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Marrakech and Essaouira

8 days from £1370pp plus international flights.

Three contrasting destinations make this a very special holiday. Vibrant Marrakech will excite, La Pause offers peace and tranquility in the desert, while Essaouira will charm you with its ocean views and wonderful seafood.

Start your holiday in the busy, buzzing city of Marrakech with its souks and squares, palaces and gardens. Staying in a stylish riad you are just a 10-minute walk from the main square, Djemmaa el Fna, where acrobats and snake charmers vie for space every evening with the many food stalls. Marrakech offers a great mix of sightseeing, excellent shopping, relaxing spas and wonderful food.

For a complete change of pace, travel to La Pause in the nearby desert to sample the simple outdoor life, with time to go for walks, horse rides and visit local villages. This is only about an hour outside of Marrakech but feels like another world, inviting you to slow down and take life easy. Simply put, to pause!

Fully refreshed you arrive at the coast and the popular seaside town of Essaouira. Here you can relax and enjoy freshly-caught seafood, walk along the town's walled ramparts, meet the many craftsmen working from here, and enjoy bracing strolls along the wide sandy beaches. Your hotel has a lovely courtyard, hammam and rooftop pool.

We recommend this holiday as a great combination of excitement, interest and relaxation, showing you 3 different aspects of this enchanting country.

Pool at La Maison Arabe


On arrival at Marrakech airport you are met by a local representative and taken to your riad. La Maison Arabe is within the medina, just 10 minutes walk from the Djemmaa el Fna. The walled courtyard is a quiet, tranquil place where you can rest after your flight, enjoying the scent of flowers. There's a heated swimming pool for some gentle exercise. The raid was a restaurant before it became a hotel and is still well known for its cuisine, so you could treat yourself to dinner here tonight if you wish, though there are plenty of other options within walking distance. 
Souks of Marrakech


After breakfast at the riad, your guide will accompany you on a walking tour of the main sites of Marrakech, taking into account any special interests you have. The Djemma el Fna is the heart of the medina, a large square filled with stalls by day where you buy freshly squeezed orange juice, transformed at dusk as the stallholders depart and the musicians, acrobats, snakecharmers and food stalls arrive. Your guide will help you find your way through the maze of alleyways, thronging with locals and tourists. During the day you can visit palaces, courtyards and museums, as well as taking time out for refreshments and people watching. Breakfast
Majorelle Gardens in Marrakech


You have the whole day free in Marrakech to visit the sites you've not yet seen. You may want to test your bargaining skills in the souks, take a horse-drawn carriage to the lovely Majorelle Gardens, visit some of the city's palaces, or simply relax and enjoy the vibrant atmosphere. Your riad has a hammam (traditional steam bath), perfect for relaxing after a day exploring the city. In the evening a visit to the Djemmaa el Fna is a must, as it comes to life with entertainers, and you can take the opportunity to sample some snacks at the food stalls. Breakfast
La Pause, Marrakech


Leave the city this morning for the 45 minute 4x4 drive into the surrounding desert landscape. Located in a desert oasis, La Pause offers a complete contrast to the hectic pace of Marrakech. Life is simple here, so it's relaxing. You can take lovely walks in the dry riverbed soaking up the atmosphere, ride a horse into the desert or visit the nearby village. There's a swimming pool and several terraces, plus hammocks strung beneath olive trees. After sundown the whole place is lit by lanterns, adding a magical and romantic feel. Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Relax on the roof terrace at Heure Bleue


Enjoy a free morning at La Pause - more time to enjoy the peace and quiet of this arid habitat. You'll be served lunch, a delicious traditional Moroccan meal, before the drive to the coastal town of Essaouira. Probably the most attractive of Morocco's coastal resorts and formerly known as Mogador, Essaouira is a UNESCO World Heritage site. A long wind-swept beach leads up to the charming walled town enclosing narrow streets of white and blue painted houses. Your hotel, Heure Bleue, is a charming 19th century mansion built around a large courtyard and with a lovely rooftop pool and terrace where you can relax and soak up some sun. Breakfast, lunch
The ramparts in Essaouira


Essaouira's old town is a fascinating place to wander, even better with a guide on hand to locate the main sites and places of interest. You can spend as much of the day as you wish exploring with your guide, walking through the busy souks, walking along the ramparts of the old fort, and visiting the lively fishing port. The beach offers opportunities for long, often windswept walks, and you can pause to watch surfers and windsurfers honing their skills. Returning to Heure Bleue you can visit the spa and hammam, or sink into a sofa on the roof terrace as you enjoy the ocean views. Breakfast
Essaouira beach


A free day in Essaouira. This could be a lazy day, relax by the pool or beach, saunter down to the port to sample some freshly caught fish cooked before your eyes over the open air grills. You might like to visit the craft workshops to see objects made form thuja, a local wood, and venture into the souks for some last minute bargain hunting for gifts and souvenirs. Breakfast
Heure Bleue terrace in Essaoura


Today, after breakfast, you depart for Marrakech airport, about a 2 hour drive, arriving in time to check in for your flight home. Breakfast
Price & Dates

Guide price from (pp sharing): £1370 (ex. international flights)

Includes: Accommodation on a twin share basis; transfers as specified including 4x4 to and from La Pause; meals as specified; full day guided tour in Marrakech tour; full day guided tour in Essaouira

Excludes: International flights; departure taxes; visas; travel insurance; meals not specified; items of a personal nature; tips.

Getting there: This holiday starts and ends in Marrakech. International return flights from the UK start from around £200 per person, depending on season and availability. 

Departure dates: We can arrange this trip for you at any time you like as it is a tailor made suggestion.  You can also tweak it in any way you like too.

places you will see

places you will see

The southern city of Marrakesh, with a backdrop of High Atlas peaks in the distance, will draw you into its charms immediately. Explore the old walled city (medina) where the narrow alleyways of the bustling souks, busy mosques and the main square, the Djemmaa el Fna, will be the focus of your attentions.
Essaouira, two hours drive west of Marrakech, is probably the most attractive of Morocco's coastal resorts and makes a relaxing holiday destination.

customer rating

5/5 from 42 reviews

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facts and information

Time: GMT

Flight time: Marrakech is the main international gateway. British Airways, Easy Jet, Ryan Air and Thomson have frequent direct flights from London to Marrakech. There are also direct flights to Casablanca and Fez, and a more extensive service with Royal Air Maroc to other airports within Morocco.

Language: Moroccan Arabic is the official language. It is significantly different from classical and modern Arabic.

Visas: Not required for British travellers. Other nationalities should obtain advice from the embassy

Health: There are no compulsory vaccinations.

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Otley, Suffolk, IP6 9JW.
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Telephone: 01473 890499

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