Join experienced Morocco travelers ARTIST DEBBIE HAYES and INTERIOR DESIGNER SANDRA BARRON for an exciting, exotic, and culture-rich exploration of Marrakech. We will make our home at our friend Melanie Royals' riad Maison28 in Marrakech, and spend one night in tents at Terre des Etoiles in Agafay.
Our intrepid group will shop the Marrakech souks, Sidi Ghanam, and Gueliz, visit the Jardin Majorelle and Yves Saint Laurent Museum, learn to cook savory Moroccan dishes at the Ourika Organic Kitchen, enjoy drinks on the rooftop, sleep in a dreamy desert tent, ride camels, and even discover some surprises! You will also be able to spend sweet unplanned hours to explore, have a massage, shoot photos, or whatever your heart desires. There will be a staff member at Maison 28 who can assist with plans during your unscheduled time.
DAY 1 - SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 8
Plan your arrival at the Marrakech airport for late morning. Complimentary airport transfer will take you to Maison 28. After lunch at a local restaurant we’ll introduce you to the artisan souks of the and the neighborhood so you can get your bearings. Delicious first night dinner at Maison 28.
DAY 2 - SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 9
Our group will be off on a guided shopping tour of the souks with expert Patrizia. As we shop 'til we drop, we will stop to rest and enjoy lunch in the Medina. Later we'll have dinner out with the group at a local restaurant.
DAY 3 - MONDAY, FEBRUARY 10
We take off by van to a traditional Berber home for tea in the Ourika Valley. Then we will join local Amanda for a cooking class at Ourika Organic Kitchen. The rest of the day will be free, with dinner on your own.
DAY 4 - TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 11
Woohoo! Morning shopping with Patrizia in Sidi Ghanam, followed by lunch in the area. This industrial quarter has established itself as home to the best design workshops and ateliers in the city. Free afternoon, then dinner with our group.
DAY 5 - WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 12
We'll head out to Gueliz to tour the Jardin Majorelle and the Yves Saint Laurent Museum, followed by boutique shopping. The wide, French-era streets of Gueliz are home to upscale Moroccan and European restaurants, cabarets and chic bars, as well as art galleries and mainstream fashion stores. Lunch with the group, then a free afternoon. Late in the afternoon the group will gather on the Maison 28 rooftop for henna, cocktails and tapas.
DAYS 6 & 7 - THURSDAY AND FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 13 & 14
We're off to exotic adventures in the desert! Lunch, camel rides, tea and a hike with the Berbers, dinner, and sleep in a dreamy tent. We'll have a relaxing breakfast, some unscheduled time to wander, then return to Marrakech. The rest of the day is on your own.
DAY 8 - SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 15
A free day for last-minute shopping, a massage, more museums, whatever you crave. We will regroup at Maison 28 for an early musical Moroccan buffet dinner with Gnaoua musicians and a belly dancer.
DAY 9 - SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 16
Enjoy your last Maison 28 breakfast before your airport transfer for departure. Please schedule your flight to leave between mid-morning to early afternoon to take advantage of complimentary airport transfer.
Please read carefully before you make the non-refundable deposit!
PAYMENT & TERMS
$3595 for a shared room with twin beds and an ensuite bath.*
A non-refundable deposit of $875 is required to reserve your space. The remaining balance will be due over 2 additional equal payments on August 1 and November 1, 2019. You will be emailed a reminder invoice for each payment about 1 week prior to the due date.
* We will do our best to assign you to a room with a friend if you are traveling together. Single travelers may be assigned a room with someone you do not know. If you have any questions about rooms, please contact your hosts Sandra or Debbie before you register.
Your deposit and subsequent payments are a commitment and each payment becomes non-refundable at the time it is received. If you are forced to cancel before November 1, 2019 and your reserved spot can be transferred to another person, we will refund any previous payments less the $875 deposit. No refunds or transfers will be available after your final payment.
By registering for this trip with your deposit, you agree to the above Cancellation Policy and to purchase your own trip insurance.
Located in the north of Morocco, close to the Sahara Desert, Marrakech enjoys warm weather all year round. The city doesn’t get much rain throughout the year, but February is one of the wettest months. There should still be lots of warm and sunny weather. The Sahara Desert and Atlas Mountains give Marrakech its hot weather but also its rain, as the city sits in the foothills of the mountains. The humidity is low, and the average high temperature in Marrakech during February is about 70 degrees farenheit, so warm during the day and chilly after sunset.
TRAVEL IN MOROCCO
Site-seeing in Morocco requires a lot of walking on rustic surfaces and in primitive conditions. Elevators are non-existent, and often there are no handrails when climbing stairs. Walking in the souks - or the shops - means there are rare places to sit down, or convenient bathrooms. There are no pharmacies as we know them. Bring with you any possible over-the-counter and prescription medication you may need.
Before registering for this trip, if you have any doubts about your ability to enjoy it to the fullest, please give Debbie or Sandra a call so we can answer your questions.
Travel insurance for this adventure is mandatory. This itinerary is subject to change as deemed necessary.
Passport & Flights
Travelers from the US are required to have a valid US Passport – it must NOT be due to expire within 6 months of your return flight. Your flight destination will be Marrakech Menara International Airport (RAK). Royal Air Maroc is the only airline that has direct flights from the US to Morocco from both JFK and Washington Dulles.
Morocco is a Muslim country, and women generally dress more modestly than in the US or Europe. Maison 28 is located in a more conservative, residential area in the old Medina. Like elsewhere, dress codes are gradually becoming more lax, and there is a lot of tolerance for tourists, but wearing clothing that covers your best “assets," shows cultural respect, good taste, and common sense. Good walking shoes are a must.
The currency is the Moroccan Dirham. The exchange rate usually hovers around 10 Dirhams/1 Dollar. You CANNOT exchange for Dirhams outside of Morocco. There are several currency exchange booths in the airport when you exit Passport Control, and also located all around the Medina. Larger stores and restaurants may take Euros, but it’s really best to have dirhams.
If you bring large bills ($100) to exchange, be sure that they are newer bills with holograms.
Another good option is to use the ATM machines located around the medina. The exchange rate is a little better, especially if your bank or credit card doesn’t add foreign transaction fees. Be sure to notify your bank of your foreign travel destination so they don’t flag you for fraud. Bring 2 or 3 cards just in case you still get flagged.
Maison 28 offers:
Extra items you should pack: