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Luxury Morocco Family Holiday
An exclusive holiday staying in luxurious accommodation. Spend 4 nights in the High Atlas Mountains walking and relaxing at Sir Richard Branson's Moroccan retreat, before exploring the souks and sights of Marrakech from the comfort of a beautiful riad.
Pick up at Marrakech airport and transfer to your hotel Kasbah Tamadot in Asni a small town in the foothills of the High Atlas Mountains near Marrakesh. Dinner and overnight
Have your breakfast and spend your day at leisure at Kasbah Tamadot enjoying the facilities they have to offer. There are two swimming pools, two tennis courts, table tennis and a hot tub at your disposal as well as games, cards and a pool table. There are plenty of sun loungers around the pool and with outstanding views of the valley, it is the perfect place to lie back and relax.
Just up the road from Asni, Imlil is the trail-head for a number of superb long-distance routes up to Toubkal (the highest peak in North Africa) and the surrounding valleys and there are several fantastic day walk options. You will meet with your English-speaking guide this morning who will suggest a walking route, based on your requirements and fitness levels. This could vary from a gentle stroll through the villages to a more challenging hike up to a pass. Our team will prepare a Berber picnic on the trail and a mule will be provided for the children to ride.
Back to your hotel, Dinner and accommodation
Today you have the choice of enjoying a cycling day along the beautiful trails surrounding Imlil or heading out on the trails with mountain bikes (must be arranged in at the time of booking).
After breakfast transfer your boutique riad El Fenn in Marrakech. After check in your riad and some refreshment, you guide will lead you to an exploration journey of the abundant historical and cultural wealth of Marrakesh.
Start with the most of the city’s “unmissable” sights found within the old city walls. Visit the Koutoubia, the great square of Jemaa el Fna and the Menara
The Almohads started on the building of the Koutoubia in 1150. It took them 40 years to complete. Koutoubia is regarded as one of the Maghrib’s most beautiful monuments due to its simplicity of design, highly sophisticated decoration and perfectly balanced proportions. In fact, it served as a model for two sisters mosques, The Giralda in Seville and the Hassan Tower in Rabat. Its 77meter minaret can be seen from 25 kilometers away and, lit up in the evenings, it becomes the city’s “spiritual lighthouse”.
Wander into Jemaa el Fna , the living heart of the city listed by UNESCO’s as an Immaterial Heritage . Its fame is related to its size, its bustle of activity and its unique atmosphere. It is scattered with restaurants stalls offering an endless variety of food and rind. Jemaa el Fna really comes to life at night, with locals and visitors alike gathering to the terraces and the cafes that surround to it. There you find storytellers, marvelous acrobats, the famous Gnaoua dancers, jumping to the hypnotic rhythm of their “krakachs’ (metal castanets) .
Visit the Saadian Tomb located near Bab Agnaou. The Saadian Tombs are a royal necropolis (14th to 16th century) ornamented with columns of Italian marble and topped by a finely worked cedar wood cupola.
Continue to the impressive ruins of the El Badi palace, once regarded as the wonder of the Muslin world and a source of meditation on bygone glories. Only its high walls remain popular as a nesting place for the region’s storks.
Visit the Bahia Palace and its gardens build in the late 19th century by the architect El Mekkin and a residence for the Vizier, Ba Ahmed Ben Moussa. The palace is a true masterpiece, outstanding for the sophistication of its décor, its garden, fountains and tree shaded courtyards and for is architectural design. The place was home to the Vizier’s family, which included 4 wives, 24 concubines and countless children.
The layout of its rooms, doors and corridors was designed to ensure that each occupant could protect his or her privacy and avoid unwanted meetings with others who lived there. It took 7 years to build – a fact at the origin of Moroccan expression, the Bahia is finally finished, referring to any piece of business that has taken time to get done
Continue to the Dar Si Said Museum that holds rich collections of poplar arts and crafts from Marrakesh and the surrounding Berber regions. Also close by is the Dar Tiskiwin Museum, home of the Bert Flint collection and a perfect complement to Dar Si Said.
