Sahara Desert Extension Trip

Zagora, Morocco

NG
Nicole Griffin Wellness
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  • LinkedIn verified
5 reviews
Oct 22 - 27, 2022
Group size: 5 - 8
Sahara Desert Extension Trip
Zagora, Morocco

Nicole Griffin Wellness
  • Facebook verified
  • LinkedIn verified
5 reviews

$NaN
Oct 22 - 27, 2022
Group size: 5 - 8

About this trip

Embark on a 5-day exploration of the cultures of Southern Morocco and the Sahara Desert.   En route to the Sahara, we will travel along ancient caravan roads, visit historic kasbahs and palaces, and will learn about local artisans.  The dramatic landscape transitions from mountains to gorges to oases and eventually to the desert.  We will spend two nights under the stars at a luxury desert camp, riding camels, hiking up dunes, and resting in the vast open space.  We will learn about traditional Bedouin (nomadic) cultures, have coffee as we watch the sunrise over the dunes, and have plenty of down time.  On the way back, we will visit an Amazigh carpet stronghold (the perfect place to buy a carpet) and visit a saffron plantation.  We will round out our trip by heading back through the mountains, where we will stop for lunch in a rose garden, and spend one last night in Marrakesh.  The following morning, guests will be transported back to the airport to catch departing flights.  


Since the Sahara Desert is very remote, we have carefully curated this trip in order to break up the driving.  This will allow us to see more of this fascinating region of Morocco while spending less time in the car each day.  Expect to spend about 5 hours each day driving and expect a range of accommodations on the road (from desert camp to budget hotel to full-service hotel).


Proof of full COVID-19 vaccination is required to book this trip.  

Cancellation Policy & Payment

Your deposit is non-refundable. The remaining fees are fully refundable (minus any unrecoverable transaction fees) 91 days in advance. Cancellations 61 to 90 days in advance are eligible for a 50% refund of fees above the deposit. Payments made in the 60 days prior to the retreat are non-refundable. If you are able to find a replacement, we will refund your payment less your deposit and any non-recoverable fees. 


This policy exists because we need to ensure that we can meet financial obligations to our venues and in-country partners. This is why trip insurance is so helpful (and required)!


If the trip is canceled due to COVID-19 or other unforeseen circumstances, all payments, minus the deposit will be fully refunded. Deposits are transferrable to a rescheduled trip. 


To secure your spot, place a deposit; final payments will be due by August 15, 2022.


*The itinerary and daily schedules may change slightly.  Please inquire about payment plans as we are happy to make them available.    

What’s included

  • Visits to Historic Sites
    Including Kasbah Ait Ben Haddou, the Glaoui Palace, & the Tinmel Mosque
  • A Camel Ride
    Cruise through the dunes on the back of a camel
  • Saffron Plantation
    Learn about the cultivation and trade of saffron
  • Visit Pottery Makers
    See the region's famous green pottery being fired in the earth
  • 2 Nights in the Sahara
    Sleep under the stars in a traditional Bedouin tent (on a real bed)!
  • Traditional Music
    Enjoy live music at camp
  • Carpet Shopping
    In one of the best places in Morocco to buy carpets!
  • Tinmel Mosque
    This well-known mosque is a model of the Almohad art of the 12th century
  • Rose Garden Lunch
    Have a delicious lunch at the beautiful Domaine de la Roseraie
  • 5 nights Accommodations
  • All Breakfasts
  • All Dinners
  • Lunches on the Road
    Lunches, snacks and drinks on the road will be up to your discretion
  • Tips
  • Alcohol
  • Travel Insurance

Available Packages

Double Accommodations
Available until September 13, 2022only 1 left
$1,795
Single Accommodations
Available until September 13, 2022only 2 left
$2,195


Itinerary

Day 1
Palaces & Kasbahs of the South

Saturday October 22:

After an early breakfast at Bab Zouina, the excursion begins in a 4wd car crossing the Atlas Mountains along the Oued Zat. The road winds its way at the foot of traditional Amazigh villages built with mud bricks and surrounded by green terraces and majestic mountains. The colors of the landscape change after each turn until the arrival at the Tizi N Tichka pass (7,400 feet above sea level).

The descent to the South goes through Telouet, an old merchant hub on the salt road to Timbuktu. After lunch in the village and a visit to the Glaoui Palace (to admire the zellij and cedar woodwork of the princely salon), we will take the road to Aït Ben Haddou, a ksar listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We will have dinner and stay a little further down the ancient caravan road, in Ouarzazate, at riad Dar Daif. This magnificent kasbah recreates the atmosphere of the caravanserais of yesterday, which offered freshness and rejuvenation to travelers. Their beautiful swimming pool is at your disposal. 


Route: 125 miles, 4 hours and 30 minutes drive time

Your Organizer


NG
Nicole Griffin Wellness
5 reviews
I believe that developing skills to remain calm and centered empowers us to stretch outside of our comfort zone and welcome adventure and expansion. My retreats emphasize meaningful cultural immersion and mindful travel. The practices of yoga and mindfulness nourish our minds, bodies, and spirits while we explore and discover. All of my retreats give back to local charities that empower women and girls. I have lived and studied abroad in Turkey, Morocco, Jordan, and Lebanon & work as a coach at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition.

