Trip idea /

Morocco

Moroccan Medley A Taste of North Africa

Explore the varied terrain of Morocco in a week, enjoying its juxtaposing landscapes from empty deserts, labyrinth medinas, wind-swept beaches and exotic culture.

Moroccan Medley

The lowdown

  • What

    Take a week to see three contrasting sides to Morocco including Marrakech, the Agafay Desert and Essaouira

  • Best For

    All ages, although we probably wouldn’t recommend for babies. Active types will get the most out of this itinerary, although it can be tailored to suit your needs

  • When To Go

    Morocco gets uncomfortably hot over the summer months, so we’d suggest spring or autumn. Christmas sees warm sunny days and chilly nights

Morocco is the ideal place to give yourself a gentle culture shock. Just four hours from the UK, you’ll find this spice-scented country to be colourful and exotic, and full of surprises. Immerse yourself in the maze-like markets, discover the wide-open space of the desert and enjoy coastal pursuits on wild beaches. We love the diversity of Morocco – a country that welcomes you to a whole new continent.

    Highlights

    • Discover three distinct parts of Morocco on a week-long trip where you see cities, deserts and beaches
    • Have time at the beginning and end of your trip in Marrakech and enjoy museums, gardens, markets, shopping and rooftop restaurants
    • Experience life in the desert in a tented camp where you can trek on a camel, quad bike the arid landscape and star gaze at night
    • Enjoy Essaouira with its old medina, ramparts and restaurants plus opportunity for surfing, kite-surfing and beach walks

    Marrakech – two nights

    Arriving in Marrakech means an immediate cultural shift as you enter the continent of Africa. Spice scents the breeze, palm trees line the roads and horse and carts weave their way in between traffic. Soak up the exotic atmosphere by wandering Marrakech either with or without a guide. You’ll discover heaped cones of brightly coloured powdered spices, towers of handmade baskets, beautifully woven rugs and gleaming copper fashioned into lanterns. Stop at a restaurant for an aromatic tagine and wait for dusk to light up the enchanting Jemaa El Fnaa square, full of performers, crooning musicians and lots of sizzling food stalls. Join the local throng and enjoy the spectacle. During the day you might like to visit some of Marrakech’s gardens and museums like Yves Saint Laurent’s house Le Jardin Majorelle or the hidden away Jardin Secret. There are many options for your accommodation in Marrakech. Speak to us about whether you’d like a characterful riad, five-star hotel or villa with a pool.

    Agafay Desert – one night

    One of the best things about the Agafay Desert, just one hour from Marrakech, is that it gives you the experience of desert life without the nine-hour drive to the Sahara, which is more suitable for longer itineraries. Although the Agafay doesn’t have the towering dunes or rust-red landscapes that characterise the Sahara, you’ll find wide-open empty spaces, filled with the sound of silence. The stony landscape stretches out in front of you in a series of low-rise, scrubby mountains and shallow canyons and it’s here you can relish in the total lack of habitation and people. We’d recommend staying at a luxury tented camp such as Inara Camp, where you can head out on a camel or jump on a buggy or bike to explore this alluringly desolate landscape. Come back to cool off in the pool and wait for sunset to set the sky ablaze with gold. Nights are for sitting around the fire or finding your spot to take in the majesty of the night sky, away from any light pollution.

    Essaouira – three nights

    Many find Essaouira’s’ old town, medina and ramparts to be a more authentic city than Marrakech. Certainly, it’s smaller, and therefore more manageable to explore on foot, with lots of arty boutiques and galleries to mosey in. The rooftop bars and restaurants are pretty dramatic, perfect for a sunset drink whilst watching the crashing Atlantic Ocean below. The beach here is a huge sweep of sand and the ideal spot to try surfing or kite surfing. Nearby, there are also hikes through argan forests which reveal rocky cliffs that tumble down to the beach. Make time to wander down to the port, where fishermen pull in the day’s catch and little pop-up grill shacks serve freshly cooked fish. Talk to us about what type of accommodation you’d like. We can arrange a quirky property within walking distance of Essaouira’s medina or else we have a lovely selection of out-of-town hotels, some of which have gorgeous standalone villas and palm-cocooned pools.

    Marrakech – one night

    For the last section of your Moroccan trip, you will enjoy one more night in Marrakech. Decide how you’d like to spend your remaining holiday time. Maybe you had your eye on a patterned rug or carved chess board? Now’s the time to stock up on shopping, with your haggling hat on. Perhaps for a splurge we can book you into one of our recommended luxe hotels – with a huge pool, great service, and a wonderful spa to indulge in a few relaxing treatments or perhaps a hammam before you head home. Make sure you use your last night to get your fill of traditional Moroccan food before you go- let us make a reservation at an atmospheric restaurant for herby tagines, smoky hummus, fluffy couscous and lots of mint tea.