January 19 to 27, 2021
Join us for this 9 day “Feast for the senses” in Morocco. Experience a local Berber Hammam to sooth your body and mind. Delight in all things culinary including a traditional cooking class with an award winning chef. Adventure though Marrakesh’s famous stalls of spices, perfumes, carpets and shoes. Enjoy the sunrise while floating in a hot air balloon ride over the beautiful Moroccan countryside. Enjoy a camel ride while the sunset sets in the Agafay Desert. Theresa Fischer Boudreau will be your host on this incredible adventure.
Depart for Casablanca with Air Canada.
Accommodations at Odyssee Center Hotel - 1 night. Welcome to exotic Casablanca. FOllowing customs formalities we will be met by our local representative and transferred to the hotel. Time to freshen up before meeting in the lobby for a welcome drink at Rick's Cafe. Return to the hotel for dinner.
Accommodations at Riad Slitine - 4 nights. After breakfast we begin the city tour of Casablanca with an inside visit of Hassan II mosque. It is the largest mosque in the country and the 7th largest in the world. We continue to the Ain Diab Corniche for a pleasant stroll along the coast. Next stop is Mohammed V Square in the city center. The city tour includes the Habous Quarter, one of the oldest areas in Casablanca. The district was built by the French in the 1930s as an attempted solution to the ongoing housing shortage. It marries the best of traditional Moroccan architecture with modern facilities and French ideals - even the mosque fronts onto a strip of grassy lawn just like a village church. Time for lunch before departing for Marrakech. Upon arrival check in at the hotel and get ready for a traditional berber hammam. Our hammam is a place where space and time speak an ancient language. We will be immersed in total relaxation, in an atmosphere filled with water, oils, essences and perfumes. Enjoy a 45-minute scrub with black soap or spices for relaxation and eliminating toxins from the body. After your hammam, we will enjoy a tonic massage in the Moroccan tradition that helps to eliminate tensions in order to regain energy and vitality. Back to our hotel to relax.
This morning we head into the souks for a culinary adventure. We will visit several different food stalls allowing us to try traditional Moroccan street food including dried meats, milawi, harsha, briwats, soups, olives and more. At the honey souk, we will be able to taste an array of delicious wild honeys, discuss their flavors and health-giving properties and find out why honey is so important in Moroccan cooking culture. We will also visit a furnatchi where the water for the communal bathhouse ‘hammam’ is heated, and a 400 year old ‘furan’ or communal oven and bakery. During this tour we will also visit the world-famous Jemaa el Fna Square, which houses an array of food vendors, snake charmers, local musicians, and fortune-tellers. There’s nowhere on earth like the Jemaa el Fna, the square at the heart of old Marrakesh. The morning tour ends with visits to two exotic Marrakech museums: Dar Si Said Museum and Dar Bacha. Free time following the morning excursion. At 3:30 PM we reconvene for an exceptional gastronomic experience with an award-winning Executive Chef. Drawing from his extensive knowledge of North Africa’s rich food culture, this curated tour will walk us through the mind of a Moroccan chef from picking out fresh produce in the souks of his hometown, sampling spices for the perfect flavor, and preparing artisanal filo dough from scratch. The chef will unlock the secrets of the recipes he’s mastered over the years and then we will get to sit down with him and enjoy them. By the end of dinner we will leave with an inside perspective on one of the world’s most highly cherished cuisines. Return to our hotel following dinner.
Breakfast at the hotel before departing for Ourika where we will enjoy a unique farm experience in the Moroccan countryside. We begin by choosing a selection of vegetables, fruits and aromatic plants from the garden which we will transform into couscous accompanied by Tajine of lamb with plums under the guidance of our hosts. You can also choose to prepare your own yogurt with apricots or if feeling adventurous, take a turn milking goats and then learn how to make cheese. Lunch will be the results of our morning cooking class. After lunch, we will learn a spiritual cleansing technique to rid your body of negative energy and replace it with positive energy. We finish the day with a candle-lit Berber dinner before returning to Marrakech.
Leisurely breakfast at the hotel before departing for a full day excursion of Imlil Valley in the Atlas Mountains. We begin where the coach drops us off with a gentle walk to Aremd village at an elevation of 6000 ft. A Berber chef will make a presentation of the dishes (Bread making, Tagine, and couscous). We will be invited to take part in the cooking course and cook your own meal before you sit together for a tea ceremony with locals. A short walk through the village and we’ll learn about the agricultural products in the valley and their culinary values before you sit and enjoy the achievement of cooking a local specialty. Late in the evening, we will walk downhill through orchards to Imlil for transfer back to our hotel in Marrakech. Overnight at the hotel.
Accommodations: White Camel Lodge and Camp - i night. After breakfast at the hotel you will have an opportunity to relax and enjoy the facilities or join us for another adventure through Marrakech’s famous stalls of spices, perfumes, carpets, and, yes ladies, shoes! This afternoon, we depart Marrakech in several 4x4 vehicles to Lilla Takeroust Lake, a serene setting with stunning views of the High Atlas Mountains. We pause for refreshments at a lakeside terrace before driving along roads dotted with Berber villages before reaching the rocky Agfa Desert. We continue to our retreat in a secluded desert hideaway overlooking the vast Moroccan wilderness, framed by olive trees and organic gardens. This magical place offers us the opportunity to commune with nature. After time to settle in we enjoy an evening camel ride and toast the sunset before having dinner under the starry skies in a Berber tent.
Accommodations: Odyssee Center. We start our experience by being picked up in 4x4 vehicles after a short drive we arrive at the airfield where we are served Moroccan tea. We will watch as the colourful green and red balloons (the colours of Morocco) are prepared for flight. Float above Morocco’s countryside and enjoy aerial views of the Atlas Mountains on this sunrise hot air balloon flight near Marrakech. Once you’re on board, receive a short security briefing, and take off. The first part of the flight is at high altitude to have an overview of all the areas: Jbilet Mountains, Marrakech, and the Atlas Mountains behind. The second part of the flight is at low altitude over typical villages, farms, kids going to school, valleys, etc. After 1 hour of flight, we land and are driven through the ''Moroccan bush'' to the caidal tent where we will be served a typical Berber breakfast. Mid-morning departure from Agafay through Marrakech to the limestone area of the Middle Atlas then meet up with our coach in Marrakech and head North towards Casablanca. Check in at the hotel and overnight.
Today we transfer to the Casablanca Airport for the return flight to Toronto.
• Air from Toronto on Air Canada including all taxes and fees • First class (4 star) accommodations as per itinerary based on twin share • All transportation in Morocco • Meals; 6 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 4 dinners • English speaking national guide throughout the tour • All entrance fees for excursions • Services of a tour escort
• Items of a personal nature (e.g., laundry, telephone calls) • Gratuities for local guides and drivers • Travel insurance. Rates available upon request
October 15 - 28, 2020
$4,195 from Toronto based on double occupancy
October 17 - 26, 2020
Land Only: $3,520.
November 21 - December 05, 2020
$7,995 from Toronto based on double occupancy