From cycling trips to cookery courses, spa breaks to small group tours, I’ve got ten great ideas for solo holidays in Ireland.
Solo travel gives you a great sense of freedom – you can do what you want, when you want. There is no dinner debate, if you want fine dining or a takeaway – the choice if yours. If you want to spend your time lying in bed, in a shopping centre, or climbing a mountain – you decide. So why not step outside your comfort zone and think about trying solo holidays in Ireland this year?
There has never been a better year to try solo holidays in Ireland. We have spent the past year being discouraged from meeting people outside our bubble, with the result that we have got used to being on our own. Solo walks or hikes are a regular occurrence, regardless of our relationship status, and the thought of being in crowded shops or bars is not very appealing anymore.
Outdoor pursuits are what we crave right now. We want to discover new forests walks, hike majestic mountains, and stumble upon hidden beaches. Luckily we can do all of this in Ireland, and solo travellers can enjoy these experiences without some of the fears they may have if travelling solo in a strange country.
Ironically, Ireland is considered one of the best countries in the world to travel solo – so we should probably consider ourselves fortunate that we live here! There is no culture or language barrier to worry about, and where else would it feel normal to buy a stranger a pint? Remember we are the island of 1000 welcomes after all.
Like all forms of travel, there are different types of solo holidays in Ireland to suit all tastes and budgets. Experienced solo travellers may want to stay in a hostel and mingle with backpackers, while others may wish to rent a seaside cottage and enjoy the peace and serenity of the Wild Atlantic Way. There are also some great organised tours available, where you can enjoy some of Ireland’s top attractions in a group setting – this is a great way to meet new friends.
As much as I love travelling with my family, I enjoy staying alone in a hotel too. I love dining in a hotel restaurant and having a drink in bar. As a resident there is no fear of walking into the bar alone, it almost feels like home. I also love the flexibility of room service and the luxury of a freshly made bed with crisp cotton sheets! I have travelled solo overseas on a few occasions – so if you are looking for travel inspiration for 2022, this post might be of interest.
I think it is fair to say that there are solo holidays in Ireland to suit everyone out there, its just a matter of finding the right one to suit you – hopefully one of these will do the trick.
1. Hike Donegal and the Causeway Coast with Wilderness Ireland
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It may sound like a contradiction but group tours are actually very popular with solo travellers. You can enjoy all the freedom of travelling alone, but enjoy the company and security of travelling with like minded people.
If you want to explore some of Ireland’s rugged coastline or remote villages, Wilderness Ireland have a wide range of guided tours available and their maximum group size is eight. Walking holidays and cycling trips are some of their most popular, and all of their tours involve an adventure activity – so a certain level of fitness is required. All tours include accommodation, transport and meals, and single supplements are available for €250 for week long trip.
I like their Donegal and Causeway Coast week long trip that takes in the Giant’s Causeway, Rathlin Island, Malin Head, the Slieve League Cliffs & Glenveagh National Park over seven days. Price from €1795 including hotels and meals, plus €250 for single supplement.
2. Book a great value spa break at Falls Hotel, Clare
There are few hotels that offer good single room rates, but the Falls Hotel in Clare is one of them. There is a swimming pool, fitness centre and award-winning spa on site. The Falls Hotel & Spa is ideally situated to explore the Wild Atlantic Way, with the Cliffs of Moher and the lively town of Doolin less than 15 minutes away. You can also reduce your carbon footprint by staying here – the Falls Hotel & Spa gets its electricity from the river that runs alongside it.
Price on the 13th of June for a two-night stay is only €160
3. Book a beach front cottage on the Wild Atlantic Way
If you like the idea of sea views and a good book, then why not book a cottage beside the sea? There are so many to choose from, and they are great value if you have the luxury of being able to travel off peak. This luxurious stone cottage in Donegal is located beside St. Johns Point, it is ideally located to explore the Wild Atlantic Way, Slieve League Cliffs and Donegal’s glorious beaches.See more here
3. Enjoy a city break in Kilkenny
If you looking for solo holidays in Ireland and don’t have a car, then look no further than Kilkenny. Many of Kilkenny’s top attractions are located in the heart of the city, and you can get there by train from most Irish cities. The Medieval Mile pass includes access to many top attractions including Kilkenny Castle, the Medieval Mile Museum, Rothe House and Garden, Shenanigans Walking Tour and Garden and the Smithwick’s Experience.
There are many hotels to choose from in the centre of town. The 4-star Kilkenny Hibernian Hotel have single rooms from €122 per night including breakfast in July and August.
