Egypt Goddesses Queens and Heroines Tour

About the Experience

EXPERIENCE EGYPT

Everything about Egypt is bigger than you can fathom. The mega temples, giant statues and jaw-dropper pyramids were built without the restrictions of reality.

It’s spices, sphinxes, statues. It’s a landscape that surprises from brown sugar sand dunes to cornflower salt lakes to jammed cities reverberating with car horns. The bazaars and markets hum with rehearsed barter and quick hands that bag aromatic turmeric and saffron at lightning speed. 

Shifting from rocking sleeper rail cars to the lull of the Nile’s belly in a traditional Dahabiya boat, this itinerary romantically cruises through the best of Egypt at a carefully measured speed designed for absorption.

We’ll immerse ourselves in all things royal and ancient in the shadows of the Queens, goddesses and female pharaohs before us. 

Yes, you’ll see all the staples: the Giza Plateau (by camel!), the recumbent Sphinx, the Temple of Luxor, Abu Simbel! We’ll dig deep into the archives of several museums, keep company with an Egyptologist guide and observe the fossilized evolution of whales as they transform under our feet in the Valley of the Whales.

From the towering colonnades and obelisks to the pastoral Nubian countryside, we will follow the Nile’s gentle push to the High Dam to witness UNESCO’s incredible rescue effort and successful relocation of Abu Simbel and Philae Temple.

Though the intricate hennas will eventually fade from our palms, our time in the mystical embrace of Egypt will be indelible.

 

 

 

 

Did you know we’re a global leader in women’s adventure travel? Check out our destinations around the world!

 

Click here to see the full itinerary!
Egypt Goddesses Queens and Heroines Tour

About the Experience

EXPERIENCE EGYPT

Everything about Egypt is bigger than you can fathom. The mega temples, giant statues and jaw-dropper pyramids were built without the restrictions of reality.

It’s spices, sphinxes, statues. It’s a landscape that surprises from brown sugar sand dunes to cornflower salt lakes to jammed cities reverberating with car horns. The bazaars and markets hum with rehearsed barter and quick hands that bag aromatic turmeric and saffron at lightning speed. 

Shifting from rocking sleeper rail cars to the lull of the Nile’s belly in a traditional Dahabiya boat, this itinerary romantically cruises through the best of Egypt at a carefully measured speed designed for absorption.

We’ll immerse ourselves in all things royal and ancient in the shadows of the Queens, goddesses and female pharaohs before us. 

Yes, you’ll see all the staples: the Giza Plateau (by camel!), the recumbent Sphinx, the Temple of Luxor, Abu Simbel! We’ll dig deep into the archives of several museums, keep company with an Egyptologist guide and observe the fossilized evolution of whales as they transform under our feet in the Valley of the Whales.

From the towering colonnades and obelisks to the pastoral Nubian countryside, we will follow the Nile’s gentle push to the High Dam to witness UNESCO’s incredible rescue effort and successful relocation of Abu Simbel and Philae Temple.

Though the intricate hennas will eventually fade from our palms, our time in the mystical embrace of Egypt will be indelible.

 

 

 

 

Did you know we’re a global leader in women’s adventure travel? Check out our destinations around the world!

 

DAY 1 WELCOME

DAY ONE: WELCOME

Plan to arrive at Cairo International Airport by 5pm. You will be greeted by our tour coordinator in the arrivals area and be shuttled to the rendezvous hotel to meet your Wild Women group. We’ll gather for an authentic welcome dinner to swap stories and anticipation with our Egyptian guide–a trusted female Egyptologist!

 

DAY 2 GODDESSES OF EGYPT

DAY TWO: GODDESSES OF EGYPT

We’ll start our day early with an engaging Egyptologist-led talk that will delve into the historic and contemporary lives of women in Egypt. We will  learn about ancient goddesses like Isis. She was a revered mother, role model and magical healer who cured the ill and brought the dead to life. According to Encyclopedia Britannica, Queen Isis also taught the women of Egypt how to weave, bake and brew beer in her spare time.

