Marrakech, the Coast & the High Atlas Mountains of Morocco (TRIP REF: MEK)
7-night package: 2 nights in Marrakech, 2 nights in Essaouira & 3 nights in the mountains
Suitable for both individuals and families, this 3-centre holiday combines your visit to the mountains with a stay in the exotic city of Marrakech and the vibrant coastal town of Essaouira.
Marrakech is a fascinating city that is high on the list of places to visit by the discerning traveller. It comprises the ancient medina and the new town of Guéliz, with its neighboring suburbs, which play host to modern restaurants, fast food chains and big brand stores.
The medina of Marrakech is built around the 12th century Koutoubia Mosque whose beautiful minaret dominates the skyline and can be seen from almost every approach to the city. Any visit to Marrakech must include a look around the medina and its colourful souk (marketplace) where you can barter for carpets, leather goods, jewellery, lanterns and spices. Another must-see is the legendary Jemaa el Fna, the busiest and most famous square in Africa, where snake charmers, storytellers, acrobats, medicine men and musicians compete for your attention.
Marrakech also has many other attractions for visitors. These include the Majorelle Gardens owned by the late Yves Saint Laurent, the Menara Gardens, the Saadian Tombs, the medieval Ben Youssef Madrasa (Koranic university) and the Musée de Marrakech, and many more besides. You can even take a hot air balloon ride over the beautiful countryside near Marrakech or trek by camel through the ancient palm groves. There are many options available to you in this exotic city.
Accommodation in Marrakech is on a bed and breakfast basis, giving you the opportunity to dine at some of the superb restaurants available in the city.
Essaouira, which lies approximately 105 miles from Marrakech, is a magical fortified coastal town on the Atlantic Ocean, built by the Portuguese in the 16th century. In total contrast to Marrakech, the pace of life here is relaxed and slow. Essaouira was made famous by Orson Welles who filmed Othello here, and more recently by Jimi Hendrix and the Rolling Stones who stayed here in the 1960s.
Unlike Marrakech and Fes, there are no single places of major historical note to visit, but Essaouira in itself has become an historic location and is not to be missed. The fishing port creates a lively backdrop to the white painted buildings of the medina. The souk is small when compared to that of Marrakech and easy to stroll around without the need of a guide.
Essaouira is a haven for artists and as such handmade works of art are to be found in abundance. Being a fishing port, fresh fish is readily available and lunch at the port is a must where the day’s catch is cooked in front of you. The wide-sweeping beach offers windsurfing, kite surfing, camel and horse riding and quad bike excursions.
Accommodation in Essaouira is also on a bed and breakfast basis, giving you the opportunity to discover the Coastal town or dine at your riad as you wish.
The High Atlas Mountains
The High Atlas Mountains, which dominate the skyline to the south of Marrakech, have always played an important role for the city, not least with regard to commerce.
With several peaks above 4000 metres, the Western High Atlas is part of a larger chain of mountains that spreads from the Atlantic Coast in the west to the Mediterranean Sea in the east. The mountains are home to the indigenous Berber people who have inhabited Morocco for at least 5000 years. The Berbers live in small clusters of earthen adobe houses which cling precipitously to mountainsides and are often only accessible by mule or foot.
Guests will stay on a half-board basis in comfortable accommodation at Kasbah du Toubkal in the trailhead village of Imlil (just 40 miles from Marrakech, but seemingly a thousand miles from the hubbub and heat of the city!)
Guided half-day and full-day treks can be booked locally.
Two people sharing a room on a bed and breakfast basis for the first four nights, followed by half board basis throughout the 3 nights in the mountains (excluding flights and insurance):
908 euro per person based on 2 people sharing
816 euro single supplement
Itinerary: (click ‘view’ for further details)
DAY 1 - Bed & Breakfastview
DAY 2 - Bed & Breakfastview
DAY 3 - Bed & Breakfastview
DAY 4 - Bed & Breakfastview
DAY 5 - Half board (evening meal)view
DAYS 6-7 - Half board (evening meal)view
DAY 8 - Breakfastview
Included in the price:
- Private transfers from Marrakech Menara Airport to Marrakech on Day 1, to Essaouira on Day 3 and to Imlil on Day 5, and the return journey on Day 8 from Essaouira to Marrakech.
- Food and soft drinks on a half board basis (breakfast & evening meal) during your stay in the High Atlas Mountains and on a bed and breakfast basis during your stay in Marrakech and Essaouira.
- The free use of the hammam when staying at the Kasbah.
- All taxes include a 5% levy to the Village Association in Imlil.
- Mountain accommodation is approximately 1800 metres above sea level.
NOT INCLUDED: Alcoholic beverages (Kasbah du Toubkal is not licensed but has a "bring your own" policy), tips, personal shopping, travel and medical insurances.