Why Spain is great for Female Solo Travel
Solo travel is increasing in popularity as a choice for backpackers, accounting for 61% of those hitting the road, and according to experts Hostelworld, female travellers now make up 59% of those going it alone. Here’s why those ladies looking for solo adventure should pick up their packs and head to Spain.
The Iberian Peninsula provides an easily accessible route of backpacker favourites, from Lissabon on the Atlantic coast to Barcelona on the Mediterranean, following a path that ticks off historic cities, wild nature and beautiful beaches. With a famously warm welcome, the Spanish are used to their country’s popularity as a tourist hotspot; and a modern transport system and relatively low crime mean that it’s easy and fun to travel around the country. In the Sierra Nevada by Granada you can still ski until late in the spring and can also reach the sun-drenched beaches an hour from the city. With warm winters and hot summers, Spain is perfect for year-round travel: those blue skies will have you relaxing into the Spanish lifestyle, just add some tapas and you’re set.
Solo travel can be an extremely rewarding way to see a country and explore a culture on your own terms. Not only are you more likely to meet Spanish locals as you seem more approachable (than in a group), but you will also just have different experiences. Slip into the local side street bars in Malaga’s Old Town for authentic live music – just follow the sound of flamenco. Or dance with the locals in Sevilla at the famous Feria celebrations. Surf with the locals in San Sebastian, or check out modern art in Bilbao. Ask anyone about the local food or wine and you will discover more than any guidebook! There are so many highlights to this large country from the Galician coast to Roman ruins in Malaga – research what you want to see or just play it as you go: Spain is easy to enjoy.
Don’t be in a rush and you will find everything moves along in its own time in Spain - ‘despacito’. If you’re on a long trip and have time to explore, enjoy and unwind, then you will love the mañana attitude! If you’re here on a flying visit, then city breaks provide pumping nightlife, world class art galleries, famously good food, and of course plenty of historic sites. Barcelona and Madrid are some of the most exciting cities in Europe.
Avoid the crowds and wonder the cobbled streets of Sevilla’s historic old town and you will feel lost in time. Toledo is a great trip from Madrid to explore Spain’s historic and royal past: along with the Alcázar and Gothic cathedral, Toledo’s ancient streets are famous for the Arabic influences from Spain’s past. Don’t miss the city views from the Puente de San Martín across the river, or the viewpoint at Mirador del Valle.
Step out of your comfort zone
As any traveller knows; a smile goes a long way, and the Spanish are always happy to help or stop for a chat (even if you don’t speak the lingo you will get by here fine). Stepping off the beaten path will lead you to nature spots and historic towns; eating where the locals eat means sometimes the best fresh seafood or tastiest paella, seeing how people live – it’s all a great way to get a more authentic adventure. One of our favourite Spanish local experiences is the flamenco cave performances in Sacromonte in Granada – a city famous for its free tapas and the stunning Alhambra.
Spain is a relatively safe country where you can enjoy a Mediterranean ambience of food, drinks and conviviality. There have been recent demonstrations to improve women’s rights in Spain after some high-profile crimes against women, and there is definitely some way to go, but for tourists and travellers it is still a safe place to travel. We know that being adventurous and getting out of your comfort zone is a huge part of solo travel, however this is in tandem with keeping yourself safe.
- Striking a balance is key to enjoying your female solo travel adventures, and Spain is the perfect backdrop for exploring new horizons.