Wander Women Egypt:
Yoga + Ancient Adventures Retreat
Cairo + Beyond
August 28-September 4, 2021
Join us for a week exploring Egypt’s ancient wonders, from the iconic pyramids to King Tut’s tomb. For this retreat we’ve partnered with my own once-tour guide, now-friend Sameh to create the perfect deep dive into Egypt’s topside.
This is not your typical Egypt tour — we’ll slow down and soak up unique experiences you won’t find anywhere else, like daily yoga classes along the Nile, sunset Egyptian wine tastings, a henna party with our Nubian hosts, and a night out at an underground Jazz club.
We’ll visit the pyramids, take in ancient treasures at the Egyptian Museum, stargaze from our private felucca, browse markets straight out of Aladdin, and take an optional sunrise hot air balloon ride over the Valley of Kings. And that’s just the beginning.
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.
Where to? We’ll kick things off by hopping a flight to awe-inspiring Aswan to temple hop and head towards the Sudanese border to marvel at Abu Simbel. After, we’re turning it down a million notches for a dreamy night of sailing down the Nile on a traditional Egyptian felucca. We’ll hop off in 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.
The retreat will be held from August 28-September 4, 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 Airport Hotel to allow for an easy early morning departure
• 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 Alex on her 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 one 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.
Getting There and Away
International flights will arrive and depart from Cairo International Airport (CAI). The tour begins and ends in Cairo.
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.
Wander Women Retreats founder Alexandra Baackes has traveled extensively through Egypt both on tour with Sameh and on her own, and has always reported feeling completely safe throughout her trips. With the comfort of our group and the advisement of our local experts, we will have a fantastic, hassle-free trip.
Travel With Us
On this trip, you’ll be traveling with Alex Baackes and Sameh Makram as your hosts.
Alexandra Baackes is the founder of Wander Women Retreats and Alex in Wanderland and will lead your yoga practices throughout this trip. She fell in love with Egypt when she first fulfilled her lifelong dream of visiting in 2018 and has been back several times since to soak up the undeniable magic in the air. She is a RYT 200 Registered Yoga Teacher, a Buti Bands and Sculpt instructor, and a regular yoga practitioner for over a decade — she can’t wait to practice and explore with you.
Sameh Makram 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.
Extend Your Adventure
Want to see more of the Middle East? Add another stamp to your passport by coming along for Wander Women: Lebanon from August 21-28 and travel easily with Alex 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.
Or, afterwards, join us for a diving trip in Sinai with Wander Women: Red Sea from September 4-11 and travel seamlessly with Alex to the start of that tour in Dahab.
Remember, guests attending multiple retreats receive 10% off all of them!
This tour has limited space — just four spots made available from our 2020 postponement. Book soon to avoid disappointment! A $500 deposit is required to hold your spot, and payment plans are available upon request. Can’t make it? Don’t stress! Sign up for my newsletter to be the first to know when enrollment opens on future retreats.
Remember, don’t hesitate to email us at email@example.com with any and all questions or concerns over whether this Egypt experience is right for you. We’d love to chat.
What is the refund policy?
Remaining invoices are due 90 days before departure. The $500 deposit to secure your space is non-refundable. If the trip must be postponed or cancelled due to events beyond our control (for example, a global pandemic resurgence!), you will be offered the choice between a full refund and applying your payment to a future trip.
Do I need to be good at yoga?
Absolutely not. (And frankly, we don’t believe in the idea of being “good” at yoga!) We have a range of yogis from brand-new beginners to talented instructors join us on our trips. You’ll get the opportunity to sample a wide range of yoga styles, and you can opt in or out of as many classes as you wish.
Will I have time to do my own thing?
This is your retreat and we want you to make it exactly what you want! There’s a lot to see and experience in Egypt, so we’ve tried to design an itinerary that takes it all in. But any time you want to bow out to have some “me-time” or do your own thing, we’re going to cheer you on.
How much money will I need to bring?
The optional hot air balloon ride is $130USD.
For lunches at the local spots we’ll bring you to, you can expect to spend 50-150LE (about $6-10USD) per meal, depending on where you go and what you order. For dinners, plan for around 100-300LE (about $12-20.) Liquor tends to be very expensive throughout Egypt, but beer and wine are affordable — and we’ll stop to pick some up before BYO meals.
You can use your discretion on how much you want to bring for shopping in places like the traditional markets or various boutiques — Sameh will be thrilled to give you guidelines on what you should pay for various items in a culture where haggling is expected.
Can I do a payment plan and pay in installments?
Absolutely. We want to make this happen for you! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Will I need travel insurance?
Yes, everyone will be required to have travel insurance for the duration of the trip. Our affiliate, World Nomads offers coverage at affordable rates.
Is there an age requirement?
You must be 18 years old or older.
Do I need a visa for Egypt?
Visas are available upon arrival for Americans, Canadians, Brits, and citizens of about forty other countries. They cost $25, are valid for visits up to 30 days, and can be obtained at Cairo International Airport. For those traveling overland from Israel, visas can be obtained at the border. We are happy to help you navigate any specific questions or concerns.
Is there a waiting list?
There will be a waiting list on a first-come, first-served basis in case spaces open up. If the retreat is full and you’re still interested, email me at email@example.com to be added to the waiting list.
I still have questions, or cute photos of my dog. Can I contact you?
Um, yes please! Our email is firstname.lastname@example.org.