Wander Women Egypt:
Yoga + Ancient Adventures Retreat
Cairo + Beyond
September 21-30, 2023
Join us for ten bucket list days exploring Egypt’s ancient wonders. We’ll marvel at the pyramids, stargaze from our private felucca, browse markets straight out of Aladdin, visit ancient tombs and take an optional sunrise hot air balloon ride over the Valley of Kings. And that’s just the beginning.
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 dance party with our Nubian hosts, and a crafternoon at a hip Cairo studio.
Where to? We’ll kick things off touching down in Giza to ponder the Great Pyramids before hopping a night train to Luxor, home to the Temple of Egypt’s HBIC Hatshepsut and referred to by many as the world’s greatest open-air museum. After, we’re turning it down a million notches for two dreamy nights of sailing down the Nile on a traditional Egyptian felucca. We will land in awe-inspiring Aswan to temple hop and head towards the Sudanese border to marvel at Abu Simbel. Finally, we’ll wrap our week with a busy tour of bustling Cairo, exploring a sleek side few get to see.
Bonus? A photographer will be behind the lens every step of the way, ensuring everyone leaves with profile-picture worthy shots of themselves in their favorite asanas and in front of ancient wonders. Plus, we’ll go all out on a welcome bag full of goods from local NGOs and artisans.
The retreat will be held from September 21-30, 2023. The cost of this ten day trip, including all of the below, is $3,900 for a shared room or $4,900 for a private room.
• Three nights accommodation at modern Cairo design hotels, two nights at a unique guesthouse in Luxor, two nights on a traditional felucca, one night at a brand new luxury hotel in Aswan
• Seven breakfasts, five lunches and four dinners
• Entrance fees and tours of all historic sights with our expert Egyptologist
• Daily yoga and activities
• All additional local transportation, including planes, trains, and 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
• Flights to Egypt
• 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 Giza for a poolside welcome dinner to toast to the trip ahead.
Day 2: Rise and shine to morning yoga overlooking the pyramids far in the distance and slowly start your day with a pool session or a little nap to battle jet lag before we go see the big three up close and personal — we’ll spend all afternoon there so you have time to totally immerse. We’ll have lunch overlooking the famed structures in one of the hottest restaurants to snag a reservation at, and visit The Sphinx too! Pack an overnight bag with your favorite jammies because we board the night train to Luxor for the ultimate sleepover on-the-go.
Day 3: We’ll arrive early into Luxor and continue exploring Egypt’s greatest hits with an action packed day! We’ll visit the Valley of the Kings up close, then head to the Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut, and after lunch at a local favorite, stop to shop at a hidden gem artisan pottery gallery, and admire the The Colossi of Memnon. Later, we’ll reconvene for early evening yoga before dinner and cozying up for a movie night under the stars.
Day 4: 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 breakfast it’s time to relax and catch up on journaling or reading, or join us for an adventure to the the Valley of the Queens for those who’d rather keep moving — with an optional upgrade to visit Neferteri’s Tomb, the most revered in all of Egypt! Later, we will coast across the Nile and visit East Luxor for lunch, a visit to Karnak Temple, and seeing the gorgeous Luxor Temple illuminated at night. For dinner, overlook the lit-up and newly excavated Avenue of Sphinxes over camel steak (fear not; other menu options abound!)
Day 5: Rise with the sun and watch the hot air balloons drift overhead as we flow in the West Bank. And then we’re off to Aswan, one of Egypt’s most significant historical cities on the Nile. On the way, we’ll stop by the Temple of Kom Ombo, dedicated to the crocodile god Sobek, and home to some of the best preserved hieroglyphics in Egypt. From there, 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 top deck for yoga nidra before a stargazing sleepover party on the deck.
Day 6: 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 day relaxing on the boat while watching Egypt go by, breaking for a partner yoga sesh when the mood strikes. At night our crew will build a bonfire and they will have a jam session as we dance under the milky way.
Day 7: In the morning, we say farewell to our felucca and continue our exploration of Egypt. First stop? Breakfast overlooking Philae Temple, a famous archaeological site atop its own island which we’ll sail to after. Lunch will be a technicolored affair you are sure to never forget as we coast off to a Nubian village for yet another feast! Finally, we sail to our own luxury private island which overlooks Philae temple where we will settle in for the afternoon, do yoga on the rooftop and laze in the pool.
