Moroccan Magic

Destination: Morocco


Duration: 9 Days / 8 Nights

Key Highlights:

  • Sunrise balloon ride
  • Moroccan cookery class
  • Visit the souqs and gardens of Marrakech
  • Stay in Richard Branson’s retreat in the Atlas Mountains
  • Visit berber villages around the Atlas Mountains.

Accommodation:

3 nights Marrakech: Royal Mansoor

The Royal Mansour is Marrakech’s most prestigious and exclusive hotel. Built as a palace for the King’s visitors, the hotel merges superb traditional Moroccan architecture and the country’s “Riad” (courtyard house) heritage with the best service of any hotel in Morocco.  The hotel is perfectly-situated very close to the Koutoubia mosque and the Jemaa el Fna square, making it an ideal place from which to explore, or to simply relax in the hotel’s gardens and spa.

Accommodation:

3 nights Atlas Mountains: Kasbah Tamadot

Set in a rambling mountainside garden, Kasbah Tamadot is a luxury property owned by the British tycoon Sir Richard Branson. The hotel, which was formerly a private house, has been lovingly converted into a boutique property which offers sweeping views of the High Atlas Mountains. The hotel has many different styles of room, including tented suites, a spa, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, tennis courts and excellent dining.

Accommodation:

2 nights Essaouria: L’Heure Blueu Palais

The Heure Bleue is a colonial gem in the heart of the Essaouira medina. The building, which is a renovated Foundouk (coach house for camel caravans) has been restored to a very high standard and is considered to be the most luxurious hotel in Essaouira. The hotel has a rooftop pool, spa, and an excellent restaurant.

Itinerary: 9 Days / 8 nights

On arrival in Marrakech you will be met by a representative from the Royal Mansour. You will be taken through the Fast Track service and transferred to your hotel in Marrakech.

Stay for 3 nights at that the Royal Mansour

This evening, you will meet your English-speaking guide at your hotel and then embark on an evening Marrakech Medina walking tour. The tour is intended to provide you with an orientation and a horse and carriage ride can we incorporated. The visit focuses on the Jemaa el Fna square which lies a short walk away from your hotel and is one of the world’s most exotic city squares.

After the tour your dinner is taken at leisure. We recommend the fantastic Moroccan restaurant at the Royal Mansour.

Meals: None, other than those provided on your flight

Today’s adventure begins with an early start (between 5am and 6am), when you will be transferred by 4×4 vehicle out of Marrakech to the take-off point for your hot air balloon ride.

On arrival at the site, listen for the roar of the heaters and the glow of the flames. The balloon is operated by experienced pilots, both French and Moroccan and gives passengers a unique and breath-taking view over the Haouz Plain and the High Atlas Mountains to the south. You’ll spend your time suspended above the desert, taking in the endless panorama as it stretches into infinity. The beauty of a hot air balloon is that we really can’t tell you what you will see; the wind takes no instructions, so expect to have a truly unique memory to remember for a lifetime.

The excursion includes breakfast on landing and the flight lasts for around an hour. After the flight you will be transferred back to Marrakech.

This afternoon, you will be met by your English speaking guide for a tour of the highlights of Marrakech. This can focus on exploring the souks (shops) and discovering the many traditional trades that still exist in the Medina. You will be able to enjoy the intoxicating sights, sounds and smells of one of the most vibrant cities in the world. Whether enjoying a delicious orange juice from the plethora of fresh juice stalls that adorn the Jemaa el Fna or exploring the highlights of the city through its labyrinthine streets, you are guaranteed to have a truly memorable time. No trip to Marrakech would be complete without spending time in the seemingly endless souks and tanneries that it is famous for, so once you have got your bearings, you will be able to barter to your hearts’ content for the wonderful spices and goods on offer. The tour also incorporates some of the city’s monuments but as it is a private excursion it can be tailored to interests and requirements.

Meals: Breakfast

This morning you will be accompanied to La Maison Arabe which is one of the pioneers of the Moroccan cookery workshop.

This first class hotel operates half day courses with a Moroccan “dada” (traditional cook) and a translator. The class starts at 10:00 in the custom made workshop in the hotel, which has a pleasant garden and a lovely atmosphere. After a short introduction about local spices and Moroccan cuisine you will join your expert guide in a nearby shop to experience the traditional ingredients used in Moroccan cooking, before heading back to the kitchen for your cooking class with the Dada. Following the class you will dine on the fruits of your labour, enjoying lunch in the garden of the riad.   

The course finishes around 14:00.

Meals: Breakfast

 

At a time of your choosing you will be transferred into the High Atlas Mountains. The journey takes an hour and a quarter. On arrival you will be taken to your hotel and the rest of the day is yours to enjoy at your leisure.

Stay for 3 nights at Kasbah Tamadot

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

This morning you will be picked up from Kasbah Tamadot by your English speaking mountain guide for your journey up into the high mountains, to the village of Imlil. Set in picturesque walnut groves and watered by the streams of the Atlas. The draw of the surrounding High Atlas peaks has transformed this small village into a bustling trailhead but without eroding its character. From Imlil which lies at the base of Jebel Toubkal, the highest mountain in North Africa, you will walk with your guide for around 2 hours up to a small village where you will have a traditional tagine lunch at a Berber Lodge.

The Berber lodge is nestled in the hills high above Imlil and has fantastic views from the roof terraces. After lunch you could head off down the Mountains again to Kasbah Tamadot, take further hikes with your guide or simply relax and enjoy the superb views from the roof terraces at Douar Samra…the choice is yours!

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day at leisure.

The High Atlas, situated to the south of Marrakech, is the highest and most extensive range of mountains in North Africa. Its highest peak, Mt Toubkal (Jebel Toubkal) is the highest

mountain north of the equator in Africa and is just one of the many draws of this enchanting range, which is characterised by stark peaks, verdant cultivated valleys, adobe brick villages and a way of life which has hardly changed in centuries. It is an exceptionally friendly place to visit and the warmth of its inhabitants lingers long in the memories of visitors. 

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Today you’ll set off early on a 4 hour journey to the Atlantic Coast to the town of Essaouira.

Once you have settled in to your accommodation, the remainder of the day is at leisure, relax in the soothing environment of the Riad or take a wander through the winding alleys & lanes, stopping for an evening drink or food in the roof top Taros Bar overlooking the bustling harbour and dine out on the marvellous selection of fresh fish which are caught daily in this thriving port.

Stay for 2 nights at the Palais Heure Bleue

Meals: Breakfast

Day at leisure.

Due west of Marrakech on the shores of the Atlantic lies Essaouira, a strikingly picturesque 18th century fort town. The town boasts an attractive main square – scene of Orson Welles’ epic Othello – a weather-beaten whitewashed medina and a wide sweeping sandy bay popular with wind and kite surfers. Its relaxed and hassle-free atmosphere makes the town a good place to buy local crafts and it offers a good range of accommodation in the form of tastefully-converted riads (medina town houses).

Meals: Breakfast

Transfer to Marrakech (2 hours 30 mins)

Meals: Breakfast