The Hotlist: 12 of the Coolest Small Group Tours for Women in 2024 From our Women’s Travel Directory

by | Dec 1, 2023

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Last updated on February 9th, 2024

Lead image: Small group tours can be a safe, cost-effective way for women to travel in 2024  / Photo credit Galen Crout, Unsplash

12 unique small group trips designed for women, by women

by Carolyn Ray

Our JourneyWoman Women’s Travel Directory has hundreds of small group tours for women, making it hard to choose just one! As the largest resource in the world for women-friendly travel, our Directory features safe, unique, one-of-a-kind travel experiences designed by women that authentically connect us with people, places and wildlife. Many of these tours offer itineraries in less-travelled places, operated by women who live in these countries. As the cost of travel increases, group tours can be budget-friendly options for independent travellers who want someone else to help with planning, and include meals, local transportation, accommodations, guides and of course, expert advice.   

Since JourneyWoman doesn’t book or organize these tours, we can be objective about the ones that catch our eye. As we look to 2024, here are 12 small group tours for women that surprised us with their creativity and sense of adventure.  From discovering Florida’s Black history to a women-only Holi experience in India, these women-owned businesses have developed exciting and meaningful travel experiences for women. In 2024, there’s something new to explore every month, with small group experiences all over the world, from Cuba to Mongolia. All are geared to help you start your journey of self-discovery in 2024. For more inspiration, visit our Women’s Travel Directory and search by destination, company or keyword.

(Make sure to mention JourneyWoman when you inquire and join our mailing list for special discounts and deals just for our readers!)

12 cool small group tours for Women in 2024

1.  Cross country skiing in Norway with Walking Women

When: March 9-16, 2024 (7 days)
Where: Dalseter (near Oslo), Norway
Type of Accommodation: Single and double occupancy

WalkingWomen started in 2000 and was one of the first exclusively women only walking companies in the UK with holidays for all women and some specifically for lesbians. New owners and sisters Ginny and Sara are passionate about sharing their love of walking and having wonderful travel experiences with friends and family.

“Sometimes women just want to travel in the company of other women and we want to make this possible,” Ginny says. “This cross-country skiing trip is a tried and tested old favourite! This time we are doing newcomers plus to offer women the chance to develop skills, keep practicing and for some to get ready for Peer Gynt 2025.”

The trip starts in the beautiful hiking region of Espedalen for an exhilarating week of cross-country skiing to build on skills or simply practice and have fun in the snow. There is traditional Norwegian food and a swimming pool, sauna and a cosy downstairs bar.

Learn more about this tour here.

Enjoy the natural beauty of Norway on a women’s walking tour / Video from Walking Women

2. From Sarasota to Amelia Island – Explore Rich Black Cultural Heritage with CHAT Tours

When: March 11- 18, 2024 (7 days)  (Additional dates on August 5-12, 2024)
Where:  Sarasota, Florida
Type of Accommodation: All rooms are double occupancy

With CHAT Tours, women can explore Black cultural heritage in the heart of Florida’s central and northern coasts in Sarasota, Florida.  Discover the “town that freedom built”, Cultural Heritage Alliance for Tourism (CHAT) Tours has created an experience that highlights the contribution and influences of the African American pioneers of the past and community leaders of today who shape these iconic destinations.

“As women, we are multi-faceted and love bringing people together,” says Stephanie Jones, CEO, CHAT Tours. “At the Cultural Heritage Alliance for Tourism, we believe in empowering women to explore the world with confidence, curiosity, and a deep sense of safety and freedom. We understand that women’s experiences and perspectives play an invaluable role in shaping our world.”

Learn about the first place Africans stepped foot in North America before Virginia in 1619, and how this city’s activities played a pivotal role in birthing the Civil Rights Act in the heart of America’s oldest city, St. Augustine. Experience Black culture in the heart of this resort community on the Friendliest Island of Florida, historic Amelia Island and American Beach.

Learn more about this tour here.

