Magical Marrakesh: Experience the Exotic Culture of the Pink City

November 30 - December 8, 2019

 
 

Marrakesh Is Like No Other City In The World!

Exotic sites, smells and sounds captivate the senses at every turn. Shop and haggle in the maze of souks, enjoy a leisurely caleche ride around the Old City, drink mint tea and savor a delectable tangine or mouth-watering couscous, relax in the garden of a riad in the evening and marvel at the stars in the clear, dark blue sky. These tantalizing features of Marrakesh are just waiting for you to explore. Join us on our upcoming AstridTravel Club trip to this magnificent Imperial City and be swept away by its rich and unique culture.

Dates: November 30 - December 8, 2019 | Price: $3,250 - $3,750

* The price of this trip varies depending on the traveler’s room selection at our chosen accommodation: the Dar Ayniwen Hotel Villa. For more information about trip pricing, scroll to the bottom of this post.

 

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The Itinerary

Day 1

Arrive in late morning to Marrakesh Menara Airport (RAK) where you will be picked up and escorted to our luxury Riad, The Dar Ayniwen Villa Hotel. After enjoying a cup of traditional Moroccan mint tea and a light “Welcome Lunch” on the terrace by the pool, our gracious hosts will provide a tour of the riad grounds which include a gourmet restaurant, full-service spa, breathtaking garden and exotic bird sanctuary. A complementary shuttle will then take you to the center of town where you can drink in the sights and sounds of the bustling Medina. We’ll conclude the evening by dining on the rooftop of the sophisticated Café Arabe and watching the Moroccan sun dip below the horizon.

 
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Day 2

Dive right into the history and culture of Marrakesh by taking a guided tour of town, hitting major sites like the Saadian Tombs, El Badi Palace and Dar Si Said Museum. Later in the day your guide will accompany you to the Ensemble Artisanal (Moroccan Handicraft Center), a neatly-organized complex where you will find a multitude of local artisans creating and selling their high-quality crafts at government-fixed prices. This is a wonderful place to begin your shopping experience in Marrakesh because here you will get an idea of what is an appropriate price to pay for Moroccan goods that you will likely have to barter for in the souks. After a full day in the city, you will return to your garden sanctuary at the Dar Ayniwen to enjoy a meal at the exotic in-house restaurant.

El Bahia Palace

El Bahia Palace

Saadian Tombs;  Source

Saadian Tombs; Source

Day 3

Shopping in the souks of Marrakesh is unlike any other shopping experience in the world. A private guide will assist you in navigating the seemingly endless maze of vendors selling nearly every good you can imagine. (Utilize your knowledge from the Handicraft Center to determine the price you wish to pay, and practice your haggling skills!) Here you will find fine Moroccan spices, traditional Berber rugs, ornate lamps and teapots, an array of textiles including silk, cotton and cashmere, and much, much more. Following our private shopping tour, we will then embark on an immersive food tour where you will get a taste of a wide variety of traditional Moroccan dishes and delicacies. The complementary hotel shuttle will be available to transport you back to the Dar Ayniwen upon the conclusion of the food tour.

 
Traditional Moroccan Spices

Traditional Moroccan Spices

 

Day 4

The Atlas Mountains, which form a natural barrier between the coast of northwest Africa and the Sahara Dessert, offer a stark contrast to the city-life of Marrakesh. A day-trip to the High Atlas Mountains from Marrakesh will take you into the rocky mountain peaks where you will find a collection of traditional Berber villages. Here you will enjoy an authentic Moroccan meal in a Berber home, and gain a glimpse into this unique, and ancient culture. Return to Marrakesh by late afternoon to enjoy leisure time at the Dar Ayniwen before joining the group for a lively dinner in the Medina featuring Moroccan belly dancers.

Atlas Mountains, Morocco

Atlas Mountains, Morocco

Berber Home, Atlas Mountains

Berber Home, Atlas Mountains

Day 5

First on the itinerary is a visit to the iconic Jardin Majorelle. Designed by the French artist Jacque Majorelle in the 1920s, this spectacular garden, characterized by a plethora of lush flora and accented by striking cobalt-blue features, is a must-see landmark in the heart of Marrakesh. In the 1980’s, the Jardin Majorelle fell into the hands of fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent and his partner, Pierre Bergé, who restored and revitalized the then-ailing gardens. Today, the Jardin Majorelle is alive and well. The property is open to the public and houses The Berber Museum, The Islamic Art Museum of Marrakesh and the Musee Yves Saint Laurent. Upon departing the gardens and the museums, the group will enjoy an afternoon cooking class led by an expert dada, a female cook educated through generations of Moroccan family tradition. Retire early to “Shangri La,” the Dar Ayniwen , for a night of relaxation or catch the hotel shuttle and enjoy leisure time in the Medina for as long as your heart desires.

