Marrakech, Fez & Chefchaouen
During the Week of International Women’s Day!
Who: Women age 40 & above
When: March 6th - 15th, 2020
Trip Length: 10 days & 9 nights
Trip Style: Cultural & Desert
Category: Boutique Travel
Group: Women 40+
Group Size: 8-16 Women
Accommodation: Traditional Luxury Riads & Desert Glamping
Activities: Cultural Tours in both Marrakech & Fez • Majorelle Gardens • Berber Museum • Bahia Palace • El Badi Palace • Saadian Tombs • Markets • World Heritage Sites • Souk Shopping • Free Time • Cooking Class • Hammam (spa) Experience • Activities with Local Women • Day trip to Chefchaouen • Ancient Beauty Secrets Workshop • Henna Gathering • Free time to explore on your own • Guided shopping & free time shopping • Glamping • Camel Riding • Star Gazing
We are particularly concerned about the status of women in the communities that we visit. We make every effort to do business with women-owned establishments, hire female guides, locate female artisans and engage with women who are supporting and encouraging the improvement of women in their community.
Each trip is unique in that we offer one or more activities with local women who are making a difference in their community. These activities are designed to make us aware of women in other cultures, how they live and their struggles to become successful in their community. The details of these activities are shared upon arrival.
We will uncover some of the vast secrets of both Fez and Marrakech by visiting the cultural landmarks of each location to discover their rich history. A private guide will take us to visit significant sites in Marrakech such as the Bahia Palace, El Badi Palace and Saadian Tombs. And, of special interest to us and this trip is the newly opened women’s museum, the first of its kind in North Africa. Outside of the walls of the medina, we will take the time to savor the Majorelle Gardens which houses the intricate displays of the Berber Museum. In Fez, we will have a guide navigate us through the ancient narrow passageways to the hidden sites of the ancient world. We will also visit historic sites such as the Batha Museum, Medersa Bou Inania and the Chouara Tanneries.
Glamping is the modern day solution for women who want to experience the ancient call of the desert but in comfort! We will embark on a journey to the desert and spend one night glamping in tents. We will dine at a communal table under the stars and by candles at night. We have the opportunity to ride camels, gaze at the stars at night under the guidance of an astrologer, play board games, and just rest and relax! The beauty and calmness of the desert is an experience not to be missed!
This trip is planned with a wide array of activities designed to introduce you to the country of Morocco and the Arab-Berber culture.
Women’s henna gatherings are common in the Middle East and often occur for special occasions. We will visit a henna salon so that you can partake in this traditional custom that Middle Eastern women have enjoyed for centuries. While drinking tea, eating sweets and relaxing, you can select your favorite design and where you would like it applied.
Learn the secrets to cooking some of the local exotic foods! We will embark on a culinary experience by engaging in the preparations of the traditional dishes of Morocco with local women during a cooking class. Add Moroccan cooking to your repertoire of skills and learn how to cook a meal that would impress any guest!
Shopping, not to be forgotten, will be an important activity on this trip as the souks contain a vast array of unusual perfumes, spices, clothing, Moroccan shoes, baskets and caftans. Even more interesting are the rare finds of antiques, handcrafted goods and fabrics. We will have the opportunity to discover this wondrous array of wares in all three locations using a guide in Fez and a famous celebrity guide in Marrakech. You will also have time to explore these souks through your own individual explorations.
An essential part of our cultural experience of visiting Marrakech is a trip to a Moroccan Hammam (spa). Traditionally, women visit local hammams weekly to engage in rituals which are both social and hygienic dating back thousands of years. The time-honored hammam experience includes a body scrub and a massage that is unlike any other due to the unusual ingredients and the different components of the ritual. In Marrakech, you will have the opportunity to indulge in a one-hour spa treatment including a scrub and massage done the Moroccan way. This is an experience that you do not want to miss! You will come away feeling very clean, relaxed and refreshed.
In Fez, you will have the opportunity to participate in a three-hour ancient beauty secrets workshop which begins in the henna market by selecting specific ingredients used for body scrubs and various masks. You will be introduced to the traditional ingredients used during the various beauty rituals in Morocco and create your own special mixtures using Argan oil, sabun bildi eau de fleur and other ingredients.
Marrakech, Fez & Chefchaouen
We have designed this trip to mirror Tami & Latifah’s first visit to Morocco. We will begin in Fez, take a day trip to Chefchaouen and then embark on a first class train trip from Fez to Marrakech. In between, we will spend a night glamping in a desert camp. We think that you will be mesmerized by the unique locations!
