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Wander Women Israel:
A Yoga + Adventure Retreat

Wander Women Israel: A Yoga + Adventure Retreat

Tel Aviv + Beyond
May 26-June 2, 2022

Join us on a once-in-a-lifetime trip to hike, bike, surf, dive, and party your way around the land of milk + honey. Spend eight days and seven nights in tiny yet diverse Israel, taking in the highlights of Tel Aviv, The Red Sea, the Negev Desert, The Dead Sea, and Jerusalem.

While most people associate the country with politics and religion, there’s so much more to modern Israel. It’s filled with incredible history, yes, but also home to some of the most vibrant cities, stunning landscapes, and interesting people in the world. Israel is teeming with creative energy, filled with delicious healthy food, blessed with easy access to nature and bursting with adrenaline-fueled adventure activities. 

Throughout the week, we’ll rest our heads in swoon-worthy accommodation, ranging from chic urban hotels in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem to sleek Red Sea apartments to authentic Bedouin glamping tents deep in the desert surrounding the Dead Sea. Israeli hospitality will be in full effect, as we break bread with locals at a traditional Shabbat dinner, share many a shot of arak, and learn about the country’s culture firsthand.  

Wander Women Israel: sunset hike
Hiking in the Negev Desert, Israel
Fruit in the land of milk and honey, Israel
Eilat, Israel sea
Sunset among palm trees in Tel Aviv, Israel
Young women walking into the Dead Sea, Israel

Israel can be shockingly expensive and difficult to travel around without conversational Hebrew knowledge. There’s a term for native-born Israelis: sabres, a desert cactus fruit both thorny on the outside, and sweet on the inside. Enter Wander Women Retreats! We have dozens of close Israeli friends on speed dial and by the end of this trip, so will you. We’re working with Israeli guides, instructors, and other locals throughout the tour for a true insider experience, with a built-in group of new travel besties.

A local photographer will be behind the lens every step of the way, ensuring everyone leaves with profile-picture worthy shots of themselves. In addition to full access to the hundreds of photos our pro will take throughout the trip, she’ll send a daily selection of highlights for you to post on-the-go.

As with all Wander Women Retreats, we seek to be mindful travelers in our destination by partnering with small, locally-owned businesses and traveling as low-waste as possible.

Wander Women Israel: sunset hike
Hiking in the Negev Desert, Israel
Fruit in the land of milk and honey, Israel
Eilat, Israel sea
Sunset among palm trees in Tel Aviv, Israel
Young women walking into the Dead Sea, Israel

Wander Women Israel: A Yoga + Adventure RetreatThe Details

This eight day retreat will be held from May 26 – June 2nd, 2022, and costs $3,500.

What’s Included

• Seven nights of unique shared accommodation
• Two meals a day
• Daily yoga
• All outlined activities — see below!

• Transportation

• A custom welcome bag
• Tips for tour guides and drivers
• Professional photos of the trip

• Donation to local NGOs

What’s Not Included
 
• Flights and airport transfers (optional upgrade available)
• Optional desert camel ride
• Additional meals, alcohol or activities not specified in the itinerary

• Mandatory travel insurance
 
Wander Women Israel: sunset hike
Hiking in the Negev Desert, Israel
Fruit in the land of milk and honey, Israel
Eilat, Israel sea
Sunset among palm trees in Tel Aviv, Israel
Young women walking into the Dead Sea, Israel

Wander Women Israel: A Yoga + Adventure RetreatThe Itinerary

Subject to change, but you’re going to have a magical time — here’s the general idea!

Ebook FaviconDay 1: Welcome to the pulsing urban energy of Tel Aviv! After a yin massage yoga class to unwind post-travels, we’ll toast to an exciting week ahead with sundowner drinks, a welcome cooking class with dinner, and a quick Hebrew lesson (most importantly: l’chaim!) Uniquely, Friday and Saturday are the weekend in Israel, which means the city’s iconic nightlife will be kicking off tonight!

Ebook FaviconDay 2: After breakfast together (not too early — Tel Aviv likes to party late!) we’ll greet the morning with an oceanfront vinyasa class before taking a local walking tour of Tel Aviv’s robust street art scene. At sunset we will reconvene for a special surprise Shabbat experience, a beautiful Jewish tradition of a weekly dinner with loved ones before we dance the night away.

