Day 1 — Marrakech, Morocco
Arrive on your international flight. After clearing customs and immigration, your guide and driver will meet and transfer you to your boutique hotel, La Maison Arabe, about a 15-minute drive from the airport. Relax and take the night to refresh for the rest of your travels. Lodging: La Maison ArabeDay 2 — Marrakech, Morocco
Enjoy a full-day guided tour of the nearly 1000-year-old city of Marrakech. Visit the Koutoubia Mosque, the minaret of which has become the symbol of the city. Compare the style with the more recently built Bahia Palace (19th century), which is often inhabited by His Majesty's guests. Enjoy your light lunch at Dar Moha, a prominent local restaurant serving inventive Moroccan cuisine.
Then to the Souks of Marrakech! The markets are the most colorful and the liveliest in Africa, with snake charmers and dancers to entertain and an incredible array of foods, art and handmade products to entice.
After experiencing the public life of Marrakech, you’ll have the chance to dine with a local family, deepening your understanding of the outlook, aspirations, and way of life of your hosts. Lodging: La Maison ArabeDay 3 — Marrakech, Ouirgane, Morocco
Take a one-hour drive with your guide and driver to Ouirgane in the high Atlas Mountains. This Berber village has become a popular center for rustic hotels for a good choice of day walks and longer treks to the Mount Toubkal and Amizmiz areas. Check in to Le Domaine Malika, a boutique hotel, to refresh and prepare for a half-day cooking class. The local cook will help everyone -- from gourmands to beginners -- to discover the secrets of subtle and succulent Moroccan cuisine during this hands-on class. Lodging: Le Domaine MalikaDay 4 — Ouirgane, Morocco
Shortly after breakfast, meet with your mountain guide for a trek in Toubkal Massif National Park. Begin by passing through arable land with wild flowers, following the river valley through small hills, open forest and isolated Berber hamlets. Continue to the Tassa Ouirgane Valley via orchards near the huge forest of Takherkhourte. Soak in the panoramic view from Tassa while stopping for a picnic lunch before descending the slopes and returning to your hotel.
If you’re feeling a bit tired from your trek, don’t worry. You’ll be treated to a relaxing Hammam session, exfoliation and massage. Lodging: Le Domaine MalikaDay 5 — Essaouira, Morocco
Depart on a three-hour drive to Essaouira, the nearest seaside resort to Marrakech. Renowned for generations for its production of "Murex," a small shellfish used to make the purple dye for Roman togas, Essaouira is now a very active fishing harbor still showing traces of having been occupied by the Portuguese in the XVIth century. Today, protected from the sea and the wind behind its commanding fortified walls, Essaouira shelters a flourishing craftsmanship in marquetry, working citron-and-lime wood with ebony, mother of pearl and silver thread to make tables, chess-boards, caskets and bracelets.
Enjoy a Moroccan light lunch and wine tasting at The Domaine of Val d'Argan, owned by Charles Melia, who also owns the Chateau de la Font du Loup in Chateauneuf-du-Pape. The visit to the vineyard includes a short tour of the wine making process and a tasting of the wine, served on a terrace overlooking the vineyard. Lodging: Heure Bleue PalaisDay 6 — Essaouira, Morocco
Start your day with a tour of the city, followed by a half-day horse or bicycle ride on the golden beaches of Essaouira. Lodging: Heure Bleue PalaisDay 7 — Essaouira, Marrakech, Morocco
Your guide and driver will transfer you back to Marrakech (about a 2-hour drive). Take an afternoon horse carriage tour along the old city ramparts and through the lush botanical Majorelle Gardens, privately owned by the estate of the late Yves St. Laurent. Enjoy some time in the gardens and a farewell dinner at the Gourmet Moroccan Dar Yacout restaurant before being driven to your riad on the last night in Marrakech. Lodging: La Maison ArabeDay 8 — Marrakech, Morocco
Enjoy breakfast at your riad, then transfer in time for your flight to Marrakech-Menara Airport to catch your flight back home.