Visiting Fez is like stepping back in time, way back. Inside the walls of the medina, the largest car-free zone in the world, the 9,500 dirt passageways are narrow and wind endlessly leading to courtyards with exquisite fountains, shops selling exotic wares and aromatic stalls of food. Fez represents the Morocco that the traveler seeking to step back in time comes to see. As you wander through the narrow dirt passageways of this ancient medina, you will witness traditional lifestyles almost untouched by modernity. Here you will find skilled artisans creating magnificent works of art using the same techniques as their ancestors. In Fez, we will be exploring the leather tanneries where the artisans still engage in the ancient method of dying of animal skins. Because Fez is the artisan and handicraft center of Morocco, this will be a wonderful place to purchase carpets, ceramic goods or traditional items.
Chefchaouen, known as the ‘Blue Village’ due to its striking blue-washed buildings, will balance our visit by offering you the opportunity to experience village life for a day. We will wander and explore the streets and alleyways of this charming village and just slow down and relax and enjoy the scenery of the Rif Mountains.
Marrakech, also referred to as the ‘Red City’ due to the buildings made of red clay, was founded in 1062 and is surrounded by 12th century walls. Enter inside the walls of this ancient city and you will discover a gateway to an age-old culture. Prepare for an intoxicating assault on the senses with startling contrasts of colors, mixed aromas of musky perfumes and incense, languages peppered with Arabic, Berber and French and tasty foods influenced by the vast variety of spices from the Far East. The atmosphere is teeming with humanity and the best way to enjoy the experience is to embrace it. We will be staying at a traditional riad inside the walls of this UNESCO Heritage Site.
Marrakech, Fez & Chefchaouen are exotic destinations and we would like to share them with you by introducing you to our favorite historical sites, shops and restaurants. Tami has lived in the Middle East for over a decade and Latifah was raised there in her youth and returns to various parts of the Middle East every year. In addition, Latifah speaks Arabic fluently. We have visited Morocco and absolutely love it! Come and experience Morocco with us- it is a destination like no other and one you will not soon forget!
In both Marrakech and Fez we will be residing inside the walls of the traditional medina (town) so that you can immerse yourself in the culture. Our riad, a traditional Moroccan house with an inner courtyard, will provide an easy launching point for us to explore the winding labyrinth of passageways and alleys that constitute the souk (markets). At the end of a day of discovery, the riad will also provide a tranquil retreat from the chaotic rhythm of the medina.
We will spend four nights at the luxurious Palais Amani in Fez which is located within the walls of this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Opulent and luxurious best describe this 7th century palace recently renovated inside the walled city. The exterior adheres to traditional Moroccan architectural features while the inside combines a contemporary urban chic feel with traditional tilework, fountains, arched doorways and carved woodwork. Citrus perfumes the courtyards and the many trees peppered throughout offer a welcome shaded retreat in the heat of the day. The rooftop offers breathtaking views of the old city and surrounding countryside at sunset. This riad provides a relaxed and opulent environment which will serve as our home base while we explore Fez and Chefchaouen.
In Marrakech, we will be staying at a Riad which is only a short walk from Jemma el-Fnaa, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, often referred to as an open-air theater due to the musicians, snake charmers, belly dancers, storytellers and a variety of other characters who fill the square in the evenings creating a scene from One Thousand and One Nights. This boutique riad offers rooms decorated in a contemporary take on the minimal Berber-style, You will enjoy both the lovely pool for an evening dip and the rooftop terrace for stunning sunsets.
Both of the luxury riads where we will be staying are located within the walls of the old medina and offer us both privacy and close proximity to the souk. The interior design of each is quite stunning and each room is individually decorated. The riads are surrounded by traditional high walls creating a tranquil and relaxed atmosphere inside but only minutes away from the excitement of the souk! The rooftop provides the ideal setting for breakfast, relaxation and sunsets! The staff at the riad offer attentive and low-key service at all times.
We will also spend one night sleeping in the desert in luxury tents (glamping). During our stay in the desert, we will dine under the desert stars and our evening will be spent with an astrologer exploring the night sky through telescopes. The next morning, we will explore the desert by camel before we depart to Marrakech for the next part of our adventure.
*Please note that one of our riads does not have an elevator. If you require a ground-floor room, please let us know when booking.