Momcation - Susan sitting at the leheyria spring gate, at city palace jaipur

Women’s Tours Around the World

GROUP TOURS

Group adventures for women, in the U.S. and dream destinations around the globe

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Updated April 2024

I’ve traveled in many ways to many places, and have come to appreciate the benefits of a group tour with other women. With professionals managing the planning and logistics, I can immerse myself in the travel experience and the fun of sharing it with new friends.

I think group trips are especially ideal for independent women travelers, those of us ready for adventure but lacking a travel companion. Exploring in a small group (I recommend a max of 14 people) is a wonderful way to discover a destination, with the security and companionship of other travelers.

With that in mind, I’ve curated a list of women’s tours in some of the world’s most beautiful and fascinating places. Most of these trips are to countries I’ve visited and loved: France, Portugal, Italy, Scotland, New Zealand, and India. Others are destinations at the top of my bucket list, such as Japan and Jordan. 

Women toast a friend's 50th birthday on a boat cruise in South Carolina

Of the tour operators I’ve selected, I have traveled with G Adventures and Traverse Journeys. The others are companies I have researched thoroughly and in several cases, interviewed the founders or key staff. I would happily take any of these trips.

Group Trips for Women 2024

Women's Tours: Pricing & Private Rooms

Most of these tours are for women-only; the tours that are open to anyone are marked as such. They are priced in U.S. dollars and are typically based on double occupancy. Tour operators can often accommodate travelers who wish to have their own room for an additional cost; this is known as a “single supplement.” It’s always best to check the availability and cost of a private room BEFORE you book, so you are not disappointed. 

Tour dates are available through the rest of 2024 and into 2025. Air travel to reach the destination is not included in any of the trips.

Most tour operators require that you have travel medical insurance, which is important to have regardless. And be sure to read the fine print of any bookings you are considering, so you understand the cancellation terms and refund policy. Typically, group tours are not as simple to cancel as a hotel booking.

Susan Heinrich in front of the Temple of Aphaia in Aegina Greece
Susan on a group tour to Greece with Traverse Journeys, at the Temple of Aphaia, Aegina

Some of the tours are once-in-a-lifetime type vacations, i.e. expensive, but there are also international trips priced under US$2000. The destination is often the largest predictor of cost: Iceland and Japan are very expensive; India is more affordable. If you would like to travel in the U.S., I’ve included three tour companies that offer women’s tours in some of America’s most beautiful places. You’ll find those toward the end of the story. 

Organized group travel is not for everyone. If you would prefer to plan your own itinerary, these trips might kickstart your travel dreaming, and some of these tour companies can plan a custom trip for your group or family. 

For me, travel is about more than taking a vacation. It’s about how I feel when I’ve left my daily life behind and am exploring a new place — I feel inspired, alive, and free. I hear from many women that they too are craving a sense of freedom and adventure. I hope reading about these women’s tours will inspire you to begin planning your next trip. 

Featured Trip

Cyprus

A woman sits on a rocky ledge looking out over the Mediterranean Sea far below
Ashley Blake, founder of Traverse Journeys, takes in the view on a hike in Cyprus ⓒ ATTA/Scott Adams

Cyprus is an island gem set in the turquoise waters of the eastern Mediterranean, and the sunniest island in Europe. It has an extended “warm season” — it’s lovely in early spring and stays warm into November. Although Cyprus is part of the EU, this mountainous island, the Mediterranean’s third largest, is located at the crossroads of Europe, Asia, and Africa which has imparted a special culture and cuisine. It also has a unique history which is steeped in mythology, and a mountainous terrain that offers terrific hiking and cycling. 

Susan Heinrich sits at a wooden café table in Cyprus, Europe on a cobblestone laneway. She is wearing a navy short-sleeved shirtdress and gold Birkenstock sandals and sunglasses. There is an iced coffee on the table as well as a small pot of lavender.
Susan Heinrich in the charming village of Omodos, in Cyprus

Experience Cyprus - Traverse Journeys

8 days/$3695 ~ October 27-November 4, 2024 & April 22-30, 2025  (for anyone)

Experience Cyprus  is a unique adventure that combines ancient history, outdoor exploration and exceptional cuisine — and the chance to meet many of the Cypriots who make this island so special. I can highly recommend this special eight-day trip as I took a very similar trip to Cyprus last fall.  It exceeded all of my expectations. We explored  charming villages, meandered next to the sea on picturesque hikes and learned about the island’s culinary traditions. The food was incredible! 

Ashley Blake, the founder of Traverse Journeys (pictured above on the cliff overlooking the sea) was on the Cyprus trip with me, and so loved this special island that she created an itinerary based on our tour.

I had the chance to travel with Traverse Journeys on a sailing trip in Greece. They put enormous thought and care into every trip. And part of the Traverse Journeys mission is to make a positive economic impact on the people and places they visit. To learn more, visit their Responsible Travel page.

(Receive $100 off of any Traverse Journeys trip with the code MG100)

Budget-Friendly Tours for Women

The Portugal coastline is pictured in the Alentejo region. A wooden boardwalk leads down towards the ocean. The blue sea with waves are pictured in the distance.

Portugal

Surf & Yoga Retreat in Alentejo - Yugen Earthside

2024 dates:  June 28-July 4

€1100 for shared room/ €1700 single (Approx. US $1200/$1850)  For anyone

The Portugal Surf & Yoga Retreat offers a mix of yoga, surfing, delicious food, wine, and local exploration. You’ll be based in a historical village in Portugal’s beautiful Alentejo region, just 15 minutes from the beach.

Surf lessons are available for all levels and daily yoga classes are 75 minutes. Other included activities are a winery visit with wine-tasting and tapas, a local artisan/market visit, and a hike along the Costa Vicentina. An open (rest) day is also scheduled, which includes a deep healing massage.

The retreat property is a woman-owned Portuguese company. Accommodation is in guest houses and there’s an open-air space for yoga, a pool, garden, gym, and nearby trails. Meals are health-conscious and made with ingredients sourced from local farmers and small food & wine producers. While the trip is open to anyone, it’s typically all women.

Yugen Earthside is a sustainable travel company that partners with local tourism operators to offer highly curated and authentic multi-day trips. I’ve recently had the chance to meet the founder, Hilary Matson, and she is passionate about creating exceptional experiences for travelers, at affordable prices. She can also customize trips for you or your group. Contact her at: hilary@yugenearthside.com

Nepal

Women's Expedition - Intrepid Travel

October, November, 2024 & March 2025 – From $1820

Australia-based Intrepid Travel launched its Women’s Expeditions in 2018, creating itineraries designed so that women travelers could interact with and support local women. 

The Nepal Women’s Expedition includes a five-day hike in the incredible Annapurna Mountains, supported by an all-female crew of guides and porters. Other highlights:  learn about Buddhism from local Buddhist nuns when you visit an all-female monastery challenging patriarchal Buddhist traditions. You’ll also learn the secrets to creating the local culinary specialty, a MoMo, during a cooking class at a Tibetan refugee camp. By traveling on this tour, you’ll directly support the Intrepid Foundation non-profit, Seven Women. Donations empower marginalized women in Nepal by providing education and skills training.

Intrepid does attract young travelers with its budget-friendly trips, however they run trips specifically for the 18-30 set, so the other itineraries are more diverse. If you want to know more, call the company and ask about the age range of participants already registered for the trip you are considering. 

Indian women walk within the Humayun's Tomb Complex in Delhi, India

India

If you’ve read other stories here on Midlife Globetrotter, you might already know how I feel about India. I took my first trip to India in 2017, (without my family) and fell in love with it. That trip was significant for a number of reasons. Having to only think of myself for two weeks allowed me to leave the obligations of everyday life behind, and remember things about myself that I had forgotten.

It was also unlike anywhere else I’d been: the ancient culture, the vibrant colors, and life packed into every corner. And the smiles of the women who seem endlessly busy at work. India may not be for everyone, but if it intrigues you, I highly encourage you to visit. And I think it’s one of those places that is ideal for a group tour.

Susan Heinrich at Qutb Minar, a Unesco World Heritage Site in Delhi, India
Lighting aarti candles in Varanasi India

Discover India - G Adventures

15 days/$3399+ ~ dates throughout 2024 and 2025 ( For Anyone)

(I don’t advise traveling to India between late March and August as it’s extremely hot.)

I am recommending Discover India with G Adventures because I took this exact tour and had a wonderful experience. I think it’s an ideal first trip to India: the perfect travel masala (mixture) of this fascinating country.

You will visit the stunning forts and palaces of Rajasthan, take an Indian safari in search of the Bengal tiger, and experience spiritual India in the holy city of Varanasi. And yes, you’ll marvel at the Taj Mahal. I found it to be even more spectacular than I expected.

This itinerary is one of G Adventures’ National Geographic Journeys, a collaboration between the two companies, so it is the highest level of service and accommodation that G offers. It’s not luxury, but it’s upgraded. India is more affordable than many other destinations and I think this is a terrific value.

You can learn more about my experiences in India in: On Safari in India and Plan a Trip to India.

