Gardens Of Marrakech And The Atlas Mountains Tour

6 nights starting from
£1850

  • Marrakech’s atmospheric Medina

  • Majorelle Gardens – once owned by Yves St Laurent

  • Ourika Valley – home to the traditional Berber people

  • Saffron Paradise garden

  • The extraordinary lunar landscape of the Agafay Stone Desert

Marrakech is renowned for its amazing Medina, which is unmissable and of course included on this superb new tour. But the city and its surroundings offer so much more. Its gardens are also extraordinary and varied, which we will explore in the company of popular expert, David Hurrion.  We’ll also visit the surrounding landscapes in the Atlas Mountains, Ourika Valley, home to the traditional Berber people, amazng Anima Garden and the tranquil Saffron Paradise. Add to that the stunning scenery of the Atlas Mountains and the other-worldly landscape of the Agafay Stone Desert - this is truly an extended city break with a difference!

Available Departures

From

12 - January - 2025 £ 1850.00 Travel Info Book Now

Provisional Timings

London Gatwick

Departing: 12th January 2025 at 15:40

Returning: 18th January 2025 at 13:20

ITINERARY

Day 1: Fly from London Gatwick to Marrakech and transfer by coach to the hotel. There will be a cold plate/sandwich in your room on arrival.

Day 2: Majorelle Garden, Bahia Palace, Medina and Arsat Moulay Abdesslam Garden
The first visit on this delightful new tour is one of the highlights – the two-acre Majorelle Garden and Cubist villa, designed by French artist, Jacques Majorelle (son of Art Nouveau pioneer Louis Majorelle) in the 1920s with a villa painted a vivid blue (Majorelle blue, which he patented) added in the 1930s. The garden fell into disrepair in the 1950s until its rediscovery by fashion designers, Yves St Laurent and Pierre Bergé in the 1980s, who restored it and whose foundation continue to manage it. Next on the agenda is the 19th century Bahia Palace, intended to be the greatest palace of its time, capturing the essence of Islamic style, with a series of rooms opening onto beautiful tiled courtyards and traditional riad garden. We then head to beautiful Menara Gardens, dating back to the 12th century, before going to the heart of the city for lunch at the atmospheric Café Arabe at the Medina to fortify us for an afternoon guided tour of the souks. Finally, a packed first day ends nearby at the Arsat Moulay Abdesslam Garden, dating back to the 18th century before returning to the hotel. This evening we will have a welcome dinner at the Dar Zellij restaurant.

Day 3: Atlas Mountains – Ourika Valley, Anima Garden, Saffron Paradise, Agafay Stone Desert and tea at a Berber home
Another glorious day in prospect as we depart after breakfast to travel by 4x4 to the Atlas Mountains. Here we will visit the beautiful Ourika Valley, home to the traditional Berber people and the tranquil Paradis di Safran (Saffron Paradise), where the valuable spice is grown. We’ll also visit the magical Anima Garden, an exuberant four-acre garden, created by artist, André Heller with statues by artists such as Picasso and Rodin, exotic planting and stunning views of the surrounding mountains. Lunch will be taken as we head into the mountains at the traditional Kasbah Beldi with terraces overlooking the mountains. We return to Marrakech via the extraordinary lunar landscape of the Agafay Stone Desert with an en-route stop to enjoy tea at a Berber home.  Evening at leisure.

Day 4: Cacti Garden of Marrakech, Secret Garden and Aman Museum
This morning visit the Cacti Garden of Marrakech, created in the 1960s by Hans Thiemann, one of North Africa’s largest cacti farms, with fields of giant aloe, agave and prickly pear - the largest cactus, at 8m high, is 80 years old. From here to the Secret Garden located in the Medina, a peaceful hideaway with exotic and traditional Islamic gardens. Lunch will be at the nearby Terrasse Des Epices restaurant in the Medina of Marrakech before visiting the fascinating Aman Museum, which shows the importance of water management in the creation of gardens in Morocco. This evening dinner is included at the hotel.

Day 5: Bio-Aromatic Garden, Ourika Valley
Today return to the Ourika Valley to visit the Bio-Aromatic Garden of Ourika, the first of its kind in Morocco, which cultivates some fifty medicinal plants used in cosmetics and natural cures. Return to Marrakech where your afternoon and evening will be at leisure.

Day 6: Day at leisure and farewell dinner
Your final day is free to soak up more of the city’s unique atmosphere, before we enjoy a farewell dinner at Dar Soukkar.

Day 7: Free time and return flight to London Gatwick
Free time to spend in Marrakech before afternoon transfer to the airport for the return flight to London Gatwick.

NB: Exact order of the itinerary may vary according to local conditions and tour manager’s discretion.

This tour has been listed as Demanding due to the amount of walking tours and potential uneven grounds at the gardens visited. The touring days are very busy, and the group need to be together at all times for visits.

Please note the maximum group size is 35 passengers.

INCLUDED

  • Return scheduled flights from London Gatwick to Marrakech
  • Six nights’ bed and breakfast at the four-star Opera Plaza Hotel, Marrakech, based on shared occupancy of a twin/double room
  • Welcome cold plate/sandwich at hotel
  • Three dinners at local restaurants or the hotel
  • Three lunches at local restaurants
  • Tea at a Berber Home
  • Transfers and full touring itinerary
  • Tour manager, David Hurrion throughout

NOT INCLUDED

  • Holiday insurance
  • Double for sole use supplement
  • Meals other than those stated
  • Items of a personal nature such as drinks, laundry, telephone calls
  • Porterage and gratuities

HOTEL

Opera Plaza Hotel, Marrakech
Centrally located, four-star boutique hotel with restaurant, bar, spa, hammam and swimming pool. Bedrooms have been individually designed in an Arab-Moorish style and are comfortable with all modern amenities including en-suite bathroom, air-conditioning, TV, telephone, and wifi.

Hotel Website

OUR VIEW OF THE HOTEL
A high level of comfort, facilities, and service as well as an ideal location make this hotel the ideal base for this tour in Marrakech.

MORE INFO

Your Guide/Lecturer

David Hurrion
David started gardening as a young child and has been growing plants for more than 40 years. He has worked in gardens and nurseries, growing on a range of different soils and in different types of microclimate. His extensive knowledge and practical experience of plants, crops and growing techniques is founded on a thorough botanical and scientific training, complemented by an in depth understanding of garden design, wildlife, geology and climatology. He also trained as a teacher and has taught a huge diversity of subjects from botany, soil science and plant identification, to propagation, garden design and crop production, and from City & Guilds through to Degree level. He is also a popular speaker with local gardening groups.

As a journalist, David has spent more than 20 years writing for and editing the nation’s crop of garden magazines, currently as Associate Editor for BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine. He has also written for a number of websites and appeared both as a regular contributor and an expert commentator on TV and radio. David is a popular figure in the horticultural world, well liked and respected for his knowledge by nurserymen, professional gardeners, journalists and the gardening public. He has designed, built and planted show gardens and display stands at most of the major garden shows in the UK, including the world-famous Chelsea Flower Show, and is now a Designate Judge for the Royal Horticultural Society.

He has also travelled to every continent, with the exception of Antarctica, to discover plants and gardens, both independently and on more than 50 trips accompanying groups of gardeners.

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