3.  Women-Only Holi Tour of India by India for Beginners

When: March 18-29, 2024 (8 days)
Where:  Jaipur, India
Type of Accommodation: All rooms are double occupancy

India for Beginners tours are especially designed for solo female travellers, first time visitors to India, and people with a “beginner’s mind” who want to see India in a new way, with a focus on sustainability and authenticity.  Created by Mariellen Ward, India for Beginners is for those who are open-minded, adventurous, and not afraid to welcome new experiences, cultures, ideas, and ways of life. They are for travellers who love to go off-the-beaten path and have authentic cultural experiences.

Held in March, Holi (or the Festival of Colours) in India is a celebration not to be missed. This small group tour (maximum size 14 travellers) celebrates the vibrant and joyous festival of Holi in Jaipur by participating in a private Holi party, playing with colours, dancing to traditional music, and indulging in delicious Holi delicacies and lunch. On this tour, guests will explore the fascinating sights of Delhi, go on a tiger safari and visit elephants in an authentic and ethical setting, see the Taj Mahal at sunrise and enjoy a luxury spa day in Agra, go shopping and play Holi in Jaipur, the Pink City.

“We create small group tours, but our specialty is custom tours — tailored to your dates, interests, preferences, and budget. We offer a premium service to ensure you avoid the potential challenges of travel in India, and have a smooth, hassle-free trip,” says Founder Mariellen Ward. “This tour is perfect for women who have an adventurous spirit, enjoy going off the beaten path, and want to immerse in the culture of India.”

Learn more about this tour here.

In 2024, Holi will be observed on March 24-25, 2024 / Photo credit John Thomas Unsplash

4. Vietnam with The Adventurous Ewe

When: April 14 – 24, 2024 (7 days)
Where: Hanoi, Vietnam
Type of Accommodation: All rooms are double occupancy

Mandy Salonika started The Adventurous Ewe in South Africa 2022 to connect like-minded women of a similar age within a safe, accompanied small tour group.

“Women-only travel gives women, whether you are a professional working woman, who does not always have the time, or you do not have travel companions to go with you, tour options without having to worry about logistics or safety,” she says. ”I love the fact that I can enjoy the camaraderie, have fun and make new friends which last after the tour.

On this trip to Vietnam, you’ll hop onto a vespa, zip through narrow alleys past street food stalls, and experience the magic of Hoi An’s lantern festival. Not only will you glide along picturesque coconut palm-fringed rivers in a basket boat, you’ll also indulge in a culinary journey that spans sizzling street food stalls, local restaurants and even a Michelin starred restaurant.

Learn more here.

5.  Himalaya Trail trek with Equity Global Treks

When: April 22- May 5, 2024 (14 days)
Where: Kathmandu, Nepal
Type of Accommodation:
All rooms are double occupancy

As part of its campaign to elevate the female guides and porters in Nepal, Equity Global Treks is organizing a 3-Part Trek of the 1700 km Great Himalaya Trail (GHT), which is deemed as the longest high altitude trek in the world. The trek begins on April 22 and ends on May 25, 2024 along three famous routes of the GHT: Langtang Valley, Manaslu Circuit and Annapurna Circuit. The trek is led by the first Nepali female guide who will be trekking the GHT for 140 days beginning February until May of 2024.

“We’re organizing this 3 Part Trek as a way for you to join us and experience the leadership of female guides and porters in a trekking tourism industry that has yet to normalize the roles of women,” says Marinel M. de Jesus, Esq., CEO.  “As women, inclusion in travel must mean placing equal value on elevating women as consumers and as part of the workforce. Hence, my trekking company ensures that female guides and porters play leadership roles in the tourism programs that we offer. We utilize our tours as a way to create systemic changes in the tourism industry with a focus on workforce and gender equity.”

Learn more about this tour here and consider becoming a sponsor.

nepal equity global treks
Equity Global Treks is organizing a 3-Part Trek of the 1700 km Great Himalaya Trail (GHT)/ Photo credit Equity Global Treks

6. Cuba Cultural Tour with Travels by Talek

When: May 2-12, 2024 (12 days)
Where: Havana, Cuba
Type of Accommodation: Double and single occupancy rooms

The island nation of Cuba remains one of the most beautiful and enigmatic destinations. Cuba has a culture full of music, color and friendly people. Travels by Talek Owner Ena Garay, AKA Talek Nantes, has created a tour for curious travelers who love authentic cultural experiences and want an opportunity to interact with the Cuban people.