Visit the Menara Gardens buit by The Almohads in the 14th century, a graceful summer pavilion with an artificial lake surrounded by a huge orchard planted with olive trees. As nights falls the place becomes a heaven, glowing with every shade of gold. The lake serves as a basin for irrigating the olive grove and is supplied by a 700 years old hydraulic system that harnesses water from the mountains and brings it in through 30 kilometers of pipes.
The Ben Youssef Medersa was built by the Saadians and is an undisputed jewel of Moroccan architecture, a great Koranic university composed of marble, stuccowork, mosaics and carved cedar wood and which attracted students from throughout the Muslim world. Facing it, the Almoravid Koubba ( or Koubba Ba ‘ Adiyn ) built in 1064 , is all that is left of the Almoravids and there architecture. The nearby M’Nebhi Palace has been superbly restored and now houses the Marrakesh Museum and its exhibitions of contemporary art an Moroccan cultural heritage.
Stop for lunch at one of the finest restaurant in the medina before continuing your joyful exploration of the wonderful medina.
You have the choice of sampling delicious Moroccan dishes or the finest in international cuisine. You can dine in gourmet restaurants or seated beneath a start studded sky at one of the stalls in Jemaa Fna. The great local specialty, tangia Marrakshia, a real institution whose flavor is not just a matter of its ingredients, but also of how they are cooked.
In fact, there is nothing like getting lost in the medina’s souks if you want to get a real idea of the richness of Marrakeshi craftsmanship and of the extraordinary know how of the city’s master craftsmen. visit souk Cherratine for fine leather goods, Souk Zrabi for carpets, Souk Fekharine for pottery, Souk Sebbaghine for dyers, Souk Seffarine for copperware, and so on. You will never want to leave…
After the visit, back to your Riad, B&B accommodation
Have your breakfast and go for further exploration of the magnificent Marrakesh.
First visit the new town named Gueliz. Marrakesh is really two cities standing side by side – the old town within the historic walls and the new town with its districts of Gueliz and l’Hivernage traversed by Avenue Mohamed VI. The city covers a good deal of ground and is ideal for exploring on foot, by bicycle or by barouche, the traditional Marrakeshi way of getting from one place to another.
Marrakesh boasts numerous gardens and greens spaces in its old and new towns Visit the Majorelle Garden, an enchanting spot, a masterpiece of light and color, filled with exotic flowers and plant life and alive with birdsong and the murmur of the fountains, was created by the Frensh painter Jacques Majorelle, who came to live in Marrakesh in 1922. The artist painted the walls of his Art Deco villa and garden a vibrant and luminescent ultramarine. Set ast it is in the heart of an ochre red city, his bleu garden certainly raises a few eyebrows- it is, however, the bleu of Marrakshi skies! The property niw belongs to the Pierre Berge Yves saint Laurent Foundation, and houses a museum of Islamic art, along with the ashes of famous couturier himself
Continue to visit the Arsat Moulay Abdessalam Cyber park. It is one of the oldest city’s parks, dating back to the 18th century. Since its restauration, however, it also happens to be the most modern, with interactive multimedia terminals installed along its pathways and Internet equipment on hand boasting the very latest in technology. You will find excellent virtual guides to the city and to the park itself, with full information on its history and the many species of flora to be found there, as well as ythe city’s cultural life.
After breakfast take the traditional barouche for a tour around Marrakesh Palmeraie covering some 14.000 hectares and contains over 100.000 trees. It is irrigated by means of “khettaras”, an ingenious system of underground pipes supplied by ground water.
In the afternoon take a barouche tour around the old town’s adobe walls. The walls are 19km long and include a score of gateways (Bab in Arabic). It takes a good two hours to get all the way round them. The afternoon light guarantees splendid views. Some, such as Bab el Debbagh and Bab Agnaou still preserve their original architecture.
B&B accommodation en Riad el Fenn
After your breakfast you will be transferred to the airport to catch your flight home.