them.
The most incredible whale-watching adventure, though, is in La Paz, Baja California Sur’s capital city, where in winter you can snorkel with whale sharks.
Swimming with whale sharks in La Paz happens from December through April when these gentle giants come to the sea of Cortez for feeding. They roam around freely of course, but the boat captain knows where they hang out and you always manage to see them.
The costs for whale watching in Baja California vary from 70 USD to 120 depending on where you go. Some tours combine different attractions in one trip so they get more expensive.
Although Baja California Sur offers many amazing activities, from hiking to surfing, paddle boarding, and spectacular landscapes, whale watching is without a doubt what makes it a special destination in winter, for solo travelers as well.
Recommended by Isabella from Let’s Travel to Mexico
#13 DIVING IN UTILA
One of the best destinations for solo travel is the tiny Caribbean island of Utila, Honduras. Located on The Mesoamerican Reef, the world’s second largest, Utila is perfect for a solo scuba getaway. Utila has over ten dive schools and is one of the best places in the world for scuba training.
A laid-back little island, Utila is popular with backpackers thanks to the excellent diving, affordable living, and tropical climate. The small community is based around diving tourism, so visitors are safe and treated well. Always full of diving enthusiasts from around the globe, meeting people is easy. Utila is a great place to make lifelong diving and drinking buddies.
Scuba in Utila
The smallest of Honduras’ three bay islands, Utila is renowned as a world class dive destination. With over eighty dive sites, highlights include whale sharks, wrecks, and varied marine life. Boats often pause for passengers to swim with playful pods of dolphins in the warm Caribbean sea.
Most visitors fly to Roatan and jump on the ferry for the thirty mile trip to Utila. Living in Utila is affordable and fun. With so many options, visitors enjoy competitive pricing. Choose from hostels, furnished apartments, and resorts, with prices starting at $400/month. Many dive shops offer reasonably priced packages covering dives and accommodations, so ask around for the best deals.
Hotels, dive shops, and restaurants are accessible on foot, or tuktuks will drive you anywhere for a few dollars. The Honduran currency is the lempira, available at a couple of ATMS on the main drag. A Selva Vida, the local beer, cost a dollar or two, and meals out are approximately $10 per person. Escape the cold and enjoy the relaxed life of a solo scuba diver in Utila.
Recommended by Melinda from Mel On The Go
#14 ENJOY THE HOT SPRINGS IN MAMMOTH LAKES
If you’re looking for a wintery getaway, consider heading to Mammoth Lakes, California, a charming ski town nestled in the eastern Sierra Nevada mountains.
Mammoth Lakes is best known for its world class skiing, like at Mammoth Mountain or June Mountain ski resorts. Whether you’re a first timer, creeping your way down the bunny hill or an expert skier or snowboarder, there’s no better place to breathe in the crisp mountain air, enjoy the fresh powder, and take in the spectacular backdrop of the Sierras. Given Mammoth’s status as a skiing mecca, you’ll find plenty of other solo travelers that flock here to take on the slopes, so you’ll have no problem finding a ski buddy or two to hit the mountain with, if you prefer.
Not into downhill winter activities? There’s plenty of other outdoor adventures to enjoy instead, such as exploring 140 miles of snowshoeing trails in the nearby Inyo National Forest or tackling 19 miles of Nordic skiing trails at the Tamarack Cross-Country Ski Center.
The town itself of Mammoth Lakes is worth checking out, with plenty of charming alpine architecture (think: lots of A-frame cabins) and a quirky mix of microbreweries, coffee shops, and outdoor gear stores. Be sure to check out Distant Brewing, a microbrewery with live music, a variety of hop-forward beer, and cheeky nods to Mammoth’s skiing culture, like benches made of chairlifts.
After a day out in the snow exploring, there’s perhaps no better apres-ski activity than relaxing in one of the incredible natural hot springs in Mammoth Lakes, like the Rock Hot Tub or Wild Willy’s. Sit back in the steamy water, relax, and take in the winter wonderland surrounding you!
Recommended by Jessica from Uprooted Traveler
ACTIVITIES IN ASIA
#15 JOIN THE SAPPORO SNOW FESTIVAL
The Sapporo Snow Festival is one of Japan’s most famous festivals. The event takes place in Japan’s northernmost prefecture of Hokkaido for one week in February, and is usually held over three locations.
