Jewellery tour of Morocco : 16/05/22– 29/05/22
Get to know Morocco, like never before.
A 12 day excursion, exploring the Southern Terra-cotta regions of magnificent Morocco. With a special focus on traditional jewellery and adornment. Hosted by jewellery expert Sarah Corbett. Assisted by her partner Jim Ross and her daughter and long term resident of Marrakech, Amber Zitouni.
A 10% discount is available to those sharing accommodations.
Day One – Monday May 16th
Welcome to Morocco.
Arrivals – You’ll either fly into Marrakech or Casablanca airport. A private transfer from Marrakech airport to your accommodation is included in the tour price. If you require a private transfer from Casablanca airport, then this can be arranged at cost. Just let us know at point of booking your air travel to Morocco.
Getting there – Your journey from the airport to your accommodation will be made easier, with assistance along the way. You’ll be met at arrivals by your personal driver & assisted with your luggage right to the front door of your Marrakech home.
And relax – We will be there to greet you at the guesthouse, whatever time you should arrive. We will stay in a luxurious, boutique Riad in the heart of the majestic Medina of Marrakech. The ancient walled city is the setting of a million stories, just waiting for us to write our own.
There’s time to settle into your large room, before meeting the other tour guests for a traditional dinner. As we may all be weary from travels, dinner will be a relaxed affair served in the comfort of our Riad dining room.
Day Two – Tuesday May 17 th
A gentle start to our growing understanding of the vast array of rich adornment, within Morocco. An educational and cultural experience awaits, as we visit the Berber Museum set within the exotic and iconic Jardin Majorelle. The jewellery showcased in exhibition here is unparalleled in Morocco.
Sarah will give an explanation of the symbolism within the jewellery designs from each region.
YSL – French fashion designer Yves St Laurent, along with his patron and life partner Pierre Berge, lovingly restored the 2.5 acre Majorelle Garden after taking on the project in the 1980s. We have the opportunity to visit the newly established YSL museum which is dedicated to the artist’s fashion creations. His love of Morocco is evident in the inspiration for his life’s work.
Next Stop Souk – The rest of our day will be reserved for shopping and eating. After a laid back lunch break near the gardens, we will head into the souks to visit a few jewellery shops and see some friendly faces. You’ll start to recognize symbolism from the jewellery in the museum, in the jewellery we find in the souks.
In the late afternoon, we will return to our Riad to rest and refresh before dining at a lovely restaurant in the Medina.
Day Three – Wednesday May 18 th
An early start today. It’s time to hit the road for the first leg of our journey through Southern Morocco. This stretch of road will take us through stony desert plains, wine and argan growing regions and finally to the Atlantic sea!
Our transport has ample space, with more than double the number of seats to tour guests. You can get comfortable, sit back and enjoy the changing scenes and climates.
Argan lands – As we head closer to the Atlantic Coast, the landscapes become lush with Argan trees. There will likely be an opportunity to stop at our favorite Argan cooperative, where women press argan oil by hand and process it to create a variety of products. Here you can watch a production demonstration, but also buy organic, cosmetic and culinary argan products.
Sleepy beach town – You’ll feel the atmosphere change as soon as the fresh sea air hits you in Essaouira. As we approach the seafront, the island of Mogador will be visible laying just off the Atlantic coast.
Get ready to enjoy the ultra relaxed vibes of this musical, surf town.
We will stay in the Médina quarters of Essaouira, in a charmingly converted school full of history and character.
In the evening, we will eat at Sarah’s favourite boutique restaurant in Essaouria. She will encourage you to try the rich chocolate fondant dessert!
Day Three – Thursday May 19 th
The joy of Essaouira, is that we can take our time. The Médina is much smaller than that of other places we will visit, so it takes less time to get around.
No early start required today, so we can enjoy a traditional breakfast spread, at our own pace. Remember though, the less time spent chilling, the more time available to look for treasures!
We will visit some wonderful shops and dealers in Essaouira, with a fine selection of Jewellery, textiles and reference books on offer.
Scala – Essaouira boasts an impressive sea defense called Scala the Kasbah. By order of Sultan Sidi Mohammed ben Abdallah, it was built in 1765 by French architect Théodore Cornut. For several years, access to the Scala was prohibited due to restoration work. We are pleased to say that in September we will be able to visit the Scala together. Both its construction and views are magnificent.
