This romantic winter getaway features cosy 4 and 5* boutique riads and lodges with upgraded rooms, Moroccan culture, stunning scenery and relaxation
Highlights: Relax on the coast in Essaouira, unwind at your spa hotel amidst the rolling hills of the Atlas Mountains, sleep under the stars in a lavish tented camp in the Agafay Stone Desert and indulge your senses in Marrakesh before returning to the comfort of your luxury riad.
Travel dates: November – December 2021 (selected departures)
Duration: 9 nights / 10 days
Morocco Holiday Offer price: £2,260 per person (includes saving of £370 per person)
Offer includes: International flights, luggage, accommodation, romantic hammam experience, sunset camel ride, massage and a souk and medina tour
This is just one of many tempting offers we’ve managed to secure for 2021 holidays. See them all here.
Dive in to the adventure that awaits you below….
Day One – Fly to Marrakesh, transfer to Essaouira
After landing in Marrakesh, your guide will drive you to your hotel in the charming coastal town of Essaouira. The journey takes around three hours, but this breezy, characterful town is the perfect place to start your romantic Morocco holiday. Picture yourself sipping on a steaming pot of traditional mint tea, looking out over the ocean as locals fish and go about their day.
The vibe in Essaouira is exactly what you’d expect from a coastal city: Relaxed, chilled and a much more calming introduction to this exotic country than the bigger, more central cities would be. Plus, the locals are so friendly and welcoming to tourists too, so you’ll be welcomed, soothed and seduced by this place in equal measure.
Villa Maroc is luxurious but still maintains a relaxed energy (a bit like Essaouira itself!) After checking into your room, you’ll enjoy a complimentary dinner, served in the romantically lit courtyard. Soak up the atmosphere, sample flavours of Morocco and ease into your romantic escape.
Day Two – Explore Essaouira
Explore the medina
On your first morning in Morocco, indulge in a leisurely breakfast before heading into the medina to catch the sellers slowly opening up their stalls for business. As you arrive at the old city walls, prepare to be charmed by the white and blue walls of Essaouira’s medina. It’s worth the early alarm as the streets will be quieter in the mornings, giving you more opportunity to browse and brush off your haggling skills! Compared to the hustle and bustle of Morocco’s bigger cities, Essaouira will give you time to find your feet, get the grips with bits of the local lingo and settle in to the Moroccan pace of life.
Amble between the towering whitewashed buildings, along the narrow streets lined with stalls blanketed in colourful rugs and wooden crafts and spice stalls selling a rainbow of flavourful powders. If we can give you one tip, put the map away! There’s something truly magical about fully immersing yourself in a new place, and one of the best ways to do this is to get lost, on purpose. It will be good practice for Marrakesh too, you’ll be old hands by then!
See the fisherman at work in the fishing harbour
Once you’ve explored Essaouira’s beautiful little medina, head to the bustling fishing port to walk the ancient ramparts, built in 1506 by the Portuguese. The smell of the ocean will hit you as you stroll along the waterfront, watching the frenzy of activity as the fishermen sort their catches of the day.
If photography is your thing, you’ll want your camera handy as you explore this picturesque harbour. The characterful faces of the locals, the beautiful blue fishing boats, the white washed walls of the medina against the (hopefully) blue sky are sure to make for some fantastic holiday snaps.
Scala Du Port
Scala du Port is a must-visit during your time in Essaouira. (Particularly if you’re a Game of Thrones fan!) Channel your inner Daenerys and climb the walls of the fort for the best view of the medina that you could hope to get. Here’s one of our Morocco specialists, Rebecca, making full, smiley use of the photo opportunity on one of her many visits to the city.
If you’re the sorts to counter your romance with a healthy dollop of active adventure, then there’s plenty of that to be had in Essaouira. Why not go camel riding along the beach or make use of the wind and take to the shores for some watersports? Surf lessons are also available from many of the surf shops along the shoreline (if that floats your board!).
Day Three – Learn to cook the local cuisine
Here at HA, we truly value local experiences. And what better way to really get under the skin of a country, than to learn how to cook the local food? Not only do you get to meet and interact with locals, but you get a delicious meal, a sense of achievement, and learn something new that you can wow your friends with when you return home. It’s a win all round.
Our favourite Essaouira cooking class is located in a former almond warehouse with stone arches, near the entrance of the medina. You will use a combination of modern and traditional kitchen equipment and cooking techniques to prepare a fully authentic Moroccan meal. Your menu for the day could be made up of any of the following: chicken or fish pastilla, lamb tagine with almonds and dates, seabass tagine with vegetables, kefta tagine with eggs, harira soup, and seven vegetable couscous. So, make sure you turn up complete with a big appetite!
Day Four – Transfer to the Atlas Mountains
Today you’ll head to the Atlas Mountains where beautiful green rolling hills, set against a backdrop of snow-capped mountains, await you. Nestled within 60 acres of parkland, flower beds, olive trees, orchards and plenty of rose bushes, your hotel is a real treat. La Roseraie is the only spa hotel in the Atlas Mountains and the tranquil pool makes it the perfect place to unwind and relax before exploring the surrounding villages and getting a taste of mountain life.