At the Odori location, visitors can find all kinds of enormous snow sculptures made by locals, in addition to international teams from around the world. On the flip side, the Susukino location allows visitors to enjoy getting up close and personal with much smaller sculptures made of ice. The Odori and Susukino locations are conveniently located in the city centre.
The third location is Tsudome which is further out of the city and must be accessed by bus. Here people can enjoy snow slides and other fun activities. It’s best suited to kids and families, but people of all ages are able to join in the fun.
After enjoying the snow festival, why not enjoy a daytrip out of Sapporo? One of the most popular daytrips from the city is to an old port town called Otaru, located around an hour by train from Sapporo station. Otaru is known for its handmade glassware, with dozens of stores dotting the main street. Visitors interested in glass making can enjoy a glass making workshop, although pre-booking this experience is strongly recommended.
It is essential to book flights and accommodation as soon as possible for a visit to Sapporo during the snow festival. Prices skyrocket and hotels get booked out fast. Solo travellers may prefer to stay at a business hotel or hostel which are usually a little cheaper than traditional Japanese ryokans and regular hotels. Hostels in Japan are generally clean, quiet and well-maintained.
Restaurants, cafes and bars in Japan are welcoming to solo diners, and therefore solo travellers will have no shortage of amazing dining options.
As this is an outdoor event, warm clothes and snow boots with good grip are recommended.
Recommended by Lisa from Lisa Eats the World
#16 DISCOVER BURSA
Bursa is often overlooked compared to Istanbul, although it is one of the best cities in Turkey (now known as Türkiye) that offers the best winter activities for solo female travelers. On top of that, the city is recommended to visit all year round due to its rich history of being the first capital city of the Ottoman Empire!
For winter activities, Mount Uludag is a must-visit place in Bursa, as the mountain is known as the best ski resort in the Marmara region. The altitude of the mountain is over 2500 meter, making it the highest peak in Marmara.
Located around 36 kilometers from Bursa city center, there are several transportation options that you can choose to get to Uludag. While you can use dolmus (the minivan), the best way to reach Uludag is by taking teleferik, the 9-km cable car route that will take you from Teferrüç Station in Bursa to the top of the mountain.
Teleferik is iconic since it’s the longest cable car route in Turkey, and you can enjoy the best view from the top, especially when it snows in the winter. While one cable car fits up to 5-6 adults, you can get the most out of your experience as you can have it on your own if you’re a solo traveler!
Once you get to the top of the mountain, if you’re a beginner, there are some ski lessons you can take for a couple of hours, and you can also rent ski equipment if you don’t have one.
If skiing isn’t your cup of tea, you can always stroll around and enjoy the view of a snowy mountain in your surroundings and take a break at the nearest cafe while sipping a cup of salep, the Turkish hot beverage that is especially popular during winter.
Recommended by Marya from The Beautraveler
#17 Visit the World’s Coldest Capital City
Mongolia in Winter might not be for everyone, and that’s fair. But, for those travelers willing to brave -25 C temperatures and snow-covered streets, the reward is something magical.
In fact, Ulaanbaatar’s reputation as the world’s coldest capital city is all the more reason to get there in winter. Dropping temperatures don’t stop or deter locals from going outside one bit. Come wintertime, Sukhbaatar Square becomes filled with ice sculptures and dog sledding and horseback riding in Gorkhi-Terelj National Park are just a day trip away.
Solo female travelers will especially love Ulaanbaatar – it’s one of the safest cities for travelers to visit (and that’s coming from a solo female traveler myself). Ulaanbaatar locals are friendly and curious, and simply grabbing a bite to eat or drink at places like Bitsy or La Rosa are sure fire ways to meet and mingle with new people. The expat community in the city is small but friendly and while many Mongolians don’t speak English, travelers always find it surprisingly easy to get by.
Pop in and pay a visit to the new Genghis Khan Museum when you need a break from the cold or get pampered with a massage and sauna detox at the Ministry of Beauty – their packages are steal if you’re traveling on a budget.
Recommended by Breanna from Meanwhile in Mongolia
#18 Become a certified solo diver in Thailand
Want to escape the cold for your solo adventure this winter? Take the plunge and head to Thailand for a special underwater mission! Most Thai islands are known for fantastic scuba diving, with the little island Koh Tao in the Gulf of Thailand leading the way. Koh Tao is a scuba diving haven and the perfect destination for a solo traveler.
