Time out for the Loner – Seven Places for You to Hide

Time out for the Loner – Seven Places for You to Hide

Those of a more introverted nature have certain priorities when they go away – focusing on the inner self, being alone with their thoughts and not being distracted by other people. We have sought out 7 top secret places where we think the more introspective amongst us will be able to truly unwind and relax without the noise and bustling crowds of the city. Instead we have found amazing landscapes free of the tourist crowds, historical and architectural monuments without long queues and places to stay with attentive but unobtrusive service.

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All these places are within 2-3 hours’ easy reach of a big city if you do decide you want some company or to breathe the city air after all.

Montepulciano, Italy

Why do so many people come from abroad to live out their retirement in Tuscany? Why did so many artists, composers and writers come here looking for inspiration, the likes of Tchaikovsky, Puccini, Dante…? Everyone has their own reasons, but amongst them seem to always be the beautiful landscapes, endless fields with not a soul to be seen, fantastic food and wine and thermal springs with healing mud, bathing and hydromassage.

Montepulciano in all her beauty – vineyards, tiled roofs, distant hill

Don’t be deceived by the population statistics of this region – it seems high at 162 people per square km, but in fact most of those people live in the large cities like Florence, Prato, Pisa and Lucca. Only around 14,000 people live in Montepulciano – much smaller than the average size of a town in the UK.

Perhaps the surroundings will awaken in you some as yet unknown talent, so don’t forget your notebook or laptop so that you can jot down your ideas for that novel you’re going to write or that elusive screenplay. Why not stay at the hotel Palazzo Carletti?

Ubud, Bali

The film “Eat, Love, Pray” was set in Ubud, Bali – not in the town itself (there’s nothing for the introvert there) but in the surrounding countryside, where it really is very beautiful – and secluded. Rice terraces, rolling hills, Buddhist temples and very few tourists – there are not even many locals to be found.

Rice terraces, Ubud. Here it is! The introvert’s paradise

There’s a good choice of hotels in Ubud such as the Bali Suksum Villa, Aria Villas Ubud and the Svarga Loka Resort. You can choose between a standard room or a suite, a bungalow with a garden or even a villa with its own pool. You will be left in peace – simply enjoy the unspoiled nature and tranquillity maybe taking the occasional trip to a temple or secluded beach.

Doolin, Ireland

This coastal town has only 500 inhabitants but attracts many visitors. This is where begins the hiking trail to the Cliffs of Moher, one of the locations used in the Harry Potter films and from where you can catch the ferry to the Aran Islands. Don’t worry, though – there is enough room for everybody. Most visitors and Harry Potter fans stick to the beaten track – there is plenty of room for the introvert to step away from all the hustle and bustle and take in the splendour of the surroundings. If you want to be sure to avoid contact with anyone else at all then come between October and March – but don’t forget your brolly!

Those very rocks from Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, when Harry and Dumbledore find themselves in the eye of the storm

On Inishmore Island in the Aran Islands, it’s as if you are the only person walking the earth – deserted roads, pretty little houses and beautiful scenery engulf you. Just hire a bicycle and go where the mood takes you.

Doolin boasts a few traditional Irish pubs where live music is played and hand pulled Guinness is served – but only if you want to talk to other people and enjoy some of the local food. The small local guest house “Doolin View Bed and Breakfast” comes highly recommended.

Gyangtse, Tibet

The typical Tibetan town of Gyangtse, with its population of only 6,000 people, lies 260km from Lhasa. The town sits on a small plateau surrounded by almighty mountains and is known for its two main attractions :

  • Pelkor Chode (Palcho Monastery)  – built in 1418. It is one of the few monuments which survived the events of 1959.
  • Kumbum Monastery, Tibet’s most important multi-tiered structure. It was built in 1440 and has 108 rooms.

This is the kind of place you go to be immersed in history. These monuments were almost completely destroyed during the Cultural Revolution between 1954 and 1959 and only 15-20 years ago local people took it upon themselves to take their renovation into their own hands.

Lhasa – the historic capital of Tibet

Why not take a room in the Shangri-La hotel in Lhasa and enjoy traditional Tibetan hospitality before heading out to Gyangtse. Pop into a local café and order a cup of chasuma (Tibetan yak butter tea) and bask in the splendour of the landscape.

Banff National Park, Canada

This is located in south-eastern Canada 100km from Calgary. Lake Louis, the Rocky Mountains, the Icefields Parkway cutting right through the park itself, the Columbia Icefield glacier – all of these are must see places. Hire a minivan, pack your tent and sleeping bag into a rucksack and you’re away to be at one with nature and ruminate on the meaning of life. Used to your home comforts? Why not book a room in one of the hotels in the park, such as the Hidden Ridge Resort.

Banff National Park, mornings are always good when this is the view from your tent just after waking up

The best time to come is in the second part of June. This is when the glaciers are melting, the lake is full to the brim with water and shimmers in all shades of blue. It’s no magic, just physics. The light is simply being refracted off the rocky bottom of the lake.

Torshavn, Faroe Islands

Known as the “Sheep Islands”, this is a great alternative to Iceland. The islands are located exactly halfway between Oslo and Reykjavik. The main attraction of the Faeroes is undoubtedly the spectacular landscape of mountains, cliffs, tiny villages, waterfalls and valleys. With a bit of imagination, you’d think you were the only person alive – that’s how remote it is.

The only airport is located in the town of Sorvagur with regular flights from Olso and Copenhagen. It’s a 45 minute drive from Sorvagur to Torshavn, the capital of the islands with a population of just over 12,000 people.

You’ll definitely want to stay – at least until that moment when you want to go online to post your wow-pics onto Instagram

On your way from the airport you will be surrounded by beautiful scenery and…sheep. Lots of sheep. You can share your most private thoughts and musings on the cosmos, and in return you can be sure that they will not bore you with any advice. Why not stay in the cosy little four star Foroyar hotel with its stupendous views over the town and its bay.

Ilhéu das Rolas – São Tomé e Príncipe

If you feel like going to the edge of the world but are worried about the weather, why not choose the warmer option? Off the coast of Central Africa, in the Gulf of Guinea, are located the islands of São Tomé e Príncipe. In 2016 it was the third least visited tourist destination in the world – only 8,000 people per year. What could be better for the loner?

Just a few kilometres from the southern shores of the main island of São Tomé lies the small island of Las Rolas.

The beach at the Pestana Equador Hotel. Keep calm and go to São Tomé

This where you will find the lovely four star Pestana Equador Hotel. Here 200 members of staff work quietly day and night, almost unnoticed, but should you need anything, they will step up to the mark.


Preferring your own company when on holiday is not always easy but here’s a bit of advice. On Zenhotels.com you can choose your hotel not just based on its facilities, price and reviews but also based on its location. To find somewhere far from the madding crowd, simply open up the map and click on the area which suits you.

If you want to spend time alone but you’re worried about how to get to the hotel on arrival – book a transfer from the airport. To find hotels offering such a service, just use the corresponding filter on the site.

So now you know how to book the ideal holiday for the person who prefers to be alone. Just think about where you can go to escape the rat race….

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