“Travel makes you happy in a way that nothing else does,’ Nantes says. “I believe that traveling outside your comfort zone helps you hone practical skills used in your day-to-day lifelike problem solving, goal setting and communication. I want to share the feeling of being a world citizen with other women.”

Learn more about this trip here.

7. Croatia Bucket List Culinary and Cultural Tour

When: May 17-25, 2024 (9 days) or September 9 – 17 (9 days)
Where: Istria, Croatia
Type of Accommodation: Single occupancy rooms

Wanda Srdoc, Founder, Root44 wants women to be pampered. Starting in Istria, Croatia’s gastronomic and cultural centre, and its vibrant capital city, Zagreb, Srdoc has a solid network of respected and acclaimed restaurants, tours, artisans, and hotels. From the moment you arrive in Croatia, you will start to enjoy the finest regional and seasonal food & drinks and admire the autumn landscape of ripened vineyards, fruit, nut, and olive orchards.

“I am a Croatian and Canadian citizen who wakes up smiling each day excited to be working in the culinary and travel business,” Srdoc says. “This will be no ordinary tour, but rather a behind-the-scenes showcasing the authentic culinary, historic, scenic, and multicultural treasures of Istria. These Croatian premium tours are creatively designed to be well-valued for elevated, and unique experiences of the very best food, wine, places, tours and accommodations.”

Guests will stay in two 5-star and award-winning hotels and a charming boutique hotel in vibrant cities, picturesque medieval towns, and stunning seaside shores. Sip and savor the finest of Istrian gastronomy with visits and tastings at acclaimed local artisans of wine, cheese, olive oil, and of course, truffles. Tour historic & cultural landmarks. Take time to shop, spa, relax, swim, sail, hike, and bike to explore the local terrain.

Learn more about this trip here.

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8. Costa Rica: A Multi-Generational Adventure with AdventureWomen

When: June 23 – July 1, 2024 (7 days)
Where: San Juan, Costa Rica
Type of Accommodation: All rooms are double occupancy

AdventureWomen has operated women-friendly trips for over 40 years and is inviting mothers, daughters, aunts, sisters, and grandmothers to travel together to Costa Rica and zip-line through lush rain forests, search for sea turtles, ride horses, go rafting, and wake daily to a vibrant chorus of wildlife calls at this exotic tropical jungle paradise!

A mere 117 miles wide east to west, Costa Rica is a spectacular diversity of animals, ecosystems, and plants with over 800 miles of beaches, 12 climate zones, and contains more butterflies than the entire continent of Africa. Guests will stay in plush bungalows and jungle lodges while enjoying fresh cuisine of local fruits, seafood, and produce.

“AdventureWomen blends the awe-inspiring sensations of exploring the world with the exhilaration of embracing the outdoors,” says CEO Judy Wineland. “Our trips weave a destination’s history, wildlife, culture — and local cuisine – around thrilling activities. Adventure travel is a state of mind, an approach to travel, and a way of seeing the world. You will meet and engage with captivating local women on many of our adventures. Through these women-to-women exchanges – one of our cherished insider experiences – you have an intimate chance to see the world through her eyes.”

Learn more about this tour here.

9. Lisbon and Madeira with Pack Light Global

When: Jun 30, 2024 – Jul 07, 2024
Where:  Lisbon, Portugal
Type of Accommodation: All rooms are single occupancy

According to Dawn Booker, Founder of Pack Light Global, Lisbon is one of the hottest cities for Black expats in Europe and is renowned for its welcoming and chill energy.

“Through Pack Light Global, I want to share what I have learned through years of travel and deconstruct the many barriers that prevent women of color, and specifically Black women from setting off to see the world,” Booker says. “When it comes to overcoming fears and anxiety associated with international travel, I hope that you will “Pack Light” in the Erykah Badu sense and Let it go, Let it go, Let it go!”

This curated one-week trip includes seven nights in luxury hotels in Lisbon and nearby coastal towns and time on the island of Madeira, a Portuguese Island off the coast of Africa known for the wine of the same name.

Learn more about this trip here.

