Medina + Mountains + Desert
Dates: November 3rd - 13th
Length: 10 nights
Host: Kirsten Dickerson, co-founder of The Fernweh Studio.
- A designer riad in the heart of the old Medina 4 nights) - Riad Dar-K
- Restored Desert Kasbah (1 night) - Riad Azul in Agdez
- Lux desert Camp (2 nights) - Nubia Lauxury Camp Erg Chegaga
- New eco-Kasbah in Altas Mtns (3 nights) - Kasbah Bab Ourika
Number of spots: 9 women (shared double occupancy). Minimum age is 14 accompanied by an adult/parent.
Cost: $3900 p/p (details below)
Fernweh Studio promotes responsible tourism, and you are invited to have a meaningful, inspirational tour of Marrakech that gives you an insider experience with the people and culture. Morocco is a diverse country with both poverty and wealth. You will be exposed to both ends of the spectrum through our experiences. This trip has a special focus on artisans and non profits that empower women in Morocco as well as the diverse culture and landscape of the region. We travel as learners, we must have flexibility, and we go a desire to give back and celebrate the beauty of Morocco together. We love curious, compassionate, and fun-loving travelers!
- Shop and explore the amazing souks of the old Medina
- Visit artisans skilled in making the famous Moroccan designs such as rugs, leather, baskets, pottery, and more
- Dine in both traditional and modern restaurants that highlight the culinary taste of Morocco
- Enjoy a day at a traditional Moroccan Spa called a Hammam
- Stay in some of the most beautiful boutique hotels in Marrakesh that highlight different takes on Moroccan design: riads, kasbahs, and lux desert camp
- Take a cooking class through the non-profit Amal that empowers at-risk women
- Experience a desert adventure with a journey through the Atlas Mountains, the palm oasis and finally the vast desert. Stop at key sites along the way.
- Relax in the desert with a special dinner, camel ride and star gazing
- Be inspired through various museums and historic sites that highlight the incredible architecture and designs that make Morocco so magical
- Experience the music of Morocco in both the medina and the desert
- Visit a fair trade weaving community and learn to weave with the artisans.
- Our group will spend time with the women of Anou to learn about their micro-loan development fund to empower remote artisans (our group donation goes to this non-profit partner)
- Hike in the Ourika Valley and enjoy a picnic on top of one of the mountains
- Learn about the amazing Berber culture and spend time with Berber artisans
Nov 3-7: Marrakesh
Begin exploring the labyrinth of souks and markets around our riad.
Late afternoon visit to the historic Medersa Ben Youssef (known for its stunning tile work) near our riad.
Dine at some of Kirsten’s favorite restaurants in Marrakesh: Nomad, Le Jardin, Plus 61, Limon
Visit historic gardens such as the newly opened Le Jardin Secret, inspired by Koranic verse and an excellent example of Islamic art and gardens and the Palais El- Baddi, impressive ruins with large water reservoir, who host the last Dior defile
With a local guide, we will visit local museums to learn about the history and culture, such as:
- La Maison de la Photographie. Great place, nice images to project itself into the time of ancient Marrakech
- Musée Dar si Saïd and interesting museum located in an 19C palace, exhibiting traditional art.
Zaouia de Sidi Bel Abbès, spiritual place, nice to see, out of the touristy tour, where to meet the real people
Partake in a Moroccan cuisine class featuring tagine and couscous. The class is hosted by Amal - A non-profit association, empowering women through culinary skills. Learn to make traditional dishes, learn about the efforts of Amal through a mid-morning tea, and enjoy your creation over a group lunch. Take home the recipes to try making Moroccan cuisine back home.
Afternoon guided shopping tour in the Souks:
- Time at the rug market / basket market / metal work / leather work
- Interact with artisans working on their designs (learn to barter and shop for treasures)
- Visit local herbalist where you can find spices and argan oil
- Early morning visit to famed Majorelle Gardens, Berber Museum, and Yves St. Laurent Museum.
- Afternoon lunch and hammam spa day at Beldi Country Club.
- Early evening concert of traditional Moroccan music at the 16th century Douiria Museum Mousassine Marrakech.
Nov 7-10: Desert Adventure (Marrakesh-Agdez-Chegaga Desert)
- Visit an argan cooperative, view demonstrations of argan production and sample argan products
- Stop at the famous Ksar of Ait Ben Haddou, Unesco World Heritage site and location for films such as Gladiator, Alexander the Great and Game of Thrones
- Spend the night at the ancient Kasbah of Tamnougalte in the date palm oasis at the heart of the Draa Valley close to the town of Agdez
- During the evening you will enjoy a taste of authentic local life with good food, music and dancing
- Visit the Ksar of Tamegroute and the old Quoranic library, also the pottery famous for it's distinctive rich green glaze. Here you can try your hand at throwing a piece of your own!
- We cross the vast dry plain of lake Iriki which used to be a paradise for birds and animals
- After the lake we make a stop to search for ancient desert fossils
- Our return drive takes us through the village of Taznakht, one of the most important centres for the weaving of rugs in the south of Morocco
- Continue our journey to the Chegaga Desert. Meet your camels and head to our glamping site via a group caravan
- Watch the setting of the sun from the top of the majestic sand dunes
- Spend the night in the lux desert camp with dinner by candlelight under the canopy of stars above
- We arrive to the Ourika Valley and check into our final designation at Kasbah Bab Ourika. Dinner at the Kasbah
Nov 10-13: Atlas Mountains / Ourika Valley
- Stay in the beautiful Kasbah Bab Ourika with stunning views of the Atlas Mountains and some of Kirsten’s favorite interior design.
- Delicious meals sourced from the local organic garden
- Guided walking tour of Ourika Valley and local Berber village. Enjoy a cultural experience visiting a Berber home for tea. Picnic on the top of the mountain with gorgeous views after a long hike brought by Pepito, our favorite donkey in Morocco.
- Afternoon free to relax at the kasbah, enjoy the spa or visit local berber shops.
- Learn about the incredible work of the fair trade cooperative Anou that supports talented weavers and artisans throughout Morocco, giving them direct access to selling their one of a kind creations. Spend the morning with the artisans and practice the art of weaving.
- Guided discussions and reflections on slow living, fair trade, and responsible travel throughout your journey
- Departure for home on 13th after breakfast
- Deposit of $1950 due with registration.
- Remaining $1950 due on or before September 1, 2020.
- $100 discount for payment received in full at registration.
- Cost covers all meals, accommodations, taxes, in-country transportation, and all excursions/events described in the itinerary.
- Cost also includes a special donation to our non-profit partner Anou -- funding micro-loans for artisans.
- Cost does not include airfare, travel insurance (required), visa on arrival, alcohol, or personal expenses.
- The Fernweh Studio will help coordinate flights and travel insurance through a trusted agent unless otherwise discussed.
- There are 9 spots maximum available for this excursion.
- Your spot is confirmed once your applicatioin is approved and deposit is received. Bookings are first come, first served.
- A detailed itinerary and preperation details will be provided once your registration is complete.
- Payment can be made via check or Venmo (@Fernweh-Studio)
Please note this is a sample itinerary and final plans will be made after registration is closed and payments are received. You will be notified if there are any updates or changes.
Please only register when you are ready to book your trip. If you have questions or need additional information before registering, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org