Are you looking for lesbian travel groups? Read on to discover 9 amazing LGBTQ+ women owned tour groups catering to lesbians and queer women exclusively.
Searching through women’s travel directories, it can be difficult to tell lesbian travel companies from inclusive travel companies that welcome LGBTQ+ women.
While it’s wonderful that so many allies support queer travelers, sometimes we want to travel in the company of other queer women exclusively. We want to feel not only safe but supported. We want the kind of connections that come from being in all-queer spaces.
I put together this post to make it easier for lesbian travelers to find queer women owned travel options.
Why Do a Lesbian Tour?
With so many companies offering LGBTQ inclusive tours, why travel with a lesbian-specific tour group? Won’t any group tour be affirming?
I’ve never done a lesbian group tour. But in my experience traveling as queer and gender nonconforming person, small group tours aren’t always as welcoming as we might hope.
LGBTQ+ group travel offers multiple benefits:
- Travel with likeminded women: If friendship and making connections is part of the reason you travel, a tour created exclusively for LGBTQ+ women can foster the support network you hope to find. Not to mention there is something really special about being among your people.
- Be unapologetically you: Knowing that everyone on the trip identifies as queer or lesbian, you can be yourself without overthinking style choices or whether to shave your body hair.
- Meaningful inclusion: Don’t get me wrong, I love that tour companies want to include LGBTQ travelers. But they don’t always know how to include us in the ways that we want and need! If you’ve been let down by promises of inclusivity, let an LGBTQ-owned tour company show you what meaningful inclusion looks like. The companies on this list have carefully vetted their hotels and excursion partners for inclusivity. And they work with queer women partners and local guides. This is especially important if you’re traveling to a destination that isn’t LGBTQ-friendly, because you want to feel safe on the ground.
- Support queer owned businesses: LGBTQ-owned brands get a lot of love and support during Pride month, but there are eleven other months of the year. It’s so important to support LGBTQ owned businesses all year round, which is why I enjoy seeking them out when I travel. Traveling with a queer woman owned business gives money directly to those who historically have less. If you want women and queer folks to have more money (hey, I do!), then buying from them makes sense.
Best Lesbian Travel Groups for 2024
These 9 companies are owned by queer women, serve queer women, and make it their mission to foster queer community around the world. They were chosen for the range of group tour experiences they offer and their focus on LGBTQ+ women.
1. Olivia Cruises
Olivia has been exclusively serving the LGBTQ+ women’s travel market since 1990.
Olivia specializes in cruise vacations – both ocean cruises and river cruises. Olivia cruise destinations include Amsterdam during tulip season, Danube River during the Christmas market season, Egypt and the Nile River, France, Portugal, Greek isles, Costa Rica and the Panama canal, Alaska, New Zealand, and Tahiti.
Olivia was founded by Judy Dlugacz, a music industry pioneer who launched Olivia Records almost 50 years ago. The music industry connection is still a part of Olivia trips. Legendary women’s musicians like the Indigo Girls perform on cruises. There are also motivational speakers like lesbian tennis star Billie Jean King or comedian Lily Tomlin.
Olivia’s vacations are exclusively open to lesbians and LGBTQ+ women. The lesbian travel company always rents out the entire boat, so you are entirely surrounded by queer women during your trip.
Olivia trips are popular with older lesbians. There is even an affinity group called OWL (which stands for Older, Wiser, Lesbian) for the women over 60 crowd. During trips, OWL meetups provide a space for older lesbians to find community. Younger women traveling with OWLs are welcome to attend these meetups too.
Single lesbians and solo travelers are always welcome at Olivia. There are even solo specific events to help you mingle with your new best friends…and maybe even find love. Hey, it happened to one BuzzFeed writer!
2. Ladies Touch
When Vivian Perez relocated to Los Angeles, she created Ladies Touch as a welcoming and inclusive queer women’s dance party. Perez expanded into lesbian group travel in 2016, noticing that the LGBTQ travel market had few women’s group travel options.
Ladies Touch loves planning group trips to LGBTQ-friendly countries, where women travelers can connect with like-minded travelers and enjoy a supportive destination. But they also travel to places that are not so LGBTQ-friendly.
Since 2016, Ladies Touch has organized sold out group tours to Brazil, Belize, Costa Rica, Mexico, Greece, Italy, Egypt, South Africa, Indonesia, and Thailand.
3. New Zealand Awaits
This lesbian owned company specializes in small group, regenerative travel, and self-guided New Zealand tours.
While the company is on the smaller side, their network of connections really set them apart. Unlike an international tour company relying on a handful of local guides, New Zealand Awaits has invested years in building relationships from a regenerative travel perspective. That means your trip will not only be a life-changing for you, it will leave the communities you visited a better place!