We’ll hear about Hathor too–she was the polymath goddess of love, beauty, music, dancing, fertility and pleasure. She had priests and priestesses in her temple–Sinead O’Connor would approve. Fun fact: In her upstanding role as goddess of beauty, Hathor was the patron of cosmetics. Offerings of mirrors or cosmetic palettes was viewed as a form of worship to Hathor–in addition to wearing cosmetics of course!

We’ll also discuss legendary queens, like Hatshepsut, the sixth pharaoh of the 18th dynasty. She was one of the few (and by far the most successful) women to rule Egypt as pharaoh. At Deir el-Bahri (across the Nile from Thebes), Hatshepsut erected her magnum opus. The enormous memorial temple would guarantee Hatshepsut perpetual life after death. The temple is reached by navigating a series of terraced connades and courtyards–a complex that is the length of two and a half football fields! 

We’ll learn about modern-day heroines too–the women who are playing an integral role in their communities and conquering challenges in the shadows and spirit of Isis, Hathor and Hatshepsut. 

Later, we’ll experience the rush of being in the unearthly presence of the pyramids of Giza by camel! Our 30 minute ride on the noble, gently swaying “ships of the desert” will take us across the famed Giza Plateau towards the pinnacle–the pyramids.

We’ll also take pause (and a lot of selfies) in front of the Great Sphinx. The famous limestone lion’s body with a human head adorned in a royal headdress is one of the world’s largest sculptures. Measuring 73m(240ft) long and 20m (66ft) high, the Sphinx is among the world’s largest sculptures.

Today’s theme of WOW will continue as we drive to the oasis of Fayoum to spend time in the Tunis Village. It’s a crazy hilltop juxtaposition of landscapes here with views of a salt water lake and the desert’s arid edge. We’ll have the opportunity to check out the local pottery and learn about the unexpected evolution of it in Fayoum. Thirty years ago, Evelyn Porret, a Swiss potter, visited the village with friends and soon returned to buy a house and establish a pottery school. The ‘Swiss Lady’ and her workshops have had a giant influence on the area that has become synonymous with modern pottery, eco-lodges, an annual handicrafts festival and extreme birding opps.

 

DAY 3 VALLEY OF THE WHALES

DAY THREE: VALLEY OF THE WHALES

Today we​’ll​ make a beeline to Wadi El-Rayan National Park and the celebrated UNESCO World Heritage Site, Wādī al-Ḥītān or ‘Whale Valley’ in the Western Desert. This site is recognized internationally for its open-air museum and ability to learn about the evolution of whale skeletal development. Hundreds of fossilized whale skeletons, as well as tangles of mangrove roots and elaborate crab tunnels are now visible on the sand’s surface. We will take a short walk through the desert to admire the natural art and Evolution 101 lesson in one swoop. Be on high alert for the fossils of the youngest archaeocetes in the last stages of losing their hind limbs.

We will then continue to Wadi El Rayan National Park, where the desert’s brown sugar sands meet the surreal blue waters of the lake. This region is precious for its population of the endangered Slender-horned gazelle–one of the world’s few remaining herds. Though sightings are as rare as unicorns, the Dorcas gazelle, Fennec fox and Rüppell’s sand fox have been documented here. This landscape requires resiliency and adaptation–11 species of reptiles, 9 species of mammals and 13 resident bird species have been identified here. 

After lunch and dessert in the desert (and maybe a fox sighting!), we’ll head back to our hotel to recharge and refresh before checking out and heading to the train station. All aboard the sleeper car!

 

DAY 4 TOUR OF TEMPLES

DAY FOUR: TOUR OF TEMPLES

Upon romantic arrival in Luxor by sleeper train, we’ll explore the marvel of the Temple of Luxor with its towering obelisks situated alongside the Nile’s riverbank. Typical of real estate everywhere, there have been additions and adaptations since Amenhotep III’s original build in 1390-52 BC. The temple was completed by Tutankhamun and Horemheb and then added to by Rameses II (1279-13 BC). 

We’ll also check out the Temples of Karnak, Egypt’s astounding compound of temples. Karnak, Luxor, the Valley of the Kings and the Valley of the Queen were collectively designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1979. Prepare to be completely floored by the grandeur of this temple!

The vast expanse of the hypostyle hall (which occupies the space between the third and second pylons) is one of the wonders of antiquity. It’s 5,000 square metres (54,000 square feet) of WOW decorated by Seti and Ramses II long before HGTV. Twelve enormous columns, nearly 24m (80ft) tall, support the roofing slabs of the central nave to permit light and transcendental light to enter through a clerestory (windows above eye level, if you haven’t watched a lot of HGTV).

There’s an afternoon option for a guided tour of the local museum and local market or you can strike off on your own and take in Luxor with a potent pot of sweet mint tea. Find a rooftop terrace and pinch yourself. You’re in Egypt! That’s the Nile!

 

DAY 5 to 8 SAILING THE NILE

DAY FIVE TO EIGHT: SAILING THE NILE

This morning we’ll tour the West Bank of Luxor, with visits to the tombs of the pharaohs in the Valley of the Kings and the tombs of the Princes & Queens in the Valley of the Queens. We’ll explore the mortuary temple of Queen Hatshepsut and tour the unbelievable Colossi of Memnon. 

Later, we’ll drive 1.5 hours to Esna to board our floating home where we’ll dock overnight! We’ll spend four unmatched days sailing the mighty Nile on a traditional Dahabiya sailboat, 19th-century style! Under the power of sail we’ll take in stellar sunsets, Egyptian cooking lessons and impromptu chats about the country’s staples, spices and local affection for country music!

We’ll sail to Silsila and visit the enormous sandstone quarries. Our voyage will continue to the temple of Kom Ombo with its seemingly mile-high colonnades. On today’s agenda: we’ll experience local villages, tour energetic markets and meet rural women. 

In Aswan, a fairytale of a town along the Nile, we’ll visit the vibrant spice market –it’s a sensory sensation! Here, we will have our hands artistically adorned with a traditional, intricate henna design.

 

DAY 9 NUBIAN COUNTRYSIDE

DAY NINE: NUBIAN COUNTRYSIDE

In the morning, we’ll visit the controversial Aswan High Dam, the Unfinished Obelisk and the Philae Temple. High Dam was an engineering miracle built in 1960 to protect Egypt from the predictable annual floods on the Nile. Sound familiar? If you read Anne Michael’s fictional The Winter Vault, you’ll understand the fine (and blurred) line between fiction and reality. 

The Unfinished Obelisk demonstrates the ancient Egyptians’ stubborn techniques to cut obelisks. Located in a red granite quarry, the abandoned (and cracked) immortal obelisk would have measured 42m (137ft) making it the tallest obelisk in history. It would also have been the heaviest obelisk as well, weighing in at 1,200 tons. This obelisk is believed to belong to Queen Hatshepsut but many naysayers believe that it belongs to Queen Nefertiti. 

Our final stop will be the majestic Philae Temple which was built in the honour of Isis. During the construction of the Aswan High Dam, UNESCO rescued the temple and transferred it block by block from its original site on Philae Island to Agilika Island, 12km (7 miles) south of Aswan.

In the afternoon, dazzled by Philae, we’ll take a bus ride to Nubia to check into our accommodation. Later, we’ll return to the temple to be magically transported back to the pharaoh era courtesy of the captivating Philae Temple Sound and Light Show.

 

DAY 10 ABU SIMBEL

DAY TEN: ABU SIMBEL

This morning, we’ll visit one of the grandest temples of ancient Egypt. Abu Simbel is the site of two extraordinary temples built by King Ramses II to impress his main squeeze, Ramesses II. The four super-sized statues of Ramses located in front of the main temple were also part of the exhaustive 1960s rescue mission. The temples were successfully salvaged from the rising waters of the Nile. Dam! As in, Aswan Dam!

We’ll continue on to Aswan International Airport to board our domestic flight to Cairo. Sigh!