Dunnottar Castle Scotland along the Aberdeenshire coastline

Scotland

Hiking the Highlands & the Coast - Adventure Women

9 DAYS/$5995 June 24-July 2, 2024

Scotland is on of the most beautiful countries I’ve visited and it’s considered among the best places in the world for long-distance walking routes. On Hiking the Highlands and Coast of Scotland you’ll walk through some of the country’s most outstanding remote landscapes. You’ll also explore the capital of Edinburgh on a historic city tour, taste delicious spirits and spices with a local chef, and visit Cairngorms National Park.

AdventureWomen was founded in 1982 by Susan Eckert, a pioneer in women’s adventure travel. It has been ranked one of the top group tour companies in the world by Travel & Leisure and CN Traveler.

The Grand Canal in Venice at sunset with some gondolas in the foreground.

Italy

Venice, Art, Culture and Canals - Road Scholar

7 DAYS/$3149 Oct 26 - Nov 2, 2024 Women Only (Multiple dates available for anyone)

If discovering Venice at a relaxed pace with a tour that focuses on learning, the Venice Art, Culture and Canals tour might for you. It combines daily lectures and guided elements with lots of time on your own. Learn from local experts about Venice’s history, Venetian glass and mosaics, and local cuisine. 

Accommodation is in a 3-star boutique hotel so this may not be for you if you are looking for luxury accommodation and amenities.

Road Scholar was founded in 1975 as Elderhostel, a not-for-profit to offer courses and affordable lodging to adults. In 1981 they expanded into international destinations and today they offer 5000+ different programs. Nearly 70% of their travelers are women and more than 30% are solo travelers.

If you are an independent traveler they have extensive resources and tours for solo travelers. Most of those are open to women and men, however. 

For women-only tours, they have several trip options in the U.S. as well as a small selection of international: Road Scholar Trips for Women. 

Three kayaks on a beach on the south island of New Zealand with turquoise water and a another island in the far distance.

New Zealand

New Zealand Alpine Adventure - Wild Women's Expeditions

10 days/$7995 ~ March & November 2024 

I was in New Zealand 24 years ago and I’ve always wanted to return. It’s a true pastoral paradise with a gorgeous coastline and dramatic landscapes at every turn. Add to that lovely people and a very relaxed vibe, and New Zealand is truly special. 

This trip by Wild Women Expeditions, New Zealand Aotearoa Alpine Adventure, emphasizes exploration of the country’s gorgeous coastline, mountains and rivers. It’s an active adventure and involves hiking and kayaking as well as a jet boat ride and scenic mountain flight of the Siberia Valley. This style of travel offers incredible access to nature. 

Wild Women Expeditions began as an all-women canoe-tripping company in Canada in 1991 and now hosts trips in 30 countries. Trips are designed for women who love the outdoors, and I can’t think of a place more suited for appreciating it, than New Zealand.

Daigoji Temple in Fushimi-ku, Kyoto Japan with fall leaves in the background. A small temple and bridge are in the foreground.

Japan

Japan's Culture & Countryside ~ Adventures in Good Company

10 Days/$6295October 10 to 19, 2024

Japan’s Culture & Countryside is a 10-day active trip that combines modern and rural Japan. Explore Tokyo and Kyoto, and the natural beauty of the countryside as you hike the Nakasendo Way, an ancient route that showcases Japan’s history and traditional way of life.

Staying in traditional country inns will allow guests to experience regional cuisine and seasonal dishes, and most meals are included in this tour. Special experiences include a stay in a hot springs ryokan in Kiso-Fukushima. A ryokan is a traditional Japanese inn, with rooms reflecting a traditional style, with tatami matting and futons.

The cooler weather makes this a lovely time for hiking this ancient route; hikes will be up to five hours a day, so a good fitness level is required. See the itinerary for more details. 

Kelly Kimple, CEO of Adventures in Good Company holds a paddle in the air. Behind her are two canoes on the beach of a lake.
Kelly Kimple is CEO of Adventures in Good Company

Adventures in Good Company leads tours for active women with adventurous spirits, all over the world. Authentic cultural experiences and time spent in nature are a hallmark of their women’s tours, as is sustainability. The level of activity varies by itinerary, with each trip rated on a scale from 1 to 5. This Japan tour is a 3.

Luxury Women's Tours

Susan Heinrich pictured with a bicycle in the town of Linieres Bouton, in Loire Valley, France.
Susan in the town of Linieres Bouton, in Loire Valley, France.

