Itinerary · Morocco · March 24 - April 2, 2019 · 5 spots left

 

 

 

 

 

 

One thing to note: this itinerary is the current plan, and, things may change. We will make every effort to provide the tours and experiences that are described below. However, the nature of the places we’ll be visiting — not typical tourist destinations — means that plans may change at the last minute. Also, you always have the option of skipping a particular excursion, but please note that we will be unable to make refunds for any missed meals or other events.

Day 1 / Marrakech / Jnane Tamsna

Welcome aperitif and dinner in the enchanting private guesthouse gardens of Jnane Tamsna.

 

Day 2 / Marrakech / Jnane Tamsna

After breakfast, tour ethnobotonist Gary Martin’s organic vegetable garden at Jnane Tamsna. Our first cooking lesson with chef Baija will be on Chicken and Pear Tagine and Caviar d’Aubergine.  The tagine is the classic conical-shaped terracotta cooking pot of Morocco, and we will each have our own tagine to work with. We will taste these dishes for lunch served in the garden.

After lunch, relax in the quietness of Tamsna. Clay court tennis is available, as is time by the pool. Optional overview tour of the Marrakech medina and walk through the souks.

Dinner at Jnane Tamsna.

 

Day 3 / Marrakech / Jnane Tamsna

After breakfast, a hands-on lesson on couscous made in the traditional couscousier. Lunch in the garden. Afterwards, we’ll forage through the spice market in the Medina. Learn to identify true saffron, and the various ingredients of ras-el-hanout, the traditional mixture of herbs and spices used in many Moroccan dishes, especially tagine.

Afternoon options:  Medina shopping, Yves Saint Laurent Museum,  Hammam (traditional steam bath and scrub), massage. Dinner at Jnane Tamsna.

 

Day 4 / Marrakech / Jnane Tamsna

After breakfast, a fusion cooking class will be given on Spanish Moorish cooking. Almond soup, almond cake and tortilla. Lunch in the garden.

Afternoon and evening free, and dinner on your own.  Private guides available for personal excursions; expenses are the responsibility of the guest. Recommendations will be given.

Tonight pack for the mountains.

(Large luggage will stay at Tamsna. A small duffel bag should be used for our three days away.)

 

Day 5 / Imlil / Kasbah du Toubkal

After breakfast, drive across the Haouz plain to the market town of Tnine Ourika to discover the Jardin de Senteurs et Cultures, a picturesque organic garden of aromatic herbs, planted by Jalil Belkamel. Here we’ll learn about essential oils, used in Moroccan aromatherapy, cuisine and massage.

Before our picnic lunch under a tented shade, there will be a demonstration on baking bread in traditional Tachelhit (Berber) clay ovens.

In the afternoon, we will travel up into the Imlil Valley, to learn about the region’s flora, including wild thyme, carob trees, Atlas figs, and capers, en route to the Kasbah di Toubkal – Morocco’s highest mountain retreat.

A short but winded walk up will take us through the walnut grove to the Kasbah on foot, or via a stylish mule ride. Dinner and overnight at the Kasbah du Toubkal.

 

Day 6 / Imlil / Kasbah du Toubkal

After breakfast, we’ll hike along mountain slopes to visit the walnut groves, home gardens and terraces of the Tachelhit Berber mountain agriculture. Tea on top of the world. Lunch or picnic at the Kasbah. Afternoon free for rest, relaxation, hammam, visiting Imlil or additional hiking.

Evening will bring a cooking demonstration of lamb and fig tagine, which we will then enjoy for dinner. Overnight at the Kasbah du Toubkal.

Prepare to leave for the coast after early breakfast.

 

Day 7 / Essaouira / Sidi Kaouki Inn

After breakfast, travel about 4-1/2 hours to the Atlantic coast to visit the Portuguese port of old Mogador, now known as Essaouira. We’ll enjoy a lunch of the freshest grilled fish at the port. . Peruse the carpets and weavings to perfect one’s appreciation and eye for Berber design. Visit the music stores for the best selection of Gnawa and Andalous tunes or the woodcarvers who produce artifacts of fragrant thuya wood. Or if time permits, sit in one of Essaouira’s French-style café’s for journal writing and people watching. Afterwards, it’s off to Sidi Kaouki and Sidi Kaouki Inn for an overnight stay in a village setting. No electricity – just candlelight, stars and the sound of the waves. We will taste the coastal flavors of Sidi Koauki. Dinner to follow and perhaps some dancing Kaouki style. Overnight at Sidi Kaouki Inn, under a blanket of stars like you’ve never seen.

 

Day 8 / Marrakech / Jnane Tamsna

Breakfast on the terrace. Afterwards, a stroll along one of the west coast’s most enchanted beaches. Have a camel ride, or take in the sea while writing in your journal. Pop in the kitchen to  see the preparation of Shakshuka, or Berber omelette as it’s known. Hearty and delicious it will hold us over for the journey back to Marrakech.

We’ll stop at one of the Argan Oil Cooperatives to visit with the local women proudly cracking and pressing the nuts that they have gathered, and learn about this unique and indigenous oil. Argan products available for purchase. A ride back through the open plains to Marrakech will take us back to Jnane Tamsna, our home away from home, in time to settle back in, relax, and have an aperitif. Dinner by the fireside.

 

Day 9 / Marrakech / Jnane Tamsna

After breakfast, we’ll have our last cooking class with Baija on Pastilla and Kefta. Lunch under the carob tree with poetry reading and sharing of the week’s impressions.

Option: Last minute shopping in the medina . Or Hammam perhaps?

Evening presents our Gala dinner complete with Andalusian music. Au revoir.

Day 10 / Marrakech / Jnane Tamsna

Departure after breakfast. Please arrange transport with the reception of Jnane Tamsna. You will be billed for any extra charges that you might accrue outside of the program.

 

Details Subject to Change

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