This romantic Morocco holiday offer includes an upgrade to a suite, adding a real touch of elegance to your stay. For a slice of next-level pampering, why not book into the hotel spa and make use of the traditional hammam, jacuzzi and heated indoor pool. We could all use a bit of R&R after the last 18 months!
The pool at La Roseraie is nothing short of magic. Can’t you just picture yourself lounging on one of those plush seats, taking in your surroundings and looking forward to the adventures still to come?
Day Five – Guided walk in Ouirgane
If you can tear yourself away from the calming oasis of your hotel, we hugely recommend taking off on a guided walk in Ouirgane. In the heart of Berber country, this is the perfect opportunity to get an authentic glimpse into the rural mountain life that the Atlas Mountains are known for.
On the fringes of the Toubkal National Park, the Valley of Ouirgane is a place of farmland and dramatic mountain backdrops, threaded through with the Ouirgane Dam reservoir. Your walk will take in all of these sights, including seeing traditional Berber farmers at work in this remarkably fertile hideaway. Today, the Berber people proudly call themselves ‘amazigh’ (m), ‘tamazight’ (f) or ‘imazighen’ (plural), which means ‘free men’ or ‘noble people.’
After a delicious picnic lunch, as you make your way back downhill, you’ll also see an unusual piece of history, a Jewish quarter in the village of Anraz.
This full-day guided walk includes five hours of easy-moderate walking in total. (And you could always book back into the hotel spa to sooth your weary limbs once you get back… we know we would be!)
Day Six – A night under the stars in Agafay Stone Desert
This morning you’ll transfer into the Agafay Stone Desert to enjoy a completely different, almost otherworldly landscape. What’s more, the White Camel Lodge is the ultimate in decadent desert luxury. You’ll struggle to spend a more opulent night under the stars than here.
As if that wasn’t already romantic enough, this evening you have a sunset camel ride included in your stay. Watch the sun sink below the horizon, painting the wide sky all shades of pinks and red as you enjoy this rather unique (and slightly rocky) form of transport.
White Camel Lodge, Agafay Stone Desert
The pool at White Camel Lodge really is something to write home about. Taking a dip in the infinity pool, whilst gazing out across the far-reaching plains of the stone desert and Atlas Mountains beyond, is sure to be a stand out memory from your romantic Morocco holiday.
Day Seven – Journey to Marrakesh
Just a quick one hour transfer today and you’ll find yourself in the buzzing medina of Marrakesh. Quite the contrast to the wide open spaces and starry skies of the stone desert, Marrakesh is one of the jewels in Morocco’s crown.
La Maison Arabe is your calming oasis in the midst of the narrow lanes, sounds, smells and choas of the medina. Hidden behind imposing and impressive, carved wooden doors, this riad hotel is almost palatial in style. We think it’s the perfect place to slink back to after a day of exploring the souks and medinas. Plus, being so central, you don’t have far to go either. It’s the perfect riad for your romantic Morocco holiday.
We’ve included a complimentary 30 minute massage during your stay, because what romantic escape would be complete without a spot of ultimate pampering?
Day Eight – Half-day souks and medina tour
This morning you’ll enjoy a complimentary medina tour with a knowledgeable, local guide inside the exciting souks of Marrakesh. Prepare yourself for a true feast for the senses here. On your tour, you’ll taste delicious regional produce, smell the heady aromas of spice and oil, be dazzled by the kaleidoscope of colour that surrounds you, all whilst a symphony of sounds surrounds you.
We love the madness of Marrakesh. However, when you return to the tranquillity of La Maison Arabe after your day of adventure, you’ll be thankful for the peaceful retreat and calming oasis. The ideal spot to relax before heading back out to explore the electric atmosphere of Marrakesh’s main square, Jemaa el-Fnaa, by night.
Day Nine – Food tasting tour
We’re sure you’ll have a real taste for the Moroccan cuisine by now, so we want to ensure you have your fill of it before flying home! With that in mind, for your final afternoon we’ve arranged a food tasting tour with a local guide to show you the delicacies of the city. You’ll visit a traditional bakery, explore a spice souk, peruse the olive, preserved lemons and date stands, and sample some delicious Tangia in the square. After washing all of this tastiness down with an exquisite Moroccan mint tea, your bellies will be happy, and so will you!
Day Ten – Time to fly home
We predict today will be a sad day, the end of a holiday always is! But, after ten beautiful days of exploring this alluring country, you’ll have plenty to reminisce about on your flight home.
It’s so rare we do offers here at HA as we’re always working our hardest behind the scenes to ensure we’re offering the very best price possible to you. However, due to the impact of Covid-19 on the tourism industry in Morocco, we’ve been able to work closely with our ground agents to secure this fantastic romantic Morocco holiday offer. The availability is very limited, so we recommend getting in touch as soon as you can to chat to Rebecca or Emma, our Morocco specialists, more about this holiday if it tickles your fancy! You can give them a call on 01242 253 073 or email [email protected] if you want to chat more about it!