Hello to all my friends from the TGV fast train from Paris to Perpignan France. I arrived from Sydney via Abu Dhabi to Paris on Tuesday and am
Capture the colours, culture, and beauty of the Maghreb in a guided workshop tour
Day 1 MARRAKECH
Marhaba! Welcome to Morocco! Transfer from the airport to your riad for a rest before a Welcome Meeting this afternoon followed by a tasting-style dinner in the famous Djemma El Fna night market. Spend your pre-trip free time at the stunning Majorelle Garden and Berber museum depicting many beautiful traditional Moroccan textiles and jewelry (book tickets online in advance).
Day 2 SKOURA
Cross the High Atlas Mountains, stopping to visit preserved kasbahs in their stunning red earth landscapes before stopping to stay in a cozy guest house along the Route of the Kasbahs this evening.
Day 3 SAHARA DESERT
Head deeper into the changing desert landscape, passing through the arid, rocky desert known as the hammada. Tonight we set up camp at a desert hotel before riding camels into the sunset, dining on a traditional Saharan tagine and maybe some drumming lull us to sleep under the spectacular starry sky.
Day 4 BERBER HOMESTAY
Enjoy a leisurely morning in the desert before heading to Aoufous, a village nestled in one of the largest palm oases in North Africa. Set up to paint this afternoon on the terrace with a view over red rock mountains and a million date palms. Homecooked meals included during our stay.
Day 5 BERBER HOMESTAY
Enjoy a guided walk through the palms to learn about local life and farming here. Then continuing our painting instruction.
Day 6 BERBER HOMESTAY
Finish your paintings today, then take the day to relax, read the fascinating stories of the ladies of the house, or explore the village as you please.
Day 7 FES
Say goodbye to our hosts as we head north early this morning. Our journey today takes us through the Middle Atlas mountains and the “Switzerland of Morocco” onto Fes, where we stay in a traditional riad nestled in the heart of the medina.
Day 8 FES
Soak up the sights and sounds of Fes’ labyrinthine medina with a guided tour. Tonight is free for fine dining, drinks on the terrace, or time off to relax! Many charming choices for dinner abound in the medina.
Day 9 FES
Today is free to enjoy Fes as you please–get some sketching done, head to the spa, take a cooking class or maybe learn Arabic calligraphy!
Day 10 VOLUBILIS/CHEFCHAOUEN
Morning departure to the famed Roman ruins of Volubilis for a guided tour. We’ll have lunch in the nearby sacred town of Moulay Idriss before heading north to Chefchaouen, the Jewel of the Rif Mountains. This picturesque blue-washed medina perched atop a hill hosts splendid views of the mountains and plenty of colorful shopping.
Day 11 CHEFCHAOUEN/TANGIERS
Enjoy the morning exploring the charming blue-washed medina before we wind our way back out of the Rif Mountains to the once-internationally controlled Tangiers, a beautifully restored city overlooking the Strait of Gibraltar. We’ll stay in the historic kasbah where we can appreciate these views, architecture and local life. Drink tea with local musicians who meet every evening to preserve their heritage music then enjoy dinner at a local favorite hotspot.
Day 12 TANGIERS
Spend the day painting on the rooftop or in the kasbah, where nooks and crannies of charm abound!.
Day 13 CASABLANCA
Catch a train to Casablanca, the largest city in Morocco and home to one of the largest mosques in the world. See the magnanimous Hassan II Mosque then get a traditional scrub and relaxing massage in the opulent mosque hammam. Dinner out if you’re still up for it!
Day 14 ESSAOUIRA
Today we travel far south to the enchanting seaside town of Essaouira, a beautiful city with an artistic and bohemian vibe. We’ll catch a train followed by a comfortable local bus. The cool air and wide sandy beach are a welcome respite after our long journey, as is dinner accompanied by live music!
Day 15 ESSAOUIRA
Essaouira’s colorful artisan goods include thuya woodwork, leather and silver jewelry. It is easy to spend several days here wandering the charming medina, watching the sunset over the Portuguese ramparts and grooving to live music in the city’s quaint restaurants and bars. Get oriented to the city and enjoy it’s slower pace–ice cream and gelato on the main square, anyone?
Day 16 DEPARTURE DAY
Goodbye Morocco! We say ma salama but feel free to extend your stay to enjoy the vibe of this quaint city. It’s an excellent place to unwind! Book your departure transportation in advance with Summer. There are private transfers, comfortable buses and even limited flights out of Essaouira. Please allow 3 hours to get to Marrakech, 5 hours to get to Casablanca and 30 minutes to get to the Essaouira airport.
Physical Activity Rating: 3
Culture Shock Rating: 4
$TBD per person based on double occupancy. Additional pre-accommodation or post-accommodation hotel nights in Marrakech $150, in Essaouira $150. Single Supplement upon request.
10 nights boutique riad or hotel; 4 nights simple country lodging; 1 night Sahara camp; 15 breakfasts; 5 lunches; 6 dinners; Desert Camel Ride; Guided tour in Fes; Guided tour of Volubilis; Hammam; Private Transportation, train and comfortable local bus; Airport transfer in.
Optional activities/excursions; Other tips, meals (approximately $10-25 per meal), drinks or personal expenses; International flights (direct to Casablanca from Montreal or NYC on Royal Air Maroc or to Marrakech via most European cities on AA/Iberia, Delta/KLM, Air France, etc.) Casablanca airport is connected to Marrakech by train (approximately 4 hours) ; Travel insurance (required)
This tour is a curated experience of Morocco, its people, food, architecture and natural beauty. As your private escort, I will encourage exploration, inspiration and reflection through local interaction and personalized experiences. Accommodation is in locally-owned hotels, riads and auberges chosen for their proximity, charm, and support of local business. While we have private transportation, interaction with locals is encouraged, whether it be the taxi driver, receptionist or local carpet weaver! Free time will be given when possible to allow you to choose independent activities, in order to gain unique personal experiences and an element of adventure is always to be expected! Attendance at included activities is not mandatory but no reimbursement will be made for non-participation.
Smart packing takes a lot of practice and ingenuity to be sure you have everything you need and nothing extra. One could say it is an