New Year in Marrakech
|Resort:||New Year in Marrakech|
Head to North Africa and the Moroccan gem of Marrakech for a New Year break to remember. Unforgettable sights are sure to leave a lasting impression as you discover the spectacular landscapes of the Atlas Mountains, explore Berber villages, barter for souvenirs in bustling souks and learn to cook exotic traditional specialities.
DAY 1 UK – MARRAKECH
Today you’ll fly to Marrakech, a North African gem and one of Morocco’s most vibrant cities. On arrival, we’ll transfer you to your hotel, where after time to settle in, we’ll gather together for a drink before dinner this evening.
DAY 2 MARRAKECH
We’ll get to know Marrakech during our sightseeing tour starting at the 19th century Bahia Palace. Located in the medina and set over two acres, it boasts 150 rooms including a harem section, as well as colourfully tiled courtyards and gardens. Other highlights include a visit to the Saadien Tombs. The resting place of the former royal dynasty of Morocco was lost for many years, and resdiscovered by archaeologists in 1917. Our final call this morning is at the Dar Si Said Museum, housed inside an opulent palace and home to the Museum of Moroccan Art. This afternoon, you can either return to the hotel and relax, or stay with the group and visit Djemaa el Fna Square.Here we’ll wander the labyrinth of lively souks where snake charmers, fortune-tellers and acrobats put on an amazing show for the thronging crowds. Why not try out your bartering skills atstalls selling everything from traditional carpets and hand-crafted pottery to leatherwear and aromatic spices.
DAY 3 ATLAS MOUNTAINS
We’ll head to the foothills of the Atlas Mountains today. As we travel through the heart of Berber country, we’ll pass the picturesque village of Tahanaout, whose red-hued buildings blend in perfectly with its mountainside location.
DAY 4 NEW YEAR’S EVE, MARRAKECH
If you enjoy cooking, or are keen to pick up tips, you’ll love today’s included excursion. We’re going to head to a nearby restaurant where we’ll take part in a cookery lesson. We’ll learn to make some Moroccan specialities and then we’ll sample what we’ve created.
DAY 5 NEW YEAR’S DAY, OURIKA VALLEY
New Year’s Daybeginswith a tour of the beautiful Ourika Valley. Nestling in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains, this picturesque destination offers a feast for the eyes with Berber hamlets scattered amidst a landscape of lush olive groves, towering palms and meandering rivers.
DAY 6 MARRAKECH – AT LEISURE
You can spend today just as you wish, whether that’s enjoying the facilities at your hotel or exploring Marrakech further with your travelling companions.
DAY 7 ESSAOUIRA
After breakfast we’re going to head to the charming walled seaside town of Essaouira, located on the Atlantic coast. As we drive, look out for endemic argan trees laden with fruit from which the precious commodity argan oil is derived. For centuries this has been used not only for culinary purposes but also in beauty rituals, and today it’s a key ingredient in many shampoos and moisturisers. Many argan co-operatives also line the route leading to Essaouira, where women grind the fruit kernels by hand to produce the coveted oil.
Once in this UNESCO-listed town, you’re free to explore at leisure before we enjoy a seafood lunch. Maybe take a stroll along the medina’s ramparts or on the broad stretches of sandy beach. You could hunt for souvenirs amongst narrow alleyways lined with artisan workshops, or head to the port to watch the day’s catch as it’s brought in by fishermen.
DAY 8 MARRAKECH – UK
We’ll transfer to the airport for our flight back to the UK