There are three distinct kinds of vacations in a woman’s life: Single, Married, and Why the Hell Not! If you’ve already done the London, Paris, Tel Aviv circuit and wouldn’t be caught dead at an all-inclusive resort where the only thing foreign is the pool boy, have we got a trip for you. Here’s a primer of exciting “women only” vacations designed to push your boundaries, expand your mind and exhilarate your senses.
Get your Goddess on
Reclaim your creativity, feminine power and peace of mind with a Goddess Pilgrimage to Crete, led by Carol P. Christ, PhD, author of Rebirth of the Goddess and A Serpentine Path. During this two-week art and history tour, you’ll learn about Crete’s ancient society in which women were honored, people lived in harmony with nature and there was no war. (Who couldn’t use some of that?) You’ll visit archaeological sites, learn about sacred ceremonies, swim in the Cretan sea and hike to mountaintop sites of ancient worship. Tours scheduled May through October and fill up fast.
India without the clichés
Anyone can go to the Taj Mahal. But an enlightened woman would opt for India: Fabric, Food & Fabulous, led by Natasha Sinclair, owner of the boutique travel company Indafrica. Staring in Delhi and ending in Mumbai in October 2018, this is an opportunity to dive deep into Indian culture and see beyond the cliches. Starting in Delhi and ending in Mumbia, this 12-day immersion tour features hands-on workshops. Make block print fabrics in Bargru. Participate in a Rajasthani cooking class in Jaipur. Take a restorative yoga class in Udaipurm and an art workshop in Mumbia. While you’re there, you’ll learn some Bollywood dance moves.
Horsing around Mongolia
Want to come home with a story to tell? Saddle up for the ride of your life with an Orkhon Valley Riding Adventure, July 2018. Riding two to three hours per day through the mountains, rivers and forests of Mongolia, you’ll sleep in a yurt, visit a Buddhist Centre, the Gandantegchinlen Monastery and Khustai National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Along the way, you’ll experience a nomad horse breeding camp and festival, and sample cuisine you won’t find on the menu at Panera. (Just think what all that riding will do for your inner thighs!)
Get your groove back
Former Seattle attorney Rebecca Garland created Fit and Fly Girl to offer women-only travel adventures that combine fitness, wellness, nutrition and pampering. Start thinking now about her January 12-19, 2019 Costa Rica Retreat at a luxury private villa in Tamarindo, featuring some the best restaurants, shopping and nightlife in Costa Rica. Choose from tennis, golf, surfing, zip lining, rappelling, horseback riding, scuba diving, sailing, kayaking and – ready? – guided meditation snorkeling! (What we love about this trip is your freedom to choose your activities, even if your favorite comes with a tiny paper parasol and a maraschino cherry.)
Whale of a tale
Wild Woman Expeditions invites you to join their Baja Kayak & Whale Adventure in March 2018. This isn’t your mother’s Baja. You’ll snorkel with sea lion pups and see dolphins and visit the grey whales at Magdalena Bay. Camp out and cook meals under the stars, then take a dip in a natural hot spring. At Espiritu Santo Island National Park, you’ll kayak to hidden lagoons, sea caves and spectacular bays. Want to swim with whale sharks, the largest fish in the sea? Jump right in at La Paz Bay.
Eat, Pray, Eat
For those who feel that all great adventures begin and end in the kitchen, consider a Sante Fe Culinary Tour led by Beth Whitman, author of Wanderlust and Lipstick. This 5-day tour in June 2018 includes a 3-hour, hands-on, tamale class at the Sante Fe School of Cooking, an opportunity to experience a 4-course Native American meal, visit the Famers Market and spice shops, a tour of art and artisan studios, and enjoy a spa massage. Plus, a side trip to Chimayo and plenty of walking to work off those enchiladas. Suitable for vegetarians and carnivores alike. Accommodations are plush at Hotel Sante Fe. A fun trip for foodies, artists, writers, photographers and Southwest aficionados.
I’ll Drink to That
Let’s say you’re organizing a “Girls Only” trip to Mexico for your posse. You’ve done Baja and Cancun; this time you want to break the mold. We suggest you head to Tequila, the hometown of Mexico’s most famous brew and wake up inside a barrel. Just not the way you think. At Matices Hotel de Barricas, a few minutes from Tequila’s town center, guest rooms resembling giant tequila barrels are scattered over a majestic landscape, surrounded by agave plants from which the drink is made. There’s a tequila factory on the premises offering tastings and tours. Plus a restaurant, but you’ll want to take the free shuttle into town to sample the other offerings. At nearby Casa Noble distillery, one of the more beautiful estates, you can spend a full day tasting organic tequila.
Tequila, Mexico is designated a Pueblo Magico, meaning you don’t have to be up to your eyeballs in margaritas to appreciate its many charms. We recommend making it a two-day side trip from Guadalajara, Mexico’s second largest city, which is a 45-minute bus ride or, if you want to maintain the party spirit, take the Jose Cuervo Express Train. As the name implies, the reservations-only train combines the luxury of the Orient Express with an Animal House vibe.
Other women-only tour vacations worth checking out: