Wander Women Wednesdays are back! This mid-week feature is all about highlighting an upcoming Wander Women Retreat, or a new aspect of our retreat business we’re excited about. With the remainder of our 2020 retreats rescheduled to 2021, we are thrilled to relaunch our first ever Wander Women Egypt Retreat — with just four spots left!
From the moment I first stepped foot in Egypt in 2018, I knew — this is someplace special. The more I travel, the more jaded I inevitably become. But something in Egypt swept me up, brushed away all my walls, and left me truly awe-struck.
But while I found Egypt to be one of the most magical countries I’ve ever been to, I didn’t necessarily love the way I explored it the first time. I had the perfect destination and the most kickass guide, but something about the experience was a bit one size fits all. And honestly, it’s the way most trips to Egypt are. You might choose between a felucca or a Nile cruise, you might opt to fly over a bus or a train ride to Luxor, but overall, the vast majority of travelers to Egypt get herded into a very similar route around the country.
Sameh and I wanted to do something special. My own once-tour guide, now-friend Sameh is a registered Egyptologist and a tour guide to his native country since 2000. Sameh’s kind of a big deal around here — in 2015 he was chosen as the 5th best tour guide worldwide according to Tour Radar, where he’s received over 700 glowing reviews from his work. Now, he’s branching off on his own to lead speciality tours like ours. And we are so lucky to have him! Sameh and his wife — also an Egyptian tour guide — are also travelers at heart and love taking their twins on trips all over the Middle East.
With his deep knowledge and my idealistic vision, we created an Egyptian adventure that I believe is truly unlike any other. We searched high and low for truly boutique accommodation, a rarity in Egypt, as well as memorable meals. We catalogued Sameh’s favorite temples, from the bucket list to the hidden gems. We sprinkled in unique experiences like sunset Egyptian wine tastings, a henna party with our Nubian hosts, and a night out at an underground Jazz club. And we tied it together with daily yoga everywhere from the banks of the Nile to studios in downtown Cairo to Nubian rooftops in Aswan.
Egypt can be overwhelming. We wanted to dial down the stress and add in the bliss instead.
Sound intriguing? Nab one of the last four spots to join us for a week exploring Egypt’s ancient and modern wonders, from the iconic pyramids to King Tut’s tomb, from the ancient treasures at the Egyptian Museum, to the stars above our private felucca, to markets straight out of Aladdin, to an optional sunrise hot air balloon ride over the Valley of Kings. And that’s just the beginning.
Where to? We’ll kick things off by hopping over to awe-inspiring Aswan to temple hop, visit a colorful Nubian village, and marvel at Abu Simbel near the Sundanese border. After, we’ll turn it down a million notches for a dreamy night of sailing down the Nile on a traditional Egyptian felucca. We’ll head next to Luxor, home to the Temple of Hatshepsut and referred to by many as the world’s greatest open-air museum. Finally, we’ll wrap our week with a busy tour of bustling Cairo, exploring a sleek side few get to see.
As with all Wander Women Retreats, we’ll travel as low-impact as possible, supporting small businesses along the way and leaning into the best practices in sustainable adventuring. Also as with all our trips, a photographer will be behind the lens every step of the way, ensuring everyone leaves with profile-picture worthy shots of themselves on the go and in front of their favorite ancient wonders.
Read on for more!
The retreat will be held from August 28th-September 4th, 2021. The cost, including all of the below, is $2,800 for a shared room and $3,200 for a private room.
• Two nights accommodation at Le Méridien Pyramids Hotel & Spa, one night at a Nubian village in Aswan, one night on a traditional felucca, two nights at a colorful guesthouse in Luxor, and one night at the Le Méridien Cairo.
• Seven breakfasts, four dinners, and three lunches
• Entrance fees and tours of all historic sights with an expert Egyptologist
• Daily yoga and activities
• Flights from Cairo to Aswan, and Luxor to Cairo
• All additional local transportation, including airport transfers
• A custom welcome bag
• All gratuities for tour guides, included meals, airport pickups, and drivers (we generously tip on your behalf, removing the stress and anxiety of when and how much to tip!)
• Professional photos of the trip
• Donation to local charities
What’s Not Included
• Other activities or meals not outlined in the itinerary
• Transport to and from the start and end of the tour
• Mandatory travel insurance
Subject to change, and expect surprises, but here’s the general idea!
