Riads Of Marrakesh & The Colours Of Morocco
- Duration: 6 days
- Board Basis: Bed & Breakfast
- Tour Ref: D2TNEW99747
- Travel Type: Air
5 nights. April 2021 - April 2022. From £649.00.
A magical small-group tour
Experience the magic and mystique of one of the most beguiling, most exciting and most enthralling cities on earth. Join us for a few unforgettable days in a place that's just a short hop from Europe, offers all the modern conveniences you'd expect from a major city, and yet still remains a world away. In Marrakesh and its surroundings, beneath the High Atlas mountains, you'll be transported to another realm - of warm sunshine even in the depths of winter, of maze-like half-roofed souks lined with a million different merchant's stalls, of hidden squares, ancient buildings and unforgettable food. Stay in the tranquil surroundings of a traditional Riad, where life behind the walls offers an oasis of calm arranged around a garden courtyard, and head into the city to immerse yourself in Marrakesh's mesmerising melting pot of colour and sound.
What's IncludedFive nights' bed and breakfast accommodation in a typical Moroccan Riad (upgrade Riad Hotel available)
A guided tour of Marrakesh
An excursion into the foothills of the Atlas Mountains
Return flights to Marrakesh
Coach travel and transfers throughout
Fully escorted by a friendly, experienced tour manager
Holiday HighlightsStay in a traditional Moroccan Riad or a Riad hotel
Enjoy a guided tour of Marrakesh
Experience the night-time wonders of Djemâa El Fna – the World's Greatest Free Circus
See the exquisite Saadian Tombs and dazzling Bahia Palace
Head into the foothills of the High Atlas on an included tour
Encounter Berber farmers and herdsmen
Optional tours and activities, including a Moroccan cookery course
PLEASE NOTE: Price is per person and based on two people sharing a twin/double room. Single room supplements and upgrades are not included.
Day 1Fly to Marrakesh, meet your tour manager and transfer to your Riad. Relax or, depending on the time you arrive, head out to take in the city's exotic atmosphere this evening.
Day 2Join your guide for an unforgettable tour of Marrakesh's historic centre, journeying back in time as you explore the city's ancient Medina. This restored Old City is surrounded by red ochre walls, centred on the great square of the Djemâa El Fna, and watched over by the great Almohad Koutoubia Minaret - the city's most famous monument. You'll also visit the exquisite Saadian Tombs, the dazzling legacy of the Sultan Ahmed el Mansour and the Saadian dynasty. Close by, the Bahia Palace is the restored former home of the Grand Vizier Bou Ahmed, and perhaps the city's most opulent building. Enter the labyrinthine maze of narrow streets and alleyways that house the souks, the fascinating collection of traditional markets, all arranged by craft or trade, and a cacophony of sound and kaleidoscope of colour. Your guide will introduce you to the centuries-old ways of the souks, and you can look forward to returning to them under your own steam. You'll then return to Djemâa El Fna, as it comes alive at the end of the day, changing into one of the world's most colourful night markets, with countless food and drink stalls. The vast square is also one of the world's most fascinating free carnivals - a mesmerising mix of snake-charmers, acrobats and contortionists, monkey-trainers, dancers and henna-tattoo-artists - where traditional storytellers ensnare the crowds around them – all against the backdrop of hypnotic, heady, rhythmic tunes played by troupes of traditional musicians. The Djemâa is unfailingly exhausting, and no doubt you'll want to take it all in from the terrace of the Café de France or the aptly named Café du Grand Balcon. Spend time just soaking up the wonderful atmosphere, then return to your riad with the sound of the Djemâa still ringing in your ears.
Day 3Journey into the foothills of the High Atlas Mountains, the beautiful region that is the favourite playground of Marrakshis, who flock to the valleys to escape the summer heat, and to the peaks in winter to indulge in the improbable pastime of skiing in Africa. Leaving the city, it's a short drive to the foothills of the Atlas, a region of streams and waterfalls, dotted with Berber villages and hamlets, that's home to generations of farmers and herdsmen whose lives have remained unchanged for centuries. Stop at a Berber souk and enjoy a refreshing mint tea. Return to Marrakesh this afternoon, perhaps to explore one of the city's wonderful gardens. These oases of green and cooling shade include the Jardin Agdal and the Jardin Menara, both irrigated by waters fed from the distant Atlas by ancient underground channels, and the exquisite Jardin Marjorelle, pride of the late designer Yves St Laurent. This evening, join us for an optional traditional meal of tagine or mechoui (slow-cooked lamb) at Chahramane, during which you'll entertained by folk musicians and dancers.
Day 4Today brings a chance to journey west across the plains on a tour to the Atlantic resort of Essaouira. With its white-washed and blue-shuttered houses, craftsmen's workshops, galleries and sandy beach, Essaouira is a perfect resort for wandering around - whether onto its ramparts for the views, around the harbour, or into the colourful souks of the Essaouira's own Medina. Enjoy a dip in the ocean, or a camel ride along the beach, and perhaps stop for lunch before you return to Marrakesh via the celebrated Val d'Argan winery, founded in 1994, and steadily building a reputation for excellent vintages. Then, this evening, you'll have another chance to enjoy the excitement of Djemâa El Fna.
Day 5Head back into the Medina for some final sightseeing, or treat yourself from a choice of very special optional experiences, including the chance to take a Moroccan cookery course in the kitchens of the famed La Maison Arabe Hotel, or to experience a rejuvenating Berber massage. This evening, head back to the night markets, or join our 1001 Nights evening and enjoy music and a traditional meal amid nomad tents.
Day 6Bid farewell to Marrakesh, and return to the airport to catch your flight home. Back to top
Hotel room taxA room tax of approximately 26-28 Moroccan Dirhams per person per night is payable directly to the Riad/Riad Hotel on check-out.
Special requirementsIf you have notified us of any special requirements, please check that they have been noted and acknowledged. This is especially important with any dietary needs you may have.
Disabled accessThe majority of our tours involve a certain amount of walking, including a short walk from the coach stop to the town, attraction or venue you're visiting. If you are bringing a wheelchair, please let us know at the time of booking so that appropriate arrangements can be made. In many developing countries access is sometimes not as easy as at home. Should you have walking difficulties, getting around monuments and attractions may be harder and, in some cases, impossible. Should you have any concerns whatsoever please do contact us prior to travel.
Itinerary changesOccasionally, for operational reasons, we may have to change the order of the excursions on your holiday. The final day-by-day itinerary will be confirmed on your Final Travel Documents, which you will receive approximately three weeks prior to your departure.
Travel vaccinationsRequirements and advice can vary over time, and from person to person, so please contact your GP about eight weeks before your trip to check whether you need any vaccinations or any other preventive measures.
Foreign Office Travel AdviceVisit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice to find out the latest Foreign And Commonwealth Office travel advice for your holiday destination, as well as information about passports and visas.
Road ConditionsIn developing countries road networks are continually being improved and expanded, which can mean that, from time to time, roadworks and rough road surfaces can extend journey times. Some journeys are made on winding mountain roads and passes, which may also make for slow travelling - although the scenery is usually worth it! Many roads do not have separate pavements or safety barriers, and great care should be taken when crossing or walking alongside roads. Back to top