Loire Valley, France

I have a special fondness for France and can never seem to get enough. Unoriginal perhaps, but you can’t dictate the whims of the travel heart. I’ve been twice to the Loire Valley and adored both trips. You can learn more in my: Guide to the Loire Valley.

The Loire was considered an idyllic retreat by French royalty and nobility because of its proximity to Paris, pastoral beauty, and forests for hunting. They built palaces and manor homes here in the 15th and 16th centuries and many of those chateaux remain today — beautiful treasures of French renaissance architecture and a glimpse into French history. 

This fertile region is also known as the “Garden of France” so the food and wine are fantastic. Mais oui, this is France.

Chateau de Saumur on the Loire River, Loire Valley, France
Chateau de Saumur on the Loire River, Loire Valley, France

Castles, Gardens and Wines of the Loire Valley
with Girls' Guide to the World

7 days/June 7-13, 2024 $7535

On the 6-night Castles, Gardens and Wines of the Loire Valley, you’ll explore the Loire’s iconic chateaux, Blois, Chambord and Chenonceau, and visit villages and gardens fit for royalty. Hotels on the tour are 4 or 5 star, including a stay at the Le Relais de Chambord, the only hotel within the château’s private estate. Enjoy the region’s exceptional cuisine and wine at bespoke tours and events. 

Girls’ Guide to the World is a luxury tour operator founded by Doni Belau, a true midlife adventurer who has visited 70 countries and otherwise splits her time between the U.S. and France. Girls’ Guide specializes in luxe trips to Paris, and a selection of Europe’s most beautiful places. These are highly curated specialty tours for women, with a maximum of 10 participants, and most trips have only 6-8. Tours are designed and priced so every woman gets a private room; shared rooms are available on request. 

And the Loire Valley is close to Paris, ideal for staying a few nights either before or after. Read more about exploring the city of lights in my Paris guides.

 

A waterfall in Yellowstone

Iceland

Circling the Land of Fire & Ice - NatHab Women's Adventures

10 days/ August 21-31, 2024 $13,995

Many Iceland tours focus on the south coast, but Circling the Land of Fire & Ice, offers a full loop of the country and its natural wonders: waterfalls, glaciers, geysers & volcanoes. Explore Iceland by private mini bus, chartered plane, boat and 4×4. This trip is guided by an expert naturalist as well as a local guide. 

Women in the Wild adventures are a new addition for Boulder,Colorado-based Natural Habitat. They focus on building rapport and exploring natural wonders through a female lens — with local women guides as well as itineraries with a focus on the contributions of women in the destinations: Indigenous leaders, rangers, researchers, conservationists, entrepreneurs, educators, and more. Natural Habitat believes that empowering women begins with sharing their stories.

Nat Hab has been the official partner of the World Wildlife Fund since 2003. All of their wildlife expeditions are designed so that animal welfare and conservation of wild spaces is the priority. 

A room view at the Winchester Mansions Hotel, Cape Town. White-washed homes and buildings are visible with the mountains beyond.

Cape Town, South Africa

8 days/ Oct 26 – November 2, 2024  From $3967

I recently discovered Girls Trip Tours, Africa travel specialists who create thoughtful itineraries in East Africa and Southern Africa. They have an incredible trip planned to Cape Town South Africa, known for its spectacular scenery and award-winning food and wine. I recently enjoyed a brief stay in Cape Town after a safari in Botswana. It’s stunning; I’d love to return on a women’s tour.  

This special itinerary, Black-Owned Cape Town, includes luxury accommodation and many thoughtful experiences, a chance to truly embrace the local culture and support and celebrate black-owned businesses: a day-trip to Cape Peninsula, a women-owned Winelands experience, an immersive tasting menu dinner and a Bo-Kaap Art Tour among them. There will also be a social impact day with Girls MAP Students.

This trip will be led by Tloco Kelebemang, a highly knowledgeable travel professional from Botswana who has also lived in Cape Town. Tloco is an expert in social justice and empowering women through travel in Southern Africa. I spent the day with Tloco on my recent trip to Africa and I can promise you that  travelers will love having Tloco as their guide. 

Stella and Tloco, two women guides and travel entrepreneurs, pose together in front of a sign at the entrance to Victoria Falls in Zambia. They are dressed casually in jeans and t shirts and both are smiling.
Tloco Kelebemang with local guide Stella, at Victoria Falls, Zambia

Girls Trip Tours’ are open to adult women of all ages and stages. These trips include experiences designed for women of African ancestry, but all women are welcome.

A giraffe stands among trees in Makgadikgadi Pans National Park in Botswana.

