NEW FOR 2021 £299 deposit

Gardens of Marrakech

The timeless city of Marrakech, which gave its name to Morocco, has an enduring appeal, with its low-rise pink and red buildings set against the magnificent backdrop of the snow-capped Atlas mountains. Its beating heart is the square of Jemaa El Fna, where musicians and story-tellers and snake-charmers act out compelling scenes which have changed little over the centuries, and you will find yourself irresistibly drawn here.

Other attractions in this most alluring of North African cities include El Bahia Palace, with sunlit courtyards, planted with cypress, orange trees and jasmine and furnished with wells and fountains and El Badi Palace, a vast, ruinous site with a lingering sense of grandeur.

We also visit the Agdal and Menara gardens, where the surrounding mountains are mirrored in sheets of water, and the fabulous, brightly coloured gardens of Majorelle. Escaping the bustle of the city we have an excursion to the Ourika Valley in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains.

What's included?

  • Flights
  • Accommodation
  • Services of a professional tour manager
  • Comfortable coach travel throughout
  • Meals - as per the itinerary

Full Price
£1,395

Today's Price
£1,295

Saving
£100

Benefit from this limited time offer:

  • Pay a low deposit of £299, was £200.

Single supplement: £400

Tour highlights:

  • The bustling square of Jemaa El Fna at the heart of the city
  • Faded glory at El Badi Palace
  • Contemporary style at Le Jardin Secret
  • Bright colours and international glamour at the Majorelle
  • Delightful flavours and aromas in the Ourika Valley

Tour details

Dates 17 April 2021 - 22 April 2021
Duration 6 days
Cost
Full Price
£1,395
Today's Price
£1,295
Saving
£100

Benefit from this limited time offer:

  • Pay a low deposit of £299, was £200.
Single supplement: £400 Balance due by 23 January 2021
Tour code BMRK210417

Book Now or call 01334 657155 if you have any questions

17 April 2021: Itinerary

We depart this morning from London on a direct flight to Marrakech (regional flight connections and overnight accommodation in London are available at a reasonable supplement). On arrival we will be met by our local coach and guide and transfer to our hotel in the city. Located in the heart of the luxurious district of Hivernagein, five minutes’ walk from the heart of old Marrakech, Es Saadi Gardens & Resort Palace features sumptuous decoration created by Master Craftsmen of Morocco. The hotel is set in extensive grounds and once we have settled into the hotel we will have a tour of the gardens with the Head Gardener.

 

Meals include: Dinner

Hotel: Es Saadi Gardens & Resort Palace, Marrakech

After breakfast we begin our exploration of Marrakech with a visit to El Bahia Palace, which was built in the late 19th century by the great vizier Sidi Moussa and intended to be the greatest palace of its time, capturing the essence of the nation’s style, both Moroccan and Islamic. There is a two-acre garden with rooms opening onto sunlit courtyards, planted with cypress, orange trees and jasmine and furnished with wells and fountains to provide a sheltered and private space.

From here we will walk to El Badi Palace, also built by Ahmad al-Mansur over a period of 25 years in the late 16th century. The original building is thought to have consisted of 360 rooms, richly decorated with marble and gold. It also has a small, underground, tunnel-like jail with about four cells where the king kept his prisoners. Unfortunately, the palace was torn apart by the Sultan Mawlay Ismail but there is still a lingering sense of grandeur and some interesting nooks and crannies to explore.

We end our morning at the famous garden of La Majorelle, which was made in the 1920s by the French painter Jacques Majorelle, with marble pools, raised pathways, banana trees, groves of bamboo, coconut palms and bougainvilleas. Unsuprisingly, the garden is composed and coloured like a painting, with many of the solid features painted in a rich blue ('Majorelle Blue') which works very well with the soil, climate and plants. Water is a prominent feature of the garden, with channels, lily-filled ponds and fountains and there is a wide range of plants, for Majorelle was an avid collector. After years of neglect, the garden was then taken over and restored by the fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent and today presents an extraordinary and at times surreal combination of colour, form and light.