Day 1: Say hello to Egypt! We’ll gather together in Cairo for a poolside welcome dinner to toast to the week ahead.
Day 2: Time to hit the road — we’re kicking off our trip in Aswan, one of Egypt’s most significant historical cities on the Nile. First stop? Philae Temple, a famous archaeological site atop its own island. Back on land, we’ll check into the incredibly colorful Nubian village for the night, where we’ll enjoy a yummy yoga class before turning up for a henna party with the local ladies.
Day 3: We’ll leave Aswan bright and early to reach Abu Simbel, one of the most awe-inspiring temples in all of Egypt. Fear not — naps aplenty are in our future. Back in Aswan, we’ll board our felucca, a traditional wooden Egyptian boat perfect for channeling your inner Cleopatra (and yes, costumes are welcome and encouraged). At night, we’ll dock in the marshes of the Nile and set up on the banks for yoga before a stargazing sleepover party on the deck.
Day 4: You’ve earned some downtime — now to enjoy it. Melt into the rhythm of the Nile as we continue on our felucca ride, spending the morning relaxing on the boat while watching Egypt go by. In the afternoon, we say farewell to our felucca and continue our exploration of Egypt towards Luxor. On the way, we’ll stop by the Temple of Kom Ombo, dedicated to the crocodile god Sobek. Once we arrive at our charming guesthouse in Luxor, enjoy a relaxing dinner.
Day 5: We’ll continue seeing Egypt’s greatest hits with an action packed day! After breakfast, we’ll visit the Valley of the Kings up close, then head to the Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut, and finish our morning sightseeing at the little-visited Luxor Gallery. After a leisurely lunch, you’ll have time for an afternoon nap, and then we’ll reconvene for early evening yoga. We’ll enjoy dinner in town before seeing the gorgeous Luxor Temple illuminated at night!
Day 6: Early risers, set your alarm to check out an optional hot air balloon experience to see the Valley of the Kings from a new vantage point! After, we’ll head back to Cairo to close out the retreat in Egypt’s bustling capital. We’ll get to see the famed pyramids up close and personal — spending all afternoon there so you get your perfect Instagram shot. In the evening we’ll have dinner overlooking the pyramids.
Day 7: On our last full day, get ready for a whirlwind Cairo city tour. We’ll soak up the Egyptian Museum, a historic mosque in Islamic Cairo, and the famous Khan el-Khalili market before winding down at a chill afternoon yoga class at a local studio. End the epic day with a sunset sail and a dinner of tradition Egyptian fare (and wine!). If you fancy a night on the town, cap it off with drinks at the Cairo Jazz Club.
Day 8: This morning, it’s time for goodbyes! Or rather, see you laters. Exchange photos and contact info with all your new Wander Women besties for future get togethers — or join me on my next retreat to the Red Sea to explore Egypt’s dive sites.
Where We’ll Stay and Where We’ll Eat
In Cairo, we’ll stay at the lush Le Méridien Pyramids Hotel & Spa, which boasts instagrammable views of the pyramids from its swim up pool bar. There’s an extensive onsite gym, sauna, indoor pool and spa, and several bars and restaurants. Shared rooms in Cairo feature two single beds — and all rooms have a pyramid view. (The first night of the tour is at the Le Meridien Cairo Airport Hotel, to allow for a comfortable early morning departure the next day.)
In Aswan, we’ll stay in the insanely instagram-able Nubian village, a preserved isle of one of the oldest civilizations in history. Nubians have not only conserved their ancient traditions but also the Nubian language – which is only spoken and has no official alphabet. Shared rooms in Aswan feature two single beds.
We’ll also spend a night on a felucca, a traditional wooden sailing boat, as we dreamily cruise down the Nile. Sleeping aboard a felucca is a completely unique experience where we all will sleep on deck together — a support boat with bathrooms onboard will follow us down the Nile.
In Luxor, we’ll stay at a unique and stylish guesthouse that’s been featured in design magazines. Shared rooms at our unique Luxor accommodation, which boast local art and one-of-a-kind furnishings, feature one large bed for two, and a small couch that could be used as a single bed, for anyone who prefers to sleep solo.