Day 8: 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. By the end of the day you will be back to Cairo, Egypt’s bustling capital! After getting checked into our hotel and lounging poolside, we’ll head to a dinner at local favorite. Still have energy? Hit one of Egypts best nightlife scenes for music and dancing.
Day 9: On our last full day, get ready for a whirlwind Cairo city tour. We’ll shop at the famous Khan el-Khalili market and visit a historic mosque in Islamic Cairo all before lunch. Then it is off to a totally Wander Women exclusive afternoon! We’re heading to the female-owned NGO VeryNile where we will turn trash into treasures, have lunch and experience one of Egypt’s most unique ways of cleaning up the Nile for the future generations — creating a souvenir of our own to bring home. Afterwards we will coast down the Nile to Ahimsa for a sound bath as the sunsets followed with a closing dinner by candlelight.
Day 10: 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! Heading to the Red Sea for the Dive Retreat? Enjoy a complementary night on us to flow into the next retreat refreshed.
Where We’ll Stay and Where We’ll Eat
The first night in Cairo, we’ll stay at the lush Crown Plaza Cairo West, which boasts awe worthy views from its pool. There’s an extensive onsite gym, sauna, pool and spa, and several bars and restaurants. Shared rooms in Cairo feature two single beds.
On the way to Luxor we we’ll be rocked to sleep aboard the infamous night train before arriving 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 two twin beds for two or a large bed for singles.
We’ll spend two nights 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 Aswan, we’ll stay in a brand new and insanely instagram-able Nubian hotel, 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 one large bed.
Finally, back in Cairo we will stay at the newly renovated Conrad Cairo that boasts Nile views from chic suites in the heart of downtown. Shared rooms feature two double beds.
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. A representative will meet you off your flight to assist you making your way through immigration, collecting your bags and whisking you off to our Cairo hotel. Early arrivals and late departures can be organised for an additional fee.
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 precautions we would take anywhere in the world.
Wander Women Retreats Founder Alexandra Baackes and Wander Women Retreats Manager Shannon Stevens have traveled extensively through Egypt both guiding tours and on their own, and have utmost confidence in your safety. With the comfort of our group and the advisement of our local experts, we will have a fantastic, hassle-free trip.
Health + Safety
Egypt currently has no Covid restrictions. Yalla!
Travel With Us
On this trip, you’ll be traveling with Shannon Stevens, Jenny Lord and Sameh Makram as your hosts.
Shannon began teaching yoga in 2017, and she has a vast amount of training and practice in several methods of yoga and healing including yin, restorative, flow, pranayama and meditation. 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. Alex and Shannon met on Koh Tao in 2015 and have been traveling the globe together ever since!
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.
Jenny Lord is an accomplished photographer originally from the United Kingdom who has shot many of our previous retreats on the Red Sea, in Egypt and in Lebanon. She lives and works in Egypt as a tech dive instructor, speaks an impressive amount of Arabic, and loves to welcome travelers to the Middle East. Jenny cannot wait to capture your best angle from both above and below water!
This retreat has limited space — book soon to avoid disappointment! Your deposit will be the first of five total payments for this trip, spread into convenient monthly installments.
This trip requires a minimum number of guests to run. We will notify you when it is a guaranteed departure! Until then, please do not book non-refundable airfare.
Can’t make this one? Don’t sweat — sign up for our 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 if this is the right retreat for you.
So does non-refundable really mean non-refundable?
All payments are non-refundable. If the trip must be postponed or cancelled due to events beyond our control, you will be offered the choice between a full refund and applying your payments to a future trip.
The reason payments are non-refundable is that we start incurring costs from the moment someone presses “book” — from credit card fees to high hourly wages for our team who correspond with guests, manage trip inventory and our e-commerce platform, analyze forms to create room assignments, coordinate with our local vendors, and beyond.
There’s nothing we want more than for our guests to take and enjoy the travel they have worked hard and paid for. Thank you so much for your understanding and respect of our need to enforce this policy strictly. We want to be here to travel with you for years to come!
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 $150USD. The upgrade to Neferteri’s Tomb is $65USD.
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 but we recommend using your duty free allowance in your home country on departure.
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.
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. We recommend you book your travel insurance as soon as you make your trip deposit to protect your investment.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com.