Based at Riad Africa in the heart of Marrakech medina you’ll have up to 8 days to explore the numerous attractions of Marrakech including the most animated square in the world – Djemaa el Fna. This great value Marrakech riad holiday package offers a 21% saving compared to buying individual elements and combines a stay at Riad Africa with our most popular day trips and excursions plus a classic spa package, a welcome dinner, a free night and airport transfers!
|Duration||8 days / 7 nights||Holiday Starts||Marrakech airport|
|Holiday Type||Riad Package Deal||Holiday Ends||Marrakech airport|
|Accommodation||Central 4 star riad||Prices From||£295 pp|
|Operating Season||All Year Round||Departures||Daily|
Day 1 – Arrive Marrakech. Transfer to Riad Africa
On arrival in Marrakech you will be met at Menara airport and transferred to Riad Africa, your accommodation in the heart of Marrakech medina. With palaces and palm groves, rose gardens, and a backdrop of the snow-capped peaks of the High Atlas Mountains, Marrakech is the capital of the Moroccan South, a cultural crossroads and keeper of tradition and folklore.
After time to settle in the famous souks of Marrakech offer an intoxicating passage to Africa’s most famous meeting place – the huge medieval square of Place Djemaa el Fna. Here at the heart of the old city acrobats and jugglers, snake charmers, beggars, boxers, musicians, fresh juice and food sellers all compete for your attention.
As night falls take a seat in one of the cafes that overlook the square and watch the scene unfold. With the conflicting sounds from musicians and singers, and thousands of tiny white lights illuminating swirling smoke rising from food stalls, expect a night you’ll never forget! Tonight a tasty home-cooked Moroccan dinner is included at Riad Africa.
7 nights at Riad Africa including breakfast and welcome dinner on first night
For first time visitors to Marrakech, a great way of getting to grips with this magical city is on a half day guided walking tour of its World Heritage listed medina. The rich history of Marrakech is reflected in its numerous attractions and the wealth of monuments, mosques, museums and palaces this city offers.
The minaret of Koutoubia Mosque is the landmark and emblem of the city and a good start point for a day of sightseeing. Just north of the souks are the Museum of Marrakech, the impressive Ben Youssef Medersa and the Koubba Ba’ Adyin – the remains of an Almoravid mosque built in 1106.
Day 3 – Day at leisure to explore Marrakech
Other important quarters within the old city ramparts include Kasbah and Mellah (the Jewish quarter), both in the south and close to the Royal Palaces. Popular attractions include the Saadien Tombs, Palais Badia, the 16th century ruins of the Badi Palace and the Dar Si Said Museum (Museum of Moroccan Arts). The tanneries are located close to Bab Debbagh gate and are well worth a visit to see how animal skins are processed from start to finish.
Day 4 – Day Trip to the High Atlas Mountains – ‘A Day With The Berbers’
Enjoy an authentic Atlas Mountain experience in a truly spectacular setting in the little-visited Azzaden Valley with lunch at Kasbah Africa (a Berber nature lodge built on the slopes of the Azzaden Valley above the river). Leaving the walls of the ‘Red City’ you will travel up into the high valleys of the High Atlas Mountains.
En route to the Atlas you’ll pass through the busy little town of Asni which is a buzz of activity as local Berbers ply to sell their produce and goods (Saturday is market day – a particularly interesting day to visit). The final stretch of the journey is off-road on a dirt road which twists and turns up through the fertile Azzaden Valley for 6 km.
First you’ll explore Tassa Ouirgane village and it surrounds. You’ll walk to the Azzaden river, learn about the local agriculture and typical village life in a community of only 40 or so families. You’ll see a demonstration of how local bread is made the traditional way and have chance to sample locally produced organic olive oil, wild thyme and lavender plus yummy organic honey.
After following a local trail through fields and orchards for 3 km you’ll arrive at Kasbah Africa for lunch. From the terrace of Kasbah Africa, under the shade of willow trees, and overlooking the river and Takerkhort Wildlife Reserve you’ll enjoy a home-cooked meal of Moroccan salad or soup, a tasty tagine, fresh seasonal fruits and mint tea.
After lunch there’s time to do some bird spotting (over 150 species of birds are native to the area), enjoy a swim (the pool is unheated so is very fresh in winter!) or laze in a hammock. Later you’ll experience a traditional Berber tea-making ceremony and then walk to Torort village (15 minutes on foot). Here just 70 families live in adobe houses on the slopes above the Azzaden river. After a walk through the village and if possible, a visit to the local school, you’ll meet your vehicle for the drive back to Marrakech.
