By Alice Tegg, Editorial and Marketing Assistant

Being a solo female traveller shouldn’t stand in the way of your wanderlust. In fact, it can make a trip even more enriching. At i-escape, we know a thing or two about travelling the world as a woman – we’re female-founded after all.

Our leading ladies have picked 10 amazing destinations for venturing out on your own. All of our choices scored well in the global Women, Peace and Security Index, and were picked with every type of traveller in mind. We’ve also paired our locations with stylish hideaways – many have single rooms or discounts for solo guests. Result!

Follow in the footsteps of Mozart in Salzburg

The i-escape blog / Nikki Tinto
Nikki Tinto, Co-founder

Why you should go:
  Austria ranks among the top 10 countries for women’s equality
  Salzburg’s cobbled Old Town is pedestrianised, so heading out for dinner in the evening is a breeze
  There are hikes around Salzburg for all abilities
  Skip around Mirabell Gardens (where they filmed The Sound of Music), visit Mozart’s birthplace, or stretch your legs at Hans-Donnenberg-Park
  Climb the Hohensalzburg Fortress for unforgettable city views

Watch out for: Avoid the area around Salzburg’s train station after dark. Although English is widely spoken, it’ll help to pick up a few words and phrases in Austrian-German.

Where you should stay: Hotel & Villa Auersperg is a chic boutique with contemporary rooms and a spoiling rooftop spa. It’s a lovely 15-minute stroll to Salzburg’s charming old town. Then take a train to Haus Hirt in spa town Bad Gastein. Its daily guided mountain hikes (included in the rate) are a great way to meet other guests. Enjoy lunch together at a mountain hut then head back for a thermal bath and a yoga class.

Rewild your soul in Costa Rica

Nadine Mellor, Kids Collection and New Hotels Editor

Why you should go:
Costa Rica is as organic as the earth gets; its eco-credentials will make your eyes water
  You can’t go wrong with the Pacific coast: there’s a big backpacking community seeking adventure here
●  The further south of Nicoya peninsular you go, the more easygoing it gets
●  If you’re in an area with fewer restaurants and bars, book yourself onto activities and boat tours to socialise
●  Of course, no visit to Costa Rica would be complete without a zipline through the jungle!

Watch out for: Staying in Costa Rica’s lush interior can feel isolating, especially at night. There’s an unpaved road running the length of this coast too (awesome for jungle off-roading), which in the wet season – if self-driving – can become unpassable.

Where you should stay: Ylang Ylang Beach Resort is a Pacific paradise. The bungalows are hidden away in wild jungle that fringes the coast, and there are daily yoga classes and a small spa to detox mind and body. Or head further down to the Osa peninsular to Lapa Rios Ecolodge. It is set in primary forest, home to amazing wildlife and 375 species of birds (the ocean is within eyesight, too).

Explore the natural majesty of Iceland

Alice Tegg, Editorial and Marketing Assistant

Why you should go:
It was the first nation to have a female president and has made unequal pay for equal work illegal
  Everyone speaks immaculate English
●  The natural wonders of the Golden Circle are awe-inspiring, and seeing the Northern Lights was an unforgettable experience
  The roads are easy to navigate and tend to be very quiet (follow live updates if you’re nervous)
 Reykjavik offers several galleries, striking architecture and guided tours – I spotted whales and puffins on a boat trip – and you can pop to the Blue Lagoon on your way to the airport

Watch out for: High prices. Food and drink are incredibly expensive, so choose wisely. For those looking to enjoy a quiet drink in your room after a day exploring otherworldly craters and spouting geysers, alcohol is only sold in off-licenses and these close early in the evening.

Where you should stay: 360 Boutique Hotel & Thermal Baths is located an hour south of Reykjavik, just outside the town of Sulfoss. Staff are super-friendly, meals are served communally, and restaurants, the coast and the Golden Circle are all within easy reach.