New Zealand Awaits runs small group trips through the North Island and the south island of New Zealand. Trips have a regenerative and ecotourism focus. You’ll get to paddle a Māori canoe through Abel Tasman National Park, hike through Whirinaki Rainforest learning about medicinal plants, white water raft, and explore Kāpiti Island, a popular birding and hiking destination.
4. Diva Destinations
UK-based Diva Destinations is Europe’s leading lesbian group tour company. They offer solo lesbian adventures, LGBTQ+ women group trips, and a Gentleman Jack Tour of famous lesbians throughout history.
Diva Destinations is notable for offering shorter trips, which include day trips and weekend vacations. Sometimes you just need to get away for the day and why not recharge in the company of other queer women?
Unlike other tour companies, Diva Destinations changes up their programming from year to year. So if something catches your eye, book it – because who knows when it will be offered again?
European trips are always heavy in rotation, but they’ve also done an Arizona dude ranch trip and Nile River cruise. Solo traveler tours include Malta and Portugal. Group trips include Mediterranean cruises, Norwegian fjord cruises, and the Swiss Alps by train.
5. Destination Rainbow
Destination Rainbow was founded by an LGBTQ+ mom. While. the tour agency specializes in LGBTQ family holidays, they also love planning LGBTQ+ girls’ trips, romantic holidays, and ally-inclusive vacations. The travel agency approach lets you plan the perfect holiday for you, whether it’s a romantic honeymoon or a big family vacation with extended relatives.
Destination Rainbow is also a great option for those a bit leery of group travel, because you can curate your own small group from friends and family.
Destination Rainbow has planned trips to Africa, Asia, Australia and New Zealand, Caribbean, Central and South America, Europe, and North America.
If you love the idea of a vacation but don’t want to plan it yourself, let Elle and her team take care of you.
6. Pink Iceland
Pink Iceland started as a project for master’s degree. Founder Eva María submitted her LGBTQ+ travel company idea to a business innovation incubator where her project was chosen. Pink Iceland specializes in Iceland travel and events. They are the perfect go-to partner for a destination wedding in Iceland and LGBTQ Iceland travel.
Pink Iceland offers a curated selection of private tours throughout the country. You’ll find classics like an Iceland Golden Circle Tour and northern lights excursion. But they also go off the beaten path.
On a day trip to West Iceland, you’ll explore the Víðgelmir cave or soak in the geothermal baths at Krauma, with an English-speaking guide providing the context through history and stories. During the summer months, leave the Ring Road behind and head to Iceland’s interior for a day hike through the volcanic landscape of Mt. Hekla. The landscape is dotted with dormant volcanic craters, Since it’s Iceland, your hard work will be rewarded with a soak in a refreshing natural geothermal pool!
7. Ella Travel
Ella Travel began as a European festival for lesbians and queer women and expanded to include travel. The company is also non-binary friendly with welcoming and inclusive language on their website. So if you fall on the more gender expansive side, no worries – Ella wants to celebrate you, too!
Currently, they focus on Mexico, Columbia, and Mallorca for the International Lesbian Film Festival. Trips around for 7 days with food, art, culture and nature activities packed around the festival. If you are looking to combine a bucket list arts and culture festival with the opportunity to get to know a culture more fully, check out their tours.
WalkingWomen runs women only walking tours. The company is lesbian owned and runs a handful of exclusively lesbian walking tours. Their other walking holidays are for all women regardless of how they identify.
With tours to Europe, India and the UK, their walking trips let you take part in incredible one-of-a-kind is with a supportive all-female small group. So whether it’s walking the Camino de Santiago in Spain, a wine and walking tour of Sicily, or an Ayurvedic retreat in Kerala India with Rainbow Journeys, your Walking Women tour be sure to be an unforgettable trip! For 2024, they have a lesbian walking tour in the French Alps and a lesbian trip to the Lakes region in England.
9. Women Overlanding the World
Women Overlanding the World specializes in overland travel. This active travel company started as a Facebook group for women interested in overlanding, traveling across the country by car, Jeep, or even bicycle. A year after founding they had over 1,600 members and a new mission – to bring visibility to women in the mostly male overlanding and off-roading scene.
Founded by lesbian travel blog couple the Vagabroads, Sunny Eaton and Karin Balsley, Women Overlanding the World focuses on empowering active travel for women – lesbian, straight, and all those gorgeous rainbow hues in between. They are currently running a Costa Rican retreat to build confidence and overloading skills. Their trips sell out quickly, so if something catches your eye – act fast!
It’s exciting to see more travel options catering to the queer women community. Whether you’re interested in arts and culture tourism, cruise vacations, nature tourism, small group trips, solo female travel options, or want an LGBTQ+ travel agent to put together a custom itinerary for your chosen family, these nine lesbian group tour providers have you covered with inclusive travel itineraries that celebrate LGBTQ+ women.
Help me make this post better! If there’s a lesbian travel option that I missed, drop it in the comments and I’ll add it to this list.