Can you go diving by yourself? Yes, you can! While one of the core principles of scuba diving is ‘never dive alone’ there is a little-known course called “Solo Scuba Diver” or “Self-Reliant Diver”. The course is perfect for those who want to improve their diving skills, budding photographers, and also as preparation to dip your toes into the world of technical diving.
Once you have become an advanced open water diver and logged 100 dives you can sign up. During your course, you will learn to plan your dives in detail, navigate, use backup equipment, and most importantly how to dive with an alternate/ redundant air source. If anything goes wrong you will know how to get yourself out of a sticky situation – it is basically a rescue course for yourself.
When you have done and passed your final solo dive (yes, you will actually have to do a dive all on your own!), you will be certified to dive by yourself in the future. And while diving like many other activities is usually more fun when done with a friend, learning how to become a solo diver is incredibly empowering. And of course, you don’t have to dive by yourself afterward if you don’t want to; it is just nice to have the option if you want some alone time underwater.
Recommended by Annika from The Very Hungry Marmaid
BEST WINTER ACTIVITIES IN OCEANIA
#19 HIKING GLASSHOUSE MOUNTAINS
One active thing to do in Winter is to take advantage of the cooler temperatures, and hike the Glasshouse Mountains in Australia. The Glasshouse Mountains are located on the Sunshine Coast, two hours from Brisbane, and are famous for their winter sunsets and sunrises. The sunshine coast is safe and popular with solo female travelers.
The two most popular hikes in the Glasshouse Mountains are at Wildhorse Mountain and Mount Ngungun.
Wildhorse is the easier hike, with pavement and a manmade lookout on top. While it’s a steep incline, the top can be reached within 15 minutes from the parking lot if you’re fit. If you are less athletic, Wildhorse is still a good option. Give yourself 30 minutes to allow yourself rest breaks, there are spots to sit down along the path. It’s a short distance, but the incline is tough.
Mt Ngungun is considered an intermediate hike which takes around an hour to get to the top. The path is more natural here, and gets a bit tougher near the top as there are some large rocks to walk over. Unless you are quite unfit, you should be able to make it to the top.
Both of these hikes are safe to be attempted solo. The hikes and the area are both generally safe, and you certainly won’t be the only one there hiking solo. While the hike is not too crowded, there is often someone walking nearby in case of trouble. You won’t be alone hiking either of these for sunset, but there are much less people for sunrise.
Both hikes are best done in Winter because Australia, and especially Queensland, can have high temperatures and humidity at other times of the year. Not only that, the sunsets are better in Winter, so you’ll get better photos and stay cool.
Recommended by Lexi from A Trip in Nature
#20 HIKING MOUNT COOK
Aoraki Mount Cook National Park is one of the most popular tourist destinations in South Island, New Zealand. With its amazing landscapes, varieties of hiking trails, and being a dark sky reserve area. Also, Mount Cook is the highest mountain in New Zealand, and the hiking trails were used by Edmund Hilary for his training before he eventually became the first person who made it to the top of Everest.
It is a super friendly destination for solo travelers, as it is a very safe area with solo backpackers from all over the world visiting this place and meeting like-minded people on the hikes, hostel, or campground. Amongst all the amazing things to do in Mt Cook, one of the most interesting and adventurous activities in Mount Cook would be Tasman Glacier Heli Hike.
Enjoy a scenic flight before landing on the Tasman glacier to begin the adventure of hiking on the glacier, exploring the ice formations that you wouldn’t have the chance to see from ground level. What makes it even more special is that you get to explore the glacier the way usually only experienced mountaineers are able to, without going through all the training! All you need to do is sign on for the tour, and wear warm, comfortable clothing and the rest will be taken care of!
It is recommended to spend a few days in Mount Cook National Park, it will give you enough time to do your favorite hikes, and explore the area without rushing through everything. Also, staying at a hostel with a kitchen in Mt Cook is the most budget-friendly and popular choice for solo travelers, where you can meet other solo travelers and go on a hike or explore Mt Cook together.
Recommended by Angel from Angel the Wanderlust
#21 SNOW SPORTS IN QUEENSLAND
New Zealand is often touted as one of the best destinations for solo female travellers. With its sublime snowy season transforming its endless mountain scenery into a Winter wonderland, this time of year is one of the most magical times to visit.