For included meals, we’ll mix it up — one night, we’ll dine on local delicacies aboard a private felucca sail along the Nile River. Another, we’ll eat on a chic rooftop. Egyptian food is generally healthy and delicious, and all special diets can be accommodated! For all non-included meals, we’ll head to curated spots where you can order as you please, or you are welcome to do your own thing.
Is It Safe To Travel to Egypt?
Needless to say, we would never hold a retreat in a destination where we didn’t feel fully confident of your safety, and our own. All the locations we are going to are popular tourist areas, and we will take the same safety precautions we would take anywhere in the world.
I have traveled extensively through Egypt, spending three cumulative months there, both on tour with Sameh and on my own, and have always felt completely safe throughout my trips. With the comfort of our group and the advisement of our local experts, we will have a fantastic, hassle-free trip.
Extend Your Adventure
Want to see more of Egypt? Join for a diving trip in Egypt’s fabled Sinai with Wander Women: Red Sea from September 4-11th and travel seamlessly with me between the trips.
Or, add another stamp to your passport by signing up for the waitlist for Wander Women: Lebanon from August 21-28th — we’re currently sold out! — and travel easily with me from Beirut to Cairo. In Lebanon, we’ll explore ruins that rival Petra (without the crowds!), sip local wine through a lush valley, paddleboard in a hip surf town, party at Beirut’s famous beach clubs, hike and bike through stunning landscapes, and practice yoga all along the way.
Remember, guests attending multiple retreats receive 10% off all of them!
Come to Egypt!
Have some questions about Egypt, or just want to get a feel for if this trip is right for you? Schedule a 15 minute Zoom chat with me! Otherwise, don’t hesitate to email email@example.com. Remember, there are just four spots left!
For further information, including an extensive FAQ, information on getting to and from this retreat, visas, payment plans and beyond, plus more about me if you’re new around here, check out the Wander Women Egypt retreat sales page.
Find our full lineup of our rescheduled-to-2021 trips here — and sign up for my retreats newsletter to be the first to know when enrollment opens on future retreats.
We’re excited and hopeful for the future and still tentatively planning our 2022 trips. So if this is a retreat you’d like to see again — or you have another idea for one you’re excited about — let me know in the comments. That suggestion box is always open.
Okay, ancient wonder seekers! Who’s grabbing the last four spots on our Egypt trip?
This trip sounds so epic that if you run it again in 2022, I may join to see the southern parts of Egypt that I have yet to see – plus the love affair with downtown Islamic Cairo has only just started ????
And you’d get to have seen the old AND new Egyptian Museums! (Am I the only one who thinks that’s cool?! ????)
I saw on Instagram that commenters were at a all-time low. Thought I would come on here and let you know that I’ve been a silent reader on here since 2013. You inspired me to get into Scuba diving back in 2014. I would love to sign up for a trip in 2021; however, I have a goal to graduate w/ my second degree before I turn 31. This means that I’m not even giving myself a break during the Summer. However, this sounds like a great way to treat myself in 2022. 🙂
Wow, that’s an amazing goal, Liz! Brava! We’d love to travel with you in 2022 🙂 Thank you for coming over and saying hi, it means a lot.
So glad to see you have your own tour. Would be very nice to see something a little more affordable tho. Would love to travel with you.
Hey Sabrina! Just catching up on comments after a blogging hiatus! I appreciate this feedback!
These retreats have grown to be my primary source of income, and in fact I put this blog, and it’s earning potential, on ice last year while I focused on growing my retreats business. And I’m thrilled that despite the struggles of the pandemic it continues to thrive to the point I’ve been able to start building a team around them! While pricing accessibly has always been one of my goals, the longer I work on these trips, the more I realize how much goes into every single one — time, money, knowledge, etc. In fact, in the learning phase, we have had trips where we have barely broken even by the time all expenses are paid. We are choosing to do something truly unique and boutique, and I do feel we’ve only ever priced fairly, if not under market value, for the trips we’ve run.
That said, they aren’t for everyone. I traveled for many years on an absolute shoestring and I cheer along with anyone at that stage in their journey! And I’ve got tons and tons of posts here on the blog for free that I truly hope helps anyone get there 🙂 There are endless ways to explore the world!