Jewellery tour of Morocco : 18/9/23– 01/10/23
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 Amber Corbett.
£3960 per person.
A 10% discount is available to those sharing accommodations.
A 10% discount is also available for those booking the add on tour in Marrakech.
Day One – Monday September 18th
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 en-suite 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 roof garden.
Day Two – Tuesday September 19th
A gentle start to our trip will grow our understanding of the vast array of rich adornment.
An educational and cultural experience awaits, as we visit the MAP Foundation set beside the historical Kasbah. The jewellery showcased in the exhibition here is unparalleled in Morocco.
Sarah will give an explanation of the symbolism within the jewellery and we will meet the curator of the collection.
Next Stop Souk – The rest of our day will be reserved for shopping and eating. After a laid back lunch break at the Museum, 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 pieces we see in the souks.
In the late afternoon, we will return to our Riad to rest and refresh before dining at a lovely rooftop restaurant in the Medina.
Day Three – Wednesday September 20th
A day dedicated to the pursuit of treasures!
We will visit many local jewel dealers today, exploring hidden corners of the medina which are rarely accessible to the more casual visitor. Prepare to see a multitude of antique jewels and a myriad selection of adornments!
Sarah and Amber will happily explain the finer points of choosing great jewels, with hints and tips to avoid the pitfalls of buying fakes or chimeras ! This is a great opportunity to hone your skills and to learn to see the tell tale clues which are much needed when investing in jewels!
Our shopping quest will only be paused for lunch today!
In the evening we will visit El Fenn the Marrakech home of Vanessa Branson for dinner and cocktails.
Day Four – Thursday September 21st
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. Camera at the ready to capture some scenes along the way!
Argan lands – As we head closer to the Atlantic Coast, the landscapes become lush with Argan trees. There will be an opportunity to stop at our favourite 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.
Day Five – Friday September 22nd
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, and textiles 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. We will explore the recently restored 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 flavours 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! Our favourite restaurant will always get fresh Lobster for us it we would like it!
Day Six – Saturday September 23rd
Today we will explore the small and bohemian Medina of Essaouria there is a jewellery quarter plus several small design houses to visit. Fashion design and art are certainly alive and thriving in Essaouria.
There is also the option to return to places already visited for the pieces which needed a night to ‘sleep on’ the decisions!
We will walk through the ancient Mellah of Essaouria. This area is now being gradually restored from a state of much decline since the 1940s.
Beach walks and seaside promenades will allow us to enjoy the calm of the oceanside on our last evening. We will eat overlooking the sea.
Day Seven – Sunday September 24th
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.
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 some pre dinner drinks before enjoying a many course meal, with a fusion of European and traditional Moroccan recipes.
Make sure to save room for dessert!
Day Eight – Monday September 25th
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 centred than other towns. There are rare, exquisite pieces of adornment tucked away in galleries here, where dealers will show you warm, Southern hospitality.
Chill by the 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, swim or enjoy a massage; just let us know if you prefer 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 Nine – Tuesday September 26th
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.
Our lunch today is a simple rural meal which is often the most memorable meal of the trip for all of the right reasons! The Harratin women of Soukana descent run a wonderful modest restaurant with pride. Their dishes are whatever is fresh on their farm today, simple food with stunning flavours.
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 explore the Ancient Kasbah of Ait Benhaddidhu in late afternoon and visit the art gallery of Hafida Zizi, whose naive art has become famous and popular worldwide. Jim will offer us an insight to the fascinating earthen buildings of Southern Morocco.
We will stay here for two nights in a chic contemporary desert home.
Our meal tonight will be served in the dining room of our beautiful accommodation.
Day Ten – Wednesday September 27th
After another delicious breakfast, we head to Ouarzazatte 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. Many of the shops have a secluded room where their best treasures are hidden !
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 or go for a zoom around on a quad bike.
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.
Our meal tonight will be served in the dining room of our beautiful accommodation.
Day Eleven – Thursday September 28th
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.
This afternoon there will be time to visit a couple of shops before we enjoy dinner in Le Grand Café de la Poste, a wonderful restaurant located in Gueliz.
Day Twelve – Friday September 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 unique 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.
Included: Accommodation, transport between cities, transfers in Marrakech, entry to monuments and museums, meals taken in our accommodations.
Not included : Flights, drinks, lunches, tips, visas.