4. Book a B&B – there are over 700 to choose from in Ireland
Remember B&B’s? With holiday homes and Airbnbs’s cropping up all over the place, we tend to overlook our world famous B&Bs that have been welcoming visitors for nearly 50 years. Ironically, Homestays are very much in vogue all over the world – perhaps they need to change the name?
B&BIreland have a super website where you can search by destination and price. All of their members have independently owned quality assured B&B’s. I had a quick look and found a double room for sole use in Kingstown House in Clifden in Connemara from €43.50 in July. It happens to have a guest rating of 9.4 out of 10, and remember breakfast is included. B&Bs are probably the best way to enjoy solo holidays in Ireland if you are on a budget.
5. Walk the Kingdom of Kerry with TDactive Holidays
You may be familiar with Travel Department and TDactive holidays for overseas travel, but they also organise guided group tours in Ireland. The average size group tour is 20-25 passengers and accommodation and meals are included. This particular trip is based in Killarney and includes three guided walking trips with visits to Killarney National Park, Knocknadobar Mountain and the Dingle Peninsula.
Price is €599 for a four-night trip including hotels and meals. Single supplement is €129.
6. Cycle the Great Western Greenway from Westport to Achill
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I think Mayo is a great destination for solo holidays in Ireland – there are so many gorgeous places to explore, including some amazing beaches that are devoid of crowds, even in the peak summer months. You can choose to stay in the lively town of Westport and enjoy its vibrant bar and restaurant scene, or opt for a quite cottage in Achill or one of the many beach towns along the coast.
I suggest cycling along the Great Western Greenway from Westport into Achill. You can choose to cycle the full 42km, or pick up the trail in the coastal towns of Newport or Mulranny and cycle part of it. Some of Ireland’s best beaches are in Achill Island, including Keem Bay where these photos were taken.
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I would also recommend a trip to DownPatrick Head, and if you like to hike – there is always Croagh Patrick…
7. Take a cookery course at Dunbrody House, Wexford
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I had the pleasure of staying in Dunbrody House a few years ago and I could think of nothing better for someone who likes cooking and fancies an activity break. The Dunbrody Cookery School has been designed to cater for all levels of cooks, and have been personally designed by Celebrity Masterchef Kevin Dundon.
Cookery Courses are priced at €175 for a one day course, or €325 for a two day course and the maximum class size currently is six. For the ultimate foodies there is a Five Day Masterclass for €750, with a class size of five. Prices from €130 per room per night in Dunbrody House with breakfast included.
8. Enjoy a yoga retreat with Cliffs of Moher Retreats
Cliffs of Moher retreats offer a wide selection of retreats throughout the year. They are ideal if you are looking for solo holidays where you can unwind, reflect and rest. The yoga studio overlooks the Atlantic Ocean, and there is a sauna and hot tub to add to the experience. Healthy and nutritious meals are included and you have free time in the afternoon to explore the local area.
Two-night Rest, Recover and Reflect retreats cost from €555 in single room.
9. Book a luxury break in Northern Ireland
Five star hotels can be expensive for solo travellers, but sometimes there are luxurious four-star hotels that are great alternatives. The Slieve Donard Resort & Spa in Co. Down is one of those hotels. Its luxury two floor spa, 20 metre pool and superb facilities will make it hard to leave, but one of the other reasons that I am recommending it for solo holidays in Ireland is its superb location.
It is located on a gorgeous beach with stunning views of the Mourne Mountains, and you are within walking distance of the shops, bars and restaurants in Newcastle town. There are 44 walking trails in the surrounding areas, with the Mourne Mountains winning the Best Walking Destination in Northern Ireland in WalkNI’s inaugural awards.
10. Learn Bushcraft Skills in the wilds of Glengarriff, West Cork
And now for something completely different….
Feel like Bear Grylls after completing this two-day Bushcraft Skills course in West Cork. You will learn how to forage, fish, and cook your own food, how to build a fire, and you will overnight in the wild in a shelter that you have built. Cost from €250 per person and beginners are welcome.
I hope this post on solo holidays in Ireland will help you plan a trip away soon. It is important to note that some of the facilities / activities listed may not be operating to full capacity – please check with individual hotels and operators for clarification. I always recommend booking a hotel or activity with free cancellation in case there are any changes to the listed facilities that may not suit you.
These hotels and activities were researched independently. Some have my affiliate links attached to third party websites, where I receive a small commission if a booking is made, but at no additional cost to you.