MARRAKESH AND BEYOND
In our Marrakesh and Beyond Itinerary, you will experience a one-week journey through three different areas of magnificent Morocco. First, visit amazing and exotic Marrakesh. Then enjoy a night glamping in the local desert. You will finish off in luxury among the Atlas Mountains. There will also be a day trip to the seaside village of Essaouria. This is the perfect itinerary for travelers with limited vacation time, yet allowing for a wonderful taste of what this amazing country has to offer.
MARRAKESH – 4 NIGHTS
Welcome to Morocco! The first stop is the vibrant city of Marrakesh. Upon arrival at the airport, your private concierge will greet you as you get off the plane. Then, he/she will assist you in getting through fast-track customs and immigration. Afterward, you will be helped with your luggage and accompanied to your private driver.
Marrakesh has been a city of history and culture for more than a thousand years. The name alone evokes images of this cultural melting pot, its dusty streets, colorful souls, sandstone buildings, and towering minarets against clear, blue skies. Hence, making it one of the most evocative and exotic places in the world.
Arriving in Marrakesh, you will be delivered to your spectacular accommodations in the heart of the medina. We have several wonderful choices to consider based on your travel style and wishes. Your first evening will be free to relax and then enjoy a wonderful first Moroccan meal. During your visit to Marrakesh, you will enjoy the following special experiences:
- A Full Day Private Discovery of Marrakesh. Marrakesh enjoys a legendary status that conveys the ideas of mystery, sensuality, and exoticism. Marrakesh was founded in 1062 by one of the chieftains of the Almoravid king Youssuf ibn Tashfin. Then, the Almoravids were desert warriors, very much attached to their Islamic religion. The original garrison developed very quickly into a city where numerous mosques and madrasas (Koranic schools) were built. Subsequently, the Andalusian craftsmen built and decorated several palaces. Merging their style with the Saharan and African traditions, a distinctive architectural flavor evolved within the city. The Almoravids also erected the city walls and created a complex system of underground irrigation canals to bring water from the High Atlas mountains. Called the khettara, it is a system still currently in use to water the several gardens of the city. Nowadays, Marrakesh is a vibrant city that exhibits a curious blend of the ancient and the modern. Travelers have the chance of experiencing the genuine medieval atmosphere of the old Medina as well as visit the trendiest bars, art galleries, and restaurants of the French Quarter, Guéliz, built at the beginning of the 20th Century, all in one day. Highlights of your visit will include Koutoubia Mosque, Saadian Tombs, El Bahia Palace, and of course, the souks.
- A Private Moroccan Cooking Class and Lunch. One of the most pleasant aspects of Morocco is its closeness to nature. Organic food and vegetable luxuries in most Western countries, are easily available in Morocco. Indeed, these are the only kind of food available in large areas of the Kingdom. With today’s private hands-on cooking class, you’ll have a close-up experience of traditional Moroccan cooking. Your culinary experience takes place in the Amizmiz Valley, an area still populated by Berbers who still maintain their traditional way of life. Just a short ride from Marrakesh, this valley has been little affected by tourism and modernity. Your chef has a long experience running the kitchens of many well-reputed hotels and restaurants, both inside and outside Morocco. His elegant eco-farm is set amongst 15 hectares of olive groves, vegetable gardens, and orchards, in a traditional Berber hamlet called a douar, with the imposing silhouette of the High Atlas Mountains dominating the landscape. Seizing on the knowledge transmitted to him by the elders, your chef is an expert on aromatic herbs. Seasoning is an art more complex than it seems. You will learn about this (and much more) using the ingredients you have selected from the chef’s gardens. You’ll then create a traditional Moroccan two-course meal, and even bake your own bread. Following your class, you’ll enjoy the fruits of your labor under the shady trees of the garden- a truly unforgettable experience! Your afternoon is free to enjoy on your own. As always, your private guide and driver are at your disposition should you need them.
- A Full-day Excursion to Essaouria. Your guide and driver will accompany you to this charming village on the Atlantic coast. En route, you can choose to stop and visit a women’s argan oil co-op, which produces culinary and beauty products from this indigenous nut. Long known as Mogador, from the Phoenician word Migdal, or lookout tower, Essaouira has been home to Phoenicians, Romans, Portuguese, and a large Jewish population. Essaouira is charming: clear blue skies accent the white shops and houses. You can leisurely stroll through the narrow pedestrian-only streets of the town. There is also the colorful harbor to stroll along, stopping to admire the plethora of crafts spilling out of tiny shops and the many art galleries. Or join the guide to visit a silver jewelry workshop and a thuya wood (unique burled wood indigenous to this area) workshop. You should also enjoy a delicious seafood lunch along the oceanfront. Finally, after an amazing day, you will be returned to Marrakesh in the early evening.
AGAFAY DESERT – 1 NIGHT
Less than an hour outside of Marrakesh, you will enter into the beautiful Agafay Desert. This rocky desert has white dunes and a landscape similar to that of the Sahara, but without needing 2 nights to get there! In the middle of the desert, there is a surprising oasis where the fauna and flora flourish in the spring. There are even some Berber villages amongst the dunes. Subsequently, you will find absolute peace and tranquility.
Your private driver will bring to your lovely and luxurious tent lodgings by lunchtime. This way you can enjoy lunch by the pool, and then pick from one of several wonderful activities. There is plenty to choose from: mountain biking, hiking, horseback, quad, and camel trekking. Additionally, at the camp, you can enjoy a massage, yoga, and been an astronomy lesson. All of these amongst the dramatic landscape of the Agafay.
HIGH ATLAS MOUNTAINS – 2 NIGHTS
Last but not least, on your Marrakesh and Beyond tour is the village of Asni. You will have a direct transfer from the Agafay desert into the heart of the Atlas Mountains. It is a great starting point for an outdoor holiday. There is trekking. hiking and mule trekking are just some of the exciting activities that you can enjoy.
Your day is free to explore at your leisure. There are several activities to choose from including visiting a Berber home, cooking lessons, mule riding, hiking. Or you can simply enjoy your 5-star hotel and its fantastic amenities and views. Your guide and your trip manager will be happy to provide you with ideas!
On your departure day, you will have a private transfer to the Marrakesh Airport for your flight home or beyond.
If you are not yet ready to go home, we can add several options to your Marrakesh and Beyond tour. A few days on either the Atlantic or Mediterranean coast at one of our preferred resorts? Or head north to visit the cities of Fez and Rabat? You can even cross the Strait of Gibraltar to visit Spain or Portugal. The choice is yours and we would be happy to design your trip as you wish.