Ebook FaviconDay 3: Time to hit Tel Aviv’s famed stretch of Mediterranean sand — the summer weekend beach scene in Tel Aviv is something not to miss! We’ll kick off the day by hanging ten — we’re taking surf lessons at an all-female surf school in Port of Jaffa, with incredible skyline views of the old city as a backdrop. Enjoy lunch in the heart of lively Yafo before spending the afternoon wandering the famous Flea Market, people watching on the sand, and participating in a clean-up walk for Plastic Free Tel Aviv. Give a nod to the day of rest with a relaxing sunset slow flow to close the day, followed by dinner at one of the city’s best traditional Arabic restaurants, where we’ll dine on healthy salads and warm fresh-out-of-the-oven pita bread.

Ebook FaviconDay 4: We’re off to Eilat, Israel’s beachfront sliver of the Red Sea. We’ll scramble through the Red Canyon on a hike before settling in for yoga and a picnic lunch at Mount Yoash viewpoint — from where we can see Israel, Jordan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. At night, enjoy dinner at your leisure in the vacation town popular with Israeli adventure seekers.

Ebook FaviconDay 5: Time to see the Red Sea! Certified divers can explore dive sites like the wreck of the Satil, French missile vessels covertly delivered to the Israeli Navy in the 60s, while those looking to try breathing underwater for the first time can take guided “try dive” over some of the area’s vibrant coral gardens — or choose to snorkel! Later, we’ll reconvene for a beach partner yoga class, chill vibes and lunch at a Sinai-style beachside restaurant and bar. Time to relax on the sand – you’ve earned it — with some Vitamin D (and sea). Later, we’ll board our bus again to deliver us to our accommodation for the night: bedouin tents overlooking the Ramon Crater in a retreat paradise.

Ebook FaviconDay 6: We’ll start the morning with a desert yoga class, followed by an optional camel ride for those who can’t pass up the opportunity to selfie with the symbol of the desert. Then we’re back on the road, this time headed towards the South Dead Sea, the half known for its crystal-like salt formations, and the famous Dead Sea Tree. We’ll spend the day getting salty, including the unique opportunity to kayak, before arriving at our second glamping ground of the trip — this one, in chic lotus tents overlooking the North Dead Sea.

Ebook FaviconDay 7:  Rise and shine for a sunrise dip in the mineral rich beach of this stretch of the Dead Sea! After breakfast and a part-Hebrew yoga class with a local instructor back at camp, we’ll make our way towards the Judean Hills, and stop for lunch and a visit to a gorgeous vineyard where we’ll learn more about wine production in Israel. We’ll end the day pulling into Jerusalem, one of the oldest and holiest cities in the world. It’s a surreal city to explore no matter your beliefs, and we’ll see it all with a bike tour before a heartfelt closing dinner.

Ebook FaviconDay 8: It’s time for hugs and fond farewells — unless you’re sticking around for more!

Joining our Jerusalem + The West Bank Extension? The fun continues with two more nights together in Jerusalem!

Wander Women Israel: sunset hike
Hiking in the Negev Desert, Israel
Fruit in the land of milk and honey, Israel
Eilat, Israel sea
Sunset among palm trees in Tel Aviv, Israel
Young women walking into the Dead Sea, Israel

The Adventure

Why sightsee when you can sight do! We’re going to enjoy Israel the way the locals do — in motion. Here’s what’s included, but of course, expect some surprises.

Ebook FaviconDiving or snorkeling the Red Sea

Ebook FaviconHiking in The Red Canyon

Ebook FaviconStreet Art Tour in Tel Aviv

Ebook FaviconSurfing lessons at Jaffa Beach

Ebook FaviconInsider nightlife experiences in Tel Aviv

Ebook FaviconKayaking in the Dead Sea

Ebook FaviconTour and tasting at a local winery

Ebook FaviconA bike tour of Jerusalem

Ebook FaviconBeach clean up in Tel Aviv

Ebook FaviconDaily yoga 

We get that you don’t want to end your trip needing a vacation from a vacation — while we’re offering a lot of fun and activity, always feel free to opt out to rest and recharge. For those craving more, there are optional add-ons, like a camel ride in the Negev.

