Morocco—a country that completely engages all of the senses. From the colors and scents of spices and perfumes—to the sounds of mosques and local music—to the gorgeous landscapes—to the tastes of the tagines and mint tea—to the relaxation of local steam rooms and massage.
This 7-night retreat is designed around the 5 senses. Join us as we explore the sights, sounds, tastes, smells and touch of Morocco! Each day, we will experience each of these 5 senses in two of the country’s most magical cities—Marrakech and the coastal town of Essaouira. We’ve thoughtfully crafted this retreat to give you a complete Moroccan experience, still allowing for time to wander the streets and souks (market shops) on your own. (Bring an extra empty suitcase—you’ll need it!)
Patio in Essaouira
Rooftop view in Essaouira
Sunset at Takerhoust Lake on Atlas Mountain day tour
Courtyard in Marrakech Riad
In this retreat, we will start off the first 4 nights in Marrakech and then travel 2 hours away to the coastal town of Essaouira. Staying in a riad while in Morocco is an opportunity not to be missed! A riad is a traditional Moroccan house with a courtyard to patio in the middle of the house. While in Marrakech, enjoy a shared accommodation room in Riad Cinnamon, a beautifully restored merchant’s house located in a quiet residential area in the heart of the Medina (Marrakech’s old town). Enjoy amenities including a comfortable lounge, refreshing dipping pool and cool patio, rooftop deck to look out at the city, with plenty of room to relax or make use of fast, free Wifi.
Once we move to the coastal town of Essaouira, we will stay in the historical family palace, Villa Quieta, which will mesmerize you with its traditional architecture combining beauty and modern comfort with its outdoor swimming pool in a vast flower garden. Accommodations here include a relaxing garden, refreshing pool, relaxing common spaces, and Wifi.
Here is what your retreat includes:
Transport from Marrakech to Essaouira and back to Marrakech
All food except two lunches in Essaouira to experience the local cuisine on your own.
Journey through the touch sense: Henna tattoo, Hammam (Moroccan steam room), and Relaxing Massage
Journey through the taste sense: Traditional Moroccan Cooking Class
Journey through the smell sense: Camel Ride on the beach of Essaouira, passing through a forest of mimosas and eucalyptus on the return
Journey through the sound sense: Live, local music over dinner
Journey through the sight sense: Take in the captivating beauty of the Moroccan countryside in Atlas Mountains on this day tour including a stop at a local women’s argan oil cooperative and for a traditional Berber meal
Rooftop at Marrakech Riad
FOR QUESTIONS OR TO REGISTER EMAIL firstname.lastname@example.org or call 609-389-9306.
Room option in Marrakech riad
Room Option in Essaouira
You will want to fly into and out of Marrakech (RAK) on March 4th. We will arrange airport pick up and drop off. We highly recommend that you spend a few days prior to the start of the retreat either in Morocco or in Europe to adjust to the time zone. There are very affordable flights from major European cities such as Barcelona, Madrid, Lisbon, and more. Therefore, you may want to fly into one of these European cities on or around March 1st to spend a few days exploring and adjusting to the time zone and then fly down to Marrakech on March 4th. The retreat ends on March 11th. If you would like to spend another night or two in Marrakech, we can help book accommodations.
Arabic and French are the most common languages spoken. You will be surprised at how multi-lingual Moroccans are! As tourism is a major part of the country’s revenue, many people will also speak English, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and more.
Morocco is often described as being the southern most European country, the northern most African country, and the western most Middle Eastern country. Therefore, culturally, it is very diverse. It is a mostly Muslim country, so if this is your first time traveling to a Muslim country, you may be surprised at the sounds of the mosques’ calls to prayer five times a day. Dress is also conservative (so avoiding showing your knees and shoulders). Alcohol is only sold in a small number of restaurants (catering to the tourists). Despite these differences, you may be surprised at the genuine friendliness and hospitality from locals towards tourists.
Showing influences of many cultures and other countries over many centuries, Moroccan food tends to be very aromatic, flavorful and well-spiced. Spices such as saffron, cinnamon, cumin, turmeric, ginger, pepper and more are commonly in each meal. Olives and freshly baked bread are also served with almost every meal. Main meals usually consist of either a couscous dish (topped with vegetables or meat) or a tagine (which is actually the name of the clay pot that the food is cooked it), which tends to be a very slowly cooked meat with vegetables and lots of aromatic spices to be eaten with bread. Vegetarian options are readily available. Other famous dishes include Pastilla (showing the Spanish influence) which is a sweet and savory Moroccan pie, traditionally filled with pigeon, roasted almond, sugar, cinnamon, eggs and wrapped in a phyllo dough. Moroccan mint tea is traditionally served with every meal.
The Moroccan Dirham is the official currency. You can easily exchange USD or Euros upon arrival at the airport or other exchange houses in Marrakech and Essaouira. There are also many ATMs available, but be sure to inform your bank ahead of time of your travels, so that you card is not put on hold! Cash is the preferred form of payment throughout Marrakech and Essaouira. There will be some places that accept credit card, but this is not very common.
Sunset in Essaouira