 

DAY 11 WALKING THROUGH CAIRO

DAY ELEVEN: WALKING THROUGH CAIRO

Today we’ll visit the mind-boggling inventory of the Egyptian Museum of Antiquities. There are more than 10,000 pieces representative of every period of Egyptian history. Yes, there are even some treasures from Tutankhamun’s tomb. We’ll check out Saint Virgin Mary’s Coptic Orthodox Church–also known as the Hanging Church. Built on top of the gate’s of an old Roman fortress, the 3rd century church was the first in North Africa. We’ll also visit Ben Ezra Synagogue (folklore suggests that this is where baby Moses was found) and the Saladin Citadel (the Cairo Citadel), the medieval beating heart of the Islamic world.

Islamic Cairo is characterized by hundreds of mosques, tombs, madrasas (colleges for Islamic education), mansions, caravanserais (an inn with a central courtyard for travelers in the desert regions of North Africa) and fortifications dating from the Islamic era. As we wander, we’ll grab an authentic lunch at a local restaurant and resume our exploration of the city in the afternoon. 

In the cool cloak of evening, we may attend a local public performance if scheduling permits. Our farewell dinner will be close to the hotel at a trendy upscale restaurant. We will gather as the Queens and goddesses that we are for one last royal affair!

 

DAY 12 UP AND AWAY

DAY TWELVE: UP AND AWAY

You can book a departure at any time today (airport transfer included)! Alternatively, you may wish to extend your stay and dig deeper into the deep pockets of Cairo! There’s the Khan Al-Khalili bazaar, The Cairo Cave Church (St. Simon “The Tanner”Monastery) or the Cairo Tower with its awesome 360s. Or, simply spend a few days finding the very best shawarma, lamb kofta kebabs, fiteer (Egyptian pancakes) or Om Ali (‘Ali’s mother’). The puff pastry layers soaked in milk are mixed with nuts, raisins, coconut flakes and sugar before being thrown into the oven to bake. Om, indeed.

And now, after becoming an honorary whale fossil expert, Islamic understudy, Dahabiya sailboat crew member and Egyptian Queen IQ trivia night knock-out player…where next?

 

 

Click here to see upcoming trip dates to book your spot!

Petra, Jordan to Dead Sea Extension (4 Days)

 

Jordan is tightly-wrapped in mystical mystery–the enormous and ancient ruins are overwhelming. Everything is deeply-dug in yesteryear from the fragrant za’atar and sumac spices to the Bedouin camps and goat herds that pepper the dramatic landscape.

This trip delivers the classics: a hike to the knock-out birds eye view of the Treasury, an illusory candlelight tour of Petra and carefree floats in the saline Dead Sea.

Completely submerge yourself in the Jordanian culture on this existential extension!

 

What’s Included

 

  • Group airport transfers (arrival and departure)

  • Awesome local, English-speaking female guide

  • Ghostly Petra by Candlelight Tour

  • 3 nights luxe accommodation at Old Village Resort and Movenpick Resort (based on double occupancy)

  • 3 Instagram-worthy breakfasts, 3 lunches and 3 dinners

 

DAY 1 AMMAN

Day 1  Amman 

 

Ahlan Wa Sahlan! Welcome to Amman, the uber modern capital of Jordan! You’ll feel the immediate embrace of the country’s deeply-carved history–it’s visible in the hillside juxtaposition of ancient ruins, stone amphitheater and contemporary buildings like the Jordan Museum (built in 2014 it’s touted as the best in the Middle East).

You will be met by a smiling Wild Women representative at the Queen Alia International Airport (QAIA) and promptly transferred to your hotel in Petra while taking in the surprising and buzzing density of the largest city in Jordan. The journey to Petra takes 2 to 3 hours (250 km/155 miles), depending on traffic.

We’ll gather for dinner once we’ve checked into our hotel and revived a little. Tell your taste buds to fasten their seatbelts. You’ve now entered the land of falafel, fattet hummus, kofte (lamb or beef shish kebabs) and manakish (the local version of pizza), traditionally topped with golden olive oil and za’atar! Over dinner, we’ll discuss the beautiful days ahead.

Tonight’s zzz’s: Old Village Resort (or similar)

 

DAY 2 PETRA

Day 2 Petra

 

After breakfast and perhaps an extra cup of sweet tea to stir the senses, we’ll strike off on a casual 1.6km (1 mile) guided walk down a narrow path sandwiched between the towers of rock. Today, we’ll crack open the secret of Petra (“Red Rose City”) at the entrance of a narrow cleft known as the Siq. The iconic view of Al Khazna’s (“the Treasury”) remarkable facade is glimpsed from here. It’s the single-most striking sight of the entire region so have your iPhone or camera charged and revved for a workout! The 40m (131ft) facade and the Corinthian columns, friezes, intricate carvings, echoey chambers and funerary urn are oozing with mysticism, graveyard ghosts and speculation.

Dizzy from amazement, we’ll embark on a slow and steady 3-hour hike up to a vista where we will have a birds eye view of the Treasury. This is where we can snap the million dollar selfie shot with one of the seven wonders of the world.

We’ll also see the old Roman road, amphitheater and several ancient tombs. History will surround and wow us in a way that high school history class never did! We’ll have free time after lunch to wander and wonder amidst the ancient Red Rose City.

Today’s lunch will be boxed but sometimes you gotta think outside the box!

We’ll return to our hotel early to late afternoon, depending on the group’s walking pace and selfie count. There will be time to chill out and reflect on the marvel of the Treasury. It’s impossible to not swipe through camera images taken just one hour before to confirm that yes, that really happened!

The afternoon is yours to design as you wish! Follow the fragrant wafts of Petra that permeate the streets to find a memorable snack and perhaps a few take-home spices to woo and tempt your future guests with!

Later, we will have the option of participating in the Petra by Night candlelight tour which begins at 8:30pm from the Petra Visitor Centre and finishes at 10:30pm. This event is a magical way to experience the old city by buttery candlelight. The tour involves walking the entire Siq to the Treasury which is aglow with over 1,500 candles.

Please note: The Petra by Night experience will be dependent on availability as the tour only runs three days a week.

Tonight’s zzz’s: Old Village Resort (or similar)

 

DAY 3 DEAD SEA

Day 3 Dead Sea

 

After a filling breakfast (feeding our butterflies of anticipation), we’ll wake early and make our way to the site of Little Petra which is the starting point of the hike on the back trail that will loop us back to Petra. This 8km (5 mile) hike is referred to as the “back door to Petra.” The first half of the hike is flat but does become gradually steeper.

 

Upon arrival, we will meet with a local expert guide who will accompany us. The landscape today is ever changing from sandy plateaus to stone staircases. We’ll pass Bedouin campsites and random goat herds on our guided tour that will culminate at the Monastery. This impressive seven-storey structure has a doorway that’s 8m (26ft) high. Though less ornate than the Treasury, the sheer scale of this building painstakingly carved into a mountainside makes it an unmatched site. It’s believed that it was used as a temple by Christians in the Byzantine period.

We’ll then travel to the Dead Sea (settle in for a super scenic 3-hour ride) and make a gradual beeline for the shores of this famously salty-as-a-margarita sea. Did you know that it marks the lowest point on Earth (420m below sea level)? Technically, it’s not actually a sea at all–it’s really a super-salty lake and it’s been deemed ‘dead’ because of the lack of life in it.

 

The density of the water makes it easy to float in. Maybe this is where the expression “dead man’s float” stems from! Enjoy the carefree float and a carefree afternoon. Tonight you will have free time to explore and have one last edible Jordan experience!

 

Tonight’s zzz’s: Movenpick Resort & Spa Dead Sea (or similar)

DAY 4 DEPARTURE

Day 4 Departure

After an indulgent and reflective breakfast, there may be time to squeeze in another indulgent float in the Dead Sea (depending on flight times). Or, maybe you’re planning on staying another day or two to absorb more of Jordan’s sights and sounds. If you are staying longer, organizing an independent transfer to the airport is easy–it’s a convenient 40-minute drive. For those who are heading home, we’ll transfer as a group to Queen Alia International Airport (QAIA) for big hugs and heavy-hearted goodbyes. (Your group departure transfer is included.)

 

The only unanswered question is, where next?