10 of the best new group trips for women

Pioneering women in tourism

When Intrepid launched its first Women’s Expeditions last year – to Iran, Jordan and Morocco – the tours became some of the most popular in the company’s 30-year history. Within a few months, Intrepid expanded its four original departures to 36. This year, it is introducing four more tours – to Kenya, India, Nepal, and Turkey – where women can celebrate the female-only Gangur festival in Rajasthan, share a home-cooked meal in Cappadocia, spend time with Syrian refugees in Turkey and meet female wildlife rangers in Kenya on a trip led by East Africa’s first female overland truck driver. The tours are led by female guides and based around interacting with local women in each destination.
From £800 for an 12-day tip to Rajasthan, India, excluding flights,

Celebrating Diwali in the Himalayas

Women in Binsar.

Photograph: PR

Village Ways has long supported women through its community-based tourism in the Himalayan foothills. This year its Diwali trip, in the Binsar wildlife sanctuary in the Indian state of Uttarakhand, will be for women only. Led by a female guide, the group will walk between villages, witnessing celebrations and joining in festivities representing the victory of light over darkness. En route, participants will gain an insight into the lives of local women.
Departs 24 October, from £996 including rail travel, 10 nights’ shared accommodation, full board in the villages, transfers and porterage but not flights to Delhi,

Kayaking in the Scottish Highlands

Women in kayak on Scottish loch

PW SK Summer Isles May10 lady in kayak landscape

Adventure operator Wilderness Scotland’s new range of guided women-only departures is aimed at introducing more women to male-dominated outdoor activities such as mountain biking and kayaking. A five-night guided sea kayaking trail through the Summer Isles explores the deserted islands, wild coastlines and white-sand beaches of the archipelago, an area rich in marine life. Nights are spent camping on remote beaches and bays.
Departs 22 June, from £925, including five nights’ wild camping in single tents, all meals, equipment, transfers and guiding,

Short breaks in the UK and Europe

A woman looks out over Buttermere from the Fleetwith Pike in in The Lake District.

Walking in the Lake District.

Photograph: Alex Treadway/Getty Images/National Geographic Creative

This new company caters to solo women travellers who are eager to travel but “worried about being bored or eating alone”. It arranges quick jaunts, such as active weekends in the Lake District and Cornwall, to city breaks in Lisbon, Ljubljana, Berlin, Ghent, and Istanbul that mix guided tours with time to explore individually, group meals and local food tastings.
Two-night UK trips from £320, three-night European city breaks from £390, including accommodation, some meals, transfers and activities,

Trekking the Grand Canyon

Women walking in the Grand Canyon

US-based REI is a leading outdoor gear retailer and tour company, so perhaps it’s no surprise that it has some of the best backcountry guides available. Women who want to venture beyond the beaten path can sign up for intensive hikes and alpine climbs, from the peaks of New Zealand to the coast of Mexico’s Baja California. However, most of REI trips are in US national parks and on the country’s famous trails, including several new trips for this year, such as a four-day Grand Canyon backpacking trip and a sea kayaking trip off the coast of South Carolina .
Grand Canyon departures 21 April, 8 & 24 May and 18 September, from $999 for three nights guided backcountry backpacking,

Joining local women in Mongolia

Mongolian nomads milking goats on the Gobi desert.

Mongolian nomad milking goats in the Gobi desert. Photograph: Nicolas Marino/Alamy

Immerse yourself in the lives of local women by meeting those running an NGO, craftswomen, a local herder, and an eagle hunter and his six daughters, among others – all in little-visited areas of the country. Much of the trip is flexible, with the local hosts deciding what they want to show the group. The women-only trip is specifically designed to appeal to female travellers, rather than just replicating a standard tour.
14-day tour from £1,675 including accommodation, internal transport and guides and meals but excluding flights ,

Small group adventure in Dominican Republic

Women surfing in Dom Rep

Photograph: PR

US-based Explorer Chick curates adventurous trips for women. New excursions this year include a multi-sport Patagonia adventure and hut-to-hut hike across glaciers in Banff, Canada, and in Norway. These adventures don’t come cheap but more affordable options are the weekend escapes such as hiking and glamping in the Smoky Mountains, with strenuous walks followed by whiskey tasting on the Tennessee Whiskey Trail. For a blend of thrill and chill, try the eight-day Dominican Republic trip that features lessons in surfing, trapeze, yoga, waterfall canyoning and more.
Eight-day Dominican Republic trip from $2,099, including eco-hotel accommodation, meals, and activities but not flights,

Walking holidays, UK and worldwide

View across the coastline of Tresco in the Isles of Scilly.

View across the Isles of Scilly. Photograph: N-Photo Magazine/Getty Images

For nearly two decades, Walking Women Holidays has specialised in tours for female adventure seekers around the world. Each focuses on walking or activities, such as the pilgrimage along Spain’s Camino de Santiago, cross-country skiing in Norway or safaris in Swaziland. New tours include a six-day Isles of Scilly tour, based mostly on St Mary’s with boat excursions to neighbouring islands, and a Mallorca trip based in Pollenca, with walks in the Tramuntana mountains.
Six night Isles of Scilly trip departs 3 April, from £950 including half board, transport by boat and guided boat trip. Seven nights “gentle walking” in Mallorca departs 4 May, from £750, including B&B, transport and transfers but not flights

Mountain biking in Scotland

Women-only ‘Enduro Raid’ trip in the Scottish Borders with Go-Where

Another Scottish adventure, this time on land. On mountain biking specialist Go-Where’s Mountain Lassie: Enduro Raid weekend you’ll pedal along trails in the Tweed Valley, learning how to navigate rocky terrain. Alternatively, a week-long Royale trip takes riders into areas that are still under the radar to many mountain bikers, covering little-known trails of the Cairngorms, Deeside and the Angus Glens.
From £365 for a weekend or £1,005 for a week, including B&B or lodge accommodation, female guides and trip photos,

Canoeing the Yukon

Women only canoe trip on the Yukon river with Frontier Canada

UK-based specialist operator Frontier Canada has launched its first women-only trip, a Yukon canoe adventure involving eight days of paddling and camping, passing relics of the historic gold rush of 1898 and exploring abandoned settlements. The 12-day trip starts in Whitehorse and ends in the gold-rush town of Dawson City.
Departures between June and September, from £2,195 including return flights from the UK to Whitehorse, via Vancouver,, call for details

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