Botswana Luxury Safari

Botswana is one of the most geographically diverse places in Africa and strict management of development have allowed them to avoid some of the over-tourism issues in other parts of Africa. This low-density model also means higher prices. If budget-friendly is a priority, you might consider a small group tour to South Africa, such as this one: Explore Cape Town and Kruger National Park.

I recently returned from own trip to Botswana and it was one of the most spectacular places I have ever visited. I’ve come to understand that your guide makes all of the difference in the experience. And so, if you have the budget for the safari of your dreams, I recommend Natural Habitat Adventures. 

A group of three zebra stand together with wildebeest grazing beyond, at the Makgadikgadi Pans National Park during the zebra migration.

Secluded Botswana ~ Natural Habitat Adventures

12 days/$14995 (+internal air) ~ 2023 & 2024 dates, April-November

This flagship tour, Secluded Botswana, will be a small group of only 7 people, and led by expert naturalists (Many of their guides are PhD’s.)

The 12-day itinerary takes you through some of Southern Africa’s most pristine wilderness areas including the Okavango Delta and Linyanti Reserve. Two nights are spent in Chobe National Park, famous for its elephant herds, a population that exceeds 70,000, the highest concentration in Africa.  

Nat Hab trips typically include seminars by conservationists. On this trip an expert will share their research on the endangered painted wild dog, as well as cheetah and leopard.

You’ll also visit the world wonder, Victoria Falls, and visit Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park, a chance for a walking safari (there are no predators here) and possibly a view of the white rhinoceros. 

African safaris are expensive; if you are going to splurge on a luxury safari, I think this trip gives you a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Specific photo trips are available, as are extensions to South Africa or Namibia. 

Susan Heinrich stands in an open grassy landscape in Botswana holding a glass of white wine. She is on safari enjoying the traditional sundowner drink, with the sun setting behind her.
Susan enjoys a sundowner on safari in Botswana
A flooded Botswana delta

Natural Habitat & World Wildlife Fund

Natural Habitat Adventures has been the official partner of the World Wildlife Fund since 2003. All of its wildlife expeditions are designed so that animal welfare and conservation of wild spaces is the priority.

Women's Tours in the U.S.

Midlife Globetrotter photographing the Grand Canyon with a Lo & Sons Camera Bag

Equestrian Wellness Retreats

I recently met Devon Combs at a travel event in Denver and enjoyed a conversation with her and learning about Unbridled Retreats, wellness vacations created around the idea that time spent with horses is therapeutic (no riding experience required).

Devon is a globally recognized Equine Coach; her retreats incorporate transformative interactions with horses in ranch-style environments in Arizona, Colorado, and California, as well as the stunning Sensei Lanai resort in Hawaii.

A group of seven midlife women on a hiking trail in Colorado.

Active Travel - Adventures in Good Company

Adventures in Good Company (host of the Japan trip, included above) leads dozens of adventure-focused women’s tours in the U.S., throughout the year. While every trip is designed around being active, I like that some of the tours pair the active element with an additional theme. A few examples: Wineries & Hiking the Appalachian Trail, Sketching & Hiking in Arizona and Writing & Renewal in Maine.

Susan Heinrich is pictured in the distance hiking on a trails at Vail. There are pine trees and green hills beyond her.

Active Travel - REI Women's Adventures

The outdoor company, REI, is also a tour operator and offers 19 Women’s Adventures, which explore the stunning landscapes of the U.S. Itineraries are 3-5 days, and a woman guide leads all trips with a maximum of 12 participants.

Adventures range from “easy active” such as Bryce Canyon Hiking & Camping to “strenuous” such as Hiking the Grand Canyon’s South Rim. Activities vary by trip but can include cycling, hiking, kayaking, camping and backpacking. 

PRO TIP: If you aren’t already a member, join REI for $30. You’ll qualify for the discounted “member price’ of these tours. 

women on a group trip enjoy a scenic view

I don’t know about you, but I am wondering how we could possibly choose just one of these destinations and incredible women’s tours. If you’d like some tips on what to look for in a small group tour, you can find those in: How to Select a Small Group Tour. We might also need to start saving for our dream trip. Explore some ideas in: How to Afford Travel

Is there a group trip you’ve taken and would recommend to other women? What’s at the top of your travel bucket list? Please share in the comments below. 

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About - Midlife Globetrotter

Hey there,

I’m glad you’re here. Can we talk about midlife? I reached my late 40’s, realized my kids were growing up, and adventure began calling in a new way: big travel adventures as well as everyday ones. I want Midlife Globetrotter to be a place where we explore how to add a sense of fun, freedom and meaning to these precious years. Let’s celebrate how far we’ve come, and all that’s ahead.

Susan

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