Reviews

When doing more adventurous travel, I often struggle to find the right balance of “DO ALL THE THINGS” and “actually, this is vacation and I should rest so I return revitalized.” Luckily, Nicole’s thoughtful planning helps establish that balance for you. Yoga nidra under the stars. Camel rides. Sunrise over the dunes. Respectful and helpful drivers and translators prepared to help you accomplish anything. Nicole has brought everything together for an experience as engaging as it is relaxing. Morocco is a second home for Nicole, and she ensures it feels like one for you as well. Her support ensures you aren’t limited if there’s something off-plan that you want to experience, but you feel like you’ve gotten the full experience even if you do nothing more than what’s on the agenda. Her calming energy means that even when you’re extremely type A, you never worry about what comes next. I am so lucky to have had this experience, and I want to go back immediately. You will too.
By Margaret T for Sahara Desert Extension Trip on 26 Dec, 2022
LS
I can't picture a better way to be introduced to Morocco than Nicole's yoga & culture retreat and Sahara extension. So well organized and thought out that on top of her restorative yoga practice that helps regulate an overworked nervous system, the surroundings and people she partners with to created this seamless retreat added another layer of safety and calming effect that allowed for vulnerability, openness, and healing of some sort. The best part is she thinks and plans for us (with windows of free time of course), a relief for anyone who is looking to leave their busy thinking brain at home during travels. And you can also trust in her to take care of things. Overall, the memories that we created together (planned and not planed) are little treasures that put a smile on my face and make me yearn to go back.
By Liliana S for Morocco Yoga and Culture Retreat on 21 Nov, 2022
I am so blessed to have stumbled upon this trip. All my senses were engaged with new tastes, smells, sounds, sights. New people. Nicole was wonderful. We got to see the real Morocco when we went to the Medina, and the women carpet weavers in the mountains. Each day was exciting. And each day I learned something new. If you are considering a retreat with Nicole I wholeheartedly recommend you go. You will not be sorry. My trip was the trip of a lifetime. Thank you Nicole.
By Rachel R for Morocco Yoga and Culture Retreat on 20 Nov, 2022
This retreat with Nicole was an amazing, magical experience. Honestly life-changing. Nicole curated wonderfully interesting, meaningful experiences for us that gave us an incredibly valuable and moving insight into local culture and traditions. The retreat center (Bab Zouina) was nothing short of heavenly - doing yoga with an amazing group of women on a rooftop overlooking the Atlas mountains watching the sunrise and listening to the sounds of birds singing and roosters crowing was an experience rivaled only by the concerts with local music and dancing around a firepit under a blanket of dazzling stars. Every day of the retreat was a total joy and complete privilege. And Nicole was the perfect group leader, making the experience not only logistically seamless but deeply meaningful in so many ways. I will definitely be doing another retreat with Nicole - hopefully many!
By Leslie S for Morocco Yoga and Culture Retreat on 31 Oct, 2022
Nicole curated a very thoughtful program that included yoga and mindfulness practices to help keep us grounded throughout the week. Our program focused on cultural immersion and included lots of chances to spend time with real people and observe life in Morocco in places that don't make the typical tourist itinerary (like visiting women weavers and a girls' school in the high Atlas Mountains), but Nicole made sure we also hit all the big Marrakech attractions. Bab Zouina provided a really beautiful home base for all of our adventures. It felt like a true retreat away from the bustle of Marrakech, with beautiful grounds, a well-appointed yoga studio, and even a traditional hammam. I already miss the scent of jasmine in the air while walking to my room at night!
By Taylor M for Morocco Yoga and Culture Retreat on 31 Oct, 2022

References

LP
I traveled with Nicole to Morocco for a Yoga and Culture Retreat. Words cannot do this experience justice! It was an incredible, exciting and varied trip, always returning to the peaceful oasis of Bab Zouina. Nicole planned a series of amazing visits and locations for us to enjoy. Her breadth of knowledge and love for the art, culture, enviroment, and the Moroccan people shined in the passion that she put into planning this retreat. Her love for Morocco is inspriring and it's contagious! That love spread to me after experiencing the country and all that it has to offer through this once-in-a-lifetime trip. I cannot wait to return to visit my new Moroccan family! I highly recommend Nicole and her retreats.
By Laurie P on 02 Dec, 2022
This retreat exceeded expectations for its combination of culture and yoga. Each day was constructed to accommodate a great deal of activity with yoga to complement. I hope to join Nicole someday again!
By Sondra A on 06 Jan, 2021
The Moroccan retreat with Nicole was the experience of a lifetime. It was well thought out and guided I loved every minute and had so much fun and am so happy I took the opportunity to do it! Would love to do it again.
By Elda S on 28 Dec, 2020