Lake-hop across Slovenia from Ljubljana

The i-escape blog / Katya
Katya Klisarska, Rates and Channels Manager

Why you should go:
  Historic Ljubljana (pronounced ‘lyoo-blyah-nah’) remains somewhat undiscovered
  Less traffic and lower crime rates than most cities
  There’s a flea market every Sunday and an Open Kitchen Market on Fridays
  Get your bearings and meet others on the free city walking tour
  More than a third of Slovenia is a protected area with around 1,300 lakes to hop: think watersports and healing thermal springs

Watch out for: Petty theft is your main concern in the city. Lake Bled can feel touristy in comparison to other Slovenian destinations. Pig slaughtering can be a major community event in rural areas – not for the faint-hearted (or vegetarian).

Where you should stay: Ljubljana Boutique Apartment overlooks one of the city’s lively cobbled squares. Spill out of your front door and directly into the action. Hisa Raduha is a little further afield. It’s a quintet of unique cabins in the Savinja Valley, delivering big on alpine serenity and outdoor pursuits.

Uncover Portugal’s hidden castles in Sintra

The i-escape blog / Marta Purwin
Marta Purwin, Bookings Consultant

Why you should go:
Basing yourself near Sintra can provide three holidays in one: hills, coast and the city
  Sintra is a mass of whimsical, romantic energy and conjured by Baroque, Renaissance, Gothic and Moorish castles, parks and palaces
  The nearby coastal town of Cascais is worth a visit for its choice of beaches to shop, surf and watch sunsets
  Lisbon is a 40-minute hop from Sintra with trains departing every half an hour (avoid the traffic)
  The city’s Time Out Market (Mercado da Ribeira) is a bustling hall of delicious eateries; chat to like-minded travellers around communal tables

Watch out for: It’s worth getting a tuk-tuk up the hill to the main sights of Sintra (cars have been known to have their engines blow up trying to get to the top, and roads can get clogged). Watch out for pickpockets on Lisbon trams.

Where you should stay: Aguamel is a bijou B&B in Sintra named after Portuguese honey-water. It’s ideal for exploring UNESCO-listed Sintra once the day-trippers have left. Prefer the coast? Then try this hip sea-view retreat: Dream Guincho is warm, welcoming and totally chilled out. Plus there’s a weekly table d’hôte and plenty of homemade Portuguese treats to fuel your day.

Visit the birthplace of tango in Buenos Aires

Leah Page, Bookings Consultant

Why you should go:
Argentina fares more favourably than its neighbours on women’s rights and safety
●  San Telmo, our favourite area, is charmingly shabby, with markets to lose yourself in for hours, and 1920s architecture reminiscent of Barcelona or Paris
  Head to Bar Sur in Milongas for an original, authentic tango spot
  The Microcentro is walkable: find Casa Rosada, the pink building Evita ruled from
  Cross the Women’s Bridge to the 350-hectare nature reserve, where buildings give way to forest, grassland and lagoons

Watch out for: By day, San Telmo’s vibrant and friendly streets are welcoming, but avoid lingering on your own at night, especially in the area just south of here called La Boca. And, like any busy city, keep your valuables zipped away, especially in crowded markets.

Where you should stay: Krista Hotel is a chic, peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle in nearby leafy, upmarket Palermo. Opt for CasaCalma in Retiro and take in many of the sights mentioned here by foot on the way down to San Telmo.

Cycle to Scandi-chic cafés in Copenhagen

The i-escape blog / Kate Parsons-escape gift card take you / Kate Parsons
Kate Parsons, Head of Reservations

Why you should go:
Denmark is remarkably flat, making Copenhagen excellent for cycling around
  Stop off at the many design museums, art galleries and park spaces
●  Coffee shops can be found everywhere: people-watch with a Danish bun and warm cuppa
  There are loads of Scandi-noir walking tours for fans of The Killing, Borgon and The Bridge
●  Cool kids flock to the Meatpacking District (Kødbyen), rub shoulders with the locals at the food markets there

Watch out for: Small talk isn’t really a ‘thing’ for Danes, and there’s no word as such for ‘please’. Like the rest of Scandinavia, prices are steep for even the most basic of items. The Little Mermaid statue is rather underwhelming and is mainly a photo opp, with queues to boot.