A snow leopard climbs rocks in a mountain in Mongolia
A snow leopard in Mongolia / Photo credit Inverted Atlas

10. Mountain Ghost Trek in Mongolia with Inverted Atlas

When: October 2, 2024 – October 19, 2024 (17 days)
Where: Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
Type of Accommodation: All rooms are single occupancy

If you’ve ever dreamed of being a nomad, this journey might just do it. Inverted Atlas is offering a 17-day trip to Journey to the remote Tsagaan Sair Valley of Mongolia, tracking the elusive snow leopard, Mongolia’s “Mountain Ghost.” Then, travellers will attend Mongolia’s Golden Eagle festival amidst the rugged terrain of Mongolia’s Altai Mountains, where a fierce gathering of wings unfolds every autumn.

Owner Kristina Wilson says she started Inverted Atlas to offer women travellers a path to experience some of the most least travelled and off-the-beaten-path destinations in the world.

“We offer people a way to experience these destinations on a very real level and this also means we are small group (no more than 15 travellers), which allows us to stay in smaller more local properties and sometimes even take up experiences that may present themselves along the way,” she says.

On this trip, you’ll experience one of the last true wildernesses and a place where few travellers have ventured. Starting in Mongolia’s capital, Ulaanbaatar, you’ll take a domestic flight to the area of Sagsai and join a nomadic family of eagle hunters, learning their ways and making a real cultural connection.

Learn more about this trip here.

11. Gorillas in the Wild with Rupi the African Trotter

When: November 22 – 29, 2024 (7 days)
Where: Entebbe, Uganda
Type of Accommodation: All rooms are double occupancy

In Uganda, the Pearl of Africa, you’ll see elephants and rhino; lions, leopards and cheetahs; rhinos and mighty raptors that soar the skies. Join Rupi Mangat, Owner of Rupi the African Trotter, a third-generation local and a leading Kenyan travel writer, for her custom safari in Uganda to mountain gorillas and the Nile.   Imagine adventure-filled days on a mountain, the sweeping savannah, and on the mighty Nile revered from the era of the pharaohs. November is one of the most exciting months to be on safari and watch the land turn lush and green at the end of the short rains.

“Uganda’s wildlife is a treasure-trove of life on earth,” Mangat says. “From the endangered Mountain gorillas to the endemic Uganda kob, from the prehistoric Shoebill to the predators and prey of the African plains, you will be enchanted.

Learn more about the tour here.

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12. Virgin Islands Volunteer Trip with Conservation VIP

When: November 17 – 23, 2024 (7 days)
Where: St. John Island, US Virgin Islands
Type of Accommodation: All rooms are double occupancy

Conservation Volunteers International Program (VIP) is an environmental non-profit that has supported public lands since 2007.  By volunteering on a wide variety of projects, guests enjoy activities unavailable to typical tourists.

One of Conservation VIP’s upcoming trips is to the beautiful Virgin Islands National Park, including the maintenance and preservation of trails and internationally important cultural and natural landscapes. Virgin Islands National Park covers roughly 60% of St. John Island in the United States Virgin Islands. Often thought of primarily as a place of natural beauty, the park also preserves the history and tells the stories of the rich cultural mix of peoples in the Caribbean–Native Americans from South America, enslaved Africans, and European colonists.

“The adventurous, capable, independent-minded women who have shared their time, skills, and enthusiasm on our volunteer trips have been major contributors to the success of Conservation Volunteers International Program,” says Chris Braunlich, CEO. “The women who volunteer on our trips come from all walks of life. The characteristics they share are openness to new experiences, a willingness to share their knowledge and skills with others, and the generosity to care about the world. They have the heart and spirit to make a difference.”

Learn more about this tour here.

 

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As the CEO and Editor of JourneyWoman, Carolyn is a passionate advocate for women's travel and living the life of your dreams. She leads JourneyWoman's team of writers and chairs the JourneyWoman Women's Advisory Council and Women's Speaker's Bureau. She has been featured in the New York Times, Toronto Star and Zoomer as a solo travel expert, and speaks at women's travel conferences around the world. In March 2023, she was named one of the most influential women in travel by TravelPulse and was the recipient of a SATW travel writing award in September 2023. She is the chair of the Canadian chapter of the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW), a member of the Travel Media Association of Canada (TMAC), Women's Travel Leaders and a Herald for the Transformational Travel Council (TTC). Sometimes she sleeps. A bit.

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