Intricate mosaic tiles, sumptuous handwoven textiles, bustling ancient cities. What dreams are made of!
***UPDATE 2-24-17 Thanks for all of your positive reactions to this exciting trip! At this point all the spots have been filled for this year, but please still let us know if you are interested and we can start planning next for next year! ***
The Whole 9 Yards has teamed up with Reflections Travel to design an intimate Moroccan experience just for you!
Reflections Travel tours aim to explore, inspire, and reflect. This tour is a curated experience of Morocco, its people, food, textiles, and natural beauty. Your private escort, Summer Davis, along with your Whole 9 Yards host, Amy Estrin, will encourage exploration, inspiration, and reflection through local interaction, art, and weaving.
Moroccan 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.
The tour will be intimate and capped at 12 guests, so please let us know if you are interested in this trip to Morocco as soon as possible.
Morocco Tour Itinerary – May 14th – 28th 2017
Day 1: CASABLANCA
Marhaba! Welcome to Morocco! We’ll start off our trip with a Welcome Meeting this morning at 11am. After getting familiar with one another and preparing for our time together, we head out for a sumptuous lunch out followed by a visit to a world class family-owned textile shop. Tonight we can enjoy an elegant dinner at the famous Rick’s Cafe.
Day 2: FES via VOLUBILIS & MOULAY IDRISS
Depart by private transport to the ancient capital of Fes. Stop for a rooftop lunch in the sacred town of Moulay Idriss, followed by a guided visit of the expansive Roman ruins of Volubilis, famous for the fabulous intact mosaics. Once in Fes, our traditionally restored riad overlooks the chaotic medina and its hundreds of mosques, which ring out with the mesmerizing call to prayer at sunset.
Day 3: FES
This ancient city’s twisted medina is home to some of the oldest mosques, universities, and Quranic schools in the world. Soak up the sights and sounds of the Fes medina with a locally guided tour and enjoy lunch in a hidden garden.
Day 4: FES
Head out of Fes today for its rural surrounds, visiting a nearby women’s cooperative to participate in a button-making workshop. Learn how to make the beautiful buttons the region is famous for and experience the culture of the Middle Atlas. Return to Fes in time for dinner and some Moroccan storytelling in a hip local cafe.
Day 5: RURAL GUESTHOUSE
Depart Fes south along winding cypress-lined roads and over the second highest pass in Morocco. Stop in the Swiss-inspired towns of the Middle Atlas and possibly observe some wildlife along the way. The drive is long but the landscape is awesome as we head for a rural, yet quaint guest house nestled in the second large palm oasis in North Africa.
Day 6-8: WEAVING WORKSHOP
Mornings and afternoons will be dedicated to learning how to weave with the ladies of the house and creating your own rug or tapestry to take home. All meals included at the guesthouse. Optional activities include learning to cook Berber pizza, walking through the palm oasis, or dancing to local music with the family!
Day 9: SAHARA DESERT CAMP
Today we say goodbye to our hosts after lunch, when we journey deeper into the changing desert landscape, passing through the arid, rocky desert known as the hammada. Tonight we store our luggage at a desert hotel before mounting camels to ride through red Sahara dunes to our campsite. A traditional Saharan tagine and maybe some drumming lull us to sleep under the spectacular starry sky.
Day 10: AIT BEN HADDOU
Rise with the sun to head back over the dunes for breakfast, then bid farewell to your camel and desert guide as we head along the Route of the Kasbahs. We’ll stop at a Berber museum for lunch before heading to Ait Ben Haddou, an ancient kasbah used in numerous films such as Gladiator, Kingdom of Heaven and Babel. We’ll stay in a simple family-owned adobe lodge with an awesome view. Explore the kasbah on foot and learn the basics of couscous preparation and mint tea prior to our home-cooked Berber dinner.
DAY 11: MARRAKECH
Today we’ll cross the High Atlas Mountains over the highest pass in Morocco, leaving the countryside behind for the bustling “Red City” of Marrakech, where rose-colored buildings and rising glamour juxtapose in this ancient trading post of the south. Venture into Djemma El Fna square for a sensory treat and tasting-style dinner in the night market.
DAY 12: MARRAKECH
This morning, visit the lush Majorelle Gardens, a peaceful haven of art and calm in the city with a beautiful ethnographic museum displaying native jewelry and textiles. In the afternoon we’ll meet a high-end designer to learn about and admire her beautiful craft. We’ll have the opportunity to enjoy a gourmet dinner in one of Marrakech’s best restaurants this evening.
Day 13: ESSAOURIA
Today we’re off to the enchanting seaside town of Essaouira! Enjoy a local fish lunch followed by an orientation to the medina. Tonight, get familiar with the sacred trance music of the region on a special Gnawa Music Experience tour.
Day 14: ESSAOURIA
Today is free to sip coffee on the plaza, walk along the beach or bargain for colorful artisan goods like thuya woodwork, leather, and silver jewelry. A scrub at a local hammam (public bath) is the perfect end to our journey and perhaps a henna tea party is in order? Tonight we can have dinner at one of the city’s charming spots and hopefully catch some live music as well–a great way to finish our trip!
Day 15: DEPARTURE DAY
Goodbye Morocco! We transfer back to Marrakech today to catch your flight, train or onward travel out. You may depart Marrakech at any time today or, consider staying on to relax and reflect on our journey.
Morocco Tour Details and Information
Physical Activity Rating: 3
Culture Shock Rating: 4
Morocco Tour Price:
$3000 per person based on double occupancy + 2000 Moroccan Dirhams local payment upon arrival (this is part of the overall cost and facilitates getting the currency necessary for various on-the-ground payments as ATM withdrawals and CC use are limited); Single travelers will be paired with other singles of the same sex in twin rooms or can opt for a single supplement. Single Supplement $495.
Price Includes: 8 nights traditional riad or local hotel; 5 nights simple country lodging; 1 night Sahara camp; 14 breakfasts; 5 lunches; 7 dinners; Local guides in Fes, Volubilis, the Sahara and Essaouira; 3-day Weaving Workshop; Transportation and entrance fees for included activities; Small tipping kitty for included guides.
Not Included: Optional activities/excursions; Other tips, meals, drinks or personal expenses; International flights; Travel insurance (required). (We are happy to help with any recommendations for accommodation and activities in these cities as well as flight recommendations and additional night bookings at the start or end point hotels.)
PLEASE NOTE: A $500 non-refundable deposit is required to reserve your space, payable by check, wire transfer or PayPal to Summer Davis of Reflections Travel. $2500 due by February 14, 2017 and 2000 Dh local payment due upon arrival. To pay by credit card, please contact Summer to determine the fee, if any, to be charged. This itinerary is subject to change depending on weather, availability of activities, unforeseen circumstances, emergencies, etc. Cancellations prior to February 14, 2017 will be refunded at 50% of the total amount minus the non-refundable deposit. Cancellations after February 14, 2017 will be charged in full.
Save Your Spot on the Trip to Morocco
Contact Summer Davis using the information below to reserve a spot on this intimate Moroccan tour for an unforgettable experience!