• By: Cory Hayes

    5/14/2019

  • That morning in Essaouira, we knew we’d struck gold. A contingent of our group split off with one of our guides to go paddle boarding on the bay. The Mediterranean sun felt fantastic. The oomph it took was just the break our muscles needed. The views of the city walls and Mogador Islands left us with no doubt that we were in Morocco. Meanwhile, the others were just as absorbed in a kitchen where a local chef gave a cooking instruction in tagine, Morocco’s classic stew. It was a homey, lively, sensory session that was full of laughs and a chance to dig into the local culture. When we came back together, the debate over who had the best morning ended in a draw. In Morocco, everybody wins. 

    Those early moments on our newest Morocco itinerary proved a lot. First and foremost, that six days is plenty of time to experience this African kingdom. The trip came to be because a private group asked if there was a practical way to explore Morocco in just one week. Indeed, there is! Exotic as it feels, Morocco is nearer than many travelers realize. Casablanca is closer to most U.S. gateways than Rome, and it’s roughly the same distance as Paris. Plenty of travelers go to Europe for a week... so the same is eminently doable in Morocco. Add to that the fact that Classic Journeys has more than 22 years worth of friends, contacts and wonderful experiences in Morocco, and handcrafting this new itinerary was as easy as sliding down a desert sand dune. That special trip was such a success that we are now offering it as a second Morocco travel option for you. 

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    The days are a leisurely cascade quintessentially Moroccan cultural experiences. In Essaouira (aka Astapor in Game of Thrones) the medina is a time-stands-still place where a guided stroll includes centuries-old fortifications and shops spilling over with silver and carpets. You meet the Amazigh Berbers on a walk in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains. Out there, argan trees that grow only in Morocco yield nuts whose oil is used for everything from drizzling on couscous to moisturizing shampoo. You’ll come wiz us to ze Kasbah as well. That’s the Kasbah Abderazak in this case, an old fort where today a craftsman turns goats’ milk into cheese. 

    As far as we’re concerned, no visit to Morocco is complete without an excursion into the desert...and the only way to go is on a camel. A Berber blue man will meet you with his mounts. You tie on a burnoose and then sway into the Agafay desert in the shadow of the Atlas Mountains. Your ride ends at a luxury desert encampment with gleaming white tents, cushy beds, and all the amenities. A feast of a dinner is on the fire, and it tastes all the better because you enjoy it while watching dusk turn into starlit night. When the new day dawns you have another choice of activities – either a bike ride or a guided walk on paths end at an oasis of palm and olive trees. 

    Camel ride in desert

    As any trip to Morocco must, yours makes its way to Marrakesh where you shop the souks, explore quiet water-splashed gardens, and sit down to an extravagant farewell dinner in a palatial private home that’s world-renowned for its interior design. 

    Back at home, we had a dozen opinions about which moment was the best. But then that’s the hallmark of a vacation so full of exceptional and exotic experiences. The one thing that everyone agreed on our is that six days is absolutely enough time to leisurely fall in love with Morocco


    THE COMFORTS OF MOROCCO
    On your visit, days full of a rich variety of activities and cultural experiences end in the quiet elegance of some of the country’s finest lodgings. 
     

    Essaouira - L’Heure Bleue Palais 
    Set in an 18th-century riad in the city’s heart, this Relais & Chateaux property focuses inward on its private courtyard. The rooftop pool overlooks the medina and the sea. 
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    Agafay Desert  - Scarabeo Camp 
    Snow-white tents rise from the sands and offer 360º views of the desert and Atlas Mountains. The luxurious tents include regular beds, a traditional Moroccan lounge and carpeted floors.
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    Marrakesh - Sofitel Marrakech Lounge & Spa 
    A contemporary 5-star oasis of calm is near all of the city’s treasures. A palm-lined fringed pool looks outward to the mountains, and there’s also a spa and a hammam for your pleasure. 
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    Have you been to Morocco with us before? Would you like to go back without repeating yourself? This new 6-day itinerary visits different regions of the country and offers an array of fresh experiences to welcome you back. 

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