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Have Bag, Will Travel: Great European Escapes for Solo Travellers

Villa Bergzauber Pool, Rossleithen, Austria

Exploring Europe alone is an exhilarating and liberating experience. With ancient cities, rich cultural experiences and breathtaking landscapes, the continent offers a multitude of adventures. And for those seeking a blend of history and luxury, the Historic Hotels of Europe collection is the obvious choice for a place to stay with a difference. Read on for five remarkable destinations, all ideal to explore as a solo traveller. The hardest part will be choosing where to go…

Villa Bergzauber in Windischgarsten, Austria

Perfect for: Outdoor enthusiasts

Nestled amidst the picturesque Austrian Alps and overlooking the quaint town of Windischgarsten, Villa Bergzauber is a perfect getaway for those seeking tranquillity and natural beauty. Offering a serene retreat surrounded by stunning mountain vistas, this charming hotel is a great base for exploring this magnificent area. Hike through lush forests and fill your lungs with alpine air at the nearby Kalkalpen National Park. Take a boat trip around Lake Gleinkersee, with crystal clear water it’s a paradise for swimmers year-round. Every season has something spectacular to offer in Austria and winter enthusiasts can enjoy exhilarating skiing and snowboarding at Hinterstoder ski resort, just a 15-minute drive from the hotel. After a day of adventure, soak in the heated outdoor saltwater pool, relax with a spa treatment or unwind by the fireplace in the villa’s cosy lounge. 

Hotel Hebros in Plovdiv, Bulgaria

Perfect for: History buffs

Plovdiv, one of Europe’s oldest inhabited cities, is a melting pot of history and culture and the enchanting Hotel Hebros, located in the historic Old Town, is a testament to the city’s rich heritage. Meticulously restored, this 19th-century building blends traditional elegance and modern comfort and is a gorgeous place to relax after a day in this fascinating city. With an award-winning restaurant and stunning rooms, you might find it hard to leave but make sure you do as there’s so much to see and explore. Roman, Persian and Ottoman influences are plain to see, making this city a history lovers’ dream but start by immersing yourself in the city’s artistic atmosphere by visiting the Kapana District, filled with art galleries, trendy cafes and boutiques. Don’t miss Plovdiv’s most famous cultural landmark: a Roman amphitheatre in a dramatic position on a hill above the city. Here you can enjoy performances by the Plovdiv Opera looking over the whole city, with panoramic views of the Rhodope mountains in the distance – it’s a breathtaking spectacle. 

Kurhaus Bergün in Bergün, Switzerland

Perfect for: Hiking fanatics

Nestled in the picturesque landscapes of the glorious Albula Valley, the Kurhaus Bergün dates back to 1906 and offers a truly authentic Swiss experience. Nearby Bergün is a charming mountain village that exudes calm and is a beautiful place to embark on your Swiss adventure. Pay a visit to the village to see delightful Engadine houses – lavishly decorated with sgraffito, frescoes and oriel windows – an 800-year-old Romanesque church and a Roman tower. If you fancy a road trip, Parc Ela, Switzerland’s largest regional nature park lies in the heart of Graubünden and it’s just over 90 minutes drive around the mountains from Kurhaus Bergün. Untouched nature, original villages and a Unesco World Heritage site all meet here and it’s well worth a visit. There are hundreds of hikes to choose from, many offering views of mountains and pristine alpine lakes. Winter fanatics won’t be disappointed either as skiing, sledging ice hockey and snowshoeing are all popular in the area.

Dingle Benners Hotel in Dingle, Ireland

Perfect for: Wild Atlantic adventurers 

Perched on the dramatic west coast of Ireland, the town of Dingle is a haven for those seeking to experience authentic Irish charm and truly breathtaking coastal landscapes. If you want to be close to all the action, Dingle Benners Hotel is the perfect choice. A historic landmark dating back to the 1800s, Dingle Benners is located in the heart of this iconic town, meaning you’re just a stroll away from everything Dingle has to offer. Outdoor heroes will love the thrilling coastline of the Dingle Peninsula. Experience Mount Brandon, Ireland’s second-highest peak; the majestic cliffs of Slea Head or the mystical Blasket Islands. Weather permitting these rugged, awe-inspiring islands can be visited by boat, and with tours departing daily they are a must-see. It doesn’t get much more Irish than An Daingean (Dingle’s Irish name) and you’ll find lively sessions are held nightly in local pubs where you’ll have the chance to listen to the very best of traditional Irish music. Foodies will be spoilt for choice too  – fresh seafood restaurants, artisan coffee shops and street food favourites are dotted around this small but mighty village. It’s the warm hospitality of the locals though that makes Dingle so special and as a solo traveller, you might arrive alone but are likely to leave with friends. 

Suter Palace Hotel in Bucharest, Romania

Perfect for: City slickers

Bucharest, the dynamic capital of Romania, offers a captivating mix of history, culture and modernity. Having undergone a transformation in the early 90s, the city is fast becoming a traveller favourite. The Suter Palace Hotel, housed in an exquisite building, is a luxurious base to immerse yourself in the addictive energy of Bucharest. Walking tours are always a fantastic way to get your bearings and Bucharest is no exception. Book a tour with a local guide to take in the key sites – including the balcony on which Ceausescu made his final speech –  and explore the wide boulevards and 19th-century mansions of this gorgeous, recently rejuvenated city. Stroll through the charming Lipscani District or visit the Village Museum to delve into Romania’s rich folklore. Take some time to visit Bucharest’s 88ft-tall Arcul de Triumf –  modelled on its Parisian namesake, it can be climbed to find views over the Palace of the Parliament — the world’s heaviest building at 4.1 million tonnes. Youthful, friendly and fun, with buckets of history – Bucharest is sure to be a city break to remember.

Now you’ve discovered just some of the incredible destinations Europe has to offer, what are you waiting for? Grab your bag, embrace the spirit of adventure, and embark on an unforgettable solo travel experience across the diverse landscapes of Europe.

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