Travel

Thrillist Wants to Take You on a Whirlwind Trip to Marrakesh This Fall

We’re launching Thrillist Trips, a series of IRL jaunts with expert local guides to show you the very best things to see, eat, drink, and experience in some of our all-time favorite destinations. First up: Morocco!

The Best of Marrakesh: Day to Night

November 7 - 14, 2020
From $3,450
Marrakesh will awaken every last one of your senses. This is a city of Culture, with a capital ‘C’ -- underlined twice, in red. On this eight-day trip, we’ll bring you along to experience the ancient flavors and dazzling colors of Morocco’s most camera-ready city in unforgettable ways. 

Get ready to snake your way through the enchanting souks, taste vibrant tagines (and learn to make ‘em yourself), take in the city’s coolest museums and gardens, and relax at a traditional hammam spa. We’ll also venture out into the surrounding mountain and desert landscapes to ride a camel -- and an ATV -- over desert sands. You’ll even have the chance to take a hot air balloon ride at sunrise. Just leave extra room in your suitcase -- in Marrakesh, “souvenirs” is an understatement.

What you’ll love:

• Expand your kitchen repertoire and learn how to make a traditional Moroccan tagine.
• Master the art of bargaining and shop the souks for clothes, carpets, spices & more.
• Hop on the back of a camel and saunter through the desert valleys outside of Marrakesh.
• Unwind at a beautiful hammam spa.
• Pay homage to one of the kings of fashion at the Yves Saint Laurent Museum. 
• Soak in the scenery at Terres d’Amanar, an eco-friendly playground in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains.
• Stay in a five-star resort with an Olympic-sized pool and your own private balcony.

Immerse yourself in the chaotic swirl of Marrakesh | Alex Plesovskich / Unsplash

Day 1: Welcome to the Red City 

As-salaam alaykum and welcome to Marrakesh! Arrive in the Red City and check into your hotel, the Kenzi Menara Palace. Get settled and meet your travel crew before heading out to a welcome dinner at Bô & Zin, a cosmopolitan hot spot with live music and amazing food.
Included meals: Dinner 
Accommodations: Kenzi Menara Palace

Day 2: The Best of Marrakesh 

Get your bearings with a morning tour through the major sites, including the Saadian Tombs and Koutoubia Mosque, and end at Jemaa el-Fna Square. Grab something to eat -- we recommend heading to one of the many restaurants overlooking the square.

After lunch, get lost (with a guide!) in the bustling souks of Marrakesh. Learn how to bargain and where to go for the best spices, textiles, and handmade art for your apartment back home. The rest of the day is yours -- put your bargaining skills to the test, wander through the gardens of Marrakesh, or return to the hotel to gaze at the nearby Atlas Mountains -- you’ll be heading there tomorrow!
Included meals: Breakfast
Accommodations: Kenzi Menara Palace

Taste sweet and savory tagines | Chris Griffiths/Moment/Getty Images

Day 3: Fun in the High Atlas Mountains 

Head into the foothills of the Atlas Mountains for an all-day excursion at Terres d’Amanar. Take your pick of optional activities at the edge of Toubkal National Park, including hiking, archery, crafting, and zip lining. Or simply lounge by the pool and soak in the majestic mountain scenery. In between your adventures, eat lunch and drink Moroccan mint tea prepared by Berber women from surrounding villages at the resort. Return to Marrakesh in the late afternoon, ready to take on the night.
Included meals: Breakfast, lunch
Accommodations: Kenzi Menara Palace

Day 4: A Whirl of Color, a Dash of Spice 

This morning, head to the beautiful Majorelle Garden, where you’ll take in a psychedelic mirage of desert plants. Visit the Yves Saint Laurent Museum, a space dedicated to the man and his legendary fashion house. Enjoy lunch at the restaurant of your choosing, then take the afternoon to rest up for tonight's grand escapade: a cooking class at La Maison Arabe. After a trip to the market to buy fresh ingredients, you’ll prep, cook, and dig into your own colorful Moroccan dish -- and take the recipe home with you.
Included meals: Breakfast, dinner
Accommodations: Kenzi Menara Palace

Take a hot air balloon ride at sunrise | Alain Bachellier/Moment/Getty Images

Day 5: A Ride Through the Desert 

If you’re feeling bold this morning, cross “Hot air balloon ride at sunrise” off your bucket list -- there will be Champagne! (This is awesome but optional, for an additional cost of $450.)

If not, enjoy a leisurely morning before heading out into the palm groves for an ATV ride in the desert sands. Drive your own, or just enjoy the ride as a passenger. Dig into a traditional Moroccan lunch at the Kasbah Le Mirage, then head back to town for a night out on your own.
Included meals: Breakfast, lunch
Accommodations: Kenzi Menara Palace

Day 6: Marrakesh Livin’

Sleep in and recover from last night’s dalliances before embarking on a biking food tour in the heart of old town Marrakesh. Once you’ve seen all your options, return to your favorite food stall for lunch. Next, turn your sights to relaxation. Rest and rejuvenate this afternoon with a stop at one of Marrakesh’s famed hammam spas before heading back out into the beautifully chaotic swirl of Marrakesh.
Included meals: Breakfast
Accommodations: Kenzi Menara Palace

Traverse desert landscapes on camelback | Tomáš Malík/Unsplash

Day 7: Camels!

Choose your own adventure this morning. Get some last-minute shopping done, soak up some rays by the hotel pool, or wander the city. If you would like to be more active, we can arrange one of the following at an additional cost:

  • Learn how to work your core like a pro with a belly dancing class. Later tonight, you will see the best of the best perform live ($50).
  • Work your legs on a hike in the High Atlas Mountains ($60).

After lunch at a restaurant of your choosing, hop on the back of a camel* for a saunter through the wadis (desert valleys) outside of Marrakesh this afternoon. Later, toast to a fantastic trip with a farewell dinner at Comptoir Darna, a fun restaurant and party spot with colorful tagines, live music, and belly dancing.
Included meals: Breakfast, dinner
Accommodations: Kenzi Menara Palace

*Camel operators are private -- no large companies! -- and above board. Camel outfitters are required by law to meet certain standards of ethical treatment of the animals, including vaccinations.

Day 8: Sweet Goodbyes

Say goodbye to Marrakesh today and depart for home.
Included meals: Breakfast

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