Susan Worner Tours

Morocco – Gardens of Marrakech, Taroudannt and the Atlas Mountains

We arrange bespoke tour itineraries for small groups of friends or colleagues wishing to travel together to a special destination or for specialist horticultural groups. The minimum numbers are eight guests who will be accompanied by Susan or her specialist guides. We have the experience, know the good hotels or lodges and the best itineraries to offer. The itineraries below are examples of bespoke tours. Tailor-made programmes can be arranged for your personal preferences.

To know more please contact us on info@susanwornertours.com or +44 (0) 1423 326 300.

 

Morocco – Gardens of Marrakech, Taroudant and the Atlas Mountains

Morocco is a country of contrasts: the buzz of the medina and exotic souks in Marrakech, hidden gardens, long views to the mountains and warm, hospitable people happy to share their history over a glass of mint tea.

The gardens visited give a balance of intimate courtyard gardens with vibrant plants, colourful tiles, splashing water and country gardens known as jnane (gardens of paradise) with an emphasis on orchards and decorative herb gardens.

Our first hotel, Le Beldi, is a welcoming riad-style in the countryside near Marrakech, surrounded by extensive gardens with views to the mountains. We move to Taroudannt, south of the Atlas, to a riad guest house with an amazing garden designed by Eric Ossart and Arnaud Maurières, well-known French garden architects and designers.

We use a minibus as most travel is very local except on the transfer morning through the Atlas.

 

Itinerary

DAY ONE

Departure from Gatwick direct to Marrakech. Transfer to L’Hôtel Beldi, approached through a field of flowering roses. Time to relax and have a swim. Late afternoon guided walk through the sumptuous gardens with orchards of pomegranates, figs and orange trees, potagers with aromatic herbs. An air of tranquillity, bird song, and water trickling along seguia create the perfect atmosphere for a welcome aperitif and short talk on the programme before dinner together (each evening).

DAY TWO

We leave for Marrakech with our guide, Hafid, for a fascinating introduction to the extensive medina with its farmers’ markets and local craftsmen. Hafid takes us down bustling little streets at lunchtime until we reach an enchanting riad garden with rambling bougainvillea, jasmine, glazed pots, decorative tiles and water fountains. Afternoon visit to the striking Jardin Majorelle, created in the 1930s and restored by Yves St Laurent.

DAY THREE

A day in the Atlas Mountains. The snow-capped Toubkal mountain (4167 metres) towers above the Berber village of Imlil. Our guide, Hassan, takes us on foot (or Berber 4×4) up the valley with blue iris and cherry orchards in blossom to his outlying Berber village for mint tea at the family home. We continue along the valley to the Kasbah du Toubkal. The stunning and dramatic scenery can be viewed from the rooftop terraced garden where we enjoy lunch. Walk down to Imlil village through walnut woods. We continue through remote mountain scenery to a lake to discover a garden before enjoying dinner together. Return to Le Beldi.

DAY FOUR

Morning visit to the traditional country gardens of La Maison Arabe, an innovative blend of potager garden with decorative shrubs. We enjoy a delicious lunch under the fig trees. Continuing to Marrakech we discover the sumptuous gardens of Hotel La Mamounia, traditional and immaculately kept within the medina walls. The produce of their kitchen garden is for their own restaurant. Moroccan style afternoon tea is served in the garden.

DAY FIVE

Departing south across the Atlas Mountains and through the Argan tree growing region, we arrive at medieval Taroudannt and to Dar al Hossoun, our base for three nights. Lunch awaits us in the garden. We are shown the rich plant collections with the owner. An aperitif is served on the roof with views to the Atlas mountains before dinner with local specialities.

DAY SIX

Morning visit to an exceptional walled private garden on the outskirts of Taroudannt continuing to the bustling, colourful souks. Lunch at the fabulous La Gazelle d’Or followed by a visit to their garden.

DAY SEVEN

Guided visits to nearby privately-owned gardens with succulents and grasses, water rills and courtyards designed by Ossart and Maurières. We leave for the southern slopes of the Atlas for lunch. Optional cookery course at the riad, preparing dishes for dinner.

DAY EIGHT

We depart in the morning across the Atlas mountains to Marrakech. Afternoon visit to a peaceful garden created by Abderrazzak Benchaabane with a good collection of plants. Late afternoon flight from Marrakech Menara airport to London Gatwick.

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Map of Morocco

Tour Costs

Airflight, Hotel and Itinerary Costs £2060
Accommodation based on 2 people sharing
B&b, dinner on 7 evenings, 6 lunches
Supplement – single use of double room £475

Activity Level:

Level walking except day 3
Day 3: mountain walk – mules available
Extensive walking in Marrakech

Additional Information:

Collection of superbly designed gardens, stunning landscapes. Can be combined with the Atlas Mountains, Draa Valley and Sahara Dunes tour.

If you are interested in finding out more information about one of our bespoke itineraries, please give us a call on 01423 326 300 or email info@susanwornertours.com. Alternatively, click here to use our general enquiry form.