Wander Women Israel:
A Yoga, Dive, and Adventure Retreat
Tel Aviv + Beyond
May 27-June 3, 2021
Join us on a once-in-a-lifetime trip to hike, bike, surf, dive, stand up paddle board and party your way around the land of milk and honey. Spend eight days and seven nights in tiny yet diverse Israel, taking in the highlights of Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, The Dead Sea, The Red Sea, and the Negev Desert.
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 passion for adrenaline-pumping adventure activities.
Throughout the week, we’ll rest our heads in swoon-worthy accommodation, ranging from chic urban accommodation in Tel Aviv to a sleek Red Sea villa 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.
Israel can be 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 and 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 on every step of the trip. 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.
The retreat will be held from May 27th to June 3rd, 2021, with an extra two day extension available from June 3-5th.
• Seven nights accommodation
• Two meals a day
• All outlined activities — see below!
• Daily yoga
• Airport transfers and all transportation
• A custom welcome bag
• All tips for tour guides and drivers
• Professional photos of the trip
• Donation to local charities
• A private desert party bus day tour stopping for a cable car ride up Mount Masada, a walk though Ein Gedi Nature Reserve, and a float at the North Dead Sea
• Hummus making workshop
• Winery tour
• Daily breakfast and a Shabbat dinner
What’s Not Included
• Optional desert camel ride
• Additional meals or activities not specified in the itinerary
• Mandatory travel insurance
Subject to change, and expect surprises, but here’s the general idea.
Day 1: Welcome to the pulsing urban energy of Tel Aviv! After a slow flow yoga class to stretch out post-travels, we’ll toast to an exciting week ahead with sundowner drinks, a welcome 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!
Day 2: After breakfast together, (not too early — Tel Aviv likes to party late!) it’s a choose your own adventure! Pick between local tours of Tel Aviv’s robust street art scene or one of its famous food markets. Reconvene for a yoga session on the roof overlooking the city’s famous Bauhaus architecture and Shabbat, a beautiful Jewish tradition of a weekly dinner with loved ones.
Day 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. Lunch is at one of the city’s best traditional Arabic restaurants, where we’ll dine on healthy salads, warm fresh-out-of-the-oven pita bread, which we’ll walk off with a casual stroll through the highlights of Jaffa and a clean-up walk for Plastic Free Tel Aviv. End the epic day with a sunset stand up paddle board yoga class.
Day 4: We’re on the go! No matter your beliefs, Jerusalem is a surreal city to explore, and in style with our adventure-based itinerary, we’ll experience it by bike. After, you’ll have free time to explore the city, or join Alex to visit Temple Mount, one of the most revered religious sites among the world’s top three religions. Finally, we’re off to the Negev — despite the many beautiful beaches of Israel, over half of the country is covered by a broad desert. We’ll head for our authentic glamping resort complete with a campfire and a pillow-strewn lounge area and close out the day with a playful sunset partner yoga class, then sleep under the stars in the desert.
Day 5: Take your pick — sleep in, or join us for a pre-dawn trek up the West side of Masada, where we’ll salute the rising sun from one of the most famous peaks in the Middle East (please note that due to the many hours between sunrise and the opening of Masada, we will be unable to tour the historical site at this time — but you can do so on the extension tour!). After breakfast — and perhaps a nap! — back at camp, we’ll make our way to the South Dead Sea, the half known for its crystal-like salt formations, and the famous Dead Sea Tree. In the evening, return to camp for optional sunset camel ride for those who can’t pass up the opportunity to selfie with the symbol of the desert.
Day 6: Back to the beach! After heading south, we’ll explore the depths of Eilat, a beachside town, by diving or snorkeling 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. All groups will reconvene for a chilled-out yin practice on the deck of our private pool villa.
Day 7: After a picnic breakfast at Mount Yoash viewpoint — from where we can see Israel, Jordan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia — we’ll scramble through the Red Canyon on a morning hike. Later, we’ll enjoy a beach yoga class, chill vibes and dinner at a Sinai-style beachside restaurant and bar. Time to relax on the sand – you’ve earned it — with some Vitamin D (and sea).
Day 8: After a morning closing circle, we’ll enjoy one more delicious breakfast together before heading to the local airport and flying together back to Tel Aviv to catch your international flight — unless you’re sticking around for more.
