- Explore the vibrant city of Marrakesh by bicycle
- Tour nonprofit centers and see how they are improving local socioeconomic status
- Learn about sustainable fisheries with a fishing trip on the Atlantic coast
- Experience the sweetness of a honey-tasting workshop at a local ecolodge
|Arrive in Marrakesh
|Bicycle Tour of Marrakesh, Visit Amal Nonprofit Center
|Transfer to Agadir
|Atlas Kasbah Ecolodge & Spa
|Transfer to Essaouira, L'Âne Vert Ecolodge
|Argania Association, Guided Tour of Essaouira
|Transfer to Marrakesh
Day 1: Arrive in Marrakesh
Welcome to Morocco! Upon arrival, you'll be met by a private driver and transferred to your hotel in Marrakesh. After check-in, you can relax and get some rest ahead of your busy week or head out to get acquainted with the city. Nicknamed the "Red City" for its colorful sandstone walls and buildings, Marrakesh was founded in the 11th century and was a popular trading center for tribes in the nearby Atlas mountains. Marrakesh remains a busy hub, blending historic culture with modern amenities.
Head to the city center, where you'll find Jemaa el-Fna Square and the marketplace. This is a lively spot with a wide variety of local vendors, food carts, and live entertainment that includes snake charmers, musicians, and jugglers. Wander the alleyways and see what you might find, and maybe grab a bite while you're there.
If you're looking for something more restful, visit the Majorelle Botanical Gardens and museum, once the home of French artist Jacques Marojelle. The gardens contain more than 300 species of plants and flowers from different continents, and you can walk through peaceful courtyards full of these fragrant blooms.
Day 2: Bicycle Tour of Marrakesh, Visit Amal Nonprofit Center
See Marrakesh the environmentally friendly way on a pikala (bicycle) ride around the city. You'll visit a local tour company that works to promote bicycle use as an alternative to the pollution of buses or cars. The company is also dedicated to providing opportunities for Moroccan youth, with a program that hires local students and trains them to work as guides and bicycle mechanics. You'll tour with a student guide around the city, a four-hour excursion that takes you through landmarks such as the Koutoubia Mosque, which dates to 1147, and several off-the-beaten-path spots known only to locals.
Day 3: Transfer to Agadir
Transfer from Marrakesh to the city of Agadir, a drive of approximately three hours. You'll check in at the Atlas Kasbah Ecolodge and spa, located just 10 minutes outside the city and where you'll be spending the next few days. This afternoon is yours to enjoy as you please, and you might want to head into Agadir and explore. This seaside town has become a surfer's paradise over the years, and you can start your tour by just walking the beach and watching riders conquer the waves.
Days 4-5: Atlas Kasbah Ecolodge & Spa
Spend these next two days enjoying the Atlas Kasbah Ecolodge, a guest house and spa that is based on sustainability, working to preserve the ecology, heritage, and resources of this vulnerable region of Morocco. The ecolodge is located in a unique protected area in the world, the Arganeraie Biosphere Reserve (RBA), an ecological and cultural heritage recognized by UNESCO. It is also the first ecolodge in Morocco and North Africa.
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Day 6: Transfer to Essaouira, L'Âne Vert Ecolodge
This morning, take a private transfer from Agadir to Essaouira, which takes about three hours. Your drive includes endless views of the bright blue ocean as you head north to Essaouira, the "White Pearl." While here, your accommodations will be L'Âne Vert, an ecolodge located just south of the city and near a beautiful beach. Guests of the lodge enjoy a relaxed and friendly atmosphere while helping transmit ecological awareness to the local populations of the region.
In the afternoon, head back to the lodge and enjoy a meal at their restaurant, which features locally-sourced fusion cuisine, or just soak up the relaxing atmosphere. You can also head out for some yoga classes or take a surf lesson with a local instructor. The lodge often hosts artists in residence and other creative events, so you may even get the added treat of live music or art exhibits. And tonight, if a regular room doesn't suit you, you can book an overnight in one of their traditional Berber tents for a real Moroccan experience.
Day 7: Argania Association, Guided Tour of Essaouira
Visit the Argania Association today, created in 1996 to assist in providing children, young people, women, and persons with disabilities the ability to build their future. Their objectives include supporting local initiatives that encourage social participation, organizing socio-cultural and income-generating projects, and assisting various organizations in improving living conditions. Learn about their focus fields, including education, culture, environment, and human rights. Tour the facility, meet staff members, and talk to some of the people most impacted by the work done here.Later, see more of the charming city of Essaouira with the help of a local. Meet your private guide inside the walls of the city's medina, where you'll start your excursion. Learn about the city's long history of different influences, including occupation by Berbers, Phoenicians, Romans, and Portuguese, who built its fortress and ramparts in 1506.
You'll have a chance to visit various traditional shops, where you'll find perfect souvenirs. In particular, stop at the Spice Souk, the place to go for herbal medicine, Berber lipstick, exotic spices, and ghassoul, a specific clay used in face masks. You can also buy argan oil products here and amlou (a mixture of honey, almonds, and argan oil). After exploring Essaouira's central plazas and historic neighborhoods, your guide will leave you at Essaouira Beach, where you can stroll the peaceful shoreline and perhaps see some surfers in the distance.
Day 8: Transfer to Marrakesh
Take your private transfer back to Marrakesh, which takes you along rolling plains and through argan tree forests. This is the only region where these trees grow and produce the popular and useful fruit. You're also likely to see the unusual sight of goats in the argan trees; local goats love the fruit of these trees and will often brave the thorny branches to find them. After checking in at your accommodation, your last afternoon in Morocco can be spent discovering more of Marrakesh.
See some of the city's history with a visit to Bahia Palace, built in the mid-1800s by Si Moussa, the Sultan's Grand Vizir. The palace is decorated with carved stucco and cedar, in true Moroccan style, and has 150 rooms, gardens, and a harem section. From here, head to the 16th-century Koran school Medersa Ben Youssef, and the Marrakesh Museum with its stunning art collections housed inside the Dar Mnebbi Palace. Tonight, revisit Jemaa el-Fna Square for dinner and the always-lively entertainment.
Day 9: Depart Marrakesh
Your visit to Morocco ends today—your driver will transfer you from the hotel to the airport, where you'll catch your flight home. Safe travels!
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