Solo, But Not Lost: Unveiling Small-Group Tours and Activities for the Independent Traveler in Europe

Traveling solo is one of the most enjoyable and exciting ways to explore the planet. It is a uniquely rich and rewarding form of travel, giving explorers the freedom and flexibility to go where they want, when they want, and to make vacations look exactly as they wish them to.

However, solo travel does come with its downsides. It can be lonely at times, and planning everything by yourself is undoubtedly a daunting prospect. For lone travelers who want to take the edge off the difficulties of traveling by themselves, a small-group tour might be the answer. These organized excursions offer the best of both worlds, with the independence and flexibility of totally solo travel combined with the conviviality and convenience of a group vacation.

So whether you are boarding a cruise through Europe by yourself or heading off on an interrail adventure, here are a few reasons why small-group tours might be worth exploring.

The Charm of Small-Group Tours

While cut from roughly the same cloth, small-group tours are really nothing like larger organized excursions. Small-group tours are bespoke, intimate affairs, carefully tailored to provide an immersive, interesting, and alternative experience. They are also designed to suit the individual needs of everyone on the tour, making them ideal for independent-minded travelers.

Small-group activities in Europe tend to focus on beautiful landscapes, ancient history, and fascinating cultural heritage alongside other things like food and wine. Here are a few examples of some of the best.

Cultural Tours

European cultural tours are a real treat and one of the best ways to dive into the extraordinary history, art, and customs that define European civilization. Context Travel is one of the best operators for culturally-minded tourists, offering expert-led tours that go deeper into the complex, rich, and fascinating history and culture of cities like Rome, Paris, and Berlin. Groups are capped at 6-8 people, meaning that there is ample opportunity for plenty of social interaction with the guide and with other members of the tour. You’ll have the chance to see beautiful historic architecture while wandering through cobbled streets, as well as getting into some of the best and biggest museums and art galleries in the world.

Food and Wine Tours

No trip to Europe would be complete without a thorough exploration of its food scene and the amazing wine traditions of many of its countries. Food and wine tours are one of the best ways to get under the skin of your destination, offering a delightful combination of delicious flavors and cultural understanding. Travel organizations like Devour Tours and Eating Europe are a great place to start, offering small-group guided tours of some of the culinary capitals of Europe, like Barcelona, Florence, and Lyon. You’ll learn plenty as well as get the chance to treat your tastebuds with examples of some of the best dishes and finest wines in the world.

Adventure Tours

Europe might not have quite the same reputation as somewhere like North America when it comes to back-country adventures, but there are plenty of opportunities for more adventurous solo travelers to get out into nature and discover dramatic landscapes and rugged wildernesses. Companies like G Adventures and Intrepid Travel take groups from one extreme to another, whether it’s cycling through French vineyards, kayaking along the Croatian coastline, or hiking through the mountain trails of the Swiss Alps.

The breadth and variety of Europe is what makes it such an exciting place for solo travelers to explore, and small-group adventures are one of the best ways to take advantage of the countless opportunities on display. Small-group tours take the hassle and stress out of planning solo trips and give lone travelers a chance to connect and socialize while staying flexible and free to enjoy the best aspects of solo travel at the same time!