Where you should stay:  Floating barge hotel CPH Living is ideal for a solo city break. The simple rooms have stunning on-the-water views and there’s a relaxed roof deck for sporadic sunny days. The location is a hub of trendy cafes and boutiques, and a short walk to the cultural centre.

Walk back through time in Prague

The i-escape blog / Lucy Richardson
Lucy Richardson, Editor

Why you should go:
Prague may have notorious affiliation with liberal pursuits, but its history and architecture come up top trumps
●  Accommodation is affordable compared to many other European cities
  Meet others on free walking tours (the centre is completely walkable), but trams also have unlimited passes available if you prefer
  There are community dining options like Kuchyň and artsy MeetFactory
Head to Naplavka, an area along the river, which is sociable in summer with lots of live music and flowing pilsner

Watch out for: The main train station and the park in front of it (known as Sherwood by locals) can feel a bit seedy, especially at night. Stag parties tend to congregate at Wenceslas Square. Taxis have a reputation for ripping off visitors, so order an Uber or ask your hotel to book one for you with an agreed price.

Where you should stay: Hotel Neruda is a stone’s throw from Prague Castle; picturesque yet quiet. Opt for a Superior or Deluxe to spoil yourself in a bathtub after a hard day’s exploring. Or cross the river to Innside by Melia. Situated in the Old Town, this trendy hotel attracts a sociable young crowd who like to gather in the laid-back bar before partying the night away.

Restore your body in Chiang Mai

Imogen Cox, Digital Marketing Executive

Why you should go:
Ornate temples, lush tropical streets and urban murals
  Yoga and meditation are the order of the day and bowls are piled high with technicolour, organic food
  Chiang Mai’s mountainous air is cooler (and streets, calmer) than Bangkok’s deliciously gritty mayhem
  Harassment, cat-calling and violence against tourists are very rare
  Try Chiang Mai Women’s Correctional Institution Vocational Training Center for a massage in jail you’ll never forget

Watch out for: Some elephant sanctuaries may not be as ethical as they claim (head to Elephant Nature Park to support a genuine cause). Thai toiletries can have skin-bleaching agents added to them, including sun cream and deodorant. Females aren’t allowed to touch male monks, so avoid close contact.

Where you should stay: Baan Orapin Heritage B&B is a serene base for sightseeing, with rooms in traditional houses tucked away in lush gardens. Those who prefer a little structure should try a friendly excursion outside the city at Lisu Lodge: visit tea plantations, go bamboo rafting and take a Thai cookery course.

Indulge your inner foodie in The Basque Country

Laura Perez, Rates & Distribution Executive

Why you should go:
Feel the freedom of the open road – self-drive or hire a car and flit between hills and coast
  Basque society is believed to have matriarchal rootage, with a pagan deity linked to Mother Nature (locals exclaim ‘ay ama!’ instead of ‘oh my god’)
  The region’s close relationship to its bounteous seas and earth mean it’s ideal for a foodie following their nose
●  Drool at the sheer abundance of Michelin-starred menus
  Don’t miss San Sebastian for one of the best city beaches in Spain and delicious pintxos

Watch out for: Spaniards eat dinner late. Like, 10pm late. Dining earlier and alone could see you sitting in an empty restaurant. Thankfully, northern Spain is littered with pintxos bars, which serve small plates and are much more active in the early evening.

Where you should stay: Hotel Iturregi – an old Basque farmhouse reborn – enjoys long, luscious views to the sea in Getaria. Head to the hills for an earthy meal with the locals in Bedua. Back on San Sebastian’s coast, Hotel Villa Soro is close to the region’s best restaurants (Arzak has three Michelin stars, no less). Helpful staff can book tables for you.