If you have a taste for delicious seafood, then you won’t find anything quite as fresh as the fish on offer in Essaouria. Quite literally from port to plate, the flavors are on a whole new level.
In the evening we will get together for a delicious meal, with the option to try some freshly caught fish. Don’t worry though, we will accommodate our guests who prefer their food grown on land!
Day four – Friday May 20 th
On the road again! After another relaxed breakfast, we will head along the scenic, coastal road before travelling inland. En route we will stop to eat lunch by the sea in Agadir.
By the evening we will reach our destination, the historical walled town of Tarroudant. This town is said to hold mystical powers, which is not a far-fetched idea when you experience the traditional old Médina. This is a taste of how most of Morocco felt 30 years ago.
Jannah – In Islam, Jannah is the name of the holy paradise garden… heaven. At our stunning accommodation in Taroudant, you may well feel that you are in paradise! Each of our private bungalows is nestled into a lush tropical garden , with several pools to cool off in.
A Royal Feast – You certainly won’t go hungry in Taroudant. After settling into our spacious accommodations, we will make our way to the patio or conservatory for a gastronomical delight.
You will lose count of the courses, with each dish more extravagant than the last. A meal to remember, with a fusion of European and traditional Moroccan recipes.
Make sure to save room for dessert!
Day five – Saturday May 21st
Breakfast can be enjoyed In the cool morning climate of our garden paradise. Shortly afterwards, we will take a short drive to the sweet, traditional Médina in Tarroudant.
The Médina here has it’s own unique energy, which feels much less tourist centered than other towns. There are rare, exquisite pieces of adornment tucked away in galleries here, where dealers will show you warm, Southern hospitality.
Infinity Pool – For anyone feeling all shopped out, today is a good opportunity to take a break. The driver is available to take guests back to the hotel to relax, if they wish to participate in just a half day of jewellery shopping.
There is a heated pool, as well as a dreamy infinity pool in the gardens of our accommodation, with pool attendant service for drinks or snacks. Not to mention a spa…
Rendez-vous- The evening offers an opportunity for all guests to catch up over dinner and drinks at the poolside. At this point we have usually formed new friendships with one another, so this is a special moment under the stars to talk about what we have learned so far, as well as what we are still hoping to find as our journey continues.
A good rest is recommended this evening, in preparation for the longest stretch of road in the morning.
Day six – Sunday May 22nd
Have a good stretch this morning, because today will primarily be for travelling. Although we will spend much of the day on the road, we will break the journey up with some interesting stops.
Our route takes us through the Siroua region of the Anti Atlas. Jebel Siroua is an old stratovolcano that rises 3,304 meters above sea level. Of course we won’t reach that summit in our vehicle, but the views along the way are a treat.
Saffron – The Siroua region is saffron country. Historically this region was made wealthy by saffron production, which of course means the traditional jewellery of the region was exquisitely made of precious, expensive materials. Sarah will talk more about this along the way, as the passing scenery paints a picture of life as it once was here.
We will have access to locally grown, high grade saffron from cooperatives. We will stop to visit shopkeepers in sleepy southern villages. Some very unusual pieces of jewellery can be found here.
A night in the Draa – We will spend the night near to Agdz, a small market town along the shores of the Draa River.
After the long travels, guests may wish to retreat early to their rooms and reflect upon all they’ve seen in a day. We will eat at our hotel this evening, and unwind before beginning our trek to the Sahara desert.
Day seven – Monday May 23rd
We will have a poolside breakfast at our accommodation, which overlooks an ancient palmeraie at the top of the Draa Valley. This is the road we will be traveling today, on our way to the Sahara. A road steeped in Nomadic history, we are on the original trade route from Timbuktu in Mali.
Deep South – As we move through small towns and villages, be sure to pay attention to variations in traditional attire which are still worn in these regions. Variations may seem subtle at first glance, but each style is very significant to the wearer. Often a garment is indicative of a person’s tribe or heritage.
Amber will share her learned understanding of the different textiles and clothes which are worn by the Amazigh and Harratine peoples of Southern Morocco.
Saharan sands – We will arrive in the Sahara before sunset, where you’ll have the opportunity to take a guided camel ride over the dunes as they change colour under the setting sun. We will dine under the stars, undisturbed by light pollution and accompanied by the sounds of rhythmic drumming. If you’ve ever wanted to dance in the desert, the time is now!