Wander Women Israel: sunset hike
Hiking in the Negev Desert, Israel
Fruit in the land of milk and honey, Israel
Eilat, Israel sea
Sunset among palm trees in Tel Aviv, Israel
Young women walking into the Dead Sea, Israel

Wander Women Israel: A Yoga + Adventure RetreatThe Food + Accommodation 

We’ll spend three nights at chic accommodation in central Tel Aviv before setting off on a whirlwind tour of Southern Israel including a night at seaside apartments in Eilat, two nights glamping in the desert, and, finally, depending on if you add-on the extension or not, one to three nights at a boutique hotel in Jerusalem. 

Due to the unique nature of our accommodation in Israel, all rooms will be shared — with most featuring shared king or queen sized beds. In some locations, there will be an option for two single beds. Of course you can room with a friend but if you’re traveling solo, fear not, so are most of our Wander Women guests! We’ll do our best to pair you with someone we think you’ll click with based on your intake forms — and we’ll all be besties by the end anyway. Rooms vary slightly by layout and view and will be assigned based on booking order.

Every day, two meals will be included; typically breakfast and either lunch or dinner. Israeli cuisine is beloved worldwide, not only for being delicious but healthy and balanced. We’ll eat well and feel great — and yes, there will be plenty of hummus along the way. For the non-included meal of the day, we’ll bring you to a favorite spot where you can order at your own expense, or branch off and do your own thing. All diets can be accommodated.

Wander Women Israel: sunset hike
Hiking in the Negev Desert, Israel
Fruit in the land of milk and honey, Israel
Eilat, Israel sea
Sunset among palm trees in Tel Aviv, Israel
Young women walking into the Dead Sea, Israel

Extend Your Adventure

Join us for our post-retreat Jerusalem + The West Bank Extension from June 2-4th for a deeper immersion some of the top sights of the region, including the opportunity to learn from both Israeli and Palestinian guides, visit a local brewery, and beyond.

Can’t imagine going all the way to Israel and not heading next door? Stay tuned! At your request, we are working to curate a special six day day Jordan Extension from June 4-9th led by Wander Women Retreat Manager Shannon Stevens that will have you checking off another country and a New Wonder of the World. We will be staying in a colorful + sleek city hotel in Amman, getting cozy in a 250 year old village in Petra, and sleeping under the stars in a martian tent in the desert of Wadi Rum. Spaces will be limited so please let us know if are interested in this extension, which will depart from Jerusalem and conclude in Tel Aviv in order to seamlessly connect all extension opportunities.

In love with love? Meet us back in Tel Aviv for our Pride Party Extension from June 9-12th — one of the greatest Pride celebrations in the world, with all your favorite Wander Women hosts! We truly can’t imagine a more sparkly or fun end to the trip of a lifetime.

Travel With Us

On this trip you’ll be traveling with Wander Women Retreats founder Alexandra Baackes as your host and yoga instructor.

Alex fell in love with Israel’s hospitality, culture, and adventures immediately upon her first trip in 2018 and loved it so much she’s been back countless times since! She is a PADI Divemaster and Ambassadiver, as well as a RYT 200 Registered Yoga Teacher, a Buti Bands and Sculpt instructor, an aerial vinyasa and yin instructor, and a regular yoga practitioner for over a decade. She can’t wait to travel with you.

Wander Women Israel: A Yoga + Adventure Retreat

Health + Safety

Israel has some of the world’s most stringent COVID arrival procedures — allowing us to relax and enjoy a full travel experience upon arrival!

Israel requires visitors to be fully vaccinated, which they define as vaccinated with two vaccine doses (or a single dose of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine) more than 14 days before arrival in Israel (and no more than 180 days later than the departure from Israel). If more than 180 have passed since the last dose in the series, they must also receive a booster shot at least 14 days prior to entry. You can find more information here.

Additionally, you must take a PCR test no more than 72 hours before your flight or a lab rapid test taken no more than 48 hours before your flight. According to current guidelines, you will also be required to take a PCR test at the airport on arrival. This costs $25USD, and you will be able to proceed to our accommodation and relax until the results are texted to you and you are free to continue with our amazing itinerary! On average, this takes a few hours, however, many anticipate this requirement will be lifted before summer.

We will assist you in arranging all tests required to travel home from Israel.