Day 5 – Day at leisure; optional tour of the Medina City Walls, Palaces & Gardens by Caleche
Today you could take an optional horse-drawn carriage tour of the city walls and famous gardens of Marrakech. Offering a shady retreat from the mid-day sun with towering palm trees, orchards of fruit and olive trees, pools, fountains and abundant bird life, the gardens of Marrakech are a ‘must-see’.
You’ll have chance to visit the Menara Gardens and beautiful botanical gardens of Majorelle as well as make a tour around the entire city walls.
Day 6 – Your Choice of Optional Day Trip: Ait Benhaddou or Essaouira
High Atlas, Telouet Kasbah & Ksar of Ait Benhaddou
On this optional private guided day trip you’ll enjoy a scenic journey into the High Atlas Mountains to the Tizi n’Tichka Pass (2,260m). Our first sightseeing of the day is at Telouet, a village on the ‘Route of the Caravans’ from the Sahara over the Atlas Mountains to Marrakech. Telouet has one of the most spectacular Kasbahs in the Atlas, which was once the palatial residence and headquarters of the powerful Glaoui tribe. Telouet is one of the great sites of mountain Morocco and an extraordinary display of quasi-medieval power created in the 20th century.
Next, taking a little used back road we arrive at Ait Benhaddou. Inscribed by UNESCO in 1987 as a ‘World Heritage Site’, the Ksar of Ait Benhaddou is a striking example of the architecture of southern Morocco. The Ksar, a group of earthen buildings surrounded by high walls, is a traditional pre-Saharan habitat. The houses crowd together within the defensive walls, which are reinforced by corner towers. After a guided tour of the ancient settlement be sure to walk up to the high point on the hill above the Ksar for particularly fine views. Lunch is included today at a restaurant with a view – facing the dramatic Ksar.
From Marrakech it is a leisurely 2.5 hour drive to the Atlantic Coast and the former Portuguese stronghold of Essaouira. Despite seeing an increase in visitors over the years, this town remains one of Morocco’s best-kept secrets. Complete with a bustling historical centre and surrounded by ancient city walls, Essaouira is a delightful destination. With a whitewashed medina enclosed by huge pink sandstone ramparts which is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and with a rich Portuguese and Andalusian heritage, Essaouira holds great appeal.
Originally founded by the Phoenicians in the 7th century BC, the Portuguese arrived in the 15th century and established the first fortifications and a trading post. The town of Essaouira itself wasn’t built until the latter half of the 1700’s, sanctioned by an Alouite sultan, Mohammed II. It was actually a renowned French architect who designed and built the town, harbour and fortifications in the style of a European fortress.
Day 7 – In Marrakech: Included visit to a Marrakech Spa
Today we include a visit to our favourite spa riad – Mythic Oriental Spa – to enjoy the ‘Mythic Classic Package’ which includes a private Beldi hammam plus Moroccan black soap ex-foliation and a 1 hour relaxing, invigorating or ayurvedic massage. There’s also plenty of time to explore the medina further, bargain in the souks or relax in the peaceful surroundings of Riad Africa.
Day 8 – Transfer to Marrakech Menara Airport
Your ‘Marrakech Explorer’ holiday ends with a transfer to Marrakech airport.
Prices, Departures & Essential Booking Information
|Package Price||£295 pp based on 2 guests sharing a standard twin or double room (£325 pp in a superior room).|
|Excluded||Flights; any other drinks, meals, entrance fees not specified; travel insurance; tips and items of a personal nature.|
|Financial Protection||Riad Africa is a trading name of Specialist Africa Ltd. As Specialist Africa is a fully bonded member of the Travel Trust Association (TTA) all package prices include TTA supplier failure insurance cover and safe seat plan insurance to ensure your monies are 100% secure when booking through us.|
|Travel Insurance||Travel and cancellation insurance is mandatory for all clients. Specialist Africa’s travel insurance partner is Campbell Irvine, experts in providing insurance specifically tailored to travel in Africa. Call Campbell Irvine on +44 (0)20 7938 1734 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.|
Additional nights can be pre-booked at Riad Africa for further time to experience the wonders of Marrakech.
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