Queenstown is a great place to base yourself for Winter activities as a solo traveller – it’s a hub for backpackers with plenty of opportunities to meet people. Plus, you can easily take a day or overnight trips to iconic spots like Wanaka, Mount Cook, Tekapo, and Milford Sound. The views on a Te Anau to Milford Sound drive are simply out of this world, and cruising through the fiords in the Winter season – as snow-capped mountains tower overhead – is unforgettable.
If you enjoy snow sports, Queenstown is one of the world’s adventure capitals. Coronet Peak, Treble Cone, and Cadrona Alpine Resort are among the most famous sports for skiing and snowboarding. Adrenaline lovers can also go jetboating, bungee-jumping or skydiving. Best of all, it’s easy to join most tours as a solo traveller, and you’ll meet like-minded people along the way.
If you prefer to do things independently, hiking is a great option. Ben Lomond hike, Bobs Coves Track, and Queenstown Hill are all popular and safe to hike alone. Just avoid hiking following or during bad weather, and follow local guidance regarding safety.
For a more peaceful way to enjoy the snowy mountain scenery, drive to Glenorchy or visit Arrowtown, a historic mining town. Finally, the perfect way to escape from the cold is with a hot drink in one of Queenstown’s many cafes or bars or taking a dip at the Onsen Hot Pools.
Recommended by Cassie from Cassie the Hag
#22 SWIMMING WITH MANTA RAYS IN FIJI
Swimming with manta rays in Fiji is one of the best activities for female solo travelers who are wanting to escape the winter in nearby New Zealand or Australia.
Swimming with manta rays is a particularly great activity to do solo in Fiji as everybody will be focusing on the manta rays so much that nobody will even notice if you came alone! It’s not like you have to hold a partners hand and snorkel together the whole time: most people are actually so busy looking out for the manta rays and taking photos of them that they don’t even notice where their travel buddies are in the water! The guides will always be looking out for everyone though to make sure everyone is okay!
Swimming with manta rays is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience – it gives you such a buzz when you swim with the giant gentle creatures (that have an average wing span of 4 metres) that you’ll be talking about it for weeks afterwards! Plus you’ll be able to get some great photos! If it’s your first time doing something solo, don’t worry – you’re sure to get chatting to someone on the boat trip in no time. After all, anyone who wants to snorkel with manta rays must be pretty adventurous and cool so you’re bound to have something in common! The Fijian people are actually known as the happiest people in the world – they are so kind and welcoming so they’ll make sure you don’t feel alone!
The best manta ray day trip in Fiji is the Manta Ray Experience with South Sea Cruises, or if you want to swim with the manta rays more than once you can stay overnight at the Mantaray Island Resort – right next to where the manta rays swim!
Recommended by Catrina from 24 Hours Layover
BEST WINTER ACTIVITY IN AFRICA
#23 Botswana Safari
If you’re a solo female traveller looking for the best winter activity possible, this is it! A safari in Botswana is spectacular – you’ll never want it to end.
An organized winter activity like a safari is one where planning as a solo is actually a plus. This is due to the fact that it tends to be much easier to book the trip you want, even without much notice.
While many tours might not have room even for another couple, fitting in a solo traveller fills their gaps. They love singles.
In addition, winter is a favourite safari time for many because it’s off season. There are fewer people travelling here, which translates to fewer safari vehicles between you and the animals.
And those animals! That’s what it’s all about – the epic wildlife of Africa. Lions, leopards, giraffes – Botswana has them all.
Whether your trip includes bush walks and water safaris, or is all game drives all the time, it will be the most exciting winter activity you’ve ever experienced.
Your safari guide will be an expert on the area and the animals. They will be able to tell you that a tower is the name for a group of giraffes. And they’ll know where the hardest to spot animals hang out.
What makes a safari as a solo female traveller even better is spending time with other people who also love Africa and the wildlife, in a wild and exotic, yet oddly safe setting.
Women who travel on their own get used to being cautious and alert. But for the time you’re with your safari family, you’re free to just relax and enjoy.
Spend your winter with the animals. A winter activity does get better than this for a solo female traveller.
Recommended by Deb from Introvert with Itchy Feet
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