Wander Women Israel: sunset hike
Hiking in the Negev Desert, Israel
Fruit in the land of milk and honey, Israel
Eilat, Israel sea
Sunset among palm trees in Tel Aviv, Israel
Young women walking into the Dead Sea, Israel

Getting There and Away

Most international flights to Israel arrive and depart from Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion International Airport (TLV). This is where our tour will begin.

Upon arrival, you can take a private taxi, Uber, or Gett (Israel’s own, much more affordable Uber!) to and from Ben Gurion airport. We will send additional information on airport transfer upgrades once you’ve booked, but don’t worry — the options are safe and simple!

Please feel free to reach out to us for help with flight recommendations — we’re always available at retreats@alexinwanderland.com. We offer an hour of complimentary consultation on booking your trip, after which we will offer our hourly consulting at a special retreat guest rate.

Join Us

This retreat has extremely limited space remaining — book soon to avoid disappointment! A $500 non-refundable deposit is required to reserve your spot. 

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. Don’t hesitate to email us at retreats@alexinwanderland.com with any and all questions or concerns over if this is the right retreat for you. We’d love to chat!

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F.A.Q.

What is the refund policy?

The $500 deposit to secure your space is non-refundable and remaining invoices are due 90 days before departure. 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 payment to a future trip.

The reason our deposits 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 corresponds with guests, manages trip inventory and our e-commerce platform, analyzes forms to create room assignments, coordinates 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!

Will I need travel insurance?

Yes, everyone will be required to have personal travel insurance for the duration of the trip. World Nomads offers coverage incredibly affordable rates — I recommend their travel insurance, which will reimburse you in the case of flight delay, medical issues, and more.

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, so we’ve tried to design an itinerary that balances the best of activity and downtime. 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?

Israel is one of the most expensive countries in the world! For meals at the local spots we’ll bring you to, you can expect to spend a minimum 50NIS ($15USD) for lunch or 100NIS ($30USD) for dinner, depending on where you go and what you order.

I want to extend my trip to explore more of Israel. Any suggestions?

Check out our destination page for our posts about the Dead Sea, Eilat, JerusalemNegev DesertTel Aviv — and feel free to email us for more info and ideas! Alex has traveled Israel extensively. We offer an hour of complimentary consultation on expanding your trip, after which we will offer our hourly consulting at a special retreat guest rate.

What if I test positive for COVID while abroad?

We understand this is a major concern for many traveling internationally right now. 

In the very unlikely event that you contract COVID-19 while traveling with us, we will assist you in confirming your positive test results, finding a location to isolate, and rebooking your travel home. We resumed our trips in May of 2021 and our guests have had a 100% success rate of staying positive and testing negative ever since 🙂

Can I do a payment plan and pay in installments?

Absolutely. Email us at retreats@alexinwanderland.com.

Wander Women Israel: sunset hike
Hiking in the Negev Desert, Israel
Fruit in the land of milk and honey, Israel
Eilat, Israel sea
Sunset among palm trees in Tel Aviv, Israel
Young women walking into the Dead Sea, Israel

Is it possible to have a private room?

Due to the nature of the accommodation we will be staying at, and the extremely high cost of accommodation in Israel, it is possible — but for a very large single supplement. Contact us for details.

Will I need travel insurance?

Yes, everyone will be required to have personal travel insurance for the duration of the trip. World Nomads offers coverage at incredibly affordable rates — we recommend their travel insurance, which will reimburse you in the case of flight delay, medical issues, and more. Diving insurance will also be mandatory for anyone completing the Red Sea dives.

Is there an age requirement?

You must be 18 years old or older.What about visas?

Visas are not required for travel to Israel from the US, Canada, The UK, or many other countries. Traveling to Israel can be slightly intimidating given the more complicated restrictions, but we’re here to help!

As you might have heard, security at the airport can be comprehensive. We will provide a wealth of information on the Israeli airport + visa experience and welcome any follow up questions and concerns! Israel no longer stamps passports, but if you have any worries about future travel plans, we have extensive background and knowledge in this area — please email us at retreats@alexinwanderland.com with questions or check with your embassy for current visa information. 

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 us at retreats@alexinwanderland.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 retreats@alexinwanderland.com.

Wander Women Israel: sunset hike
Hiking in the Negev Desert, Israel
Fruit in the land of milk and honey, Israel
Eilat, Israel sea
Sunset among palm trees in Tel Aviv, Israel
Young women walking into the Dead Sea, Israel