Where to Travel Alone During Fall & Winter

Did you know that fall and winter are possibly the best time of the year to travel alone? Yes, because crowds and prices drop, except for the Christmas & New Year’s Holiday period, and surely there’s no shortage of warm and friendly places to stay, as the world has become smaller and more accessible.

Where to Travel Alone During Fall & Winter
Where to Travel Alone During Fall & Winter – Photo Courtesy: Lane Wunderli @ Pexels

In fact, many solo travelers just wait for the busy summer travel season to be over to grab their backpack and go on the road. If you also agree that this is not necessarily the time for comfort and home, here is a list of the best places to travel alone during fall and winter (September through February).

Once again, the list is based on the Alternatives Travel Index and puts a greater emphasis on three main aspects: safety & security, travel costs, and seasonality.

#1 Japan

travel alone japan
3 places to travel alone: Kanazawa, one of the best-preserved major Edo-period city in the country; Miyajima, a “holy island” located off the coast of Hiroshima; Tokyo, with its mix of high-tech visions of the future and glimpses of old Japan.

2 things to do in Japan: plan a cycling holiday in the Fuji Five Lakes to enjoy the views of sacred Mount Fuji; walk the Nakasendo Way from Kyoto to Tokyo.

When to go: Sep-Dec (mid-Dec-Mar for winter sports)
Backpacker cost per day: 46 USD = 39 EUR
For more inspiration, check out our Japan Travel Guide.

#2 Australia

travel alone australia
3 places to travel alone: the Blue Mountains, renowned for its majestic scenery and its cultural attractions; the Ningaloo Coast, where the ocean and the arid coast form striking landscapes; Cape Tribulation, a unique oasis of biodiversity.

2 things to do in Australia: travel along the Great Ocean Road; participate in a conservation project to help preserve the country’s rich natural environment.

When to go: Sep-Nov (it’s spring in Australia)
Backpacker cost per day: 67 USD = 57 EUR
For more inspiration, check out our Australia Travel Guide.

#3 Spain

travel alone spain
3 places to travel alone: Antequera, with its impressive cultural and historical heritage; La Gomera, an idyllic tiny island in the Canaries, just 35-60 minutes away from Tenerife; Somiedo, a UNESCO’s Biosphere Reserve since 2000.

2 things to do in Spain: take a bike and enjoy the good climate and remarkable sceneries of Catalonia; book an exclusive stay at one of the historic Paradores.

When to go: Sep-Oct (also Nov-Feb at the Canaries)
Backpacker cost per day: 53 USD = 45 EUR
For more inspiration, check out our Spain Travel Guide.

#4 New Zealand

travel alone new zealand
3 places to travel alone: Nelson, a compact coastal city surrounded by parks, vineyards, and orchards; Kaikoura, the perfect place for getting close to nature; Aoraki Mount Cook, a national park dotted with high peaks, lakes, and glaciers.

2 things to do in New Zealand: cross the country from north to south with the Te Araroa Trail; take a train ride on one of the scenic routes offered by KiwiRail.

When to go: Sep-Nov (spring) and Feb (late summer)
Backpacker cost per day: 73 USD = 62 EUR
For more inspiration, check out our New Zealand Travel Guide.

#5 Portugal

travel alone portugal
3 places to travel alone: Lisbon, a capital with a thriving cultural scene and an easy-going charm; Berlenga Island, a nature reserve that attracts ecotourists and adventurers from all over the world; Porto, a highly livable and creative city.

2 things to do in Portugal: hike the Fishermen’s Trail, running along the Atlantic Ocean coastline; immerse yourself in the nice atmosphere of the Douro Valley.

When to go: September and October
Backpacker cost per day: 45 USD = 38 EUR
For more inspiration, check out our Portugal Travel Guide.

#6 Austria

travel alone austria
3 places to travel alone: Pinswang, a quiet, lovely village located in the northern-most region of the Austrian Tirol; Salzburg, world-famous for its fine baroque architecture; Neusiedler See, the only steppe national park in Central Europe.

2 things to do in Austria: retrace the journey of St. James in the Austrian section of the Camino de Santiago; cycle along the Danube, from Passau to Vienna.

When to go: Sep-Oct (early Dec-Mar for winter sports)
Backpacker cost per day: 75 USD = 63 EUR
For more inspiration, check out our Austria Travel Guide.

#7 Italy

travel alone italy
3 places to travel alone: Ravenna, a gem for art lovers with its 8 World Heritage cultural sites; the Tuscan Archipelago National Park, the largest marine park in Europe; Castelsardo, an enchanting, historic town of great archaeological value.

2 things to do in Italy: walk or cycle through the ancient Via Francigena, that once linked Canterbury to Rome; hike one of the many trails of the Dolomites.

When to go: Sep-Oct (early Dec-Mar for winter sports)
Backpacker cost per day: 69 USD = 58 EUR
For more inspiration, check out our Italy Travel Guide.

#8 Hungary

travel alone hungary
3 places to travel alone: Fertö/Neusiedler, the largest endorheic lake in Central Europe; Debrecen, an important cultural and religious centre; Hortobágy, a 800 sq km national park in eastern Hungary, rich with folklore and natural beauty.

2 things to do in Hungary: cycle in the Tokaj Wine Region, a historic cultural landscape; discover the Hungarian traditions by participating in a festival.

When to go: September and October
Backpacker cost per day: 50 USD = 42 EUR
For more inspiration, check out our Hungary Travel Guide.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on Sep 6, 2016, and has been updated to revise the list of countries, include additional items, and keep it fresh and accurate.

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