A family getaway to Morocco

If you’re looking for an exotic couple or family getaway, Morocco should be on your radar.

After visiting in 2017 for a short work trip shooting video content for a local accommodation provider and tour company I knew I had to return. What amazed me first of all things was the flight time of 3.5 hours (similar to Greece or Tenerife) and you are flung into such an exotic destination, completely different to Europe. The senses are alive from the sights, smells and culture. The landscapes and locations are so diverse as you wander through the bustling markets of Marrakech, then within an hour, you can be camel riding in the desert, and in another hour you are in the Atlas mountains with snow-capped mountains in view.

No time to read? Want a quick 5 things to do in Marrakesh? Hop to the bottom of the page for a video!

A riad stay

We arrived in the evening and stayed at the wonder Riad Explore which is stunning and we had a true Moroccan welcome with mint tea being poured for us on arrival. It was late but we ventured out just a few minutes’ walk to explore the bustling evening at Jemaa el Fna square where there was music, dancing, food and all sorts. We had a quick snack at a side cafe of beef koftas which came with fresh bread and salad and we also had two fresh apple smoothies, all of which came to around a fiver, so prices are great! 

A Moroccan adventure –  Day 2

A packed second day in Morocco as we explored bustling Marrakech and the medina and then headed out into the Agafay desert to stay at a luxury tented camp.

Breakfast at Riad Explore – Morrocan brekkies are amazing with fresh-baked bread, honey and jams, eggs, olives, cheese, and the like so nice and healthy too.

Bustling Medina

Wandering around Marrakech is like an attraction in itself, so much to see around every corner, with the streets and alleys full of life. It’s a fun place just to switch off those maps and get lost in the mix! From spice shops, shoemakers, welders, carpets and more, so much colour and variety of things to barter a deal for something special. It’s not for the faint-hearted as the motorbikes and other small vehicles do come whizzing past you very quickly in the right alleyways.

Le Jardin Secret

This ancient riad is one of the biggest around and rivals St Laurent’s famed Jardin Majorelle which is further out of the centre than this garden. We loved our visit as it was a welcome peaceful haven to escape the noise and crowds of the medina. It has gardens to wander through with beautiful plants and flowers, and a nice café with a terrace where we enjoyed mint tea to share between us all for 50 dirhams. The entry was free for under 12’s and 80 dirhams for adults.

We stopped for a lunch break for the kids at Centre de la Femme Artisanale and their nice garden before the adults then had a quick falafel lunch at Mazel Café which was tasty and filling for 50 dirham.

Agafay Desert

After exploring Marrakech, in the late afternoon, we headed out to the Agafay desert which took less than an hour, and once there we loved the bumpy off-road ride in our 4×4 passing sheep and shepherds on route.

We arrived at Nkhila Lodge, a luxury tented camp atop the desert valley with the Atlas Mountains high in the distance. The views were stunning they have two set-ups for accommodation here, we were in the Morrocan-style caidal tents which circled around a campfire in the middle. It had a bed in it as well as an en-suite. The sunset was stunning as we went for a walk from camp and enjoyed, it before dinner by the campfire. This time of year is very cold in the evenings so dress warmly, luckily they bought a gas fire for the room to warm us up.

You can find more info on the hotels we’re staying at here – https://www.moroccanhideaways.com/

A Moroccan adventure – Day 3

From a sunrise over the Agafay desert to camel riding, a drive through the Atlas Mountains before arriving at our fave accommodation of the trip… Kasbah Africa in the Atlas Mountains.

We rose at our tented camp at Nkhila Lodge to the sun peaking over the Atlas Mountains in the distance and the landscape to enjoy it in was special.

Departing late morning, we then stopped at another area in the desert for the kids to have a camel ride. We were aware of animal ethics in Morocco so were ready to make a “no go” decision if we felt they didn’t seem to be treated well, but on arrival, we felt reassured that it was a responsible handler. We did around 45 mins ride, for 200 dirhams per camel and the kids enjoyed the experience with some colourful traditional clothing and mint tea on arrival included.

One of my highlights of the trip so far was then driving through the Atlas Mountains to our next destination, winding roads and great scenery set to some Arabic beats.

We arrived 1.5 hours later at Kasbah Africa which is a lodge in a breathtaking High Atlas river valley location, just over an hour’s drive from Marrakech.

It was the sort of place where the kids could run free and enjoy, nature all around us, a river at the bottom of the valley, friendly hotel dogs, a table tennis table, and a nice pool which we braved despite being freezing when we went. In the evening we enjoyed amazing stargazing with the clear night skies. It’s supposed to be at its best in the summer, too.

You can find more info on the hotels we stayed at here – https://www.moroccanhideaways.com/

5 things to do in Marrakech, Morocco

We loved a family visit to Marrakech which is full of energy, here’s just five things you can do in the City…

1. Visit the bustling medina of the city

2. Stay in a traditional riad

3. Jemaa el-Fna Square

4. Relax in Le Jardin Secret

5. Sip lots of Moroccan Mint Tea

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