In the afternoon we will walk to the Yves Saint Laurent Art and Design for a brief visit before we drive to the expansive gardens of M. Ben Chaabane, who is a renowned Garden Designer, botanist, perfume maker and publisher. M. Chaabane was approached in 1998 by Yves Saint Laurent to restore the Majorelle Gardens and develop a perfume that represented them. He also encouraged him to create his own perfumes, which are now commercially available throughout the country. Within this garden property we will admire a stimulating collection of contemporary paintings by local and foreign artists. Nearby we will see the cactus garden, an excellent example of a dry garden of the semi-arid zones.

Meals include: Breakfast, Dinner

Hotel: Es Saadi Gardens & Resort Palace, Marrakech

Our exploration of Marrakech continues today with a visit to to visit the tranquil Menara Garden, which has its origins in a 12th century orchard of palm, olive and fruit trees. An orchard, pools and pavilions are the primary components of Islamic gardens and Menara is a classic example, with a formal pool overlooked by a pavilion previously used by the sultan and his family. The present pavilion dates from the nineteenth century but is believed to be on the site of a 16th-century Saadian structure. The image of the trees and surrounding mountains reflected in the shimmering pool provides perfect photo opportunities and lingering memories.

We continue with a walk in Arset Moulay Abdessalam within the city walls, which was a space for the artisans of the souks to organize their parties. Then we continue to Jnane Harti, known for its cactus and other exotic plants.

After an opportunity for lunch (not included) this afternoon we will visit one of the most sumptuous palaces of Marrakech, Dar el Basha, built for the famous dignitary El Glaoui more than a century ago.

We continue to Le Jardin Secret, a garden that has been the home of some important political figures. Designed by Chelsea Gold Medal winner Tom Stuart-Smith, this is an outstanding example of the art and architecture of an Islamic garden and is a part of the great tradition of stately Arab-Andalusian and Moroccan palaces.

From here we continue to the artisan quarter to visit the workshops of dyers, tinsmiths, leather makers and wood painters, with the opportunity to take many rewarding photos of this colourful, bustling market.

At the end of the afternoon we will enjoy a guided walk on the square of Jemaa El Fna, which teems with acrobats, jugglers, snake-charmers and story-tellers and provides a colourful taste of Moroccan life and culture.

Meals include: Breakfast, Dinner

Hotel: Es Saadi Gardens & Resort Palace, Marrakech

After breakfast we drive into the Atlas Mountains to visit the organic and aromatic gardens nestled in the lush green valley of Ourika. As we reach the first foothills we will visit a Saffron Plantation and learn all about this ancient, expensive and almost mythical spice; its cultivation and its culinary and therapeutic properties.

We will enjoy a cup of delicious Moroccan saffron tea before we head to Nectarome, an aromatic garden located deep in the valley. On arrival we will have a guided tour of the property to discover the secrets and benefits of local plants as well as the Moroccan natural cosmetic products optimized by modern science. We then enjoy a succulent lunch, carefully prepared with organic vegetables and aromatic plants from the garden and served in its beautiful Pergola.

After lunch we will go to visit the contemporary gardens of Anima, created by an Austrian artist who skilfully combines plants and indigenous African art.

We return to the hotel where the evening is free, a chance to enjoy dinner in a local restaurant.

Meals include: Breakfast, Lunch

Hotel: Es Saadi Gardens & Resort Palace, Marrakech

Following breakfast we have some free time (depending on flight times) for shopping and sightseeing before we transfer to the airport for our flight back to London, where the group will disperse or make onward connections.

Meals include: Breakfast

17 April 2021: Additional Info

17 April 2021: Accommodation

Es Saadi Gardens & Resort Palace is situated in Marrakech and overlooks the the Jardin d’Hiver and hotel swimming pool. The hotel has a 1950’s style and has an understated but luxurious feel.

The hotel has its own Oriental Spa, a swimming pool and a renowned gourmet restaurant.

17 April 2021: Enquiries

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