 
Le Jardin Majorelle:  Source

Le Jardin Majorelle: Source

 

Day 6

Our final day will begin with a sunrise hot-air balloon ride over the valleys of Marrakesh, with views of the snow-capped Atlas Mountains in the distance. After a traditional Berber breakfast, embark on a camel ride through the desert palm grove surrounding the outskirts of the city. Return to the hotel by late morning and spend the rest of the day at leisure. Our hosts at the Dar Ayniwen will be happy to arrange a spa treatment at the hotel, or provide you with a private guide if you wish to spend more time in the Medina. We will conclude the evening with a spectacular “Farewell Dinner” under the tented- canopy restaurant amongst our private oasis at the Dar Ayniwen.

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Day 7

Private airport transfer back to Marrakesh Menara Airport (RAK).

*Itinerary subject to change due to weather, availability, or based on the discretion of Astrid Solo Travel Advisor.


Interested in Joining?

Dates: November 30 - December 8 | Price: $3,250 - $3,750

If you are interested in joining us on our week-long excursion to the exotic urban oasis of Marrakesh, fill out the brief interest form below and we will reach out to you via email!

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Additional Trip Information

What’s Included?

  • 6 Nights at The Dar Ayniwen Villa Hotel

  • All tours mentioned in the itinerary

  • English- speaking, private guides

  • Cooking Class

  • Private airport transfer

  • Local travel concierge

  • AstridTravel Club Representative on-site

What’s Not Included?

  • Airfare

  • Meals not specified in itinerary

  • Gratuities

  • Museum entry fees

  • Travel Insurance

Payment Schedule

  • $800 deposit is required upon booking. This deposit is non-refundable. It is included in the total price of the trip.

  • $1,750 payment due on or before October 1, 2019.

  • The remaining balance will vary depending on room selection, and is due on or before November 1, 2019.

Cancellation Policy

  • If you cancel your trip by October 10, 2019, 50% of your trip payment (less the deposit) will be refunded. Cancel your trip between October 10, 2019 - November 10, 2019 and 25% of your trip payment (less the deposit) will be refunded. Cancel your trip after November 10, 2019 and no monies paid to the AstridTravel Club for your trip will be refunded. All cancellations must be done in writing (email astrid@astridtravel.com) and are effective the date we receive this correspondence.

  • Note: The AstridTravel Club reserves the right to cancel this trip if we do not achieve the minimum number of participants necessary to make the trip feasible. In the event that we cancel your trip, you will be receive a full refund.

Traveler Requirements

  • You must have a passport that is valid for at least 6 months following the return travel date.

  • Travelers are responsible for booking their own flights to Marrakesh Menara Airport (RAK). We recommend that you try to book your flight to arrive no later than Noon on Sunday, December 1 in order to give you enough time to attend our “Welcome Lunch”, tour of our luxury riad villa, and evening introduction into the bustling city! We have partnered with Kristin Songy Diehl, Travel Advisor, to assist you with your flight booking if desired!

    • You may reach Kristin at 225-200-7385 or kristin.diehl@smartflyer.com

Travel Insurance

  • While travel insurance is not required, it is highly, highly recommended. In the event that you are unable attend this trip due to an illness, family emergency, missed or canceled flight, act of terrorism, natural disaster, etc., Astrid Solo Travel Advisor, AstridTravel LLC, the AstridTravel Club, nor any affiliated person or party will be held responsible for payment repatriation. Protect yourself against any unforeseen trip disasters and purchase travel insurance. Read more about travel insurance here.

Communication

  • Again, while not required, an international phone plan is highly recommended. An international phone plan ensures that you are able to contact the concierge in your host country, the AstridTravel representative on your trip, and family back home without exorbitant fees. (For example, a plan for $10 per day can be purchased from Verizon or for $60 per month from AT&T.) Please contact us if you need assistance with this!

Room Variations at the Dar Ayniwen

  • The Dar Ayniwen Villa Hotel is a traditional Moroccan house known as a riad. Riads used to be, and and in some cases still are, home to some of the wealthiest merchants in Morocco. Features of a traditional riad include an inward-facing courtyard or garden, pointed arches, statement doors and windows, intricate woodwork and painstaking attention to detail. The Dar Ayniwen offers a variety of rooms - each with a unique design and style. Due to the limited number of rooms and per-room variations at the Dar Ayniwen, the price of this trip will vary depending on the traveler’s room selection. The options are as follows and will be awarded on a first come, first served basis.

    • Classic Room | Total trip cost: $3,250 (1 available)

    • Junior Suite | Total trip cost: $3,500 (2 available)

    • Premium Suite |Total trip cost: $3,600 (2 available)

    • Royal Suite | Total trip cost: $3,750 (3 available)

  • Click here for photos and information about each room.