Marrakech: Women 40+
Who: Women age 40 & above
When: May 17-24, 2019
Trip Length: 8 days & 7 nights
Trip Style: Cultural & Desert
Category: Boutique Travel
Group: Women 40+
Group Size: 8-15 Women
Accommodation: Traditional Luxury Riad Inside the Historic Walled City & Glamping in Tents
Activities: Cultural Tours • Majorelle Gardens • Berber Museum • Bahia Palace • El Badi Palace • Saadian Tombs • Markets • Henna Gathering • Camel Riding • Trekking in the Atlas Mountains (easy level) • Lunch in a Berber Village • Stargazing • Free Time • Cooking Class • Morning Yoga• Hammam (spa) Experience • Spending time with Local Women
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 the city and discover its rich history. A private guide will take us to visit significant sites such as the Bahia Palace, El Badi Palace and Saadian Tombs. And, of special interest to us 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.
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.
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 using both a famous celebrity guide as well as through our own individual explorations..
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 two nights glamping in tents. Our meals will be cooked by women in a nearby Berber village and brought in daily. We will dine at a communal table in shaded areas during the day and under the stars and by candles at night. We have the opportunity to ride camels, stretch under the guidance of a yoga instructor, trek through the Atlas Mountains (easy level), have lunch in a Berber village, 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!
An essential part of our cultural experience of visiting Marrakech is a visit 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. You will come away feeling very clean, relaxed and refreshed. This is an experience that you do not want to miss!
Marrakech, also known 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.
Marrakech is one of our most exotic destinations that we offer and we would like to share this with you by introducing you to our favorite places. 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 Marrakech and absolutely love it! Come and experience Marrakech with us- it is a destination like no other!
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. You will be staying 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.
The riad where we will be staying is located within the walls of the old medina and was awarded the Gold List Award by Conde Naste Traveller in 2017. The interior design is quite stunning and all sleeping options are suites. We have reserved the entire riad for our exclusive private use. The riad is 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. They will be happy to help you unpack or pack your luggage and offer a variety of services for your convenience. Laundry and ironing are available upon request for a separate fee.
In this traditional riad, there is a wide variety of choices of suites and prices so it is important that you carefully read the descriptions and look at the pictures under the booking option to select which type of suite you would prefer. Each option is unique and you will need to book early to ensure that you secure the suite that you feel you would be most comfortable in! Please note that there are no elevators in the riad.
We will be spending two nights in the Moroccan desert, camping in upscale tents (glamping). All tents have an attached private bathroom facility and desert-type shower and you will have the option of sharing a tent sleeping in twin beds or sleeping solo in your own tent. Please note that wifi is not available at this camp as we are in a remote area. We will be 'roughing' it a little but when we return to Marrakech we will indulge in hammam scrubs and treatments which will wash away the desert sand!
We will be visiting Marrakech during Ramadan. Ramadan is the month when Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset. However, this will only enhance our visit as the souk is a little less crowded during the day. Shops open around 10:00 a.m. and close before individuals break the fast (closing about an hour before sunset) and then open back up about an hour and a half after sunset and stay open until late at night. Foreigners are not expected to fast and we can move around freely and have water with us wherever we go. We will be respecting the custom and not walk down the street eating; however, during the day, the restaurants still cater to foreigners and our riad will also be cooking some of our meals for us. In the evenings, the restaurants are alive and full and people are in an especially good mood!
The benefits of visiting during Ramadan are many; A cannon is sounded every evening to signal the breaking of the fast, special foods are served after sundown that you can only eat during Ramadan, the shops stay open until 2:00 in the morning and the souk is alive and brightly lit in the evenings.