Morocco is one of the world’s most dramatic, exotic, and compelling countries. With its strategic position on the border of Africa and Europe, it has long attracted colonists and conquerors. Morocco has adapted these many influences over the years but the country’s rugged mountain regions have also sheltered their unique indigenous Berber culture. Thus, Moroccan culture is the result of powerful extremes, where the traditional and the modern thrive side by side. It was incredible to witness firsthand and lose ourselves in mesmerizing Morocco. Our days were filled with royal palaces, gastronomic tastings, magnificent gardens, and guided tours of winding medinas where we could scout out local crafts & trades.
Day 1: Warm Welcome to Morocco
We were met and greeted by our private guide and driver throughout the adventure at the Casablanca airport. We quickly became friends with them as we drove from the sea to the east. Our first stop, wine tasting. Morocco is well-known for its mint tea but you may not know that the country is also an established exporter of fine wines. After a lovely evening in the countryside, we made our way on to Fes, the cultural epicenter of the country, for an amazing dinner and much-needed sleep at our beautiful and welcoming Riad.
Day 2: Exploring The Old City Of Fes
Incredible day in old city Fes, a maze of narrow streets peppered with royal palaces, madrasas, and mosques. Spent the day with our amazing guide, as it is so easy to get lost in the maze, taking in the magical old city and shopping amongst local artisans creating an array of crafts and trades from tanners, metalworkers, potters, and shoemakers. Our incredible feasts for lunch and dinner were set in beautiful palaces hidden amongst the medina.
Day 3: The Changing Colors of the Sahara Desert
Next up, the Sahara Desert. After the long trek (we saw the cutest monkeys along the way), we were warmly greeted at our luxury camp and on to our next adventure. From a sunset camel ride, campfire, and a feast under the stars accompanied by local tribal music (ah-mazing), to a sunrise camel ride and (first time) sand boarding, it was a dream come true to see the ever- changing colors of the desert from sunset to sunrise.
Day 4: Time With The Locals Along The Way
After the sand boarding in the Sahara from the top of a dune, we continued to Dades Gorges, the Grand Canyon of Morocco, with stops along the way. We visited a beautiful Berber family who welcomed us with freshly baked bread. It was truly a heartwarming experience we will never forget. We finished the day in traditional Moroccan kaftan dresses with a gourmet Moroccan meal and live traditional Berber music.
Day 5: Kasbah Visit
Another magical day with a visit to the UNESCO World Heritage Kasbah Ait Benhaddou, Morocco via ATV! It is still inhabited by a few families who are happy to show you around. For all you film fanatics, this UNESCO Site has been featured in numerous films including The Gladiator and Game of Thrones. A stunning site for the eyes. On to Marrakech, the “Red City”!
Day 6: Exotic Marrakech
There is so much culture to unpack in Marrakech with the Koutoubia, Dar El Bacha, Medina & Souk. It’s Morocco’s most vibrant city and you can feel the energy throughout. Thankfully we had plenty more time in this exotic part of the world.
We started with a walk through the breathtaking Jardin Marjorelle, (inspiration for my garden!) and a tour of the Yves Saint Laurent Museum. Then wandered around the souks of the Medina looking for that perfect Moroccan carpet, brassware, saffron spice, and silk. Later in the afternoon we put on chef hats and took a Tagine cooking class, learning about all the local spices and tea traditions. We then topped our night off at yet another palace.
Day 7: Hiking in the Atlas Mountains
Today was spent hiking in the High Atlas Mountains. We were greeted by very happy mules & guides who escorted us to the top of the Berber village that can only be reached by foot, meeting new “little” friends along the way up the mountain. We were graciously invited to a Berber home for mint tea, followed by a delicious lunch on the rooftop at a Kasbah hotel overlooking the spectacular vista. Our last stop was the Eve Branson Foundation which assists in providing locals with artisanal skills training. Such a wonderful charitable mission.
Morocco, you have a special place in our hearts. Our final days were spent belly dancing, riding around in a tuk tuk & horse- drawn carriage, listening to the giggles of preschool children, relaxing through the ancient rituals of a hammam spa treatment, and devouring more local cuisine. Morocco, to me, has provided a lifetime of memories, laughs, connecting me with new friends around the world.
Is Morocco on your bucket list? Contact me here – let’s get you to Morocco!