Joining our extension tour? The fun continues!
Day 8 continued: First stop? Lunch and a visit to a gorgeous vineyard in the Judean Hills where we’ll learn more about wine production in the land of milk + honey. Next stop, back to one of the oldest and holiest cities in the world, this time to stay — Jerusalem. That night, we’ll embrace local delicacies with a hummus making workshop. According to native Israelis, you’ve never even tried hummus if you haven’t had it locally made. Bar hopping in the Old City to follow.
Day 9: Hop on a private party bus through the desert, including a cable car ride up the East side of Masada and a tour of the famous historic fortress overlooking the Dead Sea; a hike through Ein Gedi Nature Reserve, a literal oasis in the desert; and chill time at Kalia Beach, where you can slather yourself in black North Dead Sea mud or sit back for a surreal float in one of the saltiest bodies of water on earth. Don’t miss a drink at the lowest bar on Earth, 1,388 feet below sea level! Once back in Jerusalem, you can relax, enjoy some free time, or take an optional Shabbat tour of the Old City. That night, we’ll break bread at a different twist on a traditional Shabbat dinner.
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.
Diving or snorkeling the Red Sea
Hiking in The Red Canyon and in the Negev Desert
Surfing lessons at Jaffa Beach
Insider nightlife experiences in Tel Aviv
Floating in the South Dead Sea
SUP yoga at Jaffa Port
A bike tour of Jerusalem
Beach clean up in Tel Aviv
Joining the extension? You’ll get all this, too!
A hummus-making workshop
Wine touring in the Judean Hills
A cable car ride to Masada
Hiking in Ein Gedi
Floating in the North Dead Sea
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, we’ve also built in downtime for you to rest and recharge. For those craving more, there are optional add-ons, like a camel ride in the Negev, or a Shabbat tour in Jerusalem.
The Food + Accommodation
We’ll spend three nights at chic accommodation in central Tel Aviv, two nights glamping in sukkah tents in the desert, and two nights at a seaside villa in Eilat.
Due to the unique nature of our accommodation in Israel, all rooms will be shared — rooms in Eilat and Tel Aviv will feature shared king or queen sized beds, and the sukkah tents in the desert will be shared amongst our private group. 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.
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 five times since! She is a PADI Divemaster and Ambassadiver, as well as 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 travel with you.
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.
Our tour concludes in Eilat, where the brand new Ramon International Airport (ETM) has regular, affordable flights to Tel Aviv, just a 45 minute hop away — though there are also direct flights to many cities in Europe. Alex will be flying back to Tel Aviv the morning of June 3rd, and those joining the extension or heading back to catch international flights are welcome to join her same flight! Please feel free to reach out to us for help with flight recommendations — we’re always available at email@example.com.
This retreat has limited space remaining — book soon to avoid disappointment! A $500 non-refundable deposit is required to reserve your spot. If you have any pressing questions, or just want to learn more about it from Alex herself, see available slots for a Zoom Q&A here.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org with any and all questions or concerns over if this is the right retreat for you. We’d love to chat!
Wander Women Israel // May 27-June 3
Extend Your Adventure
Join us for our post-retreat Jerusalem extension from June 3-5th for a deeper immersion some of the top sights of Israel, from the ancient Old City of Jerusalem to the other side of the infamously salty Dead Sea, plus extras like a hummus making workshop and a visit to a winery in the Judaean Hills.
Want to have an even longer Israel adventure? Join us for High Flying Israel: An Aerial Arts + Yoga Retreat from June 5-10th, or sign on for the whole shebang and stay in Tel Aviv for one of the greatest Pride celebrations in the world after! Travel seamlessly with Alex throughout for a true Israel getaway.
Remember, guests attending multiple retreats receive 10% off all of them!
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, 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?
For meals at the local spots we’ll bring you to, you can expect to spend roughly 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?
Can I do a payment plan and pay in installments?
Absolutely. We want to make this happen for you! Email us at email@example.com.
Is it possible to have a private room?
Due to the nature of the accommodation we will be staying at, 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 incredibly affordable rates — I recommend their travel insurance, which will reimburse you in the case of flight delay, medical issues, and more.
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, and many are unclear on implications for their future travel plans. 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 just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions. Please also 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 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.