Day eight – Tuesday May 24 th
If you’re an early bird, then today is the perfect day to rise with the sun. After a silent slumber in your luxurious desert tent, you’d be wise to clamber up the nearest dune and watch the sun rise over the rolling Saharan landscape. Climbing a sand dune is no light task, but if you’re able to then you certainly should. If you can’t climb a dune, then the sunrise is still beautiful from the comfort of our camp with a cup of tea or coffee in hand.
Zagora – A short 4×4 ride will take us back into civilization, to the Draa Valley town of Zagora. This will be our short pit stop before getting back on the road. There is so much charm here, in the dusty streets and terra-cotta buildings meeting wide open skies, It’s of course also another opportunity to add you your jewellery collection, as we visit just a couple of shops with a surprising array of pieces on display.
Our time in Zagora will be brief, because today we make the journey to Aït Benhaddou.
Aït Benhaddou – Aït Benhaddou translates to family of Benhaddou. This historic Ksar once belonged to a wealthy and powerful family, and it sits positioned along the former caravan route between the Sahara and Marrakech.
Now a UNESCO world heritage site, it is often used as the backdrop for cinematic works.
We will stay here for two nights.
Day nine – Wednesday May 25th
After another delicious breakfast, we head to Ouarzazate city. This is just a short drive from where we are staying.
Known as the gateway to the Sahara, it is home to the monumental Taourirt Kasbah. Here we will visit what we call “the strip”, which is really a row of exciting shops belonging to keen traders.
The Ouarzazate Strip – There is really something for everyone here. We’ve known and done business with most of these traders for decades. It’s a great spot to meander from shop to shop, checking out a plethora of antique jewels and textiles.
As the shops are laid out side by side, we don’t necessarily need to all stick together. Sarah and Amber will never be more than a few meters away if you should need their assistance or advice, but you should feel free to browse at your own pace.
We will eat lunch in the Kasbah here. If anyone is feeling all shopped out, there’s the option to visit the local film museum.
Savour the calm – On our last night in Aït Ben Haddou, we will make the most of our final Draa Valley sunset.
Tomorrow we cross the dramatic High Atlas Mountains for our return to Marrakech.
Day ten – Thursday May 26th
Today our journey comes full circle, as we make our way back to vibrant Marrakech.
The souks await us, but before we get there we must travel through the steep, dramatic landscapes of the High Atlas Mountain range.
Have your cameras ready, as you will want to capture these views to keep forever.
We will stop for lunch in the mountains and arrive in Marrakech by the afternoon.
Day eleven – Friday May 27th
Over the weekend, we have ample time to really enjoy all that Marrakech has to offer, The red city is full of life, so we can soak it all up to our heart’s content.
Today is a full day of shopping. We will visit friendly traders and jewellery designers of the Médina.
Perhaps you’ve purchased pieces which need repairs or resizing, so now is a good time to arrange this before you depart. We can point you in the direction of silversmiths and craftsmen in the souks.
Marrakech is also full of culinary delights, so today we will indulge and eat at two different restaurants.
Day twelve – Saturday May 28th
Time to tie up loose ends, collect commissioned pieces and make those final purchases. Is there something you’ve decided you simply cannot leave without?
We will have a light lunch and the afternoon will be allocated for free time. Perhaps you might want to buy souvenirs, hit the spa for some recuperation or a relaxed stroll around the secret garden. Our Riad has a gorgeous roof terrace to wind down with a good book too.
Day thirteen – SundaMay 29th
Our shared adventure draws to a close and we say our farewells.
You’ll have free time before your departure, to spend as you choose. If you should need assistance with practicalities or organization, then Amber will be available.
Airport transfers will be available as required, but be sure to advise us in advance as to the time of your flight departure. It is advisable to arrive at Marrakech airport several hours prior.
New Friends, New Jewels – As well as a wealth of knowledge, learning and collectable jewellery – our tours offer something that money can’t buy. We hope that the most valuable reward of your trip, will be the human connections you make.
Each of our tour guests has their own interesting experience, but we all share an interest in the culture of adornment. Many of our tour guests forge lifelong friendships and stay in touch by means of our social media platforms.